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Homage to Bunting!

We’ve recently had lots of enquiries from lovely people wanting to hire out our gorgeous handmade bunting for parties and weddings so we thought we’d get it all out and check it over in case any of it was in need of some TLC – and having hundreds of metres all over the floor, furniture and tables got us wondering about the origins of bunting and how it got the name so we did a bit of research to enlighten ourselves on a dark and rainy November Sunday afternoon! And believe us – when you get hundreds of metres all tangled up you really do need something to distract you! So here’s our little homage to bunting!

We use the term “bunting” these days to refer to any festive decorations made of fabric (or even paper and plastic) cut into triangles and strung together – although you can get all sorts of shapes and sizes now. The term was also used historically to refer to a collection of flags, particularly naval ones. The officer responsible for raising signals using flags was known as a “bunt” and it’s still the name used to refer to a ship’s communications officer.

The initial meaning of the flag-colored “bunting,” when it first appeared in print in the mid-18th century, was “light cotton or woollen cloth used to make flags and banners.” This kind of cloth was of a very open weave, and apparently called “bunting” because it was similar to loosely-woven cloth used to sift grain or meal. The action of sifting grain had been known as “bunting” since the 14th century, and a contraption for sifting meal and grain had been known as a “bunt,” which may have simply been a form of the older word “bolt” (from the Old French “bulter”) for the same kind of sifting process. So the cloth routinely used to make flags was called “bunting” because it was similar to the cloth used to sift grain and meal.

And when the same cloth was used for decorative, flag-themed draperies or streamers, it made sense to call those “bunting.”!

Many thanks to the guys at The Word Detective for that!


Aren’t words truly fascinating! And so to untangling our bunting……

Published by annie, on 5th November 2012 at 9:09 pm. Filled under: Vintage Activities,Vintage Arts,Vintage Events,Vintage Homeware,Vintage Local History,Weddings Tags: , , , , Comments Off on Homage to Bunting!

Happy Vintage Halloween!

Well it’s almost Halloween – and the pumpkin is ready to be carved! We’ve always had lots of fun doing that and this year we are going to make a really old fashioned face – not your modern flights of fancy that you see these days but something like we’ve drawn on our cute little Halloween trick or treat favours we’ve made. 

A proper old “jack-o-lantern” a term dating back to the 17th century that literally means “man with a lantern”, probably a reference to the old night watchman who would be out and about in the dark hours checking all’s well with the world. Then again, if we are really going to be historically correct we should be carving a turnip rather than a pumpkin as that’s the vegetable that was used years ago before pumpkins got in on the act! Back in the late 1800’s carrying turnip lanterns around was almost like the equivalent of today’s trick or treat naughtiness! Young lads would frighten people at night with them!! They were also used to light the way for those going from door to door begging for soul cakes – small round cakes that were given out in return for singing and saying prayers for the dead. Each one eaten represented a soul being saved from purgatory – so trick or treating isn’t an American invention after all !!

We’ve really enjoyed doing a bit of research into vintage Halloween fun – have a look at the BBC Edwardian Farm programme – Episode 2 where Ruth and the others celebrate an Edwardian Halloween with a fresh chicken dinner and traditional games to bring in some cheer in the face of the coming winter. Very often the games played throughout the Victorian and Edwardian eras were about predicting the future – for example nutshells would be given names to represent possible love interests and put on the fire to see which would burn first – the one that did would be the name of the person that would become a true love. Those that cracked or popped were just possible quick flings! And apple bobbing – something we have loved doing since childhood – was also used to predict love interests. Nowadays we just race each other to see who can bite an apple first but historically once you had your apple you would peel it into long pieces, pass the peel round your head three times then throw it over your shoulder onto the floor where it should land and form the initial letter of your true lover’s name. We’re going to give that one a go!

We also looked for inspiration for a vintage Halloween party and found these lovely centerpeices – originally dating back from the early 20’s and 30’s but you can still get hold of reproduction ones from Beistle. We think they are gorgeous – and check out this lovely authentic German vintage Halloween 3 panel screen we came across. Put all this together with a vintage typrewritter and some lovely old china and you can make a fabulous vintage Halloween party. Enjoy  – and try not to get too scared!

Published by annie, on 25th October 2012 at 12:56 pm. Filled under: Vintage Activities,Vintage Events Tags: , , , , Comments Off on Happy Vintage Halloween!

A Little Holiday

We do love Dorset but every now and then it’s nice to get away somewhere different for a change of scene and to re-charge the batteries – so off we went down to Cornwall for a couple of days. Lostwithiel looked like a rather lovely little place to stop for a tea, and possibly a cake or two (well we had been on the road for a while!) and were we glad we stopped! What a great place for a spot of vintage shopping – gorgeous little antique shops, vintage emporiums and vintage inspired tea rooms – heaven. We picked up the cutest little 1930’s box brownie camera and a fun child’s abacas – fantastic props to add to our collection – and a great pioneer suitcase in cream and brown which will be fantastic as a card box or wishing well for weddings. With a few new trios of lovely china as well we were all shopped out – what a fun way to spend an hour or two and we could have bought lots more lovelies if we’d been lucky on the lottery – sigh! Oh well – there’s always another time – watch out Lostwithiel!!

And so on to another great find – Boscundle Manor in St. Austell. Sometimes you just have to unashamedly sing the praises of people and places and this little hotel tucked away in its own grounds needs to be praised indeed. For lovers of the vintage style there are no disappointments – the manor was built in the 1700’s and even though it’s obviously been modernised and updated it still retains lots of wonderful old world charm – and all the staff have old fashioned manners and genuine friendliness – what a gem!

Our little holiday away really turned into vintage paradise with a visit to the National Trust’s Lanhydrock House – Downton Abbey eat your heart out – absolutely stuffed full of goodies – take a look at how afternoon tea was served here in the 1920’s and 30’s and when we found this room brimming over with suitcases and trunks we were like kids in a candy shop……and that got us wondering – is there a name for addiction to vintage suitcases and trunks?? Truncolism maybe??


Published by annie, on 20th October 2012 at 9:50 am. Filled under: Vintage Activities,Vintage Events,Vintage Fashion,Weddings Tags: , , , , , Comments Off on A Little Holiday

All The Fun of The Fair!

Oh we had a loverly time at Kingston Maurward Wedding Fair yesterday (Sunday 14th)! It was a glorious sunny day which really showcased the beautiful house and gardens – perfect for any wedding but extra gorgeous for a vintage one!

We were up at the crack of dawn to get set up – in fact the owls were still hooting away as we left home with a car packed full of vintage goodies. The lovely people at Kingston Maurward gave us a great spot in the Whatmoor Room to show off our china and accessories. It did get a tad hot later in the day as the sun came round and there was almost a crisis when our display chocolate cup cakes started to melt but we managed to get through – it’s a good job the window shutters were in working order and we had some extra cake tucked away!

We met lots of lovely people on the day, all looking for some inspiration to make their wedding day perfect. Many already had some really creative ideas for a vintage theme so it was fun to share their vision and to show off some of our china and vintage props! As always the Post Box was a hit and so was the flower cake stand and our wedding invitation stationery – the gorgous vintage typewriter proved popular too. So we say “Good Luck” to all those lovely couples getting married in the near future – enjoy!

We also met some extremely talented people showcasing their wares. Have a look at the beautiful wedding cake from Cake Cucina – very vintage lacey loveliness! Many thanks to Ian at IanH Photography for the picture.

Also check out The Little Candy Cart – traditional Victorian sweet cart for hire and simply stunning favour box cake – very unusual and would certainly be a talking point at any wedding!

After a really enjoyable day at the Fair we packed away and went home tired but happy! And thanks to the guys at Kingston Maurward for the sandwiches – at least we weren’t tired and hungry!




Published by annie, on 15th October 2012 at 8:40 pm. Filled under: Vintage Events,Weddings Tags: , , , Comments Off on All The Fun of The Fair!

Vintage Dorset Goes to the Fair

Vintage Dorset is going to the Fair! Kingston Maurward Wedding Fair to be precise, on Sunday the 14th October. Kingston Maurward is a beautiful 17th century house and estate near Dorchester originally built for a cousin of Prime Minister Pitt and it was featured as “Knapwater House” in Thomas Hardy’s novel Desperate Remedies.

It’s a stunning location for a wedding with its formal gardens, scenic lake, parkland and lovely rooms. Absolutely made for getting those wonderful wedding photos that you remember forever! And a gorgeous setting to show off our lovely vintage china and accessories too.

There’s going to be a range of wedding gowns to swoon over and men’s wear for the groom (and a fashion show too!), lots of fabulous cakes to see, musicians to set the mood and photographers showing off their creative ideas to capture your big day. And for your £3.50 entrance fee you also get a complimentary drink – bargain!

We’ll be taking along lots of our fabulous china, cake stands, flowers in tea cups, bunting and some of our props such as the ever popular Post Box/Wishing Well and vintage typewriter so it’s a great chance for you to come along and see us, maybe talk through your ideas for your vintage wedding and see how we can help you make your day perfect! We’ll be in the Whatmoor Room from 10.00am until 3.30pm so do come and say Hello !

Published by annie, on 9th October 2012 at 12:04 pm. Filled under: Vintage Activities,Vintage Events,Weddings Tags: , , , Comments Off on Vintage Dorset Goes to the Fair