Saturday, 23 February 2013

Tea pots and turtles

Tea Pots

I am a bad, bad woman! I am being made redundant in just five weeks' time and I am then going to give myself a few weeks to get the house decorated and the garden sorted out, and even when I do put my energies in to a business, realistically it is going to be quite some time before I get any money coming in...and even then I am not kidding myself that it will be a lot of money. The point is, I need to live as frugally as possible to make all these dreams possible. I do not need to buy more teapots! Is there a dodgy gene that makes an otherwise sane(ish) woman yearn for another teapot...when she already has...ahem...thirty? However, despite all the sensible reasons not to buy another tea pot, yesterday I did anyway. Now, before you judge me too harshly, please bear in mind that it was in a really cute shop (Charlie Boots in Bath - sells mainly local handmade items, but also has some vintage), it was reduced big time in the sale, it was vintage Bulgarian and utterly beautiful and the price I thought would have been reasonable for the tea pot was actually for the whole tea tea pot, one sugar bowl, six cups and sauces and six tea plates. Now I ask you, how could I walk away???

Bulgarian drip-glaze vintage tea set
The particular joy is that it was so cheap I will have no qualms actually using the tea set. The downside is that the shop is almost opposite the Kath Kidston shop where my fabricoholic took over when I saw a marked-down remnant of the Stanley the dog print cotton fabric, in blue...ah well.

I do sometimes worry - well, maybe not actually worry, but certainly wonder - whether these...urges...are quite normal. I understand from women's magazines that it is more usual to lust after handbags and shoes (and pasty, young actors who, to me, look far too young, underfed, pouty and somewhat girly - give me Russell Crowe any day! But I digress.). I mean, I was just having a bit of a google to see if I could discover the age of the tea set - no luck, so if anyone has any ideas, please let me know - and discovered a lovely Etsy shop, I Love Lily Belle, and I have to confess it was almost like ceramic porn! Talking of which, for weeks now I have found myself drooling over the most gorgeous teapot from Scrapiana on It's a Brown Betty and I love it. I can picture myself chatting in the kitchen holding the newly warmed tea pot in my arms...phew...I have to stop now!

Brown Betty teapot from Scrapiana at
The temptation with this is that Eirlys, who runs Scrapiana, lives very near me, runs the Big Bath Mend (at the Museum of Bath at Work on the last Wednesday of every month) and is running a WI craft class next Thursday where I will be learning to make fabric will I ever stop myself asking whether the tea pot is still available, whether I could pick it up to avoid postage charges, whether we could negotiate a lower price if I didn't have the accompanying teacosy. Stop it! I need to remember that this teapot costs almost as much as the whole tea set I bought yesterday, that I really do not have space for more teapots, that I don't need it. But I really, really want it...!


I have made another turtle. Sadly, it is for a five year old little boy who is bravely battling cancer. It makes me so sad to think of all he is going through and all the worry his family faces, and I am really touched that when offered a gift from his granny he wanted one of my bits of sewing. His sister has an Ellen Mouse and he didn't want to be left out. The turtle will head to its new home this weekend:

patchwork turtle
I am mainly self-taught when it comes to the sort of sewing I do. I did a bit of dress-making at school and at home with my mum, but quilting and soft-toys and bags and the like is something I picked up from a few books and trial and error. Consequently there are probably better ways to sew together fabric hexagons, but I find the patchwork shell of the turtle rather fiddly - can't believe people make entire quilts that way! I was also distracted as our friend Jamie (Smiffy's Plumbing and Heating) had popped over to have a look at our boiler and we had a nice cup of tea, homemade lemon slices and a catch up. In fact, I was so distracted that I when I turned the turtle's body the right way out, I realised I had forgotten to put the head in the seam before I sewed it! (I also realised that when I made a similar turtle for Mark's mum, I put the back legs on the wrong way round...oops!)

When I start my business, I probably will not make many toys - or at least not many different models of toys - because of the need for a CE Mark. There is a lot of testing and documentation for each design and I am not convinced there is enough added value to make it worthwhile. Ellen Mouse has proved so popular, I will keep her in my portfolio - and I am still hopeful I can come up with a Briony Bunny variation I am happy with, that will be sufficiently similar to Ellen to make the testing and documentation a little easier, but doubt I will do more...although, maybe a rag doll?


  1. Not buying that tea-set would have been nothing short of criminal! And if you already have 30 pots, it's such a large happy family of teapots, why not add a new member?

    ..and I totally agree about the actor-issue. And Russel Crowe. But let's not forget Viggo Mortensen!

    1. Thank you Irene - you have made me feel much better about my purchase. I also decided to take some old cheap cups and saucers to the charity shop, as we don't use them ad it makes space for most of the new tea set.

      We certainly could not forget Viggo!

  2. Ah, thanks for the mention, Sue! I understand your love of teapots. Seems only natural. :)

    1. My pleasure...seriously.

      I am glad to know I am not alone in teapot love!