The Washerwoman

Saturday 18 December 2010

It's's been snowing......

Woke up to this fantastic scene this morning. I know blogland will be FULL of gorgeous snowy pics..

But couldn't resist putting on the wellys and stomping out into it to take a few photos. My camera is unable to take any decent interior shots, but can pull out the stops outside!

Love this view of the church, as I was wandering around the graveyard I could hear the organ playing "once in Royal David's City". Obviously getting into practice for the carol service tomorrow evening.

Thursday 16 December 2010

Antiques Fair at Cothay Manor

Only a few days late with this posting! Last Saturday was the Antiques Fair at the unbelievably beautiful Cothay Manor in Somerset.

We didn't have a stall at the event, so had the rare luxury (for us) of being able to visit and view at our leisure.

As usual I have no inside pictures of the fair. All I can tell you is the quality of the stands was very impressive. Caroline (Fountain Antiques) had her stall in the stunning bedroom with a vaulted roof. She had piles of immaculate linens and textiles on display.

Outside the air was mild, so I was able to wander around with my camera.....

This strange fellow was on the wall just inside the gatehouse! if you want to visit this stunning 15th century medieval gem click here for the opening times.

Friday 10 December 2010

Turn Back Time, the 1930's and 1970's High Street in Shepton Mallet

A few months ago I had a phone call asking if I could supply some vintage clothing for a unique and very special project.
 A series of television programmes were being made in Shepton Mallet which Niki  has covered from beginning to end as she was right there in the midst of all the action and activity in the town.

 I was able to dip in and out as I was asked to supply for 2 of the decades being covered. My first job was to find some 1930's clothing and hats to supply Gill (below) with items to work on or sell in her workroom (above).

Always ready  for a challenge I managed to gather a selection dresses, coats and lingerie for the researchers to use.
However I WISH they had consulted me on the toy shop as I was appalled to see this imported pink dolls house in the window! What a shame they didn't use a doll house from the 30's. It was a time when Triang toys were making the most fantastic dolls house and many survive today so it shouldn't have been hard to find one.

 I know I am a bit of a perfectionist (blame the star sign I was born under!) but that is just the way I am!

 However, I did think the attention to detail on the shop fronts and clothing that the  families wore were fantastic... Some of these photos are from Niki's blog (with permission of course) as most of the piccies I took didn't come out clearly.

On one of the days I went over to Shepton Mallet I was able to see the families close up as they enjoyed lunch before being launched into the next decade. Their clothing  was beautifully put together and attention to detail was superb. I also loved the fact that there were vintage cars dotted around the streets.

My next involvement was for the 1970's. Once again I had to supply clothing for Gill's shop (above).

I went armed with lurex dresses, hot pants, flares and maxi dresses.....

The shop was obviously a great success as a lot of my clothing sold in the week it was open and Niki tells me that it is now open as a Vintage shop. That is great news as it shows that despite being entertaining  and informative TV it has also achieved something it set out to do.... and that is to get the High Street back and to open up shops that people want to visit...

Lastly my favourite, the 70's record shop.. fantastic! Unfortunately there are unlikely to be any takers for this one. As the programme pointed out most of us nothing to play vinyl on anymore....if want a bit of nostalgia click here, or if you want to watch any of the programmes on iplayer click here.

Monday 6 December 2010

The House That Nearly Died

This interesting notice caught my attention yesterday on arrival at Barrington Court. This stunning 16th Century Manor House was the location for a Christmas Antiques Fair organised by Chasty Cottage Fairs.

What an incredible setting for an event!

I could barely set up my stand without resisting the temptation to take some photographs. Part of my stand was within the old fireplace, fortunately I had taken plenty of lamps to light the space. At 10 am the customers started to pour in. I was kept busy until after lunch when I took the opportunity to explore and take some more piccies.

Below is the view into the courtyard with its frozen pond. There are newer parts to the house that were restored in the 1920's by the Lyle Family. The property had fallen into terrible disrepair in the previous century and was almost derelict in 1907 when the National Trust bought it.

The foggy morning gave it real atmosphere, it reminded me of a film from 2001 called The Others. It certainly could have been filmed here!

If you get the chance to visit  Barrington Court, the gardens are also something very special. Their design being influenced by Gertrude Jekyll. I certainly intend to make a special journey to see these gardens next year.

This last photograph was taken of the front of the house at about 8 am. I was struck by the similarity to a dolls house that I read about a few years ago. It was called Childs Court and can be seen here . Not only do the houses look the same. There is also the similarity that both houses were rescued and restored lovingly from a very poor state.

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Vintage at the Village Hall

It has been a very busy few days. After the excitement of the excellent Vintage and Handmade Fair in Chipping Sodbury, it was soon Monday morning and time for the very first Vintage at the Village Hall Fair organised by Ted and Bunny. The drive to Dorset was hairy (to say the least) and not helped by frozen windscreen washers!

On arrival at the hall, we were greeted with a fantastic sight, bunting criss-crossed the ceiling and vintage goodies piled high on the other stalls. After the fastest set-up in 20 years of trading it was suddenly 10 o clock and time to start selling. I can only say it was a bit like a football crowd coming in, hoards of eager buyers surged into the hall and it really was "standing room only".

Even the chap from the local paper said  he couldn't take pictures of so many people in one space! As usual my camera would only let me take outside piccies, so I am unable to give you a true flavour of the beautiful interior. There was one outside stall which I took photos of, but the strong sunlight made them look out of focus. Below is the best I can offer!

There were several other bloggers at the fair, so worth checking out Elegance maison, The Vintage BothyDeniseShirleyLinda ,  Lizzie and Lucy Bloom for further pictures of a fantastic event!
A big Thank You to Elaine for organising such an amazing day, and we wait with anticipation for the 2001 dates!

Friday 26 November 2010

Favourite Childhood books. What is yours?

 This has to be one of my all time fave childhood books

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and beautifully illustrated by Marjorie Torrey and published in 1955

The wonderful pictures speak for themselves don't they? I must have looked at them all a thousand times (judging by the state of this book) the binding has gone and the pages are just about held together......

I haven't included every page, just the best in my humble opinion!
Have you still got a well loved childhood book that you would like to share? Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Winter wardrobe and Shepton Mallet 3 Day Antiques Fair and .....Kirsty!

Busy, Busy this week (despite catching Mr W's rotten cold). I bought these amazing barkcloth curtains at the Frome Retro fair 2 weeks ago. I plan to use them as a backdrop in my stand at the Antiques Fair this weekend.

Here are a few of the Winter warmers.. vintage jackets and coats that are coming with me to the fair. Above is a French 50's coat, size 14 approx, very cosy.

Along with a selection of gorgeous vintage silk scarves (a few sold on ebay last week, but still have a HUGE stash of them!)

This gents cashmere coat is pretty cool, I also have it in navy, but that one has gone into the Dairy House as Sue is always asking me to put more vintage clothing onto my stand, so I have obliged!

This fur trimmed jacket comes with a matching skirt, very Mad Men I think.

Lastly this little gem of a childs coat! I bumped into a friend in a carpark in town yesterday and she has already said she wants first dibs on this one!! I still have a couple of reduced entry tickets to the fair so please leave a message if you are interested.
 PS. I have to add how much I enjoyed Kirsty's programme last night. I watch very little TV, but I felt this was worth giving up an hour for! Anyone who promotes reusing, recycling and making items for your home has to be applauded. Of course a lot of what she says and does it what many of us have been doing for years, BUT it is about time that this country's obsession with "buying new" needs to change. I will now step down from the soap box before I get started on Christmas!!!