Finds of the Fair 9th April 2017

Hello, I'm Sue Cook.  I started collecting things, little interesting things, when I was a child.  My dad worked in a big country house and odd things found their way home.  My mum bought random boxes of stuff at auctions.  Our house was full of stuff.  I didn’t have a chance. 

I started with Wade Whimsies and Victorian bottles dug up in the garden, moved on to 50s print dresses and American shirts from jumble sales, became obsessed with Art Deco china and then settled into a longstanding Midwinter and Meakin phase.  Now I like Scandinavian ceramics, Sheffield cutlery, quirky little objects and interesting badges too.  And pencils. 

I like the domestic, everyday things, rather than statement pieces.  I like to use the things I buy.  I think I collect partly for the aesthetic pleasure of a nice bit of china under my toast in the morning and partly for the connections it makes with my past, with long lost relatives and my childhood.

You can find me on Instagram @cookiesue and Twitter @suecooksheff.

1950s French chocolate moulds, £1.00 each from Aspidistra Vintage:

Sweet funny little things with a purpose.  Is that a gnome?  A kewpie doll?  There were tiny croissants too.  They’re going on the wall in my kitchen.

1970s brooch, £15.00 from The Hoolala Circus:

What an odd, curious, shiny shiny thing.  Echoes of Barbara Hepworth I thought.

Midwinter Nordic gravy boat designed by Jessie Tait, £3.00 from Jodi Jo Retro:

Couldn’t resist this Nordic pattern, this one came home with me.  I love Jodi Jo Retro’s Welsh tapestry bags, it’s only a matter of time before I buy one.  It was very lovely to meet her in person after following her on Instagram for a while.

Peapod brooch, £8.00 from Sheila’s Store:

What a beautiful object this is.  I don’t think I’d wear it, it’s too golden and showy for me, but I like that someone made it.

Midwinter Madeira dinner plate, £2.00 from Balmer & Stanley:

Oh Midwinter!  Get thee behind me!  My eyes light up like a kid in a sweet shop when I see it.  Clean graphic designs especially.  I do like this lovely dark Madeira pattern and couldn’t resist at just £2... It joins its oval big brother in my plate cupboard.

1960s cotton print dress, £20.00 from Karen Knowles:

I still love print dresses, this fabric was especially lovely I thought.

Vice Captain badge, £8.00 from Sue Booth’s Sparkles:

Captain of vice? This is thing I WISH I’d bought...

Our fervent thanks to Sue for this splendidly unique selection of personal favourites from our fair.  We've had pencils once before, but I don't think we've ever had valve cores! 

Norsk Design wall plaque, £20.00 from Retro Belle:

Lovely Norwegian folk art plaque by Figgjo Flint. I am a complete sucker for Scandinavian ceramics.  I have two little porcelain skillets from FF, one with herrings and onions, and the other with a abstract chicken and its eggs, and I like them very much.  This would’ve made a good friend for them and I was sorely tempted but resisted.

Venus pencils, £8.00 from The Grand Collector:

Well, I just love pencils.  I use them every day (and bought a unopened box of West German Staedler yellow and blacks with rubbers for £1.00 from Mad Hatton’s Vintage).  The Venus box here was a thing of beauty.  Once you look hard the care that’s gone into it is astounding for a box of office pencils.  The pencils themselves, ‘for shorthand’, in their dark mock-croc green were beautiful too but the lead is too hard for everyday use so they didn’t come home with me.

Pinnies, £5.00 each from Valentine’s Curious Closet:

Lovely 1960s patterns and brand new condition.  These are complete nostalgia for me - ALL my Welsh aunties wore these, ALL day long, taking them off only to go to the Co-op for groceries.  I love aprons of all sorts and still have some of my mother’s.

Schrader Valve Cores tin, £1.00 from Mad Hatton’s Vintage:

A beautiful little sliding tin with bike valves in it.  Felt just right in your hand.  I wanted this a lot but I didn’t know quite why.  I think the sliding action was part of it.

Mending yarns, 50p each from Vintage Clutter:

I like mending things, I’m a demon darner of socks and elbows.  These remind me of my mum’s sewing box.  Imagine a time when you had yarn to match every shade of nylons.  Imagine a time when you mended rather than throwing things away.  Such nice cards too.

Magnet pin, £3.00 from The Side Room:

Who knows what this was for, why would you wear a magnet in your lapel?  Maybe if you had a magnetic personality... But a lovely tiny little thing.

Teeny tiny 60s kitchen set, £10.00 from Snygg:

I had a dolls house with electric light!  Oh yes.  I knew how lucky I was.  It never actually worked, there was never a battery to be found.  I was particularly fond of the pink bathroom suite and the electric cooker.  This would’ve been perfect in my house.