Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Colour Collaborative: July: Mend

For someone who likes hand sewing as much as I do, mending seems to take an awfully long time to get done in this house. Shirts and cardigans lie at the bottom of the ironing pile for weeks as they wait for buttons to be stitched back on, school jumpers and trousers sit scrunched up and forgotten in my yarn basket while I muster up the necessary enthusiasm to sew up a hole or tear. And as for darning socks - does anyone even do this? 

However, I have previously patched jeans that have torn on the knee and I did enjoy this, partly because when - as a nearly six foot tall woman - you find a pair of jeans that fit you well, you want to hang on to them for as long as possible. 


I like the kind of mending where you can improve something by stamping your own individuality on it. I have a really nice white linen top that I never wore because I didn't like the gold buttons. So I cut them all off and sewed on mother of pearl ones and now I wear it to work as soon as it's out of the wash.

It's not technically repairing really, but when the kids were small and money very tight, I used to buy them plain supermarket t-shirts and applique on my own designs and I'd sometimes sell them at craft fairs too. In fact I still make the kids t-shirts now, like when Angus wanted a badger t-shirt for his recent birthday and there were none to be found anywhere. 


But what I really love is the other kind of mending; not necessarily fixing something or putting it back together, but restoring a thing. Redecorating, revamping, renovating, improving - making something more than it was before. Now that I do like. 

Things like painting an unloved pine dressing table...


...or customising an IKEA bedside table...


...or painting and lining an old suitcase I bought on eBay.


I especially love to try and repurpose something I've found in a skip or charity shop or car boot sale, and make something new and lovely from it. 


This pink floral bed linen has been turned into a cover for a cushion and an ironing board and I have lots more plans for it still.


And I have plans for these charity shop pillow cases too. (More cushion covers because, you know, we really, really need more cushions in this house...)


And remember that wall paper I found down at the tip?


It was a joy to clean it up and use it in a project and every time I open those drawers I smile.


I'm not interested in things matching in the house - if anything, I find overly colour-matched interior design quite oppressive - but the colours below are all ones I seem to choose time and time again: mustard yellow, dusty pink, deep blue, off-white, olive green, grey.



I didn't seek them out, it's more that we kind of found each other.

*

Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Sandra at Cherry Heart
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above The River
Sarah at Mitenska

What is The Colour Collaborative? 

All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.








38 comments:

  1. I love these fabrics... vintage feel to them. Cute!

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  2. It's lovely to create something 'new' from nothing, or rather next-to-nothing! Well done, you!
    Margaret P

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  3. I really like your interpretations of mending. It is more than fixing things. It's re-imagining them too. You know, when I saw that collage at the end, I thought they were perfectly Gillian colors as I've come to know them. You have a wonderful way with decor and design.

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  4. Wow, you are creative, i do like what you did with the drawers and tee shirts.

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  5. You're a great fixer-upper and have a very good eye for colour (and a fab photo). Lovely post. S x

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  6. Yes, yes, yes! Love to mend as in fix up and you always do such a good job when you do it! Love those jeans, the hexies are brilliant. As for darning well, hoping to learn soon...

    S x

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  7. I always thing that it is great to make something from nothing and that can be mending or totally from nothing! xx

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  8. you are clever. Is it decoupage on the ikea cupboard, I love the effect? ps in my mind you're a small brunette, how interesting to discover you are tall!

    Cathy

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    1. Hi Cathy,

      Sorry for the delay - I thought I'd replied to this! Must have done it in my head...
      It's a stencil. I bought a book of stencils by Lotta Jansdotter and used one in there with paint.

      No, I am "blessed" with long limbs and every winter struggle to find jumpers that are long enough in the arm for me... ;-)

      Gillian x

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  9. Oh yes ! That's my kind of mending as well :-) !
    I'm still hopelessly jealous about that vintage blue wallpaper - so good that you found a way to use it !

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  10. I reckon restoration still qualifies as repair if it improves functionaility, and more easily cleaned exteriors and interiors certainly do just that.

    I'd smile at those drawers when I opened them too.

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  11. The applique tops are a great idea. I too love re-purposing, it makes you feel good somehow! My mending languishes at the bottom of the ironing pile as well, I mean there are just so many other more interesting things we could be sewing! :-)

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  12. I do so love how you put everything together Gillian, you have such a talent for it all, I wish I did. You've made so many lovely things for your home and your children, a busy bee indeed! I love that you repurpose things, I'm all for saving the planet through re-using and upcycling. You're a star! CJ xx

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  13. I love the title of your post today: Mend. And that mending has a color scene of its own to you. Repurposing is becoming such a passion for me. It was inspiring to see what you have done with old things that needed new life. Thank you for sharing your creative journey with us. And for the little peek into your home. Aloha.

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  14. Beautiful projects! Love the jeans!

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  15. Everything, from the t-shirts to the suitcase and the ironing bord cover, is so beautiful! I envy your skill and creativity in this, I really do. Those seventies prints speak to me! The one with the yellow flowers is nearly identical to what used to be the wallpaper in my bedroom when I was a kid.

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  16. Overflowing with creativity Gillian! X

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  17. Brilliant Gillian, you are one very creative lady. I love the wallpaper-cum-drawer liners, so simple but what a transformation and the t-shirts are wonderful. I've only had one experience with darning and it was a nightmare. The darning itself was easy but I had to darn the ends of my daughter's en pointe ballet shoes (gives extra grip apparently), thank goodness for thimbles! Have a great weekend. Jane xx

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  18. You're very good at sewing - and thinking of creative projects! My sewing's OK but even stitches and tidy seams elude me. Love the way you've customised your children's clothes. I've been known to change buttons but can't imagine doing a nice job of inserting a zip.
    I was impressed by Artemis (Junkaholique) and her brightly-hued zips but sadly will have to stick (excuse the pun) with velcro. I'm no needlewoman!
    I also love how we all seem to gravitate towards certain colours over and over again. Your palette seems much brighter and cheerier than mine!
    S x

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  19. I hate matchy-matchy houses too - I like an eclectic mix - houses should look lived in. It was lovely seeing all your projects again. Still loving that wallpaper - that's definitely my colour palette. x

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  20. The t-shirts are stunning! I hope I will be as creative as you are when I have kids one day!

    Take care
    Anne
    Crochet Between Worlds

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  21. Those beautiful drawers would make me smile too!

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  22. I love all your "mends." Everything you do looks just beautiful - so creative.

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  23. Gillian - you are a whiz at this kind of makeover. I love your creativity and your willingness to put things together that might not "go" because in the end, if you love it, it "goes." I really like the jeans patched with hexis. I may have to try that ASAP!

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  24. yes, I remember your patched jeans at Yarndale 2013. Brilliant. like the oval patches

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  25. You have definitely inspired me here - so many beautiful things. I have an old, comfy pair of jeans with a hole on the thigh (I know, don't ask me why the thigh and not the knee!), so I think they are now destined for a little patchwork glory. Love the appliqued T-shirts too. Have a wonderful weekend. x

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  26. Lovely post, you are so busy and inventive with your projects. I especially like your jeans and wished I'd thought of this before recycling a favourite pair of allotment shorts which ripped this year (they had great pockets for stuff). I thought I was too old to get away with torn shorts but patchwork hexagon patches would have looked so cool!

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  27. Thanks for this post as I'm just trying to find the energy to mend a lot of the children's clothes! You've really done a great job with your mending ��

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  28. I knit my own socks for me , my husband and friends . I give my socks warranty so I darn them . I have a lovely old wooden darning mushroom and I quite enjoy it . However if they are too worn I cut off the toe and reknit . I like making things last longer . I love your knee patches

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  29. I do really like it how you compare mending to renovating. Your creativity is very inspiring Gillian. I take great pleasure in mending. Not the actual doing it but seeing something well mended is very satisfying. x

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  30. There's that linen again, it always makes me smile when I see it in your posts and memories of living at home with my parents flood back.
    I'm not normally a mender and leave clothes languisihing for as long as I can before sewing a button back in place, (they usually fall of again quicker!). However recently having acquired a book on sewing I've learnt how to darn those little holes in the front of t shirts that appear at the bottom after a while for some reason I'm not sure of. Am I the only one that gets those?

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  31. The fabric you used on your ironing board was in my bedroom. A bedspread with matching curtains, makes me feel happy to see it. I had been away on holiday with a friend and when I came home my parents surprised me with a newly decorated bedroom!

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  32. I just cut out teeny hexagons for no reason today and there in your first photo you have answered my creative thought. I love repairing and fixing things too, we sometimes have to tell the children we can't always fix everything!! Thanks for dropping by my blog - you are most generous with your time. I have some seeds to send you for your new border as a reward for the extra digging. Email me your address again Gillian so that I can send them to you. Jo x

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  33. You are so clever at renovating/enhancing both clothes and furniture and love that you put your own mark on things to make it unique. I am useless at ideas like that so envy your talent. xx

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  34. Hey Gillian,
    I've always loved your customized t shirts. They are so clever. I threw away a favorite pair if jeans last week, because they'd gone in the knee. I feel a bit guilty now I've seen yours.
    Leanne xx

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  35. Gosh, you are a creative person.
    And what a nice and inspiring blog.
    I just want to pop over to the UK.... just now.
    Greetings from Stavanger / Norway

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  36. No wonder you enjoy restoring things - you make such a great job of it.

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  37. That wallpaper is just glorious - love how you re-purposed it as a drawer liner! Thank you for being inspiring :0 Ann

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