Wednesday, 23 November 2011

"It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas"

Not really and I'm the average ostrich when it comes to buying presents, planning Christmas cooking etc but the house is being trimmed early in honour of my weekend open house. In the 90s I embraced Christmas decorating in all its excesses....Christmas cushions, lighting features, huge swags and garlands and the handmade fairies which did a lot to launch my business.
Now, however, I prefer more incidental decorating; jugs of holly and ivy, jars filled with Christmas coloured fabrics, linen sacks with a red stripe used as a table runner for instance, stone jars with hyacinths ready to bloom at Christmas and eucalyptus leaves with their great scent.

The fairies of course still feature and pop up on mantelpieces as well as the tree.

This year I've made the most of my hydrangea blooms; the colder weather has made the pink blooms turn a gorgeous deep red and they look great against spruce whether artificial or real. The pink/beige colour and great shape of this jug is a perfect foil for the flowers.

I have a great selection of enamel jugs and they are perfect for tall arrangements of holly branches. The narrow necks support the stems so you don't need a lot of foliage.

 I love both the simple white and Christmas green jugs but these blue jugs look fabulous with red berries.

I've made some Christmas stockings from a piece of patchwork quilt and trimmed them with Christmas labels.
I love the softly faded mauves and rusts, not the obvious Christmas choice but great with scarlet.

My little french cart looks perfect next to a similar coloured jug and under the red Amish star.
I couldn't resist this beautifully made toy truck..fill with small gifts for a small child

I've framed a 50s school poster which I think would work well as a centrepiece on a Christmas mantel

These small trees look good on mantels or side tables..try a pair on your frontstep. This one looks perfect in classic French confit pot

A group of Christmas coloured textiles, add a punch of bright red to your Christmas sofa or green check for the kitchen table. This beautiful French lentil sack makes an oversized cushion but is lovely as a kitchen wall hanging. Very rustic cushions from a grain sack work well on a wooden bench with jug of holly.

Do hope some of you will make it to my sale this Friday and Saturday; try your first mince pie (off to make them now) and a glass of mulled wine. Just e mail for more details of the sale and about items seen on this page

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

return to blogland

What a relief to return to the virtual world of blogland; I've missed composing and reading.
However ,an almost back to back succession of fairs, (including 2 running concurrently..thanks to my lovely husband who manned the stall in my absence ) has simply eaten up every waking minute.
I think I can now load, unload, pack and bring home the stock in my sleep not to mention extol the virtues of vintage fabrics but ,most tiring of all, those hours spent not selling because the customers aren't buying.
Its been a hard couple of weeks with the prevailing economic gloom palpable and I've found myself less willing to buy from other stalls because I'm unsure of my own takings.
How I wish there could be a moratorium on economic stories until Christmas is over just to see if this would kickstart the recovery.

Sorry to be so gloomy and I can't imagine not doing what I do now so its a case of getting on with it!
My current obsession is with glass jars. I've collected lovely green French confit jars for some years now but recently bought their clear equivalent.

I filled the jars with scraps of vintage fabrics, particularly in reds, greens and blues hoping they could sell as Christmas decorations..and they did.
Sadly forgot to take any photos but I've spent this afternoon filling more.

These are the beautiful turquoise Ball jars from America so I've chosen strong colours to show through the glass. The jars were used as our Kilner jars to preserve fruit,chutneys etc in rural America. They can be dated by the lettering but even the newest have survived since 1937 when production ceased.

The unusual colour was a product of the sand from Lake Michigan which was used in the glass manufacture.
Hopefully these will tempt the vintage Christmas shopper.

I've also had a relaxing few hours making lavender parcels whilst catching up with the i player; the perfect old meets new combo. These were also good sellers last weekend.
And finally that challenge to the car packer..the standard lamp. I will be taking one to Holmepierrepont Hall on Thursday; no room for passengers I'm afraid, but lovely to see anyone whos in the Nottingham area. details to the left of this piece.

Thanks for letting me have a moan!