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Friday, 23 October 2009

Still With My Hat On...


The recent trip to Berwick has given up a second slew of goodies which had been lurking at the bottom of a rather large suitcase. Now I can get at them, I thought I'd share...

First there's this small selection of items from the German company Nici, which I picked up in a bargain bin at some rather good prices. There's a pencil case decorated with Nici sheep in various colours - some of them are even wearing coats! The sheep also appear on the cover of the pocket sized notebook, whilst the address book features 'Taking it Easy' sheep and Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. My darling daughter also picked up the plushies of these to hang off her bag. They're very cute!

On the way to Berwick, we stopped off at the village of Seahouses, gateway to the Farne Islands, for lunch (chips from the fantastic chippy in the High Street) and, whilst munching I was drawn to the gift shop opposite where I picked up these two postcard books by Simon Drew. Each book contains 20 individually-designed postcards, all very well-drawn and extremely humorous; it is merely a coincidence that those in the photo above happen to feature cats.

I also picked up this colourful notebook with Puffins on the cover at the same shop, though the wooden bowl came from an outing over the weekend to Paxton House, just across the border into Scotland.

The bowl is interesting inasmuch as it is turned from Bog Oak by a local craftsman and the wood is around 4500 years old! That particular purchase didn't take much thinking about to be honest, as I can count on the fingers of err...a couple of fingers, how many Bog Oak items (that I could afford!) I've seen for sale. The bowl is a deep, glossy black and, depending on the light, you can just about make out some of the striations of the natural oak.

From what I'm told, Bog Oak most often surfaces when peat bogs are drained, and it tends to emerge as whole tree trunks, though usually only the heartwood of the log is in any fit state to be worked. Sometimes the whole log is unuseable, so it's always a bit of a gamble buying a Bog Oak log, though when there is good wood still to be had, gems such as this bowl are the result.



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16 comments:

unhalfbricking said...

I always rather enjoyed Nici products, used to get quite a few freebies when I worked in a stationery department in Melbourne. Cute without being too cute, it's a hard balance!

Sam said...

Freebies - you lucky thing! ;) I realise Nici stuff may be seen as not terribly macho in some quarters, but I still like it - exactly, it's that cute but not too cute balance it seems to strike.

Julie (Okami) said...

I absolutely adore those postcards!!

Sam said...

I rather thought you might! ;)

R.E. Wolf said...

That bowl is a true work of art! No peat bogs over here. That solves it: I must emigrate.

Sam said...

We'd love to have you over this side of the pond, just let me know when you're coming! :) Suppose I should have mentioned, the only finish that's been applied to the bowl is a coat of beeswax, black is its natural colour.

phonelady said...

I would love to make a trip to that side of the pond , wish I had the money . Those are too cute and nici products I am aware of those spending some time europe many yrs ago myself . I have lived in London before when my father was in service . He was with the diplomatic corp and I love london and the uk. You are so lucky to live there Sam. thanks for sharing and posting this .

Sam said...

It's my pleasure, and thanks for commenting. If you ever make it over here, do let me know. :)

Superpooky said...

Seahouses is the most bizarre town (not really even a town), but I love it. Chips are great and I bet it was busy no matter the weather.
Amazed at the purchases in Berwick. It's trying hard to have a few galleries and coffee shops but it's still got a a semi-chem, pound shop kinda feel to the place.
Oh and i love Nici and I love puffins :-)

Sam said...

Superpooky - Thanks for your kind comments, much appreciated. :) Yes, I know what you mean about Seahouses - I really like the place but it almost seems as if it can't quite decide what it wants to be, I mean there's a National Trust shop across the road from a gift/pound shop, and three chippys in the space of 50 yards! Mind you, having tried all the chippys now, the only one for me is the one in the High Street (name escapes me) - streets ahead of the others IMHO ('scuse the pun!).

Emma Newman said...

PUFFINS!

I *love* puffins, that is just gorgeous. *big silly happy smile*

Sam said...

Emma - Oh, I wish I'd known! The shop where I bought it was stuffed full of lovely puffin merchandise, I could have picked you up something "puffiny" while I was there, *wags finger* but if you don't tell people you like puffins... ;)

Superpooky said...

Staying down at Berwick this weekend so I'm sure I might pass these stationery shops 'just by chance'. And of course it's a coincidence I'm going down there :-)

Sam said...

Superpooky - Hope you have a great time and the stationery shops live up to expectations. :)

PoetryDuck said...

Oh, Simon Drew is brilliant. One of my favourites is "Fridge Over Troubled Water." I like your oak bowl as well - I've always loved wooden bowls and that's a particularly lovely one.

Sam said...

PoetryDuck - Thanks for your kind words. I've just discovered Simon Drew recently, will have to look out the one you mentioned. Thanks. :)

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