Saturday, 28 November 2009

Reasons to be cheerful - for Julie Arkell fans

Julie is holding two workshops on 27th and 28th March 2010 at Hope and Elvis, Harley Gallery Welbeck, North Notts. Louise Hope is hosting the workshop at her studio at the Welbeck estate in Welbeck. I've been to several of Louise's workshops and they have always been great fun. She runs lots of workshops on the vintage theme and a day in her studio can provide enough inspitration to keep you occupied for months! I've wanted to go to a Jule Arkell workshop for ages but they never seem to be in the right place at the right price. This one is £55 and there were 3 places left when I checked on Saturday. Move quickly if you want to take advantage of what is likely to be a great day! A quick google will bring up lots of hits for Julie if you're unfamiliar with her delighful papier mache based vintage inspired dressed creatures (that doesn't sell them very well) - just take a look...they're worth checking out!

Love Wend

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The scream!

Is it me or is the world spinning faster and faster? My roles in the last few days have included -

manager, coach, mentor, civil servant of a much despised department, wage slave for the council, mother, chauffeur, Chair of Governors, teacher, psychologist, daughter, crafter, cleaner, cook, gardener, shopper, lifestyle coach, to name a few. (And sometime part-time witch I think!

I often feel like a professional plate spinner with my full time job, a part time job and two voluntary roles. Normally everything is fine but this week instead of all the plates happily spinning atop their poles I'm running along the line of plates trying to catch them before they fall and failing.

This week I am guilty, for the first time, of forgetting to turn up for my school uniform shop duty on Saturday, as I was busy doing some part time work for the council. I wasn't aware of this fact until one of my co-volunteers asked me how it had gone! (she was off "with permission"). I shall shortly be off to much heavy apologising and donning my hair shirt again.

I've made a few moments for me tonight to look at other blogs and and have found myself envying those who have had a lovely afternoon by the fire, perhaps undertaking a little light crochet or crafting, baking or sewing while dreaming warm thoughts as the rain drops softly against the window. I don't like envy. Mental note to boost my energy levels! Any ideas?

Oh and did someone mention Christmas is coming?

Hope your week's going well!

Love Wend - drowning not waving!

Monday, 16 November 2009

Simple pleasures

I received through the post a couple of surprises...A free DVD courtesy of Maltesers current promotion. One happy gorgeous girl as it was a Hugh Grant film. Anything Hugh is acceptable.

A pack of large cards from Paul Smith. I'm obviously on his Christmas list! I don't buy Paul Smith - I'm not a fan of "designer". I am however a fan of great architecture and as his flagship Nottingham store is in a beautiful listed building I sometimes pop in to see what he has done with it and must have put myself on his mailing list.

I have to say this mailshot was delightful and put me in mind of Jabopee's (see sidebar) toy illustrations.

Delightful old images arranged amongst his socks, watches, cosmetic bags and wallets. I delight in lovely advertising and will stop in the street to take a picure of a favourite hoarding.

And last but not least my lovely giveaway goodies from Mary Poppins. This lovely package contained all sorts of goodies wrapped in tissue with pretty little stickers to secure them. Little picture frames, star shaped candles, tissues, hankies and more

A lovely crocheted potholder - although it won't be going near any of my pots - its far too special for that! And what's the red checked item which is sitting on my exact same red checked cloth? Thats's the back of the fairy sachet in the first picture!

And look at this delightful little bird serviette. I popped over to Mary's blogshop and see that she uses serviettes etc to cover wooden letters and they are lovely. All I need now is a tutorial! Thank you so much Mary (who even popped a little something for my daughter) for this generous and thoughtful giveaway. What a great community blogland is!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Hope all is going well at the Handmade and Vintage Fair. I had thought to drive down but given the weather warnings decided against it. Its just as well as I had a man banging on the back door at 9am telling me a section had snapped off one of my trees and was hanging dangerously over the pavement. He invited me to look - in socks dressing gown and sans makeup - not a good look - and he was right - a large chunk was hovering suspended only by a wisteria tangle with the main body of the trunk also split. Less than an hour later he was £300 richer and I was treeless. It could have been worse - if it had fallen right over it would have come through the roof and killed us both. So that's another of my lives gone, (cats get nine, how many do we get?) Anyway I'm coming back as a tree surgeon next time! It's not a bad hourly rate is it?

On Thursday I was in London for meetings for work but once they had finished I hot footed it over to Islington to the Country Living Fair. When I arrived at 3 it was packed and difficult to see but by 4 it was thinning out and became easier to move. There were lots of the usual country style stalls as you'd expect but also some new names.

I hadn't come across "Bombki" before. Michael Peterson is the mind behind this company and he designs and makes these Christmas baubles some with traditional themes and some very contemporary.

He sells either in collections as you can see on the pedestals - French, London, American or as individual pieces. I liked the London Eye...

and the car collection.

I particularly liked the French seed packet labels from "Burgundy Brocante" and bought some of these to play with. They are apparently copyright free so you can do what you like with them - I checked!

There were some stalls for the vintage lovers amongst us...

and I did like the old Christmas baubles on this stand. But at £39.50 they seemed very expensive. I know that people are asking that price on E-bay

but I had struck lucky at the car boot last weekend and picked up this little lot for 50p! I also picked up some wooden coat hangers which included these lovely advertising hangers in amongst them.

I think they are great - just look at the address on the top one - 54 Mumps, Oldham. Poor little hanger - starting out life living with a high class "tailor" and ending up living with a rather shabby round the edges former "Taylor"!

I also spotted another Vernon Ward picture which came home with me. To be added to the flickr group. Now can you help me girls - there is a blogger who has recently shown us her "Wall of Flowers" pictures. Does anyone know who she is? I've tried to track back to find her as I'm convinced she must have at least one Vernon on her walls but no luck so far. If anyone has any ideas do let me know...

Have a good weekend


Monday, 9 November 2009

Viva vintage!

What a weekend! Saturday saw the first Vintage and Homemade fair in Northampton. I say first as I'm hoping that following such a successful event Ann and Debbie feel inclined to organise more in the new year. I'm tempted to do something similar in Nottingham! I couldn't fault the organisation - we had lots of people through the door, great decorations and music, a great atmosphere and lots of lovely stalls! The picture at the top is of part of Ann's stall (Vintage at the Corner House)

Laura of My Vintage Party

Ann from Vintage at the Corner House

Debbie from "Vintage Wants Not Needs"

Ann Marie from Birdcages and Butterflies - see the trademark birdcage...

More of Laura's lovely cakestands...

Elsie Sparrow's stall was an Arkwright style bicycle stuffed full of goodies and flanked by two lovely deckchairs with her "Dammit" dolls and lovely Union Jack hot water bottles - gorgeous girl had to have a Dammit doll and I had to have the hottie...Sorry I didn't actually get a shot of the bicycle.

Ann's stall had some gorgeous bits on it - just look at the Stanley dog there at the back! I had to restrain myself there and now wish I hadn't!

I did succomb to this lovely rose covered chocolate box set of drawers from Ann...

A great day. I'd like to congratulate Ann and Debbie and say (holding up my glass of wine) - here's to the next one! Thank you ladies! And a big thank you to all those folk who came along and supported us all. (Not to mention to the cake maker extraordinaire too!)

So after all the excitement of Saturday I nearly forgot to draw the winner of my giveaway! Suggesting that you gave me some of your favourite blogs has been great as I've found my way onto lots of blogs I hadn't been to before and have ended up following several of those. Also I have some new followers so welcome to all of you. Its great to have you along! I love getting all your comments but I also like to encourage others - I know how long it was before I dared put my foot in the water!

Anyway, I remembered in the end and gorgoeus girl drew the winner out of the Emma Bridgewater tin and the winner is (big drum roll) ...

So congratulations MARIGOLD JAM - let me have your e-mail and I'll put your prize in the post.

I was so pleased with the number of entries I had and thank you all, especially those who did something very techie to get me linked into their sidebars to introduce more people to my blog - you know who you are - that I decided to have another winner and that winner is JABOPEE - the prize won't be quite the same but I hope you'll like it all the same!

Have a good week!

Love Wend

Friday, 6 November 2009

Vernon Ward

Over the summer while wandering round car boots I've picked up several delightfully kitsch prints by the prolific 50s painter Vernon Ward. I knew nothing of him until this year but have found myself drawn to these pictures - many of flowers but lots of birds in flight too. The picture above is Anemones and Michaelmas Daisies.

This shows his signature.

And this one is "Dahlias"...

I noticed while in London the other day that Liberty has some fabulous vintage window displays at the moment and if you look very carefully the room set shave Vernon Ward pictures on the wall! Unfortuantely my batteries were playing up so I didn't get any pictures. (Nor did I get any of the new Anthroplogie store on Regent Street - much loved by many of our American blogger friends. (For lots of eye candy put Anthorpologie into the Flickr search tool...)

I digress. I suspect that there are lots of you who have one of these on your wall at home - given the number of bloggers with floral pictures on their walls I find myself straining to see the signature on the bottom of the pictures. Unfortunately those I have are framed in rather grubby looking frames and I'm still trying to decide whether I should leave them in their original frames or update them. I have become so smitten that I have set up a group on Flickr called unimaginatively "Vernon Ward". If you do have a picture please let me know and if you could add it to the Flickr group that would be great!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't already - see post below. And for those who usually pop in and don't comment - come on in - the water's lovely!

Also,for those of you in Northampton tomorrow do pop into the Vintage and Homemade fair - see sidebar.

Love Wend