Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Kitchen Makeover

My dream has come true.  We have come down to Cornwall to make-over a holiday home and I cannot wait to see the finished result.  We have brought Aron and Elliot with us (our 2 extremely hard working apprentices)  and our favourite people Emma and Pete have also come down to stay.  Such a great week!  We are working hard but it doesn't really feel like work... we are painting until the early hours of the mornng then starting again, still in our pyjamas the next day...

We have started in the kitchen. This is the room that you walk into through the front door so it needs to have the wow factor, so people are excited about their holiday before it's even started!  It's a good sized room with orange under the dado rail, an old pine table with new pine chairs, there is a lot of orange going on this room.  We have painted the table base and the chairs to match so they look more like a set rather than antique table and new chairs.  We have added a dresser top to the wall with some vintage blue plates and of course bunting!  Everyone said no to the bunting but I put my foot down, it just wouldn't be right without the bunting!  The bottom of the wall is now a lovely beachy blue.

I am so pleased with the result of this room!  It feels bigger and more homely and I am loving the red, white and blue theme...

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Vintage Sunshine

today is rainy and grey where we are so i have been looking for pretty things to make it feel more summery
10 pictures to make you smile on this not very summery afternoon...

i love this sofa, the colour is perfect, the retro legs are full of 1950s character..

these glass cannisters are amazing, yellow is a must colour in a vintage kitchen
and this phone, well look at it!
perfect summer shoes for perfect summer days out
yellow formica... ahhhh....
this chair looks so comfy and i so want one of those lamps...
such a great shot, vibrant colours, retro bits
beautiful 1950s fabric, i have just got a dress in a similar print
i love these old dress patterns, the fabulous images are a very important part of our history

Saturday, 11 June 2011

photo shoot

a couple of weeks ago emma and pete came down from birmingham to do a photo shoot for us for a feature going into the 'Celebration of All Things Vintage' in Augusts edition of BBC Homes and Antiques magazine (out 6th July).  emma has been my dear best friend for 15 years and her wonderful husband pete is now just as much a part of the family as emma. we thought the shoot would be at the shop or at home, but emma came into the shop and said 'how would you feel about taking some furniture to a field?'  brilliant idea, she is such a clever lady, we managed to achieve exactly what we wanted and so much more!  the picture is perfect and we had the best time ever doing it.  we loaded up the van (I say we but actually it was nathan and pete, emma and i popped to the local charity shops to find some much needed blankets for the shoot.)  we took a vintage kitchen press, a table, sewing machine... well you can see from the pictures.  when we got there people were still having picnics and playing football.  the boys carried out the furniture and we accessorised with vintage bits and bobs ~ everyone stared opened mouthed, i wonder what they thought was going on... a very elaborate vintage picnic for arty types?  emma took some pics but wanted to wait for the sun to go down a bit so we sat on the grass and spent the evening chatting and laughing - the picture turned out so good, i knew it would.  emma is so clever, her imagination and creativity run wild when she is behind her camera and if you are looking for a photographer with that extra something, that vintage and quirky twist, shes your gal...

one of emmas beautiful pictures...
me and ems...

emma and pete with the bride and groom in the photo booth...

another stunning pic from emma...

 nathan, me and pete...

take a peek at emma and petes website, not only are they fab phtotgraphers but the really are the most lovely people you will ever meet!  we love spending time with them, our children idolise them and we are very honoured to have them as our best friends. i am so so proud of what they have achieved, emma and pete we love you. lots and lots

Friday, 10 June 2011

Vintage Parcels

 It's been such a busy day at work today, we booked a holiday to Turkey last minute on Tuesday so we have to get all orders finished by then. when we come back we will only be here for a day before heading to Cornwall to renovate an old holiday cottage.  I am really excited about this, simply cannot wait.  To have free reign on someone elses house is a dream come true :)  I will of course be blogging all week with pictures... 
I have just got home to find parcels galore.  Another piece to add to my Tala collection and my new 1970s phone.  I have been wanting one for ages and it's pink!  (Keep ringing it from my mobile to hear the load 'BRRRRING BRRRRING'!).  The boys are not too keen.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


It's always hard in the holidays when you run your own business to make sure that you get to spend quality time with the kiddos.  Nathan and I both work at the shop full time so it is hard for us to spend time as a family and last year was super busy at work during the summer.  We worked so hard but felt so guilty that we weren't with the children.  This year we are going to make plans early to make the most of the time they are off school.  This is such an important time for them, especially the boys, Ben will be going up to senior school in September and Jacob will be going into the fifth year (year 11 as he keeps reminding me).  Their childhood goes so fast and I don't want to miss any of it, Daisy has now been in school for a whole year and it has just flown by.  It really doesn't seem like 12 months ago that I was a blubbering mess saying goodbye to her Kindergarten teacher who actually started crying too which really didn't help.
The run up to the holidays involves lots of school events, Ben has Sports Day, the end of year production and his leaving party.  Daisy will have Sports Day, her school trip, Presentation Day and a teddy bears picnic.  I am sure Jay will have things too but as he never brings the letters home I only usually find out about them from another mum who will say 'Did Jacob enjoy the disco?' or 'How did Parents Evening go?'.  I am actually quite good at making out that I know what they are talking about. Thankfully, Jacob has not gone through the stage of not wanting to spend time with us, he loves the feeling of being with the family and I hope Ben feels the same.  Because of the age gap between them it's really hard to find things that they all enjoy doing, 14, 11 and 5.  If we go to the cinema the boys do not want to be watching a film like Tangled or The Princess and The Frog so Nathan takes them to see something and I get to take Daisy and have a little nap at the same time.  If we go to an amusement park I can't go on the rides with the boys and they do not want to be seen on the Peppa Pig ride etc etc...
We have just booked a weeks holiday in Cornwall for a week in August at a house we stayed in a while ago, its a big bungalow with a lovely big garden and is a five minute walk from the beach.  You really see a different side to the children when they are out of their normal surrounding, I can't wait to have this time with them!  Ben is going to South Africa for a couple of weeks to see his best bud Eric... I am very excited for him but oh my goodness, my boy is going to another country without his mama!

(little Daisy is the one in the grey cardigan!)

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Vintage Weddings

Nathan and I are getting married early next year so I am really fascinated by weddings at the moment, I love looking at wedding photos and have just spend ages looking through my gorgeous friend Emmas website as she is a vintage wedding photographer  I am a last minute sort of person and I haven't really spent much time planning or even begininng to think about our wedding yet.  I work best under pressure but seriously, I should get to at least the pen and paper stage.  I love writing lists and lists of lists so this week my plan is to get at least one list of good ideas done.
Nathan and I met when his brother moved in next door to me.  He used to sneak up to the back door and steal a kiss, knock on the front door and hand me a piece of paper with 'I love you' written on it. 

When we first met we would stay up all night sat on the couch talking and talking.  I missed Eastenders for weeks.  Nothing but us talking and finding out everything there was to know about each other.  I remember he used to leave as it got light and we would say goodbye on the front door step as the sun was coming up and the birds started singing and this sound reminds me of that time whenever I hear it.  I knew that I loved him within 2 weeks and thankfully he felt the same, before we were brave enough to say I love you we would just stare at each other and he would say 'What are you thinking?', I would say 'Stuff' and then one day he said 'Do you think that you love me?  Cos' I know I love you'.  And that was it.  I was and still am besotted.  We live together, work together and spend any excess time together and we have the best fun, he makes me laugh until I can't breath, he is my best friend and I won't let him go for the rest of my life.

Because of our love of the 1950s, America and casinos, there really was ever only going to be one place to get married.  Las Vegas baby!  And that is as far as we have got,  so need to gather ideas...

I was looking through some old bits and pieces and found these adorable little wedding cards ~

The cards would be sent out in the post with a piece of wedding cake.  What a wonderful thing to receive!  Some of them are printed on the front and some fold out.  Inside of the one on the left is a heart either side, one with the brides name and one with the grooms and cupids arrow through the heart.  How romantic!  Why did people stop doing this?  I think I would like to get some of these made as there are going to be a lot of people who won't be able to travel to Vegas for our wedding and send out a piece of our wedding cake with them.

This card is dated June 30th 1908 and it is simply stunning,  I think Annie Webley is a distant relative but need to look into this a bit more.  I am sure she never thought her wedding card would be found over 100 years later but I treasure it and I would like to have something as beautiful for my wedding so one of my relatives treasures it too.  Its all in the detail...

Friday, 3 June 2011

A Quick Summer Evening Post

Just came out into the garden to hang the washing out.  What a beautiful evening!  It gets to the point in the year where you can't remember not having to wear sleeves ~ like you imagined it and then you get an evening like this with the smell of the neighbours BBQ and children playing in the garden.  Jacob is out with his friend, Ben is at football training and poor Nathan is out doing deliveries, stuck in the traffic of people who have been at the beach today.  But Daisy and I are at home, a girls evening in.

I am not really the gardening type, something that wasn't passed on in the genes ~ my mum has her own gardening company and my Granny and Nanna love to potter in the garden. But I do like my garden to look pretty (I secretly think my mum should come in and do a garden makeover, I keep dropping hints, when she is babysitting I drive up the road half expecting to see a miraculous transformation , the grass cut at least but to date... nothing).

As we have lived here for quite a few years there have been a few things that I have planted which have passed the test of not being looked after and having a football constantly kicked at the them.  I have jasmin and honeysuckle which I moved a few years ago and thought they had given up the ghost but this year have just gone crazy!

The cats are chasing flies in the garden, they must be so hot!  Peter is stalking one as I type.  Low down to the ground and very soldier like.  Petal has just ruined it with a tackle from behind.

At the bottom of the garden is Daisys playhouse which she has turned into an ice cream parlour.  She loves cooking down there, there are pots and pans and plastic steaks, eggs and slices of bread mixed with mud or gravy as she likes to call it.  She even has her own throne in there that plays a regal trumpety tune when you sit down.

We turned this old cast iron bath
into a little garden with wallflowers and other bits and bobs.I bought a couple of lovely old watering cans at an auction and when I got them home discovered that they leaked so have filled them petunias and this gorgeous rusty flour tin I have had for years, its a bit too worn out for the kitchen but makes a great plant pot.

The sun is going down now but the honeysuckle still has lots of bee visitors.  I can smell food and its making me so hungry!  All the children have gone indoors now, Daisy is cosied up on the sofa ~ exhausted after her dance festival today with stage make up melted down her little face.  I am going to have a Baileys and chill waiting for my lovely man to return.  Have a great evening! xx