Sunday, November 15, 2009

Friends from Far and Near...

The Friday weather forecast was spreading doom and gloom, with talk of heavy, prolonged rain, gale force winds, with severe weather warnings advising people not to travel during the night and early hours of Saturday morning, unless absolutely necessary...very well timed! - Because, of course, that very next morning was the much anticipated 'Vintage & Handmade Fair'.
As I lay in my bed on Friday night I could hear the high winds whipping around our house on the top of the hill. I kept telling myself that I must get to sleep, as the alarm was set for 6am.
That alarm bell came around quick enough, but straining hard, I could no longer hear the whistling winds...quite a relief, I can tell you.
By 7am hubby and I headed off for Chipping, half expecting to come across fallen trees, or at the very least, debris in the roads...but no, all seemed clear. We arrived early at the Town Hall car park and thankfully were not unloading in the pouring rain as we had also expected to, the evening before.
As was anticipated though, was my usual arranging of my stall, finished with just minutes to spare before the visitors were due to come in. (In my defence though, I do have a double pitch...well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! ;-))

I was just able to climb up onto the stage and snap this quick shot of the main hall before the lovely people piled in (as can be seen through the double doors at the top.)
I love how most of the stall holders had chosen white table coverings for their gave a look of continuity, but was a complete happy accident - a refined festive look, for a classy event!

The weather warnings did seem to put some people off travelling - I have since had a few emails from people I know who were due to come, but unfortunately changed their minds at the last minute.
But one person who was not put off was this lovely lady below...let me introduce you to Maria, and I ask you the question, 'was she the furthest travelled visitor to the V&H Fair on Saturday?'
I met Maria and her husband for the first time at the last V&H fair in May, where we struggled to have a conversation because Maria is from Italy!
She emailed me a couple of times this month to say that she had decided to visit the fair again in November, as she had enjoyed herself so much at the last one.
So we met again, this time with a kiss on each cheek, and another for luck, the Italian way I am told ;-)), and a little parcel was pressed into my hand.

Maria makes these adorable buttons and decorated pins herself. I was so touched by her generous gesture and wished dearly that my Italian was not non-existent, so that I could have expressed my gratitude to her more clearly.

Maria had picked up a little more English from her now regular visits, and so was able to say to me that she thought the whole fair was 'beautiful', said with her very infectious smile.
If you read this Maria, thank you for letting me take your lovely photograph, for the pretty gift that you gave me, and for the purchases that you made on my stall. I hope that you had a safe journey back to Italy.

I am of course very grateful to all who came to say hello and who bought from my stand. Hubby had a wonderful time chatting to all the lovely ladies too! ;-))
Here are a few shots that I was able to capture of my display before it got too busy.

I found this time that most shoppers were looking for smaller gift items. China was popular, along with my brooch pillows, pin cushions, calendars and Christmas tree crystals.

Consequently, some of my larger items, such as a few rag dolls, have come back home with me. I am going to try to list some of these items for my on-line shop this week, as I have had requests for some of the goods in my previous preview post. As long as things don't move all of a sudden on the physical shop front, I should just about have time to do this, so thank you for your interest. I am always humbled when someone wishes to buy something I have made myself.
I had masses of stock - two tables is quite a large area to fill, so next time (if I am allowed to have a stand next time) I think I shall just book one. Having said that, I do possibly over-fill my stand and could easily leave half of it at home! What can I say, I like to offer choice! ;-))

There is a Christmas tree somewhere under that gaggle of fairies!...
Rag dolls were sitting two abreast on a little chair!

And piles of plates were piled with pin cushions!

And these two had to sit by the side of my stand when I finally had to admit that I had run out of space!
Anyway...enough about my stand! Hubby held the fort briefly while I took a few shots of the pretty nearby stalls...
This is Jane's...her one-off pieces are truly exquisite.
Christine's, where I bought a tiny handmade French fabric bag and some adorable little Christmas cards.

And her friend Gertie's space next door...which includes her dreamy hand stitched purses and jewellery wraps.

This is Nicky's stand, of course, with her 'stop, look at me' collection of mohair modelled characters...which to adopt?

Lucy's perfectly presented there is a very organised lady...and someone who shares my love for fairy folk, vintage roses and floral fabric!
Not forgetting my buddy Sue, who worked like a Trojan manning her double pitch of fabulous antique treasures, all by herself.
Sorry that I wasn't able to capture photos of all the stalls, but there are plenty of pictures to be seen on the V&H website, and some of the other stall holder's blogs. Also, images can also be enjoyed in 3D via Isabelle's blog, where her clever hubby Alan has uploaded his special pics... here, here and here - Have those cool specs at the ready! ;-))
Have a happy week,
Niki x


  1. Really enjoyed watching those pictures. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I do wish I could have been at the fair. Perhaps one year you could go on the road and travel to Australia? It all looks wonderful! xx

  3. Anonymous1:44 am

    Oh, I wish I could have attended your fair. Lucious looking goodies. We heard about your weather on the Weather Channel this morning...couldn't believe it. Glad to hear you're safe and all is well. Hope everyone is o.k.

  4. Very pretty booths, especially yours!

  5. Niki...what an amazing show. I've done shows myself (childhood treasures from the 50's-70's) and I know the work that goes into them. Your booth is lovely and well done! I hope it was an awesome experience with great sales. Do you have a Gollywog doll or any Noddy dolls by any chance or gnomes? You can email me at

  6. Well there we go again Niki.. all over in a flash..but I hope you had a good time. Your stall certainly looked fabulous and every time I glanced over you were being mobbed by eager customers.
    Love the shot from the stage.. great photos.
    Michele x

  7. Your stall looks delectable as ever! So much choice- I could probably spend the day just looking at it and not get to any others! Hope all goes well with the shop!

  8. Wish I could have been there!Your stall looked wonderful with so many lovely things,beautifully presented.
    Glad all went well despite the weather!


  9. Claudette9:00 am

    Just to I have been away...delighted that you are setting up shop. I always said your creative talents deserve an outlet other than the blog. Also, thank you for the opportunity that I have had to purchase many of your wonderful items. I am crestfallen that the on-line shop will be no more, BUT this has given me the incentive to visit Shepton Mallet for the fair and to pop in to your, soon to be, exquisite emporium. I am DEFINATELY attending the next V&H fair, have informed my beloved that off to Chipping Sodbury we shall go! I need to get out of the Big Smoke, you know how I bemoan the lack of goodies in London. The only stuff I bought at the CL Christmas Fair was from 2 vintage stalls! Wishing your gracious self the very best of luck. You truly deserve it.
    P.S Loved the LIberty post!

  10. I'm afraid I was one of those wossies put off by the bad weather. In my defence I think it must have been worse up this end of the country (Bucks) as we had fallen trees in our area. As a Mum of three, I erred on the side of caution... Im going to comfort myself with a trip to your shop - so can't wait! Thanks for the lovely pictures, your stall looked wonderful!

  11. It was a wonderful day, wasn't it Niki?
    And didn't the time fly? It seemed to be all over in a flash!
    Shame there was no time to have a cuppa and a natter at the end of the day!
    Love,Sal ;-)

  12. It looks wonderful, if I wasn't so far away in sunny Yorkshire, I would have been there.
    twiggy x

  13. I was there, and whilst buying some of your little bundles of fabric tied with string (I just love them), stood next to a dear little girl of about eight years of age. She was just head in the clouds touching them gently and turning them over and over in wonderment. The next generation "Niki"?

  14. Hello Niki

    It was such a great day! I was lovely seeing you again and meeting your husband. You probably guessed that I had a fantastic time as I ended up staying all day.

    Your stall looked wonderful and the selection incredible. I do admire all the different ideas you come up with and then turn in to something very special.

    It is a pity that the weather put off some people, now they must be kicking themselves!

    Thank you for adding a link to my blog abou the 3d photos, very sweet of you! ;-))

    Take care
    Isabelle x

  15. Hi nicki,
    Thanks for popping by to my blog,thanks for not giving the game away!!
    I am going to do a post this afternoon. I wish we had had a chat at the fair,we met some lovely people.It was such a great day,as you know we came home with some lovely treasures!
    Bye for now. x

  16. Your stall looked wonderful as always - no wonder the lovely Italian lady came all that way!

    Can't believe it's all over until next year after all the planning & hard work everyone put in.


  17. What a fabulous post! It was lovely to see you on Saturday (your stall looked fabulous, as ever!) I've just finished my blog post about the Fair and have included some piccies I took of your stall (hope you like them!). Katie x

  18. sorry I didn't get the chance to meet Maria, she commented on my blog a while ago.. but it was such a manic day I hardly got any "chatting" time.... Lizzie x

  19. Your stall looked wonderful - I so wish I could have made it. Thank you for posting such lovely photos.

  20. Such a lovely market, so many beautiful things...your stall looks amazing!
    My best wishes
    Magdalena/Color Sepia

  21. Your stalls are always so wonderfully arranged. Not only is every item beautiful, but you put it together in a way that makes me think "I want it all!" :)

  22. durrrr, silly me bringing you a girdle.. thinking it was a corset! I really do wonder about my brain sometimes..... it is on overload at the moment!!! Liz x

  23. Good morning dear Niki, so sorry to have missed this wonderful post... what a great fair filled with so many beautiful things... your stand has lots of things I would want to have, specially those vases with green and flowers I see back in the top of your table, and of course I would have some of your rack dolls... so lovely!!!!
    Muchos cariños
    María Cecilia

  24. Anonymous9:04 pm

    Dear Niki,
    thank you so much for your post, you are so sweet!!
    Your stand was really the best one and your creations seemed to be
    made by a fairy!!! Best wishes for work....
    Greetings, Maria.

  25. Hi Niki....

    Gasping and drooling....Oh how I wish I could have come to this lovely fair....I had to enlarge each picture so I could look closely at all of the loveliness.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Warm blessings,

  26. Thank you for taking me on a trip around a place I couldn't visit in person. The photos are the kind I could look at for a long time. Love your dog on wheels. xx


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