Wednesday 26 February 2014

Spring open house this weekend

I'm busy preparing for the first open house of the year. Its been 3 months since my last sale here so plenty of time to sew new designs and collect some lovely vintage finds
On this occasion I've several pieces of furniture as well as the usual smaller items, hope they'll find new homes.

This set of shelves is beautifully painted and is the perfect size to easily display some treasures.

 Particularly like the yellow theme that developed as I arranged my wares

Its a beautiful sunny day here complaints but makes photographing the sitting room more tricky..I've a lovely old French table for sale next to a standard lamp with white linen shade.

A very pretty enamel coffee pot with tulips. Its a good time of year to decorate with flowers;

hyacinths in pots and as cut flowers

I picked up a pretty little French mirror, these are perfect for propping on shelves or in a small corner

This small cupboard is so pretty..would be a perfect bathroom cupboard or placed on a table as here.
Another larger mirror seen behind is also for sale

Some lovely French toiles made into cushions
Do come if you can between 10-9pm on Friday and 10-4pm on Saturday
On Saturday evening I'll be packing the car for Manchester the following day where I'll be standing at the textile society fair in Fallowfield.(more details on the left)

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Isolated in a desert

First, apologies to those of you who struggled to follow my last post with its enormous images. I was feeling pleased with myself as I downloaded an app which promised to allow me to blog and upload images from my new fabulously stylish i pad, that was until I viewed the results.
I was reminded of my grandma's words; "if it sounds too good to be true it generally is" and so this week I'm back to my much less flash laptop with pictures resized hopefully to fit
But first a link to another blog. My younger son who now earns his living as a journalist began his writing career with an inventive music fanzine, Shadowplay, which morphed as technology emerged into a blog of the same name. His latest cyber venture is this desert isolation disc blog, no relation to a long running similarly named programme, in which he quizzes friends, family and music acquaintances on their choices for listening whilst isolated in the desert.  We spent a fun afternoon during the Christmas holidays recording my choices but you can find lots more on the blog. Hope you enjoy!
My return to the vintage fair circuit last weekend went well and it was lovely to meet up with the many lovely people I've got to know in the Wisborough Green area.
For once I didn't want to swap my Midlands home as I passed flooded fields and overflowing rivers but was lucky to have an easy journey there and back
Just a few images of my stall last Saturday

I'll be back in Wisborough Green on March 8th and nearby Cowdray Hall on Friday and Saturday 4th and 5th April

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Time to wake up!

I almost feel like an animal emerging from hibernation as I contemplate my first fair of the year on Saturday. Moreover it's miles away in West Sussex so it really will be an early start in the deepest dark.
I do however realise how lucky I've been to enjoy a full two months break, albeit involving some sewing, but time to earn some money me thinks. I've been doing a little stocktaking and pricing so feel ready to fill the car, indeed think I'll have to restrain myself and remember it's only a 6 foot table that needs filling
I've just planted these  lovely auricula in toning cafe au lait bowls and think they will bring a taste of spring to my stand.

A larger group fill this bigger bowl which has a beautiful floral design
I found this brilliant French desk lamp which I think dates from the 60s,; it's been carefully rewired but the original matte finish and lovely old switch are untouched
I'm rather addicted to the Indian nandis, a wooden bull intended to represent the bull which carried the god Shiva. This is a lovely example painted and decorated in turquoise with lovely details
I always try to have some French plates or bowls for sale, I love using them alongside new white or cream plates as they bring real character to the table. I think this design is loosely Art Deco and matches beautifully with a very pretty French jug I also have to sell
Blue seems to be something of a theme as I've got a lovely selection of blue stripe Hungarian linen sacks. They are all lovely but I particularly like the denim blue stripe which tones so well with French ticking
Hope to see some of you at the Country Brocante in Wisborough Green village hall this Saturday 8th Feb where I'll be displaying as much as possible of the gorgeous things I've found over the last two months

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Cushions or should that be pillows

Last week lampshades, this week it's time to sew some cushions or should I be calling them pillows.  I know the Americans have always referred to those squashy things on the sofa as pillows but it was always cushions in the UK but recently I have noticed that more and more of my customers describe them as pillows. Certainly the word cushion can often be challenging to northern vowel sounds like mine and perhaps pillow sounds softer and more appropriate but then what do we call those things our heads rest on whilst in bed
Anyway to the point.... I bought some pieces of quilted toile in December and was looking forward to seeing them made up

There was one piece large enough for the front of a cushions and the other pieces have been combined with white linen

The second piece was part of a bed hanging I think and I've kept the scalloped edge to overlap the white linen although the cushion opens at the back as usual. It's a story I've come across before, Le Digit Coupe or the cut finger and shows a little boy having his injured finger bound up by an old lady
A cat features at his feet

And for dog lovers the third smaller cushion is La Bonne Nouvelle, although no text on this piece. "The good news" is being read whilst a pekenese sits at his feet

I picked up some nice pieces of French ticking; simple blue stripe with enough for a large pair of cushions. This size is almost the same as a pillow and looks good on beds.

Also a beige linen ticking, much rarer and if bigger very nice for lampshades. I've teamed the ticking with a cream vintage linen and finished the group with a large shade in this cream linen. Looks lovely lit as the cream fabric gives a warm glow

Finally a group of simple mangle cloth cushions. These linen pieces with striped edges were used to protect fragile pieces of fabric whilst being mangled and are very useful for making shades and cushions. Finished this group with a small shade with striped band

Am now working on new greetings cards as stock had become very low by the end of last year
My next open house will be at the beginning of March, slightly earlier than usual but do hope you can make it; get in touch if you need lovely to see everyone after the winter break

Tuesday 14 January 2014

new lampshades

Finally, finally I've started to sew again just when the sewing machine thought it was safe to retreat under the cover. I spent last week procrastinating; blogging, emailing, tidying drawers for heavens sake, it was beginning to look as though the oven would get a clean! And all the while that pile of expensive fabric was staring reproachfully from a corner of the room..or so it seems.
And yet as is usually the way when you confront the tasks you've put off, or swallow your frogs as a friend calls it, its not so bad after all. Sitting sewing in a sunny room with radio 4 a constant companion is not a bad life I hear you say and of course you're right. So a quick blog to show you the results..having forced myself into a small photography session of course

First up a rather smart linen ticking stripe shade which I've photgraphed on a glass base although a tall wooden column would be good for this one

I was fortunate in picking up several small floral prints in December, all perfect for shades
This is my favourite, a cream background with pink and red floral. It would be a perfect cottage lamp on a base like this

A pretty pink fabric with the flowers in cream "lozenges"

I love this pale pink sprigged fabric and have more to make up..perfect on the glass column or wooden base..see image on left

A simple linen shade has a wide band for definition

Pair of small pink Vichy check shades would look good on small pair of lamps on console or either side of bed
I'm intending to put these shades with prices on the blogshop but do get in touch via the comment section if you're interested in buying
Those that don't find a home will be coming to the Wisborough Green brocante on Feb 8th..see details to the side of this post. Weather permitting it will be the first hellish design sale of the year

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Happy New Year

A very Happy New Year to anyone who still remembers me in blogland! It's been so long since my last post that this almost seems like a visit to the confessional. I have however been posting on facebook and, over Christmas, was persuaded by my son to join Pinterest so hope you'll follow me there too.
Deep into January self denial....the usual cutdown on food and alcohol..and back to work restocking after a very busy pre Christmas period I'm busy looking for the compensations and comforts of the new year and to be honest there are plenty.
The house is calm and I'm lucky not to have a commute and if you're reading this whilst suffering from heavy rain and wind in your area then you have my sympathy; so many of my favourite parts of the country being horribly battered at present
I've wandered round the house this morning savouring the quiet after a hectic and extremely happy Christmas

Having tidied the clothes closet..on the resolution list..I found the velvet throw and the bed is lovely and cosy.

Like the chest now I've found a home for my Christmas presents

The guest room looks strangely bare as it awaits its next occupant

Our new fireplace was hardly needed over Christmas as bodies warmed the room but think it will come into its own now that January is here

Bought this glass clock to sell but here it is in pride of place...what a surprise!

Another stock item, like these wintery looking soda bottles in their original wooden case

Have decided to leave these small deer heads in place as they give a winter look to the wall

I always leave these tiny Christmas trees inside until the end of January

The house is looking cheerful thanks to gifts from family and friends..yellow roses a theme
Here toning with a favourite portrait

and here in my lovely French confit pot..found a lovely example to sell, just email if interested

Another to sell or not to that what she's pondering?
I'm planning to hold my spring open house in March but before then I'll be in Sussex and in Manchester so keep watching this space for stock and fairs updates and again a very happy and prosperous 2014

Tuesday 3 September 2013

How to display these fabulous pieces?

Several weeks ago I bought these two fabulous pieces of children's clothing; French in origin but as as to age I can only guess at sometime in the 19th century.

The workmanship is amazing particularly in the blouse/shirt. The back and front are pintucked and lined with a striped serge, the sleeves gathered and set in and a sweet stand up collar

The little waistcoat looks as though it was intended to be worn with the shirt and both appear to be the right size for a one year old.
My three year old grandson surprised me by being keen to try them on but they are far too small and truth be known far too itchy for any modern child. The rather rough wool based fabrics would have been uncomfortable next to the skin and very difficult to wash..did the toddlers of the past not vomit and spill in the same way as those in my experience do

So as they will not be used as originally intended I decided to frame them and display on a wall.
Last week I thought I had found the perfect frames, although not big enough for both the larger could contain the shirt and the smaller the waistcoat; then both would be hung side by side to show their connection.

So far so good, so far as the framer's shop! It has always been a mystery to me why some retailers would rather say no than yes but on Saturday morning we had the misfortune to meet two in the space of an hour. First the woman who took delight in telling us they didn't have what we wanted and how would she know what was in their other branch, "she wasn't there was she?"
And then the framer himself who said no he couldn't use my frames and even if I bought new from him it would be too expensive to be worthwhile...nice that he knew how to not spend my money for me!

So we're back to our usual DIY solutions but if anyone knows of a more accommodating framer perhaps you could let me know
Hopefully I'll be able to post pics of the framed items sometime in the not too distant future
You can see the clothing if you come along to my open house this Friday or Saturday and offer advice!