Possibly the best National Trust tearoom ever !

I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas, we did and are now having a few quiet, and snowy, days before departing for Spain.

We made our now traditional visit to Clumber Park on Boxing Day and Ellie had booked us in to the very lovely tea room that is located in the old Head Gardener’s House.

I found this wonderful picture of part of the lake that we walked around from the National Trust website, it has been taken from a crane next to the chapel that Ellie is in charge of.

Clumber from air

We usually stop off for tea and cake at every Trust property and always rate the tea rooms for theme, decor and availability of gluten free cake and this one scored very highly indeed.

It has been restored and is absolutely gorgeous inside. This exterior picture is from the National Trust website as I forgot to take one but all others are mine. We especially loved the very glamorous Victorian themed toilets.

Clumber - Head Gardener's House

They also had exceptional good gluten free chocolate brownie, no pictures of that as it was eaten too quickly!

This gorgeous silk embroidery was hanging in the upstairs hallway.

Clumber embroidery 1

Clumber embroidery 2

Before the tea we had a lovely walk round the park, again there was a beautiful winter sun like last year so I was able to take some arty shots.

This beautiful old stone bench by the lake is part of the collection that Ellen looks after, I love the long shadows in the photos.

On Christmas Eve we visited Nottingham for the Christmas market and had a quick wander round, they have beautifully decorated stalls with lots of chocolate, gingerbread and German inspired food.

There are some beautiful buildings in the city centre as well.

It was lovely to meet Ava, my great niece,  as well, she is such a happy, smiling baby and she really loved her little knitted mouse, she fell asleep holding it which was so cute.Here is a picture of my lovely children at the family lunch we had. Jake looks so grown up with his beard.

Xmas Ellie and Jake

Hope you all have a lovely New Year, don’t forget to like this post for a chance to enter the giveaway. Thanks very much for visiting and see you all again in 2018.

 

 

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Happy Christmas

Just popped in before we set of for Ellie’s to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I am just about finished on the ornament stitching and have been making chutney for Christmas presents so am feeling very festive!

I will be back home next week and fingers crossed the weather will be nice and Mum and I can go on a few walks, watch movies and craft. She is planning to learn how to make Suffolk Puffs next week so we may have some finished products by the time we leave for Spain.

xmas-door-wreath1

Thanks to you all for visiting, commenting and being supportive of my little blog, it is much appreciated and don’t forget to like a post to enter my blogaversary giveaway which I will sort out on my return from Spain.

Thinking ahead

I always like to have a little think at this time of year what I am going to try and get done next year craft wise. I did the same thing in early Jan last year when I had a little review of what I had made and the plans for the year ahead.

Some of it I have achieved like more pouches and bags of different sorts including how to make Dresdens. I have made some really lovely ones this year that I am very pleased with. Must do some more of these with crochet and vintage embroidery.

 

I have also done a lot of cross stitching in the last few months, still hoping to do more including some more lovely snowflake inspired things for next Christmas.At least if I start them in Jan I will not have the frantic finishing rush that I have had this year.

Progress with some of the larger items will be ongoing such as the hexagon quilt. I have made all 60 of the hexagons, am now on the slightly less glamorous job of removing all of the papers then I have to applique them to background squares and then hand quilt and put together.

Hexi stack 2

I need to finish the Steampunk jacket made from the vintage tablecloths which has been on hold, it is not needed until August but you know how time flies! There is the hat to decorate to go with that and I need some festival clothes for August as well.

There will have to be new stuff of course! I am still so tempted by all of Lori Holt’s lovely work and really want to make some applique things based on her designs. Probably not the full quilt but look at all the lovely things in her latest Bee Happy Quilt. I love that car and caravan!

Bee Happy Quilt

Then there are always Jenny’s designs. I did finish the sampler block this year, that just needs making into a hanging. I also have a couple of other ones of hers completed but not made into anything that I will share when finished.

I would love to do some more of her Christmas designs from this year’s Stitchery Club for next year. Picture from Jenny’s blog.

ELEFANTZ Christmas stitching

I also need to make some things from my birthday book, Happy Flower Quilts. I intended to include some of these designs for pouches but did not have time so would like to do some of these as gifts.

I would love to be able to paper piece as well like Charise does, she has some beautiful designs and it is just the sort of fiddly work that appeals to me. Isn’t this just gorgeous, picture from her blog.

Charise Apple bag

I am looking forward to the last weekend of stitching before Christmas, have still got one more ornament to make and then two to finish off before I can pack them all up to send off. Teaching has finished now so apart from a huge load of marking I can relax and get into the festive spirit.

Mum arrives this week then we will be going down to Ellie’s and then to meet my great niece Ava for the first time, really looking forward to that and to spending lots of time with Mum, my sister and the kids playing games and relaxing. We are going to be at Clumber a couple of times so will hopefully have some lovely pictures of that for you.

Will pop in next week to wish you all Merry Christmas, don’t forget to like this or any other post to enter my giveaway.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

 

 

A bit of festive stitching

I have had a really great weekend, my tree is up and I have been sitting finishing my ornament stitching while watching the snow fall gently down, not enough to give us a snow day tomorrow sadly so I will be back at work. Many of my friends who live further South than me have had more snow so although we have had some the transport will still be running tomorrow.

This is the last week of term though and I have some holiday coming up so that is good, I am really glad to get to the end of the teaching time.

Not that I don’t love my job and my students but this term has been a very busy one and a poorly arm has not helped so really looking forward to doing nothing, (by that I mean lots of reading and stitching and watching TV ), and spending time with family.

I finished four ornaments to the point of being stitched and stuffed this afternoon so I could take pictures and have another three that I finished later on. These all need their hanging ribbons added but am pleased with how they look so far.

Xmas ornies Dec 17

Two of these, the top one and middle right, are JBW designs, the others are from a sampler called ‘I Still Do’, by Ink Circles.

Xmas ornies Dec 17 5

This one is Merry Miniatures 1 from JBW – in the UK her designs can be found here at Wye Needlecraft. In the US they can be found at 123 Stitch. The bell charm on this design is from Rinhoobead on Ebay.

Xmas ornies Dec 17 3

This cute little tree I have stitched a few times and it is from JBW’s Christmas Keepsakes 2 designs. They have so many pretty tree designs and I love the way that the designs are made up of smaller motifs.

Xmas ornies Dec 17 2

Xmas ornies Dec 17 4

These two motifs are from a large Quaker sampler that I have had for about 11 years, it is meant to be an anniversary sampler but I bought it for all the snowflake like motifs. The Ink Circles web site does not have this design listed any more but still has lots of other lovely stitching.

This is a real return to my roots and it is very fitting that this is my 10th blogaversary as on one of my very first posts all those years ago I put up this picture of some cross stitched ornaments that I had been making to fund raise for my trip to Nepal.

I still have all those lovely snowflake designs and think I might make them again for next year’s ornaments as I have enjoyed my return to cross stitch a lot.

Xmas ornies from first post

I have also just realised that I still have some of the Christmas fabric that I mentioned buying in one of those first posts, that makes it almost vintage lol! I am very proud of the fact that I have bought no new Christmas fabric this year at all, the first time that has happened for 10 years.

Have no major crafting plans for the next couple of weeks, need to finish off a few things from the WIPs pile if I have chance and then will spending time with Ellie and the rest of the family and meeting my great-niece Ava for the first time, will finally get to give her the rabbit that I knitted for her!

Take care and thanks for visiting , will return next week with a the rest of the ornament finishes for your perusal! Don’t forget to like this or any post up until the end of the year to enter into my giveaway.

 

 

This is becoming a habit – a belated blogaversary giveaway!

It occurred to me earlier on today that I might have forgotten to post about my blogaversary and the now customary giveaway so I thought I had better check and guess what I did the same last year as well and posted late!

What a bad blogger and it is my 10th blogaversary too so a very special one. I have had this little old blog for 10 years (and one week on Monday!) and still love it as much as I first did.

I have met so many lovely people through blogging and the fact that I can document everything I make is great, not least when I have forgotten where I got something from.

So apologies for forgetting but I am here now. I am going to do something a bit different with the giveaway this year and make it for one of my stitching related items, pouches, or mug rug , you choose.

I have made a varied selection of pincushions, knitting bags, needlebooks, crafting bags and pouches so would like to offer one of those to one of you lovely readers.Here is a reminder of the sorts of things that you can win.

Yarndake bags Sept 1

Yarndale sheep bags 1

July needlebook 4

July bags and pouches 2

July bags and pouches 15

Tea mug rug 1

linen-pincushions-1

pouch-boxy-plain-zip-blue-flower-3

I am also going to leave the giveaway open for a bit longer than usual, as I am not giving away ornaments I do not need to post them before Christmas so I am going to put everyone who likes a post between now and the end of the year into the draw and do it when I return from my trip to Spain in mid January.

So please like either this post of the next few and then if you are the winner I will contact you and you can choose what you would like.

Hoping to take some lovely pictures of finished ornaments tomorrow, just been doing lots of making up and last bits of stitching tonight and we are nearly there!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Steampunks in Space

We absolutely loved Steampunks in Space last weekend. Not only did I have a great weekend with Ellie and got to spend some time with her work friends at one of their Christmas dos in a lovely restaurant in Worksop where there was far more tapas than 10 people could ever eat, we also saw some more amazing costumes.

I forgot to take any pictures of the completed hat in good light before we left so at the moment we only have a few from the ones that we took and from the Steampunks in Space Facebook page.

I am very pleased with it, it has a treasure map and compass on the back, some doubloons one one side, (found some fab coin buttons in my stash), and a key for when I find the treasure chest.Excuse the slightly fuzzy pic and the very tired me!

Steampunks in Space 6

The light was quite dim so many of my pictures did not come out but there were so many lovely outfits. It was great to see a very different set of themes as there were some fab steampunked Sci-Fi versions. Here is Ellie in her new hat and a Steampunk version of Boba Fett known as Boba Von Fett.

Steampunks in Space 3

 

Steampunks in Space 2

One of my favourite groups were the Mars Expeditionary Force, picture from the Facebook page.

Steampunks in Space 10

I also loved the ingenuity of this group, these are two hanging basket cages joined to make a helmet, picture from the Facebook page.

Steampunks in Space 9

These are amazing rocket backpacks as well, picture from the Facebook page. Such clever people!

Steampunks in Space 12

When you went in you were each given a coin to give to the person who had the best costume and I was thrilled to be given two!

Steampunks in Space 5

That really made my day. I love the new skirt I have bought from this Ebay supplier, I am planning to wear this on New Year’s Eve as it is very pretty and really comfortable to wear.It also comes in red, black and a light green and I am tempted to buy other colours for future outfits.

Steampunks in Space 4

The blouse I have had for years and I wore the same black velvet jacket. As you can tell I like the colour purple 🙂 I also bought some new lace gloves in purple at the event which go wonderfully with my outfit, much better than the lime green event wristband does!

We had a chat to a lovely lady who had found her dress on Ebay and adapted it, it was originally a wedding dress and she had made the train into a bustle. Ellie gave her the costume coin.

Steampunks in Space 1

We also took part in a felting workshop and had our pic taken while we were doing that, have plans to make a brooch with mine and Ellie made a Christmas tree, picture from the Facebook page.

Steampunks in Space 7

There was a costume competition and one of my favourite outfits, Raspberry Ripley, (a play on Ellen Ripley from Aliens who Ellie is named after), won the female competition.

I love the two solar system cage skirts that the other two competitors wore as well. Boba Von Fett was runner up in the male costume one, picture from the Facebook page.

Steampunks in Space 8

A brilliant day out and we can go back to the Space Centre again for as many visits as we want with the event ticket. We didn’t get chance to see many of the exhibits so will definitely visit again and they have other Sci-Fi events throughout the year as well, picture from the Facebook page.

Steampunks in Space 11

I am having a quiet weekend at home, catching up on household things, Jake is going to be doing some painting for me tomorrow to get things ready before the tree goes up next weekend. Still hard at work on cross stitch but lack of time and still poorly arm and hand are meaning it is very slow progress this year!

Hope you are all enjoying your weekends and are tucked up somewhere nice and warm, it has been so cold here I am really glad I do not have to venture out until Monday.

Take care and thanks for visiting.