Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My New Secret Addiction

Every fall and spring, the school hosts casual fundraisers with games and food and vendors.  At the Christmas-themed one, I ran across a booth selling Hazle Ceramics.  I had never heard of them, which makes sense because I'm from Texas.  But I was intrigued by the "Nation of Shopkeepers" historic storefronts they produce.  They are made in limited, numbered editions, painted by hand and just so darned cute.  And collectible.  Hmmm... I need to keep reminding myself WHY I don't need every single one that catches my eye.

Am I right, or what?  Every shop they produce in ceramic exists here in England.  For example, Paxton and Whitfields in London was established in 1797 and is still in operation today, famous for its cheeses.  

The picture above was taken outside the real shop on Jermyn Street.  The Hazle Ceramics version of it is below.  Looovvveee it!
So back before Christmas, I purchased these three and put them on display in a window located between the family room and kitchen where I've placed my dining table.

At the May Fair fundraiser this past weekend, the same older British gentleman was manning the Hazle booth again.  I had snapped a pic on my phone of the three I had, hoping to add two more to my small collection as precious reminders of our time in England.

About £220 later, I am the proud owner of four more shop fronts.  I decided to add two other Christmas themed stores so I could pull out three and display them separately at the holidays.

While the British gentleman and I were chatting, he was giving me a lot of background and information about the brand - must have had sucker collector written all over me.  He mentioned that they made a Sainsbury's store and I was tickled pink because that is where I do the bulk of my grocery shopping and it would be a particularly personal one for me if I could get my hands on this retired piece.

Thanks to the internet, it didn't take me long to locate one.  And a couple other new additions to my burgeoning collection.

I'm expecting delivery of The Nutshell, in the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest pub in England.  The reason I chose this one is because it's part of the Jubilee Collection (we'll be here for the celebrations next month) and Ollie our Cairn Terrier was purchased from a breeder in Bury St. Edmunds where it is located.

The third one is Dickens' Christmas Carol, which I've taught to ESL students.  The final one in this latest assault on our bank account is based on The King's Head, a pub in Windsor, that has been temporarily renamed The Queen's Scarf for her Jubilee year.

I filched these pics from the website where I purchased them, so they're a bit fuzzy.  Maybe I'll get industrious and take the ones I obtained at the May Fair out of their boxes and gaze at fondly take pics of them for you to see.  

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