Saturday, 28 August 2010

Doily Days 'Country Garden' Wedding Favours

We recently prepared 120 'country garden' wedding favours for a wedding in Sommerset at the beginning of the month. The bride was presented with a flavour menu and chose old fashioned apple chutney for the boys and victoria plum jams for the girls. The jams and chutneys were made for Doily Days by Auntie Val in her magical workshop in Storrington ( The labels were personalised with the bride and grooms names, wedding date and location. And finally - the icing on the cake, small circles of mismatching fabric were tied to the top with raffia (fabric chosen, pinked and tied with my own fair hands!). The favours looked so gorgeous I had to take them on an outing to the beach and get some piccys! The favours are £2 each and we can provide old fashioned sweets if you prefer - sugar mice, dolly mixture, rhubarb & custard etc.... all enquiries via the website

Monday, 9 August 2010

Somerset Wedding

Phew... I have just returned from a whirlwind couple of days in Somerset. I was providing table decorations etc for a lovely couple who had their reception at the beautiful Brympton House near Yeovil in Somerset ( I provided mismatching vintage sideplates and teacups for their tables, teapots, coffee pots, a tableplan, rustic namecards and 'country garden' style wedding favours (small jars of old fashioned apple chutney for the boys and victoria plum jam for the girls).

Brympton House is a gorgeous venue and was used in the film 'Chocolat' with Johnny Depp! My B&B was pretty amazing too!

It was hard work but all worth it and I can't wait to see the professionl pics of the tables complete with the flowers. Bella & Fifi provided the flowers and their website has a distinct 'Doily Days' feel! (

I had time to kill of Friday and managed to pick up lots of vintage china in Yeovil, Sherbourne and Crewkerne. All in all a great trip.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

The Essence of Doily Days

I recently read an article about exploring your brand identity so I made myelf a coffee and put it into practice for Doily Days. Here's what I came up with:

If Doily Days was a country it would be: England because tea from bone china cups and delicate sandwiches with the crusts removed couldn’t be anywhere but!

Car: Morris Minor Convertible – perfect for a sunny drive through country lanes

Drink: Tea or homemade lemonade on the lawn before tennis

Shop: Cath Kidston because the traditional country house style is just fabulous

Flower: Foxgloves because they evoke images of pretty cottage gardens hundreds of years ago

Cake: Victoria Sponge although there are many

Fruit: Strawberries served in bone china teacups

Monday, 28 June 2010

Duncton Mill

Took a drive to visit a client this morning at her wedding venue - beautiful Duncton Mill fishery in Petworth. We set up a table to show her the vintage china and for a 'tasting' of the afternoon tea treats in store for her wedding. The fishermen thought we were mad setting up a village fete type affair!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Doily Days 1st Birthday!!!

Doily Days is only young. Just a baby actually. It was born last May and has gone from strength to strength ever since. We've been lucky enough to be involved in some fantastic events so far - an 'art deco' style wedding complete with orchids, black and HOT pink decorations... a charity event comprising different 'country garden'
themes for each table, a 90th birthday party in London where the theme was 'colourful' - Lily of the Valley was shipped in at great expense but the amazing scent was priceless (that wasn't the colourful part! The colourful part was tulips, hyaciths, menu cards complete with vibrant feathers and vases in all the colours of the rainbow). A retirement party in Worthing, a rainy :( wedding in Kent complete with VW transport and rustic hog roast. Beautiful cake stands have been created.... fabulous plates have been smashed in the process :( I've stayed up very late drinking wine and making cute wedding favours, I've learnt the names of my favourite flowers, I made hampers at Christmas time, I've spent a LOT of time at car boot sales and charity shops and i've consumed far too many Rhubarb and custard sweets!

As for the future - Sandy (the beautiful splitscreen camper) is soon to mark a special occassion for some young girls as we're transporting them to their prom! A Surrey wedding is on the cards next month - Vintage china, rustic floral centrepieces and homemade namecards... we're off to Somerset in August to beautiful Brypton D'Evercy ( Also in August we're keeping it local and providing VW transport for a blushing bride and her hubby to be in our native Brighton (she's the assistant manager at Cath Kidston don't you know!). Sempember - Sandy's busy looking beautiful again and we're off to Duncton Mill for a tea party/hog roast extravaganza!

Thank you for all your support in our first year! We're looking forward to the rest of the season and many 'Doily Days' to come.... xxx

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Mismatching Vintage Plates for BBQ/Hog Roast style wedding

One of my clients is getting married in Henfield in August. She is having a wedding that is right up my street. A marquee in a field opposite her parents cottage, they're getting all the food themselves and a local community group is BBQing for them. They're hiring vintage china from Doily Days! The tables will be laid with mismatching main plates. The client is making her own jams and chutneys for wedding favours and I am providing old fashioned jugs and vases for her bunches of seasonal flowers. They're having bunting and they're colecting jam jars for the tables... I'm proving mismatching platters and bowls for their BBQ buffet. For dessert they're having a selection of cakes (so I'll be proving cake stands) and trifles (so I'll be proving cute little vintage bowls) sigh. Love it! And so pleased to be a part of it. Can't wait to see the pictures.

I was washing up a few of the plates before I packed them up for our meeting and I thought they looked lovely drying in the rack - what do you think?

Monday, 19 April 2010

New Teacups

The car boot season has well started as far as I'm concerned - clear, sunny morning, armed with a purse full of change - my very favourite start to any Sunday morning.

My local car boot sale was actually on Saturday. The first one of the season. There was one planned for 3rd April but due to the horrendous weather it was cancelled (much to my dismay).

I purchased some perfect plates with which to make cake stands (it's the middle tier that's tricky!), a beautiful navy blue top with cream ruffles (a snip at just £2.40), some adorable fabric to use for my wedding favours and last but not least some sexy new teacups. They are Grindley and the design is quite different from the rest of my collection. Six teacups & saucers, six plates and a milk jug all for £4! Plus the woman took my business card because she may have someone interested in my services.... you can't say fairer than that can you?

Wedding Favours

One of my clients is getting married in less than two weeks! She found out about Doily Days when she read the fantastic article on Daily Candy back in September

I agreed to make her 140 'country garden' style wedding favours - small glass jars full of old fashioned sweets. See the last blog post for the fun I had at the wholesalers buying the sweets! I felt like a kid again....

I bought some pinking scissors at great expense and set to work cutting circles of fabric. Luckily I have quite a stash of fabric as it's something else I can't resist on my car boot sale missions. I found the perfect size sugar bowl to draw round and then set to work cutting out the circles. Luckily my friend Emma joined me that evening - armed with supplies of red wine and chocolate! So we chatted while i snipped and she set to work filling the jars with the sweets.

But Emma had to leave at about 11pm (because she has a 'proper' job and has to make serious decisions) and I was up until about 2am - tying the fabric to the top of the jars - eyes propped open with matchsticks, the only thing keeping me going was the sugar rush from the sweets I kept dipping into! Anyway, 2am and I was still only half way through so the next morning I cracked on - seemed to have it down to a fine art by that point and got them all done and dusted!

I was sooo pleased with the result and I think they will look lovely on the wedding tables.

I collected some more gorgeous fabric at the weekend because I am making 130 similar favours for a wedding in August - this time the jars will be full of homemade jams and chutneys.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Doily Days Bargains!

Well, the sun was shining on the South coast this weekend and for a change I had a little time on my hands so I thought a spot of car booting was in order! I meandered through the farmers market on Saturday morning nibbling on tasty morsals and smiling at the jolly farmers.

I found myself at the Sussex Yacht club where they were holding a car boot sale. Much of the stuff for sale was boat themed - not really up my street as I don't have a boat. But then I stumbled upon a bike! I jumped on, wobbled round for a bit and thought 'this has my name written all over it!'... well, not strictly true because my names not Raleigh but you know what I mean. I beat them down from £25 to £20 and peddled off to the beach! Great for this time of year and the perfect excuse to kick start my exercise regime...

But the bargains didn't end there - oh no. Sunday morning I found myself at Brighton Marina for the Sunday market. Again, sun shining. An hour or so later, some random banter with stall holders and some tense negotiations and I found myself waddling back to the car laden down with a COOL book about campervans, a vintage teapot, a gorgeous pink coffeepot (called Rose Cloud - love it), a three-tier wire cake stand, a pair of jeans and a teddy bear I couldn't leave behind...

I photographed my treasures to share with you.

And a quick reminder - if you'd like to hire any vintage china or book a VW Campervan please check out my website

Friday, 9 April 2010

Doily Days Does Sweets!

I have been like a kid in a sweetshop today! Well okay, like a kid in a massive wholesalers - wondering at the huge trolleys, marvelling at the price of breakfast cereal! I am in the process of making some wedding favours for a lovely bride to be and I need to deliver them next week - eeek! The clock is ticking... I have the little jars so todays mission was to buy the sweets. I deliberated for ages with my friend Mel (who was equally as enamoured by the huge array!) and I finally went for Rhubarb and Custard (but of course - sweet shop classic), Rosy Apples, I suprised myself by choosing Sherbert pips but I thought they were colourful, had a certain charm and the size would add a new dimension!... I also went for Dolly Mixture - could we rename it Doily Mixture? and last but by no means least - Sugar Mice!!!!! Ever since I saw this heartbreakingly beautiful polariod picture by Vicky Stevenson I've been on the hunt for some gorgeous sugar mice of my own!

Anyway - now I need to get cutting circles of fabric for the top of the jars and hey presto. Job's a goodun!

Contact me via if you're interested in my sweet favours for your wedding!

Life is idyllic xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Inspiring Vintage Phography

I have been gathering subjects for and this morning, from the safety of my bed, I have been writing about some amazing talent.

I want to share with you some Polaroid pictures taken by Vicky Stevenson. I am awe inspired and desperately want some of these prints to frame for my lounge. Her work can be viewed and brought via Etsy Her blog is also fabulous and I was intigued by her night time walk along the pier off season. It sums up what it is to be a true Brightonian!

‘Last week I took a short walk along the seafront and down the pier, before returning home. The pier at night is like something out of Scooby-Doo when it’s off season. Most things are closed and there’s not many people about, half the rides have had their insides taken away or are in pieces. The cheesy 70’s music can still be heard all the way down.’

The accompanying photos depict some very emotive images – unused deckchairs stacked up, the dark eyes of cuddly puppies stuck in glass cages desperate but unlikely to be hooked by the giant silver arm. The ‘Kids play area’ desolate and dark looks absolutely eerie but I really feel what she’s doing here.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Knitted Cakes

This is a blog post to encourage my mother to get her knitting needles out and knock me up some cupcakes! I have seen these fantastic ones on

I make my own cake stands you see using vintage plates (pictured and also see It would be great to use some cute knitted cakes in a photoshoot and to display in the shops... you never know Mum this might be your big chance to make some extra money and finally retire!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Photo Heart

I once saw a magazine article about displaying photos in a 'polaroid heart'.... I thought it was fantastic and when I started contemplating a picture/piece of artwork to hang above my bed the polaroid heart came flooding back to me and I couldn't wait to get to work! I sorted out all the pictures I love from my computer, Facebook etc (about 50) - took them to the printers and ordered the prints with white borders (next best thing to polaroids!). Then I painstakingly arranged them in a heart shape above my bed.... I love it! And the best thing is it only cost me about £6.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Brighton Collective

As well as doing my bit for I can also be found huddled over my laptop seeking talented local designers to write about for The Brighton Collective blog. I love researching the subjects, it makes me feel a real part of the cool creative scene in Brighton.... (even though I live seven miles down the coast and hardly ever venture into the city!) I mainly write about vintage inspired products as that is what interests me. I've added some pics here of products I've featured on the blog (Dress by Mr B Moustachio man and floral bag by Russian Doll cushion by And burlesque cushion by

And guess what - lovely Hannah Bradbury (a fellow blogger) has written about my Doily Days cakestands. Okay - I asked her to but that's besides the point. She wrote a fab article and you can read it here

Thursday, 18 February 2010


Well who would have thought tying a bow could be so complex! I've been tying bows in my shoe laces for years....

In my quest to earn an honest bob while avoiding the perils of the 9am-5pm drudgery I applied to do a few hours work for 'Handmade by me'. The company is based in Peacehaven and they specialise in handmade invitations and cards for all occassions.

Samantha, who runs the company, is busy busy busy so she needs help putting the orders together. I was put to work - firstly sticking labels at the bottom of some beautiful textured card. This is not too hard I thought. Then I moved onto attaching a transparant sheet to the beautiful card. This was done by poking a heartshaped, gold pin into the top... again - so far so good and it was satisfying work. Then it was time to roll the scrolls. This was a bit tricky but I think I could have managed it. But the bow tying stage was to come - and could I do it? Could i hell.... My bows came out floppy, twisted, upside down. So I was taken off bow tying duty and put on twisting mini roses duty. I then pushed the roses behind the bows (that were expertly done by Samantha) and slipped them into postage tubes. Job done....

The next batch of invitations also involved bows - as these weren't scrolls I was more confident and the first couple came out okay! Much to Samantha's delight. But when I realised I was supposed to be tying a knot before the bow it went to pieces again.

So I was sent off with practice ribbons and card and I'm waiting to hear whether my bow tying career is over or whether it's just beginning!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Wedding Favours and Nametags

I had a meeting with a client on Monday and made some sample favours to show her and some rustic, handmade namecards. I wanted to share them with you! The wedding favours are small pots of homemade jams and chutneys, personalised and topped with vintage fabric. In this case the client has asked for honey because she is such a fan.... she was even talking about naming her tables after different types of honey! We can do anything you like - chilli jam chutney, lemon curd. Your guests will remember the big day when they dig into their condiment!

The nametags are made to look like glamorous luggage tags. They can be tied to the napkin or onto a vintage teacup. See more pictures and read more about Doily Days

Oh and I picked up some Rhubarb and Custard and Cola Cube sweets from the post office to display in bowls on the table.... and while I was there I picked up a quarter of Toffee Crumble (it was my boyfriends - ex-boyfriends... whatever, it's complicated - birthday yesterday so I decanted it into a cute (Jamie Oliver) jar and popped it back in the bag. And made good use of one of my namecards! Ahhhhh. All in a days work xx