Monday 22 June 2009

The First Boot

I have been asked a few times by non-UK bloggers what a Car Boot Sale is. For some reason I always thought the concept of Car Boot Sales was imported from the US, don't know where I got that idea from. According to Wikipedia the world's first Boot sale was held at Nepicar Farm, Wrotham Heath in Kent in September 1980, called a Car Boot Sale because items are sold from the boot (trunk) of your car - though most people bring trestle tables.

They are probably something of a cross between a flea market and a yard sale. Some stalls are dealers, sometimes market traders with new goods (not always allowed), but mainly just ordinary folk clearing out their junk and if you are looking for something in particular, sooner or later you will most likely find it. Children's toys and clothes are very popular, as are CDs and DVDs. I was looking through my photos to see if I could find a typical stall but all I could find was this picture of my stall (together with my Dad - that brass is not mine!). Somewhere in there is the obligatory fondue set and in the left of the pic a blue box of something which proves you can buy almost anything - and I did sell them!

I came across this huge cake once at a huge charity boot sale - it was taller than me.

This is not a typical stall, this lovely display was at a posh boot sale.

Usually Car Boot Sales take place on a Sunday morning at a hideously early time, though there are some afternoon ones, and occasional mid-week or Saturday. When Mr. Bloom and I had our break in Ludlow it was mid-week so I had no expectation of 'booting' and couldn't believe my luck when I saw a sign in a field advertising one at 4pm on a Wednesday! Of course we went - my luck ran out - there were 4 boots, I didn't buy anything!

I first discovered the joys of booting in the 80s. I had my first home, which I wanted to decorate in an 'olde'worlde' style - the term vintage wasn't really used in those days for home decor. I couldn't afford to buy in antique shops and the car boot was a real treasure trove for me, my house soon filled up with lots of vintage goodies, prices were much better those days too. I no longer have many of those early boot finds - circumstances forced me to reluctantly part with them over the years, probably just as well otherwise I'd need be living in a mansion by now!

I opted for a lie-in last weekend, so no boot finds, but I did manage a bit of thrifting elsewhere and acquired a few bits and bobs which are in all the other pics.

I didn't go to a Car Boot Sale yesterday either, but I did go to the Giant Flea which so huge it was almost too much to cope with. Needless to say I bought a few things, I'll try and post them sometime soon.

I am going to be busy with various things over the next couple of weeks so my posts may become even more sporadic than usual, but hoping to restore some normality soon!

Friday 12 June 2009

For Garden Lovers

Not the figurine, that's for later. A few weeks ago the Bloom's took a short break to Shropshire, one of the places we visited was Stockton Bury Gardens near Leominster.

Stockton Bury is a working farm with a beatutiful 4-acre garden set amongst medieval farm buildings. If you are in the area, it is well worth a visit and you can buy unusual plants there too.
From the car park you walk past the orchard where the sheep graze, you can see the tithe barn in the corner.

Beautiful wisteria on one of outbuildings - also the plant sales area.

The dovecote is completely covered in ivy.

The main house

The garden is divided up into lots of smaller garden and planting areas, nooks and crannies, with lovely names such as Pillar Gardens, Dingle Gardens and Iris Walk. There is also a working kitchen garden.

Indside the greenhouse.

I loved the secret garden with it's own folly and view onto the countryside. It was so well hidden we almost missed it.

The water area at the bottom of the garden is the Dingle Garden and hides a grotto behind the trees.

Lovely rose arch.

I'll bet the bees love living here.

I have shown just a few highlights, the gardens are utterly charming, with lots of planting ideas that wouldn't be impossible to achieve on a smaller scale. I would definately visit there again. You can see more lovely pics on their website here.

As for the ballerina, she's a tiny Dresden figurine I thrifted recently. She's only about 4" tall, but so sweet and pretty - and pink!

She's lost a finger and a bit of her dress at the back, but that's no big deal. Currently gracing my mantelpiece.

Well, hope you all have a good weekend, I'm not booting, but if you are I hope you have a fruitful day!

Tuesday 9 June 2009

To Boot or not to Boot

I always have a dilema at the weekend deciding whether to go to the Car Boot on Sunday morning. I get up at 5am, 6 days a week for work. I love sleeping and every morning is a struggle to get up. So Sunday morning is my one chance of lie-in and as luck would have it, also Car Boot Sale day.

Most of the sales around here (the ones worth going to) start early - 7 or 8 am which means an early start to get the best bargains. Most Sundays I opt for a lie-in, last weekend I saw there was a Car Boot Sale in Marlborough as part of their Summerl Carnival, starting at 10am. Yippee - a lie in and a car boot sale - heaven!

I thought it might be rained off, but no, Sunday morning turned out dry. Off I went in eager anticipation. Turning off into the field, I saw the car in front of me with a very full boot, and a very interesting set of cabriole legs painted a pale shabby blue visible in the back window. Great, I thought, I shall rush over to their car as soon as they start unpacking and investigate those shabby blue legs... as I watched the car pull into the buyers parking area - drat! They'd obviously got up a lot earlier than me and visited a few sales already - ah well, the bird that doesn't lie-in catches the worm!

As it turned out, the prospect of rain had put a lot of sellers off and there were only about 10 boots, still unloading - mostly toys and DVDs. I hate when that happens, I feel really cheated and can't quite believe that there's nothing to be found. Fortunately, after walking round 3 or 4 times, there was something to be found and I got to go home with a few things in my boot.

My favourties are probably these tiny pink flower stamen earrings, though the lamp is rather sweet too.

Best bargain was the pretty piece of fabric - it was in an empty box under the table, turned out the seller used it as packing material and let me have it for nothing - what a nice man!

The wooden bookstand will get a paint treatment and maybe a bit of decoupage, but it will have to join the long makeover queue. This little letter rack was in the queue for about 3 years, finally got it's turn a couple of weeks ago when I needed a rack to display some calendars I was taking to the V&H fair. I'll probably do something similar with the bookstand.

I have finished updating my webshop this week. Thank you to everyone who has made a purchase so far, some parcels are already on their way, others to follow.

Available in my Shop

Saturday 6 June 2009

Pink Poodles

Today was meant to be a stay-at-home-and-get-loads-done day, but it was all mundane stuff so I used delaying tactics by popping out for a bit of thrifting. There wasn't much thrift about - serves me right, though I did find this delightful lady with her pink poodles.

Sitting on a shelf crammed with undesirable ornaments, I noticed the poodles first, then I saw they were attached to a pretty owner. They stood out from the crowd, I was surprised no-one had snapped them up before me.

I love the way their fur has been made from spaghetti clay (I don't know if that's a proper term, I just made it up).

I have named them Mitzi and Fifi, quite appropriate I think.

I don't have a name for the lady, but doesn't she have a pretty face? I think I could develop a thing for poodles.

This weekend we have a guest staying with us - of the canine variety - he's a real sweetie. Pip comes to stay occasionally when his owner is away, I love having him around. Cheeky chappie too, every time I leave the room he jumps straight onto my place on the sofa and makes himself at home there.

I didn't get my shop update done last week, but I have put a few Lillipegs in the shop today. More handmade and vintage to follow in the next couple of days. (One-of-a-Kinds updated 7/6/09)

With this rotten weather, I think tomorrow might be another stay at home day. Maybe just the car boot sale as a diversion!

Monday 1 June 2009

A Dream of a Day

Of course I'm referring to the Vintage and Handmade fair on Saturday, which was nothing less than extraordinary. To quote the bard, it made "breath poor and speech unable". Eagerly anticipated, weeks of preparation, nerves and excitement all rolled into one. A dream of a day I wished not to have ended.

Having arrived early so as to have plenty of time to set up, I suddenly found myself with only seconds to spare before the doors opened. Hence the rather blurry photos taken in the nick of time. I wished I had taken more as I can honestly say the quality of all the stalls was first class, it truly was a vintage and handmade lovers paradise. If you go to Jayne's blog there are links to some great photos and reviews of the day.

I had about 5 minutes to whizz around the stalls before the doors opened, thinking I'd go re-visit them during quiet moments and do some shopping for myself. Ha! No chance - once the doors opened I (and the other stallholders) didn't have a moment to ourselves. In the first 3 hours there was not time even for a cup of tea or a biscuit. Fortunately, Mrs. Snippets came over and very kindly offered to hang around my stall whilst I popped out to the loo, I don't know how I'd have managed otherwise.

At times I was almost overwhelmed and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who made a purchase from me. I feel sad that I wasn't able to acknowledge or chat to many of you, I really wasn't expecting it to be as busy as it turned out.

I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to go round all the stalls and meet my fellow stallholders properly, I know some of you came and purchased from me and I didn't realize at the time who you were. A friend came shopping later in the day and briefly manned my stall while I flew round and made a few purchases, but sadly I didn't have time to linger.

I knew in advance that I was going to buy one of Niki's gorgeous fairy dolls and managed to secure this lovely before they were all gone. I'm so happy to at last be the owner of one.

I also bought a few pretty fabrics and trims which I can't wait to start using.

Jayne and Michele are to be thanked and loved for organising this wonderful event, they pulled out all the stops - look out for the next one as it really is a day not to be missed.

My one disappointment of the day was that I missed out on such a fantastic shopping opportunity because I couldn't leave my stand! I've briefly looked at some pictures out on other blogs today and seen so many things I could have bought. Next time I'm going to bring someone along to help me, so if everyone who came this time would kindly book again I'll be able to do some serious shopping!

(p.s. I didn't sell out completely and hope to list some things in my webshop towards the end of the week.)