Saturday, 30 July 2011

Local Talent

These beautiful cushions are made by my friend Maggie.  I saw all of her handmade items on eBay and emailed her to see if she would like to sell them in our shop.  I love the idea of having lots of handcrafted items alongside our furniture and vintage items in the shop, displaying the talent of people from this area.  I used to make cards and other little bits and it's so hard to get a bit of recognition for your hard work and creativity.  
Maggie is such a clever lady, the colours and imagination that go into her work are simply stunning, and so inspiring.  It just makes me want to get out the sewing machine and give it a go (but I know that the end result would be more of a tangled mess than a pretty cushion).

 We used some of Maggies cushions in our Cornwall house makeover

This gorgeous hanger made by Holly Deacon @hollybobbins hangs in our shop window, it's made from pages out of old books and is so charming!  Hollys beautiful canvas also takes pride of place in our shop, the colours and the work that have gone into it bring no end of comments from our customers

Handmade treasures are a much more satisfying item to purchase, and are actually quite hard to find in shops, especially around here so when we opened Old White I knew that was a direction I wanted to go in,
a local shop with local handmade treasures! 

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Great British Holiday

You open your eyes early in the morning and can feel the heat from the lovely sunshine bursting through your bedroom window, you look over to your little bag of clothes and flip flops that are neatly packed by your door awaiting the tetris style packing to get it in the boot of your parents car.
The anticipation and excitement of this day has kept you smiling for days, its only the long drive now thats in between you and the lovely view of the sea, the sound of the waves, the bells and ringing from the amusement arcades and all those ice cream and sweet stalls.

We all remember those days, the days of the small caravan, chalets or family homes by the beach, the crazy golf and horse riding, the 2p fruit machines that were easily the most addictive machine in the world, the amazing smell of fresh chips and the sweet smell from the stalls that sell those huge chunks of honeycomb and stick of rock. Remember the walks along the beach collecting shells and funny shaped pebbles, filling your pockets all the way. Beaches packed no matter what the weather, windbreaks everywhere and the amazing noise of families from all over just having a nice time.

What happened.............. we went to Southsea the other day and had a lovely time but it was like a ghost town, the weather was easily in its mid 80s but the place was empty, Hastings, Brighton and Bournemouth are all the same too, piers deserted or burned down, even ice cream stalls shut down. These holidays have been in our lives for generations before us but it's sad to see that its over,  and it is over i think, as none of these piers are going to get the funds to re-open and these towns have become dated and in some parts derelict.

When its a really hot day we all bunk off work and have day at the beach but a proper holiday, not anymore, OK its probably cheaper to go abroad for a week than it is to stay in Bournemouth or Brighton but there are options, there has to be. I'm not trying to start a crusade here or trying to convince anybody to change their lives but I thought it would give us all a chance to remember how excited we all were when these holidays were part of our lives.

We all pushed the British seaside away because jumping on a plane became easier and sometimes cheaper, I'm the same too, I love my family holidays in Marmaris, but seeing how happy my 5 year old daughter Daisy was by just throwing stones into the sea and getting an ice cream really reminded me of how easy it is to have a nice holiday without all the check-in and security checks and passport checks and some more checks then the 2 hour coach ride in the dark so you can't see your hotel properly until the morning. I love being abroad but only because of the heat really, I still eat burgers and chips and full English breakfasts. I still try and find the supermarket on the first morning to buy tea bags and milk. I'm always amazed when I see Heinz baked beans and PG Tips in the shop. We all get frustrated when the locals can't understand us, we all get impressed when the local bars are showing Eastenders or X-Factor, we always cast aside the local foods on the dinner menu for good old trusted spag bol, steak and chips or pizza. The weather is all we crave, the beaches are nice in some countries depending on where you are but it's the heat that makes the difference. 
But thats not what we wanted when we were young and our kids don't want it either and I think once you're there you'll enjoy it too, we cover them in the shade and sun block when its too hot anyway.

Haven holiday's, Butlins, Pontins to name a few last hopes of keeping the seaside holidays alive. They are not as expensive as I thought and I'm looking into it now for my lot. 

Why not take them on one of these great British holidays and do all the simple things we loved as kids because our kids will love it too.

Written by Nathan

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Pebbles on the beach...

Yesterday we had a lot of furniture to collect in Portsmouth and as it was such a glorious day we took a trip to Southsea.  The sun was shining and had a lovely afternoon on the beach with Daisy.  She threw stones into the sea, practiced stone skimming (quite dangerous) and then we went onto the pier to watch the fishermen.  She was fascinated by the pier, that we could walk so far out over the sea...
I love Southsea, its such a beautiful place full of Victorian elegance, the houses, the pier, even the street lamps.  British seaside resorts are part of our heritage, I would love to see them restored to their original glory!    Lovely little tea shops, sticks of rock and beach huts painted in pretty colours.  That's what we need.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday Morning Pt 2

I went to the boot sale this morning, it's the first time in what seems like ages as we have been on holiday, it's been raining, the children not well etc.  It was brill, and the weather was lovely.  There were so many sellers and a really great atmosphere this morning.  I had to call Nathan and get him to bring some more funds as there was so much to buy.  Apart from the bits pictured below I found lots of great pieces of furniture so will be starting on all of that tomorrow - keep your eye on the website!  I also came across the biggest spider I have EVER seen inside a chest of drawers that I bought.  It really was huge.  And it had a sack full of babies next to it.  Double scary.  

I got this gorgeous big pink enamel roaster and cast iron candle holders

A huge set of antique scales...

This cool 1960s sewing box stool - the inside is immaculate!

And of course, some clothes for Daisy... (and some for Mummy including a dress that I had already won on eBay so Emma/Kate I have a spare dress).

And this I love.  A vintage magazine rack, rust and all.  It's just fab.

Now it's back to the mass pack for the move.  I really am not getting anywhere, I just keep getting stuff out.  Nothing is being packed up just piled up.  And then I lose interest in that stuff and get out more.  Please somebody stop me.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Creative Corner

Our house is now sold and we are starting to sort out all of the cupboards full of things 'I will one day need'.  I think what I am most looking forward to about moving is having more space.  The boys will have their own rooms and hopefully I will find a little corner of the house where I can get creative.  Last weekend I went through the cupboard where I keep all of my craft bits.  Hundreds of bits and bobs, fabric (large pieces and pieces so small you could not really use them for patchwork but they are pretty so therefore need to be kept), paints, buttons, pretty paper, card making bits...  And I have started SO many things without ever getting round to finishing them.  I found lots of cut out pieces of fabric all ready to be sewn up into little hearts or cushions, a large Christmas panel that I started sewing before Daisy was born 5 years ago, wooden folk art signs half painted.  And it's because I have to put them back in the cupboard at the end of the day, then I forget and start on something else.  And so it goes on.  I crave a little area to display all of my things so I can have them all in front of me and be inspired. 

This is my idea of what heaven looks like...

This amazing stand made out of vintage tins is Nathans little project for tomorrow. 
I. Love. It.

 I have a few vintage sewing machines, I would really love to have them on display

But I don't have one quite as cool as this pink one : (

So I am going to start looking out for boxes and tins, I want to be organised.  Well, at least organised chaos.  I have oodles of projects to get finished and my goal is to finish every last one of them, I am DEFINITELY going to finish my Christmas panel by this Christmas and Daisy's birth cross stitch by her 6th birthday next March.  For sure.  

Monday, 18 July 2011

Antique Advertisements...

I found these beautiful books when we were going through my uncles things, wrapped in an old newspaper - they must have been there untouched for years because they are in amazing condition considering they are over 100 years old.  They are printers magazines from the early 1900's and the designs are just stunning.  The magazines are full of adverts and pictures, so full of history and I don't think I will ever tire of browsing through them.  Thought you would like to have a look...

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Old White in Pictures...

Just been looking through my pictures and found these amazing photos that my lovely friend Holly Deacon took in our shop when we first opened a few months ago.  I love the colours and Holly picked out my favourite things without even knowing.