Friday, 26 October 2012

For the love of teacups...

This week has seen me enamoured by the art of tea cup candle making. If somehow you have managed to avoid the probably slightly annoying photos of my makes previously, here’s a photo especially for you-hoo!
Using some pre-waxed candle wicks complete with sustainers (check ebay for plenty of job lots) some used candles, a jam thermometer (£1.99 in my local hardware shop) Some tongs, an old camping frying pan and a cooking pan.
I double boiled by simmering water in the frying pan and placing the cooking pan (along with old candles inside) into the simmering water, letting the candles melt into the melting wax, making sure with the thermometer that the temperature did not exceed 200 celsius.  Once melted, using the tongs, I took out the old wick.
Once wax was ready to pour I trimmed the wicks (with sustainers) to a size which only just looked over the rim of the tea cup and I then carefully taped the top of the wick to a pencil and balanced on top of the teacup, making sure the sustainer was flat on the bottom of the teacup and the wick was straight.
Dipping the sustainer into the wax, I then placed it and the wick back into the teacup and then (carefully) poured the wax to the desired height in the teacup.
I made sure an old tea towel was placed underneath the teacup to avoid a waxy work surface!
Leave to dry for around half an hour and voila! A lovely teacup candle, to burn yourself, or give away as a gift!
Also – another option you could try is to drop some essential oil into the melted wax before pouring to give it a lovely scent.

On another note, I met up for a cuppa and a vintage/upcycling related chat with Jen from My Make Do And Mend Year. Jen is spending a year, from September 2012, making do and mending by upcycling, re-purposing, buying second-hand. Not purchasing anything new (with some exceptions)  She is doing wonderfully well and is exceedingly creative in her project!
One of the topics of conversation was about a possible Upcycling event in Wiltshire. Keep your eyes peeled for news!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Jubilee Loveliness

Last monday, the rain decided to stop for a day and allow us to celebrate the jubilee relatively rain free!
Everyone on our street and our friends and family grazed on food most of the day, drank pimms and watched the children play, as well as gossip of course.

A little deflated about the day though, it was a very 'them and us' party, some neighbours on one side and another on another, and despite a little effort from me by going to talk to some of the ladies on the 'other' side, it didn't really help. By about 7/8pm we decided to transfer away from the ongoing party and carry on in my garden, with my friends. Bit of a shame really!

Hope you all managed to celebrate in a dry fashion! xxx

Sunday, 3 June 2012

What a difference a day makes, really. After a beautiful couple of weeks, with the sun blazing, spending evenings pottering in the garden, kids having water fights, and now...this. Today it hasn't stopped raining, and it's almost as if somebody is chucking buckets of rain at us. Anyhoo, this weekend is jubilee weekend, marking the 60 year reign of Elizabeth. Our street party is tomorrow *does a sun dance* the bunting is up and ready, cakes baked. Just the potato salad, Etonian mess and jelly to make in the morning. Stuff the rain, we're British. I'll be out their in Kagool & wellies if necessary! Have a wonderful long weekend, whatever the weather xxx

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Good to be British

Yesterday the primary and secondary school's finished earlier to allow parents to take their children to see the Olympic Torch pass by.

I took the 9 year old to the morning event in the village next door to ours. The sun was shining brightly and the villagers were out in force, including the local preschools, young adults with their cold beers and barbeques sizzling in their front gardens, pensioners shading beneath trees and parasols, flags flying, a wave of excitement and cheer in the crowds. Everyone was smiling. The local policemen were tooting their horns and encouraging our cheers and the local bobby was mingling with the public. 

I feel like ringing old Mr Cameron and directing him to do an annual 'Proud to be British' day every year!

Compared to the days of yesteryear, where everyone pulled in together, helped each other, jollied easch other along. Was part of the community. Now it's hard for people to even look their neighbours in the face in some areas. What gives? 

Yet we were all out together yesterday, and we all enjoyed that feeling of community and being nice to one another, and being ultimately proud of who we are and where we come from.

When we came home, the boys were in a water fight mood so out came the old scissors to make holes in the lids of bottles and off they went in a mischievous mood!

Today, the sun is shining once more, and I've been making the most of my time in the garden. 

As I shall miss week....when it will most probably be raining. Or snowing. Or suchlike. Hmph.

Enjoy the sunshine people. Put down your laptops and phones and go out and gaze your eyes on the blue skies :)

Monday, 21 May 2012

A good weekend...

What a wonderful weekend that has passed. I managed to spend the day in the garden on Saturday weeding and fixing up my vegetable plot, everything is thriving really well. Though had to resort to the non-organic way of stopping slugs eat my mange-touts! I cleaned the decking, potted some geranium and sorted the shed. Nothing like a potter in the garden to make my heart sing. Simple pleasures and all that.

Sunday I got up very early and went on my lonesome to three of the local booty's. I got a good swag bag of bargains. I'll try and put some photos up on here, seeing as I'm sorting vintage and photographing in the garden today (making the most of the delicious sun and blue skies out there!) 

I got some nice vintage haberdashery items, including some 1940's girls dress patterns, 1940/50's Woman's weekly and various ephemera, buttons, threads, fabric etc as well as other bits and pieces.

I had my friends over on sunday evening for a lazy takeaway evening. Despite it being a school night. And it was yum and I felt over bloated in the morning, a perfect way to start your monday, not! So I've started back out running again. I need something to balance out the good living! Hoping for motivation and willpower. Wish me luck!

Until my next update xxxx

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Once again, I am looking out of the french doors into the garden and the skies are grey today but I'm not shivering today. I'm hoping its a sign the sun might make an appearance and I can brave the garden and do some more planting.

Charity shops finds, including chunky wool for my knitting!
Yesterday I had some errands to run in Warminster so whilst there I popped into my favourite charity shop (I'm not naming my sources!) and came out with a couple of old ladybird books which have obviously been well loved so I'll be upcycling them into pictures, cards and envelopes and a gorgeous book called 'The Map That Came Alive'  - all for 20 pence each. Bargain. The last book I mentioned is really lovely indeed, with gorgeous illustrations and a simple plotline, I'll show you a few pictures from a website called full table which has the illustrations scanned:- 

Its very rare I buy something vintage from a charity shop now as they normally charge a lot so I was excited to get this little lot!

In the afternoon I spent quite a lot of frustrating time attempting to make an advert for the Vintage & Handmade market which was a bit of a failure! So I crashed in the garden for a bit to try and chill and took some photos of the blossom on the trees before it drops all the petals...

Roll on summer! xx

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

As I'm writing this, I'm looking out of the french doors at the sunshine pouring onto my garden making it look green and vibrant. Absolutely beautiful. What crazy weather we are having! I spent yesterday morning shivering around the house and then the afternoon pondering at the hail and thunder, mad?

This weekend was about the same, crazy weather. Though we made the most of the sun when it decided to come out of it's hiding place. 

We visited Erlestoke woods, the bluebells were just about done but I was pleased to catch them in their splendour. The boys (minus one teenager who jaunted to Bath with mates) happily ran about and found gun shaped sticks and powwed each other with them, stuck cleaver plants to my back and collected pine cones in their pockets.

I hugged a few trees!

We finished the morning off with lunch at a local cafe and a cake from the bakers. A lovely end to a free morning's entertainment, who needs to pay to keep the kids happy?

Sunday was MY day, I set off early equipped with change and lots of spare bags and ventured to the local bootys and then went further afield to Yeovil where I bumped into lovely Sophie from Fading Grace. I came back with lots, including baskets, ceramics, fabric, tins...and more! 

Happy lady!

Have a great week everyone xxx

Monday, 7 May 2012

Beautiful Nan....

Having an emotional day thinking about the people I have loved and lost. I went to my parents to ask my Dad to scan some photos through and I've got another fantastic photo of my Great Gran Helena who I talked about in my last post:-

I love this so much. I love her clothes, with note, her hat and she also had gloves which she is holding, and her bridal bouquet looks fabulous, I wonder what the colours were?

My Nan (the adult) and my Great Aunty in what I'm guessing is the late 40's. So beautiful.
I'm printing this photo out and framing it.

Have realised I haven't posted or blogged about my finds recently, might have to do something about that!

Au Revoir for now! xxxx

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Helena Agnes was born in 1906, in Surrey to her shopkeeper parents Annie & Joseph. 

Helena was my Great Gran.

This wonderful lady outlived both my Nan's who both sadly died in their 62nd year.  I am sad I never knew them both as the adult I am today. I strongly remember though,  being hugged to my paternal Nan's bosom and remember her giggles and being spoilt with bird's eye trifles and jelly and ice cream.

So, not many memories, but the ones I do have I treasure for a lifetime.

Sitting in my Nan & Grampy's courtyard eating Jelly leftovers.

Great Gran, or Helena as I shall refer to her today, as 'Great Gran' to me is just a label, a signifier that she was someone's Grandmother and Great Grandmother. She was more than just that, so Helena to me, is the person she was. A wise, jovial, fun woman who loved life and the people around her.

Now, I wish I could tell you refer back to her life with a knowledge and memory of all the stories she ever told us about her life, but sadly I cannot, but I know it's not too late to listen to my Dad recall them.

Helena Dallaway was a extremely bright and talented child and at the age of six she featured in a newspaper article in 1912 about her 'job' and talent as an organist at her local church in Hilperton, where herself and her parents moved during her first years. Imagine that, six! So young! 

Somewhere along the line, she met a handsome London metropolitan policeman Charles and they married in 1927, Helena aged 21 and Charles, 25. They had a son, George and moved back to Wiltshire, where eventually, she became headmistress of Hilperton PrimarySchool.

Left: Photo of my Gran in her cloche hat with George, My Grandad.  Right: Gran (Helena) dressed in fancy dress - as a dutch girl.

Living through two world wars, she suffered tragedy in the 1960's when her husband died of diabetes which had been brought on during the war when a bomb fell onto Hyde Park and his fellow policeman that had been walking the beat with him, died.

Helena carried on another forty plus years on her own, where she tended her house, with her orchard and cats and played a loving and devoted Nan and Great Gran to her family. Eventually, she moved to a smaller house, which I remember with great fondness. Myself and my Mum would go there weekly where my Mum would help to clean and cook and I would sit and listen to my Gran talk with ease about everything and anything, the past, the present, and about everyone! Eventually I would end up this great lady's front room which constantly lured me in.  I would sit for hours in the musky scented room,looking through photos, books, cameras, records, ephemera. Every week I did this, I never got bored! 
Eventually, Helena had to be moved to a nursing home and she died at the grand old age of 98 in 2004.

My lovely Gran. 

I am so proud to have had such a person in my life and my family. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


After months of thinking it over, umming and aahhing I finally took the plunge and booked my local village hall for a vintage event! Go here to my events blog for more information! I'm hugely excited!

Besides that I've been doing a lot of reminiscing lately, I found some photos of my Great Gran dated from around the 20's/30's which I just love. Both my Nan's died when I was just a child, my Great Gran outlived them both and I came to look upon her as just 'Gran'. She was more a Nan to me, for one, because I remember her being there, whereas my two Nan's, I think back and only remember small details about them. Such a shame.

I'll post the photos and tell you more about her soon. For now, back to the grindstone!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Had a little wonder around my local town today to get rid of my trapped feeling after spending so long indoors the past couple of days. 

Got myself a few bits including a 50's table tennis set in the cutest box! 49 pence!

Also, I got myself The Dame Vera Lynn biography. Now she might not be everyone's taste, but as a child, myself and my dad would watch war documentaries and films and I was taken by the whole 40's period from a very young age. Dame Vera Lynn was the forces sweetheart, I have two CDs of her songs I love to listen when in the right mood.

A huge contrast however is the next book I got - The lost life of Eva Braun. It looks fascinating. The mistress and wife of Hitler. 23 years his junior. What sort of woman loved Hitler? I shall find out! The last one is a readers digest book - road to recovery - 1950's. A bit to keep me occupied for a week or so!

Happy thrifting this weekend folks! Xx

Thursday, 15 March 2012

I've been pretty tired and poorly the past couple of days. Not much done at all. Feeling very irritable so I'm off to bed with some new fabrics, my crafty books and mags and my kits and see what I come up with. Some may call it therapy. Night all xxx

Monday, 5 March 2012

More swag!

We got up bright and early to sell at our local car boot sale on sunday morning, only to peep through the curtains and discover it was piddling down, very depressing. We looked at each other and shook our heads  - Shall we just go and buy instead now we're up? Yep. That was the plan. Not really hoping for much in the damp weather we headed on down the bleak and grey, wet roads to find it all surprisingly busy. All stalls were inside the cattle barns and so we at least were dry and slightly warmer - but what a difference - no torches this time - it was light!  Is spring really coming? It's been a long time coming that's for sure!

Anyhoo...some pics of my swag...

Selection of vintage Noddy items!

Hornsea Saffron Dish

Couple of vintage games/activities

A lovely pinny - is it 70's or earlier..?

3 cushion covers

Some 1970's fabric?

Lovely solid glass jug, need a good wash and shine up

Couple of vintage maps, which I got for backs of future furniture!

Six piece crownford coffee set

6 vintage books - 10 pence each, all tatty, but great for upcycling - was so pleased about this!

Not vintage, but loved this cushion, this one is staying put!

Very cute little toy bunkbed complete with mattresses and sheets!

Lovely shade of blue solid glass dish - love this!

Tupperware bowl, love this shade of green.

Again, non vintage, but loved this paperchase laptop bag.

Phew, so that was it - I LOVE Sundays, best day of the week - roll on next week :)

To finish off a great day, we had a tea party for Lewis who is 13 today in fact! 

Here he is making a wish before blowing out his candles, although looks more like praying to me. Wonder what he was desperately praying for?

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Flea fun

Sunday's flea was a great success, the sun shone on us all day and after my initial 'Eak' moment at the start when I realised jut how much I had brought along with me and the time I had to set up, I relaxed and enjoyed it! 

It was just so lovely, fun, and everyone was so kind, including the company of Sophie from Faded Grace who came to say hello whilst there!

Didn't get any chance of looking around myself *sobs* But managed to buy a cadburys chocolate biscuit tin from the stallholder next to me - here it is pictured next to my charity shop pair of glasses I got myself today..

*Sorry for rubbish photos taken by my ipad*

Two cute glasses accumulated from charity shop today   - goes lovely with my CK kitchen ware!

Today's hunting got me an off white topflite 60's suitcase which when cleaned up came up lovely. I'm meant to be selling it but think it looks rather nice under my TV with my lounge blankets on. Oops! 

Alongside the case, I also got these...

1950's retro magazine rack from Charity shop.

50's Escalado game from auctions.

Funky 70's Sutton tablecloth and napkin set, still sealed. Unwanted item someone left at the auctions!

One of a collection of boxes and tins from an auction in Bath this week. Someone had been keeping small birds eggs in them. Lord knows how many years they had been in there!!

I also found a 50's wedding cake topper in a box at the auctions today, the buyer of the box wasn't aware of it and I cheekily asked if I could buy it off them, and so I did, very cheaply, and I'm so very happy with it, I will take a photo for next time!

I managed to find a copy of Vintage life in my Sainsbury's today, huzzah! So I'm off to bed to read it with a cuppa. Night all xxx