Monday, 19 December 2011

A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Milly and Dottie!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Happy Memories

We recently posted this video clip on our Facebook page and were very surprised at the number of happy memories it brought back for us both and for our customers.

The annual trip up to London to see the lights, a visit to Hamleys and one or two of the other Department stores, Liberty's or Selfridges perhaps. No trip would be complete without a visit to Santa, a photo taken and a nosey round the toy department.
We may be looking through rose tinted glasses but it all seemed a tad happier then. Yes, there may have been the hustle and bustle of Christmas shoppers but there certainly wasn't the mass buying that we see today.

Christmas presents were real treats to be savoured. If you saw a doll you liked, and were lucky enough to receive it on the big day, you knew that that was your main present and that you were very lucky indeed... Do you remember the feel of Christmas cards too? The paper and wrapping paper had such a distinctive feel to it... and do you remember making stained glass Christmas cards at school, rainbow coloured tissue paper, black card and glue everywhere!!

Invariably there was a chill in the December air as you stepped onto the pavements after the cosy warmth of the Department store, but you were wrapped up warm in your hat and scarves and best coat. Perhaps a trip to buy some hot roasted chestnuts would do the trick? Milly remembers there always being a chestnut stall just up from Liberty's by the London Palladium - is it still there?

Back in our own grotto, we would like to thank all of you who have paid us a visit. Santa's shelves are very much lighter than when we opened! We are still adding stock so please pop back again for a visit, you never know what you might find. Many of the items that we have sold recently have sent us on many a trip down a festive memory lane!

If like us, the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping leaves you feeling a little less jolly than you should, how about a wander through the Emporium. Many a vintage Christmas gift is waiting on the shelves to be shared.

From colourful, floral prints in our Attic and vintage calendars to take you way back in time,

a touch of pampering in the Boudoir, childhood delights in the Nursery, books for young and old,

fiction and fact in the Library,

rations, recipes and receptacles in the Scullery and

sewing bits and bobs in the Sewing Room.
Have fun! Keep warm and please let us know of any Christmas childhood shopping experiences you can remember.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Christmas Shopping

If you go down to the Grotto today..
You’re sure of a big surprise..
There are sparkly, twinkly, shiny things
That are truly a treat for the eyes…

With books, ribbons and fairy lights
Santas, reindeer and festive treats
That are sure to delight ..

Do go down to the Grotto today
To find some Christmas Treasures…

The Christmas Grotto is now officially open for all of your early bird Christmas shopping!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Behind the scenes...

Sorry that we've been away from the blog recently. Lots of treasure hunting going on at the moment, dusting of shelves and sipping of tea. We have scaled the heights of our rickety stepladder (an old wooden one of course, whose steps make very good homes for our cups and saucers, biscuit crumb tea plates and balls of string), and reached the tallest shelves in the Emporium and we are full to bursting with new goodies.

In fact the stockroom is so full that we've taken to sipping our tea most days in our little caravan - A few pots of paint, the odd crocheted blanket or two and it's scrubbed up a treat - so handy when we just need a moment or two...

So there we sit in our colourful hideaway whilst around us vintage chaos reigns....

Horse shoes to bring us good luck

A girl can never have too many earthenware jars

We don't know how many times we've lost our glasses so building a case for them seemed the sensible thing to do...

Scissors, tongs and other utensils for days when you need scissors, tongs and other utensils

Perched on the top of our shelves are milk jugs for our tea

Enamelware for days when we can leave the stockroom and go pick flowers...

Bits and bobs waiting to enter the sewing room

Our "packing area" - to be quite honest, we're not sure what most of these things do, but we recognise a ball of string when we see one!

Every Emporium needs a fire bucket...

And toys for rainy days -

And at the end of the day when things look like this ...

We beat a hasty retreat on one of our bicycles, panniers full of parcels and string, to the Post Office. We have to admit though, we do pend most of the day dreading clambering up the ladder to the eaves to choose our bicycle.

Hope you've enjoyed the little tour, it's courtesy of a local rural museum of course, but we do like a daydream when we're huddled up by the woodburning stove...

Back in the real world, we really do have lots of vintage bits and bobs recently added to our shelves. If you fancy a ride on your bicycle, we'll light the stove, polish the steps to our caravan and tidy the stockroom...

Friday, 23 September 2011

We smell treasure....

Wishing you all a happy, sunny weekend.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Dottie's Day

I've poured the tea and baked the cakes. Decorated the cake and cleaned up the candles from my birthday bash (only joking, fresh clean ones of course!). I've combed my hair, found my prettiest party frock and brushed the crumbs from my lap.

So Dottie dear, please drag yourself away from all that present opening and let us wish you the bestest "Happy Birthday". Hope you have a wonderful day xxx

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Make a Wish ....

Don't be shy Milly ... It's time to huff and puff and blow out those candles and make a big wish!
Wishing you many many happy returns on this very special day... with love from Dottie xx

Friday, 9 September 2011

La Rentrée

The French have a word for it that sums it up beautifully - "La Rentrée". That time of year when the lazy days of summer draw to a close, when children gather their new school uniform, bags and books and head off, full of good intentions, to start the new academic year, when businesses open after summer closures and, life continues full swing.

Here at the Emporium we are trying to embrace La Rentrée. Whilst those golden days of September that we all love, seem very elusive this year, there is something very exciting about the prospect of a new season.

A time to take stock (not just literally), a time to plan, a time to look forward, a time, we hope, for long country walks on misty early Autumnal mornings and smoky afternoons, a time to ransack our wardrobes in search of cardigans, gloves and scarves, a time for warming meals, for jams and pickles and a time to restock the custard cream tin.

So, whilst we may well have stepped down a pace recently, we're putting our best welly foot forward, dusting down the Emporium shelves re-starching our aprons and polishing the front door bell...

New goodies on the shelves....

Vive La Rentrée!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Two's Company

The party had to end sometime and now that the bunting has been carefully folded away and the last cake crumb has been snuffled we felt it time to announce a lucky winner of our ‘Milly & Dottie are Two’ prize.

Do you remember that Milly & Dottie asked you to help them celebrate their second Birthday by thinking of your favourite double acts? I am sure many couples came to mind, Tom and Jerry, Mapp & Lucia, Cheese and Pickle, Tintin and Snowy, Apple crumble and custard, Burton and Taylor, Sunday with the newspapers.. the list goes on and on …
We were delighted that you joined in with the spirit of the occasion and eagerly shared your favourite double acts with us and how we have enjoyed reading your suggestions..
These are just a few of our favourites ….
Noddy & Big Ears… Morris Minor and vintage picnic case in the boot..
Bare feet and newly mown lawn… Soft white snow and mistletoe… Morecambe and Wise… Peaches and Cream… Darby & Joan… the smell of fireworks and the taste of baked potatoes… mismatched china and faded tea dresses …
In fact we loved them all.. so it made the task of choosing a winner very difficult indeed. We felt the best thing to do was put all of your suggestions into a hat and ask our Saturday girl to pick one out …
So we are very happy to announce that the winner of our Milly & Dottie are Two competition is Bare feet and newly mown lawn. We both love that feeling at the start of summer when your feet touch the grass for the first time, you can sense the delights that summer has in store. Congratulations Kate and thank you very much to all the other entrants.
A suitable double act prize will be on it’s way to the winner just as soon as Milly & Dottie can finish their tea and custard creams.. another firm favourite

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Milly & Dottie Are Two!

Hip Hip Hooray - We Are Two!! What a lot of fun we've had along the way and we would love you to join in all the festivities going on in the stockroom. Amidst all the jelly and custard, balloons and bunting, blind man’s buff and pass the parcel, we thought we would hold a little competition to celebrate.

Taking two as our theme, and Milly and Dottie as our starting point, we would like you to let us know of your favourite double acts. We’re not just talking Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, or Romeo and Juliet – how about strawberries and cream, gin and tonic, eiderdowns and sweet peas, hot chocolate and a good book, afternoon tea and a floral dress or fish and chips out of the paper?

Let us know your suggestions – the more the merrier and a birthday present or two will be sent to the one that most tickles our fancy.

Before we get out the stepladders and totter up to the top to hang the bunting and birthday cards, we thought we should let you know that the shelves are full of some lovely new finds. Vintage chocolate boxes And Empire Exhibition souvenirs in the Attic, gorgeous French sewing patterns and coloured knitting needles in the Sewing Room, new tins aplenty in the Box Room, books, books and more books in the Library. Cups and saucers are on the Scullery shelves, both Utility and commemorative and a charming pooch is settling in in the Nursery.

A big 'thank you' to you all for visiting us over the past two years and making this so much fun.

We’re off now to squeeze into our party frocks and do so look forward to reading all your favourite double acts and seeing you in the Stockroom.

Hip hip hooray and toodle pip.

Milly and Dottie

Monday, 11 July 2011

Hot Off The Press....

Just to say that we have been lucky enough to have a mention in the new issue of Mollie Makes magazine. Issue 3 on sale now! A lovely new lifestyle and crafts magazine full of wonderful ideas.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Hip Hip Hooray...

Summer's here today and we have a new parlour page and lots of new goodies on our shelves!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Midsummer Madness Sale

It is hardly the weather for mad dogs and Englishmen to venture out of doors at the moment, without donning their sou'westers and gumboots. What happened to flaming June.. or summer for that matter?
Milly and Dottie have been feeling as grey as the proverbial clouds and so thought we would brighten up these heady summer days (!) with a little madness of our own by having a Summer Solstice Sale in the Emporium. We couldn't wait until the 21st of June so have started our sale a few days early and have reduced the prices on many of our vintage wares as you will discover by looking for the items which are highlighted in red text. Now is the time to grab a bargain .. from a useful vintage printer's tray in the Attic.. pretty glass earrings in The Boudoir to brighten up your summer wardrobe.. Lovely tins in the Box Room for keeping those cream tea scones in.. or how about a Steiff bunny in The Nursery to cuddle on these cool summer nights! Alongside these sale items are many new and interesting items too.. so no need to reach for your rose tinted glasses .. just pop along for some retail therapy to chase the rainy day blues away... but hurry.. as our sale will end a few days after the 21st of June. Happy shopping!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Keep Young & Beautiful

Monday morning, and here at Milly & Dottie HQ the weather is decidedly bleurgh and to make matters worse the drizzly skies are conspiring to give us "bad hair days". Or is that just our age we wonder?
We might have found a solution

What do you think? To our minds, it looks scarier than the highest roller coaster ride at the fairground. Not sure if either of us would fancy plugging ourselves into a permanent wave machine that bears more than a passing resemblance to milking machine crossed with a chandelier...

We're strictly "wake up and wash your face" gals, the least time looking in the mirror these days the better. We were heartened when we found this lovely book the other day though...

Full of the most wonderful beauty tips from the 1930s and offering help for the over 30s (no mention alas of the over 40s or 50s - we guess it's just a question of following the advice and then some...). Physical exercise is, alas, advocated. The author expects the reader to 'sag around the waist" has visions of our hips running to fat along with our bust and imagines us sitting round shouldered, poked head and hollow chested ... how right she is.

But worry not, help is at hand - there are exercises aplenty - but oh dear they do involve wearing the dreaded navy blue knickers that we had to wear at school. Tips on walking properly which would, it seem, result in us striding along a la Joanna Lumley in Ab Fab.

Our wardrobes are also considered and perhaps our favourite tip is to always choose knickers "With a slippery surface" (and, we're guessing, reach from your waist to your knees!).

There are chapters on hair (rather a lot of the hairstyles seem to require being plugged in to the aforementioned "milking machine"), aids to a lovely skin, manicures. keeping well in all weathers, and (ha ha) how to put on weight.

We're off to beautify our throat and chins, guard against prematurely greying hair, indulge in some powder puffs, reduce our legs and launder our collars.

Overcoming Troubles...

If you however, are sitting "hollow chested and round shouldered" whilst reading this, you might like to read more - the book's in The Library. And if you fancy some vigorous striding through the departments of the Emporium in lieu of those physical exercises, we're happy to tell you that there are lots of new goodies lying in wait for you.