31 July 2009

New Blog

For want of anything better to do (the list is endless, but this seemed the most pleasant option) I have created a new blog this evening devoted to Dairy House. As all the posts on Vintage to Victorian seem to relate to DH at the moment I thought maybe it should have its own blog in order for VtoV to maintain its own identity!

Nothing much over there yet, but do pop and have a look if you have time and let me know how the colours appear on your screen. They look OK on mine, and are fairly similar to the Dairy House website, but who knows ...

I should have been pricing up the goodies piled up on the sitting room floor in readiness for the Home Spun Fair in Portscatho on Sunday. Things already in the car are priced and ready to go, but the ones Pauley's been tripping over all week aren't quite ready yet! Nothing like leaving things till the last minute!

I'm planning on taking a couple of the lovely Welsh blankets I bought when we popped 'over the border' a few weeks ago (judging by the weather forecast we may need them to keep warm!), an eiderdown or maybe 2, a few interesting vintage goodies, plenty of fabrics, buttons, haberdashery, lace, all my usual bits and pieces ... another spiced apple cake for the tearoom ... and Pauley! He can hardly contain his excitement (I could be fibbing here) and has of course packed his bucket and spade and plenty of winter woollies ! He usually steers well clear of any of the fairs I do, not least because there's rarely any room for him in the car! However, I've told him all about everyone attending and he's trying to remember what and who belongs to whom in readiness for the introductions. Hmmmm ... time will tell ...

Eeek, just seen the time. I shall be struggling to be bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning and there's me with so much to do ... so little time ... heyho!

24 July 2009

Spot the Difference ...

Well, progress seems slow, but we're getting there. Considering I'm doing all the painting myself in between our little holiday forays and doing the 'front of house' thing at Dairy House, perhaps it's not as slow as I imagine.

I've achieved quite a lot today and if there are any males reading the blog and looking at the photos, I know I'm working from the bottom up instead of the top down, but there's method in my apparent madness. I'm painting everything that I can reach easily first, so that when I can reach no higher that will be the time I get a quote from a man-who-can to do the high stuff. Funds don't run to having said man-who-can doing it all. There's a tight budget and until it's finished I'm obviously not getting rent in to cover the rent going out. So ... bottom to top it is!
Actually, I'm seriously considering buying a scaffold tower. It'll be cheaper than paying said man and I can always sell it afterwards, loan it out, or keep it for when other parts of DH need decorating. Could be fun ...

As you can see, the ceiling needs Work with a capital 'W'. There have been leaks in the past, the steel RSJs are rusty in places, and the concrete ceiling needs considerable tlc. I would like to paint the RSJs the same sage green that we used for the others, which matches the exterior paintwork. It will make all the difference, I'm sure.

An interesting array of water pipes at ceiling height. Nothing I can do about those apart from vacuum the dust off them. They're covered in black or blue sponge insulation stuff ... lovely! Perhaps no-one will notice when there are lots of goodies to see at ground level!

Still room for improvement, but I'd like to think that the middle of August or beginning of September at the very latest should see The Cheese Room open for business! I've let all the available space, so I really am itching to get it finished.
Meanwhile, we had another little holiday but I didn't take my camera out of my bag the whole time! We left Dairy House last Sunday afternoon and drove to the (needs must) Billingshurst Travelodge this time. Monday saw us baking in Brighton, doing a little shopping and wandering through The Lanes, and on Tuesday morning we set off bright and early to shop till we dropped at Ardingly Antiques Fair. Poor Pauley managed most of the morning, but had to succumb to Sudoku and his book until I was ready to leave soon after 3.30. It was another scorching day, although it apparently rained all day in Dorset and Somerset. We drove home through rain, but by the time we got back, after a very slow journey, the sun was shining here, too.
I bought well (I think) and at the appointed hour met Lois and her sister for a cuppa before setting off home. This was the first time we'd met although I've bought from Lois's eBay shop for several years, and she's bought from me. It was great to chat face-to-face instead of by email, and we spent a jolly hour or so chatting and buying and discussing!!
So ... one more 'fortnight's holiday' next weekend when we travel down to Cornwall to the Homespun Fair organised by Jane and Christine (see the lovely photographic link on the sidebar), and then it's back to painting with a vengeance. Whilst we're in Cornwall I'm going to meet up with an old school friend who I haven't seen since 1966!!! She contacted me through FriendsReunited just a few weeks ago, and as she lives in St Ives it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. Serendipity at work! We're hoping to meet up for a cream tea and a 43-year catch-up!!!!! Pauley's going to love it, isn't he!!
Have a lovely weekend, one and all. Judging by the fraught mothers and noisy children passing through Dairy House it seems that the schools have well and truly broken up for the summer. May your days be filled with fun and laughter, not screams and fights!!!!

18 July 2009

Cheese Room update and another holiday!!

These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago but this is the first opportunity I've had to upload them onto the computer.

As you can see the 'office' structure has disappeared from the end of the room, and a hole has been knocked through.

Since these were taken all the rubbish has been cleared and I've begun painting the walls. The electrician has done something with the suspect strip lighting and progress has been made, despite a leaking roof which we weren't expecting! In fact we have achieved a great deal and it's beginning to take shape. All the space has been let although we won't be ready for a grand opening until probably mid-August.


Just before work began on the Cheese Room Pauley and I had another of our 'two-week' holidays - a trip to Wales from close of DH business on the Sunday until the Tuesday evening. Needless to say it rained most of the time, but as this was a buying trip rather than R&R it didn't matter too much. I was on a mission to source Welsh blankets for a customer and lots of other stock. It was a success and Trecastle Coaching Inn is to be recommended.

However, after a visit to Liz (Pretty Practicals) we stopped off to watch the Red Kite feeding frenzy. What amazing birds they are. It was a site not to be missed if you are every near Rhayader.

I took loads of photos but the birds were so swift I had difficulty in catching them - I ended up with quite a few empty sky pics!!!

And here is where we didn't stay!!! Almost as eerie as Psycho ! You might need to click on this one to see what a des res it is!

And this gorgeous clematis is climbing up the wall of Mum's house. It's a mass of flowers, the best it's been.

Another Cheese Room update soon, and maybe some photos of yet another fortnight's break!!! I've realised that these 2-nighters that we do are much nicer than a 'proper' holiday. It suits us both better to just be away for a few days at a time, and by treating these breaks as 'major' holidays we get much more out of them and enjoy our time away. Each moment is precious and not to be wasted. I wish we'd thought of doing this years ago. A couple of hours' drive from DH after shutting up shop on a Sunday afternoon will get us quite a distance, just in time for an evening meal. We then have a whole day on the Monday to see the sights, before meandering back the pretty way on the Tuesday, in time for me to open up on the Wednesday. Perfect!

03 July 2009

Caroline Testout Revisited ... and The Cheese Room

Remember Caroline Testout? These are all my posts relating to the purchase of the tablecloth bearing her name and the follow-up information about her.

You may recall that I bought the rose from Peter Beales as a bare-rooted bush last autumn. Well, here she is in all her glory.

The perfume is very fresh, not a really heady, intense old-fashioned rose scent, but beautiful for all that. The individual flowers are incredibly heavy and droop down almost as soon as they begin to open, so catching one to photograph isn't easy. It could be that I haven't looked after her very well, and not fed her sufficiently (at all), resulting in her stems being rather less than sturdy. I have to say that she has had to fend for herself rather more than be nurtured, and so top marks to her. She obviously has a determined streak as we have been rewarded with several blooms, and she has also fought off an attack by this caterpillar. Pauley looked it up and told me what it was before seeing it off, but I'm afraid I've forgotten. It's yesterday's news and I have other thoughts occupying my mind at the moment.

And here, for your delectation, are a few "before" photos of what will become known as "The Cheese Room" at Dairy House. Work begins on Monday and with a lot of luck and a fair wind as they say, we hope to have it up and running in about a month's time. We're having a reallocation of space for a few dealers, and once we've sorted that I shall know what space I have available to rent out to new dealers. This new ground floor area is fully allocated, and there's quite a buzz of excitement as you can imagine. Hopefully everyone will be happy with the end result, but as you can see ... there's a fair way to go yet!! All it needs is a little vision ... and some elbow grease!