Tuesday, 4 February 2014

All change in 2014

I can't keep apologizing for my lack of blogging, it was a New Year resolution that I would remedy that and keep everyone upto date with whats going on here, promise.
2013 was a brilliant year in the Garden Room.  We had a fantastic spring fair, despite the cold weather and the same in November, Christmas fair, think the weather was only slightly colder than in May!!!  Thank you all for supporting us.  We have developed into a great bunch and work together really well and think compliment each other's businesses.  It's also an opportunity to raise some charity money and you are so generous, thank you.
We have lots of new plans for this year.  Not sure when we will ever stop thinking of new projects?  I have decided not to do workshops this year.  I can't believe I have been doing them for so long.  I have met so many lovely people over the years and some have become friends.  I am sure I will miss it but  probably time to have a change. I will turn the shop into my workshop and leave Richard the garage so he can fulfill a dream of having another classic sports car (did have a MGA years ago), managed to wrap it around a give way sign!!
We are, at the moment, redecorating and refitting my mother's house ready to sell this spring.  Taking far longer than we hoped but getting there.  Then we have decided to renovate the little chapel that sits in the front garden.  It is a lovely building, small, with a balcony on both sides, but is damp and needs a lot of tlc  and listed so we are limited as to what we can alter.  We are going to move the Garden Room into there.  It will give more room and opportunities and know it can look fabulous.  New wooden floor, lots of new lighting, and lots of Farrow & Ball magic.  We are going to ask for permission to put a door in the side from the garden. 
 We are aiming to open, probably twice a week, and Tina, who does the amazing wreaths and plants, I am hoping, is going to be here with fresh flowers and plants, those lovely seasonal bunches that we don't seem to be able to get around here.  All really exciting but lots of work to do before then.
We are also in the process of buying a little cottage in Norfolk.  Listed, traditional, we can use as it is but can't wait to do what Richard calls 'a Hester' on it.  Think I have planned every room in my head, all a mix of French, Swedish and New England?  Might do a separate blog when we start the work.
The Garden Room is looking lovely after a refresh from before Christmas, do give me a call if you would like to have a browse. 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Antique fairs

Back into antique fair hunting again.  Swinderby was a bit disappointing the other week.  Always at this time of year there are dealers missing with holidays etc. but it just wasn't quite as good.  I did manage to buy a couple of piece of furniture but little else.  Lincoln this week, which I hadn't been to for probably 18 months.  Really enjoyed it and certainly will be going back again.  It is so easy to collect, unlike Newark, and some good dealers.  Bought a very pretty little side table/desk, will get painted for the shop next week.  One or two more of ' spotty jugs' which go so well.  A collection of small antlers which I can't get enough of.  Some I will paint their bases.  They do look stunning in groups of 3/5/7. 
Had a blitz in the shop on Saturday.  It was completely upside down and really didn't know where to start but looks brilliant again, Lots of lovely things.  New bits of furniture and accessories I am gradually painting and putting in there.
Having a bit of a party this week so will enjoy playing with the tables and flowers, don't enjoy the cooking quite so much but its always different cooking for friends than everyday cooking so looking through my books for ideas. 
Newark next week.  Looking for some more French window mirrors, lamp bases and shades. 
Returners workshops fully booked now but have some spaces for new students on the last two dates.
Had lovely feed back from the English Home feature, many thanks for all the messages.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Summer and catching up

It has been so long since I posted anything on here and am feeling very guilty.  It has really been quite a year. 
Spring workshops were buzzing and having a job to fit everyone in and enjoyable as ever with some lovely new students.  Richard had done a brilliant job of putting a ceiling in the workshop and we then had new lighting fitted.  It has made such a difference to the temperature and the light.  We had a fantastic spring opening in May.  Kath, Lyn, Tina and Cathi joined us and we had loads of help from Vivienne, Elizabeth, Di, Karen and Trish, I was so grateful.  The weather wasn't brilliant but so many people turned out and bought so much and were so generous and we raised £700 to be split between St. Barnabas Hospice and Marie Curie. 
I was exhausted when we had finished but we were off for a sailing holiday in Turkey and that really re-charged my batteries and I must admit I have had several weeks off since and enjoyed this wonderful weather. 
As you probably will have seen I have a new fabulous website designed by Ade Rowbottom and photographs by his lovely wife Rachael Smith.  If you are looking to have any promotional work done do contact this talented couple.  We are so lucky to have them living so near. 
Rachael also did a photoshoot on the house before Christmas and it is in The English Home this month (September issue)  Even on the front page, can't believe it is our home!!  It is so lovely as this is one of my all time favourite magazines. 
I have also added furniture for sale from the showroom on the website now so do have a browse.
There is still some availability on the autumn painting workshops but most of the follow on days have now gone.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

New furniture for The Garden Room

It is lovely to be painting again.  I have been doing a large cupboard on chest for a really great dining room.  Painted and very distressed in Charleston Grey and the base of the large dining table the same.  The top of the table is fabulously weathered and grey.  Amazing curtain fabric with a dull turquoise and orange in it so we have done the chairs in these colours.   Great to do something different.
Lots of commission work to catch up with but just done a couple of chest of drawers for the shop.  One fabulous oak chest which I have stripped and limed.  Photo below.  Also doing a oak table the same. The Garden Room starting to look more like spring.  I have some beautiful long stems of faux magnolia, look so good.  Start doing auctions again as, even though lots of stock at the moment, can't miss that bargain!!!
I have some lovely mirrors of all shapes and sizes.
Home &Antiques have featured the workshops in their great articles on Courses for 2013.  I do love their magazine, they feature fabulous homes and you always learn something and its so great for dates and venues of antique fairs and shows.
I have another pair of hands now, hubby taken early retirement, sanding my furniture, its brilliant and saves me such alot of hard work.
Course dates now on the website and I have sorted out dates for the follow on course so do give me a call if you want to come along as be a few days before I get the cards printed and sent out.  Always a rush for these as can only take 5 of you at a time due to space.  Happy painting.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Catching Up

Hi to you all.  It has been so long since I posted anything on here.  It has been a complicated time.  We were really busy with workshops and had some absolutely lovely days.  Weather was'nt on our side and it was wet on quite a few of the days but then it was like that during the spring workshops.  We had a lovely girl called Anna Tobin who came to assess the course for Homes and Antiques magazine and we will be in the next issue under 'Courses for 2013.  So exciting I love the magazine.
Have also had the house photographed by a fabulous photographer called Rachael Smith, do look at her website, the photographs are amazing, and when she showed me them I really thought 'is this my home' Think they are going in The English Home next year, not sure when, another magazine that I think is so good.
Then it was time to get ready for the Christmas Opening and found some fabulous things.  Restocked from Thornback and Peel and gorgeous soaps from Fickkets, all british made.  The girls were ready to come with their stall so it was with such regret that I had to cancel as my Mum became very poorly and sadly died.  I am sure some of you will remember her from previous open days and also her wonderful cakes on workshop days.  I really hope no one had a wasted journey, I tried to get around everyone with phone calls, letters and emails so I do apologise if anyone was inconvenienced.
I have sorted out the shop again now so if anyone wants to pop along for some christmas shopping do give me call. If anyone is looking for an amazing christmas wreath Tina Lovesey does fabulous ones with all fresh greenery etc.  just so different.  Her number is 01778 393068.  Also if you are looking for jewellery and remember Kate's fabulous selection at the summer fair just click onto www.katiane.co.uk.  Lyn has such a great selection of fabrics, all so tempting, find her on Stamford or Newark markets or give her a call on 07961 154948.
We will do a Spring Fair so watch this space. 
I have 2 super nursing chairs covered in Cabbages and Roses fabric and also just waiting for Ella to finish off 2 french armchairs covered in a dark grey/blue linen, fabulous.
Think next year will be a busy time as I have so many pieces of furniture that I can't wait to paint.
Very best wishes for a Happy Christmas and New Year.