Friday, 6 August 2010


With just two days till we open, this was one big day. What a joy when Steve was finally finished painting Medusa. There is not a trace of brown to be seen. After the heavy deluge the day before, it was necessary to wipe down the whole, freshly painted front as the splash from the pavement had soiled it. The masking tape came off and the final product did not disappoint. I am indeed blessed with a very clever and patient man. Just take a look at it now.

Meanwhile I was trying to salvage a little experiment of my own; candles in tea cups (not as simple as one might expect) but after a sneaky borrowing of my husband's very nifty heat gun, I managed to pull it back, hooray!

I found these rather retro feathered friends at the car boot. I am becoming aware that many things in our shop might inspire debate as to what is stylish. (a euphemism for people saying "it's tack") but inspire debate it will and I am all for rocking the boat!

We then turned our attention to a new display, one involving our much loved Victorian wash stand which we bought at the Barnes Fair, had it in our living room until we decided we needed a more practical piece.

I then turned my attention to a towel rail that I wanted to fill with some vintage linen.

Then more window dressing.

Steve hung some bunting up in the window.

A display of mugs I made with some vintage sayings etc.

A sweet little kitchen chair which is shabby but extraodinarily lovely topped with a vintage cushion.

Remember these? Rag dolls. I used to have one in the early 80s. Loved her! Where have all the rag dolls gone?

and an old 1930s and 50s doll. (Steve suggested I move these away from the door as they "spook people" -not so!)

It has surprised me just how many Man-tiques we have! Take a look at this growing display;

For those of you who know me, you will be aware of my passion for the sock monkey. It all began rather innocently when I purchased a book for Steve, right at the very beginning (in the first blush of love, when you buy picture books for each other and all that slop) called Sock Monkey goes to Hollywood by Cece Bell. It was meant as a joke but the joke ended in us both joining the very serious and well subscribed to, Sock Monkey Fan club. Cece got in touch and we became friends. It even resulted in me teaching a whole year group how to make a sock monkey after Cece posted over some gorgeous original Rockford red heel socks and a sock monkey pattern. What resulted was this little fella above. Isn't he naughty? He lived with Steve's Mum for a while but came to us after Audrey sadly past away two summers ago. This little chap reminds us of her and will come and live in our shop and also keep an eye on us for Audrey. (we miss you Auds x)

Steve decided he needed to put some roofing sealant on the back of the shop sign to prevent
water damage (the rain yesterday made us mindful of it.)

By close of play, the shop looked like this;

and this;

and this;

but this was bugging us, so we painted it in William Morris blue. Mmmmmm!

It now looks like this;

Yesterday was the longest day ever in the shop. We left at 2am after a long day's work and had to be up and back at the shop by 8am this morning. We had a little problem of the non-post-themselves variety of postcards so we hired a wonderful fellow Saffa to give us a hand. Jo made minced meat of them all in just under three hours, and a lady rung me today to get more details as well as an impatient visitor called around to see if we were open. We even came home to one on our doormat! (Jo doesn't know were we live).

Tomorrow is the big day! We finally realise our dream of opening a shop. It has been a long and hard journey, painful at times and full of learning curves but we have enjoyed the ride. I leave you now with some tantalising photos of some of the finishing touches we put on the shop today, our last day of work.
It has been a joy and an honour to share this experience with so many of you. I am still amazed that you all read past day one! I will blog sometime this weekend with photos of our opening tomorrow. Till then, sleep tight lovely friends and followers.


  1. OMG!!! Well done guys, your shop looks awesome, you've both worked so hard, I hope it's a great success for you both, but how can it not be, I've never known 2 more determinded ppl...ever lol. I might have to come and have a surprise browse, you never know I might have a house in the next few months, that will definately need some vintage decor to spruce it up.

    Hope to see you guys soon, love you both

    Anne-Marie xx

  2. Best of luck to you both. This has success written all over it and is well deserved after all the hard work you've both put in and i'm sure Aud will be proudly watching over you (we miss her too). Enjoy and be happy

    Mark, Laura, Mason and Bailie

  3. Awesome Holly and Steve!!! With all the great cyber responses I am sure that your opening day is going to be fantastic. Thinking of you guys and wishing you all the very best. Wish I could pop in and do some shopping.

    Your blog has been so refreshing and a change from the norm. Be sure it keep it up.
    Lisa and Matt

  4. you're both amazing. Bless you both for bringing prettiness back into vogue and back into our lives. x

  5. The shop looks amazing - such a difference from the relic it was before you guys shone inspiration and love and made it a real home-from-home (well, my dream home anyhow!).

    *whisper* I have to agree with Steve - those dolls really freak me out and I know I'm not alone with a scary-doll-thing!

    Many, many congratulations x