Christmas pudding candles, a new puppy and my summer…

…well where did that three months go?

We had a lovely, sunny couple of days in Swanage with my Dad, catching up with the Kirby clan, then a long drive up to Scotland to visit old pals (long overdue as we’ve not been for 7 years!) now an entirely different story as the “kids” have turned into “teens” (or is it tweens?) and they left us alone to do strange things like relax, chat and please ourselves! Weird!


We walked up a hill, slept, ate, caught up with old friends and celebrated my 45th birthday at an amazing restaurant (thanks Lou & Jackson)


but most of all we felt welcome & had such a laugh. We returned to Devon completely relaxed, wondering  why we’d left it so long to go up there…?

Nobody really wanted their photo taken, can you tell? Meg (below) celebrated her 13th birthday in August…


We watched a film on the beach, bought a puppy whilst away stalling at the amazing Love Lane Vintage Summer Brocante in Wisborough Green (I broke my record for my busiest day ever!) and did fairs in Tavistock, Portscatho and Dorset.




I’m off to Wiltshire tomorrow to do a vintage jumble & get rid of loads of things which I really don’t need. Having ignored the house for pretty much all of 2013 I’m having a long overdue sort out and it is very cathartic (truthfully though,  guests coming during October half term may have something to do with it)

I have perfected a new festive candle scent called Christmas Pudding, it took me ages to get it right so I hope you like it…

Don’t forget to keep an eye on my calendar so you know where to find me. You can also buy my candles in The Crafted Emporium in Dartmouth Market Square & Honeysuckle Homes Interiors in Torquay x



a new car, candles, Cornwall (& the rest…)

It’s been over two months since I last posted anything but I’m afraid that all has not been rosey in the “Sunshine” house!  Killerton was loads of fun, Shelley did a fantastic job and got over 6000 people through the door, I sold lots of candles and there was a cocktail caravan there too – perfect!


This is my stall at Littleham fair (near Exmouth) on July 6th. How appropriate that I should be in a Pimms tent. It was a gorgeous sunny day & great to see a traditional country fair in full swing. One of the visitors to my stall worked for a big candle company (Yankee Candles) in Bristol and said that I had the scents of my candles just right! Praise indeed.


After many requests I finally ordered the boxes and got some tealights made up. Each box contains 12 candles (in refillable cups) each one has a 5-6 hour burn. 72 hours worth of candles for £12.95 can’t be bad. Anyway, they’ve sold out (mainly because I delivered a huge amount to Rocombe Valley Retreats) but I’ll take that as a good sign! I had to enlist the help of my pal Helene for a frantic clean-up operation as a photographer and journalist descended on my house a few weeks ago. I’m going to be in a magazine called “Style at home” in Spring 2014 – exciting!


We managed three nights in The Lizard at the end  of July (one of our fave places) the weather was glorious, the beaches were pretty empty (Praa Sands above) and the Roskilly’s Ice Cream Cafe held as much interest for us as ever. On the way back the clutch went in the car so we ended up in a tow-truck back to Devon, there was so much wrong with it that it wasn’t worth fixing so we’ve bought a big, beautiful, beast (in my fave colour) mpg is hideous though so not sure how long she’ll be around……did I mention that my phone crashed too? And I lost all my contacts? If it’s not one thing…….IMG_0490


Unfortunately I had to pull out of my two August fairs (Portscatho and Tavistock) but I can confirm that I will be at the next Portscatho fair on November 17th and the next Tavistock fair on November 24th. My next fair will be The Vintage Bazaar in Hartley Wintney on September 21st and until then I have a few weeks off to prepare a huge jelly mould order (40!!!!) and start to think about the “C” word (Christmas obviously!) Don’t forget my candles are available at Porters of Station Road, Bovey Tracey, The White Approach, Exmouth & Honeysuckle Homes, Torquay if you need to get one for a present. You can also contact me directly through facebook or my website. See you soon x



Royal Candles (of a fashion…)

Apologies for not blogging since the end of Feb (!!!!) but it’s been a little hectic here at Peagreen HQ. Into my fourth year and used to having Jan & Feb as a quiet time to catch up and get sorted, I had no such luck this year and was straight into orders & busy fairs!IMAG1683

Saw this gorgeous Morris Van in Exeter the other day whilst out bargain hunting and had to post a pic! My busiest fair this year was The Vintage Bazaar in Devizes, a new venue for Lizzie & Clare and to be honest a bit of a treck for us (3 hours) but it was worth it. Thank heavens I took my trusty helper Helene with me ‘cos we were flat out all day. We met some lovely folk and did lots of shopping – perfick!


My friend Kat was 30 in March and we secretly met up at a huge holiday cottage in North Devon, which we frantically decorated and piled the  kitchen high with supplies (mostly of the alcoholic variety!) A great weekend was had by all – and yes, we did even make it out for a walk!


Love this picture of Kat and Amy (and Amy’s hat!) On March 12th Helene and I went to a brilliant lampshade making workshop run by The Craft Hub – always good to learn a new skill me thinks! (Especially when one is slightly obsessed with collecting vintage fabric!) An old 1960’s sheet makes a great lampshade don’t you know?

On March 16th I did “All things vintage and lovely” at The Palace Hotel in Torquay. Great venue and a busy day slightly marred by someone on the stall opposite who has decided (yawn) it’s a great idea to make candles in jelly moulds! Why can’t people be a bit more creative?????????? I’ve been making them since 2010 so it’s NOT a new idea…..think of something else!

On March 18th I had my little meeting with Paul Burrell – we had decided to rendezvous at Pip’s (The Craft Hub) as I haven’t seen her properly for ages and he was staying in a village nearby. Of course I was late (we were meeting outside) and by the time I turned up he was parked up and inside having a nice cuppa and a chat with Pip! He told us lots of juicy goss. and we both thought he was a very nice chap (and my candles are now available in his shop in Cheshire!) La-de-da!


I have also squeezed in a cold visit to Agatha’s “holiday home”  (alright for some…………….?)


The Boat House at Greenway – all good homes should have one! And I even managed a girlie trip to Cornwall where the four of us, child-free and full of energy, consumed our weight in food and wine, danced around the house and LAUGHED…a lot


This was our house for the weekend (oh the joy of having a rich relative!) The sun even shone for a few hours on Saturday morning so we all rushed out in our pj’s armed with fresh coffee to make the most of it….


Even when it slipped behind the clouds we had a glorious view (below) and didn’t dare complain…we popped into Looe instead for coffee, cake and shopping!


Portscatho Homespun Fair was on April 1st and although it was rather chilly, it was great to catch up with everyone – next fair is The Vintage Bazaar in Frome on April 20th 9am – 3pm which I have never done before and am really exited about (apart from the 5am start!) x

Sick of being sick!

AAaarrggghhhh….my busiest time of year and I’m sick of being sick! At least I work at home and have been able to potter around making candles (at a greatly reduced pace though!)

You may remember that I did some candles in unwanted Cath Kidston stuff that I had hanging around the house, well they are back for Christmas by popular demand (more pix on my facebook page) I have been cracking on with my orders….

These are for my postie who knocked with parcels the other day while I was making creme brulee candles…”what are you cooking?” he asked and then ordered four! Bless him.

I have been messing around with candles in 1950’s pottery, as vintage teacup candles seem to be popping up everywhere now and I don’t like to be doing the same as everyone else (unlike some people in Birmingham I could mention!) The trouble with programmes like Kirstie & her vintage home, is that things become more expensive and increasingly difficult to source. I am fortunate to have lots of vintage contacts now though, having been doing the shows for the last few years. They often let me know if they have jelly moulds etc. Don’t think I could survive without them now! Thanks gals!

My lovely friend Emma is organising this Christmas Craft Fair in North Devon on 29th November, it is in the Carriage House of a friends property and sounds lush (haven’t seen it yet) There will be various artists and makers, mulled wine and mince pies plus lots of festive goodies if you want to shop handmade and local this Christmas!

I have just found out that I am doing another local fair on the evening of November 27th, 7pm at The Crab Shack, Teignmouth (on the back beach by The Ship Inn) this is in aid of a fishermans charity. There will be lots of local goodies including driftwood & my candles…more info to follow..

I am in Portscatho on Sunday 10am – 3pm at The Memorial  Hall. This is always a fab day out run by the artist Jane Winton and Gertie, who runs the gorgeous shop “The Sea Garden” in Portscatho village. Free entry, great local crafts, vintage homewares and yummy cakes!

I’m getting quite excited about Christmas now and hoping I’ll be lurgy-free….. I made my Guinness Christmas pud during the week and have my Christmas cake fruit soaking in Cherry Brandy in the fridge – yum! Today I’m making Amaretto candles, the whole house stinks and it’s making me feel extremely hungry. I should be trying to shift a few pounds in the run-up to festive over indulgence but I’m too ill & have already nearly finished the jumbo tin of Celebrations I bought for the hol’s and told the kids to leave alone! Fortunately MadMen 5  dropped through the letter box the other day so I have had Don Draper etc. for company and I’m reading a great book “The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year” very encouraging, think I may take a leaf out of her book! Can’t wait for The Killing III on Saturday night too but for now I had better go and make some candles x

Crazy days….and Country Living Magazine

Portscatho was fab, saw lots of familiar faces and had a stall next to Kirsty Elson who makes beautful little houses and boats from recycled beach finds, slate, driftwood etc. I am now the proud owner of a little white cottage, one of hers of course! She is such good fun & the hours flew by…

The next day we left for London (via Buck’s to catch up with my old friend Shazza, who I haven’t seen for 6 years since moving to Devon). During that time she’s had 2 beautiful children (Gioia & Jack) It was a wonderful day, posh cakes were produced and there were lots of screams, tears, hugs & kisses! That’s her above with my daughter Billie – both looking gorgeous!

Another stop off in the village of Bourne End, where we used to live, to see my friend Jane and drop off a jelly mould candle that one of her friends had ordered (thought I’d save her the P&P) then back in the car to South London finally reaching our destination at 7pm. After a few days of shopping, socialising, drinking and eating too much I was happy to return to the quiet, wet country lanes of Devon on Friday. A pop-up “All things Vintage and lovely” went ahead in Torquay on Saturday & Sunday. I did the one on Saturday which was a bit slow but it’s always a good opportunity for a catch up.

I then spent the next couple of days pondering whether or not it is worth all the time and effort I dedicate to Peagreen (generally how I feel if I’ve had a quiet fair!) only to find an email from Country Living Magazine sitting in my inbox, asking me if I would like to sell my candles on a stall at their Christmas fair in Islington in November!  Well…as you can imagine I was blown away and had to take five before I was calm enough to call the number. “Do you know of Country Living Magazine?” asks Miranda “do I know it? It’s my bible” I wanted to scream back excitedly, as my eyes swept over the enormous pile of them on a shelf in my office – but didn’t, calmly agreeing to have the application form submitted within the next 24 hours, and ignoring the whopping fee, I hit “send” yesterday and decided to cross the next bridge when I came to it.

Off to Teignmouth with the family to meet some friends now – gotta make the most of the sun when it shines! I found these gorgeous Art Deco sundae dishes in a charity shop there yesterday which will make beautiful candles…

One last thing, my partner in crime got back from Spain last night after a month long holiday (how dare she leave me for so long!?!) Obviously I was straight round there this morning, wading through the piles of laundry and ignoring the fact that she had loads of other things to do I had to give her my Country Living news. She sent me this postcard whilst on her travels which made me smile…

… it looks like Poor Pauly don’t you think? Except PP is a lot more smiley and has a lot more stubble!

Downderry, Cornwall…

Had a wonderful day in Cornwall last Saturday mostly spent slurping Pimms on the beach deck of Paul’s cousins gorgeous house in Downderry. Three generations of Paul’s huge family were there (three sisters, their nine children & partners and their seventeen offspring!) The sun shone and we all had lots of fun.

I awoke the next day to my 43rd birthday which started well with coffee and brownies at Ode in Shaldon with my girls…

…and finished well with dinner & drinks at The Thatched Tavern with my buddies! As always I managed to drag the celebrations out for the majority of the week, spending Monday with my old pal Simon, we visited Ashburton & Totnes (via Dartington for lunch at Cranks) He cooked a curry in the evening & my neighbours came round for dinner, I also heard from a very dear, old friend after a 6 year silence which made my day! I spent Tuesday night with my folks, brother and Aunt in Teignmouth (out for dinner again) Wednesday with the in-laws  (drinks by the sea at The Cary Arms and lunch at Ode on Thursday) before they left to head back to Birmingham.

I had lunch out again yesterday and had dinner with some pals last night so have barely cooked all week – it’s been fantastic! Although I may well have a change of heart if I jump on the scales! Anyway…I’m supposed to be getting ready for Portscatho Homespun Fair in Cornwall tomorrow, where I will be selling my candles, so had better get on and stop letting myself be distracted by the computer and the Olympics!

Summer arrives at last…

Well Exeter Cathedral Flower Festival went by without a hitch, I was pretty busy and even sold a vintage Jubilee candle to Paul Burrell. I didn’t realise it was him and he was chattering away about how lovely my candles were, then after a bit of investigation… I learn that he owns a flower shop in Cheshire (where they sell those disgusting Yankee candles I might add!)  I was exhausted after four long days and am in awe of all those full-time working mums. I was having to rise at the crack of dawn in order to get everything done!

My youngest daughter experienced her last day at primary school, my oldest daughter passed her grade 2 harp exam and PP had the pleasure of holding the fort for me at Trull Hall on the day of the double booking! Last weekend I had a two day pitch on Paignton Green (Torbay Carnival)  Tuesday morning we drove to Swanage and met up with friends on Knoll Beach. We spent the day there again yesterday, in and out of the sea in the blistering heat, 25 of us out for pizza in the evening (to the dismay of the young staff team!) We arrived back home at midnight and collapsed in our beds. Needless to say we are having a lazy day today & all look a bit pink!

No craft fairs now until Portscatho on August 5th so I’m looking forward to some family time. We are out for drinks tonight on the beach in Shaldon then off to Downderry, Cornwall for a family party on Saturday. It’s my birthday on Sunday so it’ll be down to The Thatched Tavern for dinner and drinks with friends and more catching up next week with my brother (down from Buck’s) my Aunt (over from Canada) and the in-laws (visiting from Birmingham) Let’s hope the sun keeps shining…..