Saturday, 11 December 2010

Goodbyes and wish lists

Well this week I said goodbye to a custom standard lamp retro drum that has eaten almost all of one of favourite barkcloths. It was one of the first barkcloths I ever owned and was given to me by a very generous friend who had been clearing an elderly aunt's loft. I've never seen another like it but I just love the colours.The new owner plans to combine it with a glossy red standard lamp, rather like I did for this photo, and I'm hopeful they will be very happy together.

It being THE season reluctant mutterings of "is there anything you'd like for Christmas?" have been heard and are now echoing around my head. Where do you start? Anyone who browses the interweb even a fraction as much as me can very quickly become overwhelmed at all that loveliness out there.
There is one item I keep returning to stare at though. An item that I cannot possibly argue that I need but nonetheless an item that pulls on the heart strings........a lamp shade. Yes you heard right. Someone who makes lamp shades everyday wants another lamp shade for Christmas. Have I finally lost it? No don't think so just look at this....

Called Caravan of Love it is by designer Kate Boyce. The designs are a combination of photographic imagery with scans of floral fabric from the 70’s and 80’s. The designs are printed with fade resistant inks on a high quality tear-proof paper which allows light to filter through beautifully.

Just stunning aren't they? You can find Kate's designs for House of Chintz in her etsy shop or see them on display in an amazing looking lighting shop called Radiance. Radiance is owned by the super talented Hannah Nunn who has a great blog on which you'll find an interview with Kate.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Friday, 3 December 2010

Let in snow

Our  village is currently under seige from the snow and the community is pulling together in lots of little ways. From pushing the milk float up the hills, voluntary rashioning at the bakers and sharing a hip flask on the slopes... it's all good to see.

These wintery scenes of folk going about their business put me in mind of a piece of vintage barkcloth I've had for quite a while now. I know it is very rare and depicts a scene from a painting called "Sugaring Off" that captures a community collecting and making maple syrup the traditional way.  I've blogged before about the work of the amazing lady  artist Grandma Moses.
It seemed wrong for it to be languishing in the fabric cupboard any longer so as a tribute to community spirit in the snow it is now transformed into two  lovely lampshades. I've lined them with an old gold PVC which gives off a super warm glow. You'll find one atop a glossy red lamp in the shop.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Last minute advent calendar from Rie Elise Larsen packaging

Phew - I have the perfect last minute advent calender solution thanks to the gorgeousness of all the lovely Danish christmas packaging we have in the Folly and Glee shop again this year. It was really nice last year but the patterns and colours for 2010 are just brilliant.

Image Rie Elise Larsen
You'll need some assorted gift bags (they come in a mixed bag of 8), a roll of wrapping paper (10 different sheets in a roll), some sequin trim and assorted mini giftboxes.

All images Rie Elise Larsen
Add your advent treats or messages to the gift bags, wrapped mini parcels or boxes and number 1-24 or 25!

All images Rie Elise Larsen
Add your numbers to your parcels and boxes directly or onto some of the gift tags (they come as a mixed set of 12).
String it all together on more ribbon. You may need some florist wire to support it. I think I might be cheating and just creating a big pile around a few selected numbered days on a twiggy branch.

How will you do yours?

Homemade Advent Calenders or Calendars?

Well its the Ist December and you just know that real life has been getting in the way because I haven't made an advent calender (or is it calendar?). So far I've got away with it and no one seems to have noticed. A snow day with no school has provided the perfect distraction.

Somewhat starved of inspiration I've just had a look back through the last few years attempts and I thought I'd share. There is a flick set with a bit more information on each one. None of them are rocket science but if anyone wants some tips on a how to or where to get the supplies let me know. Divine Twine features heavily and so do recycled wool sweaters and blankets. Make sure they are 100% wool and just stick them on a really hot wash and you'd have the perfect felt. I both cold water dyes (in a bucket) and washing machine dyes to get a good range of colours.

Mini advent galvinised pails or buckets

Advent bunting with treat sized pockets

Mini stocking advent calendar

Matchbox advent calendar

Felted birdy advent nest

specials for the big day
Right now what can I do for this year before the wet and hungry troops arrive back? Help?

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Mid Century Mod Madness

In honour of the very christmassy scenes outside I spent a lovely morning with a mulled wine (non alcaholic version in case you're worrying about my capacity for work) and a pile of the newly arrived cards. In no time I had cut out the decorations. It only takes a little glue or double sided tape and a length of  bakers twine to hang them with.

I just have to finish adding the little instruction sheet to the mini kraft envelope that is inside each card. Every pack of cards features one of each design - snowman, angel, 3 kings, nativity scene and santa - plus instructions for each and a length of bakers twine. Hopefully they will be in the shop by the end of the day.
Look out for a freeby giveaway of the cutest reindeer place cards coming soon!

Christmas comes early

Much excitment as our brave posty battled through a heavy old smattering of the winter white stuff to deliver 3 packages.
Package number one contained my new winter hat. If only I looked this good in it. It's jolly warm and a really comfy fit. Some people have suggested I look even more like the furry one with it on but I know they are only jealous.
River Island Trapper Hat at
Package number two was my printed up mid century modern Christmas Cards. I'm very pleased with the folk from Moo. All is as it should be including no unwanted trademarks and the Folly and Glee logo on the back.

Ahhh but package number three...what could it be.....only a Dottie Angel pillow all the way from Tif as a part two to our recent vintage barkcloth fabric swap. He has settled in immediately making good friends with the Ercol and raises a smile every time I pass.

The attention to detail is inspiring as always. Thank you Tif.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Danish Modern Barkcloth Lamps

As promised two fully restored Danish Modern Lamps - one floor/standard lamp and one table lamp- made it into the shop today. Both are making noises about being allowed to stay. I am holding far.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Design your own lampshade

I've been really lucky to receive several custom orders for lamp shades recently. The patchwork shades are perhaps the most fun because its always exciting to see which fabrics folk choose and discover how they will work together.

Take this one. The brief was for a lamp shade with a foliage/winter theme in reds, blues and greys. I hunted around the fabric shelves and these are the barkcloths selected.....
.....and here are those fabrics patchworked into a lampshade.

Its the same process for making a vintage lace shade but with more snuffling around in my lace and doily drawer plus some precious time with Little A the trusty button maker. Some of these fabrics are really old ie 1930s and they are torn and tired in places. Using them in patchwork shades is brilliant because you get to rescue all the good, still vibrant bits.
I'm not sure how many more custom shades I can fit it before Christmas  but if you have a sad floor/table lamp that is looking for a new partner or if the sprouts on your holiday table might look more inviting under a new ceiling pendant....get in touch. Below are the sizes I typically make for folk.
Just let me know what size you'd like and whether you'll be providing your own fabric or want me to source that for you. You are most welcome to peruse my Flick gallery of vintage barkcloths but be warned it's not always up to date....I may have new stock or be running low.
Lots of you ask me where do I find my vintage fabrics? Well its certainly getting harder but jumble sales are probably still my favourite hunting ground. For a more comfortable experience perhaps the best source of  vintage fabrics in the UK is DonnaFlower. Donna REALLY knows her stuff and has an ever changing stock from pretty much every era. Follow Donna's blog for regular updates on what's just arrived and events, open days etc.
My most favourite vintage barkcloth ever was bought from Donna yonks ago. I must take a close up when the sun is next shining but if you really want to know it's the yellow roses fabric hiding my veg and under sink unmentionables in the kichen.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Oh the places you will go

We are big fans of a certain cat in the  hat in this house. My favourite has always been "The places you will go." You know the one....

"Congratulations!Today is your day.You’re off to Great Places!You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
 And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go."
etc etc

Teenage boys don't seem to appreciate the wisdom of Seuss being read to them anymore (well they say they don't) now I find myself reciting bits as I pack up FollyandGlee goodies. I just can't help thinking that they must be going somewhere lovely.

Imagine my delight when during a bleary eyed early morning Flickr browse I spied one of our first ever FollyandGlee vintage finds.... the chatrueuse and raspberry vintage eiderdown sitting pretty atop a bed of retro loveliness complete with knitted character!

But wait it gets better cos the lovely new owner teawagon has now created a backdrop for eiderdown and friends that is just outrageously gorgeous. A trio of 70s floral wallpapers in turquoise, blues and cream.

ooo......lucky lucky eiderdown. Please close your eyes now if you don't want to be tempted by a link to Teawagon's etsy shop. Can you resist?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Mid century mod Christmas cards

I wanted to do some Christmas Cards this year that served more than one purpose. Cards with cutouts to be turned into decorations seemed the ideal solution. Lurking at the far end of the bookself I've had an old envelope full of paper cut decorations for yonks.  I believe it originally came from a 1950s or 60s craft magazine in the US. Sadly I don't have the magazine just the cut outs.

I'm no expert on computer graphics so it has taken an age, frozen my wrist and provoked I must confess some foul language ....but I have redrawn and cleaned up my favourite 5 decorations - a nativity scene, the 3 kings, a snowman, an angel and of course Santa. They are at the printers as we speak and I'm really looking forward to seeing the results.

I plan to clean up one or two more for a freebie christmas giveaway (there are some ultra cute reindeer and a little tin soldier) but if you do like the look of these first 5 cards do let me know. I've only ordered enough for our family use but I'd be happy to do more or maybe post a pdf pattern? Any takers?

They will all come with their own instructions for assembly.

Folly and Glee in the Mossy Shed!

Apologies for the blogging silence. Life has thrown our little family an unexpected challenge but I'm sure we will emerge stronger for it. I just couldn't not let you know about the vintage barkcloth fabric swap I did with Tif though. 

I can't wait to show you the amazing barkcloth I is all quite gorgeous and so very DottieAngel. Those of you who follow the goings on in the Mossy Shed will know just how quickly the most amazing delights appear. Well now there is some Folly and Glee goodness in there too.

Just look at that cushion - are those two barkcloths soulmates or not? Thank you Tif for introducing them.

If you love the yellow graphic barkcloth I have good and bad news. The bad is that there is only enough left for a couple more shades. The good news.........I have just sourced the same fabric in a sunny yellow but with darker tones of orange and pink!

If you love the orange and yellow rose barkcloth (GORGEOUS) stay tuned as I have four shades of different sizes hitting the shop on Wednesday 24th November.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Autumn Dream Catchers

I was lucky enough to be invited to help out at my sons' former primary school on one of their "Break Out Days". I've probably got the official explanation of what these are all wrong but from what I can see they are joyous occasions when teachers and children dare to stray outside the boundries of the timetabled National Curriculum. Every member of staff put their activity ideas into a pot and, if they can be organised with parent and other local support, those ideas are offered to the kids. During my stay I saw bread making, a wetsuited group off for a canoe lesson, gardeners busy with some willow structures, amazing Giocametti wire and clay sculpture, pumkin carving....the list goes on.

My group of the sweetest 5 and 6 year olds opted in to make Giant Autumn Dreamcatchers-  the brainchild of the lovely Mrs Lamb. First we borrowed some hoola hoops from the PE cupboard and wrapped them in green and brown florist tape. Having decided to do 3 each a little different we had to think fast how to thread them. In the end one was knotted in the traditional way for dream catchers with some of my 4mm leather cord. The next looked amazing finished with garden twine woeven as a spiders web and then backed with some thin hessian. For the third and final hoop we used long strips of hessian in one direction and twine in the other to make a grid.

Bounty fron our nature walk
Luckily the weather was kind-ish and after what seemed an age (to a mum who hasn't had to do it for a decade or so) buttoning coats and finding wellies we ventured out into the beautiful grounds. The kids gathered all manner of gorgeous Autumn bounty - leaves in every colour and hue, conkers, acorns, feathers etc. Our safety briefing had forbid berries, fungi and politely requested that no dead birds or insects return with us.......shucks!
Having added our finds to the leather, string, ribbon and fabric strips already assembled the fun began.
The Dreamcatcher table fills up
Big and little hands got weaving
......and wrapping and poking and knotting!

Thank you every one - I had a great time.
I wasn't familiar with the  Dream catcher legends before -  the stories of how they can protect us from our bad dreams and choices in life. Sharing these with the children as we worked and hearing them re-tell their best dreams was magical.

Thank you every one - I had a great time.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Thank you's

A huge thank you to DottieAngel for her very generous words about "my follies and my glees". Imagine for just one moment the excitement in this house when it was discovered that the Queen of Granny Chic aspires to a Folly and Glee  lampshade in the Mossy Shed. There was some shrieking....and them some gasping....something dangerously akin to palpertations....followed by several hours of wry smiling. Even the boys read the post! I got to share the news with my good friend and crochet teacher Anne (aka Cloonty) yesterday. I'd taken the laptop along to our village's newly opened fab restaurant and coffee shop Dino's. Here a similar cycle of shrieking followed much to the amusement of staff and customers.
Anyway a big thank you Tif and if there is anyone out there who hasn't been charmed by Dottie's delights you know where to go and if you are writing your christmas list this book the second in the Suitcase series can be pre-ordered now.

Another nice suprise was that Whitney over at Whisker Graphics posted about the wallpaper bunting lampshade that was strung with the gorgeous Divine Twine in candy pink.

I'm delighted Folly and Glee are stocking the full range of colours in what I think is the loveliest of the baker's twines for all us folk on this side of the pond. Never has cotton string made such a difference to packaging......I could marvel at baker's twine uses for hours. Just look at the inspirational combination of the orange twine with a personalised stamp from Butterfly Fly Stamps on Etsy. Brilliant.

Images from Butterfly Fly

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Crazy to Cut?

Well perhaps not a suprise but today whilst eating what counted for lunch I had a crisis of conscience. Who in their right mind would cut up near perfect lengths of barkcloth some of which is approaching 50 years old. What if no body likes my Folly&Glee lamp shades? What if we move and I need to make new lampshades for our home? What if their is a state of national barkcloth shortage emergency declared?  .......I'll feel like a right NUMPTY. That's what.

The furry one said just take a look around you. Do you need any more lamp shades? No. Do you feel pleasure everyday because of the ones you have? Yes. Wouldn't you feel good sharing some of that joy? Suppose so. Do you need the dosh to buy those Camper boots? Definately.

So.....I did some cutting and some laminating and some stitching and some rolling and there are 3 more vintage barkcloth lampshades in the Folly&Glee shop or if you prefer to but in US Dollars over at my etsy shop.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Vintage Barkcloth lampshades

Yea well it only took me 5 years to feel brave enough to cut up some of my treasured vintage barkcloth. Don't know what it is about the stuff but I do love it so.

At the risk of "teaching granny to suck eggs" barkcloth , also known as Dobby, is made of 100% cotton, it has a very rich look and feel and is extremely durable, and long lasting. To be honest I think that unless someone puts some actual barkcloth in your hands and says, "this is barkcloth" then it's next to impossible to really understand what it is... However technically barkcloth is a Momie Weave  used primarily in furnishings. The interlacing pattern usually uses spun yarns and creates a fabric with a rough texture somewhat like that of tree bark, hence the fabric's name.

So the legend goes after WWII American GI's stationed in Hawaii saw these brightly colored barkcloth curtains and other home furnishings (as well as some shirts) and brought or sent them home. In the years following  the late 1940's through the 1960's, bark cloth became a staple fabric in the home interior textiles market. The most collectable of these barkcloths are the atomic "Eames era" prints popular in the 1950's and early 1960's.

I fell in love with my first piece of barkcloth after pulling and old curtain out of a black bin bag at the local Scout Jumble sale. Totally unexplicable why... its was faded, it was almost a paisly pattern and worst of all it was mauve.....but there the love affair began.

It has finally dawned on me that I cannot curate a barkcloth museum from the linen cupboard in our spare room so now its open season on my precious bolts and scraps as they one by one reform themselves into......lampshades. Why lampshades? Well a great lampshade is always hard to find. You can never have enough lamps in a room. I'm lucky enough to have access to the professional materials needed to make them well. And most importantly they show the wonderousness of the fabric off to perfection.

I'm not so good at photographing them yet. Just look at all those shadows.....and it took me hours! Any tips greatfully received.

All from Emma Lamb's shop on Etsy

Whilst on the subjected I'm so greatful to Emma Lamb for posting about my shades. I've been a fan of her crochet for a while now as her designs and colours are always so contemporary and just a bit more edgy than most. Emma also manages my two favourite Flickr group "granny chic" and "all colours in" as well as producing the best etsy collages  or roundups on her blog. You have an extraordinary eye Emma. Cheers.


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