We're having a mixed old bag weatherwise here in the West Country but it hasn't stopped us from getting out and about and on the whole, the sun Gods have shone on us. Although there are aspects of shopping in London that I miss down here, it's also fabulous to be able to visit all those places and events we've wanted but not been able to, if for example they've taken place mid-week. There really is a lot of wonderful treasure down here and with a new home to kit out, we couldn't be in a better place!
Last week, we headed to the antiques fair at Shepton Mallet, where we usually go to the flea market. It was a bit pricey to get in at £10 each but we thought we should give it a try and it was a surprisingly nice day to be outside.
There are four indoor halls at this fair which make it a good option even if the weather is not good but my favourite stalls were those outdoors. You can't take the moochy instinct out of me!
There was a wide range of goods on offer from gorgeous old glass shades in pretty colours...
...to textiles of the pretty and vintage and rather French variety...
...to more French goods in the form of enamelware, textiles and tableware.
The inside halls tend to be dominated by sellers of pricier dark wood furniture, fine china and jewellery. It was good to find loveliness late in the day in the form of a friend's stall, Sue Meager of Vintage to Victorian, which was groaning with goodies.
We hadn't realised this fair didn't open until midday as the flea starts at 9.30am. It shut at five pm but it was really annoying to see many dealers leaving from as early as 3pm onwards. I appreciate it is a long day as they have to arrive to set up but £10 is a lot to pay for entry and I don't think it is acceptable when after only three hours of opening, you can't look at many of the stalls because they're all covered with cloths and the owners have disappeared. As we had arrived an hour or so early , we popped over to Frome to the reclamation yard as we are in search of a fireplace. There were some nice ones but a bit more measuring is required first and they weren't half pricey!
Living full-time in the West Country also meant I could go along to the Wednesday Talent for Textiles Fair in Ilminster. This is a small event in the arts centre but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. There's also a wonderful cafe and free entry. The setting really enhances the whole event. Favourites such as Donna Flower, Lizzie the Washerwoman, Sarah of Blue Zinnia and Sue Meager were also there so it's also nice to have a natter.
Sue had some completely fabulous Victorian patchwork, both blocks of a quilt in progress, individual pieces and even bits of fabric the maker was obviously intending to use to finish it. Sue says it was found in an old suitcase and the condition of the items was superb, you would never have thought the colours of the fabrics were so rich and vibrant. The hand pieced hexagons still had their original papers in which from the back, you could see had entrancing hand writing on, probably being old letters re-used as templates.
On the way home, how could we resist the temptations of the cider farm?
It is like a step back in time to visit this place and as it is apple harvesting season, the yard was in full swing and the air scented deliciously with apples.
Last Saturday, we headed for Bridport. It was a lovely day so the crowds were out but if you ever visit, the key is to go early. You get a better chance to look and chat, the first pick of the goodies and most importantly, somewhere to park! The vintage area around St Michaels has really come on in recent years and I rarely leave empty handed but without having spent a fortune, fortunately. Some of the traders have a really good eye and I thought this was a lovely, simple window display. I fell for the large white jug but was dismayed to find it was for display only, not for sale.
It is sad that there are plans to redevelop this area (and others) for housing. Someone in the council needs to get a grip and not ruin the magic that is Bridport and all its history (did you know the town was once renowned for rope making). A group has formed to try to save the trading area and I do hope they succeed.
Eek! I fell in love with these too, as did everyone who saw them!
Well, I've managed to re-home some lovely goodies over the past few weeks. Textiles have figured large, as you might have guessed, and I've been collecting thrifty old china plates, too.
I've had the idea to put some up above the kitchen mantel as you can see. I can now keep my eye out for more on my travels.
A certain furry someone is not immune to the considerable charms of the wood burner now the cold weather is setting in.
There's been lots of hand washing of rescued textiles going on and now I need a bit of making time. Dare I say, a rather large event is round the corner in December and so I had better get my (snowy) clogs on!
So much fabric, so little time!