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

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Fantastic time in Toddington

We awoke to two inches of snow on Saturday morning and my heart sank!!  I had worked so hard for the Vintage Fair in Toddington and I wasn't about to be out done by some of the white stuff.  We decided to head off for Gloucestershire and turn back if the roads were too bad.  Thankfully they improved as we headed for the M5.  It was the first outing for my new van, a green VW Caddy automatic, I will post some pics of her at a later date.  It does mean the 'Beast' does not suffer the indignity of having boxes and mannequins stuffed into it....

I was really pleased with how my stand looked.  I have been experimenting lately with different layouts and find putting the tables back to the wall is better as customers like to walk into the stand and rummage.  

Yes I did sell the potted ivy climbing the crown, it was bought by a lovely couple.  I also sold some of my handmade goods which I am always pleased about.  The fair was lovely, and the stands were of a very high standard as always.  The flow of customers was steady throughout the day, and we still had people looking and buying as we were packing up.

My lovely friend Vicky (Vicky Loves Vintage), she makes the most wonderful cushions, peg bags, aprons and purses to name but a few out of gorgeous 50's barkcloth and cottons.  She also sells lovely 50's homewares.  I keep nagging her to start a Blog which she promises me she will get round to so I will let you all know when she does.  It was also great to catch up with some fellow Bloggers, Linda and Jake from Tabbyroo, and Becky from Purple Sparkle Crafts.

An absolutely divine little vintage fabric cushion I couldn't resist, courtesy of my friend Liz Morris.  She has the most divine stand at Barn Antiques, just outside of Stratford Upon Avon, I can recommend a visit.
It was a wonderful day and the tea room kept us all fortified with home made cakes and soups.  A big thank you to Tonia who organised yet another successful fair.

A photo of the cottage in the snow this morning, we are experiencing blizzard conditions at this very moment, and I am wrapped in a double vintage paisley eiderdown whilst typing this.  Keep warm and keep safe everyone.
Jo xx

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Charlie Bigham's Pies & a Spot of Flower Arranging

Just a quickie!!  I am cheating tonight for dinner and having a gorgeous Shepherds Pie courtesy of Charlie Bigham!!  Louis has got the equally yummy Steak and Ale pie.

Mmmmm.....can't wait!!
As well as labouring over the Aga all afternoon making these beauties :)  I have been indulging in a spot of flower arranging, well, planting up some gorgeous vintage French rusty pots that I bought ages ago on a trip to  
Devon.  I thought they rather lent themselves to some gorgeous Christmas Hyacinths covered in soft green moss.  I have also decorated the edge of the flower pot with French Vichy check and a French fabric lavender heart.  They will come with me to The Cotswold Vintage fair on Saturday and will be for sale (if I can bear to part with them).  I have also potted up a lovely Christmas Ivy in a vintage Sankey Terracotta pot and trained it up a lovely old rusty crown I have had for ages....I am really pleased with the results.

Really sweet, aren't they?

Hope you are all having a great week so far, and thank you for all the lovely comments you leave me, and a big hello to all my new followers.
Jo xx

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Latest Creations.

Here are a few of my latest creations I have been busy making ready for the Cotswold Vintage Fair next Saturday.

I must admit I am rather pleased with the French Vichy check cushions and was very tempted to keep them.  I actually plucked up the courage to use this beautiful 19th century fabric I bought from Donna when we did the fair in Totnes.  I have also been modifying a pattern to make hot water bottle covers, a bit fiddly but worth the effort.

I thought people might appreciate a hot water bottle with a vintage fabric cover, something a bit different from the norm, and lovely to snuggle up to on winter nights.

I have also found a small part of a gorgeous antique 19th century cutter quilt I bought in Devon a couple of  years ago.  I didn't realise I had any left as I had made my friend some cushions when she had her shop.  I have made a large, rather shabby cushion from a piece, and probably have just about enough to make another.

Another hot water bottle cover, this time made in a vintage quilted 50's fabric.

I still have some making to do this week in the shape of  fabric coasters filled with cinnamon and crushed cloves.  When you place your coffee mug on them the heat makes them smell lovely, very appropriate for Christmas I thought!  Hope you have all had a great weekend.
Jo xx

Sunday, 14 November 2010

On our Travels

I did promise you some pictures of Andy's 40th birthday day out, but I am afraid I only have a couple to share with you as they didn't come out as well as we thought!!

This is a view of the beautiful Autumn scenery in all it's glory as we drove into Matlock. It was quite hard to take pictures as we were driving along at the time, we should have stopped really.

The window display of Matlock Antiques and collectables.  A glorious place to visit and full of different dealers so a bit of something for everyone and every budget.  Of course we partook of what they had on offer in the shape of a vintage egg packing crate.

I am going to use this lovely old crate as part of my table display at fairs.

Two lovely vintage orchid pots.

A rather lovely vintage 50's housecoat with a teal velvet collar and cuffs (almost wish it fitted me...no chance!!)

Yummy prawn sandwiches for lunch in Bakewell.....Mmmm

Yesterday we went to Brewood (pronounced Brood) in Staffordshire to pick this beauty up for my impending birthday at the beginning of December.  I know I already have loads of mannequins but couldn't resist this beauty with her waspie waist to die for!!  Our downstairs is beginning to resemble a film set for 'Invasion of the mannequins'.

Brewood was a gorgeous village and I can thoroughly recommend a visit to this lovely antiques and collectables shop, 'Passiflora'.  Alas, these lovely little shops are becoming few and far between now as the internet takes hold and sadly this one will be closing soon as David and Paula the proprietors are retiring.  It was a treasure trove of antiques and collectables.

Andy and I couldn't resist having a little flutter as there was so many lovely things to look at, and something for every budget.  David and Paula are really lovely, homely people and you can be assured of a very warm welcome when you visit them.  They will even open the shop by appointment for you and are so flexible.  It does make me sad that these lovely old shops are slowly disappearing from our High Streets in favour of the cloned retail outlets that offer mass produced rubbish!!  We had a lovely visit and there is even a wonderful bakery and traditional butchers and grocers shop....again so rare nowadays in one village.  Even our village only has a butchers and a couple of local shops and one remaining pub left.

On a lighter note, I am pleased to report that the shabby Santa's now are sporting rather fetching beards made from the most wonderful French mohair.  The lady I ordered it from keeps her own goats and sorts and cleans the mohair by hand, it really is lovely quality.  Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend.
Jo xx

Thursday, 11 November 2010


Have had a really busy week and managed to discipline myself to do some sewing for my next fair.  The weather has been ghastly so I have locked myself indoors to make some bits and pieces for The Cotswold Vintage Fair I am attending on the 27th of November.

A selection of mini stocking decorations made from vintage French fabrics.  I still have to finish them off and they will have two candy canes in them, and can be hung on the tree.

Two larger Christmas stockings made from a vintage Durham cutter quilt and antique Toile de Jouy fabric.  They too are in need of finishing off.

Two of my shabby chic hanging Santa's that I designed and made.  I've still got some hand stitching to do on them to finish them, and they also are awaiting their beards in the shape of some rather gorgeous silky white mohair all the way from France!!  They are both made from vintage French fabrics, and I especially like the Vichy check one!!

They can be hung up as part of your seasonal display, and fit in perfectly with a folk art, shabby chic theme.

As it is Armistice day I thought I would share with you a photograph of my Great Grandad (in the front of the picture) in his Home Guard uniform.  To the left of the picture is my Great Uncle Reg who was a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy and went over on D-Day.  Apparently they took a cat over with them called Micky Finn and upon his return the cat was awarded a medal, and then the Wrens pinched him!! Sadly Uncle Reg died last year.  To the right is my Great Uncle Les who was in the Paratroopers during the war, and I remember him saying he never did know how he did all those parachute jumps...terrifying!!  Behind them is my Uncle Reg's friend 'Tosh' who came home on leave with him.  I love how they are standing in amongst their 'dig for victory' garden. Thankfully my two Great Uncles and my Grandad who was in the RAF survived the war and   I was very privileged to know them all.  My family were very lucky to have had so many serving men who did return.  The only casualty was my Great, Great Uncle who served with the Anzacs in the First War and died of his wounds in 1919.  It is a very poignant day when we all remember those who have died in the many past and indeed, present conflicts.....

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Mannequins and 40th Birthdays!!

Thank you to all of you that left wonderful comments on my last post, I really do love reading them.  I have had a busy week going through all the items we have bought and somehow finding room for them here at home...so much for trying to be minimalist...HA!!  Knew it wouldn't last...  Somehow 32 eiderdowns have been stashed away and several mannequins absorbed in to the downstairs rooms!!  I have decided to sell some of the items at the next fair I am doing on the 27th of November (Cotswold Vintage Fair).

I have decided to keep the table top mannequin as I don't have one, the feather fan and the little evening bag were also from Lesley.

I absolutely adore this vintage Stockman mannequin.  Underneath the vintage house coat (that was a purchase from a couple of days ago) she is the most divine plum colour with Stockman written in gold lettering down the neck finial.  

Another beauty, complete with original corset.

Yet another beauty, dripping in pearls and corsages.

A pair of beautiful original Edwardian kid evening gloves (very Downton Abbey)

A vintage Stockman child mannequin that I will part with as I do already have one.  She will be coming with me on the 27th.

Pepe is sporting a rather fetching vintage straw hat which I think looks lovely until Andy said she looks like she has just walked out of a Victorian gin palace and into the arms of Jack the Ripper!!

Some rather beautiful antique wooden boot lasts that will also be for sale.  Andy had bought them for some vintage boots he has just purchased but unfortunately they are too large!!

Just a handful of some of the gorgeous vintage textiles I bought.

This week was also hubbys 40th!!  He can't believe it and neither can I.  I remember his 21st!!  We had a lovely day out on Thursday and I promise I will post some pictures when he has taken them off his  iPhone.  We spent the day driving between our favourite antique haunts in the Peak District.  Firstly we stopped in Belper where the gorgeous house coat came from, and then onto Matlock, then we stopped in Bakewell for a rather lovely lunch, and finally to Alfreton where there is the sweetest little antique shop with lots of cabinets to gaze into. It was a wonderful day out and a rare treat for hubby as he works so hard and rarely takes time off. 
Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend and enjoying the fireworks.
Jo xx