Friday, 23 November 2012

ENCHANTED CHILDHOOD ~ Crown Staffordshire 'Pixie' Bowl

Crown Staffordshire 'Pixies' Cereal/fruit bowl circa 1906

Taken just before the demolition of the Minerva Works
Photo: Aug 2001
website origin

When you live in a tiny cottage what you collect must be small, and it is especially wonderful when you find items which combine some of your 'Objects of Desire' into one. This little bowl which is over a hundred years old has delightfully done just that.  

This is a rare Crown Staffordshire 'Pixies' Cereal/fruit bowl circa 1906, beautifully hand painted and very fine china. Yes, it is cracked, but at it's age a little imperfection is to be expected. We love it.

We do not know who the artist was, (but would love to). They make it looks effortless, and it probably was for them. Some people have the gift of magical creatures and beings appearing at a wave of their hand.

Over the years we have amassed a lot of collections.  Dragons and all things wearing pointy hats being just two of them. Not to mention Mushrooms, Butterflies and Rabbits.

We are supposed to source items to sell, but sometimes they just belong in our cottage.

Gnome with Dragon Hatchling

And this ..... is a gentleman wearing a nicely pointy red hat with a Dragon hatchling. Why?  No idea, but we do like them a lot. It has a mark which says 1994 DHM and it is china not resin. As you can see, they are very happy together. If anyone might know anything more about them please tell us!

Meanwhile all of the Pixies, Dragons and Pointy Hatted ones are dwelling happily ever after in our cavernous display case in a corner.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

SEASONAL ~ Through a Glass Darkly

Winter Reflections


The last of the amber and copper coloured leaves are falling fast. The Owl does not call on clear moon lit nights. Autumn has gone.

The bare trees reach out, leaning against one another and making spooky sculptures. Creaking in the night wind.

Winter comes with long thin icy fingers, the trees reflected in the windows.
Fog hangs in the air, and frost is upon the grass. When the rain stops.

This is a time for pretty things, bright baubles, and candles. 

Mirror with fairy lights

I like gathering old books to read over the holidays, mainly Fairy Tales and Ghost Stories. There is an old traditional in England of reading ghost stories aloud on Christmas Eve. Some of the oldest ones are the scariest. I've been reading The Violet Car by Evelyn Nesbit, (best known for her children’s books). The author of 'The Railway Children', was a great beauty in her day who was also known to turn her pretty hand to a ghostly tale. 

Evelyn Nesbit on a bear rug in her studio, 1901

The story begins with a paragraph that hooks straight away, beautifully written - and already haunting. When a nurse goes down to a remote farmhouse on the Downs to look after an elderly couple she discovers that their madness has a terrifying edge to it. And why is the old man haunted by hallucinations of a violet car?

'Do you know the downs-the wide, windy spaces, the rounded shoulders of hills leaned against the sky, the hollows where farms and homesteads nestle sheltered, with trees round them pressed close and tight as a carnation in a button hole?'

Do you have a favourite ghost story?

America has Thanksgiving between Halloween and Christmas. It is a holiday that has changed substantially over the years, but gratitude is a blessing.  After Bonfire Night November is a quiet month for me, taking time out to reflect upon the year that has passed and beginning to 'draw in' for the Winter. It is nice to nest and to be glad of home.

Further reading:

1. Corinthians 13:12 contains the phrase βλεπομεν γαρ αρτι δι εσοπτρου εν αινιγματι (blepomen gar arti di esoptrou en ainigmati), which is "For now we see through a glass, darkly." This passage has inspired the titles of many works.

2. Hutchinson - 50 Years of Ghost Stories

3. Virago - Book of Ghost Stories

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

CREATIVE PEOPLE ~ Rustic Vintage Country

We're been so busy with the shop this time of year that we've not found time to catch up on reading and blogging. We wanted to say a big thank you to a fellow blogger, Suzy Wollaston over at Rustic Vintage Country and tell you about her. Last month she celebrated her blog's first birthday and had a giveaway. We won 3rd prize, which was amazing as we never win anything!

The items arrived beautifully wrapped, and are delightful. The handmade lavendar sachets with wonderful little pictures on them smell Heavenly and immediately scented the room. The little wooden Christmas ornaments are already hanging up adding seasonal cheer.

She was incredibly generous and also included a beautiful pale green beaded heart made from vintage fabric and lace, wrapped in a handmade box! Too pretty for words. These little keepsakes would make great stocking stuffers and we also love the idea of using them attached to a wrapped present to give it that special touch. Thank you Suzy!

All of these photos are her own and you can find more lovely items in her shops.

As well as her handmade things, she also sells vintage items from two Etsy shops, and has a facebook page . These are the links where you can find her:

Rustic Vintage Country

Rustic Vintage Country Handmade shop on Etsy

Her Rustic Vintage Country 'Vintage' shop on Etsy

The Rustic Vintage Country facebook page
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