A Christmas Miracle

Well dear reader, you may have realised from the lack of recent posts that I made it to Spain! It was indeed a Christmas miracle as I landed, with my lovely negative test certificate, the day before Spain stopped letting people from the UK in, and came back just before the UK started asking for the same tests on return. Phew! I am now safely ensconced in a snowy Marsden, self-isolating for the next two weeks.

As we are now online only at work and likely to be so for the foreseeable future I may not leave the house again for many months! Although I am determined to try and get out and do some exercise once the weather improves (and the pavements are less slippery) as I have had a very lovely time in Spain walking and even doing some cycling 🙂

I have not used my bike in Spain for about 4 years, since I started having more joint and back problems. My fitness has declined so badly during last year due to lockdown and working from home that I really wanted to do something to try and improve things. I started doing an online fitness programme a few weeks before I left, based on Salsa dancing, and really enjoyed it. So I got Rosie Raleigh out of my Mum’s basement and we had some fun adventures together.

I was determined to do as much walking as I could while I was in Spain as it is one of my favourite things to do. I started off with just an hour an evening to go and watch the amazing sunsets. I was later able to take the bike out a few times, culminating in cycling all the way to the beach, about 6km in total, there and back.

I was so pleased. Not only was it really lovely to be out in the sunshine and have the freedom to roam around some of my favourite cycle paths but it also gives me the independence that I need for when I move there full time. My relatives are very helpful with driving me places but I want to be able to travel myself as well and my plans for passing my driving test have been on hold since May and are no nearer completion.

I had great fun exploring some of the areas of the urbanisation that I have not visited before, including some of the smaller squares of older properties. They have lovely little green areas in the middle with palms and bougainvillea decorating the houses. There are also quite a few more refurbishments, and makeovers of the older properties into the newer white modern style are in evidence all over the area.

On one of my rides I went out towards the mountains. There are a number of paths alongside the irrigation canals that have been designated as cycle paths and the views were beautiful as always, especially with the sun shining through the rushes that grow at the sides of the water.

I also spent a lot of time on my terrace. Mum gave me some more money for plants for Christmas so I redid all the pots which gave me something pretty to look at while I was admiring the blue sky and the lovely sunrises. I also added a couple of beautiful ceramics to the wall. I am looking forward to having more tiling done when I am there full-time as I love Spanish tiles.

I also spent quite a few evenings sitting on the terrace reading as well, wrapped up in a fleecy blanket with all of my candles lit and solar lights. It was so peaceful and relaxing.

My Mum had her little candle tree up with all of the ornaments I have made over the years, all but the green tree at the top and the cross stitch to the left of that are ones that I have made for her. This is also useful for checking what I have already made for her for planning future creations.

The flight back was lovely though I was very sad to be leaving. It was raining when we left Spain but we flew over the Pyrenees in sunshine so I was able to get some shots of the mountains in the snow, I do love mountains!

So it is back to life in lockdown for the next few weeks, however I have plenty to keep me occupied. I am not working many weekends this term (hurrah) so am planning some more Barbie couture as my younger relatives loved their Christmas gifts and still have bunny knitting to finish. I have also been watching the wonderful Bridgerton and am taking inspiration from the amazing costumes there for more Steampunk plans for the future.

I hope that life is ok for you all at the moment, it does seem like a long time until brighter days, as it often does in January, but hopefully things will get better very soon and we can have some return to that wonderful weather we had last Spring. I have been so lucky to be able to enjoy the sun in Spain and will stay warm and await it’s return here. At least Marsden looks very pretty in the snow.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Autumnal glory

Jacky and I did manage to get away for a couple of nights in the gorgeous Peak District. All of this loveliness is only an hour from my house, in fact I live 10 minutes from the start of the area, and the drives there and back were beautiful as well.

It was quite damp but that did not deter us from visiting several reservoirs for a walk in the woods at Langsett and a walk around part of Ladybower.

The trees were amazing and there were such lovely variations in colour at Ladybower.

We saw the spectacular feat of engineering that is the sinkhole, and actually saw one in operation on one of the local reservoirs on the way back.

We also found some little waterfalls which was good as Jacky loves these. We visited some very large ones on our trip to Aysgarth but these were just little ones by the side of the track.

We were only able to stay for a couple of nights due to my self-isolation up until Thursday but it was brilliant to be able to get away and catch up and relax. We stayed at Hardhurst Farm, where we have camped for previous re-enactment events at Peveril Castle. It is a lovely site, right in the centre of the Hope Valley and we really recommend it.

It is a gorgeous area with so much to see and do. Our last visit was to Mam Tor and when we go back again we want to do this walk stretching out onto to the other hills. The views were amazing even in the mist and cloud.

Now it is back to just one more day of leave before teaching starts again and who knows what the new half term will hold. I think there will be much being in the house but at least I am lucky enough to be stocked up with wine, lovely food and lots of wool. I have also just treated myself to two new patterns from Little Cotton Rabbits so will not be bored.

I will be back soon with an update on the knitting. Hope everything is ok with you all, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Sea, sky and spectacular textiles

We had an amazing time at Bambrugh, the weather was fantastic and the location wonderful with so many stunning views.

My friend Jo, who I have known since Polytechnic in the 1980s, is lucky enough to actually live here. Her partner is a member of the castle staff and they live in the gatehouse. Her photos of the beach during lockdown where she took daily walks were one of the reasons I wanted to revisit the area.

We also met one of the people we know from re-enactment, Dave the moneyer, he has been there all summer with his Viking set up. It was lovely to see him, chat about events and know that at least he has had a good season.

After visiting the castle we had a picnic on the beach and a walk (and paddle) along to the end where there was a wonderful maze like path back through the overgrowth to the other side of the castle.

When we return next year we shall visit some of the beaches further down which give the opportunity for more of these stunning views. Since we returned I have had many photo prompts from the castle Facebook page and these are just some of the amazing photos taken in the area. The final photo is by Jamie Dobson, I don’t have any information on the others.

Inside the Great Hall of the castle was a patchwork hanging that was really fascinating. It consisted of applique as well as a large area of patchwork made of diamonds. The hanging itself was around ten feet high and looked like an immensely time consuming piece of work. Although there was no label with the piece that I could see further research came up with the fact that it was made by Russian prisoners during the Crimean War. I should have guessed that it was a military uniform piece as I have seen similar in quilt exhibitions before.

I would love to know more about the piece, how many people were involved, how long did it take? Who designed the piece and where did they get the inspiration from? I would assume that this was a pattern and techniques they were familiar with from home. That is both the joy and the frustration of seeing such pieces in historic locations. I always want to know more about the people behind the work and little is recorded.

While I was doing the searching for more information I came across this amazing piece of embroidery from a textile artist called Rachel Wright. Photo from Pinterest. 

This was a commissioned piece and you can see more of her work on her Instagram page. She also has some items for sale on her Redbubble site and I particularly love this bag, might just have to treat myself!

We ended the day with another campfire, a game or two of cards, and another amazing sunset. Such simple pleasures but we were so grateful to be able to be there after all the restrictions this year.

We are lucky to live in such a beautiful country. I always travel in the UK a lot but the one advantage (there are so few!) of the current situation is that other people may have had the chance to appreciate our countryside more this year. 

I am hoping that in a couple of weeks I may be able to do some local travel as I have some time off coming up. I have a very large amount of holiday this academic year due to working nearly every Saturday and so having a day off in lieu each week that I need to use. I still have leave carried over from earlier in the summer that I could not use. We have an excellent bus service here so may do some more local exploring. 

Meanwhile there are knitted animals to finish, the mouse is almost done and is looking very cute so far, my first pair of stripey stockings and I love them!

Take care, 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 🙂 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 🙂

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

In love with anything tiny

I don’t know what it is about my brain but I am officially addicted to anything small. Be it patchwork, knitting, cross stitch or dressmaking, everything is better when it is tiny.

Over the years I have made so many little knitted animals, with equally small clothes, tiny patchwork hexagons, cross stitch ornaments that I need a magnifier to sew, and dresses for Barbie where most of the pieces are no bigger than my hand.

Although I have made larger things there is something wonderful about the teeny tinyness of it all. Maybe it is the sense of completion, it does not take months to do something. Maybe it is to do with my desire to swap projects on a regular basis.

The same passion for tiny has now been confirmed by our trip away in my first tiny accommodation. I have been following lots of vlogs for years about tiny house living and was really excited to see what staying in the shepherd’s hut would be like. I know it was only for a couple of days but I could honestly imagine myself living in something like that full time. It was wonderful!

These pictures are from the Air bnb listing as it looked a lot more cluttered once we had arrived. As we were staying for just 2 nights we didn’t unpack. If I was living in something that small full time I would need a little more storage (for fabric of course 🙂 ) , but I loved being in a space that was probably not even as big as my kitchen.

I have the sense all the time now that this house is too big, it is too full of ‘stuff’, even though it is only a small 3 bed terrace and I can’t wait to properly declutter and downsize in my move to Spain.

The outside space was so lovely as well, these are pictures that I took on the first evening we were there.

It was a perfect view, overlooking the field which was being ploughed the next morning and with a view of the sea and some amazing sunsets.

The firepit was very much appreciated, it is the first time we have sat around a fire this year and I have so missed it. It truly was an idyllic place to stay and would thoroughly recommend it.

Since we got back I have been compiling a list of all my other favourite little Air bnbs to visit, I have about 20 so far. I may not get to all of them but I can dream! We have booked a wonderful cabin overlooking the beach for next May, in Northumberland again as we had such a good time and want to explore the area more.

I will post more about the rest of the trip soon, it was better than we had hoped as the weather was really good and we were able to visit lots of lovely places.

Meanwhile it is back to work with our new first years starting on Monday. We are very uncertain as to what will happen as we are under further restrictions in our area as of next week but we will keep our fingers crossed that we can carry on teaching on campus.

I hope that things are not too difficult where you are, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Very cute knitting!

I have not had much time to craft in the last couple of weeks as term has started and I have been teaching, socially distanced, in classrooms that look like a GCSE exam room, and from behind a visor. A bit strange but it is lovely to be back in the classroom 🙂

I have made some progress over the last couple of months on knitting clothes for the Little Cotton Rabbits animals and spent some time this week blocking them. They are so cute and I am loving the designs.

Julie has worked really hard on all sorts of new patterns and additions to existing patterns so we now have so many options for gorgeous wardrobes for our creations.

I have now knitted three pairs of dungarees, the earlier blue ones for Egbert the elephant, who has gone to his new home now with my friend from work’s grandson. The green ones will be for a little mouse and the navy ones for another friend’s grandchild. I just love the cute little pockets!

These are my first pair of rompers, adapted from Julie’s pattern to have more of a frill on the bottom. These will be paired with a little cardigan and I am also in the middle of a very cute backpack for this set.

One of the other new patterns I have bought has been for some textured dresses and I have just finished my first one, again with the sundress option for the top. I will make a cardigan to go with this as well.

I was very excited last week as I went in to town for the first time in 6 months and my local habdashery shop has survived the lockdown. I am so pleased for them, and for me so celebrated by buying some more gorgeous wool for future outfits.

I am also very excited today as tomorrow we are going to Nothumberland for a few days. We have booked a very cute shepherds’ hut and Ellen and I will be visiting lots of castles and Beamish open air museum. All places we have not been before so I am really looking forward to that.

This picture is from the Air BnB listing, how cute is this! We are planning to stay in lots more cute places over the next few years as we both love tiny houses and want to try lots out.

I will be back at the end of the week as I am teaching on Saturday again and next Monday the full-time students start with us. Fingers crossed that we can stay teaching on campus, such uncertain times for all of us but I do hope that they enjoy their time with us. I really feel for them after all that they have been through this year and although I will not be teaching any of the Year 1s this year I am looking forward to spending time settling them in.

I hope that you have a good week ahead, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Wonderful waterfalls

My second holiday was a trip away with my sister in her fabulous camper van Eva, named after my Nana who lived to be 100 and loved travel.She and my grandad went abroad twice a  year, every year from the 1970s which was very unusual for families like ours at that time.Last October we went to the Dales near Settle and had a fab time.We were going to go to Wales but there were still a lot of restrictions on sites there so we ended up back in the Dales again.

My sister loves waterfalls so I found a great site at one of the most famous waterfalls in the Dales, at Asysgarth. The site is at the back of the Aysgarth Falls Hotel in a stunning location with beautiful views and a very nice beer garden to enjoy them in. It is a very small site with only 10 van pitches but beautifully kept with great facilities.

Dales waterfalls 46

Dales waterfalls 45

The shower and toilet block is these little green garden sheds and there are two sinks for washing up.

Dales waterfalls 44

Ellen joined us for one night’s camping and she was in the very well – kept tent field which was just below ours.

Dales waterfalls 47

We met some friendly campers as well who came and admired the van. It is so convenient, I will always love camping but it is so nice to drive up and everything is there for you, and no wet tents to dry off when you get home!

We went cross country on the drive there which was fun, large camper van on small country lanes 🙂 Luckily my sister is a very experienced driver. She wanted to stop at some waterfalls she had found on the map so we had a picnic at a cute spot in the middle of Wharfedale on the way.

Dales waterfalls 5

We started on the second day with a visit to Hardraw Force, which is the largest single drop waterfall in England. It was a beautiful setting and after seeing the waterfall from the bottom of the gorge we climbed up to the top to look down on it which was amazing.

Dales waterfalls 22

Dales waterfalls 23

The power of the water as it thundered into the pool was amazing and I could have stayed watching it for hours. At the top there were these huge rocks in the river leading to the waterfall and beautiful views across the valley.

Dales waterfalls 26

We stopped at Hawes on the way back for a look round and to purchase some Wensleydale cheese as we were staying in Wensleydale. There were some beautiful little waterfalls in the middle of the village as well and very cute cottages.

Dales waterfalls 29

Our second day was spent at the Aysgarth Falls and also going on a 2 mile walk (there and back) to another waterfall, Cauldron Falls, which we spotted on the map in the little village of West Burton.

We have been to Aysgarth many years ago and it is still an amazing place, the sheer power of the water is stunning.My sister got a lot nearer than I did as last year I fell over near the waterfall we were visiting and badly bruised my hip so stayed safe this time.

Dales waterfalls 36

Dales waterfalls 34

It was a very hot day and after an ice cream and a little sit down the walk to West Burton seemed a very long way. It was a very pretty village though and thankfully the village pub was open so we were able to have a cold pint of cider to keep us going for the way back to the pub at the campsite.

Dales waterfalls 38

Dales waterfalls 37

The Cauldron Falls were amazing, we had expected only a little waterfall but instead we got this.It was a really nice walk along the river as well.

Dales waterfalls 41

We also had a bbq, only the second of the year and had lots of time to just sit and chill and catch up with my sister. It was a fantastic relaxing and fun filled 4 days and I can’t wait to buy my own camper van next year. I loved taking pictures of all of the different textures of trees, water and rocks.

The journey back was in a very warm 32 degrees, just in time to get me acclimatised before I flew to Spain the following day. I didn’t take any pictures while in Spain as it was a very low key time. I did go swimming almost every day, and had some trips to the beach and a couple of meals out. Most of the time was spent sitting reading, knitting and generally chilling (albeit in 34 degrees!).

I have been so lucky to be able to get away and feel very, very happy to have been able to see my Mum and my aunt. There was a time in April when I thought I was never going to be able to visit Spain again and it was so brilliant to be able to be there with them.

The new Steampunk outfit is going well and I have completed the hat. I will be able to give you some updates in the next post and fingers crossed by Monday I will have most of it completed.

Although I still love the colour, the satin fabric has been quite tricky to work with. Aside from my ever present fitting issues (why do I always cut out things so large?), it is a very slippery fabric to work with and shows every pin mark. Hopefully the overall impression will be so stunning people won’t notice the tiny holes in some of the pieces, note to self, next time don’t ever use a pin in the centre of the fabric 😉

I hope that you have all had a nice week, work has been fine as luckily we are not too badly affected by all the A level trauma in the department I work in. I feel so sorry for all of the students, their teachers, and the university staff who have had to try and deal with this. My heart goes out to all of the young people in what has been such an awful year for them without all this.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting, liking and commenting, it is lovely to get such nice feedback from you all.

A pirate’s life for us

I have had a wonderful three weeks away. The first trip to Whitby with Ellen turned out much better than we expected as the weather was excellent. The forecast had been quite poor for the Saturday but it was really lovely apart from one small rain shower so we took advantage of the beautiful sunshine.

We didn’t get chance to visit the abbey last year as it was closed and really enjoyed our visit there on Friday.

Whitby Abbey 1

Whitby Abbey 2

Although it must have looked amazing when it was first built I also love it as a ruin.

The contrast between the stone and the sky and the way that the stone is degrading due to the wind and weather makes it an amazing place.

Whitby Abbey stone 2

Whitby Abbey stone 1

Whitby Abbey stone 3

We went down and back up the 199 steps to find the tea shop we so enjoyed last year. It was just closing on Friday but we went back on Saturday for the delicious gluten free cream tea and were able to have lots of other nice cafe and bar stops over the weekend.

Whitby steps Ellen

It was so nice to be out enjoying these things again, apart from a pizza in the village last month I have not done anything like this for four months which seems impossible when you think about it. It was lovely to see Whitby bustling with lots of businesses open again and we found some lovely new places like this little courtyard cafe.

Whitby cafe 1

We had a drink watching the sunset on the Friday night and then on Saturday went to a blitz themed restaurant and a bottle of my one of my favourite lagers, very appropriate for this current situation!

Whitby evening drink

Whitby meal out

We had one boat trip on a pirate themed boat and then as we had seen another that was a scaled down version of the Endeavour that Captain Cook sailed on we had to make another sea trip on that as well. That had a really interesting summary of Cook’s life and voyages which was good as we had not managed to visit the museum as it was closed.

Along with sausage and chips on the pier ( the little boy next to us had his sausage stolen by a very large seagull so we had to guard ours carefully), a few ice creams, a paddle, seeing the entertainers on the street,  and a go on the penny arcades, it was a wonderful British seaside weekend.

Whitby paddle

 

Whitby entertainer

We did see a few Steampunks and met these lovely people up at the abbey. This is Vintage Dapper Chap and friends who very kindly let us take pictures.

Whitby Steampunks

We are really looking forward to next year’s event and will be going for longer next year so that we can explore the beaches and go fossil hunting.

 

 

I then had a day to repack for my next adventure off in the camper van with my sister which I will tell you all about in the next post. We had a great time and are already planning more adventures for next summer after I retire. I was using the plane fight back from Spain yesterday to look for lovely places to visit.

Spain - flight

This is an area of France that I often fly over which looks brilliant. It is lovely to be reminded that there is a beautiful world out there which we can hopefully see more of next year.

I hope that you are all ok and have nice things planned for the week ahead. It is back to work for me, but first I have some work to do on the Steampunk jacket and hat and a bit more knitting to do.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

 

Armchair travel

Regular readers will know that my two biggest passions in life are crafting and travel. In a normal year I am lucky enough to have at least three holidays, mostly to Spain, but also to lovely places in the UK and lots of weekends away at re-enactment events, Steampunk and WW2 events and visiting places of interest that usually involve museums, historic houses and textiles in some form.

Obviously that is not possible at the moment and won’t be for the foreseeable future so I have been finding ways of satisfying my travel urges via the miracles of the internet. I have been watching many different ‘van life’ videos for a number of years now, partly as fact finding as I am hoping to learn to drive and buy my own little camper van in the future. However I just love watching the beautiful places that people travel to and have been watching some wonderful ones recently while sewing.

Tread the Globe are the couple who I have been following for a few years on You Tube and I am taking the opportunity to watch lots of videos that I have not seen before. They are currently in lockdown in Turkey as they arrived there just at the start of the pandemic but have been posting regularly and are coping well.They also have a very informative blog here which not only gives details of the trips but also of how much it costs them to travel which is very useful information.

Before that they had been visiting some beautiful places in France and Spain so I have been watching that to get some ideas for more places to go in future years. They recently visited Taragonna which has been on my wish list for a while as it looks so beautiful. Picture from Google.

Tarragona

I have been collecting ideas for camper van themed decor as well so that when I eventually do get my van I can decorate it. I have been very inspired by my sister who has just bought her fourth van. We went away last October in it and that really motivated me again as we had such a brilliant time. As I mentioned then I made her a VW camper van cushion some years ago and have been looking at other things to make for me as well.

I love this camper van quilt pattern by Amy Bradley designs, (picture from her site), especially the little people that the design comes with.

Camper Quilt Pattern 1

I think the camper vans are so cute and love the retro feel of this. We had many very happy holidays in larger static vans when we were children and I just love caravans of all shapes and sizes.

I found this one during one of my searches, this is a self drafted pattern using inspiration from the many different pictures of camper vans out there and I love the use of all kinds of different fabrics.

Caravan Quilt

This is from A Little Craft , (picture also from her site), and she makes all sorts of beautiful quilts in New Zealand. One day my sister and I are hoping to take a camper van tour of New Zealand when we are both retired, that would just be magical.

I have just found another version as well, this is much larger and has a tutorial with it as well and free templates for the caravan as well as a pattern you can buy for the quilt. It is by the Missouri Star Quilt Company and I have used their tutorials before.

Cute Camper quilt

I have also had this cute stitched version on to do list for a very long as well, it comes from the Flamingo Toes blog and has a detailed tutorial and a free pattern.It is machine embroidered which I am not very confident about doing but it may be a good chance to improve those skills like I have done my quilting ones.

Retro-Camper-Embroidery-Hoop-Art

There is also this very lovely camper van pot holder which is a free pattern from the Sewing for Free site here. Not only cute but a very useful make.

happy-camper-pot-holders

So I shall be keeping myself entertained with virtual travel for the moment, there are so many great tours of museums and exhibitions available at the moment as well which is interesting and can give me lots of ideas for places to go when I am retired. If all goes well I will be starting that process a year from now which is very exciting 🙂 and keeps me inspired.

I hope that you have had a good weekend, some of it has been a bit dull, wet and cold here, so I have been snuggling up in the fleecy blanket making the most of a quiet weekend and watching The White Queen on Amazon. I hope everything is ok with you and your families, stay safe, take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

Historic costume and historic eateries

I am writing this in the aftermath of another storm, luckily the only damage to me is some blown over bins but we have had a lot of flooding in the area both last weekend and this, which may have contributed to a very strange dream I have last night where I was asked to run a session on the link between climate change and sewing! To my knowledge I don’t think seamstresses and embroiders have any negative effect on the climate, rather we are a force for good 🙂

We had some more wonderful costumes to look at in Liverpool last week, again in the Walker Art Gallery with a small collection of Regency garments.

It is always particularly fascinating to see these as of course they would have been completely hand stitched, unlike some of the Victorian and Edwardian and are all the more impressive for that. The embroidery on the men’s jackets and waistcoats is just mind blowing, so perfectly done and so detailed.

Liverpool Regency clothes 3

Liverpool Regency clothes 4

Liverpool Regency clothes 8

I also have finally realised what a polonaise is which is very useful for my Steampunk costumes. Here is an example of one, the fashion of which was revived in Victorian times.It is an overskirt which can be hitched up at the back to create the ruffled look.

Liverpool Regency clothes 6

Liverpool Regency clothes 7

One of the styles that I love is the ‘sack back gown’, with the train at the back and I love the ruffles on this one. It is made of silk which would have been so bright as the time.

There was a small collection of underwear including stays and a shift and also some wonderful padded stockings, for men who did not have the required fashionable shapely calf to go with their breeches.

Liverpool Regency clothes 10

There was also the added excitement at the art gallery of coming across some unexpected Pre-Raphelite paintings. I love these, not least for their medieval costumes and amazing attention to detail in the work, especially the backgrounds of the paintings.

Liverpool Art 1

Liverpool Art 2

Liverpool Art 3

Liverpool Art 4

Liverpool Art 5

We also had some lovely meals out in historic eateries, we chose our lunch venue on Saturday from Google Maps based on the fact that it was located in an old church and it did not disappoint.

Liverpool Food 3

The Alma de Cuba took over the de-consecrated church in 2005 and have very tastefully combined the original architecture with its new function as a restaurant and nightclub. I loved the fact that it was candlelit and had strings of lights in the ceiling. Many of the bars were lit in this way with fairy lights and it looks so lovely in the gloomy weather.

Liverpool Food 1

Liverpool Food 2

Liverpool Food 4

We chose a little vintage style cafe Rhubarb for our very lovely brunch on Sunday , near our accommodation in Lark Lane, which has lots of really beautiful historic buildings and a wide selection of places to eat.

Liverpool Food 5

We sadly did not mange the Victorian pumping house converted into a pub for lunch due to coming home early but will save that for next time.

I have finished one of the celebration projects, 19 hours sewing of lace has been completed this week, in 3 days actually which impressed even me! I had a very nice time doing that and will be able to show you the photos in a few weeks.

I am now just about to start on another dress after a very successful shopping trip to the wonderful Bombay Stores yesterday. I was very good and only spent £4 on needles, invisible thread and a metre of lovely braid but there were many yards of glorious fabric purchased by my friends for the event which is in April. There will be all sorts of lovely costume at that one as it is Middle Earth themed so I will make sure that I take lots of photos for you.

I am off to a writing retreat with work tomorrow to work on the revisions on my doctorate. Not as much fun as sewing but it will be lovely to spend time with colleagues and it is a very beautiful place. I have been twice before and am really looking forward to a few nice walks as well, weather permitting.

I will be back next weekend, hope that you all have a very good week ahead and hopefully there will be no more weird weather. Take care and thanks for visiting.