Thursday 28 March 2013


Loving this embroidered linen bag in the shape of a house.....where the lady in blue is up to her elbows in suds outside and the lady in yellow is scurrying through the door with a basket of laundry.
Huge red roof tiles and a part open, shuttered window complete "The Laundry" picture.
The reverse has a simple, vertical opening edged in blue.

"Let your dainty undies stay
Safe in here till washing day"

Those were the days when ladies took care of their underwear until doubt hand washed on a Monday.
Unlike today, when the M and S are dropped in the laundry basket, then straight into the front loader any day of the week.

It will be coming to the Antique and Vintage Fair on Good Friday at Willowburn Leisure Centre, Alnwick, Northumberland along with this 1940's embroidered couple.....what a dandy with his lace edged, big cuffed and collared suit!

Looks like it's going be a busy weekend for me, with another Fair too on Bank Holiday Monday at Gateshead Stadium, plus more building work at the Bastle in between.
No rest for the wicked as they say....

Bye for now and hope you all have a lovely Easter.
Julie x

Saturday 9 March 2013

My excuse....

The reason for my lack of regular blogging these days is because something has been taking up most of my time.

Three years ago, as lovers of old buildings, we took possession of a tired stone "cottage" in an idyllic village in Northumberland.

Seeing beyond the colourful interior....

Which was hiding a much older building......we set to work.

Uncovering and discovering....and with the help of a local property historian, we came to the conclusion (as we thought)  that this was an old Bastle house built in the late 16th century, when Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne, Shakespeare was penning his sonnets, Sir Walter Raleigh was off adventuring and in Northumberland...... "Reiving".... was rife.

In order to protect the village inhabitants, defensive Bastle houses were built, often in clusters for combined security and also as beacon style warnings of an impending attack.

A Bastle house therefore, is a fortified farmhouse..... unique to Northumberland and the Border regions, built to protect the occupants and their animals from the fighting and thieving of rival families.
More can be found HERE.

The "cottage"also came with an overgrown woodland garden

And hidden under rampant ivy...a tumbledown shed.

Full to the brim with years of rubbish.

So... undaunted....( some said we were completely bonkers to undertake such a project ).... we are slowly bringing the ugly duckling back to life and fit for 21st century living whilst still retaining its historical importance.

A lot of work has already been done and over the next few months I will bring you up to date with our renovations.

Till next time...
Julie x