23 March 2009

What I Did in March ...

It's been a busy month! Most of it is too uninteresting to mention, but I'll fill you in on a few activities. I can at least offer you plenty of photos (sorry, no I can't ... see later comments), slide shows and a link to Flickr piccies. Obviously all this is in addition to my usual Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at Dairy House!

Before visiting the Bath Decorative Fair, where you may remember I bought the lovely shabby glass-fronted cupboard, the hat block and a footstool, I viewed a couple of auctions and bought more lace, Christening and everyday baby gowns and some lace bobbins. The gowns have been soaked and boiled and are now waiting to be ironed. I had hoped to do that last week, but ran out of time. Sorry, no photos other than the lace (see later).

The highlight of the month was another trip to see Donna. If you check out her website from time to time you may have seen the Scheurer fabrics she had for sale. These fabrics really need a post of their own and I shall probably do one later in the year, but suffice to say at the moment, that I have bought from Donna all the remaining Scheurer fabrics. If you've never heard of them, here is a slideshow giving you a peek of just a little of what I came home with.

We filled 7 or 8 huge plastic check laundry bags with rolls and rolls of fabric samples dating from the 1870s to 1930s. The Scheurer company was a famous European textile printer from Mulhouse in Alsace, France, and their fabric samples went to auction in 2004. They have all now been documented and recorded, and after being passed into Donna's care for a few years they have now passed to me. They are a textile collector's dream and how I shall ever manage to part with them I don't know. I plan to keep some, but the majority will have to be sold as I'm afraid I don't have those limitless funds which would allow me to keep everything I buy. This purchase is an investment which will, hopefully, "see me well".

I was hoping to add more photos, but every time I try I lose my internet connection and get an error report message. Great! And this post was going to be full to bursting with piccies! Do enlarge this one if you can to get a good look at the birds.

Whilst I've looked through the bags at least once and now transferred all the fabrics to gorgeous red and white spotty, strawberry or ditsy floral bags (purchased from here), each time I take out a batch of fabric I find a pattern I hadn't noticed before. The colours are amazing, and considering that some of them are 130 years old, the fact that the colours are as bright as the day they were created is astounding. Some of pieces - all approximately 31" x 19" - have been so stunning that seeing them for the first time made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

So, moving on ... once Pauley and I got back from visiting Donna I'm afraid I collapsed into bed for 36 hours with a cold and a really thick head. Needless to say once I felt better Pauley ended up with man flu which he's continued to suffer from ever since! I have to admit, though, that he really does sound poorly today!

Last Tuesday I gave a talk! Don't laugh! I was asked by a local women's group to give a talk on caring for linens. It was only to be 30 minutes so I thought I ought to manage it OK. If I could keep groups of YTS trainees entertained in college 5 days a week in the 1980s I felt I could probably rise to the challenge of keeping a group of 20 or so ladies interested for half-an-hour. Thankfully the talk went well - I took plenty of before and after examples, a basket of products (Napisan, rust remover, Oxyclean, washing powder, iron-on interfacing/Vilene), items made (or suggestions as to what could be made) from damaged tablecloths etc, monograms cut from otherwise threadbare pillowcases and so on. Apparently it was very interesting - and quite amusing - and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I don't know that I'd want to do too many, but I've already been asked to do another one elsewhere next year.

On Friday I had another birthday - that came round far too quickly, but probably not as fast as the next one! The birthday in 2010 will add a nought and give me a free bus pass. What a scary thought. I mentioned to someone the other day that rather than enjoy the benefits of the free bus pass I think I'd like to buy a tricycle. One of those that you used to see old ladies pedalling on the road. It would, of course, have a nice loud bell, and I'd quite like it to have a trailer so that I could pedal around the countryside with a trailer of linens and textiles. I'd be wearing purple, of course, and a red had, and would carry a stick so that I could run it along the railings as I tricycled past!!! But back to this year's birthday. I was up at crack of dawn in order to meet up with one of the Dairy House dealers at Shepton Mallet. Now I no longer stand at the 3-day Antiques Fair myself I go in early with John, help him unload and then shop. This is where I bought the fabulous quilt, eiderdown and screen that I mentioned in my last post. It wasn't until I was photographing them yesterday that I realised that the colours of the eiderdown and the quilt matched perfectly and they should really stay together. I bought them from different stallholders and certainly didn't realise at the time. The screen is covered in a lovely vintage toile and is yet another item I'd like to keep! However, everything mentioned is for sale, and most of what you'll see in the slideshows or on Flickr are, too. If you see anything you 'need' do feel free to email!!

Here's a Flickr slideshow. I've not tried this before, so it'll be interesting to see how it turns out. I've added quite a lot of photos to Flickr and there's a link in my sidebar.

If you stayed with the slideshow you may have seen the eiderdown fabrics which were the result of my 'feathered friend' post earlier this month.

I bought a few other things at Shepton before rushing home just after 2 o'clock. The plan was that Pauley, Mum and I were to go to Hannah's for tea at 4.30pm as a joint celebration: belated birthday for Pauley, my birthday and Mother's Day. So we arrived at the appointed hour and sat outside waiting ... for ¾ hour after which I phoned Han who was still at work and waiting for us to meet her there! We were supposed to be having afternoon tea at Babington House at the end of Han's shift! Woops! Anyway, we arrived at 6 o'clock(!!!!) for our tea and cake - brought in to the Lounge by the Food & Beverage Manager singing Happy Birthday. It was yummy, and so was our joint birthday present: tickets to see Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre in May.

The weekend passed in a haze of DH customers, Semley Auction (a couple of Lots purchased, but nothing particularly exciting or worth writing about!) and sunshine! My grand plan for my day off today, and what I thought was to be the last of the sunny weather, was to spend a few hours in the garden following on from Pauley's sterling work last week. Fat chance! I was just answering some emails and contemplating getting showered and dressed, fill the washing machine and escape outside, when I got a call from Dairy House saying that Paul Martin (of Flog It fame) and a film crew wanted to 'pop in' in an hour's time. Considering my journey to DH takes 40-45 minutes and I had to get dressed first, I did well to follow the sound man the last few hundred yards down the A350, leap in the door and be there to greet Mr Martin! They wandered round, did a bit of filming, chatted a bit and left. I then drove home again, by which time it was blowing a gale and raining. So much for my day off. At least it's meant I could sit here this afternoon writing this post.

I still can't upload photos to Blogger without the whole thing crashing, so my apologies ... you'll just have to look at the slideshows and the one photo which I managed to upload.

The next couple of weeks are going to be as hectic as ever. I'm planning on visiting the Textile Fair in Ilminster on 1 April and on 4 April I'm standing at the Gloucestershire (I think) Quilters' Guild Trade Day. I'd give you details, but I can't remember them, other than the fact that I think it's at Chipping Sodbury.

On 18 April I'll be at Bridport Rag Market. More about that in due course.

So, enjoy the rest of March. Let's hope we have some more fine weather soon, especially on 31 March which will be our 32nd wedding anniversary. I might just manage another day off!!!!


Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Sue,
Being the lucky lady that I am to be on the receiving end of your emails, I know how busy you have been this month...
I also know how much you enjoy your job and looking at, and after, all of the beautiful vintage/antique items that come into your care, before they are purchased by their new owners.

Please feel free to keep a 'Niki' pile of Scheurer fabrics that I 'need' to buy from you, won't you?!

Still can't believe the 'big' Birthday milestone you will be celebrating next year! You of course don't look old enough to be issued with a free bus pass, so be prepared for the drivers not letting you on!! heehee!

Enjoy the rest of March, but feel free to take it easy if you want to! - Sounds like you deserve a rest!
Niki x

Country Cottage Chic said...

You've worn me out just reading your post! The fabrics are just wonderful aren't they? I'd also find them very hard to part with.
Let me know about the Quilt show - as you know I live near Chipping Sodbury & I could pop in to say hello.

Glad to hear you had a good, if hectic, birthday!


Country Cottage Chic said...

I've just looked it up & it's in Thornbury which is where I used to live before moving out to the sticks - I'll write it on my calendar.

Lois said...

Wow! The fabric samples are incredible... Let me know if you want to sell abatch, I would be more than happy to take some off your hands if you really can bear to part with any! What an incredible find, a real slice of textile history, all with such brilliant documentation! Lois xx

OhSoVintage said...

Hi Sue, so the early bird did catch the worm!! Well done, such beautiful things. Those fabrics are beautfiul too. You'e worn me out too reading everything you've been doing. I am still searching for Napisan since you recommended it to me but haven't managed to find any. Where do buy it from? Have a great rest of March and don't overdo it!
Ruth x

Cherry Menlove said...

Dear Sue, I hope you're feeling better. I don't like to think of you feeling unwell. The fabrics you found at Donna's were awesome!!

Cherry x

Ali @ Betty and Violet said...

You certainly have had a jam packed March so far! I don't know where you get your energy from?!

I have bought a couple of the Scheurer fabrics from Donna in the past ~ they are stunning! I would definitely be interested in buying some more ~ are you going to put them on your website or for sale at The Dairy?

I think you deserve a bit of a break over Easter to get over such a busy March!

Donna said...

I can't imagine that you did anything uninteresting! Your life is just too exciting for words Sue and your posts show what a whirlwind of energy you are!!

I had such a funny dream the other night. I dreamt that I missed the Scheurers soo much that I asked you for them back. You were not happy, understandably! Hahaha. I do miss them though but I am so happy that they are with you.

Redwoodhouse said...

Thank you for the well wishes Sue, what a busy time you have been having...
those fabrics are beautiful what a wonderful find how exciting for you.
I love the sound of the evening talk, I will keep a look out for Napisan.
Take a rest for the rest of the month you certainly deserve it...

Anonymous said...

This was a delightful post. I love the image of you on a tricycle in purple. I know the poem to which you refer and in a way I look forward to the time when it will be ok to behave disgracefully! In fact the more I think about it the more I want to start practising!

Ticking stripes said...

oops - that was from me! It's taking me a while to work out what I need to do!