Thursday, February 12, 2009

On the Trail of Lace...

Just look at all of this gorgeousness!
All of this can be found at the Dairy House antiques centre at Semley at the moment, run by our blogging buddy Sue.

Hubby and I took another trip out there yesterday and I was once again in my element browsing through wonderful antique treasures, which are set out in several rooms and cabinets throughout the emporium.

I was racking my brains for ages trying to rearrange our furniture at home in my head; to try to make space for this fabulous Victorian button backed chair with its original rose printed fabric...I would have loved to have taken this beauty home with me...but sadly had to be realistic and admit defeat that it just wasn't going to fit in anywhere!
I had lots of fun rummaging through Sue's drawers though ;-)) - which are easy to find just inside the main entrance....Each of the tiny pine drawers hold lace bundles, buttons, fabrics, haberdashery or other special embellishments. There are lots of pretty things to look at standing on top of them too...

This time, I was on a mission to buy beautiful antique lace, and I wasn't disappointed...
Wonderfully feminine and romantic, fragile and delicate, I am in awe of the designers of old who created such intricate patterns and details within each length of wispiness.
The perfect textile to grace a fairy doll, or to adorn the cuffs and collars of a carefully made rag dolly. Seeking out such intricate works of the lace maker is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job.
I could devote a whole blog post or more to my love of old lace. Not that I am typically a 'lacy' person in my dress, but I do adore the sense of history that surrounds each salvaged piece. (For anyone interested in using vintage/antique lace in their home, I would recommend a favourite book of mine: 'Living with Lace' by Bo Niles.)
Of course all old textiles always appeal to me, and so I also bought some fine French cottons and an old section of fabric taken from an American quilt, printed with Huckleberry Finn in a toile-like design.
I also aught to mention, or Sue will be reporting me to Blogger for misrepresenting the truth(!), that I treated myself to a mirror as well. Very naughty, but the temptation was laid out in front of me and I couldn't resist! (That's my Christmas present money all spent now!)

It was then time for lunch and so we left Dairy House with our booty and headed the short distance into Shaftesbury. A delicious lunch in the cafe at the top of Gold Hill was calling to us. We were able to enjoy this spectacular view once again, with the addition of the final remnants of snow peppering the cobbled street.

Heading home after our lunch, the sun began to burn off the cloud cover and the views across the Dorset countryside were spectacular...a slightly blurred shot, as I took this from the moving car!...

So hubby pulled over for me to take this one and we enjoyed the view for a moment in the fresh, but chilly air. There was still time before our daughter would be home from school, so with the sun now shining upon us, we decided to call in at Warminster town centre on our way back.
I'm glad that we did as there were some delights to be harvested from a couple of the shops there.
I found these fine bone china plates, each one hand painted with different flowers, and signed and dated 1907 on their base.
I also found a whole unused bolt of vintage Sanderson linen, printed with summery bouquets on a Lincoln green background.
Today will be spent putting the lovely lace to use on my next sewing projects.
Have a great day,
Niki x


  1. OH what lovely days out you two have! Fantastic finds, this is what makes your dolls so very precious and special! So much history and uniqueness!
    I especially love the look of that Huckleberry Finn fabric - can't wait to see what amazing things you make with it. And that mirror - well, it had your name on it honey!

  2. What beauty,everywhere you go. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos.

  3. Everything looks so pretty! Including the countryside.

  4. What a great day out with your hubby Nikki. I have just been into town and, despite having no money in my pocket, spent ages rummaging through junk shops and, just like you, mentally readjusting everything in my home to make room for everything I wanted to buy. Although I didn't have the good fortune to find anything as interesting as Sue's drawers!!!!!! So good to hear that the lace ends up in your home, I know you will make the best use of it.

  5. Hi Niki, I have just discovered your gorgeous website! My eyes dont know what beautiful things to look at first! I just read your last post about the deck chairs, they are so amazing! Maybe you could do a tutorial on them, i know I would sure love to know how to make something so wonderful!

    Your lucky friend will hopefully have a very glam summer ahead of her.

  6. Oh Niki! I couldn't thank you more for this post! First, because it is always lovely to 'hear' your words about a vintage shopping expedition, and to 'see' the gorgeous beauties you treat yourself with (and that mirror is divine!!), then for you showed us Sue's 'secret cavern'!!!!
    Dairy House is soooo beautiful! I wish I could live closer...
    As for the lace, I ADORE that book too, and I'm waiting for some bundles to arrive directly from Sue (she may have said something to you :)...).
    Thank you for sharing such beauty!!
    Monica x.

  7. NIKI! My jaw has dropped to the floor in admiration of that GORGEOUS lace! Lace is my favorite thing to collect, and your recent pieces here are just too beautiful for words! Not to mention the lovely painted plates, and photos of Dorset ~ what a delightful post! =))))
    I also have a wonderful book dedicated to lace... I will go look for it and email you the info - I think you would enjoy it.

  8. Such beauty in all of your pictures and the area of which you live. Thank you for sharing with those of us the in states, I really enjoy reading your blog...glad I found you!

    everything vintage

  9. Wonderful finds!! Love the gorgeous lace!!

  10. Wot a fab shop, would love to have a poke about there, thanks Nikki...

  11. Thanks for sharing all of the loveliness with us!
    I want to go there, too!
    Just beautiful!
    And I love how you said you were rearranging the furniture in your house! LOL - oh how often do I do that!!!???
    In fact, I was looking at those folded French chairs against the wall and having a serious think!

  12. Thanks for jogging my memory, we met Sue at the V&H Fair and said we would go to her shop. That would be a good idea for next week during half term. Lovely finds you made, look forward to seeing the beauties you make with them.
    Hen x

  13. Great finds. Enjoyed seeing the outside view also - Thanks for sharing.

  14. what a lovely day of wonderful finds you have had, love the chair and the mirror. Lots of lovely things to inspire you.

  15. Hi Niki

    It was super to see you both yesterday, and so nice that a visit to Dairy House can be combined with yummy lunch in Shaftesbury, and the added bonus of your finds in Warminster.

    If you thought it was cold at DH yesterday it was even worse today. The woodburner just did not want to fire up!!

    Thanks again for your purchases - shall look forward to seeing what you make with them!

    As Teena said - that mirror definitely had your name on it!

    Sue xx

  16. Those are lovely pictures! I'm sure we won't mind if you devote a whole post to lace! :)

    Mel xxx

  17. What a lovely day out Niki and some lovely treasures to bring home.

  18. What gorgeous finds on your day out and especially on your way home, I'm as green as that lovely fabric with envy!

    Sue xx

  19. What a wonderful day of shopping and eye candy. The lace is divine and I buy every bit of it I can afford. I just popped by from Just Lillas blog where Whispering poppys was prasing your blog, so I just had to come and see.
    It was well worth it. I collect china painted plates and dishes as well and those are so pretty. Thanks for the visual treat.

  20. Anonymous6:11 pm

    Such a lovely chair, what a shame you had to leave it behind.
    I love that mirror you bought it is so pretty.
    Have a lovely weekend

  21. Anonymous6:33 pm

    You were nearly at my house!!! Great photos too!!


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