Welcome to my Blog.
Please feel free to browse my ramblings below and leave a comment if you like, they are most appreciated.
Jo xx

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


I bought this photograph many moons ago when we lived in Devon.  I always thought he was such a handsome chap. He looks to me like he dates from the late 20's, early 30's. The photo also appealed because someone has written in the bottom right hand corner the word 'memories' in  brown ink.  I often wonder why?  Perhaps a long lost love, perhaps he was lost during the war?  I wonder who he was?  Whatever his story I love this photo, and he was so obviously special to someone.
Have a great week.
Jo xx

Friday, 25 May 2012

The Avington Brocante

Wednesday saw an early start for me, van packed and ready for the Avington Brocante organised by Chloe.  Ali Hocking had very kindly asked me if I would like to stay with her in her beautiful home as she doesn't live too far away and then we could set up for the fair on the Wednesday so it wouldn't be too stressful on the Thursday as the fair opened at 9.30am.  We set up in 29 degree heat and then travelled back to her home where her lovely Mum and Dad had been holding the fort.  We enjoyed a gorgeous dinner of roast chicken, new potatoes, salad with avocado all washed down with Bollinger and followed by strawberries and cream...perfect!  We sat out in her garden until 9.00pm in the most glorious weather.  Thursday dawned promising to be another hot one which indeed it turned out to be.

The doors opened promptly at 9.30am.  Ali, her Mum and myself were in the main entrance opposite one another.  It was actually the coolest part of this glorious house so we were lucky not to suffer in the heat.

Some of Ali's gorgeous goodies as we were setting up.

The lovely lady who stood next to me, her stand was full of the most beautiful samplers and folk art.  Her friend was helping her and we spent a lot of the day howling with laughter.

A view of the main entrance.

One of the beautiful outside stands setting up. My apologies for not having more pictures of the completed stands but we were so busy.

The front of the gorgeous house.  I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Ruth from Oh so Vintage, we managed to have a good natter and she made a couple of purchases from me.  Lizzie and Jack had the most  fabulous stand and I did make a couple of purchases from them, one being a linen chemise which are quite hard to find in a large size.  Kate Forman the textile designer (my favourite) also came although I didn't meet her.  It really was the most spectacular day and the weather just added to the enjoyment.  A big thank you to Chloe for all her hard work, and also her son who was a real trooper helping everyone unload the heavier items.  Her Mum in Law also kept us fortified with the most yummy home made cakes and mugs of tea on the Wednesday, she really is the most wonderful cook.
I'm just in the throes of getting ready for the V&H in Chipping Sodbury tomorrow so hopefully see you there.  Have a great weekend.
Jo xx

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

As Rare As..............

As you have all probably worked out by now I am mad about antique mannequins.  Now what are the chances of two of these exceptionally rare beasts coming my way in the same week?  Well, that is exactly what has happened.  The lovely Jolande from Holland who is also mad about manni's contacted me last week to say that she had a miniature Napoleon Stockman for sale.  I didn't need asking twice and here he is.........

Isn't he adorable?

I love his little hands and articulated fingers.

and that cute little derrière..........

A couple of days after Jolande contacted me about the Stockman I was having a nosey on a certain auction site and came across something else that made me go weak at the knees..........

Without further ado a deal was struck and she arrived this morning (after two very sleepless nights).

She has been strapped into one of my Edwardian corsets and I absolutely love her.  You won't believe it but the gentleman I purchased her from was totally honest with me and told me he bought her last weekend at a car boot sale!!  Our local car boot is good, but not that good.  

So as you can tell, there is some serious manni love going on in this household today.  Enjoy the rest of your week.
Jo xx

Friday, 11 May 2012

Edible Drawers & Edwardian Unmentionables

Feeling refreshed from our holiday I have enjoyed moving everything round here at home and getting things ready for the next fair.  One item that will be coming with me is a rather lovely set of edible drawers (not the chocolate kind from naughty shops...ahem) but of the French variety!

A few weeks back hubby and I went to pick up a velvet marriage display cushion I had bought from a couple who deal in lovely French finds.  We met at their business premises which was full of the most gorgeous French antiques, I could have spent hours rummaging.  These five floral drawers were laid on a sideboard in the warehouse so I asked how much and a deal was done with promises made by hubby that he would make the wooden stand for them.

Very clever hubby spent all day in the garage on Tuesday beavering away and TA DA!  here are the floral drawers in their new home and painted of course in Annie Sloan's Old White.  Now I have the age old dilemma, do I keep or do I sell?  I may covet them for a while and then pass them on.

More Edwardian underwear, a corset dating from about 1912, unfortunately it is sooo tiny I have had to stuff it with a feather cushion to display it as I have no mannequin small enough!

Not in bad condition for a hundred years old.

Another early Edwardian corset, and again, absolutely tiny!

So there you have it, drawers and corsets!!

Have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing.
Jo xx

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Holiday Time

Sorry for the long time in between posts but we have been enjoying a much needed break.  I am not normally the holiday type as I'm usually a stay at home type but this week was very welcome.  I will tell all in a minute.  Firstly, my Mum came up to look after the cottage and the Pugs a few days before we went away so we decided to make a last minute booking for Viv's fab workshop and do a spot of brooch making!  It was held at the lovely Weston Park and along with other crafty like minded ladies enjoyed a wonderful day sewing and nattering as well as drinking loads of tea and coffee and scoffing Viv's wonderful home made cakes.

One of the days offerings that turned into a small hanging rather than a brooch.  It was difficult to photograph but hubby cleverly managed to scan the pictures from my corset box and print them onto fabric for me to use.  They were a bit fiddly to do but looked lovely after I had tea dyed them.

This was the brooch I made, I used an assortment of antique French fabric and lace.  Viv taught us how to type onto vintage linen on her old typewriter so one of these is now on my wishlist!  It was a fabulous day and Mum enjoyed making a couple of brooches and several while we were away on holiday!

Monday and we were off to Center Parcs (Sherwood Forest) to enjoy a week of R & R.  This was our villa,a luxurious 4 bedroomed affair with sauna and games room right in the forest.  Our son brought his friend along so they could go off and do their own thing and not be embarrassed by old fogies tagging along!

Three men and a games room!

Lots of zombie killing to be done at Center Parcs.

The kitchen and lounge.

Tons of wildlife.

This rather splendid chap woke us up every morning with his screeching.

Another little cheeky chappie looking for more nuts!

Beautiful walks through the countryside, I think we walked for miles.

I can recommend Center Parcs, it's great for getting away from it all.  Even though there were lots of other people we didn't feel it was at all crowded.  I enjoyed several treatments at the Spa and there was loads to do for the boys.  It was lovely just be out in the fresh air even though the weather wasn't brilliant and we returned home feeling refreshed and ready to face life once again!  Now I am focused on getting ready for the Avington Brocante in a couple of weeks time.