St George’s Day re-enactment show at Bolsover

Well we had a very lovely time this Bank Holiday weekend – very hot weather on Saturday (thankfully cooler on Sunday and Monday as the boys were really melting in their armour!). About 3,000 people came to see us over the three days – thanks if you were one of them. I was doing my head-dress and embroidery talk again – this time in Lady Percy’s tent (as she is being the cook this season in the mornings) assisted by Lady Alice.

Here are some pics for you – starting off in the early morning when we are all getting ready for the public to arrive.

Bolsover April 2
Lord Bardolph (aka Paul) setting up in the arena
Bolsover April 4
Lady Bardolph (aka (Lynn) ready for calligraphy
Bolsover April 3
Lady Percy (aka Tracy) and Ellen and Jake in the kitchen
Bolsover April 5
The Despenser's tent
Bolsover April 6
Cameron (aka Keith) and Paddy setting up for the armour talk
Bolsover April 7
Esme tidying up the flags round the displays
Bolsover April 8
Lord De Bohun (aka Paul) putting on his armour
Bolsover April 9
Lord Zouche (aka Luke) in his padded jack and coif
Bolsover April 10
More of Lady Bardolph's embroidery on Lord Despencer's shirt

These pics from the afternoon show are all taken by my lovely friend Jan from her Facebook page (hope you don’t mind me using them Jan) – as I am not allowed a camera while in kit I have to ‘borrow’ other people’s pics to show you the action.

Bolsover April 13
Lady Despencer (aka Bev) in her heraldic dress
Bolsover April 11
Ellie giving water to Zouche during the tournament

Everyone wanted me to post this one as well as they loved the crazy look on my face – I am just happy that the season has started again and I am camping!

Bolsover April 12
Me (as the nun) Ellie and Zouche

Virtually no crafting has gone on this week – at the weekend we were too busy with medieval stuff to do anything apart from me doing a bit of hand sewing of a coif during the day. I will have to crack on this week as my Spring Exchange piece needs to be mailed by the 1st May. I have had mine from my partner and it is lovely so will take some pics and post that at the weekend.

I am looking forward to the Royal Wedding on Friday – some friends are coming over for cupcakes and cava and then I am hoping for a nice weekend so I can be out in the garden, there may even be a bbq or two!

Hope that you have a nice week and thank you very much again for visiting.

Cross stitch and cactus

Hello everyone,  have just got back from seeing my wonderful Mum in Spain who was 70 on Monday. Here she is the day before with her very tall and a bit windswept grandson, my lovely Jake .We had a day out with a boat trip to an island just off the coast where I indulged with lots of pretty pics – some which I shall reveal in the April Photo Scavenger Hunt post in a couple of weeks.

Spain - Jake and Granny
On the island of Tabarca

 She had a lovely birthday and appreciated her presents which were a new camera, wool and these wristwarmers which you may remember from a while ago. I also introduced her to the delights of Ravelry so that she can get some lovely patterns to use up all the wool!

Spain wristwarmer
She is a lovely hand model!
 Her friend Eileen had stitched her this  card for her birthday – isn’t this great?
Spain 70 card
The birthday card

I spent a lot of the week knitting and reading my fab Benni Harper quilt mystery books – have finished four this week and am loving them. I am also making good progress on the pink Sublime baby cardi though the eyelets are still proving to be a challenge – have had to abandon the stitch markers as I was doing something peculiar with them which meant I was making holes!

Had great fun with my camera again taking some more pics of the local flora and fauna – look at these wonderful cactus flowers.

Spain cactus1

Spain cactus 2

We are off for the weekend to do our first re-enactment show of the year at Bolsover castle so I am really looking forward to that, the weather forecast is very good for the weekend and  I am really, really looking forward to camping, the first of many this year. I have had four barbeques this week (3 in Spain and 1 here) so am definitely in Summer mood now!

I hope that you have a very lovely weekend and a very Happy Easter to you all – just remember that chocolate is definitely one of your five a day as it is a bean which is of course a vegetable! Thanks for visiting.

Made with love – and surprisingly straight machine stitching!

Hello there everyone

I have just been sitting outside in my garden basking in the late evening sunshine drinking a glass of bubbly (only the cheap cava type!) and celebrating life. It has been the most glorious weekend here – hope you have had nice weather where you are.We have had a really unexpectedly hot weekend – it is never usually this hot in April in Yorkshire, to be fair it is often not this hot in Yorkshire in July.

I have spent most of the last few days finishing off my charity quilt that I posted about earlier this month. This has been a WIP for many months but I got a lot done on the last Quilt Group sewing day and wanted to get it finished to take to the Quilt Group meeting tomorrow. I am very pleased with the way it has turned out – the machine stitching is not perfect but better than I have managed previously.

Hospice quilt 1
The quilt front with hand quilted hearts
Hospice quilt 3
The quilt back made with fleece and a bunny applique
Hospice quilt 4
Detail of the bunny face with embroidery

The quilt was machine pieced and then mainly machine quilted – I quilted ‘in the ditch’ round all the blocks which was good for developing my machining skills and shadow quilted around the dark turquoise border. The original design had the bunny on the front but the consensus at the quilt sewing day was that the front was very nice on its own so I just added some hand quilted hearts and backed it with fleece and the bunny applique.

In the style of one of the bloggers I very much admire, Hen House , I have taken pics of the finished item in the garden, lovely son Jake has been absolute star today and spent two hours mowing the lawn (not that you can see it in these pics) but it has been a great help. I have been on light duties only as my back has not been good so I have been deadheading!

I have posted lots of pics of my garden before but have been trying to take some more arty shots so this is one I took today which I really like, the garden is looking very splendid now which makes such a difference after the horrible wet and messy months.

Garden - April
Can never remember if this is a Skimmia or a Viburnum - anyway I have two and they are very pretty!

This quilt is going to a local children’s hospice which is opening soon so it has been a strange piece to make. I have enjoyed making it but I have been thinking a lot about who will use it and the things that they and their parents will be going through. It is a cot quilt so that make is very hard to think about especially as I have so many friends who have young babies or are expecting babies. But life is often not easy and all we can really do is support people who are experiencing difficult times, be it friends who you can help face to face or others who you can give a little gift made with love.

On the subject of made with love I thought  that I would show you a few recent baking goodies – one of the reasons that my son is so nice and helps out with the garden is that he gets a regular supply of cake. These are adapted from a very nice recipe from Sainsbury’s magazine and are chocolate orange cupcakes – yum yum.

Version 1 - with Smarties
WI cake
Version 2 - with white chocolate stars

In other crafting news the pink Sublime baby cardi is coming on well – the eyelets have been a bit of a challenge and my knitting friend Barbara suggested stitch markers which I have been trying for the first time but have been getting a bit tangled with – they seem to slow me down a lot! The Spring exchange piece is almost complete. I am off to Spain on this week so am planning lots of lovely sitting on the terrace in the sun reading and crafting – I have four Benni Harper quilt mystery novels to take with me so am in for a lovely time!

If you read last week’s post about Mothers’ day you may remember I was writing about how much I admired all those Mums who have young kids who craft and this week at knitting group I met another person who does just that. She knits, she quilts and she blogs – it was very lovely to meet Justine and I have really enjoyed looking at all her posts and links to fab fabric sites that I have not come across before. I have saved them in my favourites and may have to indulge very soon! Please do go and visit her blog Sew Justine Sew  as it is lovely!

Hope that you have a nice week ahead and see you all in a couple of weeks – thank you for visiting.

Photo Scavenger Hunt – March

Hello there

An extra post this week as I have got a new addition to the blog. Some time ago I read on Thimbleanna’s blog  about a photo scavenger hunt for each month organised by Kathy – each month she puts a list of things that you have to go and take pics of and post them on your blog and there is a Flickr group as well but not done that yet.

As I love taking pics I though it would be fun to do and it was, there were some that were a bit of a challenge and I had to be quite creative with. I kept my camera in my bag while I was out and about on my visits – quite a few of these are from a day out in Leeds. I have just gone and looked at the list for April on Kathy’s blog and am very excited as there is something that fits in exactly with our recent field trip!

Thimbleanna’s pics for March can be found here and mine are below.

Peeling paint

This picture was taken on my way home from work – my building is next to a canal and this is from the bridge over it.

Peeling paint

A lion

I had to think hard about this one as no zoos near us! But very near the train station where I spend lots of my time is a building called Lion Chambers built in 1853 and they have not one but two lions – one on the roof….

lion 1

… and one over the door.

lion 2

Apparently the one on the roof is not the original stone one but a plastic replica – have not been near enough to check!

A lamb

Of course living in Yorkshire there are loads in the fields but could not get out to the country for a good photo but found this cute little choc one!


A rainbow

This was a challenge as well – lots of rain here but no bows, until we went to visit my sister and I spotted this logo on one of her Facebook pages.Sorry it is so fuzzy!

Rainbow pic

A collection

I had spotted this the week before in Leeds, this fantastic collection of old sewing machines is the front window display in a clothes shop in one of the beautiful arcades, they are a chain and one of my friends mentioned she had seen the same display in their branch in Manchester so they must have hundreds of them. They are so lovely.

Collection 1

Here is a close up so that you can see them better.

Collection 2

Something as old as me

I was going to use this one for another category but here is a pic of my feet paddling in the sea on my recent visit to Spain!

my feet

An empty chair

This is one of a pair in my garden – we don’t use them to sit on any more but I love the way that the terracotta has weathered.

empty chair

Something sentimental

This belonged to my Nana who now lives in Spain. She bought it when she first visited Spain in the 1960s and it is a little matador jacket and hat for a bottle (every home should have one of course!). It used to live in her lounge which she referred to as ‘the room’ which we only ever went in on special occasions like Christmas. She used to make corned beef and onion sandwiches on white bread which I thought were delicious and trifle and coffee with all milk as a special treat.

bullfighter 1

A fancy gate

This was taken in Leeds again and is at the entrance to one of the Victorian arcades with all the very posh shops in! The actual gates are folded back at the sides.


A shadow

I could have used the one of my feet above but I decided to try some arty shots so this is me taking a pic of one of the statues outside the train station in Leeds.


A ring

I wanted to interpret this rather than take a picture of a ring. This is part of a water feature outside our train station (again) – as well as water there are lights that change colour.


Something green

Again from my garden, I have several of these terracotta representations of a pagan figure – the ‘Green Man’ – they gradually degrade and get covered in moss.

something green

I have really enjoyed finding all these pics and hope that you have enjoyed looking at them. Have got the new list for April so will be off snapping again!

Happy Mothers’ Day – cupcakes, vintage crochet and knitting

Hello and a very Happy Mothers’ Day to you if you live in the UK. If you don’t Happy first Sunday in April and I hope that you are having a lovely day anyway! I would like to dedicate this post to all of my lovely friends who are mums both in real life and blogland as a celebration of your fabulousness. And of course to my wonderful Mum who has always been a brilliant friend as well as a mum.

Being a mum is fantastic and I am very thankful that I have such lovely kids who have once again bought me very thoughtful presents and cards.I had a bracelet and  Mackintosh pattern box last week and today as a surprise I got this!

Elm creek book
Sylvia's Bridal Sampler Quilt Book

I have wanted this book  for ages and I was very impressed as normally the kids don’t buy me crafting books from my wish list (they think I have enough already – as if such a thing exists) So thanks very, very much!

I have lots of friends who have in the last few years become new mums and one of the things I value most about the internet is being able to keep in touch with them, to see pics of the kids and to be able to offer support through the power of a nice comment or two when they may be feeling a bit overwhelmed or the kids are poorly, teething etc. I am very lucky to have had a great group of local friends who I met through a Mother and Toddler group and we have kept each other going through the years and are now supporting through teenage and University issues and the joys of having more time to ourselves now we are becoming empty nesters!

I am always impressed by the mums who run their own businesses both ones I know in real life and through blogging. I have mentioned my very talented friend Kat lots of times before and her medieval headdresses and costume business Kats Hats . I would also like to introduce another friend to you who has recently set up her own business, Simply Yummy Cupcakes, which as you can probably tell is a cake business! The link is from Facebook so you might have to be logged in to see it. Now I know a lot of people do cupcakes but these are something very special – I hope she won’t mind me sharing a couple of pics with you of her work – look how  talented she is!

Laura's cakes 1
These are obviously very topical for today!
Laura's cakes 2
These 'bouquets' are made out of cupcakes decorated like roses!

 Laura also makes cupcakes to order for birthdays, weddings and other special events including some very unusual ‘cake pops’ that you can use as wedding favours – she is based in Newport , South Wales in the UK so if you need special cakes go and have a look at her creations.I am planning to do a little baking later on this afternoon for Jake – some chocolate orange cupcakes with chocolate frosting which I tried out on him last week and they got the seal of approval but they are not as wonderful as Laura’s.

Taking inspiration from another very talented mum, Hen House, I went to a Vintage Fair in town yesterday held in a little Victorian Arcade where my friend Lydia has her wool shop Spun. Hen makes the most wonderful things out of her vintage embroidery finds – adding them to quilts and cushions so look what I picked up.

Vintage crochet 2
Two crochet runners and a linen tablecloth


Vintage crochet 1
Look at those lovely flowers!

I have tried to learn to crochet but no luck so far but the little flowers on these two pieces are lovely and I thought that I could turn them into something nice with some denim that I have in my stash and some of the fabric that I bought from Lydia not long ago. Lovely daughter Ellie is home from University in May so hopefully we will be able to spend lots of time crafting and I thought she might like these. The tablecloth I plan to incorporate into a quilted throw for my lounge that I have some beautiful medieval prints for which I bought last year. Quite when I will get around to starting these projects I don’t know as I already have several WIPs to complete but it help to have all the stash handy for when the right time arrives doesn’t it!

I have done very well on my current projects – have nearly finished the stitched exchange piece. It has been a tricky stitch, not so much the pattern but the combination of the fabric I chose and the silk thread and the fact that the count is very small so I have to use the magnifying glass and it has been slow going. As I wanted something a bit more mindless to work on this weekend (we were watching a film where I needed concentrate!) and I needed something new for knitting group I have cast on for a baby cardi in my favourite Sublime yarn – this time a dusky pink. I could not get a good pic of the pattern (Blossom from Let’s Knit magazine  August 2010) so apologies but it is a tie front cardi with an eyelet detail in the body (which I have not tried before) and lacy diamond pattern sleeves.

Pink ballet cardi
WIP on the back showing eyelet details

Knitting with the Sublime yarn is wonderful after using the Marble Chunky for my hat. It was quick to knit but not as easy to see the stitch pattern at all whereas with Sublime you can see exactly what you are doing. I am going to Spain again next week (lucky, lucky me – it is my Mum’s 70th birthday in a couple of weeks so we are celebrating out there) so this will be my holiday project along with the JBW pudding ornie.

Speaking of the red chunky hat here it is modelled by me this morning (thanks Jake for taking the pic!) I think it works very well as a slouchy beret and will use the rest of the ball to cast on for a scarf in the same pattern later in the year – not as much need for scarves here in Yorkshire now hurrah!

Red chunky hat modelled
I really like the colour changes in the yarn that give it the stripes and the lacy rib pattern

Well am now off to spend the rest of the day doing my favourite things – lucky me! Hope that you are all having a lovely day wherever you are and thank you very much for visiting.