Friday, July 10, 2009

Rounding-off the Week.

Its been a funny week...not the best, but certainly not the worst...I've found myself in an odd kind of mood...hubby has been very busy (he has his own business, also works from home, and forgets that he shouldn't work past 9pm at night and is allowed to take a holiday...even if it is without holiday pay ;-))
I've struggled to keep up with emails this week, have wrapped and posted lots of my on-line shop orders - thank you everyone, and I started making some Christmas decorations for the next fair, yes, in July(!) - Clicking onto the V&H fair website and seeing that calendar countdown to the big day, is fatal! But I didn't get very far with my creating...difficult to think about sleigh bells and Santa's with the sun shining through the workroom window and the feint whiff of freshly harvested grass coming from the farm across the road...
So what I really needed was to get out into the big wide world again, to talk to a human being or two, and to re-focus. An ideal opportunity made itself known this morning; I had an invite to a vintage textile fair in I took myself off for a couple of hours...
This is the ancient Tudor Hall - isn't it lovely?
My favourite stand: just look at that chippy pink paint and those adorable little sewing drawers...

Sadly both beyond my budget...
But I did find some treasures...and someone to talk to ;-))
And after a quick cup of tea on the garden terrace, I headed back home with my loot.

Lots of French gorgeousness, which I am always drawn to...

I've bought jars of these French milk glass buttons in the past, but the lady dealer who sells them is coming to the end of her supply, so I thought I'd better stock up. They look pretty on display in their gingham topped jars, so if I don't use them all for a while, I shall enjoy looking at them anyway.

I bought several lengths of antique and vintage lace, as well as the check muslin curtaining in the background, which I find very useful for dolls petticoats.
I thought these dainty lace motifs would make ideal wings for fairies, with a little starching.

Fine cotton voile handkerchiefs for gift sets...

Along with this eye catching 50's crepe hankie.
And I loved this small size French latte bowl (I have larger ones, but I've never seen this smaller size before)

I've sat it amongst my espresso cup collection. (A slightly bizarre obsession, given that I never drink coffee! - but we all need our little foibles, don't we?!)

Next is this delicious French fabric covered hat box from around the 1920's.

Look how vibrant the fabric once was...but I love its mellowed tones now.

And another box, this one from the Deco era, which I was instantly drawn to, but made a surprise discovery inside, thankfully not scattering the contents across the floor ;-))

I could actually do with your help, if you have any ideas...I just don't know what these are...
They are made from very thin slithers of wood which have been dyed in the typical 30's colours. The stamped writing is on both sides, with most of them printed with St. Raphaël Quinquina, which is a grape juice based aperitif, mixed with quinine. The circular ones have two waiters printed on, which was the trade mark used during the 30's - with the drink being available in red or white. I wonder if they are perhaps chips for a bar game in France?
I'm going to put them together with some other bits and bobs to make some small craft packs suitable for scrapbook crafters.

You can have such fun searching the www, can't you? I found these two lovely poster designs for St. Raphaël whilst trying to discover what the tokens might be.

Update 16/07/09: I have had this comment left by Stephanie: I confirm those chips are for a game, which is called "le nain jaune", I used to play with my grand parents with coloured woodchips, nowadays you can no longer find them, they have been replaced with plastic ones!If I remember correctly the rounds were worth one point, the square five, and the rectangles ten...That is how they taught me to count! Thank you for the info Stephanie! N x
Back to my purchases; I'm afraid I was unable to resist this wonderful textile panel. It took most of my money, but it is a treasure in my view. I love it.
And finally this little textile piece, whose design fits within the old mottled frame so perfectly.
When I returned home from the fair at lunchtime, there was a surprise parcel waiting for me on my doormat. It was from one of my lovely customers to my website. Thank you again Barbara!
Inside the pretty wrappings was this thought provoking book by Susan Squellati Florence, which was just what I needed this week…funnily enough I was searching the internet last night for some helpful words and found the quote that I posted on my blog yesterday…isn’t it funny how life goes, and just what you need seems to come along at the right time….I do love this little book, with its dreamy watercolour illustrations and will enjoy digesting its messages.
You can just be.
Take time to really listen to each other. Take time to forgive, time to forget.
Take time to pause and feel the golden gift of life.

Included with the book was Barbara's sweet note written inside this pretty card. It is a print of Carl Larsson's 'Letter Writing'.
This was so apt for me. I discovered Carl Larsson's work when I was around 18 years old - fell in love with it then, and still love it today. The interiors that he featured in his beautiful water colour paintings of his own home, influenced and inspired our first home. At the time, stencilling was a big fashion statement - do you remember that, back in the 80's? Well Carl and Karin's home was beautifully embellished with hand painted designs, but for the less artistic hand, stencils helped achieve a similar look. I fell for the turquoise and red pallet in a big way, with my favourite painting being this one, 'The Name Day'.
Even today I use lots of red in our home and we have a turquoise painted front door...
One day I should like to call at the door of 'Lilla Hyttnäs' in Sundborn, Sweden and will relish being in such an inspirational home...

I seem to have gone off on a bit of a tangent...its funny how small things can get you thinking and reevaluating ...and it has been a bit of a funny week...
Hope everyone has a fab weekend,
Niki x


  1. What a beautiful blog! love everything about it!

  2. i love the vintage trims and buttons! beautiful!

  3. I think you must be inside my head this week Niki...
    SO much of what you have just said makes perfect sense to me and I can so relate to..
    A funny week indeed.. peculiar that is.
    Hope your weekend evens out..
    Much love
    Michele x

  4. What is it about the colour Red? I think it is one of those colours you just cannot ignore.

  5. How funny...I too love his interiors...I still hanker after a dado rail shelf around the room like his!I can't believe there was a textile fair in BOA and I didn't know about it..baa humbug!

  6. beautiful entry way! and I love your little expresso cup collection. the little bowl goes perfectly with it. glad you had a good trip out!
    have a sweet weekend

  7. Oh well done! Your treasures are amazing!
    Hugs, Lisa

  8. Those buttons are very lovely! Where do they get their name from? Love your red gingham curtain over your door! Such a pretty entrance way.

  9. Lovely finds & though provoking words Niki.
    Have a good weekend.
    Lizzie x

  10. Dear Niki,
    Another lovely post. Don't take on too much. Don't forget to pace yourself. The gift from your friend is a timely reminder. That Tudor Hall is magnificent. I thought it was your house at first! I'm off to explore that house link! Enjoy your weekend. xx

  11. I love your blog there are so many interesting things to look at, I will have to visit again.

  12. Ellie3:18 pm

    I just wanted to say "Thank you" for such speedy service. When I got home last night, I found a card from the P.O. that said I'd got a parcel that had to be signed for. As I was at work, they'd taken it back to the depot to await collection. I honestly didn't think it would be my watercress strainer - but it was! It is absolutely lovely and has given me a lovely start to the weekend.
    Thanks Nicky for such speedy service (and the sweet little card).

  13. Just wanted to say thanks for giving me the address of the HLittleton shop...we went today and found a wonderful small dresser that looks great in the lounge with my deco china on. Have a good week.

  14. such lovely pictures Niki. I do always enjoy looking and reading through your posts!

  15. leilani9:37 pm

    I don't think I've told you before how very much I enjoy your blog. I don't think I'll ever get back to your beautiful little Country but if I did, I surely would want to meet you.

    Thank you so much and I hope your life is just chock full of creative joy and much peace!

  16. Everything is wonderful, as usual! I like your latte collection best! And the gingham curtain over the door in the last photo!

  17. I love seeing all of these beautiful things...especially the red and white buttons.

  18. I love everything! Especially the pretty buttons and linen.

  19. Yu always buy such lovely lovely things...I never see anything so beautiful up here...Pet will investigate the wooden chips as there is a french lady in his department (he is a french teacher) the pictures are lovely I have seen them somewhere before.....I love the interiors...I hope you have a more settled week and the sun shines on and hugs H

  20. Hi Niki

    What a lovely little book, and a lovely post. Glad you had such a good day at BoA. Would have loved to have got there!

    Sue x

  21. That Tudor Hall!! How gorgeous, wonder what it's like inside. Yes, I've wanted to see Carl Larsson's home for decades. Wonder if those tokens were to get into those bath tents they used to have on the beaches?

  22. Gorgeous lace, oh so vintage

  23. Hello,
    I confirm those chips are for a game, which is called "le nain jaune", I used to play with my grand parents with coloured woodchips, nowadays you can no longer find them, they have been replaced with plastic ones!
    If I remember correctly the rounds were worth one point, the square five, and the rectangles ten...
    That is how they taught me to count!


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