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Friday, 18 September 2009


Off to the Auctions again! Addisons at Barnard Castle is a firm favourite. Entertaining auctioneers, a fine tea-room with homemade cheese scones worthy of mention, and an ever-changing abundance of bright, shiny things.

This wonderful cornucopia of colourful, bright, shiny things is a pot of spangles at the ends of lace bobbins. I was lured into bidding for a trayful.

At home I spread them out to sort them. There were over fifty pairs of vintage bobbins, all in good condition and beautifully spangled with exquisitely carved and decorated spindles. These are the "ebony" ones. Some seem to be pairs with matching spangles and others are pairs with matching bobbins. Some have no partners.My favourite spangle is finished with this dear little glass duck, which is less than 2cm long and seems to be so astonished by his fate in life.

Many of the light coloured wooden ones are inscribed with mottoes and commemorations, presumably using pyrography, but they are so small it is hard to imagine how it could be done without setting flame to the fragile carving. Others are hand painted or decorated with transfers. This one commemorates the re-election of Margaret Thatcher on June 11th 1987. Others are less astounding but still fascinating. The darker wooden ones are carved, wired, hollowed and painted. The glass ones are hollow and filled with beads or contain mini sand-timers.

Such fun....but what to do with them all?
Thus the decision to resurrect Redumbrella. I shall start listing on ebay again and preparing to do "boot sales" and fairs. A folding table, a couple of folding chairs, a couple of folding bookcases and a big red umbrella and I shall take to the circuit. Even my wool crafts can have an airing and the lamps and the books and all those other things that I want to buy but then find I don't/can't keep. It helps to justify "going to auctions" as a hobby. The selling-on makes it a complete pastime.
I listened to someone at the last WI meeting who makes jams and preserves and sells them at local fairs and cafes. I still enjoy making jars of stuff out of almost anything but hearing her talk, I realised that I didn't want to do that again. I'm happy to give them away. I won first prize for my jam that night though, so I haven't lost the touch.
Cheers Gillian


sue said...

Congratulations on finding such treasures Gillian. They do intrigue me with their individuality. I hope Red Umbrella goes well for you, and I am sure it will keep you nice and busy. Pity your not making your lemon butter anymore though, or your jam, they were absolutely divine.

trish said...

I love the little duck!
I'll bring the bell back at the end of the month. You'll be able to shift that at a fair.

chillsider said...

Now that's a life style I could envy, except I don't know how to work eBay. At least I can look forward to the stories to come!
The bobbins are great must be a way of making something with some of them.............

carol said...

Oh the bobbins are beautiful - what a catch!

So sad I'm not close enough to sample your baking and jamming etc. Lucky D!!

Heide said...

What lovely bobbins! I'm a little behind the times in seeing these treasures. I bought some several years ago for a friend of mine who makes bobbin lace. Right now I've got some miscellaneous "junk" out on ebay. While my daughters were young, and before I returned to work, I used to make extra money by buying items at thrift stores and yard sales then reselling them on ebay. It's quite fun.