Tuesday, 3 November 2009

20 quid

You don't seem to able to get a whole lot for twenty quid these days but never the less, that was my budget for the massive flea market held not far from us.
I do begrudge paying an entrance fee to enter what is basically, a car boot sale without the cars, but alas,we've had no time for boot sales this year and no time for charity shops either , so Pete and I thought we would give it a go.
Off we went, scouring for objects and trinkets and pretties.
First potential purchase I found was a lovely spotty topped stool (I do love my polka dots as you know) but lately I have been questioning my purchases as to;

A. Whether I really need the item
B. Whether I really love the item and it's on my 'wishlist' or whether its just because I've seen it on a blog or in a book that has convinced me I really need it.(hmmmm that's the hardest one)
C. whether it really is worth the money asked.

Some things I would pay a lot of money for if I know I really, really can't live my life without it, I'll probably never see one again and I'll regret it forever if I dont get it but other times I just think, no, that's my limit..walk away.

Even though it looked like the traders had stripped the place bare at dawn like a swarm of locusts, there were still a few treasures to be found....
I won't bore you with the prices of everything but £20 was my budget and I still bought home some change even after the £5 to get in and a cup of tea (or 2)...

So,the spotty stool... lovely? yes. Cheap? yes. Place for it? no...I have to admit, I walked away.There are only so many stools you can cram into a little house with a teeny kitchen.

The very first purchase was this vintage enamel splashback stamped to look like metro tiles in a rather lovely shade of blue, you know the one,just like the colour of CornishwareSlightly shabby and The PERFECT size to sit above our range cooker! (check..no more pasta sauce splashes on the white walls, yes it's a need/never find again..only thing is though, this will have to wait for the proper kitchen as the temporary plug sockets are in the way..arggh!

second thing.. the large paper oriental lampshade you have seen already (check..on the wish list..was planning on pink but I'm so glad now I found a yellow) perfect to hang above the computer table.(turned down the other two as I didn't believe the 'they'll dry out' . Will that 'drying out' mend the large tear in the paper then? hmm no, didn't think so!)

Third thing; pretty, pretty roses on an original Barbola mirror, not on the wish list, as I do have a couple already but just too pretty and too much of a bargain to pass by..five quid and even prettier and far less chipped than mine at home.

Fourth thing, vintage wooden creatures stacked on top of each other..don't ask why I homed in on this but I love cartoon-like graphics and I love animals, I think it's from the 1940's ..maybe earlier, not on the list but a 'never see again'. A bit indulgent really but lovely, lovely drawings.

lastly there was this: I really don't know why these things appeal to me, they just do.
I love old toys.They are scattered about our house in random places for no apparent reason. This was on my wish list, I've seen them on eBay and they seem to go for a fair bit, the first one we encountered at the flea market was £25 so straight away it was a 'walk away'.
The second one was a bit worse for wear, just spotted as the chap was packing away..'a quid to you love'
I'm really not keen on the term 'love' but a quid is a quid and I can put up with being called 'love' for a quid.
I'm easily bought.

Stupidly I didn't take a before photo, but it is pretty amazing what a good clean and little bit of Hammerite paint can do.Half the rust fell off on the way home.. in the car..on my clothes..I even managed to get some on my face..you get the picture, it got just about everywhere.
Now, I wouldn't normally paint something like this,as you know, I do like original and shabby but it really did need doing, I think the rust would have just eaten it away and it would have been gone forever. I luckily managed to match up the silver hammered paint the rest was left in it's original state. When I prized the rusted lock open and the little bell gave a clear 'ding' there was a whole drawer full of vintage play money too, including a ten shilling note-ooh mega bucks pre 1971!And the ones that got away..
A fab 3' high plaster 1980's cartoon Superman torso, probably an old advertising film promo thing. I went back four times to that one and each time the seller dropped it a bit without me even asking but it was just tooooooo much money.
And the biggest regret?
THE most beautiful small patchwork throw. Ginghams, polka dots and decades of florals in the best colours. Greens ,blues,pinks and faded reds all backed with a vintage blanket. It was just too fragile and had lots of holes that I wouldn't have had time to repair. I didn't even ask the price and I now wished I had.
The lady stall holder was lovely..she liked my bag, made from vintage 1950s fabric, not made by me, I hastened to add, but a treat to myself from this lady after spotting one in Country Living..most definitely a one off 'never to be seen again' purchase. We shared a moment of vintage fabric appreciation.I do so love fifties fabrics. I love the 1950's period and bitterly regret selling off most of our stuff from the first house .I've even recently managed to convince the eldest stinky boy to have some 50s stuff in his room and he actually likes it..I sneaked in a fab sci-fi 1950s B movie film poster amongst the Banksy's (I think the half clad gorgeous girlie being carried swung it)and some atomic print cushions hmmm..I'm now wondering how far I can push it..the granny blanket appeared again on his bed and it has stayed in there for one whole week but I'm not holding up much hope, the landing floor will be wearing it sometime soon no doubt..

Anyway, back to the flea fair, the patchwork throw was gorgeous and I now I just can't stop thinking about it. I'm kicking myself.
Never mind, maybe I'll spot it again next fleamarket time and if I don't, then it wasn't meant to be mine.

ps..Claire, does Prince Charles really walk like a runner duck???


  1. That was a great tour - not just the haul; but all the stories too! The splashback was an amazing find, fitting as it does; Love the mirror, too.

    My just-pre-teen boys are a bit rebellious about the whole patchwork-quilt-on-bed thing. I don't think a crochet blanket would stand a chance, so you are doing well so far!

  2. Looks like you made some great buys for your money. I love those flea markets. I don't get to go as often as I would like but they sure are fun when I do. I especially loved that chinese lantern. So pretty!

  3. What a terrific post. You have the same list as me. I may love something but if there is nowhere to put it then it is wasted money.
    Great finds and fab tales.

  4. By order of the man of the house I am not allowed to go to car boots so thank you for showing me what I am missing.
    To be honest I get over excited to the point of hyperventilating …. In the same way as I used to be when queuing for a jumble sale – do you remember depending on how far up the queue you were the more exciting it was?
    Your Cornish Ware blue splash back interests me greatly…..

  5. I to am trying to cull my purchases similar to your three points. Do I really love it or am I just buying it because it's cheap, do I really need it and yes, am I just being influenced by what I see in the mags/blogs. This last one's a clincher because while you can get great ideas, sometimes it can become a parody of the look, just a replica without the heart.

  6. Oh my goodness, I got a chill down my spine when I spooted the cash register. I had that very same one many many years ago when I was small! What a lovely blog. x

  7. Hi there, I have stopped going to the venue as I never even see anything as lovely as the ones that you bought (I think that I would have had to but the stool though!) I love your teenage bedroom, my 15 year old won't keep his tidy & doesn't want it decorated, even though it has sloping ceilings covered in gold starry wallpaper (a throwback to the 80's when my mum was in her goth faze, and we now live here, my mum on hte other hand has gone farrow & ball & french shabby). I love your blog & pics, I hope that mine will become as good!

  8. A very enjoyable post and I love the splash back! You've done a lovely job with the cash register.

    I've offered my eldest teenage son a crochet blanket - not a chance - so a week is good!

  9. Loving all your finds,especially the splashback! The cash register is so cute!
    Rachel x

  10. How wise you are to go with a strict budget! I think the £5 to get in is a bit much too - whatever happened to the old -fashioned jumble sale, by the way. I'm grounded this weekend - spent too much at the quilt show last week so no flea fair for me. Hope you have a good time if you go.

  11. You did well with your budget.

    Love the little wooden animal thing - think its the Four Musicians of Bremen (only know coz little son played the donkey in a school play a few years ago).

  12. What great photo's - I love the cash register.

  13. The 50's fabric takes me back! I too had one of those cash registers, wish I had not given it away. The splashback is great but I must say your list is very sensible...if you find it hard to be sensible All the time like me do not worry too much..it can all be passed onto the breadsnappers when they move out!
    Carol x

  14. Well, I think your 20 quid did very well for itself. Pity about the patchwork throw though....

  15. Hello!
    Some very nice purchases!
    I like the little mirror, very sweet. We definitely don't have enough flea markets/good boot sales here in Ireland. I hear England is really good for that, although I suppose it depends where you go.
    I love your sons room..very retro.
    Take care

  16. Glad you found some great little bargains within your budget :) The great thing about thrifting is that you are also recycling so no guilt involved at all!!

  17. Hi Sairer...can I come with you next time?! There are NO bargains like that down here in the SW...a lovely enamelware splashback like yours would be at least £40...if not more...and don't get me started on Barbolas...a £5 won't buy you one rose! I've had to give up buying them :(

    Well done to you for rooting out your gorgeous finds...and don't get too upset...there is always one that gets away...


  18. Oooooooh didn't you do well! Its more fun seeing what you can get for a small buget I think (well that's what keep telling myself!)

    The splashback is brilliant - gorgeous and practical, what a result!

    Have a lovely Sunday.

  19. Thanks for sharing. I had a lot of fun reading this post and looking at the pics. Never mind about the throw, we all do it from time to time - walk away and then regret it. The beautiful kitchen shelf I walked away from because I had nowhere to put it. Now of course, I've found the perfect spot... xx

  20. Loved that post . . . . I love the thrill of the chase don't you? Just nevr know what you will find eh?
    Love Helen x

  21. Your purchases are gorgeous and what bargains!

  22. Great stuff! Good reminder with the culling process. Will be going out to a big sale Saturday and take your ideas with me.

    I had that cash register too - it was a Tom Thumb. Mine was not so snazzy as yours...not by a long shot!

  23. What an amazing haul! I rarely find anything - I love the idea of the list, must try that sometime!


  24. Yes, he does (Walk like a runner duck, especially when he is doing that meet and greet thing the royal do.)

    I love all your treasures. I think you did really well with your limit of £20. However, I am still haunted by treasures of the past that I turned down due to lack of money. Gone but not forgotten.

  25. I'm amazed at what you've found. It just shows you with some imagination and organisation, what you can find.

  26. Wonderful.
    Refreshing,crisp and inspiring..I have so many ideas now..you have a gift for writing and layout and all delightfully displayed in a user friedly way..with gentle humour!..maybe a regular column in a `Country Living` type publication would allow you to really share this gift with the rest of us!and provide a steady income enabling you to SEW and scour the flea markets.
    Sue Kelsall x


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