Knitted By Nannie

Hey,

So it would appear that somehow, without me noticing, 5 whole months have come and gone since I blogged last – and I was on such a roll too!  I think posting so regularly and giving myself categories and deadlines and scheduled posts, took the shine off the whole process for me a little.  Instead of being a space to share my crafting with you all (and admittedly promote Wonderland Boutique as much as I can without driving you all away!) and also getting to impart all those marvellous finds and treasures that my vintage and handmade world discovers along the way; it was instead turning into a chore and pile of post that simply listed things I wanted to buy but couldn’t afford to – I’m being honest here.  I see too many blogs that have gone this way and I didn’t want to become one of them, so I took a little break that unintentionally turned into a pretty long one.

Now, that isn’t to say that there still won’t be post listing lots of wonderful things that I yearn to own and want to share – I think that it is an intrinsic part of the vintage and handmade community that we all champion one another’s work and spread the word as it were; and I am constantly coming across indie designers and vintage enthusiasts whose collections and creations I know you’ll adore as much as I do.  I will however, aim to intersperse such posts with more personal ones, I want to write more, to debate more and share a bit more of myself than simply the sewing side of my life.  I also think that I should check myself less – I am always better when I simply write, rather than pouring over each post and editing/deleting my thoughts with abandon.

Having said that, things here at Wonderland Towers are pretty much the same as they ever were however, which is both fine and infuriating, in equal measure.  I’m glad to see that Summer is fading out though I have embraced it this year more than I ever have.  Trips to the beach and park with my 2 little nephews and baby niece will make even the palest girl dive into the sun headlong.  I am starting to so enjoy that little nip in the evening air that has come with September’s arrival and I am resisting the urge to dig out my scarves in preparation for Autumn proper.

In celebration of the impending cooler months, I want to share with you all a little side-project that I have had on the boil. It is a new Etsy shop, opened in a month ago to showcase my lovely Mother’s remarkable knitting talents – Knitted by Nannie.  My Mum has always knitted, taught to do so by her Mother (who was taught by her Mother and so on – sadly, it appears to have skipped a generation when it comes to me, I cannot knit for toffee!) and is rather brilliant at it.  My brother and I were always decked out in handcrafted jumpers and cardigans and hats, and baby blankets and mittens were never shop-bought.  As we grew up, she knitted for us less but there was always someone who was having a baby or knew someone who was and so she knitted handmade loveliness for them instead.  Now, with the utter joy of being a Nannie for the past 6 years and 3 times over no less, she has relished knitting again for her grandchildren and it is with that that I have convinced her to open up her own Etsy shop, in an attempt to share her lovely handknitted babywear with the world.  I would appreciate it if you can please take the time have a little look around, favourites (and of course purchases!) would be so warmly welcome – help me to convince her that Etsy really is the place for her to showcase her knitting.

I shall leave you with some examples from her store and know that she is more than happy to replicate anything you see listed in different colours and/or sizes – custom pieces would be a pleasure.  So, if you or yours want to wrap up your little ones this coming season in some truly lovely handcrafted knitting, then look no further than Knitted by Nannie:

Lemon Matinee Coat

Pink Bonnet & Mittens Set

Peach Short-Sleeved Cardigan

Blue Cable Bobble Hat

Lilac Cardigan

Pink Turn-Back Bonnet

Blue Raised Bobble Cardigan

Spotlight on Wonderland

Hey,

This week’s spotlight on Wonderland Boutique falls onto those of my handcrafted lovelies that feature leather.  From all-out leatherette goodness to those that have just a hint of a real leather trim, not forgetting of course the designs that feature vintage buckles set to compliment.  With colours ranging from classic black, to deepest burgundy and electric blue – come check out the leather-themed offerings at Wonderland Boutique:

Mini Tote – Little Wonder

Clutch Bag – Tell me About it Stud

Make Up Bag – By Any Other Name

Clutch Bag – Some Kind of Wonderful

Clutch Bag – For the Roses

Amy at Wonderland Boutique x.

That’s My Marilyn

Hey,

So it’s time for another of my current obsessions posts – and again, there is nothing current about this weeks’ obsession.  I have been fascinated by Marilyn Monroe for as long as I can remember.  I think she was beautiful, talented, damaged, resilient and above all else – remarkable.  I read everything I can about her and her life, I have watched her movies countless times and have many art pieces and trinkets that depict her image.  I was particularly enthralled by the 2011 exhibition that celebrated her iconic status that I was lucky enough to attend, at the American Museum in Bath:

Marilyn: Hollywood Icon – American Museum, Bath, 2011

 

I soaked up all the wonder surrounding her stunning costumes, and was in awe at the personal effects the exhibition contained.  I felt very privileged and moved to be amongst such amazing snippets of a life well-lived but cut so tragically short.  It is with this in mind that I’d like to share with you some of my recent Marilyn Monroe finds:

Marilyn Monroe Art Print by Ciaran Monaghan

Vintage Marilyn Monroe Paper Dolls Book by Grandmother’s Attic

Marilyn Monroe Andy Warhol China – by Aubry Roach

Vintage Marilyn Monroe 1st Edition Biography by Mill Creek Collective

Vintage Vanity Case by Love Mimo

Andy Warhol Signed Lithograph by Pop Art Gallery

Leather Pop Art Belt by Back Beat Leather

Hollywood Icon Resin Bangle by Sisicata

Marilyn Monroe Quote Cushion by Eliza Jay Home

Amy at Wonderland Boutique x.

Weekly Wishlist

Hey,

It’s time again for another in my series of Weekly Wishlists.  As usual, there is no rhyme nor reason to my picks, I am as they say, an eclectic kind of gal:

‘David Bowie Is’ Exhibition at the V&A

Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman

Mid-Heel Court Shoes by Zara

Light Box by ILaBoom

Hot Air Balloon Mobile by Leschnulli

Wicked UK Tour 2014

Vintage Bee Pendant by Hendy Finds

Stripe Mini Bag by Idan Canfi

Amy at Wonderland Boutique x,

 

Down to a Sunless Sea

Hey,

Just a quick post to direct you to a wonderful new short story by Neil Gaiman, written exclusively for The Guardian.  Click on the image below to read a haunting tale of loss and grief – a perfect companion to the cold and unforgiving weather we’re having right now:

Neil Gaiman – Down to a Sunless Sea

Amy at Wonderland Boutique x.

My Jewellery Story

Hey,

At a wonderful birthday meal with a friend a few weeks ago, we got to chatting about tattoos.  Now they are not for me – as much as I admire the art, I even own a few tattoo books of just that – but she has quite the collection.  She could tell me stories behind each one, where she got them, how old she was and how much they meant to her – they seemed to chart the story of her life.  It has occurred to me since that I do this with jewellery.  I have very few items that are just for fun, or simply appeal to me.  Instead, most of my jewellery has a deep significance for me – I too have stories for each piece and each jewel helps chart the story of my life:

My Jewellery Story

My Jewellery Story

This first piece of jewellery is without doubt the most precious thing that I own.  It is a long and beautiful amber necklace.  My Nan gave them to me a year or 2 ago now and I am so glad that she got to see me wearing them.  They had been hers since she was a teen and had been her Mother’s before that – so they likely nearing 100 years in age.  The necklace was brought back as a gift for his wife by my Great-Grandfather, when he was in the navy.  They are Chinese amber and there is such a wonderful weight to it, I adore the feel of it around my neck.   I have had them re-strung so that they can hopefully last another century in as good a condition as they’re in now – and perhaps be able to hand them down to my niece one day, so that a fourth generation will get to have them be a part of our story:

Amber Necklace

Amber Necklace

This next piece is worn daily.  I love it so much and bought it for myself when I turned 30 a few years back.  I remember wanting to mark the occasion with something that would remind me of all the highs and lows that the preceding 30 years had brought, and that the next 30 could contain.  I came across the designs of the lovely Nikki at Magic in the Grass and chose to do this with one of her stunning bangles.  It is silver, thin and has a uniquely hammered textured and a highly polished finish.  It is hand-stamped with a quote from my favourite author Neil Gaiman – words that I feel that I need to carry with me, to exorcise those little demons that snap at my heels….”sometimes when you fall, you fly”:

Hammered Silver Bangle

Hammered Silver Bangle

I was lucky enough to be rather spoilt with several other pieces of jewellery on my 30th birthday.  This next piece is treasured as it’s a vintage brooch gifted to me by my wonderful brother.  It is from the early 80’s – same as me – so was a very sweet touch.  I love brooches and have quite an expanding collection, but this one holds a special place in my heart.  It is lovely and small so may often sit unnoticed on a lapel, but wearing it never fails to bring a smile to my face:

Vintage Silver Bird Brooch

Vintage Silver Bird Brooch

This next piece is all about the charm.  A dear friend knew I had a vintage charm bracelet that I was yet to adorn with anything, so for my birthday one year she gave me this adorable butterfly charm.  It now sits proudly on the bracelet – and will likely sit there alone as I’m not one for lots of charms jangling about on my wrist.  Instead, it follows my love of animal/woodland silhouette pieces and it sits sweetly stacked with my hammered bangle:

Silver Buttefly Charm

Silver Butterfly Charm

This necklace is one of only a handful that I own – I’m all about quality and significance rather than quantity when it comes to my jewellery.  It was a recent purchase from the remarkable Beau & Stella.  It is a sterling silver necklace, dainty and simple – featuring 2 interlocking circles, a contemporary take on the infinity symbol.  One circle is silver, the other is rose-gold.  I’ve always been a silver girl, gold just doesn’t suit me, but I’m starting to introduce touches of rose-gold into my collection as the delicate pink hue sits so prettily against the silver.  The circles here represent me and my nephews and niece, who I love so much – we are eternally linked:

Silver and Rose Gold Infinity Necklace

Silver and Rose Gold Infinity Necklace

I haven’t actually worn this ring for a few years now, but I could never part with it.  It was my 18th birthday present from my parents and I loved it then, and love it now.  Rather hefty weight-loss since though has meant it’s way too big for me – I really must get it re-sized.  It is a Clogau ring – which is unusual for me, as I tend to go for the handmade, unique or vintage if I can.  It is white gold with a lovely scroll detail, but best of all (if you’re a Welsh girl like me) is the Welsh gold daffodil that adorns its centre.  I can remember even now, peering through the window of my local jewellers for months, wanting so badly to own it:

Clogau Daffodil Ring

Clogau Daffodil Ring

Talking of the weight-loss that makes the above ring unwearable at the moment, these earrings are a symbol of all that I have achieved with my health.  I have talked at length on this blog about my battle with weight and how I finally achieved my goal.  I promised myself that when I reached a certain weight I would buy a perfect pair of real pearl earrings, having developed an utter devotion to the stone in the past few years.  I only wear studs and had seen the loveliest pair of button pearls, which are flatter than usual and I wear them pretty much every day – I rarely ‘keep things for best’ as I find you never actually get to wear and enjoy them that way:

Button Pearl Earrings

Button Pearl Earrings

I adore this ring – of all the rings I own, it is the only one I wear aside from a pearl solitaire.  I bought it from a very talented and lovely Etsian called Shirlee Grund over at Lichen and Lychee (I’m currently coveting her incredible Narwhal necklace as we speak!)  Again, it is silver and has a simple polished band.  In contrast, the bulk of the ring is a rough-cut geometric square.  I love the juxtaposition of the smooth and the natural, and this ring is intended as a reminder of all I went through with my medical treatment last year:

Rough-Cut Geometric Ring

Rough-Cut Geometric Ring

This brooch is one that I wear very regularly indeed.  It is lovely and neat and sits often aside my beloved bird brooch from my brother.  This anchor brooch is vintage and has a wonderful marcasite set of stones inlaid and a tactile rope feature.  I have a bit of a thing for nautical-themed items and this one was gifted to me by one of my dearest friends several Christmases back.  I remember loving it instantly and I am always flawed when someone takes the time to gift something that they know is so me, and that I will adore:

Vintage Anchor Brooch

Vintage Anchor Brooch

I have another marcasite brooch that is also very precious to me.  This one is in the shape of a bow and again, is vintage.  I saw it years ago in my Mother’s jewellery box and remarked on how pretty and delicate it was.  She gave it to me in a heartbeat and said that it was my Great-Grandmother’s.  I never met her as she died before I was born, but my Mother remembers her so fondly.  An impossibly petite woman, referred to lovingly as ‘little Nanna’ – she can be seen wearing this very brooch during her fleeting appearance in my parents’ wedding video:

Vintage Marcastie Bow Brooch

Vintage Marcastie Bow Brooch

My final piece that I’m to share with you today, is an incredible handmade bangle by the extremely talented Sywlia Calus of Sisicata.  A very chunky piece, it is handcrafted from resin and inside are some stunning images of my lifelong icon, Marilyn Monroe.  I had this custom-made several years ago when I was in dire need of a pick-me-up.  I had been through a very rough time with my peers and wanted to signify the end of the drama and the turmoil with something that was just for me – and did so, as I have done with so many other milestones in my life, with jewellery:

Marilyn Monroe Resin Bangle

Marilyn Monroe Resin Bangle

Amy at Wonderland Boutique x.

Spotlight on Wonderland

Hey,

So it’s time for another of my weekly spotlights on my own work at Wonderland Boutique.  This week, I’ve decided to focus on the pieces I have that depict nature – be it sweet florals, delicate fauna or animal-themed creations – Spring has sprung over at Wonderland:

Wings of Desire Set

Make Up Bag – Folklore

Coin Purse – In My Heart its Spring

Make Up Bag – Cherrybomb

A Day In May Set

Make Up Bag – In Bloom

Coin Purse – Take Flight

Clutch Bag – Floral Ambition

Amy at Wonderland Boutique x.

“I let the story tell itself…..”

Hey,

A quote from the inimitable author James Herbert who sadly died this week, as an introduction to this weeks current obsessions post.  I remember reading The Rats when I was far too young to do so and also The Shrine was a particular favourite of mine.  For someone who adores horror movies as much as me, I have never been much of one for the out-and-out horror novel – preferring classic gothic works or twisted fairy tales for my horror book fix; but I could always find room for one of James Herbert’s works.  So it is a sad day indeed with the realisation that there will never be another word written by the unparalleled master of British horror fiction.

I have always loved to read, and even more so, I have always loved books.  The feel of the pages in your hand as you turn each one with trepidation or  joy, the smell of the pages of a library book – read and shared by hundreds before you – simply cannot be beaten for me.  As a result, I thought I would have a book theme to my picks for my current obsessions this week – where art and the written word are one and the same:

Sylvia Plath Quote Fine Art Print by Obvious State

Literary Quote Brooch by Jezebel Charms

The Last Keyhole Indie Picture Book by The Gorgonist

Book Page Flowers by Abby Mace

Little Red Riding Hood Book Sculpture by Justin Rowe

Magic Book Papercut Fine Art Print by Miss Quite Contrary

The Book Cottage by K Clark Photography

Neil Gaiman Quote Leather Journal by Jackie Reuter

Typewriter Brooch by B Rainbow Shop

Alice in Wonderland Art Print by Louise Verity

Girl Reading by Jason

Amy at Wonderland Boutique x.

Crystal Call-Out

Hey,

This is just a mini-posting, a call-out if you will, for some much-needed help!  You see, I have a beautiful little crystal vase that I inherited from my Nan.  It’s not particularly old nor valuable but I always loved it – few things bring me more joy than to see it full with a posy of spring flowers.  Here’s the rub….I broke it.  Well, I didn’t – my gigantic baroque mirror decided to fall off my bedroom wall and land on my dressing table, taking my beloved vase with it.  The damage is actually fairly minimal with a chip from the base – I have the piece and it’s a clean break:

12

 Despite my Father’s insistence for me to do so, I am loathe to glue it myself – it is a precious piece for me and I want to have it restored as professionally and as invisibly as possible.  That way I too can enjoy it as my Nan did and hopefully still have it standing to pass down to my own.

So here’s where you come in dear readers – I need some suggestions and recommendations as to who can repair this crystal vase for me.  I have searched locally to no avail, I have found several places online but it would involve sending it away and I am a bit waring of doing that.  So if possible, I would love it if anyone can let me know of any glass/crystal repairers or restorers in the South Wales/Southern England area, I would be so grateful for any suggestions you may have.

Amy at Wonderland Boutique x.

Weekly Wishlist

Hey,

So my computer, my Etsy favourites and my many (many!) notebooks are regularly filled with my latest wants, so I thought it best to share them here on a weekly basis so that everyone can see the pretties!  This week, I am mostly lusting after these little lovelies:

Infinity Scarf by Fair Store

She & Him Volume 3

Chelsea Girl Apple Blouse by River Island

The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke

Stardust Snowdrop Bookmark by Chloris Conservatory

Tiny Anchor Bracelet by Beau and Stella

Alice in Wonderland Postcard Collection by The Black Apple

Hot Air Balloon Ipod Sleeve by Lazydoll

Amy at Wonderland Boutique x.

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