Happy Days in York

A fabulous three day stay in York was the perfect end to our Summer. After all the house moving, a little bit of ‘us time’ was just what we needed.

After arriving, we pottered into the city and went in search of some of our favourite finds from our last visit. Not far from our hotel is Priestleys at No. 36. A gorgeous mix of antiques and design led gifts where we found this present for a porridge loving friend.

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Further in is another lovely shop called image which is home to quirky homewares , gorgeous cards and artwork. We passed it every time we walked in which inevitably led me to end up with a sweet vintage jelly mould candle holder.

Yet another amazing find is Wild Hart which sits along a gorgeous cobbled street. No shop front is the same as the next and there’s plenty of character-full pubs nestled inbetween.  This was pretty perfect as I was able to keep bribing Ed along the shops with the promise of a drink or two!

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Very much in love with this shop, which has a new room since our last visit. It’s full of vintage furniture and Christmas decorations! Can’t wait to visit again a bit closer to the festive season to see what other treats they have….


Uncle Bill’s Shed

Anything you could ever want or need was in my Uncle Bill’s shed.

A collection of flower pots to cater for any size of plant and all the various fuses you could need in a lifetime filed into old tobacco tins. Ladders of all sizes hung onto specially made racks on the walls and any tool you could ever need all organised into a system only Bill could fathom.

A lifetime of collecting and storing and it’s amazing how much you can accumulate! A few weeks ago, we went over to the house to try and sort through some of the bits and bobs there.

Dad was the only one brave enough to go in the shed for risk of spiders while I waited outside – as long as said spiders weren’t clinging to anything he passed me. We discovered Bill had at least 3 of everything, including a separate shed full to the brim with pots and planters. In between these, were some very plain wooden boxes which caught my eye. They looked like they had once been containers for seeds and small garden tools. More little boxes were filled with dusty electrical bits and ties.

Hiding among all these was a lone red vintage OXO tin, and in the corner, an undisturbed pile of papers was sitting on another lovely find. A very old suitcase with the letters WHL on each end. This made it even more special, as these were Bills initials, William Hanby Lowe.

These things probably wouldn’t mean much to anyone else, but most of them would have been made and used before I was even born! This fascinates me and they will be looked after from now on.

A long weekend in York

I had a full weekend of completely neglecting my work – and it was fabulous!

Me and my sister whisked our partners up to York for a long weekend of fun. Both of their Birthdays are at the beginning of February so it seemed like a good excuse to get everyone together and a place that always gets suggested is York, and it’s easy to see why.

York is beautiful. From the buildings to the streets to the shops. I turned into a complete tourist and took photos of practically everything, including the boutique little shops we went in!

Our hotel was just a short walk from all the shops and pubs and one I would highly recommend. As well as the staff being beyond friendly and it’s convenient location, just look at the building…

Four poster beds and the whole caboodle!

We parked the boys in a pub while me and Zoe explored the cobbled streets jam packed with gorgeous boutique shops. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many unique and individual places to shop and we hurried into all of them, sneakily buying presents for each other and moving onto the next. Pictures, paintings and prints in various frames filled walls while cubby holes and shelves were crammed with candle holders, cushions, vintage treasures and more. This shop was a particular favourite of mine;

The cards were displayed in old wooden drawers hung on the walls and homely goodies were scattered around in crates and baskets. A wonky staircase leads you upstairs to find beautiful dressers filled with plush toys, wooden gifts and more cards. I loved the old roll top bath filled with cushions! Another favourite of mine was Priestley’s at No. 36 which was filled to bursting with antiques, gifts, china all of which I could have quite happily bought home. The lady in the shop was lovely and happily abandoned her dusting to tell us about the shop and her history with antiques.

We headed up to the Shambles to find even more amazing shops and some beautiful streets;

After this ‘hard’ days shopping we joined the boys for some well deserved refreshments and sat in an aptly named room…

As much as I say I abandoned my work, I’ve arrived home with some excellent new contacts (business cards a plenty!) and my head is full of fresh ideas and projects.

A thoroughly fabulous and enjoyable weekend had by all!

Vintage, Shabby and indeed chic

Working with wood, it’s incredibly handy having a joiner Dad. He’s on hand for advice and he’s constantly drilling holes for me!

I remember when I was little, being sat at the end of our garden watching Dad working in his workshop. To make me feel like I was helping, I would have a block of wood from his offcuts box and a pile of nails to hammer into it. I started young!

My parents have got used to me popping over for a cup of tea, complete with a box full of new wooden bits that all need holes of various sizes drilling into them. Many a good idea has also come from these tea visits and my latest product is no exception. Vintage wooden signs.

I love old signs, packaging and typography and my house is literally bursting – from blown up old wine labels in the kitchen to place name signs in the bathroom.

Dad could source me lengths of wood with a rough unfinished surface, perfect for creating that ‘its been around forever’ look. The first sign I painted cheekily landed back into Dad’s hands as a Christmas present! Finally I’ve got round to painting more.

Hopefully the finished product reflects all the work and care that has gone into it. Now all it needs is a loving home!


Santa’s Magic Key

This little lot of vintage keys have been sitting on the Bumbleblue desk, waiting patiently to be turned into something festive.

With no craft fairs over the weekend, I cracked on with them. After all it’s only 41 days until Christmas! Armed with a good supply of tea I painted, sanded, and threaded my socks off. The keys looked perfect as they were, but they didn’t look very festive so they were given a coat of white metal paint.

As with all of my projects, the sandpaper came out and most of the metal paint came off. It was worth the mess and time, however I don’t think my nails are ever going to be their natural colour again! (it’s a good job it’s the season for gloves)

I had to post this up as well – it’s the poem that influenced the whole thing! I found it in a book, and being the Christmas fairy that I am, I had to do something with it.

Dear Santa,

We don’t have a chimney and

I was worried as could be,

about how you’d bring the presents

to my family and me.

But now I’ve solved the problem

and I’m not sad anymore,

for hanging from this ribbon,

is the key to our front door.

Although our house has a chimney, I think just to be on the safe side I should keep one of these decorations for me …

More Tea Vicar?

I found a fantastic book last week. It’s filled to the brim with home made gift ideas with inspiration from vintage items and forgotten treasures.

I love things with a story behind them. The Bumbleblue desk was originally my Grans dining table, and the chair I sit on is one that my Dad would have swung his legs from at meal times. My Mum and Dads house has plenty of antiques from the family  too – one being a chunky stone bench that used to sit outside my Grans house on a hill in Winster (A very pretty village in Derbyshire) I can imagine anyone walking up the hill would have appreciated a sit on it! Dad nearly broke his back moving it and I think sheer determination means it’s now sat on their patio.

Reading through my new book, I found a method for turning teacups into candles. As luck would have it, I was sat next to a lovely lady at my craft fair at the weekend who had a table full of vintage items – including this gorgeous teacup and saucer!

She tutted at me for spending my money when I was there to earn, but said she was happy it was going to a nice home.

So, with a little help from my new book, my little teacup has had a change of use…

Oh so proud!