My Blog List

Monday, 29 April 2013

Village auction

I recently went to a village auction. I have two sales coming up and thought I might just top up my stock, but I only had a very small amount of money to spend. You know how when you're not expecting something to be good and it turns out to be a little bit awesome? It was one of those. I bought:

* a large batch of linen which contained three of these children's smock dresses, all hand made, quite worn and much patched and intricately darned, but so very beautiful (to me anyway). I think they are Victorian.

The shape looks strange because of my coat hanger. 
* I also bought a huge solid stone planter (photos to follow) which nearly broke the suspension on my car, two huge wooden letter racks, some china and this pair:

They came with a large batch of china dogs. My family could not see the appeal, but I quite like them.
I'm getting my stock ready in spare hours snatched here and there.

I have lots and lots of fabric, I had no idea that I'd stashed so much away. I am making a patchwork with some of it, but there's plenty over to sell and then some...

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Trolley transformed

I found this trolley in Age Concern last year. It was only £4.99 and I loved the shape and the handles. It's very plain, and solid. Of course, it didn't look quite like this when I acquired it. 

I wanted to wait until it was sunny so I could take it outside and paint it. 

I can't keep this, much as I love it, so it will be coming to my two sales which are planned for May. One is on the 6th, and the other is on the 11th.

I feel like Mrs Overall as I trundle it from room to room.

It's a busy week. I was in Sheffield on Monday doing an interview, and my son and I went to Manchester yesterday so he could have another look at the university. It's decision time, and revision time in our house. Student finance and all the things that go with it. Exciting and daunting and quite stressful at times. 
It's good to be able to retreat into some making from time to time....

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sunshine and a little flower

I saw a really beautiful quote in the newspaper yesterday from Hans Christian Anderson. It says:

"Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."

I love that. So I took time today to plant up this old toffee tin with pansies while feeling the sun on my back in the garden.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Spring is springing

I've had a busy week again, but today I took a day away and met my oldest friend for our annual catch up at Kelmarsh Hall. The gardens are trying so hard to burst into life, although there were more buds than flowers. But it was, and always is, very beautiful. 

These Snakehead Fritillaries were out, and they are amazing. I find them a little bit creepy as they really are a bit reptillian. I can't help imagining what they would be like if they were Triffid-sized.

My friend and I are both celebrating our 50ths this year. We met when we were four, and although she moved far away from our village when she was 11, we kept in touch by letter, and often holidayed with each other.
Through the years, we've met up, not always very often, but we just slot into conversation as if we'd just left each other the day before. C had made up a big book for my birthday, containing some of the letters that I had sent her. It was hilarious to read over them. We were really struck by our innocence. At the age of 14 and 15, we were still rattling on to each other about ponies, guinea pigs and Snoopy cartoons. It did feel like looking into another world, but I suppose every generation feels that way. 
Anyway, it was a lovely day. 
Back soon.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Table talk

Last year, I was out and about in a pretty little town called St Ives, Cambridgeshire. I wandered into an auctioneer's yard and I spotted a little red table which had been dumped in the bargain buys area. I fell in love with its 1950s vibe and I bought it for a couple of pounds. I don't really know why, because it does not fold down and it's quite hard to store. Worse still, I let it get wet and when I fished it out of the back of the shed the other day, it looked like this:

Oh dear, Warped and a bit mouldy. I was cross with myself for not keeping it dry. Anyway, although I knew I couldn't sell it, I still wanted to give it some TLC and see if I could bring it back to life so I can use it in the garden in the summer. I used oilcloth bought from the market; there is a great stall that sells it at a fraction of CK's prices.
So, after a bit of stapling and superglue-ing, I've given it a facelift. 

It's still quite tatty, and needs a blast of hot sunshine to dry it out, but it's given it a new lease of life.

* I probably would have kept the red formica top, but it was cracked and peeling away, so it had to be recovered.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Makes and buys

This tiny glass fronted cupboard is a tobacco cabinet, according to the man on the market who sold it to me. It was very battered when I bought it, in an unappealing brown wood, under years of grime. I took it home, cleaned it thoroughly and gave it a coat of Annie Sloan chalk paint. I made a little rose curtain for the front panel and lined the inside with wallpaper and an old map. This is destined for my annual sale on May 6th.

There is a small side bar, with slots for cigars. But I think paintbrushes would be better.

I love the bobbly trim. Wow, it felt good to be doing a bit of making. I have been on a series of deadlines, badly timed for the Easter holidays. It's such a relief to have finished for a few days. I popped into our nearest town today with my son and I found a few small buys. These shoes are from a shop called QS. They were £5.99 and have more than a bit of Cath about them.

I have never worn a pair of heels in my life, and I particularly love plimsolls and variations on them. I also found this satchel. 

I fell in love with it, and convinced myself it would be great for work, toting my notebooks around.

I bought some very pretty oil cloth as well, which is going to be used for a table makeover. I'm hoping to do it this weekend, when hopefully, I will be back on my blog a bit more frequently than I have been recently.

Have a great weekend. 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

The first boot of spring

A great forecast was predicted, so my eldest son and I set our alarms for the first car boot sale of the season. We had to scrape frost from the car windscreen, but the sun was showing through at 7am. There weren't many hardy car boots at the field, but we had a very pleasant mooch, and I re-met some stallholder friends from past years.
My son found a stash of 1960s Pelican books, so I bought a few of those. I like the colours and typefaces.

My son bought a lovely old edition of a John Steinbeck novel and also a nice copy of Breakfast at Tiffanys. He wants to study American literature at uni, so he's stockpiling some classics.
We were just leaving, and I must admit I was feeling slightly disappointed by my small haul, when I saw this hanging on a van door:

A lovely washed and faded linen Brora dress. I snapped it up for £4 and it's now hanging on the washing line in the sun. Haven't actually tried it on yet, I hardly dare incase it is too small, but my fingers are crossed. 
P.S It does fit! Very happy. I can't eat any biscuits for the next year now, but that's fine :)

* I love my copy of a book called The English Village. I'll be watching the BBC serial The Village tonight, too, although I did find the first episode very depressing. I loved The Great British Sewing Bee, however. Although I don't like the way that TV turns everything into a competition, I just like seeing people creating things, and I have a major crush on the 81 year old Anne, with her amazing sewing skills and stylish wardrobe.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Sunny Hunny

A beautiful cold, clear day on the East coast, at Old Hunstanton. We visited my father-in-law, made him lunch and then spring cleaned the house, shining his windows and tidying the garden. He is 95 years old and very spry, but appreciates a little help. Afterwards, we went to the beach, to blow the cobwebs away. It was freezing, but so beautiful with those big skies and endless sands.

I know this stretch of coastline very well now, and never tire of it.

I love these beach huts. They are tucked away behind the dunes. Even when it's very cold and blowy, like today, there is always shelter here. I could feel the warm sun on my face. The boys (all three) were pounding a football on the beach, and I wandered off for a while....

Saw this...I wonder how much it is? Probably more than my house cost....

The thing that puzzles me is that I hardly ever see anyone in their beach hut. If I had one of these, I'd be there all the time (I know you're not allowed to sleep in them). I can't think of anything nicer than spending my days here. Some sandwiches, a flask, sketch books, a novel, maybe some sewing....and plenty of blankets.

Lovely to see the sun...and to have a whole family trip, which doesn't happen so much these days.