My most cherished things – of the eclectic variety


I love things.

Not in a “must have everything new, on trend, everyone has it so I must”, capitalist/materialistic kind of way.

In a collective, considered and all things beautiful way. And by beautiful, I don’t mean perfect. I don’t much like perfect. I like quirks and oddness and individuality, even if it is a design feature covering up a small mishap. The sewists will know what I mean by that one…. Thank you to the lovely Pip Lincoln from Meet Me at Mikes for giving me the opportunity to share with you some of the things that I love and adore, and more often than not collect! On a serious note, I’m not afraid of a little hip and shoulder action to get to that vintage fabric first. But that was just once. And she was younger than me. So all forgiven. And I nabbed it. Score!

So here are some things in no particular order.

Sewing with indie sewing patterns. There is a list put together for Sew Indie Month which is happening for the month of June that details a number of indie sewing patterns. The internets has provided great opportunity for smaller businesses to make their patterns available. Perhaps one day I might have the chance too.  The ones I’m currently working on at the moment are:

Indie pattern love!

Indie pattern love!

The sewing community on Instagram. Since participating in Me Made May where I have worn something each day made by my own hands, I have been introduced to such a lovely group of women (plus an odd male body builder follower, but he hasn’t bothered me so I’ll just leave him there).  Seeing what everyone is wearing, the lovely comments, the inspiration. It’s so gorgeous and interactive. And doesn’t at all feel facebooky, or odd, or negative in any sense. Or narcissistic. Yet.  So fingers crossed! You can follow me @magdalenesmuse. I also take photos of my kitten and tea cups. Just in case frocks aren’t your thing.

a taste of my instagram feed

an illustration of my instagram feed

Flowers. See this blog post for the low down, in particular the spectacular bathroom. Not a nana flower in sight.

Sad and disturbing movies (Margot, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Iris, Blue Velvet, Les Miserables,  just to name a few that have left me sobbing). I also like a happy-make-feel-good film, but when I come out feeling as though nothing in the world is right and there is barely any point to going on, it just makes it that little extra special. I’m banned from making movie choices for my birthday though. My friends had questions as to why I would choose We Need to Talk About Kevin as a birthday film. My birthday, my choice. And I loved it.

TV series that most people wouldn’t pick me as watching.

  • Breaking bad
  • Hannibal
  • Dexter
  • Game of Thrones
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Walking Dead
  • Deadwood
  • The Blacklist (James Spader, sigh…..)
  • American Horror Story
  • The Fall

Then there are some of the more predictable:

  • Lost Girl
  • Anything Joss Wheadon
  • Xena
  • Fraggle Rock (cue crazy waving arms)
  • Miranda (best british comedy ever)
  • The Green Wing (If only Mac was available)
  • Black Books
  • Haven. This show is so bad, it’s good. In a I don’t normally admit to watching it kind of way.
  • Futurama (not really a big fan, however my boss at the time got us the box set for our wedding, more for Bruce than me I suspect. I’ve seen each episode at least twice, and do a good impression of Zoidburg: as  “a feast is a feast!”).

Autumn. Why bother with Winter, Spring, Summer when you can have Autumn. As evidenced by Autumnal Wedding at the National Rhododendron Gardens in Sassafras on mine and Bruce’s wedding day 10 years ago. Perfection.

Boo and Boo (chick of honour and bridal chick)

Boo and Boo (chick of honour and bridal chick)

Bruce can not show his face on internets, dentist style and shy.

Bruce can not show his face on internets, dentist style and shy.

Books and reading. Can’t go wrong there. Unless your reading Mills and Boon just so you can discuss characters and plot development with your Nana so you have something in common. That was, I have to admit, not my favourite genre and I did it for love, not literary pursuit.

the night stand art deco desk

the night stand art deco desk

Vintage teacups and dinner sets. I’m now always scouring the local op shops for pretty china that is not only suitable for cake, but for messy spaghetti and nachos as well. As long as it is pretty and not beige beige beige, I’m happy.

my collection

my collection

Thanks for reading, and if you have any suggestions, do let me know in the comments. I’m always curious about discovering new things.


Pips xxx

PS I  do also adore Bruce, B1 and  B2 plus Panda Wine. And maybe I was being a little materialistic in my musings.

Oh, and I love fishing, but without bait so I can ensure I won’t catch anything but seaweed. I don’t want to see a poor fishy hanging off the end of my line. I do love the sea, and the sitting, and the purpose of holding a rod with people assuming you are there for the fish, but you know you are there for the peace.


The Lady Skates

When I was little, I had white lace up roller skates with red wheels. They were second hand, a birthday gift and made me feel like Olivia Newton-John from Xanadu. I used to skate up and down Fraser Avenue, gliding as a baby giraffe on a ice-skates, dressed in Sunday best and trying to avoid any sort of downward gradient. I’d say there was limited success… I could skate in a straight line, turn if going sloth speed and go backwards with the support of another’s holding hands.

I think this dress would have enabled me to perform a flying spin, double axel and and cantilever with hands extended in the driveway. Such comfort, easily styled and with ready access to knees for grazing, the Lady Skater Dress from Kitschycoo is a very pleasing dress.

lady skater

I’ve not ventured much into the land of knits, being a firm lover of woven fabrics. However when I found a Liberty jersey at I knew that Esther (my overlocker) and I were destined to explore a new world… Or just a new fabric. Everything has to be so dramatic!

lady skater rear

So this is my wearable muslin in a black ponte knit. I lengthened the bodice by 2.5cm, the skirt by 3cm and resolved myself to unpicking the waistband to remove the clear elastic I’d zig zagged in because it made my tummy itch (which resulted in me being cross. And no one wants to be cross in a dress.).

lady skater side

For my Liberty Lady, I will extend the should seam 1-2cm to accommodate those swimming shoulders of mine that didn’t come about as a result of swimming. Where did they come from? I wonder. Although, now I’ve put together a couple of Coco dresses from Tilly and the Buttons, I’m torn about which pattern to use. It appears this fabric is no longer available….. So one or the other. Needs must and so on.

If you follow me on insta (@magdalenesmuse) you might have noticed I have dabbled in a little ballet style for Me Made May. Which is going seriously well for a last minute decision. Only one day missed due to being stuck in bed. Proud!

MMM self portrait

Another Lady Skater, in A.Hill fabric when I went on a fabric binge last week…..


And this is a little photo of me when I was 7 and doing ballet. I suspect the roller-skates are responsible for the knees.

grazed knees, but brave enough to continue my class

grazed knees, but brave enough to continue my class


Pips xx

dark floral for a dark princess pips

A bud, a posy, a bouquet, a vase overflowing with blooms.. They make me happy and are an all too rare treat that I had forgotten until recently and now they are blooming everywhere.

grown by Pipsie

grown by Pipsie

There is a softly spoken of rule in our house; if flowers are mentioned a (Bruce imposed) minimum period of 3 months comes into effect before purchase of any type of flora can be considered. Due to this rule being in effect most of the time, for some reason when ever I am close I always slip up, floral bouquets come around once every 3 or so years. This has been explained to me as a way to ensure that I get maximum enjoyment out flowers, and am always taken by surprise when they arrive as they are such a rarity. It’s flawed logic, certainly, and if I wanted I could always make a purchase myself. But where is the fun in that?

My dear Parjie does come to my rescue if I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed or have had a run of health issues that see me needing flora therapy and flowers for Pipsie are sent my way.

Parjie flowers

Parjie flowers

I’ve also taken the great step of planting flowers in the front yard that can survive a little neglect. They make a lovely centre piece on the table in an old maple syrup bottle, and B1 and B2 appreciate the added element to the set table and will often pick something to add, often to my poor plant’s detriment.


Pipsie, I picked these for you.

“Pipsie, I picked these for you.”

To change topic slightly (but not entirely, just follow me!!!!!!), my bathroom has been 2.5 years in the making and is now almost complete. It is Pipsie perfect. With a black and white claw foot bath , a vanity that actually matches, a mirror you can see more than half your face in, and a view that I could get lost in for hours.

that wallpaper!

that wallpaper!

That wall paper. Dark floral. I think I’ve been waiting for that wall paper all my life.

I first discovered it on the Design Files earlier this year. A quick internet stalk and I discovered Ellie Cashman, who resides in Netherlands, and has created the most breathtaking surface design I have every had the pleasure of seeing. (Surface design is an all encompassing description that also includes what the old schoolers refer to as wall paper, but it’s so much more fancy than wall paper!). It was heart skipping, squeal inducing love at first sight. And now finally it is a part of my home. In my bathroom. Unexpected and very fabulous. The best part is , that when I’m sprawled languidly in bed of an evening, the dark floral peeks through the door and brings happiness to my heart. It is very much art.

There are plans for more floral walls. I think next on my list will be the tulips to hang in my stitching room, or maybe the the Rose Decay. Who could pass up a name such as that? Then there is the laundry. And the down stairs powder room. And maybe the hall…. I never believed that the feature wall went out of vogue.


I think that Ellie may have plans to print fabrics in the future. I may have to give Liberty a rest for a while if that is the case. I will be cocooned, embraced, swathed or otherwise enveloped in dark floral, rose decay and dark floral to light fresco. Do visit her web store. It is a feast for the eyes.


Do you have a thing for surface design and feature walls?


Pips xxx

Final note:  I love bathing so much that I used to randomly have baths at friends houses when they bettered my own, which was always a great way to introduce yourself to your man friend’s friends as well. ” You have a bath and  Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace? Excuse me whilst I disappear into the bathroom for an hour whilst you indulge in computer mayhem”. True story. And the beginning of my love affair with Margaret Atwood.


Made by Me May!

 I, Pips of A Girl in a Teacup, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear one item of handmade clothing 5 days a week for the duration of May 2014.

On a whim yesterday, I decided to joint Me Made May 2014. Surprise for me!

You can follow outfit posts on instagram, @magdalenesmuse or just click on the little camera to your left.

Day 2 and I’m very excited. Although I may have to whip up a frock or two to see me though the end of the month. Expect to see a few repeats of the same dress. When I find a good pattern, I’m loyal to it. Apparently  I’m also committed to serious face…. And why is Joanne my doll lying discarded in the background? I think B1 had been waltzing with her, and happy weekend.

Pips xxx