27 February 2008

A Talent for Textiles & Brocante - Dorchester

This is the advertising poster for "A Talent for Textiles & Brocante" which is run by the "T4T" or "Talent for Textiles" team of antique and vintage textile dealers in the West Country. This particular Fair is the furthest east so may well be near enough for more of you to visit.

Click to enlarge to see the full details.

If you need further information contact Linda and say I sent you!
I hope to be there (not selling) and I expect more bloggers will be there, so it'll be another good opportunity for us all to meet up. Let me know if you think you'll be able to go!

24 February 2008

Three Ds ...

... Dresser, Dairy House Antiques and Dealers ...

'D is for Dresser' - a super little dresser which, I am reliably informed, was made by a grandfather in the 1950s for his grand-daughter. I forgot to measure it, but I don't think I'd be misleading you if I said it is roughly 18-20 inches wide and stands about 3 feet high. It's gorgeously chippy green and comes in 2 sections. Photos 1, 2 and 3 are the nearest to the shade. The drawers and doors open and there are cup hooks on the fronts of the shelves, together with beading to ensure that plates and saucers standing up against the back don't slip forward on the shelves. I love it and can't believe I nearly walked away from it. Niki, Helen and I saw it on Friday in Wells, and I ummed and ah-ed for about 10 minutes. It wasn't cheap, but I knew it would sell at Dairy House or at Shepton so made my decision. I was so pleased when I got to Dairy House with it yesterday and was told to put a higher price on it than I had thought. I won't worry if it doesn't sell immediately. Just look at how well the little teaset displays on it. I've had the teaset for a while and this is the best it's looked! The green leaves tone beautifully with the green of the dresser. So I'm happy. I shall probably add this to the website after the next Shepton (21-23 March) if it hasn't sold by then.

'D is for Dairy House'. I went over there yesterday as Semley Auctioneers (a couple of hundred yards away) were holding their monthly Auction and I knew the place would be buzzing with dealers and customers. I chose not to bid for anything at the auction - need to hang on to as much money as possible over the next few weeks in view of the imminent 'take over'! We had quite a busy day - lots of small items sold, and I was pleased to see that one of my eiderdowns, along with a Marsella bedspread, had sold the day before.

Finally 'D is for Dealers'. I met a prospective new dealer at DH yesterday and she has confirmed she wants the space. I also met another dealer at the auction who had expressed an interest in renting a cabinet. These dealers have been 'signed up' and I have now let all the floor space. I have one cabinet left available to rent, although I may acquire a couple more before the beginning of April, and I need to contact the picture dealer who is thinking of renting the staircase walls. And that's it. All sorted. The Streamline card machine is being set up next week (a month early, but that's fine - I should know what I'm doing by 1 April!), and a locksmith is coming to fit a new lock on a door which has had no key for about 6 years! Soon it will be a case of 'D' for 'Decorating', but not just yet!

Finally, one of the current dealers has just put this fabulous 50s/60s kitchen unit into DH. It's in superb used condition and looks exactly as it should - no new painting, touching up or titivating. I wish I could justify putting it in our kitchen but I don't think I can at the moment!

Have a jolly Sunday afternoon. I'm being taken out for lunch in about half an hour, so I'd better get a move on!

17 February 2008

Nature Table ... and a Tag ...

First of all - the Nature Table! There was an article in this month's Country Living about bringing back the Nature Table into our schools. Sal at Sal's Snippets wrote a post about it here and it was also mentioned on Cherry Menlove's Forum, where I commented that I still have the photo album I won as a prize for my entry in the school Nature Table competition somewhere around 1960 - and that somewhere I had a photograph ... Well, I've found it (and I was right, I had written 1960 on the reverse), scanned it, and here it is!

There's Shirley Kingston, Jacqueline Arnold, me, Wendy Bray, Ann Warren, can't remember, Marilyn Gelsthorpe, Catherine Brown and Rosemary Ellis. Are you in the photo? Or do you know any of them? It's such a small world that nothing would surprise me! The lady standing at the back was, I think, the wife of Northampton's Deputy Mayor, and I believe she was the grandmother of one of the girls in the photo - although that may be one of those stories I've lived with for nearly 40 years which is totally incorrect! I tried Googling for her name (I think it was Mrs V J H Harris - as I felt very grown up at the time remembering all the initials!) and came across the Wikipedia entry for Northampton. I was amazed to see how many 'celebrities' the town has bred, or has been home to. I knew of several - Judy Carne (her younger cousin was in my class and junior school), Des O'Connor and Lesley Joseph - but I didn't know about Joan Hickson (Miss Marple), Peter Purves, Alan Carr or Nanette Newman. Historically, I knew of John Clare, the poet - there is (or was) a Clare Street, and practically every school in the town had a Clare house or team. There are many more that I didn't realise were Northamptonians, so I've learned quite a lot today! And did you know that Northampton was the town used in "Keeping Up Appearances"? So - which famous people has your town or city bred?

I've been tagged by Sal at Sal's Snippets - a blogger I've only recently come across. She has some great tales to tell and lives in Glorious Devon, lucky girl!

The tag is for the Archive Meme where we have to list the 5 favourite blog posts we've written - but it's not quite as simple as that because ...

Link 1 must be about family.
Link 2 must be about friends.
Link 3 must be about yourself, who you are … what you’re all about.
Link 4 must be about something you love.
Link 5 can be anything you choose.

Post 5 links and then tag 5 other people. At least 2 of the people must be newer acquaintances so that you get to know each other better … and don’t forget to read the archive posts and leave comments!

So, here goes!

Link 1 - about family must, of course, be Hannah's wedding last May - where has the last 9 months gone? http://vintagetovictorian.blogspot.com/2007/05/day-to-remember.html

Link 2 - about friends. I think this one needs to be a dedication to my best friend Iz (Isobel) who sadly lost her fight 20 years ago last week. We met when I was 8 and she was 9 on the school bus. All free time was spent at our house, every weekend she came to my uncle's farm with us, came on nearly every holiday with me and my parents and from that moment for the rest of my childhood and beyond I had a sister. I haven't written much about her in this post, but there are a couple of photos. I think the rest of the post relates more to the next link, but I'll find something else for that one! http://vintagetovictorian.blogspot.com/2007/09/rockin-bloggin-and-nice-matters.html

Link 3 - about me and who I am. I think this is a case of "pick a post - any post" as they are all me (but see comment in Link 2)! This post is probably the best one for background information - more related to the past than the present. http://vintagetovictorian.blogspot.com/2006/11/memories.html

Link 4 - something I love. I love gardening but, for reasons too varied to go into, have done hardly any for the past 5 years, and have consequently written no posts about it. So, all work and no play means this link should be related to my other passion of dealing in vintage textiles and antiques. http://vintagetovictorian.blogspot.com/2006/09/car-boots-and-auctions.html

Link 5 - anything at all! This one needs to be about my friend Gillie. Many of you have already 'met' her in my blog posts and some of you have met her in person. We've known one another since 1971 and she's a friend in need and deed. Unless her Northampton house sale falls through (fingers crossed all will be fine) she will be coming to stay with us from 29 February 'for as long as it takes' to find a home in the West Country. Over the years Pauley and I have had several friends live with us in the transition between an old life and a new one. Izzie 1978/79; Boz 1995; Liz 1998/99 and now Gillie in 2008. We've quite enjoyed it really, and as long as whoever is living with us doesn't expect to be waited on (and Gillie has stayed with us so often that she knows the score!!!!), everyone muddles along quite nicely! Of course, if they care to wait on us we can cope with that!! http://vintagetovictorian.blogspot.com/2007/09/winner-takes-it-all.html

Well, that turned into a marathon - there's absolutely no reason for anyone I tag to feel the need to write an essay relating to each Link. I'm obviously in chatty mode this morning (which I see is now afternoon).

If I tag you and you don't have the time or inclination I won't be in the least offended!

So, you lucky bloggers - I would like to tag ...

Although the rules states that 2 blogs should be newer acquaintances, I decided to make all mine 'new'. I certainly haven't tagged any of them before!
Time for lunch now - doesn't time fly when you sit in front of the computer! Enjoy the rest of Sunday, folks!

12 February 2008

Some Dairy House goodies ...

I took these photos when I was at DH on Thursday. These are a few of the items currently for sale. Thought you might like to see them.

I'm practising here on the blog before adding more photos to the Dairy House website. At least on here I know you'll tell me if the photos are rubbish before I ruin DH's reputation before I've even started!

At last, after 2+ weeks I'm beginning to feel more like doing something. I was quite energetic yesterday which was a treat, but I'm taking things a bit slower today, although I'm still feeling, thankfully, much brighter. P on the other hand isn't.

I had a lovely time last evening sorting through all my old photographs of gardens past. They are from pre-digital days so will need to be scanned if any of them are ever going to make it onto the blog, and I don't think I have time for that just at the moment. They brought back some lovely memories though, and made me even more determined to get cracking on this garden as soon as possible. In between doing everything else of course ...

It's another lovely sunny day today - do you think this is spring? Have a jolly day!

09 February 2008

Selling for a friend ... and other stories

I have been asked by a friend to assist in the selling of these fabulous curtains. They were purchased for my friend's friend's daughter (keep up!) but were sadly not right for the house. Consequently they need to be sold.

They are immaculate and unused. Made of a beautiful silk they are fully lined and interlined, with an 84" (approx 213 cm) drop. The pleated top of each curtain measures 74" (approx 188 cm), thus fitting a curtain track of 148" (approx 376 cm) . If you work in feet and inches, this means an overall width of 12'4" x 7' drop - perfect for a sweeping bay window perhaps. (Cick to go into slide.com if you want to see a closer image)

The quality is superb and they originally cost £800. They are for sale now at £250 which to my mind is an absolute bargain. If you think these might be just what you are looking for or need further information then please email me. I am merely the 'go-between' in this instance and will pass on your enquiry.

I wish our windows were large enough. I'd have them like a shot!


Isn't it a glorious sunny day again today. Barely a cloud in this Somerset sky ... and still we're coughing and spluttering. I've had enough now. I want to be fit and healthy and rushing around like the spring chicken I once was. Admittedly I haven't felt like one for a few years, but one can dream!!! I'd just like some energy - time to hit the Lucozade I think. It worked for me through all my childish ailments and throughout my adult life when I've reached exhaustion pitch!

Did anyone see the programme on BBC2 last evening about retired people setting up businesses? I found it fascinating and the thought-processes and reasoning behind some of the decisions to go into business echoed my own.

My decision to take over Dairy House Antiques was very much determined by the realisation that P and I had already had "the first day of the rest of our lives". Hannah is married and has her own full life, Mum is safe living next door and this is it. We either stagnate (for want of a better term) with no 'wow' factor on the horizon, or take on a challenge that could open so many new windows and doors! I've received a multitude of good wishes and enthusiastic responses from the people I meet on a daily basis when they hear my plans, and all of you, my blogging friends, have been incredibly generous with your support.

My mind is ticking over quite busily during this planning stage and lots of unexpected ideas are popping up. As Gillie always says: "Think outside the box"! Friends and colleagues have suggested ways of promoting DH including Linda Clift's idea of it becoming the venue for a small textile fair, exhibitions etc. It is so exciting and I hope you will continue to walk (or run) along with me on this new journey. My online shop has had to take a back seat for a while, but it is another route by which people are finding the Dairy House website. I have enough stock to create a huge online shop but, for the time being, not enough hours in the day. The better weather is at least conducive to better photographing, so with a little luck ...


Another BBC2 programme I enjoyed last night was "The Choir". Did you see it? I watched the first series and was so pleased to see that Gareth Malone, the choirmaster, was going into another school. I think it's the journey that I enjoy watching. The striving for achievement. I like to see other people succeed, sometimes against all odds. Drive and enthusiasm. We all thrive on that; we just don't always realise it!

Have a lovely sunny weekend. I'm off in search of some energy!

05 February 2008

Decision Made ... and the small world that is Ebay!

... we're staying put. No lunches for us this week. After beginning to feel brighter yesterday we both got up this morning wishing we didn't have to. I had a visitor this afternoon with some papers for me to sign relating to Dairy House, but other than that we're keeping ourselves to ourselves. This seems to be one of those bugs that pretends to go and then sneaks back in the door when you're not looking.

But what do you think of this ...

Remember I said about winning a mannequin on Ebay from a seller in Northampton. Well I wrote saying I probably wouldn't be able to collect it myself after all, but that Gillie would, and the seller replied saying he lived only about 5 miles from Gillie so would deliver it and gave his name and phone number. A name which rang a bell but I decided it couldn't be this person. So, when Gillie phoned him yesterday to arrange collection/delivery he asked if her friend was Mrs Paul Meager. Yes, said Gillie - it's Bob, isn't it. Yes, he replied!

Paul and I started working at Anglia Building Society (now Nationwide), within a few weeks of one another at the end of 1970, in different buildings and not knowing each other at the time. My Ebay seller was already working there and I met him almost immediately. Paul obviously knew him too as this was in the days when the Head Office of the Building Society totalled about 300 staff and we were names, not numbers. Everyone knew everyone else by name and generally speaking we were one big happy family; some years later Paul transferred to the same department as Bob. We moved to Bath 20 years ago and apart from the inevitable grapevine/jungle telegraph snippets and pensioners' magazine information we have basically lost touch with all the people who used to be a major part of our lives. We still do the Christmas card thing with a few which adds to the mix, but Bob wasn't in the same circle of friends and didn't know we had moved to Somerset. We've now emailed and caught up with each other's lives and he delivered the mannequin to Gillie earlier today. Her ex hubby was also in the Anglia family so Bob knows her, too. How's that for small worldliness! And it was just by chance that I thought I'd look to see if there were any mannequins for sale last week!! So Serendipity has been at it again!

He sent me his website - he plays and teaches guitar and still plays in a group called the Mantas who, when I was in my late teens, were THE local live group (probably the ONLY one). They played at all the Young Farmers dances, Dinner Dances (showing my age here) etc - no such thing as discos in those days, let alone nightclubs and whatever there is today - and were hero-worshipped by most of the teenage fraternity of Northampton. I'd completely forgotten the group, and the fact that Bob was part of it, until I saw it mentioned on his website. So I've had a real blast from the past 24 hours reminiscing about all sorts of things that I won't go into in blogland!! The scary thing is I'm talking about 40 years ago and I'm reliving it now as if it was yesterday. Eeek!!! Which reminds me, with all the fun and games of the wedding last May I missed the 40th anniversary of passing my driving test!!

This evening I'm loving quilts ...

and eiderdowns ...

... with apologies for the quality of the photos. You'll appreciate why these haven't reached the website yet. Not only do I need to take better photos, but also they're so nice to look at that I'm having a problem letting go!

03 February 2008

Atishoo ... atishoo ... we all fall down ...

Well, I don't think I've felt so pathetic for so long for years! And just when I'm beginning to feel like getting up, getting dressed and getting the house in order .... yep, Pauley's coughing and spluttering and hot and cold and equally pathetic. Now, strictly speaking I should be rushing round administering to the sick, but I'm all for treating like with like as the saying goes! If he really needs something then I'll get it for him, but if he doesn't I'll let him a) get it himself, b) go without or c) tell him he looks rough. Don't worry, I won't let him starve, and this is all very tongue in cheek (I'm sure you knew that)!

I'm loving blankets this week - and a hottie and an eiderdown and a quilt. I've been as snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug so to speak!! I got myself comfy in the spare bedroom with a double bed all to myself and still P managed to catch the lurgy!

I really need him to be fit as we're supposed to be popping up to Northampton again this week - lunch with friends, staying with Gillie, pensioners lunch (he's the pensioner, not me!!), another night with Gillie and then back home, after collecting a mannequin I've just won on Ebay. But somehow I have a feeling we won't be going, which is a shame. I was looking forward to both lunches. The first because it's with old friends who we haven't seen for several years and the second because it's the Northampton Nationwide pensioners lunch. I know as many of them as P does as I worked there, too, in the 1970s, and it would have been so good to catch up with everyone again. Perhaps I could go anyway, even if it is P who is the official pensioner.

My lovely parcel arrived from Lucy Bloom the other day but I'm afraid I didn't think about blog photos until everything was unwrapped. Trust me - it was a beautifully wrapped pink and green package, even down to the green outer wrapping and pink tissue inside! Lucy already knows how thrilled I was to receive it.

I must get back into the habit of blog photo taking - there was a classic before and after moment earlier today. I spent most of the afternoon (yes, really) clearing the pile (sorry, piles) of papers off my desk. It was so bad I was beginning to lose the bottom of my screen. It was my intention to find the sitting room floor (again) but instead I found the top of my desk. At least I found something, so does it really matter whether it was what I was looking for? No, I don't think so!

I've also been sorting my stocks of lace and notions in readiness for a website upload. There's no need to race over there just yet though, as in my inimitable fashion it could be another couple of weeks before I finally get them listed. If there was a 'Mr Men' 'Little Miss Good Intentions' then I'd claim to be she - I'm full of them. They just take a while to come to fruition.

I think I've rambled enough, especially as there's only one measly photo as light relief. Apologies, but have a jolly week everyone, and I'll let you know (maybe in pictures) whether we get where we're supposed to be going this week.