Sunday, 25 December 2011

A merry vintage Christmas!

Merry Christmas from a very behind Ticking Stripes!

Please choose your own card

1. Naff decoration made from what was described as "old baking thingy" and vintage film canister

or 2. the festive scene on my latest vintage Christmas tin!

Comfort and joy to all

Love Wend

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

My luck is in!

I've finally got a new role with the same employer so should be safe for another year. (As far as anyone can be). I've moved into the job and am getting used to a new routine. Outside of work I seem to be in mega organisation mode and getting nowhere as something always comes up which takes precedence over what I actually want to do.

A few months ago I spotted these drawers in a landscape designer's office and asked for first refusal if he decided to sell them. I was amazed to get a call last week offering them to me for a very reasonable price. I've wanted some haberdashery drawers for years but knew I could never afford them so decided to go for it!

The drawers have a little divider about 6 cm in so you can fill the front bit with lovely bits and hide all sorts of stuff behind. I have a list of things to put in all the drawers but haven't had chance to fill them all yet. Can't wait!

I have started with a couple though - wooden cotton reel and doilies

I might have to save one for scarves. I've always worn scarves and tend to hang on to them. On my charity shop run last week I found a shop where somebody had clearly disposed of a collection which covered from 50s onwards.

As you can see I bought quite a few although I won't keep all of them. They cost the same whether they were polyester, acetate or silk!

Sorry about all the pictures - I loved them all!

Not sure I can wear this seventies one - but I am tempted!

Hope your Christmas preparations are going better than mine!

Love Wend

Sunday, 13 November 2011

I recently found a bag of knitting patterns at the car boot and realising they were all pre decimal bought them. I've had great fun going through them all (I know - I should get out more) and having had a good laugh thought about those who had modelled for these patterns. These folk, ladies, are probably still amongst us. So I thought it was time to out all those models of yesteryear and ask

Is this you?

Did you marry either of these men?

Did your mother knit you a natty cowboy cardigan?

Did your brother own these knobbly knees and have to go through the indignity of knitted knickers?

Why the pointy hat?

Is this your bemused looking grandfather?

Scary eyes

Did you knit your child this?

Clearly all the rage there were several patterns for these two piece horrors...

I know vintage patterns are loved by many and I can see the appeal although can't see myself picking up my pins to recreate any of these.

I love the balloon heads here with paper curls. Were these used because no self respecting child would model them? No, probably not the reason - in those days we were encouraged to be seen and not heard and definitely not to venture an opinion on sartorial excellence...I remember being required to wear a similar beret.

More balloon heads!

This lady is smiling though gritted teeth - somebody has knitted her hats from old candlewick bedspreads.

And I love these black and white patterns for hats...

I can feel the envy coming through now - you want to knit these don't you?

What - all of them?

Shouldn't those children be sharing that nougat?

And last but not least - the prototype for the teletubby costume - gorgeous!

Anyone owning up?

Love Wend

Friday, 4 November 2011


A couple of weekends back I visited Niobe and on the return leg stopped off at Wells. I'd never been before but will certainly return. It is the smallest city in England with a fabulous cathedral (although I didn't get to see inside as I'd missed the start of the service - maybe next time).

Liked the name of this porch - nobody after alms last weekend!

I'm always amazed by the way in which our ancestors managed the feats of getting these huge statues raised so high without the help of todays engineering. Ropes and pulleys - wow!

The cathedral had a delightful clock where its two sentries ring the bell on the hour. A local advised that it was well worth watching so I was glad I was there in time for 12!

Around the perimeter of the cathdral area is a moat with a drawbridge! Absolutely lovely.

Autumn light shining through the trees ...

And a view through the wall of the Bishop's Palace...

What a lovely place - where the grass actually looked like grass. Look at the colour! The greenest grass ever! It's beige where I live!

Wells is also home to the oldest continuously inhabited street in England (from 1340)

Not a satellite dish, not a dustbin, or a TV aerial in sight! Delightful! Like stepping back in time. Of course a quick walk round the back revealed all those things! Need to spend longer in this place!

Oh and Niobe's doing great! What a relief!

Unwanted item in the bagging area...come back Niobe!

With massive queues in Sainsburys I was persuaded by the self service monitor to try the DIY till. This was with a heavy heart. I have on several ocaasions embarrassed Niobe with my performance at these checkouts and she has banned me from using them saying its not fair to others! I must not use them unless she is there to supervise!

I only had a basket with a few bits so decided to take the chance and live dangerously. As ever despite my efforts the robotized tones came across with the "unwanted item in the bagging area" not once but several times. The gent who had persuaded me was very attentive and kept rushing back to me every time this happened. "Don't worry I'm with you" he kept saying and swiping his magic card across the screen. Mortified I continued with my efforts, becoming more and more grumpy. "God, you must have the patience of a saint hearing that noise all day" I grumbled as I tried desperately to find a barcode. "Why do you think they gave me the job?" he said. I paused and looked up to see he was wearing a clerical collar. Oh, the embarassment! I apologised, paid and scuttled out quickly, inwardly vowing not to use these checkouts again. They do do away with jobs for people after all don't they? I was relieved to get home and unpacked.

Have a great weekend!

PS - Moonlighting clergy as the austerity cuts start to hit?

Saturday, 29 October 2011

The irony?

Sunday school prize 1924 - favourite car boot find last week!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

I thought it would be quiet once Niobe went to uni but hadn't realised quite how many things I had committed to to prevent empty nest syndrome!

One of these is a cabinet at Hopkinsons, a former hardware shop in Nottingham now converted to gallery, studios, antiques, vintage and of course a tea shop. It's early days for the space and it needs to get a greater footfall but I like what they are trying to do - to help young designers, artists and business people who can hire space, a studio or a cabinet. The venture is non profit making with any proceeds being ploughed back into the community...

One floor is taken by the Shop of Originality who have a number of designers doing their thing - some including stamps...

including Amy Winehouse as you never saw her before.

One of the designers, Sarah Davenport designed the world's first rocking piano which she rocks as she plays. Yes, it does need regular tuning but its great fun and she's hoping that someond like Elton John or Jools Holland might be interested. Jamie Cullum apparently couldn't fit it in his house. There's a clip of her on Youtube if your'e so inclined...

All I have to do is keep the cabinet filled with delightful and irresistible items. That's got me looking at my collections to see what I can include. I got some of my glass together in the sunlight and started to appreciate it again.

I researched some pieces eg. the lady carrying the basket was found at the bottom of a job lot years ago and although I quite liked her I didn't think she was anything special. She's hung about in various spots being largely ignored. I might put her somewhere more prominent now I find she's an art deco figure, Lucretia made from frosted uranium glass by the German company Walther and Sohne in 1936.

Not sure I can let her go now. A quick check of e-bay suggests she's quite desirable. Might have to keep her then. I'm going to struggle to fill my cabinet at this rate!

Have a good week!

Love Wend

Monday, 10 October 2011

Recent finds

Thought I'd just share some pictures of my latest find in the vain hope that one of you may also think that I found something beautiful... Often I find that my nearest and dearest do not appreciate the things I find and love. Indeed some regard me as a bit of an I had to smile when I saw this in a shop window! Obviously I wouldn't dream of spending the £180 it cost on such an item (unlike a customer in the shop who was proudly saying she had the same up at home. However I did find a pack of the Lexicon cards in a charity shop last week for a couple of pounds. Just wondering what little bit of advice I should assemble - maybe "to thine own self be true". What is your mantra?

I digress. When I saw this raggy piece of cloth in Lincoln I was hooked. I touched it and felt its soft texture - worn thin by years and years of use and love.

I pulled it out and marvelled at the subtle shades of patchwork pieces. Parts of it had worn so thin the top layer had disintegrated...

to reveal another layer of lovely patchwork underneath. I hesitated to ask the price and when I did had to wait for the assistant to ring the manageress. I was saddened when I heard eighty and thought I would have to return it to the shelves of despair but decided to just check.

"Not eighty but eighteen! It's Victorian you see." I do indeed. Oh decisions - what on earth can I do with it. Useful or beautiful? It won't register as useful - its days of providing any useful function are long behind it. Beautiful? Well it was to me.

Reader I bought it. (You knew I was going to say that didn't you?)

It has some unspoilt parts so I've folded it and put it on the back of a chair and I stroke it as I walk past and think of the comfort it has no doubt provided in years gone by. Unfortunately our cat has rather taken to it (she's no respecter of my stuff!) so she's going to have to spend the rest of her life outdoors!

I also found these lovely little hand painted tea plates, jug and bowl. I don't even "do" tea but they also spoke to me.

As did the young lady in this picture. I'm easily pleased (especially at £2 for the china and £2 for the picture - and I rarely haggle.) I hate to think what might happen to these things if I didn't take them home and love them...

Love Wend