Monday, 31 August 2009

This lovely little stone was included in the giveaway which I won from Diane at "Heart-shaped". It was inside a box full of delightful treasures. Look with me...

First a lovely tote bag made by Diane, beautifully embroidered and a lovely useful size and so well finished off inside too! Very impressive!

Then so many bits and pieces I forgot to photograph them all separately I was so busy enjoying the opening of everything. (I'm a December birthday - most of the year is devoid of things to unwrap!)

But look here at all these gifts - a knitted dishcloth, brooches, a jar of Hendersons sauce - still to be tried! Chocolate, ribbon, lovely nostalgic retro cards, beautiful lavender sachets, a Coca Cola glass, and lots and lots of buttons.

Enough buttons to wrap the heart shaped stone in a heart of buttony goodness!

Am I going to have fun deciding where to display all these lovely things. Thank you so much for your generosity Diane. I'm delighted to have been the winner.

I'm always amazed at the generosity of fellow bloggers not only with their giveaways but with the spirit. Reading the comments on others blogs I have been humbled by the caring nature of fellow bloggers particularly when somebody is having a hard time.

Today I've been particularly naughty and have been to both a car boot and then an antiques fair. As usual I managed to find some great bits at the boot - had to wear long sleeves for the first time in weeks as there was a slightly cooler start to the day but apart from that it stayed dry and there were plenty of sellers.

I found a great kitsch set of 6 50s(?) fruit dishes, some fabric with yachts and lighthouses on - probably Ikea(reminiscent of a certain CK fabric), a hand embroidered picture and a pincushion made in the style of the Victorian ones which were decorated with pins and beads.

A box of vintage costume dolls. Funny that I'm buying these - I always wanted one as a child but I didn't know anybody who went abroad in the 60s when I was growing up. Not sure what I'm going to do with them...

I loved these old bottles with glass stoppers - at 50 pence each they were a bargain.
I'm going to have to be realy careful though as one of them is embellished with the scary words "BREAKING OR USING THIS BOTTLE IS ILLEGAL"! Why I wonder? Has the law changed since the bottle was produced? Could somebody really be prosecuted for such a thing? How times have changed... Anyway I intend using it for display - don't tell the bottle police!
Also a cakestand - these are so lovely I keep buying them when I see them. Some may have to come to the Vintage and Homemade Fair on 7th November - see sidebar.

Moving on to the antiques fair, I didn't buy a lot but did pick up a selection of tins for which I'm a bit of a sucker.

This tin was not at all promising but I was amazed when I opened the lid to see this fabulous picture on the inside of the lid

I thought it would be great for dispaying items at the fair.

Then an old Christmas biscuits tin - well worn but still having a (slightly rusty) charm - I have several of these which I use to keep my Christmas decorations in. Its a shame that todays Christmas biscuit tins aren't so nicely illustrated. I cant imagine somebody paying for a plastic Roses tin in 70 years time!

A "Ring travellers" tin. If anyone can thow any light on this at all I'd be greatful. What is a ring traveller?

And last but not least a crinoline lady toffee tin - the sort you hope will be full of buttons. Unfortunately not this time!

Hope you're enjoying your Bank Holiday weekend.

Love Wend

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Reasons to be cheerful - Moon and stars

Its no good . I've been trying not to go over the top but my gorgeous girl got her gcse results on Thursday. I am SO PROUD OF HER as she bagged herself enough A*s to make her own constellation - 9A*s and an A!!! I'm over the moon!

There she is on the left with her friend at the school gates having just picked them up - still unable to believe her luck! We celebrated on the night but she rang me earlier today to tell me that her picture is in todays local newspaper so I've just had to go and buy 4 copies at the supermarket!

To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement - things haven't been easy but she has worked hard to overcome her demons and has triumphed! I've tried not to be a pushy mother. I just refused to let her use the word can't. I told her its spelt "t-r-y!

This post is in your honour Miss Mopsy - my little star! (By the way - can you be called Mopsy at university?)

Love Mum (Wend)

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Obsessive Compulsive?

I'm really pleased to have received an award from Ann from Vintage at the Corner House. Apparently I now need to list my 5 current greatest obsessions and pass the Award on to some other lovely bloggers so the biggest problem is reducing them down to just 5 but I'll give it a go.

1 - My newest craze - celery vases. I used to see these at an antique shop in Castleton Derbyshire but was too mean too buy them. Recently I have spotted a few at car boots and last weekend I gave in and bought two of them. I believe they hark back to Victorian times but have no idea of the age of those I bought. Suffice to say they just had to come home with me - any ideas on how best to display them would be gratefully received

2 - Education - I make no excuses for this one. I'm a firm believer that we have to do what we can to help and support the next generation to be the best they can be. It can't all be left to others. Some children have so little in terms of the things that many of us take for granted - love, security etc. I've come across parents with no time for their children and parents who won't allow books into their houses! What chance of a future do those children have? I'm Chair of Governors at an inner city school trying hard to do what I can to support the staff in their difficult work. Not only do they have to be teachers, but psychologists, nurses, carers,social workers, artists, musicians and inspirational leaders but they have to have an indomitable spirit to see them through some of the tribulations that inner city life throws at them. I take my hat off to them all.If any of you have thought about getting involved as governors I'd say do it!

Ok, I'll get off my soap box now.

3 - Crocheted blankets - I hadn't realised these were quite such an obsession until Jabopee's comment on my last post so they have had to be included in the list

4 - Architecture - new, old and downright quirky - (especially follies). I'm afraid when I go anywhere I'm constantly looking up above the shop fronts, checking out gable ends, fanlights, and columns be they Doric, Ionic or Corinthian! I love the simplest of dwellings to the most magnificent of mansions. This little house above was called "Fantasia". Its like a little dolls house standing alone in the middle of a road in Aldeburgh - delightful.

This obsession also covers street furniture - phone boxes and letter boxes and yes I'm sad enough to know the names of the different types of phone box! This one (a K6) was in Walberswick last week surrounded by old and new bits and pieces to entice the tourists into the shops...I used to think all this craning of the neck would prevent a double chin in old age but it didn't work! Anyway, if you like phone boxes etc visit 5ftinf's blog - for green letter boxes and black phone boxes!

5 - Thrifting - this is as much a lifestyle choice as an obsession. Can this be a compulsive disorder because if it is I have it big time? I get withdrawal symptoms if I can't get out to "hunt" at the car boot because its raining and there won't be anyone there, becoming very irritated and not good to be around. I don't always have to buy but I need to go to make sure I don't miss anything! Does anyone else suffer from this?

This post has begun to feel very confessional!

So, moving on, who to pass this award to when there are so many great contenders ???

I've decided on "5ftinf", "Linen and roses", "Jaboopee",Menopausal musing and "Kay loves vintage". Even if you decide not to do the post feel free to add the award - you deserve it for your fabulous blogs!

And last but not least I must thank Diane for her fabulous giveaway whic arrived today which I'll post about soon.

Have a great weekend

Love Wend

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Blue skies, Buddha, bunting and beautiful beachhuts!


My gorgeous girl, the

finally came back from performing at the Edinburgh Fringe having had an amazing time, on sensory overload as expected and also completely exhausted! It didn't matter as we had a few days camping lined up in Suffolk with its big blue skies and wide open countryside. We camped in Southwold which we love for its quiet stepping back in time aura,

a place where time seems to have stood still and people enjoy the simple pleasures, kite flying, crabbing, walking, taking time to watch the sea and looking for holey stones and seaglass (well those last two were what I did anyway). I did really well in the holey stone category but failed miserably at sea glass finding only one tiny piece. Does anyone know where this lovely stuff normally washes up?

Loving its delightful famous painted beach huts - no chippy paint in Southwold just lots of men in white overalls with lots of tins of white paint seriously at work.

However many times I go I always end up taking lots of photos of these 3 metre square huts priced at £50000 or more - and yes that is fifty thousand!

Even the fishermens huts down at the harbour have beautifully painted doors (but only the doors -it's far too girly to paint the whole hut in colour! - this is man's territory)

For those who don't know Southwold nothing clashes and jars - like all those things vintage its as if everything has just evolved into a shabby elegance. Even the plants seem to match their envirnoment - I loved this bracken - the railing seems to be emulating the colour of the plant - or is it the other way round! Rusting weeds - I love it!

The best bit? Blue skies and I mean BLUE skies, not just for an hour or a day but all day, everyday, all week in sharp contrast to last year when I spent most of my time wringing out the tent. Lots of folk had their bunting out on their houses and on their tents ...

What did intrigue me were the signs advertising a Buddha Market. I'd never heard of such a thing and wondered what to expect - most things in Southwold are the same from year to year (which I'm sure is why a lot of people go, and I'd never seen this before

I had to investigate and expected - well what did I expect? (Lots of old Indian artefacts I think ) - certainly not what I found!

An old church hall packed with stalls for 3 weeks, full of vintage clothing, handmade goods, retro bits and pieces and amazingly all the things we vintage lovers look out for when we're thrifting and booting! Outside were enough lures to draw me in piled up on the pavement - old quilts, suitcases, books and yes I was hooked - several times!

I had to keep going back for a look round - somuch eye cnady but I was actually very restrained for me. These are the things that came back home with me.

A piece of sheet music - nonsense songs by Edward Lear - aren't the colours great? And its in perfect condition...

Two lovely Wagon Trail trios -cups, saucers and side plates from the 50s/60s. (Funny this blogging world - this find immediately made me think of "Cowboys and Custard" of the Handmade and Vintage fair fame and I've never met her!)

And more reasons to be cheerful - this great shoe box minus shoes I'm afraid - I just loved the box, some floral barkcloth which I have a passion for, and a lovely little Tablet Box from Windsor no less!

Its lovely to be away for a while but its good to come back and I've been thrilled at all your comments in my absence. Thank you all so much and welcome to my new "followers".

I've won a giveaway and been given my first award while Ive been away but will post about those separately before my ironing pile avalanches all over me!

Hope you all have a good week!

Love Wend

Sunday, 16 August 2009

30 minute trolley dash!

Joining in this weeks Cath Kidston debate I have to show you my finds this week.
How lucky have I been in the charity shops. A couple of vintage aprons...I love the fabrics that these aprons are made of - so of their time.

A pair of 1987 Laura Ashley curtains for £2.99...Lots of charity shops now charge more if they can spot a label - Next, Laura Ashley etc but they don't seem to have wised up to peering into the seam to check the selvedge yet! Not sure whether I will use them as curtains yet - although there's nothing wrong with them I might just have to turn them into a tablecloth and matching napkins. (There will still be plenty left over.)Mmm -I'll see.

And another crocheted blanket...

And just look at it - it's huge! Its folded in half over my washing line! It's in perfect condition and made of wool. Regular readers will know that I have found several of these recently and I can't leave them behind. This cost little more than a new ball of wool!

Here it is laid over my garden bench. I'm so thrilled - I hadn't even intended going to the charity shops today - it just happened that there was an empty parking spot just outside as I was passing!

So here they are all together - a brilliant thrifty Saturday. And all for less than £10 all together!

I'll just leave you with a couple of pictures to give you an idea of where I might be for some of next week - can you guess?

I want to check out this amazing sculpture to see how much it has rusted over the last couple of years and update my pictures of it. The complete phrase is - "I hear these voices that wll not be drowned."

Have a good week.


Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Reasons to be cheerful - Shed Chic

Oh, a bit of sunshine again - must get up to the allotment. So much to do! It's a disgrace! I don't get up there nearly as much as I should and while I'm away Mother Nature takes advantage and attacks, urging weeds to advance along the paths and among the veg at a phenomenal rate and encouraging slugs to gorge on the plants growing into the hugest specimens that make me squeal when my hand brushes against one by accident. She tells the pigeons that I won't be there for a while so its ok to savage the brassicas. She tells the rabbits that Wend has planted more lettuces and that they are at the perfect stage for a bunny picnic in the sunshine. Meanwhile the birds pop in for a fruity pick and mix amongst the burgeoning fruit bushes. The veg in turn become veg behaving badly and sprawl about like lethargic teenagers or bolt as if they realise how lazy they've been and decide they must make up for lost time. The lettuces turn into beautiful inedible border plants two feet high, cougettes that I looked at (only a few days ago surely?) turn into marrows big enough to become offensive weapons.

So, faced with all this natural naughtiness what do I do? I pick up my camera and wander off to look at some of the other allotments and remind myself why I go up there. With waiting lists of up to forty years now I feel very lucky to have an allotment and know that others would make beter use than I have done so far but I keep learning! I feel inspired by the make do and mend way of the true allotmenteer (not sure if that's in the dictionary)- spotted this lovely little makeshift bench...

I love sheds - some people take great pride in painting them and making them
smart...(Mental note - must learn how to do links so I can show you the latest Country Living book - "Shed Chic" - take a look on Amazon)

others show us how to do it properly with window boxes potted tubs and a wood store...

others quirky like this camoflaged one...

and others just allowed to become old and shabby over time ...

but I love best the chippy paint

on this one

covered in its various layers of blue, yellow, green , blue again

probably repainted every time there was a change of owner each one wanting to add their own stamp of individualty. I love that this owner has just allowed it to become weathered and worn (like many of us!). I'm afraid I had to pick up and keep the bit of paint that fell off as I brushed past...

Doesn't she look wonderful in her coat of many colours?

Its good to take the time to stand and stare sometimes...