Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Something Out Of Nothing - Stuff For (Almost) Free



If you're anything like me (and you most likely are or you probably wouldn't be reading) you're fed up to the back teeth of the rampant consumerism that grips the majority of the population as soon as November strikes - endless wish lists and gift guides on blogs, adverts for tacky jewellery, celebrity-endorsed tat and naff leather sofas dominating the TV breaks and a veritable forest of supermarket Xmas offer leaflets which go straight from Saturday's Guardian into the recycle bin.



I'm confined to the house until Friday (when Jon's got something mysterious planned) as we're awaiting numerous Boombox-related deliveries and its both the dreaded end-of-year accounts and time to apply for our tourist visas, so, in between totting spreadsheets up, stapling receipts and swearing at crashing websites I'm diverting my attention by making use of stuff I've already got and not spending a thing.


I pimped up this standard charity shop denim waistcoat by hand-sewing a cool looking cross stitch I bought at a jumble sale to the back. The dress is a 1960s nylon nightie embellished with upholstery trim and braiding (I can't take credit for it, I bought it from eBay).


Today's lunch was curried parsnip and apple soup (the apples were free from a neighbour and the parsnips were on special offer on the market last week, everything else was already in the cupboard).

11b parsnips (peeled & chopped)
1 large white onion (chopped)
2 large cooking apples (peeled & chopped)
2 tsp Madras curry powder
2 crushed cloves of garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 litre vegetable stock

  • Soften the apples, parsnips and onion in oil, taking care not to colour
  • Add the garlic and spices and cook for 2 minutes
  • Carefully pour in the stock, stirring until the soup starts to boil
  • Turn down heat, pop a lid on the saucepan & simmer for 30 mins (or until parsnips are soft)
  • Remove pan from the heat, liquidise, season to taste
  • Reheat and enjoy.



The lovely Lucy Nation sent me this pretty 1950s tourist scarf earlier in the year, I was tempted to make it into a cushion cover but decided it would be far better worn as a skimpy halter. I sewed 12 inches of ribbon (saved from last year's birthday present wrappings) to the bottom of each corner and that was that.


One of my vintage family, Sandy, makes the most amazing creations adorned with sequins, beads and bling. She recently gave me a bag of leftover broken bits & pieces to play with so I made these last night:

1. I glued religious icons to a rhinestone-less pendant and threaded my silver snake chain through the loops.

2. The neon green and diamante creations were originally a broken statement necklace, I used some hooks from an old pair of earrings, threaded them through the loops and hey presto! Some Bollywood-worthy chandelier earrings.

3. The flamingo fabric patch was a present from Jennie years ago, I glued it to the fake agate stone and threaded both that and the broken bracelet with fishing twine and swiped a fastening from an old necklace.

4. I wrapped vintage braiding (left over from previous projects) and acrylic zips round plastic bangles and glued them into place.

Nightie/dress (eBay) worn with customised waistcoat, suede boots (Helgalicious)

I'm not sure when I'll next be around, there's a mad few days ahead.

Have fun and see you soon.

72 comments:

Hippy At Heart said...

Really love your making-something-nice-out-of-nothing-attitude! blind consuming makes me sick, really don't like it. My cure against it is minimalism, just buying things I really love and want, good quality and owning them for a long time.

Fiona said...

Blimey your creative juices have been in overdrive...and all for free, that's my girl! Aren't the adverts awful, how bloody sad if you can't live without a new sofa in time for xmas, who gives a fuck? Not me or you obvs, but plenty of suckers do. Bought three of my six presents yesterday, one was purchased in Poundland and one (rolled gold cufflinks) in a chazza. Wasn't supposed to be looking for myself but also found the most amazing 60's frock. I'm fed up with xmas lights and songs already...it's too sodding early! Enjoy your mad days and hope you're not doing accounts on Friday.xxxxxx

Connie said...

That's the way to do it, Girlfriend!

Helen Le Caplain said...

Switswu missus!

You look fab - that denim waistcoat especially is divine! xxx

Tamera Wolfe said...

LOVE the waistcoat DIY--so cool!!
And the jewelry DIY are fab!!
I'm always on the hunt for bits and bobs like that. My friend Andrea and I then take it all apart to remake into new stuff!!

Van said...

I try to do this every day all day ;) The sop looks yuuuum!

Lucy Nation said...

I thought I recognised that scarf when I saw it. Love the dress and the cross stitch on the waistcoat looks fab too. Hope you have a productive weekend and get lots done xx

Sandra said...

it's bonkers! I'm doing Christmas dinner for my lot and my parents, I have picked up frozen sprouts from Aldi, and that's it so far!, it's a roast dinner, I don't buy into the whole 'food excess' and trauma of cooking Christmas Dinner, I digress!
I love your fab necklaces, the flamingo is cool and the icon bejewelled piece is magnificent! I'm intrigued about Friday, exciting stuff! please share!! x x x

Willow said...

Loving your bangles . Sounds like you are going to be busy as a bee , but excitement in store down the road :)))

Tami Von Zalez said...

Hi Vix - what in inventive repurpose of that necklace. Two thumbs up!

Yeah, I spent Black Friday toodling around in my garden. I'm actually going to plant winter veggies this year.

thorne garnet said...

old broken jewelry can be made into all kinds of cool things. I have a bin at work called broken stuff that we use to decorate all kinds of costumes. We used tons of it to trick out the plastic armour we made for Pippin.

kate steeper said...

birds in burkas eating ice cream? love it

Pam in Texas said...

You look lovely Vix and you are so clever.
Time for me to get out my box of broken jewellery and follow your example.
Thanks for all your wonderful posts.
Pam in TX xxx

Ariane Lasalle said...

I love your ideas! tks so much i will keep everything in mind -
Here we have dollar stores where you can purchased all the supplies for a $1 dollar or so - Nice when you are crafty -

Hope everything turns up ok for you!

Have a great weekend

Hugs

Ariane

daisychain said...

Vix, what lipstick do you use?

Citizen Rosebud said...

You had me at curried parsnip soup.

Sue said...

I am so with you on the bombardment of ideas for xmas. Who would want an IRON or a VACUUM CLEANER for a gift?? I still haven't put up our tree or done anything remotely festive. We keep it pretty low key here and head out to the beach on THAT day for a walk. The scarf top reminds me of my teenage years. My sister and I would fold them into a triangle, tie them over our boobs with the v heading towards our belly button and call it a strapless top. Back when we could go braless!!

Helga! said...

O, kerist, I KNOW! And the debt people get themselves into!!! It's frigging ridiculous, and every year they still fall for it. Bah, humbug, I say!!!
Oooo, you've been burning that creative candle big time!!! Stunning work, my lovely, I especially love the pendant, it's quite spectacular!! I love putting together old buts and bobs, haven't fiddled for ages! I am a magpie for broken bits of jewellery, and have aims of a mirror edged with my small stash, and maybe some faux flowers as well.
Ugh, accounts and taxes and visas.......bureaurocratic bollocks that simply has to be dealt with! Hoep it goes smoothly!!
Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

beate grigutsch said...

gorgeous work!
i´m try to make the presents by myself too. mostly sewing. trousers for hubby, blouse for mom....

the back on the jeans waistcoat are interesting - tis are women in tschador eating icecream ? :-)

envy on that "süd tirol" scarf. love that corner of the world.

Mum said...

I call that a very creative day.
Love from Mum
xx

Ivy Black said...

Oh tell me about it, lovely! Christmas consumerism has pissed me off since I was a stroppy 13 year old! It's one day for the love of Mick! I can't stand the hype although I do love a bit of gift giving and the chance for a break.
Love that needlepoint to bits. It's slightly mad and looks fab on your waistcoat.
Love all your freebie makes too. A nice antidote to 'buy this shit' that's all over the place. And the Argos alien ads. Fecking hate them...adore you though.
xxxxxxxxx

Loulou said...

You're my hero. I love what you did with the waistcoat and the soup sounds so very good. I'll be making that for sure.

Dolly Cool Clare said...

My sister and I always do a 'Charity shop challenge' for Xmas and Birthdays. £5 budget - I've already picked her up a Per Una top, and a set of autumn leaf print 60s bowls, with 70p change still left over for something else :) Giving gifts the thrifty way is good for the environment, helps charities and is fun as well! x

Mrs. D said...

I love seeing my friend's creativity! I'm in love with that denim gilet - the crossstich panel in the back is totally mental!

Winter Moon said...

You look radiant in these pictures, the waistcoat is adorable and I just love how creative you are!

You must be so excited about your upcoming trip :)

Have a lovely evening xx

Carina Rosenholm said...

Mmmmm warm spicy soup on a cold day ..lovely . Xxx

Angels have Red Hair said...

You're the repurposing Queen ... every single one of those ideas is pure genius.
xx

señora Allnut said...

love all those funny ideas to revamp your bijouterie, love your waistcoat, and that trim you've added to your nightie-dress, and love particularly how you've revamped a pretty scarf into a top!
wish you a very productive week, dear lady, and some fun too!.
besos

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

I am not feeling the love for Xmas at all this year (or any year for that matter). Boring, expensive nonsense.

I've always said you were a creative genius. xx

Twiggy said...

Fab makes, I love your waistcoat
Twiggy xx

Zara Davinia said...

Good luck with all the accounting and visa work! at least the visa work will be worth it come the holiday :-) Bet you can't wait!!
Loving the silk scarf top, clever clogs!! Looks lovely, a real 50's vibe.
The christmas crappy adverts I don't like but I actually love Christmas, definitely no 'bah-humbugs' from me, already got the tree up, done my christmas shopping and started the wrapping. For me, it's not the 'what i want', it's the 'what would they like/love', I adore giving, one of the best feelings & experiences in the world to give someone something you know they'll really like or enjoy. I love curried parsnip soup, you can't beat it, never tried it with apple too though so will definitely be trying that one! Have a good weekend Vix, know it's a busy one for you! x

joyatri said...

I'm with you all the way. Any xmas presents I give are homemade. And if they are consumable, all the better. That soup looks yummy and a real bargain to make.
I love what you did with the denim waistcoat.

Amie Kewley said...

Ooh Vix I had to laugh at your observations about crappy TV adverts, the sofa ones are so annoying! Who wants to pay for a sofa in 4 years time it will no doubt have worn out by then anyway! I love your DIY's too-I made a dress out of two oversized silk scarves but I love the look of your halter top, so chic and pretty!

Sorry I haven't commented in a while, I do keep up with all your posts via FB/bloglovin, just ridiculously busy as always! Much love xxxxxxx

Trudie said...

You are the craftiest thinker of them all. I love the waistcoat, I must look at customising mine as I need to keep buying denim ones....they're just handy.

You also have me inspired to try apple in a soup it's a few times now that you've shown soups with apples in them, it's a must try I think. Would apple be good with any of the root vegetable soups?

pastcaring said...

You mean you're not off to DFS to get a new three piece suite delivered by Christmas? Not taken in by the cute woodland critters at John Lewis, who can only be truly happy with a fuck-off Christmas tree and the perfect gift?
Nah, me neither! Let's make do and mend, crack open some cheap booze, get creative, and do it a better way.
Loving the fringed nightie, the pimped up waistcoat, and the results of your jewellery making. And spicy parsnip and apple soup is my favourite (after chickpea and coriander...)
Ugh, accounts, they sound deadly, but once they're done, it's fun time, and a birthday to celebrate, woohoo! Wonder what Jon is up too.... Sounds intriguing! Love yoooooou! xxxxxx

The Black Opal said...

Arrggh!! Those end of the year tings! Wishing good luck and patience to you with all that stuff, dear Vix!
And how creative you are -- I just love things you make.

Lots of love!!
Masha

Kezzie said...

You clever, clever person you!!x

Melanie said...

Oooo, you are a crafty vixen. I love all the things you've made and the pimping you've done. The vest is a Piece now with that added cross-stitched back. You have infused me with energy to get to a piece of fabric unrolled over the whole floor (I can't iron it). I love a good surprise - I hope Friday is a huge treat. And thanks for the recipe.

Patti said...

Hope Friday brings a fine surprise! I love the back of your vest, and all your creative goings-on. I too have had more than enough of the endless ads - it's almost like election time! xox

daiseedeb said...

You inspire me, missy Vix! Love your attitude and creativity!!!!
xo
d

Alex M said...

I love sewing material on to the back of denim vests and jackets. Now I am chomping to so the same again... but I'll have to find a naked victim in a thrift this weekend....

Catherine Staat said...

I am not a good sewer (is that a word) but looking at your vest and scarf...you have inspired me!!!

Have a wonderful week and (possible) getaway!

Cat

Linda Wolf said...

You tell it, Vix! Rampant consumerism makes me nauseous. There is so much abundance in this world that costs us nothing. Like you, I find such a thrill in making something from what I already have.

Your vest is super and your jewelry is full-on brilliant! Your bangles inspired me to do a few with my left over vintage Indian fabric.

xxx

Fourth Daughter said...

So agree with you on making stuff and avoiding consumerism - just did a charity gift guide, it's for Australia but you might like some things. http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/2013/11/27/cool-christmas-gifts-matter/

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

Creative genius!

I especially love the back of the vest. I want to try this myself.

There are so many great homemade gifts that we can create with just a little imagination and some gumption.

This was great inspiration.

bisous
Suzanne

Vintage Bird Girl said...

Nylon nighties, broken jewellery, denim waistcoats....who knew they could all look SO good. I love how you've breathed new life into things for next to nothing. Xx

Brooke F said...

Love your pimped out waist coat and gorgeous bits and bobs jewellery. I adore Christmas but can't stand all the ridiculous spending. My family and pals are getting op shopped and eBay pre loved treasures this year and I plan on staying as far away from the big shopping centres as I can!

Krista Gassib said...

Look at those cute faces on your custom waistcoat! This dress had to be yours the fringe it's really too much so it's perfect. I'm blown away by your jewelry creations chunky funky and totally original! I'd wear all of them in a minute! You must be getting excited why technically it's your birthday! Happy bday! Can't wait to see your pretty face? Love you to pieces!
Xxxxoooo

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

I would love to see you wearing that halter top.
If I lived in your house I would be quite happy to stay in especially in the winter.

Penny-Rose said...

The soup looks yummy, thanks for the recipe. In winter I will be trying it. I love those yellow chandelier earrings - they are spectacular.

Young at Heart said...

super soup!!x

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

I thought of you today when I was passing Brisbane's first Top Shop in the city. I had to have a peek and of course it won't be news to you that "expensive" and "tat" were high on my descriptives. What you've done with your bag of broken jewels, the scarf and cross-stitch, is simply amazing Vix. ADORE!!!! You've been on my mind quite a bit lately, I always get that way when a trip to India is imminent. I means I go through a pseudo-mourning while you're away, but so happy that you get to visit the land you love! xoxo

flysongbird said...

that patchwork on the jacket and those tassels on that gorgeous dress!!i wish i could go shopping with you!
now my exams are over and i am back to blogging and doing crazy things again. :D

Missy Vintage said...

that soup sounds fab, will be giving that a go. I feel for you n the accounts, me too! Yawn! x

silkpathdiary said...

Will definitely try out the soup! I think even my kids are beginning to realise it's all a bit of a con - humbug! xx

That's Not My Age said...

For some strange reason I quite looking at Christmas gift guides (strange cos I never buy anything!) in magazines. We'll be away this Christmas and so it's a brilliant excuse not to get involved in the madness.

Forest City Fashionista said...

Oh Vix, I wish I had one ounce of the creative crafty skill you have! I have been amassing broken bits of jewellery for ages thinking I'm going to do something with them, but I should just send them to you.

You and I have the same attitude towards Christmas and the constant badgering to "BUY, BUY, BUY!" As a general rule I don't buy Christmas presents. I like giving gifts, but only when it's because I find something I think one of my friends would like at a thrift store, not because a media campaign says I'm supposed to.

I hope Friday holds a good surprise, and you get the nasty accounting done soon!

vintage honeybee said...

That soup looks delicious. I love when you can make something from what you have in your pantry. And you necklace looks beautiful.

Vintagehoneybee@gmail.com

Sharon S said...

Hi my dear!! Love your recipe for soup, I must try it! I'm also loving your scarf halter neck top and your denim waistcoat looks fabulous xxx

The Vintage Knitter said...

Cor, you have been busy - am loving the pimped up waistcoat too xx

Edie Pop said...

I love everything! So many beautiful creations, the vest is amazing and the fabric you sewn on it has a great print that reminds me of hayao myazaki's creatures! The jewels you made are beautiful too, I dig the religious icons necklace and the pink flamingo one, they are stunning!
I must try the soup, it seems delicious!
Love xxxxxx

Louise McDonagh said...

Sometimes I ponder making things from one of my many vintage scarves, but then I can't bring myself to do it. That top is lovely though and will look great on you. Xx

Sarah said...

I hope you have a wonderful birthday Vix! I'm not going to lie, I do like presents and buying things but I don't think there is any reason to go overboard. I've been brought up to spend within my means so if I can't afford it, I don't buy it! x

mrsmsmeanderings said...

Quite agree, Vix - I'm not a fan of Christmas with all its hideous consumerism, either. If I see another 'gift guide' on a blog, I shall scream the place down! Given the choice, I'd definitely be taking off to somewhere hot to lie on a beach, but unfortunately my family won't even entertain the idea! x

The Goodwill Fangirl said...

You are brilliant, Vix! The fabulous earrings and the new back of the vest make me happy just by looking at them. I'm intrigued by the scarf make-over; I think that would be a cool way to add flare to my beloved plain turtle necks. I've been picking up $1 vintage square scarves at the Goodwill, because they are beautiful and homeless :)

Much love,
Lynne

Style Eyes said...

I love the waistcoat and the earrings- amazing!. I have to admit I get a bit fed up with the consumerism at Christmas but always end joining in a little more than I had planned. Constantly inspired by your amazing outfits that don't involve buying new clothes though. The soups sounds delicious!

Linda said...

So thrifty Vix! Love your ideas, the waistcoat and scarf top are brilliant! xx

Little Blue Mouse said...

I love what you've done with the waistcoat - that is some weird cross stitch!

rosyragpatch said...

Very creative! I really like your waistcoat idea. I've often wondered what to do with pieces of needlework like that. Seems a shame not to use them.xxx

My Unfinished Life said...

really love the way you pick out stuff do DIY and wear them!!

http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

tanaya said...

LOVE the waist coat and the mind numbing consumerism this time of the year sickens me...Hope your trip is fab x

Fashion art and other fancies said...

So creative and individual - the only way to be!