Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Thank you to all who left a comment to my previous post and also to those who kindly emailed me personally...
Blogging is a funny thing at times, isn't it? We can get ourselves in all sorts of tizzies because of it. I love having my blog (I don't think I would still be here after more than six years if I didn't)...
It has caused me a few upsets in the past, mostly due to my lack of prowess when it comes to expressing myself correctly in my writings, (many reasons for that, which stem from my time at school, but you don't need to know about that :)), but mostly it has brought me immense amounts of pleasure...Not least the friends I have made solely because of it.
Last week I was in conversation with Krissie via email, discussing my blog - I've had some realisations because of her wise words...and she has helped me a lot to put things back into perspective. I asked Krissie to be honest and she very kindly gave me her time, giving me lots of pointers where perhaps I had started to go wrong with my blog...

It had become a bit of a chore and something I felt I had to do as part of my small business. Things have changed since I first started blogging - Not least the worldwide economic difficulties. Many of the friends that I have made through the www are struggling financially, with most of the products we offer for sale being ‘wants’ and not ‘needs’ it is doubly difficult. Being self-employed is a huge worry at times and I now find myself having to justify all my time spent on my blog, or on-line in general.
I think last year I got into bad habits too, as any spare time I had was spent working on all the preparations for my daughter's wedding. It made thinking properly about anything else, very difficult.
What is most clear to me now, is that I have stopped thinking about my blog in any great detail…So it must have become very stale for its visitors…My main problem though is time. My mind is always active when it comes to what is best for my shop and what I feel I should be hand making for it…and trying to come up with new ideas. These things need to stay at the top of my priorities for now, as I need to survive in my shop and at the fairs for at least the next two years…But hopefully if I can keep my blog going, then it should reflect my passion a little more…
I think that’s probably it…finding my way again and enjoying the process…
 Krissie has given me lots of food for thought and I may well end up working in a slightly different way with my blog. It will always reflect my work, passions and the simple pleasures of life, but perhaps I won't post quite so often. Time in between my shop work is limited, which means I don't always have something fresh to talk about. Perhaps if I save up a few photos and items of news, I can make my posts more interesting. There may be less of them, but they will be of a better quality. Hopefully! ;-)) 
Once again thank you to all who have been with me on my Blogging journey - I have learnt so much and I believe I've become a better person because of it. If you'd care to stick around a bit longer, I hope to continue with my tales of Nostalgia at the Stone House


I love visiting reclamation yards, looking for architectural salvage, don't you?
Hubby and I visited a small one just outside Glastonbury. (We find the choice there is good, and the prices more reasonable than those found at its larger neighbour, at Wells.)

My mind was going overtime with ideas I could use these lovely old windows for...I may have to return in the near future! :)

Beautiful old hardwood doors.

Wooden spindles at £3 each.
Gorgeous old beams from ancient buildings waiting for new homes. 
Where else would you find cider flagons, but in Somerset?! ;-))
I have quite a large collection of old clay chimney pots in my garden at home...They make great planters and provide year round interest to the borders when the perennials die down each year. 

Need the loo?! 
Reclamation of another sort :) - Lovely nature always adds her magic given a little time.
- Beautiful building bricks at £2 each.

Anyway, what hubby and I had gone in search for, was a stained glass window. We are going to get a new front door made. The one we have was 'off the shelf' and has proved to be a bit of a problem, with it needing constant planing when it swells in winter. We wanted a small portrait panel of glass to break up the look of the door and to provide a little natural light. We went for the one in the middle of the photo below, with the purple and blue border around a beautifully etched glass panel. It has been hand made by the yard owner's wife, using salvaged old glass pieces. 
We also bought some decorative brackets...I am in the throws of redecorating our daughter's bedroom, when I have any spare moments. She's decided she wants a vintage feel to her room (I finally have her well trained! ;-)), so we're collecting bits and bobs as and when we can...On Sunday we bought an old Victorian iron cot at the flea market, which we are going to convert into a little sofa for her room. We also bought a lovely big oval mirror there, which was just £20.00. And some lace for her window at £5.00. I'll show the end result here on my blog when we get there!
For now I've come down with the fluey cold that was going around at the V&H Fair on Saturday  - Thanks for sharing guys! ;-)) 
Hope all is OK with you,
Love Niki x

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Thank You Kindly...

I just wanted to thank all of the lovely ladies who stopped-by my stall today at the Vintage & Handmade Textile Fair.
It was wonderful to chat to such kind supportive women, several of whom mentioned my blog - There have been times when I've considered closing it - With so many other temptations out there such as Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter etc to captivate, (most of which require a fancy mobile phone to get the most out of them, which is something I do not process), I'd personally still rather post on my blog...provided there's someone out there visiting now and then! I think a blog can say so much more than other social networking sites. 
I've always found it a great icebreaker...Its easy for fellow vintage-lovers to strike up a conversation when they already knows your interests or loves...and it becomes like chatting with old friends. 
Anyway, once again I've met some lovely people and sold a few items too...For which I am very grateful as every sale counts more than ever these days...
I hope you will enjoy your purchases! :) - Its always a joy to sell a handmade item - Please be assured that they are made with love and care :)  and a bit of vintagey loveliness included too!

My purchase from the day was a little treat for myself - One of Gertie's handmade  brooches - So tiny, perfect and pretty! Yum! 
Hope you've had a nice day too!
Niki x

Friday, February 22, 2013

Vintage & Handmade Textile & Fashion Fair

 This Saturday - 23rd February, I shall have a stall at the 
The Town Hall, Chipping Sodbury, BS37 6AD
10am - 3pm. £1.00 admission
I'm hoping to have a good, mixed selection of items for sale, including some vintage fabrics, supplies, fashion accessories and a small collection of my handmade goods...
One of my handmade fairy dolls - Dressed in antique lace and assorted vintage embellishments. 

A medium sized rag doll dressed in a Fair Isle style sweater and a c1930's feedsack patchwork skirt.

In a  recycled hand knitted sweater and similar c1930's feedsack skirt.

And Colette
In her patchwork dress of rare French fabrics. 
I've made a couple of 'tatty patchwork' handbags, using more antique French fabrics.

And some little pouch bags, ideal for cameras, mobile phones etc. 
Two are made from a very old linen and fasten with a glass button and have a beautiful pink millinery rose to decorate.

Another is made from antique silk velvet and lined inside with a rare rose print cotton.
LOTS of little patchwork sachets, filled with a traditional pot pourri  recipe. 

Trimmed with velvet ribbon and violet flower. 

I also have a selection of little brooch pillows, 
each decorated with a vintage costume brooch.
And I'll have the lace lamps with me, the powder-puff wands and lots of vintage fabric scraps that I've bagged up since my workroom blitz.
Hope to see you at the fair!

Have a lovely weekend whatever you have planned,
Niki x

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Treading Softly...

Having reported on my blog a few weeks ago, how I felt many things at home had started to wear out (me included! ;-)) I was very happy to find a lovely old carpet runner at my local flea market that very week! It was a great price, was going to be just long enough, was in perfect unused condition and was the right colour too!  
Hubby has done a wonderful job fitting it properly with spongy underlay and traditional stair rods.  
I had quite forgotten how it feels to walk on good quality carpet! Having bare painted floorboards throughout our home, I'd become used to always wearing a pair of slippers in the wintertime. 
Its now inspired me to think about the smaller staircase down into my workroom...
Yes, I could get used to a little luxury  ;-))  

Whilst I'm here, I'd just like to show the lovely cake that my daughter made for boyfriend for Valentine's Day - They've been together for 1 year! Awwww... 

Hope you are having a lovely day - I'm getting things finished and packed up ready for the V&H Textile & Fashion Fair this Saturday...I'll be back with a post soon, to show some of the pieces I've handmade for my stall.
Niki x
Update: Belinda has used some of my daughter's wedding photographs in a post she has edited for the Kilver Court Designer Village here. :)