Domesticity and friendship

I have so far managed to have a lovely weekend with lots of both of these things. As I mentioned last post I now have every weekend to myself and that has meant time to catch up with lovely people and the energy to do more than just everyday cooking.

We had a lovely bauble making evening, everyone opted for the style where you cut into the bauble and insert sections of fabric. Rosemari was on a roll and made three in the end and we are continuing with this next weekend at Sharon’s house so may well make more.

Nov baubles 1

She brought her own fabric with her as her house is decorated in lots of blues and aquas so she wanted her baubles to go with that. I think they are gorgeous and love the way she has fussy cut the bird here.

Nov baubles 2

I just made one as I was busy instructing and sorting food . I later added some little jewels to each side, this will be a new addition to my tree for this year along with one of Jenny’s stockings, I am getting on well with the second batch.

Saturday morning my wonderful friend Kerry came up, I have not seen her since Caldicot so it was brilliant to have a catch up and eat nice food.I made my favourite pumpkin soup from Delia Smith’s recipe and an amazing focaccia bread with rosemary and thinly sliced potatoes. It was so good I am going to make more today!

We also went for a walk, the first bit of leisure walking I have done since August.Thankfully I feel a lot better and really miss my little walks around the village so it was great to get out and enjoy the autumn views and say hello to a few sheep.

Nov sheep 1

Even though this picture has focused more on the fence in the foreground rather than the sheep I still love it as it shows the misty sunlight, I am so lucky to have all this beauty five minutes from home.

Nov walk 1

Nov walk 2

Nov walk 3

I am going to the Remembrance Sunday service later on today, there is a special service in honour of the fact that it is 100 years since Armistice. The village, like many other places has been decorated with poppies and they have the names on them of everyone who was killed in the Great War.

This amazing installation at the Tower of London commemorates the 888,246 British and colonial lives lost during this war but we also remember the lives lost from many other countries of men, women and children from all wars.

Poppies

Much of what we do as re-enactors may be seen as promoting or glorifying conflict but I have always seen our roles as more about education about the history of war in the hope that this understanding will help avoid future conflict. Next year Ellie will be involved in lots of events around the Second World War as Clumber Park was involved in that in many different ways so she and her team are planning lots of things to commemorate their involvement.

I hope that you have a very lovely week ahead, take care and thanks for visiting.

 

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Under a cloudy Shropshire Sky

We had a lovely time at Farmer Phil’s festival with my sister. As we were there from the Tues we went for a couple of long walks up on the hills where we could see the beautiful scenery.

Shropshire 2018 3

Shropshire 2018 4

At the top of one of the hills we came across two wind blown trees which made for great pictures against the cloud backdrop. One of them was a Rowan tree which brought back lots of childhood memories as we both went Rowanfield Primary School where our uniforms were the colours of the tree.

 

There were plenty of sheep including this cute one who had very deer like ears.

Shropshire 2018 2

We also saw a llama, there were actually three in a garden on the way back from our first walk.I think Jacky thought I had lost the plot when I suddenly shouted, ‘llama’, but she saw this cute little one just as I spotted it as well, they were so friendly.

Shropshire 2018 9

The weather was variable but luckily Jacky had bought a lovely fire pit so we had toasty nights watching the flames. The last evening was beautiful sunshine and I spent some time taking pictures of the sun peeping out from the clouds as it set.

 

I have been busy at work since I got back doing clearing which is dealing with those who have not got the A level results they expected but have managed to finish the Steampunk jacket for the Lincoln event, with four days to go! A minor miracle and I will post pictures of that later in the week.

Meanwhile take care and thanks for visiting.

Natural beauty

Ellie and I have just come back from our long weekend camping in North Wales. Originally we were booked into a re-enactment at Conwy but our group had to cancel so we thought we would make the most of the opportunity for a visit to some of the National Trust properties in the area.We stayed at  Conwy Touring Park which was a lovely site with great views.

Since it was nice weather for most of the time we not only got to visit several properties but also go for a walk in the mountains in Snowdonia. We saw such beautiful places so I thought I would share some of them with you.

First we visited Erddig , which is a house that dates from the early 1700s and it has been beautifully restored after falling into a ruinous state in the 1960s. The formal gardens were gorgeous and I particularly loved the less formal borders with thistles, poppies and lilies.

Erddig 2

Erddig 3

Erddig 4

Erddig 1

On Saturday we drove into the Snowdonia National Park to an area known as Cwm Idwal which is also owned by the Trust.

Cwm Idwal 1

Cwm Idwal 2

It was a perfect day for walking, cloudy but not wet and the clouds added to the dramatic scenery. We had a brilliant walk round the lake and then a picnic by a waterfall, just perfect!

Cwm Idwal 3

Cwm Idwal 4

Cwm Idwal 5

In the afternoon the sun came out which made the wonderful Bodnant Gardens look fantastic. The house is still in private ownership and the gardens that surround it are just gorgeous with the most beautiful views towards Snowdonia.

Bodnant 1

Bodnant 2

Bodnant 12

Bodnant 13

We really loved the hydrangea bushes, the heads were all at different stages of flowering and it was amazing to see the colours develop on these blue ones, so beautiful!

Bodnant 10

Bodnant 9

Bodnant 11

A great weekend and I will be back later in the week with some of the lovely interiors from these and the other places we visited.

Meanwhile I am working on some more Steampunk stuff as I want to update my outfit. We have been dressing up in the evenings at events and here is a picture taken by my lovely friend Silke at Tatton.

Alison Steampunk - Tatton - small

I love my top hat and am awaiting a new skirt, gloves and choker that will be delivered this week.I am decorating a pair of boots and velvet jacket with lace to add to my collection of outfits.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Just beautiful

Hello everyone

I had such a lovely walk yesterday and thought that I would share with you these pictures of the beautiful flowers, I am so lucky to live here, we are surrounded by glorious countryside and it looks fantastic at this time of year with all the rhododendrons in bloom.

Rhodedrons walk

Rhodedrons 2

Rhodedrons 3

Rhodedrons 4

Rhodedrons 5

Rhodedrons 6

Rhodedrons 7

Rhodedrons 8

I hope that you are all having a lovely weekend, have successfully cut out another shirt and will be sewing it up this afternoon. Hoping that the weather will be kind and allow us the first BBQ at home of the year!

See you soon and thanks for visiting.

‘Do you want to build a snowman?’

After some months of persuading Jake agreed to watch Frozen with Ellie and after going out and buying a new DVD player on Boxing Day as the old one inconveniently broke on Christmas Eve we watched it that afternoon.

Elsa obviously came and worked her frosty magic as a couple of hours later the kids were delighted to see that it had started snowing so yesterday we went out to watch people sledging down the slope of the big reservoir and to build a snowman of course!

Snowman

Marsden is such a beautiful place to live and never more so in the snow when it turns into a little bit of Switzerland.

Snow at Butterley 2

Snow at Butterley 3

Snow at Butterley 4

Snow at Butterley

We spotted this very cute robin on the way home looking like he was posing for a Christmas card photo shoot.

Snow at Christmas

My ornaments on the back door looked very fitting as well.

Snow -wreath

Off to Spain tomorrow for some sun so will see you in a couple of weeks, thanks for visiting.

Purple Haze

Well it is nearly time for my second houseaversary – we will be away at the Caldicot Castle  event next week and I will have a drink with friends to celebrate.

Am still so happy here, can’t believe what a difference being here has made to my life. I am still having a really lovely time and one of the best things is the countryside around me which is purple for quite a lot of the year. I do love that colour!

The rhododendrons have all gone now but instead the hills are covered in heather and it makes them look very beautiful. I borrowed a friend’s dog, Ted, the other day for a walk as she was working and we went for a little tootle up to my favourite reservoir (which is now refilled) and back past all the beautiful purple bushes.

Marsden heather

Marsden heather 2

Here is a very pretty cow we met on the way.

Marsden heather 3

Marsden heather 4

Marsden heather 5

Marsden heather 6

And Ted wanting to go up a bit more and not stop for pictures 😉

Marsden heather 7

I was also lucky enough to get this shot of a butterfly on a Buddleia.

Marsden heather 8

Marsden heather 9

What a gorgeous cottage near my friend’s house. Such a cute name as well, like a house in an Enid Blyton story.

Marsden heather 10

Marsden heather 11

As well as walks I am spending lots of time with hexagons (which may be my new addiction!). Have cut out pieces for many more ornaments and this week decided to use the hexis to make an apron for a friend’s little girl.

Marsden heather 12

Marsden heather 13

I made her big sister an apron for a birthday present this year and as she is just about to start Nursery where she will be having cookery sessions I thought she needed one of her own. Have had all of this fabric in my stash for a while, nice to be using some rather than buying anything new (which I am not allowed to do till I have used up a lot more!)

The apron pattern comes from this free tutorial at Aesthetic Nest’s blog.

The cute teddy braid on the pocket is some from my local haberdasher that I have had in the stash for a while just waiting for a project like this.

It is a Bank Holiday here in the UK so am planning to spend tomorrow doing more stitching (surprise, surprise) – am thinking of using some of my vintage embroidery with hexis to create something, probably Christmas presents as I like to be prepared!

Have a lovely couple of weeks and I will be back soon. Thanks for visiting.

The joys of Spring

Hello everyone

Hope you are having fun and that the weather is being kind to you where you live. We have had an excellent weekend and week so far – today there was washing drying on the line 🙂

I went out for a long walk this weekend and then afterwards came home, got the garden furniture out of storage, cleaned out the barbecue and planted more bulbs!

I took some pictures of the joys of Spring while walking – I sadly missed a photo of a jay having a little bath in the canal (he was too quick for me) and so was a kingfisher near the local mill-pond but these are some of the beautiful sights from Sunday. The crocuses are mine from the back rockery.

Spring walk March crocus

Spring walk March

Spring walk March daffodils

As I said to a friend at work this week I am surrounded by 360 degrees of excellent walking so this weekend went along the canal passing weirs and old bridges and then up the side of the hill on a footpath I had not used before, through the woods beside a waterfall then back the same way ending up passing the church where this last picture was taken.

Spring walk March bridge

Spring walk March canal 1

Spring walk March weir

Spring walk March canal 2

Spring walk March churchyard

I last did this canal towpath walk the same time last year and blogged about it here and remember meeting a little flock of sheep on my way back then.

Well they had obviously visited us again as they have eaten most of my poor neighbours beautiful crocuses (they couldn’t reach mine as they are too high up on the rockery) and attempted to eat one of my new primulas – for some reason only the yellow one was tasty 🙂

Naughty little things but it is great when the lambs come down off the hills so I suppose a few flowers isn’t much of a sacrifice.

Have got some new storage this week so am planning a weekend of craft room transformation – finally all those piles of fabric will be sorted and I can get on with all the things I have to make. Will share end results of the makeover!

Have a good rest of the week and thanks for visiting.