Sunday, 3 October 2010

...of Swallows, Drums and murderesses


A normal week at N&S

When you open a shop, it is worth noting that you throw your doors wide open to everyone. This may sometimes work in your favour and lead to wonderful moments of serendipity. It might be mildly amusing, noteworthy or just plain terrifying. Thanks to the wonders of our penal system, newly released prisoners are sometimes identifiable by the tags they sport on wrists and ankles. While most hide these from the public there are those who choose to sport these like hard earned trophies. On Our Street, we have Sharon (name changed) who has recently been released after doing hard time (time which she describes as a "holiday but without the booze and fags"). She has more lately taken to popping in at N&S every day for her drunken "HIYA!" In spite of her reputation, I like Sharon but am facing a conundrum: we don't want to be one of "those shops" that only welcome the well healed, but neither do we want to be added to a list of local businesses who have had to ban her for various reasons. Suggestions on a postcard please.....

Now, on to happier things.

They say that 'one swallow does not make a summer' but just look at these beauties, an art Deco 1920s double teaset in lemon with beautiful swallow detail.

It might not make a summer but it certainly is making our autumn and I do suspect, it will be a matter of days before this swallow set flies off to sunnier climes.

Other things making our autumn include this heavenly chunk of Irish crystal, not just one use but Three!

One: a domed cake stand

Two: Flip the stand over and it becomes i) a dish for snacks or ii) invert the dome and pop it onto the inverted cake stand and tadaaaaa, it becomes a glorious punch bowl!

Is that not the scrummiest thing ever?

Followed closely by these sweet little mini Ug boot style newborn sheep skin lined booties made in New Zealand. Aaaahhh!

This pretty lady is attracting a lot of attention..

Do you remember this? I rescued it from a house clearance specialist but it was clear, Jesus needed restoration.

so with a little careful colour matching, a steady hand and a bit of a make over, our religious icon lives to fight another day...Frida Kahlo eat your heart out!

By now, I am sure you are wondering about the drum, Ah the drum. The drum, the drum, the drum. The longer I am married, the more I see that it is not the major misdemeanors that cause the breakdown of a marriage, it's the small ones. I don't think my husband realises how close he has come to singledom. But, some background.
Shortly after Steve and I met, we visited South Africa. On our return journey, we had time to kill at Cape Town international airport departure hall and Steve went curio shopping. For some unknown reason he returned with a drum, which is too small to emit anything more than a dull "pop." (a tube of Pringles would shame it)

The 'drum' is orange and purple with a nasty piece of animal fur of undefinable origin (rodent if you ask me) stretched over it.
The lines were drawn, almost immediately upon our return to the UK, with Steve insisting it occupy an area of prominance in our home. I took to, what I call, discreet interior re-homing and was constantly having to find new places to hide the drum. However; it soon became clear, I had gravely underestimated the prowess of my opponent and with increasing difficulty failed at my mission. After several months a truce was called and it was decided, the drum would live in the studio in the garden, taking up residence with several other bits which were intended for still life studies, that is until recently, when the contents of the studio were moved to the shop.
The truce was well and truly broken and our 'entente cordiale' replaced with a gorilla warfare style battle.

I give to you THE TAT DRUM WARS

I first discovered it propped, in plain view, on the shelf above the shop counter. It was removed.

A few days later, I discovered it, in plain view on the toy shelf. Sadly, no one had tried to purchase it. It was re homed.

Then, to my horror, it appeared in the jewellery cabinet. It was put in the bin but sadly rescued when he went to empty the trash in the skip around the back.

It was later discovered in the Maileg display.......

and then again, in a mannequin posing as a head.

But it was this sight, which greeted me one morning, that made me think, something had to be done, permanently!

I removed it from the window display, and made sure it would never surface again......

...until I found it tucked away in our latest order for our A-list designer!

It would seem I have truly and utterly lost this battle. But I haven't lost the war yet. Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of "TAT DRUM WARS"


The Holly Nicholas-Steele School of Art is well underway and reports a promising first term attendance.

Steve's new pieces of furniture are proving popular with the locals.....

..and are charging out of the shop in rapid succession.

Holly broke out into a sweat...

while Roxy and favourite toy "Pig" did nothing....again.

More beautiful jewelery arrived

a very yummy coffee set was added...which I think might be going to live with someone famous.

A milking stool was up cycled (one could argue).

More Peter and Jane cards were made...

A parcel of beautiful German dresser edging was rediscovered in gloom of the backroom.

Noddy flew in for a visit....

and over-stayed his welcome!

As did this dear old friend of mine...... (visit that is, not overstay her welcome and old as in length of friendship not her current age...oh Amanda, please don't sue us.)

and finally in this week's news round up, grass has come to our forecourt, oh yes, you heard it from me first, our shop now sports its own fake lawn complete with vintage cricket pitch line marker....

Meanwhile at the Packhouse;

We needed to have a really good change around, so last weekend, we spent a morning there sorting things out.

Well, the shop is looking merrily full, and is well on task to being suitably fattened up for the 'C' word. (we don't mention Christmas at N&S till November although we have already sold a few Christmas presents to our clients and I have been buying Christmassy vintage Christmas decorations for the last four months and we are planning a Christmas street party with all the other shops on Durham Road and we have already ordered our Christmas tree form Germany through our local Garden store the Garden Sage and we just love Christmas but we won't mention Christmas till November, promise.)

In the meantime, we wish you and a merry October and a Happy few beers........for me, I will just be pleased if it's drum free.

Holly x

1 comment:

  1. A long story as to how I found this blog! I came across your lovely stall at the Wimbledon Village Fair in summer 2009, picked up a business card and then mislaid it. Tried sporadically and unsuccessfully to try and find you via Google, yesterday found card in a handbag not used since the day of the fair! Googled again and found this blog, delighted that you are now available to discerning Vintage hoarders like me - will be visiting your shop very soon, as it is half term and I'm due a treat! I am a teacher, like you in your former life, and adore things previously loved. Good luck with your fantastic venture - and see you soon!