Sunday, March 1, 2009

Op Shopping

On a Friday morning, every two to three weeks, I venture out, by myself, and go shopping for something other than groceries. In the north of the Island is The Bridge. Guernsey actually used to be two islands with a bridge joining them before they filled in the 'gap' sometime during the 1860s, just like that no planning approval required! The Bridge is the Island's second shopping district. There are five charity shops, one of which only opened yesterday, and one curio shop at the Bridge; more than enough browsing for and hour or two. I usually cash myself up with the bank breaking budget of twenty pounds. Here are some photos of my latest scrounges.

The Star Wars book is for my son, the other three are for me although I think I can safely say the chocolate one is really for my husband. With the addition of this chocolate cookbook my grand total of cookbooks solely dedicated to the art of chocolate cooking is now four. I am actually quite glad of a few new ideas and for 75p how could I say 'no'. I actually like desserts with fruit but as my husband, on the whole, dislikes cooked fruit I usually end up making something of the cocoa persuasion.

This hand crocheted throw is large enough to cover a single bed. It is in wonderful condition with only one ten centimetre hole in some of the edge scalloping. I washed it in fairly hot water and it came up a lovely fresh white. I haven't decided what I am going to do with it yet. It makes me a little sad that it was in a charity shop at all. There are hours and hours of working lovingly put into creating this throw. I am sad because no-one in its creator's family wanted it. If I had something like this from my Nan I would treasure it always. I paid 30p for it and am more than happy to give it a new home. I'm always doing this; imagining little scenarios as to how particular items end up at the charity shop. For all I know the creator of the throw simply didn't want it anymore so they donated it. Not really a romantic notion, I think I prefer my version, even though it is a little melancholy.

I bought the little rose candlestick at another of the charity shops. It is very chippy and well loved but it goes nicely on the bookcase in my kitchen where all my particularly girly items keep each other company. My husband insists he does not mind a bit of pink and roses around but I do try not to drown him in it. This fabulous rose bowl is French Sarreguemines majolica pottery. I just couldn't believe my luck when I found it and only £2. It does have a small 3cm hairline on the rim but it doesn't go all the way through the edge and it is stable. I want to use it in my kitchen as a fruit bowl. I try to make sure everything I buy has some use, even if it is just to add to an existing collection, otherwise we would soon be unable to move for my 'must have' finds.

I have been looking at vintage rolling pins on Ebay for quite a while but when you include the postage they always end up costing too much. I saw some displayed in someone's kitchen in an article in 'Australian Country Style' magazine a few years ago and have always wanted to achieve something similar in my kitchen. These little beauties were only 50p each; thus begins another one of my bizarre collections.

I am in a redecorating 'zone' at the moment and will be repainting the hallway in the next week or so. I am painting the wall cream and coffee. There is a dado rail a third of the way up the wall, so the top two thirds will be cream and the bottom third will be coffee. When we moved into our house eighteen months ago the walls were a pristine pale cream but after exposure to our hoard for a year and a half the walls resemble those of a football team's changing room. There are footprints (no I am not kidding), crayon, , general dirt, pen, smudges of an undefinable nature, pencil, red ink fingerprints and a stain I am as yet unable to identify. I feel a more sensible colour combination is required. Coffee is the answer. If I paint the bottom of the wall coffee, the milky variety not the short black kind, this will immediately alleviate two problems 1. I will be unable to see the footprints/dirt/etc and 2. as a direct result of this ignorant bliss my stress levels will drop. I should point out I am not a 'washing the walls' kind of Mum. My walls get washed with sugar soap just before I paint them and that's pretty much it; although I did try to remove the stain from a full glass of milk exploding all over the floor and up the wall but I got distracted half way through, unfortunately. I did clean up the milk on the floor and the broken cup but alas the milky wall was ignored for a few days and by then the fat from the milk had soaked into the paint work and we had our own little milky work of art, that is until recently when, you guessed it, I washed the wall with sugar soap and painted over it. So anyway, back to the coffee. I don't really get that stressed about the marks in the hallway for their own sake it is more for the sake of the impression it leaves with guests to our home. When they walk in our front door I would like them to feel welcome, happy and calm not in fear that whatever creature left the footprints and the blood red fingerprints up the wall is going to leap from the shadows and rip out their throat. So coffee it is.

Once again the 'Country Style' was inspirational. I saw a photo of a wall covered in a collection of various sizes, shapes and shades of blue and white plates. So another collection is born. I found the plates in this photo at the curio shop. One of them is from the eighteen hundreds and is in fabulous condition. As for the dolls, well quite frankly the old imagination kicked in once more. There was a large basket of an assortment of international dolls on the counter and I started to talk to the volunteer behind the counter about how sad it was that someone's lifelong collection of dolls from their travels ended up here with no-one to love them. We had a chat about this and that and I left the shop. Those little faces talked to me all up the street, no I've not lost my mind by the way, and after I had finished my shopping I stopped back in at the shop and gave these two ladies a home. I don't actually know much about dolls but their bodies are material with plastic arms and their faces have the look and feel of paper. I have seen dolls on other blogs 'froofed' up so I may well give that a go at some point in the future; but until that day of infinite hours arrives they will adorn the study and keep me company.

I'm off to plan our cottage garden now. My husband has just spent four hours today digging up the lawn. I'll show you the result soon.

1 comment:

  1. oh yes...I love your blog...I cant wait until this weekend, I will be back to check out your earlier posts!! Laurie