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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Conkers! (And other stuff)

I've been out on my yearly search for conkers (horse chestnuts), we have quite a few trees locally within a two minute walk :o) 
Not so long ago all the local children would have collected them as soon as they were ripening - but since the onset of the dreaded 'Health & Safety' guidelines that seem to have permeated ordinary life 'conkers' (see here) are no longer allowed to be played at school :o(  What on earth is this stupid country coming too?  Anyway, I got about a quarter of a carrier bag full in about 10 minutes :o)  I just love the way they look...when I got them home, and inspired by the many lovely 'Fall' displays in America I had a go at making a centrepiece for the table.  Which do you prefer?
I used some autumnal coloured chrysanthemums in a vintage vase with a similar coloured glaze, my one and only Halloween candle ( which was a gift about 10 years ago from Canada) and some lovely pumpkins (I found at Lidl's) and to complete the picture a spider in his web, placed on a charity shop find table runner by Next in Indian cotton for £1. (As always, just click on any photo to enlarge)

In close up.
Then I decided to have a play about and tried this:

I moved the flowers and added some black cats and a couple of crystal balls to 'Witch' it up a bit!

I tried moving the cats about for a better look(?)
Waddya think?  Aren't the conkers great?

Of course, over the last month I've still been buying more stuff!  When will I ever learn a little more self control?
I'm hoping some of my dear American readers can help me with this one...I know its a Jim Bean Bourbon bottle dated 1982, but I have no idea of value (not that it matters) or what the symbolism is. 

I just loved that it's quirky - sadly all the bourbon has gone!  Help anyone?

Then, of course I've had another visit to Dagfields see here with my dear friends Sandy and Jan.  Got a few things there....

A super Calico pattern gravy boat and plate (£6), and then there was ..cluck, cluck!  A chicken dish, blue and white of course £4

I'm loving the rooster and hens on the base.  There was another purchase of a cat - but that'll wait for another post.

Of course I've still been touching base with the local charity shops ;o)  Here's a few of the things I couldn't resist.
I walked through the door of the most recent charity shop to open (about 5miles from home), and there staring me in the face was the MOST fabulous blue glazed vase.  It was filled with walking sticks - I looked for a price and was amazed to see it was £8.50!  Needless to say I'd soon hauled it over to the pay desk - yes, it's VERY heavy.   Came home with a very satisfied smile that day :o)

Don't you think its wonderful?

Then, on another day I had to travel to a town about 25 miles away, so of course I just HAD to see if there was any Charity Shops!  This is what I found...
A close-up

Ringtons were started in 1907 in Newcastle upon Tyne.  They are famous for their tea which was originally delivered to your home.  They have all sorts of blue and white memorabillia - this plate obviously made for the millennium by Wade, who themselves are highly collectible.  It only cost £1.

I have quite a few more purchases, but I've decided to make another post in a couple of days.  So, I'm looking forward to reading your comments - and hopefully someone can shed light on the bourbon bottle for me.  Thank you for joining me, I hope you've enjoyed reading it!

Best wishes to all.


Patrice said...

I'm coveting that gravy boat! I love blue and white dishes. If my family ever get tires of the colors, I'll be in trouble.

Brownieville Girl said...

The gravy boat is my favourite too!!

Although everything looks wonderful.

acorn hollow said...

I know nothing about the jim beam bottle. I have a set of dishes that matches the gravy boat purchased at a yard sale. I love the spooky kittys. As a kid we use to collect the horse chestnuts.I have never heard of that game but what is the problem with kids playing it?
Thank you for your visit I love to hear from you. How cold do you get in the winter?
Cold rain tomorrow. Have a great day

Rose H (UK) said...

Thank you for your great comments!
I have replied to Acorn Hollow on her blog - but it seems only right to put the record straight here too...My reply was:
"To answer your question about the game of Conkers in schools....'They' (the authorities) have deemed it unsafe without the use of safety glasses and gloves in case the conker shatters and damages anyones eyes, or the child gets a damaging wrap aross the knuckles.. I've played conkers MANY times, and yes you can get your knuckles knocked, it just makes you jump! I've NEVER heard of anyone having damage to their eyes though. Sad times indeed:o("
The Gravy boat is in the 'Calico' pattern (which I've (rarely) seen in green and brown also) As far as I know there are only two companies that used this pattern - Burleigh and Crawfords. I do have a tea set, tea pot, milk jug, sugar bowl and side plates as well as a few odd plates and dishes. I don't see it too often, and when I do it's usually far more than I'm prepared to pay!
Best wishes to all
Rose H

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

How interesting, Rose! I have never heard of the game! I love your arrangements, but I am partial to the one with cats! lol That blue vase is simply gorgeous! Hope you are having a great week!...hugs...Debbie

house things said...

You find the best things!

By the way, I'd never heard the word 'conkers' applied to chestnuts. Makes perfect sense.

Bill said...

Hi Rose,

I'd never heard of conkers -- interesting! I thought they looked like what we refer to as "buckeyes." I did a quick search and found this:
Horsechestnuts: Conkers and Buckeyes.

There are a few types of trees that closely resemble chestnuts, but they are not true chestnuts (castanea spp.). Of interest are the Horsechestnuts. [8] The Horsechestnut, Aesculus hippcastanum, is a majestic tree that produces fruit encased in a burr, similar to a chestnut, but the fruit is not edible. The nuts contain Aesculin, a toxin to many animals including humans. Aboriginal Americans, however, were able to leach the toxin from the nut, rendering the nut meal edible. They also used the powdered horse chestnut's toxic ability to stun fish. [9] In England horsechestnuts are called "conkers". (See photograph 6) [10] The nuts or conkers are fascinating toys for young children, especially young male children. The rules for the game of "conkers" are described in this Wikipedia article. [11] The North Dakota version of that game, "Kinger" is played with Ohio Buckeye nuts. In North Dakota, the game was considered a boy's game, but girls were allowed to kiss the buckeyes.

Love the large, glazed blue vase. Great find ... great deal!

Have a lovely weekend!

gena said...

Oh my ..... castañas - chestnuts ! I grew up with a chestnut tree in our garden and Papa loved to roast them during bonfires.... oh and I still make chestnut stuffing for Thanksgiving - yummmmy !

What a wonderful post !
Happy Pink Saturday !

Rose H (UK) said...

Hi Gena
These aren't eating chestnuts as they have toxins in them for humans. It's been a terrible year for eating (sweet) chestnuts locally, as they're all tiny ones - probably not enough rain this year (!)
Very best wishes
Rose H

George the Lad said...

Hi Auntie Rose, you saying about 'Health & Safety' guidelines, I must tell yea from a dogs point of view, we went to this arboretum yesterday, blimmy was it muddy thats another story, anyways mom spotted a sweet chestnut tree shes over there like a flash, dad should be looking after me on the lead he's so buzy looking for these dam sweet chestnuts, while I'm there jumping around like a cat on a hot tin roof, I tell yea it was not funny them things hurt big time, what do they go and do, tie me up to a gate post and leave me there!! while they go back and fine some more!!! The way I feel at the moment I'm on the look out of another home. So please any dog owners out there think about us when walking though the woods!!
Anyways I got side tracked, you got your self some good bargins there the owls a hoot lol!!!
See Yea George xxx