Wednesday, 29 June 2016

New Goodies from a Village Fete

Last Saturday my hubby and I returned to the village where we used to live, for their annual village fete, which is always great fun. The weather managed to hold off pretty much, with only a slight spitting of rain, so all was well. As usual, the bri-a-brac stall was very much in evidence and I made  bee-line for it, to discover that this year, it was even better than usual – they had brilliant stuff on it and I came away with some great bargains!

This has got to be the ugliest lamp you have ever set eyes on.

01 The Ugliest Lamp in the World

My hubby got some very strange looks as he carried it back to the car for me. Why did I buy it, you ask? Well, it is honest, not trying to be anything it isn’t, and so unashamedly horrible that probably nobody else would have bought it, and I felt sorry for it. That shade, on upside down… it even has a rip in it. The cable is horrible, with the wrong sort of plug on it. The poor old thing… No, but I almost had you there!! I bought it to go behind my magnificent Burmese screen:

18 Burmese Screen 9-5-26

with a red bulb in it. In our old house, I had a table lamp with a red bulb and it glowed beautifully through all the lovely pierced carving, but since we moved here I haven’t got a spare table lamp. When I saw that magnificently ugly lamp, I knew I’d found Just the Thing. I haven’t got a red bulb yet, and I’ve got to replace the cable, but soon, I hope, it will move to its new home and give good service.

What else did I buy?

02 Flower Press and Sparkles

I found this flower press. I bought one off Ebay a few years ago and it was such rubbish (the threads on the bolts stripped away as soon as you tightened the nuts and the whole thing was very flimsy) so it had to go back. This one looks a lot more substantial, and will be useful for a number of things in the studio, apart from pressing flowers. Beside it is a small plastic box of sparkly bits which will come in handy to embellish various projects.

03 Jewellery

As usual, there was lots of jewellery. I usually stock up on old necklaces and beads to take apart for art projects, but there wasn’t so much in that line that I was interested in this time. Instead, there was a lot of really nice stuff, most of which looked absolutely new – the earrings were all on their original cards, and the necklace and earring set was in its original box. All the earrings were only 50p a pair.

I also got one or two bits and pieces for the kitchen. I was a bit cross because in the box of kitchen utensils was a silicone pastry brush for about 25p, and I’ve just bought myself one!! Ah well, can’t win ’em all… I got this nice silicone spatula and a dual purpose knife and scissors sharpener which will be useful.

05 Spatula and Knife Sharpener

I also bought this mandolin-style slicer, still in its original box, complete with instructions. I think it had been used, probably only once or twice, but it’s in pristine condition. I’ve tried it, and it works a treat.

04 Mandolin Slicer

In addition to these bits and pieces, I discovered a huge quantity of textile artwork. A lady in the village had apparently been on a textile course and these were her sample pieces. She had had a tragedy in her life and was moving, and downsizing, and had put all this stuff in the fete. I was thrilled to find it and thought that probably if I didn’t buy it, it might end up being thrown away – something I couldn’t bear to think about, so I thought I’d give it a good home, and possibly even use some of it, but looking at it later, I didn’t think I could bring myself to do that, but would keep it and use it for inspiration.

I didn’t buy it all as there was a huge amount, but in a plastic sleeve were these samples:

14 Small Samples

There was also a large portfolio-style book of fabric pieces, “Experiments” – she had obviously made the book herself, and it’s amazing. There are some gorgeous rich textures and interesting use and combination of materials.

01 Experiments - Front Cover

Inside the front cover:

02a Experiments -  Inside Front Cover - Blurred

The pages are all made of fabric which looks like old sheeting.


03 Experiment - Random

“Fabric, lace, gesso, acrylic, ink, threads.”

04 Fabric, Lace etc


05 Experiments - Random


06 Experiments - Random


07 Experiments - Cities


08 Experiments - Waterfront

“Factory chimneys.”

09 Experiments - Factory Chimneys


10 Experiments - Fence


11 Experiment - Fence

“Pylons,” “Fence,” and “Random.”

12 Experiments - Pylons, Fence and Random

Inside the back cover:

13 Experiments - Inside Back Cover

Far too good to be thrown away, wouldn’t you agree? I think she would be pleased that someone has appreciated all her hard work and given it a good home. I wish her well in her new life.


  1. LOL, you got me with the lampshade - I truly believed you bought it out of pity! Some useful bits and pieces there and what a shame about the lady who was selling her textile art collection and experiments. Does this mean that she gave it up? In any case, it found the best home it could possibly find - it would have been heartbreaking to see it end up on the scrapheap! She must have put a lot of time and effort into, and got a lot of joy out of making these. It's a shame she felt the need to discard them. I sometimes wonder what will happen to my art when I'm no longer around...

  2. What lovely fabric pieces. Don't think I could have thrown them away if they were mine. Well done for saving them!


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