Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Last Of The Summer Flowers & The Colours Of Autumn

"A Tense Moment" From The 1930s

I have mentioned my love of the illustrations found in children's books before, especially those from the 1930s such as these two fantastic plates which I found in an edition of School Girls Story Book. Sometimes you find a copy only to realise when you open it that the pictures have long since gone but it is great when they are all there (there are only ever three or four).

A Very 'Deco' Image

The lady fishing for salmon (the colour of her sweater and the flow of the water gives the game away) and the group of women bathing were both found in a copy from around 1934. The warmth of summer which has lasted so long is finally giving way and the flowers in my garden will be no more for another year.

The Last Flowers Of Summer

I walked down the slippery brick path to pick the last of the Chrysanthemums at the end of the garden, I am hoping that they will last until the Northampton Fair on Saturday.

The Northampton Fair - Saturday 8th November

The Northampton Fair will be taking place at St Matthew's on Saturday.There will be an 'old style' tea room serving homemade cakes, two rooms of stalls inside and hopefully more stalls outside if the weather is good. The address, if you have not visited before is St Matthew's Parish Centre, 27A The Drive, Northampton, NN1 4RY.

Saturday 8th November 11-3

October proved to be as busy as September and there were lovely stalls at the Leamington, Olney and Stamford Fairs.

Random Makes At The Stamford Fair

Wendy from Random Makes joined us in the Blue Room at Stamford last Saturday and brought along some lovely handmade pieces for the home and to wear. Wendy will be at the Northampton Fair on Saturday.

Half of Antoinette & Fred's Stall!

It was lovely to see Fred and Antoinette who joined the fair for the first time at Market Harborough back in 2012.

One Of The Stalls At Olney

There were some very pretty stalls when the fair visited the Church Hall for the Olney Fair, I do not think we have ever managed to squeeze so much into such a small room, it looked fantastic.

Suzanne - H&A Ambassador At The Olney Fair

Suzanne will be at the Northampton Fair on Saturday if you want to subscribe to Homes & Antiques, along with her range of lovely handmade wares.

'Handmade By Astrid'

Astrid uses shrunken wool, old embroidery and fabrics to make lovely bags, cushions and purses and made a pretty picture along with old china, linens and vintage toys at Olney.

Our Things In The Foyer At Olney!

I decided to take a few things along to the Olney Fair and put a small table table together in the very windy vestibule and huddled in the corner as I greeted everyone who came along on the day.

A Very Cute Chap

Many thanks to the lady who spotted the Ludo game and arrived early to ensure that it did not escape!

Worcester Ware - 'Boutique'

Back on the 'home-front' we found a lovely set of Worcester Ware canisters when we visited Brackley Antique Cellar, they were on Unit 60 (our old unit!), a lovely space dedicated to vintage kitchenalia. Research lead to no trace so they must be quite difficult to find, I would love matching spice jars, cake tin and bread-bin. Interestingly Cath Kidston have used a very similar design on a dark midnight-blue background in the latest range.

A Lovely Wool Rug

The rug was an indulgence as it was quite expensive however it is so colourful and is around four feet wide so makes quite an impact. The cottage garden scene has been inspired by 1930s crafting.

Another Vintage Rug

As if one rug were not enough another came along, found under a cupboard and hardly visible, obscured by vintage clothes downstairs at Most Marvellous in Northampton. It is quite large and dates from the 1940s (possibly 1960s - please advise) and has brightened up our landing at home.

Most Marvellous - Northampton

I popped into Most Marvellous again this week and found this lovely little child's chair in yellow formica, the yellow collection is growing!

(Some Of)...The Colours Of Autumn

I found this box of vintage 'Sylko' cottons at the Stamford Fair, I would love to find more in different shades. My last picture is of a Sadler biscuit barrel in turquoise and gilt, I found it on a stall near to till in Most Marvellous, I recognised the lovely tag straight away as the work of Jake and Linda (who had a stall at the very first fair and will be with us again for the January Jumble.

A Pretty Sadler Biscuit Barrel

Best wishes and hope to see you at the Northampton Fair on Saturday.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

An Indian Summer & A Very Vintage September

French Ephemera

The sunny days of September 2014 will linger long in the memory and it is with a little sadness that I sit down to write as flecks of rain begin to strike the dry ground, beckoning the arrival of Autumn. The month started with one part of 'Vintage in the Shires' setting sale for France en route for the Braderie in Lille.

A Pair Of Watercolours

The streets of Lille devote themselves to a celebration of street selling that continues into the night aided by the soft moonlight and glare of the traders lanterns. The French do it better than the British, can you imagine any town or city across our fair land that would dare contemplate such a thing? Wake up England!

Sweet Dreams 

This sweet bear in her pinafore dress and the rather gangly hound soon settled into life in Northampton.

A Curious Dog From France

Have British telegrams ever been as pretty as these which are from Belgium during the 1940s? Sadly plain telegrams unadorned with flowers brought news of sad loss to so many families .

A Telegram From Belgium

Although there is something reassuring that things of beauty found their place during a time of monumental upheaval across Europe.

French Enamel Ware

French enamel wares are always very popular however it appears that the French have 'cottoned on to' our liking and the bargain finds were few and far between.

My Finds During The Gallic Departure

You might have guessed by now that I was the part of 'Vintage in the Shires' who remained at home to prepare for the fairs ahead. Undaunted I made my way to the local monthly antique fair and returned with a couple of tea-pots, a Pyrex mixer, utility milk jug and gardening booklets by Mr Cuthberts.

A Very Retro Clock

I also picked up a 'starburst' Metamec clock from Germany in one of the charity shops on Kingsley Park Terrace in Northampton, they are becoming quite collectable and make a statement in a minimalistic or retro themed interior.

The Vintage Market At St Matthews

A short rest post the French trip and we were ready for the return to St Matthew's for the Northampton Vintage Fair. There were two rooms of stalls inside and a vintage market outside on the lawn and everyone seemed to have a great time in the sunshine.

Cherry's Stall At St Matthew's

Many thanks to everyone who came along and made the day feel so special, I hope you managed to get to ride on one of the vintage buses.

St Matthews In Northampton

St Matthew's is situated a mile from the centre of Northampton and sits in the area known as Phippesville, it holds a special place in our hearts as the first ever fair took place there four years ago (and I sang in the choir lead by Stephen Cleobury in the 1970s!).

Yellow Formica - Yes Please!

We spotted this cupboard outside and it is now on it's way to Scotland waiting to be installed in a 1960s caravan.

You Will Not Find This In 2014

I appreciate detail and how I would love to have a roll of the wallpaper used to line the base of the cupboard - Cath Kidston would be proud, it dates from the 1950s.

Getting Ready For Sywell

There was little time to pause before preparing for the Sywell Classic (I had a great time riding around on the 1940s Batavus although I felt a bit underpowered when placed near some of the motors on display, up to 1000 HP).

The Vintage Fair In Hangar One
The Vintage Fair gathered inside the cavernous space of Hangar One and as guests wandered around the stalls the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flew overhead. The sound of the Merlin engine as the  Spitfire banked sharply above the fields of Northamptonshire was truly wonderful. 

Suzanne & Cherry's Stall

The flying displays and hotrod sprints were great fun and there were some very stylish and iconic vehicles on display. Hangar One was very busy on Sunday as guests made a bee-line for the fair before the aerial attractions began.

The Textile Store
I was very busy on the Saturday and did not have time to look around outside (or inside the fair!) until Sunday, I found some nice embroidery on Gianna's stall.

Afternoon Tea At Betty's

It was lovely to see Martin & Lesley (along with Suzanne on leave from ambassadorial duties) enjoying afternoon tea in front of the lovely Betty. Betty has been hand-built following an original 1930s design and is the perfect partner to the beautiful 1940s Citroen named Yvette who first visited us at the Jubilee Garden Party in 2012. The leaded windows are such a nice detail, the diamond lattice pattern dates back to the 11th Century and was last used on a large scale in the mock Tudor details found in 1930s houses.

Camping Chic

As we strolled around we came across this cute caravan that has has been lovingly restored (just a little re-golding of the lattice panel to go) by owners Julie and Mick.

Lovely Accessories

Inside a lovely collection of original 'bits & pieces' along with some vintage fabrics and stylish flooring completed the cheerful look.

Vintage Practicality & Detail

Mick and Julie will hopefully be setting up camp outside Olney Church Hall for our last fair of the year on 13th December, the caravan will be decorated with vintage Christmas lights, I cannot wait!

A Very Popular Ford
 See You At The Olney Xmas Fair

There was a lovely collection of Fiat 500s in original colours, it is not difficult to understand why the modern 500 is such a popular car.

An Original 500

The Sywell Classic will be taking place over the last weekend of September 2015 and we are looking forward to returning!

Poster Potential

Although September has seen the fair take steps in new directions it has been nice to find the odd piece
in the tried and tested (and sometimes exhaustingly frustrating) ways. The vintage tin with cute doggies from the 1930s was an Ebay find and the crochet cushion cover was another find on Gianna's stall at Sywell. So I do not confuse anyone with my captions by poster potential I mean I think I will use the image on the poster for the Olney Xmas Fair.

Princess Elizabeth (c1948)

The jigsaw was a great find in one of the cabinets at Brackley Antique Cellar, the image is the Princess Elizabeth.

Happy Camping

The plastic cups date from the 60s/70s and are great for vintage picnics and camping, we found them on one of the stalls at Sywell.

On Trend Handmade
It was lovely to see Wendy from Random Makes who brought along two lovely cushions made for us from vintage tea-towels. Wendy's designs can be found at 15 Collingwood in Northampton.

A Byatt

Byatt was a favourite painter of the late Queen Mother although I wonder if she was aware of the sometimes risque reflections of strategically placed nude figurines (not apparent in this particular subject) which Byatt resorted to for presumably his own amusement.

Lovely Embroidery

Embroidery is such a difficult thing to portray with a camera, if one shows the whole thing the beautiful needle work seems tiny and insignificant, shown close up the detail is realised but the whole is lost. It is better to handle and use (and iron) to appreciate fully, either as a table cloth as originally intended or upcycled into bags, cushions, quilting or dresses.

Sunday 12th October

If you would like to come along you will find the fair in Leamington Spa on Sunday 12th October followed by the Olney Fair on Saturday 18th October.

Olney - North Buckinghamshire
Anyhow it is getting late and I have to be up early in the morning. I hope you have enjoyed the extended summer and we hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Autumn Fairs & The Sywell Classic

Dressed For Autumn

It has been quite a while since I last blogged and the fair has been 'resting' since we broke up for summer back in July. With September upon us I thought it would be a good time to publish some information about the Autumn fairs which start with the Northampton Vintage Fair on 13th September.

The Autumn Vintage Season Starts Here

Quite coincidentally Northampton Heritage Open Days will be taking place on 13th September and free hop-on and off rides are available on classic vintage buses, all of the buses depart from George Row in the town centre (visitors to the fair can arrive in style, take the Northern Route and alight at St Matthew's). There will be two rooms of stalls, an 'old style' tea-room and a vintage market outside on the lawn, bring a picnic if the sun is shining. The last weekend in September will be a very exciting as I am organising the 'Vintage Village' inside Hangar One at Sywell Aerodrome, part of the Sywell Classic.

See Us At The Sywell Classic - 27th & 28th September

The first Sywell Classic took place last year and the event is likely to be busy, it is a mix of classic vehicles, driving and flying as well as evening entertainment and overnight camping. Sywell Aerodrome is a Second World War airfield that has been refurbished in a style influenced by Art Deco.

Sywell Aerodrome In Northamptonshire

The warmth of the sun may be but a distant memory when we return to the Royal Pump Rooms for the Leamington Fair in October although I am holding out for an Indian Summer.

Sunday 12th October - The Royal Pump Rooms

The fair will then dash across the Shires to Olney for the fair on the 18th. The stalls inside the charming Church Hall will be augmented by a small vintage market outside if the weather is good.

Olney - North Buckinghamshire

After a short pause for breath the fair will turn north to Lincolnshire for the Stamford Vintage Fair on 1st November.

The Second Of Our Two Visits To Stamford In 2014

August seemed to fly by however trips to Newark and the Blisworth Canal Festival produced some nice finds and I was kept busy preparing stock for our new display, Unit 45 at Brackley Antique Cellar.

Upcycled & Ready

I like original things in their original state however I also think that everything can be improved so when the original finish is damaged I like to paint! I tend to use acrylic eggshell (Little & Greene have some great colours) or chalk paint and wax.

Unit 45 - Brackley Antique Cellar

Quite a few of the units at Brackley display 'vintage' as well as traditional antiques and it is well worth a visit.

Painting By Numbers

I know any claim to 'taste' must lie in ruins but I have to admit a liking for well executed examples of paintings by numbers from the 1960s. I can imagine them hung as a group on a stairway.

A Collection Of French Boxes & Tins

We found the 'french collection' when we visited Newark, a lady had travelled over from Belgium especially for the fair and she had some lovely things. The mirrors were a great buy although I had to employ two pieces from an old "Escape From Colditz" game to repair one of them, it took ages - look closely before you buy!

A 1940s Print & Companion Dog

The print is from 1948 and was sold by Boots during the 1950s and the lovely dog on wheels complete with vintage patches were both finds from Newark. 

A Cute Bunny From The 1960s

Newark has something for everyone and if you look closely you will find some pretty things (I sound like Alec Guinness) underneath an old sack cloth or at the bottom of a box of clutter.

A Pretty 1930s Mirror

A crinoline lady complete with parosol walking through a cottage garden of delphiniums and hollyhocks appears so frequently in 1930s homewares and crafts. The painting on this small mirror is very delicate and in wonderful condition and it must have taken a long time to complete (actually it is a sort of 'painting by numbers', templates were provided in hobby and home magazines of the time). 

See You At The Fair!

Have a safe journey and see you at the fair.