Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Latest Purchases and Shop News

I've been meaning to get back to my blog for a while now, but always seem to run out of time or energy these days...But finally here I am with some photos of my latest vintage buys and some of my latest news. Firstly some of the things I was able to pick up on my foray to the South East (see previous post.)
'Barbola' seems to be the word that best sums up my purchases...Funny how a theme often runs through vintage finds. The leaf and berry piece above and below is a beautiful 30's standard lamp. Once its all been checked-over, I'm going to use it as extra lighting in my shop. (This came from Snoopers Paradise in Brighton.) 

A rarer leather-work barbola mirror, which I shall probably bring with me to the Vintage Bazaar, if I can bare to part with it!  (Also from Snoopers.)

And a 1930's waste paper bin with barbola decoration from The Needlemakers in Lewes. 

A huge spool (probably a lifetime's supply!) of vintage seam binding in a lovely 30's green. Perfect for many of my crafting projects.

Ostrich feather and knitting needle-case for resale at the Vintage Bazaar. 

Three wonderful ribbon-work garters which I may just have to hang on to ;-)),  came from the 'fantabulous' Snoopers Attic, which I mentioned on my previous post. I did love it there! 

Another favourite find was this sweet copy of The Water Babies, by Charles Kingsley. I have a small collection of various editions of this story. (Perhaps I should write a blog post about them in the future?) The illustrations are always adorable. The pictures in this little shortened edition, look just like water colour paintings. 

Another lovely book, found at The Needlemakers, was this children's bird book with stunning colour plates...

A (free!) souvenir from our trip away, was a brochure that I picked up inside the Brighton Royal Pavilion. As I mentioned, photography inside was not allowed, which was a shame - The pavilion can be used for wedding ceremonies, which this brochure promotes... So I thought I'd show you a couple of the photos included in it, where you can see the sumptuous interior decoration of some of the rooms - All heavily influenced by China...
What a magical place to be married. 

My treasures from a memorable time away with my hubby :)
I've also been regularly buying for my shop. I single-handedly got this painted dresser into my shop at the weekend! Such a cute size at approx: 3' wide.

(Lots of china on the other (much larger!) dresser in my shop.)
Easter Sunday was not a day-off for me and the many others who had trekked-down to the local flea market, to either buy or sell vintage lovelies.  It does seem so much more difficult these days to find beautiful pieces, with so many of us all chasing the same things. I am pleased with the small haul that came home with me though...
One of my best items was this small display cabinet, which  probably once stood (unpainted) on a tobacconist's shop counter. It is now destined to display much prettier things inside! ;-))
A gorgeous framed print of a watercolour painting, depicting a Cornish fishing village. 
Teeny tiny mesh purse and some broderie anglais trim to dress fairies in! 
Three tins with olde worlde charm.
A gorgeous antique French fabric.
Sugar tongs for your afternoon tea! 
A collection of costume brooches. Some will find their way onto my next handmade projects.

These ones are for my own collection, which I've featured on my blog before. 
French beaded daisies and silk millinery blooms.
Various chandelier crystals, which I shall be stringing up with ribbons.
A fabulous Victorian photograph album with floral mounts... 

Victorian lidded rose bowl - Which you'll either love or hate. Me? I love this kind of thing
These c1930's playing cards are going to play their part as packaging for some buttons I shall be offering for sale soon.
I've been squirrelling away a few other tasty treasures for the upcoming Vintage Bazaar, Frome. (As well as working hard at my sewing machine) - Always a much looked-forward-to event, and one I try extra hard with, to put on a tempting display to entice the visitors. If you'd like more details of this fair, they can be found here. 
Yesterday I had to make a trip to the post office to send off a parcel to one of my customers. I had quoted her £3.65 as I had always done for the size of parcel I was sending, only to find that Royal Mail have changed all of their criteria for letters and parcels. I had quite a shock when the post master asked me for £6.75 - almost double what I had quoted my customer. All this just because my parcel is now classed as 'medium size' and nothing to do with the light weight of the item. I'm so glad that I no longer rely on my on-line web sales, as I think this is going to be very limiting to all sellers. In some cases, I am sure the postage is going to be more than the cost of the item being sent. And if I were to have to shop for vintage stock, constantly baring in mind the size of the piece, it would be very tedious. I have lost sales in the past due to Royal Mail - Once I have quoted their price to a customer, they have decided not to go ahead with the purchase. Will they end up pricing themselves out of the market I wonder? I had heard they are already making a loss, so I can't see these latest changes helping...
Anyway, all of that makes me more determined to make my little shop work and to participate in at least one vintage fair per month to network and to keep in touch with everyone. Last month I met a lovely lady called Pam at the Nth Cadbury Fair. Pam has mentioned me on her blog and has shown what she has made using some buttons purchased from my stall - here. Its always a pleasure to see vintage items being re-used and enjoyed again. 
I would just like to mention that Lizzie has decided to run another fair at Nth Cadbury this year. This was a lovely little fair with the hall filled with dedicated textile dealers. The date for your diary is Saturday 23rd November 2013, which should be a great opportunity for some festive shopping (if I dare to mention that in April! ;-))

To end I have a couple of items of shop news. Firstly I would like to thank all who nominated my little shop for Homes & Antiques Magazine's People's Choice Award. I am thrilled to say that I am on the short list! I will be attending the awards ceremony in Battersea later this month. I won't hold my breath, as I am up against two 'bigger boys' (an antiques centre and a higher-end antiques shop), but I am chuffed to bits to have had this recognition for all the hard work involved in running a small business in a difficult area and economic climate. And it's all thanks to you! x x
Secondly, more great news. Belinda and Wayne of No.21 have moved their stylish antiques and interiors business to Shepton Mallet's Market Place, opposite Nostalgia at No.1! :) It is wonderful to look over to see their beautiful window displays. The hub of the town is growing!...
Hope you enjoy the rest of your week...I'm off to start on a batch of fairy folk for the Vintage Spring Bazaar.
Niki x


  1. Beautiful new things, those garters are just gorgeous.
    Rant, rant, I so have to agree with you regarding Royal Mail, the latest changes are just crazy. I spent all day yesterday changing shipping costs in my Etsy store, and found that several items are now cheaper to send to Europe than within the UK. And that some items weighing less than 100g now cost £5.75 to send just because they are a couple of centimeters thicker than the 8cm allowed. CRAZY. Makes me want to cry with frustration.

  2. The postal prices are getting ridiculous! For months I have been trying to make my etsy shop work and now........
    I will get to your shop oneday, I will, I will! I have that copy of the Water-babies, well the cover is identical, it is one of my favourite stories too!
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  3. So many pretty things! But, I especially love those 2 children's books! I would love to find something like that here! ! ! :) Postal prices in the US have been getting ridiculous also. It quite often costs more for the postage than the things being shipped! Glad to hear you have new neighbors in Shepton Mallet! Hopefully there will be more traffic for the stores there!

  4. Love that rosebowl.
    Postal prices - ridiculous, my sales have come to a standstill, no doubt the post prices have put peeps right off buying. It's probably going to be courier from now on for me.

  5. Wow Niki what a collection. I've never heard of Barbola before - I'm assuming it is to do with flowers but will go and look it up in a minute. It's difficult to choose a favourite but I think it's got to be that display cabinet - I'm sure you will have it looking stunning. Looking forward to seeing the fairies x Jane

  6. Hello Niki, A wonderful post as always! Such a variety of intersting, beautiful things! Jane xx

  7. Great post niki. I lurrve the bird book and the cornish picture, right up my street! love Sue

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