THE DEVON BOOK
It has been waiting in the wings for a while now, but today I have a few quiet moments to start sharing with you the fabric book I made about our home "Devon."
I know I have told you about "Devon" before, but for those who do not wish to go strolling back through the archives, it is a 7 acre property which has been in Bernie's family for five generations. It was left to us by his great-aunt Charlotte. Today it has 3 homes on it. Firstly there is our place "Devon." Then there is "Devon Cottage" which probably dates back to the war years, and is where Charlotte herself lived after she left her parents' home. Our son John now lives there. Finally there is "Devonside", which Charles built about 7 years ago behind us. The property is also the site of John's Joinery business, JCB Cabinets, and also Charles' Building Supply Centre. Truly it is a Christian-Bailey compound, but I know Bernie's great grandparents would be pleased and proud to know that it is still in the family, and is "humming" as a wonderful spot to live, and also a hive of industry.
In spite of everything that has been built here, there is still a great deal of garden and woodland and natural vegetation, and that is what I have focussed on in my little book.
The first picture, above, which has appeared in my blog before, shows the main homestead where we live. This is what it looks like today. About 11 years ago, before we ourselves moved in, there were major extensions and refurbishments, and we tried to avoid making them look like "additions". As on all the other pages, I have transferred images to silk, and then embellished around them.
The second picture shows the house as it was originally. It was, in fact, a typical New Zealand version of the Californian bungalow in the 1920's, and all the flooring is of "Matai", a New Zealand hardwood. Charlotte's brother Charles, who built the house, had spent some time working in New Zealand.
One feature of the old house which we would like to have carried on in the newer version were the shingles beneath the bay window. Never mind, the ever-resourceful Charles has used them beneath a bay window in front of "Devonside", in the spirit of the old homestead.
The third picture shows an outbuilding, which is very close to the back door of the house. It contains two rooms - the "old laundry" and another one called "the Nigel Room." (that is a story in itself.) We considered removing it when we did up the house, but Hunky, our builder advised against it. He told us that it was "genuine country character" and as such it was priceless. He was right.