Monday, October 29, 2012

Amongst Grandma's chattels - part 2

Thought I would sneak in a non-reno post, however it ended up being a tad heavy on the photos ( 29, and that after some culling)  Some more random bits from Grandma's life left behind, not really sure what is going to happen to most of it. Absorbed into other lives, I guess.
Lots of sewing bits this time, doileys, tablecloths, monogrammed napkins etc. have been washed and ironed to decide who wants what. I've claimed more than I will probably use in my whole life, but Mum is happy with her Mum's things and Gypsy Sister is more of a mod girl.

Thought this Victorian baby pillowcase was sweet, don't know what any of us will do with it though.
Did you know, back in Victorian times if there was a tragic baby death, well-to-do families would dress up the baby and place it in a cot or pram (with pretty handmade bedding) for a keepsake mourning photo.

My favorites are this teapot cover and double ended cloth.
Some of the linens have numbers and/or letters sewn or stamped in the corners. This is identification from when families sent their manchester away to be washed by laundry workers ( ah, those were the days)

 I found this interesting, they don't make them like they use to.
 A one hundred and 24 year old bed sheet -1888. S (for Sylvia) was my Grandfather's Mother. They have a lace edging at the top and can you see the patch job on the left? That is the middle of the sheet. Dad has told tales of how, if their bed sheets wore thin in the middle, his Mum would cut them in half and sew the outsides together. Then he would get to sleep on the join, ha, nothing like sleeping on a permanent wrinkle.

I always find this sewing amazing, so tricky.
 A new piece, I like it as a sampler of old seersucker fabrics.

Found about 70 iron on transfers. Patterns from Briggs, Deighton's and Boyton and Turner's to use on tablecloths, doileys etc.
Butterflies, fruit, baskets of flowers, borders, war insignias, lots of flowers.

A few crinoline ladies.

There is a box full of old fabric Honiton lace point patterns for lacemaking. Have no idea of their age but his one looks Victorian/Edwardian.
 Who has a waist that small?
 From back in the days when you made your own fancy hankies. The grey pattern is design 20 so I guess that must be older than the design 124.
 Strange to think these will never be finished after all the hours already spent, I wonder who they were for.

Would this be from the 1930/40's? A Penelope kit with waxed paper etc.

 A tin of lace making bobbins and cards of machine made lace ribbons.

The older items have Made in England or British Manufacture rather than United Kingdom of today

We think this is from a wedding dress, handmade lace panel front. Was in the soapbox below.

Goodie box of vintage lace and ribbons, we think the black laces and belt buckle are from the mourning dress remnants I've yet to look at.
Carbolic soap is apparently made from an acid derived from coal tar, which we know as phenol. Which is mildly antiseptic and used as a deoderant. Interesting, hmmm.

 Leather covered belt buckle.

This half a card had threads wrapped around it. Working women's National Health Insurance card from 2nd half of 1914. On the back are squares with the contribution amounts.
Also found a pouch of embroidery silks, can they still be used wrinkled?

Inside was this receipt which we thought was dated '09 as in 2009. But I thought no one calls it a telegraphic address. So of course I had to oogle Google.
 Frederick Gorringe Ltd was a drapery shop opened in the 1850's, which was frequented by the staff and family of Queen Victoria's palace (down the road). It expanded to become a large department store and eventually closed down in 1968.
Which makes this little receipt more than a handred years old.
 Partially worked table runner in silk.

Lots of started items, some look like practice samples.

Toile de Jouy? What do you do with this? Now I'm thinking this might be a "dreg"

Pretty chocolate boxes filled with tapestry wool, silks and threads.

But WOW, the mother load of unwanted threads, to be shared with my Mum of course.

 If only I could get someone else to finish the Reno cottage. Then I could sit around stitching all day pretending to be a lady!
p.s tell me to stop!!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Veranda ceiling

 The renovations continue, even though the blogging about it doesn't!
 Below are a some pics taken over the space of a few days. Mr CH started on the lining of the veranda ceiling while I was out and about. Not normally a "one man job", however he has started a number of not one man jobs while waiting for the other man (me) to turn up.
Always keeping our measly budget in mind, Mr CH pulled apart one of the kid's bike/scooter/skateboard ramps (that had been patched one too many times) to re-use the studs. These have been made into 13 rafters with cross pieces (stud stripped in half) for the ceiling lining to be nailed to. As the stud length didn't cover the whole span, a bit of cut and nailing was required (not load bearing so good enough) Both ends of the rafters had to be cut at different angles to fit into the beams already attached to the wall as "packing out".
This was one of the most complicated measuring and fitting done so far. As Hubby says,"It is easier building from scratch than trying to blend old and new together". Each bay has to be measured individually as in these old houses nothing is the same length.
The insulation/sarking was fed through the beams and stapled in place before the 3mm plywood was nailed up. Mr CH thinks that was the worst part!

When I showed him the pic below laughing at his persistence, he just said "Whaaat, I was just reaching for my cuppa".

This is called the "pinky hold".
Using a stick to measure between his marks for nailing into the studs. Still no help from the other man who was busy taking pics.

He got two sheets nailed into place and then realised, there was no wire in the ceiling for the light! Which brought the momentum to a halt and eventually involved prising off one side of the plywood, a few drilled holes for the wiring and a bit of trickery with a piece of wire around the insulation.
As you can see the lengths of plywood available are not long enough to cover the ceiling in one go, so we will unfortunately have a join covered by strapping. Only another four panels to go.

 Don't think for a moment that I have been doing nothing, I get the gross job of washing the grime from the walls before they get covered with sarking/insulation and vj sheets. 
                 Yet to do                           doing                       done  

The poor old veranda doors have been pulled apart, sanded, undercoated and mended.

A bit of rot behind the front panels will be covered up and you'll never know.

Lots of thinking goes on here.

 New plywood panels cut to fit and small Tassie oak moulding nailed around the edges to finish.
Waiting to be undercoated with the oil based undercoat.

Three coats (1 undercoat,2 topcoats) to each side of the doors.

The new piece now looks too new, not perfect but much better than before.

A work in progress
 ..and one palm tree still to cut down...

Back next time with some progress on the front stairs.
The photos are starting to pile up...

Have a lovely week everyone.
(what's left of it)


Monday, October 15, 2012

Amongst Grandma's chattels...part 1

 ..there are little treasures to be found! (to me anyway)
Earlier in the year my dad had some of his late mother's belongings sent here from the family home in the UK. While furniture such as grandfather clock(s), the dining suite and the four-poster bed belong to the main house, dad has managed to acquire some lovely cupboards,drawers, tables etc. The remains of her life, that hadn't been bequeathed to non/family members or picked over by the relatives living on the farm. The "dregs" I was told, how I loathe that word. A matter of opinion really, if dregs they be, I'll have any of them.
So over the past few weeks I've been helping (or hindering) my mum unpack boxes and boxes of things no one else wanted. Not only belongings from my Grandparents, but also some things from their parents/grandparents.
 Below are some pretties I bought home with me.
Seems my great grandmother and her mother before her were devoted lace makers and made lace pieces as a business (before the www, shock horror people actually made things by hand, the really tedious way) "Enough to drive you mad", Mr CH said. So I've been soaking and washing lots of white things. Some laces are so old I'm too chicken to wash them.

My grandmother was born in India as her father was a railway engineer at the time and I think these beautifully carved lace tools are made from tusk or bone. The netting lace piece underneath is Limerick lace? 
A childhood handmade sewing bag was full of wooden spools of lace threads and cottons.

An amazing little book, 800 pages, which belonged to my grandmothers step-mother.
Who was Annie Miles of 61 Berlin Road (which was renamed Canadian Road, probably after the war) Catford.
Full of diagrams and patterns in everything from tatting and crochet to netting and trimmings.
 and  55 pages on macrame.(Pippa)

a cute little leather sewing kit.
and a modified cigar box of old needles, buttons, clips, more spools and thread for mending your hosiery, (ha,won't be needing that)

This one I didn't bring home, very cool graphics on an Egyptian cigarette tin (though maybe dad would notice if it went missing?

A lover of handmade boxes esp. with clever catches, made me wonder what was inside.
 An allergy suffers nightmare. A dozen glass plate negatives covered in dust.

A distant relative, probably early 1900's as her dress is not quite the relaxed Edwardian look and not too stuffy over-the-top Victorian either. Still wearing a corset though. Leaning against a bamboo table with the matted top.

We've all done it - taken pics of family members in front of our houses, somethings never change. I almost missed the man standing in the corner of this pic.

 Lady in horse drawn sulky.

Lots of photos to see as well, Tingle-belle the family's yacht bought for $400 and something pounds, as the sale receipt is in the chattels as well. She is no longer seaworthy.

A flattering pic of the rolls, can't remember her year '32 or '36 I think. Now gathering dust in one of the sheds. Such a beautiful car, no seat belts though.

 A pic of my dad (dark suit) and his twin brother the day before he left for Australia for a boys only adventure. Ha, he looks so funny and uncomfortable in his suit.

Living the dream on an Australian sheep property at 17.

Found a pic of me at 2 from a frame in grandma's bedroom belongings, a bit faded. Like my wavy tights and cardi?
My favorite find so far is this little parquetry chest which needs gluing in the middle.

It has coins (a square one), tiny keys and badges in the drawers.

 I thought this book of luggage labels was an interesting find.

Used by my grandma in the '30's to keep her keys safe when she went off to be a nurse/midwife, back in the day when you had trunks and hat boxes instead of suitcases. Must have been a horrible time to be a nurse, during the second world war.

Last but not least an ice cream container holding some of the old keys from the family property, from out buildings, stores, cottages and some of the furniture. No 2 son tried to help out trying all the keys in the cupboard/ trunks/ boxes. We still haven't found the key to a small metal box  and there is something in it! He tried really hard to get it open. Kids want it to be a gold bar, ha!
They can dream, can't they?

I'll put a few more pics on my Flickr if anyone is vaguely interested.
Have a great week!
We got rain!
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