Tag Archive | British

A Bit of a Time Out

As you may have noticed by blogs have been rather lacking as of late. It has been a pretty busy couple of months. Firstly, my husband and I have moved house. We have been talking about moving for about 2 years now, getting out of the city and moving further into the country and finally at the end of September we did. You really do not realise how much stuff you have until you have to fill up what feels like a million boxes and then cart then one by one down 6 flights of stairs (we were on the 3rd floor with no lift). We even did a car boot sale and made quite a bit of money to help with the move. It was pretty exhausting but we gave ourselves a week and then on the 29th of September we officially moved.


Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else. We have moved to Styal Estate in Cheshire. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/quarry-bank-mill/ Looking at my previous blogs I realise I look a little obsessed with The national Trust, well that isn’t going to change anytime soon as now we live on one of their estates and rent our pretty little cottage off them! It is amazing contrast to where we lived previously above a 24hr garage, on the main Manchester to Liverpool road and on the route to Hope Hospital, now we are surrounded by trees, have a view of a thatched cottage from our bedroom and it is black as pitch at night, prefect.
Not long after we moved I went away with my family to Pembrokeshire in Wales. I haven’t been on holiday with my parents and sister for about 19 years, the last being a trip to Norfolk when I was 9 and this time it happened to be over my birthday so perfect! We rented a beautiful cottage right next to Whitesands Bay on St Davids Head. It was so peaceful, I wanted to stay forever.


St Davids Head just happens to be? ……..yes part of The National Trust! I just can’t help myself. It is such a beautiful piece of coastline, I think it rivals coastlines across the world for beauty, rain or shine.


We also went to Pembroke Castle where Henry VII was born, it is a great place to visit and the pretty sea side town of Tenby.  Tenby was my mums choice.  She received a postcard when she was 8 years old from a school friend who stayed there and she always wanted to go and now about 50 years later we all went.

We went for a lovely walk around Stackpole Estate, National Trust again I’m afraid. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stackpole/ It is gorgeous, especially at the moment in Autumn with all the colourful leaves, I think it was one of my favorite places we visited. Emma and I were lagging behind for most of the walk, taking photos.  I have a little obsession with seeds, berries and dead plants at the moment so I was quite often found in odd positions crouching in the bushes!


Every where you looked was another picture postcard view. There are about 30miles of paths, we walked around the lily ponds (Bosherston Lakes) and down to Broadhaven South, a beautiful beach at the tip of the lakes. I definitely want to come back and walk around more.


St Davids itself is lovely. It has a similar feel to places in Cornwall such as St Ives. It has got a great artist and crafter community and has exhibitions at the tourist Information. I loved artist Sarah Earl. Her paintings and prints are beautiful and dreamlike. I even found a print that showed where we stayed (on the painting below, our cottage is the one on the far right). http://www.sarahearl.co.uk/

20 May morning on the coast path above Whitesands

Now I am back I need to get on with creating and blogging more regularly. I will be starting new printing workshops in the local areas of Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Knustford in time for Christmas as well as creating more hand printed and embroidered items in my shops, I will keep you all posted.

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A Trip to Bridlington and Bridlington Priory

Having fun at the Seaside

This weekend I went with my husband, sister and her boyfriend and a couple of other friends to the seaside town of Bridlington in East Yorkshire.  My husbands parents rent a seaside flat there and we took advantage of a free weekend to head to the beach.  After a very rainy drive over there the weekend turned out to be sunny and warm for a change.  The flat is lovely and the front room overlooks the sandy beaches and with the windows open you can hear the calming sounds of the waves breaking along the beach.

The Beach

It really felt like we were on holiday and it was a proper stress free weekend.  We went out for drinks, fish and chips, walked around the town and visited some amazing antique and second hand shops up in the old town.  Down by the harbor some of us went for a speed boat ride and all the boys had a go on the roller coaster – Mad Mouse!  All nicely rounded off by a cold cider in the pub.

One of the places we visited was Bridlington Priory.  The priory was founded around 1113AD by Walter de Gant.  The monastery was one of the earliest and largest Augustinian houses in the country and was very wealthy.

Founding the Priory

In the time of Henry VIII came the Dissolution of the Monasteries, where Henry broke with the Catholic Church and established himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England.  Many of the religious houses in Britain, such as monasteries and abbeys, were closed down including Bridlington Priory which was dissolved in 1537.

Panel Showing the Dissolution of the Priory

 Very quickly, within a few years, most of the once great building had been destroyed, with a lot of the stone going to build the harbor in the town. Only the nave survived to serve as the Parish Church which is what you can visit today.

The tapestry

Inside a tapestry has been created that maps the history of the Priory.  It is an amazing piece of art to look at.  In 1994, some ladies at Bridlington Priory decided to make a tapestry depicting the major events in its life.  By Christmas 1995, 12 panels, each 5ft by 4ft were almost complete.

The set of tapestries includes over 140 human figures, each built like a doll, then sewn to the backing.

Detail of a panel

Materials used include: leather, hessian, linen, wool, cord, fleece, velvet, yarn, ribbon, cheesecloth, cellophane, suede, silk, satin, corduroy, milium, fur fabric, lurex, balsa wood, raspberry cane, net, aluminium, and feathers.

Some of the Fabric and ideas used

My Favorite Panel

The Bridlington Priory Website:  http://www.bridlingtonpriory.co.uk

Read a brief overview of the dissolution of the monasteries: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/tudors/reformation_overview_01.shtml

The bridlington website: http://www.bridlington.co.uk

The Sun Shining on the Sea

 

The handmade Union Jack

I have officially joined the craze of the Union Jack today. I have made and listed my very own Union Jack Cushion on my Folksy shop:

http://folksy.com/items/3268702-Handmade-Union-Jack-Cushion-

Image
Flags have always been popular and especially as a tourist anywhere you realise the amount of merchandise out there from mugs and fridge magnets to tea towels and every school girls favourite, the eraser. This year especially with the Queens Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics being held in London the demand for British inspired products is massive.

The handmade market is definitely not new to the use of the Union jack image but recently there has been an explosion in the variety of products available. There are some truly beautiful creations out there from the very traditional to the more unusual colour combinations. There are products to suit every taste.
This is a gorgeous creation on the miss mustard seed definitely would be a statement piece:

http://missmustardseed.com/2011/01/union-jack-dresser/

I think sometimes when we use an image that is so well known and loved we can forget the history behind the image. The flag combines the crosses of England and Wales (The cross of St George), Scotland (The cross saltire of St Andrew) and Ireland (The cross saltire of St Partick). The Welsh dragon does not appear as when the first Union Flag was created in 1606, Wales was already united with England and no longer a separate principality.

The origins of the flag can be seen from the standards used in warfare such as by the Roman Legions and the Middle Ages where flags were used as heraldic devices in battle to distinguish the sides. Later during the early 17th Century it was customary and then a legal requirement for ships to carry flags designating their nationality.

Some of my favourite designs from Folksy:

Designed by Suzanne Orme this is a beautiful stained glass Union Jack:
http://folksy.com/items/2970386-Union-Jack

A lovely little pocket mirror to carry around with you by Rebecca Miles:
http://folksy.com/items/3151762-Union-Jack-Handbag-Mirror

A lovely cushion with alternative colours designed by Lydia Brearley:
http://folksy.com/items/3190454-Handmade-Union-Jack-Cushion

A quirky mini inspired cushion by Stacey Clarkson:
http://folksy.com/items/2881974-Union-Jack-Mini-Cushion-