Something from the weekend….a picture-worthy few days

I’m always snapping away on my phone, truth be told, but this weekend seemed to give me more in the way of picture opportunities than usual. It was indeed a lovely weekend, filled with fun but relaxation too. Anyway, I thought I’d share my instagram feed by way of summing it up…..

Friday night started the weekend with cocktails, as it always should…..

…..we played Guess Who…..

……and then Adam beat me at Triv!

Saturday began with a lovely long dog walk……

…..we headed to Barton Springs for a nice change…..

…..and the sun shone for us rather splendidly!

We found a darling little tea room and gallery for lunch…..

….where they serve an epic Hot Chocolate…..

….and yummy tea on quaint mis-matched china…..

… well as lush lunches like the stuffed mushroom on toast that I went for!

Once home we set about hanging our new treasure, the huge antique map of London that looks rather marvellous on our lounge wall…..

….and after that it was an afternoon of snoozing as it all got too much for my boys!

Another lovely walk on Sunday morning, this time at the stunning Chick Sands woods….

….I love all the little dens people have built there!

After a yummy breakfast of Staffordshire Oatcakes (the last left in the freezer after my Mum’s visit!) we pootled around the market and car boot sale, where I picked up some little treasures….

…..and where my favourite stallholder gave me this incredible menu from the 60’s!

We finally took the tour of the museum opposite where we live in the afternoon….

….and took part in a Victorian lesson where we had to practise reading parrot-fashion…..

…..did maths in old money on slate….

….and worked on our handwriting with a dip pen!

The rest of the day was more relaxing, eating and watching of Buffy. Bliss!

What did you get up to?

Ems x


Launching my new online vintage shop…… Under A Glass Star

Well it’s been months in the making, but after weeks trawling car boots and rummage sales, days of photo shoots, and hours of listing, my new shop is now officially open!

I wanted to set up a new shop to sell some of the wonderful vintage and antique finds I’ve been making….mainly so that I still get to buy such lovely things without filling the house up to the brim! Now that I have more storage space, as well as lots of local treasure hunting haunts, I intend to keep buying up the things that take my fancy, so that I can share them with you (and still get the buzz of ‘the find’ without going bankrupt!).

So, I hereby declare Under A Glass Star officially open!

My new shop can be found on Etsy, like my other shop…although the latter is getting a bit of a face lift soon too! There will be a huge range of vintage treasures, and I have already listed a rather eclectic selection…’ll find cocktail accessories, home decor ideas, kitchenware and vintage craft supplies. I have more finds to list soon too, including some gorgeous tea sets, costume jewellery and collectables.

Below is a taster of some of my favourites, but do pop along to see the shop and please ‘favourite’ it too! I’m offering a discount to all Under A Glass Sky readers…just enter the code READERS10 to benefit from a 10% discount on check-out!

Ems x

Super cute and kitsch Vintage Deer ornament

Super cute and kitsch Vintage Deer ornament, £12

Cute retro vacuum flask, by The British Vaccum Flask Co. Ltd.

Cute retro vacuum flask, by The British Vaccum Flask Co. Ltd., £7

Beautiful Vintage Paddington Bear

Beautiful Vintage Paddington Bear, £16

Super cute and kitsch 'Little Forks' cocktail picks

Super cute and kitsch ‘Little Forks’ cocktail picks, £8

Vintage TWINCO Knitting Pin Box in Bright Orange

Vintage TWINCO Knitting Pin Box in Bright Orange, £6

Pretty Pastels Colclough Fine Bone China Tea Set

Pretty Pastels Colclough Fine Bone China Tea Set, £30

Something from the weekend…..mainly eating and shopping

It was with a great deal of difficulty that I dragged myself out of bed this morning……it appears that I’m too old now for starting off the weekend with a 3am bedtime and lots of wine. Still, it was a super fun weekend, and I did manage a little relaxation time too! And we’ve only got two weeks left in London so I want to make the most of it!

After work on Friday it was off to the Post Office with the stacks of things I had to post….I’ve been listing lots on EBay to get rid of some things I don’t use any more before we move. That out of the way, we made our way to Hither Green, where we’d been invited to our friends Siobhan and Matthew’s new place for supper. We were a little early, so we took the opportunity to try out You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, the lovely little florist/coffee shop at the station, where I’ve been wanting to go for ages. It was nearly closing time, so we had our flat whites served to us outside on the pretty melamine tables….and the coffees were perfect! It’s such a darling little place, full of treasures and pretty flowers, and the yummy offerings are a real bonus!

By the time we’d finished, we were in good time to pop round the corner to our friends, for our first snoop around the place! It’s such a lovely flat…..really well laid out and organised, and Matthew and Siobhan have added lots of personal, colourful touches to make it special. The place also smelled amazing, with a lamb tagine in the oven, as well as Sophie Dahl’s chocolate cake……we were ravs by the time we finished chatting and drinking gin and Prosecco, so devoured the delicious meal which came along with yummy roasted veg and home made aubergine dip. The chocolate cake was the real triumph though….topped with creme fraiche and fresh berries, it was perfectly balanced and incredibly moreish.

As usual, we lost track of time in our hours of chattings and ended up taking the night bus home……it was a lovely walk over Tower Bridge from the South of the river though from the bus stop, and we flolloped into bed absolutely shattered at 3am!

A lie in was very much needed on Saturday morning, which fitted in perfectly with our days plans……we were heading over to friends Richard and Tara’s place in Farringdon to meet up for a nice late brunch. Knowing that the meal would probably cost us most of our day’s Weight Watchers Points, we opted to take the 40 minute walk there, through the City and Barbican (which gains us extra points). It was a lovely morning for a wander, and I know I’ll miss taking walks in the City, past the Guildhall and the pretty little gardens.

It was the first time we’d been to their new(ish) place too, and we enjoyed meeting their giant house rabbits! Our friend Sam was visiting for the weekend too, with her daughter, so the six of us popped around the corner to Giant Robot for a slap up brunch. It was a Bloody Mary to start for the most of us, and then their ‘Giant Omellette’ to eat….. both were utterly delicious and I left stuffed and sleepy!

We needed the walk back too, in order to wake me up a little and walk off the gluttony….so we ambled over to Old Spitalfields Market, where we met friends Kate and Jason to potter around Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair. I’d been eying up a little Hornsea Pottery Fauna Deer Vase the last time the fair was there, and I’d decided that if the stall still had it, I’d get it! And sure enough, the pretty I Heart Vintage stall was there as usual, and their shelf of cutesy deer ornaments still contained what I was after! I snapped it up and also spent a while snooping their other treasures and getting ever so tempted by various vintage tins, cuckoo clocks and weather houses! I managed to be good though, at least until I came across a stunning green gingham melamine drop leaf table…..I’ve loved the style for ever and moving into the bigger house means we have space for such things. I plan to use it as a desk in my little studio and can’t wait to set it all up!

It was straight home after that (after all, Adam did have a table to carry!), and most of the rest of the day was spent drinking cups of tea, eating and reading, until it was time for an early night.

Sunday started with another naughty brunch of Belgian waffles, banana and maple syrup…..merely to set us up for another day out and about! After having stuffed our faces we jumped on the tube over to Pimlico to go to the car boot sale there. It runs every Sunday, inside and out, and I’m a little miffed that I only recently discovered it and this was our first visit! It’s crammed with booty, and we spent a good while mooching about the various offerings.

I picked up a great haul……several little bits and bobs from a big gingham cloth of treasures on the floor (which Adam had to forcibly remove me from rooting in), a beautiful Toile bed linen set (exactly what I was after for a guest room in the new house), a wonderful little man’s travel set (which will be added to my Etsy shop when I have some more vintage stock), and a darling little sweater with tortoises on it! I’ll post some pictures of my finds soon!

We still had a little energy left for adventure, and needed a cup of coffee, so we walked just round the corner to the Tate Britain. It’s undergoing a lot of work at the moment, so we found it tricky to make our way about, but we eventually found the cafe, only to be served two rather rubbish Americanos. Still, it was worth popping in just to see their awesome collection of Turners (my favourite) and their brilliant shop!

After that though we were pretty shattered, and so once home it was more cups of tea and reading until it was time for a supper of butternut squash risotto and a quick film before another early night! Rock and roll!

Ems x

A successful treasure hunt at the flea market

I popped into Old Spitalfields yesterday afternoon, as I had to go to the post office anyway and wanted to pick up my photos from the Lomography store. I’ve spent hours there on a Thursday before, as they host the most wonderful Antique and Vintage market each week, full of all kinds of treasure.

I was a woman on a mission this week though, as I didn’t have lots of time to spare…..but I still managed to find some really good treasure, including…. A large wooden printers tray, which I’m going to use for display on my stall….. a beautiful marcasite necklace, which I’m going to turn into a bridal headpiece….. a Japanese fan, for when it gets stuffy on the tube….. and an out of date roll of Velvia 120 film for my Diana camera….. Go me!








Plans for the weekend…..

After my little trip to Paris, and walking for miles and miles adventuring, the last thing on my mind at this moment is more of the same! Still, I know that after a good sleep, I’ll be ready for action again and wanting to cram as many things as possible into the weekend!

This Saturday sees my ‘official’ birthday celebration (same as the Queen!), with a big picnic in my secret garden with a lovely bunch of friends…. so that will just leave Sunday to fill up with fun. Here are some of the things I’m shortlisting…..


Treasure is London’s ‘visionary’ jewellery show, and will be showcasing some of the most beautiful, exciting and vibrant contemporary jewellery in the UK this weekend. Held at the stunning Somerset House, this year’s show will be the largest event of this year’s Jewellery Week, and offers a unique opportunity to meet designers, view their collections and buy some of the very best jewellery design the UK and Europe has to offer. It’s open on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Tickets are from £10 and available here.

Anifandis Dimitrios

David Nash at Kew: A Natural Gallery

UK sculptor David Nash is exhibiting his work at Kew Gardens until March 2012, showcasing many of his sculptures, installations, drawings and film in place throughout the Gardens, glasshouses and exhibition spaces. In addition, Nash is also working at Kew to create new pieces using trees from the Gardens that have come to the end of their natural life, adding these pieces to the exhibition in October. It’s the perfect setting to thoughtfully present his work, which spans 40 years and shows his deep understanding of the properties of trees. Tickets are £14.50 for adults, whilst children under 17 get in free!

David Nash, Black Sphere at Kew Gardens

Spitalfields Music Summer Festival

Some of 
East London’s most iconic venues open their doors to host a fabulous range of classical and contemporary music, family activities, and special tours. Bringing together world class artists and locals alike, the festival draws inspiration from the creative hub of East London, with the aim of bringing people together, changing perspectives and engaging body, emotions and intellect. Tickets vary in price, but you can find out how to book here and there’s a map of the events here….

Spitalfields Music Summer Festival

The Shoreditch Vintage Fair

This Saturday 16th, The Shoreditch Vintage Fair is back and tempting us with 40 stalls of mens and ladies vintage fashion. There will also be a vintage tea room, and beauty parlour hosted by Lipstick and Curls. Entry is £2 on the door.

Shoreditch Vintage Fair

The Monocle Country Fayre

This event is a uniquely global take on the English tradition, complete with market stalls, face painting, a mini zoo, Allpress coffee and more!…… There will be games of tombola, guess the button and pirate hunting, as well as prizes donated by Lufthansa, Krug and Ralph Lauren! The marvelous Trio Manouche are playing at 12pm too. It’s free to get in, but donations are welcome in aid of The Committee to Protect Journalists. It’s open from 11.00 – 17.00 on Saturday and Sunday. 

 The Trooping of the Colour

Although The Queen was born on 21 April, it has long been the tradition to celebrate her ‘official’ birthday publicly in the summer, in order to benefit from the better weather! Trooping the Colour is carried out by fully trained and operational troops from the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry) on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, watched by members of the Royal Family, invited guests and members of the public. Tickets are allocated to public via a ballot and of course are all now gone, but you can still turn up at the Mall to see events from 11am, culminating in a fly past at 1pm.

Trooping the Colour

Enjoy your weekend!

Ems x

Something from the weekend…… Treasure Hunting in Hertfordshire

With the weather set to put a damper on the weekend, I wasnt terribly convinced that I’d get up to much this weekend. And yet the shone shine just enough and our weekend out of London was very fruitful indeed.

Packing for the rainy weather ahead

Packing for the rainy weather ahead

Adam had managed to get the afternoon off on Friday, so at lunch time we made our way to Kings Cross to catch a train to Hitchin in Hertfordshire (Adam’s home town). It was the first time we’d used the new concourse, and we were wowed as we walked through to our platform under the stunning new ceiling…..

New entrance to Kings Cross station

We arrived just in time for a yummy lunch of Adam’s Mum’s home made Leek, Potato and Stilton soup, and then we were off for some treasure hunting right away! We headed down into town for the Friday afternoon flea market…. it wasn’t busy because of the rain and some of the stall holders were already getting ready to pack up. Still, I had a great chat about my stamp jewellery (and my collection of stamps that I use to make it) with a lovely chap on a stamp collectors stall, and I managed to catch the wonderful bead stall to get some supplies. Next, we popped into Tim’s for some art supplies…. it’s a wonderful, proper old fashioned art shop and has brilliant stock. We even met Tim himself (we think) who offered us tips and was very friendly!

Then it was around a few of the wonderful charity shops in Hitchin….. I find some great stuff there and lots for my crafting like old picture frames and odd brooches and charms. We even saw at one shop an amazing collection of old film cameras, including a Super 8 movie camera! I really wanted it (and Adam even offered to buy it for my birthday!) but I know how expensive it is to process the film and buy it in the first place, and I didn’t want to have it just to sit around doing nothing. Still, if I win the lottery I would definitely go back for it!

Hitchin's High Street

Awesome camera collection in a charity shop

For dinner we headed over to nearby Letchworth, and to the amazing Italian restaurant there. We’ve been to L’artista plenty but it still feels like a treat….. every dish I’ve had has been brilliant and they have delicious foccacias and the best tiramisu!

Risotto ai Funghi at L'artista

On Saturday morning it was back into Letchworth to snoop about their charity shops. I picked up a lovely new (although old!) table cloth to use for my craft stall. We also happened across a little farmers’ market which sold extremely yummy cakes and lots of free range meat! We bought up a load of Free Range smoked streaky bacon, as we struggle to get that even at Waitrose (it was a bargain too), as well as some scotch eggs (hardly ever get those now so snap up the Free Range ones when I see them!) and some Free Range herby sausages….. we actually ate them last night and they are INCREDIBLE! Will definitely be visiting the Farroby Farm shop and tea room on our next visit to try more of their stuff!

After that we took a pit stop back at the house to yum up some of our goodies, before heading back into town for that day’s market and some more charity shop shopping. On our way back, Adam took me a different route than usual, down the little lane that runs behind the house. It was lovely to hear about all the places that Adam used to play as a child, and a shame that lots of the open spaces (where he would pick blackberries and plant trees) are now built on with new houses.

Hitchin Market

Down the little lane behind the house

The little lane in front of the house

For dinner, we went over to Holly and Jamie’s, where we met a bunch of other friends too. Holly had made a delicious selection of Spanish dishes for a sort of Tapas meal….. some yummy fritatta…. Patatas Bravas…. olives…. butter bean stew….. We ate lots and lots, and drank some wine whilst chatting about nothing in particular. I also managed to show off some of the jewellery I’ve been making to boot!

On Sunday we decided to take a chance on the changeable weather and go for a nice walk with the dogs at Chick Sands. Adam has told me lots about how he loved going there as a child, adventuring in the woods. It’s a remarkable place, and in the ‘just rained’ light everything shone beautifully (and very photogenically!). We dawdled about, meeting other dog walkers, and finding treasure all the way…. before an approaching grey cloud of doom told us it was time to head back to the car and we just missed a down pour!

The path to Chick Sands

Amazing light in Chick Sands Woods

So many beautiful trees!

Dinosaur tooth / bark we found

We were due a rest after our adventure, so back at home we relaxed with cups of tea and home made flapjack, whilst I played around with double exposures of the photos I’d taken and surveyed the treasure we had found!

Playing with a double exposure app

Treasures from Chick Sands

Newton getting comfy for a well earned rest

There was still time before dinner, so looking out at the now sunny again sky, we decided to have one last wander about the market and shops (just in case there was any more treasure to be found). Unfortunately, all of the stall holders had already packed up by the time we got down there, so we opted instead for a nice walk around the church. It’s the largest in the county I believe, and exceptionally pretty. In fact the whole town centre is terribly idyllic if you can ignore the recent additions of chain coffee shops and Italian restaurants.

St Mary's Church, Hitchin

When we got to the market square, we began to hear some wonderful drum music from the far side….so we went to investigate….. There was a parade on its way towards us with a brilliant drum group, followed by hundreds of Scouts. I think it must have been a St George’s day parade. It was lovely to see all the children in uniform and marching along to the fabulous music. I love a drum group! (If anyone knows the name of the drumming group I would be much obliged to find out!)

Drumming parade

Lining up in the market square

After packing up our treasure and having a lovely supper of meatballs and chilli pasta, we began our way home. Or so we thought. We’d happened to check the trains from Hitchin to London and found out there was a broken down train stopping all the others getting through. So an hour’s worth of phone calls later we found out that we weren’t allowed to use our tickets to go from Luton on the other line instead, but we could pick up a train from Stevenage. But when we got to Stevenage the trains were far more delayed than we’d been told, and in fact we waited for an hour before giving up on the mythical train that the staff had no idea of an arrival time for. And so we called for a lift back, and no sooner had we left than a train arrived of course! Still, who knows how long it would have been delayed further (I feel awful for those marathon runners who got stuck and spent 8 hours getting home!), so we enjoyed another evening of relaxation before heading home on Monday morning.

What a weekend!

Waiting for a train at Stevenage.... double rainbow!

Some of the weekend's treasure..... lots of new beads, some old silver and gold chains, loads of vintage picture frames, lots of cool fabrics, mis-matched cutlery for the collection, and a lay figure for the stall!

Something from the weekend…… My first stall at a craft fair!

Wow! That was tiring! Friday feels like weeks ago already! I had the most brilliant weekend, mainly because of my first ever stall at a craft fair……

Friday evening was mainly spent readying for the F.U.S.S Craft Market, for which I’d booked a table to sell some of my stuff. I decided I wanted to take a good range of everything I’ve made, and managed to finish off my Narnia jam jar scene just in time. I have been wanting to try out some new things too, but the week just ran away with me…. but I did manage to make a prototype for my map jewellery on Friday evening, whilst chilling out ready for the busy day ahead!

Crafting tiny coat hangers for my Narnia jam jar

Hand Made 'Tibet' vintage map necklace, by me

It was an early start on Saturday morning…. our journey down to Hither Green (in South East London, where I lived for many years) was somewhat hampered by a complete lack of tubes (despite our being within 5 minutes walk of four different lines!), and DLR. Even the bus we wanted to take to London Bridge was on diversion, so we had to struggle there with our bags and boxes on foot. Still, we made it to the little village hall in good time and I managed to choose a nice table right at the front.

I’d been planning out my stall layout on the dining table, so it was mainly a case of un-packing all my stock and the various bits and bobs from the house I’d brought along to help display them…… lots of my old books became stands for my many vintage button rings…. my smaller glass cloche hosted a little scene of my beaded flower jewellery….. our low candelabra was used to hang my Day of the Dead jewellery….. and one of my cake stands became a place to riffle through the little stacking rings and vintage button brooches I’d made. All in all I was quite pleased with my eclectic collection of treasures, and I was soon complimented on my presentation by kind stall holders and the first few shoppers to arrive!

My stall at the F.U.S.S Craft Market

I found out about the market from an old school friend who lives in the area and volunteers for the F.U.S.S group. F.U.S.S are a community group who work hard hosting fairs and dances to raise money to improve the area. The craft market was held to raise funds for their planting project, and the group managed to get some wonderful press coverage to boost attendance. And there were surely plenty of people that came! We met so many lovely local people, and a few from further afield (thanks for coming south of the river Kate and Jason!), and so a huge part of our enjoyment of the day was chatting to people. I got some great feedback on my stuff too, and gave out lots of business cards as well as selling eighteen items! I was so pleased that people like my things, and it was a real boost to see peoples’ reactions (and of course to make some money for my efforts too!).

There were lots of brilliant stalls there, with more hand made jewellery, prints, vintage treasures, clothing and pottery……my  favourite would have to be the wonderful Matin Lapin stall though, which was run by my friend Vixie and co-hosted by the lovely Alex with her Animal Cafe cards. Vixie’s stall was the one I wanted the most things from, and because I’m a very lucky girl, Adam treated me to one of her creations….. a hot air balloon brooch, in brilliant bright colours… I am now wearing it on a chain as a pendant but I love that I can pin it to a blouse too.

Hot Air Balloon brooch (worn as pendant), by Matin Lapin

'it aint ALL bad...' hand drawn and painted greeting card by Alex at Animal Cafe

The volunteers from F.U.S.S also ran a marvelous refreshments stall, with tea, yummy cakes and delicious home made soups for sale. The lovely ladies even came around taking our orders, so we enjoyed plenty of cups of tea to keep us going, as well as pea and mint soup, ginger cake and fruit cake. And the gluttony didn’t stop there, because my friend Emma (Never Eat Wobbly Jelly) had made some amazing flapjacks which we devoured too!

We left on such a high, having had so many positive comments and lovely chats! I have already received a commission from someone I met at the market as well as some more feedback on Twitter, and I’ve been invited to another fair too! Adam had a brilliant time as well, so it was nice to celebrate the high with him and know that he’ll be up for helping me at future fairs. And I definitely want to do more!

We celebrated that evening with a bottle of fizz (we are experimenting with sweet Prosecco as the drier kind doesn’t agree with Adam) and a Chinese take out, both of which I feel we deserved after our hard day’s work! We snuggled up on the sofa to watch Avatar (which looks ace on Blu-ray!) but soon after that had finished we were beat and crawled off to bed to fall asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows!

We’d planned a trip to the supermarket and the cinema on the Sunday, but seeing the lovely blue sky outside we decided we wanted to have an adventure out and about. So we marched off to Brick Lane after our lunch of take away left overs, to discover some new markets to treasure hunt at. We wandered about for ages and found some brilliant stalls…. I came home with stacks of old sheet music, some slightly creepy porcelain dolls, a bulk lot of match boxes and loads of old books…. including another copy of the awesome Pears Encyclopaedia which I use to paint onto. I can’t believe my luck!

Treasures found at the Sunday markets

For supper, we feasted on smoked haddock with creamy mashed potato and buttered asparagus, before settling down to watch another episode of The Wire (starting to get into it now!). We spent some time talking through more ideas for things I can make, and I started on some little drawings, and then we were ready for a well deserved early night!

Very successful weekend all in all!

How was yours?

Ems x

Because it’s Valentine’s Day……. A little Love Token

So after our visit to the Miracles and Charms exhibition at the Wellcome Collection, and because I’ve been toying with ideas of crafty arty projects, today I made a little love token… being Valentines and all.

I’ve been thinking of ways to create little worlds from bits and bobs, and love the idea of making things from lost treasure (or rubbish if you prefer). I’ve always been fascinated by small, detailed things that I could squirrel away, none more so than the little Charlie Chaplin matchbox toy that my brother and I fought over as children (it WAS mine). And so I got to thinking about making little scenes inside matchboxes…… and I finally made one today…..

Adam and I are always joking around saying I love you THIS much, and gesticulating to show just how much….. I might reach right out to the walls, and then Adam might just hold two fingers about an inch apart and tell me he loves me that much on an atomic scale. He likes to try to trick me too by doing something similar and saying he loves me that much on a galactic scale….I usually fall for it or spend ages trying to work it out.

Anyway, with that in mind I have made this little love token inside a Swan Vesta matchbox, where a man standing on the whole world is stretching his arms out to say ‘I love you THIS much.’

I hope you like it, despite the sappiness. I’m planning to make some more, although perhaps less romantical, and perhaps get around to selling them on Etsy. Thoughts, suggestions and requests gratefully received!

Happy Valentine’s Day!


P.S. Thank you to Adam for taking the photos! xxx