Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A Good Thrifty Weekend

Well hello my friends. Here we are, December already, how exactly did that creep up on us? December here in the capital has brought with it a hard frost this morning and decidedly cold temperatures. It's definitely feeling like Winter and time to hunt out the long johns. Reversing then to last week, I think I left you just before the Munchkin's school fair. That went well, we sold out of cakes by 4:20pm which meant we were able to have a little look round and win a bottle of wine on the tombola. With that, off I went home to have a well deserved rest!

In fact, that will be the last time I man the cake stall at this particular school as the Munchkin has been successful in gaining a place at a very good local school, the little boffin, and shall be starting in the New Year. We are so pleased as we have not been happy with his current school for some time and really think he shall be happy and flourish at his new school which has the most wonderful facilities and seems full of like minded children and parents. Phew.

Anyway, I needed to recharge the batteries, ready to head to the West Country on Friday, and for Saturday's adventures. The thought of Saturday in the marvellous Bridport had kept me going all week. And indeed it was looking fairly marvellous, Christmas trees and lights decorating many shop fronts.

We wandered along the street market as we always do, fewer stalls last Saturday, maybe put off by the cold as it was decidedly chilly down there. I was very excited to reach the end of the street and spot the familiar church.

With a little addition, this jaunty bunting. Now why might that be there?

Could it be because of this?

Yes, in we go to Bridport's first Christmas market. We might even spot some old friends. (I forgot my camera so photos are courtesy of my 'phone, not the best, but better than nothing.)

Indeed we do find old friends! We find Lizzie without difficulty and I spend a fair while ogling her goodies and buying a little something for my sister.

Nest door is the lovely Sue with yet more beautiful things to covet. I don't come away from there empty handed either!

I enjoy browsing another stall and spend an agonising ten minutes choosing which perle threads to buy. Such scrumptious colours!

They came from this rather lovely stall. My indecision results in me choosing 13 colours which I then decided I had better round up to 14; unlucky for some and all that!

More delights...

Back at the cottage, the rain set in once more with a vengeance, so we decided to get the Christmas decorations down as it will be a couple of weeks until we visit again and we thought we'd get a head start on the festive season! I spend a pleasant while prettifying the kitchen dresser...

Out comes Father Christmas. This one came from a charity shop in Bridport a few years ago. I love to have a Father Christmas figure, I always remember the one my nan has, cannot remember a year without it, so I carry on the tradition.

The mince pie came to me courtesy of the very lovely and generous Fi. A great surprise, thanks so much, Fi, good enough to eat!

The cottage is soon looking very cosy indeed!

Well, a mighty good haul was made over the weekend. The market stalls yielded a couple of good books; I love the Lassie one, my mum and I spent many a Sunday morning weeping away over dear Lassie! This book dates from 1956 and is in great condition with a lovely story. Mine for just 80p. I also picked up a delightful Bluebird toffee tin decorated with violets. The charity shop yielded another stripey pillowcase and all the other goodies are from the Fair: bluebird embroidered napkins, 1950's gloves, twine and a gorgeous embroidered teacosy from Sue, buttons, hankies and so on.

I am captivated by my new threads, such divine jewel-like lustrous colours...

Now, are you ready for the piece de resistance? Look at what was waiting for me in the window of the hospice charity shop...

The picture in the gloomy weather does not do this a scrap of justice, I must say. I saw one very much like this in Cath K in Winchester and lusted after it wildly but no way could I justify the price Cath puts on vintage items. I can now see where Jan Constantine got her inspiration from and lo and behold when I check her pages for the link above, her website states she was inspired by wartime designs. Wonderful, isn't it? Each county/country is represented by an item pertaining to that area: coal mines and a daffodil in Wales; Highland cattle and the castle in Scotland; oast houses in Kent, china kilns in Staffordshire and so on. Very chuffed indeed with that find, the thrifty Gods were smiling on me that day!


  1. The market looked wonderful (photos are good!) your cottage is looking sooo caosy and christmasy. Makes me feel all warm inside! suzie. xxx

  2. The map is beautiful, well done on your find! And yes, the cottage looks very cosy indeed!

  3. Oooooh,I just love all your thrifty finds!Just been catching up on some of your earlier posts,and you do manage to find some little 'gems'.
    Love,love,LOVE, your fireplace...I can just picture your family all cosy in that sitting room on Xmas eve.


  4. As usual an impressive haul,I don't know how you do it,the threads are fantastic colours.Well done you.


  5. It's all lovely, but that map really is the most wonderful find of all, Hen! My mum has a lot of wartime handkerchiefs (both wars) - did you see the post I did about them months ago? Some are very similar to your fantastic map.

  6. What a fab find Hen! The cottage is looking do pretty & festive too.


  7. It's amazing what you can find on a good day. You've found some fantastic things! Those colours are just so gorgeous - I got some embroidery threads the other day (just 4 mind you!) and I am reminded of them. As you say like jewels; they are just so rich. Mine remind me of childhood Christmas and the 3 Kings costumes. Really pleased that the Munchkin is going to a school where he will be happier. My daughter left hers at around the same age - yes you are new with all that entails, but it was all so much better - everyone was much happier and it was definitely the right thing to do. I hope he loves it and settles in quickly. I bet you are relieved; his new school sounds great.

  8. If I could choose somewhere to retire too, your Cottage would be my top place, its fantastic...so wonderfully cosy looking, a lovely post Hen....:>)
    The dresser so pretty with all your carlton ware.....very cheerful!


    P.S...thank you for the lovely comment...I'm so pleased with how its looking!

  9. Fantastic haul Hen, well done. The embroidered map is fabulous, very glad to see the kilns on for my neck of the woods on there. Funnily enough my eldest has been on a trip to visit the bottle oven museum today.

    Gosh doesn't your cottage look the cosiest place to curl up for the festive season - are you heading down there for the holidays? I can't image anywhere more lovely!

    Have a lovely week, off to do a bit of baking for a school fair myself now, might just stretch to a few chocolate fairy cakes.

    love Stephx

  10. A great haul of goodies and the cottage looks very festive and pretty. xxx

  11. so good to meet & chat on Saturday, glad you had a good day & some fab finds in the charity shop! Your cottage is looking great, must start thinking about digging out the xmas decorations now the 1st has arrived! Lizzie x (it might take me some time to find them in the chaos here at the moment)

  12. Those perle cotton threads are like great big sweeties, aren't they Hen?! Good enough to eat, as I like to say when I'm cuddling the doggies. Is that another cottage tea cosy I spy in one of your photos?! So glad H is going to a better school, and will be a happier Munchkin. Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  13. Hi Hen

    Lovely purchases from Bridport. I wondered if Sue still had some of those cotton threads left. Such lovely colours. The map is such a find! Really like it. I agree that Jan Constantine must have been inspired by vintage embroidered maps. I had not seen one up until your post.
    Warm wishes
    Isabelle x

  14. What a great find. Your cottage looks lovely.

  15. Looks like you've had a fantastic time. I love the British Isles embroidery, what a find!
    The cottage always looks cosy, but especially the picture of the inglenook fireplace. Lovely.
    My little mince pie looks right placed next to that pretty Christmas CK mug. I like the company I'm keeping, lol!

  16. Lovely to see you on Saturday and thanks indeed for your purchases.

    I must email Isabelle to let her know the threads weren't mine!

    Pleased to hear Munchkin's news.


  17. I love maps like that. It also reminds me of the cross stitch maps Heritage Stitchcraft put out (http://www.hcrafts.com/english_county_maps.html).

  18. Next time I'm in the UK, I must visit Bridport! You have found the most wonderful things Hen!
    I hope the Munchkin will be happy at his new school too.

  19. What a very thrifty weekend you've had! I'm extremely envious of the map ... it's fab!

  20. All fab,Hen! I am so glad you have sorted out a good school for the Munchkin! I bet he is excited .
    Bridport looks wonderful..I must get Mr S to take me there soon.

  21. Good luck with Munchkin and his new school. You got lots of lovely buys at the weekend - what will you be making with the crochet thread?

  22. Do you have a second home? I'm confused about the cottage - I thought you lived in London...what a beautiful fireplace though - I love how cosy the place looks! Ah! I wish I had a cosy home...still come Christmas I'll be back at mum's and that will be lovely! xxx

  23. Hi there Hen
    I saw the embroidered map in the window and am not sure what happened to my brain?! I bought some sewing bits & white pillowcases but not the picture (considering I collect maps...),it looks great in the cottage and I know that it went to a good home.
    Munchkin will be very happy with the move, my son Tom was when he left Tewkesbury Abbey and went local.
    Bye for now

  24. Well done to the munchkin on his new school!

    Victoria x

  25. Ooh I love Jan Constantine. The map is fabulous! I have been lusting after her 'love' cushions for awhile. Your cottage is looking so cosy X

    P.S The word verification is psisses......Ewww! LOL!

  26. Hi Hen

    The cottage is looking lovely so festive and cosy.

    am drooling over the embroidery map it is wonderful - a great find


  27. what a lovely find well done!!! the market look good as well but completely fab news about the school I can imagine how happy you are :-)
    sorry not been in touch lately just seem to be flying round madly with hardly time to stop but will catch up soon xxxxxxxxx

  28. Great trove! Fantastic map! Thanks for the virtual visit to Bridport and for another look at that CarltoWare:)
    Lesley X

  29. Such lovely finds, well done, the map is great. The mince pie looks yummy, I have a real craving for them at the moment....not good :(

  30. Oh my goodness, that has to be a best-ever thrift score! Love the colourful threads too. A very cheery post! xx

  31. Lovely blog!


  32. The things I would do for that Welsh dresser do not bare thinking about...I'm green with envy.


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