It’s melting!

Hello everyone

Hope you didn’t suffer too much disruption because of snow last week, here in the UK we had a massive snowfall and there was the usual chaos and complaints about how badly we manage snow!

I got into work ok (the joys of being a non car driver) but this was the front of the house last Monday!

Snow in garden

I have been working on my lastest range of upcycled things for my craft stall at Standedge. These are the full set of hearts – I found this very cute cake stand in Cardiff over Xmas and thought it would be perfect for displaying my stock.

Hearts on stand

I have been making Kindle / e-book covers out of the charity fabric and vintage embroidery and some old clothing.

I am really pleased with the way that they have turned out, especially with my machine applique. I did want to get better  at machine work and am pleased that I have managed to be neat in the stitching round the hearts.

Kindle covers

Kindle covers 2

Kindle covers 3

Kindle covers 4

Kindle covers 5

Kindle covers 6

Kindle covers 7

This coming weekend I will be working on some phone covers.

My lovely friend Kerry came to stay this weekend – we had a very nice trip to Oakwell Hall  where there was still very deep snow on Saturday but heavy rainfall overnight meant that our walk on Sunday along the valley was full of flooded rivers and rushing water under bridges.

It was amazing to see especially compared to the last time I went there a couple of months ago which you can see in this post.

The second photo on that previous post was taken at the same spot as this one below.

We had a lovely time and are looking forward to doing the same walk when it is drier and we can cross the streams to get further up the valley.

Snow melt

Snow melt 2

Snow melt 3

Snow melt 4

Snow melt 5

Hope that you are not suffering too much from the weather, take care and thanks for visiting.

Heading for the hills in my new hat!

Hello and welcome, I hope you are all warm and snug and wrapped up well in this very chilly weather.

I have had a very lovely day today, starting with making a very delicious beef stew in my slow cooker which meant I could leave it gently simmering away while I went for a walk in the snowy hills – wearing my newly finished walking hat of course!

I hurt my back earlier this week by falling down my stairs so just went for a very gentle walk round the reservoir on the flat path. There were some wonderful frosty views and some beautiful icicles, some of them looked like weird sea creatures.Lots of people were sledging on the slops of the reservoir – looked great fun!

Snow walk Jan 1

Snow walk Jan 2

Snow walk Jan 3

Snow walk Jan 4

Snow walk Jan 6

I have been getting on well with my upcycled hearts and other designs from my charity shop stash, these are to be taken to The Loft Craft Centre at Standedge next week along with a few Kindle cases that I have been making out of the same fabric.Will post pics of the cases next week.

Here is my production so far, I really love the embroidered hearts which came from a tablecloth and the broderie anglaise and denim ones which are from a charity shop skirt and one of Ellie’s old skirts for the stripey backing and the denim.

The first four pics show front and back of the different hearts and the last one shows both front and back of the embroidered one.

Have a lovely week ahead – there is more snow forecast here so don’t know what is going to happen work wise. Thanks for visiting.

Upcycled hearts Jan 2

Upcycled hearts Jan 3

Upcycled hearts Jan 4

Upcycled hearts Jan 5

Upcycled hearts

Art Deco in Spain

Hello everyone

Hope that you are all well and happy.

Seems longer than week ago that I was in Spain with those lovely blue skis 🙂

My Mum had surprise day trip planned for me, I thought that it was going to be  a new museum of religious art or a fab church but it turned out to be this amazing art deco house in a little town called Novelda, about an hour away from where she lives in the mountains. She discovered it in a DK book that my brother and sister-in-law bought her and first went to visit it last October.

Spain has a lot of Art Deco and Modernist art and I have seen many very lovely things, mainly fabulous doors and ironwork but this was really special.

If you didn’t know it was there you would not really notice the house, the facade is lovely but it is tucked away in a little street in the centre of the town and from the front it looks to be quite a small property but it stretches back a long way and like many Spanish houses it has a Moorish influenced courtyard garden inside the house.

The wonderful thing about the house is that most of the rooms are furnished with original Art Deco furniture and it looks so lived in.

The house is called Casa Modernista and was built between 1900 and 1903 – the DK travel web site  has info on location and times info . It is well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in the area.

Spain Casa Modernista

Spain Casa Modernista 2

Spain Casa Modernista 3

Spain Casa Modernista 4

Spain Casa Modernista 5

Spain Casa Modernista 6

Spain Casa Modernista 7

Spain Casa Modernista 8

After lunch (tapas at a lovely little cafe round the corner) we had a little wander around the town and the market and then set off to find a church, St Mary Magdelene’s Sanctury and castle that we could see from the town and that Mum went to on her last trip there. After a few false starts and lots of communing with the locals we found it and it was really beautiful.

As far as we could work out it was built in the early 1900s and reminded me very much of Gaudi’s Sagrada Famila that I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago in Barcelona – on a much smaller scale. A very interesting church and look at those wonderful blue skies! These pictures were taken on the 4th of January!

Spain- Novelda Church 1

Spain- Novelda Church 2

Spain- Novelda Church 3

Spain- Novelda Church 4

So back to reality this week, a busy week at work but I had knitting group and a lovely relaxing weekend crafting and cooking so it was not all bad 😉

I have been working hard at creating new stock to take the craft centre, have some new heart ornaments made from recycled charity shop finds that I am just finishing off so will post them next weekend.

I have finished my hat – in beautiful James Brett variegated wool, this was an adaptation of a pattern that I had as a freebie booklet from a knitting mag. I changed the stocking stitch with Fair Isle main part for moss stitch with a stocking stitch crown when I realised how hard it was going it be to do the decreases for the crown shaping in moss stitch.

New hat Jan 2

New hat Jan 1

I am very pleased that it turned out so well and that I now have the confidence to play around with patterns like this. It is very warm and lovely and I just cast on for another one in the purple version of this wool.

This will be followed by matching scarves and possibly wristwarmers in both colourways , at some point in between everything else I want to do. I have still not managed to win the lottery so unfortunately crafting is still subsidiary to my day job – is just lucky I really enjoy what I do!

Exciting job related news – my next trip to China has been confirmed. I will be leaving for Beijing at the end of Feb for two weeks of teaching followed by a few days of exploring the city.I am so lucky, life is wonderful at the moment and I am so enjoying myself.

Like most of the rest of the UK it has been snowing overnight – not as much as I expected but here is the view from my window this morning.Hopefully it will last until the weekend when I can go for a walk on the snowy moors!

Snowy Marsden Jan

Hope that you have a good week ahead and thanks for visiting.

Christmas and castles

Happy 2013 to you all!

I hope that you had a lovely festive season. We did, I arrived back from all my travels today and have just been sorting some pictures to show you.

We had a very nice time at Powis Castle with Ellie – it was a very quiet Christmas Day which was much appreciated, we got up late, opened presents, watched DVDs, went for a walk and played games and ate lots of chocolate!

I took some special Christmas themed pictures in the grounds of  holly, mistletoe and deer (not reindeer as these are red deer but they still have impressive antlers) and some of the very interesting lichen on the trees.



Powis Xmas

Kids at Powis


Powis Xmas 2


It was very good and the castle looked so pretty all decorated with a fairy tale theme for Christmas! If you want to see more pictures of this go and visit Ellie’s blog post about the castle theme.

Our time in Cardiff was lovely if a bit wet! We visited the Doctor Who Experience  which proved to me that I am still scared of the Daleks ( and there were no cushions to hide behind!) and Cardiff Castle and the St Fagan’s Museum of Welsh Life  which was brilliant.

At St Fagan’s I particularly loved the terrace of miners’ cottages that were displayed to show living conditions between the 1850s and the 1980s, really interesting. Also the recreation of the medieval church paintings were great.

The pictures below show Ellie and my sister Jackie with Betsy, the car that my favourite Doctor, John Pertwee, used and some of the amazing decoration in Cardiff Castle.

It was remodelled in the late 1900s by William Burges for the 3rd Marquis of Bute and is a stunning medieval fantasy castle – I would so love to live there!

Dr Who

Cardiff Castle 1

Cardiff Castle 2

Ellie bought me the most amazing Xmas present which she got from an antique shop in Welshpool, these coasters date from 1908 and are very lovely, especially significant as there are so many peacocks at Powis Castle.

Peacock embroidery 1

Peacock embroidery 2

I can now show you the pincushion I made for my very good friend Kerry for Christmas. This is a Blackbirds Designs  pattern called Wild Lillies which I have adapted and I made it for her as she has been such a good friend to me this year with all the help with my new house and keeping me sane! Thank you, it is much appreciated.

Kerry's pincushion

I have just got back from a lovely time in Spain with Mum, it was warm and sunny and she took me to visit a fabulous historic house which I will post about later in the week.

Take care and thanks for visiting.