Price Points: Overnight bags

Selection of overnight bags | H is for Home

We’re off to visit some friends in the Lakes soon. We’re only going for a weekend, but we’re really looking forward to revisiting one of our favourite places… and favourite friends!

We have a massive duffel bag on wheels that holds about a 2 weeks’ holiday worth of clothes, shoes and toiletries. However, we could really do with something smaller like a couple of overnight bags. Something that doesn’t encroach upon the dog’s domain in the back of our estate car. He travels heavier than we do – he has his bed, blanket, 2 food bowls, travel-size bag of food, towel, raincoat, lead and – unfortunately in his old age – prescription medicines. He needs so much paraphernalia, it’s like having a toddler!

  1. UU Family travel tote: from $45.66 USD, AliExpress
  2. Hand-crafted yellow overnight bag by Freeload Leather Accessories: £255, Notonthehighstreet
  3. ASPINAL OF LONDON Harrison leather overnight business bag: £695, Selfridges

Price Points: Book bags

Book bags made to look like book covers

What’s your favourite book? Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction? Whatever your chosen reading may be, these book bags are perfect for toting it around… along with your keys, phone, purse, tissues, lipstick – whatever!

Back in the day, when I used to have a daily rail commute (and before mobile phones were so ubiquitous), I used to read books voraciously. I read Lord of the Rings entirely on the Todmorden ↔ Manchester train. I was also addicted to crime fiction, long before the advent of Scandi Noir.

Unfortunately, I never seem to find that kind of time any longer – more’s the pity. I think one of these book bags would certainly get me back into turning those pages!

  1. Book handbags and clutch bags by The Literary Gift Company: £30, Notonthehighstreet
  2. To Kill A Mockingbird leather book bag: from £143, Etsy
  3. Dolce & Gabbana book padlock top handle bag : £4,750, Harrods

Vintage flour bags

vintage flour bags for John Hare's self-raising flour | H is for Home

We’ve plumped for these vintage flour bags as our favourite buy of the week.

Vintage John Hare's flour bag with a vintage milk & cream bottles and antique wooden spoons | H is for Home

They’re made of cotton and are quite humble objects, but we like lots of things about them. The gorgeous red lettering & typography, the amazing condition – they’ve survived unused for a hundred years or so – and their re-purposing potential.

Detail from a vintage John Hare's flour bag showing the red printed branding | H is for Home

They’re obviously perfect for storing flour – storing any similar product come to think of it. They could also hang off hooks to hold wooden spoons & utensils – and make great covers for plastic plant pots. Anything else spring to mind out there?

Geranium inside a vintage flour bag with vintage milk and cream bottles | H is for Home

 They add a lovely touch of old world charm to any space. We’ve got hold of a reasonable quantity and will put them in our web shop later on today.

Gimme Five! Clutch bags

"Gimme Five!" blog post banner

selection of 5 ladies' clutch bags

Maybe because it’s my birthday in less than a fortnight, but recently I’m finding my head being turned by cute clutch bags 😉

Yes, I’ve already got lots of bags – but I could always find a little space for one of these. The most expensive example is 100 times more expensive than the cheapest, can you guess which is which? No peeking at the answers!

  1. Oversize vegan leather envelope clutch – rose pink – £6.44 Etsy
  2. Day to evening leather clutch by E&S Elves & Shoemakers – £125, Notonthehighstreet
  3. Metallic clutch – £25, River Island
  4. Sarah oversized envelope clutch bag , yellow – £39, John Lewis
  5. Mulberry Clemmie glossy goat leather clutch – £695, Selfridges

Wednesday Wish: Market Grown burlap shopping bags

"Wednesday Wish" blog post banner

Market Grown burlap bags designed by Catalina Rozo & Melissa Clinard
Market Grown burlap shopping bags – small $7 | large $12

I happened across these burlap shopping bags while browsing Pinterest today (I’ve been doing a lot of that recently!). There’s SO much going for them – they’re useful, cheap, eco-friendly and charitable!

They were designed by Catalina Rozo & Melissa Clinard for Market Grown, an initiative that helps local farmers in Alachua County, Florida. I don’t think there’s much chance of any of the bags making the journey across to the UK, but Catalina & Melissa… if you’re listening! 😉

Welsh Wool

Vintage Welsh wool selection | H is for Home

Our last blog featured the characteristic designs of mid 20th century German pottery and how it captured an era. Another favourite of ours, with an equally distinctive look, is Welsh wool with its astounding range of colours, patterns and textures.

Welsh wool detail | H is for HomeClaret & cream

Welsh wool coat detailvibrant orange & olive green

Welsh wool detail | H is for Homeshades of coffee

A number of mills have produced these high quality textiles over the years and in some cases still do. A couple of good examples producing traditional Welsh wool tapestry are Trefriw Woollen Mills and Solva Woollen Mill.

The distinctive designs are not ‘tapestry’ in the truest sense of the word but, are in fact, double woven cloth producing a pattern on both sides.

Mills produced textiles for sale by the length and also produced their own range of homewares including blankets, throws, cushions, place mats etc.

Vintage Welsh wool coasters in original packaging | H is for HomeTapestry drink coasters

In addition, these textiles were purchased wholesale by fashion manufacturers including Gwydir Garments, Dwyryd Clothes, Coracle Clothes, Gannex and many more.

Vintage Welsh wool zipped jacket | H is for Home Vintage Welsh wool zipped jacket | H is for Home

The cloth was then made up into coats, jackets, capes, waistcoats, skirts, belts, hats, handbags and purses.

Vintage Welsh wool handbag | H is for Homevintage handbag

Vintage Welsh wool skirt & waistcoat suit | H is for Homeskirt & waistcoat suit

The 1960s were undoubtedly the heyday for Welsh wool. Nothing screams the 60s quite like a Welsh wool tapestry cape, mini skirt and knee-high boots. In fact, Mary Quant was known to make trips to Wales to source fabric for her fashion house.

Welsh wool cape and handbags | H is for Home

However, recent designs by Melin Tregwynt have really moved things on once more and are much loved by contemporary interiors magazines. Whether it’s this modern look or the vintage pieces, these textiles look fantastic in the home.

Vintage orange & green Welsh wool coat on stick back chair | H is for Home

The green and orange colourways look amazing with dark woods such as teak and rosewood, the bright pinks zing against white acrylic and browns & creams lift rustic pine with a bit of subtle colour and texture.

Welsh wool place mat with Cathrineholm kettle | H is for Home

There are obviously no rules though, and the range of colours and patterns allows for great fun and flexibility.

Quality vintage pieces remain affordable and, having been out of favour for a few years, are being appreciated once more.

A creeping rejection of the cheap and mass-produced, the recognition of hand-crafted objects and the use of natural products stands Welsh wool in good stead for the future.

Vintage Welsh wool handbag | H is for Homevintage handbag

Vintage Welsh wool handbag | H is for Homevintage handbag