Saturday, July 25, 2015

Potfest in the Park 2015

Rob, Brock and I enjoyed our annual trip to Potfest in the Park at Hutton-in-the-Forest near Penrith.

[Please click on any photo to see a larger version.]

Entry is £6 per person and includes entry to the grounds and gardens of the house, as well as parking and, of course, access to the ceramics exhibition and sale.

We began with a walk around the wild flower meadow and walled garden. They were looking on top form, and buzzing with insects.

Then it was on to the exhibition and competition area. The theme this year was 'Biblical'. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my camera (the photos here are all taken by Rob), so didn't get a photo of the three pieces I voted for, but here are two of Rob's choices:-

 Jonah and The Whale
The Last Supper

Brock enjoying the day out

There were 130 potters showing off their wares, so plenty to look at and even buy...

Some lovely earrings I bought from Steve Woodhead Ceramics. I also have a pair of yellow ones, purchased a few years ago, which I wear all the time.

This adorable container with bird ornament is from Charlotte and Sigerd Bohmer of Germany. We have quite a few of their pieces now, as we buy one or two every year.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Nine Eggs - Making A Textile Art Wall Hanging

This piece has just been listed in my Folksy shop.

It was inspired by the lovely fresh eggs that my own chickens lay. We have kept chickens for over 10 years. We have two hens at present, (Connie and Lily, below), and a cockerel called Monty. A friend once commented that he spoke to his hard boiled egg every lunch time, because "each one is an individual". That thought stuck with me, and here is the result.

The first task was to tea-dye the lovely antique, woven fabric that I wanted to use for the background to each 'egg'. I then chose the fabrics that I wanted to use for the eggs. I chose a subtle palette, which is rather different to my usual bright colour schemes.

Each egg was hand cut to be slightly different in size and shape from the others. The 'eggs' were hand appliqu├ęd to the background rectangles, then the individual rectangles were machine sewn together.

The front was ironed, then sandwiched with cotton wadding and a backing fabric, pinned all over, then hand quilted in cream and black threads.

Next comes trimming to size, and the binding - a fabric which I overdyed - it has a subtle brownish black colour. This is half attached by machine, and half by hand stitching.

The hanging sleeve is also attached at this time, and then the 'Fire Horse Textiles' label is added to the reverse.

Finally, a hanging dowel is sawn to length and sanded on the ends to prevent splinters.

Rather a windy day when I was taking the photos!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Carsethorn Beach and The Steamboat Inn

Rob, Brock and I had an outing to Carsethorn near Dumfries today. I see from looking at the website on the village that it originally started as a Viking village and trading point.

The weather was fantastic and we got to the beach at around 11.00 am in time for a walk before lunch at the pub.
[Please click on any photo to see a larger version.]

 Sand martin nests

 The beach had a layer of washed-up peat, which made interesting patterns as the tide went out.

Brock, or "The Photobummer", as we call him, since in most of our photos he is a retreating butt in the distance!

The Steamboat Inn Bar Area

There is a small, free car park next to the pub.

The Steamboat Inn is open all year round and serves food that has received some good reviews. They allow dogs in, which is always a bonus for us, especially on such a hot day.

The staff were all very friendly, as were the local people that we talked to. The pub is stuffed with bric a brac related to the sea, mainly, and has a good atmosphere. There was outside seating that was completely full by the time we left. You would need to reserve a table on busy days.  

The vegetarian choices on the menu are macaroni cheese or Mediterranean vegetable cassoulet in basil and tomato sauce, served with rice. The latter is also gluten free. We had one of each, with Rob choosing chips instead of garlic bread with his macaroni. With a pint of orange squash, a mineral water and two coffees, the bill came to £27.50. Both meals were very tasty, although I would add some beans to the cassoulet to add a bit of protein to the dish. Also it would be nice to see some more vegetarian and gluten free meals available. However, we will definitely be back!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Wild Flowers in an Abandoned Graveyard

Rob, Brock and I often walk to the abandoned grave yard at Kirkconnel on the Sprinkell Estate, Eaglesfield. Apparently there was a medieval village with a church here at one time. There is now just a ruined mausoleum and lots of 18th century and newer grave stones.

There is an easy walk to it along by Kirtle Water, a small river with views of fields of sheep, lovely old trees and, at this time of year, wild flowers. We were also lucky enough to spot a swarm of bees!

Please click on any photo to see a larger version.

 The remains of the mausoleum in the background.

Lots of the grave stones have these rather morbid skulls/heads on them and other symbols of mortality.

The last photo is of Brock, taken back in May on the same walk.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Portinscale Walk, Cumbria

Rob, Brock and I did a walk from Portinscale near Keswick in the Lake District. We headed from outside The Chalet Tearooms towards Ullock and then along the Newlands Beck until we got to the bridge, where we retraced our steps. You can go on up to the pub and back along the road to Portinscale, but we preferred to walk by the water on such a hot day.

 Heading along a country lane just beyond Ullock; distant mountain views

Hawthorn bushes just coming into blossom
Brock takes a quick rest on a bench overlooking Newlands Beck

 A sheep farm

This is the point at which we turned round - sheep guarding a bridge!

 Rob's photo of water in the Newlands Beck - very David Hockney

 Here I am standing in the Newlands Beck - not much water in it

We ate lunch afterwards at The Chalet Tearooms. They allow dogs inside and out. Since it was a hot day and there was a space on the shaded verandah, we sat there. The building is nice, with large windows and lots of wood. The menu has breakfast items until 11 am, lunches such as soup, sandwiches, salads etc. There are cakes and scones for morning and afternoon coffees/teas.

We both had jacket potatoes with cheese and beans, plus coffees, a mineral water and an apple juice. The bill came to £21.50. There was lots of food on the plate - pretty good - the beans could have been hotter. The salads included two items containing gluten, which I had forgotten to ask them to leave off my plate. There was a strange mixture of little gems and roasted squash with a bitter/sour/hot flavour. The lettuce had gone brown from the heat, and neither of us liked the taste. There was beetroot cous cous, half a pointed pepper stuffed with another type of grain and the usual lettuce, cucumber and tomato. The coffees were very good. I would eat there again as it is convenient for the walk.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Vintage Black Glass Buttons

I have listed some buttons from my own collection on Ebay - all with the start price of just 99p per lot! Please click on the link at the end of the blog post to go to the items for sale.

To see all my items for sale, please visit my Ebay shops LoveButtonsHQ and jkw_fire_horse

Auctions for the buttons shown above finish on Sunday 7 June 2015 at around 7.00 pm BST.


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