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Please feel free to browse my ramblings below and leave a comment if you like, they are most appreciated.
Jo xx

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Another vintage mannequin

Another vintage mannequin to add to the collection. This time I bought a vintage child mannequin which I am told is very rare.
I love these old mannequins but they are so expensive now. I have displayed an antique white christening gown on the mannequin. It has the most minute cutwork and white embroidery on it and must have taken a very skilled seamstress hours to do.

New Vintage eiderdown cupboard

Here is my latest acquisition, I saw it on the vintage Home website and just knew it had to come home to me. After much begging and a 70 mile trip for hubby from his work in Middlesex it did come home and I love it. I cannot believe someone has taken the time to cover a cupboard in lovely eiderdown fabric and so beautifully to. I am going to use it for display on my stand at the vintage fairs I am attending.

Vintage Fairs

Here is a selection of some of my items I am taking to the vintage fairs I am attending - the first one is at Derby University on Sunday 28th February (a late booking I might add), more details can be found at www.vintagefair.co.uk. My next fair is next Sunday, 7th March in Manchester, more details can be found at www.discovervintage.co.uk. These are the first two fairs I have ever attended since setting up Hesta Nesta and I am hoping to have got the balance right. It is so hard to price things when you make them, you have to be so careful not to over charge or under charge, my tendency is to under charge as I am never sure if my handmade items will sell. I am really looking forward to setting up the stall as well. The problem with being on line is that you never get to display your items, only for the pictures. I enjoy playing shops and setting up the display. I think it is also nice for people to be able to handle the items rather than see them on a flat computer screen. It is also good to get some feedback from people as to what they want to see.
The photograph above is of my patchwork bag I have made today. Mum gave me two bamboo handles and I decided to have a go at making a bag, something I have never attempted before. I am rather proud of it as it took a lot of work and several pricked fingers as the majority of it had to be hand stitched due to the thickness of the quilt patches.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Klaus and Thyme

Klaus our big fluffy tabby in my shopping basket. He has a thing about baskets and loves to squeeze himself into them. Above is Thyme, the house tortoise helping himself to the dog biscuits!

Elvis the PAT Pug

More pet pics. This is Elvis on my day bed. He has begun his duties as a Pets As Therapy dog in a local old peoples home and they love him. The other picture is of Lily sitting with him on the day bed in the conservatory.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Here come the girls

Here are our girlies, this picture was taken before we had six hens. Their names are Hilda, Evadne (after Hinge and Bracket), Doris, Vi, Betty and Clara (nasty bird). Hilda and Evadne are getting on a bit now, but Hilda is still the top bird! I can't wait until the garden looks like this again. Pictured above is their home, complete with picket fence.

Where it all happens

Here is my little summerhouse (in the summer), not the Arctic conditions we are all experiencing at the moment. I really love this little place, away from the house, but close enough, where I can keep all of my sewing stuff and clutter. Andy built it and painted it for me and ran electricity down to it. I can sew in the winter as well as I have a heater that keeps it nice and cosy. It really is a little haven where I can sit and sew and listen to my pink Roberts radio (radio 2 of course). It wasn't expensive and it is amazing what a bit of paint and wooden roofing tiles can do to change the look of a rather ordinary summerhouse.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Quilts, quilts and more quilts

Here is a selection of some of my vintage quilts, there are too many to photograph. The third one down is the most delicious original vintage toile de jouy double quilt, it is in the most beautiful raspberry red and cream. I love this old toile it is really stunning. I am meant to be parting with some of my collection, and believe me I do let some go, but I always manage to fill the gap with another.

Dining room

Here is one of the original cast iron ranges that survived from the cottage. Our house was originally two cottages, but joined in the 1980's. The couple who renovated them managed to save this range, but unfortunately the other disintegrated. Excuse the b****y awful decor but that is going this year along with the hideous carpets. Although the cottage was a homage to the 80's when we bought it the couple who had renovated it had saved all the period features including the original sash windows. The only thing that could not be saved was the original wooden floor which was so damaged it was beyond repair, we are going to reinstate oak flooring when we have the downstairs re done this year. On the fire place is part of my much prized collection of Sir Winston Churchill memorabilia, I absolutely adore him, this country needs him now!!
The other picture is of our 18th century court cupboard, and 19th century Gothic sanctuary lamp as well as assorted reminders of the 21st century (my husbands work lap top!)

Bathroom piccie

Lovely vintage Union Jack Cushions on our bathroom chair. Even a quilt has somehow made it into the bathroom.

Award winning bathroom

We are very proud of our bathroom. In August of 2008 we installed a Victorian canopy bath (well our builders did) and completed a major overhaul of the bathroom. It was an absolute nightmare and very stressful but worth it in the end. We decided to enter the Period Living readers awards and to cut a long story we won the best room makeover. We have won a weekend away and a spread in the magazine which was last month, the issue just gone.

Our cottage

Here are some pictures of the inside of our cottage. My beloved Aga that I dreamt of owning for years and years. I never thought I would actually ever own one but here it is. We don't know how we managed without one, they are wonderful. The kitchen was installed 2 1/2 years ago. The tiles behind the Aga were made by a fantastic ceramics artist from Suffolk called Tina Hannay, she and her partner came for the weekend to put up the panel and the other tiles we commissioned from her. She really is the most fabulous artist and they are both really lovely people. To see her work go to www. onesuffolk.co.uk, you can't fail to be impressed.

More Easter bunnies

I have been busy again after having a really bad week with my on going anxiety problems!! Enough of the horrid stuff, here is my latest bunny, this time I have been brave and made her in a tipped mohair. Hubby and I went to see a lovely lady who makes artist bears and other assorted animals to buy some mohair from her. I felt I needed to see the mohair and get an idea of what pile I wanted rather than just buy it over the internet. Rita was very helpful and suggested the short pile tipped mohair. Bunny is also dressed in a vintage eiderdown fabric pinafore and hat, her ears are also lined in the same fabric. I now have grand designs on making her a jacket to complete the look. The cushion behind her is also one of my latest creations. My sewing keeps me sane!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Solomon and Donald

Whilst I was taking my piccies this evening I thought I'd better include Solomon my beloved 24" Steiff Bear who is a whopping 102 years old. He was a present from my gorgeous husband in 2004 when I graduated with an Honours Degree. We travelled all the way to Sussex to pick him up and he came from a lovely lady called Hazel who deals in Old and Antique Bears from her website called 'Old bear scene'. He was a fantastic gift and I will never part with him, as he means so much to me. He is usually kept in a cabinet with my other vintage bears, but is occasionally allowed out to sit on our bed. His companion is Donald McDougal a smaller Steiff bear from 1910 who belonged to a Scottish family. Don't they make a lovely pair?

New naughties from 'The Snug'

This gorgeous Barbola mirror came from my friends shop 'The Snug', I loved it as soon as I saw it. It is quite a large mirror with a stand at the back. I really do love these mirrors. I also bought from her a little vintage Dorothy Bag in a lovely fabric, a vintage hankie case, a small quilted dressing table mat and a gorgeous length of vintage fabric that looks as though it has come from a 1930's Oriental inspired dressing gown. It is very sheer but I think I can make some cushions and lavender bags from it.

Vintage shopping

Here is my gem that I found in Totnes this weekend. I had literally parked 'The Beast' (as my black Chrysler 300c , the other man in my life!!) is affectionately referred to, and made the short trip across to the market square when I spotted this beautiful mirror with sconces. I just fell in love and everything else just blurred into insignificance when I set eyes upon it!! I am a real sucker for anything with cherubs on it, and I just knew that this was a real one off piece. It does have some damage but I don't care as it makes it all the more interesting. I think it may be French, although I am not sure. I didn't quite have enough money on me so I literally ran to the cashpoint and hoofed it back to the stall where, alas, it was being admired by someone else, my heart sank. Thankfully the lady was just a looker and I pounced on it as soon as it was placed back on the stall. I am in love!!!!!!!!!!!!

Homespun Easter Bunting

I have just returned from Devon where we celebrated my Nans 90th Birthday. It was a lovely day and wonderful to see members of my family that I don't get to see very often as they are scattered across the country. It really was a perfect day, and my Nan was rather overwhelmed by all the attention. Whilst I was in Devon I managed to sneak in some shopping for vintage goodies. I always make a bee line for Ashburton and Totnes where I am always assured of success!! My friend, Ros, runs a wonderful shop called 'The Snug'. It is a veritable treasure trove full of eiderdowns, vintage linens and fabrics, vintage costume, jewellery, china, the list is endless!! I can recommend a visit if ever you are in South Devon, and you will receive the warmest of welcomes from her, she really is a lovely person. The shop is to die for, and there are vintage naughties to suit all pockets. When I can work out how to get the piccies from my sons computer I will post some on my blog for you all to see just how wonderful the shop is.
I have been busy making since my return, and the above picture is of some Spring/Easter bunting made from a damaged vintage tablecloth, very simple to make and very quick and easy. I have also made a couple of cushions and lavender filled embroidered pillows to sell at my first vintage fair on the 7th March.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Here are my two homespun Easter bunnies made by my own fair hand! I have really enjoyed making them, I do love a challenge. I am thinking now of making them tiny vintage quilts. I am busy collecting and making vintage bits and pieces with an Easter theme in readiness for the Discover Vintage Fair that I am attending on March the 7th in Manchester.
Quick update 8/02/10 - Sold Big bunny at the weekend, a lovely lady fell in love and bought her!!

Vintage Bunnies

Here is a lovely group of Easter Bunnies to remind us that Easter is just around the corner. I have been busy sewing for the last two days making the two bunnies in the left of the picture. I am really pleased with my first attempts and am feeling really smug!! It took a great deal of blood, sweat and tears ( and some swearing) to get them just right. The smaller of the two is dressed in a Vintage French Vichy check pinafore with vintage faded roses fabric bloomers. The larger of the two has Vintage eiderdown fabric bloomers and a pinafore made from a vintage pastel quilt that was my pride and joy until it fell apart. In the background of the picture is my wonderful Nan who sadly died in 1990. She was about seventeen when this picture was taken so it is circa 1926. The other two bunnies are vintage, the smaller one is circa 1910, and the larger is French and dates from the 1930's. I normally collect vintage teddies but do have a weakness for bunnies.