Monday, 2 January 2017

Block Rocking Beats


The things I do for my blog...like posing in a backless halterneck dress when it's 3°C outside.

It's the budget version of Bollywood Helen's Piya Tu Ab To Aaja routine

As I'd mentioned sewing like a demon I thought I'd better model one of my creations. The delicate pale green fabric was part of a parcel sent to me by a lovely Facebook friend, Pauline, after she'd had a pre-Xmas clear out. I loved the weighty, silk-like feel of the material but felt like it was lacking something so, after cutting out the pattern pieces, Jon & I block printed the fabric using some car-booted fabric paint and a couple of wooden printing blocks we'd bought for a few rupees in Goa years ago.


I fixed the paint with a hot iron and sewed it all together. Hopefully the cows and lovebirds won't come out in the wash.


Using the same dressmaking pattern, I made another maxi using this synthetic devoré-type fabric, also in Pauline's parcel.  The Red or Dead carpet bag was £2 and my last charity shop find of 2016. I'd only popped into town to go to the bank but you know how it is.


The Lamani gypsy choker I'm often wearing is one of a pair of anklets but the string was on its last legs (and starting to throttle me) and, over the years, several of the coins had lost their bells so I got rid of the broken ones, added a few Afghan dress clips I'd had for ages and strung them on a couple of shoelaces. Much better, tribal bling without the asphyxiation. 


The Kinky shed is getting a cheery paint job in the Spring so I've Vix-ed it up in the meantime. I made the garden bunting from a broken roller blind a neighbour was chucking out. The psychedelic bird house was hand painted by Liz. I'm hoping "S", my cheeky little Robin, shows it some love soon. (That's after Robin S, if you're not into your 1990s dance).


I finally got round to hanging the Bob Peak "French Line" print I'd dithered over spending a quid on in a charity shop.  It's only been propped up against the bathroom wall since last April . To mark the occasion I knocked up a mini pom pom garland.



Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.

Hope your 2017 has got off to a bostin'* start. Ours has! This week will mainly be spent packing our bags (keep your fingers crossed that my cheeky last minute eBay purchase arrives before D-Day!)

See you soon.


*Black Country for excellent.

82 comments:

  1. I love that little bird house - I have a cuckoo clock and am wondering if I could paint it up like this - inspiration strike?! great idea to do the block printing - East would charge a fortune for a hand printed and sewn dress like that - you have been busy. Happy 2017 look forward to following your travels, rummages and makes through the coming year. Betty x

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    1. A cuckoo clock would be brilliant painted in a similar way...you've inspired me, Betty. Something to look out for when the car boot season kicks off again! xxx

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  2. Just as i have had a clear out of all my fabric stash and patterns not being able to do anything for a while , But you have inspired me yet again xxx

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    1. Hooray! Happy to be of service! x

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  3. Are you mad woman!? You must be hardcore to pose in a flimsy frock in Baltic temperatures... perhaps you were fortified by rum? Lovely job on the stamping. (and sewing) So glad that gorgeous print has finally been hung, it would've been a crime not to show it off.
    Thank God it's all over for another year, Happy 2017 Vix! xxx

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    1. I'm in training for next week, travelling to Manchester without a coat at 4am in the morning!
      I love that print. Have you seen the rest of Bob Peak's work? You'll recognise loads of it. xxx

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  4. The dress is fabulous and fingers crossed your wonderful printing won't come out in the wash. I love your 'Red or Dead' bag and yes, I do know how it is!

    The liner picture is lovely - I do like art deco style. Well done you on fixing your necklaces and love the pom poms.

    Like your friend I cleared out, in my case, my wool stash and I made a quick infinity scarf last night and I'm just about to embark on a headwarmer both using chunky wool; what's left is off to the charity shop. I'm going to get back to crocheting blankets; only this time (thanks to Mim) I'll be donating them to 'Knit for Peace'.

    If you ever fancy a crocheted blanket or throw - just let me know!

    xxxx



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    1. Now there's a very kind offer I might be taking you up on!
      I'm dying to see the infinity scarf. I hope you blog about it before next week. xxx

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  5. I love how you are constantly create wonderful things from nothing. Always brightens my day seeing your blog. Not long now before the great escape. I'm excited for you xxx

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    1. Bless you! I'm like the modern day Steptoe, I can't abide waste. xxx

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  6. Beautiful job on the dress and love the shed bunting and bird house. Don't you love the countdown to traveling?

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    1. Thank you!! I do love the countdown. We're going 9 days later than we have done of late so I'm more prepared than I've ever been, I've even found the time to knock up a batch of pickled cucumber this morning. xxx

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  7. Mad woman posing in the cold! Looks fab on you though. x

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    1. Thank you! The things we do for blog! xxx

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  8. Methinks you bought another bikini for your trip...am I right?

    There is no way in hell I'm going outside to take photos. It is the same temp here today but there is some snow and ice on the ground. I tip my hat to you for getting outside in the good light and showing off your latest creation. I think your handmade print is fabulous!

    That French Line print is wonderful! Your whole house is a bit of a vintage art gallery/museum.

    No doubt you are counting down the minutes till you leave.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Wrong! But now you mention it, I should have bought another bikini. Too late now.
      Blogging is such a hassle when it's so cold. There's only so many times you can pose in the same hat/coat/glove combo! xxx

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  9. That dress is fantastic, and I can't believe you block printed the fabric yourself. It looks very professional! I admire your guts to pose in it in this kind of weather, though. I get goosebumps even just thinking of it. Finally, we get to see part of the Kinky shed! I had a chuckle at the French Line print having been propped up against the wall since April. Last week, we finally put up a spice rack we bought months ago. Happens here all the time. Good luck with your packing, and fingers crossed on the last minute buy! I bet you can't wait to escape! xxx

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    1. Thank you! I'm keen to do more block printing but I rarely buy anything plain in charity shops, my brain doesn't seem wired to look at things without prints!
      I'm glad your DIY is as lax as ours. It takes time to work out where to put stuff, doesn't it? xxx

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  10. Gorgeous dress and I am in awe of your courage, standing there in the cold and looking fab! Happy new year and lots of joy is wished to you and Jon, xox

    Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Back at you and Sandy, Patti! Happy New Year! xxx

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  11. your new dress would be perfect here. It's in the high 70's today. Crazy weather! The shed looks sweet. You know, we all want a peek inside.

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    1. I'm so jealous! I'm dying to show off the shed but I have to paint it first! xxx

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  12. I love that frock Vix! I've always wanted to do that, we have a store here that sells those printing blocks, maybe I should take it as a sign it's time to do it! I'm so envious you have a trip coming up, can't wait to hear about this year's trip x

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    1. Give it a go, Trees! Block printing is very therapeutic. xxx

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    1. It's a 10 x 14 foot whopper! xxx

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  14. Block printing your own fabric isn't something I'd have thought of-it looks professional. Nice shed! That would qualify as serious real estate in my neighbourhood.
    You would NOT get me posing outside like that in the cold. Brave you.

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    1. Jon keeps threatening to move me into it if I don't behave! xxx

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  15. haha! Love that cute pompom garland around the stag head. Brilliant block printing. I have no doubt the paint will last through the wash.

    happy thrifting ;)

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  16. I recall halter tops and even made a few. Also I recall patterns and cotton fabric being under a $1.00 a yard.
    Coffee is on

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  17. fabulous dresses!! will they go to goa with you? love that you printed the fabric - perfect to lift up an uni textile!
    your home and garden looks very cosy - no wonder with all that love you give them....
    huge hugs! xxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! I'm saving the dresses for the British Summer, I must travel light! xxx

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  18. You don't even look blue!
    I love "vixed up" the shed. And to reuse the blind is genius.
    Fingers crossed for ebay...we know what that's like all the way over in Oz. Still waiting for a Chrissie pressie.
    All the best in the countdown! xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. I'm a tough old bird, aren't I? xxx

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  19. I love the printed fabric and how lucky to get the inks at a boot sale. I enjoy printing fabrics and so many things you can do it with - leaves, ferns, petals, wood anything with a pattern. Cover it with baking parchment and give it heat until the fabric is too hot to touch, about 3 minutes and it should be fine!

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    1. Weren't we lucky? I often find graft stuff, I suppose people try new things and get bored when they aren't a raging success.
      Loving the idea of printing with ferns. I'll be mithering you for more info when we're back. xxx

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  20. You've made some great dresses for a warm holiday in Goa! They look great. I also love the French line print and the bunting from an old blind is inspired. Your post enthused me to get going, I've been lazy for too long this holiday! Xxx

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    1. Funnily enough, I'm not taking them to India! I thought I might but I'm trying to travel even lighter than usual. they'll have to wait for the good old British Summer - if we get one. xxx

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  21. Well you've been busy! Fabulous job on the dress, definitely worth standing in the cold to photograph! :)

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  22. At first glance I thought these had been taken in the summer and remembered that I'd said just a few days ago that I'm really looking forward to summer this year - i realised mostly because I'm bored of being cold, and want to wear my favourite summer outfits again! But yes, the things we do for our blogs sometimes! You hide the low temperature very well. The dress is lovely, I'm very impressed that you blocked it yourself - the thought wouldn't even occur to me!
    I adore that french line print - how did you dither over £1! And I love the colour of your bathroom walls!

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    1. I definitely recommend giving block printing a try if you find anything plain in a charity shop.
      I wanted the bathroom to look like a gentlemen's club rather than anything functional. xxx

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  23. Blimey, you'll be freezing your pom poms off! Love the French Line print. x

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  24. Did you see the warnings about westerners travelling to India. Not sure if it means GOA also. Do take care

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    1. Hi Annie. I think that was the Israeli government - they've issued similar advice for the last few years. We'll be careful, thanks for your concern. xxx

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  25. The countdown begins! I wish I had half of your energy and DIY skills. The bird house and bunting are so pretty - if I was a bird I would be moving in there straightaway. You are a hardy dame - there's no way I would be standing outside in those temperatures in a halter dress. Love the art gallery that is your bathroom ;)

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    1. I can see the birdhouse and the bunting from my computer and it makes me smile despite the miserable weather. Robin S hasn't moved in yet, I hope he does soon! xxx

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  26. Cor blimey, three degrees? You're no wuss are you! Mind you, give it another couple of years and I'm told we'll be having hot flushes as a regular treat. Maybe we'll finally get to wear our summer wardrobe all year round?! Always inspired by your creativity, it's lovely to have that energy. Your dresses are great and I love that Jon got involved too, that just makes it more fun. Xxxxx

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    1. Well, that would be a bonus! I seem to be feeling the cold more now than I ever used to.
      It's good to keep him busy, he dyed my hair yesterday and did a splendid job. xxx

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  27. You definitely win for pinup girl in the frozen tundra. Not to mention while wearing her own handmade hand-painted frock. So when is takeoff? Less than a week? I can't believe how much energy you have to keep on going and going and going. You do deserve a break in the sun.

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    1. Once I've got the weekend over then I'm off - this week seems to be going on forever! xxx

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  28. Oooh I love this dress, and I applaud you for posing in it out in the cold, it is appreciated, you look great! Love the pieces you added to the Kinky Shed - the birdhouse is too cute! Happy New Year! - Tasha

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    1. Thanks, Tasha! I was very excited to unwrap the birdhouse, it's so pretty! xxx

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  29. How absolutely fab. Those first photos look like they were taken in the 1970's. Your sewing output is amazing and I love your maxi dresses. Are you going to take them to India with you? Love the bathroom. You should take a side job as a stylist. Hope that you have a fabulous time away. You and Jon never stop and I bet that you will be glad to recharge your batteries. I will think of you as I stare out the window at the rain. :) Have the bestest time! Xx

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    1. Thanks, Kelly. I'm not taking them to India, I planned to - to give me an incentive to sew, but I ended up with far too much in my bag so they'll be something new to wear over the Summer instead. xxx

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  30. Great burst of creativity there. I'm really impressed with all the things you've made.

    Have an ace time in India. I got given a copy of Cyrus Todiwalla's cookbook for Christmas and it's really made me want to go myself; I shall have to enjoy your holiday instead.

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    1. Thanks, Mim!
      I loved that BBC series with Cyrus and his chum, such an engaging chap!
      I'll be sure to take shedloads of photos. xxx

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  31. "Bostin", it is, then! Brave woman that you are, dear Vix, to model your creations in the gazebo of a Black Country winter garden. Bostin!

    Must admit that I'd enjoy a soak in your tub, listening to Big Band Swing on the vintage radio, sniffing at the potions and lotions, and gazing at the pictures, bits and bobs.

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    1. You're more than welcome, Beth. The bathroom will be unused for a month! xxx

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  32. Ha, I thought I'd accidentally clicked on to an old post from the summer at first. You do, indeed, suffer for your art, and look excellent doing it! Love the hand printed fabric. xo

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  33. Bastard freezing so it is but you are a proper sight for sore eyes and make me feel quite summery! Love that frock and your other maxi. Liz's birdhouse is brill...I's like a row of them in my garden to tempt the robins in. I was gonna say tits, but I didn't.
    Loves ya!xxx

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    1. What's up with you, love...off your tits?!
      I wouldn't mind a few more of those psychedelic birdhouses eitehr, shame Liz has to work for a living. xxx

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  34. EEK! 3 degrees! I commend you for risking frostbite to show us that fab maxi. Your creativity is ever inspiring. And I so want a shed like that :)

    Theresa

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    1. Anything for the old blog, Theresa!
      The Kinky shed was a fantastic investment. I love having all my stock in one place - and out of the house! xxx

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  35. You're so full of ideas, the block printing turned out so well! Definitely worth another celebratory pom pom garland xx

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    1. Block printing could be 2017's next big thing (after pom poms!) x

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  36. You Vixified both your newly sewn dress and your newly built shed beautifully! Love the block print addition, hope it'll survive washes well! The opening photo is pure poetry! Happy 2017 to you and Jon, lovebirds!

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  37. Brrr, I feel cold just looking at you, but I admire your courage at posing in such weather for us lucky blog readers! xxx

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    1. I must have had my hardcore head on! Today I'm wearing three tops, a dress and finger less gloves in the house! xxx

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  38. How creative, to block print your handmade dress, Vix! I wonder what the Kinky shed will look like, I love the psychedelic birdhouse that Liz made, I rather fancy making and painting one myself. Xxx

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    1. Can't beat a psychedelic bird house, maybe it'll encourage a rocking robin! xxx

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  39. You are so creative, Vix. (thanks for sharing pics of your bathroom - I love your house - what I've seen thus far...) Well done, a true pro standing half naked in your gorgeous print dress in 3 deg. It's been so hot here, 3 deg for a couple of days would seem quite nice :)xx

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    1. Oh, you and your envy inducing weather! After a month of temperatures from 37° - 40° I'm already fed up with the British winter and it's only been 2 days! xxx

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