Tuesday 30 August 2011

Stock Gaylard lived up to expectation again!!

Long post coming up!! We've had a lovely time, very hard work but thoroughly enjoyable. As in previous years the rain continued off and on right up until about 7am on Saturday and then, miraculously the sun came out! There was the odd shower, but nothing compared to the last few days - how lucky is that?!

We were positioned under a gorgeous old oak tree at the top of the "Oak Avenue". We had access to electricity which made our lives so much more comfortable overnight having lighting and a working fridge, it meant that we slept very well and woke up refreshed for show day - setting up for any event is always hard labour.

Here's a few photos taken just as the show began.

 The view we had from Bernard's ramp across the central catering area.

Looking down the beautiful avenue of oak trees.

Here we are under that lovely old oak.

And this is what the central area looked like at lunchtime! You can see that there is blue sky but also that most people had come dressed for the unpredictable weather.

We were kept very busy and only managed to weave one chair seat all day, but it is great to be out of the workshop and talk to people about weaving and restoration. We also had a massive surprise, two of our friends from the craftsforum came to visit! Not only did they visit they came bearing fabulous gifts.......

Lunch!!!!! Wow, we never normally get the chance to eat at lunchtime, what a truly lovely, thoughful thing to do, so kind of them. We had a great time, lots of laughter and chatting, (hope you're reading this P & M!!). AND there was cake!

But the surprises didn't end there, a blogging friend of ours Leanne also came to visit and she too came bearing gifts - my favourite - blackcurrant jelly, home made! Fantastic. We met Leanne through blogger after the Stock Gaylard show two years ago, she writes a fascinating blog about her life in North Dorset and we arranged to meet up this year for a cuppa. She has written a lovely post here about her day out.

It was really lovely to see you Leanne!

We were kept so busy that we didn't get a chance to see much of the fair on the day, but we did see Mike Abbott before the show opened and had a chat about his new book, then we had a chat with Fabian and had a look at his most recent work, but we never did get to say hello to Martin Symes the wheelwright our friend of many years, but we shall probably see him at Frome Cheese Show in a couple of weeks time. Never mind.

A truly great day, a wonderful show organised so perfectly by the estate owners.

So that was Saturday. We were packed and had left the site by 6.30pm. We returned home exhausted but happy. Sunday and Monday might have been days off for most, but we had more things to do - another trip to the Cotswolds to continue the saga of emptying Mother in Law's home......more of that when I've recovered from this weekends jaunts!!

Friday 26 August 2011

This weather!

Well we've packed Bernard ready to leave for the show in an hour's time, so that would be why it has just decided to pour with rain!! And it's not just raining out there, it's like a biblical flood, there's been thunder and lightening again. Just look at it....

And to top it all it's cold. I'm not looking forward to a night sleeping in a field, but at least we've got electricity, so if the worst comes to the worst we can put the heater on! Thank goodness for Bernard.

The boxes and baskets are finished....

So lets pray for a bit of calmer, brighter and warmer weather tomorrow. I seem to remember that every time we've been to Stock Gaylard the weather has been the same, heavy rain right up until the early hours of show day and then pleasantly warm and bright - here's hoping!

Wednesday 24 August 2011

New Stock for Stock Gaylard Oak Fair?!

Been busy......experimenting! We needed a few last bits and pieces for the show this Saturday - I'd had this idea so I thought I'd give it a go and see if it would work.

There is a story behind this bit of recycling. We found some old pine packing boxes in the shed at Mother in Law's house when we were clearing out, they'd been stacked and used as storage shelves. My dear other half said he remembered his father using them over 40 years ago when he moved house. Several of them were riddled with woodworm to the extent that two fell apart when we lifted them, but the others weren't too bad. Anyway my other half wanted to throw them away, but I said "No I've got an idea". Now my OH is a patient man, he gave me that, "ooooh noooo" look then dutifully put them in a plastic bin bag and into the car. Well.... here are two of them, washed, wormed and ....well..... titivated!

I've woven a double braided rim around them, the idea being that they can be lined with fabric and used for whatever you fancy! The cane still needs to dry and then be trimmed and the boxes need polishing, but they should look good then. One is proudly labelled - SARDINES, (upside down!) and the other DRIED PRUNES. I am keeping one other for posterity, it is labelled PEACHES and came all the way from sunny California!

Apart from that we have finished another little footstool, more modern and Danish looking this time.

And lastly, I did finish the two egg baskets.

Thankfully we have enough items to take to the show now so all that we need to do is pack the lorry on Friday. Hope to see some of you there, come and say hello if you are visiting!

Thursday 18 August 2011

A flood!

It hasn't stopped raining today, it's positively hammered down. There have been flash floods everywhere causing mass disruption. There were great crashes of thunder and lightning that went on for ages, (but it's August??). We've been lucky our home is on quick draining land, but even so, we had a flood in the driveway.

Look at the depth of the water, it's covering the bottom of Bernard's tyres by about 3"!

I read this article in our local paper, the title of the little film of the floods made me giggle it read:

"Flash foods in Bournemouth".

Wow, bling...... in Bournemouth......hehehe.....!

Monday 15 August 2011

Books, books and more books

Sorry it's been a bit quiet on the blogging front, but as well as too much to do and too little time to do it, I've also been a bit preoccupied with books -  hundreds of 'em!

Now mother in law's house looks like it is definitely sold, (fingers crossed!) we've started the process of removing the last bits and pieces. Now there were two passions in my husbands late father's life - records and books. It was an obsession to the extent where he had to have special cabinets made to take the records and shelves for the books! When I say there are about 1000 classical lp's and more than 300 books it's no exaggeration.

Most of the books are about history, English and European, but there are also loads of novels and even a series of natural health and healing books. Because of the state the house was in, all of them have had to be hoovered and cleaned before we can sell them or give them to the local charity shop, hence I've been a bit busy! We've got to raise as much money as we can to go into mother in law's dementia care home fees fund.

Only another 100 or so to go........well, at least until we collect the last batch!!!

Otherwise work has been all cane panelling, another batch were done last week.

And we're still trying to get things together for the Stock Gaylard Woodfair at the end of the month. It's all go!

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Why, oh why......

Rioting, looting, violence......how will that ever solve anything? Worrying times. This advice was sent to us by one of the small business organisations today - how sad that this is necessary.

Police Advice
Obviously we are hoping the riots that have taken place in London and elsewhere, are not replicated within our area. However, to be prepared, the following Police advice has been issued.
  1. Ensure staff report any suspicious activity to security officials and the police
  2. Consider regular checks of the building and surrounding areas. Identify any areas that are vulnerable and remove loose objects that could be used as missiles
  3. Make sure all service doors are kept locked and secure when not in use
  4. Ensure your CCTV system is fully operational
  5. Consider removing high value goods from display windows overnight
  6. Keep as little cash as possible in the building overnight
  7. Where possible retail premises should be suitably staffed with security guards
  8. Landlords need to ensure that residents living above commercial premises are aware of risks and ensure that all fire alarms, smoke alarms and fire escapes are fully functional
  9. Does your alarm company have the latest key holder information? If not call them now
  10. Does your business have an emergency business plan?
    Keep safe everyone, common sense has to prevail eventually doesn't it?

Friday 5 August 2011

Friday is for finishing things.

Another Friday, where does all the time go!? Everything is taking longer than expected, there are seized in screws where there should be easy to remove nails - the finish that I thought was french polish isn't so it needs to be stripped - the joints that needed re-gluing and looked like they would fall apart actually have hidden nails in them....etc.....grrrr!

On a happier note, the Mouseman footstool and the French "shabby chic" chairs are finished, hurrah! The canework on the chairs was so fine, it took forever. Normally an English chair will have about 9-10 drilled frame holes per 6" around the perimeter of the seat, which means that the guage of the weaving is quite broad, however, these French chairs had 15/16 holes per 6", so as you can guess the guage is much tighter and it takes a lot longer to do.

The rest of today will be spent putting cane panels into "Habitat" seat frames, because for whatever reason, we've had over a dozen arrive this week - things do seem to go in phases. We're also trying to get ahead of ourselves for the show at Stock Gaylard later this month. So far we have prepared three more footstools to work on and I have dyed a batch of cane for some more baskets. Perhaps next week will be a bit easier.....