Monday, 20 September 2010

Art Schools and Roast Chickens

Monday, September 20th 2010

Hello everybody! What a week it has been. Two weekends ago, we went up to Rugby, Warwickshire to see family and then on to Birmingham, NEC to attend the Autumn Fair. Our mission was to investigate how we could integrate vintage styled new stock into our shop. We spent an entire day wading through mostly repro goods, gift ware, furniture etc and came away more determined than ever to stick to our brief; we want to stock real vintage goodies and only integrate well- crafted, locally sourced items. We also came away with the flu and spent most of last weekend in bed, vegging at home feeling very sorry for ourselves. On the flip side, it was good to take some enforced rest and Moses and Roxy enjoyed having us around.

Not to mention the killer home cooking Steve managed to rustle up; Nothing better for the flu than roast chicken...mmmm.

With the Christmas term in full swing, it's time to knuckle down and get stuck in with many new projects. This week marked the opening of our new Art School. As we are in the habit of doing, we left the art studio right up till the last possible moment. Our landlord had been on holiday and we only had his go ahead for the studio five days before our opening. I had planned to use the studio in the garden as a backup but once we were given the go ahead, it was all stations go! As I was absolutely splat and on antibiotics, Steve had to undertake the lion's share of the work and what a transformation it was. Take a look;



Walls painted white.

Contents of garden studio moved from home to shop.

The first classes were joyous affairs with everyone loving the new feel of the school and some gorgeous projects were started. It felt really great to be in my stride teaching again. I love it!
During the refurb, the Packhouse rang us with the news that several of our pieces of furniture had sold so, in the midst of the studio move, we had to take a sneaky run down to Guildford to move things around.

A blanket box lined in vintage rose fabric

A duck egg blue shabby chic 1930's cabinet

Steve's signature piece, The Union Jack Cabinet

A lovely Welsh dresser
To add to our sudden depletion of furniture we also sold several small pieces from the shop.

Vintage milking stools painted up into 'Naughty stools'

One lovely coat rack/shelf

So, we looked to the lock up for inspiration.

As you can see, it really is a bottomless pit of pieces just crying out for shabby chic-ing.
So Steve set to work.

Take a dark brown 50's dresser,

Strip it

While the dog does her usual thing: nothing

Ready for stage two

add a coat of buttermilk coloured paint

Add blue detail

Give it a wax

Line the drawers with vintage style wallpaper

And voila

Job done! More to follow.

Yesterday was our first snoop around in almost three weeks for shop stock. We had a bumper day and managed to bag some great items. Take a look:

A fireman's helmet, world war II plane on plinth, retro mincer, religious icon etc...

Various pieces of pink themed crockery...ooh la la.

All needing washing, polishing, fixing....not so ooh lala!

Look at my sweet little Sylvac Terrier dog. (on the shelf nxt to tea cup)

Pewter scrimshaw style golfing hip flask

Gorgeous cut crystal ice bucket

Various plates for cake stands

Duck egg storers

pretty Aynsley candle holders and ink stand

Various Sugar shakers and glass cake stands

An antique phrenology head

A midwinter Stylecraft covered sugar basin

A religious icon crying out for restoration

A collection of china

A gorgeous little tin times table teaching aid

A selection of silver plate goods and teapot

Art deco vaseline glass candle holder, Trays, Victorian cress dish and hunting memorabilia.

And my absolute favourite find of the day; a pair of Victorian plaster 'fairlings' of a boy and girl with umbrellas. (a fairling was a gift won at a fair pre- stuffed toys) Each stands about 35cm tall so quite substantial.

And this little joker, "Ms. Chardonnay". Let's just say I have a very special red haired ex colleague of mine in mind for this little lady.


We have had a great week in the shop. Some days are quieter than others but we seem to have enough to keep us busy.

I caught Steve fixing a coronation domesticated!

However, he has back up and Will pops in regularly to prop up his masculinity or to spirit him off to a greasy 'caf' for a sneaky builder's fry up once in a while. (Although Will can oft be found sipping tea from vintage china at N&S while practising his valuation skills for his debut on Antiques Road Show, Heaven spare us).

Here is a sneaky preview of our new line of Autumn hats currently being developed by a local knitwear designer ( Sue we can't wait)

A new arrival, an oak piano stool

...and a new piece sourced for our fabulous A list fashion designer - an art deco cigarette case from America.

Whether A list or four legged, our customers come in all shapes and sizes and all are welcome.

I end this blog with exciting news hot off the press. Our empire is about to expand. We have been invited to take a space at a well established antique centre in Farnham, "The Bourne Mill."

This grade II listed site has been an antique centre for 50 years. This is the first space to come available in a year and a half so we are very fortunate.

The space we are to occupy is up in the eaves with a beautiful sky light above it. At the moment it is an art pottery and abstract print space, but it will take some careful planning to make it pretty but we look forward to the challenge.

Have a super week all.


1 comment:

  1. Its just amazing to see a dream come true Holly - love the shop front, love it all, good luck you guys!
    Love, Kara, Brad & Georgia