Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Taking a break

Hi All

We're moving house yet again - it's only been 11 months since the last move - one of the down sides of renting in this country. Anyhoo, I'm going to be taking a break from this blog and from my Etsy shop.

I've really enjoyed blogging and running the shop but lately I've had more and more demands on my time. Good things mostly - things that I'd like to concentrate on for a while. Sadly, this means that I've put my shop on vacation and won't be posting any more blogs - at least for a few months. I'll continue to sell some vintage on Ebay and plan to do a couple of car boot sales in the Trowbridge area. I'm having a huge cull of possessions so that I can start my new home with less 'stuff'!

So, I'm going to move to our new home, enjoy settling in and concentrate on yoga, music and crafts. I'll continue to post on my English Rose Vintage Facebook page so do pop over there and 'like' it and you'll continue to see what I'm up to! 

Thank you for dropping by and taking the time to read my ramblings ...

Best wishes

Friday, 27 June 2014

Antibes Green

Hi all

I picked up an old wooden tray and an embroidered tray cloth at a junk shop in Ross on Wye the other day and thought I'd show you their transformation.

I have a tin of Annie Sloan 'Antibes Green' paint that I'm planning to revamp a display cabinet with but that's going to be a big project so in the meantime I used a little of it on this tray.

This is the tray after the first coat of chalk paint - still a bit of the wood showing through.

You don't need to do any preparation or rubbing down with this chalk paint, so I simply wiped the dirt off first. This is the tray when the second coat was drying.

I left it to dry overnight and then applied a coat of clear wax (also Annie Sloan) with a soft cloth, giving it a gentle buff to a soft shine.

This is the finished result. I'm going to leave it for a couple of days before using it to ensure it's completely dry. 

The tray cloth just needed a good soak to remove a couple of stains and it came up beautifully.

I love the embroidery on this cloth and it goes so well with the green tray.

Now I'm putting together a tea set to go with it - I have the teapot and milk jug so just need to find some cups and saucers!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Pretty Pomanders

Hi there

Last weekend we spent a day at the Hay Festival and the next day explored a little of the Forest of Dean. The Festival was lovely, relaxed, interesting and in beautiful surroundings. We listened to a talk by Alex Bellos (a journalist with an interest in maths) about people's emotional responses to numbers, which was fascinating. But we were mainly there to see Jim Al-Khalili, president of the British Humanist Association, giving a talk about humanism and atheism. He was very eloquent on the subject and it was lovely to feel the response of the audience to his talk. Next year I think we should try and go for longer. There are so many interesting things going on at Hay.

We drove slowly home the next day, via the Forest of Dean. It was one of those lush, warm sunny days when everything looks full-on, green, abundant. We stopped off at a craft centre and I picked up a collection of pretty vintage pomanders from a vintage shop.

Faded blooms and faded scents - I love these ceramic pomanders. I'm tempted to keep a couple for myself but I've started listing some in my Etsy shop

Hope you are having a peaceful and happy weekend.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Dyrham Park

We recently visited the beautiful house and grounds of Dyrham Park in Gloucestershire, where I took these photos. In a lovely setting, the house sits at the bottom of a grassy slope. Deer wander around the grounds and the formal gardens are really pretty and well looked after. We heard, as we were being driven back up the slope in the little free bus, that the house was built at the bottom of the slope so that water from the spring at the top of the hill could be piped down into large tanks and provide water on tap - a rarity at the time. 

My favourite rooms were the Victorian kitchens and the cool dairy, covered in blue and white Delft tiles, where they believe the butter for the household was made. The orangery was also delightful - light streaming in the windows and fruit trees lined up - it was a tranquil spot to sit and contemplate.

And those topiary hedges at the front of the building certainly made us smile. Lovely face on the left but is that a bottom on the right too? I think we'll be going back often to explore the gardens more, maybe picnic by the lake and have some more of their lovely cake.

Take care people,

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Padded Table Runner

Hi folks

I bought a selection of pretty fabrics in Frome a while ago and have been unsure what to do with them. I had half an idea of trying a kind of 'cheat's patchwork' but in the end decided to have a go at sewing together simple alternating strips. I've got quite a bit of it - two sets of strips are waiting to make cushion covers for some bench seats - but I had enough left over to do something with and decided to make a padded, heat-proof table runner. 

Here's how it went ...

... I first cut the fabric into strips of the same width, then sewed them all together, alternating the patterns, until I had a long piece like this. I turned the long edges in by 1cm and ironed in place.

I then cut out another piece of fabric (this time part of an old Ikea quilt cover) slightly larger than my strip of fabric - about 3cm larger all the way around.

(In retrospect I should have turned the ends of the strip in by 1cm too as this would have given an even border around the outside, but you live and learn!)

With the fabric right sides together, I matched the long edges together, pinned and stitched along them both, leaving a 1cm seam allowance.

I then stitched along one short edge, stopping before I got to the corners. I pulled the long pocket of fabric out the right way and pressed it flat - neatening the corners by folding them into a sort of mitre. 

Then stitched them in place by hand, making sure I didn't stitch through the back too as I still had to insert some foam padding.

I had a strip of foam that was the padding in an old ironing board cover. (I don't throw much away!) So I cut this to fit inside what was now a long fabric pocket.

Once inside, I put a few pins across and down the runner to hold the foam in place.

Then I took a deep breath and started quilting through the whole lot with the machine, creating a simple wave pattern from one end to the other. 

I'd never done this before so it was a bit wobbly at times but great fun and will certainly do the job of holding the layers together.  

To neaten the look, I stitched closely to the inside edge of the border fabric. One end was still open so I trimmed up the foam, folded in the hems and stitched across to finish it off - doing the same to the corners as I had before.

Finally, ironed on both sides, the runner is ready to go!

My new motto is 'don't let lack of experience or skill stop you from having a go'!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Fabulous Facebook Necklace Giveaway

Hi folks
Well, I promised a giveaway when I reached 50 Likes on my Facebook page and now we've reached 50 and gone beyond. As a thank you to all those who follow me I'm giving away this beautiful 1950s emerald green necklace. Pop to the bottom of this posting to see how to win!

The light and dark green stones are prong set in a gold-tone setting and hang from a 15 1/2 inch chain. 

I think that it would look great worn in the evening but it would also look fabulous with a simple shirt or little cardigan during the daytime.

If you want to have a chance of winning just Like my Facebook page (if you haven't already) and leave a Comment under the Necklace Giveaway posting. We'll be putting all the names into a hat and Mr T will draw the winner on Wednesday evening at 8.00pm. Don't forget to leave a Comment on the Facebook posting though or you won't be included.

Good luck to all!

English Rose Vintage

Sunday, 8 December 2013


Hi folks

Been rather poorly for the last week so have been mostly sleeping with occasional spells of reading Lord Peter Wimsey or watching made for TV Christmas movies. I was planning to start getting the house ready for Christmas - the decorations are out of the loft and the living room is now cleared of all my vintage stash, so we're ready to get going. I just need a bit more energy first! Think we will pop up the road to the local garden centre for our tree this afternoon and we can slowly make a start. I expect the rest of the day will be spent snuggled on the sofa.

Thank you to all the lovely customers we had at the Frome Super Market last Sunday. We had a brilliant day and had lots of sales too. I enjoyed interacting with customers and it was interesting to see the sort of things people were looking for. We'll be back at the markets in the Spring and I should have a bigger and better collection of goodies by then too.

Take care folks!

Melanie Melanie
English Rose Vintage