Sweetbriar Dreams

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Saturday, 20 April 2013

A Food and Craft Event at Sandringham, Norfolk

There is a regular event that myself and mumsy take ourselves off to called the Sandringham Craft Fair, where the Queen opens up her Norfolk home's grounds for these events.  This takes on a few different guises throughout the year but last weekend's version was a food and craft fair.  We decided to go on the Friday rather than the weekend as it wouldn't be so crowded and the weather was said to be better for that day(...it rained!).  There were so many craft and food stalls that we didn't know where to start, but we were drawn to the main arena where there was a line of spectators in the middle and an eagle owl finishing off his 'treat' before flying between them.
After a gentle coaxing, he delighted the crowds.
To the right of the arena was the deafening sound of the chainsaw sculptors.  They are regularly at these events and I am always in awe of the intricate beauty that they produce from such a large piece of machinery and a plain piece of wood.
We returned later to this same artist to see how he was getting along...
...and to look further at their other work.
This eagle is amazing!  To think this is done with a chainsaw shows the skill that these artist's possess.
However, before we got too drawn in, this was also a FOOD fair, meaning lots of tasters...and it was lunch time, so we bypassed this sign for the alternative meats (I know what you are thinking, 6oz...what??!)...
...and headed for the food tent where we were greeted with so many tempting tasting posts.  There were cheeses, the usual olive stand (why do they always charge so much after you have asked for a small pot...and the taster from them...sun dried tomato - yum, a cheese - yum and a whole clove of garlic...wasn't expecting that when I bit down on it!!), pickles, jams, salami's...
Some amazing breads were on display from this stall.  I bought a huge iced bun for the family...delicious!
Mumsy bought my Dad a great looking pie for his tea from 'The Cheese and Pie Man'.
There was so much to choose from but only so much we could carry, so we made our way out towards the craft tents.  Now at some fairs I get very disappointed as my expectations are too high, but sometimes I find one stall that will stand out from the crowd, something a bit different, not just with the goods set out, but actually making the items to sell in full view - showing how they do their craft.  There were a few at this fair, and this one has to be my favourite!  This lady makes goblins!  Detailed, individual goblins (take a look at her website here).
The workmanship that she has put into these and her imagination is spectacular.
If I had to choose a favourite, it would be this one...
I love the facial expression!

And look at these delectable little shoes and hats.  It reminds me of the story the Elves and the Shoemaker.
Moving on (even though I could have spent hours looking at this lady's work!), there were quite a few pottery stalls, dishes and containers from Cotswold Pottery...
...then some great, individual, fun pottery.  I love the toothbrush holders!!
And then there was this...
At first I thought this was a rusty helmet but no, these potters are amazing (their website is here).
Along with the potters were quilters...
Soap makers...
Bead Makers...
Such an intricate craft.
 HUGE crochet hooks and knitting needles!
More hot work, this one making glass horses...
And then there were these fantastic wooden and slates signs.  I love the one saying 'plant with a latin name' and the one called 'weed'!
And how many of you can relate to this one...
Then there was the craft of the corn dolly.  This one gave me the chilly wobbles!  But, look at the different designs, such a clever craft.
Now this man collects antlers that have naturally fallen and sells them on.
He also creates natural walking sticks.  The one in the forefront is silver birch naturally wrapped in honeysuckle...
Outside there were metal crafts...
Wind chimes that were put together to resemble stringed puppets...
There were so many more crafts but time was against us once again and we knew we would be back in a couple of months for more.

So, off we set with the top of Sandringham House in the distance.
If you ever manage to go to one of these Living Heritage Fairs they really are a great day out.

Now, some other news, remember my post on my two bad things that happened and waiting for the third?  I thought this may have been when my dog Coco decided to use the greenhouse door as a dog flap a while ago, but I'm afraid not.  Unfortunately I lost a very good and close friend last Sunday evening to cancer.  A true 'Cockney Sparrow', who was a joy to be around.  She had the sort of personality where everything was bright and breezy even though life dealt her some very hard and tough blows.  Her hugs were literally breath taking and she had nicknames for all those she met.  Mine was 'Chipper' because I was always smiling.   She was told about her cancer just before Christmas and in a way I am thankful that she did not have to suffer for too long with the pain and progression that this took on her body.  I last saw her on Saturday afternoon when she was sleeping but she soon realised someone was with her and opened her eyes to say 'Hi Chips'.  I held her hand the whole time I was there and she whispered after a while 'make me smile' and I tried my best to do this.  She was sedated soon after I left and she died the following day.   Her husband rang me early morning to tell me the news and I have pretty much been on auto pilot since.  I'm ok when I am with people to put on 'an act' but then once in the car on my own, the tears start to flow.  It's hard, so hard to think that someone so wonderful could be taken so quickly.  Her funeral is on Tuesday and that is going to be a very trying time for all who knew her.  May you now rest in peace my Valentine Val xx

This week I am sharing with:


  1. Oh Chel I'm so sorry to hear about your friend - I also lost a dear one last year and found it very hard to speak when I last saw her so you did incredibly well. This is a lovely tribute to her and your friendship. Sending you lots of hugs x Jane xxx

  2. That post is surely evidence that your friend nicknamed you well. I am so sorry for your loss.
    Thanks for the tour of a sort of fair that we do not see over here.

  3. Hi Chel, thanks so much for the tour of the wonderful food and craft fair you went to with you mom. It was something fun to do together. The food looks wonderful and the sandwich sounds so good, but I can't believe all that garlic too. I am so sorry for your loss and just try to remember all the good times together and stay busy with all your crafts. I want to send you hugs. Stay well and take care. Julie, from across the pond!

  4. The craft and food fair look amazing, Chel. Thanks for taking us there.

    I'm so sorry to read about your friend. Hugs to you from me.

  5. Absolutely the saddest thing when a special friend departs - later on her memory will be your treasure. I will think of you often as I look at my hand crafted Pelican. I always think of a certain feature in my house to attach thoughts to so that I am reminded when I look at it to send cheer and hugs to a friend far away.

    Your fair is fabulous - nothing at all like the ones in the US - oh the glories of all the wonderful crafts and food. I smiled at the "Big Texan Burger". And the goblins - oh I should have 2 or 3 of those, for sure. What talent. A lovely outing - thank you for taking us along.

  6. What a fun day out for you and your mum! Such a feast for the eyes....and stomach! Some of those crafts are so unusual and eclectic...:) I am so sorry to hear about the death of your dear friend. Sounds like you both brought joy and light into each other's lives. Your heart and soul heal with time....enjoy your precious memories of her. I'll be praying for you and for her family.

    Blessings Sweet Friend,
    Life On Willie Mae Lane

  7. So sorry to hear about your friend. Cancer is all too prevalent. The OH's twin sister died of cancer and had a horrible, protracted time of it - over two years and yet she never once complained and was forever cheerful.
    Your first photo is wonderful and I like the metal owls further into the post too.
    Take care,

  8. I am so very sorry for the loss of your friend. I know you are glad she didn't linger and suffer but you'll miss her. The show you went to is amazing. I see so many things I would have stopped to look at...like those goblins! They are amazing little works of art! Sending you sweet hugs tonight! Your buddy, Diane

  9. Chel, the craft fair looked amazing thanks so much for taking us on that tour.
    I am so sincerely sorry about your friend passing. You sound like such a good friend and so did she. Huge soft hug going out to you.
    Be well.

  10. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. What a fantastic day out this looks, such a shame that there isn't a similar fair near here, I would go for sure. I love to see so many different crafts all together like that, and the food part of it too, scrummy. I'm so sorry to hear such sad news about your friend. Cancer is such a horrible disease that it affects us all in one way or another. I hope the funeral on Tuesday goes as well a these things can.

  11. I love owls and have had the pleasure of flying a barn owl - a great experience.

    So sorry about your friend - I know just what ypu mean about the tears coming when you are alone and don't have to put on a brave face.

  12. Oh Chel. I so very sorry about the loss of your good friend. I'm glad you got to spend some meaningful time with her.

    What a fabulous fair you had! I always have a thing for the potters and the quilters. Would have loved to see their wares! We have a big art festival in Atlanta at Stone Mountain, but I have never been. My mother used to show her art there. It's called the Dogwood Festival (so very Atlanta-ish:))

  13. I was about to leave a comment about the goblins but your last paragraph took my breath away. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you got to see your friend that last time, and that she knew you were there. I will be thinking of you on Tuesday and beyond.

  14. I enjoyed going through the fair with you very much, especially as rain did not make it through the screen. What a man can do with a chain saw is breathtaking.
    I'll be thinking of you next Tuesday, as it will be a very difficult time for you.

  15. What a lot to see. You must have gone round at a jog trot (except for stopping to take the excellent pictures of course).

  16. I am so sorry to hear about your loss, losing a good friend is very hard on one's heart and spirit. Take care of yourself and allow yourself the time to grieve. It is ok to do that and very honoring to the one 'who you loved'.

  17. I'm so sorry about the loss of your good friend, Chel. What a privilege to spend that last bit of time with her. May your heart heal and remember.

    Thanks for the tour of the Living Heritage Fair. What an amazing event.

  18. Chel, I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I am glad you were with her to cheer her in her last hours.

    Thank you for stopping in this morning. Yes, we're getting more snow, but we're supposed to have temps in the 60s on Saturday, so there's hope for better weather. The fair looks fantastic! How I'd love to be there. Heck, I'd like to be anywhere in the country! The closest I've been to Sandringham is Watton, then Cambridge. Now I'm off to read your post about Ely. :-)

  19. Oh what a fun place to visit and really some amazing artists. I am so sorry about your friend's passing. It's so difficult to lose someone you love. Praying for peace for you.

  20. what a day! very interesting and cool pics :)

  21. I'm so jealous that I never got to go to a fair like this, which I can only see on tv! Everything is full of color and flavor and unexpected! Love the guy sculpting with the chainsaw, even if I'm still wondering if this can be done, for real!

  22. Gosh - that all looks so very amazing.

    Nina x

  23. Oh wow, this fair looks like so much fun! I love the arts and crafts. The wood carved sculptures are awesome and I love all the pottery. Cool seeing the owl, they are one of my favorite birds. Wonderful collection of photos. Have a happy day!

  24. I would have had a difficult time deciding what to bring home -- such wonderful art and artists Chel!

    I'm so sorry about your friend -- hugs and blessings to you. xo


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