Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Bath Magazine

Our home and my new business are featured in The Bath Magazine this month.
The article can be seen on-line here.

My thanks to Nicky for all her help and hard work with this and to Josceline the editor for allowing the blatant plug of my shop and book!
Niki x
My grateful thanks to Belinda too!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Colour For a Wet Wednesday...

I've been a bit quiet on my blog for a few days; sorry about that! There's been so much to do recently - I've been feeling a bit worn out; family stuff, work stuff, as well as trying to get started on some Christmas crafting for the fairs coming up in October and November, and for my shop...I'm a bit reluctant to show what I've made so far, as it all seems a bit too soon to be thinking about the 'C' word, so I'll share some of my latest makes later next month...
Its a bit gloomy outside this morning, but is the perfect weather to keep me indoors to get on with housework and some more sewing.

But if your day needs some brightening up, I'll share with you a few of my recent photos which are full of cheerful colours...

Victoria Park, Bath, taken at the weekend.


Street dancers outside the Pump Rooms in Bath...

One of my weekend finds that now sits for sale on a shelf in my shop.

Some handmade bags fashioned from vintage hand embroidery.


I'm sold, thank you!

Pretty hanging baskets still full of summer colour outside my shop on the Market Place...

And outside the Library too. All supplied by Shepton in Bloom.

And a bit more colour on the Market Place...
After the BBC filming of the 1970's era for the history based documentary in Shepton Mallet, one of the shops opposite mine was left looking like this:

A bit depressing really and reminded me somewhat of a 'Private Shop'!
Thankfully after a lot of hard work by 'Wall to Wall' it now looks a lot better...

Hopefully this will mean that a new business will be moving in...
(There may be some other exciting news to report to you on that subject very soon ;-))
Hope you enjoy a colourful day,
Niki x
PS: I have finally got around to adding the photos from the BBC Homes & Antiques magazine article of our home, to my site - They can be found on my website under 'press'.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


This is the slim lady that I mentioned I had bought on a recent trip to Ashburton, Devon.

It was just the torso that was for sale, but she was a perfect shape for the vintage clothes that I have available in my shop, so I took a risk that I would eventually find a stand for her. Luckily I had the black pole and finial from another mannequin already, which would make the task a little easier...

But I shouldn't have feared, because it turned out to be quite straight forward in the end...After mentioning the need for a stand on my blog, Sue came to my rescue...She had a spare one! I was able to buy it from her at the weekend and after a small amount of tweaking by hubby, it fitted perfectly.

I decided to paint the stand black to match the finial and to give it a more authentic look.

I'm so pleased with her and have saved quite a few pennies putting her together myself (with a little help ;-)), compared to the prices for some of the old gals out there!

I moved her into the shop today and put her to work straight away!

Here she models a c1950's satin and lace cocktail dress.

Other areas of the shop include this lace laden display...
I sat the two boudoir babes in one of the side windows...
And I created an autumnal display inspired by walks in the countryside in the other window.
I have some very pretty rose printed plates in stock at the moment, so rather than crowding them all on the dresser, I decided to arrange some on the wall behind my counter.
The sprung-loaded wire plate hangers aren't the ideal design for vintage plates, as over time they can damage the edges, but I shall change the display regularly and look after them...and I'll hopefully sell some as well!
I've been adding to the bottle/brooch ensembles (bottom left) as they sell, and as I find more bottles and brooches to make them with!
(Talking of which!)

And I've also finished adding all the new stock to the shelves, that I found at the weekend.
Hope you enjoyed the quick tour.
Enjoy the rest of your week,
Niki x

Monday, September 20, 2010

60 Minute Make-Over

Just checking in to my blog to show you a few of my finds from the weekend. Lucky for me, hubby offered to run my shop for me on Friday afternoon, so I was able to take myself off to the local showground for trade day at the antiques fair.

I soon met up with Sue there, and although we are generally looking for similar items to each other, we're always happy to help each other spend their money! ;-))
Our best find of the day was a large collection of unused French mother-of-pearl antique buttons, mostly all still on their original cards. The stallholder told us the price for each card, and then gave us another price for the whole collection. It was a bit of an outlay, but we decided to buy the whole lot and share it out between us, as it would be unlikely that we'd ever find such a huge collection as this again...
So picture the scene; it was getting late in the day and we needed to go our separate ways home. We bought one final cup of tea and sat at one of the wooden benches out on the tarmac. We spread the buttons out on the table in front of us and started matching up similar cards to share them and make it fair! Lots of oohing and ahhing went on as we discovered all of the designs of these little treasures. Half an hour later the sun was beginning to disappear and we had to speed up a bit(!)...we laughed as we imagined what people must be thinking of us sat there...but then realised that everyone had gone home! The place was deserted!

Hopefully they will be worth our investments...We headed for the exit, each with our bag of buttons, and for one short moment we thought we'd have to scale the fences, as it looked like the gates had been locked! Thankfully it wasn't necessary and we made it out without that drama. All that is left to do now, is for Sue and I to double check what each of us intends to charge for the cards, so that we don't undercut one another! ;-))

My other finds over the weekend included more sewing supplies, such as these colourful threads on old wooden spools.

Lots of antique lace to recycle...

I have several ideas that I need to get on with soon, ready for the Vintage Bazaar next month.
Some of my other purchases have already been squirreled away for this event.

This beautiful section of antique French quilt will be made into bags.

And finally, I'd like to introduce you to two lovely French ladies...
Two c1930's French boudoir dolls came from Lizzie and Jack, who were fresh from a few days away in France and had discovered these 'beauties' at a flea market.

Very wisely, (read crafty! - only joking Mrs. Washerwoman! ;-)) - Lizzie had cleverly priced the two dolls as a pair and that they 'needed' to sell together....
Yes, this one was a beauty...but her sister?...hmmmm...lets just say, she needed a bit of help...

I'm sure she was gorgeous in her day, but the years had not been kind and she had not aged gracefully! :)

Were dreadlocks ever a fashion statement of the 1930's?!

I didn't want to tamper with her too much, as I think its important that old things show their age... but she was rather overstretching that point!

I left the moth eaten silk gown alone, except to add a lace ruffled modesty panel to her chest. (I re-stuffed her saggy neck with fibre filler.)

I also managed to tease some of her matted wig into soft curls, which I stitched into place. Finally I added a floppy old millinery flower posy to her hair and gave her a pearl bead necklace.
I had promised to stop buying myself 'projects', as I have enough to do these days...but I enjoyed giving back some dignity to this old lady! :)
I am now sold! Thank you!
I'd also just like to mention a plea that has come from Dominique Swain, who is the economic regeneration officer for Shepton Mallet. Mendip council are looking for flea market/low value antiques stalls to add to the Friday market in and around the Market Place. More information can be found on Belinda's blog here.
Photo courtesy of Belinda at No.21
Have a great week,
Niki x