Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Red and Blue: A Folksy Gift Guide

Two of my favourite colours, and great for adding a striking Summery touch to your home decor. Here are some of the items I found on Folksy.com. Please click on the link below the photo to go to the item for sale.

Driftwood Doorstop, £29.99 from Reclaimed Time

Nautical Coaster Set, £12.00 from Kayleigh O'Mara

70s Fabric, Red, White & Blue Cushion Cover, £21.50 from Retro68

Ceramic Lidded Pot, £22.00 from mecki allen

Red, White & Blue Wall Hanging, £125.00 from me!

See the full Red & Blue Pinterest Board here! It has 37 items on it.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Kippford Walk, Stone Creatures and Lunch

[Rob's photo of a heart-shaped fern emerging]
 Rob, Brock and I went on a favourite walk of ours today, from Kippford to Rockcliffe and back. There is a circular walk through woodlands full of bluebells and ransomes, at this time of year, to Rockcliffe and back along the shore path, with views over the inlet, the mud flats dotted with picturesque boats, to the next peninsula with its woodlands and hills.

[Brock on the beach at Rockcliffe: the half-way point]

There is a garden on the return leg, where someone makes strange little stone creatures out of rocks, pebbles, found items, teddy bears' eyes, and sometimes teeth. There are always a few new ones to spot.

We decided to try a new place for lunch: The Mariner Hotel, Restaurant and Bar We sat in the beer garden with Brock. There were quite a few tables available outside, with good views over the marina. There is plenty of indoor seating in a conservatory, for when the weather is less clement.

We ordered orange squash, mineral water and two portions of the vegetable curry with rice (Rob had half rice/half chips). It arrived fairly quickly, and was a good-sized portion. It was tasty: quite mild, English-style curry, with a fruity/spicy flavour; plenty of chickpeas, sweetcorn, greens (chard, I think), red pepper and onion. Rob said that the chips were very good, too. The bill came to just under £20. The choice was a bit limited for vegetarians apart from the curry, (mainly cheese-based dishes: macaroni, salad, or panini). But at least there were two gluten free, veggie choices: the curry and the cheese salad.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Standing Wool Hanging Decorations and Trivets

I have been experimenting with a new (to me) technique called 'Standing Wool', and of the sub group 'Beaded'.

Circles Wall Hanging - Shades of Green

This traditional construction technique dates back to as early as the 1870s in America. Rugs were often made with strips of worn out clothing, blankets etc. I first learnt about it through Diana Blake Gray's website, Rugmakers' Homestead.

Black and Yellow Wool Trivet

I am currently making a small bedside rug from a recycled woollen blanket and have made some trivets and wall hangings from re-purposed fabrics and craft felt, respectively.

It is quite time-consuming as each strip has to be cut, coiled and hand sewn. Before that you have to decide on the colour combinations to use and the thickness and type of fabric; size and thickness of the 'beads'; and where the piece will be used.

Standing Wool Trivet - Pastel Shades

The size of the 'beads' can be varied to create a free-form design, but if you are sewing a string of 'beads' from the centre in a spiral, they will tend to form a hexagonal shape like honeycomb.

Circle Wall Decoration - Shades of Grey and Tangerine

I find it a very appealing technique, with great potential for large and small projects. Watch this space!
Little Cloud Hanging Decoration - Shades of Grey, Lemon Yellow and White

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Screel Hill Walk

Rob, Brock and I had a walk up Screel Hill on Friday. The weather started out hot and sunny, but became a bit hazy, as you can see in the photos. (Please click on the photos to see a larger version.)

Above is one of the views from the upward journey.

The walk is all uphill to get to the summit (not surprisingly). You can stick to the forestry track of rough gravel/hardcore, or take a detour through woodland for the first part of the walk. We went up one way and down the other. The views from the track are better, with distant peninsulas and islands just visible in the Solway and Auchencairn Bay. Much of the woodland has been felled since our last visit, so the landscape looks a bit stark in places.

 Brock enjoying the walk.
Starting to climb the hill.

You leave the easy gradient of the forestry track and climb up the steep incline to the top. In a few places, you need to use your hands to scramble up. It was not too wet and boggy on the day we went up, but I'm sure it would be, in the wetter weather.

We saw a green lizard scampering about, but it was too fast to take a photograph of it. There were also butterflies, bees and ravens flying about. On the way down we saw a heron at one of the little streams.

 There are huge boulders everywhere, covered in bright yellow and black lichens.

The journey down is much faster! The whole walk is about 3 miles long and we found it rather strenuous. It takes about 2 hours to complete.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Holiday in Yorkshire - Days 7 and 8 - York Racecourse, Ripon, and Grassington

We had been going to Fountains Abbey to walk Brock, but the £11 per head entrance fee put a stop to that, and we did the walk at the York Racecourse again, before driving on to Ripon for the second time.

We went back to Ripon for a second visit, to have lunch at Oliver's Pantry, a very nice cafe in the town. I had hummus and halloumi sandwich on GF bread; Rob had the all day 'veggie' breakfast. We bought a couple of their traybakes to take home for afternoon tea.

There are some good local shops, and there was a market on, where we bought some beautiful auriculas and cowslips.

We retired to the cottage in the afternoon and just had M&S veg curries with a glass of wine for dinner.

On Friday, we had a quick clean and hoover round before piling everything into the car for the journey home.

We stopped at Grassington on the way home and had a walk by Linton Falls and along the river back into the town.

We found socks for sale at Linton Falls, made using an antique sock knitting machine, and using mixed recycled yarns. We couldn't resist buying four pairs: payment is via an honesty box (actually the letter box of the house). They are long, without soles, so fit a wide range of sizes and there were lots of colours to choose from. The fabric is a little coarse, but they should make good socks as a second pair in walking boots. The maker is R A Horner, 24 Church Road, Linton Falls, Skipton, BD23 6BQ. They offer mail order, but don't have a website.

Lunch was at the highly recommended Retreat Cafe, a vegetarian and vegan cafe that welcomes dogs. I had an egg mayo GF sandwich, followed by GF coffee cake; Rob had quiche and chips followed by a sponge pudding and custard. All delicious, and served by friendly staff. A great end to our holiday.

I also bought some fabric with the last £3 in my purse, from some bargain bins with remnants and samples in, outside an interior decoration shop - they really were a bargain at just £1 per item.  The pieces in the bottom left corner are linen from a sample card.


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