Wednesday, 30 May 2012


It's nearly the Jubilee long weekend, and am a bit excited! On Sunday I've got The Village Vintage Hall fair, where me and Millie have got a stall in a marquee (eek!), there's going to be entertainment from The Swingaroo Sisters, donkey rides, roundabouts, swing boats, and lovely afternoon teas!

Thought I'd get into the swing of things at home ...

I saw this lovely 1977 Wedgewood plate in a local charity shop last Friday as part of their window display.  I didn't think it was for sale as nothing else in the window was, but it did have a price ticket on it.  Anyway, I didn't buy it, but over the weekend saw it advertised in a glossy magazine showing items that were bought for the Silver Jubilee in 1977, with the price it cost then ... it was £4.99 which was quite a lot of money then.  I couldn't stop thinking about it, and of course really, really wanted it! I went back yesterday at my first opportunity ... and it was still there, thought it would have been snapped up, so ran in (I did actually run!) and bought it, and brought it home with me.

A few more patriotic corners around my home ...

My family will think I've gone doolally!  ... Or they won't even notice ...

Went to a fabulous Car Boot Sale on Sunday.  Me and Millie just ambled up the road to a new boot sale 2 minutes away.  In hindsight, I should have taken the car (or a transit van!) Can honestly say it was the best I had ever been to! Just a little glimpse of the treasures I came away with ...

An old Antler leather suitcase, think it might be 60's or 70's, with a satin lining.  It was being used to display a china tea set, so I asked the lady if it was for sale.  "Errrr, it could be!" she said, so don't think it actually was until that moment! A lovely Box Brownie camera, complete with case, set of bone-handled fish knives and forks, an American radio, a lovely old Marriage Book (complete with sex instructions, crikey!), some silver and silver plated kitchen utensils ...

Vintage Scrabble Set complete with all the wooden letters, red box and instructions (it cost 5/- new) ...

Two beautiful paintings of Paris.  The lady who sold them to me told me that they had belonged to a friend who had died and who had them painted when she honeymooned in Paris well over 50 years ago. The pictures are mainly black and white, with details in colour, and on each one there is a man and woman ... perhaps the happy couple?

Millie modelling the Box Brownie!

And finally a glimpse of 'my' beach on a lovely summer's day ...

Oh! Don't forget I'm hosting a giveaway, just leave a comment mentioning that you'd like to entered, and I'll draw it on Monday.

Hope you all have a fantastic Jubilee weekend,

See you soon, Claire xxx

Saturday, 26 May 2012

*** GIVEAWAY ***

I've reached the magic number of 50 Lovely Followers, and as promised, would like to host a Giveaway.
I've got together a little stash of goodies ...

A Jubilee-inspired tea-towel ...

A Cath Kidston Notebook, travel sized hand-cream and soap in Bluebell fragrance ...

A packet of button badges with little dogs on them, a Sewing Susan (needles and a threader) and a little cardboard basket of roses containing moire needles (you can never have too many!) and threads.

If you'd like to be included in the giveaway just leave me a comment below, (you don't need to be a follower) and I'll put all the names in a hat and draw one out on 4th June.  Good Luck!

This weekend I'll be doing a bit of this ...

and hopefully, this ...

Sunbathing, I mean ...

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend, basking in the sun!

Love Claire xxx

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Flower Power

Don't flowers just lift your spirits? The beauty of them, their scent ... you don't have to spend a fortune either, just a simple bunch picked from your garden can really brighten and add interest to a dull corner.  I've just got back from my hols and the flowers I had from last week had died (nobody thought to change the water, doh!). Here are a few images from around my home:

Pinky purple stocks bought very cheaply from the supermarket ... they smell divine and tend to last for over a week ...

French Lavender, next to my front door, a haven for butterflies and bees on a sunny day ...

A pot of supermarket Basil planted in an old olive oil tin prolongs its life rather than just leaving it in its plastic pot.  Looks good too!

Pot of bright red geranium used as  a door stop ...

Bunch of Aquilegia, Lemon Balm, Chives and something I don't know the name of picked from the garden this morning ... notice I don't really go for fancy vases in my house!

Fading Bluebells in a 50p thrifted pot (bargain!).  A friend brought me these from her garden so don't worry I haven't been picking from the wild, even though it is very tempting! These are almost finished but I'm drying them out and saving the seed so that next year I can have a patch of Bluebells of my own!

Am sure the eagle-eyed members can spot the fakes (I think there are two).

I'm approaching 50 followers (can't believe it!) and I'm going to host a giveaway when I reach that magic number, so keep popping in to check while I gather a few goodies together!

PS: I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise to all my loyal followers, I've been reading blogs for several years now, and have thought that I have been a 'follower' on many blogs, but have actually only been a reader! I haven't been clicking on 'join this site', instead I have been copying the URL at the top of the blog and pasting it into my blog list, but this doesn't make me a follower.  I have just been right through my blog list and have hopefully put this right now.  You must have thought that I was awful, very arrogantly acrruing new followers, but not actually 'following' anyone! So sorry ... xxx

Have a lovely week!

Love, from Claire xxx

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Just Blew in from the Windy City ...

Hello everyone! Just got back from my little break with my best friends to Lanzarote.  Have had a fabulous time just relaxing, sunning ourselves, and laughing a lot ... and have come back home to glorious sunshine! The weather in Lanzarote was a bit hit and miss, either bright, blistering sunshine or a bit dull and cloudy, but always windy ... I'm still finding grains of sand in everything ... my camera, my sunglasses, phone and in my washbag which is a bit strange!

The beach was just across the road from the hotel, so no trekking for miles to find a place in the sun, and was a really lovely, golden sandy beach, unusual for the Canary Islands.

Our hotel was really lovely, and the food was amazing, so am strictly on salads for a few days now ... I lost quite a bit of weight for my holiday, it's taken me 4 months ... and feels like It's all gone back on again in 4 days! Never mind, it was worth it ...

That's me in the middle at the back with the white beads on ... all ready for a night on the town ... we found a great American Indian bar, where we had a meal, and were about to leave, but then the band came on and we stayed all night.  They were an Irish band, so sang some traditional Irish songs, a bit of Van Morrison, Dire Straits, U2, Bon Jovi, everything really, and absolutely brilliant.

Back to reality now ... need to get everything ready for Vintage Fair on 3 June, and need a few hours to catch up on all the blogs I've missed while I've been away.

Hope you've all had a lovely weekend, and enjoy your week

Love, Claire xxx

Monday, 14 May 2012

Upcycling, Part 2

Just a quick little post, today, thought I'd just give you lovely people a glimpse of the progress being made on the furniture I showed you a couple of weeks ago. Steve and I have been busy with the Farrow & Ball, weather permitting, painting the pieces in between dodging showers, downpours and hurricanes!

This was the magazine rack, before.  And after ...

with a coat of Farrow and Ball Vert de Terre (my favourite at the moment), it's actually the same paint as the chest of drawers behind, but looks a lot lighter.  Think I might keep this!

Little cupboard, before ...

and after, painted in F&B Clunch, which I love.  Was going to distress it and cover inside with polka dot sticky-back plastic (a la Blue Peter), but think I like it as it is.  What do you think?  Have actually just noticed that it has side panels that are definitely crying out for a bit of floweriness!

Haha, think I might keep this!

And my poor old tea trolley, looking very dejected, before ...

And here Tessie is now ...

I am going to distress and wax her, and then line the cutlery tray with something pretty.  I just love her now!  There is a tray that fits to the top but I haven't photographed that as it is still dirty dark brown, and covered with filthy felt that is proving very difficult to remove!  I am keeping her because she will be invaluable at Vintage Fairs, filled with cutlery and linens, and in the meantime will live in my bathroom to store toiletries.

Hope you like them, but if I'm keeping them all (!) will have to find some more pieces to actually sell!

The weather is ok at the moment, (by which I mean it's not chucking it down!), very windy, but bright.  For once I don't really care about the weather, as I'm off to Lanzarote on Thursday, for five days, with six of my lifelong friends, eeek! am beside myself with excitement!

Here come the girls!!!

Hope it stays nice for you all, and see you soon!

Love, Claire xxx

Friday, 11 May 2012

Day Tripper

It's a horrible day again today, so thought I would just share a few pics of a Nice Day Out I had last weekend with my friend Maria and her lovely daughter Olivia.  We went to Preston by train, which is a lovely journey, taking in lots of beautiful scenery in the Morecambe Bay area.  We both committed the cardinal bloggers sin ... we forgot our cameras! Thought it would be ok, though as we had our phones and took lots of photos with them.  Wasn't ok, because I have a new phone, and being a complete technophobe, can't retrieve them! My husband, normally a whizz on computers, can't either, so it's not just me!

When we got there, we had a delicious lunch in a lovely cafe/deli called Deli Med in Winckley Street.  This is a gorgeous, cobble-stoned street, with a leafy park at the end of it. Next door to the deli is Miss Matilda's, a boutique which I discovered a couple of years ago.  My second son, Jacob, was at University in Preston, so now and again I would flit through to meet him, fill his wallet and fridge, clean the kitchen, etc.  Emma in Miss Matilda's sent me some images, as I did not have my camera.

It is a really pretty shop, which gives a lovely, personal service to its customers.  They also sell online, so if you're interested, grab a cup of tea, and enjoy! Their website is

Love the lacey blackboard! I bought a dress online a couple of weeks ago ... it arrived less than 24 hours later, beautifully wrapped in tissue, and with silky flowers and ribbons attached.

The shop is very light and airy, with vintage touches here and there, such as framed dressmaking patterns on the walls, and pincushions and cake stands displaying brooches and jewellery.

They also sell Melissa Shoes, gorgeous creations made from bubble gum smelling material! I bought a pair of dotty flip-flops for my forthcoming holiday with my friends, and Maria bought a pair of very vintage looking court shoes, with bows on the front for a family wedding she is going to in June, so we were both very happy to have got what we wanted, without the stress of having to find an assistant for the other shoe, in a busy department store.

Afterwards we went for coffee and cake to Bruccianni's, a 1930's coffee lounge/ice-cream parlour, which has been virtually untouched.  Wish I could share those photos with you (flying ducks and Hollywood glamour), but as I can't get them from my phone, will have to leave that until another time.  Doh!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Love from Claire xxx

Sunday, 6 May 2012


Have been on a treasure hunt this week, and found a few pieces that I thought you might like to see, before they get a makeover ...

An old magazine rack, that I've tried to sell unsuccessfully, so think it needs a revamp

A little cupboard that's feeling a bit sorry for itself ... I'm thinking Off White, distressed, and perhaps a bit of red and white dottiness, and a couple of white baskets? What d'ya think?

The Inside Story!

And my favourite piece at the moment ... an old battered, filthy dirty, wooden tea trolley. My heart skipped a beat when I noticed this prize, lying unloved amongst some metal tea trolleys.  I didn't hesitate, just snapped it up and hurried it home ...

When I got inside, I realised that the table top could be taken off and used as a tray, the sides open up to create a table, and inside there is a tray for cutlery.  Have got big ideas for this, but think it's a keeper as I can used it for displaying at the Vintage Fairs.

Will let you see, when they've been transformed.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend, and enjoy your extra day!

Love, Claire xxx