Vintage ~ Handmade ~ Homes ~ Gardens

Friday, 24 February 2012

Colourful Suffolk cottages

Welcome to visitors from Show Off Your Cottage Monday (I'm showing off other peoples cottages today!)

Spring has come early. Today was just glorious - sunny and mild. What better way to celebrate the new season to come than a trip to the beautiful Suffolk countryside? The gentle landscape is in contrast to the colourful cottages that the county is so well known for. My trip took in the pretty little town of Clare - a lovely place for a browse. 

But I promised you some lovely cottages this week. I don't think these will disappoint! I wanted to capture the special beauty of the cottages in this part of the country. The nearby village of Stoke by Clare has a collection of some of the most colourful cottages imaginable. Feast your eyes on these beauties...

These cottages are constructed with wattle and daub and the plaster is typically decorated with pargeting. 

Beautifully crafted timber

Thatch foxes creeping along the rooftop!

Aren't they gorgeous? Do you have a favourite colour?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

First cottages of the year - Letchmore Heath

Just to whet your appetite. Here are a few pretty cottages from the little village of Letchmore Heath, just a couple of miles from home. Due to its proximity to Elstree Studios it has been frequently used as a set in films, including cult 60s TV series The Avengers and was the setting for the film The Village of the Damned! But perhaps  Letchmore Heath is best known for Bhaktivedanta Manor, home to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, the purchase of which was I believe funded by Beatle George Harrison. The village has a number of swanky manor houses but it was the little cottages (which come at very swanky prices!) that I snapped for you. Enjoy!

And here's how those pretty cottages looked like in the 1960s film The VIllage of the Damned...

Monday, 13 February 2012

Lessons learned

Where's my manners? I haven't welcomed new followers for a while - so, welcome! I always enjoy visiting followers blogs and apologies if I haven't yet left a comment for you. It's been such a hectic time since I opened my handmade and vintage space at the Hertfordshire Craft Collective. Every spare minute I have is spent on making, sourcing, planning, and, oh yeah, fitting in the demanding day job! But it's so worth it. It's great when somebody likes something you have made enough to part with cash for it! And the thrill of the chase on weekends spent hunting down finds worthy of my little shop. 

I've been open for business for a whole month already. So what I have I learned? Well, it's hard to predict what will sell - a bit of everything so far - although retro e.g 50/60s sells quicker that vintage. Another thing I've learned is that it is jolly hard sometimes to part with super finds. Like this lovely 50s jug I found for a £1 in the local charity (thrift) shop...

I love the colours of the pattern. It's sitting in the kitchen while I deliberate - can you blame me? This great 50s sputnik magazine rack is also slow to make its way in the shop...

Yes, I know, I have to be more business focussed! One thing that I have bought just for me is this great plate that I found at another great vintage store in St Albans called The Fleetville Emporium

           Fleetville have made a great little video about their store:


One of the nicest things about selling at the Craft Collective is its country setting at Battlers Green Farm in this lovely old barn.

And I just love playing around with my display...!

I have the whole week off work from the day job next week - yippee! - and I can't wait to get out and about on the treasure hunt. I'm taking my camera so I can snap some lovely cottages for you while I'm on the vintage trail. I haven't done that since the summer an I'm itching to get out there and snoop around to bring you a post of cottages to drool over. I drove though a lovely village called Cottered last month that was full of the most gorgeous cottages like that may well be on the itinerary. 

Have a good week!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Cold hands - warm heart

We've been lulled into a false sense of security this winter it's been so mild. The garden is totally confused. Potted geraniums are still in bloom and the odd rose has decided to flower, while spring bulbs are bursting out all over. I'm ready for spring. I'd even been surfing the net for the new spring fashions in the shops,  so the freezing weather that has descended on us this week has come as a bit of a shock. Snow's on it's way. I know, I know it makes everything look so beautiful, like my in lovely lane...... but it makes it so very difficult to get around and even with the heating cranked up and layers of clothes on in the house I'm still shivering!

Never mind, some lovely finds this week, like this great fifties magazine rack, and the shop is looking well stocked with goodies. Which gives me a nice warm glow.

Thankfully there was even more to keep me warm this week. Alabama's the Secret Sisters  concert on Monday night was more than enough to warm the cockles of anyone's heart.

My sons heart was even warmer on Monday when the sisters accepted his invitation to perform in Regent Streets Apple store. One lucky guy don't you think?

So what's keeping you warm on these cold, cold days? 

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