Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Sunday, 28 February 2010

A few days in Devon...

The ancient market town of Honiton in Devon has become one of my regular haunts for sourcing stuff for the shop. With its long history of lace making and many antique shops, market days twice a week (Tues and Sat), plus a regular textiles fair organised by Caroline Bushell of Fountain Antiques it never fails to please. I am very fortunate that my good friend Mr. T. has a place there where I can go and stay. On my last visit Caroline was preparing for the Bridport Rag Market, and asked me whether I would like to pop round for a sneek preview of the lot she had just bought at auction. Would I ever! So I thought I'd share with you dear bloggers and fellow vintage fanatics some of the stash of goodies which will soon be winging its way onto The Sea Garden shelves.

Two amazing cards of dyed Mother-of Pearl buttons..........

Even the backs of the cards are beautiful!

Next an array of coloured silk ribbons and trim,

I particularly like this turquoise silk bow

A Victorian silk doll's dress,

and several lengths of cotton trim

Does anyone know the name of this type of trim, where the cotton is alternately bound very tightly and then opens out into a lozenge shape?

I love delicate net pieces with embroidered borders.......

An unusual black chiffon and cream embroidered trim,

And a selection of embroidery cottons and silks in my favourite turquoise sea green shades. Are you like me, can you only buy what you personally love, even though you're going to be selling it on?

Coming back en route to Cornwall I decided to divert off the A30 and spend a few hours in Totnes. Another lovely market town full of really interesting independent retailers. Greengrocers, such as this one with its mouthwatering display of fresh fruit and veg spilling out onto the street,

along with numerous butchers, bakers, delis, tea shops, fishmongers, a dedicated cheese shop, the Riverford organic farm shop, go to make up a vibrant mix of quality food retail establishments. Isn't this how all our high streets used to look?

A contemporary interior design shop,

narrow alleyways lead off the high street, I wonder if they call them "opes" in Devon too,

a very attractive contemporary art gallery, with porcelain vessels by
Linda Bloomfield and paintings by Sarah Bowman (amongst others).

'The Bead Room' on the opposite side of the road had a great variety of interesting beads on offer, I bought this lovely plateful!

And loads of freshwater pearls in the most delicious rich colours

"Seasalt' clothes shop was having a Festival of Rain celebration, with all the wellies out the front;

they are a very eco-friendly clothing company based in Cornwall, using organic cotton and manufacturing garments in closely monitored factories where workers are paid a fair wage for their labour.

The Totnes branch of Seasalt has one of the most immaculate paint jobs I have ever seen, with logos painted beside the door of some of the other brand names sold within.

Further up the High Street is this lovely interiors shop,

and a new discovery for me, No.69 High Street, had a lovely display of pastel painted antique furniture and handmade driftwood items, so I decided to venture within......

The owner of the shop, Kevin, was working out the back and we got chatting. It was clearly evident how much care and attention he was putting into the restoration and painting of each piece of furniture; I loved this cupboard with the mirror back but just couldn't think where on earth I was going to put it if I took it home!

This child's rocking chair was also delightful

In the end I came away with the low coffee table (for home) and the blue painted crate shelves for the The Sea Garden where it will make excellent display space.


  1. Oh Chris, I envy you for this wonderful trip. And your purchases from Honiton are gorgeous. You know what I would have bought as well, those dyed Mother-of-Pearl buttons, the burgundy and red ribbon, the delicate black chiffon trim, the small laces ... How fortunate that I wasn't there!
    No.69 High Street in Totnes must have been like heaven. In our 'first years' Mr. Beam and I used those crate shelves as kitchen units, with a curtain in front, covering the pots and saucers, and a hotplate on top. Oh, I've started yearning for the good old days! But I still don't like furniture or rooms that are perfect, there's nothing else to do with it.
    Love, Gertie

  2. Ooooh Christine you didnt show me all those lovely trims and lace bits the other day!! Lovely photos of Totnes its a good job you didnt buy that cupboard you are going to have enough trouble finding room for the coffee table! Jane xx

  3. awwwww lovely what a beautiful blog- you seem to love all the things i love and love mermaids! nice to meet you! so glad i have found your blog and all its beauty!;0) i live in devon as well ;0)xxxx p.s your beautiful cards with butterfly detail in previous posting look so wonderful x

  4. Christine, what a wonderful post. I really enjoyed seeing Linda Bloomfield's pottery, its fantastic. I enlarged to photograph and melted when i saw the little wooden house by the sea, with boat even! Thank you for the fun tour

  5. Hi Christine

    Those buttons from Caroline are an absolute delight. You lucky girl!!!

    I'm sure I've come across the name of the lozenge-shaped lace before. Will try and find it. I have a feeling it's something like turtle but I could be totally wrong!

    All your purchases are fabulous.

    Sue x

  6. Thanks for the postcards. They're on display at DH. So glad you're coming to the Fair.

    Sue x