Monday, 24 February 2014

train travels 1: Filey


I started to write this post some time ago but then other posts seemed to be more timely and muscled in on publication. This post, I decided, could be published almost anytime and the subject of this post is, of course, obvious from its title - travels by train! 

Trains are one of my most favourite forms of transport - in fact, it would be difficult to decide on my most favourite - bicycles or trains? For me personally there are so many benefits for travelling by train:
  1. Firstly, I have to get to the train station and for me this often entails a cycle ride. It is about a 17 minute cycle ride for me to the station (and nearly all downhill) so of course the cycle ride home takes me a bit longer - probably about 22 minutes. And from where I live, the one way streets are much more favourable to the cyclist riding to the station.
  2. Secondly, travelling by train is much more environmentally friendly than travelling by car. 
  3. Thirdly, the rail tracks may pass through parts of the countryside not always available for viewing when travelling by car.
  4. Fourthly, you can sit and relax when on the train, no stressful driving and busy roads to contend with - definitely a case of "let the train take the strain
  5. And finally - you can sit and do things when you are travelling by train; I don't feel like I am wasting so much time as when I am driving. My choices of activities, depending on the reason for my train journey include:
  • drinking coffee - well, that is a must no matter where I'm going or why. I consider available coffee facilities prior to any journey and plan my strategy - can I buy on the train? Will there be a dining car or an at-seat service? Or shall I buy at my local station prior to boarding or can I purchase en-route while waiting to change trains?
  • work - my laptop is an essential item on any work trip
  • listening to my music - I love my Apple shuffle, it fits into the smallest of purses and hence bags
  • reading - often I take my Kindle Paperwhite with me but it could also me a paperback (sorry this isn't a sponsored commercial for electronic gadgets)
Often I indulge in more than one of these activities on any one journey - I say indulge because it does feel like that - an indulgence - a treat of time, for me to relax and enjoy one of my interests.

So I thought I would share with you some of my train journeys. And today, our first journey is one my daughter and I made to Filey on the East Yorkshire coast.

Filey is a lovely old fashioned, small seaside resort which we visited many times as a family when the children were younger  - there is so much to do given its size - pitch and putt, crazy golf, amusements, 
(view from the boating lake)

donkey rides, paddling pool, boating lake, miles of beach, cliffs...... and all in easy walking distance of each other.

Sand art.......

 walks along the beach.....

We stayed in a lovely B&B (Bed and breakfast) and had a traditional seaside fish and chip tea - a fun, relaxing two days train!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Half term .....

.... February 2014

  • Success at cross country for two family members

  • Hathersage
  • still too much energy despite a 6 mile cross country run
  • Cluedo
  •     Midhopestones, Yorkshire
  • Banangrams
  •  more stripe supplies for crocheted blanket


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Langsett reservoir

A walk round Langsett reservoir on a mild, sunny day in February.

  • Midhope Hall Lane 
  •  on top of the dam at Langsett reservoir

  •  north shore of reservoir
  •  ruins at North America
  •  south shore
  • Thickwoods.
A thoroughly enjoyable walk with all the family. Thank you to you all


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Forgotten holiday project!


Yesterday I wrote a post about the 4 craft projects I have brought away with me for my short break in the Peak District - but I suddenly realised last night that I'd forgotten one of the projects I have with me. Obviously too many WIPs and too easy to forget one!

But here it is....

Yes, it is presently just a collection of embroidery silks, evenweave, buttons and ribbon - my plan is to make a small padded hanger stitched with some sentiment such as "Home sweet home".  I love the colours - they loosely coordinate with our bedroom which is predominantly grey and white with accents of bright green, pink and purple. You can see how the colours above coordinate with my much posted stripey blanket, shown yet again below (please skip this photo if tired of my blanket love).

Yesterday I was reading this post on Lucy''s blog (of Attic24 fame) and from there linked to The Homemakery website. While browsing their website (which I agree with Lucy has some wonderful items for sale) I came across this page and just LOVED the colour combinations of this Very Berry Rowan handknit cotton DK yarn pack. 

Then I realised why I was drawn to this - it is more of that wonderful, deep colour combination that I love!  I can even feel a Lucy wreath, crocheted in this colour palette, coming on! Just need to add a few leaves of bright lime green - they would make it ZING! 

But time to get on with those holiday projects first!


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Holiday crafts


So, at my insistence that I really needed a few days away this half term we have travelled a relatively short distance to the Peak District and we are staying in a beautiful barn conversion for three nights. We are in fact staying just outside the Peak District National Park but chose the location because the cottage is a bus ride distant from Sheffield and so my elder son is on his way to see us as I type - eek! So looking forward to seeing him again!!

But the aim of this short break was to "chillax", as my children would say, and what better way for me to do this than by walking, running, drinking coffee and sparkling wine, playing games with the children, reading and of course, crafting. It is often the only time I can craft during the day without feeling guilty - there is no housework calling for my attention.

So, we are away for just a few days - realistically how much can I achieve in that time? Well, it doesn't matter does it.

Do you want to see what I brought with me?

Firstly, this cute Me to You cross stitch kit called "my red jumper". I am stitching this for my daughter and sadly I haven't got very far. I stitched another Me to You kit a couple of years ago which I had framed professionally and is hung next to my daughter's bed - we both like it very much. The silver frame and blue mount complement the picture precisely. I stitched a little more of this project today.

Secondly, this "By the sea" kit by DMC. My younger son bought this as a Christmas present for me. I was delighted with it! We insist the children spend no more than just a  few pounds on Christmas presents for us. My son and his friend spent some time in a local craft shop looking for just the right gift - he knows I love cross stitch and knows I love the sea so his choice was spot on! And I appreciated the fact that he browsed a craft shop - not the most obvious shop for a teenager to frequent.

The third project I brought with me you have seen before here. This is my portable project - I knitted a few rows of these last night.

The fourth and final project I brought with me you have seen a couple of times here and here.

I crocheted one and a half rows today. I hope you are not tired of my stripey blanket - it is a longer term project and so is likely to make a few more appearances on here.

Do you have a favourite project you take on holiday with you? How many projects do you take away with you?

Enjoy your crafting time.


Monday, 17 February 2014

Hathersage in February

Hathersage, a village in the Peak District in England.

I've stayed here several times at the Youth Hostel with my friend and our children. We travel from home by train. We have walked from Hathersage, past North Lees Hall and up along Stanage Edge on days when it is so windy you can hardly stand upright and shelter behind a large rock for a stop to eat lunch is essential and on other days (far more infrequent) when the weather is so mild my fleece stays in my rucksack all day.

Our walks frequently end here at St Michael's church where the tomb of Little John can be found. We always wonder whether he really is buried here.....

Today we made a short passing stop in Hathersage. We walked round the village and made a detour up to the church. 

It's only in winter that we can really appreciate the distorted growth some trees achieve.....

Snowdrops edge a tombstone.

Ancient tomb stones..... relating part of a family's history.

Moss grows in the indentations on the grave..... almost making it possible to read the eroded engravings.

That tree in its full glory....

and the lychgate, a wonderful piece of construction.

Have you ever visited Hathersage?

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Suitcases and tins


I recently visited Sheffield with my daughter. We don't live that far from Sheffield but I have to admit, it is a city I haven't visited before. Now, my daughter is becoming increasingly interested in art and as we had enjoyed our recent visits to local art galleries I searched the internet for art galleries a little further afield and Graves Gallery in Sheffield looked ideal for our next dose of culture.

Graves Gallery felt almost forgotten - it was unobtrusively situated above the Central Library - we climbed flights of stairs - how many visitors do they have we wondered? But the climb was worth it, we did enjoy our visit; 'Abstraction and Art now' was particularly impressive and included art by Damien Hirst.

Following the Graves Gallery we visited the Millennium Gallery, a short walk away. This offered a modern, open place for something to eat and rest our feet but there was also a small retail area and look what we saw:

the cutest little set of suitcases and......

the cutest set of matching tins!!

Now I am not an impulse buyer so my daughter and I "oohh-ed" and "aahh-ed" over the cases and tins, and then wandered off to explore the rest of Sheffield city centre. While we wandered the streets of Sheffield we further discussed those tempting treats.

Shall we or shan't we?

Look at the stylish label for the suitcases.

Conveniently we had to walk back past those goodies on our way to the station. And guess what? Yes, you got it right, we bought them!!

So far only one suitcase has been used for storage and that, the middle suitcase )measuring 20 cm x 14 cm x 7.5 cm) which is holding my ribbons, as shown here.

I'll leave you with a close up of the largest tin (measuring 13.5 cm x 6.5 cm).


Thursday, 13 February 2014

Possibilities .....


Consider the is my recipe for an enjoyable, creative few hours.

  • fabric, this Zweigart 32 count Belfast linen raw linen and linen raw white spots is beautiful, both in colour and to work with
  • buttons, a range of colours, shapes and sizes, some plain, others not (although looking in here there seems to be a predominance of heart shaped buttons - not intentional!)
  •  ribbons, where once again an assortment of colours and widths is ideal

  • inspiration
  •  some free time....

....oh, and the last part is the missing ingredient for me at the moment, but I do have lots of 
gorgeous supplies waiting to be created into something once that moment arrives....