shops and vintage

tea towels

i cant seem to keep my tea towels clean, even with bleaching – so i have decided that its easier to buy cheaper tea towels and then throw them away when they look  so stained and terrible;  which means all my lovely vintage linen goes into a box and replaced with the functional, simple cotton with blue/red stripe teatowels from dennys . if you go into the shop you can buy them singularly, but these are so affordable and look great in any kitchen.

other great choices are of course ikea and kempton market where clever stall holders take the time to make them out of old rolls of linen;  the market is on the 2nd and last tuesday of every month, the next one is 13th September 2016.


sneak preview from wild and gorgeous

typically the day we chose to shoot the wild and gorgeous spring summer 2017 collection was a day of all seasons, rain, wind, sunshine and grey cloud;  it makes my job even more of a challenge, once you add in the equation children, boys,  dogs, jugglers and driving rain – our temporary marquee blew away at least twice………  ilovegorgeous will be rebranding to wild and gorgeous this autumn, to include the long awaited boys collection – can’t wait.   Giffords Circus is an amazing night out – with the kids or with a group of grown ups – its on for another week.



kempton market

so a very early start to get to kempton, but fortunately it was a beautifully sunny morning.  kempton was originally aimed at dealers, who buy their wares for their lovely shops and posh stalls in london – but increasingly people like myself go there to find a good deal on anything from storage boxes, fabric, vintage jewellery or china wear.   i actually think its become more of a tourist event, just like portobello and camden.  think portobello market times by 30 times its size!!!  it can be a bit daunting, a bit frustrating, a bit aladdins cave, but as i have been a few times now i arrived much more prepared – comfortable walking shoes, sandwich in my bag.   literally, vans open their back doors and sell their wares – they come from all over, manchester, france, belgium,  the english countryside…. i take a strict budget of cash – when this runs out, thats it, spending finished – its the only way to control your spending.   make a short list of what you are actually looking for, so that you bypass the stalls that appear to not stock what you are looking for.   i noted a couple of items that i was looking for, but quickly bought them – if you are not careful you can ponder, then lose your way trying to find the stall again, and then after all that, the item is gone!!  kempton is on the 2nd and last tuesday of the month.

there is only one van selling tea and not so healthy sandwiches, but if you like a toastie it fills a gap!  then on your way home, make a diversion to maids of honour or head towards petersham nurseries which is not too far away.

i always buy some blue bottles for my flowers – its an addiction that i can’t seem to beat…..

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fathers day

did you know that father’s day originated in america in 1908 to originally commemorate the loss of 210  miners, who were fathers in west virginia.   now it complements mother’s day and is celebrated in many countries throughout the world.

i struggle to find cards for men – birthdays, thank yous, father’s day….  it seems that the archetypal image is one of cars, boats, fishing or golf!  anyhow, i have tried to think about images that i would like to send without being too obvious.  fathers day is tomorrow.

for details  shop

dodging the rain…..

so i spent the weekend photographing the collections of ilovegorgeous on an outside location – situated by a lovely lake and surrounded by beautiful gardens and flowers – only to be challenged by the continuous rain……….  here is a sneak preview – and especially the new line for boys, due out this autumn – suitably re-named wild and gorgeous.



my friend Garry makes these beautiful bags in his spare time –  they are soft high quality leather that wears with time to an even softer touch;  in a variety of colours and sizes, each one is hand made especially for you.  he also makes cases for iPads, phones and wallets.   no website yet, but you can contact him through instagram

by the way, this is my recent purchase from YOXFORD antiques in suffolk, hand made coral silk skirt circa 1950!


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clerkenwell vintage

if you love vintage clothes, then  12th June is the next vintage fashion fair at the old finsbury park town hall.   i love collecting old lace – collars,  lace and voile blouses – just so pretty.

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cream and chrome vintage furniture

on the search for furniture pieces i came across this interesting website – cream and chrome, based in bristol, they have a wide range of vintage pieces,  including some lovely storage units.


re – cycle, re anything

must get to northumberland one day to visit this homewares shop that i have heard about – anything from vintage plates to lamps,  quirky, pretty, functional, RE cycled or RE markable!  the great thing is that you can order from re-foundobjects online too!  lots of interesting ideas.



buying gifts for men

are you struggling to find ideas for birthdays or special occasions for the men in your life?  mine have such strong individual tastes it gets harder each year!

now that my husband has changed his hours of working, we have more free time to spend together, so we have decided to see more exhibitions together.  yesterday we saw the black and white photographs by Paul Strand at the V & A;  a complete collection of all his photographs, from his early portrait shots of his first wife right through to his numerous travels, of which he produced many books.   so a museum membership seems like a great suggestion as a gift – could be from the tate, barbican, take your pick.  i did once buy him a subscription to the week magazine, which he has continued, so that was obviously a good choice.  sadly the independent newspaper has closed as a physical paper, but you can subscribe online – another idea.


for classic  men’s clothes with style, then visit  J.Simons  shop on chiltern street -  it brings together a handpicked selection of American, Continental and British brands, classic loafers, harrington jackets, jeans and even includes a few vintage pieces – perfect if you want to find your male partner or friend a gift that never dates.   Sunspel also stock simple classic clothes that are both well made and high quality – both my boys get a lot of their basics from here.

a lot of men hate bits and pieces, collective memoirs, so finding something to buy them  can become a bit of a challenge.  a guess this means that you have a limited list;   here are a few places that i know robert will always be pleased to receive from  -any products from  aesop and kiehls,  scarves and silk handkerchieves from peckham rye,

vintage books and out of print books  from the numerous antiquarian book shops on cecil court, poetry and art books from  daunts , i still think that they have the best choice of books, and the re issues of classics such as Agatha Christie and Dickens are so beautifully presented that they can be the start of a collection, travel notebooks from smythsons – you can even have your own initials embossed on the beautiful leather covers, margaret howell for small house accessories and classic tops, rapha for absolutely anything cycling, brooks for classic cycling bags, chapmans for classic bags.

vases from my wonderful friend rhonda paster corte - she ships them safely to you and they are very affordable.  i ordered 2 of these recently and they were a big hit.   another good idea is to buy a wet shave and massage from trumpers or at murdock in liberty.  or  for watches i visit portobello on a saturday, all the dealers are there and they all give you a 6 month guarantee – i bought a vintage rolex for robert’s 50th, which has been a big hit.