Let’s start as we mean to go on…

Well the first week of retirement, or permanent holiday, as I have decided to call it went very well. We were not able to join the others for the full weekend of the event at Nottingham Castle, due to restrictions on numbers who could camp. However, we did have a very nice day out, complete with lunch in a fabulous outdoor garden at a restaurant and bar in a Georgian House in the middle of Nottingham. One of the very good side effects of the restrictions is that people have created wonderful outside spaces and I am very happy that we can sit and eat and drink in such pretty places. The outdoor lifestyle is what I love most about Spain and it is lovely that we can now do more of that as well.

It was brilliant to see our friends, we have not met for 2 years so we did have some hugs and a lot of catching up to do. The event featured lots of different groups and was a nice gentle easing back into re-enactment. I will hopefully be doing an event in August if all goes well.

We really enjoyed the trip to Oxford, very busy and we we packed so much into the two days, lots of walking around finding filming locations from the Discovery of Witches series as well as visits to the Ashmolean and the Natural History Museum/Pitt Rivers Museum.

The colleges were all closed due to Covid but we did see All Souls and the Bodleian as well as the Bridge of Sighs.

We especially loved the Pre-Raphaelite rooms at the Ashmolean, the detail on the painting was incredible and there were many of our favourite artists there.

The Natural History Museum was just as fascinating for its architecture as well as the contents, with an amazing glass ceiling and pillars carved from different rocks representing various flora and fauna. And who can resist a dinosaur skeleton! Jake used to love these when he was younger and both children were big fans of the ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ series.

At the Pitt Rivers I loved the textile elements of the collection, especially this sewing box and these amazing beaded costumes from North America. Also absolutely fascinating were garments made from seal intestines, especially the designs of what we would now recognise as as waterproof jacket that dated from over 100 years ago.

There was also a boat trip along the Thames, where we learnt a lot about the buildings along the river and the importance of rowing to the colleges. There was a very old ‘party barge’ moored on one of the banks which had been restored. I would love to go back and do some of the towpath walk one day. The blue boats are a steamer company whose boats were involved in the Dunkirk ships evacuation.

We also had some lovely lunches and dinners, including a surprise visit to the gorgeous Comptoir Libanais where the food was as good as the decor.

We stayed in a cute little log cabin Air b n b, which was located at the end of a garden not far from the city centre. We are trying out all sorts of different types of places to stay and could have happily lived in this one as well. It was a lot bigger than the last cabin by the sea, with an attic as well as two separate rooms and the living space.

Our final day was a trip to Blenheim Palace, which was just as spectacular as I had imagined. It was a lovely day for a wander round the gardens and a picnic by the fountains.

We also met a falcon, who was there for pest control rather than as a display of hunting skill. Her presence scares off the pigeons!

We went on a tour of the state rooms where there were some wonderful patterns on the walls and ceilings. I loved the library with the statue of Queen Anne.

There were also some beautiful portraits, particularly the ones of Consuelo Vanderbilt. I would like to read more of her story and have added some books about her to my wishlist. Lots of Steampunk inspiration there.

I also volunteered at Ellen’s new workplace, the Bassetlaw food Bank, which was a really interesting and enjoyable day, meeting her colleagues and getting to see what actually happens. I will not be able to commit to much volunteering in the future, but would like to help out as much as I can with fundraising, or anything that I can do remotely.

I have had two lovely leaving dos as well, I was very lucky to be able to meet up with some of my work colleagues in person at a local bar and it was lovely to share memories with people I have in some cases worked with for nearly 20 years. I was given some very generous gifts, including money which I am going to use for an interrail ticket, when we are able to travel again.

I also met up with the Wool and Wine group for a celebration and they very kindly gave me a gift voucher which I have used to buy some new camping supplies. I have spent time sorting my new camping bag, as well as decluttering and have lots of lovely new kit for all of my adventures.

I hope that you have all been having a nice time and have a good week ahead. Take care, have fun, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Steampunking ahead!

We had a splendid time at Kelham Hall, a couple of weeks ago. We got the chance to go inside as well this time, and it was beautiful. We are going to be lucky enough to be visiting again later in the year for another event, so are very excited about that as well. We also have two other Steampunk events confirmed, Blists Hill Victorian Town and Whitby in July so I had better get cracking with the outfits for those.

I have already started one of them, it is still in its formative stages but all of the fitting has been done so I am hoping to get some time to work on that this week before Ellen comes up. Then we are going to Bombay Stores to try and get some fabric for the other outfit for Whitby. This will be loosely modelled on the Princess Meera ball dress from the Aquaman film. Ellen is making an Ariel outfit so we are going to have a sea princess theme. More about that in a later post.

We did not have the chance to take many pictures of other people, it was quite wet when we first got there so we were all under umbrellas and a lot of the inside time was social distanced and not really appropriate for asking people to pose.

However we did get a couple, of this wonderful purple outfit and this very creative big top inspired one, I particularly loved the top hat. The elephant that had been in the middle had run away as Nellie the elephant did. Actually it was too heavy with the elephant so had to be removed. The creativity of Steampunk always amazes me and I have seen this woman’s wonderful costumes before at Kelham.

We did a little photo shoot of us inside. I had very little time for a new costume so just went with the embellished dinner jacket and red skirt and a new hat. I went for a memento mori theme, and a Victorian undertaker inspired look. Luckily I had lots of the lace left over as I originally ordered 5 yards for the velvet jacket that was abandoned. I also got chance to use my bargain handbag from last year’s Retford charity shop haul at only Β£1, and my new walking stick which has a very cool dragon head on it.

The interior of Kelham is beautiful with lots of gothic features and painted ceilings. It was built by the same architect who designed the St Pancreas Station hotel and is an amazing place. I am so excited to visit again and spend more time there. The website has a whole gallery of wedding pictures including some wonderful Asian weddings. I have been to one once many years ago and the guests’ outfits were so stunning.

We were able to attend an exhibition of Star Wars inspired work and a brilliant talk on building a droid. There is a Steampunk Star Wars group called Rebel Steam, so at some point Ellen and I wish to make costumes based around that theme. We loved this steam powered mobility scooter as well – so creative!

This week marks my last full week of marking, ever! I also have a lot of meetings finishing off the year and then it is the final countdown. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but it looks like we have a re-enactment event on the weekend that I retire. So fingers crossed I will be able to spend that Friday evening around a campfire with some of my very best friends, who I have not seen for so long, celebrating that! I am very excited and hope it all gets to go ahead.

Meanwhile I am on the final stretches of small animal construction, there has been lots of things to do around the house this week, and I have been having a social life πŸ˜‰ so progress has been slow, but hopefully they will be done soon.

I hope that you are having a good weekend, whatever you are doing. Take care, have fun, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

The wonder of water

It has been a glorious day today so I have been up to my favourite Butterley reservoir, watching the Canada Geese’s goslings swimming with their parents and admiring the sun sparkling on the streams and spillways. I love water and feel happiest when near it, it calms me and I love the sounds it makes and the way it moves, when both natural and man made.

Our recent trip to Alnwick Gardens had lots of amazing water, the entrance water display was stunning, I did not manage to catch it when all the jets were working at once but I could have watched it for hours. It was wonderful, just sitting having a up of tea in the sun, so grateful to be out enjoying ourselves.

Ellen has taken up gardening since the first lockdown and she is doing lovely things to her little garden again this year, she will get all my pots and my chairs when I leave here so that will add to the joy. We had a brilliant morning admiring all the other water features there and the gorgeous planting of clematis and tulips.

The final joy was finding a blossom orchard with adult sized swing chairs which was just brilliant, so we had our picnic there.

We had a quick stop at Barter Books in Alnwick before going on to Durham. It was amazing, we were in awe of how many books they had, not to mention the cute little trains running round over the till area. It used to be railway station so this was an homage to its former life. Needless to say we left with a very large pile of books. I love reading, since I was a small child it has been a constant source of comfort and joy to me and I am packing up many boxes of books to ship to Spain.

Durham was very impressive, we managed to visit the cathedral twice, once for evensong, sadly no inside pictures allowed due to the restrictions, and had a good wander round. It would be great to go back when all of the museums and the castle are open.

We finished our trip with a detour for a picnic and a brilliant sunny walk at Fountains Abbey and Studely Royal Water Park, a beautiful location for this massive abbey complex and the adjoining Georgian water gardens. As always I love looking at the shapes that the stonework makes against the sky. I sometimes think the buildings look even more lovely as ruins, because of the contrast of stone and blue sky.

It was another excellent trip away and I am on the final countdown to many more. There are only 26 days left of me being employed and then it is freedom to travel (at least in the UK hopefully). I am busy sorting out some new camping supplies, don’t tell Ellen, but I am buying a new tent πŸ˜‰ as if all goes well some of the summer will be me off on some little adventures. Jacky and I have also booked some camping in Devon with her van.

I have the final two weeks of marking to finish and then it is all nearly over. Then I will get back to far more crafting, so many things to make, including finishing the new outfit for Steampunk. We had a great time at Kelham so will share those pictures with you all soon, I bought some lovely lace for the new outfit and Ellen and I both got new hats!

I hope you are having a lovely time whatever you are doing. Take care, have fun, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Living our best Downton life

Ellen has been re – watching Downton Abbey during lockdown and I watched a few episodes when I was staying with her so we were really pleased to find out that some of the series had been filmed at both Beamish and Alnwick Castle. It was nice to wander round pretending that we were dressed the part and we both thought it would make a fabulous Steampunk event location.

The 1900s town at Beamish was amazing, it just looks so much like a real street, although it is made of elements from lots of different places. There are so many buildings such as the bakers, chemist, bank, garage Masononic hall, sweetshop and a lovely little town park as well as a row of houses. With the bus coming through and a little train station you can see why it is the perfect filming location for period dramas.

I think my favourite was the Co-op, one side was all groceries and the other the haberdashery. A whole shop full of vintage textiles – absolute heaven πŸ™‚ I would love to have the time to be a volunteer there and work behind the counter, just look at all this wonderful stuff!

You can just see the quilt wadding and many lovely textiles for dressmaking as well as so many sewing notions. I really loved it.

After a stop in the town park for a rest we got on the bus and went to the mining village which was equally wonderful. I can’t wait to go back and hopefully we will be able to go inside the houses, there were so many amazing textiles, such as this beautiful crazy quilt and a really unusual embroidered waistcoat.

Our visit to Alnwick was on a very grey day so my pictures do not do justice to the beautiful setting.

We were lucky enough to be able to get tickets for the State Rooms and although no photos were allowed I found these on Google. The ceilings were amazing and this red and gold room was my favourite.

There was also a really good film about the shooting of the Downton Abbey Christmas special there and it was fabulous to see the actual rooms after watching that. I found some lovely pictures of the cast at the castle as well on Google.

Things are very busy at work, so there has been little crafting done. I am still putting together knitted animals and have finished another camper van embroidery so will share that with you soon. I am still teaching on campus so we are all keeping our fingers crossed for that to continue. It still seems very strange and everything is a bit tense as we are constantly expecting things to change. Thank goodness for the comfort of wool and thread to keep me sane πŸ™‚

I hope that you are all ok and not too stressed, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Back in time, or not…

Our first visit on our Northumbrian trip was to Beamish. To say we enjoyed it would be an understatement. For two heritage enthusiasts, with a particular love for social history it was an amazing day out, and we can’t wait to go back.

Things were obviously a little restricted, the trams were not running, but the buses were and we had a trip on this gorgeous vehicle.

Some of the rooms were closed off, as were some of the smaller properties and there were less interpretive staff working but that just gives us all the more incentive to return next year. We loved the vintage style mask signs.

Our tickets are valid for a year and it is such a large place we didn’t manage all of it in one day anyway. I have split the photos into two posts as I took so many.

Our first location was the 1820s hall which had a beautiful formal garden. I think it is one of the original buildings at the location, many others have been relocated or are being built as replicas. It was a really hot and sunny day so we got to see the place in the sunshine which was wonderful.

The second location was one of my favourites, a 1950s miners’ welfare hall. It was complete with all of the things that you would expect, and some that were very unexpected and really interesting. I think it was one of my favourites due to all of the textiles, and the lovely interpreter we chatted to.

I had spotted the knitted version of Muffin the Mule as we went up to the table. I remember my Grandad had a metal version of this puppet and I watched some of the episodes when I was younger.

We were also fascinated by the knitted baby in the womb which was used by midwives in the 1950s to explain birth, and particularly which way the baby was lying. I do remember having a knitted womb at my antenatal classes 30 years ago which the midwives used to explain the birth process.

As well as the wonderful textiles with crochet, embroidered tablecloths and hexagon patchwork there were lots of information signs not too dissimilar from those we are seeing today.

Diptheria was the issue then, with posters warning of the dangers of coughing and the need to vaccinate against the disease. Very relevant to the situation today and a reminder of how public health is vital despite the differences in society now. We also loved this poster stressing the importance of taking holidays to keep you healthy for work, we couldn’t agree more!

The attention to detail in the building was brilliant, they had even asked the Formica company to make them some of a 1950s pattern for their tables and had the advert outside the building. I am sure I remember this from my childhood.

The 1950s area is one that is being expanded so I am really looking forward to seeing more of it on our next visit.

We have had the first week of term, met the new Year 1s and are keeping everything crossed for teaching being able to be on campus still. It was very difficult getting to know a group of students all sat in rows with masks but we did at least have a Zoom tutorial later in the week so we could see their faces.

It was upsetting for all of us as normally this week would be full of fun and creative things that we were doing with them. However, we are adapting. I always used to say to my teacher trainees that the key to being successful is to be flexible and adaptable and that will be even more important this year.

We are under enhanced restrictions in my area again but the sun is shining so I have been able to go for walks at least. I have finally finished the very difficult jigsaw and am on with a new one. I am so thankful again for my lovely home, and secure job as we enter another period of uncertainty.

I hope that you are all ok and coping with everything. I am also so grateful for my crafting as it gives such respite from all of the anxious bits of life. I am working on a new camper van embroidery alongside the knitting and enjoying some new series on Netflix, one set in space, Away, which has been excellent. However scary life is the the moment at least I am not trying to get to Mars πŸ˜‰

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

What the well-dressed Steampunks are wearing this season

The Kelham event showed just how wonderfully creative Steampunks are when it comes to their masks as well as their costumes, and there were some beautiful and very unusual masks on display. Even though we did not have to wear them all the time, just in the toilets, bar and at stalls, most people kept them on all day.

I wore mine all the time, hopefully this is the only time I will have to wear it but was very pleased how well it went with the outfit and I even got featured on the event Facebook page for having a lovely mask which was very nice πŸ™‚

As usual there were some stunning outfits, lots of bright colours and detailed work having gone into all of them.

I particularly loved this sea themed outfit, Ellen and I are going for this type of theme for next year at Whitby.

It was nice to meet up with people from previous events, these in the above pictures are the people we met at Whitby Abbey.

We also met this lovely lady again,we first met her at Clumber during the WW2 event and then at Lincoln. She had a gorgeous bee hat and sunflower bustle.

I was very pleased with how my whole outfit came together, I wore the same purple skirt and top as at previous events .

I was also very pleased to find this fabulous little purple handbag the day before when we were charity shop browsing in Retford. How cute is this!

Ellen had a wonderful ringmaster outfit, she used the jacket she made for Steampunks in Space a couple of years ago, and a skirt adapted from a charity shop find.

The hat decoration was part of the same set of tunic fabric that I used from Bombay Stores.

This is one of my favourite pictures of her, even with the mask you can see her smiling!

James and Kerry looked equally lovely, James had a new waistcoat for the event, with matching mask. His Mum made these and the waistcoat is stunning, such beautiful work.

The hall itself is amazing, we are hoping to go to other events there. We didn’t get chance to go inside but had a lovely picnic just outside, using the new basket.

A wonderful chance to have fun and here’s to many more normal weekends in the future.

I hope that you have enjoyed the costumes, I will be back later in the week with an update on the knitting progress. Meanwhile, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

A picnic in style

On the way back from Whitby we visited Beningbrough Hall for a walk around the gardens and a picnic. The house is not yet open but it was a beautiful day and it gave us chance to try out our new picnic basket.

Beningbrough 1

Beningbrough 2

Beningbrough 3

Beningbrough 12

I have been looking for a basket for our Steampunk days out for a while, especially for the event that is coming up over the August Bank Holiday. By chance we we staying right next to a Boyes store in Whitby and they had one in the window. I had never been in a Boyes but loved it- great haberdashery as well!

It is perfect and we really loved having a sophisticated lunch under the shade of the trees.Ellen was very impressed that it even has salt and pepper pots πŸ˜‰ We felt like we were in some glam post war novel.

Beningbrough 4

Picnic basket 1

Picnic basket 2

The gardens themselves were very lovely, I would like to return to the property and see inside and also go on some of the longer walks by the river at some point.

 

As always there were the most amazing flowers, this agapanthus is one of my favourites and I particularly like this photo as it looks like a painting. I am always amazed by the variety of flowers that there are and love the sculptural forms of them.

Beningbrough 7

Beningbrough 9

Beningbrough 15

Beningbrough 13

Beningbrough 11

Beningbrough 5

Beningbrough 10

We didn’t stay for long as Ellen was going home after dropping me off but it was a really lovely little visit and the perfect end to a wonderful weekend away.

I hope that you are having a nice week, I am making some progress with the knitting but have had to do one bit three times now. I am hoping to be able to post some progress shots of both the knitting and the newest Steampunk jacket soon. I am still working on re-sizing it and can then get on to the fun bits of of appliqueing the embroidery.

Have fun whatever you are doing. Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

A week of lovely things

I have had a very exciting week, as I mentioned last week I went to stay with Ellen. ThisΒ  involved a walk in the beautiful Whitwell Woods near her house, a visit to Brodsworth Hall, lots of decorating and gardening (including trips to the garden centre and B and Q), and a trip to Aldi on the way back. I have not had this much adventure in weeks πŸ™‚

Ellen has been going to these woods regularly and they are beautiful, it was a really hot day so we were very glad of the shade. We saw lots of squirrels running around in the paths. They are so cute, Ellen has squirrels at work and sees them every day but I get so excited when I see one.

The social distancing at Brodsworth meant that we were only able to visit the house but it all worked very well. You have to book timed tickets and there were plenty available. We had a lovely picnic in the grounds of the house by the statues.

Brodsworth 4

Brodsworth 5

The formal gardens are very beautiful, especially the different shrubs and hedges.

Brodsworth 13

I also really liked the fern grotto, I have a lot of ferns in my rockery and love the way they grow back each year from tiny tendrils.

There were also lots of beautiful flowers, some we had seen before, and others, like this purple monkey orchid in the top right, which were new to us.

Brodsworth Alison

Ellen thought my choice of blouse was very appropriate for the rose arbour!

There were tea facilities and the shop was open so I was able to support English Heritage by buying some of my favourite curds.We took some gluten free scones, jam and cream with us and had a lovely little afternoon tea in the courtyard.

Brodsworth 28

I have been really wanting to get back to visiting places as I know how much they rely on visitor revenue. I know it may not be the top of everyone’s list of things to save but I really value our heritage so want to try and do as much as I can to help both English Heritage and the National Trust over the coming months. So many things are at risk because of the situation and it is very worrying for all who work in both these places and the retail and hospitality industries. I am very lucky to have a job that has not been affected too much.

As well as the adventuring I got to help Ellen with some painting and a bit of a garden makeover. This bed was full of stones and very hard but we managed to dig it out. We made a trip to B and Q to get some petunias, bizzie lizzies and lobelias which will be very pretty when they flower.

Ellie's garden

I also got to spend time with her very cute cat, Wynn, who I have not met before. He enjoyed his time with us in the garden while we drank gin and tonic and admired our handiwork. He is a rescue cat and cannot go outside on his own due to being poorly so he was on a harness with us.

Ellie's cat

Ellen has also been decorating stones to brighten up her garden. She has made lots of ladybird ones and also some beautiful mandala style ones, so she and I spent a lovely afternoon painting some more of them. Hers are the two larger ones here. They look so pretty dotted around the garden and hopefully we can get some more stones to add to these.

Painted stones

It was such a lovely week, I really appreciated being able to spend lots of time with Ellen as well as get some practical things done. It feels as if things are really starting to feel more normal here, fingers crossed that will continue.

I have some leave coming up this week as well, Ellen will be up again and we are going to go on a little day out for my birthday, just to one of the neighbouring villages. We will also be seeing my brother and sister in law for a visit in their garden. I also plan to work on more knitted animals and I have almost finished the vintage style embroidery. I am looking forward to a few quiet weeks after all the busyness of work.

I hope that you have a lovely week ahead as well. Take care,stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Historic Scotland

We were staying quite a distance away from most of the National Trust for Scotland properties but did travel across to the other coast one day to visit the historic town of Culross.

We stopped for a cup of tea in a very cute little cafe and as I was looking out of the window I thought it looked familiar and I might have seen it in a film and turned round to see a signed picture from one of the stars of Outlander. I have really enjoyed this historical series, particularly looking at the costume, so I was really interested to hear about the locations that were used for the series.

The two pictures below show how the market square above was transformed for some of the scenes in one of the earlier seasons.

Scotland Culross_outlander

Scotland Culross-Outlander 2

The whole of the town is beautiful, there are such gorgeous cottages along winding streets leading up to the hill with views across the Firth of Forth.

We also visited Culross Palace, really a manor house rather than a place with amazing painted ceilings. No pictures were allowed inside so I only have ones from other travel sites.

Scotland Culross 12

Scotland Culross 11

Scotland Culross Palace

There was a gorgeous garden as well that goes all the way up to the hillside. There were some wonderful thistles and cardoons. The gardens were also used in the filming as they grow lots of traditional herbs there.

The most wonderful thing for me was that there is a Culross Needlework group who have been working on some gorgeous things to decorate the rooms. This picture is from the National Trust website.

Culross needlework - cloth

There were so many amazing examples of 17th and 18th century embroidery including sweet bags, pillows, pincushions, bed hangings and coverlets.

Sadly I have not been able to find many other pictures of their work apart from these few from the Trust website but there is an article about them here. They had also recreated one of mine and Ellen’s favourite pieces, the Layton jacket, which was in one of the bedrooms.

Scotland Culross_crewelwork_jacket_

Scotland Culross_detail_jacket_

With each piece there was information about the embroidery and the stitches used. It really made the place come alive and I hope it is something that the Trust encourages at other properties.

We also enjoyed a visit to Kilchurn Castle which stands in an amazing location at the end of a loch near where my friend lives. It was a gloomy and wet day when we visited but I can imaging the castle in all its glory and its location makes for some amazing photos.

We also met a lovely pair of Highland cows and had a chat to a photographer who works there taking amazing photos in all seasons.

Scotland 1 - Kilchurn 6

This is one of mine from across the loch through the rain in a very nice hotel where we had some tea and a chat to Jake all the way in Japan via the miracles of the internet.

Scotland 1 - Kilchurn 7

We ended our trip with a visit to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House, which Ellen was particularly keen to see as they have built a box around it to preserve it from the weather. I love the Art Deco designs of Charles and Margaret Mackintosh and her wonderful artwork and embroidery.

A really excellent holiday combining all of my favourite things, camping, mountains, historic houses, needlework and of course family and friends. I will definitely be back soon!

Yarndale is taking place this weekend so hopefully Sharon and Sarah will have had a good time, I managed to make a few things for sale so I will be back in a while to post pictures of those. I am having a very relaxing and creative weekend. I was hoping to do a bit of walking but it has been so appallingly wet that I am quite content to stay in and watch the pouring rain from the comfort of my sewing room.

Hope you are all having a lovely time and are not too wet where you are, take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Cobwebs in the chapel and other conservation tasks

Many years ago, 7 to be exact, I went to visit my lovely daughter at her first full time job with the Trust at Powis Castle in Wales. I had a great time and learnt lots about conservation and what she did to maintain the things in the castle. Here she is in that job with her daily checklist clipboard for recording light levels and other important things.

Ellie at Powis

Since then I have visited her at Hardwick House and had an access all areas in the textile store there which was amazing, climbed the chapel tower at Clumber and been a World War 1 Land Girl volunteer. Having a daughter in the heritage industry is fab because as well as all the lovely places she has worked I have had some brilliant behind the scenes fun as well.

Clumber 3 - chapel

On Sunday she was working so I went and volunteered with her again. The first job was cleaning the chapel which involved learning some new dusting skills.

Clumber 20 - chapel

There are some amazing statues in the chapel and they have to be cleaned very carefully with a soft brush as they are extremely fragile being over 130 years old.

Clumber 21 - chapel

Clumber 22 - chapel

Clumber 23 - chapel

I also dusted the gorgeous hanging lights with a very long extendable fluffy duster.This is more complicated than it sounds as the lights are very fragile and the brush needs careful control, not easy when it is eight foot in the air!

There was a lovely exhibition that Ellie had put together of some of the ecclesiastical garments that they have at the chapel. One of my projects over the winter will be some gold work to take to re-enactment. I was thinking of something like this piece on the top left on this montage as I love the simplicity and elegance of the design.

I was also really thrilled to see the candlesticks that I have recently donated to the chapel on the altar. I bought these from a local charity shop about 5 years ago but Ellie mentioned last time she was here that they were looking for some for the chapel as the originals can no longer be on display.

Clumber 16 - chapel

I was going to donate them anyway when I move to Spain so I was very happy for them to go to their new home now. They look amazing, so shiny and sparkling and I am so pleased that they fit in so well.

Clumber 18 - chapel

Clumber 17 - chapel

We also got to visit Nellie, the replica of the trench digging tank that Ellie and her team constructed as part of the WW2 events at Clumber this year.

Clumber 1 - Nellie

It is an amazing feat of construction, all made of wood and it looks so much like the original. There is also an assault course which the children have been enjoying.

Clumber 4 - Ellie

Clumber 5 - Nellie

The afternoon was spent in Ellen’s conservation room and store where I got to see some of the artefacts from the house.

Clumber 24 - chapel

As it was demolished in 1938 there is very little that has been found but anything that is goes in here and is catalogued and stored in conservation grade bags.This is a gorgeous confirmation badge.

Clumber 26 - chapel

Clumber 25 - chapel

Clumber 2 - Nellie

There was a small piece of a cross from the chapel statues that needs to be reattached along with various finds such as some small wooden shields.

Clumber 29 - chapel

I helped with some cataloguing of these and Ellie showed me some of the others including two of her favourite finds from underneath the choir stalls in the chapel.

Clumber 27 - chapel

Clumber 28 - chapel

One is some little boats made from the notes of the hymns to be sung that day and the other a crumpled bag that came from a sweet shop. Clearly some choir boys were getting bored one day! I do love these little bits of social history, they are just as exciting to me as ornate paintings or grand houses.

I am so lucky to have children doing exciting things that they love and it is brilliant that I can share in them.

I am still making felt flowers but am going to stop soon and get back to some knitting as there are Christmas presents to be finished. We are at Lincoln Steampunk this Saturday so I am really looking forward to that. I shall be taking a brolly to protect the tea party hat as we have had some dreadful downpours lately 😦

Hopefully I will get chance to post some pictures before we set off for Scotland next week! Hope that you have a nice week ahead and thanks for visiting.