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Hope that you are all well and happy.
Seems longer than week ago that I was in Spain with those lovely blue skis
My Mum had surprise day trip planned for me, I thought that it was going to be a new museum of religious art or a fab church but it turned out to be this amazing art deco house in a little town called Novelda, about an hour away from where she lives in the mountains. She discovered it in a DK book that my brother and sister-in-law bought her and first went to visit it last October.
Spain has a lot of Art Deco and Modernist art and I have seen many very lovely things, mainly fabulous doors and ironwork but this was really special.
If you didn’t know it was there you would not really notice the house, the facade is lovely but it is tucked away in a little street in the centre of the town and from the front it looks to be quite a small property but it stretches back a long way and like many Spanish houses it has a Moorish influenced courtyard garden inside the house.
The wonderful thing about the house is that most of the rooms are furnished with original Art Deco furniture and it looks so lived in.
The house is called Casa Modernista and was built between 1900 and 1903 – the DK travel web site has info on location and times info . It is well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in the area.
After lunch (tapas at a lovely little cafe round the corner) we had a little wander around the town and the market and then set off to find a church, St Mary Magdelene’s Sanctury and castle that we could see from the town and that Mum went to on her last trip there. After a few false starts and lots of communing with the locals we found it and it was really beautiful.
As far as we could work out it was built in the early 1900s and reminded me very much of Gaudi’s Sagrada Famila that I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago in Barcelona – on a much smaller scale. A very interesting church and look at those wonderful blue skies! These pictures were taken on the 4th of January!
So back to reality this week, a busy week at work but I had knitting group and a lovely relaxing weekend crafting and cooking so it was not all bad
I have been working hard at creating new stock to take the craft centre, have some new heart ornaments made from recycled charity shop finds that I am just finishing off so will post them next weekend.
I have finished my hat – in beautiful James Brett variegated wool, this was an adaptation of a pattern that I had as a freebie booklet from a knitting mag. I changed the stocking stitch with Fair Isle main part for moss stitch with a stocking stitch crown when I realised how hard it was going it be to do the decreases for the crown shaping in moss stitch.
I am very pleased that it turned out so well and that I now have the confidence to play around with patterns like this. It is very warm and lovely and I just cast on for another one in the purple version of this wool.
This will be followed by matching scarves and possibly wristwarmers in both colourways , at some point in between everything else I want to do. I have still not managed to win the lottery so unfortunately crafting is still subsidiary to my day job – is just lucky I really enjoy what I do!
Exciting job related news – my next trip to China has been confirmed. I will be leaving for Beijing at the end of Feb for two weeks of teaching followed by a few days of exploring the city.I am so lucky, life is wonderful at the moment and I am so enjoying myself.
Like most of the rest of the UK it has been snowing overnight – not as much as I expected but here is the view from my window this morning.Hopefully it will last until the weekend when I can go for a walk on the snowy moors!
Hope that you have a good week ahead and thanks for visiting.
Well no not in terms of the weather – though it has been very nice this weekend which is a welcome respite from two days of torrential rain, thankfully we have not been flooded!
I have just had this lovely piece sent to me as a Summer Exchange from Lisa through the Seasonal Exchange blog. It is a JBW design which as Lisa knows is one of my favourite designers and she has used the same sparkly evenweave that I love to stitch my designs on, it is beautiful Lisa thank you.
I have been spending the weekend mainly stitching and watch disaster movies on TV – there is an extreme weather disaster movie weekend on Movies 24 which is very appropriate give all the strange weather we have been having lately. I am currently working on my Summer Exchange plus a baby gift so nothing I can show yet.
I have some additional links to share with you for lovely pics of re-enactment events, Red Zebra Photography were taking pics all last weekend at Harewood and there are some great shots including some of Swords of Mercia walking in the parade amongst the hundreds of pictures.
I met the photographer, Nigel, from Wallace-Iles Photography at the Tatton event – he takes some lovely shots of single re-eanactors and the effects he puts on them make the really artistic.
Next weekend we are off to our biggest re-enactment event of the year, Tewkesbury Medieval Festival - please pray for fine weather for us!
Thanks for visiting and see you all soon.
I am posting this a bit early as I will be away for the weekend – hurrah!
I took some of these pics in Spain, some at our last event at Tatton and some at home, I have had lots of fun trying to think of unusual ways to meet some of the words and am very pleased with my ideas for a couple of them. The kids have now got used to me saying ‘oh that will be brilliant for the Scavenger Hunt’ as I dash off to take a pic.
Thank you so much to Kathy for continuing to post words for the hunt, I am still really enjoying it and it makes me think about photography in a whole new way.
As always click on the pic above to see the other pics at Kathy’s blog.
This is the painted ceiling of Valencia Cathedral but on my second visit there I bought some posters of the angels so last thing at night what I see is this beautiful artwork on my bedroom walls.
These two were taken at Tatton medieval event – here is the leg of lamb on the spit before it was cooked …..
And here it is fully cooked some 5 hours later. Literally 30 seconds after this pic was taken the wind blew a huge deluge off the roof of the canvas awning over the fire, soaking the lamb and putting out the fire! Luckily the group managed to rescue their dinner, we saw them later in the evening and everything was fine.
On the edge
Of the pool outside the Science Museum in Valencia – it was so hot that day, 33 degrees that I did manage a sneaky feet in the water!
Out of reach
The Angora sheep we fed at Tatton Home Farm trying to get their noses into bags of food which are just out of their reach.
Right up close to the door of Elche cathedral – what a wonderful door knocker!
There is a new group of bronze statues outside Elche cathedral, one is of the Virgin with this beautiful halo / crown.
Not quite the Koh – I- Nor but a big sparkly stone on my summer sandals.
On a truck at Tatton Home Farm
To me nothing beats the majesty of medieval religious art – this pic shows a Bishop from the museum at Valencia cathedral
This month old foal was dozing next to his Mum at Tatton Home Farm – so sweet!
The beautiful symmetry of Spanish ironwork – taken in Valencia
I am posting this a little early this month as I am off to Spain tomorrow, lucky me! I have been working very hard in the garden today in all our lovely sunny weather, my little plea in the last post worked as it has been wonderfully hot here for the last week, there have been BBQs eaten and sandals worn!
As always click on the pic to go to Kathy’s blog to see the other participants in the Scavenger Hunt. This month my pics come mainly from my travels for work locally in Leeds and Bradford here in Yorkshire.
Double good things – chocolate which is always good and this is very delicious and Fair Trade which is even better.
I always love the small packages that contain my stitching exchanges – this was the latest one.
A display of lovely smellies from one of my favourite shops – The Body Shop.
Leeds railway station during one of my visits this week.
I have kept these from my visit to Nepal – currency from Dohar which is the prettiest I have ever seen!
I hoped to take a pic of one of the neighbourhood cats as I think cats have the cutest noses but did not catch any when I had my camera with me. So this is the nose of very cute Tatty Teddy snapped in Leeds, his nose is blue as he has been left out in the cold!
My favourite takeaway drink.
Pieces of cake for my students as it was their last session – not baked by me due to lack of time – courtesy of Mr Sainsbury!
Do you see what I see?
Are they walking on water? In the centre of Bradford, the pond and fountains.
A pillar on a building I walked past in Bradford. This building is in an area called Little Germany which has lots of beautifully decorated Victorian buildings.
A beautiful Spring dress in a shop in Leeds.
An advert featuring our lovely Princess Kate in Leeds – I know that isn’t her real title but she is every inch a princess!
Hasn’t the time flown? Nearly forgot to do this as the end of the month seems to have come so quickly.Click on the pic above to go to Kathy’s blog where you can see all the other lovely pics as well.
Most of these were taken on our recent trip to Lake Como in Italy.
We went on a boat trip across the lake from where we were to a little town called Varenna. We were just wandering up the hill on a little path and came across this villa which is now a museum and this was the view from the terrace – wow!
Can’t live without
I hadn’t got the list for this month’s hunt before I went so used the computer in the hotel to check. As soon as my Mum and the kids heard this category they said ‘red wine’ – so here is a pic of the wine we had every evening – even Jake got into drinking it. Though I think I could live without it …. but do love it!
The ferry-boat going in the direction of Bellagio across the lake from our hotel on a very misty first morning.
This had to be one of my (many) door pics – this one from the Duomo Cathedral in Milan – what a door!
While in Milan we visited the Milanese version of Harrods and this was in the Food Hall , designer water . I don’t know if you can see the price tag but it says 59 euros – the phrase ‘more money than sense’ comes to mind!
Multi – coloured
From the same store these lovely Pantone mugs – have just bought Jake a couple of the cheap version of these from our local store for his ‘bottom drawer’ for going to University in Sept.
On the move
Our amazing train journey over the Alps – the Bernina Express train.
The first morning was very dull and misty but that meant there were amazing clouds clinging to the rocks in the village behind the hotel.
Ellie has just bought me this book from my wish list as a pressie for help with her dissertation -she is such a lovely daughter and it did make me smile lots and lots! I love Rick Stein, the series was brilliant and he has a lovely smile as well!
Beautiful wisteria in bloom all along Lake Como.
They would be if you tried to wear them! Miniature chocolate shoes from the Milan store food hall – yours for 35 euros.
The clematis and honeysuckle over my garden arch – just waiting for it all to bloom now.
I am still working on sorting out all of the pictures from China but have done these for the Scavenger Hunt so this is a little taste of what I did there.
The view from my hotel room in Guangzhou – from the 11th floor overlooking the park.
Am emergency button in the hotel room bathroom.
These beautiful boxes of tea were for sale in the hotel I stayed in – sadly I did not have enough weight allowance to bring one back this time but I will when I go again later in the year.
This was one of the wonderful restaurants I visited – a famous beef restaurant where you had a personal hot-pot on each table to cook all of this lovely stuff!
We visited a historic house and museum where they had this beautiful puppet theatre with goldwork hangings.
I have started learning Chinese – being in the country surrounded by signs made it much easier, like this road sign outside my hotel – ‘shan’ means ‘mountain’.
The chairs in the lobby in the hotel I stayed in.
This is the 5 goats statue in Yue Xie park in Guangzhou, this is linked to the story of the founding of the city. Here I am with my colleagues Mo and Chris on a rather wet day out.
It was easy to see what was in fashion in China as washing was hanging everywhere, this is one of the student dorms on the campus in Guangzhou.
Loads of lovely Chinese words everywhere which were so beautiful, these were at the back of the classroom where I was teaching, these symbols mean ‘teacher’.
Half a face
One of the things that was strange in China was that all of the adverts featured very Western looking women with pale skin which is very prized in China. This was a picture outside a beauty salon. Seems strange that in my town there are lots of beauty salons offering spray tan and in China the most popular thing is whitening masks!
A picture of the other city in stayed in , Shantou. on display at a museum we visited – a small city by Chinese standards at about 5 million people.
I am posting this early as I will be away in a few days so Jake has strict instructions to upload this post to the link on Kathy’s blog so you can all see it. Most of these pics were taken in Spain again. This completes a year of taking pics for the Scavenger Hunt and I am still really enjoying it, I love taking pics and get very excited when I get something good for one of the words!
Lots of the Spanish houses have beautiful ceramic house number tiles so here is a number 5 from my street.
This is on one of the roads I cycle along in Spain, the local council have recently fenced the road and painted the fence in multicoloured blocks with lots of musical notes along it, no-one seems to know why this feature has been chosen but it looks very pretty.
Not strictly a train but a train track and station. I took a couple of quite boring train pics which I was planning to use then came across this model railway on one of my cycle trips in Spain which was in someone’s front garden! It was a large layout about 10 feet in total with a little model village as well as this train station. I can only imagine the owner has a very understanding wife!
This was really hard as there are so many things that I love, my kids, my family, Spain, camping, travel, embroidery but I decided that I would post about something I have not posted before. The first thing I fell in love with would have to be reading and I still think books are the most marvellous thing. One of the great things about being on holiday is the amount of reading I do and this was the pile of literary love that I treated myself to at the airport – they were wonderful and I read the whole pile in 3 days!
This was the only Cupid I saw in the whole month, not a very good pic but from a local shop window.
Sandwiches Spanish style – the lunch that Mum and I shared on our trip to Elche.
The road down to the beach on one of my cycle rides.
In the sky
Nothing but blue! Taken from my terrace on Feb 13th.
A picture of a crowded lemon tree taken on one of my bike rides.
How spectacular is this – the front door of the cathedral in Elche.
Black and White
The Spanish love ironwork on gates and balconies and this is from one of the neighbouring houses.
This is quite a boring pic but a very exciting event – on the 29th Feb Leap Year Day I will be flying to China for nearly 3 weeks with work. I am very, very excited as you can imagine and will of course take lots and lots of more exciting pics than this one!
Warning this is a very picture heavy post – look away if you are not into random exploration into photography or go and make a cup of tea if you have a slow internet collection while it all loads!
First of all I would like to say a very, very big thanks to you and you and you, in fact all 5, 476 of you that visited me last month! I was really impressed to find that when I checked my stats yesterday I have leapt from my average visits of around 4,500 per month which I have had for the past year to the stunning figure of nearly 5,500 last month.
I am thrilled (Jake is grudgingly impressed though cannot imagine why people would want to visit a blog about stitching, photos and Spain!) Now I know that lots of people arrive here by accident through a search for something else and maybe don’t stay for long but I am very humbled by the fact that anyone comes here at all and love the fact that so many of you come back and comment and have become my bloggy friends.
I have had another very lovely week in Spain and have been indulging in some photography as well as an accidental fiesta.
It has become commonplace for me to just come across things happening when I go , we will just be visiting somewhere and something fab will be happening and this has become a bit of standing joke that not only do I get great weather for all my visits, ( I always say that God feels sorry for me because I live in Yorkshire whereas my Southern cousins sometimes get rain!), I also get events happening that we knew nothing about.
My last trip to Elche in October coincided with a wonderful medieval market and we visited the town last week only to find that they were preparing for a carnival at the weekend which we went back for on Saturday.
The reason for the carnival was not entirely clear, it was not a religious festival as far as we could work out and the people we spoke to said it was like Halloween, which we realised was more like the US version of Halloween than our UK one in that the point was to wear fancy dress of any sort (unlike our UK Halloween which is mainly witches etc) and have one great big street party involving brass bands and discos and general merriment.
Anyway we had a great evening watching and admiring the many costumes , early on the evening it was mainly children who were dressed up , princess costumes were a very clear winner with Snow White as the most popular but Minnie Mouse was a close second (she was also very popular with the adults later on).
Ellie would have loved it, being as you know a Disney Princess and a huge fancy dress fan, so maybe one day we can all go dressed up.We of course had to drink red wine and eat tapas in the little bars around the central square (just to be sociable you understand) and did not leave till about 11 – the rest of the town were due to carry on partying till 3!
There was a lovely mix of home-made and bought costumes and these pics give a flavour of that – I love the plastic cup hat and the robot got loads of pics taken. The band shot was just a random coming together of a group of people at one point before we left, love that about Spain – totally mad place but totally wonderful!
Elche is a very beautiful place with so much to see and its Palmeral (Palm Park) is a Unesco World Heritage site.
I have also been trying to take lots of lovely arty pics with the new camera that I got for Christmas which is very good (thanks kids!) and has very good definition for close up shots as well as a zoom lens that works (yey!) so have really enjoyed exploring all the different places.
Whenever I read things about painting and photography people often talk about the light being really good in places and I have never really understood what that meant. However after spending a lot of time taking pics in Spain I have realised that the colours and the way that the light reflects off the stone and the sea really changes the way that my little snaps look.
These three pics were taken down at the beach and the salinas (salt lakes) that are a bird reserve where I often go for a bike ride.
I come back with pics that have the most amazing blue sky in them and the contrast between that and the sea or the way the sun hits the stone is wonderful. The pics below are of the Basilica Santa Maria in Elche.
I have also taken a few close up shots of the great vegetation there is – this time not only a cactus from my terrace but beautiful ornamental cabbages surrounding a pool at the park in Elche.
I hope you have enjoyed the pics, I will be back at the weekend with my Scavenger Hunt pics for this month, I will be posting them early as I am off to China with work next week which will be very exciting!
Thanks for visiting and making a little blogger very happy!
Well here we are again. Kathy has very kindly kept going with the Scavenger Hunt , click on the pic above to go to her blog and see everyone’s pics. I joined last March so this will be nearly a year of taking pics.
Some of these are from my last visit to Spain at New Year topped up with a few extras that I have quickly done today. Lots of scope this month for interpretation so it will be really interesting to see what other people have done.
A pair of beautiful doors in Cartegena.
It was good to have this as a category this month as most of my New Year’s Eve firework pics came out as a blur and here is one of them.
One day I hope to be able to turn my hobby into a business, got the business cards and the company name, just need more time!
Now this could be interpreted differently depending on how you say it – I have chosen it as the opposite of exit so here is the entrance to my house.
In my bathroom
Strictly speaking this is the downstairs cloakroom but here is my collection of postcards from some of the lovely places I have been lucky enough to visit.
No I haven’t gone mad, in Spain ice-cream is always in season, this is the selection Mum and I had on Jan 5th – coconut and mango yum, yum!
In the distance
It has to be my favourite subject of mountains, taken on one of my bike rides in Spain.
Part of the map of Cartagena – you have to love a place with roads called Paseo de las Delicias and Santa Florentina!
Sadly there are lots of old abandoned farms and smallholdings in this area of Spain and this is one that I passed on one of my bike rides.
These are sort of like Horse Chestnuts but with a suntan! From one of the verdes in Spain.
My Mum voluteers at a local dog shelter and takes the dogs walking one afternoon a week so I went with her in Jan. This is little Martha who had such soft ears and such a cute face it was hard not to take her home!
On the back of the antibiotics for my ear infection.
Well as we went to Disneyland for Christmas most of my seasonal A – Z pics were taken there – some I did struggle with so had to be a bit creative! Hope you like them and really looking forward to seeing everyone else’s pics this time. Click on the pic above to go to Kathy’s Scavenger Hunt site.
A is for Angel on the top of my tree
B is for Bauble – this one was in the Christmas Market in Paris and I liked the way the Eiffel Tower was reflected in it !
C is for Castle, the Disney one all lit up for Xmas
D is for decorations, so many to choose from , this is from one of the beautiful window displays
E is for Eiffel Tower which was all lit up and sparkled for a few minutes as well- it was very magical
F is for Favourite – this is Sully from Monsters Inc, my favourite Disney character
G is for Goofy dressed as Santa
H is for Holly from Tatton Hall
I is for Igloo in Paris at the Christmas Market
J is for Jake (and Ellen) jingling all the way on a sleigh at Disneyland
K is for Kings from this beautiful Xmas card
L is for lights, these giant ones were at Disney Studios
M is for Market and Mulled wine – here is a pic of the Christmas market at the Eiffel Tower where we had lovely mulled wine
N is for Nativity at the Eiffel Tower, they had real animals in the manger as well
O is for orange – a tradition for Xmas (along with the less healthy chocolate versions!)
P is for Princess from one of the shop windows – Aurora Sleeping Beauty
Q is for Queue – we amused ourselves admiring various families’ festive headgear while we were waiting for rides. There was one family all dressed in Santa suits but could not get a pic of them.
R is for Reindeer, in this case their stables
S is for Snowman, not real but he looks like he would enjoy throwing that snowball!
T is for Tree of course from the Disneyland Main Street, I love the little gingerbread decorations
U is for unwrapped, the children’s traditional Xmas chocs from the stockings they unwrapped Xmas morning
V is for Village , the Disney Village which was looking very festive
W is for Winter Wonderland a cute show with Mickey and Minnie and friends
X is for Xmas cards , this was one of my faves this year
Y is for Yoda Stitch which Ellen bought as a present for herself
Z is for Zac Efron from High School Musical who you can just see on the wall of this themed cafe that we ate lunch in (told you I had struggled with some!)