Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for June, 2018

June Photo Scavenger Hunt.

Linking with Kate for this months photo scavenger hunt


This stunning plant was for sale at Fountains Abbey.

Begins with G- and if there is one G I like it is ( Ok so I really like Gin, but that’s not it) Gates

Field Gates

Kissing Gate

My favourite- completely overgrown and redundant gate

Lilac-Now had I thought about this much sooner I would have taken a picture of our lilac coloured lilac. But I didn’t , so here instead is the wisteria my Dad gave us.

Begins with T ( not tonic) but Timber

Tree felling at Fountains Abbey

and a stack of tree trunks turned into logs- home to lots of insects I hope.

Silver- I opted for silver colour and a galvanised water trough

because I liked it. And so onto my own choice

Rosy clouds .

Hope you enjoyed the hunt.



Knit and Natter Friday

Good Morning, and if you live in the UK, are you enjoying the sunshine? Anyone would think it was Summer. I have been trying to be up and about doing the necessary chores early on, so that afternoons can be spent semi collapsed with whatever project I fancy. Knitting wise this meant re-doing the seals face and loosening off the running stitches around the neck.

He is still enormous but at least he vaguely resembles a seal. After that I got on with the swan. Lot of trouble getting the wings right. The neck had to be stiffened with a “chenille stem”, I had no idea what that was so thought “Blow it , I’ll use a pipe cleaner same as I always would to stiffen a knitted toy part”. Then I had the good idea to look at the front of the book, the part we all skip about materials , techniques etc. Chenille stems it read (also called pipe cleaners). For goodness sake just call them pipe cleaners! Here she is.

I am quite happy with how she turned out and I think the wings look ok. I still have to sew a couple of beads on the face for eyes. Here’s a real swan for comparison.

I don’t think I did too badly.  Picture taken yesterday at Scarborough Mere.

So then I decided to knit one of the fairies

Imagine little heaps of knitting, which is all there is to show  at the moment. I decided which colour I wanted for the wings, but could I find where I had put it ( you need so little yarn I am using leftovers). There was only one thing for it, a jolly good sort out. Oh Dear!. It transpires I have bought yarn for no less than 15 projects. FIFTEEN. And what am I knitting- one that uses leftovers, so is not included in the 15 ( ditto the swan come to think of it).  Anyway I found the missing half ball so all was well.

Just as well Wimbledon starts next week, maybe knit and watch at the same time.

And while I am on the subject of sport wasn’t that 6:1 score just wonderful . We won’t mention last night.

This week has been quite busy with things of one kind and another. We have a quiet weekend ahead, and a not too busy week. What about you, do you slow down at this time of year? Any super exciting plans or projects. I am working on a little bit of sewing too. And the Nature Journal I started for 30 days wild. Some days my head just seems full, but I do keep making lists and crossing things off. It has helped.

I am off to the library shortly for a little bit of training around mental health awareness. I’ll be back around lunch to catch up with you all, so do please natter away without me. The comments are what make this post. Final bit of cuteness coming up, tell me if your instinct was to say aah.

Thanks, Have a Great Weekend,

Be Happy,


June Books-2018

Only three books to tell you about this month. The new one by Kate Mosse which I had to read as fast as I could as the library had a waiting list of readers who had reserved it. The other two are both by Laurie Lee. Three good books.

Kate Mosse- The Burning Chambers- A simple plot but beautifully done with lots of details. At the heart of the plot is a mysterious woman hell-bent on finding a girl. Why ? There is a love story, and kidnappings, and murders and intrigues. Set in Carcassonne ( and folks if you have never been , stop now and go immediately to France and visit Carcassonne), it is just the most wonderful city. Set also in Toulouse and surrounding countryside in the 1500s at a time of religious unrest between the Catholic faith and the Huguenot (Protestant ) faith.  Lots of skullduggery to enjoy. A good read and the first in a trilogy next one not due till 2020.

Laurie Lee- Cider with Rosie- This is the third time I have read this and was my choice of reading for my 30 Days Wild challenge ( Last year was the hilarious Corfu trilogy by Gerald Durrell). Cider with Rosie is a delightful evocation of village life in 1920s England. Before the days of electricity and motor cars for all, the village is a real community, schools, a Squire, church, an agricultural cycle of life and above all tolerance, acceptance and self-help. We may have gained mod cons but by golly I think we have lost more. There are funny stories and beautiful descriptions of the flora and fauna in the Gloucestershire countryside, a perfect choice for June.

The book I borrowed from the library contains all three books by Laurie Lee, and I have carried on reading.

Laurie Lee- As I walked out one midsummer morning.The second book in Laurie Lee’s autobiography. Laurie leaves home, he walks down to the south coast from Cold Slad , Gloucestershire and ends up in London. The contrast between village life and the Big Smoke could not be greater. After a year or so in London he sets sail for Spain and begins another big walk. Spain in the 1930s is poverty-stricken and desperate. he makes ends meet by busking. If you ever wondered what Malaga was like before the tourists came , this book will open your eyes. He sympathises with the farmers and fishermen and starts to be drawn into the beginning of the civil war, until he is rescued by a British destroyer sent to help all Brits in Spain. He leaves Spain, but then feels he has betrayed something important and heads back again.

We had many a holiday in Spain, admittedly not anywhere near Malaga thank goodness. I went with my parents in the days of Franco, and with Mr E  after Franco died. I found the accounts of Laurie Lee’s experiences really interesting and his descriptions of the landscape so good I could feel the heat of the Sierras coming right out of the book.

Can’t wait to start the final book in the trilogy.

Collins  Complete British wildlife, photoguide. Giving this book a mention because whilst I haven’t studied it from cover to cover it has been my companion throughout June during the month in which I may have gone a little Wild.

Coming up next month, more Laurie Lee.

So what books has everyone been reading? And are there any reference books that have gripped you recently?


In which we play “I spy Nature

and name the flower, bird etc.  The following were all taken on my outings  for Go Wild. Are you ready to play? You may want to make a drink first….

Taken in woodland, late May.Name this insect.

My best guess is click beetle. Any advance on that?

Name which bird laid this egg, also found in woodland.

I reckoned pheasant.

This one is easier, name the flower, spotted in shade under trees, very late May.

Common Dog Violet, I think.

Another easy one, found in the same place


Bit harder, what do you reckon?

I think bugle but, I am by no means sure. I realised quite early on this month that you need to take into account so many things to make an identification, petal shape, number of petals, height of plant, leaf shape etc

How are you on fungus. This was growing on a silver birch tree.

I wondered if it is hoof fungus which grows on birch trees, but according to my book only in the Scottish Highlands, and this was in a wood near the North York Moors.

To birds, this on was on a village green sheltering from the rain.

I wondered if it was some sort of domestic duck from a farm. No idea really, but kind of cute.

Next picture taken at Whitby, and now I have become more knowledgable I can say with all certainty this is a

Herring Gull- the clue is in tha tail. Go me!

But how are you on seaweed. Growing on what must be part of an old breakwater , name this seaweed.

Not really up on seaweed, is it knotted wrack?

Never mind, an easier one next, name this bird.

Taken at Fountains Abbey, it is a Jackdaw. Apparently he told me he is quite partial to biscuit crumbs, I guess that’s what my bird book means by “has an opportunist diet.”

Now we are onto a walk I took last week. It took me through fields and woods towards a lake and a bird hide. Coming up next is a creature we hardly get the chance to see, indeed this is the first time I ever saw one. It’s very sad  that unfortunately because he lives underground the only way I was probably ever getting to see one was because he was sadly no longer with us, he is an X. So I hope you feel prepared enough for the next picture, or scroll right on down past him.

Mr Mole and so cute and so much smaller than I expected.

Moving swiftly on, and how are you doing?

Back to insects, and this one you can play I spy too.

Can you see him, just above that blade of grass. He is on a piece of fungus growing on a tree stump.

I have no idea really but wondered about a stag beetle.

Back to flowers you will be pleased to know.

Common Spotted orchid I reckon.

How about this one?

Is it Toadflax? I really don’t know.

Back to fungus, we’re nearly done, just one more to go after this.

Growing on a birch tree, is it Birch Polpore?

Time for I spy again.. My camera and I really aren’t up to this.

Found on a farm track alongside a river, I think it’s a dragonfly, but I am probably wrong.

So that’s the end of my little game which I hope you enjoyed. I have just one more picture to share, which I took from the bird hide by the lake. I sat and had a huff and puff for a while and could see precious little, but I could hear a plaintive cheeping from just nearby in the reeds.

My eye was finally caught on the far bank of the pond by a flash and a splash, so I waited and waited and eventually was rewarded by the sight of a large fish leap through the water and land with a huge splosh. Was it a trout? I don’t know, but I waited a while longer, and I could still hear cheeping.

Eventually over the pond came two ducks, one female followed by a male, they swam right to the hide and then turned to swim back and out swam a duckling, cheeping away and off went the little family. A minute or so later out popped another duckling who set off in hot pursuit.

Hide and seek do you think?

Now it’s only the 25 June, what else can I fit in this month?







All Aboard the Yorkshire Belle

Yesterday I went on the RSPB Puffin and Gannet Seabird Cruise, and it was one of the most wonderful things ever. I loved every moment of it. My trusty camera was not really up to the job of capturing amazing pictures, sadly not one of a puffin, in the end I just concentrated on enjoying every second of the three-hour trip. Who knew three hours could pass so fast? There was quite a wind blowing so we couldn’t get right up close to the cliffs, and the waves were really quite something, so glad my Kwells did the trick and I felt fine throughout. Anyway let’s get going.

Leaving the harbour- I was very POSH (Port out, Starboard home)

Leaving Bridlington

and out towards Flamborough Head.

I was greatly indebted to the lady sat next to me who helped me get my eye in and see what was what- here Guillemots and Razor bills.

Going round the lighthouse and fog station.

and onto Bempton Cliffs- see the idiot in the jet sky going far too close and creating a disturbance.

those be Gannets above, I think- 6 foot wing span, imagine!

and look carefully to see nesting birds on those incredible cliffs.

Returning now- the blob on the beach is apparently an old ships boiler from one of the many wrecks off the cliffs.

And that really is the best of my pictures on what was a truly amazing experience.

I certainly recommend the trip, organisation was efficient, RSPB volunteers amazingly knowledgeable, gave a brilliant commentary, made sure everyone saw puffins. I saw most on the return leg , but no time to see and click, seeing was great. Other passengers really nice helpful people too.

Wouldn’t recommend it for a child who wasn’t passionate about birds, three hours sitting still is not for children in my opinion. Worth every penny, and I would certainly go again.

My big Go Wild adventure lived up to everything I hoped for.

Birds spotted were, Puffin, Kittiwake, Gannet- ( Their yellow head meant even I could spot them), Guillemot, Razorbill, Fulmar and Shag.

Knit and Natter Friday!

Hi, sorry there was no nattering last week. Usual story- very busy indeed. Trips out, walks, hospital appointments (Mr E), gardening, talks on family history, local history and psychology, to say nothing of messing around with glue, getting side tracked with cross stitch and some sewing.

Time to draw breathe a little. Our best trip out was to Fountains Abbey.

This time we also made sure to visit Fountains Hall

It now houses a display about the Settlers’ Society, which was formed in the 1930s as a training camp for boys to teach them employable skills, not what Mr E said which was      ” cheap labour “.

There has been some knitting, not a lot , but I can now reveal that the grey and very cuddly thing was not as Lynne so wickedly suggested a chest hair wig but was in fact the most cuddly and ludicrously big


I am not sure it even looks like a seal, but I checked and rechecked that  I had followed the pattern correctly, it is huge, and cuddly. Not quite sure he is suitable for the newborn babe I was going to give him to. I may need to rethink that one.

As it is Go Wild month this June in the UK I decided to knit something from the book I received at Christmas.

I am knitting a swan which is considerably smaller than the seal. Imagine a pile of white indeterminate shapes if you will which is what it looks like at the moment. I may even complete this by next week if I don’t distract myself with a hundred other things.

Thought you might like to see my last cardigan with dress on Little Miss F ( picture by her Mum)

A tad big !! Her comment was that her Nana was good at dress buying! I shall bathe in that compliment at least.

So what is everyone up to this weekend, you know we love to read all about plans. I have another big adventure lined up for tomorrow. I need good weather again! So excited. And if weather holds and I survive the big adventure I have a walk planned for Sunday which should be good.

Thanks for coming by, have a great weekend,

Be Happy,







Scrap Happy Journal!

I have concluded that what I have been making for my Go Wild challenge journal is best described as a Scrap Happy Journal. It has elements of junk journaling to it, in that I use my junk/scraps. However “junk journals” are really wonderful works of art in which there is space to write, after the journal is constructed. I ran out of time to make much of anything before I wanted to start writing. So I am writing and constructing as I go, and the result is somewhere between scrap-book and a junk journal.  However I am happy, hence I am making a Scrap Happy Journal.

However there is the occasional item not from scrap, but from a publication I chanced upon in the newsagent last month.

Full of gorgeous paper, which for some unknown reason I am perfectly capable of cutting into. It won’t be long before I am able to be ruthless with a book.

I am also indebted to the wonderful Willowbound journal blog who has been my inspiration this month.

So here is my Scrap Happy Journal so far.

The cover is the same, and I finally found what I wanted to be on page one.

How apt is that for me? That was on the back of the magazine, and once I had cut that out the rest was easy.

An attempt at making a tag to go with the page about a walk in May in a bluebell wood. Thanks to Willowbound Journal for the inspiration.

Next my effort at making a pocket, inside the written instructions on how to sow a meadow and a card for notes. It keeps coming unstuck , hence the mini peg.

And another tag, I found the map in a cutting I had from an old magazine, everything from stash. That’s a real stash, yes I keep stamps too. I think I may be incurable in hoarding this stuff, so good to have found a use for it all.

An attempt at a collage- painted paper, Victorian scrap butterfly, picture from Daphne’s diary and poem found on-line, because I like it.

Tea dyed paper and an attempt at trapping a lace edging- previously also tea dyed. Not as easy as it looks to trap it- went a bit wobbly.

Blue painted background, tea dyed paper, round sticker from Daphne’s Diary, think the centre strip was from left over card making stuff.

An attempt at making a belly band. Have failed to figure out how I should use one, hence the paper clip. Picture from my stash of magazine cuttings. I really do keep all this stuff!

Cutting from an old magazine which went with the pictures below and to illustrate the river birds I spied on my trip last week to York. The picture of the swan is a cigarette card and I confess I did buy it for about 10p from the flea market in town.

I read that drawing wobbly lines was a good thing, not sure I agree, painted backgroud, stuck down with washi tape which seems to have lost its sticky.

Sticker from Daphne’s Diary- wobbly felt tip pen lines certainly don’t work.

And finally

A mod potched napkin- doesn’t that stuff smell disgusting. The page for last night’s journal entry.

So that’s as far as I got.

As you know two weeks ago I was in a right old state trying to do everything at once and in a real tizwaz. I shall complete this months journaling, use my scraps as I go. I do very much want to learn more and produce a junk journal in which to keep my parents ephemera, but I shall learn how to walk before I try running!

Please do visit Kate  for some more Scrap Happy joy.

In the meantime


PS No Knit and Natter this week, back next Friday. Have a wonderful weekend, love to know what you hoard and if you have found a way to put it to good use.



A Ticket to Ride..

On the most scenic bus route in Britain to Whitby, on the top of a double-decker bus.

Leaving Thornton Dale

in the direction of Dalby Forest

Heading down Saltersgate Bank

with Fylingdales early warning system  in view, the blob on the horizon

towards the village of Goathland

or Aidensfield as lovers of Heartbeat may know it.

Or from the first Harry Potter film, the station for Hogwarts

oh may there be any wizards on board?

Beware of sheep on the road

past the village church

past the shops-Might that be Ventriss’s car?

and finally into Whitby

for some bracing sea air.

On the return journey we got to see the Hole of Horcum

hope you enjoyed the ride.







Knit and Natter Friday!

A big thank you everyone for helping me through my minor melt down last week. I calmed down, wrote the lists as advised, prioritized some things, did some of them, crossed them off the list, had a major tidy up, and felt a great deal better. List making and crossing off has continued all week-long and I am feeling more like more normal self!

First of all I have finished the cardigan for Little Miss F.

All the buttons are different.

And here it is with the dress I bought to go with it from M&S.

That has to be a pretty dreadful picture, sorry, and it’s too late to retake it as I posted it yesterday morning! Which leaves me with the grey fluffy thing to finish next, if only I hadn’t side tracked myself again with a tiny kingfisher to cross stitch. Meantime…

I went to Lockton Artist’s Open Studios,

Above the tea rooms is a small flat to rent called the Loft, for two people. It’s rather nice, but for the duration of the Open Studios it was being used by a couple of artists to show case their work. Claire de Witte was one of these artists. Sadly she is in the middle of upgrading her website or I would give you a link. This link is the one she has on the Lockton Artists website. Anyway she is a ceramic with a wonderful imagination. In the land of eider-down as children fall asleep a teacup army comes with good dreams and another with nightmares and while the children are asleep the armies battle it out. Claire has created two fleets of teacup boats and they are wonderful. I very nearly bought one….

Mr E and I took a bus to Whitby on Tuesday, the most scenic bus route in Britain, if you recall.  I shall probably share the pictures I took (a lot) in a future post. When we arrived in Whitby, we went to the Bridge Cafe for a coffee, and just look at the wall paper.

Junk Journals! Is that not sign? Serendipity and all that?

Today is going to be good too. I have an outing with one of my family history groups, we are taking the bus to York for a guided tour of the Bar Convent in York.

Not quite sure about the rest of the weekend. Sure it will have time for crafting and walking.

What about you? Anything exciting for the weekend?

Thank you again,

Be Happy,



The prompt for this month’s photo challenge from Wild Daffodil was Sunlight.

May turned out to be a very sunny month, so I thoroughly enjoyed being out and about capturing the essence of sunlight.

Sunlight in York Museum Gardens. This was taken in early May when the leaves were new and soft, and the shadows long  in the early afternnon.

Sunlight twinkling on the sea at Scarborough, on a day when there were more clouds than sunshine.

A field of sunlight- Pickering.

I pointed my camera directly at the sun to capture sunlight through copper beech trees.

Dappled sunlight reflected in the beck through the woods near the railway line. So many colours in sunlight.

Sunlight and steam train, I can’t resist the trains, in case you didn’t guess.

So which do you like best? My favourite is the buttercup field.

Today is the sun is shining again, time to begin the hunt for next month’s prompt which is Sculpture.




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