Thursday, 23 September 2010

A mine of useless information ......

On the way into school yesterday one of the littlies picked a dandelion.

Yuk says I .... don't pick them you'll wet the bed!

One of the other mums laughed and says that's an old wive's tale ...... but is it?   I might be getting to be a bit of an old bat but I am a mine of useless information and told her that dandelions are in fact diuretics and do have other medicinal uses as a laxative and with urinary problems.  Maybe not so useless after all !

That got me thinking about some other sayings that we all take for granted and probably repeat without thinking of their origins.

Eat your carrots .... they'll make you see in the dark .... this is false and was probably started during WW2 when the Air Force put the story out that their pilots were so good at seeing in the dark because they ate lots of carrots ... this was merely to confuse the enemy and to hide the fact that they were using radar ..... of course you don't have to tell the littlies the whole truth ;-)

Can you think of any more ????

Well today is the day that I have been looking forward to for months.  It was the first day that the littlies spent all day in school so now, grandchildren excepted, I just look after my before and after school club which gives me lots of lovely me time during the day.  Today I came home from the school run and had some brekkie and then retreated to my sewing room to work some more on a king size quilt commission.  It was wonderful to be able to potter about, sit thinking quietly about my next round of blocks, pop back downstairs to have another cuppa and peek on here to see what everyone has been up to.  Would you like to see the WIP ....

apologies for the photo quality I couldn't seem to get rid of the fuzziness

I've been popping in and out of the local charity shops and went to a mid-week car boot this week and came home with a big grin on my face

This gorgeous Victorian set apparently came from a large manor house not too far away from me.  The lady who sold it said her gran used to be housekeeper there and was given this by the owners.  Can you imagine what a whole service would have looked like!

You will all know from previous posts that one of my fetishes is for vintage children's toy china .... nestled amongst some modern repro miniature teapots was this little darling .... it dates to around 1840 and even though the handle is missing I couldn't pass it by for just £1.50 could I?

the glass candlesticks where from the bootie too and the Johnson Brothers teaset came from the CS

I've also had a result via Freecycle when a kind lady offered some old framed tapestries .... I thought I would take a chance and was delighted to collect these

again she said her gran had made these and it reminded me of my own single attempt at tapestry which sits in our loft.  When I was pregnant with first born some 29 years ago my OH bought it for me to do when I stopped work and I finished it just in time .... it was a snowy winter that year and the scene was of a Swiss chalet with snow topped mountains in the background ... very appropriate.  Must get it down from the loft and dust it off.  Call me sentimental but I just couldn't part with things like these that belonged to my grandparents.  Speaking of which I unearthed these from the shed ...

This is them in use in 1963 at Billing Squadrome in Northamptonshire .... that's me on the left hand side and my grandparents are on the right ....

The wood is still sound so after a gentle rub down I am going to nourish them with teak oil and replace the canvas ready for next summer.

these were unearthed on a visit to a local guide group fun day .... the Enid Blyton Literary Society was formed in 1995 and this is the first series of journals that they produced.  There are some gorgeous illustrations and articles ... some fireside reading for the winter methinks.

Tomorrow is auction viewing day so guess where I will be!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Red Hot Hooker

After having the boiler serviced yesterday I succumbed and turned the heating thermostat up a tincy wincy bit this morning.  I hate going into a cold bathroom first thing in the morning and love warm soft towels to wrap myself in after a shower.  Shhhh don't tell the OH !

It was dark soon after half seven this evening and I've found myself curling up in the chair with a blankie, bag of yarn and my crochet hooks most evenings this week (plus the odd bar of Bourneville's finest).  Tonight I have Little Miss Chatterbox by my side (AKA Ellie) who is on sleepover with her brother who is asleep thankfully.

So what have I been doing with my hooks???

A ripple throw and hexagon patch cushion cover - both were languishing in a bag waiting to be finished and Little Miss C has claimed the throw already.

Another round cushion cover in a slightly different pattern to the usual and a knitted cable cushion cover
and this is the start of another cushion cover in a crochet bobble pattern

and some hand warmers which should come in useful over the coming months .... I think they are a terrific idea and perfect for bargain hunting because I won't have to keep taking my gloves on and off to inspect goods and find my purse.

Which brings me nicely on to today's bargain ........

I spotted this on the flea market last week but the seller had a £20 price tag on it and being the skinflint that I am I wasn't prepared to spend that much especially as I had already purchased the toy tea set.  So I sighed and walked on.  You can imagine my excitement this morning when I saw it was still there and this time the price tag said £12 .... I offered a tenner and the rest is history!  The enamel top is in very good condition and it stands on a heavy metal folding stand ..... I think the whole of Hertfordshire must have heard me clattering Jack's buggy over the cobbles with this on the top.

Now I have a dilemma .... do I take it to the Vintage Fair or do I keep it???  The jury is still out on that one.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Oh How I Love Doing My Homework ......

can I emphasise homework not housework!!

I've been on a treasure hunt today and came home having spent more than I should have but hey ho a girl has got to treat herself now and again.  Friday is flea market day in Hitchin and every week brings a different array of goodies ..... everything from modern collectables to boxes of grimy house clearance stuff.  During the summer hols I have been somewhat restricted because in capacity as childminder I have had far too many children to be able to concentrate on my favourite pastime .... delving through other people's crap ;-)

Would you like to see my goodies???

This one is to add to my own collection of toy china .... this gorgeous tea service dates to circa 1865 and although not marked was probably made by Cork, Edge & Malkin in Burslem, Staffordshire.  The design is called 'Girl with Goat' .... goats were very popular pets in the mid 1800s and this one shows a girl in period dress playing in the garden of a large country house.
The set has four cups & saucers (there is usually 6 in a set of this type), a very elegant teapot, lidded sucrier and milk jug.  I've placed a standard tea cup next to it here so that you can get an idea of the size of Victorian play china ..... these were of course only found in the homes of wealthy people and were often replicas of the adult tea services of the day .... it is thought that they were also used as salesman's samples because they were easier to transport around.

The design is applied by transfer and just look at the delicate detail which would have been etched out on a copper plate and then transferred to the blank ceramic.  This is in a brown colour but they were also made in Mulberry, Green and the most desirable of all in Blue.

This is the inside of the tea cups .... the centre transfer print only measures a couple of centimetres across.
Our American cousins love these and over the years I have bought and sold similar sets and sent them across the pond.

A little further on was one of my favourite stalls which just has box upon box of mostly tat but if you are nosey enough there are little treasures to find ..... this unassuming little leather case just shouted at me to open it

and just look what was inside

Everything in the boxes just a quid shouted the stallholder .... enough said !

Then as I turned round to the stall opposite this box of old knitting pins caught my eye
but the biggest treasure was hidden underneath them

This is an MP Handy Knitting & Crochet Guide .... first patented in 1936 ... it has two metal plates with a numerical card in between with markers for rows, a tape measure marked across the bottom and a needle guage down the right hand side.  I was fascinated and again couldn't resist and even though I tried my powers of persuasion on the stallholder but he wouldn't budge on a tenner for the lot but he was such a lovely friendly guy I caved in and handed it over.  There are loads of pins, stitch holders, stitch counters, crochet hooks in the box so I still think I got a bargain.

There was definitely a theme going today ..... a sweet old DP Tayler pin tin for 50p from a stallholder wearing a very fetching line in knitted tea cosies!

Where does the homework come in to all of this ???? I love to delve through my reference books and the internet to gain more info on the origins of my finds and of course an idea of their worth.

Next month I will be taking a stall at my first Vintage & Home Made Fair here

I am really looking forward to attending and meeting up with lovely blogger friends

I will also be here

and here

Saturday 9th October from 11am to 3pm at Potten End Village Hall near Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

No bargain hunting for me tomorrow though as I'm off to get my eyes tested for some new glasses .... a certain black hairy creature going by the name of Ruby decided to make a meal of mine this week!

Have a lovely weekend yourselves whatever you are doing x