Tuesday 29 November 2011

Welbeck Stables

On Saturday, we zipped to the craft and food fair at Welbeck. We didn't have enough time to do it justice, so next year we will definately make sure that we spend a full day here. We only managed to pop into Hope and Elvis (which was looking soooooo tidy!!) to book another course and say hi to Louise, Deb and Debs daughter. Hubby remarked that he could tell why I loved it there. We also managed to sample the finest steak and ale stew with duck fat roast potatoes and take home some gorgeous Stichelton cheese.

I had read that the owner of Welbeck was opening one of the very large Stable blocks, so we took the opportunity to have a nosey in.
The stable blocks are truly awesome buildings.
Stepping inside the stables was eerie. It feels like they were stopped being used a long time ago, and nothing has happened with them since.

The textures inside on the walls and floors were interesting.

The estate is riddled with tunnels built by one of the previous earls. I believe that this one was built so that guests could walk from the house to the stables without getting wet. They didn't even have to get wet riding either as the duke built an indoor riding school too.
We marvelled at the wealth that these Dukes and Earls must have had, and the fun they must have had showing off.

Monday 28 November 2011

A Windy Walk

On Sunday, Hubby and I took a very windy walk around the park and lake at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

After gales during the night, we noticed that not many trees had leaves left on them.
Ive taken you here before. The wide open parkland lends itself well to big sculptures, but today we had come for the walk and not the art.
We spotted some of natures art work....

They have now made a walk right way around the lake - we have earmarked this walk for Christmas week. Today, we were climbing the hills.
I thought I would produce my own art work - imaginative I think.
Once we reached the top of the hill, we could towards the old Woolley Colliery - one of the Barnsley Coal mines now no longer used. As you can see, Mother Nature is claiming this back. It used to have a huge winding wheel and massive coal washing sheds, but nothing now remains.
Ive seen this Andy Goldsworthy piece before, but never realised that there are three of these, side by side. Where have I been looking!!!

This chap had a lovely woolly coat on to protect him from the biting wind. He needed it.
This structure was new and quite effective in the large space. I love the rust on it.

We had a great walk - just what we needed to blow the cobwebs away.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Unfinished Business

My Mum is the champion in starting some thing - knitting, sewing etc and never finishing the item. When I had my daughter, it spurred her on to finish the half knitted cardigans etc that she has started for me - 32 years previously.

I recently asked her to find me a small old suitcase that I knew she had kept - that used to be my Grandma's - that housed some of her unfinished embroidery projects.

I am planning to finish them off for her and make one of them into a cushion cover that she can use everyday. The only problem is that she embroidered as neatly as the ladies in Jane Austen times whilst my bits are scrappy. Any way, I think she will be surprised to see it finished - I hope I get it done in time for Christmas.
This stunning piece was started whilst she was at school (and she is now 72!!). It was going to be a tea cosy, but she didn't leave enough fabric to sew it together.
The embroidery and cut work is absolutely perfect. What can I turn this into?
There were lots of craft magazines etc in the suitcase, but this took my eye.
I reckon she must have hankered after one of these modern machines.

Well who wouldn't have!
She never got one - our washing machine didn't have as many gizzmo's on it - we did have a mangle though!
And these patterns had never been used either. How awful that Bust size 34 used to be a size 16!!!!

So it looks as if my date with George is off this week. To console myself - Ive booked to see Barry Manilow in Manchester next May. Now Bazza is 68 years old now, so I hope he's taking his vitamins a pro plus daily!!

Friday 25 November 2011

Get Well Soon my lovely George

We have a date next Friday night, so I hope you'll be better by then.

(photo from the tinter)

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Meet Herman

When a colleague brought in a deliciously moist fruit cake, of course I asked for the recipe. She said that it was a sour dough cake that she had been asked to care for by her sister - the cake's name was Herman. I realised that this was a modern take on a cake that my mum used to bake in the 1980's called friendship cake.

You need a portion of the "starter" for this cake - which my colleague brought me.

This sits in your kitchen bubbling away for 10 days, in which time you stir it, and feed it, and eventually bake it - but save some of the mixture to pass on to your friends.
I am carefully following the instructions and will show you the results in 10 days time.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

When my lovely Grandad died 14 years ago, I kept lots of things that had belonged to him and my Grandma when we emptied the house. I wish I had kept more because I use everything lots and it helps me to remember them very fondly every day - I still feel as if they are both around and I know it would make them smile and very happy to see me continuing to use their things.

I always loved the pattern and colour of my Grandads dressing gown. He bought it for his one and only hospital stay in the early 1950's. I had thought about making bags for my sister, mum and I and using the fabric to line them - but I can't cut it up.

Instead, I have decided to use it for myself - it's currently making my bathroom look like a page from the "Toast" brochure!
My daughter love it too and says if I had a nightcap and a candle, I would look like Scrooge!

I'm glad I didn't cut it up - its far too precious.

Monday 21 November 2011

Bloggy Gifts

I don't know why, but I think bloggy gifts are some of the best gifts ever. Perhaps its because we all have more than a little in common. When I met up with Two Bones and a Bagle on Saturday she presented me with the most beautiful gift.

I remember her making this earlier in the year at Hope and Elvis Studio,
from a table cloth featuring St Ives (blurry photo but you get the idea) - my spiritual home. I absolutely love it -its so special.
And all wrapped up in this beautiful vintage mat - now on my dressing table.
Many thanks Deb - you knew I would love it. xxxx

Sunday 20 November 2011

Debs and Di's Day Out

You know how I love a bloggy blind date! Well this was not really a blind date as I had met the lovely Debs once before on a Hope and Elvis day, but we decided to have another get together with Debs showing me some of her favourite local haunts. We only live about 20 minutes from each other, but her end of town has places I didn't even know about.

I hardly took any photos as we spent so much time talking! But I did remember to take my camera out a few time!
After our first stop at the table top sale in Dinnington, Debs had arranged for us to pop in and meet Mary Jane Baxter who was taking a class at Louises workshop. The atmosphere in the class was delightful and I could have easily stayed and "made" with all the lovely ladies who were clearly having a lovely time. We discussed Kirsty Allsop in depth - neither of us being fans of her "Homemade" programme.

We then moved on to visit Heaths in Ollerton where the wool and fabrics were gorgeous, and a Sue Ryder charity shop where I bagged a bargain - although I have to say you have to be quick to beat Debs to the bargains - she certainly has "an eye" and is like a hawk to its prey when she spots something!

We then moved on to the gorgeous little town of Southwell . Ive only ever been to Southwell once before, but I saw things on this visit that I hadn't seen before - Like the home of Lord Byron!

We had a lovely walk round, and visited loads of charity shops, and other gorgeous shops. We bought loads of things, but spent very little.

Debs had been worried that we might run out of things to talk about - but we actually ran out of "day" - I think we could have gassed for a week! We didn't run out of topics to discuss and discovered that we have led parallel lives! Its amazing when you meet a virtual stranger and get on so very well.
We had planned to visit the Minster, but by this stage we were parched and starving, so Debs took us to Reg Taylors Garden Centre for a very reasonable priced and delish afternoon tea.
Thanks very much for my day out Deb - it was great to meet your lovely family and I enjoyed every bit of my day. Here's to our next day ou. xxt