28 December 2009

So That Was Christmas ...

I was so pleased, and amazed, to think I had decorated the tree and dotted the cards around by Tuesday. I'd even cleared the remaining pile of stock from the sitting room floor, and loaded it into the car ready to take to Dairy House on Wednesday.

The decorations range from recent to 1950s - the little red bell (top right) is as old as me, or older, the wooden fairy at the bottom of the picture above was from Father Christmas (aka Hannah) a few years ago, and other decorations have been acquired over the last 38 years or so - a few new ones every year. The little red felt hearts and green felt trees were from Fiona a couple of years ago.

The fairy resting in the branches is the very one which used to sit atop the tree every Christmas when I was a child and the icicle is one of the 3 remaining from my childhood. The rusty robins were purchased from Tracy last year.

Can you see a very young Pauley in this photo?

Usually I'm decorating the tree at about midnight on Christmas Eve, but this year Han and Rob were coming on CE and then setting off on Christmas morning to spend the day with Rob's family. Being so ahead of myself meant I only needed to make up the spare bed and wrap prezzies. The turkey was collected - larger than usual because a family friend of very long standing was coming to stay with Mum over the Christmas break, and Gillie was coming for the day - and all the remaining food shopping was done. I'd catered for the five thousand as far as veggies were concerned, as Mum is a vegetarian and always takes home a doggy bag of loads of different vegetables, bread sauce, apple sauce and so on to last a day or two, and we are a household which loves bubble & squeak!

So off I went to Dairy House on Wednesday, and realised I wasn't feeling 100%. I staggered through the day, got home and decided I really couldn't face doing much other than running back and forth to the bathroom (nuff said!). I felt decidedly worse on Christmas Eve but got through the evening having managed to cook roast gammon, veggies, mashed potato and gravy specially requested  by Han (and she knows EXACTLY what she wants to eat at the moment ... ALERT ... watch out for exciting news at the end of May/beginning of June!!!! ... and then joined in all the present opening.

Next morning it was obvious that I wasn't going to be cooking turkey and all the trimmings and Gillie phoned to say she was poorly again with a straming cold which she had no intention of passing on to Mum (or anyone else for that matter). So we postponed Christmas Day. I made a batch of bread sauce (for Mum) and some sausages wrapped in bacon (for Anne) and Pauley took them next door. This is how I spent the rest of the day

in my new cosy dressing gown and slippers from Han and Rob!

Gloriously blue sky on a peaceful Christmas Day!

We had our Christmas Day on Saturday - I felt rested, having sat crocheting or sleeping for most of Christmas Day proper. Mum and Anne joined us and we had a lovely day. Gillie has just arrived, so we'll have another Christmas Day now!!

Hope yours ran smoothly and you all had a jolly time. Despite not feeling on top form I thoroughly enjoyed the few days - and the rest has been sublime!!!!

20 December 2009

Wishing you All a Very Merry Christmas

Here's hoping you all have a
Very Merry Christmas
with plenty of snow if you want it, and none if you don't!

Thank you all for visiting my blogs in 2009, and for your words of encouragement since I took over Dairy House Antiques. I may not manage to leave comments on yours too often, but rest assured I pop in to view whenever I can and much appreciate your continued support.

The New Year looks to be an interesting one from both a personal and a business point of view, and I look forward to sharing the highs (and hopefully very few lows) with you in 2010.

May the year ahead be a good one for you, too.
Have fun!

The beautiful picture above was painted by my cousin's husband many years ago and has long been a treasured possession


12 December 2009

Way Back When ... a Lot of Words ... and a Date for your Diaries

Way back, in September 2007, when I agreed to buy out the then owner of Dairy House Antiques, Linda Clift came over to the shop. She used to be a Dairy House dealer and was so supportive and full of encouragement when I told her Dairy House Antiques was to become my baby. We chatted about my long-term plans for the business and, among other things, the idea of holding a Textile Fair was popped into the melting pot.

Since I took over in April 2008 it has taken 20 months of hard work, fun, endless encouragement from friends, fellow dealers and fabulous customers, and a smidgin of determination to put Dairy House Antiques firmly on the map. Our dealers have doubled in number, the footfall has increased to such an extent that the carpet is wearing thin, and sales have beaten all expectations. Please don't think we have become complacent, though. We know we are one of the lucky ones, as the antiques trade has taken quite a knock in some areas. However, regular advertising and a frequent turnround of stock has kept the public's interest and we are constantly greeting new customers who have heard about us from various sources.

A few of our dealers stand at Ardingly and Kempton, as well as more locally at the Shepton 3-day Fair and the Giant Flea, and they promote Dairy House wherever they go. Often, when mentioning Dairy House to their customers at these fairs, they are told that the customer knows of us, has visited recently and, invariably, has made purchases.

What is so exciting is the fact that customers are now visiting Dairy House in search of 20th century fabrics and decorative items, as well as those of the Victorian and earlier eras. The word is spreading that we no longer cater solely for those looking for large pieces of Georgian furniture - although we still sell plenty of that - but are able to offer something for the new breed of customer looking for vintage.

As a result 2010 would seem the right time to stage the event which was mooted so long ago, and I am proud to announce that the first

Vintage Textiles and Costume Day @ Dairy House
is to take place on
Sunday 11 April 2010 from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

The sellers have been invited and have accepted, the advertising postcards have been ordered and will be available after Christmas, and I've already put in a request to the long-range weather planner for a fine, sunny day.

Liz van Hasselt is very much involved in the planning process, and she and I are gradually putting all the details into place. It's always good to have 2 people working on something like this so that all will be fine-tuned, every eventuality catered for and nothing forgotten or ignored. I know it would have been a far harder job without Liz's input and so I thank her for that. I'm fairly sure we shall have a few giggles between now and 11 April - I expect we shall have the odd panic, too - but with the trusty Jack keeping us on the straight and narrow I'm sure it'll be all right on the day!

Some of the well-known West Country textile and costume dealers will be displaying their wares under the verandah at Dairy House, and the shop will be open all day, giving everyone an opportunity to browse around the 3 floors and buy, not only from the sellers mentioned, but also from some of the Dairy House dealers who will be displaying textiles and vintage costume within their individual spaces.

Both Liz and I will keep you posted on progress via our blogs between now and 11 April and hope that many of you will be able to come and share the day with us.

09 December 2009

Shepton Giant Flea - won't be going ...

Just to let you know that due to "circumstances beyond our control" I won't be standing at the Giant Flea this coming Sunday at Shepton. A friend is having my pitch so if you're planning on going do pop and say hello to Helen.

We've had a bit of a roller-coaster couple of weeks at home what with one thing and another, and it's been exceedingly busy at Dairy House, leaving me with no spare time to get organised for the Flea. Consequently I decided that health was more important and a stress-free few days were vital. After a chat with the organiser, Sue Ede, I've also decided not to do the one in January, but I am booking the February Flea (28 February) and will still have my usual pitch.

So, sorry Isabelle, I won't be taking the threads to Shepton, but let me know if there's anything you need in particular. And apologies to anyone else who was expecting to rummage through the lace and buttons on Sunday!


04 December 2009

Inside or Outside ... It's in the Bag ...

Clare Allen is one of my lovely customers. She regularly pops in to Dairy House looking for just the right lengths and styles of vintage fabric for her bags. This is a photo of one of her advertising cards showing a bag using fabric she bought from me a year or two ago.

Her bags are completely reversible with gorgeous fabric on one side and the softest complimenting nappa leather on the other. The choice is yours as to which is the inside and which is the out! The straps, available in two lengths and a variety of colours, are interchangeable, giving you endless possibilities to customise your bag.

The photos below are of another bag where my fabric has been used ... and I'm delighted to say that I am now the proud owner of said bag. Please excuse the backdrop - no time to set a proper scene this morning so the photos don't necessarily do it justice, but you'll get an idea!

The rivets on the base of the bag are on both sides as protection when you put your bag down and the hidden magnetic catch means that the bag will close whichever way round you choose to wear it.
Do pop and have a look at Clare's website. Some of you may already have met her, or her bags, as she has exhibited at the Country Living Fair and the Spirit of Christmas at Olympia.

02 December 2009

Yellow is the Colour ...

... or Mellow Yellow ... either way, Donovan has hit the nail on the head for the latest Dairy House colour combination ... Moira and I were busy this morning rounding up this week's selection! Pop over to the other blog to see all the pics, but here's the taster!