Friday 3 May 2013

Painting Projects

It's been lovely to see some sunshine this week - trade has picked up a bit in the shop and we are seeing more visitors.  I've had a busy week, we are selling a lot of plants now which means more trips to the nursery.

I love these little book racks, you can still sometimes find them at a reasonable price at the usual thrifting haunts.  I always pick them up when I see them, quite often they are home made.

A bit of distressing and some rose decals as a finishing touch. 

They don't need to be just for books, depending on the slope, you can use them as mini shelves for any knick-knacks and they are good for adding height at the back of a display.

I haven't decided yet if this one will go to the shop or not, I love it a bit too much at the moment. 
These lavender sacks did make their way to the shop though.

With the better weather it's great to be able to paint outside, I have some larger items in the pipeline.  Indoors I don't have much room and have to keep to smaller things.

I mixed my own shade of pink for this card holder and wooden storage box.  These I decoupaged with floral cut-outs and vintage paper doyleys. 

Several coats of varnish are required to protect the paper.  Also, it is not recommended to have these items in strong sunlight as the cut-outs are prone to fading.

This is my weekend off, I have nothing much planned except pottering around the house and garden  which are in desperate need of attention.  Oh and staying up late tonight to watch a film as I don't have to get up early tomorrow!  Hope you all have a good weekend.
Lucy x

Saturday 27 April 2013

How not to dry roses

Of course I love fresh roses, but it always seems a shame once they've wilted and I try to dry them whenever I can.  These are drying on the radiator (suitably covered and with props!)
It's not the recommended way to dry them (I think hanging upside down in a dry, warm and dark place give greater success).  However, these were in an arrangement I had been given which I forgot to water.  They had already started to crisp up so just needed finishing off.

I was surprised they dried so well, I don't usually have success with paler colours.  Drying them is one thing, but then what to do with them.  Usually I snap the heads off and put them in a jar "for future use".  Not having a jar to hand, I popped them into the paper roll.
I rather like how they look there.  The vintage toilet paper is not "for future use"!

Monday 22 April 2013

Sunday Harvest

I did get to the Car Boot on Sunday morning.  It's quite large and only on once a month so I was quite keen to go.  Not keen enough to get there for the start though.  I have enough early mornings on my days in the shop so we (trusty friend Jayne and I) got there about an hour after the start. Downside - we had to park a long way away.  We went back to the car for a tea break at mid-morning when some people were leaving and moved the car a lot closer to the gates!

I didn't have a particular shopping list and this was more a day out than a buying trip, but all in all I was very pleased with my harvest.  I tried not to think about what I might have missed out on by not getting there earlier!

pretty petit-point on the travel alarm clock case

Fortunately the weather was kind this time and we spent a pleasant morning wandering about and making a few purchases. On the way home we saw a sign for an Antiques and Flea market, naturally we had to check it out. 

Not as exciting as the car boot - it was small and not at all busy.  I did feel sorry for the stallholders, they had to be there for another 3 hours and it didn't look like they were selling very much (been there, etc!). 

This was my weekend off and mainly it was spent making, sorting, organising, tidying, the usual stuff that seems neverending.  Our washing machine is out of action at the moment (ongoing dispute with the appliance company I won't bore you with) so all washing must be done by hand (fortunately the spin dryer still works).  Whilst I don't mind hand-washing anything that's vintage, actual clothes to wear are a real chore, not appreciated how much until it has to be done.

Devon violets perfume and soaps in original box - how long did that sit in someone's drawer!

Some four-leggged friends amongst my finds.
These two my particular favourites.  I'm not quite sure what the grey one is meant to be - a mouse maybe?
Finally, a whole teaset including pot, of violets china.  I only photographed a few of the pieces.  All came in a lovely blue painted basket which I plan to line and show another time.  Violets china seems harder to find these days (as do most vintage things!)
Well, back to the shop tomorrow so I must get a few things ready.  Enjoy your week.

Monday 1 April 2013


I don't often remember to take 'before' pics, so keen am I to get going with a paintbrush and make the transformations.  I did remember with this bookrack and shelves though.  I love the way that paint can quickly change something you wouldn't look at twice to something I can sell in the shop .
A few coats later, plus some wallpaper to finish and transformations are complete.  I resisted the urge to go flowery with the book rack and used a green toile paper to line the back so that it might appeal to our male customers too.  Staged with some stoneware for a change for a natural look.

The shelf got a buttery cream finish with floral wallpaper.  Shelves are always good sellers and don't hang around long in the shop.  The other items were picked up at the Vintage Jumble and are destined for the shop too.

I particularly love this little turkey plaque.  We don't sell turkeys but I might keep this as decoration.

Another plaque for cheese triangles - cute!

The cut glass tea-light holders will hopefully do well, though I am tempted to keep them.

Another makeover, this hook rack which I painted and decoupaged.

All items will be making their way to the shop at some point.  Today I will be making miles of bunting (OK, slight exaggeration) for our special event in the shop which I will post about next time.

Friday 29 March 2013


This is the extent of my Easter decorating.
I don't decorate very much but I do have some nice painted eggs and other bits that I like to put out.  Now the time has come, do you think I can find them?  I remember coming across them a few weeks ago and making a mental note of where they were - ha!  That's not unusual for me, I can rarely find anything when I want it, usual story - too much stuff, not enough room.  Ah well, I did find these few things.

The knitted chick is new this year, from my dad.  I painted the rose eggs a few years ago.  I keep meaning to do more.  The colourful egg is wooden and probably brought back from somewhere abroad.

One of my favourites this glittery bunny in a glass dome.  Thrifted.  I wish I could find more like this.  The flowers are from Aldi - I like their selections and the flowers seem to last really well.

I have the day off today and have been making up these planted baskets.  We had loads of primroses in the shop for Easter but by yesterday they had almost gone.  The nursery is closed today and I'm working in the shop tomorrow and can't go, so I made these up from bedding pansies for a bit of colour outside.

Happy Easter!

Thursday 14 March 2013


I do love to see what other bloggers have been making, I also love making myself.  Sadly I don't get to do as much of it as I'd like these days.  Occasionally though I do have a burst of activity.

I was inspired by a piece of fabric I unearthed whilst rummaging for something else. When I was just a young thing, I used to  make my own clothes.  This was a leftover piece of interlining fabric with a rather nice linen-look to it - proper vintage too!

So a day off was pleasantly spent matching up fabrics and trimmings and sewing up pincushions and lavender sacks.

These little wooden hearts were re-purposed - originally they had union jacks painted on them.  We had rather a lot of them in the shop so I took a few, painted them white, then trimmed with fabric and lace. 
This is my attempt at an Easter Bunny - it was a challenge as the fabric is quite stiff, not sure I'll be making any more, it was a bit fiddly.  I think the ears are too big.
I used self-cover buttons for some of the embelishments.  They are so easy to make and don't use much fabric, great if you only have tiny scraps of precious vintage fabrics.

Some hanging lavender sachets using checks and ticking.

 These makes will be for sale in the shop - except bunny who is booked in for an ear reduction.

With Mother's Day over now we are gearing up for Easter in the shop, plus preparations for our special event.  Hope to show some more pics soon. 

Thursday 7 March 2013

A table tale

There is a tale to tell about my coffee table, situated in the middle of the front room.  
It came along with Mr. Bloom and I don't like it.  Firstly it's too big.   It's also hexagonal, varnished wood and it has huge chunky legs. I have never hidden my dislike of it but it was a case of  "love me, love my chunky hexagonal coffee table".  It does have it's good point - it's very handy when having guests as you can fit loads of snacks, nibbles and drinks on it but that I'm afraid its only redeeming feature.

I have employed various tactics to deal with the situation.  I have tried to ignore it - not easy when it is so big, chunky and 'in your face'.  I have tried to conceal it with small doyleys, large doyleys, tablecloths - too small, too large, slid around, didn't hang right.
Then last week at the flea I found this beautiful cotton and crochet tablecloth in just the right aged Ecru colour.  It has turned out to be the perfect solution.  It hangs beautifully, doesn't slip and is the ideal length to conceal those chunky legs.  Even the hexagonal-ness of the table is less of an issue.  If I have to live with it then I can live with it like this!
Mr Bloom and I have our 'places' where we sit in the front room.  Mine is on the red sofa - you can probably see a dip in the picture!  My place faces the fireplace so I like to have some of my favourite pieces on there to look at.  Needless to say, the arrangement changes over time, currently it looks like this.

The clock is always there so we can see the time, there's nothing more annoying than looking at the clock to find it's not there any more.

A glass 'artefact' of Our Lady of Carmel and a  bottle filled with beads.  Sparkly lights obligatory, these are on a beaded string.

Pretty pincushion  made by Nikki, inside a small glass dome.  I have three of these little glass domes.  The came as part of some thrifted battery-operated resin Christmas Santa figures on a plinth with a little light.  I didn't want the Santas but saw the potential of the glass domes.

French boudoir dolls head, a recent lucky find at a Jumble Sale!

One of Nikki's stunning fairy dolls hangs on the lampstand in the window in perfect hues to match my colour scheme. And below, tulips add the finishing touch.  (P.S. the cabinet on the right conceals the TV - it' not hexagonal or chunky and it's very useful so I don't mind it at all!).

I have a busy weekend with the Eenie Meenie market, then I shall be preparing for the next Vintage Jumble in a few weeks.  Hope to pop back here before then!
Lucy x