Tag Archives: Nicky Grace

Double Page Spread in Evening Standard Homes & Property ! 10 years ago.

20140628-144114-52874606.jpgI’ve just realised that almost exactly 10 years ago the lovely Pattie Barron who was and still is the Gardening editor came with photographer Marianne Majerus to take photos of my house and garden.

20140628-145810-53890325.jpgThey wanted a colourful centre spread to coincide with Chelsea Flower Show, May 2004.

20140628-150254-54174248.jpgWe’d bought the house the house in a completely derelict state two years earlier and lived in it with no kitchen or heating or anything much.

20140628-150914-54554174.jpgBut it was Victorian with a big garden that hadn’t been touched for 40 years and I loved it.

20140628-151114-54674921.jpgWe renovated it ourselves gradually uncovering some lovely original panelling. I asked the people who bought our old house if we could have the kitchen units etc back when they replaced them! As I knew that unfortunately they were going to modernise. We’d renovated that house too. So one Saturday morning year after we’d moved here, they phoned and said that they were about to put kitchen in a skip so we literally raced round and got it and had it fitted.

20140628-152041-55241171.jpgIt’s just IKEA cupboards, an old sink and a plywood work surface that I’d painted but I was so pleased to have them back and they’re still going strong today and still looking ok for their age as they were in https://nickygrace.co.uk/category/my-home-featured-in-selina-lakes-new-book/ It’s all pretty much still the same apart from the room with the blue walls which we call The Middle Room which I used as a shop before I got my proper shop.I’ve now turned that into a little B&B with it’s own ensuite. The ensuite bathroom was actually the original kitchen when the house was built. There’s a lot of history in this house which was built in 1865.https://nickygrace.co.uk/category/boutique-guest-room-on-airbnb/

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Filed under Patchwork Quilts

Flowers, hearts and a pigeon in June 2013

Photo 10-06-2013 16 42 10Vintage fabric mini garland in my shop. I love making these so much as every piece is different and beautiful. There is old embroidery of hyacinths and patchwork in this one and I’ve cut out some flowers too.

Photo 12-04-2013 18 59 12Patchwork vintage fabric cushion covers with old Disney characters, embroidery and florals.

Photo 27-03-2013 11 41 00One of my cut flower collages which I make using vintage floral fabric.

Photo 15-04-2013 12 38 12Vintage fabric patchwork throw. Lovely over a settee or bed.

Photo 07-05-2013 12 57 29Flowers from my garden a couple of weeks ago. Tulips, wall flowers, bluebells and forget me nots in a tiny little glass.

Photo 08-05-2013 12 26 04One of my vintage fabric lavender hearts. This floral fabric was made in the thirties.

Photo 10-05-2013 19 08 31A small selection from my little on line shop.

Photo 08-05-2013 12 55 52Little patchwork pin cushion. The blue fabric is from 1940’s America and is so precious. I ¬†treasure every tiny piece ūüôā

Photo 16-05-2013 19 54 16The bluebells in my garden were extra blue and lasted a long time this year due to the cool damp May/June.

Photo 21-05-2013 13 44 38Flowers from the garden. Lilac, bluebells, wall flowers. I LOVE this picture………

Photo 27-05-2013 15 51 11Lilac, borage, ceanothus, forget me nots, fairy washing up liquid, my lovely pigeon card and cut out vintage fabric flowers.

Photo 27-05-2013 15 15 12More lovely blue and purple flowers. xxx

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Filed under Miscellaneous, My Old Victorian Garden, Vintage Fabric

Happy Kitsch and colourful Easter

Easter rabbits 001Poor mummy chick forgot to change the clocks forward and she overslept so she’s an hour behind and no time to do her hair.

Easter rabbits 002My kids think I’ve totally lost the plot ! Do I care ? No I don’t ūüôā

Easter rabbits 003In fact one of my boys is sitting in the front room with his football shirt on watching a game shouting at the top of his lungs every time the ball goes near the net. God knows what the neighbours think.

Easter rabbits 004The other son has just this second phoned me to say he’s on the train and can I fetch him in ten minutes…. errr no I can’t. He seems to think that I sit here with my car keys in my hand all day and night happily waiting for his call. I don’t. He’s 21 !!!!!!!!!!!!

My pictures, Book launch, Easter 013I was having a happy little Easter blog,

My pictures, Book launch, Easter 007and now I feel like this     Ahhhhhhhh. Happy Easter everyone. Off I go to the station.

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Filed under Easter, My Etsy Shop, Vintage Fabric

The old pet shop in Camden Town

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Every few weeks I meet a friend in Parkway, ¬†Camden for a quick lunch and a catch up. ¬†Parkway holds tons of¬†memories for me as I worked at the pet shop which was called ‘Regent Pet Stores’ there in the seventies. I’d left school at 15 and went straight there to work full time as animals and reptiles were my thing.

Copy of laura ashley. white cat. Palmers 003It was the most amazing year of my life and an¬†experience I wouldn’t have missed for the world. It was owned by John Palmer who was a sort of David Jason like¬†character, firm but fair with a wicked¬†sense¬†of humour.¬† He opened it before the second world war and some of the staff had been there almost since the¬†beginning.¬† It was like a¬†dynasty and the customers came from far and wide. I ¬†served Alex Harvey,¬†¬†Jonathan¬†Miller, Beryl Bainbridge, and Sir Ralph Richardson ¬†as well as a whole host of interesting people a lot of whom were quite¬†eccentric.

Copy of laura ashley. white cat. Palmers 011

We sold monkeys,  giant snakes, tarantulas,  scorpions, tree frogs, iguanas, rats, parrots,  as well as all the more usual types of animals. I remember so many things from my year there, I could write a book  and it gave me more than I could ever have hoped.

I loved Parkway and all the interesting shops there where I’d go at lunchtimes. I was sometimes wary ¬†of the drunks and the¬†shenanigans¬† between them, especially on the station platform, ¬†but it wasn’t sinister and then like now you needed ¬†your wits about you.

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On my Saturday lunch hour I’d go to Camden Market which was at that time a lovely antique market with second hand clothes stalls and I’d buy grand dad shirts for 50 p each. I loved working there, it was hard work, dirty, smelly and fantastic. A man called Guy Stocker was my boss, he was only about 24 but he exuded fun and enthusiasm and knowledge. I heard a couple of years ago that Pam who was¬†literally larger than life and ran the whole place for most of her life had died. I felt so sad when I heard. She used to sit at the counter eating boxes of chocolates and ruled with a rod of iron but was lovely too.¬† I could go on and on, the memories are so strong and I sometimes dream about the shop too.

I remember that we got 20 hamsters delivered every Tuesday morning at 11am. (It was a busy shop) We lost a lot though because every night they’d pick on one and kill it and we’d find the skin in the morning. Horrific. I never liked hamsters after that. The rats on the other hand were lovely and would sit on our shoulders while we were working.

Copy of laura ashley. white cat. Palmers 004

It was sad when the shop closed though in latter years it wasn’t the same. We had a macaw called Jimmy who stood on a perch and guarded the reptile area. There was no ‘health and¬†safety’ then ! He was stolen one night during a break in and we all hoped the blood on the floor was due to him attacking the robbers.

Copy of laura ashley. white cat. Palmers 007

Palmers thankfully now seems to be listed and has turned into a huge light and airy cafe. The raised floor in the window is where all the finches and¬†canaries used to be. I walk past there on the way to my friend and remember how I used to wash that tiled floor every day. I’m so glad it’s still there.

Copy of laura ashley. white cat. Palmers 008

When I went in to take these photos the other week, I noticed that on one wall there was this wall paper with monkeys on it. I think these are either squirrel monkeys or capuchin monkeys, both of which we sold. It must surely be a coincidence.

Copy of laura ashley. white cat. Palmers 009¬†I’m feeling quite emotional and have been sitting on these pics for a while as I haven’t felt like sharing them I suppose. That place meant so much to me, more than I ever realised. It was a time gone, another world, another life, with the kind of people you don’t much get to meet these days, and I’m so very lucky to have¬†experienced¬† a small part of it. It was easy for¬†teenagers to get jobs in interesting shops in those days. I only wish my children could have the same grounding that being there gave me.

Copy of laura ashley. white cat. Palmers 001

This blog is supposed to be for my vintage fabrics business but I don’t seem to be able to just stick to that. It’s too tempting to veer into other areas and subjects. Like the ¬†diary I never did.

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Filed under London, UK

A few nice pics

Huneysuckle

Honeysuckle

I’m missing my flowers in the garden as it gets colder so I thought I’d post a few on here. Just the orange ones as they’re my very fave.

mini bunting

three strands of mini vintage bunting

I’ve been making bunting for my Open House Sale in 10 days. I mainly make it in 2 meter strands which is ¬£12. ¬†Not bad eh.

Nasturtiums

The joy of orange nasturtiums from seed

sweetpeas

and bright pink sweet peas from seed

Autumn mini bunting

The blue and white florals were made by hand in France in the thirties. The ¬†pinky purple rose fabric was also made by hand in the thirties but in¬†America. It’s all so precious.

The blue and white polka dot is from a damaged fifties dress.

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Filed under Bunting, Miscellaneous, Vintage Fabric

Flower Pot Girls

The flower pot girls

It’s funny how you can go through a phase in your life of doing ¬†something, then stop and then years later pick it up again. I used to make so many fabric pictures years and years ago. I sold them to shops at the Top Drawer trade fairs ¬†and at The Country Living Fairs ¬†both in London. That was about 15 years ago. There was no social media then and things were far simpler. I can’t remember why I stopped, I suppose it’s because I started making all sorts of other things but¬†recently I’ve started longing to make them again, probably because of the children’s fabric workshops that I’m going to be doing at my next ¬†Open House Sale ¬†https://nickygrace.wordpress.com/.

I just need to arrange my space more¬†effectively as it’s very crowded with piles of mini bunting and lavender bags at the moment.

When I started all those years ago, there was very little choice of pictures for children’s bedrooms. Now there’s lots and¬†we’re spoilt for choice but I still think it’s nice to make our own stuff too. The pig and horse above I cut from my baby’s old T shirts which I used to buy from a wonderful children’s second hand clothes and toy shop on the Archway Road a mile away. It’s sadly no longer there.

I’m going to start making pictures again. ¬†At least that’s the plan.

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Filed under Vintage Pop Up Sales

Bunting for Autumn

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Filed under Vintage Fabric