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A New Year!

Happy New Year vintage and handmade fans!  How was your Christmas?  I think it’s fair to say that ours did not go quite as planned given that the dreaded flu bug was rife here.  Nevertheless apparently we had a fabulous Christmas Day – we hired my favourite little historic building for the afternoon as there were so many for dinner.  Alderholt Reading Rooms is more than 100 years old and was built on land donated by Lord Salisbury, paid for by Lady Salisbury and local Squire Churchill provided books and reading material.  There are very few of it’s like still around and should be treasured in my view.


Watch this space for some plans of events to raise funds to preserve this local heritage.

There’s lots of fab Alderholt history and some great photos on this old local plan produced by the local authority.

And here we are enjoying our Christmas Day!

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Most exciting though was my present from my lovely family!  Please forgive the awful photo.

Christmas bear head

Christmas bear head

He was featured in our review of new Ringwood shop The Fox in the Forest which you can check out here.  This is a slightly better photo…needless to say I love him!

My bear at home in the Fox in the Forest

My bear at home in the Fox in the Forest

What did you get for Christmas that you love?  I’d love to hear about any new handmade items or local makers and see some photos.

Keep the Vintage Love xx



Fantabulous Shops in the Glorious New Forest – Lulu’s Boutique Lymington

This is epside two about the gorgeous shops  we’ve recently come across on we’ve our doorstep – Lulu’s Boutique in Lymington.

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To be honest we did know about Lulu’s before having visited their pretty erstwhile shop in Salisbury and used their web-site but this little treasure house is a step up in gorgeousness from that and has the advantage of being in a place where you can combine a fantastic cuppa or a walk by the sea with a touch of retail therapy.  Any men stuck for last minute present ideas for the lovely lady in their life should really pop down this weekend!

Check out this beautiful front window – who doesn’t need a pink Christmas tree in their life?  I bought some of the traditional paper decorations – they take me straight back to my childhood!

Lu Lus 5

The shop stocks all of the best in girly kitch including my favourite Tatty Devine jewellery

Tatty Devine!

Tatty Devine!

and all things Cath Kidston and Pip Studio and also fabbo items from Danish homewhere brand Rice who I love especially for kids and for camping.   My flamingo obsession would be happily appeased by these party forks.

There’s loads of unusual ideas for kids as well like this cool colouring book

The homeware is fantastic too – If I had the cash knocking about I’d be replacing the boring spotlights in my hall with these pretty lights

Lymington is such a pretty little town combining the best of the New Forest and the Hampshire Coast and has a nice selection of  shops, bars and cafes so it’s really worth a visit.

 We especially like the style of the Stanwell House Hotel  in the centre of town which we really nearly hired for our wedding.

Stanwell House Hotel

 But you are not far here from the  Pig Hotel

The Pig Hotel

which is top of my current wish list for a visit or at least a home grown dinner!

Lu Lus 4

Even if you don’t need any last minute Christmas pressies, this is a perfect bracing New Year treat.

One last thing, as my 4 year old is saying this year “Merry Christmas to All!”

Keep the Vintage Love xx

Fantabulous New Shops in the Glorious New Forest

In our quest to entertain the children and attempt to shop for Christmas (I’m in denial about Christmas by the way!)  we have recently come across some gorgeous shops on our doorstep.  In the first of a (very) mini-series we look at The Fox in the Forest which is absolutely brand new in Ringwood.

Ringwood  is a pretty market town on the edge of the New Forest within easy striking distance of Salisbury, Bournemouth and Southampton.  It has a range of premium fashion shops around the Furlong area with a rather less hurried atmosphere than you would find in a big shopping mall but if you head away from this and a take a couple of minutes walk down to the market square and along the high street to Fridays Cross you will find some great unusual and non-chain shops and cafe’s including an amazing Chocolate Shop and beautiful lingerie shop Lolie and Bella.  Not to mention my favourite book shop Paperview.

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The Fox in the Forest has evolved from successful Web-business of the same name and showcases beautiful things made by the owner and other local craftspeople.  The aim of the shop “is eventually to become a gallery/workshop where artists/craftspeople that are local to the New Forest can showcase their work”  and the lady has exciting plans to create a workshop space as well. We bought some brilliant bits for my eldest boy’s lovely girlfriend but obviously they’re top secret until after the big day!  The shop is near to Smiths as you head towards the market square.  Do pop in if you get a chance, there are even handmade soaps from Frome.  Here are some photos that I took on Saturday, I’m desperate for a knitted animal head for my hall!

fox in the forest 5

fox in the forest 4

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Lovely puppy Indiana

Keep the Vintage Love xx

Festive Genius

Look at this fab tutorial I found via Our Craft Shops and their free advent calendar!

cardboard reindeer holiday craft

Click on the picture for the link where you’ll find templates and everything.  I’m off to print them out now!

Keep the Vintage Love xxx

Exciting NEW shops news!!

We had a fantastic afternoon recently in our beloved Pokesdown!  The Dorset Scrapstore was having an open afternoon at their new premises in Boscombe and one of my favourite vintage loving ladies was opening her new shop on Christchurch Road.  In short this was a day not to be missed!  The Scrapstore is of course aces and full of amazing bargains for the crafty amongst us  and the free crafty workshops went down a storm with the small boy, but the star of the day was our trip to Emily’s beautiful shop Cotton Candy Designs which at the Pokesdown station end of Christchurch Road.

Photo: Checkout our brand new sign!

Emily is formerly of Poppy Meadows  about whom I have waxed lyrical a number of times and was with us for our first vintage fair last year where her handmade items went down a storm!  She has teamed up with her friend the equally lovely Cara Lloyd-Hopkins of Carara Designs for this venture and the outcome is a pretty and welcoming shop choc full of lovely items for the home and pretty Christmas gifts galore.  Cara specialises in fantabulous handmade items for the home and beautiful handbags all made in the Summerhouse at the end of her garden.

Cara in her new shop!

Gorgeous shop window showing off fab handmade bags by Cara

Emily has recently added upholstery to her repertoire and I was especially taken with the gorgeous floor cushions in the shop which are definitely on my Christmas list!

Giant cushions and reupholstered arm chair just right for a cosy night by the fire.

I’m also hoping that she will renovate my original Lloyd Loom Chair that has been sat in my garage for about 10 years waiting for me to get around to it!  I know commissions are taken.   Other furniture renovations had me drooling too like this 1950s kitchen unit for example.

Kitchen cupboards have never been so stylish!

Check out the ladies facebook page for more photos, or even better take a trip to Pokesdown for your Christmas shopping this year.  There’s just so much to love on our doorstep!  You’d only be putting cash in the pockets of Amazon otherwise afterall!

Keep the Vintage Love xx

Happy New Year

Like father like son – Christmas night

We are all a bit festived out to be honest but what a fantastic Christmas we had!  Sometimes it’s the way that things are great if you’re not really in the mood or looking forward to them and so it proved this time…

It was a quiet Christmas Day full of a lot of food, some pressies and some dog walking.  Tom was so excited it was truly magical.  We’d been to the crib blessing at the village church the night before clutching his homemade angel for the crib, put out the mince pie and sherry for Father Christmas and sprinkled some nursery made ‘Rudolf food‘ along the path the night before and we thought he would burst but he was up at a reasonable time and bouncing around until his brother surfaced.  Every present was an absolute delight, even to the teenager, a proper win!

The big family thing was saved for Boxing Day and so it was off to deepest darkest Winterbourne Stickland for a feast of gargantuan proportions thanks to my parents.  Much fun was had by all with this years must have secret santa present – a pack of fake moustaches.  I think you’ll agree that we all look amazing!

The teenager and my nephews all 'tached up!

My favourite was doing a Freda Kahlo impression wearing these as eyebrows, luckily no-one got a photo of that!

Eh gringo

Christmas formalities out of the way we all piled into the car, dog and all, to hit the mean streets of South London for a visit to my lovely sister in law.  I’m sure that there’s little that’s more of a shock to the system after a hectic and alcohol full Christmas than a large family arriving and taking over your house but they took it well and we had another family party with Mr M’s London based relies while Tommy got excited about every train that passed along the line behind the house.

Highlight of the week was a trip ‘up west’ to watch Priscilla at the Palace Theatre complete with dinner.  What a night, I can’t believe this show is closing, it’s fabulous from the descent of the massive disco ball at the start to the glitzy finale.  We had incredible seats which gave us all of the best views.

Camera’s were prohibited but here’s me camping it up big style before the curtain went up and the teenager doing the same when we got in.  

All in all a brilliant week, there’s a New Year on Sunday 2012 sounds so futuristic.  I’m not sure what it will bring for us but I hope that it brings everything for you that you wish for yourselves.

Keep the vintage love xx

Festive tales again

We are starting to feel a bit festive here finally – although there’s still no presents bought!  On Wednesday the local church brought their Wander of Wonder to our house which meant we had to decorate outside the house.  Consequently the sad old caravan is cheerily adorned with the holly garland from the big band night (waste not, want not) and there’s a new holly Christmas tree as well as the wreath we bought at the Pokesdown Christmas evening.  The Wander of Wonder is an advent event where the children learn about the Christmas story. Our bit of the story was at the start where the Angel Gabriel tells Mary that she’s going to have a baby.  I tried to make the caravan look like some kind of middle-eastern shelter by covering the roof with hessian and some blue fabric (Mary) and Tom and I made some little Angels from old cereal boxes, doilies and paint.   The only issue really was that the gale force winds kept blowing everything away as soon as I put it up! We were inundated with little ones all excited about Christmas and were making hot chocolate too weakly like whirling dervishes – everyone will be back again on 23rd.  I love village life!

Friday evening saw me heading over in the ice to Woodlands in the forest for a Christmas Wreath making workshop organised by brilliant Daisy who helped with the garland last week to raise money for her netball club.  Arriving late as ever I’d missed the demo, but as usual everyone made me really welcome and I was soon in the swing of tying greenery onto the moss ring Daisy provided.  It was really amazing how differently all of the wreaths turned out !  I went for a bit of glitz as I had some sparkly gold bells left over from the table decs last weekend but added a few cranberries for colour.  Clever Kathryn made a beautiful and natural ring with evergreen and natural reds from berries and cranberries.  Thanks for organising such a great evening Daisy.

There’s a busy week ahead full of school events and lovely lunches with friends.  Really must fit in card writing and  present buying too!  Wish me luck!

Keep the vintage love xx

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