Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Teacup ♥

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Magpie Tendencies

Always a happy day when there are pretty teacups on the shelves ♥ If you're anything like me {avid seeker of vintage china} you'll know that little hoards of them in charity shops are rare now that teacups feature in every other magazine and more people have wised up to their loveliness.  The revival of tea taking which has swept the land in a wave of sugar lumps and chintz is a fantastic thing, the best sort of nostalgia.  My only sadness is the scarcity of finds and the often heftier price tag of what is on offer.  But . . . . dark, wintry Saturday afternoons with suspect skies and high winds seem to be the ideal stalking conditions - £3 for the lot.

Earlier this week I did that classic thing of judging a book by it's cover and quirky title; this time I'm glad. I haven't read anything quite like it before - 30 pages in and there are no character names, people are only identified by their physical characteristics and the description is so vivid that I fall into the book as I read. This is prose poetry rather than a novel and is definitely unconventional, £1 well spent. 

The china fairies struck a second time; an old blue and white dinner plate with horses on it for £1!? Sold. 

Here's where the wheels came off the thrifty self control wagon and the inner magpie came out to play. Sparkly vintage brooches, about 20 of them, all grouped together and twinkling at me from a display cabinet. It'd have been easier to share a Boost bar {and you'd take your life in your hands suggesting that to me} than walk away empty handed but I kept it to these 5.

The curious find.  A very old, very battered ring holder in dire need of a wash before it sets up camp on my chest of drawers - T gave me his 'What is THAT?' look - I blame the little birdie and the pretty colours for drawing me in. 

Going to attempt knocking charity shopping on the head between now and Christmas - we'll see how that goes! Anybody else completely underprepared this year? I'm yet to even buy Christmas cards, ribbon and wrap - must get on that.

Hope you lovelies are all having a great weekend, whatever you're up to!

Friday, 25 November 2011


I've rambled on about how much I ♥ vintage postcards before but this time I'm sticking firmly to the present.  Coming home to post on the doormat, or hearing the rustle and snap as the postie pushes it through my door makes me very happy, then comes that little rush of anticipation; what could it be?  More often than not a couple of disappointing plastic-windowed envelopes or a handful of junky flyers look up at me expectantly, in my experience if an envelope has a plastic window the contents are either dull or expensive - not a winner.  Every so often though, a handwritten card or letter from a friend drops through to make my day and then I wish it happened more regularly as they beat a Facebook message, tweet or email hands down. 

Enter Postcrossing, an international online community of postcard fanciers like myself!  Become a postcrosser, request an address, and send a postcard to a random soul across the globe and you'll then receive one yourself from someone else.  The perfect solution to boring mail days as you never know where your next postcard will come from or when it will arrive.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Case of Vintage

Recently I have had some lucky finds - the sort that set my little heart aflutter and leave me slightly breathless with glee after handing over the cash and wandering off with my treasure - none more so than this vintage suitcase in navy leather with a near spotless red lining.  It called my name from it's spot on a market stall and was marked at £4 which the lovely seller promptly knocked down to £3 when he saw whose 'Mrs' I was - i.e the guy who bought a bureau from him then borrowed a sack trolley to wheel it back up the hill to his lady fair. 

I'd envied some gorgeous vintage cases found by other thrifty bloggers but until today I hadn't come across one of my own and was super excited when I found it came complete with it's key and a fittingly retro Snoopy keyring.  Previously property of Mrs E. Patchton  (if you're reading this Mrs P rest assured it could not have found a more willing home).

Another vintage something I'd been hoping to come across was a fan of some description, it was just by chance that I spotted an 'everything £1' box outside one of the antiques shops in town.

Inside was this battered fan with it's birdie/floriental design. Pure love.

China has been scarce in the charity shops of late and when it has made an appearance the prices have been a touch rich for my blood.  A pristine cake plate for £1 came as a welcome surprise!  I'm mentally debating whether to christen it with flapjack or cheddar biscuits.

Ten vintage postcards tied up with string were my next happy-making purchase for £1.50 - in my book you can never have too many, they're a friendly window into the past.

I'm more intrigued by the cards written in haste with plenty of blotting and the odd ink spill than I am by those with perfect, slanted penmanship, prim and proper sentiments.

Lastly, a non-vintage hand mirror I picked up in the Salvation Army for 40p.  It has sparked my inner collector - I'd like to pick up a few wooden hand mirrors to hang in a group above my chest of drawers rather than a traditional mirror, in my mind it looks interesting and different - will have to try it and see! 

Hope you've all been having a lovely weekend ♥

Friday, 18 November 2011

The Little Things

I ♡ the end of day feeling I get from seeing chairs like this, or stacked on top of tables.  I like watching people close up shop - wiping down tables, counting change, flipping the closed sign before they run a hoover round to whisk away the footprints of the day.  

Homemade sloe gin in a lovely bottle with a witty label.  It was T's birthday yesterday, friends came over and took us to dinner on Wednesday evening before we all came back to chat away and sip some of this delicious rocket fuel.

Friday, 11 November 2011

I ♥ Doors

I've always had a fascination with locks, keys, letterboxes, door knobs and door knockers - the best places to find them all at once being doors themselves.  From the most ornate, grandiose entries to the simple, functional ones painted a cheery colour - I can't stop myself seeking them out whenever I'm wandering down a street.  There's a line of course; PVC are not my cup of tea visually speaking, but they're not without their own stories.  It's nigh on impossible for me to spot an interesting something about a door and not want to take a picture or fabricate a history of it's character or the people who use it each day; is it obstinate and only persuaded to budge if you lean your full weight against it and jiggle while you turn the key?  Who lives or works inside? 

Before I sound too much like a burglar casing the joint and planning a break-in I'll tell you my theory: that doors are like books, there is a world behind each one - only as people come and go the story evolves, more fluid than finite ink on a page.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Bath Take Two

One of the most striking sights in Bath is Bath Abbey - it looks imposing by day but possibly even more so when lit up at night.

On our second day we took an open-topped bus tour of Bath, a city tour of around 40 minutes and a skyline tour about the same length.  It was on the city tour that we clocked the location of the Jane Austen Centre!  Tristan and my Dad shared a grimace but they both came with Mum and I to visit the centre, listen to the talk about Jane's life and her relationship with the city of Bath and wander round the exhibits on the shooting of Persuasion (a neck and neck favourite with Pride and Prejudice for me) and of regency life.

I found out plenty of things about Jane's time in Bath and about her family that I hadn't known before and the centre itself is beautifully put together with friendly, knowledgeable staff and also a fabulous gift shop.  Well worth popping by if you're also an Austen fan.