Saturday, 30 May 2009

What a great day out!

Mr Fixit and I had a rare Saturday out together today to visit the Vintage and Handmade Fair in Chipping Sodbury. I am aware that many of my followers will not only know of the event but were there as customers or sellers. All that I can say to everyone else is ... "Find out when and where the November 2009 V & H Fair is to be held and move heaven and earth to go!!"

When we arrived the first stand holders we came across were Amanda (Shabby Chick) with her Mum and then Leonore (International Quality Kitsch) with her daughter ... just as though it was a Totnes awayday :)

Then, all other goodies were revealed! The Town Hall made a lovely venue and we were both very impressed that Chipping Sodbury has free car parking. (***** five stars to their town council for such forsight).

Sorry that my photographs aren't too clear, maybe I should have done close ups to use the flash properly but I wanted to get some background in as well. Anyway, the only way to go is up with my photographic skills ... onward and upward as we say!

Above and below ... Michelle's 'Cowboys and Custard stand ... packed with goodies.

Then on to see my 'Blog Mentors' Sal (Salssnippets) and Mr Snippets (who is known on his blog as Professor Yaffle). It was so lovely to see them, Their kind encouragement has really helped with my blogging. Sal's stand was alive with colour and goodies, all very tempting but in the end I treated myself to a beautiful little vintage gardening book. ... More about purchases tomorrow when, in better light, I photograph my 'trove' to share with you. I'll probably edit this with more captions too.
However, for the time being, as all good books go ... then , tired but happy, they went home for tea ... THE END

... and finally, where did we end the day's browsing? No, not the zoo ... answer to follow tomorrow.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Arts Award presents "A Day at the Beach - 1950's" with KEVICC students in partnership with This'n'That on Saturday 23rd May.

What a great start to the day on Saturday when a group of KEVICC students set up outside the shop to present their version of This'n'That's 1950's beach theme.
They were just great and deserve a big round of applause. The students had visited the shop previously to choose the aspect to focus upon ... and well ... the pictures speak for themselves!! They even put down sand to create the 'beach' from which they 'paddled'.

The Great Create at Greenway House

On Sunday Mr Fixit and I set out for The Great Create at Greenway House (Agatha Christie's holiday home on the banks of the Dart). The sky was blue, it was warm and such a delightfu;l setting for the event. We had to use the National Trust's website for Greenway to book in our car parking allocation (no booking-no parking, be warned!) and arrived just after the allocated time. A buggy (the golf course sort gave lifts to and from the house for those who needed help, which was just right for Paul who is still limping after his new knee op'.
The Great Create folks were in the walled garden .... a lovely setting with stalls and a variety of sculptures scattered around.
Anne Hume, who exhibits her silver jewellery in This'n'That and Art Rooms (see links on my blog) had set up a lovely display ...

Friday, 22 May 2009

Remember when?!

As visitors to the shop already know, it is small and not very perfectly formed. What I would really enjoy doing, given more space, is to offer a comfy corner for you to catch up with all of those old comics, Enid Blytons. Biggles, Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drews etc. etc.
Oh well it's nice to dream ... meanwhile you are really welcome to call in and browse:)

As I'm always saying to visitors to the shop, when you start to browse through the old comics, books and annuals you will start to remember things which you never even realised you'd forgotten! ... If you see what I mean:)

Film stars at This'n'That!

Not the easiest items to photograph because of the cellophane wrapping but I'd like to introduce you to the filmstar residents from This'n'That! ...
Dorothy Lamour
Judy Garland
Rita Hayworth
Ava Gardener
Betty Grable
Bette Davis ... and
Gene Tierney!

The dolls are like those which (the older bloggers may recall) had to be cut out and then be dressed in cut out clothes with paper tabs to attach each item.
These are already cut out, have great wardrobes and seem to fit that 'more than a card but not an expensive present' category.
I sell them for £4.50 each and would gladly post at cost to fellow bloggers.

Vintage, Gayway Reading Scheme school posters by Macmillan just arrived!

They feature different traditional nursery rhymes. The colours are vibrant and the artwork quite nostalgic. Not certain how old they are but suffice to say that their folder, with the series name on, looks just the same as the 1950's Enid Blyton poster series folder.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

This'n'That ... Who'd have thought it?!

Sorry not to have much to blog this weekend but at home it's all hands to the boxes and bin sacks as we prepare for our spare room cum my office space to be gutted and refurbed. Oh bliss, oh joy .. but there's not much of either around at the moment. (Sal, I take heart from the before and after pics of your bathroom project!)

Anyway, I've been saving these two little namesakes (of shop & blog) to show you. Hopefully in the coming months I will find more.
I would guess that the book is early C20.
The pack of cards is marked as 1963. Haven't had time to read the rules yet but it looks quite complicated and certainly needs to be tackled in a calmer atmosphere than we have today!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

I just love vintage Ladybird Books!!

They are an extra special treat when they arrive by post at breakfast time!

The reading scheme books contain some of my favourite artwork. Reproductions of the pictures are available now but nothing beats original books. I have a wide range of vintage Ladybird available in the shop as well as a 'behind the scenes' store for topping up stock. I also run a 'finder's book' and try to track down favourites for customers. However, I generally avoid the expensive, rare, collectable ones simply because it will do This'n'That's reputation a power of no good to have those high prices attached to our books ... hope you see what I mean:)

There's similarly, simple, nostalgic artwork in the Learning With Mother series which, I am happy to say, are still favourites with young Mums who visit the shop. I always try to keep a wider spot amidst the clutter for buggy parking to give Mum a few free minutes to browse.

Interesting to see the 1969 advice to teachers in "Teaching Reading" with key words, guidance on teaching phonics, the use of big pictures and sentence cards ....... need I say more?

Somewhere, tucked away, I have a copy of the reader which I was taught with in the 1950's and what do you know!!...... even that had similar advice ......

Is this the start of a soapbox rant I hear you say ... could be but I will resist. Suffice to say that I retired from thirty four years of teaching a few years back and opened the shop.

An interesting twist! Children's stories were far less protective in the heyday of the Ladybird books. Here, at the end of "The Sly Fox and The Little Red Hen" the fox and his mother were killed by being scalded to death with boiling water. Not very fluffy as tales for the young go but were little lives blighted? I think not!

PS Watch this blog for information/pics. re Ladybird tins, pencil/make-up cases, notebooks, coasters, mugs, trays .....all of which are sold in This'n'That.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Sneak Preview for bloggers!

Not sure if it will be used for a tag or a giveaway card yet but I sat down at the computer to do boring stuff and ended up posting blogs (not at all boring to do!) and playing with Photoshop.

Contrasting views on lawns ...

My approach to our garden (since I became so busy with the shop) is to leave most of it alone and to let nature take its course. This is in complete opposition to my husband's style which is that of the grim reaper! In fact one year for Christmas I had a polo shirt specially embroidered for him with a picture of the 'old man' with the scythe encircled by the words GRIM REAPER GARDEN SERVICES ... it has had little wear.
Anyway, back to my style ... as portrayed below... (our lawn). It should be awarded a set aside grant ... see the 'rare' buttercup surrounded by daisies and in need of peace and quiet to flourish!!
PS Less than an hour later the mowing began!

Growing lad!

As we watched young (he's four) Leo pottering amongst the daisies my husband remarked how much slimmer and trimmer Leo looked now that he was out and about on his paws more what with Spring and warmer days etc.

As Leo reached his bird watching seat (why bother with a hide?!) ... I looked at him carefully and was unable to see the weight loss ... in fact he reminds me of the Ronald Searle cat pics. What do you think?
PS Leo takes himself VERY seriously and so we had to go indoors to laugh:) :)

This boy still enjoys his ornithology .. and thankfully cannot get into our hedge which we have secretly lined with green mesh to Leo-proof the nests!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

and now for ... the garden ...

Yes, she is quite armless! She certainly does not have the artistic merit of the pieces from Dartington Hall gardens featured in earlier blogs. However, we have been trying to improve her looks. I decided that a mossy bikini might be good (for her that it!) and so we painted a layer of yoghurt onto her in the shape of a bra. (We had been reliably informed that this would greatly speed up the growth of moss! Not so, Leya (our cat featured in an earlier blog) loves yoghurt and licked it all off and so this modest amount (or should I say immodest!!) of moss is the best which we could manage for her in three years of effort. She should be well clad by mid 21st century at this rate.

The nearest that Leo can get to looking like the lions on the wildlife programme.

Introducing my other little lion, Leya, Leo's sister.

Like Leo, Leya is a ragdoll cat. Unlike him, she hasn't a care in the world about how she looks and will come into the house wearing bits of hedge and wildlife (not fleas - just stuff from the garden!). Leo preens a lot and has a reputation for being a bit of a dandy. Leya looks just as she did as a fluffy, tufty kitten ... just larger!
She doesn't like cameras and almost always looks away from them.


Visitors to This'n'That' will know all too well how much I use my plastic Scrabble pieces in the shop. I also sell pieces for all sorts of purposes. One customer chose her dog's name in Scrabble to go over his kennel door; another purchased 'marry me' for Valentine's Day (outcome unknown!).
However, I have only ever had odds and ends of wooden tiles ... and now I have a whole set and the world is my lobster, oyster ...whatever!


We set off to search for vases and jugs but returned with games and books!! ... nice ones though:)

Another witty title for the 'schooldays' collection!