Thursday, 26 December 2013

Upcycled Bedside Tables

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that Santa was good to you....these are 2 wooden cookers that 2 lucky little boys received.  They started life as bedside tables and with a little imagination ended up as little cookers.  Add some vintage striped material and you have a tea towel and apron.  Just need to unpack a couple of parcels and the kitchen would be complete....pots, pans and wooden food.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Christmas Check List

Big sighs all round.....I am ready!  My husband and I are a little restless and keep going to the window.  The waiting and watching is taking its toil.  No, we are not waiting for Santa.  We are waiting for out eldest daughter, husband and beautiful grandson to arrive.  Our middle daughter, partner and grandson will arrive Sunday.

Gingerbread house - done

Christmas cake - done (actually my youngest daughter made it for us)

Chocolate spoons for the hot chocolate - done

All craft presents finished and wrapped - ok, not quite true the vintage fabric throw is not finished

House cleaned and decorated for the season - done

Christmas cards written, posted and hopefully received - done

Supermarket shop - done

My Mum and Dad are coming on Christmas Eve for my traditional buffet, we have a open house policy so that friends and neighbours can pop in when and if they want to.  The bulk of the baking has been done and is now in the freezer.  My youngest daughter, partner and two beautiful granddaughters arrive boxing day, so their gifts have already been wrapped and delivered.

I will close now wishing you all a very Happy Christmas!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Ongoing Preperations

My craft room is looking a little bit like Santa's Grotto at the moment, although it is in chaos it is an organized mess.  Therefore my plan for today is to finish wrapping presents and organize the sacks and stockings.  The silver needs to be cleaned, Christmas is the only time the silver cutlery sees the light of day.  However it is a nice task to sit around the table and chat with family so maybe that's a job I will leave until the weekend.  

My husband is busy painting the last of his Christmas presents, all of his orders are complete and have been collected.  I will showcase some of his work later in the week. 

Finally, once all the jobs are out of the way I am going to get started on a new project.....I know I haven't finished the vintage fabric throw....I am going to get started on gathering all the materials, patterns, pictures etc together to make a mood board for my beautiful daughters wedding so that we can steal a few moments over the festive period to plan.  Does it get any better?

Finally I am going to check the pantry, I am going to get going with some baking tomorrow and don't want to run out of ingredients half way through.  Cookies, mince pies, quiches and sausage rolls for the freezer and a gingerbread house are planned for tomorrow.  Later in the week, chocolate spoons with crushed candy canes need to be made for the hot chocolate.  It is a really busy time here, but I am grateful that I have a family to share Christmas with.

Thursday, 12 December 2013


I have spent the last hour or so looking through some of our holiday snaps taken earlier in the year at the Mount Dora Vintage Garden Fair.  Seeing the trike in the bottom picture reminded me of my childhood and indeed of my own children's childhood....the old and the familiar.  It sparked memories of happy times both of the holiday and of the times spent on the trike. I have watched my daughters on trikes and then onto a 2 wheeler with stabilizers and then a wobbly 2 wheeler.  I am lucky enough to be blessed with 4 beautiful grandchildren and hope to be able to watch them grow and become whatever it is they want to become.

Back in the craft room I am starting to put bows on all of the wooden creations that my husband as completed so they can be collected.  I have a few more floral table arrangements to complete and a vintage material quilted throw to finish and then we are closed for the holiday period. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

What a Wonderful Time of Year

The house is in the process of having a good clean, some of the decorations have been put up.  The pantry and freezer are full, chutneys and pickles are now ready for eating.  The present shopping has been done, the bulk of the crafting is now complete.  Cards and letters have been written, arrangements have been made to deliver and collect gifts from family members.  The excitement is building as my husband and I prepare for our daughters and their own families to visit.  Menus are in the process of being planned, what a wonderful excuse to get out all the Christmas and cookery books, to revisit old and familiar recipes is a pleasure.  Gifts still need to be wrapped, beds need to be made up and aired.  Despite all the hard work, what a wonderful time of year preparing to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus.  A time for rejoicing and giving thanks.....

Thursday, 5 December 2013

A Time for Reflection

I have spent the morning working on a present for my granddaughter and chatting to my husband while he works on a couple of gifts for our grandsons. Both of us enjoying our work and each others company.  We have both had quite a busy few months and look forward to spending time with the family and making time for each other.

We are hoping to start decking the halls tomorrow.......I have done some preparation by making new bows for the tree.  We need to take time and think where to position things this year with having little ones in the house again.  Its a wonderful time of year, a time for giving and sharing, remembering and thinking about family and friends.  My tree ornaments are a delight for remembering Christmas's gone by and people no longer with us.  It takes us hours to decorate the tree because of the wonderful stories we have to tell about each bauble and ornament. 

As a family we celebrate each Advent Sunday with an afternoon tea,  the lighting of a candle in the advent wreath and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.  It is a tradition that as parents, we hope our daughters will now do with their own children, as well as enjoy new traditions of their own.  A wonderful time of year and the perfect time for reflection.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Drum Roll Please....The Finished Quilt

As promised the finished quilt....a quilt that I am really proud of!  It was made using a lot of Cath Kidston material, fabric from Mamas Mercantile store, modern and vintage buttons and a whole lot of love.  A gift made with love from a Granny to a Grandson.

Monday, 2 December 2013

A Peek into the Craft Room aka Workshop aka Mamas Mercantile

As promised a look into the craft room, with no project on show, I couldn't possibly say what I was working on.  I can however say that the commissioned order I was working on is complete and ready for collection and the last of my orders for Christmas are ready to be packaged up and posted.  I can now start the preparations for the traditional family Christmas and get to work on the decorations and the packaging of little parcels.  What a wonderful time of year...... I have also finished the quilt I was working on but I will save that for another post.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Mount Dora Extravaganza

I have spent the last couple of days in the craft room working on a commissioned order, so I thought I would take a short break and reflect on my recent holiday.  These photos are of the Rennigers Antique Extravaganza at Mount Dora.  It is truly a site to behold with each stall holding as much treasure as the next and going on for what seemed like miles.  It was difficult to stay focused, I wanted everything I saw.  In the end I bought vintage patterns ( 2 of which are wedding dresses), vintage buttons, a 1935 embroidery book, vintage shoe trees which I intend to use for my daughters wedding next year,  ribbons and material and my wonderful husband treated me to a handmade quilt sign which has taken pride of place in my craft room.  I will give you a sneak peek into the craft room in a later post.  I also bought from my friend Jone on the Street of shops a vintage rolling pin and gingerman cookie cutter for my kitchen which at the moment is a work in progress.  Back to work......

Monday, 25 November 2013

Rattan Christmas Baubles

I still have a few rattan baubles left priced at £3 each plus postage if anyone is interested.  Just email me at or leave a comment for further information.  I am afraid once they are gone they are gone I am unable to take any more orders before Christmas.  I have been engaged as one of Santas helpers to make teddy bear picnic playmats and teddy bears bedding for 2 very lucky little boys.  My priority is then to get on with my families wishlist......I am not holding my breath that I will be able to complete everything in time given the short time left before the big day.  May be some little elves have been in the craft room helping overnight, I had better get in there and check it out.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Safely Home

I am back safely home from the most amazing holiday ever, my wonderful husband certainly knows how to spoil a girl.  It just wasn't long enough away, to cram everything we wanted to do in  we had to hit the ground running and consequently we are now both exhausted and cold.  After such a lovely fortnight of wonderful sunny and hot weather we are back to the cold and rain.  All I can say is thank goodness for the stove, it really does kick out some heat.

We did the same thing we do every time we go to America and that is too much shopping.......yes we had to buy yet another suitcase.  I could set up a shop with all the extra cases and holdalls we have had to buy over the years.  My Christmas shopping is now complete, all I have to do now is get back into the craft room and make my families wishes come true.  The choice of craft materials available in the stores in America is truly a sight for sore eyes.....I could go on forever how amazing it all is.  Needless to say I have brought back as much as I could carry.

Mount Dora was a delight as usual.  We managed to catch up with our wonderful friend Jone who owns Vintage Cottage on the street of shops.  The list of shopping I did there is never ending vintage buttons was on the top of the list for my new range of cushions.  I was not disappointed I managed to find quite the haul, along with vintage patterns, craft magazines, lace, spools and bobbins.  I find a trip to Mount Dora quite inspirational.

I am suffering with Jet Lag at the moment, hence writing a blog in the middle of the night.....tomorrow is another day!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Waiting for the postman

I feel as if I have been waiting for the postman to arrive on a permanent basis.  First of all I was waiting for the stamps to arrive that I ordered off say that I was thrilled with them is the understatement of the century.  I wanted to be able to stamp my paper bags, I need now to spend some time and experiment with the pressure and colour of ink etc.  Secondly I have been waiting for a consignment of fabric that has taken longer than expected to arrive, but it certainly didn't disappoint.  The final order in my book  ( apart from the family Christmas wishlist ) can now be started.  It is with regret that I am unable to take any more orders for Christmas, however I will post out anything that has already been made for the Christmas Fairs.  I am so busy with my anniversary holiday, grand childrens birthdays and Christmas preperations that I do not want to disappoint. 

Any spare time that I have now I want to work on my new range........I am keeping it under wraps for now!

Monday, 21 October 2013

What a Wonderful Life...

My wonderful husband has booked us a holiday to Florida for our 32nd wedding anniversary, how lucky am I?  I have been frantically assessing my craft room for gaps ( the Mount Dora antique extravaganza is calling me).  Vintage lace and buttons are always a must and a necessity this time as they will feature in my daughters wedding next year.  I am trying to fit a hat box arrangement into hand luggage for our wonderful friends who own a shop on the Street at Rennigers.  ESTAs need to be completed for entry into the USA, attraction tickets ordered and dinner shows booked.  The next few days are going to be a little frantic I suspect but what a wonderful life.......

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Adding new lines.......

Whilst the fairs I have done so far have not been very well attended I have been greatly honoured by the wide range of compliments I have received.  I have added the crochet baby headbands as requested and also a wider choice of fleece/cotton blankets for prams/pushchairs.  I have been hard at work in the craft room for the last two days trying  to get some of my Christmas presents finished with some degree of success!!!!!!!   I have also been working hard on some new patterns for home furnishings, throws and cushions ready for my new year range......all I can say is WATCH THIS SPACE........

I will be at Richmond park Skegness on Sunday.......hope to see you there.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Another busy week

What a week.....I feel as if I haven't stopped for breath.  Its been a bit of a whirlwind not unlike the weather with its faster than light descent into Autumn.  One minute I am wearing a T shirt the next I am snuggling up in front of the stove.

I have packed extra goodies into this week as I have my grandson next week to spoil.....all orders have been completed and ready for postage.  Keep an eye out for the postman early next week, any dance bags or Christmas sacks ordered will be posted out today.

I have added some more table arrangements to the stock for the Christmas fairs.  I have also included a wider baby range, bibs, bandanas. patchwork balls (vintage style) and cotton and fleece snuggle blankets.  I have such an extensive Christmas wish list from my family this year so I really do have to get on with that....I don't want to disappoint!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Packed, Ready to go........

Just finished packing up the car ready for the first of the Christmas gift fairs.   Luckily the fair is in the village I live so anything forgotten is easily retrieved.  It is difficult to know what to take so I have taken small quantities of a wide range including a new range of table flower arrangements in hat boxes and Christmas baubles.  I have also taken a small range of wedding  accessories, flower girl baskets, wands and headbands.  Harris Tweed always features I love the romance of it being spun in crofters homes on islands off the West Coast of Scotland.  My tweed range this time includes needle cases, corsages, hair combs, notelets and Christmas cards.  The list is endless but I hope I have covered most things.......hope to see you there!

Monday, 30 September 2013

Where does the time go?

Where does the time go?  It is certainly not standing still, it seems to be flying by.  I have needed to sort out insurance for the up and coming craft fairs, I have thought about it several times and finally sorted it out this morning.  It seemed to be a real saga or is it just me that is useless with a computer?  I am now in possession of a public liability insurance policy, which is why I am referring to time....the whole process took just over two hours.....why didn't I just pick up the phone?

Back to my craft room where I am working on a hat box Christmas flower arrangement, I am pleased with the results so far it is rather striking.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Light at the end of the Tunnel

Finally, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.......I have just completed Christmas bunting and table runners for the last of my early Christmas orders.  The only thing outstanding now is a patchwork quilt, which I am in the final stages of, another couple of good days and that will be complete.

I can now concentrate on more goodies for the craft and gift fairs and little packages for Santa!  I have a wonderful selection of button hair combs, Harris Tweed corsages, hair pieces and needle cases all ready to go.  Hopefully we will have the camera up and running soon so that you will be able to have a sneaky preview.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Busy Times

Christmas is early at Mamas Mercantile, I have Christmas materials, fabric and flowers all over the craft room.  I have completed a whole new range of table runners and floral centre pieces and all the orders taken for Christmas sacks are finished and ready for Santa to collect.

Early this morning I saw my first robin redbreast of the season sitting on my garden fence post......ten minutes later I saw two together.  Does that mean anything?  Is there an old wives tale about robins?

I have just ordered two personalised rubber stamps off etsy in preparation for Christmas, so as I reported earlier Christmas is indeed early at Mamas Mercantile this year.

Sunday, 22 September 2013


Exciting times, I am now the proud owner of a spinning wheel......a dream come true.   All I need now is a croft and some sheep and I will finally be following the dream.  In the meantime I now need to find a course so that I can learn how to use my beautiful new to me ( but antique ) spinning wheel.

Mamas Mercantile can look forward to a whole new range of crochet items using the finest wool that I will have dyed and spun for myself.  Yes, indeed exciting times!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Welcome to the Mamas Mercantile blog!

We will be using this blog to share news and information from Mamas Mercantile, as well as updates on what we have been crafting, and which craft shows and fairs you'll find us at next. 

The blog is currently a work in progress, but it will be up and running soon. 

Watch this space!