What to do with those vintage hankies…?

Since reading Homes & Antiques’ feature about vintage hankies I’ve been thinking about what to do with my own little hanky stash. I’ve been buying pretty hankies here and there as I go round searching for vintage goodies for our shop.  I can’t resist them – they’re so pretty and they weigh so little that it’s easy to persuade myself to buy them whenever I see them.

So here are some of my favourite ideas for using beautiful vintage hankies…

 Mama Loves Papa


Country Living

Grannies Hankies


Martha Stewart

Country Living

Bird and Banner

I’m still undecided about what to do with my own little hanky collection but I’ve had lots of fun browsing around for ideas  … watch this space!

Inspiring Upcycling – Kelly Swallow

Kelly Swallow’s rescued chairs and sofas are beautiful. As she says on her website ‘each one is individually sourced then re-invented with a collection of designer and vintage fabrics’.  They certainly make you smile!

I particularly like the chairs covered in German flour sacks…

and Hungarian mangle cloths … ( I didn’t know what a mangle cloth was until I discovered Kelly’s chairs!)

 And how about re-using old rugby shirts like this?

All photos copyright of Kelly Swallow

Kelly’s website has lots of inspiration for creating amazing chairs. You can even design your very own bespoke chair … so what would YOUR bespoke chair be covered in?

A few of my favourite things… cookies by SweetAmbs

As anyone who follows my facebook page may have guessed, I have a very sweet tooth…. I’m always on the lookout for new and delicious things to eat and I’m constantly amazed by the range of fantastic things I find on the internet. Not only do they look delicious but they often look fantastically beautiful.  In fact, some creations are real works of art and I sometimes wonder if I could bring myself to eat them…

One of the talented cookie artists I’ve discovered recently is Amber Spiegel whose business is called Sweet Ambs. Here are some examples of her fabulous work.

All photos are copyright of Amber Spiegel

Amber has a shop on Etsy and a great blog with wonderful tutorials so you can learn how to decorate cookies for yourself.

And I have to admit that, although all Amber’s cookies do look too good to eat and it does seem a shame to destroy all that hard work, I would eat them with gusto!!!

Magazine Love – Homes & Antiques!

One of my favourite days of the month is the day my Homes & Antiques magazine drops through my letterbox. I’ve been reading it for a couple of years now and have had a subscription for the last 6 months. This gives me the added delight of having it delivered to my door!

I still get a little thrill every time a new issue arrives … And today was one of those days! I thought I’d share just a few of the things I’m loving in this month’s issue….

Some lovely vintage home decor …


And a delightful article on vintage hankies.  I’ve been ‘gathering’ vintage hankies for a while now (I won’t say ‘collecting’ as that suggests I was doing it intentionally when it’s really just ‘happened’…) so it was fascinating to read more about their history…


I also sense that I may have to start ‘gathering’ butterfly brooches after seeing all these beauties….

All photos copyright of Homes & Antiques


There are still lots more articles to read and photos to enjoy so I’m off to make a cup of tea, put my feet up and enjoy another browse through my magazine…!

Inspiring Upcycling – Jennifer Collier

As you know, we love our up-cycling, recycling and re-using at Peony and Thistle. It’s always inspiring to see how others create amazing treasures using things that most people would throw away. So I thought I’d share some of our favourites here from time to time so that you can be inspired by them too!

Here are just a few of the fabulous creations of Jennifer Collier.

A camera made of old maps…

Fabulous high heeled shoes made from sewing patterns…

A pretty tea set which looks as if it is made from old letters and vintage wallpaper…

And a girl’s dress made of sheet music…

This is just a very small sample of Jennifer’s wonderful work. To see more, pop over to her website and enjoy a browse through her fabulous creations!



Queen of Shabby Chic discovered in Glasgow charity shop…. (or Step 2 in My Conversion to Vintage)

As I wrote in an earlier post, my conversion to vintage began with my discovery of the fabulous Country Living magazine.  This magazine started me on a real voyage of discovery…  From its lovely articles I soon learned that treasure could be found in unlikely places. In particular, it seemed that charity shops may have some beautiful things inside …

So … I started browsing around my local charity shops …  I was very curious to see if I could discover some treasure for myself …  And sure enough, in a small charity shop in Glasgow I discovered her – the Queen of Shabby Chic, Rachel Ashwell! …  Well, … to be completely accurate, I discovered one of her fabulous books…

I picked it up and leafed through the pages and immediately knew that I had to buy this book!

If you haven’t come across it before, Rachel Ashwell’s ‘Shabby Chic – The Gift of Giving’ is a gorgeous inspiring book filled with great ideas for combining a whole host of beautiful goodies to create the perfect gift …

 She also uses beautiful recycled goodies for wonderful parcels…

 … and conjures up a scene where gift giving is part of a whole celebration which creates a world of its own…

(All photos are from Rachel Ashwell’s ‘Shabby Chic – The Gift of Giving’)

I loved this book and the wonderful shabby chic style that it showed me. And, since then, I’ve been delighted to find Rachel Ashwell’s other wonderful books! These helped me to learn how to track down beautiful vintage items and how to re-love and care for the vintage treasures I find along the way… and all for the price of a cup of coffee!

Beautiful (glass!) bottoms……

We are HUGE fans of upcycling. We are always looking for ways to re-use and re-purpose all sorts of things. So it’s always a great joy to find others who do the same.  I recently discovered Daniel Maher Stained Glass, a US company which takes upcycling to a whole new and wonderful level creating the most amazing and beautiful windows using the bottoms of old serving plates and bowls …



These windows include medicine bottle remnants …
























And this one has wine bottle bottoms and wine stemware bottoms….


Isn’t it amazing to think that this stunning window is made of found glass objects and a serving plate…?

Just gorgeous!!!

Country Living changed my life…

I haven’t always loved vintage… Oh no. My conversion to vintage has been a slow and steady one. It all started about 6 years ago ….

Phil and I spent a lovely spring weekend on the gorgeous island of Muck, one of the Small Isles off the west coast of Scotland. We stayed in the Bunkhouse on the island and, there in a corner, I discovered a treasure which would change my life forever…. a great big stack of Country Living magazines! I picked them up for a little browse, expecting to find articles on wellies and grand country mansions ….

But no! What I found was a fabulous mixture of beautiful homes with thrifted, vintage and handmade goodies.  I loved the vintage throws, the knitted blankets, the sun-filled rooms, the flowers, the colours, … EVERYTHING….

… I loved the vintage china – the tea sets, the teapots, the fabulous decoration of the plates…. And I loved the gorgeous mismatched glasses, plates and linens, all creating a wonderful homely look… And that was it – I was hooked!

(all photos copyright of Country Living magazine)

I now have my very own great big stack of Country Living magazines which provide me with inspiration and always bring a smile to my face…. and, since that surprise find in Muck, the love of ‘Country Living’ style has led me to start my own business to help others create that style for themselves… Of course there have been other steps on the way… But we’ll save them for another day….


The collector in me…

I have a real fascination with collections … I think I have a repressed collector inside who’s dying to get out and just collect EVERYTHING! So far I have managed to resist (mostly!)  Thankfully, quite a few people out there have given into temptation and have not only collected beautiful things but found ways to display them wonderfully!

Here are a few of my favourites….

Isabella van Reeuwijk for HK Living via Decor8

Milk Magazine

Kasey Buick

Christine Bauer

Photo: Victoria Fitchett

I could go on and on …. but let’s save that for another day…. !