Friday, 13 November 2015

Moving on up....


It has been a very long time since I last did a blog post.

The reasons being that half of me has fallen out of love with blogging and the other half has been so busy moving house after 13 years.

It took nearly all day to do the final clear out.... So much stuff and I have promised myself to ruthlessly throw away when I unpack again.

Empty kitchen,

Bedrooms and bathrooms .....

Sad to leave the house and our lovely neighbours, but equally excited at the thought of our new home.

Miss Ottie black Labrador has just celebrated her second birthday and is definitely looking forward to her new place with more outside running space to play ball....

And lots of country walks on the doorstep.

Still in Northumberland and with big change ahead for all of us....

Till next time when we have the keys,

Julie x

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


Bringing a bit of Spring into the house is always welcome, especially when it is in the form of the scented narcissus.. Bridal crown....lovely.

 Motivated by the impending Spring, I have been having a big change around in the house and the pull for stripped pine is strong... A year ago this would have seen the paint pot....

An old pine dresser base, found in a barn, now drying out after years of neglect.

Two cupboards either side of three graduated drawers.
Simple panelling on the doors and sides.

To say it has been a little ravished by woodworm in the past is an understatement, the top and parts of the base have tunnels in the wood as opposed to holes....
However, long since gone and now given a good soak of fluid to make extra sure, the signs of age are still there making it an attractive, worn, country piece.

It will be staying for now until I fall in love with something else... The beauty of antique dealing I suppose.

Continuing on the old pine line....

A neat brass locking handle sits well on this lovely glazed cupboard.
Perfect for crockery in a kitchen with plate restrainer lip on the shelves and cup hooks underneath.

I would love to keep this but unfortunately I have no where for it.

Talking of new things and a move away from furniture, another birthday hit me. 
Lots of lovely presents and lots of Labrador themed cards of course and my favourite is this one, from a couple with a wicked sense of humour!


And....another new thing for me was a visit to the beautiful Northumberland coast to meet a friend, Christine, who has a cottage right on the beach. 
The weather was glorious, beautiful sunshine, a little breezy, but the skies were so blue and the miles of sandy beach so clean. 

The dramatic outline of Dunstanburgh castle in the distance...

Miss Ottie was in her element!

She never stopped running, even on the way back to the cottage. Meeting other dogs and finding another black lab to play with made for one happy dog.

Christine rents out her cottage which is a dog friendly, two bed roomed, Northumberland stone barn conversion with Northumbria coast and country cottages. 

Courtyard Cottage.....Dunstan Steads, Embelton, Northumberland.

The views are stunning and the farm buildings delightful.

I think I need to book in and recharge my batteries....

Julie x

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Life, Laundry and little bits....

We have had a few foggy, frosty mornings here in Northumberland

And some fabulous sunsets,

But today has been a sunny one...

Warm enough for Miss Ottie to cool down on her morning walk.

The birds are singing, the snowdrops are through and Spring is in the air.

Bookings are coming in for the Bastle, 

And all seems well in my little world. 

Kindness from someone who just "gave" me this Knole sofa,

And deep sadness at the passing of my Dad in January, following a long illness and the final fractured hip that gets so many elderly people in the end. 

But we all have to continue on with life and work... 
We have to..... but at the moment I keep getting caught out and forget he is no longer here. He did get to hear from his grand daughter in Paris about her exciting news and was immensely proud.
 More of that to come in the next few months x 

So, onwards and upwards on the Cloth Shed front.

I bought some more French linen smocks this week and having washed them all in readiness for the dye pot, it was interesting to see the different colours of "natural"  as they hung on the line.

From cream to grey white...

I am thinking maybe...indigo blue, grey or even black to match the hound? 

A pair of bold, vintage curtains, screen printed in a vibrant indigo

A decorative French lamp with gold insides to the shades. Re wired now with an English plug and beautiful when lit in the evenings.

A Matisse style oil painting from a flea market in Paris, with fabulous thick paintwork and distressed frame.

And finally, the fab, shabby chicness of old French shutters, with rusty hinges and locks. 
They were taken from the "Wendy house" in the garden of a Chateau in Brittany, hence so skinny.

I would have loved to have been involved with that house clearance!

Enjoy the sunshine and birdsong whatever you do today...and look after your loved ones x

Back with you very soon,
Julie x

Sunday, 11 January 2015


It has been a very long time since I showed you some Cloth Shed purchases... Miss Ottie and The Bastle seem to have featured more often in recent posts rather than my stock.

So, first up ... a collection of straw filled, handmade dolls with no faces. 

3 with undergarments and little hands 

Worn clothes....

Charmingly simple and naive....
Unfinished, but I like them that way.


Continuing on the doll theme,
2 tiny "frozen Charlotte" glazed, china dolls....

Often used as charms in Christmas puddings, they get their name from an American folk tale about a young girl called Charlotte, who, having refused to wrap up warmly for a winter sleigh ride because she didn't want to cover up her pretty party dress, consequently froze to death.... That's the Victorians for you.

An equally tiny lead cat, perfect for a dolls house... NOW SOLD

And a napkin ring with a seated hare,

It would make a lovely Easter gift with a French linen napkin rolled inside. 


Finally, love it or hate it..... Vintage Fur.

A beautiful 1950's /60's fur cape. Scalloped at the back with two hidden arm holes at the front allowing the wearer to drop it it off the shoulders for a more daring look.


The other a 1930's stole.... Beautiful back and front....

So very Downton Abbey don't you think?

I hope you all had a lovely festive season....and I must say I am looking forward to getting back into the work swing after a long Christmas/New Year break... I think I miss the buzz of the buying and selling!
My next Fair is this Tuesday at Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham, Northumberland. Open 9.30-3.30pm

Till next time,
Julie x