Monday, 29 November 2010
I can't believe it's taken me this long to get around to writing a blog post about the wonderful Vintage & Handmade Christmas Fair 2010!
After a very early (and very cold -6C) start the hall was abuzz with stallholders bustling around setting up stalls & unpacking boxes & bags of exciting goodies.
At 10am sharp the doors were opened to a crowd of eager (and cold!) shoppers all wrapped up warmly & ready to revel in the loveliness on offer.
It was busy all day with a most wonderful atmosphere & we received so many lovely comments about the quality of the stalls. We estimate that we welcomed well over 1000 visitors on the day.
The tearoom was serving warming cups of tea & coffee as well as delicious cakes all day & in the afternoon we were treated to carols sung by a local children's choir - I noticed a few tears in eyes!
I have included just a few photos of my stall (I was lucky enough to be by the big Christmas tree!) but you can see lots more on flickr here
I just want to say a huge "Thank You" to all the talented & creative stallholders who braved an early morning start to bring their wares to the fair, the hardworking Tea Trio who were rushed off their feet all day & of course all our lovely visitors, many of whom are staunch regulars who come to every fair from far & wide. It was reported back to us that the nearest bank cash machine actually ran out of money!
It wouldn't be the same without you all.
And finally, another thanks to my fabulous friend & partner Michele....we did it again! ;-)
Friday, 26 November 2010
I just wanted to post a quick note to let you all know that we don't have any snow forecast until Tuesday in my area (I live near Chipping Sodbury) so it's business as usual on Sunday for the Vintage & Handmade Fair.
We have had a nice mention in the Homes & Antiques newsletter & on their website as they are coming along too.
Hope to see lots of you there - it promises to be a fantastic day once again!
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
"Ready for what?" you may ask. Well, if you haven't heard, there is a Fabulous Fair coming up on Sunday 28th November - everyone who is everyone will be there - including these lovely vintage teddies!
Of course, it's the eagerly awaited Vintage & Handmade Fair with it's overload of vintage loveliness & handmade delights! Where else can you find something fun or quirky, unusual or kitsch for everyone on your Christmas list & you will know that they certainly won't be receiving a duplicate! The atmosphere is always wonderful & friendly with so many like minded folk.
This Christmas Fair is a bumper one with over 40 stalls - we have been fortunate enough to be able to use an elegant upstairs room too where you will find some brand new sellers with their lovely wares including jewellery, retro greeting cards, French linens, gift boxed vintage china & heritage seeds & bulbs.
Up there you will also find our newly appointed tearoom with our friendly Tea Team (Tamzin, Georgia & Jack) on hand to dispense warming cups of tea & coffee & of course delicious slices of homemade cakes while you rest your feet, catch up with friends & consider which stalls you want to revisit.
For those of you who are there in the afternoon we have a rather festive treat in store too!
So, hope to see lots of you there on Sunday! The details again......
Sunday 28th November 2010
Chipping Sodbury Town Hall,
10am - 4pm
Free admission & plenty of free parking too.
Now...I still have some sorting & baking to do....eeek....
Thursday, 18 November 2010
I have also woken up the lazy Christmas Elves & have had them hard at work restocking the shelves of my Christmas Shop. I spend all year searching out lovely vintage Christmas decorations to offer you at this time of year.
Of course I will be taking some to the Vintage & Handmade Fair next weekend & this Saturday I will be having a stall at the Rangeworthy Village Hall's "Winter Fair" too - this is on from 2pm - 4pm so if you are close by why not pop in & say hello?
For those of you further afield I have added some lovely Christmassy goodies to my online shop - Homes & Antiques magazine borrowed quite a few for a decorating feature which will appear in their next issue at the beginning of December!
I also want to introduce you to a very festive girl - my new mini "Ruby"
She is a cracker!
Friday, 12 November 2010
Did you know that next week (15th - 20th November) is Antiques Week?
The slogan this year is "Now is the time to buy antiques".
When you consider how much better value antique or vintage items are compared to new & how much longer they will last they are definitely a "green" option. For instance I bought a 1930's solid oak desk to use for my computer for £150 - I'm sure a flat packed desk made of chipboard would cost about the same & I didn't have to build it! If I want to sell it in the future I will get my money back whereas that flat packed desk will either have to be given away or end up in landfill - I know which one I'd rather have!
My desk used to be a school teacher's desk (it has a school district label on the back- it started life in a classroom in Essex, the dealer bought it in Cornwall & I bought it from him in Gloucestershire so it has had a few travels). It has scratches on the top & ink stains in the drawers - perfect!
Homes & Antiques magazine are supporting this initiative & have lots of information on their website including lists of antique dealers who are offering a 20% discount on any purchases during the week & fairs who are offering free entry this month too, so pop along & have a look for a dealer or fair near you & take advantage of these offers!
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Today we remember those who fought & died in the war - such a heavy loss to families up & down the country.
I'd also like to remember the animals who lost their lives in the First World War too, including over 8 million horses & mules - yes, 8 million!
As inscribed on the Animals in War memorial in Hyde Park, "They had no choice".
A Soldier's Kiss
by Henry Chappell
Only a dying horse! pull off the gear,
And slip the needless bit from frothing jaws,
Drag it aside there, leaving the road way clear,
The battery thunders on with scarce a pause.
Prone by the shell-swept highway there it lies
With quivering limbs, as fast the life-tide fails,
Dark films are closing o’er the faithful eyes
That mutely plead for aid where none avails.
Onward the battery rolls, but one there speeds
Needlessly of comrades voice or bursting shell,
Back to the wounded friend who lonely bleeds
Beside the stony highway where he fell.
Only a dying horse! he swiftly kneels,
Lifts the limp head and hears the shivering sigh
Kisses his friend, while down his cheek there steals
Sweet pity’s tear, "Goodbye old man, Goodbye".
No honours wait him, medal, badge or star,
Though scarce could war a kindlier deed unfold;
He bears within his breast, more precious far
Beyond the gift of kings, a heart of gold.
Monday, 8 November 2010
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
I have made a start with some Christmas gifts by making some chutney with the last of my tomatoes & chillies from the poly tunnel & it does need a month or so to mature.
Making chutney in an Aga is really easy - just throw all the ingredients into a pot, stir & bring to the boil then put into the simmering oven & forget about it for 3 or 4 hours. Finally, bring to the boil again to reduce the liquid then pour into warm jars.
I tied brown card labels around the jars with colourful string & added a vintage spoon for serving - a simple & tasty gift!
Two books that I came across recently are good for inspiration - "Christmas Treats" is filled with recipes for cakes & brownies, muffins & biscuits, preserves & more, all of which can be made to serve to guests or given as gifts.
I like the look of the Christmas muffins & the cranberry preserve.
The second book is appropriately titled "Home-Made Christmas" & this is full to bursting with ideas for gifts & decorating with projects from simple biscuits for children to make to opulent wreaths for the front door.
The Christmas bunting looks very pretty in this hall....
I love the Victorian shoe style Christmas stocking.....
Not all decorations have to be pricey - these are just made with paper & it also shows how to make other decorations by recycling coke tins into hearts!
Isn't this little dog adorable? There is a pattern for knitting him as well as a funky reindeer...
Speaking of reindeer ("Oh no!" I hear you cry...".not this year too - the mad Christmas reindeer woman strikes again!)
And finally a few creative & pretty ideas on how to wrap up all those lovingly made Christmas gifts.
Are you planning on making gifts this year? I hope so, but if you aren't crafty you can always visit the Vintage & Handmade Christmas Fair on the 28th November & buy lovely handmade & vintage gifts from the talented stallholders there!
Homemade Christmas by Tessa Evelegh, photography by Caroline Arber, CICO Books
Christmas Treats by Linda Collister with photography by Linda Collister, Ryland Peters & Small