Thursday, 26 April 2012


The door to the downstairs cloakroom was originally the back door to the garden, the previous owners added a small extension to the rear of the house and altered the layout. I like the attempt by someone to make this door fit the existing frame; expertly done I’m sure you’ll agree? Despite the sign the cloakroom is not necessarily for ladies only…


Well here's the Chinese tin in it's new home. The lid of the tin gets a little stuck, so it's not that easy to open and close, which had a bearing of what I would intend to keep inside it. I thought I'd get a little fed up if it held something that I needed to use on a regular basis.
So therefore I decided, as I have started to accumulate some bookmarks (currently homeless), to store them in the tin, with the lid open. I think it makes quite a good shiny backdrop and shows them up well. The bookmark with the tassel fits in very well, doesn't it?
I can also see it much better, as it's moved down a shelf, so the colours show up even better now - thanks for setting me off on a small re-homing task, P!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Five Doors. Four Handles

Leading from the office is the hallway; the layout is not the conventional one associated with many Victorian terraced houses. This house and adjoining terrace was built as accommodation for the City Barracks. My house (or so I’m told) belonged to the Surgeon – with the adjoining smaller cottages occupied by the Regimental band. 
The hallway is pretty featureless, I suppose as a military property, decorative detail was not an important consideration; it is impossible to know what the original layout may have been, as I suspect walls have been removed and things remodelled over the years. As well as the staircase there are five doorways in total, so this is the only space in the house that is devoid of furniture.
We replaced quite a few of the door handles, although the door leading to the office has never been completed. This composite image shows the imprints of the past door furniture.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Wooden? (Well I hope I have at least some positive attributes!)

As we are finally in the room off the hallway, (and clear of the wonky door, which you can just see on the left of the 1st. picture) I wanted to draw a parallel to your small shelf, by showing you my shelf, which sits above where I sit whilst working on the computer. The 3rd. picture down shows the shelf unit (handmade by S) in the original context for which it was made, my MA Show. It housed a collection of postcards, a book mark, and a commemorative 'Artist-In-Residence' plate. Along with all of the other pieces of furniture, I ended up bringing it home, but unlike most of the other items, I kept it. It now houses a collection of disparate (mostly) printed ephemera, and a few strange little objects here and there. Items I have acquired from book fairs, exhibitions and events or been given by friends and family. Anything you find interesting that you'd like me to tell you about?

Friday, 20 April 2012


Although there hasn’t been much evidence of it so far, I do actually use this room to work in (well here and the kitchen table). For this purpose there is two desks, the wooden one is an old school teacher’s desk (complete with brass inkwell) – a gift from my father. The legs were painted some time ago, as the wood was a bit orange. The sewing machine is a permanent fixture (it used to be kept in a cupboard but I got fed up with taking it in and out, so this works well). The other desk is a glass top on trestle legs from Habitat – it houses the imac and typewriter. At one point there was just a single chair, but again I got fed-up with moving it to whichever desk I was using, so I bought another one to match.

Several other typewriters sit next to the desk, and the shelving holds a mix of both books, equipment and materials.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Well here's the, not so level, door frame that I was talking about in a previous post. Our house was built in 1877, and there was some subsidence many many years ago, partly I think, due to the fact that most of the houses around the area were very close the mines that peppered the East of Bristol (at that time).

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

From Sardines to Tippex

There is still quite a bit to discuss in the office, like this odd little shelf that sits above one of the desks; I bought it from a junk shop several years ago – it’s interesting that I can invariably remember who I was with when I made certain purchases – in this instance it was Tamar who is always an encouraging and enthusiastic shopping conspirator! It is chipped and slightly wonky but for such a small shelf, it is capable of holding a range of work related items, including: cellulose thinners/sewing machine spools/erasers/tippex/a box of  buttons*/pin cushion with pins/bulldog clips/tailor’s chalk/Bookbinding for Beginners/x2 pencil sharpeners/box of pencils.
Less practical are the tin of sardines, the Nursery Letters (minus clock) – purchased purely for the box design, two small bottles of sea shells, 104 used train tickets and a glitter-filled power ball… the star is a left-over Christmas decoration that didn’t get put away (this seems to be an emerging theme!).

*The wooden box top left, which was my grandmothers tea caddy and is lead-lined.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Run Your Hands Over History Down The Hallway. Feel.

This was a real domestic archeology case for me, and took hours and hours to strip (in the days before a steamer was purchased!): I think it is quite beautiful (although it will be painted over), and reflects the layers of history through the peeling off of many layers of wallpaper, right down to just paint on the wall - the dark band at the top, which is about 4ft/122cms from the ground, the green and brown below it are all painted directly on the wall - the lower patches of pink and maroon are the thinnest remnants of paint and wallpaper

You can just make out the text, BRITISH MADE, if you read it sideways, on the detail pic! This band runs the length of the first part of the hallway, to just past the door on the left.

The doorway had been blocked off in the past 50 years and covered over, but the door surround was still intact, so we were able to rip off the hardboard covering both sides of the walls and fit a new door to the old surround. Can you see the weird angle of the door to the frame? This house is very crooked, nothing is 90 degrees! 

I might show you the door from the other side when we go in (after all, it does say 'open') as it's easier to see what I'm talking about ...

In the 1891 census, there were 9 (!) people living in this house, and 6 in 1901. Some of them were pattern makers, which is interesting, as there were lots of pin-like holes all over one of the walls in the room that leads directly off this hallway. 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Old. New. Found. Blue

Ok enough of the practicalities for the moment; there seems to be a bit of a blue theme going on in here, so I have grouped a few of the images together and will explain their origins:

The blue children’s chair has been left here since I bought it back from the other house, I have yet to find a permanent place for it so it sits rather impractically against the radiator, ready to be moved. The old sledge was bought purely for aesthetic reasons with the intention to hang it on the wall, however when we tried it, it stuck out too far, so down it came and now it acts as a place for the phone and a few old books.

The typewriter painting is by Jantze.

This is echoed by my own Imperial tab-o-matic, a wonderful charity shop find; behind this is propped a children’s wooden foot measure; following a bad motorbike accident, D gave up work and took a temporary job at a storage warehouse, this item was found in an abandoned crate, what a great discovery  – and free!
The blue jug belonged to my grandmother Frances. I’m not sure if it was a gift or if she bought it as a souvenir whilst on holiday, apart from a chipped lip it seems to have been well looked after, but sadly I have no recollection of her using it. 

Monday, 2 April 2012

The End

It might have been more appropriate to have this as the final image on the blog, but it seems logical to show you where we put house keys and/or car keys when we come in the front door; another practicality as I lose keys on a regular basis at work so this, in theory, enables me to know where they are! The end sign is a concrete tile made by some students years ago as part of a project to promote pay-as-you-go funerals! I have another one in the garden (six feet under) but it has started to disintegrate.
These items all sit on a narrow cupboard under the window that houses the electricity meter, it was a favourite spot of our beloved cat who died a few years ago.

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