On the way home from work on Friday morning I stopped off at the local Country Market. This isn't as grand as it sounds, held in a small hall in the town centre. For anyone who doesn't know, (if you do know, please feel free to skip this paragraph) Country Markets were formerly known as the Women's Institute Country Markets, now run as a separate enterprise. I would imagine the Women's Institute is now world famous, following the success of the film Calendar Girls a few years ago. The WI have run Friday morning markets for as long as I can remember, what I didn't know was that in 1995 the organisation split into two groups - the WI which remains a charitable organisation, and Country Markets Ltd. (CML) which is run as a co-operative business.
CML provides an outlet for small home producers to sell their goods locally. As well as food items there are plants and hand-crafted goods. If you are not producing on a large scale, it may be a possible outlet for your crafts. The CML website is here and you can find information about how to join. I couldn't say what kind of crafts would sell well, I think it would depend on the area but the website gives a list of all markets in the country.
I didn't buy any crafts as they were mainly knitted baby clothes, but I bought some fresh farm eggs and home-made scones.
This not being a very exciting picture, I looked around for something pretty to display them on, my collection of chintz was just right.
Well, not exactly a collection as you can see, I only have 3 pieces of china plus a tin. I love this chintz pattern, I've never actively gone in search of these pieces, just happened to pick them up along the way. Actually I don't come across it very often now, at a thrifty price anyway, and I'm happy with my tiny collection. If I find any more I'll add to it, but I think huge amounts could be overpowering unless you have a huge house or a huge dresser, which I don't.
The plate and jam dish are the same pattern and out of all the chintz patterns I think this is one of the prettiest. It's called 'Du Barry' by James Kent, though I think there are many similar designs around.
The nice thing about chintz is that it mixes very well with other china, so you don't need to have a huge collection. I looked around and found some other pieces that I think mix-and-match very well.
The green bowl and saucers are one of my favourite sets, I have them in the kitchen cupboard for use, but I never use them for fear of one breaking. Since I bought them a few years ago I have never come across any more of the same pattern.
Clare at Vintage Home has some lovely chintz pieces beautifully displayed with other china on her dresser, I wouldn't mind some of those, I can tell you! If any of you have a chintz collection, large or small, I'd love to see it.
Having put mine together for the pics, I think they would look rather nice out on display too, I'll have to have a re-arrange - in fact, I think I'm going to have to buy a dresser to put them on. Oh dear, look what I've started now!