Monday, 30 November 2009

Alice in Wonderland Doors

This weekend was spent inside the magnificent spendour of Wrest Park, an English Heritage property in Silsoe, Bedfordshire. I've just read in their information that photography is not allowed in the house so I am very lucky to have been allowed to take these photos, didn't use any flash and so some of them are not so good but it was too nice a place not to snap up!

I don't think I have ever had such magnificent wallpaper behind me! Not to mention a great marble shelf which I was not allowed to place anything on! That was so hard to remember not to just put something down and coupled with the fact that there was some lovely carved ornate bookcase doors behind me too, I spent the weekend moving very very slowly and thoughtfully!

This was our view from the window at the end of our room, the gardens at Wrest Park are magnificent.
And although it is very dark, this is the view from infront of my stall to that window. The corridor effect of rooms runs from left to right of this photograph and every room has huge windows that look out over the grounds.
This is the view through the rooms, past the grand staircase and onto the rooms beyond. The picture does not do it justice, it was amazing to see all the doors open and to understand the grandeur of the house as it would have been seen by it's owners. Usually when you visit a stately home you are channelled from room to room via rope 'fences' (as is necessary to keep the house in good condition of course) so it was such a treat to be able to move more freely around.

The room next to us was the library which was, like all the other rooms actually, decorated with so much oppulence, golds and greens and books and books and books!

This photo below is one of English Heritages showing the library as it would look if we wern't all in it!

Clearly much better colours than my picture but I think it looks much smaller when it is empty!

Apart from spending the weekend in such spendour (clearly I was always destined to live in a house like this, I felt very at home!) my favourite part has to be going through the huge Alice in Wonderland doors!

I was next to the one which we used to get out of the state rooms and go to the kitchen and the working part of the house where we were allowed to eat and drink (no food and drink allowed behind your stall which does mean I've probably lost weight too, seems as I am usually a constant grazer when I'm working!) How much did it make me smile being able to open doors that you would not normally be allowed through! I'm easily pleased!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, take care

Sarah x

Friday, 27 November 2009

Stunning Beauty

Just been sorting out pictures into folders and generally organising our vast collection of photographs and I found these two pictures of a peacock.

These were taken by one of Hubby's colleagues. Aren't they absolutely stunning?
What a beautiful creature, just looks like it has walked off a page of a fairy tale.
Back to the real world and no fairy tales here, just a lot more sewing!

Increased the collection of hot pot mats ready for the weekend, the chook fabrics are a bit of a runnaway success, so much so that as soon as I have a spare day (sometime in January I think) I shall be off on a fabric hunt!
Must get back to it now, take care all
Sarah x

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Cuckoo family morning.

Just snapped this picture of nearly all of the Land Cuckoo Clan, one and a half chooks are hiding just out of shot! Missy came trotting down the garden as soon as she saw me, ready for her morning nap after checking the territory. Chooks ready for corn as they are at any time and George patiently waiting to go and play ball with Hubby who is snoozing before night shift!

As for me, I'm photographing treasure boxes as it is a lovely bright day and making the most of the morning sunshine.
Off to replace the catnip cushion stock now!
Take care all
Sarah x

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Mysterious Incident at Wimpole

Sunday morning dawn was not particularly inspiring, a rather grey and gloomy sky which was only a little lighter after having rained as much as it could from it's clouds before the sun fought it's way back from our friends down under.

We entered the marquee at Wimpole Hall through the decorated trees to begin setting up the stand for another days trading. The foliage and decorations on the stall still looked good and the wind which had been blustering all night had been kept from doing any damage by the sturdy door of the marquee.

But what was this muddy mess on the table top? All the stock had been put away in it's rightful boxes, all with their own lids and the tables duly covered in large sheets of plastic to keep away any of the condensation drips in the morning. This mud, however was not expected.

But there was more, a box, no longer tidied away under the table but out on it's own at the edge of the stand.

Inspector Marple Poiroit I give you exhibit A.
Plastic box with a lid that clicks shut. Inside of which were the remaining catnip cushions from Saturdays trading. It cannot be seen from this photo that the box is rather muddy both inside and out.

On closer inspection it is clear to see that some of the catnip cushions are also a little muddy.

In fact this one looks decidedly furry too.

It didn't require too much close attention to see that the perpetrator of the crime had carelessly left evidence of their identity amongst the muddy catnip cushions.
It was clear to see that this was not the tabby but the fluffy ginger cat from Wimpole Hall who had sneaked into the marquee on the stormy night to have a little shelter and a good nose around. Imagine how delighted he must have been when he found not one but ten catnip cushions at the first stall inside the door. He must have had a lovely night of luxury but had made his escape by the time we arrived!
Fortunately I had a box of catnip cushions from Peterborough with me so at least we had some un-muddied stock to sell! And this is the bottle of Bubbly we won for the best dressed stand at the fair which we were assured was because the stand looked good, not because of the cat!
Take care all
Sarah x

Monday, 23 November 2009

Artisans in beautiful places!

Morning everyone!

Well , nearly!

I'm just putting the house back to rights after the hectic weekend of fairs and events. Plenty to tell you all about, just need to try and remember it all!

I'll start with Saturday in Peterborough at the Made By Artisans fair.
What a great setting for the day.

The magnificent cathedral.

As the saying goes 'a bird in the hand.....'

This was our 'home' for the day, the lovely Becket Chapel. With it's superbly hot underfloor heating! I had my shoes off for most of the day and using the bathroom reminded me of being on a plane as it was next to the boiler room which fairly roared to keep that heating going!

Peterborough being a city of one way systems and pedestrianised areas meant that I had a little walk back from the car park once I had unloaded. But how lovely the walk was through the grounds of the cathedral.

Very difficult to get lost as the spires and towers of this magnificent building are clear to see for a long way.

Through arches and doorways back to the chapel.

Today, through the stained glass window...... the cathedral!

Inside the chapel the stalls were set up and the customers came in steadily throughout the day, thanks to the hard work of Tia at Made By Artisans
It really was a lovely lovely setting to spend the day inside.
And there are some who can just carry off a throne so well!

And this is the beautiful work in front of the royal seat and under the wonderful window - made by the very talented Steph at Hook and Scumble
Quite brilliant crocheted jewellery.
I spent the day next to these fabulous bird houses, with their own satellite dishes, stairs and even bird boxes, made by Ecowood Des Res Bird Houses, each one is as individual as it's anticipated occupants!
These lovely tea towels and napkins are designed and screen printed by Berrin Bates of Yellow Lake Design.
All the tiny details in the bauballs and stockings are hand-drawn chirstmassy pictures too.

The first outing for my new old suitcase! The mug mats looked really great inside and now the case smells lovely and festive too! Steph's pictures are much better than mine and she got some more of the other artisans work, see her photos at her blog.

Think that is probably enough photos for today, if you got this far then well done!

Take care all and stay safe

Sarah x

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Ironing boards, hmmm table tennis anyone?

Being totally random in my blog posts at present, jumping backwards and forwards in time to things I am going to do and things I have already done, but you'll have to bear with me, my brain is practically mush right now!!

I'm getting ready for this weekend where I shall be at Wimpole Hall and Becket Chapel at Peterborough Cathedral, on the same day!! Well stictly speaking Hubby will be at one and I shall be at the other but all as Land Cuckoo.

So this is how my workroom looks at the moment! Not a good picture due to trying to squeeze past 3 rolls of wadding and the ironing board is such an eyesore! Well actually I have already started moving stuff out of it so it looks a little better but I had so much stock that I couldn't get to the unmade bits and pieces in order to make them into more stuff!!
I am now taking over downstairs with sorting out which items are going to which event on Saturday and then I can merge them altogether for Sunday and hopefully return home with a lot less boxes that will be going!
Apologies for the afore mentioned offending ironing board appearing in the photo. I do have quite an irrational dislike of ironing boards and believe them to be put on this earth only to dish out injury to those who have never mastered the art of putting them up and down. Unfortunately my little table top one I bought, the first and only ironing board I have ever bought (the one above belongs to Hubby and I only have it because I married him and it came with him so he can continue to do the ironing!) has a wonky leg so wont be any use and will have to go back to the big yellow and blue superstore famous for it's storage and meatballs.

Put the dining table to good use at the weekend - I found a pair of table tennis bats and balls which at £1.65 I could not resist so minus a net and boundry lines we had a few games of ping pong! George as you can see was most interested, even leaving the warmth of the fire and his rug to come and join in. He made a very good ball boy but the ball was slightly soggy and furry by the time you got it back!

Do go and have a look at Pink Milk's website to see photos of the launch party we went to for the Made By Artisans fair which is the one at Peterborough Cathedral. The cake in the picture was delicious, I'm rather hoping that there may be more of that on Saturday!!

Take care all, til tomorrow if I get all my jobs done!


Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Big blue skies

Was trying to write this post yesterday, but my computer was having none of it!
Seems that the days here are alternating between wet and windy and beautiful blue November skies and sunshine. Today is the latter (at present) with the option to change!
Sunday was another day like today and George and I donned the wonderful wellies (me not Geroge, he has his own fashion ideas and just plain turns his nose up at the wellie idea) and ventured out across the fields.

Just from looking at the picture you would not know it was almost winter, there was not a cloud in the sky.

Just a little aeroplane practicing it's acrobatics, quite a normal sight out on the fields on a Sunday morning, well in the sky to be precise but that is generally where the planes are isn't it!

Fields of green shoots and a proper shadow, which can only mean proper sunshine!!

A few of the leaves are still clinging to the trees even after all the winds we have been having, although after yesterday's windy conditions there are probably a lot less by now.

This is St Peters, our lovely little village church which is so very photogenic in all seasons.

Hope you all have emerged from the weekends storms unscathed and safe.

Take care

Sarah x

Saturday, 14 November 2009

My pot of gold

Just been out and about in the wind and rain and we had a fleeting burst of sunshine.

And look what I found as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!! Hubby will probably think I mean he is my pot of gold in the form of a walking, talking wallet, but that isn't what I mean - honest!!

I hope you are all keeping safe and well in these storms and to all of you who have craft fairs and markets on - I hope you fill your pots of gold with plenty of sales!

Take care all
Sarah x

Friday, 13 November 2009

Wellie Love

I love walking in wellies!

Not that I can really walk properly - my wellies have steel toe caps and are rather heavy and unbendable which does make for a walking style John Cleese would be proud of.

However, I don't care. I just had the best walk through all the puddles and mud with no worries about soggy socks. I'm not so keen if it is still raining really hard and your lovely waterproof coat drips all over the little bit of trouser that is visible before the wellies start. Especially if it is raining so hard that the rain runs into the top of the wellie. No such worries today as I have managed to time the dog walk to perfection, missing all the real wet stuff as it falls out the sky but getting all the fun of the puddles.

By the way, do you like our fab wallpaper we found when we moved the radiator along the wall! Not got onto the decorating in the hall yet, not necessary when us and soggy dog will be trapsing through over the next few months.

Righto, back to the work I go now. Take care all
Sarah x

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Busy week

Its all been rather busy this week, again!
More Mug Mats made ready for the next few weekends where I shall be at my busiest with events and markets.
This is another fab fabric collection from Sunflower Fabrics which has been so popular at all the shows they have been going to, I have had to be quick to get my hands on the prints that I like!
Reds are proving to be very popular this year, may have to consider just a red range next time! Ah well, no rest for the wicked, back I go to work!
Take care all
Sarah x

Monday, 9 November 2009

In a barn on the farm.....

Monday again, already! I hope you all had a great weekend, mine was spent down at Standalone Farm in the barn.

This was our home for the weekend. There's not many events I go to where my provided 'chair' is a hay bale! It is, however, a great little area to be in. There are usually about 10-12 different traders in the barn and as we are quite close together, you do get to know eachother!

Not a brilliant picture due to the sunlight shining through the barn wall but the warmth from the sun was very very welcome so it stays!!
My neighbours were a brand new business called Love'em who produce funky, retro childrens clothing using their own designs.
They also have a great range of accessories for grown ups too!

I love this Wizard of Oz lunch box! My apologies to Gil and Vicky as I have totally missed photographing the clothing range. You'll have to have a look online at their website instead!

Talking of lunch and as I am well known for seemingly eating my way through every market I do, I thought I had better snap a pic of my most delicious brunch of a Standalone Farm reared hot dog! I did actually pack myself up some sarnies on Saturday but got cold so had a hot dog and took the sarnies back for Sunday lunch. Of course come Sunday, I was feeling peckish and cheese spread sarnies just weren't going to hit the spot, so back I go for my Sunday hot dog! So guess what I shall be having for my lunch today - cheese spread sarnies!

These were my other neighbours! In this pen the boys, and in the next one, the girls! They were all very friendly and came up to the railing for fuss from the passers by.

Got to go and do some stuff now, take care all, til tomorrow

Sarah xx