Saturday, 30 June 2012

I've had to soul search ...

Big sigh, I've had to do some soul searching.
We took a family trip over to mine & Lisa's unit this avo and was greeted with the news that, not only had we both sold things but so much so our lil booth was looking so bare it looked liked we'd only half moved in. This should of made me happy but it didn't, it made me panic that it needed re-stocking asap. This shouldn't induce a feeling of panic, let's face it, I have four large shelves full of stock ~ but it did. 
Lisa popped around this evening and waiting by the door were two boxes of beautiful things packed and ready to go to the unit tomorrow, Lisa's first comment was "is that all you're taking, go on fill it up in there".  It had taken lot's of picking up and putting back down again to get the two boxes of things together. Then ... my husband gave me 'the talk' about the fact that I knew what good business practice was and he couldn't see any sense in me holding back stock ... if it's for sale then let it be seen was his words in a frustrated voice.  After finding lot's of reasons to defend why I thought it was good business sense to only put some of my beautiful things in the unit, when my husband explained why none of what I was saying made sense I blurted out
"but they are my lovely things and I just can't part with them all in one go"
Silence ...the penny dropped.
If I am to make a go of this I have to be prepared to sell all of the lovely things I have collected over the years that are surplus to requirements. 
If I was selling clothes or something I would have my business head on and would be stocking like a loon but ... I'm selling my beautiful things.
I've been back to the shelves and reminded myself why the things are on them in the first place and given each and every item the once over and told myself 'I can keep it, so where am I gonna put it .. ah right that's why I decided to sell it because there is no where to put it'.
ALL of my stock is on it's way to the unit tomorrow, and although I'm sad to see it go I now know it's the right thing to do and any future lovely things bought will be with the unit in mind. 
Look out shoppers, you've gotta whole host of beautiful things collected over many years just waiting to be given a new home and be shown the light of day coming to our unit near you!! 

Even the cat took a closer look ...

Well, my 'can't even boil an egg properly' gene has thankfully bypassed my daughter ~ phew! 
She spent last night cooking all kinds of delights (for pleasure? ... I ask you) and amongst pastries and other yummy stuff lined up looking way too tempting this morn were these two pots of the tastiest jam ...
Even the cat had to take a closer look thinking
'OMG, that can't be home made jam surely'?
"Yep Haz it is, I know right"?

My disastrous attempts at cooking are legendary (friends will especially remember my jam making fiasco which is just too embarrassing to re-live and share all over again) and I'm still waiting to grow up and become a domestic goddess like all of my friends.
The fact my daughter can make perfect jam means her wait(at such a tender age)is over and she really is my domestic goddess to be proud of ♥

Thursday, 28 June 2012

A unexpected day at home ...

I had an expected day at home yesterday as my daughter was sent home from school poorly so I was house bound.  I decided to take a look at a couple of recent purchases I've made that are waiting to be washed, polished and spruced up ready to go in our unit.

This retro glass bowl below really catches the light so I thought candle light should really make it twinkle.

This old wooden candle stick is sadly an interiors 'out cast' due to being 'brown'. 

I had to battle with my conscience over this. I actually love old wood and think it's a crime to paint over the grain and stunning colours some turn with age. However, I also know some brown things are destined for land fill if left unsold/unwanted.
I relented and painted this old beaut and then 'distressed' it, bonkers I know making an old thing look new to resemble old? But I know this will be much more appealing to the masses than the 'natural but brown' look.  I do feel a tad sad though covering it in layers of paint so I used a water based paint with wax over the top in the hope that one day brown will be back in Vogue and this little candle stick will come out as being 'brown' and live a happy and fulfilled brown life! ;)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Our stocked unit ...

It's official 
~ Lisa and I are in Business ~

We left in convoy this morning with both cars full to the roof (with the contents rattling and clanging all the way) with washed, polished, handmade, hand painted and priced stock.

This has been a long time in the planning for us both.  In the past we have set up a small stall in a local village and every Friday morning we did a great trade but sadly being asked to get all kinds of insurance put pay to that. We then attended summer fetes and Christmas Bazaars but these weren't as regular as we'd of liked.  We had held craft fairs in our local village but being out in the sticks we were never gonna become a Lord Sugar! We have had our names on several Antique Centres waiting lists for a small unit but the rent has turned out to be a bonkers price until ... today!

So here it is, No. 27
Our own little pie in the sky dream that, as of today has become our reality ...

We both think it's looking a tad sparse in areas so feel the need to go shopping for more stock ~ like ASAP.
All in a days work!!!

Monday, 25 June 2012

My Handmade Heart Swap delights ...

Handmade Heart Swap ...

As promised here is what I made the lovely Hannah, my swap partner for the Handmade Heart Swap we took part in ...

As Hannah writes a blog called
I thought this might be apt ...

Hard wood chopping board or trivet ...

A vintage map of Hannah's home town with a heart 
placed where she lives ...

I had an inkling that Hannah liked pink so made her this ...

A button heart ~ well, everyone loves buttons ...

It has taken me a fair while to compile five heart related, handmade pressies but I loved every bit of it ♥

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Pop ~ there goes another one ...

Warning: watch out for wayward Champagne corks during the next couple of weeks, a friend and I have only gone and got ourselves a lil booth within an antiques and collectors centre ~ pop ~ ooops there goes another one!

Yes, it's official I can carry on shopping as it’s now part of my job description (grrr I can’t get these corks off quick enough ;)

We start trading from the 1st July and we will be selling handmade, vintage and up-cycled loveliness ~ aka unique things you really do NEED in your life and home!

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for lots of profitable sales as all proceeds will go towards supporting my shopping habit …. Er hum sourcing more stock ;)

So raise your glasses for a toast "I name this venture officially off the ground and may God bless her and all who spend in her". 

£ £ £ £ £ £ £ 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Lets find beauty in stuff ...

Yesterday I went to a general auction held in a small quaint village within their village hall.  The lot’s for sale were clearly more in the way of what local residents had submitted for sale and not so much of the house clearance lots’ that are for sale at our regular Auction.  Whilst sitting through nearly 600 lot’s I was struck by how god damn lucky and affluent we must be!  There were corner cupboards that looked dated but were made by hand using beautiful wood, electrical kitchen items that were spotless and in perfect working order but had been discarded for the latest released model, colour or 'in' brand. Soft furnishings, mainly curtains that were hand made in top quality fabric and lined in thick heavy material with weights added to the bottom as thought had been given to how they would hang and frame the window.  These, once costly possessions had been discarded for looking dated.  How tragic! I’m not whiter than white, I hold my hands up and say I've bought out of desire and not necessity or practicality but I'm going to try not to any more.  The items that went unsold will probably end up on a journey to a hole in the ground ~ perfectly good items that were made out of beautiful trees or in factories that resemble battery farms where people work damn long and hard to make a living and for what? The end result to be a one minute wonder ~ how egotistical!  People growing up during War times say they had never had it so good and even though they lived with rationing on a spectrum of things they ‘made do and mended’, when money runs out creativity kicks in. People of that era had a blast and when asked today if they would rather live in these times or go back to times of making, growing, mending they would jump at the chance to go back to how things were back in the good 'ol days.  I’m not going to turn into a extra on the good life and spout on about the environment, poor Whales and icebergs but something switched on in my head yesterday and made be realise just how embarrassed I am to live in a ‘throw away society’ and how I for one will up the anti and up-cycle like a loon to use and enjoy what there is on offer out there for a couple of quid all because it doesn’t look right anymore.  Come on folks lets have a go at trying to make things look nice again and enhance the beauty of things that others have not seen beauty in.
Signed: Kirsty Allsop *jokes* Me!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Life is all good on auction days ...

Auctions = a place that make you happy :)

I have been well and truly bitten by the auction bug ever since a lovely friend Judy and her partner took me to my very first one back in November. 

As a complete newbie to auctions I was like a big kid come auction day and enthusiastically asked question upon question during the journey there.  I’d packed a bag in anticipation of my new adventure which contained a calculator (to work out commission), a brightly coloured pen, magazines in case I got bored (man, how clueless I was about the excitement of such a place), spare paper for making notes, money and a ‘Millers antique price guide’!

As I had the ‘rabbit caught in headlights’ look when the auction started Judy offered to bid for me and explained how I got my ‘number’ as I called it (now I’m a regular it’s more commonly known as a paddle).

I remember my first ever auction purchase was a box of assorted glass and china for £5.00.  The excitement I had whizzing around in my tummy on that first day wasn’t just because of my lovely purchases at bargain prices but more about the day as a whole.  It was like being on the set of the most exciting TV programme ever whilst shopping for total and utter bargains ~ Heaven!  I was agog from the time we arrived until the time we packed our purchases in my friend’s car and trundled home as happy as Larry’s.

Since my first visit I have attended the same auction as regular as clockwork with my other lovely friend Wendy and the two of us are basically a very bad influence on each other. Between us we have purchased a ‘used’ sheepskin rug (ewww), a lamp with no electrical fittings at all,  two clocks that don’t work, a broken stained glass window and a whole list of other things as well as and my total fav bonkers purchase … a broken banjo for £55.00.

We don’t care though, we are in our element arriving and finding the best seats to sit on for the day, with lot numbers attached to them and us having to move when potential buyers want to try them for comfort. It’s a bonus if we can find seats with a table in front for us to use!  We eagerly mark our catalogues with things that we like (that’s about the format for selecting potential purchases, not if it’s any good or if we need it ~ nope it’s all about the ‘like’ factor). We make ourselves comfortable, bacon butty in one hand and a large cuppa in the other, mark which way is up on the back of the paddle (nothing more embarrassing than bidding for something like you’re a force to be reckoned with and in a determined manor and your paddle is upside down) and brace ourselves for a day of enthralling, captivating highs and lows.

There is nothing that can give us that ‘eeeek, I’m so happy’ feeling than driving home with a boot full of glorious bootie and a belly full of bacon butties, tea, biscuits and homemade Eccles cakes. Life is all good on auction days (even if the table we’ve just bought and rattling around in the boot is full of woodworm and we have no idea).

Below are a few pictures of my auction bootie.
 My totally random, bonkers buys that made me oh so very happy X.

These were amongst goodies in a box of assorted 
china & glass for £5.00

Two original Victorian oil paintings. I prefer the paintings without the ornate frames so have taken them out. These were bought at an auction were the TV show Flog It were filming, bad news if your husband thinks your at work and you crop up on the TV bidding on two pictures we've 'had for ages' !!! ;)

One of my favourites, an original Victorian watercolour. It's still in the original frame and the glass is old and uneven which looks lovely in the light.

A lamp that I did think was a mistake buy. I painted the shades and covered the 'sticky up bits' in black and still wasn't happy with the over all look until ... I saw my very own real purchase featured in a magazine. I can't blog about how I know but I can defo confirm my lamp once belonged to a famous interior designer - ekkk.

Wendy and I are off to pastures new tomorrow, an auction we've never been to before - oh fingers crossed our boot will be loaded with bootie and our tummies full of tea, bacon and biscuits this time tomorrow :)

Watch this space ...

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Definitely made a bespoke, one of a kind coat ...

I recently picked up a posh, brand new, hand made winter coat for our lil Bess pup.  A total bargain at 50p from a Charity Shop, I gave it a wash through in the machine and I was excited to try it on her for size. I fiddled and faffed with the Velcro fasteners until it fitted just right and was just about to stand back and admire my thrifty buy and one very posh pup when I was deafened by raucous laughing, 
"ha ha Bessie's wearing a cape, super Bess, hey come and have a look at this Mum's bought Bessie a cape". 
"It's NOT a cape"! 
No one was listening to me, with all the hysterical laughter Bessie had got over excited and was jumping from chair to chair ... "so OK, it may look a little bit like a cape" :/
Undeterred I set about trying to make the 'cape' more
 'bespoke coat' so back to the charity shop I went and bought a tired and ripped poncho for 50p.  A snip here, tuck there and several stitches later I do believe I have definitely made a bespoke coat that it is one of a kind! I haven't shown the family yet but as you can see from Bessie's expression below I'm sure they will be thinking the same as her 

"You can not be serious, like OMG"!!!

Monday, 11 June 2012

5 heart gifts await their new home...

On the 29th May I posted about my excitement at being paired up with the lovely Hannah, writer of 
for Mary Poppins 'Handmade Heart Swap'.
 For those who may have missed previous blog posts about Mary's Handmade Heart Swap basically, you sign up to hand make 5 things that are ‘heart’ related.  You are then paired up with a partner and you post your crafty makes to them and they post their handmade delights to you.  What’s better than receiving a handmade gift in the post knowing it was made with love especially for you.
It's now a couple of weeks on and any spare time I've had my thoughts have turned to what to make Hannah, sourcing supplies, working out how to make my ideas and finally the actual 'making'.
I'm very pleased to say that my handmade heart gifts are complete, wrapped and awaiting their new home. 
When swap day comes and presents have been received and opened I'll post pictures of what I've made her.
I really, really hope Hannah loves each and every gift. 
 I've tried to personalise them and cater for what I think her tastes are. 
Eeeek, fingers crossed she get as much pleasure and enjoyment out of each and every one as I've had making them for her X.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

My boy & his dog ...

A Boy and His Dog
Edgar Guest 

A boy and his dog make a glorious pair:
No better friendship is found anywhere,
For they talk and they walk and they run and they play,
And they have their deep secrets for many a day;
And that boy has a comrade who thinks and who feels,
Who walks down the road with a dog at his heels.

He may go where he will and his dog will be there,
May revel in mud and his dog will not care;
Faithful he'll stay for the slightest command
And bark with delight at the touch of his hand;
Oh, he owns a treasure which nobody steals,
Who walks down the road with a dog at his heels.

He sees the great soul which the body conceals--
Oh, it's great to be young with a dog at your heels!

My boy and his dog.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

One stack away ...

So me!

My polished silver phase ...

As mentioned in my previous post I have a bit of a crazy thing going for two things at the mo,one is the colour white and the other is polished silver.
Polished silver is proving to be an expensive phase so I don't think my long suffering husband will let this one last long, however I am very grateful and happy with the two lovely things I have managed to purchase second hand.  
I know they will last the test of time and will stay in our family for many years to come.  
The cleaning and polishing phase to constantly keep my lovely things from tarnishing may not last the test of time with me though...we'll see :/

Friday, 8 June 2012

Concoctions dotted hither and thither ...

I have a bit of a crazy thing going for two things at the mo,one is the colour white and the other is polished silver.
I’m liking soft, subtle shades of white either on their own or layered. They can take on a sense of purity, illumination and cleanliness ~ I’m all up for being pure, illuminated and clean!
The only down side to my white phase is that I also like colours, too much, so I currently have ‘areas’ of white dotted around the house.
 I love this little concoction, and it especially stands out because of having colour surrounding it on the shelving above.
White is too impractical for our home of one man who works in fields all day, two children, two dogs and two cats which is why
 I love my little pure,illuminated and clean concoctions 
dotted hither and thither!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The nibbler has been nobbled ...

Once again we stand accused of salvaging a piece of neglected forlorn furniture from becoming firewood and have had an antique pine cupboard in our garage waiting for some TLC. TLC came in the way of me and a sander a couple of weekends ago, let me tell you it was not so much in the way of 'tender' loving care and more like 'turn the thing on, hang on for dear life and watch in horror as the machine takes chunks out of a piece of furniture that has stood the test of time until I came along'. 
I will 'fess up to blowing the sander up but will quickly move on from that as my husband has forgiven but not forgotten. 
I then cleaned the cupboard and applied layers and layers of furniture wax ~ the cupboard gorged on it as it had been left parched and neglected for way too long.

Freshly sanded/butchered.

Then all that was left to do was bring it in and fill it up!
You may notice some chunks of wood on the floor by the cabinet, it has been 'nibbled' while our backs have been turned.

The nibbler has been nobbled!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Our porch needed a lift ...

Well, I’ve been very busy with my crafty ways but I’m keeping my creations under wraps atm as they are presents for the lovely Hannah who is my partner in the 

When they have been safely received I will post photos of what I have made for her ~ eeek hope she likes them.

In the meantime I have done a few quick ‘make overs’ of furniture and thought I’d post a pic of one …
Our porch needed a lift, to say the old fake Bay Tree we'd had in there for 6 years was looking past it was an understatement.
I unearthed a table that had been in our loft for way too long because the top was scratched beyond repair ...
(you know the type: Nice table bought before kids, kids come along and trash said nice table, nice table gets put in the loft as cost a lot of money so just can't bear to part with it).
I gave it a light sanding (really more like a half hearted rub)then painted it using a left over pot of subtle pink, thought "damn, it looks too bedroom'ish" so went over the top using a dry brush and grey paint. I then used clear wax to seal as it will be used outside.
ta dah ...
I think it needs 'accessorizing' but I'll save that for another rainy day :)

The pink and grey layering.

The table I painted was the same as this just a bit larger 
(it's the largest of a nest of tables).

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Boho obsession ...

Picture from

I seem to have developed an ‘all things BoHo’ yearning since the arrival of sunny weather.  I go off in search of second hand jewellery and fabric in the bohemian style as often as I can,however my finds are a bit hit and miss as I continue to try and perfect this style! I’m fast discovering that what can pass as a funky bit of Boho cool, when paired up with the wrong clothing/fabric can quickly turn into ‘older lady chic gone wrong’. I’m learning fast that layering is the way to go and the more BoHo’esq necklaces and bracelets worn the better.  I feel a bit like a teenager again trying to find ‘my’ style and having a few miss-judgments (aka OMG what are you wearing) along the way.  I have to say my long flowery bohemian dress makes me feel like a right nonce and seems to be hell-bent on tripping me up stairs and making me paranoid that, one of its many floaty bits are caught up in my knickers ~ but I’m hoping I’ll learn to love my new found hippy look. Yep, I’m getting comments along the lines of ‘Er, are times that hard your wearing the curtains now ~ haaaa’ and ‘hum, your dress is err very floral, maybe a belt would help’, I was under the impression my attire was complete and that no ‘help’ was needed. Anyways, here is a little gallery of some of my new BoHo buys, I’m hoping they fit the Bohemian catagory nicely and much more Boho then HoBo or even OhNo!!! 
See what you think?