Finding haberdashery heaven

Well dear readers, the travel gods smiled upon us and Ellen and I were able to go on our very long awaited trip to New York in the second week of January. We had been planning this trip since about 2018, when we watched a series called Project Runway. This was set in one of the Fashion Institutes there, and featured regular visits by the contestants to the Garment District, in particular a shop there called Mood.

We had originally planned to go 2 years ago, for Ellen’s 30th birthday but as we know the world got a little crazy and so we put that trip on hold. We had not finally decided to go until just before Christmas, as we were waiting to see if anything changed with restrictions but sorted it all out and had a fantastic time. I had visited many years ago but it was Ellen’s first trip.

As well as buying fabric and haberdashery we wanted to visit some fashion collections and museums, as well as see all the tourist highlights. I will post later about those, this post is just all about the wonder that is the Garment District. It really is amazing how many shops there are, and how much there is available, we were at points quite overwhelmed with what to buy.

We were guided by a particular vlog from someone I have watched a lot over the years, Bernadette Banner, who did a New York Garment District vlog three years ago. I don’t remember the name of every shop we went it but we did visit B and Q trimmings, M and J Trimmings, Pacific Coast Haberdashery, and of course Mood!

This was just a tiny selection of what was in one shop, they had four aisles just of zips!

Ellen was looking for sparkly fabric for a night sky inspired project and had a hard time choosing from all the loveliness, though the $450 dollars a yard fabric got put back straight away! The Garment District is right next to Broadway, so as well as fashion fabric there are endless sequins, lace and feathers available such as these beauties.

We were both very restrained, even though a small fortune could have been spent. I just bought things for very specific Barbie couture projects as it was wonderful to have very small scale braid and trimmings available. I will do a specific post about that and my plans for the purchases later.

Before the shopping we spent some time at the Fashion Institute of Technology, looking both at the display of students’ work and at their current exhibition. The student work exhibition was really interesting, as much for the design boards as for the final creations.

The current exhibition at the museum looks at the interior spaces that many of the world’s greatest women designers lived and worked in. As well as showcasing their designs there were pictures of their salons, many of which no longer exist. It was a fascinating look at these creative spaces. The gowns on display were a very varied selection, and all stunning.

I am going to be working on more Barbie couture when I get back to Spain so wanted to choose two garments from the trip to make in Barbie size. I have chosen this gold one from the museum collection as I love the beaded detail on the neckline. I may not do anything as elaborate as this but it will be the inspiration.

The other dress I have chosen is this one from the film, ‘Mrs Harris goes to Paris’, which I watched on the plane. I love this and was able to get some gorgeous fabric in New York for it. There are so many amazing dresses in that film so may make others in the future, Barbie scale only though! Picture from the above link.

We also saw a great exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, all about the history of the kimono, and how it became transformed once Japan opened up to Western fashion, and in turn how kimonos inspired other designers. Very interesting with some beautiful garments.

I am now actually in the Greek part of Cyprus where I am spending some of my winter months of exile from Spain. I am only allowed to stay there for 90 days post Brexit, but that gives me a great excuse to travel ūüėČ

I have a friend who lives here so came to see him, to travel around, and indulge my passion for church architecture with lots and lots of visits to Greek Orthodox churches. There are also stunning coastal walks where I am now so lots of posts of all that coming up.

I finished the blackwork just before leaving Spain and am so pleased with it. Excuse the rather odd blue tint in the first picture, but I am so happy with how it all looks and plan to do some more of these on my return to Spain. It was a very quick stitch, the border took the longest but really finishes off the pieces.

I have also started and finished a mandala for my van. The design comes from a book of embroidery I bought my Mum a few years ago, and it is stitched with perle thread. It has been a very international stitch, started in Spain, worked on in England and the USA and finished in Cyprus. It just needs the felt backing attaching and it can hang in Katy.

I hope that you are all well and happy wherever you are, and if in the UK have not suffered too badly with the extreme weather. I am very lucky to still be in 19 degrees and am making the most of it.

I will be back soon with the other New York post and will update you on my Cyprus adventures as soon as I can. I am staying in a mixture of apartments and hotels so will be dependant on the quality of the wifi. Until next time, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Making very good progress!

I am very pleased to report that the last few weeks have been very productive. After finishing off the Luna rabbit and the reindeer that I showed you in my previous post , I moved on to the rest of the wish list that I talked about here.

I have really enjoyed working on the lap quilt to use in Katy, partly as it involved lots and lots of hours choosing Liberty fabrics while watching sewing vlogs! I can’t think of a much happier way to spend my afternoons.

Katy needs to look as pretty as possible as she is going to be in the show field at one of the van life festivals that I am going to next year, as an example of a no-build micro camper, so I am planning to take this back to the UK once it is all quilted up.

I had debated taking it as a quilt top and then buying wadding and putting on the backing there, but think that it will be easier just to return with it in July as I will have little else in the bag at that point. This will be hand quilted using perle thread so will be a job to do first thing when I return in April before it gets too hot!

I chose to use 6 of my existing blocks, made during lockdown when I was doing the Riley Blake block of the week challenge. I then added 6 new log cabin ones from the vintage tablecloth stash.

I am so pleased with how these turned out, they are so pretty and the colours of the fabric go so well with the Liberty.

I have chosen to sash the blocks in white. I will just have to be careful not to get it dirty, but nothing else looked as good. I have bought a lilac sheet from the charity shop for the backing ,and the border will be Liberty as well.

I have also added to the diamond in a square blocks as they were slightly smaller, and I thought they needed a border similar to the others.

I have made really good progress with my blackwork design . This is based on one of the plasterwork designs from the Alhambra in Granada, and can be seen at the bottom of the panel below.

This was very quick to stitch as it is very small. It only measures 24 stitches and so is only about 2 and 1/2 inches in total. The border will take longer, and I still have to do the gold thread details and the beading.

I am modifying the pattern as I go along, it is too small a scale to do some of the things I drafted, so I am making alterations and will re draw the design once I am finished. I am really enjoying my first attempt at pattern design and am very pleased with the outcome.

I am thinking of gold thread stars in the ‘petal shapes’ rather than black boxes as they didn’t look right.

The last project I have been working on is the Rainbow Rascal dolls. The pattern can be found here at Dollytime on Etsy.

This is such a quick and easy knit as the jumper is knitted as part of the body. The head and legs are also included in this piece. The shoes are knitted separately but then sewn on.

I love the clothes, especially the cute little waistcoat. I had the perfect tiny heart buttons in stash for that.

This is Poppy, and Violet is about halfway done, so she will be coming with me to the UK to finish off, along with some wool to make more reindeer for someone who didn’t win them this time.

I am hoping to use some of the Little Cotton Rabbits patterns to add extra outfits and make smaller versions of the very cute rucksack these animals have. Here is one I made a while ago for a bear. I think I might need to make some donuts as well!

I am leaving for England next week and have some very exciting adventures planned for the next few months. I don’t want to jinx anything by saying too much but fingers crossed we may get to do some of the postponed trips, and some extra European loveliness before being back in Katy on tour in March.

I have missed her, and my adventures in her so much, so although it will be sad to leave everyone here, much excitement, and catching up with friends and family awaits ūüôā

I feel so very, very blessed to be looking forward to 2023 with all of the things that I have ever dreamed of. I am so happy in my new life and so looking forward to planning and doing lots of new things.

So I leave will leave you with my very best wishes for a Happy New Year. I will be celebrating with our now traditional evening at the Chinese restaurant here on La Marina, with lots of fireworks which I love. I hope you have a very good time and a brilliant start to 2023. I will see you again soon, hopefully with much loveliness to look at. Until then, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Another retirement project

Although I said the last one would be my final post from Spain I managed to find some time to achieve another one of my targets for this stay. It is nice to have targets, personal ones though, not the sort that other people set that are to do with pressure on you.

One of my long held wishes for my retirement has been to do some designing of embroidery and goldwork patterns. I don’t really consider myself a very creative person. I do make things, and I love choosing fabrics and embellishments. Although I think that I have a a good sense of what goes together, I only work with other people’s patterns so I want to develop my design skills as well.

I set myself the target of designing one piece from the many wonderful things that we saw at the Alhambra. I narrowed it down to three pieces in that post and choose this one below to develop into a design.

It is only a very small design, measuring 24 stitches across so it shouldn’t take me too long to stitch. I have very much enjoyed the design process. Although it is quite a simple design it took me about two hours to do, testing out various ways of reproducing the patterns in blackwork.

Notice I have been using my lovely Alhambra design rubber during the process here!

I have had to make quite a few compromises, as blackwork is all straight lines. I did initially try to work out something for the outside edges of the plasterwork, however it ended up looking at bit too messy. I felt it took away from the symmetry of the centre of the plasterwork as well.

The final design will include some filling stitches and some seed beads, denoted by the small circles on the buds.

I used one of my blackwork books for inspiration on design and filling stitches.

It contains a very useful library of filling stitches to choose from.

The design process was helped by using this free gift from a couple of years ago which was very helpful for structuring the motif.

I will be leaving this until I come back to Spain, I am packing some things to take on this year’s UK tour but they will mainly be cross stitch ornaments, got to get ahead with those for this year. I am planning to stitch it on some sparkly Aida from stash.

I am also going to set myself another target for designing for my next stay here in autumn. I am thinking of some goldwork based on the amazing chapel at the Ducal Palace in Gandia or the gate in Exeter cathedral. My inspiration will come from one of these photos.

I am not planning to do the angels in this photo but love the design framing it and am thinking maybe on blue silk with tiny beads for the stars.

I would not attempt the whole of this but maybe just the little motif below would be good to do.

So this really will be my last post from Spain, see you all when I get back across the border! Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Poetry in plaster

The Alhambra, in particular the Nasrid Palace section, is such an amazing place. This was my second visit and to be able to go again, and to see the exhibition in the museum there, answered some of my questions about how the palace was decorated and what some of the designs mean.

I found this very informative post which talks about how the building was designed and what some of the inscriptions mean, many are poems or sections from the Koran.

The ‘muqarnas’ in the ceilings, which you can see in the middle picture in the bottom row, are fascinating and the museum had a display of how they are put together, an eight piece 3D jigsaw of plaster pieces. The relief plasterwork, as seen below, was so regular, we wondered if that had also been done using moulds.

The sheer scale of the carving, mosaics and woodwork is incredible and you get a real sense of the work that goes in to conserve it as there is live conservation going on everywhere, which is fascinating.

We were really lucky with the weather as well, although rain was forecast it was just dull and we were able to see the Generalife gardens, where I tried some ‘arty shots’ looking past the flowers to the palace.

An absolute must see if you come to Spain, such an important part of the history of this region.

Now for my very difficult task of choosing something to turn into a design. One of the aims I had for retirement was to create some designs based on the many architectural features I love to take photos of, and I have challenged myself to do one by the end of this visit to Spain. I have lots of ideas for possible blackwork, goldwork and quilt designs but have narrowed it down to three pictures. I think I would like to do blackwork as an homage to Catherine of Aragon, and as I have not done any blackwork for a long time.

These are some of my favourite blackwork makes from previous times. The first two are a picture I made for my aunt, not sure where I got the frame but love it. The last one is a needlework set I made for a re-enactment friend. These were all patterns from stitching magazines so I would really like to have a go at designing my own work this time.

So I am thinking of turning one of these plaster motifs into a blackwork design. For the first picture it will be the bottom motif. The second picture it would be the central one with star and fruits. The bottom picture it would be motif on the lower left (or right as they are both the same).

I can’t promise to have the whole thing stitched by the end of June, as I have costumes to make for re-enactment and Steampunk, but my aim is to at least have the pattern drafted. If you have a favourite please let me know in the comments.

We have lots of exciting textile related things coming up with my sewing group as well, the group are having some outings and social events which is lovely. I am so happy to have met another group of like minded people who are so enthusiastic about all things textile related!

It is looking as if it might be a sewing day tomorrow along with the second session of my writing course. I am working on one of my quilt WIPs as well as costume so am looking forward to a few crafting days in over the next week. I will be back soon with the coach trip to the gardens. I hope you all have something nice planned for the weekend. Whatever you are doing have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Women who broke the mould

One of our staycation trips before Spain was to Bankfield Museum in the local town of Halifax. It is a beautiful museum situated just outside the town in what was a mill-owner’s house.

Bankfield Museum 30

The Ackroyd family that lived there also built a model village, Ackroydon,  in the surrounding area with well-designed houses for the workers that they then helped their staff to buy, so they were real social campaigners, aside from living in the very glamorous Italian style mansion house!

I have wanted to go there for a while to see their costume collection, that is currently being re-organised and will open in late May so Ellie and I have plans to visit later in the summer. However there was a really good exhibition on Women Travellers that had the added bonus of lots and lots of fascinating textiles.

Bankfield Museum 6

Bankfield Museum 5

The exhibition told the story of four women, Gertrude Bell, who I was familiar with already, Edith Durham, Lizzie Humphries and Anne Lister. Lizzy and Anne were local women, the others came from Durham and London.

Bankfield - Gertrude

Bankfield - Edith

Bankfield -Lizzie

Bankfield - Anne

All of them had travelled extensively on their own and Edith in particular collected lots of examples of textiles as she did so.She mainly explored the Balkans and came back with some beautiful examples of traditional costume including marvelous embroidery and goldwork.

Many of the items were gifts for weddings including the beautiful embroidered gauze towels in these pictures above and below, There was also such intricate goldwork!

Bankfield Museum 14

I really liked this blackwork piece above, I have not done any blackwork for so long but I love the stunning effect with just one colour of thread.

Bankfield Museum 8

A particular favourite of mine in the exhibition was her drawings of people in costume and the photos and postcards that she collected.I also loved all the original labels.

Bankfield Museum 9

One of the things that I noticed was the way that the women’s exploration was portrayed by media of the time. Lizzy Humphries’ husband actually abandoned her and their round the world walking tour, (taking most of their money with him!), but the poor women still had to suffer being referred to as Mrs Harry Humphries , spelt wrongly below, by newspapers and posters, she didn’t even get to go by her own name!

A really brilliant exhibition, I love things like this, there is so little that tells people about the different roles that women played in travel, research and politics like these women did.

There are also other exhibitions as well like this small one of various ceramics in a room with a wonderful tiled floor.I can’t wait to go back to the museum as they are also going to be having a Halifax at War exhibition as well from June 8th with lots of original photos. And entry to the museum is totally free!

Bankfield Museum 28

Bankfield Museum 29

I was originally supposed to be at a festival with my sister this weekend but my back and joints are not very happy at the moment so I have (probably wisely) given up three days camping for a weekend in the house sorting out my Make do and Mend garments and some work on my doctorate.

I hope that you have a good weekend whatever you are planning and if you are in the UK a nice and hopefully not too cold and wet Bank Holiday weekend.Take care and thanks for visiting.

A bit of Hungarian stitching

Don’t get too excited, this is not anything I have done, just some wonderful inspiration from our week in Budapest and another thing to add to my wish list!

I am still working on the little dolls, progress has been very slow as I got a chest infection on top of the flu so have been in bed for most of the last week and doing nothing!

I am getting a bit fed up of being ill, I really want to be young and sprightly but my body seems to have other ideas and it is seriously affecting my crafting productivity ūüė¶

Anyway no doubt once the weather is better, and I have come back from nearly three weeks in sunny Spain things will be a lot easier and work calms down a lot after Easter as well.

We saw some beautiful vintage work in various museums, 17th and 18th century gold work and 19th and 20th century needlepoint and redwork along with some wonderful pictures and candleholders. Sadly the Ethnography Museum is closed for renovation as I would have loved to see more traditional costume.

There were some lovely historic costumes in the National Museum, these were from the late 1500s with delicate blackwork on the linen shift and shirt and embossed velvet.

Budapest embroidery 5

Budapest embroidery 4

Budapest embroidery 6

This beautiful beaded cap and embroidered bodice was from the late 1800s and the outfit below from the early 1900s, some Steampunk inspiration!

Budapest embroidery 8

Budapest embroidery 11

There was some of the traditional Hungarian embroidery in the museum as well, this beautiful cloth was about 200 years old.It was really interesting to see the Elizabethan style motifs such as the central flower, very similar to ones that I had made previously

Budapest embroidery 7

Then there was a little display case full of ‘modern embroidery’ and knitting items from the 1950s, the sort we were seeing in all of the gift shops.

 

Budapest embroidery 10

I love these kinds of displays, always makes me wonder who owned the things in them.

I have collected some beautiful inspiration from Pinterest on my Sewing Inspiration board and I am planning to do a small motif for a pouch. I love the bright colours of the traditional work, there were some lovely blouses with these on in Budapest, especially for children.

A lot of these remind me of Jacobean crewel work, there are some very similar motifs.

I am hoping to find some time this weekend to finish the dolls, have nearly finished the stuffing and sewing up, just need to make 9 little skirts as I wanted each doll to have a choice of outfits so wish me luck!

Hopefully I will have some pretty little people to show you next week, just in time to take them to Spain for all the little girls in the family.

Take care and I hope that you have a nice weekend planned, thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

 

 

January thoughts

Hello and hope you are all having a good start to your crafting year. I have been thinking a lot about goals for this year, not resolutions but things that I want to get done and so thought that putting together a list on the blog would give me a point of reference.

I like the idea of looking back at what you have done and looking forward to the future, January being named after the Roman god, Janus, the god of doors because this month is the door to the year. The Roman god Janus represents all beginnings and possesses the ability to see all things past and future which I think is a lovely idea and why he is represented with two faces.

So what did I achieve in 2016? This was very much a year of new things for me, coming really from a couple of courses that I went on at Simply Solids where I learnt to make baskets and had my first experience with zips with my pouch. I also used some of my ideas from Pinterest for pincushions and the little houses and made a sewing machine cover.

Looking at my photos for last year it doesn’t seem as if I did a lot but there also extra things that I did¬†like the gold braid on Ellen’s dress, finishing the tabard for Jamie, a ring pillow and the Christmas ornaments that were also completed. The fact that I changed job roles in the summer has also meant a lot less time for crafting since June though hopefully that has calmed down now.

So plans for 2017. First of all to tackle some of the pesky WIPs. Like most people I am a bit of a flibbertigibbet when it comes to crafting, I see a new thing that I want to do and then go off and do it and don’t finish other things.I have also been guilty of abandoning difficult things which is not good practice!

These all need finishing.The first one needs a frame but is done otherwise, the quilt block is part of the challenge that Helen, Sharon and I did the year before last. I have 6 blocks but need a few more. The cute car hexagons were supposed to be a present for a baby who is now two! The vintage crochet hexis are going to be a bee quilt cushion and the last set of hexis are a long term project which is good for travelling, I have made some more of these in Spain.

Then the new stuff. I would like to go back and make some more of the Splendid Sampler blocks, particularly these stitched ones.

I would also like to make some of the items that I have saved pictures of on the blog.They range from things from books such as the circular tile quilt and the triple hexagon tea mug  to more pincushions, pouches, baskets, mug rugs and bags from blogs, some of Lori Holt Bloom Sew Along and a Dresden block using vintage linen from a magazine.

I would like¬†to do more of Jenny of Elefantz’s lovely embroidery, the hexagon and roses one¬†above is one I have been meaning to do for the craft room but think it would make a great zip pouch as well.

I also need to find a use for these gifted hexagons from my friend Helen, zippered pouches maybe? Probably more likely than a whole quilt given my productivity!

gift hexis 1

Finally there is more cross stitch, something I haven’t done for a long time but am feeling the urge for in preparation for next year’s Christmas ornaments.

Well that lot should keep me going for a while, meantime there is some crochet and lace zips calling me upstairs so I had better go and see what they want!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

A little bit of history

Hello everyone, hope you are all well and happy. It is another damp and dreary weekend here in Yorkshire but that means plenty of time for catching up on blogging and crafting!

Regular readers will know I love visiting historic places, all places are special in their own way and all very beautiful but sometimes you come across something really special that is a real wow moment.

You may remember that Ellie worked at Hardwick Hall before she moved to Clumber Park, they have an extensive collection of Elizabethan textiles, some worked by Bess of Hardwick and some by Mary Queen of Scots, her husband’s charge in the years before her death.

We were wandering through our second Trust Property, Coughton Court , really enjoying the beautiful treasures when we came across a darkened room full of the most amazing things.

Firstly there was this beautiful chalice cover with the most wonderful Elizabethan goldwork, then a priest’s cope which was made by Catherine of Aragon, (another heroine of mine),¬†and her ladies, no pictures as it was too dark but you can get a glimpse of it at the collections site here.

Coughton textiles 5

Coughton textiles 6

Then at the back in a case was this very simple chemise, embroidered around the neck, the chemise that Mary allegedly wore when she was executed at Fotheringay Castle in 1587.

Coughton - MQS robe 1

This was one of the most wow moments I have ever had at a property, one of those really goose bumpy moments when you realise you are actually really close up to the reality of history. You can see a full length picture of the chemise at the collections site at the above link.

It was also very interesting as all contemporary reports said that Mary wore blood – red undergarments, the colour of a catholic martyr, maybe this was under those red robes.

You can read more about Coughton and the family history at this great blog post  from the very informative Tudor Stuff blog. The family were staunch Catholics and so had a bit of a rough time during the reformation but managed to retain their beautiful property.

There were also some other lovely costumes in portraits. The blackwork on the neck and sleeves of this robe and this lace collar were two of my particular favourites.

There was some very good interpretation using textiles as well, this is something that Ellie and I have noticed as a growing trend in Trust houses and one that we really like. I think it is far more interesting to read something set in the context and also from a practical point of view easier as the print is larger and several people can be reading the information at once.

This was a dinner party at which the guests were all members of the estate who died in the First World War. A very touching and lovely way to remember them, with their photos as place cards and their stories on the back of each chair.

Coughton - textile interpretation 1

Coughton - textile interpretation 2

I will be back soon with more lovely Trust stuff, now off to make another little basket, have resisted the urge to make more for a few weeks but they are so cute and this will be a present for a younger relative.

Hope that you all have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing and see you soon. Thanks for visiting.

Norwegian Embroidery

Hello again

One of my favourite parts of the Oslo Folk Museum of course was the exhibition of traditional folk costume, the bunad, and some wonderful examples of the embroidery including Hardanger, a traditional type of whitework from Norway.

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 3

There were examples of wool embroidery on costumes and accessories.

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 2

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 5

These baby’s caps were a combination of wool and redwork embroidery.

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 4

There was also blackwork, excuse the fuzziness of the picture below but I wanted to show you amount of stitching on this beautiful head dress.

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 6

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 1

We also saw a bridal outfit like this one below and lots of the beautiful jewellery that is worn with the costume.

Norway Telemark Bridal Crown -small

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 7

There are more beautiful images of Norwegian bridal crowns here , it really struck me how much the head dresses and the silver jewellery resembled the Miao Chinese folk costume that I saw when I went to the Ethnicities Museum in Beijing.

Miao Chinese Folk Costume

We saw quite a few people wearing their traditional costume on Christmas Eve in Oslo, particularly in the cathedral where we went for the afternoon service.

This website has got lots of photos of people wearing their bunads at an event held at the Folk Museum in 2012.

They were also on sale in one of the department stores, with packs of ready prepared shirt material and embroidery patterns.

I was also very pleased as many years ago when we visited Sweden I bought some beautiful metal clasps that I have used for medieval costume. I only have this one left.

Norway cloak clasps 1

But I discovered that they are used in the bodice of the bunad so was able to buy some more sets, I now have two each of these beauties.

Norway cloak clasps 2

I have been doing a bit of research and thanks to Pinterest have found so much inspiration for Scandinavian embroidery. There are some gorgeous designs here

And if you want more information and pictures about the wool embroidery this is an excellent source looking at costumes from Northern Norway.

Well I will leave you know and get on with some actual embroidery rather than just adding to my to do pile! Will be back soon with the last of my Norwegian loveliness posts.

Have a lovely rest of the weekend and thanks for visiting.

 

A woodland wedding with wellies!

Hello everyone

I can finally reveal the wedding outfit that I have been working on for so long as we celebrated my brother’s wedding this weekend.¬†The jacket and shirt were¬†finally finished with three days to go before the wedding!

We had a brilliant time, without a doubt one of the loveliest weddings I have ever been to, full of personal touches from Ben and Amanda that made it really special and very memorable. There are not many weddings where the bride gets to drive a tractor as part of the day!

Amanda works at Oakwell Hall, a beautiful Tudor house and country park so most of the wedding took place there. They did have a short legal ceremony at the Registry office, here are all the family with them after signing the register.

Ben and Amanda's wedding 1

Amanda had chosen a gorgeous silk brocade for me to make the wedding jacket from, with black silk collar and cuffs. I also made a linen shirt and Amanda’s Mum stitched a blackwork acorn design on the collar and cuffs.

Ben and Amanda's wedding 17

Ben and Amanda's wedding 10

Ben and Amanda's wedding 11

Ben and Amanda's wedding 12

The most important part of the day for them was an exchange of rings in the woodland that is part of the parkland, Amanda helped to build the faith circle where we sat for that ceremony.

It was brilliant, starting with Amanda in her tractor leading all of the guests from the hall to the circle where we were all given bubbles to blow as the bride arrived.

Ben and Amanda's wedding 7

Here are the kids and their cousins Sam and Sarah enjoying the bubbles.

Ben and Amanda's wedding 8

The ceremony featured wooden¬†rings that Ben and Amanda had made themselves and very moving vows where they promised to be each others ‘forever friends’ and go on adventures together.

Ben and Amanda's wedding 9

We had all been asked to wear wellies or colourful boots for that part of the ceremony so here are mine, my sister Jackie’s and Ellie’s boots in the leaves.

Ben and Amanda's wedding 13

Ben and Amanda's wedding 14

Ben and Amanda's wedding 15

The reception took place in the barn which had been decorated with bunting made by Amanda’s Mum Eileen and sister Kate. Ben and Amanda love wood-turning and had made all of the serving platters for the cheeses as well as a mushroom for each guest as a wedding favour.

Ben and Amanda's wedding 4

Ben and Amanda's wedding 3

It was Ben’s 50th birthday as well as their wedding and so they had a woodland cake with models of their two cats on and a wedding cheese cake, they also made all of these little mice to decorate the cakes.

Ben and Amanda's wedding 2

Ben and Amanda's wedding 16

The evening ended with a fantastic firework display, one of Ben’s favourite things.

A wonderful day made all the more special by the fact that they did everything themselves, with help from friends and family, from the food to the decorating all of it was very much the way they wanted it to be.

This is one of my favourite pictures from the day, Ben in a very fetching apron serving the canapés!

Ben and Amanda's wedding 6

The kids have gone home now so it is all very quiet and I am looking forward to a very relaxing afternoon catching up with some Christmas stitching. Have a happy week ahead, see you soon and thanks for visiting.