-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hidden passageways

Hey, I just found a new thing to add to the ultimate wishlist for the house... a hidden passageway! I stumbled across this company who specialises in them, thanks to digg.

Don't panic Eric, I'm not serious. It would be kinda cool though. :-)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

October visit plans

I'm starting to get things organised for our visit to Amherst in October.

I've just found a fairly basic but nice-looking cottage to rent at Avoca Farm Stay that is about 10 minutes drive away. It's got lots of lovely animals including highland cattle that you can meet, the owners seem really friendly, and to top it all off it's got WiFi! We're staying there for a full week, so we can get work done but in a more relaxed way than last time. I can't wait.

Our work plans are scaled back from my last, over-optimistic post. Now we are just going to focus on planting a few more trees and getting the foundation dug/poured for the vegetable garden wall. Anything else will be a bonus.

So far we only have a few things lined up for planting:

Three wollemi pines

See description and photos here

Eight agave americana


"This succulent originates from Mexico and can stand in the hottest sun all day. It grows into a huge plant but can be restricted in a pot for patios etc. Has a distinctive blue colouration. Grows to 3 metres across. Has a huge flower spike after approx 15 years, then dies. Plants on offer are well established plants approximately 25cm high. Grows best in full sun and requires good drainage and infrequent watering. Extremely hardy, especially of hot weather. Propagates from offsets"

More to come I'm sure!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Ebay wins: firegrate, washstand

Dad's collected lots of fireplace mantles but we're going to need something to put inside the fireplace too. I found this on Ebay in Australia and Mum kindly picked it up for me.

fire grate

From the description:
"Original Cast iron fire grate. This was from an old Victorian home in Abbotsford Melbourne. It measures approx 39 cm long x 23 cm wide. It stands approx 16 in height including the legs"

Also we lucked out last week and found the most fantastic old washstand. I've been on the verge of bidding for washstands several times, but they've always gone for far more than I was prepared to pay. Then this comes along, and not only do I adore it, it turned out to be just up the road from Dad's so he was able to collect without any problem!

red cedar washstand

From the description:
"Beautiful washstand including deep porcelain sink and taps. All drawer fronts have a detailed patina finish. Washstand measures 1.66 high x 50 deep x 1.16 wide. In need of some restoration and would make a magnificent statement in any period bathroom".

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Liberty's 2006 sale (we bought rugs!)

The Liberty sale is on again. Those who remember me blogging about it last year will know how much I love Liberty and the unusual style of things they sell.

Well, I'm afraid this year I succumbed and went. It was a bit more eclectic than I expected and a lot more modern but still some interesting stuff. Here's some photos of things that particularly grabbed my eye:

lovely chair floral chair corn coffee table

But they were all way too expensive. (The decoupaged chair alone was over £500 which is ludicrous!) BUT I did splurge and purchase two Arts & Crafts design rugs.

They're new, but handmade, 100% wool and woven to patterns exclusive to Liberty resurrected from their archives. I got them for less than half price, which was a real bargain. I've struggled for years to find rugs I like and suddenly two come along at once! Here are pictures:

green rug
Sadly this will be living rolled up under the bed with mothballs and wrapped in brown paper, till we get to Amherst. We don't have anywhere here in London we could use it that wouldn't be exposed to the wrath of bunnies! (We have 2 pet house rabbits who mean well but can sometimes be a little naughty).

But, this one we're using in the conservatory here as it's a good size for it. We're using it upside down though, so if the sun damages it and lightens the colours, it only does it to the underneath. This is a photo we took of it right side up so you can see the colours properly:


For those not familiar with Liberty, here's a blurb about their carpets section that comes from their website. It was a truly lovely experience shopping there, they were so helpful and knowledgeable. If you're looking for a nice rug, I definitely recommend them.

"The Liberty Carpet department is one of the most
established and comprehensive in the UK, if not the world.
With carpets ranging from £50.00 to £50,000 you can receive
expert advice from the specialist staff on the origin and
design of every carpet in the department... Each carpet is
hand made using traditional methods ... No brands, no
companies just a country – Iran, Persia, Pakistan,
Afghanistan. We have friends there who make the best
carpets in the world in a way that no machine
can replicate"