Monday, 30 December 2013

Picture this...a day in December....

I trust that you had a lovely Christmas and all is well with you and yours

Sorry that this post is rather long - you might wish to go and get a cup of tea first....

I burnished my old angel chimes.

I have bought many of these over the years but my favourite comes in the original box with the date 1942 written on it: 

'It is a wartime Christmas, and the parties will be few but I send my Christmas greetings to my best'

Chimes will turn up in the summer at car boots so keep a look out.  At last summer's car boot someone was selling umpteen boxes of angle chime candles (very difficult to find for me) for 40p.

I am the most miserly person on the planet so all the candles are bought from charity shops - I am not bothered by the colours so end up with the: 'The Harlequin Range' (Pat Pending) .....

This December we have been having candlelit breakfasts!

I use those old glass trinket dressing table trays (an astonishing number of those in all Charity shops for some reason) to catch the wax - bonus being that you can still see the tablecloth cloth below! Everything you can see in this photograph has been bought from various car boots (except the crackers...I have got some old ones but put those round the tree).

I think that things can look quite  nice without spending very much money at all.

 Sorry Pam but I did not take photographs of the 'changing of the cloths' this let a year or two pass I thought...

Last summer I bought a few old candelabra from the charity shop - you will find these in abundance for some reason and usually cost no more than 2-3 pounds.  

Very handy for lighting the way to bed.  

I am lying in wait for the candelabra being the 'next big thing' and then flood the market!

In an effort to show you the cheapest bought decorations in the house this is a 30p charity shop tinsel affair - let us see if we can make our own for next 'saison'? 

Should be very easy to to with three circles of wire and some cutouts from last years Christmas cards (NB: If you see this being touted in Country Living next year remember that it was my idea...)

Let us try and remember to have a competition about it next year!

Sorry - lots of images of this

  Below is one of my earliest decoration purchases - I know that I bought it in 1983 because I have written that carefully on the back !!!!

 I would have bought it from a jumble sale at that time (because there were always jumble sales in London in the 80s - strange but true)

Carefully bought out every Christmas since then.  Dates from the 50s do you think? 

 Last year I made  copies of this (printed onto thin board)  and used different vintage fabrics for each skirt - they worked quite well for the tree

 This year it has been attached to a mirror adjacent to the front door - which is why you can see that reflected above

 Another set of angel chimes - this time in the grate. On the right is a 1900 clay pot type thing that has mice running round it and holes.  No idea what it was meant for originally but  Bronte usually has this in her bedroom and we put a saucer  on top to use for burning scented oils (grate needs a clean......).

 This little robin has kept me company whilst going to the Co-op these past few weeks

 Do you remember these bauble wreaths that I made a few years ago ?  Still going strong and if something drops off I just glue it back on again!

This wreath is on the dining room door

Behind that door is more 'stuff'...reflected in the mirror 

  A neighbour makes these holly wreaths and sells them for  charity

I am rather partial to a worthy cause

This is another 'oldie' that I made - yet another one is on the front door, all made from cheapo charity shop bits so it won't be the end of the world  if someone pinches it.

 Last summer I bought a 1960s tinsel tree (I have told you before to  buy seasonal things OUT OF SEASON - best to buy Christmas things in the summer when people are clearing their attics to make way for attic conversions).  This tree cost me £10 which I thought was ok.  This year I have decorated the tree just with vintage glass baubles - I think it looks lovely but will save that for next year post (if I remember).

 This post goes on for long enough!

This is just the tippity top of the tree

  I 'found' some more seasonal tins....ahEM!

Maille made paper chains 

Very handy for clock decorating purposes

As it's Christmas I will show you this mini tinsel tree - bought from a charity shop one or two years ago and all complete with pipe cleaner decorations.

On Christmas Eve I was in the local large Sally Army shop - looking for a sideboard if you are interested (!)  I was NOT looking for decorations but....there was  yet another little Christmas tree for £2.50.  Not particularly old I think but it has real candles and little glass baubles so for the money I thought it could join the others...

 This was the setting before the snows came.....

 Thank you for comments regarding trees on previous post - sorry to disappoint but  I do not keep drugs in the candles...............................................................................................................................................!

Now to the penultimate  purchase of the year.  To my horror (I would go that far) Mr Langford is CLOSING (that was a slightly teary moment when he told me).  My love of Mr Langford's establishment has been discussed here which shows a video of his unique shop and also various posts over the years : his wife and daughter might carry on with the business.  Anyway Mr Langford is selling things off so this beautiful oak arts & crafts/Gothic bench was cheaper than a modern pine version.  I justify the price by virtue of  the purchase of many cheap candles over the years....

For now it is being used to house the Christmas containers

 Not sure where this will live eventually but I will think about that another time

In the photograph above I  added seasonal sparkle.

 This old crate was bought from the record shop next to Mr Langford's establishment - they use them for keeping records in.  SOTA stands for Southern Table Water Co.  I bought my first crate when I was about 10 I think - it cost me 5d from the local church fete.....can never start too young (and yes I still have it!)

Best to cover every available space if you can.......

Turning to eating matters:

No we didn't eat china and tablecloths!

On getting out this Edwardian plate with a mistletoe design I then spent a goodly amount of time looking for this Edwardian tablecloth with matching design!

The plate fits in the centre design very neatly

The rest of the tablecloth is covered with embroidered holly

As you know I like to cover all decades so we will propel forward through a few of them now.

 Do you remember the nice bowl that I was given by 'The shop that never opens which now opens more than it used to' Shop?  I used it for my sprouts this year. 


Sprouts are very good for the bowels - which is good enough reason to top the vegetable charts I think.

I also love BEETROOT - here seen in a nice enamel bowl bought last summer at the car boot

Here they are uncooked but on the table - I like to live dangerously,

Pam - here is a  token cloth - this is a table runner so perhaps does not count.

 I love the colours and the jolly design

 Whilst in the Sally Army I also happened upon this very large serving dish - dates from the 60s - I do not need a very large serving dish.  

This was my final purchase of the year.

We used this Christmas Day so I think it has earned its keep for now

Each year I make a very large sherry trifle

Bronte decorated this one

Each year I eat ALL of a very large sherry trifle.

 Each year I use my nice glass handled serving spoons (car boot circa 2009)

More jugs....

Finishing off with a nice choccy biscuit

I had lots more to blather on about but having carefully loaded the photographs, written the witty banter I then found that I had not saved it before pressing the x button.  

This then is the abbreviated version with no witty banter - you got away lightly I think!

Ending with:

Some of the hyacinths flowered in time for Christmas but others I was a bit late in warming up.  We were able to do a spot of gardening and on Christmas Eve we gathered seaweed from the beach to put on the rhubarb and roses.  It is lovely to see the bulbs beginning to peep through out in the garden.

I love Spring and its promise of the year ahead.

Happy New Year to you all and thank you so much for calling round during the past year - it has been super

PS: Enjoyed listening to the robin on Tweet of the Day on BBC radio and to Alan Bennett reading the Shipping Forecast - I love the Shipping Forecast. It has been there all my life and been a backdrop to many a nights sleep.

PPS: Dogger, Fisher, German Bight...........

PPPS: Cromarty, Forth, Tyne.....

PPPPS: Rockall, Malin, Hebrides.  Southwest gale 8 to storm 10, veering west, severe gale 9 to violent storm 11. Rain, then squally showers.  Poor becoming moderate...................

PPPPPS: Ending with....this as a final tra la la to 2013. Let me know if this too makes you a little moisty eyed with memories of not being able to sleep...


  1. WOW! That was a feast for my eyeballs! I enjoyed every bit of it, too!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Happy New Year!!

  2. It's a veritable Custard wonderland! The snowman on the door took me right back to being five, six, seven, eight etc. etc (you get the picture he was stored away each year and the last I saw was looking rather careworn and probably left to go to the land of 'decorations that are past their best and rather depressing to the eye') Wish I could be as organised with my bauble buying though - top tip! Enjoy inviting the new year in x Jane

  3. Hi Jenny, Wow I enjoyed that! You,ve collected such wonderful treasures. I'm going to look out for angel chimes this summer! love the robin :))
    Wishing You a happy new year,lots of love , xxx

  4. Amazed and stunned by your collections as usual. Treasures that are lucky to be found and saved by you Jenny. Can't wait to read you next year. Happy new year to you . X

  5. Loved every bit of this post. Your Christmas decorations are fantastic so colourful. I loved the old paper ones. And I have been promising myself paper lanterns for some time now. Trifle is my favorite pud, but being a veggie I have to make myself completely. Have a Happy New Year. Jenny. Look forward to your next posts.

  6. Happy New Year! Your blog brings much enjoyment!!

  7. You have bagged some goodies, I love finding bargains and this post x

  8. Wow Gorgeous pictures, I am so envious of those decorations
    Happy New year
    Julie xxxxxxxxxxx

  9. So nice to see someone is as much of a pack rat as I am! I worked in a shop for 8 years that did a huge Christmas trade. I was usually part time, but from June through August, we worked in the owners barn ( 2 of us..) unpacking, pricing and sorting the Christmas items that came in to sell, starting in October..gave me lots of time to see what reproduction vintage things I wanted..and then would get the things I wanted more of in the after Christmas all mixes in well with the real old things, and my hoarded and gathered linens! And I am a candle person, too (but tend to be very careful, with 3 cats around...). Thanks for a great blog post. It was fun to see it all!

  10. Dearest Cootard....thought it 'high' time I paid a visit.
    Now my dearest old gal are you sure you have enough images in that post.
    I put the shipping forcast on and went back to the beginning of this post and reread it again....a lovely complementation I thought?
    'so veering westerly moderate , drizzle in north Irish sea Shannon becoming good' lovely
    Personally I love a good grandparents lived in Ramsgate and there was always a good one honking away in the Autumn.
    well i will love you and leave you once more...albeit with a smile on mon visage put there by you!
    Wishing you a 2014 like no other filled with love and contentment..
    bestest as ever to you and yours

  11. A beautiful post, your collection is absolutely gorgeous x

  12. What a delightful post and to be mentioned by name I felt quite overcome,no really I did!! I think you deserve this years gold star for the most unique and entertaining posts. I am beyond thrilled to be part of it all. I cannot wait to see what delights you bring forth in 2014!! Happy, Happy new year to you and yours dear Jenny.Warmest regards Pam.

  13. Jenny your home looks fab with all your seasonal decorations. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog posts and often find myself chuckling out loud. Long may you continue!! Happy New Year XX

  14. mrs custard you are round the twist and i love it - keep up the good work and happy new year!!! xx

  15. I had 'grand' plans for the Crimbo decs this year but for many reasons we ended up with a much more simplified 'do'. Wishing all at Custard HQ warmest and bestest for 2014

  16. I enjoyed looking through all your wonderful festive decorations. I love the angel chimes photos, my grandparents had one, always with red candles, so seeing yours bought back very happy memories. Also liked the card ballet dancer, so very pretty.

  17. What a festive feast Jenny! Lovely, lovely pictures ... I remember my Auntie had some angel chimes, I loved them and am going to look out for them from now on, as you've jogged my memory. When I Got up on Christmas Day I thought I was seeing things, as the ice skates on my hearth were covered in snow! When I looked closely the advent candle on the mantlepiece above had erupted spectacularly and spattered all over the skates and the hearth below! I couldn't have achieved the effect if I'd tried! Have a fabulous New Year, Jenny, and wishing you everything that you wish yourself

    Love Claire xx

  18. What a wonderful post Jenny - you never cease to amaze me with your lovely things...from shipping forecast to sherry trifle - star turn in my book, with silver baubles too!
    All the very best to you and your family for 2014 :)

  19. Marvellous things, raised lots of happy memories (especially the trifle, strangely enough). Happy New Year Jenny, I hope you keep on finding your treasures.

  20. wow wow wow - I have serious Christmas decoration envy. Whenever my husband tells me we have too much stuff I think of you and how wonderful all your pictures look and tell him he is wrong!

  21. I think you are, officially, MRS CHRISTMAS ...
    We had two little trees, one wreath, 2 candleholders, finito ... I feel ashamed that my little man is missing out on a Christmas decorating extravaganza ... I will start squirrelling at the summer car boot's and endeavour to do better next Christmas! M x

  22. Happy Happy New year to you and yours dear Jenny... this is a marathon of a post my dear.. full of gloriousness. I love sprouts too we had some purple ones on christmas day they were yummy! Loving your new little Robin pal, glad your garden got a seaweed treat too! Hugs Cx

  23. This post is just so wonderful!!! All the beautiful photos. Thanks for the views...

  24. Love the nostalgic trip. The angel chimes bring back vivid memories of Christmas as my mum had some, I remember the gentle ting ting when lit. I hopefully will come across some in a car boot sale somewhere. The angel from the 50's is gorgeous. Your trifle looks very scrummy, and puts my packet job to shame.

  25. Drugs in the candles?... Fabulous photos of Christmas, the fireplace is my favourite one, especially appreciated to look at by me as I did a 'Bah Humbug' Christmas this year because I'm all discombobulated about moving from London to Dorset (when our buyers get it together!). No Christmas tree, I just flung some lights over the mantle piece and put cards up. The only good thing about that was it probably took less than 5 minutes to take every thing down! Wishing you a very Happy New Year and looking forward to your posts this year. xx

  26. Your home looked gorgeous and so warm and festive over christmas you have some wonderful decorations. I have the 50's chinese lanterns to i love them. Happy new year to you, Best wishes, dee x

  27. What a pleasure it has been to see this jolly Christmas post on the 15th of January! I clicked over here via your comment over at Annie's KnitsoFacto.

    You've got a wonderful eye and sense of style...I also very much admire your clever, thrifty ways.

    Looking forward to visiting again soon. Cheers!