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Toy Show!!

Posted on 29 November, 2013

(Little mouse man I bought for Ewan at a car boot sale)

Today is the day of the Toy Show. It is an Irish staple. Anyone who claims to be Irish but has never heard of the Toy Show is simply an impostor.

It is an annual national broadcast that has been running since the 70’s. The show runs for two hours and it is totally insane. The audience is filled with adults in Christmassy costume, the set is filled with children who have been awake and playing with crazy inducing toys for hours, the presenter is generally talking through the toy demonstrations with rapid fire speed while someone is shouting “Move On” in his ear. I’m exhausted thinking about it.

As a child I generally had my Santa list written before the Toy Show and I would watch in wonder at all the things that didn’t make it to the list and hoped that Santa would figure it out. He always did!

Here’s a clip of the fun from the 90’s. I’m off to make sure we have the Jaffa Cakes at the ready.

Follow Me. It will be fun!

Boys behind the fire

Posted on 28 November, 2013

I have been planning my next car boot outing for this weekend. While looking at my options I began to wonder if the man selling the “Crying Boy” will be there.
20090925225616!Crying boy
Image credit:
At nearly every car boot sale I have been to there is a man who sells a giant image of the Crying Boy above. It is in great condition and the frame is nice. Every time I think,maybe…no it’s just too sad. Where would I hang it? 
Then I read that there was a myth about this paint and prints. It started in 1985 when a house in England burnt down and the painting survived unscathed. Then came a series of stories from fire fighters who reported the mysterious painting surviving house fires.
It reminds me of our own boy behind the fire. Which I think is much creepier looking than the Crying Boy.
When we moved in we decided to restore one of the rooms to a large room again. It had been subdivided into two but we wanted to return it to it’s original size. In the process we also re-opened a fireplace that had been bricked up. In doing this we found this tintype photo in the boarded up fireplace.
The house dates from 1890’s but I am not sure when the photograph was taken.While I love finding bits of history hidden in our floorboards I do prefer to less sinister looking images.
Although the boy reminds me of Macaulay Culkin’s brother, Kieran that resemblance does nothing to make it less scary for me!

Biscuit Men

Posted on 27 November, 2013

I spent Ewan’s morning nap time photographing the Arklow pieces for the shop outside so I was very glad to come in doors, defrost and do some research on the biscuit tin I picked up last week in a second hand shop.

When I was in the shop the first thing that struck me about the tin was the price. I thought it was far too expensive for a tin and unhanded it quickly. But with a second glance and a look at the beautiful vintage buttons inside I was hooked.


The biscuit tin is made by the British Biscuit makers, Huntley and Palmers of Reading and London. After much research I think it dates from mid 1950’s. You can check out the workbasket tin here. What do you think? Is it a match?

In their 150 years in business they made emergency biscuits for the British Antarctic Expedition, led by Captain Scott. They kept going through two World Wars and swapped making biscuit tins for artillery shell cases during the first World War. The factory even made it to the big screen in the film Bugsy Malone.

Image credit :University of Reading
My favourite anecdote about the company was that the factory was such a big employer in Reading that the town became known as the biscuit town and their football team were the Biscuit Men!
A team name that was bound to strike fear into even the bravest of opponents!

vintage biscuit tin

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

Mint Treats

Posted on 25 November, 2013

This weekend I went to Dublin to watch the Irish rugby team in a heart breaking defeat. For those of you that don’t follow a sport I would advise that you keep it that is far too much of an emotional roller coaster. I am pretty sure I aged about ten years yesterday.

Arriving home late today there was a bit of a race against the light. I wanted so much to show you my purchase from last Friday’s madness and luckily I just managed a few shots before darkness descended.

Arklow Pottery cup, saucer and plateirish pottery made by arklow pottery

I love these pieces so much that I got up before dawn and waited in below freezing conditions for hours so that I could snap them up in the window sale.

They made by Arklow Pottery, County Wicklow. I have spoken about Arklow pottery before  and my obsession with the brand has grown and grown. The thought that they closed because there wasn’t a market for their pieces in Ireland makes me think that they were just ahead of their time.

The pattern and detail is so spectacular and so much more interesting than a lot of the newer pottery pieces that make their way to wedding lists.

mint and gold arklow pottery jug

These pieces are so elegant and unique and made right here in Ireland. What’s not to love!

The plates and cups are in the shop and the jug is following soon 🙂

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

Follow Me. It will be fun!

Second hand madness!!

Posted on 22 November, 2013

This morning  I got up at an unearthly hour of the morning to queue outside a second hand shop. They were having a window sale and there was china set that I wanted for the shop which I judged to be worth a frozen toe or two.
Despite leaving in below freezing temperatures in the dark I still wasn’t the first person there. On arrival I greeted my fellow shoppers with a  cheery “Good morning!”. I was greeted with silence. The four of us stood awkwardly outside the shop which didn’t open until many hours later . So we waited. 

(A picture of the view on my way into the city)
Eventually, a nice lady arrived and we chatted for hours. Initially, she would not tell me what she was looking for in the sale. After enough hours had passed she said she was interested in coins. We peered through the window to try and find where the coins were placed.
The shop had hired an auctioneer to value the items and a staff member would do the necessary with a price gun. Everyone peered in trying to see the price given to their desired item. Noses against glass, toes slowly freezing, we wait.
The queue snaked down the street and around the corner and finally the doors open and people went mad! They pushed and shoved, crockery was broken and I started to feel like I didn’t have the ferocity needed for second hand shopping!
On the upside the staff were lovely, efficient and calm. I managed to buy what I had wanted without hurting anyone, which made the trip a triumph.
In the safety of home friends and I had some breakfast, played with Ewan and took a breath after the madness.

A friend went through a tin I bought which was filled with buttons. She did this with great care exclaiming “ohhh look at this one” regularly. I can’t wait until I get a chance to untuck the china, clean them and get them ready for their close ups! 
Here’s is a wee sneak peak of non-china items that will be making their way to the shop in time. 

For now I need another cup of tea before I join Thrifty Groove for their link up party.

A week on Etsy

Posted on 21 November, 2013

So week one of the Etsy shop is done!

One week of sales, one week of checking the stats constantly and one week of vintage treasures finding new homes.

After week one the results are in…. I have had 5 sales!! WAHHOOOOO.

My goal was to sell to a non-family member before Christmas. I’ve done it! Two sales from the United States of America  and three items will be staying in Ireland. Two items were brought through someone contacting me directly and three through Etsy.

Clearly, I can now proclaim myself as an entrepreneur. As such I will share with you my favourite things about the world of business!

1) Gadgets.

It could be argued that I don’t need an industrial packing tape dispenser. I would beg to differ. There is no feeling like wrapping up an item nice and safe and then sealing the deal with reams of packing tape. I am so glad I have an excuse to use this!

2. More gadgets

I bought this typewriter in a second hand shop in New Zealand, shipped it home at great expense and now, six years later, I have found a legitimate use for it.

I am using it to type up receipts and I am delighted with how they look and delighted to have an excuse to dust off this mean machine.

3. Stories from happy customers.

Do you remember this fella?

Well, he has gone to Merchant House in Kilrush, County Clare. Merchant house is a period home that has been made into a holiday home. As he said when it arrived safely “The beautiful tea pot arrived today back home to Kilrush were it was made in the 1970’s. ” 

How cool is that, 40 years later it has made it’s way back to the town it was made. He sent me this lovely photo too of the tea pot in it’s new home.

And the beautiful Arklow pottery plates, jug and sugar bowl all went to a  woman who has just moved into a new home and rather than fill it with new items she wants to pick items with character and history.

She loves these vintage treasures and said they were even nicer than she thought they were going to be and I am so happy they have gone to someone who really treasures them.

This is the unexpected part of the shop. I thought I would be sad to see things go. I may sound like someone who whispers “my precious” to my purchases but I have to admit that I do get attached. It has been so lovely, and unexpected, that people get in touch to say how much they love the items. It makes me think that it’s a new lease of life for these vintage wonders. While I do love the gadgets the stories of the items in their new homes is definitely my favourite part of this new found venture.

Roaring twenties green

Posted on 20 November, 2013

I bought these vibrant beauties at a car boot sale last weekend. The lady who sold them to me was trying to use her persuasive powers over me but I didn’t need much convincing. “Doesn’t the green just pop” I exclaimed as I handed over all my money.

I generally don’t like being sold something. Do you know what I mean?

My dad said to me once that some people are so good at bargaining that it is only when they have left that you realise you have barely made a profit. This is how I like sellers to be, subtle, presenters not pushers.

It’s not easy to sell well but when you meet a good seller it’s a skill to behold.

After reviewing  810 Wedgwood patterns, twice, and looking at 1200 items from the Wedgwood museum. I am none the wiser but still love them.


 These are available now in the shop.

This week I’m linking up with A Living Space ,ThrifterMakerFixerFarmer,Sir Thrift AlotMe and My Shadow and We call it junkin. And a new one for me Knick of Time Interiors.

Liquid Gold

Posted on 18 November, 2013

I picked this piece up last week. I bought it in a second hand shop that I nearly walked by. As I negotiated the pram in the door while trying to hold the door open with my leg, I thought “Why do I still try this place? It has the same things for the last two months.” But being the ever hopeful thrifter I carried on and got the pram in.

And I found this.

When I it came to writing up a post about it I struggled. I know nothing about glass. There are no markings to guide you. I wasn’t even sure what it was I just know it’s very pretty.

So I contacted Martin, my friends dad, who has been collecting glass since as long as I can remember. His guess is that it’s Swedish, possible 1960’s or 70’s. He said that given the long neck and colour it was probably meant as a decorative piece.

Did you know carafe’s are clear to show off the colour of the wine? That was new to me but makes senses.
I started with this style photo but it just didn’t look as good as it does in real life.

I willed the clouds to move so I could photograph it outside. That didn’t work so I waited. Once the sun  shone so too could the glass.

amber glass vase

No editing needed so they come to you hot off the memory card.

This item is now available in the shop!