Sunday 31 August 2014

My Month in Numbers 2014: August


How was August for you? End-of-Summer-ish? Start-of-Autumny?

Despite a few days of unforgivable chilliness - where after wearing 3 layers plus a blanket while I crafted we finally resorted to putting the heating on. I'm sorry August but can you stop trying to be December please? - we did have some decent weather this month. Enough to make several days out very enjoyable in fact.

So let me dive into those days and share how my month looked ... in numbers

[As always you're welcome to join me; all the details are here].

8 = the number of friends who trooped off for a shopping day in Ripon:
The Wakeman's House, Ripon, N.Yorks.
This is the Wakeman's House café in the corner of the town square, a 16/17th Century building, where, as a party of 8, we piled in for lunch. Fortunately [for all of the other guests] the staff welcomed us into a separate room at the back of the café where we began to move around all the tables and chairs so we could sit together.

Well, I say we had the room to ourselves ... but, actually, when we first arrived there was a couple sitting at one of the tables.Yet, for some reason, while we were completely redesigning the place ... they swiftly finished up and left!

We apologised for the disturbance and they played their part by assuring us that our sudden appearance was not the reason for their departure; it was all very British. 

As I said, this was a shopping trip and while we made sure to visit the lovely Gray Finch and Hornsey's for some nice 'bits' ... my friend Janet and I spent the remainder of the day popping in and out of all the charity shops in town.  And here are a few of my finds-of-the-day ...

60p = the price of 2 new-to-me retro pillow cases:
Retro/vintage bedding is one of my favourite things to hunt out in charity shops; and for 60p ... there was no way I leaving the shop without these beauties!

Similarly this heavy glass bead bracelet - 99p - and gloriously medieval-meets-the-60s style pendant - £1.79 - were always going to be destined for my jewellery box!:
Other bargains of the day included some vintage 'Happy Families' playing cards [which will be familiar to those of you who've ordered one of the latest batches of Junk Journal kits in my shop], plus a Fiskar's slot punch for 50p!

30 minutes = the duration of my first ever sports massage. [BTW: there is no photograph to accompany this number!]

I went to the in-house therapist on campus and - apart from the strangeness of taking your top off in the place where you've worked ... - it was fine and not painful as she warned me it might be. And, while I think it did my back, shoulders and neck a world of good, they would have felt even better if I didn't go home and spend the rest of the day/evening hunched over on the floor pricing up all my stock and packing lots of bags and baskets. Which is explained by my next set of numbers ...

10am-ish on a Thursday = the time a friend texted to say the vintage fair she was attending - in less than 48 hours - had a table going spare ... and did I want it?

Well? Did I?

I wasn't sure. I was [a] terrified and [b] entirely unprepared [no business cards, no labels, no branding, no confidence!]. And yet ... I went for it anyway.

I might just do  a full post on my experiences here sometime ... so I won't cover all the hows and whats on you now ... I'll just show you the time line ...

35.5 hours to go / 5.30pm-ish = the company hosting it confirmed my place at the fair ... which led to complete and utter chaos as I dumped into my dining room everything I could possibly stock a vintage stall with:
I got as much pricing-up done as I cold that evening so I could go for that massage the following day knowing that at least something was organised! I then spent Friday afternoon and evening tipping shoes, paperwork and general house 'stuff' out of baskets so I could take them with me on Saturday!
5am / 5 hours to go = woke up ... worrying! But fortunately I grabbed a bit more sleep before I had to get up!
8.30am / 1.5 hours to go = I arrived at the greenhouse location of the fair to begin putting a stall together ... off the top of my head ... with no dress-rehearsals!
[p.s: see my lovely retro tablecloth? It's actually a bed sheet which was another charity shop bed linen find; I told you it was one of my favourite things to pick up!]
9.40am / 20 minutes to go = All finished! Just awaiting customers ...
I was really pleased with how it turned out in the end. It certainly looked like the kind of stall I'd stop to look at. But, alas ... both it and I spent much of the 7 hour day awaiting customers; and after taking out the fee for my table I made a grand total of  £31.50.
It was my first fair and I'm not ruling out ever trying again ... but right now I can't reconcile all that time and effort with such a poor outcome ... it did look pretty though.

89 = a rather interestingly-located number spotted at The Egton Show:
Working from home there are times when I have to be disciplined and force myself to sit at my desk and work; then there are times when someone says 'We're going to the country show on Wednesday ... do you want to come?' ... and you do. Because if you worked somewhere where that simply wouldn't be possible ... you'd wish it were. So, because I can, I did.

1st, 2nd, 3rd = the familiar sights of the red, blue and yellow rosettes on the various categories of things in the show that were there to be judged.

Things such as ... Texel sheep, which apparently are not naturally yellow
... they just get coloured that way for showing! Also on show were cows, beautifully coiffured bay horses, ponies, sheepdogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and hay ... yes hay or straw or ... whatever it's called!  Here are my family inspecting it ... like they know what they're looking for!
Then, in the craft & produce tent there were the usual paintings, carved walking sticks, jams, cakes, vegetables, flowers, handmade cards [I might have to enter that category next year!] etc and, naturally ... a knitting-for-dolls section:
... and finally - especially in light of this insane vintage knitting pattern I blogged a few years back - this was the winner of my favourite craft category:
You know you're at a country fair when there's a 'balaclava' category on show!

And while we're on the subject of finding things at the show that could keep you warm ...

Approximately 20 = the number of episodes of Game of Thrones James and I have watched. In fact, over the course of the summer, it's actually 30 episodes; all of series 1-3. And when I say we've watched 'approximately' 20 this month it's because I can't quite remember when we started; let's face it it's all a bit of a blur of blood, boobs and beautiful faces isn't it? And eventually when you've seen three seasons in the space of one summer they all kind of merge into one.

But, while we were at Egton Show my sister and I spotted these rugs ...
... which we considered buying so we could dress up like Jon Snow:
Click for image source, or just to see more photos of Kit Harrington. You're welcome.
What with one of those around our shoulders [a fur rug I mean ... not a Jon Snow. Although that would certainly keep me warm!] and a knitted balaclava we'd be sorted as the weather continues to turn colder; and after all ...
... winter is coming!

So, that was my August and I now feel pretty accomplished ...

... not only did I experience my first solo vintage fair, a lot of Snowy-swooning, all that charity-shop  bargain hunting, yellow sheep ... and a cow's backside ... I also managed to squeeze them all into a single blog post afterwards! And now it's your turn  ...

... join me if you fancy it, leave your link [and a comment] and I'll be round to see you when I can.

And if you just dropped by for a read, that's lovely too. Thanks for making it to the end of the post ... consider the Jon Snow pic as your reward!]

Julie :-D

[Note: I haven't seen season 4 so, if you plan to mention GoT in the comments, NO PLOT SPOILERS ... PLEEEEEEEASE!!! Otherwise I'm going to have to pay someone to check through the comments before I dare look! Thank you!]


  1. Great post xx I'm so nosy I love posts like this :-) xxx

  2. Your booth did look really good and I enjoyed reading your process to get there, all in numbers :) I never got into Game of Thrones but husband did watch all of them in a row as well... Happy September!

  3. I would have loved a poke around your pretty craft table:) Game of thrones is on our list to watch..soon. great numbers as always Julie...and I've joined in this month too with my holiday numbers!

  4. What a fun August Julie. Love your charity shop finds, and kudos to you for jumping at the opportunity to show at the vintage fair. Your table is charming - I certainly would have gravitated straight to it. Sorry it wasn't a more wildly successful adventure. But between yellow sheep, Jon Snow costuming, and baklavas it sounds like your spirit was rightfully cheered during August. But having to crank on the heat - now that's just too much. I would have been tempted to simply stay in bed, savoring those lovely pillow cases.

    I've counted up my month at:

  5. Your stall looked very pretty indeed and certainly the kind I would stop at. And buy from. Definitely!

    We've been watching Game of Thrones too, but we're still on the first series. Come for a visit and I'll show you all the locations...there are special tours now

  6. Love your pictures of the agriculteral show! Your stall looked good. Sorry it wasn't more worthwhile. Just love your retro pillowcases! I've been hunting for retro bedsheets too - my friend wants to make a quilt with them. But sadly, I haven't been able to find any - seems our charity shops have cottoned on (sorry for the pun!) to how much they are worth now! Here's my August - garden themed

  7. I saw that first picture in my blog feeds and came immediately, drool in front of the screen for a while and actually researched for air fares. *true story*
    Congratulations on your first fair. Lovely table!
    I still have to work my numbers. In the words of Arnold: I´ll be back. ;)

  8. Hey you...great post! Love your sheets! Wish I could go second hand shop rummaging with you (and sputtered out my tea at the thought of that scene in the restaurant!). Am currently addicted to Homeland (awaiting series 2 with baited breath). Semi back to normal on the home front now, so will hopefully be in internet/blog land more regularly from now on (I have been peeking on your blog but not commenting - didn't have my passwords for my accounts :( )

  9. I loe the yellow sheep! And those pillowcases! I never find stuff like that at the local Goodwill, but I found a whole slew of the coolest looking 30s style drink glasses. If only I had a place to put them. Here is my list for August & the summer in general

  10. This has been a most enjoyable read and, if it's any consolation, had I been there I could EASILY have doubled your takings :). Yellow sheep? Good grief ... But your pillow cases are just lovely.

  11. I do love a country fair and all the quirky competitions . I posted my month in numbers

  12. A busy month for you, my daughter lived in Ripon when she was at University so I visited often, I like your charity shop finds especially the pillowcases. What a rush to get to the vintage fair, hopefully you will have more success if you do another. I have just started watching Game of Thrones, so far only 2 episodes! My post is up:

  13. I love your table of goodies and would have bought endless bits without a doubt! Love love love number 89. As always a wonderful read Julie. My August numbers are here:

  14. Hope you enjoyed your GOTfest - I'm loving the series so much that I have just started reading the books. another very interesting month for you - your stall looked fab so sorry you didn't better, hope it won't put you off doing another one.

    As always rushing in late with mine - I will shock you one month and do my numbers at the beginning of the month :D


Thanks for leaving me a comment, asking me a question, sharing your own story or just randomly saying hello.