Tag Archives: Chester

No Room At The Inn?

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I recently visited Chester Cathedral with the intention of seeing a knitting exhibition. There was a display of knitted Bible stories, Hand crafted and lovely.

There was a “side” show of knitting hats and scarves for the homeless. Very admirable and kind idea.

The cathedral is a beautiful, large church, warm and cosy. What I couldn’t understand was why ?

Why Heat the lovely space to such an extent when all the visitors are warmly wrapped up in scarves and good coats?

Why have such a large attractive space open to the public when some of the public are homeless ( for whatever reason) and sleeping rough in doorways?

Why close the doors at night to keep the Church warm when some are shivering with no bed to sleep in?

I know that the homeless is a complex issue. Many people do help and do their best. Maybe I’m doing Churches in the UK a disservice . Maybe they do open their doors at night. Just maybe a little more could be done?

I must give full credit to the Chester shareshop and all their hard work for the homeless people of Chester and elsewhere. When I shop in Chester I always buy myself a coffee. It costs me only a little to buy another coffee for someone out there.

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She Made It!

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Well my Mum turned 90 this last week! She has now officially lived longer than any of her Six siblings. Well done Mum! On her actual special day she was very happy to hear “Happy Birthday” sung by her 2 daughters ( me and Sis), her 3 Grandchildren and 3 Great Grandchildren.

imageI’ve done a lot of celebrating this week! No crafting and no sensible eating.

imageWe met friends in Chester on Friday who we met on the last cruise. We had afternoon tea in a restaurant by the River Dee. Top location and top company.

Today I met up with Girl friends and we had a Champagne lunch in the Grosvenor Hotel Chester. I could get used to this life.

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Summer Solstice

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A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year (in June and December) as the Sun reaches its highest or lowest excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. Both the solstices and the equinoxes are directly connected with the seasons of the year.

The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s path (as seen from Earth) comes to a stop before reversing direction.

Stargazers are hoping to catch the first glimpse of a Strawberry Moon on the same day as the summer solstice for almost 50 years.

A Strawberry Moon is not necessarily pink or red, however.

It is simply a name given to the full moon each June, which coincides with the start of the strawberry season.

But it has not happened on the longest day of the year since 1967 – and astrologers are excited to see the two coincide this year.

The name was coined by Native American tribes who used it as a signal to gather ripening strawberries.

It became known in Europe as the Full Rose Moon, and the Honey Moon.

Yesterday Chester celebrated the Summer Solstice with a parade through the city centre. My youngest Grandson took part with his class from school. He really enjoyed it. Lots of people had made a huge effort from the wonderful to the weird. There were Giants and Dragons, Angels and sunshine. All of this had beautiful Chester architecture and the wonderful cathedral as the backdrop.

May the summer days bring you all blessings in every way.

Job Done!

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ANOTHER UFO finished. AKA a finished object.

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I did a course at Liberty Bell Chester to make a felt cushion. As I didn’t want to turn it into a cushion I made a craft bag! I really enjoyed the course – it is lovely meeting other crafters, learning new techniques and just having a pure “Me” day.

visit http://www.liberty-bell.co.uk

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I chose a contrast lining and inserted a zip into the top. I used a lot of blanket stitch as I adore blanket stitch! The whole bag was made by hand. I find hand sewing therapeutic and relaxing and really enjoyed the process.

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I now have a finished bag to carry ANOTHER UFO

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The  cat sitting by the tree  is a button. He does have rather a startled look but I have just sewn his bottom to the bag.

Wool Felt Project

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This Saturday I treated myself to a workshop at one of my favourite craft shops, Liberty Bell, Chester,www.Liberty-bell.co.uk The project was to make a wool felt cushion with appliqué houses. I had a lovely day which was filled with stitching, chat and endless tea! There was inspiration, knowledge and good fun.
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As usual my purse ran away with me! I forgot to take my embroidery silks as I had had such a stressful week before. I therefore had to buy more and I will beg forgiveness from my bank manager. I also decided not to make the proposed cushion but buy a contrast lining and make a work bag.m
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Isn’t the contrast fat quarter lovely colours? I think that it is the colours that I like best about crafting. But I do also like the fibres, textiles and touch ability of it all. Oh I mustn’t forget that I also need to buy a zip for the top of the bag. (More money!)
I will post pictures of the finished bag soon-I hope!

Wordsmith Wednesday-Tunisian Crochet

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Tunisian Crochet

I chose Tunisian Crochet for this weeks WordPress Wednesday because it takes me back to a course that I did in Chester with my friend Penny. It was such good fun and we still giggle about to this day. Happy times!

Tunisian crochet, also known as Afghan crochet, is a type of crochet that uses an elongated hook, often with a stopper on the handle end, called an Afghan hook. It is sometimes considered to be a mixture of crocheting and knitting. As such, some techniques used in knitting are also applicable in Tunisian crochet. One example is the intarsia method.

The work is begun with the traditional starting chain, a series of slip stitches. Once the chain is completed, the first row is worked by inserting the hook back into the previous link of the chain, and a loop from the free end of the yarn is grabbed with the hook and pulled back through the link. Unlike traditional crochet, however, this new loop is not then pulled through the initial loop. Both remain on the hook and then the process is repeated, working from right to left, until each link in the chain has been worked. At the end, there will be as many loops on the hook as there are stitches required. This process is called casting on. This is the first of two parts for creating a row.

The work is never turned. Once the correct number of loops is obtained, the process is reversed with each loop being worked off from the hook by pulling a fresh loop of yarn through each stitch, working from left to right. It is both parts of the process which form a completed row. The tension of the yarn is much looser than in standard crochet or knitting.p

Tunisian crochet can also be worked in the round, as when making a seamless cap. To work in the round a double-ended crochet hook and two balls of yarn are used. The first hook and ball of yarn are used to add loops (casting on). When the process is reversed (as described above), the loops are worked off using the second hook and second ball of yarn. Using a flexible cable to connect the two ends of the double-ended crochet hook, a single ball of yarn is sufficient.

There are a variety of stitches than can be created, dependent on how and where the hook is inserted and how the working yarn is held. Tunisian stitches include variations on knit, purl, post stitch, and entrelac, to name a few.

The fabric created by Tunisian crochet is slightly less elastic than normal crochet and substantially thicker, particularly the knit stitch. This makes it most suitable for blankets and winter knits, but unsuitable for finer items like babywear and socks. The fabric also has a tendency to curl, and usually needs to be shaped by wetting or steaming the fabric (known as blocking) upon completion. It is slightly faster to create fabric by Tunisian than normal crochet, and approximately twice the speed of knitting.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the above.

Forest and Gruffalo

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I had a great day out in Delamere Forest yesterday with handsome Grandson.

The Forests of Mara and Mondrem were adjacent medieval forests in Cheshire, England, which in the 11th century extended to over 60 square miles (160 km2), stretching from the Mersey in the north almost to Nantwich in the south, and from the Gowy in the west to the Weaver in the east. Mara and Mondrem were a hunting forest of the Norman Earls of Chester, established soon after 1071 by the first earl, Hugh d’Avranches. They might earlier have been an Anglo-Saxon hunting forest. Game included wild boar, and red, fallow and roe deer. What was left of the original Medieval forest became known as Delamere Forest.

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It it seems amazing to think that Wild Boar and Deer were hunted in this forest nearly 1000 years ago. Today children build dens and throw sticks for dogs, enjoy the fresh air and run happily through the trees. They might even find a Gruffalo. Happy times.

A Lush Shell Adventure

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The day got off to a pretty good start today! When I opened my emails I had an invite to a “VIP Bloggers Event, Chester Lush” on Sunday next. Wow! This should be really good and I will report back to you eventually.

The invitation prompted me to sort out my current Lush Stash. I am a fan of Lush products as you can see, and have some gorgeous shower gels and lovely creams. You don’t get this gorgeous without some effort you know! When I was setting up the photo shoot some shells crept into the picture as you can see. I had already been sorting out shells for a future craft project. ( actually looking for ones with holes-strange as it may seem!)

I store these shells in a vintage glass globe on the bathroom window sill. Now what was really strange was when I delved into the shell collection they were all glued together in the bottom of the globe with a dried out gloop! It seems that in the past I put either Lush soap and or bath bombs into the shell collection! These Lush products must have melted with a combination of sun and condensation and sank to the bottom of the glass.

The only way that I could get the shells out was to run hot water into the globe. The smell was GORGEOUS. I couldn’t pick the globe up as it was heavy, slippy and smelling lovely. I had to keep running water into the container until all of the Lush product had dissolved and rinsed away! The shells came out and smell delightful.

The glass globe, complete with shells, is now back in its rightful place in the bathroom. The shells with holes through them have been removed and Lush products returned to the shower. Happy Days!

Super Sunday Part Two

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Yesterday’s blog was Super Sunday and the afternoon tea party was, I suppose, technically part two as I had a Super Sunday (morning) which must have been part one. Anyhow,never one to confuse…..

On Super Sunday morning Darling Daughter and I went to the Chester Vintage Fair. This was fab with more than fifty stalls all purveyors of vintage treasures. We browsed and bought and browsed again and bought again. I didn’t spend a huge stash of money but enjoyed my little hoard of treasures. I purchased some old lace, both a Doiley and some meters of narrow trim. It needs a good wash but will look good in my crafting stash. I also found a huge bag of pearl buttons for only £4-bargain!  I’m sure they will come in useful.

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I bought a couple of ceramic flower brooches to add to my collection. These are very attractive and reasonably priced. It is difficult to find them with no damage but yesterday my luck was in. I told you it was super Sunday!

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I also found a delightful Laura Ashley China cup and saucer. It’s really cute with an off set handle at an angle. I love this cup and saucer and only payed a few pounds for it. The lace on which it is photographed is the doiley that I found for £1. Just imagine all that work and only worth £1!! The actual cup and saucer are probably destined to be filled with soy wax and sold on as a candle at some point in the future when I can bare to part with them.

So a very good day all round. I am looking forward to more Super Sunday’s!

Bobbins and Christmas Trees

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On a recent trip to Chester I visited the Grosvenor Arcade, which is a beautiful shopping centre. I suppose an original “mall”! The Christmas decorations are beautiful, extravagant and in keeping with such an iconic setting. Sadly the shops are very upmarket and my budget didn’t stretch to the Three carat diamonds!

Another shopping trip involved taking my Mum to a local garden centre. This was also decorated in a festive display of consumerism. Here I also resisted buying the Christmas baubles due to the inflated prices. Bah Humbug! Mum spotted the HUGE cotton Bobbins which were disguising the industrial pillars. Clever, as they were positioned in the craft centre. Mum thought that they would provide a good photo opportunity.

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