A significant amount of crafting

After the comparative wilderness of the last few months where it seemed that all I posted about was how little I had done I seem to have completed a huge amount in the last two weeks.

I have shared the scrappy churn dash blocks with you briefly in a previous post but wanted to share all of the photos here and give you the link to the tutorial on Crazy Mom’s blog.

This is the first one I made which I turned into a bag.

Churn dash bag 1

I have not had much success with many of the bigger quilt blocks I have done as often the points don’t match but am doing ok on these with  few minor errors. Really love the colours and how quick and easy they are to do given their tiny size and complexity.

Scrappy churn dash 1

I am adding the hexagons to the middle of the blocks as they seemed a bit bare without them.

I have just had a delivery of some new Liberty from Billow Fabrics as I was short of longer pieces and found this beautiful print of hexagons.

Liberty hexagon fabric 1

I am planning to make some bags with a hexagon flower on linen and this on the bottom. Sarah has had her stall confirmed for Yarndale so I will be making things for that again.

Liberty hexagon fabric 2

I have also got this lovely bundle of fabric.

I have just finished a pouch made from some stitching I did in Spain, those long coach journeys came in handy for completing this beautiful design from Jenny of Elefantz. This is from her November 2017 Stitchery Club and I have used Cottage Garden Variegated threads. This one is for me to store all my chargers in when I go away.

Bird and hexagon pouch 1

The Cottage Garden threads are difficult to get in the UK and I am running out so I have bought some Caron Waterlillies from Sew and Sew to stitch this design again. It is so pretty and the thread colours are beautiful.

Caron Waterlilies 1

Caron Waterlilies 2

I am going to be spending a very happy day tomorrow working on all of these projects with some watching of the brilliant , ‘Under the Dome’, based on a Stephen King novel, a very exciting series on my Amazon Prime. The best sort of weekends!

Hope that you are having fun as well, take care and thanks for visiting.

 

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Seville – a very Spanish city

That may sound like a strange title for a blog post because of course it is in Spain but when we were wandering around Seville it felt very different to the other cities we have visited in Spain. Many of them have amazing architecture but it is often Art Deco or Modernista and while stunning is very similar to other things we have seen in places like Budapest.

Seville has a very unique character and it felt very much like old Spain, real Spain, the Spain that the Moors had a huge influence on. An amazing culture that had a very significant impact on the rest of the world. A friend messaged me when I said I was going and told me it was the most beautiful city in the world. That is a difficult one to judge having been lucky enough to visit some of the most beautiful cities in Europe and I don’t know if this is more beautiful than Venice, Florence, Prague, Paris, or any other of the places I have been.

It is certainly different and stunningly beautiful as these pictures show.I loved the fact that there were still the very narrow lanes everywhere with no cars and the possibility of getting lost.We decided on the last night to take a different route back to the hotel down some of these winding little lanes, past crowded bars where lots of people were sitting outside, not really knowing where we were until we turned a corner and realised we were only a short walk from our hotel.

A really lovely place and and a city and a region that I would love to return to one day.I still have so many more pictures of the things we saw, I went a little snap happy in the palace and took so many pictures so will have to just choose the best ones for you.

My teaching has generally finished now so I have had a very nice week with my students doing tutorials, most of whom I won’t teach again now but will see at their graduations. I am very lucky, I have a job that I love, despite it being sometimes a bit stressful, I get to go on brilliant holidays and have the prospect of 2 and a half days crafting coming up as I am planning to finish work early tomorrow 🙂 Life is very lovely.

I hope that you are equally happy with your week, take care and thanks for visiting.

Enter the (baby) dragon

We have had a lovely weekend at Bolsover Castle for our St George’s Day show. It was so nice to see everyone again and we have some new members in the group so it was great getting to know them and they did brilliantly in the show.

We did not camp, by order of the management i.e. Ellie and I was glad that we didn’t as I am still not 100% fit and it was very wet Saturday night. However we stayed on Saturday for the group meal in the very convenient pub they have built right next to the castle so got to spend time with everyone.

This show is always a bit different as we have dragons! Not one but two and there are some great comedy moments. We start off in the morning telling the children that the Dragon Knight has brought his dragons and build it up to the bit in the show where the cutest little baby dragon appears, ably played by one of our new members Daniel this year. Photos from Lee’s photography who very kindly posted them to our Facebook group page.

Baby Dragon 2

Of course St George cannot kill the baby dragon as he is so cute and he joins the knights fighting against the Dragon Knight.

Baby Dragon1

Meanwhile the Dragon Knight captures the Princess, played by Ellie and then later in part two the large evil dragon, played by Jamie comes in.

Dragon at Bolsover

A lot of the children are quite scared by this one and Jamie does a great roar. The dragon attacks the Dragon Knight only to be finally vanquished by the screams of the children.

Dragon 2

St George rescues the Princess, if he doesn’t forget, and then we have lots of children wanting to have their pictures taken with the dragons or knights.

Bolsover - St George and Ellie

Our dragons do a great job, it is not easy wearing these costumes on a warm day where you can’t see or walk without an escort as your feet have a tendency to come loose!That is what I love about re-enactment, people are so willing to do the daftest things for the sake of the show and everyone has a great sense of humour, even after 15 years the jokes still make me laugh!

We had good weather as well, only one short bit of rain during show times and I even got a little bit pink on Saturday. We have our next event in three weeks time, Kerry is coming up this weekend so that we can sort out some veil cutting and I am going to start making a headdress for Kate one of our newer members.

Bolsover - Kate and Kerry

 

She has been in kit since last year but this was her first event at one of our shows and she has a beautiful green woolen dress. She borrowed Ellie’s circlet  and liked it so I am planning to make her one like that with black velvet, pearls and gold embellishments.

The surcoat I made last year is still going strong though I am planning to add a cross to the back in time for next year. Simon played St George this year and here we are in the tournament.

Nun and St George at Bolsover

We did a fashion talk at this show which is a new part of the event, started last year and had a good reaction from the crowd so this year I talked about the different varieties of ladies’ and men’s garments and got the group to show off their outfits.People are always amazed that we make so much of our kit and love looking at the clothes and asking us how we made things and how long they take.

A really nice start to the season and I am looking forward to the next few shows. I have also managed to finish off some of the things that I have been working on so have a pouch and a basket to show you when I can take some pictures in good light. Thankfully I am now coming home in daylight which is great so will get those sorted soon.

I am planning a few more of the scrappy churn dash blocks as they got good feedback from the girls at Wool and Wine last night and the great news is that Sarah has got confirmation that she has a stall at Yarndale again this year so the pouch and bag production will have a home!

Hope that you all have a good rest of the week, take care, thanks for visiting and see you soon.

 

Seville trip – from cuevas to alcazars

As most of you will have guessed by now I love travel. Not just the being there at the destination but the planning the research and the whole of the journey. I never want to just get there I really enjoy the process, however long it takes. For me the journey is about sitting back and relaxing and savouring the moment.

I have been lucky enough to have some great views flying back from Spain when we have gone all along the coast in clear weather but especially love coach journeys like the trip to Seville.

It took 10 hours in total, 2 of which were 3 stops and made me realise just how small the UK is compared to Spain, we only travelled a short way across the country from just below Alicante, which is near the pointed part of Spain on the right of the map, to Seville which is above the Morocco label a little way inland. Such a huge and interesting country, I have so much more to explore!

spain-simple-map-large

We traveled through the Sierra Nevada which I visited about 15 years ago on a trip to Granada and saw beautiful landscapes with snowy mountains, misty peaks, amazing rock formations and little villages with monasteries and hill top castles. I would love to do that trip again and stop off and explore some of these places one day.

One of the stops was to a cave house (or cueva) that the owners have opened as a museum in Purullena, they still live there so you enter and go through their kitchen into the rooms.

They have owned the house for generations and it now consists of 24 rooms over 3 stories. There were lots of pictures of how they had dug out the rooms and made the stairway and they had filled the upstairs rooms with antiques including to my delight examples of linens, lace and stitching including the always present Singer sewing machine!

Seville Trip Cave House 5

Seville Trip Cave House 6

We were particularly interested as my brother Ben and his wife Amanda have recently bought a cave house in Spain, in the mountains about 2 hours from my house towards Granada. I have yet to visit but have seen pictures and video.

It has 4 useable rooms so far plus a kitchen and bathroom, these are on the front due to the issues of supplying water and power and as estate agents say, ‘room for improvement’ literally as there are some rough steps hewn and some part dug upstairs rooms.

The Guadix landscape around the cave house was amazing the rocks are very soft which is why there are so many cave houses in that area and they have been shaped into all sorts of formations.

Seville Trip Cave House - landscape 2

Our hotel in Seville was very lovely, we went on the trip with a local Spanish company so the hotel was included and it was very much more luxurious than our normal lovely but budget bookings.

The Hotel Alcazar is very near the gardens that border the Alcazar (Moorish palace) and as you can see from this picture very close to the cathedral, (not one of mine but from Google), taken from the roof of the hotel.

Seville trip hotel-alcazar-view

We particularly loved all the antique textiles on the walls so an excellent location with beautiful rooms, lounge and breakfast area.

I have lots more pictures for you of everything we did but am going to have an early night tonight as we have just had our first Swords of Mercia show for the year and so I have returned tired but very happy. We had great crowds and lovely weather, only a very little bit of rain which we were all very thankful for.

I love this picture from yesterday of me with the boys during the fashion talk, particularly like Alex’s very fetching pink outfit!

Bolsover 1 - Fashion Show

Until next time take care, have a good week and thanks for visiting.

Seville – a feast for eyes and palate!

I have had an absolutely wonderful time away and not only did I get to relax and do very little except read, spend time with my lovely family and go to the beach, mainly for drinks but also an afternoon sitting in the sun, but also got to visit Lorca for the Easter celebrations and a mini break to Seville.

I saw all three of the girls and gave them the dolls, they were very pleased and Emily, Lola and Ruby- Rose, as they were named, have gone back to England with their new owners.

I will post lots more photos as I sort them but here is a little montage that sums up some of the highlights.

Unlike Budapest where sometimes our options for food were sometimes a bit limited due to me being gluten free and Mum being not eating meat there was an abundance of choice for food. We both love tapas and there were so many wonderful tapas bars and we were determined not to order the same thing twice so over 2 lunches and 3 evening meals we had 19 unique dishes and came back with some wonderful recipe ideas.

The other three pictures in the montage are of one the beautiful courtyard gardens that are such a feature of the architecture of the city,  some of the tiles in the Real Alcazar and the ceramics and tiles at the Plaza de Espana There were tiles everywhere and we could have bought so many wonderful reproductions of these designs.

I was catching up on blogs when I got back and was very inspired by a post by Crazy Mom with a Scrappy Churn Dash Block tutorial. I am not very confident with quilt blocks and this looked a bit complicated and I was going to finish off a pouch I have been stitching while I was away but my zip order has not arrived yet. So I just thought I would try one and made two on Saturday afternoon as they were very easy to do thanks to the excellent tutorial.

Churn dash block 1

 

Churn dash block 2

I have so many tiny Liberty scraps from all the hexagons I have made so used that for the scrappy parts and love the way they have come out. I decided to put borders on them as well and have turned one into a basket and the other will be used on a pouch.

Meanwhile it is back to work tomorrow and our first re-enactment of the year next weekend, Bolsover Castle for St George’s Day, the dragon will be back!

I will hopefully get a chance to post more pictures this week, hope you all have a good week ahead. Take care and thanks for visiting.