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In a flutter

16 Jan

Happy New Year, and hope you’ve had a great start to 2014.

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks. The ‘proper’ job is full-time and full-on. Just before Christmas I did manage to sneak in a little bit of creative time though. I was commissioned to produce a picture for a lovely lady who had recently bought a Create Vintage framed butterfly print. Butterflies are clearly her thing as this time around she wanted me to recreate a visual she’d seen, which features our fluttery friends.

The result is this…

'You Make my Heart Flutter' print in hand painted vintage frame

‘You Make my Heart Flutter’ print in hand painted vintage frame

Brought to life by a talented art director friend, I printed it on rich, ink-loving cartridge paper, and popped it in a hand painted vintage frame. Sweet!

We wish you a merry Christmas

24 Dec
Christmas robin in  hand painted vintage frame

Christmas robin in hand painted vintage frame

Wishing you a very merry Christmas, and a wonderful 2014. Hope that it’s another vintage year!

On the first day of Christmas…

1 Dec

As the perfect antidote to my little girl’s Christmas wish list this year {which is predominantly pink, plastic or princess-related} I am craving some homespun, traditional touches for Christmas.

The decorations aren’t up yet, but we have begun our festive celebrations with these beautiful little knitted stockings. Handmade by her granny, we have strung them up in a vintage frame with a little treat inside for every day from now until Christmas Eve.

individual stocking

pile of stockings

red stockings

Homemade advent stockings

Homemade advent stockings


Sunshine and shades

18 Jun

Oh, please don’t let the June gloom continue until the weekend. Create Vintage is off to Tweseldown Artisan Market again on Saturday, and I’m so hoping the sun will shine.

At the last market, in May, it was a couple of my sunny coloured finds that were snapped up straight away.

This Barker Bros. primrose yellow jug went to a new home where it was destined to serve custard for-ever-more {a fitting purpose if you ask me}…

Vintage Barker Bros. jug

Vintage Barker Bros. jug

And these glorious green storage canisters were parcelled up and packed off to spruce up someone’s new kitchen. I love how even the mundane becomes magnificent when it’s just the right shade of vintage…

Five green vintage storage clip top canisters

Five green vintage storage clip top canisters

I’ll be digging out more of my lovely vintage treasures for this weekend.

I’ve also been working on some more pictures to put up for sale. The vintage framed tobacco cards {previously mentioned on here} have been such a hit in the shop*, that I’ve created some more using the same series of British birds, and also a new pair with these pretty Brooke Bond tea butterfly cards.

Vintage Brooke Bond tea butterfly cards in hand painted frames.

Vintage Brooke Bond tea butterfly cards in hand painted frames.


Do pop along on Saturday if you can. Umbrellas optional, sunny dispositions essential!

{* the shop = Unique Chique, Alton, Hants}

My little painting place

7 Jun

Aaah… That satisfying feeling of tackling a tricky job and getting it done. Yesterday was devoted to finally sorting out the garage. It’s been chaotic since we moved – a dumping ground for all those random things not deemed superior enough for ‘indoors’. It HAD to be done, so we rolled up our sleeves and got ruthless.

The best bit of all was getting my painting gear gathered together in one hugely pleasing place…

From bottom: A variety of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints and waxes and various upholstery tools; My wide selection of brushes {but none so useful as my trusty all-rounder, the Create Vintage paintbrush}; various pots, cloths and scraps of sandpaper

Bottom: A variety of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints, waxes, tacks, wood treatments and upholstery tools; Middle: My wide selection of brushes {but none so useful as my trusty all-rounder, the Create Vintage paintbrush}; Top: Various pots, cloths and scraps of sandpaper

Inspired by a new sense of order, I decided to raid the painting cupboard and do a quick makeover on this sweet little wooden chair found for a bargain price at a secondhand shop.



As proof of how far Annie Sloan Chalk Paint goes, I managed this small project with an undercoat of Old White followed by barely half a tester pot of the superbly subtle Antoinette.



All in all, I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself. With a place for everything, and everything in its place, I may even get on with some other shelved painting projects soon.

Crate expectations

23 May

Me: I need some seedling trays – small crates that look kind of vintage.

Him: I’ve got some wood in the garage, I’ll see what I can do.

{there follows an interlude of several hours, some sawing and a whole lot of banging, plus a very quick paint job from me…}

Mr CV's homemade 'vintage' crates

Mr CV’s homemade ‘vintage’ crates

Me: Pretty good!

The perfect way to showcase my cute collection of small pressed glass jugs.

A small selection of pressed glass cream jugs and a fantastic pitcher {found just this week}

A small selection of pressed glass cream jugs and a fantastic pitcher {found just this week}

And one step closer to being ready for my stall on Saturday. Things are taking shape!

Watch the birdies

16 May

Major car boot fail last weekend. Less about the quality of the markets, more about the incompetence of the planning. I caught just the very dregs of one, and missed the other one entirely. Duh. Can only console myself that I’ve made use of a previous forgotten car boot find this week. I loved these vintage cigarette cards when I spotted the complete collection a while ago, but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them…

Vintage British Birds cigarette cards

Vintage British Birds cigarette cards

Anyway, finally, a flash of inspiration and here is a small selection framed and mounted:

Framed vintage British Bird cigarette cards picture by {available at Unique Chique, Alton}

Framed vintage British Birds cigarette cards picture by                                                {available at Unique Chique, Alton}

I’ve just prepped more, which are ready for framing any day now. You could say they’re waiting in the wings… {but that would be a terrible pun!}

Really happy with how my new branding is shaping up. Especially pretty when teamed with some of the lovely pressed glass pieces I’ve been selling in the shop. Here’s a little look…

Create Vintage branding

Create Vintage branding

Cute little pressed glass cake plate

Cute little pressed glass cake plate

One of many sweet little pressed glass trinket pots {yes, there is an obsession developing!}

One of many sweet little pressed glass trinket pots {yes, there is an obsession developing!}

All branding was done by the extremely clever Emma at Forty Two Limes. She’s a face from my magazine days, now to be found creating strong, stylish identities for  fledgling brands. I think she’s captured just the right look for Create Vintage.


How to make a memo board

9 May

It has become increasingly apparent that we need somewhere to stash the never-ending stream of pictures, paintings, postcards, party invites and general paraphernalia you acquire when you have a little one living in the house. The solution, I figured, would be a memo board. And so I set my mind to creating one using one of my many collected vintage frames.

Here’s a little step-by-step I snapped last week while making the most of a lovely day in the garden…

You will need… A frame {I used a lovely vintage one which I painted in Chalk Paintdecorative paint by Annie Sloan in Old White}; chicken wire {a medium gauge}; wire cutters; staple gun and 10mm staples; a pair of sharp scissors; hessian or other fabric of your choice.

memo board step 1


Step 1: Cut the chicken wire to size

memo board step 2


Step 2: Staple into place {not too many staples at this stage – you’ll go over it again when you place the fabric}

memo board step 3


Step 3: Cut the hessian or other fabric of your choice to size

memo board step 4


Step 4: Staple into place at regular intervals

memo board step 5


There you have it…

memo board step 6a


Finally I painted some sweet little wooden shapes I had and stuck them onto wooden pegs.



And here it is in action {see what I mean about the paraphernalia!} Truly handy, and an adaptable, stylish way to create an ever-changing collage of your everyday bits and pieces.

finished memo board


A variety of memo boards will be for sale at Unique Chique in Alton. Prices vary depending on frame size and style, but generally start at £40. For specific size requirements and bespoke commissions, including individual fabric or colour requests please email

Back with a bang {and a brush}

18 Apr

I promised myself when I started blogging that I would try to avoid terrible excuses for long, wordless gaps. So, no excuses, but what I hope is a very good reason. I have been itching to get on here and share all my exciting news, but waiting for the big ‘TA-DAaaa’ moment to do it. You see, behind the scenes Create Vintage has been having a revamp. New logo, new branding, and a totally new business venture.

So, there have been lengthy deliberations about manufacturing and margins {dull}, and colour schemes and wrappings and ribbons {delightful}. And the end result is this…

Introducing the Create Vintage paintbrush RRP £8.50

Introducing the Create Vintage paintbrush RRP £8.50

Yes, paintbrushes.

I don’t profess to be an expert at furniture painting, but as you know I’ve dabbled. It all began when I was lucky enough to be shown the techniques by the master herself, Annie Sloan. One thing that struck me when I started is that while there was an array of paint to choose from, good brushes were hard to find. So much so that I started to send Mr CV off on little missions when he was in France to find me full, round-headed brushes. Like an artist would use – but bigger!

The ones he came back with were perfect for the job, but somehow lacked any style. Nasty plastic handles in lurid colours. So, an idea was born. How about an effective brush that was specifically designed for furniture, but still had style. The result is this:

  •  A 50/50 mix of natural, unbleached pure and synthetic bristle, which allows the paint to flow so you can still get authentic brush marks, along with a smooth application.
  • A full, round head that is perfect for curves and corners and intricate details. Furniture isn’t flat and one-dimensional {like a wall}, so neither are our brushes.
  • A natural wood handle and simple silver effect collar. Lovely to hold {and not bad to look at either!}

At the moment we stock one size, which I’ve found ideal for most big and small projects, but particularly suited to chairs, small dressers and picture frames.

The Create Vintage paintbrush retails at £8.50 and is available now. We will also be offering wholesale in boxes of 25. Please get in touch at for further details. 

Happy New Year

6 Jan
With a year of blogging under my belt, I’m in the mood for some reflection. Aside from the exciting acquisitions, a handful of revamps and a whole lot of stuff still awaiting its starring moment, I’ve been asked several times in the past few weeks {well, at least twice}: ‘Why blog?’ ‘What’s Create Vintage all about?’
I suppose I started this blog as a way of blending my trade {writing} with a newly discovered passion {vintage} at that clichéd time in life with a new baby on the scene when you can feel like routine takes over and creativity is lacking. At best, Create Vintage was a way of documenting and expressing the things that inspired me. At worst it was a launchpad – a springboard – to wherever that passion could take me.
To anyone who is wavering over the prospect of starting their own blog I say, ‘go for it, take a chance.’ Yes, a blog can be an exercise in vanity and self-promotion, but it’s also a personal and fulfilling legacy that you, your peers, and even total strangers across the world {the blog stats tell the story} can see in an instant. It will sit alongside admired websites and online material, it can elevate your humble thoughts to sacred opinion. The best ones are now huge business. Me? I’m happy with my little ‘swing a cat-sized’ bit of online room.
A year on, I am still enthused by the potential of that dizzying springboard. 2013 heralds optimism, enterprise, action for me. I will be hoping for more time to devote to Create Vintage, but as a start I leave you with this finally finished picture for my little ray of sunshine. Just about to be hung on her bedroom wall…
You are my Sunshine vintage framed picture by

You are my Sunshine vintage framed picture by