Sunday, 19 December 2010

Doe, a deer, a female deer (complete with pattern) . .

I picked up this adorable pattern from a user on craftster, she has given me permission to share it on my blog.

A link to download the pattern can be found at the end of this post.

Louise Knight Doe

I've never made a plushie before, so was a bit worried about how this little sweetie was going to turn out once I'd finished sewing! However, once I got started everything just seemed to work perfectly and I barely ran into any problems at all (this is extremely rare for me!). I am SO pleased with how she turned out I will certainly be making more to put around our flat! This one sits on our dresser in the living room amongst the fairy lights!

This is a great project to use up your scraps! I'm sure it's probably a lot easier to use felt as it's strong and doesn't fray, but I liked the thought of the edges fraying a bit and her looking a little scruffy, so I chose to use a vintage style pastel floral print poly-cotton that I had left over from making a kaftan to wear to Vintage at Goodwood earlier in the year (this reminds me, I must post about that too!). I cut duplicates of the pattern pieces out of interfacing to toughen up the pieces and prevent her from tearing at the seams once she was stuffed.

For the little markings on her back I used mother of pearl buttons and for her eyes I've used vintage gold-edged pink buttons. She has a little bow of vintage pink lace around her neck complete with a gold bell I borrowed from her pal, Mr. Lindt Reindeer (he's disappeared somewhere, no idea where... (mmmm)).

Louise Knight Doe

After her legs were stuffed I put some wire in them to make sure she stayed upright. the trickiest part of the whole process was sewing the head onto the neck, but once I'd done it, that was it, FINISHED! In all she took me two evenings in front on the telly to complete from cutting out the paper pattern pieces to tying her bow. I'd say that's pretty good going for a first-timer!

(Netterz' doe (and other critters) can be viewed here and her fawn can be viewed here)
Please be aware that these patterns are for personal use only; do not sell anything made from them.

Please let me know if you use these patterns as both myself and the creator of the patterns would love to see!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Antique Keys . .

I know I'm not the only one who has an obsession with these things.. So I thought I'd dedicate a post to them. I've acquired old keys from everywhere - the internet, family members, junk shops, antique shops, car boots.. I just can't get enough of them!

I think it's the mystery that surrounds them that makes them so appealing. Not knowing who it belonged to, wondering what it was used for.. Did it open a gate to a secret garden? A secret room? A treasure chest?

I thought I'd share a couple of things I've been working on -
First up, a skeleton key garland to hang wherever you please! This little beauty has been sent across the country to a lovely girlie, as part of a swap package. I am SO making one of these for myself! It starts with a braided base of vintage floral fabric and ribbons, and the keys are wrapped in the same florals as the base, each key was looped onto the garland as I plaited and it's all finished off with vintage buttons and some skinny ribbon at each end to tie it up with!

Second, a bib style necklace with a faded blue felt base, rolled muslin and lace roses, the pink flower in the middle was made from reclaimed sari fabric and the whole thing is finished off with a sweet little antique key, tied down with vintage lace bows, vintage glass pearls and a vintage button! These necklaces are so much fun to make and of course each has the opportunity to be a complete one-off piece, I'm really looking forward to making more!

I'd love to know what you all think! ♥

Monday, 15 November 2010

I was Interviewed!

A few weeks ago I was approached by the fabulous Lorrie at Chichester Creative Network, who interviewed me to find out what I'm upto and what I do! I loved answering all the questions and thought I'd share it here for anyone who is interested in finding out a bit more about me :) Not only was it featured on the wonderful Chichester Creative Network blog, but also on the UK Handmade blog!

Name: Louise Knight-Richardson

Business: Photographer, Artist, Maker

Location: Chichester, West Sussex

Dearest Jackdaw
What the Jackdaw Saw

"Introducing Louise Knight-Richardson, a talented young photographer, artist and maker living and working in Chichester. I came across Louise on Twitter and Etsy, and was immediately struck by the translucent and whimsical quality of her lovely photography, her quirky and upbeat personality, and decided to find out more."

Tell us about your background?

I have been interested in art and design since I was a child, and have completed several courses in the subject. When I finished secondary school, I remember feeling like I was the only person in the world who didn’t have a ‘plan’. I was never very good at academic subjects (which I later discovered in my final year of college, after putting myself forward for an assessment – was due to dyslexia, poor comprehension and deficit in working memory!), but managed to get the grades I needed to go on to college, where I embarked on a two-year course in fashion design and construction (BTEC National Diploma in Fashion & Clothing). The course taught me everything I needed to know, from the history, design and illustration aspects, to the more technical side of pattern cutting and production. I adored everything the course had to offer. I loved dreaming up a beautiful dress, putting it to paper and then making it come to life. There was something magical about it.

I finished the course with a very satisfying grade, which offered me a gateway to university. But, what did I want to do with my new found skill? I always found that there was something not quite right during my fashion course. It was all very well seeing all these beautiful dresses sat there on mannequins looking pretty, but I found myself creating what I can only describe as ‘sets’ in my head, like a film set, and imagining what the dresses would look like placed amongst them. I’d draw and paint to no avail. No matter how much I tried, I just wasn’t satisfied. Nothing was real enough.

At the end of my course I took a drastic step and took up photography. I always had a simple point and shoot 35mm camera and loved snapping away throughout my childhood, but I’d never tried capturing art with it. The thought of having the ability to recreate those scenes in my head and transfer them to paper really excited me.

I started an Art Foundation course with the intention of taking photography as one of my majors. Unfortunately, once the course began, I was told that there wasn’t enough interest in the photography workshops and so it was dropped from the course. This set me back a little, but I was determined to succeed, and if it meant teaching myself, then that was how it was going to be! I took textiles and graphics as my majors so I could incorporate photography into my work. It turned out really well and I taught myself everything I possibly could about the dynamics of photography, how my camera worked etc.

After finishing the course I decided to combine my passions for fashion and photography, and have gradually built up my own style in both.

Tell us about what you do!

I draw, paint, design, sew and photograph. I love all things creative! I have a little ideas book I was given as a gift a few years ago. It sat unused in a drawer for a long time as it was so pretty I didn’t want to use it as a notebook that would eventually just be discarded. So I started sketching and writing down all my ideas in it. This book has proved invaluable and when I feel like I have no inspiration whatsoever, I just have a little flick through it and the imagination goes wild! If I want a prop for a photo shoot that I think I can make, I’ll usually make it – for example, right now I’m in the process of making some dainty little antlers!

What is your greatest achievement?

Having the patience and determination to teach myself something completely new without giving up when things got too complicated.

When I got my first camera I switched it straight into Manual mode, that way I was in complete control of the camera and was able to learn from my mistakes. It was incredibly frustrating, and at times I really did just want to give up if I couldn’t get the image I had in my head. But each time I felt I couldn’t improve, I just pushed myself and kept trying, and it always seemed to work!

Who or what inspires you?

I find inspiration in absolutely everything and anything! I’ll often be walking along and see a great location, be it a lake, woodland or just an interesting doorway and try to picture how I could use that spot in an image. Or, I’ll see an old pair of unloved curtains and think “Oh, those would make an amazing dress or bag!”

When I’m sewing, I’ll adapt my iTunes playlist to the style of work I’m doing at the time. I feel it can have a big impact on how your brain works whilst in the planning stages of a project. It’s the same with my art. Back in college I used to put heavy metal on during a painting session to help with the look I was trying to portray, it always seemed to work so I’ve always stuck by it!
Music videos, lyrics, fairytales and childhood memories all play a big part towards inspiring all of my work.

What do you hope to be doing in five years time?

I hope to have set-up a successful business for my handmade pieces!

When you aren’t fully occupied taking pictures, making and creating…what are you doing?

I float around town making jewellery look pretty in the shops! I also enjoy spending time roaming around the great outdoors looking for new and exciting places to explore. Generally, if I’m not doing any of the above, I will be out and about sourcing interesting new materials for projects, or props for my shoots!

What projects are you working on now?

At the moment I’m concentrating on making quirky clothing and jewellery out of reclaimed materials – I can’t stand to see things go to waste and so have started collecting interesting remnants and vintage linens, and combining them to come up with something unique. I find it really therapeutic, and discovering interesting combinations of materials that you wouldn’t otherwise place together. It’s amazing how I can start out with just a scrap of fabric, a string of lace, or even just a little button, and end up with an amazing garment to be proud of!

Once I’ve made enough stock up, I’ll be working on setting up my clothing and gift shop. I also have a little online print store called “What the Jackdaw Saw” where people can buy a small selection of my photographic prints.

I’m also in the middle of a self-portrait project that needs a bit of catching up, it’s been very challenging, but has allowed me to really let go with some of my ideas that are personal to me.

Last but not least, I write a blog called “Dearest Jackdaw” which is relatively new, but I’m hoping in time will become popular with crafts fans!

Finally, any words of wisdom for other creative people?

Never give up. Never let people tell you your limits. Understand that your work is precious and those who don’t value what you do don’t deserve to be a part of it. Most of all, NEVER make the mistake of helping people who won’t help themselves. I learnt the hard way with this one, fortunately for me it only made me stronger but it could have turned out much worse!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Giveaway Winner Announced!

My first ever giveaway has come to an end and so this evening I wrote out the names of each entrant and put them into a hat, gave it a good shuffle and asked my other half to pick a name.

I've really enjoyed reading everybody's ideas of clever uses for these little pouches, thank you ALL so so much for entering!

*Drum roll please*

CONGRATULATIONS to 'AliTim David' who entered via my Facebook page! An email has been sent to you for postage details so I can get your little pouch on its way to you <3

Keep an eye out for my next giveaway for the opportunity to win yourselves more goodies!


Monday, 11 October 2010


Ok guys, it's giveaway time (Dearest Jackdaw's first EVER giveaway, to be precise!) and I'm going to kick things off with this pretty little pouch by Jackdaw Boutique! See my post on these here for great ideas on how they can be used.

"But.. How do I enter?"
Easy - Leave a comment & follow either here, facebook or twitter mentioning how you would use the pouch if you won the giveaway, it's as simple as that!

"But how many entries am I allowed?"
Like + comment on facebook = 1 entry
Follow + tweet me on twitter = 1 entry
Follow + comment on the blog = 1 entry
Retweet = 1 entry
Feature the giveaway on your blog = 5 entries

Good luck!! ♥

*The giveaway is available worldwide.
*Giveaway will close at 23:59 GMT on Sunday 31st October 2010.
*If you feature the giveaway on your blog, please comment with a link by giveaway closing time, otherwise I won't find the feature and the 5 extra entries won't be granted :(
*The winner will be selected via the fantabulous traditional method of picking a name out of a hat on Monday 1st November 2010!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

A Giveaway, Jackdaw?

I am awaiting my 50th follower so I can give something back to all of my lovely followers.

Giveaway goodies will include but are certainly not limited to:

* Antique Edwardian scrapbook
* Vintage sewing patterns
* Jackdaw Boutique pouch
* Destash items

I'm just 6 followers away! Come and say hello. Leave a comment on one of my posts..

24/52 - Drifter


Saturday, 11 September 2010

Crafts for Charity

Many of you will already know of Crafts for Charity, but if not, here's a low-down on what it's all about.

a non-profit online craft directory to help you find the perfect gift, inspiration, or if you love browsing, then it's a great place to start!

The way the site works is as follows. List your own website or etsy/misi/folksy shop or even your blog or craft classes and in return, donate as little or as much money to charity as you wish. Simple.

When I listed my print shop I couldn't find the perfect charity that I wanted my money to go to, but Crafts for Charity were more than willing to add the charity I wanted into their list for me.

At this point in time Crafts for Charity has 90 fabulous listings and I'm really hoping more and more people will list their websites on this wonderful directory because you can be certain that your money goes directly to the charity of your choice.

You can read more about Crafts for Charity here

You can also follow Crafts for Charity on Twitter
Or read the Blog!

Arts & Crafts Directory - Crafts for Charity


Monday, 23 August 2010

Childhood Memories . .

As some will know, as well as being an artist/crafter, I'm also a photographer and a dreamer. At times I wish I could be anywhere but indoors. Fortunately for me, having my camera to hand means I can adventure anywhere I want, create something less than ordinary, and escape.

I enjoy planning my photos, I want them to tell a story, not only to me, but to others who enjoy looking. If there is no writing to accompany an image, it's simply because I want the viewer to interpret it in their own way. By doing this it allows the images to become personal to not only me, but to those viewing them also.

I wanted to show two of my favourite self portraits to date. They were taken as a set, and based around the theme 'Play'. I could have gone anywhere with this theme, but I was going through a particularly tough time with work and life in general, and so I wanted to escape into another world, and go back to a different time when things were easier, safer, where at the end of the day I was tucked-up into my bed, I'd dream about pretty things and wake up in the morning and play with my big sister before breakfast.

Thus, these images are all about revisiting childhood.

Part 1, The Adventure
9/52 Play - (part 1, The Adventure)

Part 2, The Hunter
9/52 Play - (part 2, The Hunter)

A lot of my childhood is unfortunately a big bundle of blurryness for one reason or another, but I do remember staying at Holly & Abi's house with my big sister.

In the winters, we used to make radio shows on the cassette recorder, or write our own songs and record them, then play them in fast forward by half pressing the play button so we sounded like mice. Other times we'd make up dance or gymnastic routines to perform to 'the adults'. I remember performing chumbawumba - tubthumping once, much to the dismay of 'the adults' who had to sit and watch with pretend smiles across their faces whilst we jumped around on chairs singing and dancing to such a hideously irritating yet catchy song.

In the summer we would play outside and climb trees, race up and down the footpath in a home made go-kart made out of an old pram, make perfume with rose petals and mud pies out of.. mud. Go for bike rides or walks and picnics, we used to make arrows on the ground out of sticks and rocks and then have the others come and find us! We'd make hide-outs with traps incase we ever had any unwanted visitors!
We'd run around in bracken that towered over our heads. We once went for a walk around the grounds of an old victorian hospital, the hospital was long gone but there was debris everywhere. My sister found an old tin bath, whilst I collected glass bottles and medicine jars.

I remember going on holiday to Devon once, to stay at 'cow poo cottage'. We made a film on the old video camera about a ghost girl who had emerged from the graveyard one day and it was our job to figure out the mystery of why. Apparently she was called Betsy. I can't remember why she was there, but the video still exists and I can't wait to watch it one day!

My sister and I spent a lot of time at our Gran and Grandad's house with our cousin Sam, making camps out of windbreaks and blankets and then spending all day in there, or playing in Sam's tree house, going for long walks or bombing down the lane on the chopper forgetting it had no brakes until it was too late!

Going camping, digging up pignuts, rockpooling, crabbing, playing, walking, collecting. Grazed knees, secret hide-outs, climbing trees, bumped heads, snow angels, mucky clothes, carefree, imagination.


I took all of these memories, and thought about how I wanted to remember them.

Childhood is all about make believe. That's why it's so magical.

I held that thought, raided my spare room for some bits & pieces, put on my "once upon a time" necklace, and went to my Dad and Step Ma's garden where I found a tree that my Sister and I used the climb. I decorated it with bird cages, lace, ribbon, string and doilies and sat down for a while to think - If I was 7 again, what would I do here?

It was then that I spied my trusty steed right in front of me, and we would hunt. I fetched my bow and arrow, and we played in the sunshine all day.

After hours of galloping across the land, we came across a strange being. It spoke to us in a quiet whisper, we didn't understand what it was saying.. but we had an urge to capture it. So we ran, and hid behind the tree, I placed my one and only arrow in my bow and pulled it back.. but I just couldn't do it. Just as I was about to retract my arrow and put my bow down to make peace with the being, my trusty steed nudged my arm and alas.. the being was no more.

Both images create my story. My adventure, and how it ended.

Why don't you take half an hour out of your schedual some day and remember the fun times? ♥

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Pouches, pouches, pouches . .

I've been so busy making things over the past couple of weeks, I'm still working on my next tattered dress but I'm waiting to find the perfect fabric for the skirt part - I have so much material I can use already here with me, but I have this vision in my head of a beautiful full tea-stained lace skirt. I'm going to Emmaus on Monday so fingers crossed I will come across some beauties there!

I've also been making prototypes for my upcoming shop! Here's an example of a sweet little fold over pouch
Made with vintage 1970s floral print fabric & lined with reclaimed vintage linen to match. All of these will be adorned differently and finished off with a beautiful vintage button, so they'll all be one-of-a-kind.

7 inches

7 inches (fastened)
11 inches (unfastened)

These pouches are amazingly useful for holding all sorts of treasures - here's just a few ideas:
*holiday documents/Passports
*ribbons & bows
*seashells, sea glass & pretty stones
*sewing supplies
*trinkets and findings

The fastening ribbon also doubles up as a hanger to pin to your wall so you can store all sorts of useful things!

I have one of these in my bag all the time so if I find any treasures when I'm on an adventure, I just put them in my pouch so I know they'll be safe until I get home!

You can also see an example of my garment tags there, I'm SO excited for this to take flight!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Flowers in the Attic

I just thought I'd show a couple of examples of a collection I've been working on.
It's called 'Flowers in the Attic', and is inspired the wonderful but haunting Novel by Virginia Andrews.

This has been an ongoing project for around a year now, I've spent a lot of time sourcing the perfect materials so that I can do the best I possibly can. And now I think I've finished my sourcing, I'm ready to complete the collection!

The collection will consist of vintage and vintage style floral fabrics mixed with cream, ivory and peach tones, mixed with a little bit of lace here and there to create a collection of pretty garments suitable for day or eveningwear.

I'm determined to have a collection of one-offs finished at some point in the future!

The above dress was reconstructed out of a pleated lightweight cotton skirt and using a vintage 1970's caravan curtain to create the bodice. The back fastens with two rows of lace and ties in a pretty bow. The skirt zips up at the side and ties at the waist in a matching fabric.

This dress consists of a pretty textured floral bodice, finished off with a light-weight poly/cotton mix skirt with a tiny delicate floral pattern. Fastening in a similar fashion to the first dress but with a vintage scarf instead of lace, the halter-neck straps tie at the back of the neck and the skirt zips at the back.
Photography by me, Louise Knight
Modelled by the fabulous Rachael Holmes

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

I'm on the front page of Etsy!

Ok.. so perhaps it may not be a massive achievement by any means, but it's the first time I've been featured on the front page of Etsy so I'm hoping that it might bring my little shop a bit more exposure!
The featured item in particular is my photographic print "Fly away with me"
Here's a screen shot that I took out of pure excitement!

Yippee, now all I need is for someone to buy something from my shop!
Anyway. I'm now off to delve into piles of fabric to pick out some pieces for another ragdoll dress :)

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Isn't it Beautiful, Jackdaw? My Leaf Dress . .

Yes, the amazing girlie who I made the dress for in this post, made me this one in return.. isn't it just.. stunning? When I opened the package my jaw dropped to the floor...

20/52 Somewhere <span class=

it's the most intricately created masterpiece I think I've ever seen!
Have some detail piccies!

There's not a single area of the dress without something to look at! She made it in such a way that it will photograph beautifully from every angle, she sure didn't get that wrong!

It laces up at the back like a corset, and there's a lovely chunky zip at the side. the straps are pretty lace that you tie to fasten.

I can't stop looking at it.. it's just.. amaaaazing!

Image Hosted by <span class=

Image Hosted by <span class=

Those gold leaves are gold dipped! The dress is jam packed with vintage linens, laces, buttons.. ribbons, just.. everything! I can't wait to take more photos of it!

You can read all about the dress in this forum post over at

Cass if you read this, thank you SO much for creating such a breathtaking work of art for me!

Love x x

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Beautifully Tattered, and Gratefully received!

Remember my post back in May about the super-secret dress I was making for someone super-special? Well I finally finished it, and she received the dress yesterday and is SO happy with it, which makes me amazingly happy - and THAT means that I can now post pictures for you all to see!

The entire dress consists of both new and vintage materials. There's some really old lace mixed up in there that is so, so delicate. Also some hand-crocheted lace that my great-grandmother made herself. There are vintage doilies, shreaded silk, vintage buttons, scarves, ribbons.. I tea-stained a lot of the materials so they all went really beautifully together.

First up, a little self portrait I shot when the dress was 'in-progress'. I couldn't bear to send it off without taking a few little photos to remember it by!

17/52 I can fly, can you?

And of course, some standard shots of the finished garment:
(I left the straps pinned like that so she can choose whether to have a halter-top or 'normal' straps)

And some close-ups:

Soon I will show the simply AMAZING dress that I received in return. Honestly.. it's stunning, I've never had anything so beautiful in my wardrobe :)

Enjoy ♥

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Listening to . . .

Now I don't know about you guys, but music is absolutely everything to me. I can't even imagine a world without it. I listen to music every moment I'm able to, so I thought this might be a good opportunity to share with you just two of my favourite songs and musicians and tell you what makes them so special to me!

First up, Joseph Arthur and his incredible song 'Honey and the Moon'. Whilst the meaning of the song is actually quite a sad story, the arrangement of acoustic guitar combined with Joseph Arthur's husky vocals and song writing simply blends into a beautifully subtle mass of pretty sounds, and stunning lyrics.

The song starts with -

"I don't know why I'm still afraid, if you weren't real I would make you up"

I can't even describe how perfect I think these words are, and there's something really powerful about the melody of the guitar that I can't quite put my finger on.. it was actually the beautiful guitar riff in this song that encouraged me to teach myself acoustic guitar, this was the first song I taught myself and it continues to be my absolute favourite to play and sing to, even though I've played it over and over again, I'll never get tired of it.

Second, Gregory and the Hawk. An absolutely beautiful acoustic musician by the name of Meredith Godreau, probably most well known for her song 'Boats and Birds' which includes the crazy beautiful lyrics

"If you'll be star, I'll be your sky
you can hide underneath me and come out at night,
When I turn jet black, and you show off your light
I live to let you shine, I live to let you shine.

But you can sky rocket away from me,
and never come back if you find another galaxy
far, from here, with more room to fly,
just leave me your stardust to remember you by.."

She could sing all of her songs a cappella and they would be just as pretty, but the minimalistic guitar accompaniment to her soft, delicate voice creates a sound that is just perfect to listen to. I adore listening to her whilst doing artwork or dressmaking, her music is just so relaxing.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Look What I Found - Vintage Leather School Satchel

I couldn't believe it when I saw this at a local carboot a couple of weeks ago.. it was lying crumpled in a heap amongst old toys, clothes and general 'rubbish'. I remember noticing it was really good quality leather right away so I grabbed it before anyone else had a chance and had a quick look at it. It definitely could do with a few stitches and a good clean, but I figured it would make a nice camera bag for me. When I asked the man how much he wanted I couldn't believe my luck when he said "pfft.. £2??".. TWO POUNDS?! I didn't even want to haggle as I already felt like I was stealing at just £2! So I got my purse out, and exchanged the money for this incredible little beauty!

After giving it a good clean out, and cleaning up the leather, I decided that it didn't need any stitches, the ones that are left will hold for years and I love the aged look it has just the way it is. I don't even use it for a camera bag. I use it as my everyday handbag because it's the perfect size to fit all my stuff in for work and if I buy anything, there's enough room to put my goodies in there.

I can honestly say that I've never received so many compliments and questions about a bag before, when I tell people where I got it from and how much it cost me they are completely surprised!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Adore - Ditsy Neckwear

Whilst I adore handmade and will almost always opt for second hand or handmade when it comes to my purchases, the highstreet is absolutely brimming with beautiful offerings of floatyness, florals, frills, lace, pastels, light fabrics and vintage prints this season, and the jewellery stands are filled with vintage inspired gorgeous ditsy charms, fabric flowers, bohemian beauties, pearls, bows, birds, butterflies and pocket watches dangling from antique style chains.. Honestly, walking around the shops right now for me is like entering wonderland.

Here are some pieces that I'm obsessed with right now.. I can't even describe how excited I was when I clocked eyes on that rocking horse.

I'm ashamed to admit that I've spent more money on clothes in the past two months than ever before in my life. However, to make up for spending copious amounts on mass-produced products, I did treat myself to a vintage kaftan (albeit, it does need a few stitches) and belt this afternoon. Phew.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Look What I Found . . .

Yes, I'm going to start making a record of everything beautiful I've picked up the past few years. From vintage clothing to teeny little ornaments. The weird and the wonderful. Faded by the sun, stuff that can only get better with age.. Things tossed to the back of a cupboard by their previous owner, or treasures discovered in someones attic only to be discarded because they had no use to them.

And so we begin. Look what I found...

A few weeks back I was hunting around charity shops for something.. I didn't know exactly what it was I was looking for, but I was determined to find it, whatever it was.
I can't bear to leave with nothing! And then, I simply walked right into the last shop in town, walked right up to the bric-a-brac shelving and there it was. isn't it sweet?

It's a beautiful little brass birdcage ornament. I love it so much!

Friday, 14 May 2010

WIN signed prints from What the Jackdaw Saw!

Do you love creating beautiful jewellery or would you like to give it a go?

They're holding a challenge on the Jewelry and Trinkets board Over at anyone can join in, just register and give it a go, you've got nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain!

The theme is SUMMERTIME

The winner will receive their choice of either one 8x8 inch print, or two 5x5 inch prints from my shop over at What the Jackdaw Saw - If you're lucky enough to win the challenge but you can't find what you're looking for, all you have to do is message me at Craftster so we can sort something out for you!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Spring time . . .

Spring is definitely my favourite season, it's never too hot or too cold, there's always something beautiful growing in the garden to admire, we get daffodils, bluebells, blossom.. It's amazing how quickly nature can change - I have photos that I took in march where the trees are bare and the sky looks so dull and dreary, yet now everything is bright and colourful and the sun is shining (most of the time..)!

I took the opportunity yesterday afternoon to go out into the garden and get some pictures of all the beautiful flowers that are coming out this Spring. I desperately need to stock up on my hay fever remedies though as the pollen doesn't like me all that much!

The lilac has such a beautiful scent, but it's unlucky to bring it into the house so it's to stay on the tree! There are a few different versions of the superstition, but my favourite is that faeries were once associated with the lilac tree, and if you brought lilac into the house the faeries could disrupt your household. I didn't think faeries were the type to disrupt a household but perhaps they're naughty faeries?

And the forget-me-not.. who could forget these beautiful teeny tiny treasures of the garden? When I was a little girl, my sister was in hospital for a few days and I remember taking her an eggcup filled with daisies and forget-me-nots to put on her windowsill :)

These will shortly be available in my shop amongst other springtime prints so keep an eye out :)

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Meet Kitty . . .

This is my vintage Chil-Daw dressmakers dummy. As far as I can tell, she's 1940's, but if anyone can tell me otherwise, please do so. Sadly I don't know any of her history.

She has 8 fully adjustable panels, is deep mauve in colour, is incredibly sturdy and in near perfect condition.

The best part? She cost me just £12 from a local charity shop. I found her opened up as wide as possible, and just left there with her joints about to fail, it was a sad sight. When I took her to the counter, the lady told me that a customer had brought her back earlier that day because she was 'unadjustable'.. I call that devine intervention.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Tweet the Jackdaw, she wants to chat!

Are you on twitter too?

Click on the image to tweet me, I'd love to hear from you! X

Beautifully Tattered . . .

Currently I'm working on a beautifully tattered dress for a friend over at

It consists of shreaded silk, vintage fabrics, lace, tea stained doilies, scraps and more.. all draped together on my dressform and stitched lovingly under my sewing machine, and with a few personal touches here and there such as trinkets and possibly a little bit of hand embroidery - I hope to soon have a wonderful dress to hand over..

Here's a sneak peek :)

I can't believe how much fun these are to sew.. I was going to sketch out some designs and work from there but I already had an idea in my head so I just went with it, I'm in love..

Although.. my machine isn't so impressed, but she's holding out!

I will update on the dress again once she's received it.. it's supposed to be a surprise ;)

Sunday, 9 May 2010


Dearest jackdaw..

Here is where you'll find my inspiration, photos of beautiful things, pretty findings, floaty dresses and vintage lace, curiosity and interestingness, sewing and crafts.. stories, poems and everything I wish that was but isn't.