Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for August, 2017

One a week Photo Challenge- Thrift

Upcycling, the perfect example of Thrift

Re- purposed Sewing Table spotted on a balcony in Carcassonne, France February 2017

Please feel free to leave a link to your thrifty picture in the comments.

Next week’s prompt is FOLD.

Happy Snapping!

Scrap Happy August

I got the hexie quilt out again this week as I finally had some new scraps to be able to use. You can see the blue floral with the large flower from the wedding bunting left over fabric.

Now don’t think I don’t have lots of fabric stashed away because I do, it’s just that they are large enough pieces for me to think I could do something with them.. the ones for the hexie quilt are pretty small pieces. I may just have to give myself a good talking too and start to use these larger pieces, I mean just what am I saving them for?

Meantime I have started another elephant from one of the bigger pieces. He should be finished this week, and of course I now have some smaller pieces for more hexies.

Sometimes I think I am ridiculous!

Joining with Kate and others for some scrappy happiness.


Postcard from West Sussex.

I love the idea of the Nana Cathy Tour bus as described by Kathy, in the comments on the Weald and Downland post. So please hop on board we have three destinations today.

The windmill at Shipley, and if it has a certain familiarity you could be right, remember Jonathan Creek. Here’s his windmill. Goodness knows how they managed to film it for the series.

Next stop is the village of Southwater, the church of the Holy Innocents

I particularly wanted to see the new stained glass windows depicting

Christ’s Hospital and

Traditional craftsmen. This window was paid for by the Piper family who were wheelwright’s and blacksmiths.

Final stop today is down on the coast at Bognor Regis .

Looking rather down at mouth since it was visited by George V and gained the Regis , which indicates royal approval. We had a rather blowy walk on the sea front.

All that remains of the pier.

The hotel doesn’t look open for business, but someone is living there, see the washing over the name. All I can say is how very sad this is, and what a far cry from an illustration I found in a book about Bognor in our holiday cottage.

There is one more destination on the Tour Bus, but that is for another day. Hope you enjoyed the trip.

Have a great Sunday.


Sew, Knit and Natter Friday!

I left you in the Weald and Downland Museum yesterday in a rather insalubrious place, the privy. Lets’ go back inside the Victorian cottage and see what we can see,

That’s more like it a nice cup of tea, oh and look, crochet.

Now couldn’t you just settle down here , tea, cat on your knee and something yarny in your hand. Talking of yarn, which I was sort of, I mentioned hands on demonstrations yesterday.

I had a quick go at carding while no-one was looking. As I left, another Nana came in with her grandson, picked up the bit I had just carded and showed how it was spun! Hurrah for Nanas.

I mentioned also that there were crafts people at work on site now. We were especially interested in this incredible  gridshell building. The lower part is used for storage and the upper for conservation and repairs.

Now did anyone see a TV programme called The Repair Shop on BBC 2? Basically people take broken treasures and have them fixed/ upcycled by experts.  I was super keen to see just where at the Weald and Downland this was situated. Tucked away behind the Watermill and the under re construction Bakehouse. There it was.

So disappointed I could go no further , because that notice on that board  was to stop us interrupting filming for a new series. Hurrah and Boo at the same time.

Which very nicely leads me onto a new venture Mr E and I hope to join in with. Now have you ever heard of Repair Cafes? These began in the Netherlands and are places people can go to have every day items repaired by volunteers. Well now I can sew a zip I am an expert.. seriously though I could darn a sock, sew on a button, untangle knitting, fix a hole in fabric, and as for Mr E he is King of computer fixes, saucepan lids, parcel shelves, grill pan handles etc etc.

We spotted an article in a free local mag, by a small group of people wanting to start one close by, and we have volunteered our time. Last Saturday I visited one in Leeds with a couple of people, such a good idea. Saves waste, land fill, money, teaches people , what is not to like to want to be involved with. Early days yet, but am super excited.

Sew down to business. Did I finish the skirt? Yes I did.

Feeling quite pleased with myself.

Safely dispatched to Little Miss F. Hope for a picture soon.

And as to knitting, well we have a back and a front to the jumper for Master T.

In the meantime there has been a bit of cross stitch and I now have enough scraps to get  going with my hexie quilt which has seen nothing doing to it for ages. I also feel another elephant coming on.


So over to you now, do just join in for some nattering. What are your weekend plans..

Be Happy!



Weald and Downland Museum.

The Weald and Downland  museum opened its doors in 1970. What began as a place to save/ reconstruct actual historic buildings threatened with demolition for things, such as road building ,is now so much more. It is now described as a living museum with people working on site. You may have come across it in various TV programmes when a historic site is called for. It was a favourite place for us to visit when we lived in Sussex and was top of our list for a revisit this Summer during our holiday in Chichester. Let me show you why.

This building dates from 1620 and is the Town Hall from Titchfield, Hampshire. In the 1960s it was totally derelict and was going to be demolished till a new home was found for it here in 1971. This is a favourite film location, where a crowd situation occurs.

This house came from Walderton , Sussex and was offered to the museum as it was due for demolition.It has been used inside to show how houses changed from the 15th century when houses were built in a single storey with a big central hall, to the 17th century when a ceiling and stairs were added and the hall divided into room with chimneys added replacing an open central fire. There is a staff of gardeners who with a team of volunteers add authenticity  by cultivating gardens. What I really noticed was the absence of lawn, all available space being used for vegetables, herbs and flowers with medicinal properties. A really pleasant place to sit a while.

This is a grander affair being a medieval house from Sole Street, Kent. Condemned in 1960 as not fit for habitation ,it was occupied until 1967 , before coming to the museum. It is used for demonstrations and hands on activities.

Poplar Cottage, from Washington, Sussex. It was situated on the edge of common land and would likely to have been occupied by an agricultural labourer.

These oxen are working animals used to fetch and carry wood,etc, as there are on site crafts people at work.

Bayleaf Tudor Farmhouse, this one saved from drowning under a much-needed reservoir! I think I spotted this one in an episode of Midsummer Murders.

Inside the properties is just as interesting as outside.

Beds– clearly you can see the ropes that formed the base of the bed on which the mattress was laid. These ropes need tightening from time to time, hence the expression To Sleep Tight!

A visit to the nearby Tudor kitchen to sample some bread and beer! Your eyes gradually get used to the dark!

Inside a Victorian village school!

Inside the Victorian cottage.

But outside and round the corner for the


Well really Nanacathy, what note to end on, but is it the end? More on Friday . Do drop in for a natter.

Hope you enjoyed your tour. Have you been, did you like it? If not let’s see if they can tempt you, have a look here


One a week photo challenge- Point

Ali Pasha’s Mosque, Greece, 2017

Please leave a link to your pointy picture in the comments below.

Prompt for next week- THRIFT

Happy Snapping!

17 for 2017- July

What a wonderful month! Mr E had a special birthday, let’s just say he now has a bus pass.

Fortunately for him it was the day before you know what so all the family was there to celebrate.

But what was the effect of all July’s celebrations on my goals for 2017?

17 swims- 3 more this month- total now 11

16 hour long walks- achieved already

15 books from the heap by the bed read and passed on- one more this month- total 13

14 lbs lost- no idea

13 cards made- none this month total stays at 9

12 village posts- Sinnington

total is 4

11 days out- 4 more in Sussex- total is 10, more posts to follow on this.

10 new things tried-well I wore a fascinator to the wedding, never again it kept feeling as if it was falling off. I also completed a course called Medieval life in the times of Richard the third. So that makes 9.

9 knitting/crochet finishes- Achieved already

8 other craft projects- not one

7 sewing projects- still 5, but the pink flamingo skirt is nearly finished.

6 non fiction books- still 5

5 family history questions answered- 2 still

4 sort outs- kitchen cupboards done. That makes the 4

3 interesting finds- still one

2 picnics- this is for you Claire.

At the Weald and Downland Museum in West Sussex. I will share some more pictures from here next week, but here’s the view from our picnic spot and by golly that Rhubarb drink was nice.

So that is one picnic.

1 boat ride- not yet.

0 craft supplies bought, Humph, least said and all that!!

So a little bit here, and a little bit there. The secret for me  is not try to do everything at once, but just keep at it, after all this is meant to be all about Fun this year.

How are you doing with your goals for this year, are you pleased with your progress, what are your tips for staying enthused?

Good luck in August!


Sew, Bake,Knit and Natter Friday!

Coming down slowly from the Wedding and from a week away in Sussex. Can’t believe how much extra sleep I have required this week. Must be getting old.

Anyway lots to catch up with. Little Miss F got cold whilst we were in Oxfordshire setting up the reception. As it just so happened I had given her Mum the pink jumper I had knitted for her, so it got its first outing in July.

Bit big, but there we are. Her hair is in plaits so she could have Mermaid hair at the wedding.

Anyway wedding over and we went down to Sussex to visit some old haunts. I was interested to visit the museum in Horsham where I had once been a volunteer in the late 1970s.

My role was to lurk upstairs and make sure no visitors mis-behaved. I explained this to the lady on the desk, she thought lurking a good task, but not required anymore. Replaced by CCTV! Well really!

I was most intrigued by a display of gingerbread moulds, which in my excitement I didn’t photo.  It transpires that thanks to the poet Shelley there is such a thing as Horsham Gingerbread. Being flushed with success from making gingerbread for my grand children I was most interested. So I sampled some they just so happened to have in the shop. The texture is completely different to modern-day gingerbread as it contains oats. Oats? Anyway I am now going to try out as many gingerbread recipes as I can lay my hands on. I still don’t really know why they used moulds and not cutters. How did they get them out of the moulds? I have only tried to get jelly out of a mould and let’s say it wasn’t exactly a triumph in the cooking department.

However, I did take some pictures which you might enjoy.

Little sewing display with Singer Sewing Machine and

would you look at the Swan pin cushion. I think it a bit sad that it sits in a display cabinet when someone, me for example, could be using it.

And a fire screen to stop the ladies having red faces.

I loved the embroidery.

More from Sussex next time. Back home it was time to tackle my nemeses otherwise known as scary zip, now to be renamed as Much Ado about Nothing! I watched some You Tube  videos.

Sat myself in front of the sewing machine. Had a stern talking to myself in which I reminded myself that zips were not rocket science, deep breath and 5 minutes later, just what was all the fuss about?

Not too shabby for only the second zip I have sewn ever, and the first 49 years ago.

So just a waist band and a hem and then job done. I think I probably took the instruction to sew close to the teeth a bit too literally, but it goes up and down, what more do I want.

I decided to make my next knitting project the bright coloured jumper for Master T. The front is done.

I think this one might be bright enough and will fit him this Winter.

Plans for next week include, doing the back of the jumper, finishing the skirt and maybe a little cross stitch. There is a slight hurdle. I need a hook and eye for the waist band. As it happens I have an eye test later this morning, so will be near a shop that sells hooks and eyes, and yarn and fabric and all manner of crafty goodies. I MUST be Strong, and buy  no more yarn!

So over to you, do you have a special gingerbread recipe,ideas for how you get it out of moulds? What are your weekend plans? How do you resist the pull of yarn/fabric?

Be Happy!




Books – July 2017

I have recently begun a short online course run by Edinburgh University through Future Learn. You can do this course for free but I am giving serious consideration to paying over hard cash for an upgrade to give me unlimited access to the material, as I have enjoyed the first week so much. It’s called “How to Read a Novel”. Which you might think was self-evident , but I have realised that by rushing from story to story I am missing out in so much more. The last book I read this month was the Joanne Harris, I list them in the order that I read them, I just feel now that I want to re read this book, to see how she managed to send me off in the wrong direction. Anyway there is still time to sign up for this course, as it is only 4 weeks long,  the second week only just started, and you can still access week one. Here’s the link. Future Learn, How to Read a Novel

John Updike- The Afterlife- A collection of short stories and a book from the heap. An author one is supposed to like, but to whom I did not warm. The writing is good, and I had a sense of place which to me is important, but not a sense of love for place. The stories all concern the end of things, life and relationships between lovers, married couples, parents and children. The stories were all too realistic of the futility of us all, and so I found it rather depressing . The only one I really enjoyed was called A Sandstone Farmhouse, which had some warmth in it.I would love to know what others think of this author. I have another in the heap by the bed of his called The Farm, which concerns the same farmhouse and people so that is a relief! I think it will be a while before I get round to reading it though.

I am nearly coming to the end of my heap challenge and I figure if I read 1.25 books from the heap I will have finished it, as long as I don’t add to it in the meantime. Just why am I compelled to buy more books when I have a very good library to go too?

The rest are Library books.

Susan Hill-  A Kind Man- a short novel, beautifully crafted as ever. Similar setting to other books she has written, just wonderful. Themes again are life, love, birth, death, illness etc. Superb, just try one of her books for me.

Linwood Barclay- Broken Promise- big thanks to the blogger(s) who recommended this author to me. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the first in a trilogy. Basically a returning to his home town journalist investigates the mystery of the angel who gave his cousin a baby.

Robert Harris- Conclave- An interesting and enjoyable read, as the Cardinals are locked in Conclave for 72 hours whilst they elect the next Pope. A disappointing end, which I won’t give away here, but if you want to know more, please look in my Page above on Books. Be interested to know if anyone else has read this one, and for their thoughts.

Joanne Harris- Different Class. Two narrators, one a former pupil and one a teacher ,relate a past event through the changes a new Head is making to an old style Grammar School. Described as a masterpiece of misdirection by Val McDermid, I can only agree.

So have you read any good books recently. I keep a note of recommendations for my trips to the Library, so look forward to reading your comments.

One a week Photo Challenge- Lane

Church Lane at Sinnington

Lane near Chichester, Sussex. The hedges in Sussex were much higher, I missed the wide open spaces of North Yorkshire.

We decided that after the wedding we were in high danger of anti- climax so we took a short break in West Sussex. This is the lane our holiday cottage was situated on. Mr E grew up in Sussex and we spent the first sixteen years of married life also in Sussex, so we had plenty of must see places to visit. No wonder I am shattered.

Please leave a link to your picture in the comments below, or over at Wild Daffodil

Next weeks prompt is POINT.

Happy Snapping!


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