Tuesday, 20 August 2013

More cobbles and decay...

Looking up the village lane towards the Bastle....

Looking down on the yard from the raised deck and the
old cobbles just visible.

They have lain covered in grass for many years, but when the turf was removed, we were left with a tantalising "roadway" leading to the tumbledown shed.

So, as they do in Time Team, I decided it was time to expose them with a mini trowel and brush.

I must say I felt like a proper archaeologist!

Just this small amount took two afternoons and even on a kneeling mat I ended up with very sore knees. They are so unforgiving.
Oh to be twenty years younger.....getting up and down from that mat was so embarrassing...how can hips, knees and ankles seize up like that after half an hour?

Top dressed with sharp sand to hold them more tightly, I will continue to expand across the yard, filling in where the cobbles have long since gone.

I did find a few interesting pieces of ceramics between the cobbles however.
 Early 19th century blue and white transfer-ware, sponge ware a banded bowl and the broken base of a porcelain tea bowl.. Possibly late 18th century.

So...quite an old path.

My excavations are not as extensive or as amazing as this fabulous ford / road in the Peak District.
We had a few days break in the village of Butterton near Leek, nice, comfortable farm cottage and the village has a cobbled road with a river running down it.

The ford winds through the village with water flowing quite happily past houses and fields.

Driving through it is a weird experience...

Not sure if I would be happy after a severe downpour however.

While in Derbyshire we called into a National Trust property.....Calke Abbey

Not your usual, beautifully furnished national Trust property,  but left just as the Trust found it in varying degrees of decay.

I loved it!

High in the stable ceiling... A  little nest ...( the give away being the mound of droppings on the floor )

Nothing much to see until I put the flash on the camera..

Et voila...four little faces looking back at me.

What a tight squeeze.

Bye for now,
Julie x

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Ghostly shirts....

Hand woven, disembodied, peasant shirts/smocks drying on the washing line yesterday.

 Originally, extremely dirty with fold lines and rust marks... but now nice and clean thanks to a long soak in a wash tub with stain remover.

Red initials in different sizes and style,

The ladies' nightdresses are machine stitched with simple detail... 

The gents are far more involved.

All completely hand sewn with tiny tucks and gathers...I dread to imagine the state of the seamstress's fingers pushing and pulling her needle through that coarse cloth time after time.

The placket detail with initials......

And the button holes and collar are a work of art....

They will stay au natural in their oatmeal coloured linen.... No dyeing this time.

So simple...and so beautiful.

Julie x

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Apples and Pears....

At last....we can finally...get up the stairs!
The ladder has now been replaced with this.

The long awaited staircase arrived in two pieces a week ago and had to be assembled inside the kitchen....the front door was removed and with inches to spare.... it was in.

With a bit of fine tuning and moved into position with the aid of the trolley (me)  and man muscle (him)

The wonky walls and meeting up to the stone steps had its moments...

But finally it was in place.

The decision now was... what colour?

 Primer and undercoat applied,

The decision was made...Farrow and Ball Charleston Grey for the final finish. 
It works well with the stone walls and slate floor.

Under the staircase is to be left open for boots, dog, Hoover etc 

And you can also see the peg leg staircase support which sits nicely on the Bastle boulder wall. 
This would have been an outside wall originally before the 18th century kitchen extension was added.

Now all that needs doing are some handrails and two contemporary glass panels to stop people falling through.

It is a joy to walk up, even though the stairs turn at different angles. Quirky I suppose, but far nicer than the old woodworm infested, straight one which ran right across the old bastle doorway.

Now there will even be room for a small breakfast table and chairs in front of the door.

Back soon with a bathroom makeover...the purple has all gone!

Julie x

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Summer uplift...

Carnations that look as if they have been dip dyed...

Raspberry ripple...

Cheaper than a posh cup of coffee or 'designer' ice cream.... 
They will certainly last  longer and give more enjoyment.

Expensive flower shop?

They've done it again... Where do they source their flowers?
Thanks Aldi x