Steel City Treasure Hunt 

Had fun last Saturday, searching for treasures round the Sheffield charity shops with my friend Zaz!


Zaz came over from Stockport for the day so I laid on a special guided tour around my favourite charity shops in Woodseats, Crookes and Broomhill. We found some really random things, such as these delightful framed ‘Canals’ and ‘Trees’ pictures! Weird or wot?

Charity shop randomness

Check out this excellent decoupage dog. And also the unusual artwork (bottom right) …I still can’t work out what it is!

Charity shop madness

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good handmade card, and this is one of the finest I’ve ever seen. It was only 45p.

The Gratitude Otters

We went to Rileys & Co for lunch. I’ve been loads of times before but I’d never tried their cake.

The entrance to Rileys & Co. on Farrar Road

…The cake did not disappoint! I chose the carrot one and can recommend it highly. Zaz had a cheesecake which she also said was excellent.

In and around Rileys & Co.

I like how all the menus in Rileys cafe are pegged inside vintage books. This was the one on our table…

Num Num and his funny family

There are so many cool things in Rileys…vintage and retro homewares, clothes and accessories, antiques, paintings and artwork, plus a selection of locally handmade crafts.

Zaz in Rileys & Co.

Rileys also has a cool outdoor toilet. A proper old-fashioned one at the bottom of the garden! I love it!

Backyard toilet

There’s a retro mod cafe next door called Okeh Cafe. It has a jukebox and amazing 50s diner interior. Sometimes there are loads of cool scooters parked outside.

Me outside Okeh Cafe (next to Rileys & Co.)

Here are some of my treasures collected over the course of the day. The Dallas Simpson print and funny owl coasters are destined for the Magic Town Midway shop, but I don’t think I can bring myself to part with the brown bear money-box!

Dallas Simpson print, drunken owl coasters and brown bear money-box with googly eyes.

Also look at these amazing things Zaz gave me. A soap with a frog from Bomb Cosmetics, and the best bottle opener ever! Yes, a seal. Thanks Zaz!

Seal with a bow, and frog soap.

Sheffield Antiques Quarter

Rileys & Co




Happy New Ear!

I picked up some vintage fuzzy felt just before Christmas, and even though it was destined for the Magic Town Midway Etsy shop, I couldn’t wait to have a little play! I had quite a few fuzzy felt sets when I was little and spent hours creating stuff! This is the ‘Play School’ edition and the sheet inside is dated 1960. It’s in pretty good nick considering how old it is. The only problem was that I couldn’t find enough Y’s in the box to complete my New Year’s message for Instagram! Oh well! It still looks good anyway don’t you think?!

Happy New Ear!

I love the graphics on the box, and some of the instructions on the sheet are so dated it’s ridiculous. The sheet refers only to a male child throughout!? I do love all the little pictures of the full range of fuzzy felt sets on the other side though, it makes me wish I had all of them!

Play School Fuzzy – Felt
More fuzzy – felts! Love the ballet and jungle ones best.

If you love fuzzy felt too, this set is available from the Magic Town Midway Etsy shop, and not only that, but you can save 30% off the usual price until the end of January. Hooray! Happy New Ear!

Visit the shop for more photos and info – Vintage Fuzzy – Felt


Etsy Made Local Sheffield 2017

I had a great time at the Etsy Made Local Christmas market earlier this month! It was a two-day event running from the 2nd – 3rd December and was organised by Sophie, Jayne and Rob from the Etsy Sheffield Team. It was the first fair I’d done in ages, so I was really excited about it.

In and around the Cutlers’ Hall

The market took place at the Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield city centre. I’d never been inside before. It’s so ornate, I really loved it. You wouldn’t think it was so grand from the outside.

Stained glass window at Cutlers’ Hall

All the previous fairs I’ve done have been craft fairs or trade shows selling greeting cards, so it was my first outing into the real world with Magic Town Midway.

This way for Etsy Made Local

It was good to meet customers face to face and find out which sort of things seemed to sell and which didn’t. I was surprised that I sold very few of the Christmas items I took for some reason, even though there was a very festive vibe and Christmas songs playing all day to get people in the mood! You can never tell what will take people’s fancy though! Here I am at my stall…

The Magic Town Midway stall!

Of course I took way too much stuff with me, and had the same amount of stock again under the table in boxes!

Vintage things! That Mike Read mug didn’t go!

One of the items which attracted the most attention was this celery jar. Lots of people picked it up and said things like ‘No wayyyy my Great Aunt Mary had one of those!’. The little squirrel nutkin brush seen below was also a firm favourite with everyone who saw him, although he didn’t manage to find a home.

Mr Celery, Squirrel Nutkin, Crazy Clown and Fruit Cat, guarding the stall.

Here’s a brilliant photo by Heather Isobel Photography of the Etsy Sheffield stallholders, gathered on the grand staircase just before we opened on the Saturday morning.

The Etsy Sheffield Team, photo by Heather Isobel Photography

And this is my photo.. taken all the way from the back of the group!

My photo of Heather taking the photo of us!

The main hall was very grand and perfect for a Christmas market. It got very busy, especially on the Saturday.

The main hall. My stall is on the right hand side. Photo by Heather Isobel Photography

Rob manning the stall…

Customers browsing at my stall! My assistant Rob stands by, ready to, well, assist.

I love this next photo! So happy that Mr. Celery found a new home in time for Xmas! 🙂

The lovely customer who bought Mr. Celery from my stall. Photo by Heather Isobel Photography

There are so many talented artists and makers in the team, not to mention vintage sellers too! Check out the Sheffield Sellers on Etsy site here for more info and links to all the traders who took part in this year’s event.

Look at these beauties I got from fellow vintage seller Laura at Grey Day Vintage. Aren’t they fab! Loads more cool things in her shop too, so have a look!

Fun things from Grey Day Vintage

Hopefully there will be another Etsy Made Local hosted in Sheffield next Christmas. Follow the Facebook page to stay tuned, and for info on events running throughout the year.



Vintage Greeting Cards – Charity Shop Find!

A few weeks back I found a collection of old greeting cards for sale at St. Luke’s vintage shop at Broomhill (one of my fave charity shops btw). Anyway, I collect vintage cards so it was lucky I found them! This is just a few of them…

Vintage greeting cards

There were about 30 in the collection, some were unused but the majority were addressed to a couple called Dave and Stella. There are birthday cards, engagement cards, wedding and new home cards. Some of the 21st cards are Dave’s, and some are Stella’s.

Vintage 21st Birthday Cards

I think they must have married very young (by todays standards at least) as there is a ‘Happy 21st Birthday to my Wife’ card from Dave to Stella. It’s a big padded one in a box! Cute or what!? I can’t imagine 21 year olds choosing cards like this anymore…

Happy Birthday to my dear Wife

I’m guessing all the cards are 60s, it’s difficult putting a date on them though because some of them are so quaint with sparkles & foiling that they look almost more like a 50s style. And a few of them seem a bit 70s to me. However, looking through them I feel they must all have been sent within a couple of years of each other and therefore there’s no way they can span over three decades! Any ideas? Wish people would date their cards so I don’t have this problem!

I love these pretty ones with glitter and gold foil keys. A lot of them are padded. You never see a good padded card these days do you? The ‘Happy Birthday Greetings’ bit on the one at the bottom is padded. The one on the left also has pink ribbon on the key. All these little touches seem to make the cards of yesteryear really luxurious somehow.

Key of the door

Really love the wording inside this next one, plus the inscription from Stella’s Nan and Grandfather!! So old fashioned with the cigarette! Probably be a vape fag these days, if that’s what you call them. (That’s what I call them).

21st Birthday Card complete with real cigarette. No vaping. Just pure nicotine like a proper young man.

An illustrated one. I’m not really keen on the illustration style, but it’s fun and very of its time I suppose! Weird how it has the garish little cartoons, but also a classic scalloped gold border and script. It’s quite big too.

Illustrated card with gold scalloped edging

This next one is one of my favourites. It’s got foil horseshoes and held it’s held together with ribbon.

Large 21st Birthday Card with beads, horseshoes and a key.

On to Dave & Stella’s engagement cards now. They’re all really pretty and floral and the pink one with two hearts is padded. The middle bottom one with the rose is like a pillow!

Engagement Card selection

Quaint and delightful wedding cards, all in a similar style with wedding bells and horseshoes of course. The one in the centre on the bottom row is photographic and shiny, and I like it best because it’s different. Seems a bit ahead of its time compared to the others.

Vintage Wedding Cards

I really love this fab pop-up card, it’s my favourite one out of all of them.  I would be so happy if someone gave me this on my wedding day!

Congratulations on your wedding.

The way it says ‘Here’s to years of Happy Sledding’ makes me laugh! So quaint and lovely. Get ready for the inside…

Pop-up card! Look at them on their sleigh!

I feel like pop-up cards need to make a come back! Bet they’d be ridiculously expensive to manufacture though.

Lastly, here are a couple of New Home cards. I assume Dave and Stella went about things in the ‘proper’ manner and did not cohabit until married. Shock horror if they did, tut tut. The weather house card is so nice with the funny little picture inside, I love everything about it.

New Home Cards – ‘Set Fair’

I think if this last one was a card it would be my overall favourite, but it’s actually an envelope! It’s pretty much the best envelope I’ve ever seen though! The illustration and typography are spot on. What fun, eh?!

Humour! From GUESS WHO!? We’ll never know I suppose, but whoever filled in the comments was obviously a bit of a card! LOL – gerrit?

I love finding collections of cards such as these, but it does make me think of Dave and Stella and wonder how their lives panned out, and why their cards all ended up in a charity shop. Best not to think about it too much, but I do hope they’re still out there somewhere, still happily sledding.

Aren’t old cards just the best? Anyone else collect them?






End of Intermission. Part Two – Magic Town Midway

Hello, Janine here! Welcome to my new corner of the internet – ‘The Magic Town Midway Blog’!

Magic Town Midway
Magic Town Midway

I had a previous long-running blog, ‘The Dilys Treacle Blog’. When I started blogging in 2009 I’d set up a small greeting card publishing business, Dilys Treacle Treasures, with a website and Etsy shop of the same name. I used to write about my adventures in card publishing, plus anything else I liked.

Several years down the line however, I’d moved away from the greeting card world as the business side was taking up more time than designing and doing stuff I loved. In 2015 I reopened my Etsy shop to sell some remaining stock, but also listed some vintage things too, mainly stuff I’d picked up at antique shops but never had room to display!

Vintage Tiddley Winks found by Magic Town Midway

My love of history and mid century design meant that collecting vintage trinkets had been a long term pastime, and it seemed a natural progression to curate a vintage collection online which I could sell in my shop.

Before I knew it the vintage side had taken over and I was out and about most weekends scouring the local area for old treasures…anything from cool toys and books, to quirky curios and bric-a-brac. I must confess that around 80% of the time I feel unable to part with the things I find and they end up somewhere in our front room, but mostly I know the treasures will be heading to good new homes and that makes me happy enough to let them go! I’ve recently added a selection of vintage greeting cards and postcards to the shop, plus a few antiques, and I’m also planning on using it as an outlet for my own artwork and illustration stuff in the coming months, so there will be a real random mix.

Magic Town Midway Vintage goodies
A few things for sale in my shop.

Once I’d started selling vintage I renamed the Etsy shop and the blog ‘Magic Town Midway’. I’d liked the name Magic Town for awhile, and a midway is an American term for a sideshow or amusements at a fairground, which I thought fitted in well with my ever-growing online bazaar!

I’ve been working on rebranding for the last few months and have now started afresh by getting a new blog too. The whole shebang! So, without further ado, I hereby christen this blog The Magic Town Midway Blog!

Click here to visit the shop.

Stay tuned…