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10 September 13

Tuesday Huesday: Ampersand Design Studio

I discovered Ampersand Design Studio’s Cream and Sugar range via the Hawthorne Threads webshopand…

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14 May 12

Forthcoming Attractions: Mid May 2012

group of vintage items soon to be added to the H is for Home website including a medium sized orange & white Cathrineholm Lotus enamel bowl, wooden rolling pin with red handles, pottery mixing bowl with blue interior, orange cased glass light shade produced by Holmgaard, floral fabric in shades of orange, wooden shopping reminder board, wooden letter rack, set of wooden handled knives in a stand, pottery sifter made by Portmeirion and a metal swizzle stick with blue painted wooden handle

Here’s a new batch of recent vintage finds - slightly more items than our last ‘Forthcoming Attractions’ post!

group of vintage kitchenalia items soon to be added to the H is for Home website including a wooden rolling pin with red handles, pottery mixing bowl with blue interior, pottery sifter made by Portmeirion and a metal swizzle stick with blue painted wooden handle

We’ll start with a few pieces for the kitchen. Quite a blue feel to the selection. These vintage mixing bowls often have cream interiors, but more rarely have these lovely coloured glazes in blue, orange or yellow. The utensil sitting inside the bowl is a drinks mixer or frother. The metal whisk end spins as you press the handle down - perfect for cocktails, hot chocolate etc.

detail from a group of vintage kitchenalia items soon to be added to the H is for Home website including a wooden rolling pin with red handles, pottery mixing bowl with blue interior, pottery sifter made by Portmeirion and a metal swizzle stick with blue painted wooden handle

The sugar or flour sifter is classic 1960s with its geometric pattern in sky blue & deep olive green. It’s from the ‘Tivoloi’ range produced by Portmeirion Pottery.

close up view of orange cased glass light shade produced by Holmgaard

This bowl could also find a good home in the kitchen, but has a thousand uses around the house. We often feature these pieces of colourful enamel produced by Cathrineholm of Norway - teapots, pans, bowls, ice buckets and more!

pair of vintage wooden items soon to be added to the H is for Home website - a wooden letter rack and set of wooden handled knives in a stand, pottery sifter made by Portmerion and a metal swizzle stick with blue painted wooden handle

Now for a bit of wood. The butter knife set is a great bit of Scandinavian design - sculptural and useful. It was produced by Karlsson & Nilsson of Sweden in the 1950s or 60s. We think the letter box is very sweet - it would give a lovely vintage touch to an office desk or hallway.

vintage 1950s wooden shopping list reminder board

Probably our favourite object this week is this 1960s shopping list board. It’s a humble object and quite a rare survivor being so simply constructed. It certainly has lots of charm.

detail from a vintage 1950s wooden shopping list reminder board

We love the graphics - wife doing a spot of homemaking, hubby out collecting the parcels!!

orange cased glass light shade produced by Holmgaard and a quantity of floral fabric in shades of orange

And finally, a bold flash of orange. The lampshade is a very good quality piece of cased glass - it was produced by Holmegaard of Denmark, in the 1960s or 70s. The fabric is from a similar era. We think it might have been produced by Crabtree Fabrics. It would make great cushion covers.

close up view of floral patterned fabric in shades of orange

Or perhaps even more perfect… curtains for a vintage camper van. One glimpse of these and you’d be in a happy, holiday frame of mind!

1 May 12

Tuesday Huesday: Mariem Besbes

Mariem Besbes hand-dyed fabrics

Mariem Besbes is a Paris-born Tunisian craftswoman who weaves textiles from wool. She colours them with her own hand-mixed dyes made from henna, madder and other natural materials to produce the most vibrant reds, earthy browns, lush greens, zingy yellows, aquamarine blues, regal purples…

Visit her website to see many more examples of her exquisite fabrics!

10 April 12

Tuesday Huesday: Jacqueline Groag

vintage 1950s fabric designed by Jacqueline Groag from the Designing Women: Post-War British Textiles exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London
Image credit: Vintage Seekers

This amazing pattern is from a sample of vintage fabric designed by Jacqueline Groag in the 1950s - one I’ve not seen before.

It forms part of the Designing Women: Post-War British Textiles exhibition currently on at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London (ends 16 June 2012).

The exhibition celebrates the work of, amongst others, Lucienne Day (1917–2010), Jacqueline Groag (1903–86) and Marian Mahler (1911–83).

3 February 12

Fair Finds

selection of antique & vintage homewares bought at Lincoln Show

We made the trip to Lincoln Antiques and Home Fair on Monday. Our alarm was set for 5.30am, so it was quite an early start in the cold and the dark. Add in a few hours driving and you have to hope that the effort will be worthwhile.

selection of antique & vintage homewares bought at Lincoln Show including a bolt of vintage 1950s fabric, set of sky blue Czech enamel containers, circular Nymolle pottery plaques designed by Bjorn Wiinblad, trio, vintage Marks and Spencer blue and purple floral curtains of fat lava West German vases and antique 18th/19th century wooden pie/bread peel

Fortunately it was - and we picked up some very nice pieces - some favourites are shown here. It’s mainly vintage, mid 20th century stuff; but we couldn’t resist a couple of country antiques too, such as this beautiful 18th century bowl and bread/pie oven peel.

selection of antique & vintage homewares bought at Lincoln Show with antique 18th/19th century turned wooden bowl highlighted

We bought quite a few West German ‘fat lava’ pots, concentrating on bold reds & oranges. Their prices are certainly on the rise. Other ceramics included the wall plaques designed by Bjorn Wiinblad for Nymolle of Denmark. Each one represents a month of the year and features a loving couple’s story - from courtship to parenthood. We like the whimsical, folk art design and we’ve actually got a set on our kitchen wall.

selection of antique & vintage homewares bought at Lincoln Show highlighting a set of 1950s teak coasters in a matching lidded holder

A slightly more recent piece of wood was to be found in the shape of this 1950s/60s teak coaster set. We’re not sure who the maker is, but it’s got real quality to it - it’s very Scandinavian and has a gorgeous, warm colour.  There was no shortage of enamelware to be found - we plumped for this set of graduated blue kitchen pots - the largest has an impressive 18 litre capacity!

selection of antique & vintage homewares bought at Lincoln Show

The sewing box dates from the 1960s and is made of a plastic weave material. Some people call in Dandycord - which we think was a trade name or brand of PVC flooring. The same material was used in the manufacture of these sewing boxes. You also see chairs, plant pot holders, magazine racks etc from the same period made from it. We were given a real flash of flower power colour when we lifted the lid!  Equally bold & bright were the lovely little teatowel and this absolutely stunning roll of unused 1950s fabric, with it’s classic vase design & period colour combination of yellow, red, grey, black & blue.

It’s always tempting to stay in a warm bed, but we’re glad that we didn’t when we look back at this haul!

14 December 11

Wednesday Wish: Alice Apple retro foodie shopping/tote bag

Alice Apple's retro foodie shopping/tote bag
Retro foodie shopping/tote bag: Alice Apple, Etsy - £15 SOLD

I added Alice Apple's cute, handmade shopping bag to my Etsy favourites & Pinterest wish list board a couple of months ago. I should have known that it wouldn’t last long - it was a one off and I missed my chance. Please Alice, will you be making some more?

22 October 11

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair ‘11

Ken Eardley ceramic jugs and spoons on display

The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2011 is being held this weekend in Manchester city centre - we went to the preview night on Thursday.

a selection of Ken Eardley ceramics on display shelves

It was great to see designer-makers whose work we’ve long admired - there was also the thrill of seeing fresh, new exhibitors.

a selection of Ken Eardley ceramics on display shelves with a recent article about him in BBC Homes & Antiques magazine open on a table

We featured Ken Eardley, whose ceramics are shown above in last year’s GNCCF blog post - once again, his stand had real impact. Things are going really well for him with magazine features such as this recent one in BBC Homes & Antiques.

a display of Jane Blease's handcrafted wooden artworks, lampshades and jewellery

Another striking space belonged to Jane Blease who works primarily with bentwood & reclaimed plastic often with her characteristic hand worked thread detailing. A recent artist residency in India has clearly inspired some of Jane’s new pieces. It’s interesting charting artists’ new developments & influences.

a display of Jane Blease's handcrafted wooden jewellery

The Radiance stand belonging to Hannah Nunn always delivers the goods - her hand cut paper light shades look great when displayed en masse…

a display of Hannah Nunn's Radiance mini lamps

…and we loved her new seed pod window hangings.

detail of the display of Hannah Nunn's Radiance newly designed seedpod window/wall hanginga display of Hannah Nunn's Radiance newly designed seedpod window/wall hanging

Ruth Green, who we’ve seen at GNCCF in previous years, also had some lovely new works…

display of Ruth Green's limited edition framed prints

…and she’s also branched out into illustrated books, notebooks & note cards.

display of Ruth Green's limited edition prints, posters and illustrated books & notebooks

With autumn setting in, Andrea Lord’s &made display offered some warm seasonal comforts…

display of &Made's cream coloured hand knitted mug cosy with grey felt cushion in the background

…such as these gorgeous cushions & cosies.

display of &Made's yellow ochre hand knitted tea cosies

As we mentioned earlier, it’s really exciting to discover new makers and their work…

Gemma Truman's seagrass & glass works inspired by weaverbirds' nests

…we’ll highlight just a couple who made an impact on us.

The first was Gemma Truman, whose hand-blown glass & seagrass hangings and vases are absolutely exquisite - they’re inspired by South African weaverbird nests. We also thought they were very reminiscent of those old fashioned glass fishing net floats.

detail from Gemma Truman's seagrass & glass works inspired by weaverbirds' nests

Second was Louise Hibbert.

display of Louise Hibbert's wooden salt & pepper mills

Her pieces have a natural feel and use subtle, earthy, yet striking colours.

display of Louise Hibbert's wooden salt & pepper mills

As you can see from her salt & pepper mills, they’re organic, tactile and oh so beautiful - they just cry out to be picked up, handled and caressed.

display of Louise Hibbert's coloured wooden salt & pepper mills

The show runs till this Sunday, so visit if you can! We’ve only featured homewares in this post, but there’s also lots of jewellery and fashion on display… and all of it’s for sale… so go on, get your Christmas shopping done early!

3 September 11

Life’s a Beach!

vintage beach bag made of bright yellow 1950s towelling fabric with beach umbrella and male & female swim-suited figures pattern

It’s pouring with rain as we write this, so not exactly sunbathing weather, but we had to highlight this fantastic vintage bag we found this week.

detail of vintage beach bag made of bright yellow 1950s towelling fabric with beach umbrella and male & female swim-suited figures pattern

The bag is ideal for the beach - big enough for your towel, phone, purse, suntan lotion, book, swimming cossie & sunglasses.

And the fabric… how perfect!

detail of vintage beach bag made of bright yellow 1950s towelling fabric with beach umbrella and male & female swim-suited figures pattern with vintage Biba sunglasses sitting on top

And, speaking of sunglasses - we bought this vintage Biba pair at the same market a few weeks earlier. There’s been quite a delay with them reaching the website as Adelle hasn’t stopped wearing them!

detail of vintage 1960s op art patterned inflatable li-lodetail of vintage 1960s op art patterned inflatable li-lo

Two fab beach items that are actually available - both from the 60s/70s. The first is a real eye popping airbed/lilo in shades of orange. The second is a nifty drawstring bag that can be inflated to form a pillow.

detail of vintage 1960s op art patterned inflatable li-lodetail of vintage 1960s op art patterned inflatable li-lo

It’s not quite Autumn yet, so there should be a few more beach days left this year!

14 March 11

Bookmarks - 1950s Fashion Print

book entitled

Today’s Bookmarks book review is 1950s Fashion Print….

front page from the book entitled

…one in a series written by Marnie Fogg and published by Anova Books.

page from the book entitled

The books arrival was perfectly timed as it appeared hot on the heels of our vintage fabric haul which we blogged about recently.

page from the book entitled

It’s very attractive visually.

page from the book entitled

Holding the book, with its tactile, textured cover is almost like handling a piece of barkcloth.

page from the book entitled

An initial flick through the enticing photos contained within persuades you to delve deeper.

page from the book entitled

There are endless examples of superb, period fabric designs to drool over…

page from the book entitled

…full-colour, detailed images of vintage prints on every page.

page from the book entitled

Some very recognisable patterns as well as ones you’ll probably not seen before.

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It isn’t however,  just a collection of pretty pictures…

page from the book entitled

…it’s extremely well researched - Fogg really knows her subject.

page from the book entitled

She used to be a lecturer in Visual Studies and the Culture of Fashion at the University of Nottingham.

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In addition to details about the actual fabric designs, the book encompasses related topics such as interior design and social & historical influences.

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Another strong point of the book is the photo captions - they’re full of additional information and incisive comments.

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It’s a wonderful leisure read, but also a great resource…

page from the book entitled

… an inspiration for design projects or for identifying fabrics that you may be lucky enough to find!

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There’s also a useful bibliography of where to go next if your appetite for 50s patterns has been whetted.

page from the book entitled

It’s a must for devotees of textile designers such as Lucienne Day, Marian Mahler, Robert Stewart, Jaqueline Groag, Sylvia Chambers & Tom Mellor to name but a few  - along with manufacturers such as Heals, David Whitehead Ltd & Edinburgh Weavers…

page from the book entitled

…and for fans of Mid-century Modern in general.

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This book is going to be a permanent fixture on our shelves.

page from the book entitled
1950s Fashion Print can also be bought from our vintage design bookshops: Amazon UK | Amazon US

page from the book entitled

We’ll be following up in the very near future with a review of Fogg’s 1960s Fashion Fabrics

page from the book entitled

…we’re very much looking forward to it!

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[Many thanks to Anova Books for supplying this review copy.]

12 July 08

O is for…

Original ink & wash painting by Geoffrey Key entitled Welsh Valley

This week’s blog is a small homage to a glorious colour. O just had to be for orange.

We are big fans, and judging by our popular photos on Flickr and items that always sell well on H is for Home, so are a lot of you out there.

Orange has the wonderful ability to look warm & cosy in the winter or lively & fresh in the summer.

Orange objects really catch the eye. It enables them to shout loudly in a collection of other brightly coloured pieces.

Alternatively, it’s perfect as a highlight colour within a muted decor or against natural materials.

We’ve given a few chairs the orange treatment!

We did a G is for Garden a couple of months ago having just planted out some annuals. Our French marigolds are doing well in the sunshine & showers.

Till next week! x

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23 May 08

H is for…

H is for banner

Group image of fabric & felt house doorstops

Just for once we’re not going to insist that H is for Home. This week H is for Houses.

We were very pleased to take delivery of these lovely doorstop houses recently.

green doorstop houseorange doorstop houseblue doorstop house

They’re part of the current collection of Somerset-based artist & textile designer, Sarah Nicol.

Sarah has been inspired by travels in Spain, Africa, Asia & America. This collection is influenced by a journey she took through Oregon in the Western United States.

tangerine doorstoppurple doorstop housebeige doorstop house

She produces textile artworks, keepsakes and functional pieces such as these adorable doorstop houses.

orange doorstop house with blue wellies

Each doorstop is handmade and unique, with a quaint, folk art feel.

purple doorstop house detailbeige doorstop house detail

They come filled with sand & ready to use.

Available at H is for Home!

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Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh