Monday, October 29, 2007


My cleaner has another string to her bow, she has a small antique/junk shop that she runs with her boyfriend, and she often finds me lovely bits and pieces. These beautiful elm wood shelves were in their shop and I thought they would be perfect for housing all the fabric that is currently for sale on my website. This way I can see at a glance what is and isn't in stock. I put them in my study, polished them with a lovely wax polish and put all my fabrics, sorted into date order, on them. I love them as they make me feel very organised. I also enjoy seeing them as I look across and see the pretty piles of mouthwatering textiles just inches away from where I sit on my computer.

Someone else loves them just as much as I do. My aging tortoiseshell cat, Bella, has found a perfect little nest in amongst the vintage children's section! She has now been turfed out much to her dismay.

This Sunday there was little mention of the website in the Sunday Telegraph's Stella magazine under their 'Stella Loves' section. The phone has not stopped ringing all day today. The readership of the Telegraph are a bit older I fancy as every caller has been elderly and each one has asked me for a brochure or catalogue. I do not have either as my website is my online catalogue, stock changes constantly. It also seems that the majority of the readers do not have a computer, whoops! Oh well the piece looked nice.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Today was a busy day. As many of you know we are trying to sell the house. We have had very few viewers as the top end of the market is slow (so the Estate Agents say). Today we had a family looking for a second home in the country and we were told (by the Estate Agents) that they were travelling from London to view our house and only our house. It all sounded very hopeful. They were to arrive at 2pm, plenty of time for me to try and knock our house into shape seeing as the kids had trashed it during the half term! Mum came over to lend a much needed hand and like the trouper that she is she set to work immediately and with the two of us working flat out and the children, completely hyper for some reason, trying to undo any work we had just done we were just about ready for them by 2pm. Mum and I had just got the kids ready for a walk to the park to get them out of the way. 2.09pm the phone rings and it's the Estate Agents saying that the family were unable to get to us by 2pm could they now make it 4pm. Change of plan, mum takes the kids to her house for a play and in the next 2 hours I clean more, answer emails and the constant phone calls that punctuate the day about fabric. 4.10pm the family arrive all apologetic and I dutifully show them around. It was patently obvious to me that they were not interested in the house at all when a) the mother looked aghast at the aga and stated that she didn't know how to cook and didn't know how to use 'one of those' b) the teenage daughter said she was a London girl and hated the countryside c) the Mother laughingly said to the Father 'do you fancy some gardening dear' when I was showing them around the 2 acres we have to maintain. What a waste of flipping time!!!!!! Why on earth did they bother to come? Grrrrrrrrr!!! It's soooooooo annoying having to give up so much time, organise everyones life with military precision to fit around 'the appointment' to find out that they don't want a country house with a big garden or an aga. I hate this selling my house malarky I really do.

Anyway, Friday was a much better day. I had a child-free few hours in Exeter with mum to have my hair cut and coloured, which was desperately needed after 6 months of not having my roots done. When I saw myself on television all I could think was 'must get my hair done. Just look at those roots.' I have gone for a brighter lighter blonde (well why not) and a softer, less structured hair style. I have gone off the bob since Victoria Beckham WAG'ed it up! I have a wider fringe and my hairdresser put a few waves into my hair at the end. What do you think?

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Crikey! This morning I have been filming for BBC Spotlight, the local news channel. The young journalist had spotted the article about me in The Times last June. She phoned me this morning and asked if she could do an interview about how the postal strike has affected my mail order company. The house was a bomb site so after a 30 minute frantic rush round to get it looking half presentable I was ready for my close up (not!). I had a nervous sniffle and it all felt quite surreal. It's on at 6.30pm this evening, eeeeeeeeeeeeek!

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Retro Recycling

On Saturday I went to Bronia's house in Somerset for her 'End of Summer' open house sale. You may remember me telling you about her house before. She has recently moved into here house and it is decorated in a mostly 1950's style with the bedrooms being a more shabby chic boudoir style. All absolutely delicious. She has a fabulous collection of things and I knew it would be somewhere that my mum would love to visit as their tastes and style of decor are so similar. I took mum and, as I knew, she loved it. She and Bronia have so many of the same touches around their homes that they could be living parallel lives! Bronia has her emporium outside the house in a very large garage and workshop which houses her huge collection of textiles, ceramics and vintage fashion items. I took my camera with me this time so that I could show you.

Here are the textiles all piled up. I bought lots of beautiful fabrics an eiderdown and some stunning hand painted French buttons.

We had a lovely time. I do so enjoy spending time with like-minded friends.

On Bronia's recommendation I also bought the Rose Maroc gazebo from Cath Kidston, reduced in their sale. I can't wait to see, and use, it!

Today I introduced mum to the delights of the local recycling centre. Our recycling centre has an area where items that have been dumped can be bought (for very little). Some of these things are really brilliant e.g wooden doors, furniture, bathroom fittings, mirrors, records, books, bric a brac and textiles of course!! Today I found 2 eiderdowns, which sadly need a bit of tlc, a lot of retro towelling, an old shabby chic religious painting and a cut glass scent bottle. It is amazing what people throw away and so wonderful that they can be truly recycled like this.

We visited a recycling centre in Somerset on our way home yesterday. I pulled up and immediately spotted a gorgeous wooden trunk, mum spotted an old wooden step ladder and there was a huge shipping container full of textiles. I approached the man who was in charge of the place who informed me that they were not allowed to sell the items as a bric a brac man had the contract to clear all items nor was he allowed to give it away. He agreed with me that this was very sad but none of the recycling centres in Somerset resell their items. I think a lot of these things will not be appreciated by the bric a brac man and will end up being shredded, pulped or burnt. Our charity shops are turning away old textiles, buttons, furniture and want only clothes with 'labels' like Next!!! They organise their fashions into colour blocks and they now have such a sterile feeling that I rarely find anything of interest there. They do not sell buttons because of the risk of choking! So thank goodness for the recycling centres of Devon, my new favourite place.
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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Well I am back, I have been for ages but I just don't know where the time goes!
I had a brilliant time in London, 3 fun, child free days filled with shopping, eating, laughing, drinking, loads of walking and lots of brilliant sunshine. I visited Portobello Market, Camden Market, the Mecca that is Cath Kidston's shop (of course) and Oxford Street. It really was just the tonic I needed.

In fact it was so great that I have booked my next trip there already. I am off to visit the Country Living Christmas Fair in November but have managed to eek it out for 3 days again, whoopee! My friend Amanda has also got a 3 day pass so we are currently looking at London hotels and are busy planning our activities. We are planning on visiting Beyond Retro and are staying in Hoxton. Any other tips on where we should go?

Business is great at the moment, it keeps me going, so I have made a big scary decision that I want to have a stall at The CL Christmas Fair next year, if they'll have me! I was so scared that the moment I made the decision I had to rush off to the toilet! I know a few of you have done a CL Fair and I would be so grateful for any advice. I can't do it this year as I have a 3 day craft fair to do at the Cowslip Workshops in Launceston. This is a lovely mini CL Fair which is actually held in the Country. If any of you are in Cornwall from the 16th - 18th of November, do pop in, it's a beautiful place.

I have had some great finds lately and have 2 textile fairs to attend in the next few days. I found these beautiful 1930's bluebird buttons in Portobello Market.

They are included in this big pile of vintage buttons, all recent finds and al will be finding their way to my website soon.

(click to enlarge)

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