Thursday, 6 August 2009

What's A Girl To Do...

...when faced with  oodles of vintage goodies at mad prices?  I am starting to wonder if the HenHouse is soon going to start bulging at the seams but last weekend saw yet more fabby thrifty finds which I just couldn't leave behind.  I do try to think how I am going to use something before I dive in and buy it, but sometimes, I am just unable to prevent myself from rehoming these marvellous items.  I mean, you never know what the future holds do you?  One day I may genuinely need these things.  I'm being eco-friendly by recycling.  I'm preserving this country's history.  Ahem.  Let's move on.

What came home in the blue basket from the West Country this weekend then?  Well, there were so many opportunities on this extended break, oh yes, there's one thing the school hols are goods for (more rummaging).  First, there was Totnes on Saturday, then the car boot in Yeovil on Sunday and finally, my fave charity shop on Monday.

Well, we have...  A couple of vintage patterns, one from the booty, one from the charity shop. Will I ever make these things?  Maaaaaybe.  But the envelopes are gorgeous, aren't they!

Interesting little knitting and crochet booklets...  

Oooh, loving these!  These were from my favourite "House Clearance Man" at the Yeovil car boot sale, a set of the most lovely rose print table mats.  These fall into the "really don't need these but they are far too nice to leave behind" category!

I had a good natter with the House Clearance Man this weekend.  Yes, because we were in the West Country and away from London and, as we discover, people do actually still talk to each other outside the capital.  Yes, its true!  So I probed, "Are you a House Clearance Man then?" To which he replied, "Well, I was, not any more.  Now I'm just clearing out the shedS, all the stuff that's left, like".  At this point I nearly faint and am considering batting my eyelashes and propositioning Mr (ex) House Clearance Man for a trip round his sheds.  My mind boggles with the goodies that must lie undiscovered, unloved, within...

Instead, I come to my senses and add some china, including this blue and white stripey plate (which matches the jug I got last weekend), and old fashioned kitchen utensils into the basket, all for £2.50. Oh, and the tea cosy came from the charity shop (one of two, everyone needs a reserve tea cosy, don't you know).

A couple of annuals came from a sweet old lady's boot.  She let me have the 1949 one for 20p (the other one was 50p) because "oh, that one's older".  Hmm, since when were older things cheaper in the land of vintage?  Anyway, she was glad to see them go to a good home.

The "Daily Mail" one has some lovely colour plates.  Clearly from the era when people were a lot more patriotic...

Some beautiful bird ones, too.  Ah, my favourite goldfinches.

Yet more embroidered tablecloths (and 4 napkins and a little tray cloth).

And to finish off the linen haul, a printed tablecloth.  I'm very much liking these at the moment. This one happens to be from Devon and I can't wait to have a proper cream tea with this on the table, when the in-laws come over.  They are Devonians through and through and always had a proper tea every afternoon at home.  Joan's teas are legendary amongst Mr HH's old school friends!

All this thrifting has necessitated a bit of a sort-out.  I couldn't remember where all my vintage bits of fabric and things were and I had all those teacups to find a home for, so I set to with the labels and stamps.

Ah, I love organisation, so satisfying!  (I know, I'm sad.)

Finally, friends, this Redoute rose print came home, just £1 from the boot fair.  I bought it for the cottage really but have since decided it would look nice in the bathroom here in London. We gave this room a bit of a revamp a while ago; took down the boring old tiles and strange shower head thingy, repainted (one of the many rooms in this house which was yet again, blue), added new tiles and hung a new light, basically.  I've tried to give it a "modern vintage" look recently with a few thrifted accessories.

The picture, of course...

I also made this simple blind to cover the top unfrosted half of the window.  I used a panel of vintage fabric I picked up for £1 in an antiques shop in Chard.  It just barely fits the window but I am really pleased with it.  This sort of blind is so easy to make and perfect where you just want to decorate the window a bit and don't need the covering to be functional.

This is the vintage mirror I bought from the car boot sale we went to the day after the Spring V&H Fair.

There's also another vintage Enid Blyton/Eileen Soper print from the set we bought at This'n'That in Totnes a while back.

So, there we are, thrifty finds and a bit of organisation and bathroom revamp thrown in.  Now, I really must get my violas planted because it's looking awfully black outside.  Don't you just love their little faces!


  1. much prettiness, it all looks gorgeous, you've got a real eye for a bargain.

    I love the blue and white plate especially, and your little bathroom shelf looks perfect with the print above it.

    Sue xx

  2. You did well I'm so envious, but...on the other hand, my downfall was carboot, jumble sales and charity shops! Now I go vary rarely and YES I miss going, but you see we do not have elastic walls, although I must say if I had seen the paper pattern of the cushions, the knitting patterns and the annuals they would have found a home here, I would havefound that little corner for them so if you ever decide to part with any please let me know........
    and as for that Crinoline Lady tablecloth I am so jealous.
    I love your bathroom, and the garden will look so pretty with the violas with their sweet faces.

  3. I am so impressed with your shelves, those gorgeous baskets and the labels you made for them! Great colours and soooooooo tidy.

  4. You never fail us with your purchases! And I love organisation too!

  5. Wow thats Trifting on a Grand Scale!
    Love the tablecloths oh and the table mats and...
    well all of it really!

  6. wow deja-vue - the rose print tablemats my mum still has and my gran used to have a vintage mirror like that!
    Josie x

  7. Hi there,

    Looks like you have been very busy thrifting. I love the stripey blue jug and plate. Seeing that about a lot just now.

    Your bathroom looks very pretty, clever idea with the blind.

    Pretty flowers too. Hope they get some sun as well as rain!

    Take care.


  8. Great finds. I love to see what you pick up at the charity shops. I rarely have such luck.

  9. Lovely vintage finds Hen, and the bathroom makeover look great. xxx

  10. Some really love finds, and very satisfying to have a reorganisation! You are so lucky to have the room :-)

    Hope you got your violas planted.

  11. Good evening Hen....oohhhhh lovely lovely pretties!
    I can well see why you would not want to leave ANY of the goodies behind!

    Wightwick is so worth a visit....I'm planning to go back, as its one of those places where there will be something missed the first time round!


  12. Oooh Hen that is the exact same Redoute print I found last week - and almost identical frame too! What a co-incidence. Mind you I paid a tad more than a pound for mine and am now feeling hard done by! lol! X

  13. Hiya,

    Looks like you got some great things there. I did a bit of shopping the other day, I just needed to surround myself with pretty things to distract me from the mountains of work I have at the moment!

    Sian x

  14. That Daily Mail book is gorgeous and I also love the Devon printed cloth. I had a bit of a tearoom cream tea moment on my blog this week. If you get time to take a look you'll be able to see the Crown Devon Lulworth Cove cup and saucer I found at the car boot.

  15. Love, love, love, love, LOVE....especially the cushion cover patterns, the organisation and the blind! x

  16. Hello Hen,
    Having recently discovered the delights of blogging, I do so enjoy reading your chatty blogs and love the photos that really bring it alive! You certainly have the knack for picking up a marvellous bargain and finding just the perfect home or use for them. How I envy your den too-so organised, unlike my sewing and crochet baskets that are such a mess! Looking forward to reading much more......

  17. I love your tablemats... in one of the many boxes of goodies I have there are some vintage placemats, I can never resist them!

    I love organising too, between you and me there have been occasions when I've called in sick to work because my room just needed a proper sort out!!

    Victoria xx

  18. oh i love looking at your finds, your bathroom looks lovely really pretty and relaxing, i love the blind you made. i think i would have stalked the ex house clearance man just to have a glimpse at his shed full of treasure!! he he!! fliss xx

  19. Hen, Your bathroom is to die for!

    I couldn't believe it when you I saw your rose print. I have an almost identical print that I brought from my local carboot just a few weeks ago. I'll have to include a picture of it in my next post, as I'm sure they have both come from the same collection!

    Natasha x

  20. Lovely post Hen, I think you should come and revamp my bathrooms for me. Yours looks lovely, really clean and fresh.

  21. ohhhh, well you are so lucky to have so many goodies to choose from! You've done a swell job there ms*hen!
    all is lovely :)
    xo, K.

  22. Hi Hen

    You always find such sweet goodies! I love your organisation skills - and that tablecloth - I am desperate for one of those!! Ever since I saw a skirt made from one in Sew What Skirts, I have loved the idea of making one for myself. Or is that sacrilege??

    Gemma x x

  23. You have got such a great eye, and an appreciation for great style from now and way back then, too.

    Here in NYC it is pretty impossible to find some great vintagey something. Perhaps the same is true in London, and that is why you see such gems miles away from the Smoke.

    Without getting too sentimental, I am now old enough to really wonder how it might be that these gems to arrive on the market, no matter where that market might be.

    I usually feel that at the center will be some family disruption. (Some of this insight is based on years of observation of my own family of generations past and present.

    There have been times when it used to depress me a bit to see these orphaned vintage gems available for sale. However, as I get older, I think that it is very, very lovely that there might be a younger generation who will appreciate the beauty of what was created (and sometimes used) years ago.

    My cynical mind feels that our currently disposable culture will not leave much behind for future tasteful folks to cherish.

    Ipods? xo

  24. Now I know where all the embroidered tablecloths have gone! They certainly don't appear in the charity shops round here any more. And I begin to realize why I love all these things - they are just what I remember from my grandmothers' houses when I was young. I certainly remember that mirror - and rosy table mats. And I even had a round crochet cushion like the one in the pattern!

    Pomona x

  25. Hi Hen,

    Oooh I am so envious of your finds! (in a nice way of course! lol)
    I had a great time in cornwall on holiday searching through shops and at church table tops sales - there's so much to look at down there compared to the -dare i say it- "tat" you tend to get at bootsales in Essex...

    I don't blame you for snapping up all those goodies while you had the chance!

    Your new purchases look great in your photos, and your blind is lovely!

    I hope the planting goes ok :-)

    Rose XXX

  26. Loved seeing all your thrifty finds - most especially the Devon tablecloth - gorgeous! Love seeing your house decorating ideas too! G

  27. Gorgeous finds...and I love the foxglove pic which I also have on my study wall. I think it looks wonderful framed...I might just do that and put it in my rather girlie bathroom!!
    I'm off to Ashburton now...then hopefully home via Widecombe in the Moor! And guess what.the sun is shining here!
    Have fun ;-)

  28. Hi Hen,
    What amazing finds! I loved the embroidery table cloths and napkins. I am planning a little hunts for this kind of beauty here. Hope I can find some. Oh, also, your bathroom looks smashing! :)

  29. The bathroom looks gorgeous - great fabric at the window.
    P x

  30. Hi Hen...still resisting the call of the CK lovelies???
    Too many lovely things to pick from...i have my eye on some other bits, but will see about them another time!xxx

    P.S...look out for the postie...xx


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