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I have had a lovely time this weekend with some of my very good friends in a beautiful lodge in Sherwood Forest.
These are some of the women I have known since my kids were little and we usually have a weekend away every year. This year it was a lovely lodge with a jacuzzi
We had a couple of very nice walks, saw some interesting mushrooms and ate lots of yummy food and relaxed.A thoroughly lovely time with great company.
Hope that you had a nice time whatever you did, thanks for visiting.
I am celebrating as one year ago today I moved into my little house here in Marsden.
I have had a brilliant year here, I have never been happier living anywhere and I am so glad I made the move (and that it finally happened after all the delays last summer!)
I have made so many new friends including all the lovely people at my new knitting group, have really great,friendly neighbours and permanently feel like I am on holiday!
I have had a very nice quiet summer unlike the previous two where I was getting the house ready to put it on the market, then packing up and finally moving so I have really, really appreciated the lack of stress.
I have spent most of my free time when not away at events in my favourite place in the house, my crafting sofa with all the photos of my friends from re-enactment.
I sit here looking out of the window at my neighbours’ lovely flowers.
I have also been admiring my new planting like this gorgeous lily just blooming and looking up at the hills that I can see from the back of my house. The heather is turning purple at the moment so it all looks fantastic.
These are a few of my best Marsden memories from the first year here.
Lots of walks to the reservoirs in the sunshine, am looking forward to many more of these in the off-season.
The snow and sledging with the kids – fantastic fun.
The sheep, even though they do occasionally eat my flowers I love seeing them, these pics were taken in the Spring on my way home from work – what a lovely sight at the end of the day!
A few years ago I wanted to make a major change to be able to spend less time working and more doing the things I love, wishing to set up my own sewing business.
Sadly that wasn’t possible as life intervened but I now feel that I do have most of what I wanted back then, even though in a different place and under different circumstances.
If I had done that I would have missed out on living here and going to teach in China which has been one of the most fantastic experiences of my life so I am very happy at the way that things have turned out.
This print is in my kitchen, it was a house-warming present to myself and I would add that you can’t buy happiness but living in a beautiful home in a beautiful place with lovely people does really help.
I am spending my houseaversary doing all things domestic, have just baked apple cake for Jake and will be spending most of the day knitting bunnies while watching my new favourite addiction.
I have become a big fan of The Great British Bake Off. Series 4 has just started and while I have been unable to find previous series online I have found the Australian version which is just as exciting (if you like baking!). Am going to pick up new bread recipes for Autumn when I start soup making again.
Oh and one more little bunny update – I added some lace to Emily’s socks – what do you think, cute or what? They remind me of the socks Ellie had when she was little.
Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks for visiting.
I have just got back from a very lovely trip all the way to the very south of the UK (6 hours each way on the train) to go the christening of my cousin’s second daughter.
You may remember that she was born last summer shortly before my lovely Nana died, her eighth great-grandchild, and named Alice Evelyn in her honour. Neil and Vicky her parents very kindly asked me to be her godmother so Mum and I went all the way to Plymouth yesterday.
It was a great trip, staring out the window at all the lambs in the green fields and seeing all the blossom on the trees makes you realise what a beautiful country we live in, especially the last part of the trip from Exeter going along the coast. I love trains so this was a real treat for me!
We had a really lovely time spending last night at Neil and Vicky’s house which I have not visited before.
I did not see very much of my cousins when we were growing up but we have spent a lot more time together in the last few years, mainly in Spain, and I really enjoy their company and it was very precious family time.
A friend of mine recently posted a joke picture on Facebook saying we are ‘nillionaires’ meaning having no money to which I replied that they are rich in the things that count as they have two little girls of a similar age to my cousin’s children.
I deeply believe that what counts in life is family and friends and I am so lucky to have wonderful, close supportive people both relatives and those who are my ‘adopted’ family.
Nothing is more important than the people you love and helping and supporting them which is why I was so pleased to be asked to be Alice’s godmother.
The christening itself was held at HMS Drake which is the Naval base in Plymouth as Neil is in the Navy and so we had the service in the chapel on the base which was very lovely, dating from 1908.
The service was very High Church which I love, incense and sung prayers and then we had the lunch in the mess hall in the Wardroom with the most amazing model ships hanging from the ceiling and Sir Francis Drake’s sword in a display case at the back of the room!
Here is a slideshow of the church and mess room.
|Free slideshow generated with Smilebox|
My christening present to Alice was this little sampler – adapted from a wedding sampler from a recent Just Cross Stitch magazine. It is stitched with white cotton on evenweave.
Thank you so much for visiting – we will be at Harewood House this coming weekend for their medieval event so fingers crossed for lovely weather!
Just one last quick post before I go – I have been given permission by Ellie, my lovely daughter, to finally tell you her good news.
She went for an interview a couple of weeks ago and has got a new job!
She has been working as an intern as a Conservation Assistant at Powis Castle for the National Trust but she now has a paid job as a Conservation Assistant at none other than Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire!
This is one of my all time favourite places and is the reason why I will always be a member of the National Trust.
I posted about Bess of Hardwick a few years ago and you can read that post here.
The collection of Elizabethan era textiles and paintings here is fantastic and she is very, very excited as you can imagine. She starts in a couple of weeks.
Just look at this place – Powis was wonderful to work at but this is so amazing.
We are very, very proud of her!
One of the things I love about living here is all the services and all of the stuff that is going on. I chose to move here partly because of the great location next to the moors but also as we have brilliant local shops and services. As I now live 8 miles from the town centre and do not drive these things are important and I have been shopping locally as much as I can.
I am now having a fruit and veg box delivered weekly from the brilliant deli in the village Radish - it is really nice to have a random selection of things to cook with. Years ago I used to love to watch a TV programme called Ready, Steady, Cook where a participant would arrive with a bag of ingredients and the chefs would make something out of that and my box is a bit like that.So tomorrow it will be beetroot soup for lunch!
Here are a couple of pictures of the shop which always looks so colourful and inviting. I love all of their stock, as well as fruit and veg and wonderful cheese they have all sorts of pasta, spices, relishes etc. Foodie heaven!
I have also signed up for the monthly cheese and wine club ( purely to support local businesses and nothing to do with my love for red wine and cheese of course!) and had a delivery of very special things that I am saving for Christmas.
A couple of days ago I went and did some shopping and visited the newly opened florist’s shop Lily Blossom where I bought some things to make a wreath for the kitchen. I have been putting up the Xmas decs this weekend but having a new house means I have had to rethink things and Roxanne who runs the florist had a brilliant section where you could buy a plain wreath and lots of lovely things to put on it and make your own. I chose a lime and chilli theme to fit in with my kitchen decor and had a lovely time making a wreath to hang on my cupboard door.
We also have some fabulous charity shops and I have been raiding all the vintage embroidery for my stash. I have got some brilliant things – these are the selection I bought this week – for 50p each!
Tonight was the switch on of the Christmas lights in the village with associated craft stalls, christmas tree display, mulled wine stand (well it was raising funds for the village for I really had to just to be charitable) as well as the local Morris Dance group who also fire juggle.I had a lovely couple of hours, met up with some of my friends here and thoroughly enjoyed myself.Here are the lights on the Marsden Mechanics Insitute at the centre of the villlage. I love living here!
Have put up the tree today and finished decorating the rest of the house so all is ready. It is all looking so pretty, I do love this time of year.
It is my blogaversay tomorrow so I will be posting with the traditional giveaway.
Thanks for visiting.
I arrived back from China last Tuesday and on Thursday we went to Worcester for Ellie’s graduation so I thought I would share a few photos of that with you.
My Mum came over from Spain for the week and so she was able to be here for the ceremony and Jake came down from Middlesbrough so we had a lovely few days with the family.
We stayed with my sister who lives in Worcester where Ellie was at University so had chance to catch up with her as well and after the graduation Mum and I went to Powis Castle with Ellie for an overnight stay. A very lovely weekend of family fun!
Here she is with her friends throwing their hats and with her very best friend at University, Becky.
Also I couldn’t resist the chance to get a photo of Ellie with this lovely door – the ceremony was held in Worcester Cathedral which was one of the reasons she chose to study there as not only is it a wonderful venue but also King John (who she studied at A level for her Medieval History) is buried there.
I am very, very proud of her, not only for her hard work at University but also for her dedication to her new job.She is doing lots of exciting things to help Powis Castle get ready for Christmas and is very busy with that and interpreting the kitchens and other areas of the castle to make them appeal to younger visitors. Their Christmas theme is ‘Once Upon a Time’ which is based on fairy tales so if you are in the area please go and visit.
She is also now working on their social media sites so do take a look at their Facebook page for more inspiring pics.
These are a couple of pics I took in the gardens yesterday, it was a beautiful day and the autumn colours were brilliant.
While I was in Worcester I took the opportunity to visit a couple of quilt fabric shops and have added a bit to my stash, mainly Christmas fabric but also a few other bits that I couldn’t resist Will take some photos when we get some daylight!
Have so many pics from China to sort so will be doing that over the next couple of weeks to put up a new page about this trip.
Hope you have a very nice week ahead and thank you for visiting.
Some years ago in 2009 I did a post entitled ‘Home alone ……. with a pumpkin’ as both the kids were away and I was making pumpkin soup. In that post I wrote about how Jake would be leaving home so I was practising then for the time when I would be home alone for good.
Well this is it and Jake has left for University. We took him and all his belongings (and there were a lot of them when piled into my sister-in-law Amanda’s car!) all the way up north to Teesside University where he is happily settling in to his student hall.
Here is the outside of the halls of residence , not the most glamorous of buildings but Jake chose it as it has very large student rooms and good communal facilities and is very near campus.
Here he is – with top hat of course – moving into his room.He says he has space for a grand piano but don’t think he will be able to afford that on a student budget! It looks a good room for parties though as it is twice as big as the space shown in this pic.
It doesn’t seem two minutes since we dropping Ellie off at her halls of residence – you can see her at her first day at her halls in this post .
Hope Jake has a fab time, we are very proud of him
And of course now I get to start sorting out the new craft room, did a little bit last night but I have a lot of stuff to move – am hoping to be able to show you pics at the end of the week.
Still have not really decided on a decorating theme, was going to do a vintage/Cath Kidston look but most of my fabric is either Xams stuff or medieval so don’t know what would look best. Maybe I should just go for a Santa’s grotto theme and then I could have all my ornies out year round, that would be pretty
Am going to my new knitting group in the village tomorrow, Wool and W(h)ine, held at one of the local pubs (what a good idea) so am taking a simple pattern as don’t think I will be able to concentrate on anything much.
I was out partying this weekend and met a couple of the knitting group who are very lovely. One of them is an ex re – enactor who has just set up an online fabric store which I will get the details of and post here! How exciting, I knew I was so right to move here.
I have had a wonderful week, on Monday I went to see the Mikron Theatre Company’s latest production at one of our local pubs – a wonderfully funny play called ‘Losing the Plot’ about an allotment. The info for the company is at the link above – do go and see them if you get a chance, brilliant unique theatre.
Since I now have no one to look after or feed I thought I would do my bit for the local wildlife so have bought a lovely new bird feeding station for my front garden. I was ignored for the first 24 hours but then got some lovely visitors, starlings, crows, two finches and two robins. Was difficult to get good pics but this one is lovely.
And as for the pumpkin it is nearly time to buy one for my favourite soup – Delia Smith’s Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Melting Cheese - yum yum!
A busy week ahead but hopefully will have some crafting time. Thanks for visiting.
You may remember the Shakin’ Stevens song of the same name. Well I have a secret to share with you all – do you want to know what is behind this green door?
It is my very lovely new house!!! I have been planning this move for two years and been trying to actually make it happen for almost a year since I put my old house up for sale.
All seemed to be going well until June when I was expecting to move but a major delay with the chain set us back 2 months. I have been all packed up ready to go since then and have been sitting surrounded by boxes trying to keep myself cheerful but dreading it all going wrong.
But it hasn’t and we moved in two days ago. I didn’t want to post anything until it had actually happened as did not want to jinx things. I have moved to a lovely little house in the country, in the beautiful village of Marsden.This is where I am, the views up and down my street.
You may remember that I have posted about the village before. 2 years ago I started helping as a volunteer with the local Marsden Jazz Festival as a way of getting involved in the community. I have really enjoyed doing this and made lots of new friends here.
The village is fantastic, surrounded by wonderful moorland and reservoirs with lots of cute shops (including a new craft and wool shop – they knew I was coming!) and lots of very practical things like a train station and supermarket. Also a knitting group, book club, Zumba and belly dancing as well as theatre, live music etc so I will not be lonely once Jake leaves for Uni.
The old house was lovely but far too big for just little old me so I have decluttered and decluttered (not that the removal men believed me when they saw the amount of stuff) and thankfully it all fits in here.
And after two frantic days, with help from my wonderful friends Taru and Bob (who organised lunch and dinner on Fri and humped boxes and ran us around to estate agents) and Kerry (who took me shopping for house essentials and gave me her interior design advice on my lounge while unpacking my endless collection of embroidery books!) we are about 80 % unpacked and I am relaxing on the sofa with the candles lit.
All is very well with the world and I am beyond happy!
Would you like to see a few pics of the house? If you are anything like me you love seeing other people’s houses . If so carry on and I will show you the finished bits. When Jake goes I will move all of the boxed things in the guest room into my new craft room (aka his bedroom) and we will be sorted.
One of the reasons I love the village is the countryside and this is the view from my bedroom window. I am looking forward to lazy Sunday mornings with cups of tea and a good book looking at the hills.
Here is Jake all set up with his computer in his new room (the most important thing for him of course), making the most of home comforts as he leaves in 3 weeks.
This is my lovely kitchen, this really sold the house to me. I have the most beautiful door knobs on the units , I forgot to take a close up picture before it got dark but they are so pretty.
And my bathroom. Another great thing about the house is all my things fit so well with the existing colour scheme here, no redecorating and no need to buy new things!
This is my lounge with my lovely stitching sofa and an ‘in situ’ picture of the other sofa with the quilted throw that I am working on, not finished yet but it will be a lovely housewarming gift to myself!
Can’t wait to be able to show you the craft room when it is done – so excited!!!
Hope that you have a good week ahead, I am on leave for the next few days to finish sorting and then it is off to our last show of the season at Caldicot Castle in South Wales. Really looking forward to that as Ellie is coming as well. A beautiful venue and it is a very special show being the final one of such a wonderful year for me.
Take care and thanks for visiting.
I hope that you are all well and happy. I have some time off this week so am very much enjoying myself – have just done a bit of gardening and am now continuing with my hand quilting.
I had a lovely time visiting Ellie at Powis Castle this weekend. It was beautiful weather when I got there on Sunday so I took lots and lots of pics. I have made a slideshow of the castle and garden for you but will start off with some pics of Ellie in her National Trust uniform.
The title of this post comes from one of Ellie’s daily tasks which is to take light readings to check that there is not too much sun coming into the castle which would damage the textiles.
I went round with her when she did this on Sunday and one of the things she has to do is to measure the light on the bearskin rug in one of the rooms. She has a chart on the clipboard in the above photo to record the readings and one of the columns actually says ‘bear’s forehead’.
Years ago when she was very young we went to Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire and as the castle had just been restored the custodian took us on a personal tour and let Ellie unlock the castle with a massive key.
Ellie has always remembered that but these days she has the big keys herself and she gets to lock the beautiful doors like these on the coach house.
She is living in a house in the grounds which overlooks the gardens – here she is on her doorstep and the view of her garden – and the croquet lawn!
The castle is amazing and full of the most beautiful things – we were not allowed to take photos of the interior as usual and it was too dark to take good pics anyway but you can go and look on Ellie’s blog where she details all of the wonderful things she does and has lots more pics.
I am so very proud of her, it is a brilliant job and she is having a wonderful time. I went out for a meal with her colleagues and they are all very lovely and Welshpool is a really pretty little town to live in.
Here are a few of my fave close up pics from the garden – taken with my new camera which is working very well (until I break this one of course!) I am going to frame some of these for my new craft room.
And the beautiful gardens – some of the best I have ever seen. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
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Take care and thanks for visiting.
Hope you are all enjoying yourselves. We have been catching up with family this weekend and I thought that I would show you pics of the baby gift that I have been working on for a while which I finished yesterday.
This gift is for the newest member of the family who I mentioned a few weeks ago. She is a very special baby being born just about 100 years after my lovely Nana and she has been named Alice Evelyn after her (my Nana was Evelyn Alice).
I got to give her a cuddle this weekend which was lovely as it was the first time we had met her and her parents loved the little pillow I made for her. The design is one I have made before as a gift for a friend’s baby born last year but I liked it so much I had to stitch it again.
The fabric on the pillow is left over from the baby quilt I made last year and came from Doughty’s - I also have it in dark pink and turquoise.
Meeting Alice this weekend really made me think about what her future will be like, what changes she will see in her lifetime. We spent the weekend back in the town where I grew up and there have been so many changes in just the 11 years since I last visited.
Ellie and I had a little wander round trying to find a fabric shop I remember from when I was little that my Nana used to take me to but sadly it had closed years ago.
I definitely think it was my Nana who instilled my love of textiles, she sewed most of my clothes and was forever buying fabric from that shop and the markets in town so I can blame my stash on genetics!
We did find the fish clock though, this was one of the things that the kids loved when we used to go back to my home town. It is in one of the shopping centres and balls drop down from the top of the clock, mice pop out from the clock face and every hour it used to play, ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles’, and bubbles would come out of the fish’s mouth. Ellie was very pleased that it was still there.
In other family news lovely son Jake did very well in his results this week - he got a Merit and two Distinctions in his BTEC in Games Design and we are all very proud of him, he had his university place confirmed a while ago so in a very short time he will be off to have fun doing a degree in Games Design.
However looking on the bright side (though I will miss him of course) I am not losing a son but gaining a craft room! I am planning to turn his old bedroom into a lovely room where my machine will be out permanently, my stash will be neatly displayed on shelves like Hen House and Crazy Mom Quilts and I can indulge in fabric heaven!
I have indulged myself with some new Blackbird Designs patterns from Thread Bear and on the journey this weekend started stitching so will take some pics of the new stuff to post later. Am loving the designs and have finally got to use some more of the Silk Mill stash that I ordered a while ago so am using some of the lovely lilacs!
I am having a quiet night in tonight with a takeaway pizza, an action movie on TV and my stitching – and there will be a little bit of red wine of course. Heaven!
Hope that you have a good week ahead and will post again soon. Thanks for visiting.