Monday, 29 September 2008


Thanks again to some Free tickets from our lovely neighbour, Pete and I went to the Malvern Autumn show on Sunday. Out of the three shows (Spring,Summer and Autumn) we both thought this was definitely the best.It was a gorgeous day ( a bit cloudy later when I took these photos) and we had a great time..but I now have a new item to add to my wish list...

a vintage caravan..a 1930s English vintage caravan!

My heart nearly skipped a beat when I saw this collection of beauties all parked up, with their vintage windbreaks and deckchairs out front...This cream one was my favourite.It was like a little cottage on wheels.Beamed ceilings,lattice windows old enamel kitchenalia and lace doilies..and the table all laid for tea and scones....1930s style! I could have just moved in there and then..Isn't it just fabulous!!

but then there was this little green one...
which was very pretty and pink inside, it was a bit difficult to photograph as you couldn't go in some of them..
It would have to be towed along by this beauty dont you think?..the perfect vintage green convertible!.. drool!
more tables laid for tea..yum!
(check out the pattern on the teaset in this 1950s caravan, I've only just noticed it!)
They were all kept totally in keeping with the era in which they were built, some were from the 1960's, but it was the older ones that stole my heartThis one was called 'Florence' sweet!

I love the old rabbit tray by the kettle..and that gorgeous duck-egg blue kitchenThis one even had a vintage dog on wheels!I love the curvy shapes..

and the cute little flowery curtains..
They look just like Coco the cosy caravan in the old ladybird book 'Tootles the taxi'!

I kept day-dreaming about how I would decorate mine..the eiderdowns, enamelware and pretty china teasets, the floral rugs on the floor, the vintage flowery curtains..ooooooh I'm going to hyperventilate if I'm not careful!
The owners must have thought I was a bit bonkers as I was totally smitten with them..Pete is an airstream lover..but these are just,well... so cute and so English!!

I will try and do another quick post with the rest of the show later in the week..I've had a little bit of a spending spree (oops..don't tell the bank manager) and I'd love to share my finds with you..
Harry has his Op this afternoon so I'm fitting this post in before we go...(and before I explode with caravan envy)...There is a big horrid sickness lurgy going round the hospitals here and all non-emergency surgery has been cancelled..So the NHS have put him in the posh private hospital to get the little ops out the way and reduce the waiting list..very nice it is too.Keep your fingers crossed for him(or legs crossed for that matter!!)

Monday, 22 September 2008

Gardening with the ladies...

I have been seriously neglecting my front garden.. the grass has got to above ankle height the shrubs out of hand and there is more gravel in the flowerbeds than on the path. It doesn't help that whatever is wrong with me is making me feel exhausted and I hate that, everything seems to be taking twice a long.
It's no good,it has to be done..The sun was shining today and the ladies were restless,so the feathered army were allowed out early to help with some gardening....hmmm..I use the word 'help' loosely.
They followed in a troupe behind me,up and down as I mowed,scratched about and did some pruning for me..
I personally thought the bergenia looked better before...thanks girls..a little too harsh with the old snips there.

This is..or rather was..a really lovely large patch of alchillea terracotta.

and this batch of five frothy heuchera has practically disappeared along with the lovely dark leaved sedums next to it! I know the season is nearly over,but I've had so few flowers this year in the front..what a boring looking is meant to have great swathes of dusky autumnal colours round about now..and all I have is leafy shrubs from hen-height up.
Edward..(who Harry has been calling 'Nathan' for some strange reason lately..don't ask, he's odd, it must be something in the water) Anyway, Eddie/Nathan the incredibly naughty bunny,had us up with torches when he escaped the other night..thinking it was all a game tearing round the garden for 4 hours in the dark, eating things he shouldn't ,stamping his feet in defiance and making us all really cross, so I wont blame the ladies completely, I know hes a bit partial to these plants too.

a quick break for some preening and a little nap in the long-awaited sunshineyou just can't get the staff these days..
and then it's back to work......bug,slug and worm hunting...and some more pruning.
The conkers are all ripened and ready to burst from their spiky jackets.Descending on us like hailstones of the richest mahogany.There certainly isn't as many on the tree as last year, we collected 10 bin liners full then !
No longer do I leave a big bucket full of conkers by the gate and no longer do the passing school children come and collect them up shouting out when they find a huge one ..some of the schools round here banned conker fights for health and safety reasons....and the two little boys who collected them up with absolute glee to share amongst their friends a few years ago are now big 6 foot stinky boys with girlies, rugby and bikes on their minds instead.
My mother in law swears that leaving conkers in a dish in the corner of the room deters the spiders..we have teased her about these strange old wives tales she comes out with and I've got to say I've never heard that one before.. but as I'm not a great fan of those eight -legged fellows, I'll give it a try..she certainly never seems to have any in her house!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Cath, Kate, rooms and reprieves...

I've been rubbish at blogging much for "vintage,pretty or shabby" on a Monday and general waffle on a Friday night!
and I wont even go into how rubbish I am at replies..especially since I've only just realised that 'no reply' at blogger means just that,but only after I've been replying ..doh! So I'm doing a bit of occasional lurking, forgive me .
Ok this is a bit of thinking out loud so indulge me!..I've had really itchy feet lately about the house, because we are not moving now, I want to have a revamp and do things to my rooms. Some of them have been the same for years, especially the lounge..even being swapped over with the dining room, its still basically the same..the little teeny lounge with the massive windows..
I'm very torn between the kitschness of Cath Kidston and the beauty of Kate Forman..I love both equally but they are really very different styles..and prices (scary prices)Ages ago my sister happened upon a huge batch of Kate Forman fabric for a ridiculously cheap price and now I have it in my head that I want to remake my curtains in the lounge in this very expensive fabric which I need to find for a tenth of the price like she did! hmmm..wish me luck

It needs some know,some oomph! There's a bit of red in every room except the lounge. I wrote in a previous post how it was all very beige, ok..but beige..a sea of blandness with the odd bit of pale green.It's now making me obsessed to the point of obsessive compulsive all suddenly makes sense, it's like the clouds have cleared and I understand what was missing..RED! ( that's the colour not the does get mighty confusing having a black dog called 'Red' sometimes)
I can perfectly visualise the rose curtains,a loose cover for the bland weetabix-coloured footstool in a faded red ticking and a whole heap of mix and match cushions..I have some of those around painting, just 'froufing'.I could even dig out some of my pretty floral pictures hidden away...oooh girlie stuff!
My Grannie always had a summer and winter theme in her lounge, my mum too, she was forever running up a new pair of curtains or cushions whilst we were at school,so I guess its a hereditary thing (that's my excuse anyway, and I'm sticking with it!)
As much as I love Cath,you need a certain look to your furniture and hard as I try,it just doesn't seem to work with most of mine,I dont know,maybe I'm just too fussy!

So I'm saving Cath for my kitchen and bathroom,she looks happiest in there. I would need to change too many things if she went in the's a bit too, well 'formal' for want of a better word and Cath's a fun loving gal.I sound a bit deranged don't I?..I'm sure there are far more important things happening in the world outside my 4's a house thing that I have,an obsession.I've loved houses since I was little, spending ages cycling around the lanes at the age of eight picking my favourite from the village I lived in, gazing longingly over the hedges wondering what they were like inside and I was always doodling houses at primary school to the point of getting a real telling off for using up far too much paper..they always had leaded windows and gingham curtains in my drawings for some reason..funny that, says she, looking out of her leaded windows with red gingham curtains! So I'm just thinking out loud at the moment ,toying with a few ideas that no doubt will be totally different next month.Maybe its because the boys are back at school, work is dire because of the weather we've had (ever tried mowing a wet sponge?) and I've got too much time to spend reading books and magazines when I should be doing other stuff. Especially this all time favourite that teases me by only coming out every other month!I've gone off Country Living lately..gosh that seems awful.. I never thought I would say that but I really have and I don't know why. Then there's this little lot to tempt me away from my chores....only a portion! How can I resist the lure of the 'housey book' ?

We are in the process of re-mortgaging at the mo (crikey that's a long drawn out expensive process!) so it would leave me a little bit of money to do a few of these 'froufing' jobs, if and only if , I can do them on a budget.I need to sell a few bits on eBay,some furniture,some rugs, the biggest vintage mirror ever, that I love but it's just way too big for this weeny house.. and pull my finger out and finish some sewing projects..I am the most disorganised person ever. I need an empty brain to do anything and it's currently filled up with a whole heap of junk!

Anyway, Stinky H didn't have his operation last week....The surgeon fainted.... Yes, really. It sounds almost too ludicrous to be true, but things like this happen in our lives and we just accept it and move on to the next odd situation.I swear, if a red polka-dot talking pig flew into our garden it would seem quite normal...Poor surgeon, I do hope he is OK..and poor Harry..all prepped up for theatre and full of nerves and he gets a reprieve at the very last moment...well for a few more weeks anyway!' ...get riding that bike matey as you won't be soon!!!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Shabby....shabby old finds.

I didn't know whether this should maybe be under 'vintage' but we haven't had a shabby post for a usual our week has been drifting from one disaster to another, so please bear with me! Not only has our fridge, freezer and tumble dryer broken beyond repair recently (see what I was saying about things happening in 3's?) but my womb is making a bid for freedom too..oh how lovely..lady problems..'hoorah!' I hear you cry,we just love lady problems.. so hospital visits are on the cards. Maybe they could fit me in when I take the stinky boy for his 'special' operation next week..two for the price of one?...then we can mope about in pain together.GREAT.I just hope I don't have to have it all whisked out, I'm already worrying about the ever increasing lady-beard I'm getting on my chin( is that just me?..please tell me it's not.. I'm 39 not 99 for heavens sake!) and without my womb, lord knows what I'll look like..She-wolf possibly? ( some men have a 'thing' for that but I dont think Pete is one of them somehow) so you see, I'm worrying about that and worrying about lifting mowers out of the back of trucks. hmmm...something else to keep my brain ticking over in the small hours.

Anyway..back to VINTAGE SCRUFFY STUFF..yay we like that!
This strange object, I found on ebay ages ago. I loved it, it was cheap, it was vintage, shabby and it was GREEN...enough said!
It's a Tizer display stand which I was going to use it in my kitchen as a holder for bottled drinks,oops, no they don't fit..on to plan B..

So then it was going to be an umbrella stand in the porch..but I don't have a walking umbrella..just one of those tiddly widdly things that fits in your bag (and turns inside out if a leaf blows past) that idea was scuppered.I'm not quite ready for walking sticks just yet, so,until now it has been under the curtain in the back kitchen..awaiting its permanent home. Any ideas?This stool was found in the strange shop we have nearby,not the one I mentioned before, but another strange one..we have a few..we are quite strange in Malvern.
It's got camping gear at the front, wellies in the middle, army gear (including bullet shells- a bargain at 5p each...) at the back and officey-type second hand things through the alley in a small warehouse along with huge terracotta pots and a fairground ride in the yard,oh and second-hand know the nice galvanised ones like this..Vintage-style recycling bins!
(not like those HIDEOUS wheelie bins)'s got a real mixture of stuff you could say.
Well, I picked up the step stool for a fiver..its paint is mint green and it's peeling...lovely! I love a bit of shabbiness.
A quick clean, a new scrap of Cath Kidston oilcloth on the top and VOILA! a new stool.
Basil likes to sit and supervise the cooking from here.

This is the new replacement fridge after a make-over.I LOVE IT. I keep going into the 'unfinished and temporary-but-been-there-for-8 years' back kitchen to look at it. It's an 18 month old second hand one that Pete sprayed cream with some Fridge paint,thanks to an idea from Kelly at Vintage don't half need a few cans though!
It's my poor-mans Smeg, but I like it! I especially like the vintage styled 'Bognor Regis' badge..good old Bognor!Have a great week x

(ps.I'll be even more rubbish at messages this coming week, with the younger stinky boy in hospital and all that..but I thank you most kindly for the last lot!)
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