Thursday, January 28, 2010

Talking Shop (Again!)

Yes, I am at it again, but just now the shop is taking up most of my energies as I try to establish myself in the town...I haven't invested in any publicity or advertising yet, except via my blog, but have been encouraged by how word has already spread.

I'm not sure that I shall be posting quite so often on my blog for now, as I can see my posts becoming a little repetitive! My life had been very different only a very short time ago...I was able to spend time on our home, our garden, crafting and days out...although I know I will be able to make adjustments given time, for the moment things revolve quite intensely around my new venture...I'm struggling to keep up with emails and comments on blogs, but have felt quite liberated by the fact that I don't have a computer or laptop at the shop to distract me during the day - its surprising what can be achieved! ;-)) (Added to this is the fact that I have agreed to be a part of several vintage fairs this year, so I'll need to find the time to make for those as well.)
Anyway, to talk shop again!...I had sold the 1930's doggie in the window, so needed to create some new displays...
I've gone for 'Where did you get that hat' in one of the side windows...

And have moved all of my vintage sewing equipment to the other side window. It has the caption 'Any old iron' as I have placed two antique irons amongst the display.

This has freed up the main front window, where I wanted to create a romantic Valentine's promotion...
I've included several of my hanging display hearts, a plaster statue, a framed collage and some Victorian Valentine postcards. The pink roses and white freesias are still going strong from my opening day exactly one week ago, and came in the post from my Mum and Dad.

Lets hope a few romantic gentlemen will come shopping for a gift for their sweethearts soon!


The display is arranged on top of an old Frister Rossmann treadle sewing machine base.

I've also been adding some new stock to the interior displays, after a shopping trip at the weekend.

The orange moment didn't last long, and pink is firmly back on the agenda! ;-))




I am feeling confident that I will be able to hand make a few items of extra stock each week - So far a pattern has emerged where I have 'morning customers' and afternoon ones...which means at lunch time I can usually whizz along on the sewing machine for a while and finish off in the afternoon, in between callers.

New this week has been a pretty floral basket cover.

Some patchwork bags....


And some heart shaped cushions covered in bold c1950's red rose printed fabric by Fothergays.
I've also added to the antique bottle selection and to some of my lavender sachets.
I have decided to change my opening days as I mentioned on a previous post. My new opening hours will be:
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: 9.30am - 4pm
Wednesday: 9.30am - 4pm
Thursday: 9.30am - 4pm
Friday: 9.30am - 4pm
Saturday: 9.30am - 4pm
Sunday: CLOSED
Hopefully this will work well for customers, and will also mean that I have a two day weekend.
Niki x

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Orange Crush

I've mentioned on previous posts my love for colour...
And also of when I've been out on a buying trip, the mood has sometime taken me and I've come home with coordinating finds that I have thrifted...
I'm still not sure why that happens and its always a surprise when it does.
Well recently I was even more surprised than normal, as my latest finds have all been orange! A colour that I am never normally drawn to at all...Perhaps it was the effect of the sunset last night?

I found a gorgeous 1930's chenille door curtain with dramatic tangerine swirls...

A panel of shiny chintz...

printed with zesty bronze roses...

and a striking cushion cover (also from the 30's) with tufted embroidered flowers...the colour of slightly under ripe tomatoes!


Whatever next?!!
Niki x

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday, Monday...

Just a quick post as I wanted to move on from the sad slaughter of my hens by naughty foxy-loxy...But thank you for all the kind comments that you left and I am sorry to all of those who have also lost dear feathered friends in the past - thank you for sharing your stories...
Today was a quieter day in the shop...well, lots of people came in to chat, which was very nice, but most were holding tightly to their purse strings...never mind, it did mean I was able to get the shop tidied up after the busy Saturday and I also had time for a bit of sewing too.

Lola was glammed-up, after spending Saturday in her 1940's pinny...
I gave her an ostrich feather boa, corsage, glass bead necklace and a large flower brooch...What? Too much you think?!...Can you have too much glitz and glam? ;-))

Gorgeous Darling!

And on the sewing front...
I bought this lovely old panel of embroidered linen from Lizzie at the weekend.

I loved the soft muted colours of the wool yarns used to work the design.

The unusual shape allowed me to create a novel shoulder bag, with rounded bottom! Floral linen teamed with it for a hard-wearing eco-bag. I brought it home this evening so that I could add my 'trademark' coordinating costume brooch and a vintage button. It'll be back at the shop tomorrow though.
Belinda at No.21 has decided to change her shop's days to closed on Mondays, and open on Wednesdays...I may do the same if Mondays continue to be quiet...but I'll let you know for definite if I do, and will alter my website details accordingly.
And another quick thank you to Hen this time, for her very generous blog post about my shop after her recent visit!
Have a great week,
Niki x

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mixed Emotions

Thank you again for all the messages sent to me over the last week or so...I am slowly adjusting to my new lifestyle. By my second day in to running my new shop, I was feeling right at home - almost like picking up from where I left off around 7 years ago, when I ran Nostalgia at the Stone House. Everything clicked into place and became quite natural - I even managed to do some sewing during the odd quiet moment....I'm trying to gear myself up for Valentine's day, so have produced a few of my vintage fabric hearts, with assorted trims...
Saturday was my best day out of the three and I was able to welcome several Bloggers and a few regular customers of my website...always nice to put a face to a name...I think this is what I am going to enjoy most about having the physical shop, rather than the on-line one...being able to chat and get excited about vintage loveliness with enthusiastic shoppers! I'm sorry if I still owe anyone an email...there's still a little bit more adjusting to do on my part before I can relax into the routine...I haven't felt this tired, (but content) in a long time...

As well as making a few new items this week, I have also been out on a buying trip today...

I've come home with a few more treasures, which will hopefully all end up in the shop over the next week...

Linens will need to be freshly laundered and ironed first, and china will be washed in warm soapy water.

Whilst I was out though, I had a phone call from my neighbour...

Sadly he had just chased off a fox carrying one of our chickens. I asked him if he wouldn't mind just going round to our back garden to check on the others...which he did. As I expected, the fox had killed them all in broad day light :( Our chickens were free range and had the whole of our garden to call their own, which did give us the dilemma that one day this could happen.

At least I can take comfort from the fact that they were very happy girls for the five years that we had them...I think we were quite lucky to have them for so long.
I realise that some of you may find this a little odd that I am mourning the loss of my hens, but they were a part of our family and would regularly sit on our laps and go to sleep just like a family cat or dog would.

I hope you are enjoying a happy weekend,
Niki x

Thursday, January 21, 2010


At the risk of this reading like one of those cheesy acceptance speeches at an awards show, I am going to risk it, as I have so much to be thankful for!
1. Firstly, THANK YOU for the kind and encouraging comments left on my previous post - truly a 'feel-the-love' moment for me that so many took the time to reassure me and offer their best wishes.
2. THANK YOU for the personal emails sent to me, each offering a supportive sentiment that I was doing the right thing in chasing my dreams.

3. THANK YOU for the special cards that were sent to me at the was lovely to receive mail at my new address! (One small problem; the shop doesn't have a letter box (why?!) - so poor postie has to call when he knows I am open!

4. THANK YOU for the bouquets of flowers that arrived for me today, the end of the day it was hard to tell if I had opened a vintage shop, or a florists! Some of the beautiful blooms have been arranged in glass vases amongst the stock in the shop, and some have been brought back home with me this evening...

5. A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to some very dear friends who put my first day nerves to rest within a very short time of me opening the doors this morning. To have the buzz of enthusiastic shoppers inside the shop, was truly a comforting feeling.
To Isabelle, who was my first customer within 30 seconds of me flipping over the 'closed' sign to 'open' and turning the key in the door - and for the post that she has already added to her blog today.
To Lizzie, and her hubby Jack, who both share my passion for vintage. Liz has 'been in the business' for years and I have known her for many of them, as well as bought beautiful treasures from her over that time. So to have her come over to see me today to wish me luck was wonderful. Here is Lizzie's blog post about her day...and don't forget that she will have her impressive stand of vintage goodies at the Shepton Mallet Antiques Fair this weekend.
To Belinda, a new friend in the making, but already the perfect ally. As I have said before, her work within the Shepton community is tireless and passionate, and I feel fortunate to know her. She has hopefully secured an article for Nostalgia at No.1 in the Shepton watch this space!

6. THANK YOU to all who called into my shop today...if you picked up one of my business cards and are now reading my blog for the first time...welcome!
And last but by no means least, to my hubby - who was there within half an hour of my shop opening, to surprise me with a bottle of champagne which I was able to share with some of my first customers. Also, I couldn't have got the shop up and running without his help and support. He is awarded several Brownie points and I am once again in awe of his self-taught DIY skills! xx
OK...enough cheese for now!! I think you get the gist that I am grateful for my lot today!
When I got home this evening I had over 100 emails in my inbox! I am slowly working my way through them, but please forgive if I don't reply straight away...
I'm needing some zzzz's now - sleep well,
Niki x