Thursday, 29 April 2010

Going on an adventure!

Thought I'd just do a quick post before I go off on my mini adventure to the Vintage and Handmade Fair in Chipping Sodbury on Saturday, preceded by meandering my way down tomorrow, via whatever little towns I can find and avoiding motorways on the way.If you see me at the fair do say hello - it would be lovely to meet you!

The top picture is auriculas in my garden - love these little flowers with my little Sylvac dog amongst them! The auricula theatre alas isn't mine - it's at Calke (National Trust) in Derbyshire and is at its best when its used for its designed purpose.

This is my favourite auricula (Calke's not mine). Isn't the flower dramatic?

I must away - there are 3 guys called Nick, Gordon and David awaiting my attention on the sofa!

Have a good weekend!

Love Wend

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Fabulous florals!

The last couple of weeks have been frantically busy. Last week saw me delivering a thousand poll cards ready for the election on top of the day job. I do this in a large village a few miles from where I live. These pictures of magnolias were taken as I pounded the pavement in Burton Joyce (or Bert & Joyce as I think of it given the number of old folks bungalows!)

Magnolias are my favourite tree/shrub and so often their beauty is marred by late frosts. This year we've been really lucky and haven't had any frosts bad enough to brown the beautiful flowers.

I love all kinds of magnolias but have a particular fondness for this one - Magnolia Stellata with its more delicate but nonetheless fabulously striking and pure flowers.

Isn't it lovely?

This week saw the first of several visits to universities - Cardiff first. No pictures though - this was Niobe's trip so I (with difficulty) reliquished control! I was pleasantly surprised. I had concerns about Cardiff being a large faceless capital but found it to be much smaller than I thought with everything within walking distance...1 down 4 to go!

I thought I'd include this shot which is the railings outside Niobe's school. The railing are an old lace pattern as the school is housed in an old Nottingham Lace factory. I thought the forsythia looked lovely poking through - the railings are usually obscured when the plant is in full leaf.

And flowers seems to have been a theme this weekend - I've managed to pick up three lovely pieces of vintage fabric - the gold floral

the crackle background

and tucked behind those in this shot a piece of barkcloth already hemmed on all sides.

So thrilled - I can feel some more cushions coming on!

And I should also say - this is my hundredth post, I've recently just passed 100 followers and it is just over a year since I started my Ticking Stripes blog. I'd like to thank you all for popping in and sharing some of my thoughts and for commenting - it's lovely when people take the time to comment. I'd never imagined how much I would get from having my own blog - its been amazing! A giveaway is called for - once I can come up with something desirable!

Have good week

Love Wend

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Boot style?

When I posted this picture on Flickr a few days ago I was amazed that somebody flagged it as a fave. I realised I haven't shared any pictures of home on my blog. Usually that's because with all my vintage finds it's not often as tidy as it should be. However I have been decorating our snug so some serious clearing has had to be done. The snug is my official name for, as Alan Bennett would say, "the other room"

Very little of what I have matches and that is ok - I like it like that! Rooms are constantly evolving as one new find replaces another. The picture above is my favourite chair - a Laura Ashley firm button back from 20 years ago - shabby but still the most comfy chair I have, and speaking of comfy the throw on the back is a vintage Durham Comfy. The cushion is an Elizabeth Bradley needlepoint which I snapped up at a charity shop. (£100 new on the website so a snip at less than £5, pad included!)

This chair is a 1950s Lloyd Loom in gold. The gold has mellowed over the years and I have several pieces in this colour. This was picked up at auction. The ones in good condition I keep inside, those that have had a bad paint job get relegated to outside. I never paint LLs as I prefer to see their faded worn colours.

This one was also picked up at auction - the back is caned but the seat is sprung and is covered in a very 60s nylon cover which would be great in the right setting - but not here! I have just put the seat in a vintage grain sack. I love that you can see the red stitching across the sack. Niobe bought me the little crocheted sausage dog for my birthday.

The little cabinet to the right of the chair I picked up at the car boot for £4 a couple of weeks ago - it isn't Lloyd Loom but it fits in fine. The one to the left is an old sewing cabinet.

This is my favourite piece of furniture - totally impractical - (how many people do you know who like spending long sitting on a church pew?). Still it fits in with the "useful or beautiful" test so its allowed to stay. It's good for setting off my cushions! I have stuffed a grain sack with a couple of pillows for the seat itself.

My cushions are a mix of vintage ones that I have rescued and put new backs on to stop them disintegrating further, some bought and others I've made myself.

On the hymn book shelf I prop 50s floral (Vernon Ward if I can find them) pictures and books with great covers.

Behind the Lloyd Loom are shelves which have lots of my car boot finds, my Timothy Richards doorways and some of my non-orange Art Deco Myott pieces.

And finally some bits of car boot haberdashery faffed and put in an old glass pot!

You've seen Vintage Style, Bazaar style and Flea Market style. Mine is a mixture of all three with some Car Boot Style thrown in!

Hope you're enjoying the sunshine

Love Wend

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Today is the first day of the rest of my life...

For the last 20 years I have collected childrens illustrators (well books illustrated by certain artists). This is only through the books themselves usually picked up at car boots etc and sometimes managing to find a first edition. One illustrator that I love from the 60s and 70s is Brian Wildsmith...

His books were always educational but have lovely illustrations. The Fishes includes all the collective nouns for different groups of fish...

I was going through this one and found this one (un)imaginatively titled "Squirrels"

but I hadn't realised they could swim! I digress...

The other day I flicked through "The Circus" enjoying the old images.

Some of you may recall the trauma I went through on appyling for my job at the grade below that which I have been doing for the last two years. Although I was successful I have found it difficult to come to terms with working at the lower level and know that things won't improve.(Government cutbacks - don't ask!)

The illustrations put me in mind of my office. I've felt like the men in the human pyramid - constantly holding up/supporting others, (I'm the bewildered looking one in red trousers below the one in yellow trousers)

being creative and innovative...

constantly jumping through hoops...

and juggling and spinning plates.

But today IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY LIFE as I have GONE PART TIME after 32 YEARS! Today was my first non paid Friday. I've been mulling this over for three months but finally took the plunge deciding that I needed to regain some control.
Today I spent some time in the sunshine taking time to "smell the roses". Now I can metaphorically ride bareback for 3 days a week - its only a small reduction but I'm hoping it will help me regain some sanity and balance in my life!

Hope you're feeling balanced and grounded ready for the weekend!

Love Wend

Sunday treasure hunt

Today started bright and breezy and I had high hopes for a good car boot. I wasn't disappointed! The small hamper was part of the haul and the round plate is a tin cocktail platter (obviously I'm always having cocktail parties so this will be incredibly useful and I don't know how I've managed without it previously!) The gravy boat is another piece of Beryl "Utility ware" which I keep picking up.

The fabric at the front of the basket is actually a Tootal scarf from 50/60s. Although these were made for men I have lots of them and often wear them as I love all the colours and patterns. At the back of the picture you can see some old baking tins - these have a scalloped pattern at the base of the tin to create a pattern on your pastry presumably. If anyone knows of a good way to clean these up so that I dare use them please let me know! In front of those are some terracotta plant pots which I pick up when I see them as I manage to lose some every winter.

Two unpleasant looking plastic bags yielded lots of sewing items and I was thrilled to pick up this Lexicon which I have plans for...

I loved this pretty biscuit barrel - unfortunately cracked but still displaying nicely...

I looked at the thimbles and was intrigued to see lettering around the edge - one saying "Use Hudsons Soap" and another "Lyons Green Label Tea" - has anyone seen these before? Were they earlier years freebies do you think?

These next two items I picked up at a charity shop yesterday - the decoration inside and outside this tea cup is delightful and I couldn't leave it on the shelf.

But look at this coffee cup stand! Have you ever seen anything like it? Where on earth do you display something like this? Perhaps now I need to find an old fashioned china cabinet! (Although Niobe has threatened to leave home if I bring home another piece of furniture) - Now there's an idea...She's currently in the middle of her Duke of Edinburgh practice camping somewhere in Derbyshire - one more day to go...It might be sunny in the daytime but it still seems a bit chilly for camping to me!

Almost forgot - I've been meaning to post about the colour swap I did run by "Dolly Dollop". I was partnered with "Lissy Lou and the two little boys" who sent me green items some jams, a lovely handmade heart, cup and saucer, some coloured papers, Cath Kidston tissues, some buttons and a candle. These gits were all wrapped beautifully in green tissue and floral wrapping paper. Thank you Lissy Lou! This was my first swap and was good fun.

I sent Lissy Lou pink items - we were asked to stipulate our colour choice. I think she liked them!

Hope you have had a successful weekend!

Love Wend

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

In the library with the rope...

After my day with Julie Arkell it was straight into holiday mode as Niobe and I took a short break to Dublin for a few days. I thought I'd just show a few of the things that appealed to me starting with the quirky

bar decoration - with sellotaped plates attached to the outside...

Vintagey pub window display...

a nod to Warhol!

an over the top Traditional Irish Restaurant

the very moving homage to the Irish famine migrants

and the wonderful Winding Stair bookcase - recommended by Elaine (Jaboopee) whose blog I've followed for the last year. We met up with Elaine and chatted away as if we'd known each other for ages. If you haven't seen her blog its well worth checking out (see side bar).

This bookshop was different from all the chain bookshops we have over here: there was a table covered with old Penguin books. Wouldn't mind reading "Reading for profit"! Sounds like a great idea!

There were bookcases full of more Penguins in a very informal "living room" style.

This is the only picture I have with any blue sky and I was thrilled that it came out over the famous spire - we did get very soggy!

I enjoyed the little witticisms scattered around the walls like this one...

but oh how I wished the room below was a photo opportunity. Probably the most overwhelming sight I have ever seen (I always wanted to be a librarian so this presses all my buttons!) No photos allowed (this is courtesy of google images)but wall to wall, ceiling to floor leather bound books and, according to our wag of a guide, never read as they are shelved according to size so no-one has ever managed to find the book they want! The galleried sections are shelved up to the gallery rails but there are little doors between each section so technically you could get from one end of this extremely long room right to the other end. What a shame we weren't allowed to walk along the upper section.

The smell of old leather bound books - just exquisite, (not the musty smell of second hand books shops), I could wax lyrical about this for hours. I'm not ashamed to say Niobe asked why I was crying - and I could only respond that I had been totally unprepared for anything quite so wonderful and was completely moved. It could only have been bettered if I could have gone behind the ropes and fingered the books, opening and browsing the old paper and fonts, the marbled endpapers - oh what beauty lies within those old leather jackets. I wanted to trace with my fingertips the letters marking out the shelves from a-z and then aa, bb, cc and so on until you couldn't see the letters as the shelves were so far above my head....