Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Music to my Ears....

....... "There's an interesting craft stall with lots of 'fibre stuff'!

And yes - so there was 'Fire and Fibre'. I began by purchasing a 'Lucet'. Something I had been meaning to try for many years ( actually very many years - since I first saw one demonstrated at an NEC stitching show). There were two sizes available and I queried the effect of the size on the finished cord. Silly question I now know but I was a little sleep deprived! The larger one would produce a fine cord as well as the smaller one did, but it had the benefit of being suitable for much thicker yarns and threads and could produce much thicker cord. I bought the large one. Back at our pitch my daughter was watching me, asked to have a go and pronounced it to be useful for her corded bracelets which almost entirely cover her fore arms (on non-school days). In self defense, I retraced my steps and bought her a small one. Watching her use it, I did wonder if I would find it quicker than my larger one - no I couldn't use it - it's 'MINE'. Back I went and bought another. At each visit I enjoyed the opportunity to look at the display of finished items and work-in-progress produced on flower looms and peg looms - both of which I have. I am familiar with knitting looms - producing cylindrical items knitted 'in the round'. Fire and Fibre offer knitting frames - consisting of two rows of pegs (nails), one on each side of a central slit through which the knitting emerges in a single width. I was very tempted but, having found the company is based near to my home, decided to leave it for a while.

Trying to be good and not spend more money on craft materials, I resisted the temptation to re-visit the craft village for more than one whole day!! However, whilst waiting for the ukelele band, formed from the workshop sessions, to set up on the VILLAGE STAGE - 'quite by chance' I found myself back at Fire and Fibre and bought a set of weaving sticks. I had some very makeshift ones, but, inspired by the items displayed on the stall, thought I would invest in a 'proper' set.

The reference to a 'ukelele band' may have given you a clue to our location this week end. We spent a lovely, if tiring four days at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival. I enjoy many types of folk music, but I am not knowledgeable enough to know which artists I will prefer - consequently, I discovered all sorts of new sounds. My husband visits our local folk club regularly and we camped next to his brother and family who have visited the festival several times. Our daughter and her cousin, enjoyed the ceilidhs, took part in workshops - our daughter traipsing round the site 'turtle-like' with her guitar on her back (and wellies on her feet!). Even our son surprised himself by enjoying several of the concerts and very enthusiastically joined in the ceilidh on the last night. Staffed by an army of volunteers, the site and its facilities were kept neat and clean - despite sometimes challenging weather and we all had a great week-end. Thank you Shrewsbury!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A Tour of Norfolk -

- The Wash, Sandringham. the north Norfolk coast, the Broads, Norwich and then a few days at Cambridge and Ely. A lovely and relaxing trip, beautiful scenery, historic sites, craft inspiration in abundance, sunshine ......

Neither of us had visited Norfolk before. It had been on our to-do list for some time. Our recent trip began from a false premiss  that we needed an 11 day holiday which would start and finish by driving past East Midlands airport (our kids were travelling to and from Croatia, via Venice, with Scouts). It wasn't really feasible to travel back down to a ferry terminal and head for France - the 11 days were too limiting. Looking at a map the solution seemed obvious. An alternative solution was provided months after our holiday was booked, by arranging for the Scouts to travel to and from the airport by coach - allowing us the opportunity to start and finish our break from home in North Wales - however, our plans were already made. Having had such a lovely time we're grateful for the initial nudge in the Norfolk direction.

We began our tour at Sandringham, then travelled around the coastline, stopping over night on a cliff-top campsite at West Runton. Then on, via Cromer, to Norwich for a few days. We visited the broads, including the Museum of the Broads, before heading on to Cambridge (soooo many wonderful photos from the botanic gardens - a life-time of stitching possibilities!!). The stained glass museum at Ely Cathedral was another rich source of inspiration.

Beautiful coastlines, inland waterways, windmills, flowers in abundance, local markets, a great craft fair, historic architecture, lovely weather..... I couldn't have wanted a more relaxing and inspirational trip. Fortunately, my husband enjoyed it too. Our stay at Norwich was timed to coincide with the one-day/week opening of a printing museum which he had been wanting to visit for some while!

Over the next week or so I shall share some (I promise only a modest number) of our photos with you.

Here are a couple to give you a 'flavour' of the coastline: