Thursday, 20 July 2017

Hay-on-Wye and a patchwork vase

We were on our way home from a weekend in Cardiff, visiting our student daughter, and we stopped off at Hay-on Wye for a couple of hours. After business hours on a Sunday, the town was quite quiet and we were able to potter around taking a few photos.

Renowned for its book shops, Hay is very pretty. This shop front is beautiful!

We found a lovely antiques emporium and I bought a table runner to add to my collection of vintage linens for re-purposing.


This vase represents my latest recycling project (click the image below to visit its Folksy shop shelf):

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Boston, birds and a wood mouse

The final episode of our Lincolnshire meander. Our very pretty campsite was just a few miles from Boston which we visited on the way. We were, initially, a little disappointed with the town. It was expensive to park our 'van', the market was large but not the sort of traders we prefer and the Tourist Information Office was in the museum which was 'closed for a private function' - on a Saturday morning! We had wanted to visit the museum, housed in the old Guildhall, had intended to consult Tourist Information for other points of interest, and the adjacent Fydell House was closed for the same function. Not very welcoming we felt!

We photographed the river and 'docks' from which the famous boats left for America (unfortunately low tide so more mud than water - not Boston's fault this time!), Saint Botolph's Church Tower, known as 'the Stump', and looked at the old merchant's houses and warehouses on the quayside. After a flash of inspiration we asked the way to the library. At this point, Boston redeemed itself since the library was still open (now mid Saturday afternoon when many would have closed at lunch time), a very helpful librarian (embarrassed to hear of the closed Tourist Information office), gave us a street map and suggested a visit to the Maud Foster Windmill, even suggesting a pleasant route to walk. The windmill was a wonderful place to visit - although to those of us with a gluten-free diet a little too 'floury'. There was a strong breeze, the sails were rattling round, the miller was very informative, the view was wonderful (between sails that is) and we very much enjoyed our visit. My husband is still enjoying the piza bases which he makes with semolina flour purchased from the mill shop!

After a restful night at the campsite, we trundled off again in the van to RSPB Frampton Marsh - the Lincolnshire side of the wash. I was a little uncertain if I would enjoy the trip. I can recognise our garden birds and those on our local hillsides, but wading birds are a bit of an unknown to me. It was a brilliant day out - aided by glorious weather. The volunteers staffing the visitor centre were knowledgeable and very patient even though I clearly knew very little. A visiting crane seemed to have created a commotion - its arrival heralded by texts from further along the coast. It was greeted by a long-lens, tripod carrying crowd. We felt very inferior and left them to it. The crane clearly tried to avoid them too and we had a lovely view as it flew over back to the Wash - sadly, my slow reactions and basic camera left me without a photo - although I did feel a little smug when some lens-laden twitchers struggled up the dyke to ask if we knew which way it had gone since they had missed it. The reserve is being grazed by my favourite cows - a small group of Belted Galloways so I couldn't resist a photo or two. There were many wildflowers for my stitching inspiration files too!

As we walked back to the car park, we saw a small furry bundle on the very hot road. It was a tiny woodmouse, very hot and I feared dehydrated - it seemed barely able to move. Keeping a watch for approaching vehicles I poured a little puddle of water in front of it and splashed a drop onto its nose. It revived enough to have a few sips from the puddle. I repeated the exercise and it drank more. Cute though it was I had no intention of being nipped - I remember the strawberry eating jaws of a similar cute beastie from a year or two earlier at home (images on facebook here). I broke a stalk from the verge seeking to use it to administer a gentle nudge back towards the verge. The mouse came to life enough to nibble the end of the stalk and, when I seemed to be about to remove it, clamped his teeth on tightly and held on whilst I lifted him to the relative safety of the verge. He was very tiny and still seemed intent on trying to cross the road - I shooed him back a few times. We left him with a supply of cut stalks and the hope that he might survive. I fear he was in quite a hostile, predator rich environment but I did my best!


PS. Two of the fabric bowls featured in progress on my work table - see earlier post, now finished:

Friday, 14 July 2017

Fabric Bowls

Patchwork bowls using vintage and upcycled fabrics and incorporating embroidered vintage linens. This bowl recently sold from LynwoodcraftsRecycled at Folksy.

The purchaser was kind enough to take the time to send me a lovely feedback email and this has spurred me on to make more:

This first one is taking shape well:


Monday, 10 July 2017

Sutton on Sea and beyond

Our campsite, for two nights, was at Mablethorpe. We preferred the adjoining, and very much quieter, Sutton on Sea - a seaside village which also serves the local community - with a lovely wool shop ( I bought some green crochet thread) and an excellent hardware shop (from which I bought a sachet of red fabric dye). We also enjoyed a potter around an extremely heavily stocked antique shop. It was a little difficult to view all the items but I bought a length of hand-made lace.

We are accustomed to the Welsh coast with all its features, both on the coastline itself and a little in-land - but still visible from the beach. The complete 'flatness' of the Lincolnshire coast, the very necessary sea defences obscuring any glimpse of any inland features which there might have been, created views which were beautiful for the scale of open sea and sand.


I have been busy felting and stitching some keyrings from upcycled fabric for LynwoodcraftsRecycled. This is the first to be listed:

This little camper van will be completed shortly:


My daughter and her boyfriend visited us last weekend. They brought me some beautiful flowers and I recorded them for future stitching inspiration:


My final post from our Lincolnshire meander will be Boston and Spalding.


PS I have now finished the campervan keyring:

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Aldford and Louth

The first two images are of Aldford, I really haven't done the town justice at all - I thought I had taken more photos. There is a really pretty market square, a lovely craft gallery and a working windmill. We visited on market day which was lovely but busy - it was a little difficult composing shots without traders vans and close up shoppers! In addition, Alford Manor House, boasting an enormous thatched roof, looked lovely - unfortunately, we didn't have time to visit, since we were stopping on the way to a new campsite at Louth. I did find time to pop into a lovely wool shop which provided the following. The blue yarn is being used in a blanket whilst the multi sock yarn provided the background to one of the brooches and a bookmark in earlier posts.

The remaining images above are of Louth. Another, somewhat larger market town, and yes, once again, we had timed our visit for market day. I was thrilled to find two stalls offering gluten and dairy free goodies and stocked up on savoury breads, cakes, pies ...... Yum!! It was a baking hot day and we had walked down from the campsite (only about 20 mins), with the obvious consequence that our purchase laden return was up - a little more than 20 mins was required although it had been worth it. The views which greeted us from the campsite on our return ( with the addition of a tiny bunny):

The rabbit was very tiny. There were several that hopped out to see us. Unfortunately, the campsite cat knew they were there and I spent the entire evening on watch and shooing him away when he came stalking in the hedgerow.

Among my purchases in Louth was this felting needle mat:

I have been putting it to very enjoyable use as the following images show! More news on these items soon!


P.S. The first two brooches from yesterday's work in progress are finished and about to be listed!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Horncastle, Lincoln and a Lincolnshire hare!

The bookmarks, from my earlier post, have now been completed:

Continuing my review of a meander around Lincolnshire - we caught a bus to Horncastle in time to visit the Saturday market, although, in truth, we spent rather more time in some of the many antique centres for which this lovely little town is known.

I collected images of shop fronts and other commercial buildings as future inspiration when stitching streets. I can never resist ducks! As to the piles of china - the most unusual 'antique shop' I have ever visited!

It was at about this time in our holiday that the weather changed - a beautiful hot spell which we had not expected and we spent Sunday morning on a ramble from our campsite. Not quite into the wolds but gently sloping and very beautiful!

I wasn't carrying a tripod, and haven't entirely mastered the camera, so the image of the hare is not of a great quality, but what a treat and definitely one I'll use in stitching!

And so to Lincoln. We had visited, and greatly enjoyed the Lincoln Christmas market of 2015, but it does tend to swamp the city and we thought we should like to wander at a more leisurely pace and in the presence of fewer visitors.

In my next post Alford and Louth!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

A Meander Around Lincolnshire

Beautiful scenery, friendly people, pretty market towns, antique/vintage shops, windmills, coastal walks - we greatly enjoyed our tour! An 11 night trip by virtue of attaching a Thursday night and Friday to a week ending in a bank holiday week end. Someone asked why on earth we were having a holiday in Lincolnshire which they didn't consider to be a tourist destination - the point entirely!!

We decided upon Lincolnshire to continue our exploration of the east coast, having visited both Norfolk and Suffolk in recent years. We kept a  sketch map and a list of possible destinations compiled from snippets of TV-based information (the likes of Countryfile and Escape to the Country can give a tempting insight) added to some on-line research. Our motorhome would provide our accommodation and most of our transport (with additional bus journeys where more practical).

Many of the towns we wanted to visit still have active markets so we planned a route with market days in mind. We feared we might see the same traders several times but we didn't!

We set of in the evening of Thursday, 18th May and travelled to a campsite we have used before, near Sudbury. A pleasant farm, site with a beautiful border collie who appears, hopefully, with his ball, as soon as he spots a new arrival. We re-heated a stew and settled to try and sleep. It poured with rain - I've never slept in a drum but I think I know how it would sound!

The following day we set off to Belton House a property in the care of the National Trust. These two trees were such beautiful shapes I added them to my library of images for reference purposes.

A few of the park residents caught my eye:

We left Nottinghamshire and drove to Baumber, Lincolnshire. Bricks have very commonly been used for building in Lincolnshire. We knew we had booked a fishery campsite but I hadn't given a thought to its origins. There were originally two brick kilns end to end. One is now very much in ruins but the second is listed and has been renovated.

The fishing ponds were originally the clay pits and we saw other similar fisheries whilst on our travels. There were many wild birds, we carry a portable support for bird feeders and enjoyed watching our visitors - mainly blue tits, great tits and coal tits - which were particularly entertaining. I always feel a bit sorry for the bemused birds the day after we have left. The ponds were beautiful and home to several families of ducks.

I couldn't compose a shot which showed the scale of this fish. They were several duck lengths long and the ducks were certainly very wary of them!

Horncastle, Lincoln and a Lincolnshire hare in my next post.


The first four of the brooches from my last post have now been listed in my Folksy shop:

Saturday, 17 June 2017

What is it about knitting ......

..... that compels me to put other work on one side and find a pair of needles some yarn and an excuse for a project?

Perhaps its the 'clickety rhythm' of the textile production, the textural possibilities, the feel of the yarn - probably all of these. I crochet and weave, and enjoy both, but seldom get the same 'need' to get started. I have knitted since I was a child and I don't think I've done my hands much good - they certainly feel a little stiff and creaky now but I still enjoy knitting.

Whilst on holiday a week or so ago, a lady on our campsite, a few pitches along from ours, was knitting. The yarn was a deep coral pink and there seemed to be a little mountain of it. The needles carried many stitches and I imagine she was making a garment. She came out in the early morning with a canvas chair, a small table a mug (tea?) settled down in the sun and clicked away (I'm sure I couldn't physically hear the sound but my mind was very aware of it). I had crochet with me - I had been enjoying it and now all I wanted was some knitting.

On our return I had numerous projects to finish but none requiring knitting needles. I looked at my shop inventory. Stocks of daisy brooches (sometimes knitted) and bookmarks (previously never knitted) were a little low. The excuse I needed!

Some bookmark strips and these 'brooch-beginnings':

The bookmarks are still work in progress but this is the batch of brooches:

I am all 'knitted out' for the moment. I must be more disciplined! I have many other items to complete and stock to replace - why do I have a resistance to replacing items which have sold and a preference for trying something new? Not a very commercially successful attitude! I just love what I do so I'm very lucky - if not very rich!

18 June

The first three of these brooches have been listed in Lynwoodcrafts' Folksy shop.