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Come to Vintage Social Saturday 8th November

10 Oct


Sugru hack vintage style

2 Sep


My porcelain pencil sharpener… Take one 50p boot sale Royal Worcester porcelain pot, one pencil sharpener and half a sugru sachet. Sugru’s that mouldable silicon that air dries as a flexible waterproof tough heatproof form. Think useful plasticine. Think ‘I can mend or hack anything’. So now all the pencil shavings collect daintily and usefully in the pot. Hurrah. Sugru is wonderful and inspiring.

Vintage breakfast encore

5 Jul

We had such a good experience of our last Vintage Breakfast that we are doing it again… See you on Sunday 14th July. (If you missed last time have a taste of what it was like… Will be much better at taking photos – eg of lovely ladies sporting our vintage scarves – this time.)






La dama que descubre el seno

14 Oct


Virtually all our pictures, hung floor to ceiling on every available space, are just posters or old photos or pages ripped from magazines or old theatre programmes… If there is a theme it would be a certain dedication to the naked body. I love this Tintoretto lady, maybe Veronica Franco, a memento from our honeymoon in Madrid which was spent largely in the Prado. A while ago we gave her earrings – very suitably, an old Murano glass chandelier drop from a Venice junk shop hung on fishing wire. I wear them too on occasion, as pendants. Holding onto one stands me in Castello on a freezing cold day.

Work in progress: harlequin dinner service

30 Sep


Thought I would share a work in progress. I am assembling a harlequin set of antique porcelain dinner plates. The advantages being… it is cheaper picking up odd, charming plates; I like not having to choose one design when I like so many; if I break one it is less devastating than if I have created a hole in a matching set. The postman thinks I am strange though. Last weekend 10 bulky fragile packages turned up the same morning. I am picking up large dinner plates, dessert plates and, for soup, desserts and pasta etc, the large style of soup plate with a wide ‘brim’.

From Elephant knife case to Shakespeare

22 Jul


Scrap fabric project… Elephant knife case to keep my elegant knives picked up at Ardingly antiques this week. It is (I claim) most worthwhile to make cases for cutlery because it keeps it from the air and means that you rarely have to polish silver and plate and stops it getting scratched and mixed up in a heap. Anyway it’s a great pleasure to sew something quick by hand while watching the BBC Henry V. I can live without Henry IV – Falstaff bores me I fear – but the Hollow Crown sequence has opened my eyes to Richard II with a sublime production and perfect casting of Ben Whishaw. The only dud note was the laboured St Sebastian reference. Off to watch more of Tom Hiddleston being manly. And on a final note of mixing home decor and Shakespeare… Have finally caught onto Hark a Vagrant. I challenge thee not to spend all afternoon here.

For the whole Macbeth, and coverage of most significant events in western civilisation… Hark a Vagrant.

Marie Merveilleuse’ tablecloth

21 Jul


How about this for a lovely lovely surprise? My Ma brought me this today. It’s a lovely waffle weave linen cloth from France with wonderfully anthropomorphic M M monogram dead centre. Fits my long narrow chestnut French kitchen table perfectly. Always wonder about monograms… Marie Merveilleuse? Michelle Ma belle? Used an old silver napkin ring today at the party engraved with ‘Inga’. Have a spoon with a very worn ‘Catherine Bennet’ which makes me think of Pride & Prejudice’s silly Kitty.

Ardingly better than ever

17 Jul


Good day at Ardingly. It didn’t even rain. Definitely worth paying £20 for the first day. Our haul was necessarily small – a) I bought a table on eBay this week and a rocking chair last week b) I had two small children with me. Number 1 was a superstar and scored an unprecedented 9.5 across the board, Number 2 … best to move swiftly on. Vintage wooden cotton reels £1, great vintage French fabrics from £2 for quite generous pieces, beautifully embroidered linens, crisp deco knives. All of these I will use. Number 1 will have some very unusual frocks on the go for Autumn/Winter 2012.





How’s this for transformation?: the pantry

30 Dec

Pantry, before and after

It’s been 8 years and more we’ve lived here and only just now have we banished the last of the evil woodchip wallpaper, may the inventors of this ill suffer many pains and sorrows. It took some scraping, wearing masks because we weren’t sure the paint wasn’t full of lead, but we have finished the pantry. It’s painted in the same two-tone spats / chocolate gateau colours – depending on your cultural references – of 70% cocoa brown and unwaxed lemon cream. It’s filled to the brim with the accumulated paraphernalia of 15 years scouring antiques markets, eBay and charity shops, as well as all our store cupboard goodies. Sometimes I just sit here and it makes me feel better.

New life in vintage French fabric

27 Oct

Monet style French vintage fabric soon to be girlie frocks

Some more wonderful 1950s vintage curtains arrived this morning c/o eBay. The fabric is a 1950s  atomic era, Eames-ey green heavy cotton shot with flashes of yellow and red. It’s like looking through your eyelashes at a field splashed with poppies in high summer. These French vintage fabrics are so good, the designs are brilliant and the quality of the cloth calls to my finger-ends. I save all the selvedge legends with the colour chart, fabric names, great typography, the sliver of off-cut print.
They began as red fringed curtains. They’ll be reborn as girlie frocks. Look out for the dresses in my etsy shop soon.