A winner and other things...

Like looking through a baby names book, reading your lists of favourite words made me want to have something to name purely for the fun of loving the words (this is probably a bad reason to have a baby or a new shop, no?). Yes, I even considered changing the name of my little shop. Made by Florence suddenly seemed an absolute waste when I could have Lemonade & Buttercups, The Marshmallow Eiderdown or The Apple Flower Boutique (that's æblebloms in Danish). There were so many new ones in there to dislike too and I shared your loathing of words such as 'soiled' and 'kiddies' and so many others...they almost feel too awful to type. But anyway, I decided to go for a highly scientific method of picking a winner: I scroll the comments page up and down while Mr Teacakes prods his finger at the screen with his eyes closed.

The winner is lovely blogger Hot Fudge (a name I'd like to steal in order to eat it) from Australia who said: Easy. Some of my favourite words are:Tiramisu, lazy Sundays (oops ... two words), tadpoles, babies, love. And from my least favourite list:Awesome, global, male person (as in police description - what's wrong with "man"?). I bought a copy of Sew Hip a few months back while we were travelling through England. I've searched high and low here in Australia for a copy, but so far without success. I'd really love to read your articles, so hopefully I'll find a way.

Please send me your address and I'll get your goodies in the post to you.

I have such a backlog of things to blog, but I feel more like sharing what I've been up to today (or what I haven't really been up to). It's so frustrating when the idea that is in your head doesn't quite work out once you begin on it. For a long time now, my head has been full of images that combine drawing, printing on cotton and applique, but I haven't quite found the time to experiment. Today, in a self-indulgent, non-work orientated sort of mood I did just that.

Initially I was pleased with my sketch, and I loved the finish given by printing onto cotton...but trying to applique onto my sketch or even play around with stitching over it all looked too clumsy and awful. I tried it out in so many different ways, but nothing came out the way I could see it in my head and none of my fabrics were quite right for it either (yes really...this kind of statement is one that family and friends never seem to believe having eyed the bulging fabric drawers, but it's absolutely true on this occasion).

So with a day's worth of work in the bin there was one unembellished cotton copy of the sketch lying on the bed when Mr Teacakes came home, declared his absolute love for it and demanded that I put it in a frame...which was so lovely, as I hadn't gotten round to telling him about it or how dispiriting the non-appliqued picture had ended up being, so it was a much-needed morale boost and made me feel that there was something that could be salvaged from an otherwise fruitless day.

He is far less enamoured with the door that I have painted, however. You may remember that I had bemoaned the hideous infill panels in our doors in a recent post (you can see a picture of one at the bottom of that post). As we have lovely old stripped wood door frames to all the doorways going off our hallway it means that I can't paint the doors without painting the door frames too...something that even I don't want to do as it's such lovely wood, however, the door in our bedroom disturbs me every time I sit in bed and have to look at it - I try to avert my eyes from it, but I still know that it's there looking ugly...and sometimes it has seemed so ugly that it detracts from the lovely images in the Sunday Times Style supplement and means that I have to turn the light off and go to sleep so that I can forget about THE DOOR. But then one day last week I woke up and realised that I could just paint one side of the door and it wouldn't have to be visible from the hallway that it was a different colour. Hurrah!

My usual style of painting is to daub the paintbrush around enthusiastically for a couple of moments and then get bored and ask Mr Teacakes if he would like to take over. However, on this occasion I had a feeling he might not approve and so knew that it had to look perfect by the time he arrived home...so I spent a happy day feeling like a guerrilla painter and listening to Radio 4 and applying far more coats than the tin said I was allowed to...and this week it is finally dry. Despite acknowledging that for the first time ever my paintwork was perfect, the door was not well received and I have been expressly forbidden, in advance of my even vocalising the thought, to paint Mr Teacakes' bedside table, the wardrobe and even my own desk. This is apparently where my white-washing stops.

On Friday I made this bag up for a custom order and remembered to photograph it this morning just before it was wrapped. I haven't made a bag since mid-December and I'd forgotten quite how much I enjoy the whole process, and I'm now thinking of all the summer bags that I'd like to make with the many ranges of delicious new fabrics that seem to have reached the shops in America (but are yet to arrive in the UK...oh, the patience that is required!). I am such a winter sort of person, but this is the first year that I have ever wanted summer to come...and it is nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with wanting to make summer clothes. I have been bitten by the dressmaking bug and will share more of the bug's first bites in my next post.

Wishing you a lovely week and thank you so much for all the wonderful words in my giveaway,

Florence x


  1. I agree with your husband about the sketch; it's gorgeous! I wish I could draw, but whenever I try, everything always comes out looking like a fried egg.
    I enjoy reading your blog and look forward toevery new post. It's fresh and feminine.
    Have a lovely week x

  2. Lovely sketch, I love your minimalistic style, mine is very sketchy and never turns out that nice looking without touching it up, so I HAVE to use pencil.

    I'm glad you have found a solution to your door frame woes, and I can't what to see what you come up with next ;)

  3. Lovely sketch Florenc. You have made me want to take up a pencil again. Your newly painted door looks like mine now which I hadn't realised from the previous post. we have those thirties panels except I think ours are solid wood. they are all painted though so who's to know! Heck of a job isn't it? beautiful bag as ever x

  4. Well done with the painting. I'm about to tackle our stairs (currently an ugly reddy/brown treacly stain V. attractive). I'm sure that white will be so much better but it's an awful lot of work. I'm thrilled that you are a winter person too, I had been thinking that I was the only one in the world..xx

  5. Oh Florence, that sketch is beautiful. I agree with Mr Teacakes that to do anything else with it would be criminal. I love it.

  6. Oh I am very envious of your artistic talent there Florence. I sometimes have delusions of grandeur and think of projects that involve art. But I can't really draw for toffee. Its very frustrating! But the picture of yours is very frame worthy.

    Lovely bag too. And I am a winter person too! There are more of us out there than we might imagine.


  7. The sketch is well deserving of its frame as it is really lovely - love the lines and sense of movement. If you can draw as well as that, then you can do anything! Did you say you printed it onto the fabric? Would be interested in how you did that. The bag you have shown is really very pretty and I like it very much. I can't wait to see your dress-making. I used to make lots of clothes some years ago but haven't for ages. There is nothing nicer than making children's party dresses. I used to feel very proud of myself and obsess about the lovely button holes (the major wonder of my then machine) I am wanting to make some skirts for the summer. Perhaps you will inspire me which I need as I'm still getting to grips with a new machine. I'm really excited about seeing yours because your kimonos are just beautiful and if I recall you made your sister a lovely dress. Can't wait!

  8. Your drawing is beautiful no wonder Mr Teacake wanted to frame it.


  9. Well done the winner. The bag is lovely.

  10. Can you feel the excitement coming through your computer screen? I am thrilled that the clever Mr Teacakes stopped at my name and I am the winner of your competition. Thank you so much and I have emailed you my address.

    Your door adventures reminded me of a time when we were newly married and decided to do something to the ugly wardrobe doors in our bedroom. "Antiquing" was the latest thing in the early Seventies and after several days we completed our project. We were stunned by what we had done. We turned to light off that night and my husband said, "Ah, that's better".

  11. I think your sketch is beautiful, I too love it just the way it is, without applique!

  12. Just got caught up with your blog. Kudos to your husband for recognizing a lovely piece of artwork! I love the sewing machine you got for Christmas - that was absolutely precious!


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Florence x