Monday, 13 December 2010

Long awaited update

Finally an update to this blog! About time! This is some of what I've been up to in no particular order...... Visited Falmouth to check out the university, and stumbled upon a monthly vintage fair. I bought socks from this lady. The green large flowered curtains behind her looked the same as others at the fair,because they belonged to the hall and were permanent fixtures. I wonder if they have been there since new in the 70's.

If I remember correctly this stall was run by Hannah and her friend.
I have been to Flamouth before. Last time I arrived by ferry. The first shop we visited this time was a wool shop and by the time we returned to the car it was empty of stock and closing for the winter. mmm what a good idea.
Rook Lane Retro Fair Frome.
I had the same spot as last time - just inside the door. I bought the same team with me as well. The customers were very well dressed in their fine vintage clothes, hair and makeup. Dressing in vintage and getting in free is a great idea. Even kids wear vintage to Rook Lane Retro.
Keep calm and talk about the weather.
When I first started blogging it snowed. It was something to remark on, because we didn't get a decent amount of snow every year. Now it seems to be a twice or thrice annual event, and hardly worth taking photo's of. We've had a lot of white weather recently. Fog, frost and snow vie to get our attention. Sometimes the fog hangs around all day. It's like an advent calendar. Every morning you open the front door in December you don't know what scene will greet you.
I wonder what next year will bring? This year isn't over yet, so we'll have to wait and see.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

How bizarre

Ashburton, Devon

I haven't slept through the summer, but I haven't updated this blog either. I've stayed in and done some sewing and gone out and left my camera at home. One time I picked up single use camera on the way to Liz's sale. The pictures are still in the camera, and have to be extracted the old fashioned way. If they come out I'll publish them some other time.

We have just returned from Ashburton, and I took my camera with me this time. This place had lots of the things we like......
A great second hand book shopA great 2nd hand book shop.

Well stocked sewing and yarn shop Sew Enchanting
"Sew Enchanting". A very well stocked sewing and knitting shop. I bought some super chunky racrac from here.

And lots of antique and vintage shops. There was only one charity shop! Fortunately it was a Brainwave shop, as they are among my favourites.

These pictures were taken in The Snug in North Street

Habberdashery counter, "The Snug"

The main attraction was the Bizarre Bazaar in the town hall. I spotted a link about it on facebook. We had never been to Ashburton before and had one child free day of summer left, so instead of attending our usuall fortnightly auction we decided to visit Devon instead.

We found the town hall easily, because of the decorations and buskers. There were some nice people inside.Kate of Ruby Ruby - aprons cushions, tea & egg cosies + bunting

Andrea- Wilde purple frogs, garments with Jan Quercus jewellery

Grace & favour home

shabby chick stall at the Bizarre Bazaar Ashburton

Amanda - Shabby chick

We had a wide choice of venues for our morning and afternoon tea as well as our lunch. Of course we went home with a few purchaces.
Fishing floats

Metal letters from the snug- I've always liked this type face and it's very popular at the moment.

My pile of books (Mc's was much bigger!)

We would definately visit Ashburton again. Just think all those times I've visited Trago Mills and not know about this town,- so close....

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Lavender's blue dilly dilly


Topping up the little heart shaped sachets in my shop has left me low on lavender, so Mc, Sophie and I went to Somerset Lavender in Faulkland somewhere between Frome and Radstock to replenish supplies.

Artichokes and lavender at Somerset LavenderThis is a very photogenic place. Sophie took her camera and props to do a photo session, and almost every one else was taking photos. The view of the lavender garden and fields was stunning, the fragrance wonderful.

It is great to be able to source lavender products from within Somerset.

This is a family run farm. They grow, harvest and distill lavender to make essential oils, soap and other toiletries as well as producing a culinary grade lavender which features in some of the recipes used in the cafe.

Originally I had planned to arrive in time for the 11am farm tour. Tours are not every day, so I was fortunate that there was one on the day I was going. After a horrific choking incident involving No1 son and a detour to drop papers off at college we arrived in time for lunch. We will catch the tour another time. The cafe menu had choices suitable for us all, so we decided to eat before looking round. The cafe and part of the shop are housed in the same area, so we got a good look at the items available for sale.

Here one of the cats seeks shade by some camomile. Wild life abounds here. As well as the butterflies and bees that love the lavender there is a pond that attracts dragonflies.

We were taking photos in the field to the sound of humming bumble bees. There are also honey bees making honey in the farm's bee hives.

The rows of lavender were providing runways for speedy young children.

There is lots of space to move around plenty to see and loads to photograph. I liked the willow tunnel and the vegetable garden. A lot of the food in the cafe is home grown. This place is a sensory playground with great sights, smells and even sounds (especially the acoustics in the plant sale area). Everyone was rubbing the tips of lavender plants between their fingers to release the fragrance. Lavender scones were on the menu at the cafe. I had Ceylon and lavender tea.

I'm going back for some lavender, but took home a candle, soap, essential oils and a greetings card.

Farm opening times and details are on

Monday, 26 July 2010

Tamsyn G shop in Wincanton

A Week ago I got a text saying; "Have you seen the Tamsyn G make and mend shop at the top of Wincanton?" While on the Berrys to London my eldest daughter spotted a shop she thought I'd like. On Thursday Mc and I went to Wincanton before opening my shop. We had our fingers crossed that the shop would be open, and we were lucky. At present Tamsyn G is open Wed, Thurs and Fri.

Look what I found inside. Lots of handmade and making things. Lovely vintage haberdashery, and a work area. I got the OK for taking these photo's, from Tamsyn herself.

Missing from my photos is the yarn display. A colourful array of some of the great yarns available for the creative knitter, crocheter etc. Including some mixed yarns wound by Tamsyn and her youngest son who is shown here at the work table. They are each individual using different textures and colours on one ball.

I bought the round basket tin. It is embossed with a basket weave texture.

Look more tins and lovely vintage fabric. Ooh and buttons. There is a good well presented selection of buttons.

Handmade items including Tamsyn's photography and artwork.

Tamsyn's button jewelery.


This is a great little shop (actually it's a T.A.R.D.I.S) offering not just goods, but services too. Tamsyn does workshops in anything from teaching one or two of you to crochet, to craft parties . This busy lady has craft items in exhibitions and for sale in other shops and on Foksy and Etsy. is the place to visit for all the latest.
If you're in Wincanton it is well worth walking up the hill to 59 High Street.
Vintage China Hire
After coffee in a Portuguese cafe we returned to one of Wincanton's charity shops to pick up a pair of wooden headboards, but they were to be 'BACK in 20 Mins'. We wondered two doors up the road and found this!
A window display and tablescape of vintage china and glass.

It's times like this that I wish I had a polarizing filter.

Very enticing. The 'shop' was closed, but there was a small sign announcing Vintage China Hire with two phone numbers. I am pleased with the photo, only because the window was very dusty and there was so much reflection. I studied the table recognising some of the pieces. Did they buy them from me? Do I know these people? There were lot of details in the room that made me want to go in. There was a standard lamp redecorated with decoupage/collage. Unupholstered deckchairs.
There are quite a few Vintage China Hire options in my area. Wincanton, Castle Cary and Somerton all have people providing a service. What a lovely job to have. Helping to set the scene (or table) for an event, seeing your lovely china gracing someones party and getting to keep it and do it again! I took a photo of the phone numbers, so if my curiosity gets the better of me I will just have to pick up the phone....

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Growing sucess

Wow most things in the allotment are doing really well. First I had spinach coming out of my ears, then broad beans galore and now courgettes everywhere.

The only thing I'm short of is water. The lovely iron pump that I prefer to use at is almost dry. A family of mice moved in and I got two drowned ones swirling round in my watering can!

Lots of things have come and gone, but I took photos. We inherited some lovely large double poppies. We worked around them leaving them where they were. At first of course we didn't know what they would look like, but we weren,t disappointed.

Some storm damage was sustained, but Mc put that right before I could see the disappointing devastation. My beautiful sunflower was propped up and and the beans reorganised.

Something has been eating the runners as the flowers are fading, but we do have some left.

The shop is going well as it does in the summer. A trip to Taunton resulted in some lovely charity shop buys. I carried the heavy enamel sign all the way from Station Rd to the carpark behind the bus station while pulling everything else in my wicker shopping trolley!

I got lots of quilting supplies and some sheet music. The bell jars are from Sainsbury's! I got an identification of the vintage Welsh blanket from here . The roses are long crisp lined cotton curtains.

Vintage Toys
A customer and his Japanese wife sold me a part auction lot of a dolls pram and some toys. He only wanted a few books and sold me the rest. His main interest was Sooty and Sweep and he kept a Noddy puzzle. Long after they had gone I found a puzzle piece that looked like part of a Beek illustration. Was it from his puzzle? Also he collected Sooty and Sweep and one of the my puzzles hiding in a chocolate box was Sooty and Sweep in the kitchen!

The pram sold the next day before I could photograph it, but I took some pics of the toys, which have now sold on eBay.

After watching Mary Queen of Shops I have decided I agree with her idea of painting furniture and reselling it. I have been selling items for customers to paint and have painted a few small pieces myself which have sold well. These are my current projects. I liked the colour the shelves were when I bought them from last weekends car boot, but the finish was not good and you could tell the preparation was hurried.

I often pass an empty shop in my village. It was already spoken for when I got mine, but has remained empty due to unsuccessful planning app. As Mc and I walked past it this week we noticed the windows where whitewashed. I said "That would be a great place to sell painted furniture. You could do the work in the lean-to at the back" Well guess what? Yes a new shop in Ilchester!!! opening in mid August selling painted furniture. With the proper antique shop not closed yet down, my junk shop and this new shop Ilchester is moving to become somewhere to actually go to shop instead of stumble on.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Going Nowhere

It's summer and most people are out and about travelling around visiting places, but I'm going nowhere. My van is not running and I haven't left Ilchester for almost two weeks!

I have to walk everywhere, as my beloved bicycle needs a new inner tube.

Luckily the Ilchester street fair was at the weekend and I got to buy some lovely local Water Buffalo sausages and rib eye steak. It's my annual treat. The buffalo farm is only a few miles away and I pass the shadowy creatures on my way to Yeovil . They were originally bought for milk to make mozzarella cheese, but buffalo meat is low in cholesterol and has a string of other health benefits, so the farmers started selling the meat. If I want to see the cowboy and native americian indian style buffalo I only have to travel to West Coker. (If only....)

My shop was full the day of the street fair. It's not really laid out for hordes of people, but I was pleased to see them all. Many of them hadn't been in before and some promised to come back when they had time to browse.

I've been visited by loads of dragonflies, not surprising living so close to the river Yeo. There is even a street named after them.

Dragonfly chase Ilchester
Although the allotment is at the other end of the village, my shop is at the half way point, so that breaks the journey up.

Of course I can get many things from my own garden like these raspberries.

I've come to terms with having a microwave now and used it to make some jam, as you can make a jar at a time with ease. I even sterilised the jar in the microwave.

The family were very happy. We don't usually have jam in the house. Since there was a jar and a bit I made a batch of scones to try the jam out on.

I've walked to one of the village garages and booked my van in to be fixed. I usually go to the motor museum, but I didn't think my van would make it. The water pump has gone and it could over heat. So hopefully my van will be ready for the weekend and I will be free.