Monday, 11 May 2009

Car Booty

I hope everyone enjoyed the sort of fabby weather we did here yesterday.  It made struggling out of bed to hop off to the car boot sale a pleasure.  We are spoiled in the West Country because the car boot sale doesn't start until 1pm.  Here in London (well, I think the car boot sale is actually in Kent), buyers can arrive from 8am.  We usually make it for about 9ish and I'm always amazed/amused that people are already leaving with bags full of stuff!  This boot fair is rather massive and we are usually shattered by the end (just shows how sitting at a sewing machine all week makes you a bit of a lump!)  We estimated that there are about 1000 cars with their boots open and there are a further two large fields full of parked cars belonging to bargain hunters.

Well it was a pretty good day yesterday, for finds.  Lots of books in particular, always good for the Munchkin to ensure we weary old adults get a bit of peace.  People are always very impressed with his standard of reading.  There's a lot to be said for banning computer games (I know, I know, we will end up relenting but we're holding out as long as we can!)

Here we have two fabby vintage books, a mere 50p each.  You can imagine how chuffed the Munchkin is with the trains book, in particular.  I had a lot of fun later in the afternoon (lying prostrate on my picnic rug in the garden), putting the questions in the railway quiz to the two resident steam experts.  The Munchkin's depth of knowledge of steam engines and railways is quite frightening!

What better to go with the vintage steam engine book than a lovely jigsaw?

Oooh, I love these.  We have quite a collection of old mags now but I don't have many for women (they're mainly DIY mags) so I was thrilled to find these.  They did cost me a few pounds each but I reasoned this is less than a modern magazine so in fact, a good buy.

This is not a very attractive photo really but I should explain that I was going through all my finds after lunch, on my picnic rug, so I was feeling rather lethargic (ok, lazy).  I should have pulled all the lace out of the bag and photographed it for you.  I have been through the whole bag and whilst there are a few modern bits, there is a load of vintage lace, really beautiful stuff.  I think it is an amazing skill to make lace.  Not sure what I'll do with some of the larger bits but there's plenty of lovely lace which I know I can put to good use.

From the same lovely lady, I bought yet more embroidered cloths.  I just couldn't resist.  The lady had embroidered them herself in the '50s and they were all in pristine condition.  We had a good natter as she was telling me she now likes patchworking.  I think she was happy to see them go to a good home and didn't mind in the least when I admitted I sometimes chop them up to refashion into cushions and notebooks.  The blue blanket stitched pieces are the most lovely set of table mats and napkins.

From another stall, the Munchkin and I spent ages trawling through an enormous box of buttons.  I admit that part of that might have to do with the fact that the lady gave me a stool to sit on whilst I was looking through and I was glad of the rest!

From the stall where I bought the mags and the engine jigsaw, I was also lucky enough to get this little haul of china posy brooches and ear rings.  As usual, there are the odd little chips but they are quite minor.  I have quite a good collection now.  The lady remarked to me that I clearly liked all the "vintage bits and pieces".  Oh yes!

Mr HenHouse has quite a good collection now of vintage magazines (must show you those sometime).  Yesterday, he spent a few pleasurable hours in his deckchair perusing these.  They have really useful articles and the adverts and illustrations are fab.

He also found these cute little books.  They have lovely pictures inside.  We are missing volumes 1 and 5 so that gives us something to look out for.

At the button stall, I also picked up this little booklet about smocking.  It is actually very good and when I have a spare few hours, I think I'm going to give it a go.

From the same stall, I selected a few pretty vintage cards.  I love the one with the ribbon and the roses but was very surprised to open it to find that it is a Christmas card?!

Back now to the Woman and Home magazines.  Flicking through them yesterday, I thought you might like to see a few of the wonderful pages.  These are from the magazine dated March 1940, so interesting because there are many references to the war.

A subject close to my heart - embroidered cloths!

These pictures are from the later magazine, Christmas 1953.  Oh the glamour of that era...

Some costumes to make for children...

More embroidered cloths in yummy colours...

Finally, an applique bag.  I do love how these magazines were able to use the word "gay" and am sad that in these overly "pc" days, it has disappeared.

And finally, one which might make you chuckle...

I hope you enjoyed seeing all my little treasures.  Country Living mag has just popped onto the doormat with a front cover awash with roses.   Oooh, can't wait...


  1. What lovely treasures. I managed to pick up at posy brooch from a boot sale this weekend.

    Victoria xx

  2. Hi Hen:

    I just started a flickr group for Cornishware and would love for you to join if you have any photos.

    Here is the link:

    Really gorgeous china posies!


  3. Lovely finds! I've not been to a car boot for ages - perhaps I don't look hard enough, but I'm not usually quite so lucky to find such pretty things.

  4. We are waiting for our carboots to sart here in Minehead. You found lots of lovely interesting things.

  5. Fantastic finds! You may have had a chance to see the French fashion and embroidery newspapers I picked up the other day - I went for the 1890s ones but there were some of a similar vintage to your own there too.. I just can't buy everything!

    Thanks very much for entering my giveaway - it more or less equals a 'haul' from a Vide Greniers, so you can get that French flea market feel without crossing the channel! Best of luck in it - meanwhile, I'll feel nostalgic for England by looking at your blog...

  6. I love your boot sale finds. I must admit that I've never been to one as I always imagine they're full of people just selling their old junk or dodgy dvds. If I knew I'd find the type of treasures you do maybe I'd have a go.
    I got my Country Living magazine today too. It looks yummy doesn't it?

  7. Oh my gosh, 1000 cars! What fun!! I love all your wonderful finds. xo, suzy

  8. I am so jealous, it has been horrid here so no car boots, there is noting worse than a wet car boot...what a wonderful haul...I have my Country living beside me to look at after tea...with a lovely cuppa....have a great week...H

  9. Wow, what fabulous finds! I love your magazines and linen, perfect! I am jealous that you have the new country living magazine, I have an order for it with our local newsagents, but they always seem to take ages in getting it! xxxx

  10. What fab finds... they are great you must be really pleased x

  11. Fab bargains Hen, I especially love the china posies and earings :) ooh and the embroideries too xx

  12. What a great haul. There are never any car boots like that up here, well not anywhere near me anyway.

  13. wow have some good boot sales near you.Afternoon ones make so much more sense..who wants to get up at 5am on their one day off-not me thats for sure! Love your finds, the magazine stories are highly amusing to read in these old magazines arent they, but you have to read them in a 1940s news reader type voice don't you think?I Love the space man costume..hilarious! x

  14. sounds as though you have a great 'boot sasle going on there! Love those old magazines!
    BH x

  15. Great booty! We call ours 'trove' and (sad to say) set off at 6.00 am to get to our local 'big boot'. that is, after several minutes of denial after the alarm goes off when I say that I'll give it a miss this week and stay in bed ... of course I don't and thorougfhly enjoy myself once I get there. I guess it's a sort of modern day version of the hunting instinct:)

  16. What a fantastic magazine, aren't you tempted to try and make one of those childrens' outfits?!!! If you go to my blog, you'll see your Sunday was exactly the same as mine - Boot in the morning, lazy sunny afternoon in the garden!!! I love it!


  17. Lovely finds, the weather in the west country has been beautiful. I love the posy earings & the placemats.
    I also enjoy a glass of cider but sometimes go for quantity not quality...LOL!!! :) x

  18. I can never drag myself out of bed for car boots. There don't seem to be many around here, well within a 20 mile radius. I just got my copy of CL this morning - I saw the converted railway station and immediately thought of you! :-)

  19. Sounds like a great car boot! What scrummy finds, well spotted!

  20. Hi Hen, I'm up at 5.45 for my boot sale,I know ,I'm mad.It takes us half an hour to drive there.You fuond some gorgeous the magasines and the buttons!
    Rachel x

  21. Wow! What a haul Hen! And all gorgeous, covetable, beautiful and yummy. Those magazines look like they were a superb find.............. And the smocking book! I want to try smocking too!
    What a bumper post.............. I need to return and have another look!
    Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  22. Ooooooooh, what wonderful finds! I am lusting after, well, so many of them, but especially the embroidery and the buttons.

  23. Just how lucky can one person get at a carboot sale???? Lovely, lovely finds. x

  24. Hi Hen,
    It was a gorgeous w/e wasn't it?
    I was tempted to go to the Yeovil car bootie, but had already been to one in the morning, which was in the opposite direction...makes the journey well over an hour and a half, so I decided to get on with the gardening instead - which was kinder to my purse, at least!
    We would have been chasing the same things anyway ;-))...I love the old magazines too. And like you say, so much cheaper than buying new. I use this philosophy a lot when buying vintage - sometimes it seems a vendor is charging a high price for something, but often compared with new, it is very reasonable. Well that's my excuse to buy more! heehee!
    See you at the fair,

  25. You had some great finds there. Carbooting is one of my favourite things. We are off to Wales next week for a holiday and I'm looking for some new carboots for us to visit.


  26. What fantastic finds, love the mags and the pretty posies
    Worth getting up early for!!

  27. Some utterly gorgeous and very interesting finds there Hen.

    Here is the linky to my new blog -

  28. Hi Hen, What a wonderful haul you found at the Bootfair...I adore the china posy brooches and earrings. It was the school jumble on saturday and I picked up an old jewellery box filled to the brim with old (gold) watches, old medals, a gold pendant, pearl necklace and old fob watches. I have taken it to a parent at the school who has an auction house to value the contents to enable the school to get the best price for it. I must admit I felt like I was prying when I opened up the box, it is just so personal. Lucky you getting your Country Living magazine early...mine hasn't arrived yet although I am off to Hong Kong on Thursday for a few days so hopefully it will arrive before then so I will have something to read! See you at the V&H fair, Kathy PS. Susie Smith had one of my necklaces on in her editoral picture in the last issue!

  29. Wow, you did well! Lots of stunning finds there. I particularly love the embroidered items.

    Mel xxx


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