At Nicholas & Steele, we have had to adopt the old 'keep calm and carry on' motto as the nation continues to pay off its credit card. In that vain Steve has been busy with a few painting projects.
|A 1930's bureau before restoration|
|A matching chair upholstered by myself|
|Lovely little French antique-before|
|1930's drawers before...|
|pin stripe detail|
|drawers painted inside and hand waxed|
|A lovely piece to add to our shop stock|
As March drew to a close, the weather drew a line under the winter and spring seems to have sprung. The shop is flooded with sunlight and our days seem not only sunnier but happier. It is a wonderful feeling leaving an English winter behind, especially one so long and cold. The sunlight seems to bring out all the pretty colours and the china sings on its shelves begging to be taken out and used in garden parties. With this in mind we have dressed the shop window with a display of samples of our china hire as well as pretty vintage linens.
|A pretty Victorian tea set|
|Vintage embroidered hand towels|
|A beautiful cot sheet|
|Cotton tea towels|
|I finally had time t sew the little curtains for the dressers|
|100% cotton throws|
|A collection of silver|
|1950's set of children's encyclopaedias (I wonder if children know what an encyclopaedia is?)|
|Beautiful patchwork cushions made from out of print Cath Kidston cotton duck|
|Lovely English daffodils|
|a selection of vintage napkins|
We have had several bookings for children's parties and a very special customer commissioned us to make invitations for a clay cupcake party. I enjoyed this project.
The third project I embarked on were these lengths of floral bunting which I made from vintage and discontinued Cath Kidston print fabrics. They also look lovely displayed on the dressers.
|A favourite of mine - Paragon 1950's famous roses tea set|
|Pink Tuscan Tea set|
|Another pink Tuscan Tea set|
|Royal Doulton hand painted full tea set 1930's|
|Easter gifts and cards|
|The ducklings have sold|
|Remember Kewpie doll?|
|My constantly dwindling stash of mini eggs (thanks to my chocaholic other half)|
|Various glass storage jars|
|I love these fake eggs, they surprise everyone|
|A Victorian Sowersby milk glass basket|
|German pin cushion dolls also great for a cake topper.|
|I love these hand embroidered 1950's tea towels|
|New stock of ribbons|
|A beautiful Susie Cooper part dinner service|
|Nursary kitch pair of deer wall decorations.|
|More patchwork cushions|
One of our best sellers are these gorgeous Maileg toys, made in Denmark. As this year is the year of the rabbit they are proving popular as gifts for newborns and we have been doing a brisk trade. With Easter just a few weeks away we popped off to our suppliers for a new supply. They are kept in a huge ancient barn on a lovely farm.
I am not making this up. It is impossible to leave without a huge smile on your face. My favourite bit is unpacking them all once we are back in the shop. (I often catch myself talking to these toys, a worrying habit.)
|I love the mice in the matchboxes. They have little pillows, a mattress and a crochet blanket.|
Meanwhile, back at the ranch.....
a rare sunny March Day saw us shutting up shop for an hour or two to photograph an impromptu Royal Wedding photo shoot for the April edition of Darling Magazine. This was right up my alley and we had fun transforming our garden into a fun street party Style garden party. I wrote an article too, to accompany the photos on the history of street parties. Check it out on www.darlingmagazine.co.uk
The most exciting news is the nearly completed Nicholas & Steele website www.nicholasandsteele.co.uk We hope it will be a great way for our customers to keep abreast of what we are up to and we will be opening our online sales soon. In the meantime, all objects listed on these blogs are for sale and can be posted or shipped in the UK and internationally. We are aware that many of you from all over enquire about how to get your hands on some of our wares. Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve and purchase items for sale.
For those of you interested in the Art school or currently attending our courses, I will shortly be posting a blog on the latest projects coming out of the studio so watch this space.
I would like to thank all of our followers for encouraging and supporting us during these quieter months. It is an ongoing struggle for small businesses to navigate the mirky waters of this current financial dispensation. Please continue to use your local independent shops in your neighbourhoods as much as possible. Not only will you have a hand at keeping your neighbourhood real, but you will also enjoy the benefits of unique products and friendly services.
It would seem that in an age where 250 000 people can march into London in protest to what the government is doing and have a blind eye turned to it while at the same time that same government is waging a war against a dictator in Libya for doing the same thing! Hmmmm???? (off the soap box Holly!)
Enough with the blankets, cuts and the cold! Roll on summer and happier times, that's what I say.