26/04/2011 § Leave a comment
I love taking a trip to Bath. We usually spend a couple of days in the city during the Autumn and again in the Spring. I was disappointed to find that the Moon and Sixpence has gone, but my favourite shops all seem busy and thriving.
I’ve chosen my favourite shop window and my favourite independent shop … along with a mention for just a few others …
The Fine Cheese Co, in the artisan quarter of Walcot Street looked SO inviting – all those wonderful loaves, lined up just waiting to be wrapped and taken home. This was taken just before Easter and I loved the touches of brilliant yellow and lilac. They run a super cafe too and say that you can ‘graze as you browse’!
Now I’ve always loved this shop. Joanna Davies opened Grasse, in Argyle Street close to Pultney Bridge, in 2009 and every time I pop in, there’s something different to see. There are so many individual pieces to add style for home and garden. I always find something interesting in Grasse – Joanna allowed me take some photos of the inside too …
There are always scented candles burning so the shopping experience is altogether delightful.
Thank you Joanna!
There are a few other shops that I should mention too …
The Makery Emporium is in Northumberland Place and sells all sorts of crafty supplies. There’s a workshop too where classes are held regularly, right at the top of Walcot Street.
Here’s the flower shop just over Pultney Bridge, in Argyle Street. Just bursting with blooms!
And finally Shannon, modern Scandinavian style right here in Bath – wonderful furniture, lighting, textiles, home accessories and gifts. Wonderful fabrics too!
Now I just want to go again! Not sure I can wait until the Autumn.
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23/04/2011 § Leave a comment
Especially if he has a warm, soft, velvety nose!
I’d just pulled over to wipe the windscreen, and our eyes met across the field gate. He knew immediately that I was his type and he wandered nonchalantly over to the gate to greet me. Rarely have I ever met a chap with such whiskers as these though, and such a lot of hair!
Now, there’s many a tale I could tell about hairy cobs that I’ve fallen for in the past, and they haven’t ended happily. So I gave him a peck on his nose and left, with a brief backwards glance …
He was still looking …
One day – who knows? I’d love to have another cob to call my own!
More over Easter about shops I love in Bath and life is about looking up!
21/04/2011 § Leave a comment
You’ve been loving the handbags that I’ve been making recently, so I decided to make another ‘bag for me’!
When I designed the handbags, as I’ve said to many of you, I designed a bag that worked for me – pockets, secure clasp, key clasp and very, very pretty! Well, I was just popping out the other day and I couldn’t find my shopping bag, besides which it’s rather large. So – you’ve guessed it – I made one!
Ok – just checking you’re concentrating – I made two!!!
As always, the design took a bit of time and the sizes are a bit variable at the moment until I’m sure the pattern is just right, but I’m really pleased with them. I’m keeping these two ‘cos I used them both yesterday! I packed our picnic into the larger one, when we explored the bluebell woods in Dorset.
We heard the cuckoo too – a magical day out!
A cuckoo’s call in May is worth a load of hay, and then in June he’ll change his tune, and then he’ll fly away!
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19/04/2011 § Leave a comment
A couple of weeks ago, we visited my family in Wales – Ceredigion to be precise. The weather was remarkable – wide blue skies, verdant greenery and almost the feel of early summer warmth in the air.
Dad had heard a story about the church just over the Teifi river in Llechryd. Originally, the river ran much closer to the church and sometimes flooded, so a coracle was kept in the entrance porch to enable the congregation to escape at the end of the services! We wound down the quiet track for a closer look.
The entrance looked like a challenge, but then we rounded the corner and found the gate! The pictures here are all mine, but some of the facts are from the little guide book that we bought.
The site is very ancient and the church has stood since the middle of the thirteenth century. The door was open and just inside …
We found the coracle! This isn’t just any coracle – a local called Mr Thomas crossed the English Channel in this one – amazing!
The nave is flanked by rows of family pews. They are not all identical and the two largest – closest to the pulpit, have their own fireplaces! There’s no electricity and small candle holders have been added to the tops of the pews – some complete with candle wax drippings and bearing signs of over-use …
Imagine the huffing and puffing to put this one out!
This is truly country-style simplicity. Such beauty, such a sense of calm, knowing that so many locals would have celebrated and mourned in this place, it was a privilege to be able to just wander in and enjoy the peace and tranquility.
So here is my final picture of the Church at Manordeifi with its medieval bell turret, its bell dating from the 1450 era, its Norman font, 14th century chancel window and the imaginings of some of the services that it has hosted over the centuries.
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18/04/2011 § Leave a comment
It’s more turning out than cleaning at the moment. I’ve embarked upon a major project – the reclamation of my summerhouse sewing room. It’s been a wonderfully warm day here in Winchester, with wall-to-wall sunshine and just right for drying on the line.
I found so many pieces of fabrics that I’d long forgotten! So a quick freshen up in the machine, and then out to dry in the garden, in the sunshine.
Aren’t they pretty? They’ve been safely stashed away ‘cos I’m not sure what to make with them! The Cilla print will always remind me of a very special, very British, very elderly relation of my mothers – they were her curtains and she told me that she bought a whole bolt of the fabric many, many years ago and kept it for a long while before deciding what to use it for – these things must run in the family then!
I’m not sure I can bear to cut them up but don’t have anywhere to hang them either. What a dilemma – should I sell them for somebody else to enjoy? Decisions, decisions – knowing me, they’ll be here for many more years until I have a flash of inspiration.
I’ve been asked to make some purses to go with my bags – so am working on a design for these at the moment too! So much to do, so little time!
Lovely to meet new people and old friends on Sunday in Winchester. Thank you for the brilliant feedback, I’m so pleased you like my textile work.
16/04/2011 § Leave a comment
I thought you might like to see some of the latest additions, all ready for tomorrow (Sunday’s) Winchester Art & Design Market.
Here’s Primrose – with flags flying and ready for the open road!
And the latest bags …
Meet pretty-in-pink ‘Daisy’ (above), and super stylish ‘Gwendolyn’ (below).
What a pair of beauties. Pop along and see all the others too – plus lots of cushions, brooches, teacosies etc etc etc!
Winchester Art & Design Market
High Street and Upper Brook Street, Winchester
10 am – 4 pm Sunday 17 April 2011
I’ll be by the Brooks centre – somewhere near Iceland I believe!
16/04/2011 § Leave a comment
We all have them, special days that are etched indelibly into our memory – wedding day, birth of our children, moving house. But some days we remember, just for bringing simple pleasures.
When I returned home on Saturday last, from the Alton Craft Market, I so enjoyed my cup of tea and slice of home-made cake. I sat out on the patio in the warm sunshine, my cuppa arrived in my favourite mug, and as we sat and chatted together a red kite soared above the farm in the distance. I had to fetch the binoculars to check it wasn’t a buzzard, but that massive wing span and distinctive forked tail confirmed it was indeed a kite.
They always remind me of my home in Wales, where a pair have been nesting in the neighbouring farm for many years. On summer evenings they fly low, lower than the hedgeline and at other times they soar high above the cottage garden, twisting with effortless grace as their tails bear to right and left. They are almost daily visitors, but here in Winchester, it was a first – the first view of a red kite from our patio.
If you’ve never seen a Red Kite, then Wales is the place to go. They are becoming a more familiar sight here in Hampshire – I’ve seen them near Stockbridge and Alresford. But, just look at these photos that I took in Wales a couple of days ago from the garden …
Wales was wonderful and I love to see the Red Kites – I really do need that zoom lens though! My home is in Ceredigion, but we visited Pembrokeshire to see where our forebears lived and worked. Here are just a couple of photos of the countryside that surrounded us …
Lambs in the fields, clear wide skies and beautiful beaches. You’ll have to pop back to see the wild ponies on the moor above Cwm Gwaun and the magical little church in Llechryd where they keep a coracle just inside – in case there are floods during a service!
Don’t forget to visit Winchester Art and Design Fair this Sunday. Here’s hoping for a lovely day!
09/04/2011 § 2 Comments
It was so good to meet up with old friends and new customers, today, in Alton. It was a most beautiful Spring day, with warm sunshine and a clear blue sky. I think that the whole town had turned out, to visit the Farmers Market and the Craft Market too. Shoppers, laden with luscious plants and delicious home-baked cakes, wandered past and many of you stopped to say ‘Hello’ and have a chat.
See for yourself …
Just look at the colour of that sky!
So many goodies!
Bit of a sun/shade thing going on here, but you get the idea …
And so many bags were sent off to new homes! I hope you enjoy them and, among many other cushions …
Bessie drove off to a new home for Easter – here she was in the sunshine at home yesterday afternoon!
So, I’ve had a strong cuppa and a couple of slices of victoria sponge cake – baked by the lovely ladies on the corner stall; unpacked the wagon, caught up with a couple of friends to let them know about my lovely day and now I’m going to sign off for a week or so. A girl deserves a rest you know!
Have lots of fun, see you soon …
PS I am going to be in Winchester next Sunday 17 April, at the Art & Design Fair, so maybe I’ll see you there (not so much of a rest after all).
06/04/2011 § Leave a comment
This weekend, Saturday to be precise, is my first outing of the year at the Alton Craft Market. I always really look forward to visiting Alton and catching up with customers, many of whom have become friends.
It must be 5 years ago that I first had a stall there, in the Market Square and all I had to sell were my flower brooches.
They have been sent to countries that I can only dream of visiting.
Flower Power is still alive and kicking – In Full Bloom – you may say!
I’m often asked how long they take to make, but that’s only part of the process. I usually spend longer choosing the colours and textures to put together to create a flower, than I do with my crochet hook – and then there’s the choice of button for the centre – each one is a little labour of love!
Now at the moment, you may have noticed that I love making bags! That’s the great thing about having a creative hobby – some days I make teddy bears, some days I make flowers, but for many days I’ve been making bags!
And here they are …
all lined up and ready for the trip to Alton!
Just a breath of fresh air before hopping into a box for the journey!
Hop along yourself on Saturday. Alton is a super town and on Saturday the Craft Market teams up with the Farmers Market so there are stalls all the way down the High Street and up the lane into the old Market Square. Remember to say ‘Hello’ and stop for a chat – it’ll be lovely to see you.
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04/04/2011 § Leave a comment
When I was 7 or 8 years old, I spent my pocket money on a little pottery bear. He was tiny, under an inch tall, and he used to live on my bookshelf. Many years later when sorting through long forgotten boxes in the loft, I happened upon him once again. He’s a dear little chap and I decided that he should once again live in the house, rather than the loft.
Imagine my surprise, when browsing through a charity stall, that I found his mum and dad!
They are reunited again and for the moment living on the mantelpiece!
Mummy bear is wearing her apron and has a honey pot, Daddy bear is looking thoughtful and Baby bear is looking as though he’s asking for some more honey!
When he’s a bit older, he’ll be asking for some more money – so I hope Mummy and Daddy bear are making the most of their time with him while he’s still smaller than them, going to bed before them and doing what he’s told! It won’t last!!!!!
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