Our mantelpiece is an ever changing composition. Change one thing and everything changes. When the picture is taken that moment is held.

Life is stilled. A still life.


This is a shop window for the ok corral.


We created the ok corral because we find so many lovely things but we didn't want to keep all the lovely things - just some of them.

By Joy Jolliffe, Sep 17 2018 12:18PM

I was so pleased to find the two watercolours. Proper paintings by the artist's hand and beautifully executed. The artist is Stella Wright and like so many of us, she likes flowers. The colour of the board is light biscuit brown. Every other colour is painted onto this which has produced warm tones. A vintage glass vase and a vintage jug hold the flowers which for us is added interest!

The two frames couldn't be more different but they work beautifully with each painting. The jug with primroses is framed by a slim plain dark wood. It's simple and understated and allows the flowers to take centre stage. The multi-coloured primulas are made even more glorious by their frame too. Old gold with mouldings on the four corners and in the middle of each side. It's very good and a few knocks only add to it's ageing elegance.

The bright yellow cylinders, acting like book ends on the mantelpiece, are lamp shades. Retro plastic, strongly made and in excellent condition. They'll cheer up a room even when the lights are off and if they don't sell soon I've earmarked a place for them here!

The Kilncraft teapot has graced our mantelpiece in a previous blog. The mellow colours seem just right for autumn. Baachus is the name of the pattern; golden suns and flowers held and kept before winter takes over.

The spider plant isn't vintage (tho' it was extremely popular in the 60s and 70s) but the plant pot is. We all keep our favourite plant pots until they get broken so finding a good old one is pretty rare. Fanfare! The body is matt white with grey speckles. The glazed border is a lesson in mid-century pattern and colour and it's available on the OK shelves right now!

By Joy Jolliffe, Aug 16 2018 02:54PM

This is the August mantelpiece. A little late but it is holiday time. I'm experimenting with slow living.

This combination of colours; the flowers on the tray, the weathered sea shells, they seem to have transcended into some kind of beautiful ancient mix. I can't quite put my finger on it but faded vintage chintz can do that too. Also frescoes from pre-history, fractured images on flaky plaster.

Faded pressed flowers from Victorian holidays, dusty shell boxes and pictures made from sand. All of those things through the decades seem to be present in this picture. Atmosphere. Do I mean atmosphere?

Natural and man made. All beautiful things.

By Joy Jolliffe, Jul 5 2018 03:34PM

Text and tins, that appears to be the theme this month. I love tins and texty things and there are always lots of both at the OK Corral. Read the tins!

Britton's for Fine Foods is my current favourite. It's a little piece of social history, a tin that's covered in information. The dark blue lettering on cream is period 'grocer's shop' style. The font too, decorative and confident for a business that had been established for decades, tempting you to buy. The potato crisps stored within contained potato and edible oil. That's it! There's a one shilling deposit on the tin too encouraging you to return it, so no waste and less landfill. The words speak volumes.

Flour, Tea and Coffee are self explanatory but the two styles span decades. The old flour tin, a Worcester Ware piece is classic, no quintessential, vintage kitchen ware. Isn't it interesting that the much later Tea and Coffee canisters mimic it's colour and feel. I guess, once you've got a winner, you stick with it.

The small, rectangular tin is decorated to look like a box. I thought it was a box at first, with poker work border patterns. The body colour imitates that of lightly grained wood too. The side panels have poker-work-style illustrations and the lid bears the motto: 'A stitch in time - saves nine'. Granny is sat in a big ole chair mending, the pot plants are in flower, the cat is content. All's well with the world if you just make that stitch in time!

The in/out board must have a history too. It's hand lettered, very attractively and hand made too. Made by a small hotel/guesthouse owner? A man with a shed? A little device for reception, to try to keep tabs on the summer visitors? All or any of those. I'll never know for sure but that's why I like the old things, they make you think.


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