I think this may be my last post before Christmas as I have a lot of sherry drinking and wrapping to do. So a very merry Christmas and mistletoe kisses to all who follow and read my blog! This poem is from Peacock Pie, a lovely book of poems for children by Walter de la Mare. This edition with wonderful atmospheric illustrations by Edward Ardizzone was first published in 1946. My dad is a great one for traditions and one of his many was to read this beautiful and spooky poem to us on Christmas Eve, it still sends shivers.
Today is the last posting day before Christmas so I have been rushing to get last minute orders to the post office. Thick snow is falling as I write this, all very lovely but I still have masses of Christmas shopping to do tomorrow - hope I can get out! This lovely vintage card came in the post, someone knows just what I like!
In weather like this I would just like to stay inside and knit woolly gloves, the red mittens are the ones for me. This book of knitting patterns was published in the 40's when it seems everything was hand knitted even the underwear, I love the end paper pattern.
I have always loved Petunia the silly goose created by Roger Duvoisin my favourite childrens's book illustrator from the 60's. Not so silly in her Christmas tale, Petunia rescues her beau Charles from the dreadful fate of becoming Christmas dinner. I have had these copies for years but more are always available on the fantastic abebooks website where you can find almost any out of print book to purchase, dangerous!
Well, I haven't actually started my shopping yet! But after the success of tea&make I am busy getting myself together for another sale on Saturday, where I am hoping I can also do some shopping myself. Its the Designer Maker sale run by Cassie English and there will be a fine selection of beautiful design and handmade products on sale.
It's a good time to look in the charity shops for vintage Christmas decorations as 'people chuck out the chinz'. These beautiful painted glass baubles were £1.30 a box. My favourite is the pink stripy one, now all I need is the tree.
One of the busiest stalls at tea&make was run by Barbara Ryan, she was selling seconds of her dad Rob Ryan's lovely ceramic tiles at Topps Tiles prices, all neatly wrapped up in newspaper parcels. I had to have one of each - who wouldn't?
Even better, she was selling issue 13 of her own tiny but brilliant screen printed magazine. Entertaining observations, drawings, tips and views from a 17 year old London girl. A big thumbs up from Lucy for the Top Shop piece, so true! Get your copy here.
In between trips around the UK doing university interviews with Lucy I found time to take roddy&ginger to the Tea&make Great British Christmas fete this weekend. Held locally in Honor Oak it was a very festive afternoon brilliantly organised by stylist Sally Curtis and artist Esther Yarnold. Loads of very creative stuff for sale and free workshops for lots of very cute kids, many of whom will be wearing roddy&ginger aprons after Christmas day!
These children's aprons are beautifully made by lovely ladies in a small factory in Lancashire and hand printed by us. I have just put them in my Etsy shop - they would make very cute Christmas presents. More nostalgia, I dug out my old 'My learn to Cook book' for this photo shoot, love the 'roobarb and custard' style illustrations.
I have been having problems publishing my comments, when I click publish they just seem to disappear, what's going on! I've had two suggestions for the bottle, Paul Hoyrup or Bjorn Winblad, so thank-you! I'm not sure if it's either because the illustrations are really quite crude and simple. Oh well, it will just remain a mystery, still my favourite find of the moment - till the next one!
I braved the wind and rain and went to the Boot Sale last Sunday. I found this rather battered ceramic bottle lurking underneath someone's table and fell in love with it. It's a very busy bottle, covered with charming European scenes of buildings and people including a skier, a windmill, a 2CV, and a man shooting a deer. I can't work out where its from, does anyone know?
I think this is what the inside of my five year old head looked like. We played this pairs game so often as children that the images are burned into my memory. When I spotted this original set on the brilliant present&correct website I had to have it! And it's just as I remember it; Petunia, the Happy Lion, the owls and the walnut are all there. Created by local stationery cupboard heroes, present&correct is one of my favourite websites. Their neat and tidy shop has the best ever selection of quirky stationery items, children's books and vintage office essentials and I want it all!
On the subject of Christmas, the trend for tree decorations seems to be vintage this year. I have shopped early and bought these from good old Homebase. At three for a fiver they were a bargain and you get a free giant egg box to keep them in!
I am sure I should have been thinking about Christmas way back in July in order to stock my shop but life just got in the way! So now I am trying to catch up with the roddy&ginger Christmas stocking in white cotton or natural linen available here. I am also printing some Christmas cards which I have yet to put in my shop - must get a move on!
I have been very busy with orders so here's where I am spending a lot of time at the moment. I am lucky to have the whole of the basement in our house as my studio, this is it looking fairly tidy. My sewing machine gave up on me so my ancient Singer has been called into action. I have had it since I was a teenager and it probably belonged to my granny before me. What an amazingly robust piece of machinery! I haven't used it for 10 years but it still sews the best straight stitch, if it stitched backwards as well I would use it all the time.
I found this pretty vintage fabric at our local flea market this week, it's called Toccata designed in the 50's by Robert Tierney for David Whitehead. Its a lovely soft palette of greys, yellow, pink and pale blue and a bit faded around the edges. There's enough make a few cushions backed in grey linen which I am trying out in my etsy shop.
This week I delivered an order to Family Tree. This tiny shop in Exmouth Market EC1 is run by Takako Tsutsui and sells a cheery collection of lovingly made products. Exmouth Market is a busy little corner of Clerkenwell with an eclectic mix of local shops, restaurants and open air food stalls.
There is nothing more creepy than a fairy tale. Just lately I have been looking at this book of English tales that belonged to my mother as a young child. The stories are gloriously weird and spooky. With tales of bones and bogey beasts and eating babies for supper they knew how to scare a five year old in those days. The Arthur Rackham illustrations are still hauntingly beautiful. Have a happy halloween!