Glass - Magpie Monday

For this week's MagpieMonday post I have several pieces of glassware.  I am always hoping to find beautiful glass items when I go on my trips around boot sales and charity shops but rarely find anything that really takes my breath away.    When I saw the following pieces I was immediately in love and snapped them up.

The beautiful vase in the centre of this photo is actually new (sorry, hope it still counts) I found it in one of my other regular haunts TK Maxx.  It had a price tag of just £7 !! I couldn't believe it, its the most gorgeous piece of glassware, beautifully made and really heavy. I love it and can't wait to get some large white flowers to pop in it.  The pretty glass bowl has a blue etched pattern on the front and back, I found two for 10p each in the charity shop.  Possibly not very old, but really pretty.    I have a few blue bottles like the one in this picture, I love them all in a line down the table with a single flower.  Simple but elegant, I won this one off Ebay for 99p.

I am not sure at all whether this is a vase? or an ice cream sundae cup ?  I don't think it is new as it is really heavy glass with a "old" frosted appearance.  I really don't mind either way as its the most beautiful colour and matches perfectly with the taper candles I decided to store in it.   It cost 50p from the chairity shop and all the candles were just 10p for the lot!

I was thrilled when I saw this bottle ! A bottle with a tap! ha! I love it.  I knew straight away what I would use it for and it now sits on the side of the kitchen sink with washing up liquid in it !  (no dishwasher in this house)  Not sure what its original use would be maybe Olive Oil ? It must be reasonable old looking at the tap and the thickness and quality of the glass but I could be wrong.  Cost me £1 in charity shop.

Finally this week, this totally stunning, too die for pink glass clock in the art deco style (but obviously a modern clock as it has a battery).  It was locked in a cabinet in the charity shop - where they put the posh stuff ! I paid £3 and I love! love! love! it.  It sits on my bedside table, so pretty and gives me joy everyday just to look at it.

Don't forget to pop over to Lizzie's MagpieMonday to see all the other great thrifted finds this week.

I am sure I have aristocratic blood - MagpieMonday

Firstly I want to reassure Liz from MagpieMonday who had a bit of a wobbly moment last week, that I did not feel at anytime, under any pressure to shop for this weeks post.  I will let you all into a little secret - I am a shopaholic ! There I said it, I feel so much better for that.  Sadly, I was unable to find anything to fit in with the red or comic relief theme, but I did find something that made me smile (a lot really, but  probably only Helen @icklebabe_com  will get the joke).

I have to say I've been on a role until this week, finding bargain after bargain for silly money.  I think my luck might just be running out (although we had a great morning at the boot sale yesterday, will post about those items at a later date) 

There is a link between this weeks finds (tongue firmly placed in cheek) - as I have always believed I was not born to be poor (which sadly I am) I must imagine that I am instead from impeccable breeding !

My first find this week

This beautiful Enlgish Bone China cup and saucer from the Althorp Estate for £1.  Its absolutely devine, fine, fine china with a beautiful rose and the motto of the Althorp Family.  I have never visited Althorp as I can't bare the thought of Princess Diana being so close and dead.  I idolised her when she was alive and to this day I feel so sad about her death.

My second find was an amazing handmade Liberty of London Guests and Menus book.  I found it at the bottom of a box of handbags would you believe! when I first spotted the iconic material, I thought, this has got to be some fake bag, when I pulled it out I was thrilled to find this fantastic book, in immaculate condition and unused!  for 50p woop!  Can't find anything about this book online so if anybody has any ideas would love to know.  I might even pluck up the courage to contact Liberty themselves.

Imagine having the kind of lifestyle that requires you to have a book in which to plan your guest lists, menu and wines !

My third find (which is the joke part for Helen, who is the most amazing cook and is always telling me to cook stuff for my man)  It seems I may actually have aristocratic blood which is why I have an aversion to cooking like the wonderful Duchess of Devonshire.  She doesn't cook but wrote a cookery book!  How fab is that !  I found her Chatsworth cookery book as I was browsing the shelves for blue books!  Yes, I really do look for books with blue covers.  Hubby is building me a bookcase for our living room and I want to have lots of gorgeous old books with blue, white or pale spines.  I know, humour me, I might actually be loosing the plot.  I am hoping it will look fab when finished.  Anyway that's another story.  Sooooo this particular book had the most beautiful cover when the dust cover was removed.

It also had lots of lovely receipes (The Duchess of course has a staff of chefs to do her cooking)  and this one in particular caught my eye on the same day that I think I was talking to Helen and several twitter peeps about homemade soup !

Don't forget to pop over to see what the other great MagpieMonday peeps have thrifted this week.

Come on Up !

The stairs are finished ! Yippeee!

I am so excited about this as it has taken "a while"  for us to get around to completing all the painting required.  You can imagine with five people going up and down the stairs several times a day, there never seems to have been a time when the traffic was light enough to allow us to paint and dry sufficiently.  Coats were added at random times and now it is finally the "right" colour. 

The stenciled words are a quirky finishing touch .  Milo popped his rabbit on the stairs this morning, complete with raised leg.  Think he may have his mummies eye for styling !

Painted to compliment the beautiful Laura Ashley wallpaper purchased in a sale several years ago, I am really happy with the end result.  As for the four men in our home ..... 


One of the rare moments when No 1 son helped around the house.  Can't believe how small he is in this photo,At nearly 16 yrs old now he is nearly as tall as his dad !


The Chair Makeover - Magpie Monday

This week for MapieMonday I found this great chair in my local charity shop, for some reason it was only £5, we were really surprised about this as normally the chairs sell for £10 upwards.  I don't really know about different woods, but hubby thinks this is probably oak and quite a modern one judging by the chair cover.  All I know is I loved the shape of the back and the legs and could just imagine how it would look once it was given a "makeover".


Ever impatient to get my "creation" completed I set hubby to work straight away removing the cover from the seat cushion.  This was not a quick job, this chair was well made and had over 100 tacs in it holding the old cover onto the padding, once removed, the pad was in great condition so just needed to be covered.  I purchased some gorgeous Rachel Ashwell material from Ebay which was perfect for the new cover, its a discontinued material in the softest white and pink rose design. 

We sanded the chair and on Friday night I set to work painting.  I couldn't decide whether I wanted a "distressed"  or a plain chalky white finish.  I decided to wait until I had painted the chair and felt sure I would "know"  how it was meant to look.  (apologies for the lack of photo's for the in between stages, my helper "forgot" to take them.  I won't be using him again! )


Again, apologies for the quality of the photograph, the light was going when I realised I didn't have any photographs of the end product.  But I hope you will agree, it turned out pretty good.  I  love it, now all I have to do is decide where to put it.

Chair £5
Material £8
Paint £4
Sandpaper & Staples £1
(Labour - paid in kind ) ; )

Please pop over to Liz at Magpie Monday to see everyone elses great finds.

Upstairs Landing

When we moved into our home the upstairs landing was a very unflattering shade of dirty pink.  In the photo below you can see how it looked.  On the left you can see an airing cupboard, (which has since made way to create more space in the teeny, tiny bathroom ) and the doorway to No 1 son's bedroom ( papered in a fetching brown flower pattern) he was not amused having to sleep in there I can tell you. Filthy carpets in all the rooms, upstairs and downstairs were immediately removed.  As I said in a previous post I just couldn't bare the thought of our family sitting or playing on them !


Hubby spent many nights stripping the woodchip from these walls and plasterboarding the ceiling and walls smooth.  He removed a really unflattering single light bulb which hung over the stairs and  gave out little light.  It took five years for us to be able to afford it, but we decided in the end that the luxury of carpet was a must for upstairs on the landing, in our bedroom and in the twins room.  No1 Son preferred a wooden floor (cool mum, cool).


 (looking back down the hall from No 1 son's bedroom)
The glass brick wall replaced the original doorway to the bathroom and the airingcupboard doorway became the new bathroom door.

I thought it might look really good to have downlights running around the ceiling.  This turned out better than we expected and gives a wonderful feeling to the landing space.

I decided to put etched window vinyl on the landing window, this meant we had maximum light into the space but still protected our privacy.  I am not a lover of net curtains or blinds as they block out too much light.  Light is everything to me.  We even tested it at night by turning all the lights on and standing on the landing whilst my husband and I took it in turns to go outside and look up to see if we could see each other ! 

Etsy Shop

It's taking a while but I am slowly stocking my new Etsy shop.   Problem is, I can't decide which items to sell.  I love all my gorgeous goodies but sadly I just don't have the room to keep them all.  I've been collecting from boot sales, charity shops and ebay for several years now and its really starting to get out of control.

 Here's a peak of some of the items for sale  (please do let me know if you are interested in buying anything and I will give you a discount if you are following this blog) :

Blue and white Barratts of Staffordshire Cup and Saucer

Colclough cup, saucer and side plate

Wedgewood Sarah's Garden Plate

Please pop over to my shop The White Approach and take a look at what I have listed so far.

Magpie Monday - Sorbet

After the massive build up to how both Liz of MagpieMonday and I found fab bargains on our latest visits to the charity shops, I hope I don't disappoint you.

 I can quite honestly say when I saw these sitting in a basket I nearly screamed in sheer ecstasy !  Heart pounding and colour rising I rushed over to them.  Soooooo gorgeous.  Why would anybody give them away !!!  They are everything I adore about vintage style.  Beautiful fine English bone china in sorbet colours and six complete sets of cup, saucer and side plate !!

All pieces are base stamped with "Harrowby" Bone China England.  I have tried to find out more about this company but have come up with a blank.  Wedgewood has a design called Harrowby, but that's as much as I can get.  If anybody knows more I would love some information.  I am assuming they are around 1930's but really don't know.  They are in immaculate condition and have obviously hardly been used, one thing is for sure I will love them and never sell them.

I had to photograph them out in the hall as I think they match my wallpaper perfectly . What do you think ?

oh! yes, and the cost .......    £5 for the lot ! woop!

Please pop over to MagpieMonday to see all the other great people taking part this week.


I've been taking photo's of some of my favourite white "bits" from around my home.

Candlesticks purchased from a boot sale a couple of years ago.  I had intended to paint them, but ended up leaving them as they were.  They are tarnished and a tiny bit battered, but I like that. The white vase was a recent charity shop find £1 and very deco in style.  Tulips, one of my most favourite flowers - white of course.  The tiny silver coloured pot with candle inside was also picked up for a few pence from a charity shop and is Penhaligon's.  The most gorgeous scent.  The cream side table is from our old life when we had money and was a very expensive Laura Ashley purchase.

Table again, Laura Ashley.  White lamp base, £1 from a boot sale. I spotted it from across the road and expected it to be broken & or chipped, it was neither and worked perfectly.  I am now on the hunt for the perfect shade for it.  The pretty clock was an ebay purchase several years ago, I can't recall how much I paid for it, but as you can imagine, it wasn't a lot !

My GORGEOUS cream and white chandelier. I LOVE it, currently in our bedroom, but will be moved to the living room when hubby finishes decorating.  Another Ebay bargain, from what I can remember about £40 plus shipping (came from Sweden) .

Rachel Ashwell

Many years ago whilst looking for pretty items for my home on Ebay, I happened upon a book by a lady called Rachel Ashwell.  From that moment on I was smitten, here was someone in America (English lady actually) who styled her home just the same way that I did.  She loved white and pre-loved items, buying from yard sales, fairs etc, just like I did and was the originator of the term "shabby chic". 

I had to have her book, I checked Ebay and found at that time she had 3 books published. I bought them all and waited excitedly for them to arrive.  I was not disappointed. A feast of beautiful, pretty and sometimes breathtaking pictures.  A step by step guide as to how she had transformed her home (as a single mother ). I spent every single spare moment pouring over those books and waiting excitedly for the next one.

To date she has published five books and a dvd (I have been unable to find an English version of the dvd)
If you like my shabby style, you will LOVE Rachel's books.  Pop over to Amazon (cheapest place I have found to buy them) and treat yourself, you will not be disappointed.

Rachel went onto open several stores and a host of  lines, opening her first store in London's Nottinghill (sadly not with shabby prices) .  I really would love to visit it one day, just to look and long ....

Take a look at her  Blog  - Total heaven on Earth ! Sigh ........