Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Archaeological Dig at Doorus, Inside Bundle 11.5.09

I know it's now the 12th but this is for 'today', ie, Monday the 11th. It was another lovely day, sunny with bits of white fluffy cloud and a bit of a cool breeze. I was disappointed that the builders didn't appear.

Dig Revelations

After some tidying up inside, breakfast in the garden with Jim and Buster, it was off to do some work. I headed for the same spot I was at yesterday and ended up doing more archaeology than garden clearing. I did clear quite a bit of ivy too. Tonight I brought my finds inside and photographed some of them.

Boots and Shoes

Here are some of the old boots and shoes I have found. And there are more.. There are also lots of bits of boots. I'm sure someone in the past must have been a shoe mender and maker

One of the boots

A different style, maybe a lady's shoe?

Any Old Iron?

I think this is a piece of an old cooking pot


This is the bottle of 'Elliman's Embrocation'. Isn't that absolutely wonderful? It's presumably some kind of medicine as there are several of these bottles. It must have been good. See below

I have just googled this 'medicine' and can you believe you can still buy it? The bottle still looks pretty old fashioned in the advert. I think that's amazing. This is what google tells us:

Universal Embrocation for rheumatic and muscular pain. Uses: rub in Ellimans Universal Embrocation to spread soothing warmth; for quick relief of muscular pain and stiffness including rheumatic pain, backache, sciatica, lumbago, fibrositis and for athlete's massage of arm and leg muscles.

Another favourite, 'Lockyer's Sulphur Hair Restorer'. Brilliant.
Apparantly it was a hair dye, not a 'restorer' as such, only in that it restored your colour and got rid of grey. This was only made from the late 1800s to about 1912-1915, so this bottle is pretty old.

I washed and cleaned the glass as best as I could. Here are some of the bottles, jars and glass stoppers

This attractive little bottle still has the stopper in and some of the contents. It looks like oil

This pretty bottle has lost its top but I still thought it was worth keeping. it's quite different from the others. Maybe it was for perfume. I love the 3 glass bottle stoppers we found


Here is a tiny selection of the pottery I unearthed. The marmalade pot on the right is complete

You can see how thick this pottery is. It was probably a huge old serving dish

Jim was trying to put this bowl back together but it appears there is more than one. We keep saying we'll make a mosaic of the china but never get round to it. One day.

And finally (drum roll)

An enamel potty!

I don't think we'll be using it though......

Didn't I have fun?? I'm sure there is a lot more buried around there but I must get on. Tomorrow I'll try and resist the urge to dig some more.


I made this ATC, called Madam Butterfly

The material on the left is beaded and very delicate. The centre is a book mark I had, made of wood and the butterflies are cut out from an old pair of girl's tights and then I highlighted them

Bundle - What's Inside?

I unwrapped my bundle this evening and took some photos of the contents. Some of them hardly look any different but some of the paper goods look great. The 2 photographs I put in, especially the one of an Ibis, have changed for the better. Here are the results:

The bee I had hanging from the bottom has hardly changed at all

Purple crepe paper gave this wonderful effect on the ibis

My ATC didn't survive very well and has brown fuzzy stuff on the bottom half from some textured paper

This piece of plain yellow paper has definitely improved too

Our next task is to make everything into a new piece of art. It makes me think I wish I'd know this before I'd made up my bundle! I have a few ideas and the new work has to be finished by August 1st.

The Garden

The strawberries are coming on a treat. There are two sets of rows like this and they are covered in flowers

The vegetable garden is looking a picture. You can see, left to right, gladioli (for cut flowers), broad beans, onions, peas at the back. I know there are also beetroot and lettuce. the strawberry plants are in the foreground. Jim has worked very hard on it.

Pink aquilegia

White saxifrage, white thrift and pink thrift

Blue/purple aquilegia

I know I have featured this little section before but I just love the contrasting foliage. The alchemilla mollis is just beginning to gain strength and will soon make the combination even better with it's gorgeous green leaves and yellow/green flowers. My washing features behind!!


Buster quite often likes to sleep on this chair. Well, if he can get all of him on it....

He often has his head falling over the front

Yesterday, Sandy cat was sleeping in his bed. Buster did not approve. See how he worked his magic to remove the intruder:

Buster removes Emily (his doll) from Sandy's reach

Then leans heavily on Sandy

Sandy gave up and ran up to bed


Finally, Martin the builder came round about 5pm to talk about the job. He is coming to meet the electrician and hopefully the plumber on Thursday to discuss their part of the job and will crack on next week with the plastering. He could see I wanted it done. Hopefully things will move fairly quickly from Monday.

I am off to the UK for Jack's 4th birthday on Wednesday until Saturday evening. I'm going to the Zoo on his birthday, the 14th and to an indoor play hall on the Saturday with lots of his friends. Should be great fun.


Anonymous said...

Hello, What a mystery about the shoes and bottles! Your flowers and the vegetable garden are looking great. My favorite photos are Buster and Sandy. That is so funny! I hope you will have a wonderful visit and hope Jack has a happy birthday.

BT said...

Thank you Mildred. I knew you'd like the Buster Sandy photos! They are funny, aren't they? I have just put some more information on about the 2 'medicine' bottles. Do go and see. You'll be quite surprised. I was!

Twisted willow said...

I love the shoes and the bottles and all the other bits and pieces that were thrown away as rubbish - probably around 100 years ago. Thanks to the Census we can be pretty certain about the family who were using them. For me it really starts to bring the long history of the cottage and its land to life.

KathyB. said...

That Buster is pretty smart and savvy, the aggressive snuggle always works , doesn't it?

My Jim was busy this weekend with his strawberries and vegetable patch!

You really do have an archaeological dig going on , don't you? The bottles and their history are interesting. In your neck of the world you can dig up "junk" older than our nation!

Carol and Chris said...

I loved the bottles!!! You should fill them with washing up liquid and display them along the sink....the jewel colours always look fab in the old bottles and gives them a new lease of life (that's what I do anyway!!).

Can't wait to see what your new art looks like :-)

C x

Leatherdykeuk said...

What fabulous finds!

Jason said...

Wow, I wouldnt be able to stop the dig! Amazing stuff. This Ellimans link is intersting. Beechams!


The veg patch looks fantastic. I hope to be able to do this justice one day.

See you soon, x

Heather said...

What a fascinating post - you should invite the Time Team in so long as they don't dig up Jim's lovely veg. garden! I remember the embrocation from when I was a child - one of my grandparents must have used it. Looking forward to seeing what you do with your bundle contents. I think I'd like to try that myself. Love all the photos and the way Buster deals with his intruder!

SueG said...

Wow, you've been busy (as always)! I love the archaeology!! You might have missed your calling :-)

DK Leather said...

ooh I've used Ellimans before - beats deep heat and the like any day! :-) I remember chuckling that there's a version for horses.

GREAT finds, I couldn't resist either. Wonder if you could find out anything historical about owners of the property to find a shoemaker?!

BT said...

Hi Heather, ha, I'm not sure Time Team would be interested, it's been farming land for ever I think! No hidden Tudor manors here. Glad you liked this post, and Buster! I'm thinking weaving with the bundle - maybe!! You'd enjoy it. It's fun.
Off to the UK tomorrow, back late Saturday.

Hello Sue, we can't have 2 archeologists in the family, my brother is one already! Thanks for visiting.

Hi K, I'd never heard of Ellimans! Fancy you having used it! We know that the family who lived here since the 1800s are the Houlihans and farmers, but one of them might have 'cobbled' on the side!!!

ADrian said...

What an amazing assortment. All we've ever found is mouldy rubber dog toy and an endless stream of bricks and half-bricks, slightly surprising since our house is timber and we don't know where they're from!

Call in the time team, those guys are brilliant.

BT said...

Now that is odd Adrian!! I don't think Time Team would be interested as we know the families who lived here back to the 1800s! As it's bogland, nobody much would have been here before that!

Anonymous said...