Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Smiles and Sparkles

Hubby offered to open my shop for me again on Saturday (that's two Saturdays in a row now! Should I be worried?! ;-))  I think he enjoys talking to all the lovely 'vintage ladies' who visit!)
Anyway, I didn't need to be asked twice, as I wanted to get myself down to my local antiques fair for some shopping with my friend Debbie...I know the event well, as years ago, I used to pack up my little car and trundle down to the Shepton Mallet Showground to offer my vintage goodies for sale inside one of the tented arcades. 
I would have lots of colourful textile pieces and my handmade products piled up on the tables.
On Saturday, this beautiful stand caught my eye. It had a wonderful atmosphere and showcased the unique talent of its creator. I told the owner how beautiful I thought her displays were and asked if I could take a photo (which I always try to do if I am going to use an image on my blog), and, although she didn't say 'no', she wasn't particularly forthcoming or positive. I had planned on buying a couple of painted wooden shoe stretchers from her, but I must say I was put off. I know it can be difficult to stand outside at these fairs all day, but it doesn't take much to be pleasant, or to exchange a smile.
Perhaps she was just having a bad day, but given that it costs a lot of money to rent space at these fairs, I think its important to be approachable, polite and be willing to talk to your potential customers.
I still loved her stand, so will show it on my blog anyway and hope that next time she's there, it will be a more happy experience.
A warm welcome, however, is always guaranteed at another stand a little further along the row. This London couple can be relied upon to have an exquisite display of gardenlia, and will always give a cheerful greeting (recalling us from previous visits) and be excited to show us what they have new...   
This certainly worked in their favour, as it didn't take long for Debbie to strike up a deal and buy this beautiful metal window with peeling paintwork...Perfect just the way it is...
The stall holders had us arranging their wares to create the perfect photo too!  Stunning single stem roses in Victorian glass jars, where just the thing to reflect through it.
One happy customer! 
(The window is destined for a stone potting shed that Debbie hopes to build (with a little help from her hubby!) in her cottage garden - If it gets built, I will of course reveal all on my blog! ;-))

One of the best things about visiting this long established fair, is catching up with old friends and familiar faces; both stall holders and shoppers. Later on Saturday afternoon, I felt a tap on my shoulder from a lovely lady called Sue, who seemed so eager to show me what she'd bought, I thought she was going to have a little accident! If you get my drift?! 
;-)) She had a large cardboard box under one arm and in a flurry it was opened...to reveal this incredible set of c1950's Christmas crackers in mint, un-pulled condition. 
Carefully taking one from the box, the fantastical red cracker came in for a close-up!
Very pretty! We did ponder about what little novelty might be inside, but I think it is something we shall never know.
I wasn't quite so sure about the ones with the little fluffy dogs on, but it does go to show that there is something for everyone at these big fairs!
I must admit that I do find many of the items rather expensive...particularly as I am trying to buy to sell-on and like to keep my own selling prices at a reasonable level. I tend to lookout for small pieces that I can use in my crafting, or can re-purpose in one way or other.
Here are some of my treasures from the hunt...

An assortment of brooches which I fasten to handmade bags, brooch pillows and sometimes onto antique bottles that I decorate with ribbons.

This one is my favourite.

More brooches...full of Christmas sparkle.

And more! Thank you Belinda! :) 
These little sweetheart brooches from WWII will help me to name some of my rag dolls. They'll each be fastened to the jacket of the finished doll.
I was lucky to find some more of the tiny Edwardian collar pins again. I shall work on presenting them in a similar way to the last lot, as these have proved popular. 
Antique bottles will soon be decorated with some of the brooches above.
This lovely French perfume bottle with glass stopper will be adorned by a few ribbons and flowers. 
Three gorgeous glass magnifiers ready for a simple transformation. (Watch this space! ;-)) 

And one threadbare character that will accompany me to the next fair, taking centre stage on my stall with a dolly companion. 
I'll be back soon to show some of the little crafting projects that I manage to complete.
I did an hours work in my garden on Sunday and was able to pick this little posy of flowers - Not bad for mid-November! 
Have a lovely day! 
Niki x
Thank you to all who placed an order with me for a Nostalgia calendar (see below). I am so surprised, as I have virtually sold out. More are on the way from the printers, so I should soon have some available to buy from my shop. x


  1. Hi Niki,
    Oh that is a sad experience with such a pretty stall,it really does make all the difference and makes you think on,I can smile as i pass all my lovely things at home that came from you Niki as i know there is a lovely lady behind them.
    I just love seeing your buys! and i especially love the threadbare dog with his tongue hanging out.

  2. A friendly seller makes for a happy customer - obviously nobody had told the stall holder! She's the one who lost out!

  3. I love the tiny Edwardian collar pins. I am glad you had a great day. The ladies layout was lovely strange that her personality did not match. I make it a point not ti buy from miserable or cranky antique dealers.

  4. Wonderful finds, Niki! And the crackers are incredible! I once found a box of vintage handmade angel decorations from the 40s or 50s--so sweet! I can well understand that lady's excitement!

  5. If someone can't spare me a smile then no matter how beautiful their stall I wouldn't want to shop there either.
    You found some beautiful items especially the collar pins.
    Carol xx


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