Friday, 28 October 2011


When I was at the Rachel Hazell workshop at Les Soeurs Anglaises in July this year we visited the local brocante warehouse - Ali Baba's.  I found a box of old (and rather moth-eaten) toys which I thought would suit Becky (see Vintage Fairy Tales blog).  Now the 'souvenirs Nicole' would definitely not have suited everyone, however, Becky was delighted by them.

Amongst the souvenirs - can't help thinking there is a tragic little tale behind them - was a Dougal of Magic Roundabout fame - fair enough he had definitely seen better days. Barbara one of the American workshop attendees was horrified by Dougal and amazed, firstly, that I had bought the box, and, having bought it was actually thinking of giving it to a friend!   

I spent many happy days telling Barbara that Dougal was going to be hidden in her room, her case etc.  A couple of days after we returned home, I got an email asking where Dougal was - he was still in France waiting for Becky, but I decided to make Barbara a Dougal of her very own.

Here, is the original Dougal .........
not a very inspiring start you may think - but that of course is the magic of inspiration ........ this is what he and Barbara inspired me to make ...........
I'm really pleased with how he turned out and I'm hoping that Barbara will be happier with my version than she was with the original Dougal!  I sent him off a couple of weeks ago and he has just arrived Stateside.

What do you think?  All comments welcome

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


At Rachel Hazell's fabulous and immensely inspiring workshop at LSA this summer I learnt how to make a book.  On my return, I was inspired to incorporate some of my finds into a little notebook/repository for the bits and pieces we collect but aren't sure what to do with (yet).

I dont know about you, but I always want a notebook to close so I incorporated a longer ribbon to provide a fastening.  One of the treasures found at the brocante we visited was an vintage french lotto set - I love everything about it, the counters are really good wooden ones which I have many plans for, the tickets or boards are a great colour - very 30s numbers and suitably distressed!  They were, however, quite damp with a not too endearing whiff about them.  My first job was to dry them out and leave them in a bag with a lavender and lemongrass drawer sachet to alleviate the odour.

Another of my prize finds; 'Galeries Lafayette' a 1950s magazine/catalogue full of the most wonderful items available in Spring 1956 - isnt it fabulous!
I made several little sections - us bookbinders call them signatures - get me! Each section had an additional double page insert which was either vintage music, a bit of the galeries catalogue or vintage california telephone book pages.  Here are a couple of the sections:

And here are a couple of sections which include little contrasting envelopes to hold mementoes.

I found the stitching together quite tricky and my stitch doesnt look anything like it should but its a prototype as Im hoping to make more for Christmas presents.  Hopefully Rachel will approve.  All comments welcome!