Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Plea: Where is Summer?

No doubt many of you here in the UK have been affected by the torrential rains we have been having this Summer. I think the phrase 'what a washout' is somewhat understating the situation! Our village was cut off for a day or so due to flooded roads and lanes, but apart from a leak in the dormer window of our bathroom, I think we got off quite lightly. I can only imagine how I would feel if my home was under several feet of water. I feel I have spent far too much time stuck indoors this Summer and I would really like to be sitting on the bench above, reading a book and sipping a cold glass of wine on a balmy July evening... would also be nice to have the stable door and windows open all day...

...but at least I don't have to water these very often!

On a happier note, look what I received in the post last week!

I was lucky enough to be the first name drawn for a super prize give-away of treats from Victoria's wonderful candle company Coasts of Cornwall. It was a lovely treat opening up the ribbon-tied packages, but an even better one when I breathed in the wonderful aromas!

Victoria had kindly sent me three candles; Lavender, Cinnamon and Rosewater, and Cotton. I cannot recommend these enough! The Cotton candle really does have the wonderful aroma of washing dried on the line - amazing!

Here's hoping that August will be the Summer we are all yearning for!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Miami Real Estate takes Summer Vacation as More Listings Flood the Market

Miami, FL (PRWEB) July 16, 2007 -- Miami real estate is on a summer vacation, as more listings are flooding the market this July. Prices have been falling, and contrary to the popular belief of some sellers, they won’t be climbing again anywhere in the foreseeable future. Hardest hit is the condo market, with more and more apartments appearing on the market for sale each month, and fewer selling. Many buyers, who invested in pre-construction projects, have either been unable to close on condos they purchased, or have had to take losses in order to remain financially solvent. Most investors have long abandoned the fantasy of buying up condos and flipping them for a quick profit. Those days are gone, and unlikely to return for sometime to come. All of this is not a bad thing, however, because a correction was necessary, albeit few real estate experts thought that it would last as long as it has. Real estate in Miami is still some of the most desirable real estate in the world, and buying Miami real estate now is a great idea, if you are buying a home or condo to live in, or if you are looking for a long-term investment. Buyers in the Miami area are in the very best position they have been in for many years, to buy property at reasonable prices, and to make offers well below asking prices, and subsequently close deals on properties they would never have been able to buy just a couple of years ago.

To see how things have changed, one needs only to look at the statistics. According to data supplied by the Coral Gables, Homestead-South Dade, Kendall-Perrine, and Northwestern Association of Realtors or their MLS, in March 2006, there were 7,703 single-family homes for sale in Dade County, which includes Miami, and 1,116 homes sold. According to the latest available statistics, in May 2007, there were 13,403 Dade County single-family homes for sale, and 612 homes sold. The condo market was similar. In March of last year, there were 14,761 Dade condos for sale, and 1,371 sold. In May of this year, there were 24,417 condos/town-homes for sale in Dade, with only 785 apartments sold. Foreclosures in Miami-Dade County are high, with 987 residential auctions in the first quarter of this year. That translates into 127 foreclosures per 1,000 households. The good news is that
Miami real estate is becoming more affordable, and with the dollar being so low against the Euro, and other currencies, foreigners who flock to Miami for vacation, will still find both homes and condos to be a great long-term investment. For more information, go to

Random Facts!

Sue has tagged me - so kind! - to divulge 8 facts about myself! I shall leave you all to decide whether they are interesting or worthy of a blog post! I have kept the details uncharacteristically brief - it was either that or elaborate on each point far too much!

1. I've been on a submarine.

2. I ran a successful secretarial business for some years - but I've never learnt to touch type or do shorthand!

3. The words 'frock' and 'slacks' make me shiver!

4. My favourite 'comfort food' is a toasted teacake (or currant bun/hot cross bun!) with lashings of butter and tomato ketchup!

5. I absolutely cannot tolerate litter! If I see someone dropping any (whether or not they're a burly 6' 5" muscle-man!) I have to say something!

6. I have a phobia of showers - particularly enclosed ones! So it has to be a bath for me!

7. My favourite films are those such as Manhunter, Aliens, Silence of the Lambs and anything really gory or with a murdering psycho in it!

8. In total contrast to No. 7, I love animals - especially cats - am a vegetarian, and adore all things vintage and pretty!!!

I'm supposed to tag 8 other bloggers but I think most of the people I had in mind have already been tagged!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

One rainy Sunday...

I think we've had more than a few rainy Sundays just lately, not to mention, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays etc! On just such a day a few weeks ago, I decided to turn my hand to a project I'd had in mind for a while. On one of my trips to a flea market, I'd bought an old wooden filing cabinet. It was painted white, with aluminium handles and was crying out for a transformation.

I had some 1940s wallpaper which I thought would be perfect, so I set to work!

It was a rather tricky job covering some of the corners but I got there in the end! I then had to find the right handles and settled on these milk glass grab handles, I think they finish it off nicely!

These drawers are destined for my new office but I think they look quite nice in my bedroom!

Have you been working on any 'rainy day' projects?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Who's that girl?

Last year, I wrote a post about a wonderful oil painting I have of a young girl called Alice Scatterbrook, painted in 1933 - here she is below:

Well, I have another mystery girl! This is a beautiful hand coloured and framed photo of an enigmatic young miss, with stunning tresses! She was captured at a time when, although the child is still very much present, you can see the elegant young lady she will become in a few years time. I don't know why, but when I first set eyes on her, the name 'Alice' jumped into my head! Wouldn't it be a wonderful coincidence if both my mystery girls shared the same name!

This charming young lady sat for this photo in 1927. I know this because when I got her home, the paper which had sealed the back crumbled in my hands and when I removed the tattered pieces I discovered some handwritten notes. Apparently it was 'urgent for Monday'! Not surprising really, considering the wonderful subject; I imagine the proud parents to have been eager to see the finished work! There is a name and address which is Hall, 12 Harrington Street and what looks like Norwich or Warwick - although the old fashioned and ornate writing is lovely, it is a little hard to decipher!

The detail of her embroidered and lace dress is exquisite and she is holding a pale pink rose in her hands to match the bow in her hair.
She was originally destined for my shop but the more I look at her the more I'd like to keep her! I know I shouldn't - I'm sure she would go to a good home! What do you think I should do?!