Friday, August 26, 2016


I love candles. I dread to think how many candlesticks, candleabras, tealight holders etc. that I actually own. When I lived in Galway city, one of our neighbours said to the other, 'They're hippies! All those candles!' (He was obviously peering in our sitting room window at night.)

Anyway, this pair of brass candlesticks were €2 each in one of our local charity shops. They're heavy and I guessed that they were real brass because of their weight. I double checked that by putting a magnet beside them - brass is not magnetic.

I stuck them in the freezer for an hour to make it easier to clean off ground-in wax and then I was going to polish them up, but I like the patina of age and use, so have decided to leave them as they are.


Sunday, August 21, 2016


Latest Athlone find: a heavy, silver-plated toast rack. €1.

After a little polish-up with a silver cloth

Monday, August 15, 2016


I'm just back from lovely Sussex in England where the availability of vintage finds is always second to none. The charity shops (we started calling them 'chazzers' on this trip) are stuffed with reasonably priced gems and there are many, many shops in every town. Not everything I buy is vintage but almost all of it comes in shades of blue. It's an addiction.

I was in England on a research trip for novel #4 (which I posted about at my writing blog here) but I was also on a mission to explore as many chazzers as possible in the small time I had. My husband is endlessly patient with this activity and my 7 yo daughter is fast becoming a chazzer enthusiast. (Chazzerist?) Anyway, let it suffice to say that I hoovered up as much blue and turquoise items as I could manage to pack in our carry-on only bags. And I left so much behind - things that were impossible to carry such as these fab chairs in the Debra shop in Crawley:

If you are a fan of mid-century modern, get yourself to that shop. Sideboards for £40.Tables for £20. Unbelievable value. They had v little bric-a-brac there but I found this Balinese frame for £1. The books - a Collins Adam Bede and a Penguin Tortilla Flat were also bought on this trip.

Willow plate - £3, St Catherine's Hospice shop
Aztec blue plate - £2.39, Sainsbury's
Spanish plate/trivet - £1.25, British Heart Foundation shop
Blue jug - £1, St C's Hospice
Floral jug - £3.50, Cancer Research UK
Clear & gold paperweight - £5, Oxfam
Teeny millefiori paperweight - £3
Sass and Belle jewelry tree - £3.50, Cancer Research
Turquoise ball vase - £3, Oxfam
Is it really YSL? Who cares at £6.99?

Thursday, August 11, 2016


OK, so strictly speaking this not an actual printer's tray but it's the nearest I have to it (bought on eBay last year). The dark brown wasn't showing off my mini collectables well, so I spray-painted it white, with rustic results. And rearranged the stuff a wee bit and added some new bits. I think it looks better now.



Tuesday, August 9, 2016


I was in Shanghai last month but the only markets I saw sold mass-produced tat. I managed to buy a blue and white ceramic pot full of tea leaves at the airport on the way home (while very wobbly with food poisoning) but otherwise, not much. But why go to China when you can go to your local charity shop?? This wee pot showing fishing baby buddhas was €2 today in my hometown. Sweet :)

And here it is with a buddha from a Lisbon
flea market who sits beside my bed.

Sunday, August 7, 2016


I blogged about The Storeyard before, a great antiques and vintage shop in Portlaoise. We stopped by there yesterday on the way to visit friends in lovely Kilmuckridge, Co. Wexford. It's as fabulously eclectic as ever. And as pricey. We wanted to go to the café but it was closed - waaaaah. Still it meant we discovered somewhere new in Portlaoise - The Pantry. Fab choc chip scones. Fab pear and vanilla scones. Yum.

This is new: a lucky dip table for charity.
You pop money in the box and take your pick... pick: a Japanese plate. The most 'me' thing there:
it's blue, red and it has a bird. Love it. 
Juno found it cold so I shawled her into my scarf

Half of each: choc chip & pear and vanilla scones. In The Pantry, Portlaoise.
Beautiful Tinnabearna Strand in Wexford