It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

17 Dec

Traditionally the season to bring out your ‘best’, I’ve amassed quite a collection of beautifully festive vintage bits and pieces recently. No reason why they’re not adorable for any time of year, of course, but particularly suited to an extra special Christmas table. Here’s a selection…

Paragon China Bride's Choice Teapot

Paragon China Bride’s Choice Teapot

F. W. & Co (F Winkle & Co Ltd) 'Florence' platter

F. W. & Co (F Winkle & Co Ltd) ‘Florence’ platter

Soho Pottery Ltd Solian Ware serving terrine

Soho Pottery Ltd Solian Ware serving terrine

Royal Albert Bone China teacups

Royal Albert Bone China teacups

Royal Albert Bone China tea plates

Royal Albert Bone China tea plates

teaspoons

Assorted vintage cutlery

Assorted vintage cutlery

vintage forks

sugar shaker 2

Beautiful vintage sugar shaker

Beautiful vintage salt/sugar cellar

Beautiful vintage salt/sugar cellar

Pretty fluted pressed glass cake stand

Pretty fluted pressed glass cake stand

Pressed glass cream jug

Pressed glass cream jug

Pressed glass water pitcher

Pressed glass water pitcher

Vintage cut glass cake plate

Vintage cut glass cake plate

 

Pink Christmas

12 Dec
Vintage baubles

Vintage baubles

Christmas – the one time of year where vintage enters almost everyone’s life. Whether it’s your treasured tree-topping fairy, or a handmade childhood decoration, those Christmas details that make an appearance year-after-year-after-year are the ones we love the most.

I discovered a new treasure for the collection this year… A set of vintage pink baubles in their own endearingly aged box. Camp, and gloriously Christmassy!

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

 

From the sublime to the ridiculous

14 Oct

Thought I’d share a few snaps from last Saturday’s outing to the Harvest Craft Fair at The Herb Farm. It was a good chance for me to dust off a few of my Create Vintage finds.

herb farm 1 herb farm 3 herb farm 4

Harvest Fair at The Herb Farm, Sonning Common

Harvest Fair at The Herb Farm, Sonning Common

I had various pale blue pastel pieces, which I always think look really fresh and modern, and relevant. They haven’t lost any hint of their charm despite their years of use, which makes this colour scheme one of my absolute favourites.  Just because something’s old doesn’t mean it has to look old-fashioned.

After a busy day behind the stall, I ventured off to a car boot sale on Sunday morning and discovered some more beautiful things. This Swinnertons jug and Johnson Bros. teapot  in sunny yellow both make me smile. I discovered plenty more, but I’m saving up a few pieces for an exciting project, which I’ll share at a later date.

Swinnertons 'Majestic Vellum' jug

Swinnertons ‘Majestic Vellum’ jug

Johnson Bros. Goldendawn teapot

Johnson Bros. Goldendawn teapot

In the meantime, although I’m usually attracted to pieces which are as relevant today as they ever were, sometimes you just have to go with something that has an absurd beauty. Totally impractical, but utterly gorgeous, I give you these vintage apothecary bottles. Once containing treatments for all manner of ailments from Ringworm {really} to Permanganate of Potash {who knows what grim affliction that treated}, as well as Glauber Salts and Nutritive Pomade For Nourishing and Beautifying the Hair, I simply love them.

An assortment of vintage apothecary bottles

An assortment of vintage apothecary bottles

Harvest festival

4 Oct

While blogging may have taken a back seat for a month or two, the Create Vintage stocks have been gradually swelling. I managed to sneak a few precious moments of treasure hunting among the holidays and hectic work schedule this summer.

Just as well because I’m busily preparing for a Harvest Fair this weekend. Held by Milly & Jo at The Herb Farm in Sonning Common, it’s a celebration of all things craft, vintage and artisan.

I don’t know whether it was the influence of all the glorious summer heat, but my discoveries have taken on a bit of a French country Brocante feel. I came across some adorable ancient cups and saucers, which set me on the path to a more rustic vibe than usual. There’s something about the beautiful and serene looking slightly bashed and bedraggled that really appeals to me.

Ridgway Pottery teaset for two

Ridgway Pottery teaset for two

 

Brocante assortment ready for the Harvest Craft Fair

Brocante assortment ready for the Harvest Craft Fair

Harvest Craft Fair, Saturday 5th October, 10am-4pm

The Herb Farm, Peppard Road, Sonning Common, Reading, Berks, RG4 9NJ

The perfect Blend

4 Jul

And so it begins… Christmas in July. That curious concept known only to the crazy bunch of people that ‘create’ Christmas {photograph it, write about it, tell us how to style it, suggest what one should cook/buy/cobble together} months ahead of time.

So, here I am in Shoreditch ‘art directing’ turkeys {yup, it’s an actual job} while all else around me enjoy what constitutes summer. One perk is the rare opportunity to visit places I’ve been meaning to for ages. This Tuesday morning, after a meal at The Duke of Cambridge and a stop over in Stoke Newington the night before, I ventured north to my friend Steve’s new cafe in Harringay. Here’s the review {and I think it goes without saying I LOVED it}. Note the 1960s Fogg & Morup copper pendant light hanging pride of place over the counter – it came from our house, and couldn’t have ended up in a lovelier setting.

Just off the bus stop at Bereseford Road on Green Lanes, Blend Cafe is run by Steve – a friendly Aussie with over 13 years of insider coffee credentials to his name, and Linda – an über-baker and food blogger. Spurred on by a mutual love of coffee, cakes and stylish décor, they have created the café of their dreams, and it’s bringing a refreshing dose of community spirit to the up-and-coming Harringay ladder.

Steve behind the counter at Blend

Steve behind the counter at Blend

Bright, welcoming and spacious, it’s furnished with a classy mix of parquet flooring, desirably mismatched tables and chairs {some donated by family, others sourced from Denmark}, contemporary art, and effortlessly stylish statement lighting. It’s a million miles away from the obvious, uninspired interior of the high street’s carbon copy coffee shops.

Children are not only welcome, they are positively encouraged – there’s a kids area with chalkboard and cute little stools, and there are bite-sized goodies for little ones on the menu. It’s already staked its space as a social hub for families and coffee lovers in the area. Steve told me it’s not unusual for them to be full to the brim with a bank of buggies and babies in one corner, and a chilled contingent of creative types engrossed in their laptops and lattes in the other.

Linda bakes an assortment of bread and cakes daily, and the menu, featuring simple, but original salads, sandwiches and soups along with light brunch dishes changes every day. If you’re lucky you can grab a quick Bircher muesli or decadent Brioche French Toast for breakfast. Or, choose carrot & courgette cake, Anzac biscuits or a scone from the ever-changing selection of sweet treats at the counter. All dishes are created with the curiosity and experimental approach of a true food lover.

The ever-changing menu

The ever-changing menu

 

French Toast - Blend style. Swoon!

French Toast – Blend style. Swoon!

And did I mention the coffee?

It’s hard not to be swept away by the sheer style of Blend, but the stars of the show – the lattes, the flat whites, the espressos – have all the substance you could hope for. My flat white was the best I’ve ever tasted – all coffees are made from Climpson and Sons beans, which are ground to order so they are fresh as can be. Steve talks of coffee with the insight and knowledge of an artist describing his latest masterpiece. His quest for the ideal blends {as you can imagine} was a pilgrimage of epic proportions.

Put simply, Linda and Steve have poured all their passion, skill and creativity into every cup they serve up at Blend. With its good reputation spreading right the way up the Harringay ladder and beyond, this lovingly conceived local is a must-visit, even if it’s not on your doorstep.

Open 8am to 6pm on weekdays, 10am to 6pm on weekends

587 Green Lanes, London, N8 0RG – Tel. 020 8341 2939

email info@localblend.co.uk www.localblend.co.uk

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.

BEFORE

BEFORE

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.

AFTER

AFTER

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.

Market research

29 May

It was a great first day behind the tables at Tweseldown Artisan Market last Saturday. I’m not sure how you measure success at such events, but we sold a few things, said hello to lots of new faces and thoroughly enjoyed the buzz of bringing my little brand to life.

Amazing what can be achieved in just a week. Between confirming our space on Monday and unloading our boxes early on Saturday morning, we had created a viable showcase for my precious, much-loved stock. A few lovely fabrics here, some self-styled crates and stands there, and a kindly donated vintage ladder thrown in for good measure made a handsome temporary home for it all.

By Saturday evening we were EXHAUSTED!

 

We’re back to do it all again on June 22nd. Same place – Tweseldown Racecourse, Bourley Road, Church Crookham, Hampshire, GU52 8DY.

 

 

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!