wE ARE OFF AGAIN WITH AN EMPTY CAR, EMPTY ZIP BAGS. AND WE HOPE TO PART FILL THEM WITH A GOOD ASSORTMENT OF fRENCH DELIGHTS, NOT JUST CHEESE AND WINE, BUT ALSO A SELECTION OF THOSE LOVELY THINGS THAT SOMETIMES GRIP YOU WHEN YOU SEE THEM ON THE STALL OF A DEALER, WHO SOMETIMES JUST REGARDS HIS STOCK AS CLEARANCE JUNK AND CANT WAIT TO GET RID OF IT
AND WHO THINKS THE FOREIGNERS ARE JUST MAD TO BUY OLD JUNK THAT IS CERTAINLY NOT A LA MODE AND BELONGS TO THE DAYS OF HIS GRANDMOTHER.
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Sunday, 28 August 2011
ONCE AGAIN I MUST APOLOGISE TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE APPLIED THESE LAST TWO WEEKS FOR INVITATIONS TO THE T4T TEXTILE FAIR AT THE AMERICAN MUSEUM ON THURSDAY, SEPT 1. WE HAVE HAD TO STOP SENDING INVITATIONS OUT AS THERE IS NOT ENOUGH ROOM IN THE CAR PARKS(2)FOR ANY MORE CARS AND THE BUILDINGS WILL BE OVER-FILLED BEYOND THEIR CAPACITY. YOU CAN PROBABLY FIND PARKING (PAYING) AT THE NEARBY UNIVERSITY CAMPUS. WE HAVE THEREFORE RELUCTANTLY CLOSED THE LIST AND HOPE YOU WILL UNDERSTAND. IF THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE TRYING TO GET INTO THE FAIR BUILDINGS, WE MAY HAVE TO CLOSE THE DOORS TEMPORARILY, BUT THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT AND WE HOPE ANY CRUSH WILL SOON DISPERSE.. VISIT AND ADMIRE MARILYN MONROE'S 20 DRESSES IN THE EXHIBITION GALLERY, THE MANSION HOUSE WITH ITS WONDERFUL HISTORICAL AMERICAN FURNISHINGS, THE COFFEE SHOP, THE EXCELLENT GIFT AND REPLICA SHOP, THE MOUNT VERNON GARDENS AND THE ARBORETUM, ALL INCLUDED IN YOUR FREE INVITATION.
Saturday, 20 August 2011
WE ARE NOW COMPLETELY FULL WITH CARS AND PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN MUSEUM -WE MAY HAVE OVERDONE IT AND THERE COULD BE WAITS AND QUEUES! THERE HAS BEEN A TRULY AMAZING REPONSE TO TALENT FOR TEXTILES DEALERS' INVITATIONS AND BLOGS (FOR WHICH MANY THANKS) AND WE KNOW THAT THERE WILL BE CROWDS BUT THERE IS PLENTY ELSE TO SEE AND DO IF YOU FIND OUR FAIR TOO FULL - WE ARE TAKING ALL MEASURES TO EASE THINGS AND HOPE YOU CAN BE PATIENT - THE COFFEE SHOP WILL BE OPEN AND THERE,TOO, I WOULD SUGGEST YOU CALL IN REALLY EARLY OR RATHER LATE FOR ANY REFRESHMENTS ESPECIALLY SHOULD THE WEATHER BE WET AND YOU WANT TO SIT FOR A BIT UNDER COVER! REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR INVITATION CARD FOR FREE ADMISSION.
Friday, 19 August 2011
My husband's grandfather was a big and canny farmer - big man with big ideas. One day he returned home from Newmarket with a gross of screwdrivers, announcing proudly "they're cheaper by the dozen" - that was 124 screwdrivers! Maybe I follow in his (large) footsteps because I've always loved buying by the gross, things that are small, cheap and unusual. I like to be the sole owner of something very attractive, queer and well under £5, that will bring people, even children, to my stall at a Fair. My best wholesale venture was to invest about £90 in a small warehouse full of pre-war pill boxes, red for dangerous medicine, and a beautiful collection of glass reels for holding surgeon's sutures and a lot of other medical paraphenalia in fine glass - atomisers, and pumps, etc. I had a stall in a stately home near Cambridge, and to my delight found that these all intrigued the many doctors and nurses from that area - especially Addenbrook's, a training hospital nearby. The little pill boxes I sold by the dozen, for dolls house hat boxes and many went to jewellers for rings and earings. Some went to children for the tooth fairy! The lovely glass reels and thread winders in 5 different sizes and many different colours (colour coded for speedy sorting in very pre-war operating theatres) went to embroiderers and crafts people and especially to fly-fishing experts. I actually met some retired nurses who remembered using these charming obsolete things. Alas! I sold every last one so have none to illustrate!
Saturday, 13 August 2011
Monday, 8 August 2011
I have just been to France (Brittany) and visited a few fairs hoping to add to my stock of attractive floral prints and some jolly striped tickings. I found none - just one ticking I sold the day after returning home - and now the cupboard is bare - I was able to find some good really rough hemp sheets, hand-woven and very grainy in oatmeal shades, plus masses of good offcuts from a workshop which will be useful for people making cushions, table mats and tote bags (I'm bringing them to the American Museum fair) I did find one beautiful shirt smock with fine embroidery on the collar and 6 tiny and amazing hand-made linen bobble buttons - I think it must have been a wedding shirt, it is so beautifully embroidered on such coarse heavy fabric and I find it a very touching example of skill with very primitive materials.
While in Brittany, I went back to see my friend in the France profonde to hear more about her family. She told me her mother never learnt to read or write and was a washerwoman for the village for 27 years. She washed the clothes and sheets and hung them to dry on a line which went right round a field that she hired from her landlord, the local chateau owner.
She soaked it all first in cold water, then boiled it up in a great copper, used blocks of soap and a brush to clean everything, rinsed it in another lot of clean water and carted it out to her washing line - rain was a disaster and sometimes she had to re-wash to get rid of the mud, and then there was the ironing and folding. My friend, aged 14, with her 3 brothers, had the job of delivering the laundry back round the village. Her mother lived long enough to see her daughter open an antique shop which specialised in antique costume and linen, and was so pleased she had an easier life than hers.
Saturday, 6 August 2011
Sorry, my computer crashed the day before I WENT OFF TO FRANCE AND HAS ONLY JUST BEEN RESTORED TO HEALTH AND ACTION, it was suffering from builder's dust and very sick! so I have had a lot of catching up to do with over 80 emails awaiting my attention - now all dealt with and it's on with the show. I have today sent out over 200 invitations for the American Museum Fair which is going to be a really special and exciting event. We have 35 dealers from all over and they will be bringing interesting and varied stock from many parts of the world - not just France! I will catch up with some of the big names and special collections in another Blog when I have tidied up the backlog and booked some helpers for the event. It is not too late to email me for a free invitation - I will ask you to complete a booking form and then put you on the mailing list as well if you want to join for next year's events. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org