Finds of the Fair 12th August 2012

Fiona Barber
1960s deer barometer, £20 from Fiona Barber:

This was the first thing I spotted on my way into the fair.  It was just so quirky! I have a thing for anything to do with animals and perhaps it’s because it mimicked a taxidermy deer bust that I was drawn to it, as I also have a thing for taxidermy and the tradition of Victorian curiosity cabinets, which leads me perfectly onto my next find...

Oooh Betty!
Framed butterflies, £5 each from Oooh Betty!:

I first encountered the delightful Oooh Betty! at another vintage market and was drawn to her beautifully vibrant and fabulously presented stall.  Since then I often bump into her at various vintage fairs.  She’s a lovely lady and I adore her selection of vintage fabrics and haberdashery goods, mixed with homeware and her gorgeous handmade kitties in a box.  On Sunday I was drawn to a pair of framed butterflies she had on the stall.  I was given strict orders by my partner to seek out any taxidermy or curiosity pieces for our home as we are getting a bit of a collection now - one aspect of home decor we can agree on! whilst I am given other orders not to buy any more tea sets! - and there they were, right on my entrance into the fair!  I’m rather spontaneous when I see something I like, and had to buy them there and then.  They became one of my first Finds and purchases of the day.

Keith Sincock
Duckworth’s Essence Distillery mirrored print, £25 from Keith Sincock:

On my last visit to the fair I was rummaging through old bottles on Keith Sincock’s stall.  He has a wonderful collection of vintage ephemera.  I have just finished a feature for Pretty Nostalgic on the temperance movement and the various non-alcoholic drinks that came out of this era (think Sarsaparilla and Dandelion & Burdock).  One of the places I gave a mention to in the article was Duckworth’s Essence Distillery in Old Trafford, who were responsible for making a lot of the popular tonics and cordials such as Ciderette and Sparkling Fruit Vino.  All that remains of the company now is the beautiful red brick building that the factory was housed in.  I had searched high and low whilst researching for the article for something relating to Duckworth’s & Co, to no avail.  So when I saw this Duckworth Essence Distillery mirrored print on Keith’s stall I was delighted! We got chatting about Duckworth’s and he told me he had had a friend who was responsible for clearing out the factory when it closed and back then had a whole host of ephemera!!  I would have loved to have gotten my hands on some of that stuff, particularly the old bottles and labels, which were striking in their designs.

Button Fairies
Pop Art brooch made with vintage items, £10 from Button Fairies:

Not only is there a good selection of vintage goods at the fair, but you will also find stalls selling handmade goods that up-cycle vintage items.  I am a big supporter of buying handmade and making new uses for old items, as is Pretty Nostalgic, so I am always drawn to these particular stalls.  The Button Fairies ladies told me that all the money they make on the items sold goes to cancer charities which I thought was so selfless and inspiring.  This particular piece - a brooch that was made with vintage pieces including some from the Roy Lichenstein Pop Art Museum bought in the 1960s really stood out to me as I’m a big Pop Art fan.

Little Betty's
Myott Meakin coffee pot, £8.50 from Little Betty’s Handmade & Vintage:

When I get a spare minute my favourite way to relax is to bake and have friends over and serve afternoon tea.  I love the ritual of serving tea from a tea pot, with sugar lumps, a milk jug and in one of my many vintage tea cups and saucers.  I have a Meakin tea set but one thing I don’t have is a coffee pot, and I loved this pretty blue and white Meakin one on Little Betty’s stall.

Kitsch Republic
Retro Pin-up framed pictures, £2 from Kitsch Republic:

Kitsch Republic is the stall I always head to for vintage fabrics.  I can always guarantee that there will be gorgeous materials on there that are really reasonably priced. I have bought so many now, but keep on buying! I am a big crafter in my spare time and have used them for quilting, cushions and various other bits and bobs.  They also come in handy as backdrops for when I’m photographing food items for the magazine.

This week was no exception - I purchased several bundles of lovely floral fabrics, as well as a floral tray that I thought would make a great photo prop (£1!!) but these two little framed pin up prints caught my eye for my find from this stall.  I love pin up art and have a collection of Gil Elvgren’s on my living room wall and these two were so bold and colourful.

All Our Yesterdays
Victorian photographic portrait, £28 from All Our Yesterdays:

It was really difficult for me to choose which item to feature as my Find from this particular stall.  I had narrowed it down to three, but there were so many more wonderful items to be had.  I finally chose this beautiful Victorian portrait, in an equally beautiful ornate frame.  I love the soft and misty quality of the print and the distant look of the female subject.

Cee Kay Crafts
Otter flower press, £3.50 from Cee Kay Crafts:

Last week I was up to my eyeballs in flowers, herbs and leaves and attempting to press them with a stack of my heftier sized books.  It was for a piece on the Preserving the Community garden that Pretty Nostalgic created for the Hampton Court Flower Show - and won a silver award for!  What I wouldn’t have given for this lovely little otter flower press to help me along with pressing all those items!  Not only is it a functional object but a pretty one at that!  I’m kicking myself for not buying it now to use in the future, so a note to the seller, if you still have it, please can I buy it???!

Sesame and Lilly

Last but not least, a mention must go to the beautiful Sesame & Lilly - my favourite of all the stalls at The Vintage Village.  It was here that I first encountered her gorgeous textiles which feature French postcards and vintage illustrations.  Her stand is always so eye catching and has this wonderful romantic feel to it.  I tried to get over for a chat but as per usual there is always a queue of people waiting to chat to her about her gorgeous creations!  And when I returned later someone else was watching her stall (I think maybe her hubby) so I took this picture of one of her prints that had various bits and bobs collaged onto it.

Our Finder this month is a very talented writer and photographer, whose passion for vintage has landed her the most perfect job ever!  Please allow us to introduce Samantha Young, who will explain everything much better than we can:

There is something about that second Sunday of every month that fills me with excitement.  I wake up early and set off to Stockport wondering what wonderful treasures I will seek out that day.  The Vintage Village market has become somewhat of a habit for me, and on the rare occasion that I am unable to attend I feel sulky at the prospect of all the fantastic finds I’ve most likely missed out on.

One of the things that makes The Vintage Village so special is the people - everyone - stall holders and customers are so friendly, and you will find yourself chatting away whilst having a good old rummage through the impressive mix of stalls.  There is such variety available which can be seen in the ever growing collection of items I have returned home with on previous visits, including some weirder items, such as a mounted goats head and a framed giant rhino beetle!

Often I’ll set off with the intention of ‘just looking’ but can never resist making several purchases!  Even my partner, who is your typically grumpy man when accompanying me on a shopping trip, will dash off as soon as we head through the doors to go in search of treasure.

I have always been drawn to vintage and nostalgia.  I think it began when I discovered a bag of old photographs in my parents’ bedroom as a child.  I sat looking at them for hours, admiring the beauty of these sepia strangers that gazed back at me.  This also inspired me to study photography, and sparked a lifelong passion for collection old photographs and postcards.  Then there’s vintage fashion - I adore the clothes and glamour of the 1920s to the 1960s and love to get lost in the music and films of these eras - and don’t even get me started on vintage homeware, especially tea sets and glassware.  Now, working as Regional Editor for Pretty Nostalgic magazine, I get to use my love of vintage and nostalgia all the time!  The magazine is an independent, bi-monthly publication, celebrating everything vintage and British - It’s a dream come true.
Whenever I’m planning a photo shoot for one of my features, The Vintage Village is the first place I head to source out props and I’m never disappointed.  This is an aspect of my role and The Vintage Village that I particularly love.  There’s something so exciting and rewarding about looking for that perfect item and then spotting it amongst all the other fantastic things on the stalls - that feeling of knowing that you just have to buy it!  Often when I come home from the fair, I will end up writing a blog post on my finds, so doing Find’s of the Fair seemed natural to me.

Here are some of the things I spotted (and many of which I couldn’t resist purchasing) at Sundays Vintage Village...

Viv's Vintage
Grimm's Fairytales, £1 from Viv’s Vintage:

I am a massive book lover and collector and own so many now that it’s getting impossible to fit them on my shelves, yet I keep on buying more and more, I just can’t stop!  So naturally when I approached the Viv’s Vintage stall the first thing I spotted was a box of rather old looking books.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I reached in and pulled out a large pale blue one with an embossed gold sun printed on the cover and turned it on its side to reveal ‘GRIMMS FAIRYTALES’ also in gold.  I am a huge fan of the Grimm brothers and have been after a nice old collection of their fairytale stories for years, but have only ever seen newly printed versions.  I love the surreal nature of their fairytales, mixed with rather sinister undertones.  Obviously I wanted it straight away!  Despite a small stain on the cover, inside it was beautifully illustrated and had that wonderful ‘old book’ smell.  I was expecting it to be quite expensive, and couldn’t believe my ears when I asked for the price and was told £1!!  SOLD!!

That’s something else that I really like about coming to Vintage Village.  So many ‘vintage’ shops sell items at far too high prices, often thinking by labelling an item with the tag vintage it means they can put up the price.  Well I’m a rather thrifty person and I like to seek out a good bargain!  I also purchased a pretty vintage tin with red roses on it - another of my weaknesses, along with jars, cups and saucers and books - which was also £1!!  I will be using it to store some of my haberdashery bits and bobs. The lady running the stall told me they had travelled all the way from Carlisle to stand at the fair, that’s surely a testament in itself to how good it is!

E.G. Memories
1960s flamingo print, £25 from E.G Memories:

I saw this painting and immediately wanted it.  I have a bit of a thing for anything with flamingos on it, they are so graceful with their elongated bodies and I love their beautiful pink colour.  This stall also had a really good selection of vintage haberdashery goods too, as well as a retro children’s kaleidoscope which took me back to my childhood as I looked inside at the beautiful moving patterns.

Lulu's Parade
1980s powder blue dress, £15 from Lulu’s Parade:

There were heaps of gorgeous vintage dresses on the Lulu’s Parade stall, but this powder blue scoop neck number really stood out to me as I thought the colour was particularly gorgeous and the cut so elegant.

Strumpets Bazaar
1930s-40s tablecloth and napkins, £6 from Strumpets Bazaar:

In keeping with the afternoon tea trend, I thought this set of mint green napkins and tablecloths from the Strumpets Bazaar stall were just stunning.  They would make any table look absolutely gorgeous.

Parrot in the Pantry
Floral fabric, £3 from Parrot in the Pantry:

My fabric addiction was soon roused again when I saw this gorgeous material on the Parrot in the Pantry stall.  Last week I had searched high and low for some appropriate autumnal looking fabric for one of my Pretty Nostalgic features for the autumn issue - this would have been absolutely perfect!  I still bought it anyway, with the intention of making some cushions out of it.

1950s Brexton picnic hamper, £30 from Glook:

Just how gorgeous is this floral retro picnic set from the Glook stall?  They had a huge range of vintage homeware on display but this particularly sprung out at me.  I especially loved the yellow rose plates with their circular area to put your cup into, they were so pretty!

retrospektiv studio
Antique globe, £38 from retrospektiv studio:

I fell in love with this antique looking vintage globe on the retrospektiv studio stall.  I’m drawn to antique maps whenever I see them; there’s something so delicate and intricate about them.  This would look fabulous in the study that I dream of having one day that will be filled with all my weird curiosity pieces and gigantic book collection!

[Editor's note: you can see this globe in our Visitors' Gallery too!]

And that brings us to the end of my finds from Sunday's Vintage Village.  There were far more but I don’t think there would be enough room on the Finds of the Fair page to fit them all in!  Looking forward to all the wonderful things at next month’s fair! Thanks for reading!

Oh and do check out Pretty Nostalgic if you haven’t already!  There’s lots of things to tickle your vintage and nostalgic taste buds and in the forthcoming issue you can read my feature on the temperance movement as well as find out more about the beautiful Preserving the Community Garden!

Pretty Nostalgic issue 2

[Now it's us again]

Thanks so much for presenting such a spectacular array of Finds of the Fair, Samantha. 

And everyone is urged to check out Samantha's blog, and you can seek her out on Twitter too