Saturday, 31 October 2009

2 Weeks!

This super feature appeared in the Western Daily Press today (click on image to enlarge & read).

Just 2 weeks to go now until the Fair - I can't wait! It is going to be such fun & there will be so many lovely things you won't know where to look first. The hall will be stuffed to the rafters with vintage goodies, handmade wonders & festive delights!

Not to mention delicious tea & cakes to build up your strength for carrying all your finds home.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Scottie Swag

I finally had time to make something using my new sewing machine so I made this - a tartan Scottie dog swag for Christmas.
Click on the photo to enlarge as it looks quite tiny here!

Should I bring some to the Vintage & Handmade Fair?

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Thrifty Gift Wrap

Miss Cottage has a birthday coming up soon.

"Oh no!" I hear you gasp in disbelief, "you can't possibly have a 20 year old daughter!" ;-)

Well, it seems it happens to us all, but I digress.....

We both like to think of imaginative ways to present or wrap our gifts, so this year I have used pages from an old girl's annual to wrap this gift. I use vintage, falling apart annuals to make my recycled envelopes so always have some lying about.

As the pages are not very big I stuck two together first & then wrapped it, adding some brown ric-rac braid instead of ribbon & made a matching gift tag. The wrapping has cost me nothing but I think it's quite nifty...and thrifty!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

A Cautionary Tale

This is what a mobile phone looks like after Miss Cottage put it on the roof of the car at the stables while she loaded things into the boot, forgot it was there & drove off. We found the phone the next day quite some distance away - it had obviously been driven over.
This is the second phone she has killed this year - the last one drowned in a bucket of water intended for the pony!

The moral of the story? Put it in your pocket!

Monday, 26 October 2009

New Toy

When Miss Cottage went off to university in September she needed to take a sewing machine, so off she went with my trusty computerised Brother machine which I've had for about 10 years & does everything except make a cup of tea.

Of course this left me machine-less which is a Very Bad Thing! So, I had to find another one to use. Of course I started off looking at ones with all the bells & whistles & they certainly do a lot these days, but then I thought that I didn't really need two machines that could do all those things (and I have to admit that I don't really use all the gadgets very much anyway).

So, I scaled down my requirements, did a bit of research, tried out a machine or two in a sewing shop & settled on this lovely number - it is basically like my other machine but doesn't do as much or have as many attachments, but all the attachments will fit both machines. I am partial to Brother machines having used industrial machines made by them for years. A few of my requirements are that the machine is sturdy, doesn't jump around, is fast & will sew through all thicknesses & this one met all those needs AND it was on special offer as it is an Anniversary edition, so even better! I do like a bargain....

So, I'm very pleased with the new addition to my sewing you can see, my supervisor, Pippa, is beside herself with delight too......

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Flash Mob

This is what The Boy got up to yesterday when he went out with his friends - this was at Cabot Circus in Bristol yesterday....crazy teenagers!
Flash Mob

Friday, 23 October 2009

Vintage School Posters

I thought I'd show you some charming posters that have just been added to the "Second Childhood" department of my shop.

They are from vintage (30's, 40's & 50's) issues of Child Education magazine & were intended for use in classrooms.
The illustrations are so charming & colourful & would look fabulous framed.

The one above is "Cleaning The Rabbit's Hutch" from 1953.

The one below is "Harvest Time" from 1939 - poignant to think that such a peaceful country scene is depicted in the year the world went to war.

"Mother Goose's Village" is from 1952 & depicts all sorts of traditional Nursery Rhyme characters.

This one depicts Queen Elizabeth II leaving Westminister Abbey after her coronation in 1953.

"A Country Fair" is from 1940 - also during the war years.

There are others too - it's always amazing when something as fragile as paper survives all this time (including the war years) & they do deserve to be cherished for years to come.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

A Bit Of Retail Therapy

A bit of retail therapy certainly does you good & I have to admit to feeling quite pleased with my latest purchases so I thought I'd share them with you here. Don't you just love the red polka dot cardigan? From Tesco of all places!

Last weekend Mr Cottage & I attended our favourite giant flea market & came home with a desk! We have quite a large lounge & sometimes a large room can be difficult to arrange in a cosy fashion, so even though we have 3 sofas, two display cupboards, a tallboy, a coffee table & 3 side tables, plus the TV, we have an empty space between the sofa & the front window. I have always thought that it was the perfect spot for a desk so have been on the lookout for one for years - not actively searching, just looking until the right one came along which it did on Sunday!

It is made of oak & probably from the 1930's & what I love is that it has a label inserted into the back informing us that it was the property of the Essex Education Dept. So, it's an old school teacher's desk - it is solidly build - wood all the way around, and has signs of years of use including scratches & dings in the wood & ink stains in the drawers. The dealer we bought it from was from Cornwall so it's certainly travelled around! It looks perfect tucked under the window & I have the perfect chair for it which I've owned for about 25 years but needs a little TLC.
...will have to get around to that now.

Of course a desk needs a bit of stationary & I have to admit to being slightly addicted to notebooks - how many notes I think I need to make I have no idea, but I just love them & my latest addition is the charming Ladybird one - just right for me don't you think?

I fear Mr Cottage is going all retro-kitsch on me - look what he fell in love with & bought at the same fair......

Of course, if one is going to do a bit of retail therapy & one sews, then crafty supplies must be on the agenda - I couldn't resist these bells from Paperchase - perfect for Christmas.....

Plus a few more fat quarters to add to my ever growing stash (please don't remind me that some of the fabrics in my stash have been there for 20 years & I've not used them yet!)

Another few recent treasures are this cute tin - ideal for pins - and the Union Jack pincushion from Cath Kidston - the reds look good together don't they?
The little flag you can see was discovered in a bag of old sewing goodies.

And finally, I wanted to introduce a few doggy friends who will be accompanying me to the Vintage & Handmade Fair in just a few weeks time!

I think I'd better hide my purse & credit card away for a few weeks now!

Monday, 19 October 2009

National Baking Week

It's National Baking Week this week, so why not tie on your vintage apron, get out your favourite recipe book & whip up a tasty treat?
Or have a look here for inspiration.

There's nothing as nice as a piece of homemade cake, a cup of tea & a little sit down!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Sustain on Saturday

This morning Mr Cottage, The Boy & I drove over to Stroud to visit the "Sustain" exhibition.
Lovely Annie of A Saucerful of Secrets fame was there with her wonderful felted animal dolls - such a fabulous feel of whimsy & creativity. I particularly fell in love with her charming pug.

There were other exhibitors of course, but I didn't want to take photos without permission. Annie was happy for me to snap away (with the phone camera as I hadn't taken a camera with me).

Annie will be bringing her fantabulous menagerie & other delights to the Vintage & Handmade Fair next's exactly 4 Saturdays from today!

In the meantime you can see more of her work at The Little Wren House Factory.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Bags, Tea Cosies, Badges & Buttons..

This week The Boy went off on on school history trip to Berlin (it's alright for some isn't it?) & took my camera with him so I haven't been able to snap any bloggy photos for you, so I thought I'd show you some of Miss Cottage's work which has been added to the Handmade department of my shop.

Miss C loves applique & embroidery & she has used this to great effect in these items. Everything is beautifully made using new & vintage fabrics, trims & accessories.
If anything catches your eye please do pop over to the shop - she'd be thrilled to have a few sales to boost her bank account now she is a university student!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Sneaky Peek & Shop Update

As the Vintage & Handmade Fair gets closer & closer I have been turning my thoughts to which vintage lovelies I will be taking along to delight you.
Since the last fair I have been accumulating lots of gorgeous goodies & some of them have been happily living on this set of shelves in my office/studio so I snapped a photo to show you.
If you click on it it should enlarge for a closer look. See anything that takes your fancy?

(Please excuse the duster - I only just noticed that it is tucked under the shelves!)

In the meantime the shop has had a little update including the following.....

A pretty china rose brooch & wooden hat stand in "Boudoir"

Sorry - the brooch is SOLD

Sorry - the hat stand is SOLD

The most adorable Pixie cake decorations in "Kitchenalia"
Sorry...Pixies are SOLD

Plus, as an avid dog lover, I have created a new section which I have dubbed "The Dog House" where you will find all things doggy such as vintage ceramic dogs & the sweetest pyjama case.

Suzy The Spaniel

Scruffy the Terrier - Sorry, I'm SOLD

Lulu the pyjama case