Each year we have a (fairly) strict timetable of who, where and when to visit over the Christmas period. We go to my parents the weekend before Christmas, spend the day itself in Glossop by ourselves, some friends come over on Boxing Day; after that, it’s a slow, day-to-day movement over to Barnsley then up north to Sedgfield. Although it can be fairly tiring, it does mean that Christmas feels like it’s stretched out.
This year, I had to go to my parents on my own, as Aidan was in Australia with work. I would call him a lucky so-and-so but not after seeing the state he’s been in since he got back! Anyway, this meant that I couldn’t physically carry all of my presents from my parents back home. So I brought just one:
Not only is this the cutest piece of owl paraphenalia that I’ve seen in a long time, it has another feature that just adds to the kitschy cuteness:
It’s a detachable, pottery, baby owl! So, not only is this a decorative item but, if you are that kind of person, you can take out the tiny baby owl and hold it for a bit. Or hide it in unexpected places. Not that I would do any of those things of course…
Our house is fairly Christmassed up this year. We do have a stack of stuff that we roll out each year. My mum has been watching Kirsty’s Homemade Britain and made us one of these to add to the decorations:
My picture doesn’t really do it justice, but it does look lovely hanging in the window. Aidan has also made us a wreath for the door, I’ve made a strange Christmas tree shape from a magazine like this, and I’ve half made some bird baubles like this. However, I’ve forgotten to take pictures of those. I do have a picture of the tree though:
We did our usual trick of getting it cheap from the German market in Manchester and just hoping for the best. Last year, we had a double-trunker (or a Siamese Tree); this year it’s just a very, very odd, tall, sparse, thick-then-thin shape. We’ve still bunged on all of the baubles though. Hang on, when I say we, what I actually mean is Aidan. I was out on work Christmas do. Less said the better…
We’ve also put the West German pottery to good use:
The stars came from a window display when I worked at Monsoon in Manchester (boo, hiss!); they were being thrown away so I ‘rescued’ them. You can see a few of our cards here too. We’ve had so many this year! Mainly because I now have a Year Seven form so received lots of misspelled cards from them. The best one was from a little lad who had stuck one of his old primary school photos on the inside of it (“I had to cut D— and L—- out so it would fit just me!”).
Last but definitely not least on the handmade front… Aidan made me an advent calendar for the second year running. Once again it featured one of the fantastic Christmas images from the Galaxy magazines:
Today, I’ve got plans to: wrap Aidan’s presents, make his card, plan the veggie Christmas dinner, make a friendship bracelet as a present for someone, go to the gym, meet one friend for coffee, meet another for a hot toddy, meet Aidan for a pint once he’s finished work… It’s not all going to happen is it?
Imagine how excited I was to open this:
My parents gave me this for my birthday last week. I was extremely pleased with it, to say the least! It’s in perfect condition with its original stopper and the Carlton Ware stamp on the bottom. I love it!
It’s far too late to hope for this, but I’ll still think about it and cross my fingers for next year…
These were designed in 1969 by Carlton Ware. They made a whole range of different animals for children, including a cat and a horse. However, it’s the owl version that I love. I finally saw a real life one in a shop in London yesterday. God only knows why I didn’t ask how much it was! I think I was afraid to ask!
There’s also a blue and green colour way that’s possibly even nicer looking, but I can’t find a decent picture of one on the web. Retroselect has a few of the different designs and a bit of detail about them; always a good read.
This little owl salt and pepper set is also a bit good:
And I found this a while ago, but for the life of me I cannot remember what it is or where it came from…
Could be Swedish pottery now that I look again at it a bit more closely… speaking of which, next entry will be a much delayed catchup with our auction finds. Exceptionally good this time (in my opinion).
Continuing on with the Halloween and owl theme, I thought it was about time I showed you the vintage owl prints I got from Crosby last week. I found the picture above through another Google search. These vintage Halloween pictures are fab: I think next year, I will be decorating my classroom with these before Halloween itself.
These prints are really strangely made: lacquered clear over the prints themselves. On the back of the smaller one is a label for Mullionaires Limited, Made in England. I did a quick search for it online, managed to find another one on an old Ebay listning. There is also a patent on the process of coating the print. The prints themselves are by Basil Ede - who seems to be more famous than I first realised!
This beautiful 1960s biscuit tin was found in a charity shop in Ashton-Under-Lyne. Ashton is a funny little place: it has slightly rough exterior, yet if you delve deeper into it, it’s a treasure trove of charity shops and asian supermarkets. Love it! I’ve done a little bit of research on the biscuit tin, and I think it could be something of worth. There is a lovely one made by Baret Ware on Ebay here and a couple that have sold on the fab Pips Trips site. Is there anything more exciting than taking a gamble on something in a chazzer for a couple of quid, only to find you might actually have something?
Well, the tin is under my current ‘To Ebay or Not?’ pile. On the one hand, it cost £2 and judging by the one I found already on Ebay, it could sell for a healthy profit. On the other hand, I think it’s lovely. Furthermore, it would go with my kitchen beautifully… Not that there’s much space left on my kitchen worktops for more retro goodies. I might have to sacrifice the slightly boring German Rumptopf for this one…
This little fella caught my eye because of the chirpy owl on the sides. I picked it up and put it down, then A picked it up and asked, “Isn’t this perfect for you?” He was right, as he invariably is: it was perfect for me. I don’t actually have a use for it though? Nor do I think it has any particularly great value, so probably not worth an Ebay listing. Never mind; he can sit happily on my windowsill, looking at me and the birds outside until I find a new and more suitable home for him.