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

Thursday, 29 March 2012


Sorry it has been so long!  I am pleased to report that my foot has returned to it's normal size and is feeling much better now...thank you for all your good wishes.  
I have had some rather extraordinary luck lately.  You remember the Zairoid corset box that I found at Stafford Antiques fair a few weeks ago.....well, I have just found an Edwardian Zairoid corset....how lucky is that?

I cannot believe how lucky I was to find this corset, not only because of their rarity but also finding the original box and the same make of corset only weeks later!

It was made for a larger lady as I have had to pad out my poor mannequin in strategic places...she does need some chicken fillets though as she is a bit lacking in that department!

The corset also came with a very interesting story attached....it was found in 2011 by some builders renovating a Victorian property and it was bricked up in the wall!  The lady who rescued it painstakingly restored it to it's former glory, and surprisingly is still very strong with very little marking and damage to it.

The corset still has it's original writing inside which is exactly the same as the box.  I am absolutely thrilled with it and it will become part of my ever growing obsession with Victorian and Edwardian ladies 'unmentionables'.

Last Saturday saw another fabulous vintage Jumble in Rangeworthy organised by Jayne & Michele of V&H fame.  True to form it was the classiest jumble ever with bargains galore.  My first purchase of the day was this beautiful Edwardian underskirt from Ali, I just fell in love with it.

These adorable little ballet shoes (as if I haven't got enough) also came from Ali.  I also bought loads of fabric from her, some of which was destined for my Mum who was desperate for some to replenish her stash.  The little Victorian angel decoration came from Shirley at Simply Château.

A recent bolster I have made.  It was made from a salvaged return from a French linen monogrammed sheet and very fiddly I might say!

I even managed to salvage some of the embroidery for the back of the bolster pillow. I would love to keep it for my bedroom but have got to be good and make some lovelies for the forthcoming fairs.
I hope you have all had a great week and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine.  I have managed some gardening and to avoid getting bitten again!  Have a wonderful weekend whatever you have planned.
Jo xx

Monday, 19 March 2012

A Wonderful Mother's Day

I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend, I certainly have.  My lovely boys bought me two books I have been dropping big hints about for a while now.  After reading the fabulous new Sherlock Holmes novel I needed something else to get my teeth into.

I love anything about Wallis Simpson and find her a fascinating and often unfairly treated woman.  This book promises to be a fair account of her life and to see her in a contemporary context rather than the much maligned historical figure which is how many previous books and programmes have portrayed her.  I also wanted to read the fabulous novel 'Birdsong' set in France during the First World War.  There was recently a fantastic TV adaptation of the book which I enjoyed immensely so it will be interesting to see how faithful they were to the original book.

As the weather was dreadful hubby and I decided to go on one of our Sunday antique jaunts (Louis doesn't do antiques).  Firstly we ended up at Station Mill Antiques in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.  It is quite an expensive antique centre but the quality on offer is exceptional.  I did, however, manage to find this wonderful old leather hat box full of Edwardian millinery plumes and feathers, a couple have been made into head dresses, and they will all be for sale at the coming Spring fairs.

 Clarissa is modelling my favourite head dress. It has been made from a pearl head band with white plumes  and diamanté's.  Someone with more skill than me could re work the head dress more professionally as the larger plume isn't attached properly.  We then decided to drive on back to a favourite haunt, Barn Antiques near Stratford Upon Avon.

This beautiful antique French mirror was very reasonably priced as someone has begun to restore it but it looks too unfinished to leave.  I think we will probably sand it down and paint it with either Farrow & Ball or Annie Sloan paint which I have yet to try out.  

The last find of the day was this beautiful French frame with blue silk.  Perhaps it could be used to frame a fragment of an antique textile mounted on the silk and then placed behind glass...stunning!
As you can see we have had a lovely weekend and I was thoroughly spoilt.  Have a great week and now I've got to get my skates on and start sorting for the Vintage Jumble next Saturday.
Jo xx

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Cushions & Quilt Pieces

I have suddenly been motivated to do some sewing in readiness for the Spring fairs coming up soon, must be the sunshine.  I had a bad start to the week after doing some gardening on Sunday and getting bitten! My right foot swelled like a balloon and the rest is possibly best left unsaid for those of you with a nervous disposition...it wasn't pleasant to say the least.  It is much better now but Andy will delight in telling you I am the worst patient ever.

I am absolutely delighted (if I might say so myself) with these two vintage Tricolour cushions I have just finished making.  I purchased a length of vintage podium bunting many moons ago and had stashed it away in readiness for a project.  I was suddenly inspired to make two Tricolour cushions, they are fully lined and filled with one of my home made feather pads.  I have a massive bale of feathers in the garage so I can make pads of all shapes and sizes.  I have finished them with some vintage linen covered buttons down the side.

I have also been busy cutting up the quilts I purchased from Manchester in readiness for the fairs.  They are all shapes and sizes and patterns but just perfect for small or large projects.  A couple of the quilts I did buy to chop have been spared as they are too good (maybe a little shabby) to cut up for pieces.  I'm off to feed the Pugs and then get back to the sewing machine before my rediscovered motivation deserts me.  Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.
Jo xx
PS A big hello to all my new followers xx

Monday, 5 March 2012

The Manchester Antique Textile Fair

Yesterday, at last, came the long awaited antique textile fair at the Armitage centre in Fallowfield, Manchester.  I decided not to stand this year but rather to save up and go on a buying spree!  It was an early start for us as they let trade in from 8.30am and we arrived just in time regardless of the awful weather.  The sight that meets your eyes as you enter the large hall is astounding, in fact it can render you speechless! There are just rows and rows of tables and stands laden with every kind of antique and vintage textile imaginable.

My first purchase of the day was a table top mannequin, they are incredibly hard to find and I have been searching for one of these elusive creatures for a while.  She is missing her neck finial but I am sure I can come across a replacement on my travels.  Her linen covering is stained the most delicious tea colour with age, just how I like them.

I also managed to find some also very elusive cutter quilts, these are becoming harder and harder to find now.  I must admit a couple of them are too good to chop so I will sell them as is.

I also managed to unearth an antique champagne silk corset which apart from a piece of lace that needs restitching is in fabulous condition. 

 Can you imagine being this tiny? 
 It is actually displayed on a child mannequin!

A pretty piece of champagne coloured lace which I thought may come in useful for projects.

This gorgeous original beaded and sequinned 1920's French gown and original slip (with Paris label) also came from the same seller as the corset and lace.  The gown has some damage to the shoulders and a piece on the skirt but someone with dress making skills could rectify this and perhaps it could be worn again?

My favourite find of the day was this delicious little Edwardian summer dress.  It is a plain cotton dress, but it has been covered with an over dress of the most delicate (and edible) faded rose bud voile and then edged with delicate lace.  It is quite the most beautiful ethereal piece I have ever come across.

It has the most pretty silk bow around the waist and is tiny.  If you click on the picture you may be able to see the voile better.  Can you imagine wearing something so delicate?

My little pale shell pink Edwardian kid leather shoes would look beautiful with the dress don't you think?  Sadly as a larger member of society I can only dream...........
Hope you all have a lovely week.
Jo xx
PS Hello to all my new followers and to everyone who leave such lovely comments.

Saturday, 3 March 2012


We arrived home from shopping to this...............

and take a guess who the guilty one is...............

Yes, you've guessed it.....the Fonz!
Have a lovely weekend and now I'm off to sew up my cushion.
Jo xx