Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Shelf Filling

Mr Bun gave me this postcard a while back now after a trip to the big smoke. It's from the Children in War collection by Cecil Beaton and sits on one of the mantlepieces. The little girl in it is three year old Eileen Dunne who was a blitz victim. It's taken in 1940 in the Hospital for Sick Children. 

Every time I look at it I have so many questions to ask about little Eileen. I wonder if she's been orphaned and that's why she looks so wary, is it because she's in pain or is it just the strange surroundings and the strange man taking a photo of her? Perhaps it's all of them.  She clutches her rescued doll to her for comfort and is safe for now in her cosy bed. As a mum I find this postcard incredibly touching and want to snatch her out of the photo and give her a cuddle. I often wonder what became of little Eileen and hope it was a happy ending.

The reason for mentioning Eileen is that she ended up being the perfect backdrop to some photos I was taking the other day and I thought you might like to know a bit more about her too.

Before I got my camera out I was busy stitching. Do you remember that fabric I bought on Saturday? Well on Sunday I cut a bag shape from some of it and on Monday I stitched it into a Happy Shopping Trip Bag. Little Bun was poorly which rescued me from having to help out Mr Bun at work. Extra time with my lovely girl and stolen back making time aswell.

I lined the top half with a pink polka-dot. Ever since I was a teen I've loved polka-dots and always use them in my sewing when I can.


Rather than making just one bag, I made two. As I've a fair sized pile of my favourite ever (at the moment of course) fabric, I decided that some of it should become another Happy Shopper.


This one got the orange polka-dot treatment inside.


I got such wonderful comments from you all about the Happy Shopper I made for myself that it gave me the kick up the bum to make some more to share. I used to make all sorts of bags to commission, but haven't done so for years now. I really enjoyed getting back into bag making again and think a few more will be making their way off my sewing machine very soon.

To be honest that kick up the bum, combined with the fact that the daft rain cleared off on Monday, meant the light was perfect to take photos of my makes. For an age now I've been trying to update my etsy shop and last night I beavered away filling the shelves and having a good old tidy up. 

If you fancy a peek around my spic and span shelves you can find my etsy shop  here:

Thank you all for giving me the ooommmphh to get on with things. Sometimes it's just what's needed.


  1. That picture of little Eileen certainly is interesting. Thank you for sharing that. I like to "read" faces too. Old pictures are often engaging--there's a magazine here in the US called Reminisce. It's chock full of pictures that readers submit. Many black and white, some colored slide prints. I always study the faces first; they tell their own storis.

  2. Eileen looks like she was a sweet girl! Hopefully she had a great life. :) Love your new bags!! That little bunny is so cute!! Have a great day!! xo Heather

  3. Interesting photo and like you, I would be wondering what happened to her. Love the bags.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  4. Your Happy Shoppers really cute, I like the bright floral one. x

  5. Such a touching picture of little Eileen. Loving the shoppers too, the rose fabric is just gorgeous!
    Victoria xx

  6. That's so sad! Poor little Eileen, I hope she's had a lovely life xx
    Absolutely love your shoppers too! Have a lovely day, Claire xx

  7. Ah, that photo, hospitals were such awful places for children in those days...and right up into the fifties. Despite the care and often affection given by the nurses, hospital policy was based on warped philosophy, which dictated that seeing their parents would only upset the children - of course it did, but you can recover from that; NOT seeing them at all was much more traumatic, and those children were often in hospital for weeks on end. Yes, let's hope it was a happy ending for her.
    Love the bags, I have an acre of fabric sitting here, and had meant to make some for the craft fair this weekend but time got the better of me....perhaps next time! They are rather cheerful!

  8. Poor little Eileen - I wonder what happened to her; she looks so confused. Your fabric is lovely and the polka dots really set the whole thing off nicely. I'll pop over and see your shelves now - hope you've dusted them!!

  9. My father tells tales about spending months in hospital during the war. He was very small and had nothing wrong with him beyond being a diphtheria carrier ... he had an awful time, with as Lynne says only occasional visits from family/people he knew. I do hope Eileen fared better.

    Loving the bags :D

  10. Gorgeous bags Mrs B - I love the first one and with polka dots too. I think they will go down very well indeed.

    The postcard is lovely too - I wonder how things turned out in the end.

    Nina x

  11. I have been making those bags as well, though with a few adjustments. I love how they work up so quickly and are perfect for getting a handle on the vintage sheet/pillowcase stash.
    I love that little bunny under the photo: did you make him?

  12. oh knickers, I'd have loved to have bought your gorgeous flowery bag with the spotty lining Lisa but I guess someone else will just have to enjoy its loveliness as its already gaawn! :o(
    I too have had a spotty obsession, I've found several photos of me as a youngster in spotty dresses, funny how it stays with you. Thanks for the little bit of info about that lovely photograph, I've seen the image before and now I know her name, poor little mite.
    I do so love your blog y'know. xx

  13. how wonderful- i see its been sold like hot cakes- good sign ;0) lovely fabrics!!!!! and the leaping hares on the shelf- love, love ,love ;0)xx

    happy weekender buns xxxx

  14. Little Eileen looks a little forlorn. My Aunt was in hospital for a long time as a child and my nan used to tell me that she was only allowed to visit once in a blue moon but the hospital put updates on the children's conditions/progress in the local newspaper. How times have changed. Love your bags I have these on my mental to do list I am loving the Liberty Book it is full of great projects isn,t it. Might have to get the machine out. Fun times.

  15. Love the bags and the postcard of little Eileen's haunting isn't it ... yes, I hope she had a happy ending and is still with us enjoying life :)


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Bobo X

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