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

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Cotswold Vintage Fair

It was the first Cotswold Vintage Fair yesterday, and what a huge success it was.  The fair was held in the lovely village of Toddington in Gloucestershire, not far from Cheltenham.  The hall was a lovely light airy venue for the fair and it was superbly organised by Tonia.  There were quite a number of different stands all selling the most delicious vintage wares that I have ever set eyes upon.  I had a large stand and was really pleased with how well I did and the positive feedback received from people.  It was also lovely to meet fellow Blogger Ali Hocking from Betty and Violet who had a stand next to her Mum who was selling lovely vintage jewellery.  Ali had some lovely hand made treasures and also some gorgeous hand made candles, made by a friend of hers.  I love meeting people who you converse with on line.  The only slight down side (if it can be called that) is that the fair was very full, space was quite limited around the stands, and it was quite difficult not to encroach on your neighbour - but having said that, everyone I spoke to had done really well, and the customers were full of praise for the quality of the fair.  I was also very naughty (as usual!!), I only made it round half the fair before I ran out of money!!

My haul!!

Two beautiful vintage fabric cushions bought from Heather at Hellish Designs.  Heather specialises in yummy French fabrics and makes cushions, lampshades, peg bags etc..  I think she left with a lot less than she had brought with her yesterday!!

I also couldn't resist this beautiful lamp base and lamp shade also from Heather - the vintage hat box was also bought from her.

I also purchased some gorgeous vintage French fabric, red white and blue ribbon and some yummy little lavender filled sachets - in the most gorgeous scrummy faded fabrics and smelling divine!!

Aren't they scrummy?

It really was one of the prettiest fairs I have ever been to and the good news is, is that another one is planned for November, so make a date in your diaries!  I will let you know via my Blog when it is.  Hope you are all enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend.
Jo xx

Thursday, 26 August 2010

New finds from my South west buyer and a trip to Devon

Mum has been very busy on my behalf, finding some lovely vintage treasures.

This is only a fraction of what she has found, we didn't have enough room to lay everything out!!

The Crinoline lady tray will be a hard one to part with, and I am going to keep one of the tapestry kits to finish myself as I have never done a tapestry before and fancied having a go.

More lovelies!!

As you can imagine it took us ages to pack away ready for the Cotswold Vintage Fair I am doing this Saturday - am really looking forward to it.

These are the keepers!!  The lovely Barbola mirror came from a car boot of all places.  The little 50's Rosebud doll came from a lovely lady Mum knows, it is still in the original box.  I know she is meant to be for Christmas but I can't bear to put her away.

Mum has done a fab job finding some really lovely treasures for me to put on my stand at the fairs.  I am back down in Devon on the 9th of October at another vintage fair being held in Totnes (a real must for any vintage addicts like myself!!)  this is being organised by Lesley from This 'n' That, see her blog spot for more information,  thisnthat-totnes.blogspot.com.  I had the pleasure of meeting Lesley and she is such a lovely person, and her shop is a real treasure trove of vintage finds.  I also dropped in to see my friend Ros in Ashburton who along with Mandy runs 'The Snug'.  Some of you who live in the South West will know her shop, but for those of you who don't it is a wonderful little vintage shop crammed with fabulous vintage finds.  I have known Ros for many years and she is such a lovely person with a great eye for vintage textiles - well worth a visit if you stop in Ashburton, I can promise you won't be disappointed.  Oh, and yes, I did buy some goodies from her, I will show them on another post.
Have a great weekend everyone, let's hope the sun shines.
Jo xx

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

'Garlands Galore'

During my nursing career in the late eighties and nineties I had the privilege to care for many varied and interesting people, some of whom I remember quite vividly.  One such person was Hugo Irwin, quite a frail elderly gentleman whom I nursed on a care of the elderly ward during the last week of my training back in January of 1991. He was still a dapper and very well spoken man even though he was in his early eighties.  He had led an exciting and full life and had decided to put pen to paper and recount these tales.  In 1930 he was posted to India with the oil company he worked for.  His book 'Garlands Galore' recounts his early years at Repton Public School (which incidentally is not far from where I live) and then various jobs he did before arriving in Madras.  This book is like a window on a world long gone and I feel very lucky to have a copy.  He called the book 'Garlands Galore' because of the many garlands placed around his neck to welcome him to various places as he travelled around India.

This is a picture of the front cover with Hugo seated with his two bearers standing behind him.  Unusually for the time, he embraced the Indian culture whole heartedly and his first wife was an Indian lady.

The book is a real history of how India was under British rule in the 30's and it's subsequent independence in 1947.  His life out there was fantastic, the British were treated like Royalty, and even though he enjoyed this aspect of it he also mixed with the Indians, and was genuinely interested in their culture and way of life.  He was the only white man to sit on the Bombay Municipal Corporation when he moved to Bombay, and was the only civilian to be asked by the famous Poona horse to go pig-sticking!!  He turned down becoming Mayor of Bombay to join the RAF as a co-pilot in readiness for the war.  As you can see he led an interesting    and busy life which carried on in to his old age.  He took up flying again at the age of 65, and also gliding at the age of 67!!

Hugo in the 30's

Some of his escapades!!

One of the other student nurses knew him quite well as she lived near him and she came to visit him on the ward.  He asked her to bring in some copies of his book so he could give them to the staff on the ward.  I was lucky to receive one which he duly signed for me, and it is one of my most treasured possessions.  I feel really privileged to have nursed this fascinating man, and to have shared some of his amazing stories from long ago.  I only wish we had had more time to sit and chat as the ward was so busy, and my nursing duties prevented this.  Sadly, I found out a few years later that he had died, but what a legacy he left behind.  I feel quite sad that people from these generations are mostly passed on now, and all those memories have died with them, so this book is a wonderful testament to his life and a world sadly long gone.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Smug person in the House

Feeling very pleased with myself today.  Take one copy of Homes and Antiques (September issue), one vintage travelling trunk, some fabric, PVA glue, scissors, marking pens, tracing paper, some swearing (in fact a lot of SWEARING!!) and here you have one fabric covered trunk, not bad eh??, well not bad for someone who usually creates a balls-up!!

Normally I cannot be trusted to follow even the simplest of instructions so I have surpassed myself this time.  I have used some vintage fabric and some cabbages and roses fabric as I didn't want to use up all my vintage stash as this requires quite big pieces.  It was very fiddly to do and I would recommend doing it outside as it does create a mess (another thing I do well)

I must confess it isn't quite finished yet as I still have the side pieces to do, but the main part is done (and I had run out of expletives to use - I am quite sure my neighbours have learnt some new words today!)  Joking apart, I have had great fun today and recommend anyone having a go if you have an old trunk that needs revamping.  Hope you are all having a great week so far.
Jo xx

Friday, 6 August 2010

Victoriana, More flags and a lovely pair of legs

Am back again, after a busy week, hope you are all Ok and looking forward to the weekend.

I have been at it again with the flags, can't get enough of them.  We bought a lovely Victorian cast iron table at the local car boot and I have had one of my visions!!  We didn't like the top so we are going to use my flag to cover it and then get a piece of glass made for the top to hold it in situ, and then hopefully we will have a new drinks table in between the sofa and the chair.  As the cottage is Victorian we have gone a little mad on the Victoriana front.  We have an original Gothic revival sanctuary lamp made in the style of Pugin that we wanted to be a centrepiece in the dining room so we found an original Gothic cast iron ceiling rose to go with it - we did love giving the builders headaches!!

The ceiling rose was a bit of a nightmare to put up, especially on a newly plastered ceiling.  The wall lights also arrived from Dublin last week.  They are a pair of original Victorian gas lamps that have been converted to electricity and are absolutely stunning.  They depict mythical winged men with fish tails holding up the lamps.  They thankfully arrived intact, and we love them.

We are really pleased with how the whole room is coming together.  We have also decided on shutters rather than curtains as we think it would be such a shame to cover up the original sash windows that have been revamped, so we have to wait a bit longer to be completely finished.  I also had to part with my much loved antique Toile de Jouy bed cover to fund the finishing touches, it still tugs at the heart strings a bit!!  But I know the quilt has gone to a good home, and the lady who bought it absolutely loves it.

To finish, I thought you would like to see my new pair of legs!! (I wish)

Have a great weekend everyone. xx