Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

A Very Happy New Year - may 2009 be a prosperous and joyous year for you all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas To You All!

We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It has been an amazing year and we've seen our little business continue to grow throughout the months; which has meant it has also been a very busy year - so now is the perfect time to say a huge 'thank you' to everyone who has made a purchase from our shop, and to everyone who has spared their time to email or leave a comment here on the Vintage Home blog. We are currently working on many new ideas for the website which we will revealed early next year - and of course we will be adding lots and lots of ever more beautiful vintage treasures. In the meantime, we will be entertaining friends and family over the Christmas holidays; we have a full-house on Christmas day so I will be busy in the kitchen, but I am hoping to relax in the evening with a glass or two of something warming! The cottage is festively dressed for Christmas so I thought I would share the photos with you...

...logs stacked in the inglenook, the woodburner warming the room, and the pretty garland decorating the beam...

...lots of twinkling lights and greenery on the main beam...

...Much-loved decorations adding charm and prettiness...

...the tree in all its glory...

...all that's missing are the presents - yet to be wrapped!

As well as photos of our festive cottage, I'd like to share a tale of Christmas past...

Wartime Christmas

Amongst my collection of portrait paintings is this utterly charming oil painting of a young lady. Inscribed on the reverse is the date it was painted; Christmas Eve 1941 and every time I look at it, my mind conjures up a very special Christmas scene. I imagine a typical 1940s parlour with home-made decorations of paper chains, streamers and lanterns. A fire crackles in the hearth and a clock ticks softly on the mantelpiece above. A small table sits under the window, which is hung with heavy black-out curtains. The table is draped with an embroidered tablecloth and upon this sits a selection of small gifts, wrapped in brown paper and tied with coloured ribbons. The gifts are very unlike today's luxurious and glamorous trinkets, but each has been chosen or made lovingly for the person in mind. Perhaps some nuts, an orange, a knitted scarf or gloves. A wooden plane or boat for the young boy, a ragdoll for the little girl; all very simple by today's standards but so very special all those years ago in war-torn England.
By the gentle glow of the fire, a young lady sits patiently as her image is painted by the artist.

They may have sat there listening to the sound of enemy aircraft overhead and heard the distant wail of the air-raid warning rise up into the night sky. As the hours of Christmas Eve ticked by and the artist and his model exchanged laughter and soft words, her smiling image and a moment in time were captured on canvas. Who was that artist? Perhaps a sister or brother, creating a wonderful present for their parents. Perhaps a young beau, keeping the painting hidden until finished, and then unveiling it for his young lady on Christmas morning.
There is no way to know who painted this wonderful portrait, or the circumstances in which it was painted, but I can't help thinking that the young lady looks so happy and positive, looking towards a good future, despite the uncertain era she was living in.

That's what Christmas and New Year is about, it is a time to reflect on the past year and to look forward to the coming year with fresh hopes and aspirations.

Have a wonderful and Very Merry Christmas everyone! Clare & Mike xx

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Are you sitting comfortably..?

In addition to my collections of vintage treasures I also have a thing about chairs, sofas and cushions - can you have too many cushions?!! Our tiny cottage has always been home to a plethora of painted kitchen chairs and don't even ask how many wing-back chairs we have had in the past few years! It doesn't matter where we go, you can absolutely guarantee I will fall in love with a pretty chair of some description! These days, it is a real treat to be able to indulge my love for such items on a regular basis; I buy them for the website which means I am able to appreciate them for a short while before they go to a new home!

This diminutive 1930s sofa was a real find. It has a drop arm and its orginal plain upholstery has been expertly covered in an old Sanderson floral linen.

It's the perfect sofa for a study or studio - yes, you've guessed it, I would dearly like to keep it!

This beautiful old windsor chair is another favourite of mine.

Its rich patina fits in wonderfully with country-style decor...

...and the pretty tapestry roses seat ensures you enjoy a nice comfy seat!

I did buy something recently which I am definitely keeping for myself - one of Hen's gorgeous fabric covered notebooks!

I spied the books on one of her recent blog posts and decided I just had to have one! Hen makes them in all sorts of designs, this one being a patchwork of CK fabrics.

I believe she has added them to her etsy shop, so you'd better be quick if you want to buy one as I'm sure they will be very popular!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas Past and Present...

Earlier this year, whilst visiting an antiques fair we found a beautiful Victorian Christmas box, decorated with holly and a pretty young lady, all wrapped up nice and cosy in her hat and coat. I had planned to display the box this Christmas but then we thought what a lovely idea it would be to reproduce the image for this year's Vintage Home Christmas card!

So here it is, we have made some slight alterations - can you spot them? - and added a special Christmas greeting inside. Once all the cards are sent the box will be empty again - all I have to do now is decide what to fill it with; any suggestions?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

and the Winner is...

Thank you all for your patience and your lovely comments; I am overwhelmed to have received so many! Sorry I made you all wait for the draw; we had a busy old time on the website during November thanks to a mention in one of the homestyle magazines and the Independent. This meant we were rather pre-occupied for a while there, but we have now picked a winner! As I hadn't had time to write all the names out I asked a friend to pick a number from 1 to 111 and she chose 23, so congratulations to Fiona of Gingham and Flowers who was the 23rd comment. No-one actually guessed the prize which is the most adorable little Barbola mirror, although Heart in the Country came very close with her guess of a hand mirror, so there is a little prize on the way to Kim. I have decided to add a few extras to accompany the beautiful Barbola mirror including some yummy chocolates, a floral scented candle, a handstitched Christmas stocking and one of our exclusive Christmas cards; hope you like it Fiona, and a big thank you to everyone who took part. There will be another giveaway in the near future - watch this space!

We have switched the Christmas lights on at Vintage Home - if you pop along to the home page you'll see them twinkling away merrily! The website is being updated this week with some rather beautiful items, so keep a lookout! I'll be back in a day or so with a Christmassy post for you all! See you soon..!