Wolves and Kitty-cats!

School charity day and yet another opportunity for me to try and weasel out of making costumes for the boys to wear, in this case, a call for animal theme of their choice (I suggested a stoat, as F made a fab stoat mask some years ago for topic homework that is still stuck to his noticeboard in his room, but he was having none of it).

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Under pressure, I agreed to make masks (to be worn with their own clothes as the pay-off).  F asked for a wolf and C a ‘kitty-cat’.  I forgot about it until the day before, when having a lovely ladies lunch, but luckily I remembered I had this pdf download from oxeyedaisey

DSC_0231I used a mix of linen and tweed, as that’s what I had in stock and totally ignored the making instructions (which I have no doubt are brilliant) and went with the same method I used to make skeleton masks back in 2010 (see here), ie layering fabrics and interfacing and using various machine stitches to attach them together.

DSC_0162I thought they would be quick.  They weren’t.  To be fair, this was mainly time taken up with stupid things like hunting for fabric and elastic, but I got there in the end and I was quite pleased with the results.  The cat is just the wolf pattern adapted, shorter ears and snout and added whiskers as C was very keen to get whiskers.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 18.23.29On a completely random note, Grimwith House came up for sale a few weeks back.  It may already have sold, I don’t even look any more, as I get little flutters of want just at the idea.  I’ve been hankering after this derelict property for many, many years, wondering why it was unlived in and unloved….it once belonged to my relatives.  I could buy it but never afford to do it up.

Ah well, I’m sure someone will make a beautiful home of it and I’ll jealously try not to stare next time I’m walking up in the Dales 🙂

Back Camera

Yorkshire and Love Ur Look…

My Yorkshire break was wonderful.  Relaxing, renewing and sadly, not long enough.

On the Friday, when I rushed from the train station to collect the kids, someone at school asked me where I’d been, they then mentioned that I must be excited to see the boys and asked if I’d missed them….humm….the honest truth is not really.  I mean, of course I missed them in a way but it’s not like we were apart for long and I didn’t realise just how much I’d relish this time out, it’s been a long (9 years) time coming. IMG_20140513_082924

Every day started with breakfast in bed.  Sadly, I woke at 6 am ish despite having no-one to wake me.  The luxury of coffee and a dippy egg (I’m mostly not eating bread at the moment, but carbs were one of the holiday highlights), followed by a book read (Longbourn – thanks Fran, for the tip-off!) then a bit of walk planning was heavenly.

IMG_20140513_104307Most of my walks looked like this, at some point.  Typical Yorkshire Dales view, old lanes, dry stone walls, lots and lots and LOTS of moss.
PANO_20140513_134206The weather was mixed.  I packed badly, originally thinking it’d be sunny, then realising not so reverting back to wet weather, cold walking gear, only to find that although it rained a little on the first day it was quite glorious between showers and on Wednesday I felt ill-dressed for the hot, summer sunshine.
IMG_20140513_134104I walked 12 miles on day one, from Burnsall (where I stay) to Grassington (to see my Nana and usually my Aunts, who sadly weren’t around on this visit).  From there I walked to Grass Woods, and what a beautiful little fairy wood it is!  I’d forgotten just how nice.  It was drizzling at this point but it made it all the more pretty, a kind of damp, green wonderland.  It’s the last known natural habitat of the Lady’s Slipper Orchid here in the UK, we went to look at it once, with my Dad, having to be lead there by an arranged guide and step over trip wires that keep it guarded.  I read it had a police guard last time it flowered and is appearing (in it’s cultivated form) at Chelsea Flower Show this year.
IMG_20140513_154311I walked back via Linton and Thorpe, I had hoped to take lots of nice photos, but I really struggle with using my phone verses my ‘proper’ camera, partly it’s just that I can’t see what I’m taking a photo of, due to the sun reflexion and also I have no idea what is being focused on so they tend to come out blurred.

This is ‘Manor House’ in Thorpe, it’s my new house crush and is where my Great Gran and her family lived.  I felt like a bit of a stalker trying to photograph it discreetly and had to attempt to avoid the blue wheelie bin that’s just out of shot on the left, hence the not best angle, I thought it might be pushing it a bit far if I wheeled the bin out of the way for a better photo!  Incidentally, if my Fairy Godmother is listening, I’d happily take the old family farmhouse at Beckermonds or better still, Gran’s house in Burnsall…any will do!IMG_20140514_141533

IMG_20140513_140632IMG_20140515_102057I mostly took photos of walls, moss and green things.  I was wondering what makes walking here so different to my local area of Kent, apart from the vastness of the landscape and the feeling of history you get from the geological formations.  I really do think moss plays a big part for me, it’s everywhere, especially in the woodland areas and it’s what makes the difference from walking in a bluebell wood here in Kent to one Up North.  That and the quietness, most days I didn’t meet anyone, especially when out on moorland.

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Day two I was meeting a family friend for lunch,  so I walked afterwards, from the house I grew up in, where my brother now lives near Bolton Abbey (he brought me back and dropped me off after lunch…in fact he was my taxi service and dinner companion – along with my SIL –  most evenings for which I own him a huge thanks!) back to Burnsall.  It was hot and sunny and I was badly dressed in jeans, when I should have been in shorts.  I took photos but they are not great, so I’ll spare you.  A highlight was stuffing my face with a chocolate 99 from the ice cream van at Barden Tower bridge, for which my Bro had to lend me money in advance, after I realised I’d come out walking for a second day with no cash.  I took a selfie but I just look hot and sweaty so you don’t need to see that.IMG_20140515_111458IMG_20140515_112802

On my last day I walked up onto Burnsall Moor via Thorpe, I had hoped to make it to Barden Upper Reservoir but I mostly got lost and wandered around knee deep in mud whilst trying not to step on all the slugs.  It’s all peat and bog up there and I had visions of ‘Jamaica Inn’ style being sucked under, having recently read the book.  It didn’t help that it was grey and a bit wet and I met no-one on my few hours walking.  No drama going on in my brain then.  Still, I gave up and walked back down to Burnsall, thinking all the time that the people who do the yearly fell race there are nutters as it’s quite easy to step badly on your ankle just having a potter, let alone a competitive run!

Clearly, I’m back now, and mildly depressed about it.  I have a throat investigation this afternoon (due to years of acid reflux, I’ve been putting it off for 6 years, since I had the last one, as I know it’s horrid but I’ve agreed with the consultant that he’s going to give me ‘elephant’ doses of sedation this time).  Poor C has to have two grown up fillings (don’t feed your kids dried fruit, or those sticky snacks made from fruit only, as they are evil for little teeth) and despite M having done a great job whilst I’ve been away, I feel overwhelmed by everyday life and the endless lists of jobs.
I_0701806629708_00_20140508 I_0701806630315_00_20140430On a very positive note, I have both the above dresses on their way from the Love Ur Look pop-up shop in House of Fraser.  I had ordered just the top one but having seen how quickly things are selling out, added the second.  I’ll report back on fit and quality when they arrive but figured I’d best write about them whilst the shop is active, so you can go grab one, if you wish.

Right, off to have my last glass of water before I’m no longer allowed to eat or drink anything until after my procedure.  What joy.

 

Summer Holidays 2012…

It’s been a lovely holiday so far.  I feel guilty for not blogging much, but I often find myself in that trap where you have left it so long, there is almost too much to write about so it’s a bit daunting and you don’t know where to start.  I’ve also been a bit lapse with my images since getting an upgrade on my phone at Christmas (thanks to my husband) that takes half decent photos, it means I tend to use this instead of reaching for my ‘proper’ camera and although the images are fine, they aren’t nearly as good as ones taken with the Nikon.

Anyhow, here’s a little round-up so far:

The Olympics were amazing, we had a fabulous day out with swimming in the morning (second row back!!) and athletics in the evening (again, great seats, I assume because we bought them last minute and they were the ones originally reserved for ‘important people’, who didn’t use them).

We spent the middle part of the day hanging about the wild flower meadows which were just amazing, and generally soaking up the atmosphere.  I wont go on, you either managed to get tickets and know how fabulous it was, or you didn’t and probably don’t need me telling you what you missed.  I would say, though, it is absolutely worth getting tickets for the Paralympics, or even just park entrance for the day to walk about.  I felt very proud to be British.

Which brings me to this photo.  Whilst in Yorkshire, on our holidays, I couldn’t help but notice the local news was all about Yorkshire athletes and how they were doing in the Olympics, there was even a mock medals table of how Yorkshire would stand if it were a country, ha ha that did make me laugh!

When we visit, we stay in a family cottage in Burnsall (a small village between Bolton Abbey, where our family farm is, and Grassington, where my Mum’s family all live).  A teeny tiny village near Burnsall is Hebden, which is where Andrew Triggs-Hodge is from so we took the obligatory ‘gold post box’ shot, painted to celebrate his gold medal win.

We had a great break in Yorkshire and were generally very lucky with the weather.  We spent a huge amount of time driving ‘Up Dale’ towards Kettlewell (in Upper Wharfedale), the thing that I became rather obsessed about were the wildflowers.  I always notice how many there are when we are home, but as you travel further up, the limestone and farming schemes (where farmers are paid to leave the meadows to a later date before cutting, to allow the wild flowers to grow and re-seed) mean you can’t miss the beautiful flowers.

I kept meaning to stop and take photos of the roadside ones, and probably drove M mad commenting on this, the problem being the roads are quite narrow and often you are in a convoy of cars following a tractor/bus/person-driving-at-stupidly-slow-speeds, so stopping for me to run out with the camera was very impractical.

One day we drove right over the tops to visit The Forbidden Corner in Leyburn and met these lovely highland cattle lounging around on the road. 

The Forbidden Corner is on my top 10 list of things to visit, it’s quite a drive from where we stay but is the best folly garden I have ever visited.  It’s great for all ages, with mazes, castles, gardens and (a bit scary for small ones) quite extensive underground tunnels with multiple doors leading to different ‘scenes’.  I especially liked all the metalwork sculptures.  I am cross I didn’t take more photos, but we were too busy enjoying ourselves.  You can see plenty on google images here.

We made time to eat in Bettys twice, once in Harrogate and once in Ilkley, a record for us.  I normally just buy lots of fat rascals and bread from the shop area, as the long queues to eat there put me off, we were lucky as there were none at the time we arrived.  I am especially fond of the smoked salmon rosti, ideally with a glass if pink champagne.  C enjoyed his butter biscuit for pudding. 

There was the obligatory breakfast in bed for M’s birthday.  As with earlier years this has to be a simple breakfast as M usually chooses a super long bike ride as his birthday treat, followed by a celebration late lunch so can’t eat too much first thing in the morning.  This year it was omelette and the tray HAS to be decorated with a Lego Hero and flowers picked from the small cottage garden (always chives as that’s all there is in bloom when we stay!).

And of course, there had to be a visit to Fents in Skipton for fabric.  I find Fents very hit or miss, the same supplier of the tweed I buy also supplies them I’ve noticed.  The very first year I went there was loads of tweed but it’s been a bit sparse since, with less tweed choice, and often ones I’ve already bought on-line.

I managed a couple of long walks, on one F even came with me, shame it was the one day it absolutely tipped it down, but he did well with only minimal moaning and the promise of goodies when we got back.

Apart from hanging about in Grassington and Bolton Abbey, we also visited Ilkley LidoWhite Scar CaveHarrogateHarewood House to name but a few.  There is never enough time, I find, but that’s often the way of holidays.

M took this photo on our return, it’s my post pile verses his…yes, I did have a few things on order, mainly fabric and zips but I’ll save that for the next post 🙂

My beloved…(Yorkshire that is, although M counts as well!)

We have just returned from our Yorkshire holiday at my sister’s cottage in the Dales.  It was lovely, wet but still lovely.  I managed quite a bit of sewing (there are lots of new things to complete and list but I will wait until September, when the boys are back at school and I can feel a little more organised).  I also spent time playing in Photoshop to come up with some new banners and tags.

I was quite happy with the above, until I loaded up the Folksy version and it just doesn’t match my shop and despite this being intended as a winter header the whole red and green thing (should they really never be seen?) isn’t working for me right now.  So after a walk on the moors, during which I took this photo (on my iPhone in quite heavy rain hence the quality)

I decided to swap for my favourite Dales combination of greens and pinks

I’m still not sure but I will build a front page around it and then see how I feel.

One thing I love about being ‘home’ are the colours of the landscape and all the wild flowers.  Even on a dreary day (and we did have quite a few of those) I find it inspiring.  I managed to pick up this cotton lawn on a Fents shopping trip (there wasn’t a lot else this time, no lovely tweeds) and it’s colours really did make me think of the Dales.  I’m planning a shirt for myself, when I find time to cut a pattern and loose the 5 lbs I managed to put on whilst on holiday 😉

We made ourselves at home at the cottage, I brought along some Postcarden matchbox cress sets for the boys to grow and we maxed out on the Red Lion’s takeaway pizza at weekends (remember that 5 lbs?!).  Bettys also played it’s part in my weight gain, the odd fat rascal was devoured along with some of my favourite Florentines.  In fact food in general is quite important to me, I like the memories involved in certain foods and I love eating nice food and especially in good company.  M is quite different, although he enjoys good meals, he can also happily just eat for fuel, which I never could.  A great example of this is on my ‘big walk’ day.  I am the only one in our household up for very long walks, the boys are simply not ready yet and M would rather go out on his bike so as always on one day I planned a 15 mile hike up the hills on my own (in the rain I might add).  I didn’t take a rucksack with us and so had to pack my lunch in the camera bag which has limited space.  M suggested some of his protein bars and energy drinks but no, I wanted a sandwich, crisps, chocolate, water and

a compact biscuit and cheese selection complete with chutney, a knife and a wet wipe.  I kid you not, I might have looked a bit of a prat whilst perched on a bench in the wind and rain by Grimworth reservoir delicately eating my cheese and biscuits but it did make me very, very happy half way through quite a sodden walk.

Despite the rain, it was great, I even took extra time to detour by Trollers Gill, not something I’d actually recommend in the rain when you are on your own as you have to clamber over the rocks of the old river bed.

This is the photo I took with my iPhone, whilst hurrying through attempting to keep my ankles unbroken and thoughts of American Werewolf in London out of my head.  Not a great image but you get the idea of the scrambling involved.

We had some great family days out.  Catching minnows at Ghaistrills near Grassington, picnicing with friends at Brimham Rocks, following the nature trail at Kilnsey Trout Farm plus Fountains Abbey and Mother Shipton’s Cave to name a few.  We visited Family (lots) and even got to spend most of one day in Airedale hospital after M came of his bike quite badly and tried to headbutt a car (he’s fine but was very, very lucky).  What I didn’t achieve was meeting up with any of my lovely twitter and blog world friends, there just wasn’t time and I should have organised it in advance.  Next time it’s a must.

Finally, M turned 40 whilst we were away, the boys insisted on making him breakfast in bed (I knew he was planning a bike ride so couldn’t eat much, I persuaded them eggs would be good).  They helped to cook it and decorate the tray in the way that little boys do.  Bless.

I am behind in replying to comments at the moment, apologies, I’ve sort of lost my blogging mojo at the moment but today I feel like I’m returning to normal and no doubt once the boys are back at school things will shift back into place.  I have lots to show so there is plenty to talk about as I start to change over onto my Autumn/Winter stock; I am quite excited, it is after all my favourite time of the year 🙂

Holiday, Part Two…

We are coming to the end of our holiday and I am a little sad to say the least.  I have discovered that although I couldn’t have run away fast enough at 18, I now miss the countryside (and people) of the Dales quite badly, especially when it is looking so beautiful dressed in it’s late Summer colours.

We have fallen into a very relaxed routine, every day M does the early shift with the boys and later goes back to bed.  This leaves me a couple of hours to sew in peace (if you ignore the continuous demands of the boys, I try to anyway :)) and I sit at the kitchen table, with a great view of the heather moors of Burnsall, sewing little heather coloured capes; even the dark green linings are the perfect ‘Dales Moor’ green.

I have also been doodling new label designs (I hated the text in the one above, although it’s intended to be naive looking, it wasn’t quite right, but you get the idea).

We’ve been lucky with the weather and despite a few rainy moments, the sun has been shining.

There have been picnics by the river.  Above is up at Yockenthwaite which is very near Hubberholme and Beckermonds (where one side of my family used to farm) and which I blogged about on my last visit.  It’s where the river Wharfe creates pools amongst the rocks and is safe for little boys to play without worry of them being swept away.

I’ve also managed one proper long walk (12 miles!).  ‘Gran’ offered to have the boys for a day, M chose to drive to a bike shop (I think he’s visited every bike shop in Yorkshire on this trip) then went on a long ride and I packed up M’s camera bag (I hadn’t brought a backpack and M came up with the genius idea to take his camera bag, he laughed about my making room for a bag of crisps and some Bendicks Bittermints when space was a premium, but hey, a girl needs a treat when she stops for her lunch after such a long walk – right?!) and set of to Grimwith reservoir.

I would have liked some decent photos, but sadly my iPhone camera just isn’t up to it (as you can see, sorry about the quality).  I forget just how many wild flowers there are up here, I always remember dry stone walls and green but not the masses of beautiful flowers.

I’d planned to walk up to the reservoirs on Embsay Moor which are covered in heather, but as my brother pointed out; although it’s unlikely I could be mistaken as a grouse, it is shooting season and these Moors are closed to walkers.

As you can see, I still managed to get near the heather and also sneaked into Grimwith House, which stands derelict and if I’m honest rather sad looking by the water.  It’s where my Gran’s family came from, although they had already sold it on when the reservoir was extended in 1970 and the house abandoned.

And so, we have one day left, it’s a bit wet and windy and we plan to do our final family visits and then start packing up.  I really will be sad to leave, but I’m itching to sew and I know there are quite a few parcels waiting for me at home, including some Muji storage boxes so plenty to look forward to and lots of goodies to show you on our return 🙂

Memory Lane…

It’s been busy around here.  I was ‘home alone’ again for a while as M travelled with work and if I’m honest I found it hard, it started OK with both boys sleeping well but went swiftly downhill midweek and I gave up my run for sleeping (and I must note, I am most grateful for having the opportunity to go back to bed after dropping the boys off, it’s been a long time since I could sleep during the day).  Still it all improved over the weekend when I cadged a lift to Yorkshire with my sister to visit ‘home’ and attend my 20 year school reunion…..20 years…..I feel old!

On arrival we made a trip to Hubberholme Church where my family are originally from, to visit and clear the grave where my Gran’s ashes are buried.  It’s rare to find time to drive up there but it’s a beautiful setting.

The graveyard has a number of family stones and it was only when we buried my Gran’s ashes that it became apparent I have a family name (Elizabeth Anne Foster) which is purely an accident I am told, sadly many of the older Foster stones have eroded so much in the Yorkshire winds that there is very little left to read.

The church does get a lot of ‘weather’ being so far up Dale and the windows are all protected by mesh outside to protect the glass and stop the birds nesting, this makes it quite dark inside

although it didn’t stop my sister and I from hunting for mice carved on the pews by Robert Thompson (The Mouseman of Kilburn), as we did during our rare visits as children.

The reunion was fun, quite strange but great to see so many old faces.  The slightly surreal feel to the occasion was amplified by lots of old teachers turning up, they looked rather startled and huddled together in a corner around a table, I imagine it was trickier for them to pretend they might know who we all were than for us to remember our favourite teachers.

I then spent a very relaxing Sunday at my sister’s cottage cooking for Yorkshire friends, walking with my brother and sister in the afternoon (I don’t think we have been together, just the 3 of us for years) and relaxing.  It felt quite odd not having the boys to look after, especially as the lunch guests had similar aged children, odd but very pleasant if I’m honest (must do that more often ;)). The cottage is such a nice place to be, I was pleased to see a couple of my Linen Bunnies perched on the sofa and I finally got to see all the Roman Blinds I had made in situ.

The massive (well, they all are actually) blind above was made for the kitchen (more about that here) and it fitted perfectly with the view, echoing the trees.

It made all the hard work (for those who regularly read my blog, you may remember I didn’t enjoy making these blinds, they were very large to sew) worth while.

It was also nice to see some of my Gran’s cross stitch on the walls in the form of a calendar hanging, she was always stitching or knitting, it reminds me how nice it is to have handmade ‘things’ to hand down to future generations, every time I look at a piece of her work I think of my Gran.

Sadly the weekend came to an abrupt close as we had to leave early Monday to dash back to London, we were rather sad to drive away on what promised to be a gorgeous morning and miss out on all the village May Day activities, we’d already planned our day and it included a Bettys trip for brunch, thank goodness you can shop there on-line!

OK, time to close the laptop, you can still enter the giveaway and thanks for all your lovely comments so far, I forgot to mention I can’t reply to them (in case I use the old random number generator, as my comments would also be given a number), it’s been especially nice to hear from some of you ‘lurkers’, being a committed blog lurker myself 🙂

Obsession…

I have been displaying typical ‘me’ obsessive behavior recently, I would love to say I get obsessive about things like cleaning, or even running but sadly that’s not to case (although I am quite enjoying the running at the moment).  I think most folk who sew and blog know some of the areas I am talking about, I permanently have a laptop attached to me and cannot resist buying nice fabric.

My most recent fabric purchase is from the new cotton voiles by Anna Maria Horner, bought from Saints & Pinners.  I couldn’t resist it even though I have no need of more fabric but it’s intended for making a summer top, I rarely sew for myself, especially clothes despite being able to pattern cut and construct and this summer I intend to make an effort to keep those skills alive by making some of my own clothes.

I have also been indulging my printer obsession, I could happily spend hours creating and printing stickers.  I’m not sure if any of you have visited The Shop recently but I have (slowly) been giving it a mini face-lift, including a new banner.  I’ve then spent many a happy hour printing matching stickers, tweaking the paper bit by bit to get the images exactly on the sticker lines.  Worrying really!

I also spent rather a lot of time sitting at the laptop viewing Google Maps, Streetview.  I LOVE it!  The boys and I ‘drove’ to Grandma’s house in Yorkshire from the nearby village, taking in the 360 views, which they thought was great, they couldn’t understand why we couldn’t pop into the house to say, “hello”, bless!  Well, I had a stunning, cunning idea, the above painting belonged to my Father, a gift for his 18th Birthday I believe and is a water colour by an artist called Angus Rands.  It always take pride of place for me, among our varied and quite often modern artwork as it’s so exactly Yorkshire in both it’s scene and colours.  I know it’s painted up near Beckermonds in the Dales but I have always wondered exactly where.

Well, Streetview provided the answer, that and my ‘walking’ down a long stretch of road inch by inch until I found the spot.  Sorry to go so off topic on the usual craft chat but I have been looking at this painting for years and have even driven along the road trying to see where it was painted so for me it was a bit of a ‘Eureka’ moment.

Finally, I have been shopping on-line again (some would say yet another little obsession!)

This is ‘Melvin’ and he comes from the very talented Flora over at Through the Round Window.  He was supposed to be an Easter present along with ‘Maurice’

but I rather fell in love and have ordered more to replace them as they are now hanging in my kitchen window, where they make me smile daily.

There are new products in the pipeline (as always, waiting on supplies needed to complete them) but right now it’s time to go and work on my final obsession and the main reason for my slow blogging at the moment The Garden, there is so much to be done and the weather right now is perfect for pottering in the greenhouse so I’m off, hope you are having some sunshine where you are.

Very overdue post about some more Lovely Objects…

Just can’t get away from the word ‘lovely’ can I?

I am ashamed to say I bought some of the below a very, very long time ago so apologies it has taken so long for me to post about them.

First up, back in June I was picked as a Folksy Featured Seller and was asked to choose the sellers for July.  Among them was Jemima Lumley who makes beautiful jewellery, so beautiful in fact that I fell in love with one of her cuffs and made M buy it as my rather belated Birthday present (if you don’t ask you don’t get, besides he had been asking what I would like for 4 months).  It’s silver rolled with antique lace to leave an imprint and I wear it most days, which is great for me as I used to be rather stylish but these days I leave the house looking like a bag lady, at least my wrist can be well dressed.

(Sorry about the awful photo but I am struggling a bit today).

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I am also rather partial the this lovely crochet necklace (which I wear as a bracelet) made by Izabela at Blue Fish Handmade on Folksy.  It’s delicate but not so much so that I fear wearing it.  Izabela has so many things in her shop I would like and as always I have crochet skills envy.

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Next, I started my Christmas shopping early, it makes me feel a bit more in control of the mayhem that is my life and makes it a bit easier on the wallet.  With this in mind I bought this wonderful stained glass bird brought from Flora of Through the Round Window (also at Folksy).  It came beautifully packaged and I am very pleased, in fact I may be keeping it which is a bit naughty.

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Whilst yet again on the subject of Christmas, I recently bought this fabric

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from Saints and Pinners.  I mentioned a while back that I wasn’t entirely happy with the fabric I used for my winter Lavender Birds, annoyingly the above is exactly what I had in mind, it’s the perfect colour for a winter Robin and not too Christmassy, if you know what I mean.  Too late for this year but I couldn’t resist buying a bit.  Also, big thanks to Jo and Fran for giving The Linen Cat such a lovely write up on the Saints and Pinners Blog, made my day.

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Lastly, we have my new winter boots from Celtic Sheepskin.  I do have some lovely healed boots but for school runs and quick dashes out into the cold you can’t beat a nice pair of sheepskin knee highs.  I prefer these to Uggs as they are taller which works better for me as I wear quite a few skirts and it’s a more flattering height.  I became addicted to them during my first pregnancy when my wide feet wouldn’t fit into anything else and the boys each have a pair courtesy of Auntie Tori last Christmas, they were perfect for Yorkshire and I love the fact I can shove them in the wash.

The Yorkshire Dales…(do I work for the tourist board?!)

As you may have gathered, we are on holiday, back at ‘home’ in the Yorkshire Dales, we normally stay here

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the riddings

which is the family farm I grew up on, just outside Bolton Abbey, as you can see from the second shot it’s a little isolated although very beautiful.  On this trip, we are staying in the next village down, Burnsall, in my sister’s newly done up cottage which I made these blinds for a while ago.  It’s lovely, no cleaning, no real cooking, rather too much eating but plenty of walking to make up for it.

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The cottage has some lovely finishing touches such as this lampshade, can’t find who the designer is but I’ll add it later.  (UPDATE: Thanks to Karen and Flora, the lampshade is by Lush Designs, thanks ladies!)

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Burnsall is the village my Gran lived in, I still think of her sitting at the window in the living room every time we pass ‘her’ house, she loved to watch the world go by.  I highly recommend Burnsall as a holiday venue if you fancy a trip to the Dales, it’s a quiet village but has a splendid shop (Shop on the Green) selling all the basics and some very lovely homemade cakes with a cafe along side.  There is the Red Lion and The Devonshire Fell to eat and stay at and I believe you can get take away pizza at the RL.  Really the rest is about beautiful countryside, even in the rain which is has pretty much done since we arrived as you can see from this shot taken from a single pane of the kitchen window.

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One of the nice things about the cottage is the bits and pieces that were made by Gran, if you squint closely at the photo of the living room you can see a needlepoint calender hanging on the RHS.  I remember her stitching this, in fact I now have the pattern.  Two of the months look like this

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If you fancy somewhere a bit more lively, Grassington is the next village along, all my Mother’s family live here so we will be doing a number of visits.  Grassington is a larger village with quite a few shops and eating places, it hosts Grassington Festival and also one of the original Dickensian weekends and is, of course surrounded by amazing countryside and walks.

Now, I am one of those people who has a bit of a food obsession in that I love growing, cooking and eating.  I love the memories that food evokes and there are a few must haves for me on a visit to Yorkshire.

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Yorkshire mixture, which is basically a mix of boiled sweets.  I am not really a boiled sweet person, but I like these just for the memory and the lollies above are exactly as we had as children.  You canbuy these pretty much every where.

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Fat Rascals (a sort of mix of scone and rock cake) fresh from Bettys.  If you have ever been to the Dales you may have heard of Bettys, it’s a famous small chain (Harrogate, Ilkley, Northallerton and York) of cafes that serve a mix of traditional English (with a Continental influence, especially in the chocolates) food in a Victorian style.  They are big on cakes and afternoon tea, the prize being the Fat Rascal as above.  They sell on-line at Bettys by Post, if I could recommend one thing to order online it would be their Italian Ricciarelli Biscuit Tray which aren’t cheap but are oh so amazing.  Oh, should mention, there is nearly always a wait for a table at busy times so come early or take out.

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My final food photo is of Whitakers Chocolates from Skipton.  We bought the chocolate mint wafers every year for Mother’s day for my Gran.  I was a bit disappointed as they didn’t have chocolate cherries or stem ginger, but I think we bought enough.

Right, best go walk off all that eating!

New Photos…

Did you notice the banner change above?  I sneaked it in a while ago, it was time to update my linen cats/bunnies line with some of the more recent stock, can’t help but notice that the green dress bunny is rather snuggly with the check trousered cat, not sure how that happened.

When I have to photograph new stock, here’s how it goes.  I notice the weather is perfect for a spot of photography (bright enough to show the colours but not so as to have too strong a shadow), I rush to get my needs-to-be-photographed stock which is inevitably in the bottom box.  I clear my table/floor/bed and lay out the stock, rather too quickly, in between making cheese sandwhich/juice/changing the tv channel (bad mother!)/fixing the lego robot back together for the umptenth time.  I grab camera, discover it’s out of battery, quick mini charge, set up tripod…..oh bugger, the sun’s gone in.

Also my boys LOVE having their photo taken, seriously, Charlie sees a camera and shoves his face into shot and says cheese.  He cries a lot if you don’t photograph him so I end up with plenty of these

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We haven’t been burgled in the back of this last shot, it’s a crazy mid builders mess shot and don’t even ask what happened to the white wall on the rhs.

However, last time around I did get some usable photos so finally we have

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as made back here and after having their beady little….er bead….eyes sown on, they are ready for listing on return from our Yorkshire holiday as part of the Christmas Shop update.

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Just for the record, my favourite are the dark red and mustard ones.