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Patterns Everywhere : Barcelona part 3

5 Nov

Palau de la Música Catalana

We popped in to this wonderful building for a bite to eat and a drink and were so impressed by the entrance and small section we saw ,and I really wanted to see the stained glass ceiling in real life, that we booked a tour for the following day. I must admit I know very little about music halls and they’re not somewhere I’ve ever spend much time. However I do have an appreciation for amazing buildings and this really way spectacular.



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Patterns Everywhere : Barcelona part 2

4 Nov

Casa Batlló 
We headed to one of Gaudi’s impressive creations having been intrigued by the blurb in my guide book (yep properly tourist-ing it up) and I wasn’t disappointed. Inspired by nature there’s a fluidity to the rooms and space with wonderful rich wood and colourful detail.

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I could have shared loads of photos here, however I wanted to remember some of the more subtle details, from the paving outside thee house also design by Gaudi and seen all over the city. I had to buy myself a coaster of the design, I just loved the clever way the same single hexagonal piece creates different shapes and patterns when tessellated.

All photos are my own. Copyright Steph Gibbs.

Patterns Everywhere : Barcelona part 1 

3 Nov

Everywhere I go I can’t help but spot patterns in everything, I’m sure I’m not the only one, my phone is full of snippets of walls, leaves, doors & floors. My latest holiday a few weeks ago was no different, Barcelona is full of wonderful patterns, tiles, mosaics & buildings so I thought I’d collate some of them together in a little blog post.

( I have now decided to split them in to s few posts I hadn’t realised quite how many photos I’d taken in 4 and a half days – over 500, the joys of a good camera phone).

Part 1 : Catedral de Barcelona



This really was a magnificent building with a huge amount of details in every part of the building and a good start to our holiday.

All photos are my own. Copyright Steph Gibbs.

A break from the routine

21 Jan

Almost a year ago my Boyfriend was bought a spa voucher for two as a birthday gift and it took us so long to get around to booking it, it almost expired! When we looked into the details for booking, it turned we could only use it on a weekday, eek! It turned out ok, we both managed to book the same day off and so yesterday we went to Sherwood Forest Center Parcs to go to the Aqua Sana for a relaxing swin and steam. I’m not very good at just sitting still and doing nothing, however in those hot and very quiet rooms it gave me time to think about all the projects I have brewing in my head, I’ve had a sewing project & several knitted items swirling around in there which I hope to make a reality in coming months.

Cheeky Squirrel munching a berry - Center Parcs Squirrels are definitely of the round bellied variety.

Cheeky Squirrel munching a berry – Center Parcs Squirrels are definitely of the very round bellied variety.

Since we were at Center Parcs it would have been rude not to visit the Pancake House, I was definitely ready for a pancake after a few hours in the spa, turning myself into a prune like creature and in need of re-hydrating with a big pot of tea. I was not disappointed, my Chocolate deluxe pancake was as epic as it looked, however the cookie monster pancake defeated Martin and he had to abandon the last bit in fear of death by pancake.

Pancakes

As we had the whole day to play with and nothing that we had to get home to, I thought why not visit somewhere we’ve never been before and since Newark was on a sign as you exit the park that’s where we headed. I must admit it wasn’t the most thrilling of places, just your average small town, but you never know unless you go exploring, we were only there a couple of hours so we obviously didn’t see everything. There were a couple of things that caught my eye.
Colourful doors
This seemingly innocuous street of houses all had different brightly coloured painted doors, which I particularly liked, especially from where I was stood right behind me was a lovely old church.

Newark church
The buttermarket building

We also came across a lovely building called the Buttermarket, a stunning old building with a cafe and a few shop inside (sadly most of the shops were vacant).
While pottering around I took the opportunity to pop into WH Smiths to pick up crafty Magazine. I have for the past few years subscribed to Making magazine, which when it was first published I loved and couldn’t wait to read it cover to cover, however after a couple of years I was struggling to find time to read, then before I knew it the next issue would arrive.  So I cancelled my subscription, with the intention of picking up a different magazine as and when I fancy, instead of committing to just one title. There are a lot more magazines aimed at a wider variety of crafts available now, which there weren’t when Making first came out, I have been thinking about reading other magazines but I hadn’t got around to investigating any new titles. However the author of a blog I follow, Mathilde heart Manech’s, recently blogged about being featured in crafty magazine, she’d written an article about crafty places in Skipton, a place I am only vaguely familiar with but it close to my Parents home, so I would definitely like to know a little more. I also discovered when reading Tilly and the Buttons round up of 2013 blog last weekend that Tilly also writes for crafty magazine, so the decision was made. So far for good & I was also pleased to see that one of my favourite knitwear designers Kate Davies is also featured in the mag along with her wonderful book , I shall continue my read later this evening.

Kate Davies & her lovely book Colours of Shetland

Kate Davies & her lovely book Colours of Shetland

I would highly recommend doing something out of routine and just seeing what happens, when we set off this morning we had no agenda further than going to the spa and grabbing lunch….where could a break in routine take you?

Calke Abbey pottering!

25 May

On the way back from my friend’s wedding last weekend, we decided to make the most of the day & and find somewhere to stop for a cup of tea & a potter about. Calke Abbey (which isn’t actually an Abbey – according to the introduction CD we were given at the entrance to play in your car as you approach, it’s a priory – a very nice touch to the visit)!

As we didn’t have the whole day we chose to just visit the gardens & have a walk, especially since it was such a lovely day. So once we’d re-fuelled with tea & cake we took ourselves off on a little walk.

I got quite snap happy wondering around, the wooded areas of Calke Abbey are so organic and not like many touristy woodland spaces, that are very neat and tidy. I loved the natural feel of the place and although the cafe was quite busy and there was hardly a spare seat outside. The place has so many different walks that once we were out of the cafe and shop area there weren’t hoards of people around which make are walk all the more pleasant. These are just a few of my photos, I chose these for their wonderful textures.

tree in a tree

twisted tree

tall ridged tree

gate

tree and bluebells

bluebells

tree detail

Wiggly long tree branch

This little walk made me really believe summer is on it way.

If you’re suck for somewhere to go this bank holiday weekend, I would defiantly recommend Calke Abbey.

Beamish – The living Museum of the North

17 Apr

Last weekend Beamish had a few events on around their amazing museum including the Great North Steam fair. As well as having lots of steam powers vehicles there, they’d also arranged to have several other vehicles on site to fit in with each of the time periods – which is why I visited. My Dad has restored many historical commercial vehicles in his time and the most recently completed one is a 1919 Albion Pratts Spirit, oil & petrol lorry, which he was invited to bring along to their event. So a perfect opportunity to re-visit possibly my favourite Museum, see my parents and have the rare opportunity to see my Dad’s restored lorry in context.

My Dad doing a few last minute checks before the lorry went for a trip around the Museum

My Dad doing a few last minute checks before the lorry went for a trip around the Museum

Beamish is a great Museum, although I find it a little hard to call it a museum, it’s more of an experience. The word Museum conjure up images of roped off areas, do not touch signs and items in glass cabinets – this is far from what Beamish is. Beamish tells the story of everyday life in the North east of England through the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian periods. There are very few plaques of explanation for what everything is, instead there are workers & volunteers in full period dress who you can ask any questions to, they’re friendly & knowledgeable and a credit to the museum.

Volunteers on their way to work around the museum on authentic bicycles

Volunteers on their way to work around the museum on authentic bicycles

I can’t recommend Beamish enough; it is well worth a visit. I have now been 3 times in my life, one when I was very young, I remembered it being an exciting experience even is a child. When I returned 10-15 years later I wondered whether it could possible live up to my childhood memories of the place & I was pleasantly surprised & relieved that it surpassed my expectations! Having returned again last week end only 18moths after my last visit, it was great to see that the different areas are still being developed and it was still just as enjoyable, we fully intend to use our tickets (valid for a year) to visit again possible at Christmas when maybe the bakery that is currently being built will be complete…I can’t wait!

Here are several photos to hopefully illustrate why Beamish I think Beamish is so great & we didn’t even get around all the different areas.

Old trams take you around the museum, complete with old posters & signs inside

Old trams take you around the museum, complete with old posters & signs inside

Great attention to detail in the Beamish train station office

Great attention to detail in the Beamish train station office

My Dad's lorry about to set off around Beamish

My Dad’s lorry about to set off around Beamish

My Dad's lorry parked up outside the towns Edwardian garage building - the street had a great feel about it with apropriate vehicles & people.

My Dad’s lorry parked up outside the towns Edwardian garage building – the street had a great feel about it with appropriate vehicles & people.

Inside the towns garage with period bits n bobs

Inside the town’s garage with period petrol cans

Great old metal advertising boards.

Great old metal advertising boards.

Weather vane at waggon way - great detail

Weather vane at waggon way – great detail

 

Cosy kitchen range in the home farm

Cosy kitchen range in the home farm

Great homemade textiles in use in everywhere, like this hand sewn patchwork quilt.

Great homemade textiles in use everywhere, like this hand sewn patchwork quilt.

Singer sewing machine in the home farm house

Singer sewing machine in the home farm house

Beamish has a working farm, there were sweet new born lambs in the farm sheds and slightly older lambs with their mums outside.

Beamish has a working farm, there were sweet new born lambs in the farm sheds and slightly older lambs with their mums outside.

Handmade rag rug spread on one of the pit village cottage beds

Handmade rag rug spread on one of the pit village cottage beds

Yarn winder and more homecrafts in the pit village cottages

Yarn winder and more homecrafts in the pit village cottages

The pit village resident, Tilly the lovely moggy - she knows how to live!

The pit village resident, Tilly the lovely moggy – she knows how to live!

Unexpected pottering

21 Oct

Having spent most of the last week with little energy & no enthusiasm (for anything) while trying & failing to fend off a horrid cold. I am now ready & raring to get out of the house and be productive! Waking up this morning our intentions were to leisurely head out to Rufford Park for a walk, cup of tea & some cake.

The first unexpected thing of the day was the eerie & beautifully misty morning (it was looking optimistically bright through the bedroom curtains), all was very peaceful outside, dew had settled on all the cobwebs in my garden…so I headed outside with my camera, I got a bit snap happy but these few are my favourite images.
Misty morning Cobwebspretty cobwebs

I packed up my camera with the intention of getting some lovely Autumnal photos at Rufford. As we headed out we saw signs for Thoresby Park Craft, Food & Gift fair & thought why not, so off we went along our unexpected route!

The fair was a modest size, with several tents with various crafts on display as well as lots of food, market stalls, displays, ferret racing, pony trap rides. The fair was a complete mix of things, from the bizarre (& slightly tacky) to the very traditional & inventive. It does provide something for everyone I suppose, however there were a few too many QVC-esque stalls for me, selling food processors at a great price, available today only…!  The food stalls were what I’d expect to see, fudge, burgers, cheese, real ale, sweets, cookies & cakes, we treated ourselves to a burger, Martin went for a Texan 6oz & I went for Kangaroo – very tasty!

kangaroo burger mmm

I enjoyed seeing crafts people at work (& on show), wood sculptors, stone masons and glass blowing, as well as there being some quite traditional stalls there were some proper country market stalls selling practical wares (I bought some very reasonably priced lambs wool insoles – to keep my feet nice & toasty). We then headed up to The Courtyard, for a cup of tea & a bun, I do enjoy visiting old buildings, especially ones that still have evidence of their previous uses. In this case some of the shops around the court yard still had the stall dividers from when the buildings would have houses the estates animals. So overall a lovely, unexpected, little potter around.

Thorseby Hall - now a swanky Hotel

Thoresby Hall – now a swanky Hotel

Lovely Blue Gate to the Courtyard

Lovely Blue Gate to the Courtyard

Now I’m busy catching up with some crafting, including blocking a jumper I recently finished knitting (a blog will follow soon about that project), and I’m hatching a plan to adapt a dress I recently acquired when my friends & I had a clothes swap…watch this space!

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