The Bastle when we bought it three years ago...... a pretty cottage with blocked doorway and window above. The pointing was a mix of old and new cement.... The boulder stone walls so well "buttered" with hard mortar that it was impossible to see each stone clearly.
A 1960's porch and a rampant ivy burying itself into the building.
A new access drive and parking space were dug out by hand.... Yes, us...
Lifting the turf and spreading a lorry load of whinstone from the local quarry was a great workout for the tummy muscles.
Permission from the planners allowed us to re-instate the upstairs window but not the door... And the porch was removed. Scaffolding was erected to address the leaning chimney and dodgy gable around the garret window.
Existing sash windows were renovated and one for the new opening made to the same specification.
I painted all the windows in Farrow and Ball Light Gray exterior eggshell when they were in pieces.... sashes, frames, bead etc, then reassembled.
They are all now working beautifully, with draught brushes to keep the wind out... No rattling here!
Fast forward to 2012 and after full re-pointing of the whole building with lime mortar, a new oak front door made by us ( we are pretty practical...).....and new simple shutters made by Mr CS and painted by moi... The Bastle is becoming more impressive with its huge boulder walls and strangely.... looks bigger than before.
Next time.... What has been going on behind that door?
I know......I promised you a Bastle update, but yesterday the postman brought me a little something that I just have to show you.
Beautifully wrapped in spotty tissue paper and ribbon, the card....Sea Angels by Lynn Barron....can only mean one thing.
An exclusive, one-off from the very talented Lynn who has other gorgeous items for sale on her Etsy shop. www.sea-angels.blogspot.com
I will let the reveal show you my gorgeous purchase.....beautifully made from French linen...lined in ticking......hand printed.... "Milliner and Dressmaker Miss E Perkins" .....with a zipped, pocketful of ditzy flowers inside.
So, I am all set for Spring with a very special new bag.....
For years I have wanted a large, naive style, oil painting of a lady....and a few weeks ago at a Fair I found one.
Rather battered.... without a frame and a couple of repaired tears in the canvas.
An early 19th century painting I would imagine from her costume and hairstyle.... Her simple dress and jewellery adding to her naive charm.
She is now firmly ensconced in the blocked up doorway on the old original plaster wall of the Bastle, keeping an eye on the workers.
Our 19th century project manager overseeing the current installation of the underfloor heating....
Child of the 60's and proud mother of two, one in London, one in Paris.... Would love a powder blue AGA and a chocolate labrador. Trained as a nurse in the 80's, but now the owner of The Cloth Shed... living in beautiful Northumberland.