The winter has been so bad we've been going stir crazy. The sun on Sunday made us want a trip out so we set off and crossed the border into Yorkshire.
An hour later we were here.
I'd been past a long time ago but never actually stopped, and it was well worth the trip.
For anyone who doesn't know, it seems to be an outpost of the Chatsworth estate and is a Village based around the abbey and some ruins and a lot of walking areas.
It looked so mellow in the afternoon winter light.
You have to pay £7 to park but that allows you to park your car at any of the three car parks.
We stopped at The Cavendish pavilion for a snack.
There were HUNDREDS of people and dogs there, but it didn't feel crowded.
There are lots of places to walk , some don't allow dogs but others do.
The river runs through the woods and fields, its very pretty.
(When people get old they are deemed less beautiful to look at, but building become more romantic and beautiful with age. Just a sudden thought)
Around the edges of the Abbey are the ruined bits, some date back to the 12th century.
Just in front of the Abbey are the 'stepping stones' across the river. Can you see them?
No we couldn't either! They were under the water and the sign said they'd been partly washed away.
Hetty didn't care.
Some more views and inspiration.
From Iron work
to stone carvings
and Victorian wall paintings
And some unexpected dogs!
Hetty didn't see them, they were high up on the front of the Abbey.
All around the estate there are plenty of tearooms and this was the path leading out from one of them.
Pretty holly bushes and wallflowers for later blossoming.
Around every corner a lovely scene.
Happy day. It would have been perfect if Hetty was a better traveller. (Don't ask)
Back at home, Hetty's Hippo has his beady eye on a big white sack.
Its my new consignment from Wingham wools, all ready to make some lovely felt in my On line course.
I have a gorgeous array of colours and I can't wait to get it going.
I've got quite a goodly number of students but there's room for a few more!
Last weeks heart brooches were well received by the gallery. I have one or two left and I've listed some new ones in my etsy shop.
I just wanted to share this one. Its big. But don't you think it looks like a 'fishy' thing?
Here it is with its chums for scale.
I had a little note from 'Moo' to let me know there's a 25% off sale. I said I'd mention it. I absolutely love their beautiful business cards, greetings cards and mini cards. They are amazing quality, so if you need some nice business cards at a decent price, go to MOO.
You can have as many different pictures on the front as you like, uploaded from your own pictures, and they are a great way to get your work noticed.
I had these lovely greetings cards made from my own photographs last year.
Well I've been so preoccupied with planning my online class that I couldn't think of much else.
But now its getting going (Five wonderful students already! I can't believe it!) I can at last think of other stuff.
(My course isn't brooch making)
You know whats coming up soon don't you?
Well I've had an order from a lovely Gallery in the South of England for some Valentine brooches.
I have really enjoyed making these. Every time I embark on a new batch, I seem to somehow achieve new colours to fall in love with. I just love the bluey-greyish ones above. They remind me of cool winter skies.
My latest favourite colour combination can be blamed on a house down the road with a light blue door and brown woodwork!
And this lilac velvet is just gorgeous in real life.
Who can resist a red heart for Valentines?
yum yum. I love them all! It doesn't often happen like that but I do.
I have to choose 20 to send off to the Gallery.
I've also been working on a bit of a different sort of piece.
I'm not sure I like it yet.
It needs more stitching to bring it all together. I thought I'd try some discordant colours.
Since I've had a couple of comments asking me where I am this is a quick picture-less post to say I'm fine and thinking, scheming, and planning my online course.
I've been out and bought a video camera.
I've just set up a Big Cartel Shop (Nothing in it yet)
I've placed an order for wool tops from Wingham Wool Works and when it arrives I'll make the first video, hopefully, starting with feltmaking.
Details of how to buy the course will be on here when its ready. It will be about 6 weeks, about 10 videos, and there will be a break at the end of February while I soak up some Irish landscape and music, then back to it second week of March.
It will be for watching, or for making along with me and the videos will be available for at least 6 months. Maybe more. It will start with feltmaking, touch on using prefelts, creating felts to stitch on; designing for stitch, introduction to machine embroidery, a bit of hand stitching and finishing and mounting.
Anyway I'm sure not everyone reading this is all that interested in the above.
Our Christmas was OK. I persuaded my Mum to stay the night , I made a heavenly Christmas dinner , turkey and all the trimmings and at about 6 o'clock I had to go to bed because I was streaming with a cold and felt lousy. What a shame for my Mum. Still she was in good company with my lovely boys and husband, and Hetty and Jools looked after her too!
Oh yes! I can show a picture. My younger son is now on a 'proper' living wage and so we got some super dooper presents this year , I was the luckiest Mum with these in my metaphorical stocking.
The other thing we got for Christmas was the balls off our gatepost returned! Now its not huge news and I have to say they're more trouble than they are worth in terms of ensuring that they don't disappear again. We haven't stuck them back on yet. They were at a reclamation yard and I went with a policeman (after a tip off by a builder friend) and we recovered them. Of course, the owner just couldn't remember who sold them to him.