Webwise shopping

Made.com sofa and rugMADE.com

Online shopping continues to boom. The home & garden sector is one of the biggest growth areas. Furniture, lighting, soft furnishings, textiles, kitchen & dining ware all lend themselves perfectly to the web shopping experience.

The vast majority of people don’t employ an interior designer, but they have their own ideas, creative flair and preferences. People want their home to look unique, to stand out from the crowd, to have personality. The web enables you to create an interior that’s perfect for you.

hanging lamp from CasafinaCasafina

So, whether your moving into a new home, giving your current one a fresh look or simply adding that single special piece that you’ve had your eye on… a great place to check out is VoucherBin.

They have a range of offers and voucher codes available – high street names and online favourites such as Made.com, Cox & Cox, Casafina, Love the Design and Dotmaison can all be found there; the kind of companies that offer innovation and affordability when it comes to giving your home a design aware look.

Bedding from Cox & CoxCox & Cox

Some people love the ‘brand new’ for their homes, some love the aged character of antique, some love both. Even keen vintage fans don’t tend to fill their home exclusively with vintage homewares. They might also like the look or practicality of a brand new piece, the products of a specific new designer, a company’s ethos, a modern twist on an old classic… and so on.

Also, many people like to mix old with new – an eclectic look that has timeless style… a look that is here to stay.

Homewares available at Love the DesignLove the Design

So, if you’re browsing the internet and see the perfect thing… pause for a moment before clicking to buy… there’s the distinct possibility that the thing you’re after or something similar will appear on VoucherBin.

You’ll find voucher codes which give you discounts of up to 75% off the regular price. If you’ve got a budget to stick too – and most people have – it might just help you finish that dream space without short cuts or compromise. Check it out!

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Fudge has been collared!

'Fudge has been collared!' blog post banner

orange dog collar and lead

We received a surprise cheque in the post last week. Not a lottery style win or anything, but a couple of hundred pounds that we weren’t expecting. So, only one thing for it – ‘save half, spend half!’. Adelle got a pair of new shoes, Justin needs some new jeans – and Fudge got a lovely new collar & lead set.

tissue-wrapped collar and lead with complimentary dog treat

They were ordered from Suzy Q based in Hove. Not on the High Street give 5% of the sale price to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Lovely attention to detail in the packaging – nice tissue paper wrapping, pretty labels and a dog treat!

personalised, engraved collar

The collars are very well made – and customised too which is included in the price. Just one word of caution – if you have a dog that pulls very hard, we have known this type of clip-in fastening to pop open suddenly. This might be an issue if your dog has an aggressive streak, runs into busy roads or heads off into the hills as soon as it gets chance!

Fudge sporting his new, orange matching collar and lead

We went for the vibrant orange – he might be ten years old, but Fudge still likes to turn heads. You can almost hear him saying, “Don’t I look handsome… not bad for an old man”. The George Clooney of the canine world!

Five Flea Finds

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Collection of items picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

This week was very successful at our local flea market… with 5 really good vintage finds for the shop.

vintage Festival of Britain catalogue picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

First is this original catalogue from the Festival of Britain held in 1951. We’ve really enjoyed browsing through this booklet. In addition the run down of the exhibition itself, there are some fantastic period ads.

vintage chocolate brown enamel Finel kettle picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

Next up is this enamel teapot made by Finel. It was covered in dust and badly tea stained inside, but it’s come up beautifully – a good wash revealed the lovely pattern and the inside bleached clean & white.

vintage Bavaria West German porcelain coffee pot picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

This 1960s coffee pot couldn’t fail to catch our eye. We’ve actually had a set in this pattern before – what a great design with its simple, stylised flowers.

vintage handpainted Arabia sunflower plate picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

This plate was at the bottom of a pile. We could just see the petal edges poking out. We’re glad we made the effort to dig down a bit! It’s a lovely vintage hand-painted sunflower plate produced by Arabia of Finland.

set of 6 vintage Ridgway "Amanda" trios picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

Finally, we have this tea trio – a set of six trios to be precise. It’s the Amanda pattern produced by Ridgway in the 1960s/70s – bright, cheerful and very usable.

All worth getting up early for!

In addition to the five finds destined for our shop, you may also have noticed some wine glasses in the background of the group photo. We were down to our last couple of decent wine glasses (and we do love a glass or two of red wine in front of the fire!). We’ve been looking for new ones for a few weeks now and were determined to pick some up in a charity shop or flea market. There they were – lovely wine glasses – large bowls, long slim stems, nice quality – £2.50 for a set of 8!! Now that was a great buy!

Christmas is coming!

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vintage rocking horse in the Christmas decorated shop window of Picture House Antiques in Todmorden

In addition to our web shop we have an antiques centre pitch.

vintage Christmas decorated shop window of Picture House Antiques in Todmorden

Following  Bev & Tim’s efforts, it’s now looking wonderfully Christmas-y.

vintage Christmas decorated pine dresser in Picture House Antiques in Todmorden

There’s a lovely tree and other festive decorations.

Christmas tree and vintage Christmas decorated shop window in Picture House Antiques in Todmorden

The window looks fab…

vintage Christmas decorated shop window in Picture House Antiques in Todmorden

…with its selection of traditional vintage toys including board games, teddies, dolls and a gorgeous rocking horse.

vintage toys and games in Christmas decorated shop window in Picture House Antiques in Todmorden

Do pop by if you’re in the area – you may just find that perfect present!

Tin-tastic!

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trio of Marks & Spencer biscuit tins designed by Sanna Annukka

Marks and Spencer are selling these Christmas biscuit selections…

Marks & Spencer chocolate chunk selection biscuit tin designed by Sanna Annukka

…with gorgeous tins designed by Sanna Annuka.

Marks & Spencer Swiss biscuit collection biscuit tin designed by Sanna Annukka

Future classics with their vintage Scandinavian folk art feel.

Marks & Spencer Swiss biscuit collection biscuit tin designed by Sanna Annukka

She was responsible for this Swiss biscuit tin last Christmas – it’s currently changing hands for £15-£20… without the biscuits!

detail from a Marks & Spencer Swiss biscuit collection biscuit tin designed by Sanna Annukka showing a Swiss milk maid

We’ve bought ours early this year – they’re sure to be popular again.

detail from a Marks & Spencer chocolate chunk selection biscuit tin designed by Sanna Annukka showing alpine trees

We’ll be giving a few tins as presents – but some will have to go under our own tree!!

Marks & Spencer Scottish shortbread petticoat tails tin

They’ve also got a butter shortbread tin with a sweet little Scottie dog on the front.

detail from Marks & Spencer Scottish shortbread petticoat tails tin showing a black Scottish terrier with a red tartan collar and lead and an envelope in his mouth

We recently posted a blog featuring illustrations by Miroslav Sasek – we don’t know who designed this tin – but it also has a vintage feel is very reminiscent of his work.

detail from Marks & Spencer Scottish shortbread petticoat tails tin showing legs of two mean and a woman and small flock of pigeons

Here are the actual illustrations from the book…

illustration of a Scottish terrier from vintage book, "This is Edinburgh" by Miroslav Sasek

…published in 1961.

illustration of a Scottish terrier from vintage book, "This is Edinburgh" by Miroslav Sasek

It’s not only going to be a tin-tastic Christmas in our house – looks like it’s going to be biscuit-tastic too!

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

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collection of postcards and business cards from artists & craftspeople exhibiting at Great Norther Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We spent Friday evening at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Spinningfields, Manchester city centre…

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired figures by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…and a very pleasant evening it was too.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

The fair expanded into two pavilions for its second year.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

A great mix of ceramics, glass, metal, paper and textiles… from both new exhibitors and favourites from last year.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

There were so many great stalls – we’ve just selected a few that caught our eye.

We’ll start with Jane Blease Design.

handmade bent plywood and threaded cotton lamps and artwork by Jane Blease Design who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

She uses plywood and threaded cotton to produce artworks, light shades and jewellery.

detail from a handmade bent plywood and threaded cotton lampshade by Jane Blease Design who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

It’s striking from a distance, then fascinating in the detail.

handmade bent plywood and threaded cotton jewellery by Jane Blease Design who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

A piece of Jane’s work was temptation number one and we’d only been in the marquee for a few seconds!

Moving along to &made,

cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Norther Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Andrea Lord produces lovely hand-sewn pieces…

cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…her items simply & beautifully displayed.

cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Norther Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Cushions, wall hangings and rows of gorgeous cacti pin cushions in their little terracotta pots!

cushion and cacti-shaped pin cushions in terra cotta pots from &made who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We mentioned Derek Wilson Ceramics in our post from last year’s fair.

handthrown functional porcelain tableware by Derek Wilson who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

His stand, filled with his beautiful and delicate porcelain, stopped us in our tracks again…

handthrown porcelain jug by Derek Wilson who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

….elegant, understated simplicity.

Ruth Green Design has proved another favourite with our blog readers – and a shot of her prints always rides high in our Flickr photo viewings.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We lingered at her stall for a good while.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Her prints, sold in limited edition runs, look fabulous hanging all together.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

The Pear Tree, one of her  new designs, was another strong temptation!

You can always guarantee a striking display from Hannah Nunn’s Radiance Lighting

handmade laminated papercut lampshades by Hannah Nunn who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…the warm cosy glow of her beautiful, nature-inspired shades…

handmade laminated papercut lampshades by Hannah Nunn who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…the designs hand cut from paper and then laminated.

Adelle having a pit stop in the bar area at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Phew… time for a pit stop… a sit down with a glass of wine!!

First-time exhibitor Ken Eardley made the long drive up from Brighton where he has his studio.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

His range of striking pottery with stylised trees, flowers & leaves was a real show stopper.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Functional and beautiful – always a winning combination.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

No doubt his work will be starring in lots of interiors magazines in the future!

The natural landscape strongly inspires & influences the work of enameller Janine Partington.

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired figures by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Trees, flowers, seed heads, birds and animals.

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired figures by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

She produces enamel panels, small sculptures and jewellery.

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired jewellery by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We’d love to stroll through a magical forest of her making.

Kent-based Maxine Sutton plays with imagery of familiar everyday domestic objects and the natural world.

hand-embroidered and printed textiles by Maxine Sutton who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Incorporating them into embroidered and printed textiles to produce a range of interior products.

hand-embroidered and printed textiles by Maxine Sutton who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

There were lots of eye-catching items on her stand.

hand-embroidered and printed textiles by Maxine Sutton who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We’ve got a standard lamp that would happily accommodate one of her large shades… and we just loved the coffee pot/cafetiere cosies with their Scandinavian feel.

The work of Sarra Kate is bright and effervescent – just like Sarra Kate herself!

colourful textile banners, cushions and greetings cards made from original collages by Sarra Kate who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Her stand called out to us from a long way away.

detail from a colourful textile banner made from original collage by Sarra Kate who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

She starts her pieces by making colourful collages which are then laser printed onto textiles and paper…

colourful  greeting cards made from original collages by Sarra Kate who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…which go into making wall hangings, cushions and cards.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Hannah McAndrew, another of our favourites from last year.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

This is where we finally gave into temptation.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We admired her stand last year, filled with its mediæval-inspired slipware pottery.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

This year we just had to take a few of her pieces home!

detail from slipware pottery jug by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We’ve concentrated on featuring homes and interiors products, but there was also lots & lots of fantastic fashion & jewellery – and if we featured any more this post would turn into a novel!

All the makers will be packing up and making their way home as we write this… so be sure to put the fair in your diary for next year!