Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Upfront but impersonal

The weekend fair in Whixley went extremely well thanks to Polly's hard work advertising and signposting. It's a convenient location just off the A59 between York and Harrogate so lots of customers called in out of interest having seen the sign. I was sorry not to see several loyal customers, though, and wondered whether it was this different venue or just other commitments which kept them away.

First sale of the day was this very pretty doll's highchair
Over the 2 days with return journeys home and to my daughter's house in Leeds I calculate I covered almost 500 miles and almost emptied a full tank of diesel, no small consideration these days.
In fact I was praying not to have to refuel as it was almost exactly a year ago following another successful Country Chic fair that I accidentally filled my lovely diesel Saab with petrol and ended up returning home in a tow truck!

Soft faded florals are favourites at this fair
In the earlier days of my business I relied on my husband to help with the weekend fairs; navigating, driving, unloading and reloading at the various venues. He filled the hours of the fair playing golf in any nearby course which would have him. The downside of course was that his rather large bag with clubs had to be accommodated alongside the stock, taking up valuable space.
And then I decided to bravely go.. alone. In fact I'm fairly sure it coincided with the purchase of a sat nav.
And so no more golf clubs and more to the point no more front seat passenger..a huge space to fill with stock particularly that of the more awkward size and dimensions. I recall a Lloyd Loom chair on one occasion although extracting it on arrival was somewhat tricky

More often though I've been accompanied by my mannequin. I make aprons and sometimes sell linen smocks or vintage dresses and these are much better displayed on a dummy than simply folded. We were recalling at the weekend how lone women drivers were advised to put a blow up doll in the front seat to discourage attackers after a motorway murder. I'm not sure how convincing my headless dummy is but you probably wouldn't want to tangle with a woman who travels with one would you?

At present though the most likely "passenger" is a standard lampshade or two. I couldn't believe how huge these could  be when I first started to make them and realised they took almost half of the space in the back. Wedged in the front seat, taking care not to obscure the wing mirror, they are much more manageable.
I've just covered 3 frames with different fabrics. This textured white linen is always a favourite and is equally lovely in a sitting room or bedroom.

I've just acquired a huge piece of this soft linen ticking, enough for a couple of large shades. Really like this shape with a large mother of pearl button trim

Classic mangle cloth stripe is a perennial favourite.

Lots more shades and bases so do email if you want images; the standard lamps and shades are typically £80 complete or £48 shade only. I've been hoarding some enormous boxes to courier these shades but of course they make the perfectly behaved passenger if you collect.


  1. I would love to see your work, your cushions are simply divine!!! Are you planning any fairs near to Stamford, South Lincs again soon?

    1. Hi
      Yes I'm booked to do a fair in Stamford on Sat June 2nd. Looking forward to it as its organised by Ann & Trevor and their fairs are always really friendly. Will let you have more details very soon
      Hope to see you there!

  2. Some lovely shades! PLease put the mannequin on the passenger sheet next to you, if only to scare people in traffic with the headless wonder!

    1. A cruel trick! Am thinking might try dressing her up with my Michael Jackson hat

  3. I remember us talking about this lovely chair at Antiques Textile Fair, Manchester. So glad its found a new home for itself.
    One I Made Earlier Today.

  4. yes I think its found a perfect home, rather miss it on the stall though. Never satisfied am I