Sunday, 20 August 2017

Todaya's car boot gem

It needs a bit of a polish/some tlc, but I just couldn't resist this beautiful Arts & Crafts copper ashtray (? as it is enormous for an ash tray!)  The cabochons are set in beautifully detailed brass roundels.  LOVE it.  Trying to do some research but have come across nothing quite like it yet.  It was a typical car boot price - £1!!

Close up of roundels.  Could these have been added later (look at brazing).  Pretty anyway, and staying with me for the moment . . .

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Back to St Fagan's - the Church this time

There is a link to the information on St Teilo's Church   Here

Thursday, 17 August 2017

A brief domestic interlude (and dupdate)

The first new-to-me dresser, acquired in a dealer-swop last week for four kitchen chairs.  It was looking a bit unloved when we picked it up - it had never been polished and the wood was dry and sun-faded, and a couple of the boards were loose on the back as it had been STAPLED together, rather than nailed.  Obviously the cheapo end of the market when first sold.  Now it is glowing and looking a lot happier decorated with the (bathroom! - it didn't get far!) "Yuan" china.  The cream scales were one of the first things I ever bought at auction, That would have been 1985.  They came from the one at Blandford Corn Exchange and cost the grand sum of £3.  They were in regular use until recently, when I got a rather smart singing and dancing set of modern scales with a good sized bowl on top which is now my go-to set, even for pounds and ounces weighing.  The basket (with Hydrangeas) on top is one that my dear departed friend Annie made.

I fell in love with this battered old pine cupboard at auction last week.  Someone has replaced the original top with huge slabs of pine, and it works!  It is going to take a bit of configuring about where it will go in the room, and there is much head-shaking from the man in my life, but hey, if I can live with it sticking out a bit somewhere, then so can he!  The old brass dairy bowl (used for apples) came from Malvern, and has been patched and mended, but that adds to its character.  The red French enamel pan is my dye pan.

This is the other pine unit which came from auction.  I took the black handles off before painting it with a couple of coats of Annie Sloane chalk paint in Antique White.  It's a very thick paint and it took me all afternoon to paint this, but looks much brighter already.  I have ordered a job lot of ceramic handles in a jadey green (Fleabay again) and will replace all the knobs on the kitchen cupboard fronts with them.  This is to hold my kitchen aids - mixer, breadmaker and electric pressure/slow cooker, which are bulky and took up room on the worktops prior to buying this.  I need to repaint all the cupboard doors too (same colour though, as it's easy on the eye).  Excuse mess and muddle in the kitchen - it looks like a bomb has hit it right now.  Oh, and I bought a pretty copper effect drainer to replace that horrid plastic thing.  It's all change here at the moment.

Update.  It didn't look right in white, so I got out the original apple/mint green I had on the other cupboards and repainted it in that, and am now freshening up the other cupboards too.  One more to do before I decide whether to also do the window frames in that colourway as well (presently cream).  They will look even better when I have the new ceramic knobs on them.

I went looking for the right table lamp for the kitchen today.  There was nothing I saw that seemed right - most were too tall or too modern or cheap-looking or  just not very nice.  Then I saw this which is to take a night light, and it was perfect - I loved the Paisley shape, and the mirror-back and it is even greeny-brass and looks old like it has slight Verdigris.  It hangs on the wall too, but I shall just have it sat on the counter I think.  I went looking for LED lights and these little ones are just perfect - a coil of wire with tiny bubbles of light in them. 

We bought several punnets of reduced strawberries, ate some fresh (with ice cream) and dried the rest.  I have to say, I don't think I shall bother again as they seem to be All Pips!

Cheesey Grins - bread muffins with a stuffing of grated Cheddar.  Eat when still hot.  Oh My!

A hasty fat Pizza made at the same time.  (Cheating and using the Dough setting on the Panny).

Gay's Key Lime Pie.

The other pair of Fleabay curtains. These are vintage Laura Ashley from the 1980s and are perfect for "best" in the sitting room.  These will only go up for viewings.  The morning light from the East is very strong in the summer and fades curtains, so I have the sacrificial dark terracotta/russet ones up for everyday use.

On Monday morning Keith went to Brecon to collect the furniture we had bought at auction.  He got the best of the weather as when Gay and I finally set off, it commenced to pour - and I mean, POUR!  We got soaked to the skin!!  We drove to Newcastle Emlyn as I wanted to go to Crosspatch, the lovely Patchwork shop there.  I had allotted myself some spending money and this is what I bought.  The Birdie Inn Bag pattern which is keeping me more than busy at the moment as I mindlessly sew small hexi's in the evening.  This calls for 1/2" hexi's but mine are bigger so I will need less of them.  I am looking forward to starting on the embroidery.

Slightly more of an indulgence was this beautiful table topper set, complete with materials and pattern.  I saw it made up in the shop and the design was so unusual I just fell for it.  I think I will need to sit down and REALLY concentrate when cutting it out etc, but I am sure I can do it!  The colourway I chose is a sort of warm autumn tints with pale terracotta, so it can be used to dress the sitting room when we have guests.

Now Gay has gone home, and I am left with memories of a happy holiday - we have been friends for 45 years (we started off as penpals).  We just pick up where we left off last time when we meet/talk on the phone and have long ago reached that stage of a companionable silence between friends when we have exhausted the conversation around our interests. 

I am back in my routines, and working through the long "to do" list which got thought through and written down after all the sleepless nights of the past 3 weeks.  It is a relief not to be wired for speed any more - I actually got 7 hours' sleep last night, which is a vast improvement of the 4 hours maximum I have been managing on lately.

I'm getting rid of the filing cabinet in here so the next job is to go through and chuck out 98% of the contents . . .  I may get in here and start the wallpapering and painting tomorrow if I'm not terracotta-ing the sitting room instead . . .

Eldest daughter Tam is at the Green Man Festival this weekend and we pick her up on Monday, so there's lots to look forward to, especially as I want to get Gabby and Danny back to visit whilst Tam's here.  It will be full house again for the first time since Christmas.

More photos from St Fagans

Inside the red house still.  A view through to a back bedroom.

We coveted this beautiful comb back Welsh chair.  It is stunning.  We have a similar one, only heftier, which someone "modernized" by cutting the top (comb back) off.  Keith is going to restore it this autumn/winter. . .

A lovely drystone constructed pigsty, very reminiscent of the tinner's Beehive Huts on Dartmoor.

Above and below: Inside the mill.  I have always felt an affinity with water-powered flour mills and this one was no exception.  Probably because I have millers and a journeyman baker in my Devon ancestry.  A lovely building.  Below: quern stones which were used in great antiquity until quite modern times to grind corn into flour.   I should imagine the resultant grit included in the flour did a wonderful job of polishing teeth flat too!

Above and below: further construction happening and these beautiful early Medieval buildings are being reconstructed from the groundprint of buildings uncovered on Anglesey.

More photos now:

The fireplace in the cottage by the Gorse Mill.  I could settle right in here!  Below:  it looks like Little Black Riding Hood lives here!  Very Scottish Widows . . .

The row of old miners' cottages, where each cottage encapsulates a different period.  The photos below are relevant to the first and earliest house (late 1700s I think):

As you can see, purely practical - no "boughten" stuff!

A lovely old Welsh dresser with Pewter plates and a few practical jugs and mugs.

Up the wooden stairs to Bedfordshire.  If you tripped on your nightie here, you'd come down faster than you went up - these are STEEP!

Drool - another primitive combe back chair.  A stunner.

Now: I have a date with a paintbrush, some Annie Sloane antique white paint and two needy pieces of furniture  . . .

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A day out at St Fagans

We  visited St Fagans today (for a tour of Welsh vernacular architecture and social history) - I seem to have taken a fair few photos!  Here are a few to get started, as I just cannot sleep (yet again) despite having a couple of glasses of vino.  My brain is so buzzy and it's pointless laying in bed and making lists of "fings to do" in the house . . . of which there is a VERY long list, I might add. 

These first two photos were taken inside the red house below.  I love the pseudo flitches of bacon above the fireplace.  Note the snug box bed here too.

I managed to catch a sneaky photo of my friend Gay taking HER photo!  As you can see we were lucky with the weather (after getting soaked to the skin yesterday).

The "posh bed" upstairs, under its ceiling of knotted straw rope.

A shame I can't wipe out the figure in the background as this was such a peaceful little window on the world.

Back tomorrow with more photos as these are loading soooooooooo slowly tonight.  I am glad to say I am feeling better now I'm on half the dose of steroids and only 3 more days to go before I can knock them on the head completely and get on with life again.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Car boot bargains

Car Boot Lamp - £2.50, plus serendipitous shade from the Range, £6.99.  To go in the kitchen when the new dresser is painted up and in place.

OK, it's from 1994.  I still love many of the room settings though, and it is full of ideas for crackle glazes, painting furniture etc.  Useful and inspirational.

Above and below, a selection of little dresser pieces for the white dresser, £6 the lot.

A £3 cast iron French crock pot, nice and small, for a small 5 minute loaf of bread.  (Slightly worried now about using my lovely green one, as it said NOT to put it in the oven without anything in it.)

Right, we're off out any minute.  My new kitchen stuff from the auction is in residence.  Gay made a Key Lime Pie, and I made a loaf and two Apple Gingerbread cakes this morning.  It has been a LOVELY day in the kitchen.  Off to the craft shop now!