Monday, 20 May 2013

Cleaning up at the Summer KDF

Once more to Kensington Town Hall on 11 May for the Summer Festival. I went with an expat American friend - expert quiltmaker and all-round needlewoman - who, although a regular attender of the big stitching shows, had never been to a miniaturists' fair before. She was amazed at so much skill and ingenuity and specially delighted to discover the mini florists, inlaid furniture and ceramics.  We had a great time going around the show, I don't think we missed a single stand!

I'd resolved to keep a tight hold on my purse and not give way to too many self-administered treats (I knew it would be impossible to forbid myself completely). I went for this bright red dustpan and brush from Laurence and Angela St Leger because I had nothing made by them already, and I've always loved how they put their own style on the most ordinary household items.
I called in to see Steve Messenger, kit-designer at Sid Cooke's, and took another look at the completed Bon Marché model. I wanted to check the roof opening and also see whether I could alter the chimney height and position. Steve tells me he is taking plenty of orders from the US these days.
After that, my other 'practical ' call was to Wood Supplies (see their catalogue at ) for a neatly packaged boxful of pre-ordered cornices, skirting boards, picture rails etc. Let's hope all my estimates and calculations are correct!

This charming mirror by Tarbena (see will hang in the hallway. It deliberately doesn't go with the wallpaper but reminds us of Charlie Brennan's heyday as an antique dealer. There are quality items like this scattered throughout his house, Charlie gets attached to certain things and 'forgets' to sell them on. 
Not such a glamorous object but vital to the story: I collected a small sink unit for the ground floor kitchenette from Rob Lucas (see At home, I swapped the Belfast sink and drainer supplied by Rob for a shallower Butler-style with ribbed sides that I already had. This small unit with its single cold water tap would have been the one and only when the house was newly built. A larger sink and unit were put in later upstairs, when the big kitchen was created and a hot water geyser installed; and what a wonderful innovation that must have seemed.
 While at World of My Own's stand, my eye fell upon this perfect little meat safe - absolutely identical to the one my grandmother had hanging on the wall outside the back door.
I had to have it for one other nostalgic reason. When my grandparents eventually bought a fridge they didn't need the meat safe any longer and threw it away into a corner of their garage. From where I rescued it, scrubbed it clean and with my grandfather's help - tools, scraps of wood and old pots of gloss paint - converted it into a dolls house that I could keep and play with whenever I visited them. As an avid eleven-year-old reader, I had just devoured Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca so I called my new mansion Manderley . . . what else?

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