Friday, 31 May 2013

Visit to Village Vintage Plumpton

I went in search of some lighting for the drawing room and possibly some garden accoutrement.

Nothing of interest on the lighting front but I did make a couple of purchases, not
the bloomers I hasten to add.

I was very happy to find a great range of suitably appealing vintage paraphernalia. Not just the usual tin baths and grey painted clumsy furniture that I so often see at 'Country Vintage Events'. Although there was plenty of that if that's your thing.

Part of my slowly evolving plan to revamp and reinvent my vintage and craft business/hobby, is to clear out my lovely garden studio of stock, and paint and polish it into a more creative space. The Mister and I are doing this alongside planting and developing the garden. Happily we can do both when the sun is shining :)

Initially we had high hopes to make a wonderfully desirable seating area at the back of our garden to make the most of the evening sun. Think hand painted tiles, unique and oh so stylish dining furniture, bespoke artisan lighting etc etc
The reality is we don't have the budget for that and actually as we plan to move from this house in the next three years it's probably not that sensible to spend huge amounts on something that we will be leaving behind before we know it.

So I had one of my ideas, I have quite a few you see? As I'm actually clearing out and remodelling the garden studio space I could extend that to include creating a gorgeous outside space for us on the veranda of the studio, makes sense as it gets all of the sun most of the day and the setting sun in the evening.

At the moment it looks terribly tatty and weather worn, but I hope to transform it by the end of June, so we can spend some Summer evenings sitting out relaxing and dining, we don't do it often enough, relaxing I mean, I think we possibly do a bit too much dining.

I want to put some eye popping coloured plants and flowers up there and this groovy 1950s plant stand I found today will do very nicely.

Plus my other purchase will add a little something to the studio interior n'est pas? The flowers are painted on glass and look so sweet and as you see the frame is suitably French and the right side of shabby.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Maresfield Village Fete & Vintage at Farnham Maltings + a Giveaway.

Right on cue the weather is becoming more and more erratic, it's because our local village fete is being held this bank holiday Monday 27th May.

The Village of Maresfield East Sussex
Last year my stall nearly blew away the wind was so bad. Such a shame as so much effort goes into making the event a success. As always there will be live music, local produce stalls, a rather splendid plant stall that is usually obscured by garden enthusiasts, live arena displays and of course a novelty dog show. I will be there selling off my stock of vintage and vintage inspired clothing at truly bargain prices, as well as my usual array of beautiful and stylish objects including pictures, ceramics and accessories. If you have time pop along, say hello and buy something. It's all in a good cause. The fete starts at 12 noon. Be there or be square.

Sunday week, 2nd June I will be plying my wares at a fabulous Vintage event at Farnham Maltings in Surrey.

Countdown to Vintage 2013...
Farnham Maltings’ vintage festival is back for it’s third year offering plenty of opportunities to purchase inspiring treasures. For visitors in search of a fashionable find there is a choice of stallholders spanning the decades and showcasing wonderful collections. Homewares, jewellery, furniture, records and old movie posters are just a few of the exhibitors in our eclectic emporium.
The programme has something for everyone; so get thrifty in a free craft workshop, listen to live music and join us for a day of fun!
Images: Left, Angela Walker; Middle, Lulu Locket Photography; Right, FB Pocket Orchestra

This will probably be the last ever pure vintage foray for me as I intend to rethink where my passions and interests lie and change tack. I adore vintage, but buying and selling items, even in the small way that I have, has lost it's sparkle for me. Although I couldn't really ever give up on it completely, I feel major changes are in store. More of that later.

Lastly a small giveaway. Part of my package as a stall holder at the Farnham event is two complimentary tickets, such a lovely word complimentary, almost as nice as upgrade. Anyway I digress, I have given one ticket to a chum who is coming but I thought it might be nice to offer the other ticket as a prize on this blog. All you need to do is leave a comment on my blog or join as a new follower and I will pop your name into the hat. I will announce the winner next Friday. I'm planning on leaving the ticket on the door for the winner. Good luck.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

What I've Been Doing This Week

Saw a lovely assembly of my fav push-along dog earlier this week at Eridge Decorative Living fair. (Yes Nilly I went).

I so loved the one at the front, I even have a little friend for him at home, but £125.00?

He looks disappointed I didn't bring him a new friend home doesn't he?

making Ciabatta

Dropped off my 1950s radiogram at a local shop to sort out my 'long playing function', sounds a bit saucy eh? The shop, Radio Parade (love that name btw sounds so New York 1930s) is staffed by some very sweet old gentlemen, who I'm not convinced aren't Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse in character.

Don't panic the lamp is only temporary

Today has been garden, the Mister is still outside slaving away.

Lastly an update on the baby birds nesting inside a bag of gravel at the bottom of our garden. Sadly only two left now, but I managed to get a little picture of them, hope you can make it out, I had to be super quick not wanting to upset 'Mum'.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

My Glamorous Life

image via

Oh my life is terribly, terribly glamorous.

Yes, The Decorative Living Fair at Eridge this morning.

view from the terrace at Eridge Park, terribly glamorous
And tonight a drinks reception and private view at Pelham House Hotel in Lewes.

I'm so glamorous it even rubs orff on my cat Pendragon.

image via
Well that was the mood this morning before I slipped over on a camouflaged pool of cat bile and nearly broke my elbow. Holding both of my dear cat's food bowls, I didn't have a hand free to break my fall. Luckily my elbows don't appear to shatter too easily. Thank heavens.

It was probably my very unglamorous grey fleecy Wallace and Gromit dressing gown that softened the blow.

Glamour isn't everything you know.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Tiny Birds & Happy Cat

The weekend was full of surprises. First off our grumpy British Short Haired cat Pendragon was in a very happy mood, should that be a surprise? Well yes actually, you see like us humans she doesn't like the grey and wet British weather and because it's been prolonged this year so has her grumpiness. But this weekend the house has been filled with much loud purriness. In fact she was so happy yesterday she tried to get inside the tissue box on our bedroom window ledge, a little eccentric I know, but she seemed to be enjoying it immensely.

The other surprise of the weekend was the discovery of a well hidden birds nest. The nest was so well hidden it nearly caused the death of the baby birds in it. Mr.S&P was going about his garden tasks, which at the moment involves the laying of a red brick path alongside the back of the house. When on lifting a bag of gravel at the back of the garden in the 'gubbins' (very untidy) area of the garden, he was startled by a bird flying out of said bag. Even more startled when on tipping the bag of gravel into a wheelbarrow he spotted a tiny nest with the most incy baby birds in it, which thankfully had not been crushed by the tipping out of the gravel, and were even still the right way up.

The nest was and is now back inside the red/green plastic bag on the left of the pic

Three tiny little creatures with just a few bits of fluff on their skin. Mr.S&P raced inside to get me, not being a stranger to birdy type rescues, and we quickly refilled another bag as the original had split, and placed the nest back inside. We wrapped the original bag around the new one as it was a different colour and we were worried the parent bird might not recognise it. Thankfully we saw the bird return to the bag, and then fly in and out several times. I had a quick peek this morning and the babies are still in there and look fine and dandy. If I pull the top of the bag back they sit up and open their tiny yellow rimmed beaks for food, when I fold it back they immediately flop down to save their energy. I don't want to disturb the area too much, but I will check back again in a couple of days and if I think it's safe I will get a quick pic to show you. But this pic I found on line is similar to how they look, so sweet.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Did You Know This About Her Maj ?

Her Maj has her own secret code to signal things to her staff especially when she feels the need to move on. And it's all to do with where she puts her handbag, how queer ?

If she wants to leave a dinner in five minutes she puts her handbag on the table. If she moves her handbag from arm to arm it signals to her aides she is tired of talking to someone.

What probably isn't a secret is that like her dear departed mother she enjoys a drink. She 'takes' a Dubonnet and Gin cocktail, called a Zaza, served with lots of ice and lemon, before lunch. She drinks wine with lunch and a dry Martini and a glass of champagne in the evening. That's six units a day, which makes her a binge drinker by current government health standards.

Oh, and apparently, again following in dear mama's footsteps she supports Arsenal football club.

No wonder 007 took her along to help him open the Olympics.

(I found out all this and more in the March issue of 'Best of British' magazine)

Monday, 6 May 2013

Money & Greed v Decency & Kindness

I caught a bit of 'Countryfile' on BBC 1 last night. As always I was very moved by the way Adam Henson the programme's agricultural adviser/resident farmer, treats his animals. He earns his living through farming and raising animals for food, but whilst they are under his care they have the best life he can offer them. Part of that deal is taking the animals he has nurtured to slaughter.

Last night he took some pigs and a two year old steer to a local slaughter house, it was their time. He spoke about treating the animals with care and kindness and reducing their stress and anxiety levels.

I had just heard that Australia has suspended exports of live animals to Egypt because of terrible abuses of sheep in a Cairo slaughterhouse. This is one issue that makes me see RED. 

This type of unnecessary animal cruelty is not restricted to Egyptian slaughter houses. Oman, Kuwait and Africa have awful track records for animal cruelty. The terrible things that are done to these poor animals before they are dispatched is sickening.

I support CIWF with a small donation every month and I always try and help them with their campaigns aimed at reducing the suffering of animals. They alert me to things that are going in our own country too. We can all do something.

I'm also very careful about the meat I buy. For example I only buy British pork and bacon, because we seem to take more care of the pigs in this country. Sow stalls are illegal in Britain and Sweden and should be throughout the EU from this year.

Of course the proper implementation of animal welfare law is the key, as so often farmers in other countries do as they please without fear of prosecution.

It is up to us to investigate what we eat and ask for clear food labelling and higher welfare for our farmed animals.

There will always be people who will buy the cheapest meat they can regardless of how the animals have been kept or treated, saying they can only afford meat if it is really cheap. Absolute crap! We all make choices about where we spend our money, it just depends on what our priorities are.

Most of us eat too much anyway we just need to be more circumspect about what we eat.

Do you remember when it used to be acceptable to eat eggs from battery hens. Not anymore!
The public asked for free range eggs and let me tell you they can now be bought for as little as 98p per half dozen in Lidl.

Consumers have to unite and put an end to cruel animal husbandry. Let's see decency and kindness triumph over greed.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Garden Furniture Makeover

My mouldy old garden furniture pictured  last week, now looks like new. I had some paint left over from last years titivations so that was a bonus, money saved, money earned as they say. Then I covered some very dodgy looking chair cushions with some eye popping 60s fabric that someone had given to me many moons ago.

Hey presto, garden furniture makeover on a shoe string complete. Time for some tea and leftover raspberry pavlova.

Jasmine green tea in my favourite Anthropologie cup
Have a great bank holiday weekend everybody.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Mad or Just Eccentric?

image via
Eccentricity is a good thing, being unconventional, slightly strange, odd a bit different, makes people more interesting in my book, not that I'm taking notes you understand.

One of the informal definitions of Mad in the Oxford English Dictionary is 'very enthusiastic'. Well that's me then, Mad - officially.

Mad March hares are a particular favourite of mine, not that they are really mad in March, it is just the beginning of the long breeding season, when Does (female hares) fight off the over enthusiastic advances of the males with their forelegs. You go girls.
Perfectly normal behaviour in my book especially on a first date.

image via

drawn by John Tenniel for Alice in Wonderland
Hares are featuring large over here in a Spring home made Hares competition. Just gorgeous, the entries and the amazing south west of France venue which is hosting the event. Take a squiz at their site if you enjoy your crafts and beautiful holiday spots. Their residential workshops look tremendous.

green coat hare

sleeping hare by mister finch