Sunday, December 25, 2016


My Christmas table for this year. I was craving the warmth of gold so I got golden cutlery on eBay and various golden trimmings - the card Xmas trees are from my beloved Sostrene Grene, as is the blue wooden crate. The gold chargers (leaf embossed) are from Dunnes Stores. I've been collecting gold tealight holders for months in the charity shops and they look lovely lined up on the window sill.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


My latest nativity, bought in Oxfam in Belfast for £9.99. Fairly traded felted figures. Love it! (So does our new cat Nora Barnacle who insists on knocking the sheep around the floor...sigh.)

Thursday, October 27, 2016


A sweet, perpetual calendar from the local VdeP - €2. I saw it, left it, went back two days later and was delighted to find it still there. Birds, blue, old - what's not to love?

Monday, October 24, 2016


Another Moroccan bowl. The last one was from Angie's Attic. This one is from the VdeP. Slightly smaller but also €3.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


I mentioned I bypassed something sweet at the Hibernian Antiques Fair, a few posts back. It was a Victorian card case. The heroine of my next novel, Belle, owns one and, therefore, I wanted one. I saw one for €40 at that art fair - mother-of-pearl, a little damaged. I liked it but I was not in a buying mood and it wasn't 'wow' enough for me, so I left it.

Cue me getting home and stalking eBay. (My name is Nuala and I am addicted to eBay...) Anyhoo, in the heel of the reel I found one, just what I wanted: mother-of-pearl and abalone, working clasp, no damage. A beauty. I put in my max bid and was gobsmacked when I won. Total price, inluding delivery: €35. Score!

A cigarette card of Belle Bilton (also an eBay find)
and the mother-of-pearl and abalone Victorian card case

Back view

Front view - unengraved cartouche

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


We went to the Hibernian Antiques Fair in Tullamore on Sunday. I was in lousy form - a combi of sinus infection and book stress. I was searching for certain things, but no one had what I wanted and it all seemed a bit overpriced anyway. I passed by something sweet I might have ordinarily bought, but the humour wasn't on me.

I did spy these two blue and white cats, though. And the lovely man sold them to me for €4 the pair (probably the cheapest thing there...). They are not pretty, bless them, and they are not marked. I did wonder why I bothered, but since I put them on the dresser, they're really growing on me :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


It's got a bird; a yellow bird. It's a plate. Maybe Italian? I couldn't resist. €2 in the VdeP in Athlone :)

The painting was an eBay find that I had framed locally.
I love its lush brightness, it makes me happy.

Monday, October 3, 2016


I got my husband to fit a shelf over the inglenook lately. It's the perfect spot to drape fairylights and have a moveable feast of a display. I am already thinking, Oooh, Christmas :)

Pangur Bán had to get in on the action

I keep adding to and subtracting from the shelf and will have to think deeply about what I want to put on it for Xmas. Hallowe'en comes first, of course. Fun!

The dome for my taxidermy mouse came from Sostrene Grene
- this year's shop-crush.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


The charity shops here in East Galway (and in Athlone) just keep giving. I find that some of the shops have no value on anything old. If it's new, shiny and tacky, €10. If it's old, quirky and/or interesting, €1. Not always, but often. Which is all fine by me, obvs.

Anyway, as anyone who follows me knows I love ceramics. This fruit bowl (Moroccan? Spanish? Portugese?) was €3 today. Love. It.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


This art nouveau beauty was €3 in one of my local charity shops today. Gorgeous!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


I love nautical things. My new toothbrush holder.
€2 in the local NCBI shop 

I can't resist willow, blue and white or Arklow. €2, local VdeP shop

Friday, August 26, 2016


I love candles. I dread to think how many candlesticks, candleabras, tealight holders etc. that I actually own. When I lived in Galway city, one of our neighbours said to the other, 'They're hippies! All those candles!' (He was obviously peering in our sitting room window at night.)

Anyway, this pair of brass candlesticks were €2 each in one of our local charity shops. They're heavy and I guessed that they were real brass because of their weight. I double checked that by putting a magnet beside them - brass is not magnetic.

I stuck them in the freezer for an hour to make it easier to clean off ground-in wax and then I was going to polish them up, but I like the patina of age and use, so have decided to leave them as they are.


Sunday, August 21, 2016


Latest Athlone find: a heavy, silver-plated toast rack. €1.

After a little polish-up with a silver cloth

Monday, August 15, 2016


I'm just back from lovely Sussex in England where the availability of vintage finds is always second to none. The charity shops (we started calling them 'chazzers' on this trip) are stuffed with reasonably priced gems and there are many, many shops in every town. Not everything I buy is vintage but almost all of it comes in shades of blue. It's an addiction.

I was in England on a research trip for novel #4 (which I posted about at my writing blog here) but I was also on a mission to explore as many chazzers as possible in the small time I had. My husband is endlessly patient with this activity and my 7 yo daughter is fast becoming a chazzer enthusiast. (Chazzerist?) Anyway, let it suffice to say that I hoovered up as much blue and turquoise items as I could manage to pack in our carry-on only bags. And I left so much behind - things that were impossible to carry such as these fab chairs in the Debra shop in Crawley:

If you are a fan of mid-century modern, get yourself to that shop. Sideboards for £40.Tables for £20. Unbelievable value. They had v little bric-a-brac there but I found this Balinese frame for £1. The books - a Collins Adam Bede and a Penguin Tortilla Flat were also bought on this trip.

Willow plate - £3, St Catherine's Hospice shop
Aztec blue plate - £2.39, Sainsbury's
Spanish plate/trivet - £1.25, British Heart Foundation shop
Blue jug - £1, St C's Hospice
Floral jug - £3.50, Cancer Research UK
Clear & gold paperweight - £5, Oxfam
Teeny millefiori paperweight - £3
Sass and Belle jewelry tree - £3.50, Cancer Research
Turquoise ball vase - £3, Oxfam
Is it really YSL? Who cares at £6.99?

Thursday, August 11, 2016


OK, so strictly speaking this not an actual printer's tray but it's the nearest I have to it (bought on eBay last year). The dark brown wasn't showing off my mini collectables well, so I spray-painted it white, with rustic results. And rearranged the stuff a wee bit and added some new bits. I think it looks better now.