Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Haberdashery cabinet- how I love thee!

So, you will remember back in February, I announced that I am opening premises for my craft and vintage events business Handmade by You.

Although this challenge does not apply to the business (as I wouldn't be able to run it without buying anything new) I have as much as possible tried to buy second hand in setting up the studio.  The Studio is in Alfies Antique Market, Marylebone and if you haven't been yet to have a mooch around, you really must- it is a treasure trove.

There was this lovely lady who had a haberdashery shop, selling lovely bits of lace, trimmings, buckles etc- you name it, she had it.  Unfortunately she has now retired and a couple of weeks ago, she shut her doors.  I was lucky enough to go in there about a month ago and spied an amazing haberdashers cabinet tucked away in the corner.

I have longed for one of these for some years and could not resist it for the Studio.  I can't reveal how much I paid for it, Dear Reader but it was not cheap and nor should it be.  It is a beautiful piece that I and my clients will enjoy and I was happy to pay a fair price for it.

I haven't quite organised the draws yet- I am so looking forward to that part- it will be very satisfying.  Here is a wide shot with my childhood dolls house on top of it which I am using to store china!

Love Alice x

Monday, 25 March 2013

A new addition to the Handmade and Found Family

Sorry I have not been blogging much, Dear Reader- things have been a bit crazy to say the least.

I have some more big news- H and I are having a baby!  We found out a couple of weeks ago so it is very early days for us but I just can't contain myself; I have to share the news.

It has been a very long journey to get to destination 'baby'.  I know many couples also have challenges getting pregnant so this in itself is nothing new, but as a same sex couple it is very challenging if you don't have a spare £10K in the bank and want to have a baby.  We explored lots of options- including co-parenting and using a known donor but in the end we went for an anonymous donor and received IUI (insemination) treatment at a private clinic in London.  We were told there was a 12% chance of us conceiving (which is the percentage chance for anyone trying to get pregnant, the regular way) and were astonished when we defied the odds and got pregnant first time.  (And thank God- the procedure was the worst thing I have ever experienced).  I am feeling well at the moment, if a bit up and down both emotionally and with my energy levels.  Both of us are incredibly excited about becoming parents.

A friend of mine asked if having the baby might mean we disband the challenge of not buying new for a year.  My first thoughts were "Hell No!".  Having a baby is the perfect opportunity to ramp up our second hand buying activities- there is just no need to buy anything new especially when it might only be used for a matter or weeks or months.  Especially when several of my lovely friends have babies under 2 and are probably itching to clear space in their garages of all the toys and kit they no longer need/use.

So- I have added a few baby related items to the wishlist- big things and small things that we want and I can't wait to report how we get on finding them.  I would love to get everything we need for less than £500 too- that would be a real win!

I have also listed a few maternity items for me- tops and jeans and will venture into second hand places I have never been before in order to hunt these out- how exciting!!

I promise to keep in touch more regularly Dear Reader and let you know how all this goes!


Alice x

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Shoes glorious shoes

As you are aware, Dear Reader; I am challenged by second hand shoes.  I find it so hard to get good ones in charity shops and vintage shoes are always too small- I am only a size 4.5-5 but I think if you are a size 3 you get the pick of the bunch.  New shoes are a challenge for me too- I am very picky, will not tolerate the need to break shoes in or sustain blisters for the sake of a beautiful pair.

But, I have been buoyed recently by lovely twitter folk tell me how they have loads of pairs of second hand shoes and I need more faith.

And at a recent pop-up fair in Islington, I found a fantastic pair of 80s suede pixie boots for £5, yes, you heard me, suede boots for £5.

Here are the little beauties:

So maybe my faith in second-hand shoe shopping has been restored?  Hmm?

Love Alice x