Saturday 31 March 2012

Finding treasures

Regardless of how hectic life gets, juggling family and the shop, I will ALWAYS find time and energy for a little treasure hunt.
My recent trawl took me to a local flea market where I managed to find these curios
Although the last couple of weeks has been uncommonly warm, I didn't hesitate to grab this beautiful vintage eiderdown and just in time; its been much appreciated on the frosty nights that have descended upon us of late. 

I could not resist this charming prayer book.It has a birthday dedication on the inside front page dating back to 1879.
Bound in leather and ivory/bone it carries some inscriptions at the back which give a little insight into the owner's chronology.

Inside I found this lovely woven label used as a bookmark.
I may not read all of them but books with pretty covers are my weakness. This one is about the lives of some of the American heroes.

I knew that the vintage toy chair would have it's uses...
These mouth blown vintage scent bottles are styled on the ancient Venetian glass files from the 17th and 18th century.

This antique childrens 'recovery' wheel chair was  one of those quirky items I could not walk past.It's so beautifully made by a Parisian craftsman. Dating back to 1800's it still works perfectly. Although the Teddy loves it I hope it will find a happy new owner soon.

Ever wished that people knew how you Really felt...these old ceramic tragedy masks are just what you need to make that message clear. 

 My collection of bells is slowly growing.They go well with our oil paintings. The hand carved wooden one at the bottom is my favourite so far. 

The 1940's vanity case was a real catch and it's perfect for housing all these other lovely bits.

Jersey pottery piggy bank from 1930's
I like the detail on these silver plated Apostle coffee spoons.
And after you've had your afternoon tea with all those obligatory scones and cucumber sandwiches, you'll need to sweep up the crumbs.
 Well, I've got to go, have some unfinished projects not to mention a Mount Everest of ironing to climb so good night ,sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Spring changes

This week the brilliant sunshine has awakened in me the need for 
change so I started with the window display in my shop.
Like many crafty/artistic people out there I couldn't ease colour in gently. After all, we overdosed on the grey and dull murkiness for far too long now.

These rustic kitchen chairs and side table are from Hungary. They date from about 1900's and still have the original paint in all its distressed beauty.

I wanted to bring a little bit of fresh air inside.
This is a very international table. 
The table cloth is a Hungarian antique mangle cloth with the family initials monogrammed at one end,just by the spoons. The crockery came from a house clearance in Belgium.Its by the Boch Brothers and is about 70 years old.It looks good on the vintage English Penny Pine plate rack.
The chunky spoons are from France and are carved from a single piece of wood.They've seen some living that's for sure.

I find that enamel has a timeless appeal which spreads across the board of interior styles. These old French water/milk pitchers look great filled with an abundance of fresh flowers, especially Cow Parsley and Delphiniums, or with Corkscrew Hazel twigs for a more contemporary twist,excuse the pun.
 Sometimes,cleverly positioned, they give that much needed understated splash of colour.

Inspired by Julie from THE CLOTH SHED blog(sorry, still haven't worked out how to insert the links properly) I arranged these old moulds on top of a not-so-old painted egg rack.
 I'm sure that the stoneware bottles/jars had a useful purpose but I'm none the wiser. They are cute though. 

Talking of cute...
I could not resist this Bavarian 'baby' kettle. The colour is lovely; a chalky shade of grey with a soft white marbling  effect on the enamel.Its the first of its kind I've come across.
We all like to have some sort of order in the kitchen so these labeled vintage French hooks will definitely help with that.There's a hook for a hand cloth,cutlery cloth,glass cloth and pan cloth. What more would you want?!
My enthusiasm had later spread to a much neglected part of our house and, since it is now the tidiest part of our house, I feel brave enough to show you a glimpse.Its our downstairs loo and its quite an awkward space to photograph in so apologies in advance.
We've been doing quite a lot to this house since we moved 2 years ago and its still nowhere near finished. Being such a small space we started with this room but only now are almost done, just awaiting the blind.
I tried to source most of the stuff from auctions,antique fairs and even a local tip had my attention.

This is my little collection of vintage evening bags. All beautifully made and of all ages.I guess there are some things that I WILL NOT SELL.

The Ostrich feather came from a costume sale in Drury Lane years ago, when I had another life.

The collage of water colours and ink drawings are of my home town of Gdansk and the street I grew up on, the most beautiful and historic street with cobbled stones and fabulous architecture heavily influenced by the Dutch trade routs.
I always knew I'd find use for that vintage 'Washing Dolly', the long wooden handle is perfect for stacking the loo rolls.

We've had this sign for years because it spells out what is sometimes hard to say.
I had to buy this antique French clock face. The beautiful detail on the enamel makes it simply charming.
The cat is an art piece by a Polish ceramic artist who likes to use mixed materials in her work; this one features a perforated copper mask.
There is something extremely tactile about these pots. Their bulbous,portly shape just makes one want to hold them. They were originally used to melt Mercury back in the 1900's and now they give a softness to my loo!
Anyway, enough for one post. Time to have a cup of tea and read up on some of your wonderful posts.
Till next time.
Enjoy the forthcoming sunshine, they say its going to be a lovely week.

Wednesday 7 March 2012

A quick 'hello'

Hi everyone!
Sorry for the long silence. Been really busy multitasking; juggling the shop, the house and the family.
Went to an 80th birthday party over the weekend, in Essex.
I forgot just how beautiful the colourful houses of Coggershall are. What a time to forget the camera !!!

Managed to fit in a historical walk to the place of the last battle of the English civil war, 
The foot path took us through some wonderful places
with amazing sights.

 It was such a treat to see these Daffs swaying in the gentle breeze.
As we came to the village of Longborough we were just in time for a much needed drink. This shop is so quaint with a tiny cafe in the back.

Liam is not used to such long walks but really loves them.

Went down to the church which has a fabulous clock face.

Lots of treasures inside like this sarcophagus of a local benefactor and his wife.

Some beautiful marble 

and breath taking stained glass windows.

I hope the sign lives up to its name...
After what was a really pleasurable time(and thats coming from a reluctant walker) we ended up with this view.

If we could turn the clock back to 1646 we'd be in the middle of a fierce and bloody conquest of the Royalists by the Cromwellian army who, even though heavily out numbered by King Charles's men, out witted and over threw the enemy, climbing this hill and surrounding the Royalists from the left flank cutting off their escape.

Now, back at the car, just enough time to snap a few Spring shots.

Being a foreigner,I'm very much in love with the archetypal English trade marks like this telephone box.
 When I was 5 years old and living in Poland, I was sent a puzzle with a picture of Piccadilly Circus.With its bright lights,colourful shop advertising and the vibrant Double Decker buses it was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen.In a very communist and grey Poland this little girl was dreaming of going over to this magical land one day...5 years later the dream came true.

I don't think I will ever get tired of these flowers. There are so many varieties.These are from my garden.

Well, don't want to bore you too much so stay in touch.