28 November 2006

Sunday's Fair

I forgot to mention yesterday how the Fair went on Sunday! Not a good one, I'm afraid. The weather may well have put people off - torrential rain for much of the day. We didn't get off to a good start as the carpark at the rear of the Hotel where we were supposed to unload was waterlogged and we had to go 'the pretty way' along about a mile of farm track and approach the venue from a different angle. The muddy slope down to the patio doors was hair-raising with all our stock, but at least we managed to get everything in during a dry spell.

There were quite a few browsers, but we spent quite a time buying from one another! Consequently, low sales and high spending! I came home with a few Christmas gifts, and 3 eiderdowns and 4 bags to sell on.

Packing up to go home was even worse, as it was dark and the slope was even squelchier than in the morning. Two dealers set off and then returned while I was still loading up (I always take far too much) as they had taken a wrong turn off the rough track and ended up in a field. Four of us finally set off in convoy and found the main road - relief all round!!

Despite all that most of us knew one another, and any that didn't soon joined in the chatter. We all had a laugh and caught up with the gossip that we usually don't have time for. From a social point of view it was a lovely day, and I'm sure the charity will receive a good donation.

27 November 2006

Downstairs Loo!

Remember a couple of months ago I said the old coal-hole was going to be transformed? Well, it's getting there. The loo and basin were put in soon after that post, but that's as far as it got as neither of us had any time to get it beyond the basics. But today I played!

As you can see, the walls aren't plastered and we decided not to have them done as it's narrow enough without giving up precious millimetres to plaster! So the brickwork has simply been painted white. I unpacked the box marked "bathroom bits" (not viewed since we moved in July), and found all sorts of goodies. My long-suffering husband finally put up the shelf and I began to fill it. He also put up a mirror but he'd had enough by then, so all the other bits and pieces which need to be fixed to the wall are piled on the shelves or left in the box (for the time being). Anyway, this is the start of making the coal-hole more user-friendly! I thought you might like to see how I utilise my precious free time when I finally have a day off!

Most items have a story to tell, apart from the shells, which I purchased recently from another dealer. Knowing my passion for beach-huts and seaside-related things, Hannah has given me most of the other bits and pieces. The tiny espadrilles were sent to me by Han's 'best friend' who lives in Australia. She saw them in a shop window and burst out laughing as they reminded her of the time we - she, her mum, her sister, Hannah and I - went to Palavas in the South of France for a fortnight. I'd bought some turquoise espadrilles on the beach one day and wore them constantly. One particular day we went to visit some friends in Marseilles and they took us for a walk. The Heavens opened and we got absolutely drenched. When we got back to our apartment my feet were turquoise and I spent the next 2 hours sitting on the loo with my feet in the bidet scrubbing them with a pan scourer. The girls thought it was hilarious and there's a photo somewhere to prove it!! It took about 3 days of sea, sand and showering to finally remove the colour! Twenty years later Emma saw these and thought of me! I bought a box frame, printed off a photo of the sea and shingle at Buddleigh Salterton, and framed them. Whenever I catch sight of them I'm transported back to 1984!

There's a little glass jar of shells from Han's holiday in Cuba a few years ago and a lighthouse. "The English at the Seaside" is a lovely vintage book with illustrations. This isn't the end result, more a work in progress! I still have to finish painting it out and need to find something for the floor. The door is currently a fairly bright green which doesn't really go with the seaside theme, and I still haven't painted the ceiling! But I have plans ...

25 November 2006

Charity Antiques Fair - CLIC

Tomorrow, Sunday, I have a stand at a Charity Antiques Fair organised in aid of CLIC. There will be about 14 dealers and if anyone is in the vicinity of Warminster, Wiltshire tomorrow, then it would be good to see you.

The Fair is being held at Bishopstrow House Hotel, which is on the eastern outskirts of Warminster, on the B3414. The Fair is open from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm.

I'll let you know how I get on!

24 November 2006

My Mum - a PS to yesterday's posting

This is the photo of Mum that I couldn't post last night. It was taken about 18 months ago. If you read the Memories post you'll be able to work out her age (and I know she looks years younger than me ...). I was hoping to edit the photo but couldn't for some reason. The two little boys are my cousin's twins.

I'm obviously never going to be able to post the photo of Hannah that I was hoping to show you. Each time I upload it the end result in a plain green box - no piccie.

23 November 2006


At last - the very nice man at the computer shop has managed to get everything off my old deceased computer hard drive and I've now loaded 642 photos onto my new computer. I've had fun browsing through them this evening, and decided to add a couple of them to this posting. Niki (Nostalgia at the Stone House) posted some lovely shots of her former shop under the heading 'Memories' and suggested we should all find some memories to share.

Here are some of mine ...

The first is my paternal grandmother long before I knew her of course. What an upright Edwardian figure. By the time I was born she was quite rotund. At least I have the excuse that 'it's in the genes'!!

This is my Dad in the mid 1960s. I was just a few weeks pregnant when he died in 1973. I have wonderful memories of growing up and all the jolly times we shared ... Sunday mornings in the garage being shown how to use hammer and nails, screwdrivers, saws, paintbrushes etc; picnics in the country; learning to drive in my uncle's fields when I was 13; maths homework (how could a bank manager's daughter NOT understand basic arithmetic?). And trying to be quiet during the cricket scores at lunchtime (not easy). Life was always fun (apart from the homework) and I am only sad that my daughter never knew him, although he knew she was on the way.

She's 32 now and getting married next year. I've tried 4 times to load a couple of photos of her, circa 1976, but it looks as if they'll have to wait for another posting as I'm not having much luck. This one is 'early Christmas' 2004 and just a tad worrying. I'm glad to say she seems to have made a full recovery, which is quite a relief!

I took the stickers photo for Mum. She has just agreed a sale of her house and would very much like to take the doors with her. She used to look after Hannah while I was working and they "played stickers" for several years until one or other of them (not sure which) grew out of the sticker phase. There are even more stuck to the end of one of the kitchen wall cupboards. They've been there since the late 70s and it'll seem strange not to see them around any longer.

I hope you've enjoyed my little trip down memory lane. Part of the story may be sad, but the memories will always be there and all being well Mum is coming to live next door. She's nearly 86 (and would be very cross if she knew I'd told you!) and looking forward to moving the 150 miles to be near to us. She's fighting fit, thankfully, still goes into uncontrollable hysterical laughter at the slightest thing, and I think we're going to have fun. It'll be so nice to have her near after 18 years of being so far away. So, fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong with her sale or purchase and roll on the first week in January which is the anticipated completion date.

22 November 2006

A Day at Home!

I can't believe it! I've actually stayed at home ALL day, and I think I might be able to manage to do it again on Friday!

I've had an achieving day of sorts. I've put a patch on a double eiderdown that has been folded up on top of the armoire for months; mended the small tear I created at Shepton in a small eiderdown (I caught it on my display shelves - woops!); darned another damaged eiderdown. Just how many damaged ones does a girl need? Luckily I have another dozen or so which are in excellent condition!

I washed and tumble dried another eiderdown which had been lurking in a bag in the storage unit we rented when we moved house in July. I'd forgotten it was there, and found it a couple of days ago when I was hunting for some warm jumpers. Because we have work to be done on the house we decided to continue renting the store so that we didn't cram the house with boxes of unnecessary items just for the sake of it. Far better to keep it all in the store until all the dusty work has been done and the new carpets fitted. Consequently, winter clothes are hiding somewhere and we're not sure where! Unfortunately the timescale for the works isn't quite what we had envisaged and we're still waiting for the builder to come and knock down the wall between the bathroom and loo. Meanwhile I'll continue to search for warmer clothes!

And finally, I ironed two Irish linen single sheets with beautiful cutwork borders. They'll be going with me to the Charity Fair on Sunday, and if they come home again they might just have to live with me for ever. If not, then they may come up on the website which might be ready in 2-3 weeks' time!

It doesn't sound as if I've done very much, but believe me it's 10.30 pm and I've no idea where the day has gone. A few business phone calls, a long call to my Mum regarding her impending house move, and a visit from another dealer used up another couple of hours. I'm sure that leaves 4 or 5 hours unaccounted for, but not to worry.

Still no photos I'm afraid. The new computer is up and running but we don't know where to look for the CD relating to the camera and consequently I can't upload any photos for the time being. I'm sure when we packed everything from the office when we moved it was put in a safe place ... maybe it's hiding behind the eiderdown bag in the storage unit!

I am not stressed ...
I am not stressed ...
I am keeping calm ... !!

19 November 2006

Shepton Showers!

Well, it rained again on Friday when everyone was setting up for the 3-day Shepton Antiques Fair. There were some wet pitches and stallholders once again but, despite the wind and rain, most of Friday's buyers were in a cheerful frame of mind.

It was good to see Clare and Mike and Kelly and Paul - and quite amazing how Clare and Kelly managed to arrive at my stand within minutes of one another. Hopefully they'll be pleased with their purchases!

I was sad to hear that it was Niki's last Shepton Fair for a while, but hopefully she'll still come along and find some bargains, even if she's not there in an 'official capacity'. If you are a regular visitor to her blog you'll have seen the lovely angels she made. I was delighted to find she still had a few left when I went to her pitch on Friday, and I bought two - and one of them is wearing a skirt made from some fabric Niki purchased from me at the Giant Flea Market a few months ago!

I'm afraid there are no photos to show you this time as my old computer died last week - totally - with no hope of reviving it. Consequently I've had to replace it and as yet haven't loaded the camera software on this new machine. However, there is hopefully 'joy in anticipation' and I'll endeavour to post some soon.

The website idea is taking shape and I have commandeered someone to try and sort my ideas into some semblance of order. Meanwhile I'll continue selling at the Fairs and in the two Antiques Centres where I rent space. Next weekend there is a small Charity Antiques Fair at Bishopstrow House Hotel in Warminster. I'm one of about 14 dealers taking part. Let's hope for good weather and a good turnout to help boost the funds of CLIC.

02 November 2006

Where has the last month gone?

I have been suitably reprimanded by cityfarmer! Apologies for staying away so long but I seem to have lost October!!

There are so many items to photograph - especially quilts and eiderdowns - but finding the time when the light has been good enough has been a difficult, and I've been travelling up and down to Northamptonshire several weekends running for various family occasions which has meant I've had no time to bring you up to date with all that's been going on.

Just to keep you going, this is a wonderful pair of quilts (not eiderdowns) with what I assume is a cotton batting filling. They are large, heavy single size and are quite possibly Danish. The colours are rich, with no fading that I've seen so far.

With luck I'll have some time before the next Shepton Fair to add a few more photos, and I'm also planning to set up a website for sales, although this may not happen until the new year.