It’s only Wallpaper but I like it…

img_0601

I’m afraid I can’t even remember where I came across this image but it was probably Pinterest. I fell in love with this little downstairs loo – quite charming, don’t you think? I like that fact that even though it’s a tiny room, its owner has lavished attention on it in the form of elegant wallpaper and a range of vintage mirrors.

Part of the work we’re having done at the moment is to our down stairs bathroom. We’ve removed a badly leaking shower and made the room smaller, to give us more space elsewhere. This gives me a snug downstairs loo that I can decorate in a vaguely quirky way.

So far, these are my ideas:

img_0265

img_0266

img_0267

I like the idea of putting some wallpaper on one wall. I don’t have it anywhere else in the house as I’m not usually keen on too much pattern and colour, but I think maybe a little pattern could go a long way. I looked at botanical prints, but decided I liked these geometric designs better. I just need to pick one now!

img_0270

I’m sticking with the copper posser as a freestanding toilet roll holder and thought I might bring in the copper theme again by adding this towel holder. It’s rustic, possibly ‘steampunk’ and I like it.

img_0271

I absolutely adore these tiles. I found someone selling them on eBay and managed to get a deal on half a dozen of them. They’ll go above the sink and Incorporate my love of vintage advertising.

img_0268

My final idea is this. I found it ages ago in Pinterest and have always fancied it but it enough room in my bedroom so I though maybe I could put a selection of books on this suspended shelf. I’ve located a chunk of Waney edge wood, just need to track down some rope and suitable hooks.

Those are my ideas. I just hope my brother is onboard for making them a reality, cos I’m stuffed if it’s down to my DIY skills! I see myself more in a supervisory role…

It is with a copper-coordinated dream I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Vintage Bathroom (2) but I like it…

I have some tricks up my sleeve for my bathroom remodel. It’s a lot of money to spend and we want to get it right.

img_0926

img_0927

My secret weapon is this vintage cistern I bought on eBay for a tenner on a complete whim last year. My husband though I’d suffered some kind of aneurysm, my brother said something I can’t print here, but I knew it wasn’t a mistake. When I showed our builder, Jon the cistern – covered in cobwebs and lime scale – he dusted her off, examined her insides and said “Ah, isn’t she lovely!”. I knew from that moment he was the builder for us.

img_0248

I’ve bought another copper posser which will become a loo roll holder – I like using things for purposes other than those they were intended for. I wonder if there’s a name for that?

img_0250

img_0249

I love the whole mirror collage thing. We have three vintage mirrors in a row in our bedroom and it’s a nice effect. Although looking at my reflection in a state of undress is definitely not my favourite past time – especially at 7 months pregnant!

img_0252

I’ve been a fan of these ‘subway’ tiles since they became the in thing and they do actually lend themselves really well to the kind of remodel I’m planning. We’ve talked about using black or silver grout too – I think it will look fab!

img_0261

I’m also obsessed with the idea of a ladder for my towels. I’ve never really liked heated towel rails. They waste so much energy, and always seem to be rusting somewhere! This seem rustic, rather than rusty.

I hope it all comes together smoothly, I’m so excited – it will be the first time I’ve ever got to design my own bathroom. I do love long relaxing baths and I’m looking forward to bath time with Baby too. Hopefully it’ll be a family bathroom we can all use and enjoy!

It is with a dream of the Cadbury Flake advert that I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Vintage Bathroom but I like it…

I feel I should warn you that I’m about to become a bore. I’m about to bore you with all the details of my bathroom revamp. For weeks. Possibly longer. I’ll talk tiles, I’ll talk toilets and I’ll talk toilet roll holders. Think you can cope? Read on…

img_0915

Following some revelations about the state of the plumbing in our charming period house (built in 1930), the Dr and I have decided to have some work done to our bathroom. The state of the plumbing, plus that fact that I hate just about everything about our main bathroom has meant I’m pretty happy about this decision.

img_0916

I’ve never had the chance to model a bathroom from scratch and the prospect of making all the decisions about it is quite exciting. Of course, I’m a fan of vintage looking bathrooms and have one or two tricks up my sleeve which our builder, Jon, has taken in his stride.

img_0917

So farewell wobbly toilet, goodbye mouldy grout, so long peach tiles (seriously, peach? It’s not 1987!), bye bye futuristic taps and ta-ta mint green paint. I just hope I can do a better job…

img_0919

It is with a desire for crisp white walls I say:

Its only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a pair of Ice Skates but I like it…

img_0257

The Dr (my husband) very kindly agreed to take me to a car boot sale on Sunday. This is a rare occurrence and he usually accepts repayment by means of a home cooked Full English.

img_0896

Anyway, the boot sale was pretty busy this cold, clear morning. I’m quite picky, and I try to only buy the bits I really feel I can’t live without and this time my main purchase was these ice skates.

img_0898

The guy I bought them off had lots of vintage stuff on his stall and when I picked them up he started telling me how the blades were new. I said I wasn’t going to wear them, I was going to use them as a decoration. He went on to say there was a sad story attached to them but I managed to dodge the sad story – I wasn’t sure I wanted them tainted, but I’m now intrigued! I’m imagining a Bunty-esque story about a brilliant ice skater, involved in a tragic accident who becomes a tough, uncompromising coach.

img_0258

For the princely sum of £2 I was very happy with my purchase. I thought they’d look nice displayed somewhere at Christmas.

img_0259

Pinterest has lots of ideas and I’m now very excited about my Christmas decs! I’ll be on maternity leave from the middle of November, with lots of time (hopefully) to plan what I’m putting up.

It is with a festive plan I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Eve’s Pudding but I like it…

I don’t have any fruit trees in my garden, which is something I plan to remedy in the new year, until then I rely on the kindness of others for my Autumn fruit. I’ve been lucky enough this year to be given some by a student at school and by a work colleague. My challenge now is using them up!

As much as I love crumble, I like to vary my apple recipes. This is one I found on BBCGoodFood and one I have tried to make previously without success! http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/252606/eves-pudding

Eve’s Pudding is an apple based dish with a sponge topping, named after the Biblical Eve who tempted Adam with an apple! The first time I made it (years ago) my batter was quite thin, it just spread out and seeped into the apples. Not so with this recipe! I like the fact it’s made with soft brown sugar – it adds some depth and richness. It smelled fab as it came out of the oven and the apples hadn’t gone completely mushy which I quite liked! It made a nice big dish of pudding which we shared with my sister and there’s still some left for tomorrow. Or at least it’s in the fridge calling to me… It might still be there tomorrow!

img_0886

It is with some temptation I say:

It’s only Vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Crumble but I like it…

My sister doesn’t like crumble. She refers to it alternately as ‘poor man’s pie’ or ‘sugary grit’. I for one think she’s missing a trick. I also think she doesn’t do a lot of baking – how can you not love a desert that takes minutes to prepare? No making of pastry, then letting it cool, then rolling it out, trimming it and hoping it’ll bake through when it makes it to the oven. Crumble is fail safe, quick and I always forget how tasty it is.

I’m lucky to have been offered cooking apples from one of my pupil’s gardens for the second year in a row. We enjoyed our first apple crumble of the season this weekend and we’ll polish off a few more before we head into the festive period I’m sure.

If you’ve never made a crumble then shame on you. Here are the ingredients and the method courtesy of Be-Ro – have a go. I guarantee ‘sugary grit’ will be the last words on your lips…

Ingredients

fruit
50 g (2 oz) margarine
100 g (4 oz) Be-Ro Self Raising Flour
50 g (2 oz) sugar

Method

1. Heat oven to 190ºC, 375ºF, Gas Mark 5.
2 Place sweetened fresh fruit or canned fruit in ovenproof dish.
3 Rub fat into flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
4. Add sugar, mix thoroughly and spread evenly over the fruit. Bake for about 30 minutes until fruit is cooked and top is golden.

image

It is with Autumn deja vu I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Homemaker but I like it…

Near the end of August we spent a few days in London and I finally got round to visiting my brother and SiL-to-be in their lovely flat in Harrow. This was a delight for lots of reasons but I’m blogging about it today because of a vintage find my brother made himself. He literally found some china discarded on a street – most of it broken – and picked up a couple of teacups and this jug.

image

The minute I saw it I knew the design – Homemaker. I’m sure I saw a few pieces show up on an Antiques Roadshow once. A quick glance at the maker stamp confirmed my suspicions!

image

It shows some lovely key mid century pieces of furniture and homeware.

image

It was designed by Enid Seeney for Ridgway Potteries in Stoke on Trent in 1957. The design was printed using a new technique where gelatine pads were used to apply the print to the ceramic. It was mass produced and a budget range, sold by Woolworth’s. Many newly married couples in the late 50s and throughout the 60s would have added a set to their new homes.

image

Nowadays prices start at about £10 for a plate and go as high as £500 if you can find a complete teaset.

image

I don’t know about you, but I think my bruv made a pretty good find there – I’ve yet to spot a piece, and I visit charity shops most weeks.

It is with a jealous sideways glance I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Fruit Cake but I like it…

This isn’t a #neverbakeditbefore challenge because it’s something I’ve baked many times, just not for many years.

I asked my Mum to send me the recipe for boiled fruit cake from her Be-Ro book. I have a Be-Ro book but the recipes change over the years and this one has been omitted for some reason.

image

If if you can’t quite make that out here it is:

12oz dried fruit

4oz butter or margarine

4oz sugar

1/4 pint of water

8 oz self raising flour

1 egg

image

From then on its pretty easy, just boil up everything apart from the egg and flour for about 20 minutes.

image

You end up with a nice glossy looking, rich buttery pan of dried fruit. You can use any dried fruit you want, and throw in a handful of nuts too if you like. I also add a teaspoon of mixed spice. It’s a nice recipe to tailor to suit your tastes. Let it cool, mix in the egg and flour and then pop into a 6 or 7 inch round tin.

image image

My oven is a little on the fierce side, plus I put it in the round tin the recipe recommends, whereas Mum always did it in a loaf tin and it was a little more moist that way I think. Either way, I made a batch of scones and it all combined to make a very nice Sunday tea with a round of egg sandwiches. Low on effort but high on taste!

It is with the sound of bubbling fruit still in my ears I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Biscuit Tin but I like it…

As you know I’m a biscuit fan. These Mcvities biscuit tins take me right back to my childhood as I’m sure we owned a couple of them. My Mum could never resist saving the coupons and sending for various merchandise and kitchenalia over the years.

image

Couldn’t believe my eyes when I walked into a charity shop recently and found not only my Catherineholm pan but sitting almost directly next to it, these three beauties.

image

The charity shop is a fickle mistress and she has given me the cold shoulder most of this spring, but I was in luck the day I found these. Now I just need to find the Digestives tin…

image

It is with a new mission I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Piano but I like it…

It was a momentous day when I finally took delivery of my piano!

image

Admittedly, it was pretty scary to see it being expertly manoeuvred into my home by two amazing professional piano movers! They knew exactly what they were doing, and carefully cajoled it through the door and from my tiny hallway into my downstairs dining room. image

This piano is most definitely vintage. The piano tuner who attended to its insides recently showed me the maker’s number inside and said that German piano makers (Bluthner in this case) were very particular about cataloging their pianos. When I googled the number I discovered it was made somewhere around 1863. My Dad bought it in the late 1970s and it was the piano we learned to play on when we were children.

image

Considering it’s been around so very long, it has a few war wounds – we took it apart to clean it once when I was a teenager and found – among other things – a piece of cheese, some pins and lots of glitter. Young children love to ‘post’ things between piano keys!

It’s something I was looking forward to being reunited with and I’m lucky to have it. It has a lot of special memories, and I’m a bit rusty but I’m enjoying playing it again! My next job is searching out some music to play on it…

It is with a desire for some new sheet music I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!