A bit of Christmas sparkle

Mr E and I took our traditional pre-Christmas trip to London on Saturday. But this year, rather than do battle with the frenzied shopping crowds, we took a nice stroll through the city and went to see some historical bling.

The Cheapside Hoard is on show at the Museum of London in a small but perfectly formed exhibition. The collection was amassed in the early 17th century, but lay undiscovered until 1912, when building work revealed the hoard beneath a cellar in Cheapside. Not much is known about who it belonged to or how it came to be buried there, instead the exhibition focusses on the historical context and skill of the jewellers who worked in 17th century London, before leading you in to see the collection.

The hoard is a showstopper, displayed to give you the best possible view of each piece, particularly if you can find one of the magnifying glasses that some visitors seemed a bit too keen to hang onto. My favourites included a tiny ship on top of a hat pin and some of the tiniest cameos you’ve ever seen. Much nicer than doing battle at the shops.


November desirable desks

Sneaking in before the deadline, here are my favourite desirable desks for November:

I love the arrangement here; it looks like the chairs and the lamp are leaning in for a good gossip. Oh, and the trail up the wall is old postcards, so what’s not to like?

The shears are what make this one special for me. I’m a bit of a closet fabric addict, so I like the idea of having all those tools to hand.

And the colours drew me to this desk. Plenty of my favourite bluey greens, but the pop of red really brings the space to life.

Also, this month we have an interloper in the desirable desks slot; it’s not a desk, but I couldn’t resist sharing a sneak preview of The Old Haberdashery‘s Christmas window. How beautiful is that?

Great Dixter Christmas cheer

My head is all a spin after a brilliant weekend at the Great Dixter Christmas Fair. A huge thank you to the lovely Shelley of Winifred’s Daughter for a) letting me camp on the end of her table and b) putting together a fantastic display on Friday, which was crammed full of Christmas colour. This was what greeted me when I arrived on Saturday morning:
Shelley's Christmas colour
Retro Bureau corner
Stockings and wings

Lots of people came along and within 30 minutes of opening, our very special thing found a new home. A surprise best seller on our stand were some beautifully detailed Christmas decorations – on the red Christmas tree above – knitted by a 70-something lady in Cranbrook . I had my eye on the stripy Christmas tree, but a small boy beat me to it. Rats. Shelley has more in her shop, plus lots of other Christmas gifts and decorations if you are interested.

Have a good week.

A very special thing

You’ll have to excuse the rather rubbish photo, but I wanted to share a very special thing that I will be taking to the Great Dixter Christmas Fair at the weekend. It’s a Christmas card by Eyre & Spottiswoode, printers to the King, which was originally sent in 1897. Mounted on a black background, the delicate heather design and scalloped edge really stand out. Find it on our little corner of Winifred’s Daughter’s stand.

Here comes Christmas (a.k.a. covetable cards for November)

After weeks of resisting all things Christmas, avoiding tinsel in the shops and studiously averting my gaze from the vintage treats I keep seeing online, I have finally succumbed. Followers of our Pinterest boards will have noticed some Christmas cards creeping in at the end of last week and now the steady trickle is turning into a fast moving stream. Early favourites include:

This beautiful card, with a nostalgic scene at it’s centre and plenty of gold for some understated festive bling. I wish this one was part of my collection.

A friendly looking Father Christmas with some very elegant deer pulling his sleigh.

And some bold bells in primary colours for those who prefer their vintage Christmas designs with a more graphic edge.

This modern, pared down Christmas arrangement also caught my eye:

The fact that the wall is the same colour as our living room has no bearing on my choice!

If you want to keep up with our pick of the vintage Christmas cards, just follow our Pinterest board.

Under winter’s blue sky

Mr E and I had a little trip away to Alnwick at the weekend for the wedding of a friend he knew growing up. It was a lovely occasion in a beautiful setting and we were lucky enough to fit in a small adventure while we were there.

Encouraged by blue skies and favourable tide times, we took our little hire car across to Holy Island. It’s a beautiful spot, surrounded by sea, big skies and bright green fields. The village huddles in the middle, sheltering from the winds. There is a ruined Priory and a small Castle which could have been lifted straight from a fairytale.

How about this for a view?
Two Castles

Right, I’m off to price some stock.

fairs and fireworks

In our small corner of the world, this past week has been filled with fireworks and germs. We’re back to rude good health now and just as well as we’ve just been offered a small space at the Great Dixter Christmas Fair on 23rd & 24th November. Hurray!

The lovely Shelley of Winifred’s Daughter has a stand and we’ll be sharing a small corner of it. Expect beautiful crafts, unusual gifts and a warm Christmas glow at one of the nicest fairs around. See you there.