Thursday, June 26, 2008


Hubby and I were married back in 1985. Around that time I bought myself this book, which was printed in the same year. I had been drawn to one of the bedrooms featured inside, which belonged to the beautiful actress Virginia Wetherell (who was married to actor Ralph Bates at the time)
I was looking to create a romantic bedroom for my new husband and I and this proved to be the inspiration that I needed all those years ago. Despite the title of the book being 'The Englishwoman's Bedroom', Virginia's room certainly had a 'French boudoir' look about it. I loved all the old lace, the big brass bed and the antiquey, orangey glow that seemed to engulf the room.
Understandably, having just got married, our funds were tight, but we managed to pick up an old Deco walnut veneer bedroom suite, which included a bed, wardrobe and mirrored dressing table from a local junk shop for a reasonable price - I loved it. The rest of the room was added to over the years and slowly developed a more boudoir aura!
In 2006 I believe it was, Virginia Wetherell appeared on a BBC2 TV programme called 'Home' - you may remember it - the voice-over man seemed to do all of the commentary with his tongue wedged firmly in his cheek! There were some cringe-worthy moments that appeared on it, but when I saw Virginia's bedroom being featured, I grabbed a video cassette to record it.
(Sadly my video has been accidentally taped over; I would have loved to have kept it, but having said that, the romantic images of the inspirational room are still lodged in my brain)
Since the sad passing of Ralph Bates in 1991, Virginia had surrounded herself with even more sumptuous objects and textiles. She has an amazing eye - a female statue that once stood in the 'Biba' shop in the 1960's had pride of place - just fabulous. I've tried to find an image on Google, but no luck so far....

Anyway, the last three photos show my take on the French boudoir look. (You may have seen some of the objects appear in past blog posts) I think it just goes to show, that the charm of old things will never look out of style. I realise that they aren't to every one's taste, but contemporary interiors aren't for me - they are only contemporary for those few moments while they are being created....Its funny to look through the rest of the old book from the 80's, as I'm sure some of the rooms were considered very modern for their time (Zandra Rhodes's for example, as seen on the front cover), but now look very dated.
I've actually not had to redecorate our current master bedroom for around 10 years. The pale blue painted walls have a restful air and by adding small accessories now-and-then the look has evolved at very little cost.
Update: Just found this photo of the old Biba store - does that really say 'Sparkly Wellies 85p' ?!! I want some!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Down My Garden Path Today......

A five minute break spent in my garden, camera in hand....

before returning to my workroom.....

to work on some new ideas that are buzzing around in my head!
Hope you enjoyed a few rays today, too.
Niki x

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Floral Delights.

I had been in a quandary as to whether to delete my previous post. It is rare that I make such a personal announcement and I didn't want it to sound like a 'woe-is-me', self indulgent exercise. But I have been so touched by all of the kind, supportive and constructive comments that you have all sent our way and I am truly grateful. I know that my daughter will appreciate them too. Thank you. (Her medication is making her feel a little sick, but I'm sure things will settle down very soon)
A friend of mine took me out for a couple of hours yesterday and we treated ourselves to a light lunch in Tetbury. We visited the newly opened 'Highgrove' shop, where all of the profits generated from sales are paid to The Prince's Charities Foundation. The interior displays are beautifully presented and are created from vintage gardenalia, reclaimed features from old buildings and rustic country furniture with shabby paintwork. It made for a delightful shopping experience, where the customer is made to feel special.
There are several antique shops in Tetbury (although a couple had closed down since my last visit - a sign of the times?) and I did buy myself a little pressie from one of them!

The c1950's 'Dickins and Jones' box contained two little bridesmaids hats, smothered in pretty pink anemone flowers on a satin base.
A metal hat stand was also included to complete the set. I love the fact that they are completely hand stitched, so were probably one-of-a-kind creations, for a special wedding. Why things such as these don't stay within a family, I have no idea, but I appreciate having the opportunity to own and treasure them.
Enjoy the rest of your week,
Niki x

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Life is a Roller Coaster.....

Just coming up for air's been a little too stressful just recently.
My youngest daughter had an operation on her mouth last week. Thankfully all went well and she is now doing fine.
My eldest daughter fainted at work and was taken by ambulance to our local hospital on Saturday. She has been diagnosed with a heart condition, which will need further treatment; I won't go into it on my blog, but is something that she should be able to lead a normal life with. (Thank goodness) She was allowed home yesterday, with more appointments to come.
With all my trips to the hospital in Bath, I was worried I would run out of petrol due the strike that's on. Our local petrol station had run out by Saturday, but thankfully I managed to fill up again yesterday.
(Don't know if you U.S. girls are aware, but we pay nearly 5.50GBP (approx $11) per gallon for fuel here! The tanker drivers want more pay, so that they don't have to keep working long and unsocial hours.)
Anyway, I want to leave you with happy thoughts......I wasn't able to join in with the 'Show and Tell' on Sunday, with all that was going on here. It was to share one of your favourite flea market finds. Well, I have to say that I wouldn't be able to pick just one(!) favourite item is always my latest acquisition!

So here are some of my finds from productive flea market forays, which you may have seen before....

I need to take a breather now and catch-up with things at home.....

Get some sewing done......
And spend some time with my girls.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Niki x

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thank You!

A friend of mine dropped by for a cuppa yesterday afternoon and surprised me with this stunningly perfect bouquet of roses, all picked from her beautiful cottage garden. They are heavenly and just make me want to sigh - too gorgeous for words.....

I had an amazing response to my website update yesterday and so wanted to thank you all for stopping by and for all of your kind and supportive emails. It is always humbling to sell a handmade item, to think that someone appreciates what you have worked on and that you have put a piece of your heart into (not literally of course! hehe) Such a confidence boost too, when sometimes doubt creeps in or life throws up things to test you.
I have been wrapping, packing and taking your parcels to the Post Office today - I do hope that you will be pleased with your purchases and thank you once again.
Enjoy the roses,
Niki x

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

At Last....A Web Update!!

I have updated my website today with over 60 new items - I hope that you will enjoy taking a look. It is my aim to make lots more handmade items soon, but 'real' life has been getting in the way of this lately. I also have some pretty vintage eiderdowns that I hope to list soon, when I have time to photograph them and type write-ups......
This selection of unique handmade brooch pillows and boudoir bags can be found in my on-line catalogue. Sorry, all sold or reserved, but lots of vintage stock in 'textiles' and 'costume'.
I've recently been lucky enough to catch-up with an old family friend from my childhood. We lost contact years ago when we moved to opposite sides of the country, but now, thanks to the www, we are back in touch.
Here we are as mere babes in 1969 (I think) - that's me on the right with the white top and Teena is sat next to me.

....And a few years later (in the 70's!!! as if you couldn't guess from that wild wallpaper - Mum what were you thinking?! Lol) me, far left in purple and Teena, also in purple, third from the right. (Our brothers are standing at the back - mine on the left (blending into that wallpaper!) and Teena's on the right lifting up my cousin)

Awwww...time flies! (I have a few more photos, but that's enough embarrassment for one day!)
Teena recently sent me a parcel through the post, which was a complete surprise. All this loveliness......
The funny thing is, we both recycle vintage fabrics and sell on the www - such a coincidence!! Teena has recently started blogging too, so please take a peek at her sites when you have a moment - they are so cheerful and fun.
T makes these adorable little puppy dogs and I am so lucky to own one -this little girl was in my parcel and she immediately made herself at home.....

First she wandered into the garden to be in the sunshine and to explore the foxgloves.....

and then to sniff the rambling roses.....
and delicious honeysuckle.....
She met some of the other members of the family....

...before finding a snugly spot to take a nap!
Thanks again Teena for your kindness - I look forward to meeting up with you when I stay at my parents home next time.....
I would also just like to say that my daughter really loved reading all the comments that you left regarding her Art Foundation piece below. BIG thank you for your kind wishes.
Enjoy the rest of your week,
Niki x