Thursday, February 09, 2012

Carrying On...

Firstly, thank you all for your kindness, and for the positive comments left on my previous post. I realise most don't visit a blog to become depressed, or to hear moans and groans, so I'm grateful that you were understanding. I am happy, and take comfort in the fact that our daughter has the confidence to strike out, follow her dreams and to discover what's out there. I am in a happy place and know that I can easily keep in contact with her, despite the miles that separate us.
So, moving on...
A surprise parcel arrived for me yesterday - Totally out of the blue and unconnected with what had been going on at home. It came from my old friend Teena. (Well, I'm older than she is, but we've been friends since we were babies! ;-)) Photos here!
Inside the beautiful box was a wonderful selection of vintage millinery flowers, dramatic beaded fragments from times long ago, and the sweetest little engagement book. T has always been such a generous person...Even now, if you'd care to visit, she is offering a Ryland, Peters & Small book as a competition prize on her blog. Go see!
Otherwise, my life has been ticking along in much the usual way...
I've been faffing at the shop, trying to keep the displays looking interesting and inviting...
My glamour girl has a new look.
I've been out buying, as always, to keep the shelves stocked...
And there have been a few 'makes' hot off the production table...
Greetings cards...
I used antique lace and original antique images of lovely ladies to make each card unique.
I've been enjoying some hand stitching, and using soft antique velvet ribbons in the most delicious colours.
Petal shapes were created, then 5 were stitched together with a vintage artificial stamen to make violet flowers. A leaf was added too.
These were then attached to hair pins - Ideal for wearing in your hair, or clipping to a jacket lapel or handbag.
And a tiny bag, which I made from vintage French fabric - It fastens with an old metal button.
I've also been putting aside a few textile treasures and hand crafted items for the V&H Textile Fair on February 25th, which I shall show a little nearer the time.
There's been a few makeover projects completed too.
This Victorian metal trunk was a little scuffed and bashed, but inside was shiny and clean, so it had many more years of storage service to offer!
I had these old American trade cards of a similar era and thought they'd be just enough to give the box a lift.

I simply glued them in place for an authentic looking make-over.

An old pastel pink basket-weave ottoman was next in line. The tired old foam and fabric was stripped from the lift-up lid...

And I re-covered it in a floral Sanderson linen (I used a layer of woollen blanket as padding). The edges were finished with velvet ribbon.

Sometimes a traditional fabric top are what customers are looking for, so its nice to be able to keep things simple now and then.
It's in the shop today!
Then there was this old washstand, which you may have seen on my blog once or twice over the years. I added the rose printed eiderdown fabric to the back panel and doors years ago...
Its been in various places around our home...
And been various colours too!
The re-painting of it though had caused the top to split and it had become a little unstable. I suggested to hubby that perhaps I should renovate it and let it go to the shop...
So he worked hard to make it sound and put a brand new pine work surface on it for me.
I then painted it a soft cream...
But fell in love with it again...
And have positioned it back in my workroom as storage! - Under the staircase, where it was in 2008, when my workroom was first created!
But I have been strong and let something else go instead...
The little distressed painted cupboard (that possibly originally came from France) had also migrated around our home quite a bit...
But is now for sale in my shop! That's the beauty of buying are more or less guaranteed to get your money back on an item should you decide to later sell, or perhaps you'll even make a profit if you are lucky. Very few new high street, mass-produced products can boast that!
Enjoy the rest of your week,
Niki x
I'm in the shop too!


  1. Dear Niki, Your daughter will have the time of her life and will have much to tell you of her travels - have you got skype? Our daughter is constantly on the thing but only after she does her homework - which is now done without us having to moan at her to do it! Lovely makeovers as usual! How do you do it!

  2. Children leaving are always hard to take! Mums (and Dads) feels a little like their heart are breaking but dreams should be pursuited. The good thing is with a plane you can visit or she can come home!
    I too am preparing I know a little alredy of how you feel.
    I know it is for the better or so I hope for my daughter...
    Hang in there Nikki! Warm thoughts and prayers going your way as I type this...
    In the meantime know that your lovely shoppe photos and craft constantly amazes me! I love the flowers made out of ribbon and the cards and...and...A stroll to your shoppe is just what I need at this moment!

  3. Your photos are a feast for the eyes!I am going to come to Shepton one of these days and visit..
    I am not surprised you kept that beautiful piece!
    Hope that you are feeling better about your daughter..I know it may sound silly but when my Sis went travelling someone told me to visualise a beautiful,shimmering clear protective bubble around her wherever she went- and it really helped!
    Hope her absence will be a little easier to bear over the following weeks and that she has a wonderful adventure.
    Warm Wishes,

  4. I love the inside of the box. Well done on the painting of the washstand. You are so clever.

  5. Hi Niki.
    Your girlfriend is a courageous person, you must be happy for her!
    I'm sure will be happy. ;o))
    Wonderful walks in your store .... sigh!
    Good job, soon Maria. :):)

  6. How great are those violets looking! Just perfect! I regret now not having bought that rosy tea pot... I must come back :-)!

  7. hi Niki-
    we read your blog cos its so lovely and uplifting- all those pretties make everyone smile- and its nice to know that you're "human" just like the rest of us with woes and family to-dos.
    Please don't change a thing!

  8. We regularly part with shop furniture and it's always sad to see them go! jennyx

  9. Hello Niki! I missed your Wednesday's post, so I just now read it. What joy your daughter must have now to follow her dream! But I know it must be so hard for you... in fact, my oldest graduates from high school in one year, and he has already mentioned he'd like to possibly move to Washington State (the complete opposite side of the country... 3,000 miles away)! The eldest son of a dear childhood friend of mine graduated last spring, and my friend summed it up beautifully... "This is not the time to feel sorrowful. Our children are showing such excitement for this new chapter. Experience and share the excitement with them; there's no time for tears." I'll be thinking of those words next year myself! ;) Hugs to you!!!

  10. Hi Niki! I have just read your last post.
    Some years ago we lost our son to Australia, for a year, and after that it looked that it could be permanent, so I know how you feel.
    He was torn between home and Australia for a long time, but he did come back, much richer for the experience. Where is he now? In Somerset:), enjoying his new challenge:

  11. So many lovely items, they make my head swirl! My daughter leaves for Costa Rica in 4 days. Even tho it is only for a vacation, my heart stutters a bit. I wish your daughter a lovely adventure! Kit

  12. Oh, how did I miss this most lovely of all posts. Thanks for all the photos as I will never be able to go see your shop.

  13. I don't know how you do it but you transform beautiful things into....even more beautiful....if you know what I mean. Love the antique ribbon slides, have you any left and if so what price please? Lucey x

  14. Hi Lucey,
    Thank you for your interest in the handmade violets. I have three of these left. They are £6.50 each plus P&P - Hope that helps,


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