Tuesday, 2 December 2008

A nation of shopkeepers..

You could say that it is in my blood..
Certainly I inherited my artistic bent from my father who was a dab hand with a pencil and drew many fine sketches..
It has however become more and more apparent to me over the last few years.. just how much I inherited from my mother..
From my early childhood my mother had always dabbled with buying and selling antiques and it was only in her latter years that she turned her attention to vintage and antique toys.
I would love to visit her in the Bath antiques market where she had established herself over 20 years as a knowledgeable dealer in her passion for toys...
Sitting on a small stool behind her shop counter.. I would sit and chat and share her latest finds... a beautiful collection of Shucco Circus animals.. or her latest Steiff find.. a pretty kitten hand puppet. Dolls houses.. miniature lead gardens, wooden peg dolls..a pull along dog on wheels ( that my young son called Baggy for some curious reason as there was nothing baggy about the Triang fox terrier) there was always something new and exciting that my mother loved to share with me.
I remember these visits with great affection and a certain tinge of regret...as my dear mother would often remark how I might like to take over the running of her toy business .. but I would balk at the idea of all that responsibility.
My life was otherwise engaged in other matters.. my greeting card business for example that I started 14 years ago when my son was born, as I wanted to stay at home and watch him grow up.. childhood being so fleeting and precious..
I declined my mother's offer on more than one occasion... an eternal regret!
I now find myself with sad irony.. doing just what my mother loved so much.. buying and selling toys.. and indulging myself in childhood nostalgia..
I like to think that my Mum is pulling the strings and I hope she approves of my new venture..
So with this in mind.. I am opening my shop again today to offer more goodies in my Christmas Bazaar...

Please form an orderly queue....

Here are some pretty little wooden toadstool pins 1½" tall... for pinning items on to pin boards...
£4.50 inc postage... on either a green card..3 pins per card.
Or pink..
I have these 'Thank You' cards in a set of five with matching cream envelopes from the Cowboys & Custard card range..
Packaged in a cello bag with pink raffia tie... £5.00 inc postage

These are a personal favourite of mine... these gorgeous little 60's vintage pin skier brooches..
Very Cath Kidston.. actually.. very Cowboys & Custard!!
£3.00 inc postage.. please specify which colour you would like.. packaged in a small cello bag.

* * 2 Green Jumper skiers sold.. thank you!
I have oodles of magnets and mirrors on offer...
These are all magnets ..The Noddy magnets are all made from original vintage print so are one-offs.. all the other designs here can be ordered in any number..or as pocket mirrors or both!
£3.00 inc postage for magnets ........ Mirrors are £3.50 inc postage I love these..!
Mother of Pearl button heart key ring with a Cowboys & Custard tag...
£7.00 inc postage.. I only have 3 of these left.This is the bargain of the week.. One slightly used.. chewed....eccentric moggy.
Comes boxed and gift wrapped.. £10000 inc postage.

The purrrfect Christmas gift...

Thank you to all of you who have purchased from Cowboys & Custard!


Ragged Roses said...

I bagsy Mr Pickles please, just knock a couple of 0s of the price if you don't mind!!!!! I can vouch for the gorgeousness of the skier badge as I'm wearing mine today and I love it! In fact I love all your things, but you know that already!
Time for some more creme de menthe please!!!

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Michele - I'm sure that your mother would be very proud of you and all of your wonderfully nostalgic creations. I think I must have visited her little emporium in the antiques centre many years ago....
(If you have one spare minute today, I would love you to come and see my post - I think you would enjoy yourself! ;-))

Good luck with your sales,
Niki x

This Vintage Life... said...

I think in your own way, you're carrying on what your Mum was doing. I'm sure she would approve.

Lot's more lovely things to tempt...I can hear those skiiers calling!
Deb xx

Dana and Daisy said...

They are all lovely and had our stocks not shriveled up, I would go for the eccentric moggy. ;)

That is a wonderful sentiment about your mother.
I love how you soften the presentation of your items for sale by being real and personal with us, your friends, your audience.

Hen said...

A lovely story, I'm sure your mother would be so pleased that she has inspired you. A big YES PLEASE to Mr Pickles!
Hen x

The Whispering Poppies said...

Oh my, I see I'm not the first in queue in my quest for Mr. Pickles! =) I know just how you feel about following in your mum's footsteps... I've always loved lace and buttons and other bits-n-bobs, and creating with them. It so happens that my Grandpa was a shopkeeper (whose shop I visited each and every day when I was little!); he had a haberdashery originally (which he inherited from my great grandfather), and then he switched the shop over to his own printing shop. I guess it's in our genes... we're cut from the same cloth as our parents & grandparents! =)
I'd love a set of your beautiful cards!

asti said...

Lovely post Michele. It's true that we get more like our Mums as we get older. I'm finding that - with the spinning and kntting etc. I guess it's just in the blood. Love all the Christmas goodies in the shop by the way :)

Sal said...

Your mum would be so proud of you.
I bet she was looking down at you at Rangeworthy... and smiling happily to herself!

MelMel said...

Lovely story....and wonderful items!xxx

The White Bench said...

What a touching nostalgic story, Michele!
Your creations are lovely... Your Mother would be proud of you...
I especially love the sketches and the mother- of- pearl heart... I just adore sewing hearts!
Thanks for your nice comment on my blog, too.


The White Bench said...

Sorry Michele, I meant to say I added you on my sidebar, and your boxed cat... how lovely it is!

Warm wishes,


kristina said...

Such a lovely story about your mum. I think you must have been destined to have Cowboys and Custard! K x

Redwoodhouse said...

Hi Michele, what a lovely job your mother had and I think you certainly seem to be following in her footsteps. The thank you cards are delightful a bit of a must have for my girls stockings I'll be ordering this week that will be my first Christmas presents so I had better get a move on.

bj said...

Hi, Michele..just thought of you this morning and wanted to stop by and say hello. Seen Mr. Cage or Mr. Depp anywhere? I am still looking for them but...alas, they probably love England more than the states...:O)
Have a wonderful Christmas...
love, bj

Anonymous said...

Such a nice post about your mum Michele. It rang a lot of bells with me as I have always loved buying and selling (just like my mum) it is most definitely in the blood of people like us. I will have you in mind when I post next week, I think you'll like the picture I've chosen! Hope you don't get snowed in as there is supposed to be heavy snow tonight (the forecast is usually wrong but I've filled tour foodstore just in case). Keep warm, Eli

Carol said...

Hello Michele,
I am sure that your Mother is pulling the strings! We do so often turn into our Mothers don't we, I see it in me and I see it in my daughters! I think is so nice that you are now able to enjoy the special qualities and talents that your parents have passed onto you.
It is so cold here, I do hope we get some snow...I am holed in and really enjoying it, I hope you are too.
Take care,
Carol xxx

Elizabeth said...

I can see I'll have to join the back of a long queue for Mr Pickles - he looks so cute curled up in that box. I'm quite tempted by one of those skier brooches too.

Josie-Mary said...

Hello Michele, I'm sending the money for Mr Pickles right now!!!! He's your best selling line!! I'm sure your mum is very proud of you.. your things are beautiful. My lovely little deer arrived today, I'll post about him later, thanks so much for the card. I really wanted that one but couldn't afford it as my crappy weekend cost a small fortune!!! :)

Carol said...

Hi again Michele,
the colours that I was talking about earlier are in a different room, it seems that I am painting my house in very similar colours - all over ! -
Keep warm, especially in bed! hahaha.
Carol xxx

Michael House said...

Pickles is worth more than that! He is priceless, always having the appropriate pose for the occasion! Vanessa x

Country Cottage Chic said...

It's definitely in the blood!

What is it with cats & boxes? My Pippa is just the same - as soon as an empty box is left anywhere you can almost guarantee that she's be sleeping in it within a few minutes!

I love the Thank You cards graphic - so very pretty!

Ragged Roses said...

Just eaten two custard creams, must say they just don't taste the same without the extra adjective ....So will Pickles be arriving special delivery?

Willow said...

What a lovely post! Yes, it seems we all start reminding ourselves of our mothers sooner or later! Buying & selling vintage treasures was obviously in your destiny - your Mum would love it!!

Look at Mr Pickles, all boxed up and ready to go .... to MY house!!Please?!

Willow x

Old Bill said...

Thank you so very much.
What a delightful surprise.
You are very kind.
I absolutely love it and it will take pride of place amongst my other mementos.

I enjoyed reading your blog, thanks for sharing.

Never regret anything in life.
You have to live it as you see fit and do what you think is right for you. Times and circumstances will always change.

Regret is just a tool for helping you place value on what is truly important in this world.

BusyLizzie said...

I am sure I enjoyed your mothers stall about 20 years ago when I started my dolls house collection. Have worn my ski figure badge with pride this week! (it has been cold enough to snow here!)
Lizzie x

A Bun Can Dance said...

Hello there! Wonderful 'shop' images - I love the toy shopkeepers! I've added Cowboys & Custard to a list of inspirational blogs, over at my page - hope that's okay. Happy weekend. Denise

Kitsch and Curious Elaine said...

I wouldn't kick yourself too much over not taking over your mum's business. It obviously didn't feel right at the time, and you might have ended up resenting the toys, instead of loving them as you do now.
And you have so much to be proud of with 'Cowboys and Custard'! I am LOVING the skiers! I think I'll have to have one...

jane and the happy crow said...

I go straight for the pood at only £10000 thats cheap can I have two! How lucky for you having a mum that collected toys, it must have been a magical atmosphere to grow up in or were you not allowed to play with the antique ones? Im sure your mum would approve of what you are doing now,you are carrying on the family trade really arent you? Lots of love Jane xx
Do pop over at the weekend and see my items for sale.

April said...

You have been tagged! Please come to my blog and check it out

April xx

Anonymous said...

I'm sure your mum would understand that certain things come at different times for people. Then..wasn't the right time, now is..that's ok. Be proud of what you do just like your proud of your mum's business.

What you do and create are real real treasures. xx

carolyn said...

OH Michelle I think it is often the way that when we older we return to those familiar, family type things that we loved so. When we are younger we just want to spread our wings, explore and make our own way little knowing that we would in fact be happy and content following the well beaten path of our forefathers.
Now are you prepared to negotiate on the price for Mr Pickles?

Kitsch and Curious Elaine said...

The brooch arrived already and I love it! Thank you for such super fast delivery!

Garden Girl said...

I'll take two moggies please-but you can keep the shoe box!
I love your heart key ring in particular it's beautiful! Hope everything is selling well.
I LOVE my 'Flowers Need Care' card, by the way, it shall stay on the fireplace for a long time to come yet(do you think it might be worth something one day?! It's signed by the artist!)x

Donna said...

Oh Please can I have 2 skiers, the red jumpered one on the bottom and the yellow trousered one at the top right if poss? Also can I have a strawberry magnet? You can email me at donna@donnaflower.com

I know just how you feel about your Mum guiding you. I feel the same way about my gran who was a great thrifter and took me to many a jumbly to buy or to help her behind the tables.

I would take Mr Pickles in a heartbeat but with 4 mogs already I had better not. He's so sweet though!

Rosie said...

That's such a lovely story and I am sure your mum would approve of what you are doing.Oh and Mr Pickles looks so sweet. x

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Hi Michelle and Mr. Pickles! Michelle, do you have any more of the skier pins left? There was one of the top left (blue pants) that I would like to buy if that is ok. Please email me
My friend would love one I am sure of it!

Your items are so cute as is your story. Is Mr. P. wore out from all of the hard work?