29 May 2009

Vintage and Handmade - Tomorrow

Please be informed I've taken the cake out of the freezer!!!! All I have to do is remember to put it in the car ...

... which is loaded up - far too much stuff and the things I'm leaving behind are probably the ones you all want!!

But that's it. I shall now wrap Hannah's birthday prezzies (35 tomorrow) - I don't feel quite old enough to have a 35-year-old but I must be - and then I plan to enjoy half an hour or so in the garden ... The sitting room is still full of bits and pieces which makes me wonder what exactly I'm taking to the Fair, but that can all stay where it is until Sunday/Monday when I'll endeavour to blitz it ...

I hope the meteorologists have got it right this time, and that the weather IS going to be fine tomorrow. Safe journeys everyone, and see you there ...

23 May 2009

Let Them Eat Cake ...

Look at this ... doesn't it look good enough to eat?

As you may know, those of us having a stall at the Vintage & Handmade Fair next Saturday each take a cake or equivalent to ensure that the Vintage Tea Room is kept supplied throughout the day. I am no cake-maker! My 2 claims to cake-making fame are: (1) binning the first Christmas cake I ever made in 1971 (I tested it before buying the marzipan and found I couldn't get the knife through the crust(!!!!!) so St Michael, Mr Waitrose or Mr Tesco made my Christmas cake for the next 35 years, and I don't buy them now), and (2) making a coffee and walnut cake about 10 years later, I was convinced the recipe didn't call for eggs. A beautiful flan shape (quite tasty, I might add) came out of the oven, more biscuit than cake I'd have said. A couple of months later I thought I'd try another one and there, staring me in the face on the page the list of ingredients stated, as large as life, 3 eggs (not one, not 2 but THREE). Heyho ... actually I continued to make that cake for a couple of years and every time it was a great success, but now it's not safe for me to make any sort of cake as it would be 3 slices for me and one for Pauley, so I have conveniently forgotten how ...
Consequently ... rather than take a tin of shortbread to the V&H Fair as I did last time ... the above was brought to me at Dairy House today by a lovely customer who makes cakes for the Pythouse Walled Garden a couple of miles up the road. Those of you who have visited Dairy House may well have been there for coffee or lunch before or after your DH visit. Glenda very kindly agreed to make a spiced apple cake for me, brought it in today and I now have to freeze it. Will someone please remind me to take it out of the freezer on Friday evening, and put it in the car at crack of dawn on Saturday morning!! Isn't it wrapped beautifully with its spotty cellophane, raffia, alchemilla mollis leaves and gorgeous white hibiscus flower. You may need to click and enlarge to get the full effect!
Hannah's florist needed lots of old bottles for a wedding this weekend, so I rummaged through 4 tucked away boxes I'd forgotten about, soaked them all in Oxi-clean and lined them up on the window sill. Jo now has 2 full boxes, but I kept these lovely aqua and blue ones. I can't decide whether to take them to the Fair or whether they would be better on our bathroom window sill. I have a few days to decide. What I have packed for the Fair are a number of clear bottles very similar to those that Kirstie purchased from a reclamation yard. So, if anyone wants to follow in Kirstie's footsteps, I've probably packed 20!

This lovely hexagonal quilt topper came into my possession at auction last week. It's going with me to the Fair, as are the millinery flowers below.

I'll also be taking a few Scheurer fabrics, other fabrics, haberdashery bits and pieces, vintage embroidery silks, ribbons, buttons galore, possibly eiderdowns and Welsh blankets, and anything else that I can fit in the car! Let's hope the weather is as good next Saturday as it has been today!

14 May 2009

London ... Pearly Queens ... Union Jacks ... V&H Fair

For our birthdays (Pauley in February and me in March) Hannah presented us with ...

When we opened the card we found ...

arranged for a date to coincide with me having a free slot large enough to be able to take time out! As with our 'week's holiday' last September (one night away = one week), we have just spent a fortnight in London!!! We set off at close of Dairy House business on Sunday afternoon and booked in for our 2 night stay. The weather was gorgeous and on Monday morning we caught the tube to South Kensington and went somewhere neither of us has ever been before ...

the V&A Museum.

(You'll need to click and enlarge the photos to see the detail, as I'm sure you all know by now!)

What an amazing place. If you've never been then I thoroughly recommend a visit. We've decided we need to go again! The best part is you are allowed to take photographs in most areas (see the slide show below).

We wandered around some of it together, after making the garden café our first port of call,

... enamel mugs for our coffee!

and then Pauley enjoyed some of the art whilst I drooled over 17th century and later lace and textiles.

We had already decided to have a 'proper' lunch rather than a meal just prior to the Show, and as the roast lamb on offer in the V&A restaurant looked 'good enough to eat' that's what we had, sitting in beautiful surroundings, and enjoying a glass of Merlot ... I could get used to this!

I had to make a few purchased in the shop of course, and treated myself to a pair of millefiore earrings as I lost yet another earring somewhere on the streets of London. I have lost one earring a week for the last month. Why? Usually they have been unimportant, everyday ones which didn't cost a fortune, but the one I lost on Monday was gold, and the pair were the ones I wore for Hannah's wedding. They weren't overly expensive, but that's not the point, is it! I'm beginning to wonder whether I should stop wearing them all together ...

We then moved on to

Pauley was keen to see how much it had changed in the 50 years since his last visit ... quite a lot, as it happens! We didn't stay in there too long because it was too stuffy and claustrophobic but it was fascinating. So we beat a hasty retreat and decided to get on the tube again (lazy, some might say) for one stop, and enjoy the sunshine and fresher air in St James's Park. We helped ourselves to a couple of deckchairs (£1.50 each it transpired) and sat enjoying the beautiful sunshine (a bit breezy) and the opportunity to do absolutely nothing for well over an hour ...

... as you can see, Pauley took full advantage of the moment! And then my camera battery died. I had intended to charge it up overnight in readiness for the day ahead, but stupidly put the wrong charger in my bag!

We then meandered back down Victoria Street, in and out of a few shops, stopped for a cuppa and then getting ourselves into musical mode we went into Victoria Palace Theatre and took our seats. Oh boy ... what a performance! The lad who played Billy was amazing, as were all the other youngsters. The choreography was excellent - it must have been, because Pauley is still talking about it and as many of you know, he doesn't really do enthusiastic!!! The timing was spot on, and there were some comedic moments which had everyone laughing. There was a standing ovation with several curtain calls, and we came away grinning, having thoroughly enjoyed every moment.

As were were still in holiday mode on Tuesday morning we came home along the M4 rather than the A303, and stopped off at Hungerford so I could check out the antiques centres (purchases made - an early commemorative handkerchief, Cornishware and a pretty dressing table set, the latter destined for the V&H Fair). We also stopped at Marlborough where I bought some pretty French buttons and a mini chest of drawers painted turquoise (for the V&H) which may get photographed ...

Talking of the Vintage & Handmade Fair, and linking suitably with London and the title of this post, I bought these at the Shepton Mallet antiques fair last Friday

I haven't counted them yet, but I think there are 25-30. Most of them look to be about right for the Queen's Coronation in 1953, but I think a few may be older. They'll be for sale at the V&H Fair on 30th May.

This is just a drop in my ocean of mother-of-pearl buttons. I bought a huge jar of them about a month ago, and as if that wasn't enough I've now bought a huge bagful. I dread to think how many there are, but they weighed 3lbs. I may have to sell them by the ounce!

And finally, this bundle of old price tickets which I couldn't resist.

So ... there we are, then. That's some of what I've been up to since my last post. I'm sure there's more to tell you, but that'll have to wait for another day.

05 May 2009

Victorian Scrapbooks

Here are just a few of the pages of one book and individual cards of the other which I thought you might enjoy! Each book has over 40 pages (80 sides). Nice!!