Thursday, 2 December 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

 This morning we woke up to a blanket of snow. Not too bad for London.  We are often the last place in the UK to get snow, so when we do, it's a fait accompli that the rest of the UK has ground to a halt. True to form the news this morning reported the closure of all major airports, mainline trains and Londoners downed their tools, called time and headed for their local pubs, commons, parks or simply their sofa to while away a white Thursday.

Sadly, we have no excuse as we live two minutes away from our work so at Nicholas & Steele it was business as usual.

Seven buses had run into trouble at the top of Durham Road as the gritters hadn't been out yet.
We started the day with a class of rosy cheeked students, flushed from their 'arctic' journey to class. Several pots of tea were consumed before we were ready to pursue a morning of invigorating creative enterprise.  Take a look at some of the projects we have been busy with.

It's not just my students who have shown enterprise. Last week, in preparation for the Rokeby Christmas Fair, Steve and I tried our hand at candle making.

Steve and I  cutting wicks

Dipping the wicks in wax

Trimming and pinning the wicks in place

The candles were scented

Steve painstakingly cut and punched round discs for the tops
Saucers were matched

Bows were tied....and
Tadaa...! tea cup candles.
French Marseille soaps arrived and were bagged and decorated with vintage brooches. The shop smells heavenly!

I created vintage sewing kits complete with pin cushion, thimble, wooden cotton reels, ribbon etc
Vintage inspired Christmas stockings arrived. Each one is patchworked and hand embroidered.

Lavender, drawer sachets were filled with soaps or dried lavender

A trip to Maileg finally bought some more beautiful new bunnies to the shop. 

as well as the princess and the pea, and sweet little matchbox mice.

These little Christmas gnomes also found themselves at N&S.

The sweetest Baby Bunnies jostle for a place in their wagon.

By the time we got to the fair, we had enough stock to hold several but nevertheless, had a very successful morning.

Several other new pieces also found their way to N&S this week including this Kidney shaped dressing table which we spent a happy Sunday afternoon collecting from West Sussex.

A gorgeous Display Cabinet

Some Christmas puddings made using the original Mrs Beeton recipe along with some vintage baking items.

a vintage radio

A beautiful Adderley Cornflower tea set

A beautiful Plant Tuscan Pink tea set from the 30's

A Royal Worcester Queen's Garden tea set in mint condition

We have also started putting together these picnic baskets crammed with lovely little vintage bits.


and some lovely little heart decorations 

 The snow came early this year bringing out the snow leopard in our cat Moses...

...... and the Spring hare in our dog Roxy

Inside the shop, our raging thermostat keeps us cosy and it is so pretty watching the snow fall outside. Naturally, as with all small businesses, inclement weather can play havoc with the bank balance but we keep reminding ourselves; this is a lifestyle choice and the weather (along with our cash flow) will improve.

Elsewhere, the entente cordiale continues... as we speak Moses and Roxy inch closer and closer together on the sofa. Can cats and dogs who are avowed enemies actually put their differences aside in favour of shared bodily warmth? My money is on a resounding 'No'! but  you never know, perhaps a Christmas miracle is on the cards.

Till next time, wrap up warm and keep the faith.

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