Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Bringing in the Old (Fashioned?)

Helloooo! Anybody out there? Here we are, back from the wilderness, over a whole week without blogging, crikey! Yes, we spent a lovely last week of the hols at our bolthole in the West Country, enjoying all of the surrounding counties' finest (make that lots of food and drink and lots of thrifting then!) Of course, I'm hoping you all enjoyed a lovely Bank Holiday too and dare I say it -well, I will - back to school. An event which will have delighted mums everywhere no doubt. However much we enjoy our little darlings' company, it's nice to have a bit of peace and quiet back, isn't it? Aaah, so many reasons to be cheerful!

First things first, a trip to the Dahlia Man had to be made. What do you think of these corkers?

I nominate this one as this (last) week's favourite...

The eagle eyed amongst you shall have spotted that they are not in their usual place on the little wicker table in the sitting room, next to the lamp which Hannah so loves! They were ousted, I'm afraid, it's that simple. The asters triumphed...

I have sooooo many things to share and show with you following our trip. We did all sorts of things, some lazy, some more adventurous. There were steam railways. Of course. There was the Great Dorset Steam Fair and I have over one hundred photos of that alone so that shall have to wait for another bloggy day. There was also the not-so-insignificant matter of the village gardening show and the preserves, oh yes indeedy. That shall have to wait too. Today, we're looking at all that's new (and therefore likely old) around the cottage.

Let's start in the kitchen, shall we? A few weeks back at the car boot sale here in London (well, in fact, it's in Kent if you want to be precise,) we finally found some of those much-coveted scales, you know the sort, the ones they used to weigh your sweeties in at the corner shop way back when. They were pretty manky to be honest, had apparently been used for weighing the dog food (pretty big mutts then?) but with a joint effort from yours truly and my other half, they were completely taken apart, given a good scrub and an overhaul and hey presto!

Golly, we're mighty pleased with those...

...and even better, yes they really work! They have old people's measurements for the other half (should he ever need to use them) and metric for me. I wasted no time in getting on with the Victoria sponge.

Ah, well I seem to have loaded these photos up in a bizarre order so we'll go through to the sitting room. You remember this round cushion, don't you? There she is, snuggling up on the window seat like she's always belonged there.

Mr HH with his failing eyesight, combined with the fact that the cottage is quite dark inside, was finding it hard reading his beloved newspapers in the evenings. Off I went in search of the perfect lamp. Just leave it to me, dear, shopping is my forte. (I know dear, he replies drily)!

What the heck, I was on a roll! I thought I'd spoil him with this cute little magazine rack for his reading corner to house his "Steam World" mags. I bought this from the Yeovil car boot sale for £1. I'm nothing if not generous!

Right, we're back in the kitchen somehow. (Sorry if I am a bit business-like today but I have sooooooo much waiting for me to do that I shouldn't be naughtily blogging really.) I'd been looking for one of those roller towel rail thingies for a while and finally picked one up at the Decorative Living Fair in Kent. I got round to making one of Miss Cath K's finest towels a little narrower, added a few press-studs to close and there you have it. A thing which is indeed both beautiful and useful. (Anyone else still waiting for their Cath K mag? Yes, me too, still. Glad I'm not alone.)

Whilst we're in the kitchen, let's have a little mooch. The wall on which the towel thingy is situated is originally the back wall of the cottage (built 1500-1550), the kitchen and bathroom being part of the extension. It couldn't be straight if it tried. It's made from various types of brick and hamstone with a very bizarre layer of horsehair in between (I say this because part of it was deliberately left exposed the last time the building works were done). The back door is a cute little affair that anyone with more height than me needs to duck to get through, it is made from enormously wide planks and hangs at a very bizarre angle if it is not shut. Character, I think that's what the estate agents call it!

I digressed a bit there. Back to booty finds. Mr HH had a result with a major haul of Enid Blytons complete with pretty covers and dust jackets.

As you might have guessed, the one with the Red Indian on the cover soon disappeared upstairs...

I think he's enjoying that one.

I picked up this pretty cake plate and server in its original box.

No visit to the cottage would be complete without a trip to my fave charity shop. And I was not disappointed! For £1, "Shabby Chic" came home with me.

Ooooh, eye candy. I'm particularly fond of this page. Anyone who takes time to consider the various styles of cushion edgings, and labels them, is cool with me!

I loved this little salt and pepper holder complete with dinky spoon (don't worry, the condiments are not vintage!) I have seen these in Cath K, just not for £1.

Onto the china haul. I confess to bringing three whole boxes of china home with me. Ooops, how did that happen? I love this little set, it's more unusual to find china on a coloured background and it's PINK. Need I say more? I homed in on the teacups thinking I'd use them for candles but now I'm not sure I can break up the set. Bring on that Victoria sponge.

One of the very large boxes of china came from my first visit to the local auction house. I left a few commission bids and what do you know, two framed rose prints and a haul of china were mine! When we went to pick the goodies up, all sorts of things had been chucked in the bins outside! There were books, skis, pictures, china and this...

Needs a bit of work that one but nothing we can't tackle. Watch this space!

Whizzing upstairs, at the street market in Bridport, battling the occasional downpours (so stoic) , I rather fell for these gorgeous patchworked cushions. I very much like hexagonal pieced patchwork and though I have not done it myself, I know how long it must have taken to make these and how precious all the fabrics are that make it, looking as if they derive from the 1940s. They are a mixture, some clearly from dresses, some more satiny which were probably nightdress cases or similar.


In fact, it was looking pretty dreamy in that dinky cottage bedroom that it was almost a struggle to leave (but the pull of the furry friends and the den was too strong).

Well folks, that's all for today. But there's more, lots more to come...
Thank you to all of you who left comments while we were away. I'm doing my best to get through them slowly but surely!


  1. ..there's no bloggy fun if Hen is not in the house! Welcome back!
    Very very envious of your fantastic PINK china set!
    Have a lovely week!

  2. Dahlias - they are so blousy I just love them. Lovely those scales my friend had a set of those which she always weighed her Christmas cake ingredients on. Love the cushions and that magazine holder you've done well.

  3. Hi Hen,

    Always a delight to the eyes to visit your blog and this post is so full of eye candy!!
    Your cottage looks like a dream!

  4. Wow Hen, where to start!!
    Sounds like you had a fabulous time, and what treasures you brought home.
    Love the scales, well done on getting them so clean, and working.
    The lamp is perfect, and the magazine rack, the china is very pretty, and what a haul of books!!!!! Munchkin looks very pleased with his book!!
    The chair certainly needs abit of attention, but I know it will look fantastic when you have finished with it.
    What a joy to see all your wonderful treasures, I wish you could go shopping for me!!!!
    Oh, and your cottage is looking beautiful, as ever
    Linda O xxx

  5. Wow, wow, WOW! Once again, you have some real goodies there Hen - I think I like those patchwork cushions best, but what about the book, as well?

    I've got a Rentree (Back to School) giveaway running if you're in the mood for a few French school bits and bobs (past and present)...

  6. What a lovley lot of goodies you have sourced this last week. The china set is gorgeous and what a wondeful scales! Your cottage must be such a beautiful restful place to go.

  7. Great post Hen. I am still waiting on that victoria sponge! The pink china set is very pretty and so unusual. Just to let you know I am doing a giveaway that is cat themed. I hope that all the little fur bundles are well! x

  8. Too much housey eye candy....oh the yumminess of your Cottage....its absolute bliss!

    I just adore it all!xxxx

  9. oh my goodness - where to begin!! lets just say i love everything!!!

  10. Well you have been busy!

    I love the scales you picked up, fantastic!

    Victoria xx

  11. Oh my! What marvelous finds! The magazine rack was my favorite until I saw the childrens books! I feel like leaving right now to go in search of some! lol I love them all!

  12. Oooh that was a visual feast today x

  13. welcome back hen
    wow you have done well with all your finds In fact I'm quite jealous.
    If you decide to make some of that pretty pink tea set into candles be sure to let me know I'll be first in line to buy one.


  14. hey! welcome back! I love the cake plate and server! You've been a very busybee eh? Loved all the photos too! You make me jealous with all the colour and fun you get up to! xxx

  15. Hola,siempre me encantan tus fotos...tienes cosas monísimas;aunque hoy el plato y la paleta de servir tarta se llevan la palma!!son preciosos!!!!!

    Por cierto,¿podrías decirme cómo conseguir el libro Shabby Chic? me encanta ese estilo.

    Un beso desde España.

  16. Welcome back! I love the scales, the mag rack, the cushions. Hell I love all of it! Really wonderful. Suzie. xxx

  17. I saw your house in Ideal Home on my way on holiday! How exciting! Please tell us about it!

  18. Yea, you're back, we really missed you here Down the Lane.

    Wow it was certainly a bumper extravaganza of goodies you unearthed!

    It is all beautiful as ever but the real outstanding eye candy for me were the two hexagonal patchwork cushions, simply divine!
    Looking forward to hearing more tales!

    Love Sarah x

  19. It's not been the same with out your blog updates . . . I really look forward to catching up on your news and taking a peek at your beautiful 'homes' . . . welcome back and i'm looking forward to seeing what transformations await that poor chair!


  20. Jealous of those patchwork cushions!!
    Love your welsh dresser, did you paint it yourself.

    I'm on the look out!


  21. Lovely, lovely things! Welcome back to blogland. I love those dahlias and I love the blue glass hen on your kitchen windowsill behind the scales - the light has caught it beautifully!

  22. I still can't believe all the amazing things you find at the car boots. Your basket of books looks very inviting, I'm not surprised one or two disappear.

  23. I'm very sad that you have called them old people's measurements: I know I'm not as young as I was, but I do like to bake in lbs and oz - for purely mathematical reasons to do with proportions and scale!

    I knew you'd come back with some nice pics for us, and I am actually very envious of your weighing machine!

    Pomona x

  24. What a super haul Hen! I can't wait to see what you do with the chair.

  25. wow what a lovely read your post was. good luck with the chair i look forward to seeing that completed project.

  26. WOw that is what you call a Blogpost!! Fantastic one too to read!!
    Really enjoyed seeing all your treasures hun
    Look forward to reading more!
    Annie x

  27. Pleased to hear that you had a lovely time! Super finds as always but I particlarly like the scales! x

  28. Gosh that was a post and a half!
    I love the little round crochet cloth the green jug is on. sets off the dahlias beautifully.

  29. Those Dahlias are just stunning, love the dark one. I also love the cushions you found, how do you do it? lol.

    I can't wait to see what you do with the chair either, the stuff you find is amazing, you really have an eye for it.

    Gail x

  30. Hello to Hen House from across the sea in Holland. I have been reading your blog for a couple of months now and never commented but decided it was time to say hello. I just adore dahlias. It is one of those beautiful old fashioned blooms. Your hexagon pillows are an amazing find. I do patchwork and these are very sweet. Now they will be well loved again in your home. I love it when things are rescued by someone who cares.

    Hugs ~

  31. You lucky thing, every week I look for Enid Blyton books on the car boot but I've had no luck, that certainly is a good haul.

  32. I love those hexagonal cushions and quilts. my neighbour used to do many of them. she is suffering from dementia now and I am glad I got two tiny pieces of her art before she fell ill. lovely post, as always. cheers from finally sunny southwest ireland eliane

  33. So so envious! What an amazing haul. Love the chair - I heaved one out of a skip at our local tip in a similar condition, will be a winter project I think.
    Love your blog - Eye candy! House porn! Lust lust! In the nicest possible way.

  34. Time is flying by at the mo, and I've only just seen this post! Where does time go?! Lovely, lovely, lovely! All those goodies, all those finds, good thing you've got a second house to furnish! I think my favourite find is the magazine rack, pure joy, that find. Oh, those patchwork cushions are gorgeous too.
    Right, now I'm scrolling up to see the rest of your hols.
    Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)


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