Monday, 23 June 2014

Here Comes Summer

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

27 comments:

  1. deep sigh .... the fair looked splendid - how I wish I could have been there.

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  2. It is glorious at the moment isn't it? My Tabbies are also flopping about giving me the 'I'm too hot" looks. Just when I thought you were using up your stash making loads more quilts ( not that you don't make a LOT most of the time...).x

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  3. 93 quilts. What an achievement. Thought you might like to see this quilt exhibition http://artefactsobjects.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/things-we-do-in-bed.html

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  4. You have much more self-control than I do! I'd still be wandering amongst the fabrics and threads. What a wonderful treasure trove! :)

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  5. Our weather here in Portland, Oregon is also glorious today. Soon to change, I hear. I loved seeing all those knitting needles and wondering how many socks and sweaters were produced by those little sticks.
    What really caught my eye and my heart --- those sweet little budgie (we call them parakeets) buttons. They are so sweet. What a lucky find.

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  6. what a thrill to come across such delightful affordable fabrics and notions!

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  7. How lovely... lucky you! Yes one day I hope my body may allow me to go there other than in my dreams... enjoy your goodies... Cx

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  8. Happy Birthday, albeit a day or so late! All my friends had their birthdays over the weekend - so many cards to post out last week and pressies to make. Enjoy your quilting.

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  9. What a lovely find......I would have so enjoyed a mooch around there !! Always enjoy your blog and the pussycat pics.....we have a big daft ginger and white boy ....whos scared of birds !! XX

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  10. Would sooo love to spend a day like that!!! To find treasures like that!!!! Enjoy the weather!!!!
    Love
    AMarie xxx

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  11. What a wonderful way to spend a day and what a fabulous haul of fabrics :)

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  12. I found a copy of Living With Colour in a charity shop for 50p. Isn't it great!?

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  13. A belated Happy birthday! Sooo much fabric. I'm of the never enough mind when it comes to textiles. And quilting is a joy for me. So many ideas in my mind. Your photos are lovely.

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  14. After discovering your blog I have just spent a delightful few nights catching up on all your archives!! Many I night I couldn't sleep with so much inspiration rushing through my brain!! It wasn't until I read your post on how lovely it is when someone comments on your witterings that I realised that although I follow several blogs which I really love (yours now included!) I have never thought to just send a comment here and there. So I would just like to say how interesting and entertaining and inspiring you are and I look forward to sharing more with you in the future!

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  15. We've been enjoying great weather here in Northern Ireland too. But it has started to rain. Just a little. But it's raining. I hope that's not the end of our summer!

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  16. You are right - nothing better than England in summer and boy do I miss it! Those raspberries look delicious. There's nothing like freshly picked raspberries!

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  17. oh Hen, I'm just dying over the fabrics you picked up at the fayre's!!! >.< SO AMAZING! x

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  18. Hello, I just found your blog ...beautiful !! That fair looks absolutely amazing!! The discipline you must have had...don't know if I would of had the same! Everything looks just lovely!

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  19. Hen, you are so wise to fully appreciate the current glorious weather. Over here in NYC, I have only needed to turn own my little Vornado fan a few hours so far this summer. There are roses blooming around town, and the green leaves on the trees are huge, and a very mature shade of green. They also give lots of welcome shade when waling in Central Park.

    Your trip to the Ardingly fair looks like so much fun. Well worth the 20 quid. Just the haberdashery along would have charmed me.

    Belated birthday wishes to your family member.

    Do let us know more about the projects you are about to begin.

    xo

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  20. Wow you did well at the fair.
    Julie xxxxxxx

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  21. Looks amazing! I stood Ardingly once. It was the making of my painted furniture business. I had painted a load of old and antique furniture, loaded up a van and driven down from Lancashire. Didn't sell one thing! This was in the 80's, people liked their antique stuff, unmessed with then! I was so downhearted, and to cheer myself up I went into a lovely bathroom shop in Ardingly village. It was lovely and had pretty bits and pieces for the home. I decided to ask the owner if she would be interested in some old furniture, my husband and I got it all out of the van and lined it up on the pavement, she bought 5 or 6 pieces. We continued doing this on the way home until all was sold...hurrah!
    Oh gosh I didn't mean to write you an epistle! Your elderflower and strawberry jam sounds yummy, and I love all your vintage finds, have fun turning them into something special. Have a great weekend, love Linda x

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  22. Everything looks wonderful.. the fair, the outdoor dinner, the quilts, fuzzy adorable kitty.. Love it all!!

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  23. What an amazing fair, it looks wonderful! I make strawberry jam in the summer too but I've never put elderflower in it, I'll definitely try that as we have elderflowers in the garden.

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  24. Lovely to see you at Ardingly. Glad you found my friend Alan. xx

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  25. Wow Hen, what a treasure trove! I'd have been reeling too ... can't wait to see what lovelies you make xxx

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  26. I love your blog, how you make all those beautiful quilts I do not know! I've just finished my first quilt that's taken me about a year! I was wondering how you make your quilt labels? Do you hand write them or machine them? I'd love to be able to put one similar to yours on my (one) quilt!

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  27. I look forward to reading your blog!! Your work is so lovely it has inspired me to make my first quilt!! and finish it !!

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