Friday, April 29, 2011

Couldn't Stay Away...

I've still have lots to do at the moment, but wanted to check-in to my blog today, with a quick round-up of some of the things that have been going on around here. (I have been updating my other blog fairly regularly with my latest handmade items - I'll include some others that I missed at the end of this post.)
Hope you all had a very Happy Easter...
This little watercolour was painted by my Mum and was sent to us as our Easter card - Isn't it cute?!
It was wonderful to enjoy some fabulous weather over the extended weekend.
The garden is taking a lot of my time and energies, but with rewards such as these lilac blooms, it's worth it.
The wisteria has been a riot of tumbling flower heads and fragrance. I've trained it around the top banister of our raised deck, which means it surrounds us when we sit out there...
Which is just what we did on Easter Sunday. All three of our girls (and middle daughter's fiancé) joined us for a barbecue.
Youngest daughter made this scrumptious cake for afterwards.

I've had to continue sourcing stock, not just for the shop, but for the upcoming fairs too...(April has been a difficult month sales-wise, with so many Bank Holidays, but I know retail is like that and so I have to carry on buying during the lean times, in order to have a good assortment of stock for when visitors are looking to spend again.)
Some of these items will come with me to the Vintage Bazaar on Saturday.
I've been stitching the lovely antique glass buttons onto cards this week.
I may save the wonderful old salmon pink French undergarments for the Talent for Textiles Event at Glastonbury.
The brown wooden item below is actually an old lampbase, with a large lead disk in the base to give weight and stability. It was no longer wired for its original use, so I have just managed to finish turning it into a flapper doll head hat stand this morning, again to take with me on Saturday. (She can be seen towards the end of this post.)
The Victorian bread plate is sold, but the Victorian papier mache rose decorated box can be seen in my shop.

Framed pictures and embroideries for the Vintage Bazaar...

And a c1930's handmade painted shell flower garland necklace...
For me! :)
I've wallpapered the back boards of these painted corner shelves with toile de jouy paper. They'll be great for display on my stalls.
Fairy folk have been appearing...
I was pleased with how this one turned out...I always strive to make each fairy or angel a one-off - This one has wings made from a tape measure, and a notable 4" waist! I've named her Mocha Lottie!
A Fallen Angel with lovely antique lace costume.
and a tarnished golden tiara!
And a pretty in white fairy with a few red highlights, a scheme which I always think sits well in a French inspired home, amongst the old tickings, toiles and faded florals - She's called Lola.
I've been tying up bundles of I know I can't keep everything, so must be strong...Great for tiny projects...such as 'mouse-bunting'! (As suggested by my friend Helen! :)
The c1930's style flapper doll hat stand that I mentioned, was completed in the nick of time.
All of the components and materials are antique or vintage, to give an authentic look as possible to her.

Cloche hat made from French Deco velvet, sweet moulded dolls face and Victorian ostrich feathers.
I've also had fun putting together some pretty little sewing repair kits. Each on a vintage china saucer, with handmade pincushion, reel of thread, a few buttons and coordinating card.
If you can make it to the Vintage Bazaar on Saturday, I'm sure you will have a wonderful time! - Opens 9am till 3pm. (My shop will be closed whilst I attend the fair.)

And finally a bit of good news for Shepton Mallet. It did seem that after all the high profile publicity brought to the town by the Turn Back Time BBC TV series, it was sad that nothing very much happened in the town on the back of it all to regenerate the high street. I realise, as with most things, it takes money, but there was so much enthusiasm by local residents to do something after the series aired at the end of last year, it was sad when it fizzled to nothing...(I've noticed during the last couple of weeks that there have been quite a few Australian visitors coming into my shop - All of whom said how they had enjoyed the Turn Back Time series that has just been shown down-under.)
It seems it will take individuals (or small business partnerships) with courage to step-up and be brave enough to take-on one of the empty shops that are available to rent, to slowly and surely regenerate the still struggling town centre...(It surprises me that this one is still available, as it strikes me as a viable business opportunity, ready and waiting, with the direct link to the TV show as added marketing/promotional potential. Why do other premises keep being chosen over it, with the additional stumbling block of 'change of use' having to be granted by the local council, from originally a retail premise to either cafe, restaurant, winebar etc.?)
The large shop below, has stood empty for many years. Last year it sold at auction. Sensitive restoration work, initiated by the new owner, has finally started this week to rebuild the crumbling façade. Why? - Because a new shop is coming to town! Exciting! :)
Have a great Bank Holiday weekend...
I may be absent again for a short while.
Niki x


  1. Your Wisteria is glorious, Niki! There's something so full of heritage in it! :-)

    Jem xXx

  2. Your wisteria is so beautiful. It reminds me of my childhood. I miss the beautiful scent. Oh, so wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Niki.
    It 's all wonderful!
    I wish you good work for the show tomorrow, in Frome!
    I expect to see the post. ;o))
    A dear greeting, Maria.
    (with translator)

  4. You make and have so many beautiful things.I also loved watching the Turn Back Time show as did my 10 yr old grandaughter I do hope people will start to bring it alive again soon.

  5. Niki, I was at Frome today and bought some scrappy scraps from you. I can't wait to do something with them. They're fab. Next time, I'll say hello. Hope you had a good day. Lesley x

  6. Dear Niki
    It was lovely to see you today :-)
    Thank you for your lovely kind wishes and hopes! I really appreciate it.
    I hope you've got your feet up and resting now, with a nice cup of tea,
    Happy days to you,
    D x

  7. All your 'makes' look gorgeous. Hope you had a fab day at Frome. Sad I couldn't be there.

  8. It was nice to see you yesterday Nikki & thanks for the tips on floorboard painting!

    You have some lovely new goodies there - I have a similar flower vase which looks very pretty with tulips in it.


  9. Hello Niki,
    it was good to spend the day with you on Saturday. Thank you for your kindness shown. I have spent a very happy hour sorting. Really enjoyed the day...your blog is, as always, absolutely delicious. Hope to see you soon. x


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