Monday, 22 October 2012

A Very Vintage Afternoon

Yesterday my friend Jo and I spent a very happy afternoon at the Petticoat Fair. Held at The Daffodil (a wonderful Art Deco cinema in Cheltenham that's now an extra special restaurant), we had a fabulous time browsing vintage stalls, doing a couple of workshops and eating afternoon tea.

The Fair had a 1940s and '50s theme. There were lots of people dressed in vintage clothes - they looked wonderful. I was so busy taking it all in that I didn't think to take any photos of's a rather lovely 1950s dress that was for sale to make up for it!

Louise Taylor-Bowen was there with an array of her gorgeous handmade jewellery and accessories. I usually see Louise at the Vintage and Handmade Fairs in Chipping Sodbury. I'm usually behind my own stall so it was a real treat to be able to have a proper look at all her wares (and treat myself to a little something)!

All so pretty!

There were all sorts of stalls to have a good look at. Hoorah for royal tins and cushions made from vintage scarves!

 Lots to be tempted by...

One of the workshops we did was all about vintage hairstyles. Here I am with a Victory Roll...all I have to do now is keep practising!

We also did a workshop on making decorations and jewellery using vintage buttons. It was such fun...not only did we get to rummage through piles of buttons, we also made something we could take home.

After all the excitement of the Fair, we were glad to sit down for a spot of afternoon tea.

After a lovely afternoon out, all that remained for me to do was go home and show Mr Treasure and Little Treasure what I'd been up are the decorations I made at the button workshop...

...and here's the handmade lovely I bought from Louise.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Treasure on my Travels

For a while now I've been absolutely fascinated by vintage ephemera - letters, shop receipts, diaries and tickets from days gone by. I love social history and I find the notion of somehow being connected to people from the past by the ordinary things they've left behind both exciting and in some way comforting.

We had a trip to Devon last weekend with some friends and couldn't resist introducing them to the wonderful town of Totnes...brimming with gorgeous shops to explore and with a lovely feel to it. We popped into 'Inspired Buys' as there's always a fabulous collection of treasures to look at, both vintage and vintage-inspired. I came away very happy with two purchases...

...the first was a telegram, dated 9th July 1941. It was the gold envelope that first attracted me to it, but when I opened it up, I had a lovely surprise...

...this colourful, handwritten telegram waiting to be discovered!

I'm going through a phase of having bit of a soft spot for vintage boxes at the moment. Needless to say, when I saw this one I knew it had to come home with me!

The box even still had this original piece of paper in it, nestled away in the bottom.

I had no idea there were so many different styles of collar.

The name and address of the box's original owner are still on the outside of the box. I wonder who Mr Harvey of 6 Melrose Avenue was?

Printed in the bottom of the box are a list of 'Helpful Suggestions and Conditions of Service'.

Helpful suggestion number 14 made me smile - "Please don't keep our messenger wating at the door. Our van has 200 calls to make per day. If kept 5 minutes by only 12 of these, one hour is added to their day's work. Please think it over, and you will always have box ready'.

Here is another treasure I found on my travels recently, this time in a secondhand bookshop in Looe, Cornwall. It was the colourful spine that first attracted me to it on the shelf...and then when I opend it, I found all manner of interesting bits and pieces inside.

I studied Design at university and ever since then I've had a love of typefaces, particularly ones from the 1930s and '40s. Imagine my glee when I saw all of the old advertisements in this 1931 annual!

They just don't write advertising copy like this anymore - "We have searched the world for Treasures for My Lady's wardrobe, and have returned with the Newest and Smartest designs and dainty garments by the foremost designers from every corner of the globe"...and what a fabulous idea - a restaurant and hairdressing all in the same place!

There's something so evocative about vintage advertisements.

This Doidge's Annual is bursting with just about every useful piece of information that anyone in the Western Counties would have needed to know in 1931!

There are even lots of stories to keep readers entertained.

The Annual ends with a Christmas message to all its readers...I hope 1931 was a good year for everyone who read it.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Monday Musings

Little Treasure started nursery last week. She's settled in really well and comes home full of beans and chattering nineteen to the dozen! And so it is that I now find myself with two afternoons a week on my own, which, to be honest, I'm finding a bit strange! For the last year and a half my sole purpose has been to look after and entertain this little being who has been growing up before my eyes...and now I can start to do things just for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about this new found 'freedom' (and I can enjoy it in the knowledge that Little Treasure is more than happy with the new arrangement)'s just I'm still at the stage where I can't quite believe I can do exactly what I fancy! Needless to say I have lots of thoughts and plans for filling my time and my main hope is that I'll be able to focus more on all things Textile Treasure Seeker-related. Watch this space!

I thought you might like to see what we did this weekend...

Saturday saw us heading to Chipping Sodbury for the Vintage and Handmade Textile Fair. Here's my stall, complete with lots of new things for sale and a new layout.


It was a great day and, as always, it was lovely to see so many people.Thank you if you were one of those who came to say "hello"!

I had my eye on this dress all day at the fair and rather fell in love with it. Such pretty colours and great potential for skirt twirling and swishing when worn I imagine! I resisted temptation this time...if only I could have thought of an event to justify its purchase!

Yesterday (as loyal National Trust members!) we met some friends at Coughton Court (near Alcester) for a Sunday trip out.

Coughton Court is the home of the Throckmortons and has seen its fair share of history. It's fascinating to look around and I loved the family sitting room, complete with roaring log fire and someone playing the piano. It had a wonderfully cosy and lived-in feel to it.


The highlight for Little Treasure was the ducks. As soon as they got wind that our friends had brought some bread with them, the ducks flocked out of the water to greet us with great enthusiasm!

Just by the orchard we spotted these sunflowers poking their heads above a hedge. I love sunflowers, they're such cheerful flowers.

No trip to a National Trust property would be complete without tea and cake. I had a very yummy slice of treacle tart...just the thing for an autumnal afternoon! 

As if all this this wasn't enough, we were also able to curl up in front of the fabulous new series of Downton Abbey last night...oh, I do love Sundays!