Archive for the ‘home’ Category

Star buy!

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

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vintage Seth Thomas starburst clock

This wonderful vintage starburst clock was our ‘star buy’ at yesterday’s auction.

Also referred to as sunburst clocks, this one has a brushed metal face with a radial pattern of wooden star/sun rays.

vintage Seth Thomas starburst clock

Produced by the very good maker Seth Thomas in the 1960s, it wasn’t cheap – but it’s a great example. The condition is superb and it’s keeping perfect time.

vintage Seth Thomas starburst clock on our bedroom wall

The clock seems very happy in our bedroom. We know we shouldn’t be keeping shop stock, but it won’t do any harm to look at it for a while.

The modern, stylised shape and brushed metal is softened by the warm wood, providing a great link between old & new when going for that eclectic look.

vintage Metamec starburst clock

We already have an example of this type of clock in our top floor lounge/bedroom.

detail of vintage Metamec starburst clock

It dates from the same period, but this one is made by Metamec.

vintage Metamec starburst clock on our upstairs lounge stone wall

This one was also bought as shop stock – two years ago!!

Take a seat!

Friday, August 13th, 2010

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vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

We’re super-pleased with this purchase we made on Thursday. We’ve been on the hunt for a club chair for some time…

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

…then not only did we get a club chair, we got two club chairs… and a matching 2-seater sofa!!

It’s an original 1930s Art Deco suite, re-upholstered in the 1960s in a tan leatherette. Fantastic shape, comfortable with lovely stud detailing.

And a little extra… the lady who sold it says it was re-covered in the same leatherette as was used for Concorde. We’re trying to track down some old photos from the plane or Concorde airport lounge interior.

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

Fudge approves – and has made himself very much at home!

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

It’s found a home in our top floor bedroom/lounge. We spent the entire day re-arranging everything to accommodate it.

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

It was worth it though… there’ll be many books read in these chairs…  cups of tea /glasses of wine drunk, crackling fires watched.  We love it already!

Growing our own

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

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flat leaf parsley and coriander growing on a windowsill

This year we decided to grow more of our own – and we’ve got no excuse, as Todmorden‘s the home of Incredible Edible.

strawberries growing in a vintage terracotta strawberry pot

We have a variety of crops to look forward to in the coming weeks.

homegrown beetroot in vintage enamel breadbinhomegrown peashoots grown in vintage metal bucket

Most of them are growing in containers as much of our garden is paved with stone cobbles. It also makes protecting them from the ubiquitous slugs & snails much easier.

tomato plants growing in a vintage mini greenhouse

We use lots of the old galvanised metal ‘dolly tubs’, buckets and bins.

courgette flowers in a vintage metal dolly tub

The plants seem to like it!

potato plants overflowing from a vintage metal dolly tub just outside the kitchen doorpink stems of rhubarb growing out of a vintage metal dolly tub

Potatoes, beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, broccoli, courgettes, squash, peashoots, salad leaves, a variety of herbs – and yes, those are figs.

tiny fruits growing on a fig tree

There’s still a little room for some flowers.

lilac coloured osteospermum growing in a vintage metal bucket

pink lupins growing in a vintage dolly tubpink lupins growing in a vintage dolly tub

Perennials like the hostas, astilbes and lupins return each year like old friends. Although this year’s harsh winter saw a few losses.

purple lobelia growing in a vintage metal bucket

red geraniums just about ready to flower

To these we add a few annuals – osteospermums,  lobelia and the like.

hosta leaves

pink fox glove about to flower growing next to a giant ribbed terracotta urnyoung purple shoots of astilbe plants

We’ve enjoyed working in the garden this year. We don’t think self-sufficiency is here just yet – but hopefully we’ll reap some rewards!

Throw in the towel

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

No, H is for Home hasn’t actually thrown in the towel – we’re just doing a short blog about the humble but sometimes wonderful, everyday object… the tea towel.

It was the acquisition of this example last week which brought it to mind. This vintage Irish linen tea towel was manufactured by ‘Old Bleach’ in the 1960s.

We already had a very similar one by the same maker – we love the period designs with their stylised birds and foliage.

They’re both in pristine, unused condition – we think we might get them framed.

Tea towels are always popular on the website. We’re always on the lookout for vintage aprons, cloths etc… They’re quite hard to find in excellent condition.

Here are a few favourites that have passed through the shop…

…and no blog post about teatowels would be complete without mentioning Skinny laMinx!

Her designs are fabulous!

Here are the tea towels we have in store at the moment!

Berry Delicious!

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Our berry picking has started early this year. We were out gathering bilberries at the weekend. They love acid soil and are found on low-growing bushes in the surrounding area. The berries are small and picking them is quite time consuming – but, be patient, they’re well worth the effort!

We put some in the freezer for future jam making and used the rest of our crop to make this bilberry custard tart. Here’s the recipe:

You’ll need to collect about 225g/8oz bilberries. Remove stalks and stray leaves and rinse in a sieve. Dry carefully on some kitchen towel (Don’t use a tea towel unless you don’t mind it getting stained purple).

Shortcrust pastry
125g/4oz plain flour
pinch of salt
55g/2oz butter, cubed
30-45ml/2-3 tbsp cold water
(or you can buy a pack of ready-made in the chilled section of most supermarkets)

  • Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter
  • Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining
  • using a knife, stir in just enough of the cold water to bind the dough together
  • wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill for 10-15 minutes before rolling out
  • flour the table and roll out the pastry to about 1/2cm thick and 25cm/10inches in diameter (or large enough to fit over the dish you’re using)
  • carefully lift the pastry and lay it over your dish, moulding it to the bottom & sides
  • cut off any excess bits using a sharp knife
  • pour in the fresh bilberries

Custard
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
475ml/1pt milk
55g/2oz caster sugar

  • heat the milk gently in a pan
  • whisk the eggs & egg yolks
  • slowly add the milk to the egg mixture whisking continuously (make sure the milk’s not too hot or the eggs will scramble!)
  • pour the mixture carefully through a sieve on to the bilberries in the dish

Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Cook the flan for 45 minutes or until the top begins to brown nicely. When cool sprinkle a tablespoon of caster sugar over the top.

The tart looks fabulous with the deep purple juice seeping into the creamy custard…

…and it tasted good too!