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Sunday, 26 February 2012

A dirty secret, a disappointment, and other stuff........

I'm afraid I've been a bad little gardener...I had a dirty secret.....I had bulbs that I didn't get around to planting in the Autumn - I bet you're shocked! 

All sprouting, not planted :o(

I hang my head in shame...

But, I'm pleased to say that FINALLY they're all tucked up in warm, moist soil in the garden, ready to pop through and make a glorious display - though it'll probably be in June LOL!
(It's been such a wonderful warm, sunny day that I could not put off the planting any longer.)

I purchased two large RED Amaryllis flower bulbs before Christmas, and I DID plant them up ;o) but I'm sorely disappointed with them as glorious as they may be.............

  They are WHITE!

There's just no pleasing some folk is there?

I found a few things this week too :o)

A lovely Wedgwood pot, 4" high and 5" diameter, in perfect condition at the perfect price of £3.  I was amazed at this as they're normally much more expensive.

A perfect Masons Mandalay pattern clock, standing 6" tall.  (I've just realised that the face was sightly off centre, now remedied.)
This has been in our 'expensive' charity shop for over a week, and each time I picked it up I looked at the tag and put it down again.  Then, on Friday I went in again thinking if it's still there I'm going to buy it - and there it was.  I feel I must have had a blow to the head as I payed £25 for it.  Still probably quite cheap, but much more than I usually splash out!  I realise must have a 'thing' for clocks, from where I sit I can clearly view eight of them.....

I also love books, no Kindle in this house I like the real thing I'm afraid.  Here's a brilliant one I found a few weeks ago and forgot to post.

A large, fascinating country book containing recipes, remedies, information on livestock, gardening, sewing, spinning, cats, dogs, beekeeping and much, much more. £2

I'd love to keep bees, but as hubby has an extreme allergy to stings it's just not going to happen, still I can dream :o)

National Trust Fruit & vegetable cookery, lots of olde lore too £1

The cover says it all, looking forward to reading it. £1.

And Finally folks....

Yards of voile for £2.50.  I already have this against my bathroom window and I love it, but it's so old that the gold pattern is fading badly - now I can replace it :o)

Hope you've had fun reading my dirty secret ;o)

Thank you to all those who read my last post and removed the dreaded Word Verification from their comments :o)

Have a great week, best wishes to all.

Friday, 24 February 2012


Dear friends

I wonder if you would consider removing 'word varification' from your blogs if you have it? 
I along with many others are really struggling to read the 'new' version.  I believe it's all to do with the recent Blogger updates - (why fix it if it aint broke?)  I'm finding a lot of it hard to de-cypher and am giving up leaving a comment on some blogs.  I didn't realise that mine had been updated/altered and have now removed it but left on comment authorisation on to vet for spam.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Family pieces.

Hello Folks!  Hope everyone is in fine fettle.  When I went to bed last night I was surprised to see it was snowing heavily and about an inch deep covering already.  This morning it was still on the ground, but a lovely crisp morning.  I was up at around 7.30 and after feeding and fussing Sid I made sure all the birds had a good breakfast too, within minutes of returning to the house there were blackbirds, starlings, great and blue tits, a robin and a sweet little wren hopping about.  Sorry no photos, I'll try and remedy that over the week though.

Last week I FINALLY made room for the lovely Indian Tree dining set I found in November, which incidentally was used for out Christmas dinner setting.  It's been on a tray on the dining table ever since!  The only place I could house it was in the Welsh dresser cupboard (after sorting it out).  Whilst going through all the crockery that was in there I re-discovered three pieces that I've known since childhood.
My Aunt (Mom's identical twin) sadly died just over four years ago, I must take after her as she too was a collector (this gene missed my Mom completely!).  My cousin isn't a collector and really had little interest in Aunties treasures.  Most were bound for various charity shops, though he did tell me to have anything I wanted.  Here are three of those items....

A sweet pair of bunnies on a Hornsea Pottery Daisy jug.
The Cyclamen was a gift back in October from my dear Brother and Sister in Law, it's been blooming it's heart out ever since!

In close up

This back stamp was used by Hornsea between 1956 - 1962. 
I'm pretty certain it would have been an early one as I was born in 1956 and can always remember it!

Then there was this...

A Hornsea Fawn Posy log

Sweet isn't it?

Again, this was an early piece.  The back stamp was used between 1962 and 1967.

And finally,

A SylvaC 8" Swan vase from their Riverside Range.

and the back stamp

This style was used from 1969 until 1982
but again this is a 60's piece.

I do like them, and they hold many memories but I rarely display them - do you have pieces you rarely display but hold happy memories too?

Just a quick note,  I took the photos in the conservatory on the floor as the light was so much better in there.  The cream woollen rug they're standing on was rescued a couple of years ago.  During one of my (many) charity shop visits it was rolled up in the sorting room doorway, as I was after a cosy rug I asked if it was going to be put out for sale?  The manager said it was too dirty and they were going to 'skip it'.  I asked to have a better look, and realised it just needed a deep clean.  I asked if I made a donation could I have it?  They said yes, and suggested £2.  It came up a treat and is 100% pure wool - bargain or what?

Thank you all for your continuing visits and lovely comments, I feel really honoured to have such sweet blogging friends :o)

Have a great week!

Pam at Bayside Rose has posted about a precious family piece too :o)

Monday, 13 February 2012

A few more bargains.

Hello Folks, hope you all have a romantic Valentines day with the one you love :o)

I've been looking for a fire screen for my dear daughter for almost a year now, the gas fire in her home is ugly and the landlord has no intention of changing it.  Patience has finally come to fruition, this was offered on our local Freecycle and I was lucky enough to be offered it.

Modelled in my hearth

It's extremely good quality and VERY heavy and totally FREE!
And even has a heart pattern - very Valentine ;o)  Due for delivery this coming weekend.

Just  before Christmas I went to TK Maxx with my dear friend Ann hunting for gifts,
I saw a resin candle holder in the sale aisle, I loved it but it would have been for me so I left it.
I couldn't get it off my mind, so the next day I went back hoping it was still there....

Phew! What a relief, still sitting on the shelf waiting for ME :o) and I thought it was a bargain at £6.99
It stands approx 14 inches high, I just added a nice chunky candle.

Then on Saturday I visited my local 'supplier' (whi incidentally was worried as I hadn't been in for over a week - no wonder I felt ill!)  I had a good old mooch around and found a few things..

A pair of corbels, meant to be used for holding swags over a window.  I have a similar pair already in my bathroom that I place candles on - thought I'd use these in a similar fashion.  Standing approx 6 inches high, £1.50 the pair.

Now, how could I leave this little hoggie on the shelf?  A bargain 40p.

Next, (and I nearly missed these beauties!)
Six blown glass bird decorations

They're similar to blue tits, sparrows and robins, they're around 2.5 inches long
So cute, and only £2.50
Close up

And finally, a roomy leather handbag in fabulous condition

the label inside..

An incredible £4.

Hope you like 'em.  Again, sending Valentine wishes.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Place markers and heirlooms.

Hello, I hope you are all safe, well and warm as most of us have been suffering with snow, ice and cold.
I feel I should once again apologise for my distinct lack of posts, I am again blighted by ill health.  As you can imagine I'm just about 'sick' of it too!  What started off as another cold almost two weeks ago has progressed to a chest infection, for which after a visit to the doctor yesterday I am now on antibiotics. 

Some months ago I said I would show you my place markers, so here you are.

A set of six silver plated reindeer
I got these from eBay a few years ago
each standing 3 inches high.

in close up

The name cards fit beautifully in the rack of antlers!

A set of six silver plated chairs
(err, yes there IS six, no idea how I missed one off!)
and in close up, the missing one is first up.

The name cards fit in a slit on the top of each seat.
They stand about 2 inches high and were a gift from my dear Hubby :o)

Next up we have twelve bone china markers

Bought last year from a charity shop for £1,  approx 3 inches x 1.5 inches

I haven't used them yet, but you write the names on the centre part with a wipe able marker pen.
Can you imagine what would draw me to blue and white?

The next set of stars were free with a magazine years ago, they were in packs of four.  I found another pack of four in a charity shop for 50p

These are my favourite ones, also found on Ebay,

As you can see by the cards they came with designed for weddings

In close up without the name card - don't you just love them?
Approx 2.5" x 1.25"

And another delightful pewter Victorian Posy set
originally from Past Times, but of course found in a charity shop

Each stands approx 2" high, the name card fits behind the tiny leaf on the base.
They look so beautiful with some gypsophillia and hare bells in them.

If you read the blog regularly you will have seen these before.

Eight turkeys, found in the charity shop.

About 1'5" high.  The name card fits into a slit in the tail feathers.

And lastly....

A set of golden crowns made by Tchibo and sold from a local supermarket
years ago.

They stand approx 3" high.  Originally they were plain gold but I added the rhinestones.

Now, on to the heirlooms.
You will have seen these twisted brass candlesticks on my mantle before.  They belonged to my maternal Grandmother Clara, and before that her Mom, my Great Grandmother Mary.  They stand 12" tall.  I have known them all my life they are well over a hundred years old, and am lucky enough to be the custodian of them now.

Grandma Clara married my Grandfather John (Jack) on the 8th February 1914.  He made this set of pot hooks for their home from heavy copper almost as thick as my little finger.  They range in size from 8" to 4"

Close up of the two largest.

My Grandad Jack told my Grandma Clara a few weeks after WWI broke out in August 1914, that he intended to sign up to fight at the end of that week.  As you can imagine she was heart broken as they were still newly weds.  Fate was to play it's hand in preventing this.  Jack worked in a tool making factory, the tool making machinery was run by a steam engine with belts to each piece of machinery running from the roof, one of the machines broke down and Jack had to repair it.  The machinery was turned off, and Grandad had to climb up and adjust the belt on his machine, someone returning into the workshop thought that the repair was completed.  The spinning belt that Grandad was working on grabbed his right arm and dragged it into the spinning works.  It was amputated just below his shoulder. My Gran always said that this accident had saved his life and was 'meant to be' as he wasn't able to join up.

This next piece isn't actually an heirloom, but it has strong connections to the Bilston, the town in which I was born. (Famous for its Bilston Enamels)

A 'Beldray' copper crumb tray.  It's about 10" wide.  The design registration number tells it was designed in 1889, though not necessarily made in that year.  I remember the Beldray factory very well.   
I found it in a local table-top sale many years ago and was attracted by the pattern, when I turned it over and discovered who it was made by it had to be mine - I'm STILL on the look-out for an appropriate crumb brush.

Now, an admission...the copperware doesn't fit in with things at the moment and for some years has been stored in my dresser, so when I got it out today it was more than a little tarnished.  I HATE polishing metalware, be it silver, brass or copper!  I cleaned these today easily with half a lemon dipped in salt, then washed each item in nice hot washing up water and dried it immediately.  Not a bad finish eh?

Hope you found something you liked today.

Best wishes to all.

Whoops!  I realise that I missed an heirloom out! 

These are 'trench art' pieces that also belonged to my Grandparents, they always shared the mantle with the candlesticks and Grandma's

They are approx 4" x 5" 'Draw Plates' made from brass with copper handles.
I've just had to check with Mom as to their history.  Uncle Harry (Grandads brother) brought these back from WWI along with some other things and gave them to Grandma and Grandad.  They would have been made by the troups who were awaiting or just back from the front lines to while away their many hours of boredom.  These and other brass/copper items were made from the many shell cases that littered the area. I can only presume that he made them.  We also have some small German shell casings (At Mom's) and a large case (that's currently in my loft) all dated 1916.  The large case was used to hold the fire poker in the hearth, and when we got married it was passed on to me for our hearth too.  The smaller casings were also on Grans mantle.
When I was growing up and until about 16 years ago we always had an open fire, the 'draw plate' was used just after the fire had been lit to draw the flame to 'get it going' better.  Ours was made from steel and was placed in front and against the fire hole for a few minutes causing a seal so that the flames were drawn up the chimney quicker.  There is an art to this though, as if the chimney is getting to the point it needs sweeping it can cause a chimney fire if you're not careful.  (Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt!)

In close up

Okay - That's all folks!