Thursday 23 September 2010

Cut glass and rainbows

I've always loved cut glass and treasure the few items that I own.

Who can resist chunky cut glass stoppers? 

I'm pleased to see that glass knobs are in fashion once again and as there are several beauties to choose from I decided to get some for the large wardrobe I've just finished painting. But which ones to choose?

Laura Ashley have a very nice selection.


I decided to see what was available online and came across some real beauties at The Ceramic Store. Made in the UK from heavy crystal cut glass they're available in three different sizes (30mm, 40mm and 50mm). As they were very competitively priced I placed an order and just two days later the package arrived. You can see my chosen selection below. Photographed this morning with a low sun shining through the window the room was filled with tiny dancing rainbows.........magic!

Great fun to play with and photograph I finally decided it was time to fix them in place on the newly painted wardrobe and of course they look wonderful.

If you 're looking for glass knobs and live in the UK then take a look at knobs like the ones above in The Ceramic Store.

Monday 20 September 2010

Time for tea

Like many other bloggers I adore vintage china. Show me a pretty cup and saucer and I'll immediately imagine it decorating the tea table or displayed amongst other well loved pieces on the shelves of my dresser.

As I've always loved mixing and matching my china, and am quite happy to use eclectic sets, its tempting to buy 'must have' pieces when I find them.

But with so many of us searching for teatime pretties it isn't always possible to be first in the queue.

So imagine my delight when I stumbled upon a wonderful website selling vintage teaware. I was immediately smitten and regularly pop in to see what's new. I'm sure many of you will have already discovered the site but if you haven't then do pop in and take a look. You can either search by maker's name or simply do as I do and click on the 'New Products' button in order to look at everything currently being offered.
To feast your eyes on some wonderful goodies go to Everything Stops for Tea.

Friday 17 September 2010

Making time for clocks

Every so often our longcase (grandfather) clock becomes temperamental. It doesn't matter how much you coax the old thing it simply refuses to tick for longer than a few hours. It has been in one of its moods this week and so on Wednesday I threatened it with the auction sale room and left it to sulk. I later gave it one last chance to behave and would you believe it, the wise old thing has been ticking ever since.

From being a child I've loved old clocks and have gathered a few around me over the years. The longcase is the oldest. It dates from 1810 so would have been around in Jane Austen's time. I like to imagine the man of the house winding it every week and often wonder if he also had to tolerate its temperamental nature.

* * * *

This fellow resides in our computer room and dates from the 1860s. For much of its life it hung high up on a classroom wall. Over the years a great many teachers and children must have listened to the slow tick tock and watched the old hands gradually moving closer towards the sounding of the hometime bell.

* * * *

And here is my granny's clock. My dad remembers it ticking the hours away in the farm house parlour when he was a boy. Granny had left the farm by the time I came along and I remember this old timepiece hanging over her dresser. So many memories, I was delighted to inherit it.

* * * *

This large mantel clock belonged to my husband's grandad and it lives in our garden room. It has a lovely quiet tick but a very loud chime which can really startle you at times.

* * * *

Made in Germany's Black Forest region we bought this cuckoo clock soon after we were married. When young our children were fascinated by it and used to sit nervously waiting for the cuckoo to pop out of the door and 'do his thing'.

* * * *

To add to my timepiece collection I have a small number of old fob watches in various states of repair
The small one below would have been worn by an Edwardian lady.

* * * *
Finally we come to our sitting room mantel clock. Antique in style but only dating back a few short years. I wonder if it will still be ticking in someone's home a hundred years from now?

Hoping you can make time to do lots of fun things this weekend.

Friday 10 September 2010

The last days of summer

Although we've had a warm sunny week here in England's Lakeland, summer is now fading fast and tea in the garden amongst clouds of fragrant flowers is but a distant memory.

My hydrangeas have been in bloom for months and although they have no scent their colourful mop heads cheer me enormously at this time of year.

This beauty emerges palest pink, grows darker as the weeks go by and eventually turns a bronzed red with leaves to match.

And how about this one? It always looks as if its covered in hundreds of tiny pink edged butterflies.

But as the weather turns chillier I see butterflies winging their way homeward.

And as for me? After a week spent enjoying the garden I'll be picking up my knitting this weekend and hopefully making progress with the project I started several weeks ago.

Wishing you all a happy weekend.

Saturday 4 September 2010

Dairy diary

I see eggs that have been contaminated with salmonella are back in the news this week. Reading about various food scares always sets me wondering how folks coped in years gone by before the introduction of refrigeration and 'best before' and 'use by' dates. Did people build up an immunity to harmful bugs or were the bugs not there in the first place?

When I was a child I used to regularly visit my aunty's farm. She didn't own a refrigerator but used her cool dairy to store jugs of milk (straight from the cow) and farmyard fresh eggs. Everyone in the village bought their milk and eggs from aunty's farm and no one became ill as a result.

My grandma's milk and eggs also came from aunty's farm and were stored in grandma's cool pantry. The milk jug was topped with a beaded net cover (to keep flies out) and the eggs were displayed in this pretty china egg holder.

My childhood home was several miles away from aunty's farm and so, like most other families, we had fresh milk delivered to our door each day in pint bottles. The milkman (or dairyman as he was often called) also brought our eggs. Mum stored these in this wooden stand which dad made for her. I never remember tales of contaminated eggs and milk in those days.

Today my milk and eggs come from the local supermarket. The labels on the containers are covered with dates, storage recommendations, nutritional information, and instructions on how to dispose of the empty containers.

We are bombarded with food hygene information but for all the strict rules and regulations that govern food production, and the widespread use of refrigeration, we still hear of severe illnesses caused by food contamination. Where have we gone wrong?