Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Granny Chic - Crafty Inspiration My Way



Granny Chic? That's not the term that immediately springs to mind when I look at the interior of our home. 


But when I flicked through this gorgeous book my friend Lynn sent me I could hardly believe my eyes, it's like it was written with our house in mind.


Even the sewing machine they use is the identical model of the Jones' vintage machine we found dumped in a hedge a couple of months ago (HERE). Spooky! 


A staple gun can become your best friend in no time at all, they write. Be sure to keep stocked up on staples for you never know when a fabby piece of fabric will find you and you'll be rushing home to spend five quality minutes making a chair look peachy with nothing more than your new fabric find, your handy dandy staple gun and a cup of tea by your side.


That's exactly what I did when I snaffled this Afghan war rug for £2 from a charity shop last year. Out came the staple gun and in minutes my £1 threadbare bentwood chair was transformed. Not sure if there's many grannies out there who'd approve of a rug featuring AK-47s, rocket launchers and tanks.


Transforming worse for wear lampshades into patchwork covered art forms?


  
Yep, been there, done that! You'll find my tutorial HERE.


Dearest readers, writes the author, I am rather fond of garlands, bunting or happy strings around our nest. Call them what you will, at the end of the day they all amount to the same thing, making life and the granny chic home a little jollier. I'm rather partial to making them from scraps of leftover fabrics, old postcards and book pages, along with any other blingy things that may catch my magpie eye.


I agree. This is some bunting I made for our festival trading tent using leftover scraps of wired hairband fabric, Wilko pom-poms & felt from the market sewn on to the longest pair of neon shoe laces in the world (25p in a charity shop).


Giving a new lease of life to tatty vintage bath towels?


Snap! Our patchwork bathmat made from chopped up vintage towels sewn onto another towel and trimmed with fringing chopped off an old bedspread. 


 Old vintage suitcases can be found relatively easily at charity shops, thrift shops and rummage sales. Sometimes its hard to think what you might do with such a thing when stumbling across it out and about browsing the shelves of despair, but if you ever find one in peachy perfect condition, snap it up, for there are many uses for this fine example of a bygone era and the wonder of its aesthetics for even everyday things. You're not wrong there.


Mine contain handbags, scarves, hair accessories and vintage dressmaking patterns.


Cheery coloured clogs and vintage clothes too pretty to hide away in the wardrobe? 


Keep them out on show (pom poms optional!)





As well as nodding along in agreement, there's also plenty to inspire me in Granny Chic. 


It's too gloomy to have a dividing door between our kitchen and dining room so I loved this chain stitched screen weighted down with vintage buttons. I'd made a mental note to get some wool when I popped into town yesterday but guess what? When I passed our local hospice chazza I spotted this retro beaded curtain for £1.29 in the window, cheaper than a couple of balls of wool from the cheap shop.


Once up the curtain looked a bit sparse so Jon broke up some 1980s beaded necklaces from the stockroom and I threaded some Wilko pom-poms on to fishing wire and hey presto, a bespoke door curtain that sums up our style perfectly.




Take several of your favourite sheets, cut them into strips and sew them back together, giving a striped patchwork effect, perfect for laying across tables at parties, the book suggests.


Great idea! I decided to do something similar. Using our well passed its best vintage bed cover and a couple of 1970s St Michael single covers given to me by a friend, I removed the fringe, cut all three into wide strips and sewed them back together, trimming the completed bed cover with some 50p a metre pink pom pom trim from off the market. 


In this space, the book goes on to say, Every piece of furniture, some in view (and others sneakily hiding from you), started life in different decades. This is a perfect example of how a mish-mash of styles, when placed all together, become one big happy family, thus highlighting the wonder of granny chic and its embracing ways.


Those words of wisdom could apply to both the dining room (vintage Afghan rug, Arts & Crafts bench, 1970s cushions, the framed programme from Queen Victoria's coronation in 1837 and the limestone skirting board from when the house was built in 1760) and my outfit (1970s maxi remade into a Afghan style dress using a contemporary Indian bag I chopped up to make into a bodice & homemade pom pom earrings).

If you don't want to line Amazon's pockets you can find Granny Chic HERE (free worldwide delivery and 5% off your first order).

See you soon!

73 comments:

  1. I love this so much. The book is full of good ideas and your house is gorgeous.
    Your style is like the book- yes, but with bells on! Wonderful. xxx

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  2. Loving the AK-47 rug and the beaded necklace situation!!!!!!!! Gorgeous u and all the jewelry, as usual!!!!!

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    1. That rug is so ridiculous, I love it! xxx

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  3. How clever of Lynn to have found you that book. But yes, it's seriously spooky! Granny chic? No, it's Vix chic! Whatever it's called, your home looks gorgeous and what's more: you didn't need that book to create it! I might steal your beaded curtain idea, it would be great between Dove Cottage's kitchen and dining room, although on second thought, Phoebe might demolish it in no time ... xxx

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    1. I bet if it hadn't been called Granny Chic I'd have noticed it sooner! Lynn has my taste spot on.
      Our boys haven't even noticed the curtain - it finishes higher than their tails and they're too busy looking for food on the other side! xxx

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  4. Wow....I bought my copy a few months ago from a charity shop for 50p along with some others....it's fab!!!!

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  5. Your dress is gorgeous and the house is the absolute bizz. You and Jon are so creative with the stuff that you find. It's brilliant that such gorgeous textiles and furniture are finding some use, and some love, in your hands. It beats the homogeneous IKEA style any day. Really great-looking book (and a very kind gift) but I I don't need to read it now. I would rather read your blog as the inspiration is better (the author is fond of "peachy" isn't she?). I bought a whole load of lampshades to do something similar to but they have lain untouched as I am scared that I set the house on fire. Do you treat yours with anything special before using them? I am off to read your tutorial. :) Xx

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    1. I cringed at that "peachy" word...years ago I used to have a really posh, public school educated area manager who used the word all the time, it still grates even mow.
      I didn't use anything but PVA on the shades and I haven't burnt the house down yet. Great way to use up the fabric scraps. xxx

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  6. They got into your brain and stole some of your ideas!

    What a fun book. Goes to show how you could have penned a similar one.

    I often wonder if people can still make money publishing books today. In my illustrator/crafter days I worked on several craft books similar to this and at the time they did quite well but that was probably 17 years ago.
    With people able to access so many ideas online for free I wonder if they are profitable now.

    That colour of royal blue on you is wonderful with your eyes.

    Suzanne

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    1. I do love an interiors or craft book. I know you can probably find similar images on pinterest but I don't seem to be able to absorb information unless it's in book form on proper printed paper. xxx

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  7. You wrote the book!

    I love your new door curtain - how fab it is.

    And I love,love,love your floral bangles. I have three like yours and a couple of skinnier ones but they are so beautiful. I'm in lust...

    Lovely dress.

    You're very partial to a pom pom!!

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    1. I do love a pom pom!
      I had two of those bangles already but spotted another eight when I was paying for the beaded curtain in the charity shop on Monday - at £1.49 for all of them I couldn't resist! xxx

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  8. How lovely! Hippy Granny Chic, I'd say. You could write a book like that, Vicky! Love these granny-inspired bangles on you!

    P.S. It is quite possible that a portion of the proceeds goes directly to the author, just like if you buy my book via Amazon, I will receive 5 bucks or so, and the company that prints my books, CreateSpace, will also receive their part. Amazon gives us indie authors a great world-wide platform, where we can reach our audiences no matter where they live.

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    1. Thanks, Natalia!!
      I'm not sure if it's the same in the States but Amazon aren't very popular with us Brits after their tax dodging activities. If I can I'll buy from other (fairer) sources. xxx

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  9. This book looks right up my street as I've got a ton of upcycling projects waiting in the garage. Funnily enough I saw a leather suitcase in a chazza today priced at a fiver, I was almost tempted until I looked inside, where it was covered in mould and the paper lining in shreds.
    As always it's a delight to see your gaff, btw I'm now trying Home Style it seems a little better than the other one. Love what you did with the frock, very innovative. xxx

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    1. A fiver seems a bit of a bargain despite the mould! Could make a nice cat bed if nothing else!
      I'll look out for Home Style. we've decided to redecorate in December to escape all the Xmas loving loons and that'll be a good incentive. xxx

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  10. Vix thy name is patchwork!
    I adore your dress and the AK47 chair is wow.
    Beaded curtains are great to look at but not great with pets. I love the variety in yours and how you made it work. Sometimes design or material restrictions cause us to create something even better!
    Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. Beaded curtains are good with our pets - our cats haven't even batted an eyelid. Maybe it's because they're special?! xxx

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  11. "Granny Chic"? Unfortunate name but love the look. Man, I haven't seen one of those Afghan war rugs in ages.

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    1. I know, I think that's why I've never seen that book before, I've blanked the title out! xxx

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  12. Such fun! I have the material for what I think of as your "hippy chick curtains." I scored some large precuts, some velvet, others that need a fabric stabilizer. So it is a project that will keep me out of trouble for at least a weekend ...

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    1. Looking forward to seeing those! Never heard of a fabric stabiliser though. Mine have been up for 7 years and are still intact (despite being made by me!) xxx

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  13. Wow-Did they copy you! I still remember a patchwork quilt, the one and only my sister made, using scraps from old clothes. I loved that quilt for watching scary late night movies. Your home reminded me of that good memory.

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    1. That quilt sounds very special! I like using leftover bits of fabric from dressmaking projects in my creations, that way I can match the upholstery! xxx

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  14. My sister had a beaded curtain between her room and mine so this brings back some memories! What a great find! :)

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    1. How fab! No way she could sneak into your room and borrow your clothes, the beaded curtain would have made far too much noise! xxx

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  15. I love your outfit and your house but when do you find the time to do so much? Are you sewing at midnight? All so lovely.xxx

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    1. Thanks, Sally! I'm tucked up in bed come midnight these days, I'm just very disciplined! xxx

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  16. It's as though every page has your imprint on it....

    I always love seeing photos of your home. It's got so much personality!!!

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  17. Peachy! You could write 'Vix Chic' and include home and clothing. I'd like to pre-order please! Xx

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    1. I promise not to use the word "peachy" if I do! xxx

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  18. Tif has moved on but Dottie Angel is still live!
    http://dottieangel.blogspot.co.id
    Loved this blog and dogs so much

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    1. Hello Elaine and thank you! xxx

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  19. it's always amazing when you realice that something that you've been making all your life is now trendy and has a cool name!, granny chic! whatever its name is, I love it!
    And I love all those patchwork pieces, very inspiring! now it's time to have a look in my box of spare fabric!
    And your revamped maxi looks fabulous, so lovely sleeves! You're gorgeous!
    besos

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    1. I know! I wish they'd used a better name, it's nothing like my Grandparent's house at all! xxx

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  20. hey you - glamorous granny!!
    did you see that they store the sewing machine wrong - with the foot up!
    lately i made my first lampshade - of cause inspired by you. have to blog it soon. did i say already that i love your house? anyway - i just do it again: LOVE YOUR HOUSE!
    your granny B from the woods! xxxxx

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    1. Haha! Glamorous granny, indeed!
      After i read your comment I ran upstairs and checked my machine and I did it right, I've taken heed of your advice! xxx

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  21. I love the style of your house, Vix! Pom-poms, patchwork- it's perfect! The beaded curtain is great, I would never have thought of something so creative. Xxx

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    1. Thanks, Jess! I was going to make one out of paper beads like the Victorians used to do but I made 10 and got fed up, I'd be 130 by the time I'd made enough for a curtain. xxx

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  22. It must have felt strange to find something so in keeping with your own tastes in a book. Though 'granny' is the last thing I'd call it too - none of my grandparents ever had homes that look like yours. It must have been fun finding new ideas, too.

    (I've always called those bead curtains 'brothel beads', dunno where I got that from.)

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    1. It was very odd, here's me thinking I'm an individual and there's a whole Granny movement.
      I call peacock chairs porno chairs, we're on the same wavelength! xxx

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  23. That book could well have been written and photographed by you!! I have strings of beads with shells, driftwood and copper coils that hang in my garden. Inspired by your bath mat.

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    1. Your garden curtain must be fab, bet it sounds lovely in the breeze! xxx

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  24. , It always bugs me when ideas i have come up with in the past become fashionable , You could have wrote that book vix xxx

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    1. I wouldn't have called it Granny Chic, that's for sure! xxx

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  25. I'd prefer to be called a connoisseur of Vix Chic rather than Granny Chic! You put a twist on vintage than is anything but twee -- witness the wall of sad-eyed ragamuffins you've "rescued" from car boots. (A pair is twee; a wall is NOT twee.)






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    1. You always say the right thing, Beth! I'm not into twee at all so i'm delighted you don't think my style is! xxx

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  26. I've got the same book and its a good one to dip into. I like all the 1970s florals in the book, but you have the edge with your AK-47, rocket launcher rug! xx

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    1. AK-47s over florals (in print rather than real life!) xxx

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  27. They really should have named it something else, like Hippy Chic or Bohemian Chic, I imagine a lot of people were offput by the name, but it is like someone took your decorating style and wrote a book about it!

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    1. I agree, it is an unfortunate name! xxx

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  28. I think there might just be a second hand copy winging its way over to Gnat Bottomed Towers as a festive gift.
    Arilx

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    1. Yay! Fab gift to receive even if you buy it for yourself! xxx

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  29. My first comment here. Just wanted to say I love your style and my young kids love looking at your blog with me. Thanks Vicky in Nz.

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    1. Hello Vicky and kids in NZ! So lovely to hear from you! xxx

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  30. Who knew that a book could cause so much fun, inspiration and conversation.
    What a fabulous blog post. I love it xxxx

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    1. I love the book! Thank you! xxx

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  31. They must have read your blog Vix! Your home is miles better though, I love your style. One day, when I have a place of my own, I plan to do the same thing - I've got loads of vintage fabric that's just crying out to be made into home furnishings x

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! It's the perfect excuse to keep stockpiling the vintage fabric! xxx

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  32. Well your place is like no granny home I've ever seen. My nan had those ceramic shire horses everywhere! And a wall unit to display said horses! I don't see that in your fabulous home xxx

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    1. Definitely no shire horses or doilies here or Dralon, which my Grandma was so fond of! xxxx

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  33. I think the 'Granny chic' title is an off-putting one. The connotation is of really austere brown looking houses with cream doilies and glass cabinets full of boring China. It's uncanny how similar the book is to yours!!!

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    1. Exactly what i thought, dear Kezzie! xxx

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  34. Who knew that there was a phrase that described your creative, colourful home decor? I still prefer to think of what you do as "Vixify-ing" your home, and every room reflects your love of colour and pattern.

    I saw an exhibit of Afghani war rugs at the Textile Museum in Toronto a few years back. It was fascinating.

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    1. I bet that rug exhibition was amazing. I do love a rug! xxx

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  35. You, my love, are the most gorgeous "granny" ever. xoxoxo

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  36. I know I'm totally late to this party. Was away and am now just catching up on my reading. And I just had to tell you how much I love this post. So many great ideas, you certainly should write a book yourself.
    Love the lampshades, bath mat and bedspread. I often see really cool twin sized vintage spreads and I never thought to buy them to sew together to fit a larger mattress. I get so many good ideas from you, now I just have to find the time to put them all into practice!
    That upcycled dress looks gorgeous on you btw!

    Theresa
    www.vintagestylefiles.com

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xxx