Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Finding My Voice...

Welcome - So nice to have you here!
It's been a little while since I was last sat typing at my blog, but I've been busy with all sorts of adventures...
I visited Elaine's lovely jumbly fair at Pamphill and came away with treasures... 
Then onto Poole for a romantic night away with hubby for Valentine's Day...
Where we were able to say our first 'hello' of the year, to the sea. 

We travelled home the next day via the Tank Museum at Bovington. We'd passed it so many times over the years, but the joys of having three daughters meant that Dad was always outvoted!
With a visit long overdue, there was no backing out this time... ;-))
There were some fine tank specimens - a huge collection in fact...
A very good museum...
If you like that sort of thing...

Back home again and I've been making a few bits and bobs...
Another Easter bunny fairy...
This is Miss Cottontail. 
She's sold - thank you! 
A large Guardian Angel named Grace. 
I'm sold - thank you! 
And I've also found some time to make something just for me for a change.
A colourful cushion made from some of my favourite vintage fabrics and a hand embroidered cottage picture. 

A week later and another day out where we headed for Hereford. Spotting Baileys en-route, we thought it worth a quick call-in, having seen it mentioned in countless magazines over the years. On entering, a 'No Photographs' sign is perhaps not the friendliest of welcomes(?) - We perused the immaculate displays and after purchasing two wooden washing up brushes, decided it wasn't really the place for us... 
(All a bit too perfect for my taste - I like my vintage to look a bit more lived-in. Baileys' style is perfection in it's imperfections!)
Hereford is a city that we'd not visited before. It was lively around the shops, but peaceful in the Cathedral grounds. 

We took in Monmouth in the afternoon, on the way back home... 

Crossing the old Severn Bridge from Wales back to England. 
As ever, there's been more vintage shopping at the flea market - Here are some of my finds. 

Trinkets and treasures from a French Ch√Ęteau's attic.

And lots of lovely fabrics to add to my stash. 

Vintage Sanderson linens. 

GORGEOUS c1940's Sanderson
And classic 'Salad Days' by Sanderson again. 
This satin box now sits on my dressing table - I have a thing for old boxes. 

And a ceramic egg trinket pot which dates from the early 1900's. 
The youngest member of our family (who is walking already!), turned one year old at the end of February - We celebrated by all going to Noah's Ark Zoo Farm. 

We fell in love with the beautiful Giraffes - so gentle and graceful. 

Little-one wasn't the only lucky girl to receive gifts...I had a surprise parcel arrive in the post last week from my lovely friend.  
I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I opened up the box. It was filled to the top with wonderful treasures.
My favourites being these soft satin Liberty print ribbons.
More ribbons and trims added to the bounty...
And buttons and beads...
Fabrics and lace. 
What really surprised me was that my friend has been asked to exhibit some of her beautifully hand crafted items for sale at the gallery shop at Stourhead at the end of this year...And I'm sure she could have made use of such treasures herself! 
I hope I can do them justice. 
Finally there's my website to mention...To be honest its been taking up a lot of my thoughts just recently. I feel I may have made a mistake to concentrate mostly on my handmade fairies - I think I rushed into making decisions and changes to my site after Christmas, without giving myself time to stop. Perhaps I've not been thinking straight for a while...I've been feeling a little lost...It's been more of an adjustment than I first imagined, giving up my bricks and mortar shop. I miss the routine, surprisingly the stress and hard work, but mostly I've missed talking to people; some of my customers had become friends and I've suddenly lost contact with most of them. January and February have been difficult months, with no fairs to offer my wares for sale, until last Saturday's Vintage Jumble...(Sorry I forgot to take photos at the jumble, but it was a fabulous event and I'd like to thank everyone who visited my stall and took away some of my vintage goodies! :)
Now things are feeling brighter and I'm looking forward to having another go with my on-line business. 
It's had another small make-over since the initial changes I made - I hope you like them. 
Whilst coming to a decision about what to do next, I kept looking back at some of the photos I'd taken at my first shop in 2003.
 I'm at my happiest when making one-off items, but realise it can be difficult to find a market for them. It is far easier to become known as a 'bag maker' or 'cushion maker' for example, but this isn't truly the direction that my heart is being pulled...But for now it may make better business sense, at least until we are able to move house and I can re-evaluate again.  
  I've always loved reworking vintage textiles into usable and/or decorative items...To suddenly stop doing that doesn't feel right. And now that Sanderson have started to reproduce some of their iconic vintage fabric designs, I'm thinking there must be a market for the originals that I've safely squirrelled away for years - It could be the right time to start using them again in my work.   
So, to reflect my change of heart, I wanted to give my website (another!) new look. A bit of primitive hand stitched embroidery was involved to give it a more handmade feel. I've used the stitched words to create the clickable buttons to navigate the site

My gorgeous girl designed a new banner for me (and one for my blog too), which I am thrilled with. 
I've listed some new handmade stock. This cushion is made from a hand worked tapestry, combined with a patchwork of vintage floral fabrics.
The back is a glazed cotton by Sanderson. 
The second cushion is similar in style with a needlepoint in the centre, surrounded by colourful vintage floral fabrics. 

The back is the same Sanderson as before. 

I've also made a little barkcloth handbag, with crinoline lady needlepoint. It fastens with a c1930's button and fabric loop. Fully lined inside with a glazed cotton. 
I've also made a large floral cushion, which I have put aside for one of the upcoming spring fairs, so will show more of that nearer the time. 
Thanks for stopping-by and catching-up with me here.
Enjoy the rest of your week,
Niki x


  1. The hand stitched labels are a fantastic idea and I just love your gorgeous cushions and dolls x

  2. Gosh Niki
    that was a booklet not a blog post , you put me to shame lol xx
    Your Easter Fairy is divine and your cushions are so Spring like and pretty.
    I just love the hand stitched tags for your website... I need a cup of tea and a biscuit now xxx
    Hugs Lynn xxx

  3. Loving your 'stitched' buttons and that Sanderson 'Salad Days' fabric...........Is it one that they are reprinting by any chance?
    Good luck with the new site, looks like you are already very busy with it.

  4. HI, what a lovely post I especially like the cushion that you made for yourself and those fabrics are marvellous!! Pam.

  5. Thanks so much for the lovely update Niki - of course I am totally in love with your cottage pillow LOL. Very brave and patient of you to go to the Tank Museum! Also took a peek at your lovely shop....well done....and of course everything will sort itself out - I find there is just not enough hours in the day!

  6. Oh my goodness! Where to start? The new look is just lovely. I love the embroidered "buttons" for your links.

    Speaking of buttons, the tiny polka dotted ones your friend sent are too cute!

    I'm glad your hubby finally got to stop at that museum! And your grandbaby is so sweet!

    You have been one busy girl! I enjoyed going through all your pics and seeing all the things you've done and the things you've acquired for new makes!

  7. Thanks for your kind comments ladies!

    Yes SP - Sandrson HAVE reproduced 'Salad days' - I've not seen it yet, but apparently they've captured a good likeness of the original this time.

    Niki x

  8. It must be hard for you adjusting to online after having the wonderful shop for so long. I love those cushions you made, especially that cottage one. Looking forward to seeing your new website. And green with envy over all these treasures you have recently captured! x

  9. Anonymous10:58 pm

    I just adore everything Niki. Keep your chin up, Spring is just around the corner.
    You deserve a medal for tolerating the Tank Museum.. It'll be Yeovilton next!
    Frances x

  10. Hi Niki. Love all your 'new' stock. Those cushions are gorgeous. Good luck with the online shop. Your style is very unique and people are always looking for that something special. X

  11. Niki, you are so amazingly busy and so hard working. I wish you masses of luck for your new venture and I especially love your beautiful cushions. Jane xx

  12. Good morning Niki, lovely to catch up with all your adventures and thoughts xx

  13. PS I also meant to say that you were missed yesterday and customers did ask after you...and we visted Baileys some years ago and came to exactly the same conclusion! Lizzie x


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