I’ve been wanting to share this post after Christmas having picked up a few vintage goodies at an auction in Ireland but somehow managed to let it slip amidst all the work and madness that is life! :) That being said, it’s actually given me a better excuse to share a few more items I’ve bought since then – both old and new. I’m currently going through a phase of wanting to pick up pieces of lovely homeware for the flat but being mindful of the purse strings…..which is incredibly challenging when you’re a designer and home-maker! It can be hard having to constantly refrain from splashing out on things for the house but I must say, I do enjoy scouring everywhere for little treasures at a good bargain! I get such a kick from it! And boy, auctions are great fun too although you need to be prepared to win some and loose some! :)
So, anyway, what you see here are a combination of thrift shop, ebay, vintage auction and high street finds. My all-time favourite finds of the bunch (and real bargains too!) are the Victorian bone china teapot, the retro 1960s Thomas of Germany coffee pot and milk jug, and the 1950s egg cup set which to me is simply unique! And I got my first Falcon enamelware too with the 5-piece pie set. The serving dishes were also from an auction and dates back to the 40s. The others are all ‘newer’ finds yet keeping it relatively ‘retro’ or ‘vintage-inspired’. So what do you think? Have I done alright? :)
I had my first day off over the weekend yesterday, so decided to check out a few events in the afternoon; the first being the Pop Up Vintage Fairs London held at Alexandra Palace (aka ‘Ally Pally’) who had their own vintage section within the Great Hall along with 400 other antique and collectors stalls. I’ve never ventured out this far North of London and my goodness was I stunned at the views over the city from Alexandra Park – definitely heading back there again, perhaps in better weather, which sadly did turn into a wet and windy ol’ day yesterday. So I was even more so delighted to be carrying out my ‘bargain hunt’ indoors and sheltered from the elements! And gosh what a world inside too! I couldn’t quite get over the beautiful detailing of the building nor the number of stall holders within! It really was an antiques and vintage Aladdin’s Cave! Well, here’s a glimpse into our day (I sincerely apologise for the iPhone photos again but it was a lot more convenient to use while rummaging for treasures!) and some images of my purchases!
If money wasn’t an option, I think I could have easily bagged a few more vintage goodies and some antiques (there were some beautiful collections of Victorian Silverware and crockery!) but I was well-behaved and came home with just a 1950s black day-wear clutch bag and a vintage silk Jaeger scarf – both in brilliant condition and for an absolute bargain! The later it got in the afternoon, the easier it got to haggle! :D That would be my biggest tip for you, although I do agree, there is the risk of missing out on good stuff but at a place as big as this, you’ll do just fine!Oh I even had the pleasure of meeting Daisy of Make Thrift London too during our coffee break, who went back for more, so I’m now dying to see what she’s got! That lady is the queen of vintage-treasure rummaging! :) All in all, it was a good start to a Sunday! :)
For those who don’t know me as well, I have a huge love for brooches (well, any form of jewellery really!) which is probably on par with my love for shoes and bags! Anyway, in this case, these are regarded more like collectibles; some presented as gifts, others are heirlooms, vintage finds or bought from designer-makers who I’ve come across over the recent years. As you can see below, it’s quite an eclectic mix (and these are just a selected few from my growing collection!) that I’d sport depending on my mood or the type of occasion. I think if my paternal grandmother was around to see this, she’d be quite pleased to know I take after her! :) She loved brooches and I guess that’s probably where I’ve got it from! I must try and dig some more up as there are some lovely vintage ones that are worth sharing!This is one of the most cherished brooches which my husband bought from me before we got married and I wore it as my something ‘old’ for our wedding. And coincidentally it went beautifully with my Indian outfit! This is a 1960s brooch which he bought from Rhinestones Jewellers in Dublin – now here’s one store I could totally lose myself for hours!!
Last Friday, after stuffing our bellies with scrumptious Greek food and meandering through shops we decided we’d stop somewhere for a well-needed cup of tea. So we decided to stop at the Sheelin Tearooms in Bellanaleck, Enniskillen. It wasn’t until we were ready to leave when my husband suggested we drop into the Lace Shop and Museum next door, to which I eagerly agreed. Till this day I had always thought it was some bridal boutique having driven past it a few times but when I peered in through the front windows to take a closer look at the displays I knew straight away that I had to go in! We rung the bell and the lovely Rosemary (owner of the shop) let us in. As soon as I stepped foot into this place, I was simply blown away by what felt like stepping into an Aladdin’s Cave full of vintage treasure. It was not what I had expected at all! Every inch of the shop was covered and draped with beautiful lace work, dresses, jewellery, pearls, shoes…and much much more all dating from the 1900s to 1920s! The way in which everything was displayed in the shop was truly remarkable and breathtaking too! That in itself was art! I was in lace HEAVEN! I asked Rosemary if it was okay to take some photos (albeit through my iPhone!) as I was mad to have this shared on the blog….and she was more than happy for me to do so! Rosemary has been in the business for 16 odd years collecting all the antique pieces from all over the country and the UK which you find here in the shop. So if you’re ever in Enniskillen then this is a place you MUST visit!! Here’s a nosey at a few of the things that stood out to me!
I totally fell in love with this utterly gorgeous 1920s vintage dress you see below. It simply exudes glamour and femininity but with an air of confidence! I’m now kicking myself for not plucking up the courage to ask if I could try it!! I can so picture myself in it, letting my imagination run away with me into that decadent Great Gatsby-esque era! *sigh* Must go back there again, just to drool all over it again. If I could do my wedding all over again I would, without any hesitation whatsoever, do the 1920s theme and wear this dress!! But for now I shall just dream!
I had the opportunity to nosey around through the Museum part of the shop too that was tucked away right at the back. Once again, the collection of antique lace work came in the form of dresses, parasols, shoes, scarfs, fans….you name it – it was there! The exhibits are pieces date from 1850s to1900 and is one of the largest collection of Antique Irish Lace in the whole world! For the historians and antique enthusiasts, the museum showcases beautiful examples of Youghal Needlelace, Inishmacsaint Needlelace, Crochet, Limerick and Carrickmacross lacework. However, enthusiast or not, I highly recommend everyone (local folk too!) to go visit just to appreciate the sheer level of craftsmanship of that time! Nothing today compares to it and while hand craft is coming back it’s a real shame that we’re not all brought up to learn these skills anymore like our forefathers did!So there you have it folks! My photos simply don’t do these pieces any justice so you will HAVE to go visit this place to see for yourself! I could have happily stayed there till closing time rooting through and admiring all the lace loveliness there – that being said I wasn’t that far off!! Oh and do stop and have a chat with Rosemary too who will tell you more about the collections she has in store. She does have a blog where you can view more of these stunning items online or simply drop her a line with any queries you may have. My sincere gratitude goes out to Rosemary who was kind enough to let me take photos, give me access to the museum and allow me to feature this on the blog! I will be back soon! :) x
My folks were over last week (hated saying goodbyes yesterday!) so I was really fortunate to have spent Mother’s Day together as a complete family unit! I’m not normally big on commercialised occasions but when you are separated by miles of land and oceans, time spent together is truly invaluable! And what are my chances that their impromptu visit coincided with Mother’s Day. So yea, I cannot be more grateful really.
Anyway, seeing as I was feeling a lot more confident with the sewing machine, I set out to make some lavender hearts for my two Mums (mine and my husband’s!) as small token of our love for them and all that they have done and sacrificed for us over the last twenty/thirty odd years! In the end, I ended up making 3 large hearts and two small ones! :D So here’s how they turned out………..ohhh and boy did they just smell simply divine!!!
These lavender hearts can be a perfect little accompaniment to a vintage themed tea party, bridal shower or a wedding so if you would like one made to order then simply drop me a line (via email, here or on my Facebook page) to discuss it further. I can have them made in various different fabrics, colours and sizes depending on your requirements and can even be personalised to include their name etc. More details will be posted on Facebook so stay tuned. xx
Okay, so I’ve a couple more d.i.y. projects from our wedding series to post on here before i’m all done (!!) and this is one of them: our lovely vintage-glam seating plan! This was beautifully designed and put together by my hubby (yep – he’s just as OCD as me which is a real bonus!) who then shipped it all the way over to Scotland for the big day! I’m afraid he didn’t get the chance to document a step-by-step series of his work in progress but I can tell you what he used: a combination of an old vintage white A0 size frame (isn’t it simply stunning!?) which he sourced from a seller on ebay, with brown eco-friendly gift tags, a printer, scalpel, purple ribbons, kappa board (foam board) used as packers and lastly…..a HUGE amount of patience!!! And these are the images taken on the day by our professional photographers. What do you think? Looks the part, doesn’t it? Well, I sure was proud of him!! :) xxx