Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A Purrfect Christmas

It really has been a wonderful Christmas. Mr Treasure, the cats and I spent a few festive days with my parents. We were spoilt rotten and came home feeling very relaxed and ready to take on whatever challenges come our way. Just a short post today, but I couldn't resist sharing this photo of someone who was very pleased with her Christmas present!

I think it's the catnip in the mouse that Phoebe's most pleased with.

Happy new year to you all and see you in 2010!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

A Winter Wonderland

There's a rather magical shop tucked away in Cheltenham. It's a textile lover's dream, but in the run up to Christmas something rather special happens...

Catherine Shinn specialises in decorative textiles, from antique quilts and samplers, to their own handmade textile decorations and keepsakes. It's a treat to visit at anytime of the year, but especially so at Christmas when the whole shop becomes a wonderfully festive wonderland, packed to the brim with gorgeous decorations.

The window displays are so enticing... fabulous would this cake be as a table centrepiece?! It looks good enough to eat.

These sparkly decorations in the window caught my eye.

It's impossible not to feel Christmassy when you're surrounded by so many beautiful decorations. The world rushes on outside in a frenzy, but inside the shop there's a wonderful feeling of relaxed cosiness and somehow time doesn't seem to matter.

I lost count of the number of Christmas trees there are! Each one's decorated in a different theme with all the things that you buy.

I love the lucky boot pin cushions (and couldn't resist buying one!)

Amongst the decorations are piles of vintage quilts.

There's so much to look's a real feast for the eyes.

Cushions, stockings, fabric hearts and birds.

Samplers and quilts sit happily amongst an array of Christmas trinkets.

A whole wall of hand blown glass decorations from Germany greets you at the top of the stairs to the second floor. The jolly santas were my favourite.

Seeing all of the decorations makes me want to have a vintage-inspired Christmas, with a huge tree dripping with glass baubles with beautifully wrapped presents underneath it!

I'm not sure I'd trust myself to have real candles on our tree, but I bet they'd look lovely flickering away on a winter's night!

This was my absolute favourite decoration. I don't know why, it just makes me smile!

Waiting for Santa to arrive...

This Vegas-inspired tree was brilliant, complete with dancing girls and casino-themed decorations!

A huge thank you to Catherine Shinn for letting me go wild with my camera so I could share this Christmassy treasure with you!

Do go and visit...

Catherine Shinn - Decorative textiles and gifts
5-6 Well Walk, Cheltenham, GL50 3JX
01242 574546
Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm

Have a very merry Christmas!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Deck the Halls

Mr Treasure and I well have well and truly entered into the festive spirit! We've put the decorations up, been to a number of Christmassy gatherings at friends' houses, tried a variety of mince pies (so far, I think Mr Treasure's favourites are the ones from Waitrose), nearly finished writing cards and are planning to eat the indulgent (small) Harrod's Christmas pud' we bought last year and forgot all about!

The season of wearing silly hats is definitely upon us!

Slowly but surely, the doors on our advent calendar are being opened.

Every year we buy a new Christmas decoration to add to our collection (it's become a bit of a tradition). This season's new addition is a jolly little fellow I found lurking on the shelves of a Scandinavian shop in town. He makes me chuckle every time I see him!

Here's our little Christmas tree. We haven't put our big one up this year, but next year we'll be able to have both trees up, bursting with all the decorations we've accumulated over time!

This is definitely Mr Treasure's favourite decoration. We brought it back with us from the Big Apple a few years ago. I'd LOVE to go back there, it's so magical at this time of year.

We kicked off the festive season with a dinner party for Mr Treasure's side of the family. My brother-in-law and his lovely girlfriend are off to Oz for Christmas, so we couldn't let them go without a good old festive get together first!

I love decorating the table ready for a big feast!

Every year my arty parents make us a Christmas card. Last year's was the most spectacular to date...a whole flock of paper doves! They've become part of the seasonal decorations now.

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without an indulgent tin of chocolates or biscuits to enjoy! This year we have this fabulous tin of M&S biscuits. The tin itself is pure vintage...I absolutely love it!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Treasure Seeking

So, here we are, the first day of December. Can Christmas really only be 24 days away?! I love this time of year...finding gifts for friends and family, Christmas lights twinkling in the dark evenings and the excuse to watch 'White Christmas' for the umpteenth time. The festive season just wouldn't be the same without Bing Crosby!

I've been finding all sort of 'treasure' over the last few weeks and thought I'd show you some of my spoils...

As Mr Treasure and some of his friends spent Saturday demolishing our conservatory (to be honest, it was more a lean-to than a conservatory!), I thought I'd escape the noise and mud and pop along to a house sale I'd spotted just up the road from us. As soon as I saw this painting, I knew it had to come home with me! It's dated 1951 and conjures up everything I imagine a country cottage should be. This photo doesn't do it justice...the colours are so vibrant and sunny.

Having admired this little lady in a vintage shop for a while, I thought it was about time I bought her! I think she was originally a pomander, but there's no scent left now.

I think buttons are my favourite thing in the world! I especially like finding them on their original cards.

A little bit of 1930's glamour. The Richard Hudnut powder has never been opened.

I've always been a fan of Cath Kidston pincushions, so I treated myself to the new Union Jack design!

I was so thrilled to find this crocheted blanket at the house sale I went to on Saturday. I think it's about time I learnt to crochet myself, I've always fancied having a go.

I've no idea when I might ever wear this hat, but I spotted it in a charity shop and had to have it!

I bought a copy of John Lewis's little book of Make Do and Mend. It's full of useful advice...

... and really nice illustrations.

Happy Advent everyone!

Monday, 23 November 2009

I'm rather fond of this time of year. I always find it cosy, with the need to snuggle indoors, drink large mugs of hot chocolate and sit by roaring log fires, making plans for Christmas and the New Year. I do also like to venture out and visit places I love...seeing the turning leaves, doing a spot of Christmas shopping and rediscovering the delights of the familiar.

The last time I went back to my childhood hometown of Malvern, I took my camera so I could take you on a tour...

Over the bridge in the Winter Gardens, past the ducks and the bandstand, towards the theatre (where I've spent many a happy evening watching all manner of plays and films).

When I was small, we'd go and feed the ducks with chunks of bread. The ducks would always quack enthusiastically and Mum would say that they were laughing!

The Abbey Gateway has Malvern Museum in it now...I really must go and look around it again soon.

I've always liked this building (which now houses a restaurant), with it's fancy ironwork and old sign.

Victorian tiles are everywhere in Malvern. These sit colourfully on the outside of 'Pepper and Oz' (above).

I always forget how steep the roads are up town in Malvern! The hills are a mere hop, skip and jump away and it takes no time at all to climb them and be looking back at the town below.

There's a wonderful gallery (on Belle Vue Terrace) that's bursting with all sorts of handmade gorgeousness...

...including Poppy Treffry tea cosies...

...and bags!

Just along from the gallery is what used to Manders, the chemist. During World War Two, the grand metal columns were painted so they wouldn't be taken away for salvage and lost forever.

It's an absolute joy to pop inside. Even though it's no longer a chemist, you can still see reminders of its past.

These drawers run along both sides of the shop...there must be hundreds of them!

Ever since I can remember I've loved these tiles. They (and the ones below) sit on either side of the entrance to WH Smith.

I think it's the colours and hint of adventure they suggest that's always appealed to me!

Throughout my childhood, a trip to Morley's sweet shop was always a treat. It seemed huge to me then, with it's tall shelves full of glass jars bursting with every sweet imaginable. It's a shop and dry cleaners now and is tiny compared to how I remember it!

No tour would be complete without a visit to the Blue Bird. It's where I spent every Friday morning of the school holidays...they did the best cheese and pineapple toastie and milkshakes!