Hello readers. It's true isn't it, for those of us in Blighty? We're enjoying some fabulous weather at the moment. I cannot get enough of it. England in the sunshine, you cannot beat it. Everything in the garden is at its peak; the fruit has started to ripen, the roses are blooming, the birds have fledged and I've picked the first raspberries. The ones old Blackie did not beat me to. I watched him feeding his fat fluffy baby, feasting on my ripe red fruit! It was worth it for the privilege of the spectacle.
Summer fruit means a few things to me. One: Eton Mess, oh yes indeedy. Two: jam, jam and more JAM! Whilst the Mr and the Master were out on a Scouting activity day in the woods recently, they foraged some elderflower for me. There you see it, suspended in its muslin bag in the brewing strawberries. Just delicious. Bring on the scones.
Last Tuesday, I experienced a day which left me reeling. I consider myself a bit of an old hand at this vintagey lark so it doesn't happen that often. I took myself off, armed with map, for the South of England Showground or as most folks affectionately call it, Ardingly. I have been here before, as there is a quilting show here in January and it is very close by the boys' favourite Bluebell Steam Railway. However, I'd not before attended the antiques and collectors fair.
I've been to the same type of IACF fairs at Newark (pretty fabulous but must be twelve years or more since I've been) and Shepton Mallet. Given this one is not much more than an hour or so away, I don't know why I haven't been before. It was a glorious day, I was quite red faced by the time I got home later that afternoon!
OH MY!!! This event is huge. It is held mainly outdoors but there are some indoor areas too, and quite a lot of gazebo type affairs. It is quite overwhelming in scale as it's massive, I think it would be too tiring to even try to see the whole thing in a day. I found myself wandering round looking out for anything vaguely textile-y.
I found it.
Let me at it.
What I liked about this event so much was that there was plenty of cheaper moochy stuff on offer. At the Shepton Mallet Antiques event, I do think there is more of an emphasis on the expensive. Diamonds or a Rolex anyone? This was much more like Shepton's flea market but much better even. I know. Yikes!!! The only downside? £20 to get in. Yes. Ouch. I've forgotten it already as obviously, had the hordes of other folks there.
There was everything on offer from textiles to furniture to jewellery and everything in between. There was a lot of French stuff, I thought, which is quite popular amongst the well-heeled Sussex set, maybe. Lots of washed-out white and pastel stuff, linens, enamelware and chippy paint.
This stall was literally mind blowing. It was huge and had more haberdashery stuff than you could shake your (vintage) knitting needles at. I was a bit speechless.
Did I find any fabrics? You bet I did. More than I could actually buy or carry. Vintage European linens anyone?
It wasn't all textiles. I've always fancied a dovecote. One day.
I came home with arms which certainly felt twice the length and a really thrilling horde of goodies.
The next day, I spent a good while hand washing all these tiny snippets of fabrics. I can't wait to get creating with them.
After all that very hard shopping, there has had to be a bit of downtime in the evenings. As we Brits know only too well, you need to make the most of this weather. Eating outdoors is most definitely on the agenda.
The furry friends are really feeling their furry coats at the moment.
I'm gripped with a Ros Byam Shaw book and English country house style obsession at the moment. I've just devoured Perfect English which I finally managed to get my hands on via Ebay, not having bought it first time around. Now I'm onto this one. The rose is definitely flowing in these here parts.
Over the weekend, we repaired westwards to our little slice of country. What an idyll it is at the moment. It was a certain somebody's birthday. Presents in bed, hurrah, followed by a super day at a steam railway.
Today, back at home and with a new exciting (long promised) quilt commission on my hands, it was time to clear the decks and tidy the Den. Time to find space for my new goodies.
Perfect unused Forties' fabrics. Old haberdashery and millinery flowers. Buttons with budgies on. A felt flowery needle case. Wartime Housewife magazines. An old chocolate box choc-full of gorgeous embroidery silks in every colour of the rainbow. Some other things too (cough cough). I am happy. *Sigh*
I hope there is plenty keeping you happy these days. Xxx