Finding work for idle hands: making, baking and more.

Another vase joins the collection March 3, 2010

Filed under: Collecting — lauravw @ 8:50 pm

Another coloured glass vase has joined my collection. I can’t claim to have stumbled upon this one in a junk shop though: it’s from Marks and Spencer. There may not be an interesting story behind where I bought it, but I love it all the same – I think it’s such a pretty style and the colour really fits well with other items in the room.

It’s currently resident on our mantelpiece, but I suspect it may prompt me to rearrange things fairly soon as the arrangement isn’t quite right at the moment. You’re welcome to have a peek at the rest of the collection here – and if you fancy a vase like this one, they even sell them online.


It’s in the post February 27, 2010

Filed under: Collecting — lauravw @ 2:48 pm

Not all post boxes are created equal: we noticed a few years ago that the post box nearest our house has the letters GR on it – while most of the ones in more modern housing developments say ER. And then this week when we were out and about near Nottingham Castle we spotted one that said VR.

These letters relate to the monarch who was reigning at the time the post box was installed – Elizabeth’s had a good long sit on the throne now (since 1952), and so that’s why her post boxes are prevalent. Our GR post box likely means that King George V was running the show when it went in – he became king in 1910 and remained so until 1936, and the houses on our street were built around 1930.

The Victorian post box in this picture must date somewhere between 1837–1901 – a rather large range of dates! I will try to take pictures if I spot any with other monarchs listed on them. Let me know if you see any unusual post boxes in your neck of the woods!


Collecting coloured glass November 9, 2009

Filed under: Collecting,Interiors — lauravw @ 7:48 pm

glassbowlIf someone had predicted five years ago that I would have a collection of coloured glass vases and dishes, I would not have believed them. And yet, that’s exactly what I have: for the past few years, I have been snapping up coloured glass vases and I now have what amounts to a collection. It was not something I planned, and just grew bit by bit. I am very careful with what I buy and won’t bring a new vase into the house unless I love it. At the same time, there are a few I already own that I can see being replaced by other ones over time.

I’m not entirely sure how it started, but most of the vases I have came from charity shops on our local high street. There is even one shop that we refer to as the ‘vase shop’ since, a trip there has a high success rate when it comes to finding a coloured glass vase. Others have been bought new in shops, and a few more have come from family members, passed down through the generations.

As with most things, I’m very fussy: I only buy things I love, and so that has helped to keep the collection to a manageable size – there is plenty of room for more. (Though being so fussy can be a problem if and when kind-hearted friends and relatives find something they think I’ll like…) I know nothing about glass and so I’m not influenced by what might be considered fashionable, collectable or otherwise lucrative to own.

riihimakiOver the weekend we found a pretty (to my eyes) green vase in a junk shop here in Nottingham. The asking price was a lot more than I usually spend (most pieces I’ve bought have been £5 or less, with a few exceptions), but we got the seller down to £20 and walked away happy. The shop’s owner thought it might be vase by Danish glass producers Holmegaard. A little searching on eBay led us to conclude that it wasn’t, and we then found similar vases by a company called Riihimaki. I’m confident that they are the creators of this particular piece – it seems to come from around 1970.

This was a bit of a step forward for me, in that I have now learned the names of two manufacturers who produce things that are to my taste. It opens up all sorts of possibilities in that I can now monitor eBay for these keywords, but I think I’m going to stick to my serendipitous methods and just look for glass objects in charity shops and junk shops, wherever I happen to be. (Though I’m sure I will have the occasional peek to see what’s on offer online…)

And it doesn’t end there: I have a couple of other collections too – again, unplanned ones. Firstly, a collection of pencils – all of them pretty. This is a useful collection to have, as it lives by the phone and is in use all the time. Plus it only occupies the tiniest space – they all fit in a mug.

Secondly, I have been collecting books on etiquette for some years now. I love to read all the advice dished out to people on how to behave. I would never claim that reading these books has made me a better behaved person, but I certainly have a clear understand of how to behave better.

I’ve put an album on Flickr containing photos of my glass collection if you want to take a peek.

Now I’ve confessed my rather unfashionable hobbies, what about you – do you have any collections?