The Washerwoman

Friday 26 February 2010

Heartfelt Photo shoot

Today was an exciting day for me. I was able to go along to watch a vintage fashion photo shoot for the newly opening Heartfelt shop in Watchet, Somerset. Appropriately it took place at a station on the West Somerset Steam railway.

      Pale silver/grey 1940's dress, with the model longingly looking out for the next steam train..........

   This1940's hat worn at a rakish angle.... and (below) 1950's net with tiny velvet bows.....

Another vintage dress, blue/grey in colour and probably
dating from the late 40's or early 50's....perfect for a prom.
Stunning full length black dress with sequinned bodice teamed with Ostrich feather wrap...
                                Designer dogs?

With thanks to Martin Hill who allowed snapshots to be taken while he was working. A really nice guy and highly recommended... and thank you to the West Somerset Railway for allowing the photo shoot.
If you click on this link  you can watch the fab video that martin has put together.. it is amazing!

Sunday 14 February 2010

On the Piste....again

Once a year I get on the layers for a jolly jaunt in the mountains.....

This year the destination was the Italian Alps. I had not been to Italy since the fated school ski trip in 1974 (where my poor brother broke his leg)

we were stunned by the stark beauty and empty (and I mean empty) slopes.
We named this one the Christmas Cake run as the trees just looked like they had been plonked into the snow as if they were cake decorations.
We stopped here for lunch most days, the guys who ran it were lovely and friendly. we broke the ice (as it were) on the first day when we watched three of them trying to wrestle a hot dog into a bread roll..... it had us all in hysterics and the laughter was contagious to say the least!

This was a quirky gutter pipe on the restaurant - it reminded me of something created by
 Firmin and Postgate....
One evening was spent at a tasting evening at the local butchers. It was very entertaining, and we sampled some delicious Italian food ....(sorry Si, I know you cannot look at Salami after being in an Italian hospital for a week!)

and drink.......................

Who lives in a house like this? I wish I did! Place on the edge of a gentle blue run......... with breathtaking views.

and then of course we had ski school every day! We met some great people, and had a lot of laughs. There were falls.... shrieks....swearing & sick. If you guys read this I won't say who did what!

Monday 1 February 2010

The Shape of things to come in the world of textiles....

I have always had an affinity with textiles, interiors, and antiques. It started when I was a teenager and I helped my  mum on her stall in the Satruday Antiques market in Walcot Street in Bath. Having done a course in Interior Design in London in the 1980's, we then moved back to Bath where I had a number of jobs in various shops. Above is Atrium Interiors. You can see that the style has changed somewhat, it was the era of frills and bows!

Another shop I worked in was Josophine in Walcot Street, Bath. This was the first time I had come across the "shabby chic" style, and as you can see from the pictures, this look has not really changed much since 1990 when I took these photos. A bit scary to think that 20 years have zipped by!

The third shop where I worked was very different again, beautiful textiles and wallpapers from Zoffany, Cole and Son and Colefax and Fowler were the order of the day in this establishment.

Then my life changed and soon I was trading at Bath Market every Saturday. Mr W and I shared a stall (and the childcare) I cannot find any photos of those early happy (but often freezing cold) days in the Old Tramshed, but we were there from 1991 to when it closed in 2000.

These two photos are from the later years when I shared with Jill and sometimes Bronia.
As you can see there are a lot of textiles creeping into my stock!

In 1999 we took the big step to have a stand at Shepton Mallet Antiques fair at the Bath and West showground. Below is a piccie of our very first stall, it looks a bit bonkers as we were sharing the space, and the stock is a right old strange selection. If Sue peers closely at this picture, she might recognise something...

Now we have a photo of my very first totally textile and vintage clothing stall. This was taken at an event run by Sheila Hyson at Newton Abbot race course of all places. This was in the summer of 2000. With the end of Bath market I was casting around for other events. At Newton Abbot I met the jolly crowd of textile ladies, who have since become friends. I will never forget how friendly and fun they all were that day, Linda, I think you were there?

Then came a regular event in my home and garden... here is a view of one of the many "shed sales" - I think this one was in June 2001.
I love this photo of my very first "Shopping Arcade" at Shepton Mallet Antiques Fair, so began my love/hate relationship with these draughty tents. I think Niki would have been a regular customer around this time?

Below is an Ardingly Shopping Arcade in 2004. I was a tough cookie to do this fair as its a long way from home, and I did it alone. The weather could be fairly inclement and I have experienced thick snow and lashing  rain there on many an occasion. However , when the sun shines it is one of the best fairs in the country.

A fortuitous purchase of some fabulous 40's dresses in Spring 2005 heralded the start of doing the London Vintage fairs. More tough times, lots of driving and not always great takings. However the plus side was that I was able to stay with one of my school friends on a regular basis, thank you Aline for putting up with me on so many evenings prior to London fairs.

Luckily in 2005 I met Edwin who was planning to start some vintage fairs in the West Country. Hooray for Blind Lemon Vintage and no more 4 am drives up to London! Here is the flyer from the very first event that took place in Bristol on 26th February 2006.

 The next few years have been busy times with regular textile events in Honiton, Ilminster, Poundbury and; Stroud. Vintage fashion fairs have sprung up in Cardiff, Cheltenham, Stroud and Bath.... and then in 2008 a new type of fair was  Michele and Jayne called the Vintage and Handmade fair. A fabulous idea that pulled together a lot of ideas incorporating handmade items, textiles, jewellery, Antique toys and so much more. Their fairs have gone from strength to strength, and this summer they are planning another exciting event, so do watch this space!

The Summer of 2009 was when I took over a space at the Dairy House and soon afterwards I was assisting Sue in her idea of holding a textile event. As regular bloggers will know the special day at the Dairy House takes place on Sunday April 11th 2010.
Now, if that wasn't enough to keep me out of trouble, I have recently been persuaded to run an event this coming year in the pretty Somerset town of Frome. Clare and I have put our heads together and come up with the idea of an event which combines vintage fashion and decorative items for the home.... the date for your diaries is Saturday October 30th at the Cheese and Grain in Frome. Further details to follow soon....and there is a new blog to keep everyone informed