Tag Archives: auctions

A few of my favourite vintage finds

I love old things. Antique, vintage, pre-loved – whatever you want to call them. Something old looks fantastic mixed with new items, and really lends your home a unique bit of personality. Lots of vintage things are also so much more affordable – especially paintings and furniture.  

I used to collect a lot of things when I was younger – espeically old magazines and vintage china. I’m much better at resisting too much hoarding these days as it all has to fight for space with the inevitable mountain of Lego and general boy clutter. A lot of my collections are now living in the loft, or under my bed, but here are just a few of my favourite vintage finds…  


We bought these two watercolours from the 1940s at an auction when Gabriel was a few weeks old. They are by an artist called Clodagh Sparrow, who I hadn’t heard of, but we both really fell in love with them. They were in dingy old frames and weren’t looking their best, so we were able to buy them very cheaply. We had them reframed and they immediately came to life and looked so much better. We did a little research on the artist after buying them, and she turns out to have designed railway posters during the 1930s and 40s. These pictures are a bit reminscent of vintage transport posters, don’t you think?


Here you can see a vintage tin given to me by James’ granny, which I’ve had leaning up in various places over the years. I love it! This little dog came in a box of other vintage toys from an auction. 


This jug was a recent charity shop find. It was a bit expensive at £10 (charity shops are not what they were!) but it was still there after a few weeks of dithering, so eventually it came home with me…


Here is another auction find. We bought a few of this artist’s paintings in the same lot, but this was my favourite. We haven’t done anything with the others yet, but this one went straight up on the wall. I love the colours and it looks great in the playroom. Auctions are such a great place to buy affordable paintings – I think we paid about £35 for the three. 


I used to collect these little Mauchline ware boxes and still have a few left. This little one lives in my bedroom and is so pretty, if a bit damaged. 

What are your favourite vintage finds?  

Home Etc

My Week

It’s been a chilly one, hasn’t it? April has been such an amazingly warm and dry month, but it decided to bow out on a wet and windy note. But, as we English say: it’ll do the garden good. As long as we get a bit of sunshine for the bank holiday weekend, I’ll be happy.

I didn’t end up buying anything at the auction. The bureau went for a bit more than I wanted to pay – although it was still an absolute steal for something over 200 years old. You could never buy anything new for the same amount. But we have a lot of things we want to pay for in the garden this month, so I restrained myself. I slightly regret not buying this fire insert with some of the prettiest tiles I’ve seen in a while:


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My Week


Getting on the garden. We’ve got a lot to do in the garden at the moment. Since we moved in, four years ago, I’ve tinkered around with growing annuals and things in pots, but we’ve not really made any substantial changes. Lots of the shrubs have become very overgrown and not particularly healthy as we haven’t kept on top of the pruning, plus the ancient shed at the bottom of the garden is slowing sinking into the ground. A lot of the fencing is also on its last legs. This year we would really like to replace the broken bits of fence and create a new vegetable plot towards the end of the garden. The garden became a bit of a dumping ground over the Winter – we are gradually trying to clear this, although we will probably need a skip.


Anyway, last weekend we made a start on improving things – we’ve sown our special wild flower and grass seeds in a shaded area of the garden and I’ve planted some Cosmos seeds – always a favourite, and they do really well in our garden most years.

A few antiques. On Wednesday Tom skipped pre-school and we went over to view a local auction, in Willingham, with my parents. I fell in love with a Georgian bureau and Tom was very taken with some old rocking horses. I may put a bid on something this Saturday – I’ll keep you posted. Probably not a rocking horse though – who actually has room in their house for one of those?



Swimming. This week I’ve been swimming properly (not just splashing in the baby pool) for the first time in years. I need to find some more back-friendly exercise and I’m hoping this is it! I don’t have a great technique and can only do quite a weedy breaststroke. As it was 9am, the more aggressive, fast swimmers were long gone, and I was able to relax into it and go at my own pace without feeling intimidated.  I’ve always felt a bit ashamed not to be a quicker/stronger swimmer – but that’s silly really and I have every right to be there!

What I’ve been wearing. Ok, I caved in and ordered some dungarees.  Predictably they caused much amusement to the boys. I’ve also loved how warm it’s been at times. I’ve even gone without socks for the first time this year – although I did get rewarded with a huge blister and got my toes squashed by a small child’s scooter! On Friday I had a couple of inches lopped off my hair too – which feels really nice and Spring-like.



What I’ve made. This week all the beautiful pink blossom everywhere inspired me to get my watercolours out for a quick painting.


What I’ve been watching. I am quite ashamed by how addicted I am to Outlander (on Amazon Prime). I read about in Grazia, or somewhere, and thought I’d give it a go as I hardly seem to get my money’s worth out of the Amazon subscription these days. Little did I know how hooked I’d become! It’s like the Sharpe TV series crossed with Walter Scott, with a bit of Pillars of the Earth thrown in for good measure. Basically, it’s about an English nurse being transported from 1945 to eighteenth century Jacobite Scotland. Of course, it’s total tosh –  but we all need a bit of that sometimes.

Lizzie x