Archive for

2013 Top of the Posts

Posted on 31 December, 2013

Firstly, let me say thank you to so many of you that stopped by yesterday to read the blog. It’s lovely to read your comments, thank you.

Now down to the fun stuff. On the 15th of October I started this blog and I’ve been thrilled with the response it has gotten.

So without further ado I give you the top 5 most popular blog posts of 2013.

At 5 we have the Amber beauty, for number 4 we’ll have tea please, coming in at number 3 we go back to the car boot sale, lining up nicely for number 2 are these turkish delights, and finally the moment you’ve been waiting for. Taking the top slot of the most popular post of 2013 is The City Guide to Cork Vintage! Wahooooooo! Thank you all for reading the blog.

Did your favourite make the top 5?  I hope you have a lovely New Year.

See you in 2014,x

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8 months of being a mum

Posted on 30 December, 2013

I have been a mum to Ewan for eight months now it’s hard to imagine back to when I was pregnant and a time before he was born.

Since Ewan has come into our lives I had moments of pure happiness that I never knew were possible. I love him in a way that was totally unimaginable to me before. It is very hard to write about without sounding like a cliche. Let’s just say I miss him now and he is only two doorways away. I literally want to burst with joy when I see him and Steve chuckling. He has had me laughing at my own sneezes for longer than is rational. Days are shorter, nights-out are rare but things are funnier with him around, we sing more, I walk more, we look forward to seeing him in the morning because he flaps his blanket with excitement to see us.When your pregnant people tell you you are never going to be the same which to me sounded ominous. Your told to sleep before the baby is born because you’ll never sleep again, definite ominous tones!

People tell you a lot of things when your brandishing a bump.

In a way I felt ready, almost anxiously awaiting this love I was going to feel. For me, it was more gradual then the movies. It slowly crept up on me, every day discovering something new about him which now I could not live without.

One thing people didn’t really prepare me about was how vulnerable I’d feel.

At times I felt in the middle of an identity crisis. Who am I now? Am I any different? Am I incredibly boring? Who was I before? These thoughts would float in and out. Sometimes I would get upset by them and other times I would just let them be.

The worst of these days came in June this year. My parents came by to baby sit while Steve and I went to the park and lay on the grass to soak up some sun and take a needed rest. Lying looking at the sky through my sunglasses I felt overwhelmingly sad. Sad doesn’t really cover it. Tears streamed down my face and I was almost afraid to move. I tried not to make a show of myself in the park and I quietly said to Steve that we need to leave. When he asked what was wrong I had no idea what to say. I had been away from Ewan before but this didn’t feel about Ewan, it felt about me.

Eventually, I managed to say I felt like I was broken. Steve tried to understand what I was talking about but I couldn’t describe it. Even now I struggle. We walked back from the park in silence me with tears running down my face.The word fragile doesn’t seem to cover it because I physically felt broken, like a piece of glass that was stuck together with glue and all that was needed was a wayward elbow and I would break.

Once home I sobbed, wailed even, and Dad gave me a cuddle. Steve, Mum and Dad looked worriedly at me. When I said that there was nothing wrong I was just sad and continued to sob they seemed calmed. They reassured me that my body’s hormones needed to re-balance and that crying was a good thing to let it all out.

After the tears I had a cuddle with Ewan and as you can see from the photo below he was not disturbed by his teary mum and instead was eager to tell me what he had got up to with his grandparents (in googley talk of course).

At the time I thought, well nobody tells you this. They tell you the benefits of frozen cabbage for breastfeeding but they don’t tell you you are likely to have a melt down at a random moment and there may be many more of these before your body adjusts!

I was reminded of all the highs and lows when I met my cousin and his wife over Christmas. They are expecting in February and I  mentioned being in labour for two days ( I was induced but Ewan wasn’t going anywhere until exactly his due date). It reminded me of how everyone seemed to tell me more and more birth stories that sounded like war tales the closer I got to my due date.

But none of this is meant to sound scary or off putting. It’s just how it was for a short period of time. Sometimes for a few hours in the day, sometimes for longer. But the tears helped me, a lot, and I got rid of whatever needed to go. I love being Ewan’s mum and I am enjoying figuring out who I am now. I think I’m essentially the same but giggle more and have a blog.

I hope I haven’t scared you off, pop back tomorrow for the most popular posts of 2013. (Cue gratuitous picture of an 8 day old Ewan looking cute and baby like).

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Christmas in Review

Posted on 27 December, 2013

I had drafted a blog post about Christmas but then I reconsidered. The original went like this:

“I hope you had a lovely and special Christmas. In this house it was one to remember. It was Ewan’s first, our first Christmas at home and our first time hosting Christmas for our parents.

The self proclaimed results are in and it was a roaring success.”

I then waxed lyrical about how wonderful it all was, how Ewan was amazing and delightful, how Steve had cooked a gorgeous dinner for us and our parents, merging new and old traditions and we finished the evening off with a rousing game of Cranium and brandy.

All of this is true and it really was a very special Christmas.

But sometimes in the land of blogs everything can seem gloriously wholesome and flawless. As an avid blog reader I sometimes think am I the only one whose baby cries, whose hair does very regrettable things and whose Christmas table settings are not pieces of art that make people faint with awe.

So in addition to the outline above, Christmas table setting was fine but did not inspire (see below), I had flashes of grumpiness directed at poor Dad for no particular reason, Ewan was fantastic in the day but woke up at about 10 and was very distressed. We don’t know why exactly, but he woke and screamed  in an earth shattering way for about an hour while four loving and anxious grandparents waited downstairs for news of how he was doing.

My hair was not good at all and in the majority of photos I have a double chin, see below.

But I wouldn’t swap it for a blog perfect Christmas (although I will definitely get my hair done!). I know exactly how lucky I am and I am hugely grateful to have family I love dearly, amazing food and more presents than you can shake a stick at!

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Flowery Goodness

Posted on 19 December, 2013

I have a wee confession to make, I have been holding something back.  I have been slyly thinking of keeping this beautiful flowery jug (a regular temptation, especially with Arklow pottery!). But then I thought of how happy I was when I found it and how it might make someone else happy when they happen upon it in my shop.

Plus I did say from the off set that when I find a vintage treasure I would share it with you so in the sprite of giving and sharing here is a brilliant retro jug I found a few weeks ago on a thriving adventure. Adventure is really too elaborate a term, trip would probably be more accurate.

Another reason I have been holding this lady back is that I haven’t been able to find out anyything about the company that made it. I even find it hard to tell what it’s made of. You would think ceramic but it “dings” like enamel plus it feels too light to be ceramic. It could be china from the noise it makes with a gental flick but somehow I’m not convinced. Either way, it’s a retro beauty.

In the spirit of sharing I’m going to share my jug love with A Living SpaceSir Thrift A lot, and We Call it Junkin. 

This and other long awaited treasures will be making their way to the shop tomorrow.I’ll let you know on Facebook once they are up.

I have just been offered some mulled wine so I’m off to watch The Big Lebowski with a yummy glass of warming mulled wine and some pop corn.

Happy 6 days to Christmas,xx


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Brassed Off

Posted on 18 December, 2013

Today I got soaked. So drenched I had to squeeze my socks dry. To say I got caught in a shower of rain would be an understatement.

I got home dried off and set about making my brass car boot sale finds look pretty. I noticed while doing it that I was pretty grumpy. The photos weren’t working, Ewan couldn’t settle and the battery in my camera was not helping

Then friends arrived unexpectedly with their beautiful baby boy who is the picture of snuggles in a reindeer outfit and all was well again. They are type of friends that you love to see calling even when your lying on the ground in your pajamas trying to take a picture of brass candle stick holder (or possibly vase I can’t decide).

After a much needed cup of tea and chat I bring you two brass ladies.

I owe their shine to the miracles of Brasso. Not only is it strange and wonderful stuff but it’s packaging is lovely too.

These will be coming to the shop soon.

Thanks to those who have liked my page of Facebook. If you’d like to link up on facebook you can find me here,x

I am off to share with  Living Space ,ThrifterMakerFixerFarmer,Sir Thrift AlotMe and My Shadow and We call it junkin

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That 70’s vibe…

Posted on 17 December, 2013

Today, marks the first day I am on Facebook. I have avoided it for years and last night I broke. I am not on it as Ann Marie. Instead the Thrifty Amos shop has a page.

I am slowly figuring it out and what all the buttons do. I have three “Likes” and no idea how to build that number. I think that’s okay though. For the moment I am just going to see what happens.

This blog feels all mine and this is where I want to put my time, energy and creativity. If Facebook doesn’t suit me or starts to take up too much time well, I can always go on a course to figure out how to delete the page!

Back to much more important things. I only had a quick dip into the second hand shops as I had a very specific list of things to get to finish my Christmas shopping. I’m finished my shopping, well bar all the food, drink and one last present but finished enough to feel I could leave town holding my head up high.

So what did I find in my quick dip in…

Yep not one but two Big Eyed prints. It was the jaunty walk, french scene and four leaf clover that sold it to me.

And the manic cat of course. To top off the retro vibe I got these lovely retro cups made by Tams in England.

In a surprise bout of organisation the prints are already in the shop!!

I am off to share with  Living Space ,ThrifterMakerFixerFarmer,Sir Thrift AlotMe and My Shadow and We call it junkin


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Car Boot Finds

Posted on 16 December, 2013

Today has been a busy day of not doing much. It has been most unproductive and most enjoyable.

I plan to go full steam ahead into the Christmas preparations tomorrow but for today I’ll enjoy the snuggles with this little man.
Yesterday I braved the weather for the last of this years Sunday of car boot sales. It turned out that not many sellers decided to do the same. Nevertheless I got some lovely local honey and this curious thing.

This letter opener that was given as a gift in the 1950’s by Asia Trading Co. Waving it around like a swashbuckling giant has been a highlight of today (and some of yesterday too).

I didn’t pick up this glass jar yesterday but in my searching for Brasso to clean the brass that I did buy I found this thrift treasure I haven’t shared yet. Despite the fact that the Belgian spice jar is classy and air tight I decided it needed to be filled with tacky Christmas lights.

Not an obvious choice but when it gets dark so early and your surrounded by Christmas lights it seems like a good idea.

I hope your starting to feel Chirstmassy too.

I’m off to share the green glow and the swashbuckling fun with  Living Space ,ThrifterMakerFixerFarmer,Sir Thrift AlotMe and My Shadow and We call it junkin
Update: Both these items are now in the shop.

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Posted on 12 December, 2013


I bought this lovely tin tray in a car boot sale a while back. Today I decided to ignore the very clear instructions on the back and submerged it in water.
I thought after 42 years of being gently wiped it could do with a good scrub and dry. 





The tray was made in England by Daher Designed Tins. I was reading an article from a collector of Daher Designed Tins who said “If they are not in pristine condition, they are neither decorative or useful.”  

I think this is why I would never make a good collector. I like tin and enamel to have rust spots, to show their age, to look lived in. I’m even okay with a dent or two. It would be far to say this tray could have been treated better but I’ve seen some pristine versions of this tray online, and while they are still beautiful, for me I like a bit of wear and tear and I think tin can handle it.
If anything it makes me wonder how did someone preserve a serving tray in that condition for 42 years. Did they never use it? Did the tray lie waiting for a special occasion for years?




Of course it’s up to every owner to decide what they want to do with their pretty things and maybe people do use them but are extremely careful. That seems plausible. Whatever history the pristine have I am happy living on the wrong side of the collector tracks surrounded by aged tin that has is both of use and ornament. 

This tray has made is in the shop now.
I’m off to share this bruised tray of the 70’s at  A Living Space ,ThrifterMakerFixerFarmer,Sir Thrift AlotMe and My Shadow and We call it junkin

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Posted on 11 December, 2013

(The title is Steve’s suggestion)

Exactly ten days ago I found this beauty at a car boot sales only now I can talk about what happened!  The seller asked a big price for it and said “It’s old you know”. He has a point. Although not a very precise one.

I haggled and got very little off the initial price but enough to make me feel better. Basically, it is a beautiful Arklow Pottery platter and I may have given my arm for it. My right one though as I’m left handed.

arklow pottery platter

I checked it very carefully, tried to hold back the urge to throw my money at him and run away screaming “it’s mine, it’s mine”. Those of you interested enough to come back to the blog regularly know that I have a love of Arklow Pottery. See here, here and here for expressions of Arklow Love.

arklow pottery stamp made in eire

So an Arklow platter was like a pirate finding a chest of gold. I lay it on the floor of the passenger seat. Delighted with myself I set to drive home. But after we hit numerous bumps in the North Cork road my heavy bag filled with stuff I didn’t need feel of the passenger seat and onto the platter. The platter was wrapped up so I thought it will probably be fine. I kept going somehow managing to hit every bump in the road. I came home to inspect the platter and I found this…

This chip has been weighing on my consciousness, the man is right, it’s old. It survived all these years then I or my driving chipped it.

It survived all these years without a chip or crack then I cause one and a big one at that.

Well, today I have made amends with myself and put things in perspective. It is still beautiful and because I can’t sell it I get to enjoy it for years to come.

The chip was the platter’s welcome to a house that also has had a few chips taken out of it over the years.

 This week I’m linking up with A Living Space ,ThrifterMakerFixerFarmer,Sir Thrift AlotMe and My Shadow and We call it junkin