Thursday, 31 October 2019

Halloween Trail


Happy Halloween!

Scary Scarecrows have appeared in the local shops as part of a trail.  Ooooh!

At the hairdressers of course!

Harry Potter at the opticians

Quite a lot of fun for the children on half term to find them all.  If only the rain would stop . . .

Apologies for the tricky reflections.


Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Craft Fair


Thanks for calling in.

With the clocks turned back, the leaves falling and the nights drawing in, it's not long to Christmas.   If you're looking for some present ideas,  something a bit different why not visit a Craft Fair.  Here's a selection of my favourites from a local Craft in Focus Fair that I visited at the weekend.

Pretty handmade fused glass from Wonderland Glass

Sheep footstools  from Ewenique Furniture.

All the shopping was carried out to the dulcet tones of the guitar.

Merry wood Soaps had a wonderful scented display. Sadly their email address is incorrectly identified.

Colourful  knitwear handmade with natural yarns from Suzie Lee Knitwear. 

Snazzy hats from Pop Goes the Weasel upcycling older fabrics.

Ceramics and jewellery from Suzie Jasper - look at those pretty scottie dogs hanging from the tree!

For handmade Belgian chocolates in an array of shapes including balls of wool, head for Chocolate on Chocolate Ltd.

These were only a few stalls from the 79 stalls available.


Tuesday, 29 October 2019

After the Rain


Thanks for popping in.

After all my galivanting recently, it's been a joy to wander around my local area - once the rain had stopped and the sun had come out again.  

Look at that Autumn colour!

So many leaves had fallen in the rain, the paths were covered.

Once the sun started to dry the fallen leaves looked crisper.

What a wonderful time of year!


Monday, 28 October 2019

Moorland Blanket


Thanks for joining me today.

My moorland blanket is complete!  Hooray!  If you fancy making one yourself, here's a link to Lucy at Attic24's pattern.  As always, the instructions are plain and simple, so easy to follow.

The difficulty has been getting a decent photo with all the rain cascading down!  I leave you with a few shots with the colours varying in the light conditions as some early photos were taken in the garden and the completed blanket is shown in electric light.

One side . . .

. . . and the other

I've so much enjoyed making all my blankets, those I've kept as well as all those I've given away.  I think I'll have to stick with smaller ones from now on as I'm running out of room, just like I've run out of wall space for cross stitch pictures! Ha ha


Friday, 25 October 2019

Five Odds and Ends


Thanks for popping in.

Another Friday means another weekend is on the cards although in truth every day feels like a weekend when you are retired!

My five this week are an odd mix of bits and pieces that have caught my eye over the last few weeks, I've been saving them up!

1.  I enjoyed the BBCs Handmade in Bolton where one-time Forger Shaun Greenhalgh  painstakingly makes four artefacts based on Museum objects selected by Dr Janina Ramirez.  The beautiful objects are brought to life when you've seen how they were made and how long it took to complete them.  Have a look here to read about Greenhalgh's life as a Forger and his subsequent prison sentence.

2.  I loved the Downton Abbey film.  I sat in the cinema, watching the progress of a steam train race through the beautiful English countryside carrying the letter from The King as the Downton music played - I knew I was in for a treat.  I've been watching the Box Office Mojo website following the box office sales climb and climb to - at the time of writing - $164,000,000 or £127,000,000.  How amazing is that and what a good investment in these unpredictable days!  It is the 34th US best film this year and 853rd US all time best film . . . so far, it is still rising up the charts!  I do like a few statistics. 

3.  Another book to add to my book list!

Amazon reports: 

It’s a beautiful day in Manchester and four friends are meeting for a birthday lunch. But then they witness a shocking accident just metres away which acts as a catalyst for each of them.
For Laura, it’s a wake-up call to heed the ticking of her biological clock. Sensible Jo finds herself throwing caution to the wind in a new relationship. Eve, who has been trying to ignore the worrying lump in her breast, feels helpless and out of control. And happy-go-lucky India is drawn to one of the victims of the accident, causing long-buried secrets to rise to the surface.
This is a novel about the startling and unexpected turns life can take. It’s about luck – good and bad – and about finding bravery and resilience when your world is in turmoil. Above all, it’s about friendship, togetherness and hope.
4.  I marvelled at the achievement of Eliud Kipchoge as he ran his record breaking marathon in Vienna, knocking 20 seconds off the previous World Record.  As the clock ticked down coming up to 2 hours, I gritted my teeth hoping he would he reach his target and along with thousands of others was thrilled that he'd done it even though it wouldn't be recognised as the official World Record as it hadn't been achieved under race conditions.

From BBC
The marvellous byproduct of this achievement was the teamwork received from the other champions who helped with pacing the race and Kipchoge saying that 'No-one is limited' with his desire for others to emulate his performance.  How graceful.

5.  It is also great to see the determination of Andy Murray to get back to his previous high level of tennis following his hip operation.  He's just won the European Open, his first Singles title since March 2017 and is up to 127 in the rankings.  Onwards and upwards.

From BBC
Have a good weekend full of Autumn colour.


Thursday, 24 October 2019

Dale Chihuly at Kew Gardens


Thanks for calling in.

What a lot of joyful colour on display throughout Kew Gardens!  Dale Chihuly's fantastic glass artwork amazes, not only in its position within the landscape but also in the making and transporting of it to the Gardens.  There is a film showing how the glass pieces are hand blown which makes the feat even more amazing.  I've included a few photos of some of the artworks to show you the distant effect together with a close-up.

Entering by the Victoria Gate, it's the Sapphire Star that draws you further in.

The next pieces were inside the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art.

Near the Japanese Gateway, looking like large colourful marbles, are the Niijima Floats.

Inside the Temperate House, there's a dazzling display including the Persian Column made especially for the location.

Hidden amongst the exotic plants from 5 continents and 16 islands, nestle glass shapes which complement them beautifully. 

Outside the Temperate House, two huge tornados of swirling glass tempt the visitor to enter or reenter.

In the distance, the feathery Scarlet and Yellow Icicle Tower lures you towards it.

My favourite glasshouse is the small Waterlily House which also held a treat in its huge pond, the white glass flowers mimicking the large lily pad leaves.

Other delights around the garden.

The most amazing piece is Summer Sun positioned by the lake opposite the Palm House.

It blends so well with the trees too!

Paint brushes brought us back to the Victoria Gate and the walk to the station and home again.  By the time you read this, the exhibition will have only a couple of days left before it closes but I'm so glad we managed to visit on yet another sunny day so I could give you a glimpse too.

Dale Chihuly was born in Tacoma Washington and was introduced to working with glass whilst studying at the University of Washington.   After graduating in 1965 he enrolled in the first hot glass programme in the US at that University and went on to study at the Rhode Island School of Design.

He has a team to help with the glass blowing and hasn't blown glass himself since 1979 following a road accident that left him blind in one eye.

Here's another blogpost on his work.