31 December 2007

New Year ... New Beginnings ...

Firstly, I should like to thank everyone for their comments during 2007. It has been such fun living life with blogland ever present in the background. This oversized family which we have become has been such a joy, with plenty of laughter along the way. There have been a few stressful times too, when you have lent your support with such wonderful comments. Your support of the Vintage to Victorian website has also been much appreciated. I haven't really kept up with it as I intended, but life being what it is in the fast lane (aka the sleepy town of Somerton), time has frequently run out to fit everything in ... or if not time, then my camera battery has similarly run out of steam!

But now 2007 is drawing to a close. Changes are afoot and 2008 is to be a year of "new beginnings".

As you may recall, I mentioned recently that I had made a huge decision. You will also have seen some shots of Dairy House Antiques which I posted earlier this month. Dairy House is an antiques centre/shop currently home to 10 dealers (soon to be more). From April 2008 it will be under new ownership. This may sound a long way off but, believe me, it will arrive quicker than we think.

Have you guessed yet?
Yes ... it's me!!!

As of 6 April the new proprietor of Dairy House Antiques, Semley, near Shaftesbury will be Mrs S M Meager ... and she very much hopes you will all be with her every step of the way. She will be very much in need of tea, sympathy, pats on the back, a stiff G&T at regular intervals, chocolate (equally frequently), knock-out drops, encouragement and, above all, someone to say "you're doing the right thing". Do you fancy coming along for the ride? She does hope so! (And I promise I will write no more than one post per week which begins with the expletive "Aaaaaaaaargh!!!") Wish me luck!

And to you
Dear Readers
I wish ...
the best of good fortune ...
the happiest of years ...
the energy to continue to write your wonderful posts ...
and health and prosperity throughout the coming year!
Happy New Year
to One and All
Sue x

24 December 2007

So Here It Is ...

Merry Christmas
Wishing You All a Very Happy Christmas
and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
I took photos of our tree but despite two attempts and about 30 photos, not one is blogworthy. They were all blurred and out of focus. Sorry!
But that doesn't stop me wishing you
everything you would wish for yourselves this Christmas
and here's to a jolly blogging 2008 to us all ...

14 December 2007

Dairy Selection ...

I actually remembered to take my camera with me yesterday so was able to take some photos at Dairy House Antiques. I took them with a view to adding them on to the DHA website which is currently just a front page saying where we are. However, as there are a lot of you out there who are interested in antiques generally I thought I'd list them here, too. It will also give you an idea of where I spend my Thursdays!

A fuse blew when I turned on one of the lights yesterday morning, so for an hour or two we were in semi-darkness in what happens to be the darkest room of the building. The walls are painted a dark green and there is very little daylight coming in, so it was rather tomb-like for a while. But at least it was warm as that's the room with a huge woodburner which I soon had roaring away and giving out plenty of heat on a chilly day.

Currently, there are ten dealers renting space but more are anticipated in the spring and I've made a monumental decision which I'll post about after Christmas. Meantime, if you are in the region of the Dorset/Wiltshire border any time soon, do pop in and see us.

I'm taking Mum to the garden centre in Yeovil which Pauley and I found the other day. Their Christmas area has been set out beautifully, and P and I stood for ages grinning like children at the amazing train set with carriages not unlike the Pullman Express travelling round a snowy track. It all looked wonderful and I know Mum will love it. She'll probably remind me of the winter of 1947 when they had to dig their way along the A5/Watling Street in Northamptonshire (with photos to prove it!). But I shall laugh and say "I expected you'd say that!" They also have hundreds of large toy animals, presumably battery operated, that 'breathe', furry penguins which flap their wings, a dog lying in front of a hearth which lifts its head and rests it on one paw and then the other. Such fun. I don't think I've been so excited about a shop's Christmas display ... ever!

Time to get on ...

08 December 2007

Packed My Bags and I'm Ready To Go ...

... to the Giant Flea tomorrow morning ... leaving home at 7.00 am! Hopefully the weather forecast stating there could be 80 mph winds in the West Country got it wrong. Niki, complete with cold, Clare ditto, and other regulars are hoping to come, so I hope for their sakes that it's not too wild and woolly but I have a feeling it will be. On the plus side, provided people come, I could do well as I doubt if there will be too many braving outside pitches.

I've just been looking at where my blog visitors come from, and where they go after they've visited me. I'm always interested when it shows someone from Northampton has looked as I wonder if I know them ... perhaps we were at school together ... or caught the same bus ... I love this small world we bloggers live in. Sadly, unless they leave a comment I'll never know who they are. Sitemeter gives the location, but never the address, wisely I'm sure, but I'm too curious, and always check how they got to me and who they decided to visit next.

No photos today, but there could be a few next week ... all being well!

Have a jolly, and not too chilly, weekend!

Update: Monday evening
What a wet day it was, with fewer visitors than normal (but more than expected)! It turned out to be a reasonably good day from the sales point of view, with one or two large items selling which added nicely to the total. Thank you all for your good wishes. That's it now until January. No more loading up the car for a few weeks ... and Christmas? .... I think I might have time to write cards, plan prezzies, fill the fridge and freezer and write my letter to Santa! Who knows, I might even manage to add a few items to the website!

02 December 2007

Dates for 2008 - Shepton Mallet Fairs

I've just correlated the dates for the DMG Antiques Fair and the Giant Flea Market and have listed them at the bottom of the sidebar.

I can't believe how they've messed up their dates for 2008. In 2007 DMG decided to cancel the January Fair but many stallholders complained as, believe it or not, it is a good Fair. As a result DMG reinstated it but cancelled the July Fair which seemed to suit everyone as it's usually quite a poor Fair at the start of the holiday season. Meanwhile, Sue Ede had taken up the offer of a January date for the Giant Flea Market. Not ideal having them both in the same month, but we lived with it!

The ridiculous thing is they've done it again for 2008, but if you check the listing you'll see that for 2 months the Fairs are on consecutive weekends. How daft is that? So, in January we have 2 Fairs (2 weekends in a row); there's nothing in February; 2 Fairs (3 weeks apart) in March; nothing in April; 2 Fairs (2 weekends in a row again) in May and then, the most ridiculous thing, absolutely nothing from the 9-11 May date until 31 AUGUST, leaving 3½ months with no Fairs at all. Thankfully they get their act together thereafter, and there is a Fair a month from September to December. The Fairs were always staged in alternate months and we all knew where we were, and could anticipate some earnings every month. Admittedly many dealers do other Fairs in between, but some of us only do Shepton and it has rather messed things up. From April 2008 my weekends are going to be taken up with another project that I'll be able to tell you about in the New Year and so travelling to other Fairs isn't going to be an option. I'm a bit miffed. Can you tell? I'll get over it, but it's a worse scenario than I had realised until I marked them all on the calendar.

Rant over ...

I hope to take some photos of stock today and really, really want to get items added to the Shop. You are all so good to keep looking and I feel I'm not keeping to my side of the bargain at all. I promise to do better in the New Year. I have plans to organise my life a bit better ... hee hee. Watch this space, but please, please don't hold your breath!

Have a jolly Sunday afternoon.

25 November 2007

Sortings and Findings ...

What a lovely sunny day! Yesterday was bitterly cold in Somerset, but I spent the day snug-as-a-bug sorting the studio to make room for the jumbled contents of the spare bedroom which, as you know, is mostly stock! (And no, I haven't bought anything since I promised not to buy for at least a week)

Today I'm in the spare bedroom sorting the piles of things on top of piles of things on top of ... you know exactly what I mean, I'm sure. Well, some of you might! Anyway, I've just found a super cookery book which I'd forgotten about, entitled Court Favourites which is a collection of recipes from Royal Kitchens. The last chapter is entitled "From Royal Stillrooms" and I thought you might enjoy the following:

TO MAKE HAIR GROW (circa 1653)
Beat three tablespoonfuls of honey well with a handful of vine springs that twist like wire. Strain the juice into the honey. Anoint the bald places therewith.

CURE FOR SHINGLES (circa 1700)
Take juice of garden herbs, mints, grass of each a like quantity, put to it sallett oyle, not so much as to make it appear green, and put thereto as much white wyne and vinegar as of juice and oyle, a handful of dry salt beaten small, and with a feather annoint ye shingles morning and evening.

'Which if diseased or ill-conditioned affects the indwelling soul.' Victoria, June, 1835
Never sit up late. Never stay in bed late in the morning. Sponge the entire body every morning with cold spring water. This should be done at once upon rising. Dry with a rough towel and continue to friction the skin of the whole person for not less than fifteen minutes every day.
Drink four large half pint tumblers of clear cold, or very hot water each day upon an empty stomach. That is to say, upon rising, at about 11 am, at 2.30 pm and at bedtime.
Take a corrective digestive dose of medicine once in each week.
Sleep with the window open at the top - even in wet or cold weather.
Keep the head cool by washing it frequently in cold water and avoid nervousness by resting often.

So now we know! I'm not sure which of Queen Victoria's recommendations I'll be copying. How about you?

I knew I had hundreds of buttons, some of which still need sorting, but I hadn't realised that for 'hundreds' I should think in terms of 'thousands'. Woops ... don't need to buy any more of those for a while. Once I'm sorted I'll maybe add some tins or jars of buttons on the Vintage to Victorian online shop. I could perhaps take this opportunity to apologise to anyone to regularly checks for updates on the site. I can only say that there are so many things happening here at the moment, that there is just no time for photographing, writing and uploading, and whilst the mind is willing, the flesh is weak (well, not weak, but pulled in too many directions). I hope you'll bear with me and not give up on the website. I promise that once I have some semblance of order in my life there WILL be regular updates. I'm just not too sure when that will be.

I need to find a particular book on embroidery which seems to have disappeared temporarily. I'm sure it's here somewhere ... so ... must press on as they say!

Have a jolly Sunday/week ...

21 November 2007

Auctionitis ... and Anne of the Thousand Days ...

... So, yesterday I wasn't able to attend an auction where there were quite a few interesting-sounding Lots. Forget it ... that's what you're supposed to do. Move on ... there'll be another one soon ... and do you really need more stock?

... So, yesterday late afternoon I phoned the auction house to see what the Lots sold for ... and most of the ones I was interested in didn't sell.

... So, today Pauley and I drove up to Cheltenham to view the unsold Lots and came back with a loaded car. Did I really need it? I doubt it. But as you know there's a very fine line between need and want.

This box of linen should bring in a nice return.

These bobbins weren't the best buy in the world when I really looked at them carefully when I got home, but they'll be OK. But if there's someone out there learning to make lace, looking for a lace-making table on a stand and some books to go with the bobbins, then they could have a bargain!

And look at these 2 beautiful hand-made lace cushions.

The threads are interesting and I have no doubt they will sell in due course and the ribbons and braid are good, too.

But this ... well, I haven't taken it out of the box since we brought it home but I'll enjoy looking at it tomorrow while I'm at Dairy House. This is a 1969/70 wedding dress made by Harrods (in its original Harrods box) and it's a copy of the dress worn by Anne Boleyn (actress Geneviève Bujold) in the 1969 film Anne of the Thousand Days which also starred Richard Burton. Has anyone seen the film? I don't think I have. There is a matching headdress as you can see, and at the bottom of the box is a bridesmaid's dress and headdress, which was made at the time for a 14-year-old. An interesting Lot which didn't sell, mainly because it was added to the sale after the catalogues were printed.

... So I now have my hands tied behind my back, and you heard it here first ... I'm not buying anything else for at least a week!!!!

19 November 2007

Antiques Fair, Friends and a Surprise ... Now with (some) Piccies ...

I'm not too sure where the last week has gone but the weekend was taken up with the regular DMG Antiques Fair at Shepton Mallet. No photos as I didn't take my camera this time, and because it's pouring with rain I haven't unloaded the car yet - so can't show you any of the goodies I bought!

I'm happy to say that I did 'reasonably' well. Not up to my target figure, but not my worst fair by any means. So thank you to everyone who bought from me over the 3 days. I made a determined effort not to overspend this time as I have a lot of expenditure coming up soon (which I hope to be able to tell you about in the new year) and also, if I'm honest, I really don't need to buy any more stock for at least 12 months!!

However ... I did buy a beautiful 1920s fabric-covered box, which without measuring I guess is probably about 24" long, 12" wide and at least 6" deep. When I can extricate it from the car I'll let you know how close to the actual measurements my estimate is and will update this post with a photo. I also bought a collection of lace collars and other lace - about 75 pieces in total. My other purchase was a set of 2 French silky-soft linen monogrammed sheets and pillowcases together with matching plain sheets and pillowcases. However, they are unfortunately too narrow for a normal-size single bed, so I have already sold the plain sheets separately for sewing projects and envisage that the monogrammed pair would make fabulous curtains or could maybe be used for other projects. Similarly, the pillowcases are not a standard English pillow size but are nevertheless of lovely quality. Oh yes, I nearly forgot ... 20 mainly crepe de chine hankies and 25 linen napkins ... but I think that's the sum total ... or is it? I may find something else when I sort the car contents!

It was lovely to see Niki on Saturday although I didn't get much opportunity to chat to her as I was quite busy both times she came by. However, she brought a beautiful bag she'd made for me from the fabulous fabric she displayed in a blog post last week and I did make sure I had time to thank her and pay!! Saturday also brought Clare and Mike. Clare kindly allowed me to go off for half-an-hour or so (it could have been longer ... time flies, doesn't it). I was exceedingly grateful, as always, because at a busy Fair (when people are elbowing their way along the rows) it's impossible to leave your stand however desperately you might need to escape!!! Several other regular customers came by - it's always good to see them and over the years they have all become people it's nice to pass the time of day with. The weather was good on Saturday, despite the forecast earlier in the week saying that Saturday would be wet and Sunday would be fine. By Friday the forecast had reversed the weather for those 2 days and poor Kelly had to endure a very rainy Sunday. It was super to see her, with Paul (complete with cold) and Georgia. I think Georgia was quite pleased that I had a bag of Maltesers in my pocket!

The surprise came from Pauley. When the garden studio/shed was erected our electrician had hurt his back and was unable to connect the electricity. I've been using an extension reel plugged into a socket in the garage when necessary and had no idea when Garry would be likely to come to do the work. When I got home on Saturday evening Pauley met me at the door and told me to get out of the car and shut my eyes. Odd, but heyho, what had I got to lose? He disappeared into the house, came back, turned me round a couple of times and then told me to open my eyes. And there it was ... my studio ... in glorious technicolour ... that's what it seemed like at any rate! Garry had been, connected the electricity to the fusebox and thus the sockets and light that were built into the studio design, and everything is go, go, go ... soooooo exciting, and such a lovely surprise. Bless him ... he's not such a bad hubby after all!!!!!!

Sorry there are no photos to break up this long screed, but I'll update later when I've taken some, and add 'Now with Piccies' to the title!

Have a lovely week all, despite it being a wet one!

The measurements of the box are 22" x 11" x 5" so I wasn't too far out, was I! The photos of the lace show just some of it. There are another 3 photos, but I thought they were enough to give you an idea of what I bought. The other photo is a lovely sewing basket which realistically needs new fabric, but I rather like it as it is and will probably leave the new owner to change the fabric if they wish.
I'm not sure when I'll have time to get these on the website, so if anything appeals to you please ask and I can give you more details. I haven't unearthed the other goodies, but I'll do a new post later to show you what I bought today (Wednesday)! Please excuse unedited photos. I'm trying to do 101 things here, and unfortunately cropping photos isn't one of them!

11 November 2007

Poppies ...

... mean a lot to me.

My grandfather was in WWI. He came home. Aunts and uncles were in the forces in WWII. They survived. My dad helped to liberate France, went on in to Belgium and Holland, and his Regiment was one of the first in to Belsen. He came home. My brother-in-law was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal after the Falklands War. My dad died 34 years ago tomorrow, 12 November. It was a Monday, the day after Remembrance Sunday. Two days before Princess Anne's first marriage, six months before my daughter was born.

Poppies ... mean a lot to me ...

06 November 2007

It's Arrived ...

... and I might soon, once again, see the sitting room floor, and be able to invite Gillie to stay and sleep in a bed ...

Here it is ...

Not the best photo, but the slideshows below will show how quickly it was erected, and what a glorious day it was. Weren't we lucky! To think we had a blue, cloudless sky on just the day in November that we needed it - perfect! It would be nice if you can last through the slideshows (there had to be 2 because there are so many photos), but I'll quite understand if you have to go off and make a cuppa.

I have to say that the Booths Garden Studio team was a fantastic trio and despite setting off from Corby in the very early hours this morning, and having a tyre blowout on the motorway, they set to as soon as they arrived just after 9.00 am. They had finished and left for home just after 4.00 pm and other than stopping just long enough to down the odd cuppa, they worked solidly throughout the day. A happier bunch you couldn't wish for.

I've already started to fill the studio, thus creating a wee bitty space in the garage. Finding the sitting room floor and the spare bedroom will take a little longer, but as you'll see, there will be plenty of space to store all the linen and textiles and other stock. I even plan to have a space for my sewing machine, just in case I have time to use it!

The studio is predominantly for storage, but it is also intended as a place where I can sort all the textiles etc without creating a fabric mountain in the house. It will be a treat to be able to see what I have and plan what to take to the Fairs without tripping over everything. It'll take a while to get it just how I want it, but I have a feeling it's going to be fun!

We've also had a jolly weekend. If you read Clare's post the other day you'll know she was expecting visitors on Saturday! Clare and Mike are THE perfect stop-off en route from Somerset to Northampton, and they offer a very good lunch! What's more visitors get to view the Clock House in all it's glory. The photos on Clare's blog are lovely, but the CH is even better when you see it for real. We spent a relaxed couple of hours enjoying lunch, a good gossip and lots of oohs and aahs when we inspected the Clock House. Sorry, no photos! We then carried on our way, calling on my aunt and uncle before ending up at Gillie's in the evening. Plenty more gossiping, eating and imbibing before the day was over, to get in practise for lunch on Sunday!

We made the trip to Northampton to help celebrate the 60th birthday of a friend who we have known for half his life! I worked with his wife at Manns Brewery in the 1970s and am godmother to their elder daughter. Although we thought we were just joining the lunch party, because we were staying over until Monday morning we were able to prolong the day and go back to their home for fireworks and nibbles. It was a super day, and we met up with a few people we hadn't seen for over 20 years.

Before leaving Northampton we drove past Mum's old house to see if work had started on it. When she sold she was told the purchaser was a developer who intended to extend and convert the house into at least 2 flats. Work had definitely started, the garden was non-existent, the back of the house was gone. I lived there for a few months in between marriages in the 70s but it was never my home as such. Despite that it was quite upsetting. I wish now that I had insisted that we had dug up more plants to bring down here when Mum moved. They had said we could, and had we realised just how much desecration there would be then I think we would have. I haven't told Mum, nor did I take photos. She had been very happy in her little house for over 30 years and I think it would upset her to see it in its current state.

Anyway, we had a good journey home, coming back via Bath to collect some draft minutes for the British Legion which I type up every year.

This coming weekend there's a French Market in Somerton and I'm sharing a stall with another Somerton dealer. Hopefully the weather will stay fine as we're under a gazebo in the Market Square. Could be fun!

Enjoy the rest of the week!

It seems that slide.com wants you all to join my fanlist again - aaaargh - and blogger has decided not to give this missive any paragraph breaks. If you've stayed to the end give yourselves a pat on the back! ... It would seem I lie - there ARE paragraph breaks now. Just a little something to make you laugh ... remember the buttons I sorted and photographed a week or so ago? I tipped the box upside down today and had to do it all again. Wasn't best pleased, as you can imagine!

28 October 2007

Stay at Home Sunday ...

... and spend the day behind the camera and in front of the computer! Here are some of the goodies I've added to the shop today. Plenty more coming soon!

What a change in the weather to coincide with altering the clocks. We woke up today to strong winds and rain but with a temperature far higher than a peek through the curtains led us to expect. In fact it was quite a muggy, struggle to wake up, sort of day. Perhaps it was all the excitement of yesterday which made me feel lethargic today. Whatever it was, I did at least manage to get some write-ups done for the website. I may not manage to add any more until after next weekend as this coming week is a busy one, but I'll do my best!

I also sorted a tin of buttons ...

Hope your week ahead will be more relaxed than mine!

PS - Why do they always spoil things? Instead of the slide show there's a great big 'email me' thingy saying join my fanlist or somesuch which I certainly haven't added myself, and don't want, but I don't know how to get rid of it. I assume if you want to see the photos you just click on the arrow thingy. Aaaaargh!!!

27 October 2007

It's Those Girls Again ...

Liz and Bronia have done it again. This is the 4th blog post majoring on them in the last month - Donna, Kelly and Jane have all met up with these two vintage girls recently, and Liz's sale earlier in the year was the subject of one of Niki's posts.

Today they brought Victoria to Somerton where the Amateur Dramatic Society was having a sale of years-worth of costumes as they have to vacate their premises. The sale was from 2.00 until 4.00 and the girls arrived chez moi about midday. Liz and I discussed the merits of being able to see our sitting room carpets, and because I couldn't cope with how impressed Liz was with the amount of mine on view, I showed them the spare bedroom. We had to take it in turns to poke our heads round the door though. There certainly wasn't room for more than one person at a time (well, 2, as long as one stood in the doorway!).

We then moved on to Somerton Old Town Hall Antiques for lunch in the tea room housed in the antiques centre, promising ourselves we would return later for tea and gorgeous gooseberry cake (which I should have said NO to!). There was just time for a very quick browse in Somerton Antiques Centre before joining the queue outside the Parish Rooms. All the local fashion and textile dealers were there (so Shepton should be interesting in November - although some of their purchases may sell at Kempton or Ardingly next week), and everyone had sharpened their elbows.

Because clothing isn't particularly my thing, I followed Bronia around whilst she made her choices and piled them into my arms. (I was quite happy with 3 lengths of leather, a couple of patterns, one piece of fabric and this gorgeous roses tafetta dress.) It meant Bronia had 2 free hands and 2 free elbows to fight her way through to the bargains. An Ikea bag is marvellous for textile shopping, and holds amazing quantities, but even that had to be supplemented with a couple of black bin bags!

Moving on from the sale we returned to Somerton Antiques Centre for a spot more browsing and shopping and then went back to the OTH for our tea and gooseberry cake, via Behind Clouds, Somerton's lovely shoe shop.

The girls dropped me off at home soon after 4.00 pm and set off back to Taunton and beyond. We all had a lovely day with lots of fun and laughter, and to my mind the sort of day that everyone should have at least once a week! Hope your Saturday has been fun!

24 October 2007

On a Roll ...

... It had to be done ... there was no sitting room carpet ... no chair to sit on ... just boxes of linen and fabrics, checked plastic laundry bags full of linen and fabrics, piles of lace to be sorted and priced ... and as for the hall ... sorry, all photos were censored ...

But, the sitting room is now beautifully tidy, (almost) empty of stock, dusted, polished, cushions plumped and looked good for a visit by a customer on Monday. It has 3 days to behave itself before Liz and Bronia (see Kelly's blog) come to visit on Saturday. There's a chance it will be OK because I'll be at Dairy House on Thursday, which leaves only 2 days to keep the bags and boxes under control! (I suggest you don't ask where the stock has actually gone ... suffice to say it's a good thing that Gillie isn't coming to stay this weekend! She'll get her own back soon though, as we shall be staying with her for a couple of nights next month!)

So, as this blog title implies, I'm on a roll. The car being empty for once, P has made several tip trips over the last day or so. We're pulling out part of a conifer hedge in order to accommodate my shed which should be arriving early in November.

The grand plan is that it will mean the house stays tidy ... I wish!!!! Anyway, I knew there were several unreuseable (if that's not a word then it should be) boxes in the garage, hidden amongst the multitude of other things that prevent the car ever finding its way in, and once P had gone off with those I decided it was time to inspect the contents of the plastic boxes in the furthest, darkest corner. Three hours later, and somewhat chilly (silly me, no jacket on), I emerged with a handful of Very Important Books.

I thought The Children of Willow Farm had gone for ever, never to be seen again, many years ago. I certainly don't remember packing it away - although we've moved so many times over the last 30 years that it may have been packed on the first move and remained hidden all this time. As you can see by the inscription, Grandad gave me this book in 1959. Can it really be that long ago? Can't wait to read it again and when I find the photo of Izzie and me with 2 lambs (Frisky and Whisky) which we led around on baler twine leads, you'll see that Penny in the book really must have been based on me!!!!! I hope I can find the photo!

I loved reading The Eskimo Doll and it was a book that I reread whenever I was poorly and off school. I need to read that again, too. The Albatross Book of Verse was another gift from Grandad, in 1964. I hated poetry at the time, but was thrilled a few years later to find that the poem entitled 'Leisure' by William Henry Davies was to be found within its pages. I love this poem and it is one of the few I ever managed to learn. Today I can only quote the first 2 lines:
"What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare."
I think it's time I learned it again. There's a lesson there, somewhere!

The Cradle Ship, with its lovely (out of focus photo) frontispiece illustration was first published in September 1916. This copy is the fifteenth edition, published in March 1941. It was Mum's book. I remember reading this in my little iron bed (which sadly Mum got rid of without my knowledge many years ago). I'm so glad this book has reappeared. There are 3 more beautiful colour illustrations by Florence Mary Anderson. If I can hold the camera steady enough I'll show you those as well!

The Children's Illustrated Encyclopaedia of General Knowledge was my Sunday evening get-out-of-going-to-bed book. I'd always find some reason for NEEDING to look up something just after bedtime was announced. I usually just looked at one particular favourite colour plate rather than expand my knowledge. The book was kept in the glass-fronted bookcase which Mum still has. I felt very grown up being allowed to turn the key, open the door and pick out a book!

This final book is a statement to positive thinking. Who am I kidding? I can't believe I actually bought it. I read a few pages. If I had read them all maybe I would be slim, but somehow I don't think so. Perhaps I should read it now. Who knows ... next time you see me I might be a shadow of my former self!!!

So, I'm off to attack another part of the garage today, check up with a local art dealer whether a miniature portrait I found in a box is going to earn me a fortune (if the writing on the back is to be believed then maybe it's worth a bob or two), and as the sun is now shining I might also manage to do something in the garden. Anything ... as long as I stay out of the sitting room!!!

Note: There are currently a few reductions in a pre-winter Sale in my shop

10 October 2007

Another Serendipity Moment ...

... one of you (sorry, can't remember who) mentioned the 'S' word the other day and now I have my own little serendip to tell you about ...

I've spent the day finding the sitting room floor and sorting through stock to decide what to take to the Giant Flea at Shepton on Sunday, and came across (I hardly dare admit) a cardboard box of 'my' stuff rather than stock, which had lurked behind the sofa for far longer than it takes an army of spiders to spin a veritable fort of webs. Anyway, be that as it may, I decided it was time I poked my head inside the box and I found a pair of scissors I last saw when the box was packed before we moved last year, my sewing box, and lots of other goodies, including a bag full of old keys which I bought at a car boot about 4 years ago ...

Well ... as the newly revamped meat safe has a keyhole I thought I'd see if one of the keys would fit in the hole so that I could include it with the safe, just for fun. One did fit, and then it dawned on me that the lock itself was still intact and maybe ... just maybe ... the key was actually a good enough fit to turn the lock ... and it is and it does. I now have a meat safe with a lock with a key that works. How brilliant is that. I'm so excited (sad, isn't it) that I had to come and tell you straight away. Hee hee ... I'm off to celebrate with a glass of red now ... care to join me?

07 October 2007

Lazy Sunday Afternoon ...

... well, not quite ... as so far today I've met Jane (Rose Vintage) and her husband briefly as she journeyed home from Devon to Kent, whizzed round a carboot, watched 20 minutes of the Grand Prix, slightly reduced the laundry mountain, and transformed an old meat safe I painted yesterday, by covering the shelf with some vintage French fabric and using the same fabric to cover the aperture in the door where I'd had to remove the damaged mesh.

I'm really quite pleased with it for a first attempt - there'll be no stopping me now!! The colours aren't quite true as the paint is Crown & Rose Hemp Beige and the fabric has a cream background rather than the pale pink that it shows as on my screen. I still need to polish it with clear wax polish, but can't decide whether it needs a touch of distressing first, or whether to leave it as is. I might mull that over for a day or two.

The garage and store are full of pieces waiting to be painted; the Centres have a few already painted items and the sitting room and the back of the car have a few more which could probably benefit from being lined with fabric. So I'll won't stay to chat ... lots to do ...

Hope you're having a lazy day, too!!