Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Cottage Transformations

Hi Everyone,

thank you so much for all the lovely comments on my last post I still cant believe it really even though we are there every spare waking hour getting it liveable for us all. We have so far stripped all the wallpaper off in every room and I have spent hours burning the horrible paint off the doors, skirting boards, window frames while my lovely hubby has been rubbing them down after me. He is a professional  painter and decorator which makes it very handy :-)  We have washed and treated the walls from damp being a house built in the 50's the paint has lead in which gave me a massive headache the first day so a mask has been used every day since.

The backroom which is going to be our kitchen diner has gone from this

To this

The carpet has been ripped up, the old fireplace has been removed and the broken 50s log burner been taken out and the fire place has been opened back up to what it use to be when the cottage was first built except there was a rayburn there which Dillis used to cook on and heat the house from. There is a lovely log burner going inside the hole ( I have always wanted a log burner so this another dream fulfilled to ) And this will be large enough to heat the whole house up providing doors are left open.

The front room did look like this

But now looks like this the carpet has been ripped up, the wallpaper stripped off the walls, the mould treated and the black ceiling has been washed.

The paint has been stripped from the skirting boards and window frames

The kitchen units have now been removed and the 50s glass wall cabinet has gently been taken down to be given a lick of paint and restored back so it can be used again. Will show you when that's been done.

Next time you see this room it will have my lovely little slim line 50's larder a Belfast sink, wooden work tops and cream cupboards and 50's wall cabinet and a lovely chequered black and white floor. And plastered walls, tiles and vintage wallpaper, cant wait for this room to be finished.

We are currently working on the bedrooms which seem to have been taking an age but the walls needed to be stripped and then washed and treated because of the lead paint and the damp. They have been painted 5 times and are finely finished :-) The doors have been stripped of paint and so has the window frame but the top fell down so my hubby has had to repair and fill it. The skirting boards have been stripped to and finely last night we were  able to wood stain everything. The floor has been sanded and then sanded again and tonight all that's left for us to do is put the top coat on all the wood work, gloss the floor and then put the wallpaper up on 2 feature walls :-) My sons bedroom is nearly there to but by Thursday this week both bedrooms will finely be finished and we can start on the stair's and landing.

Our bedroom has gone from this

To this

I will be able to show you a finished room next week well actually both bedrooms will be finished I have some gorgeous 70's wallpaper going on the chimney wall and also behind our bed. But will share that with you next week along with my finished crochet blanket I started back at the start of the year just in case we got the cottage :-)

Out side has seen a huge transformation you can see a little bit from the heading photo on this post. But I will reveal and share that another time.

So for now its a really busy time for us packing up our current home and then spending our evenings and weekends up at the cottage , my son  turned 19 on Saturday so that was emotional for me his last birthday in our current home of 17 years and my last birthday cake baked in my lovely kitchen , preparing for Christmas and on top of all that I am advertising and getting ready for my Vintage and Handmade Christmas Fair that I run under the name of Dee Dees Vintage and handmade Fairs you can find them here at www.facebook.com/DeeDeesHandmadeAndVintageFairs
So if you are in Taunton, Somerset on Sunday 13th December why not pop along to West Monkton Village Hall, TA2 8NE and say hello and start you Christmas shopping with us we have some amazing sellers joining us again and each one different and unique.

And that's it from me for another week take care and have fun what ever your up to.

Bye for now

Dee xx

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Dreams You Dare to Dream really Do Come True

I started this crochet cushion last Thursday when were told the news we were longing to hear :-) 

Hi Everyone,

Dreams those special little thoughts you nurture and keep close to you those wonderful little images we all project in our waking moments and when were asleep if were very very lucky those little images can indeed become a reality if you keep thinking hard enough and willing it to happen and do something to put the wheels in motion so to speak to make them happen. And that's just what we did early this year. Back in February my husband and myself were asked to meet my hubby's good friend at a house we were given the address but had no idea the journey it was going to lay at our feet. My hubby's friend knew I collected vintage items and all we were told was that he was clearing a house and there may be a few things I would like did I want to come and take a look. So we drove to the address which took us into the countryside and pulled up outside and well what I saw had my jaw hitting the floor. A little 1950's cottage, approached to by a little iron gate and a long path either side, long flower beds ( Well actually it was a mass of brambles and weeds ) The very little house that as children we draw ourselves. The picture perfect house of my dreams. Hazelemere as the cottage is called had me spell bound before I even entered the door. I could see the over grown remains of a vegetable patch to the one side and a huge paddock to the left side of the house and the whole property is surrounded by fields.

I took this photo back in February the very day it captured our heart's

We met my hubby's very good friend and I as we stepped inside my heart was beating so fast and the minute I was inside the tears welled up in my eyes. The stairs are straight in front of you to the left side is the best room or front room to the left the back room with 2 extra doors inside I opened them both one a huge cupboard which sits under the stairs and the other a walk in larder I was screaming with excitement  inside I could see my jams, pickles standing to attention on those shelves.

The front room with the open fire

The back room with the original 50's log burner

The walk in larder :-)

The kitchen leads on from the back room there is a long passage on the back of the house which houses the tiny kitchen ( there is a sink and a unit and wall cabinet and that's it ) , a room with a toilet in then there is a passage way which leads down to the back door and then just off from there is the small bathroom.

Upstairs there are just 2 bedrooms

Just one of the bedrooms these photos were taken back in February on that first day.

I felt so humble being able to walk around what once was a wonderful home I learnt that Hazelmere was built in the 1950's for a lady called Dilys and her husband Bill and given to them on their wedding day by her parents. They never had children but they always had dogs and chickens and they lived here all their lives until Bill sadly passed away 10 years ago. Dilys continued to live there until she had a couple of falls she is now living in a nursing home and the house has stood empty for nearly 3 years. Dilys mum also lived there until she passed away. We found out that Hazelmere had been left to my good friends wife her sisters and 2 brothers and really they didn't want the hassle of doing anything with it. I joked with my hubbys friend about renting it there and then he said to me what would you do with it I said I would love it and bring it back to life he joked and said rip it down and start again that's what I would do I said you cant do that. Anyway that was back in February and nothing more was said until we passed by it back in June and it looked so sad and overgrown and I walked down the path with my husband and I said to him with tears in my eyes I need to breath new life here this house needs to be a home again it needs loving and laughter it needs people creating new memories it needs to breath again he agreed he loved it as much as I did.  So I sent an email to my friends husband and his wife saying just that and asking if it would be at all possible for us to rent it for a few years that we would do all the internal and exterior decoration for maybe a slightly cheaper rent I received an email straight back saying they had no problems with that and they would ask the family members. To cut a long story short My friend's husband and wife decided to buy It as a buy to let for us ( He has other houses he rents out ) and obviously as an investment for themselves when they retire.

So for 10 months we have been popping up and doing bits and pieces in the garden. They agreed to me starting a vegetable patch up there which is what I did and gave me the name for this new blog.( I have shared the building of this at the start of this blog.) I did this little sampler hoping it would bring us good luck and finely last Thursday afternoon we had the news we have been waiting to hear. Hazlemere is OURS to rent for the next few years I am still in shock I still cant believe it I have been through such a mixture of emotions over the past few days from jumping up and down dancing around the house like a loony, crying happy tears to a little bit of sadness to. I have been in my current home for 17 years its been my security blanket, where I have raised my 2 boys its seen good time and bad times, Its seen disease and illness with my son its seen birthdays and death of a dear friend when I became a single parent is was my rock. It was a brand new house when we moved in from the housing association so in a way its always felt like mine even though its rented. I have built it into a home a lovely warm and cosy place where we have always felt safe. But lives change and family changes. I gave up work a few years ago to care for my eldest son who was diagnosed with Crohns disease at the tender age of 12 years old ( I had remarried when I gave up work ) I was struggling to hold down work, care for him and look after the home and the rest of the family. My younger son was having his own battle which didn't rear its ugly head until 2 years ago. But I don't want to go into all that but what I will say is he got into the wrong crowd did things he shouldn't be doing and would go off for days at a time it was a very difficult time. He went to live with his dad who lived out of town changed schools to try and get him away from the bad influences and it broke my heart I felt at the time that I had failed him I was completely lost I no longer had a child at school he was only 14 yrs  ( But he agreed that it was best for the long run and it was his choice )  I lost a small part of who I was what my role was but over the past few months seeing him stabilise and get the right support finely he has turned a corner he was diagnosed with Inattentive HDHD along with depression and anxiety he know sees a councillor and takes medication to help and I am so proud of him as I am of both my boys. So seeing the cottage getting my allotment and tending to my vegetable patch has given me fresh direction  this year . And I also realised that my husband and myself need to build our own home that has no other memories of my past. So its time to take that jump so I am giving up my life assured tenancy to live the county life dream  for the next few years. We defiantly have it for a minimum of 2 years and have been told it will be for longer so it's time to take that leap of faith and live the dream for how long it allows us and then afterwards who knows if we are made homeless we have our Vintage caravan Bertie we can always live in :-) And my eldest son is happy to share the journey with us having grown up in the country he knows my heart will always be there and he loves the space and sense of freedom it will give us and with its 2.5 acres of land we will have lots to keep us busy. And my husband he is as happy as I am and proud that I am taking that leap of faith allowing us to live our dream together and create our own memories its time to leave the past behind and start afresh.  So we have started with the transformation of the cottage inside and will start to share with you soon. And really this little blog is going to be a scrap book for us as we set off on our new, exciting and slightly daunting journey :-)

Somewhere over the rainbow
 Skies are Blue
And the Dreams that we dare to dream
Really do come true
Thanks for tuning in again and sorry for the slightly long post
Until next time bye for now
Dee xx

Monday, 2 November 2015

Water Butting Compost maker and First baby Spuds

Hi Everyone,

another week has flown by and its been a lovely warm Autumn weekend here for us. We have spent the weekend stripping paper in the cottage and doing lots of work in the garden but I still feel I cant share this yet until we get the rental in writing it shouldn't be long now after watching the seasons change up there Spring- Summer and now Autumn I have never waited or wanted anything so much in my life before 10 months of waiting. But in the coming weeks I can show you Hazelmere its been a lovely journey so far but the excitement of tending 2 .5 acres of land and a run down 1950's cottage is only just getting started.

But what I can share is what's happening down the allotment and at my Vegetable patch. On Saturday we went to the local rubbish tip where they have a recycle shop. I was on the look out for a second hand composter. I was going to make one from wooden pallets but I was worried it would take up to much space on my allotment so thought a plastic one would be better. We came across a water butt and my lovely hubby said how about I make that into a composter for you rather than spend £30 on a new one. Well it made perfect sense to me :-)

Take 1 second hand water butt at the cost of £8

Cut a hole in the bottom..

Cut a vent at the bottom and also where you can fork out the compost when its ready.

We just used a small plastic pole to hold the door of the vent in place

Put 3 pieces of timber inside which will be screwed to the sides to help keep it stable and to keep its shape.

Its now sitting behind my greenhouse and the area that still has yet to be designed. But its defiantly a much cheaper way and will take up less space than if I had used wooden pallets.

Do you remember those new potato tubers I planted well one row sprouted plants above the ground and the other row showed nothing. Before we went on holiday they looked green when we arrived home they resembled rotten and broken down twigs and I thought they had died.

But no actually under the ground were growing new potatoes :-)

I am really chuffed only small but enough for both us I boiled them up and tossed them in butter and garlic for our tea and oh boy they tasted scrummy ;-) But next year I will plant lots and at least I know now if the plant dies above the ground underneath they are growing and I will leave them well alone.

 We then dug the bed over and covered it up for the winter months ready to plant with tubers in the spring.

And then from up my vegetable patch I picked a lovely bowl of fresh spinach

Some more carrots, leeks and a handful of peas :-)

My Brussel sprouts at my vegetable patch although the plants themselves are tiny compared to the ones down at my allotment the actual sprouts are getting rather large :-)
 Really pleased to think that i will defiantly have fresh sprouts for our Christmas Dinner :-)
My Cabbages are growing well to first time ever growing these to so not doing to bad :-)
Those dried packet supermarket peas I sowed a couple of weeks ago are now poking through the ground :-) and will hopefully turn into an early crop next spring. Will let you know.
And that's it from me for another week,
Until next time bye for now
Dee xx
Ps fingers crossed we will have news about Hazelmere any day now the last stage is happening this week. This photo was taken back in February its even more over grown now. But the dream might just be a reality yet fingers and toes crossed :-)  



Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Autumn and a lost week.

Hi Everyone,

cant believe another week has passed by already in fact last week was a right off for me so I am glad its over. Last Sunday I took the train to Bristol to meet up with my long term gorgeous blogging friend  Emma we have been friends for a few years now meeting through our love and passion for all that is Vintage. We spent a brilliant day in Bristol visiting the vintage Fair that our other Fabulous blogging friend was selling at Vix we all started blogging around the same time and have become firm friends over the years. We explored the old side of Bristol and enjoyed a wonderful lunch and a cheeky cider at lunch time sat by the river we walked miles and laughed loads it was a truly lovely day :-)

And then on Monday and Tuesday I had a fibro flare up and had to rest and then to add insult to injury I slipped down the stairs on Weds and hurt my arm, collar bone and ankle so I had to rest for the whole week no digging down the allotment was done I felt so low and tearful its bad enough the weather has changed and my body has started to burn and ache again especially in the mornings but i am used to that now but to have a whole week wasted no fun at all. At least I got loads of crochet done so that's a positive :-)

So after resting last week this weekend I was able to get to my Vegetable patch and do some tidying up things are still growing well there. My carrots and leeks are smashing just look....

I was able to dig up some leeks and carrots :-) I am so pleased with my first half growing season and I cant get over how straight my carrots are and how white my leeks are :-) And they tasted delicious to.

This is the view of my vegetable patch from the bedroom window of the cottage its in we are still waiting for news to see if we can rent it but just look at that beautiful view :-) We are getting closer to an answer now we have been told its 150% ours but until I have the Yes and its in writing I wont believe it. We did start stripping wallpaper at the weekend and I cant wait to tell you and show you around and inside once we have definite news I will share the journey with you.

I will take photo's next time the lettuces are growing, leeks, carrots, courgettes, onions and peas and also the Brussels sprouts although the actual plants are smaller than those down my allotment the actual Brussels are large.

But I did pick a small handful of peas and 2 more courgettes :-)

I also picked 2 lettuces from my allotment and I just cant get over how huge they are with the crispy thickest centres ever I put the cup there to show you the size :-)

On Sunday afternoon we went for a lovely walk in the woods just 5 minutes away from the cottage. There are a lot of different routes to take here is ours...

Milly taking the lead.

I love the light and shade at this time of the year all the different colours Nature really has a gorgeous paint chart.

The variety of trees in the woods is beautiful and the way the light casts your shadows

The trees are so majestic and tall. I love the way their roots scamper across the floor

The colours are breath taking

I wonder what wildlife is hiding down the holes

Crazy formed fungus just sitting and waiting

The pretty fir trees I would love to come and dress them with tinsel and little hanging things and see the smiles from passers by

My beautiful girl Kia just taking a moment and drinking in the beauty and the peace the woods offer you.

Yes Autumn is a beautiful time of year even though my body sometimes gives up on me I love this time of year the colours are just so inspiring. I collected the leaves from the woods this is only just a very small collection from natures colour chart at this time of year. It inspired me to look around my own home and make my own Autumn colour chart...

Vintage 70s wallpapers which adorn my walls, Taunton Vale canisters, curtains, tins, flowers, lamps, record case, aprons, 50's bin, casserole dish.....yes Autumn is truly beautiful.

Thank you for joining me here again.

Have a lovely week until next time

Bye for now

Dee xx