29 August 2008

Shepton Flea Time Again ...

Just a quick reminder for those of you who like to attend the Giant Flea Market at Shepton Mallet ... Sunday 31 August is the day ... 9.30 am until 4.00 pm.

I've spent the morning loading up the car in readiness as of course I spend Saturdays at Dairy House, leaving today as the only time available.

The lovely Chil-Daw mannequin I showed you a couple of posts ago sold at DH last weekend so I'm rather pleased about that. This week the landlord's painter/handyman has been painting the outside of the building, and the boyfriend of one of our dealers has been doing some inside decorating for me. We'll soon be in a fit state to be photographed externally!! But best of all we have exceeded all expectations with sales and despite still having a couple of days to go, this has been a record August in the 10-year lifetime of Dairy House Antiques. What fun!

Look forward to seeing some of you on Sunday! Not too sure about the weather but will not be doing a raindance this time - it's not fair on the outside stallholders really, is it!!!!!

13 August 2008

Esau Wood Saw a Saw Saw Wood ...

... as no other wood-saw would saw wood!

Did anyone else grow up reciting that verse/tongue twister, I wonder? (Actually, if you google Esau Wood you'll get the complete thing on wikepedia)

Those of you who have read this month's Welcome page of the Vintage to Victorian website or have received the Newsletter will know that as well as my passion for linens and textiles I also love wood, and especially woodworking tools. The first photo below shows one of the boxes of old wood planes (and other tools) I bought the other day. Most are late 19th Century although I think there may be a couple from the late 18th/early 19th, and probably a few which date up to the 1930s.

As you can see they look rather dirty and dusty and not particularly attractive. So, because the wind and rain today prevented me from painting a pot rack and plate rack destined for Dairy House, I decided to attack the planes with fine grade wire wool, elbow grease, a little Brasso, some sweet-smelling natural polish and a duster ... and here, for your delectation are the fruits of my labours. It took most of the day, on and off, to clean up 8 planes and a saw-wrest.

But I think you'll agree it was worth it. They look so much nicer now, and I love the feel of smooth polished wood. Whilst I rubbed off the dirt and grime with the wire wool I made sure that I didn't destroy the patina and am really pleased with the results. To think men were using these tools over a hundred years ago and they can still look this good (the tools of course, not the men!) just shows the pride with which they looked after their craftsmen's tools. They say "a bad workman always blames his tools" ... but a good workman always takes good care of his. Most of the planes have the names of previous owners stamped on them, and a couple have the names of the manufacturers. Two planes were made or owned by Jos Hubert of Jersey and a Google search showed him as a cabinet maker in the 1841 Census. These two are of slightly better quality than the others and it was a treat to find out that he was obviously a brilliant woodworker.

The rest will have to wait a while as painting and sorting textiles are next on the agenda this week but it made such a nice change to do something like this today. It was quite tiring but I shall sleep well tonight!!

Another purchase last week was this Chil-daw mannequin. She's in very good condition with just a flaw/pulled thread/not quite a hole on the front and is currently on display at Dairy House with a price tag of £149. I had hoped to add her to Vintage to Victorian but haven't done so yet. If anyone 'needs' her please let me know!

04 August 2008

Dairy House in print ...

The Antiquexplorer magazine for the West Country is published at the beginning of every month and always features a particular aspect of the antique world. Sometimes the feature relates to ceramics, or maybe glass, or perhaps furniture. This month the Antiquexplorer features fashion and textiles. The Rag Market was well advertised, and most of the textile dealers who attended and who are linked to the West Country Talent for Textiles fairs took out an advertisement.

I've known Karyn, the editor, for several years, and she has been waiting for an opportunity to offer me some appropriate editorial space to let people know that Dairy House Antiques is under new management, and what better opportunity than the August issue. Naturally I took some advertising space, too, and ended up with a one-quarter page ad which Karyn arranged using photos she took when she visited DH a couple of weeks ago. I'm absolutely thrilled with the ad, and as for the editorial text ... well, if that doesn't bring people in I don't know what will. Another super photo and a write-up to be proud of (apart from the incorrect spelling of my surname!). Soooo exciting, and I felt so proud when I read it. If you click on the photos to enlarge them you'll be able to read the text, but the scans are quite grainy.

Also this week I received the complimentary copy of The Country Living Guide to Rural England: the West Country. I wasn't sure about this one because the cost of the ad was astronomic, but in for a penny and in for several hundred pounds ... and once again, I'm thrilled. No photo as the book is at Dairy House rather than here at home. I did the write-up for this one and am quite pleased with how it reads.

Did I tell you we also got in "The Back Page" of the Antiques Trade Gazette - a weekly newspaper for antique dealers - at the beginning of July? That was another super article, complete with photo. I think the advertising is beginning to pay off. We have been so busy at DH over the last couple of weeks, with far more people than usual steppping over the threshhold, many of whom have not visited before. In fact, yesterday a lady arrived just as we were about to close, saying she'd made a detour especially to see us. She was travelling from Derby to stay with a friend in Salisbury and they will probably come again sometime during the week. Each month we wonder how sales will compare with 2007, and so far each month has exceeded last year's sales. Let's hope the trend continues, but I certainly won't be complacent.

Where the time has gone I just don't know. I've been the new owner of Dairy House Antiques for one third of a year already ... and I'm loving every minute of it!

I did wonder whether we should have a blogger's day at DH one Sunday, but I don't think I can organise it just yet. That might have to wait until the first anniversary, by which time I might have made the kitchen and loo fit for visitors!!! Having been dominated by male antique dealers for several years neither is particularly pleasant at this moment in time, and certainly not suitable for gentille bloggers! "Adequate" is probably the appropriate word for them, but a few more months should see them gleaming and far more 'user friendly'!!

On that happy note ... have a good week!

02 August 2008

Home again, home again, Jiggety jig ...

No photos of my little corner today, but as you can see from these photos, it was more or less a free-for-all, so attractive displays weren't really the order of the day. I dont think she is in the photo, but at the far end of the hall the stage is the regular spot for Liz van Hasselt at all the textile fairs at Honiton, this one being no exception.

There were over 20 of us with pitches, and the morning brought what seemed like hundreds of people in with their sou'westers and umbrellas, but by late morning the sun came streaming through the doors and windows and even more holiday-makers and Honiton residents came in.

I think we all had a good day and the plan is to hold further Rag Markets. However, I think it has been agreed that perhaps 2 per year is the maximum - possibly February/March and then again in August. There were certainly enough people around today to make us think that August is a good time for such an event.

That's Linda Clift waving to me across the hall. Her website is listed in my sidebar. She sells amazing quilts and her knowledge knows no bounds.

I now plan to sit and do very little for the rest of the evening having had to set my alarm for 5.30 this morning!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, one and all.