Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Only Way is Up...

As the rain that was forecast failed to materialise this morning, I thought I would pay a visit to the Artisan Market in Frome. It is arranged all the way up the steep cobbled street of Catherine's Hill, with trestle tables having to be precariously balanced on wooden blocks to level them out!

It had a lovely atmosphere, with a ladies choir singing at the bottom of the hill, and street entertainers, musicians and dancers a little further up.

Most of the shops were open too, which is where I bumped into Clare and her family, inside 'Woolly Notions' - this shop is fast becoming quite the meeting place for bloggers! ;-))
A market now-a-days wouldn't be complete, it seems, without stalls full of cupcakes...if cakes are dictated to by fashion, then the humble fairy cake has really moved on in the last couple of years and in my opinion has evolved into a true artform...some almost look too good to eat. But then try telling that to the kiddies lined up waiting to buy!

I had a quick look around Scarecrow Antiques near the top of the hill and then it was time to walk back down again to my car and home to hubby...

I've always loved this little row of houses on the way out of Frome. I was able to take this quick shot from my car, as there are temporary traffic lights at the top of the town at the moment...the house next door is a picture too, but I had to get moving...I'll try and get that one next time!
Although I didn't buy anything at the Artisan Market, I have found some vintage goodies over the weekend...
A lovely hand embroidered tablecloth, which I have boiled clean on the hob and its now drip-drying outside on the washing line.

And continuing with the cottagey, floral theme:
A framed print probably from the 50's, a delightful 1930's postcard and some miniature clay pots.

I love the fact that the pots have been used in the past and have acquired a weathered look to the outsides. I shall be keeping a few of these, but I also have a Christmas idea for them, for the next V&H fair...

Aghhhh...but you don't want to hear the 'C' word in June!, so moving swiftly on...except...
I did find this lovely book dated 1922, entitled 'Christmas Carols'...the colour plates inside are a delight. (I shall save it for the fair, and not mention either again for some considerable time!)
Two vintage brooches - I thought the crown one would be perfect for a patriotic rag doll with union flag skirt, that I've designed for when I have the time to get back on my sewing machine again...its been too long... :( (I'm making headway with all the website listing that I mentioned in a previous post, so I have to accept sometimes things have to give...)

I was very happy to find some more rosey china items too. Most of them are classic Victorian pieces and ooze nostalgic charm.
This strainer and tray are a particular treasure - and how typical of those Victorians to have such an item specially design just for strawberries! Well, that's what I've always believed these were for...if you know otherwise, I would love to hear from you. One thing for sure though, they don't make em' like that any more.

And talking of typical...I am rather predictable with my buying habits - I've always loved the old roses. In fact I was talking to a journalist at the V&H fair last Saturday. It was when it was extremely busy first thing, but I did manage a quick chat with her…she said she had written for CL in the past and was analysing peoples behaviour and what sorts of things they were buying…it was very interesting when she pointed a few things out to me….she also asked if there was a market for rosey china! I told her that I had heard that it was totally unfashionable, but I had experienced no trouble selling it - there's a lot of us out there who love it, right?…she seemed really interested, anyway…

Who could resist?

These two are keepers...I'm going to try and find an old (small) painted dresser for our summer house and have a 'grannyfied' display on it, with my old gardening books and hand tools... That's if hubby and I can find the time to start painting all the flat-pack shed pieces, before we put it all together...maybe I should concentrate on that first, rather than whats going inside it! Heehee!
I'll leave you with a few of the real thing...I do love this time of year...
Hope you're having a lovely weekend,
Niki x


  1. Anonymous6:00 pm

    Wow, you got some lovely goods today Niki! I can tell you that the "strainer" is actually a "cress dish" but I think calling it a "strawberry dish" is nicer, particularly this time of year. I love cress dishes, such a practical but beautiful item! We didnt get the predicted rain today either but we surely did last night!

  2. Glorious pieces of rose china, I am sooooo envious!

  3. What a lovely post today .... I wish I could magically transport myself to this wonderful scene. I've never seen anything like the china strainer ~ how unique! Enjoy your day, Ms. Niki!

  4. Hi
    Thank you for sharing all the
    lovely pictures today.
    I had such a delightful time.
    Blessings to you of joy.
    Happy Trails

  5. What a lovely post. We had the rain all day again today! The clay are just fantastic and love the tablecloth.
    I love the last picture of the roses.
    Jule x

  6. Hi Niki, it was lovely to meet you at the Handmade and Vintage Fair, it's a shame it was so busy that we didn't have time to chat.
    It looks like you have had some lovely finds this weekend.
    Dave bought me a gorgeous tea set yesterday, pink rose chintz, I feel so lucky.
    Chat soon, Liz

  7. Anonymous6:54 pm

    Yup! The strainer dish is definitely for watercress :-) Years ago, folks ate a lot more watercress than we do now.

  8. Oh my goodness - I don't like the idea of balancing a table on wooden blocks - I'm guessing there were no china sellers?! Lovely pics - looks like your weather was better than ours this weekend! Lovely rosy bits. I am SO excited to see the summerhouse makeover! t.xx

  9. I love it when you share your day trips to the markets and such. That house has so much characture to it. Beautiful roses. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Hi Niki,
    Great post. I love that house too! YOu found some great things.

  11. Hi Niki
    Lovely to bump into you today and that cress dish is lucky thing! Hope you didn't get caught in the downpour.
    Clare x

  12. Hi, So pleased to see your pics. of the Frome market. I'd heard that they held one and wondered what it was like ... and now I know ... and it's on my 'things to do' list :)

  13. What a great weekend! Glad there was no rain!
    Lovely new treasures!

  14. Ya did good, kid! As long as there are women, there will be a market for "old roses"!

  15. I love rose patterned china... I have boxes full of it!

    Victoria xx

  16. Beautiful, all of it! We eat quite a lot of watercress here in France, but I would certainly use that dish for strawberries if I had it - it would be perfect for that annoying drip of water that you can never quite drain off them...

  17. Hello Niki,
    a dish like your strainer is used in
    Germany also for grapes.
    I love your blog and visit it every
    week a few times.
    Viele liebe Grüße, Veronika

  18. We had a holiday in Somerset a couple of years ago and I desperately wanted to go to Frome, hinting loads of times to my OH. I never got there and so wish that I had! I love little terracotta pots and can't wait to see what you do with them, even if it is something connected with the C word.


  19. It looks like a perfect day to visit Frome!

    Don't worry about mentioning the "C" word...I have to admit to having a growing selection of vintage Christmas for the next fair already!


  20. Oh My gosh Niki.. i love those rosy items too! you always got the most beautiful ones and I envy you! hehehehe.. the strainer and the vase is to die for!!!

  21. Hi

    I am English and live in blog makes me so homesick...especially this post :-(

    Beautiful photos.

  22. This street in Frome is a real gem... I must remember to go to this event before it stops for the winter..
    I was amused to see a cupcake stall at the local boot sale a few weeks ago.. poor things were melting in the hot sun but still looked delicious!

    Michele xx

  23. That was such a delightful post. Many thanks. I love the houses in Frome. All your buys looked wonderful. I wish I coud transport myself to Frome from Australia at the moment!

  24. What yummy china finds! I would love ALLL of them. And, those old pots? How lovely. I'm always on a quest for them too, but I think they throw them away instead of putting on the shelves at the thrift shops here. I've tried the yogurt/buttermilk goo, but my dog liked to eat it off the pots. :-)


  25. OMG!!!!! I just love this post..Love all the pretty china.. The flowers are just amazing... That vase is just stunning and of course I just love the bling...You always have the best posts...

  26. Those cupcakes look nice...


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx