Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Where Shall We Go On Our Journey Today - Sandringham Craft Fair

The mist was still visible on the fields as the day began to wake, but the weekend was here and it had been promised that this was going to be a warm one.  It was glorious to have the choice on whether to take a coat with us or not, but we chose to anyway (you never know what the weather will do nowadays!).  Me and Mumsy were to go to Sandringham's Craft Fair today, a regular trip that never disappoints.  The day would be filled with so many choices of crafts and visual delights, all so different that it reminded me of an assortment of buttons with their aim to make something normal become incredible.  
So grab yourself a cup of tea and put your feet up while I take you around our first visit to the craft fairs this year.  The blue and white tents that dotted the land near Sandringham House were full to brimming with arts, crafts and different types of food produce.   
Inside we couldn't help ourselves be drawn to the gorgeous fabric stalls.  This particular display by Lottie Ann looked so pretty with their pastel colours and gorgeous little hearts of happiness.  
And then beautiful scents greeted us from The Black Sheep Company.  Their stall was just a symphony of scented waves, and they were so friendly and helpful.
 I couldn't resist and had to buy one their gorgeous soaps, and across the way, a pinny in the most delightful colours.  We both fell in love with the colours and the edging, and luckily they had two to sell!!
What I love about these craft fairs is the fact that you see things being made.  I have been to some others where it is the usual stuff that you can buy in the shops and the sellers don't have a clue on how the items are made.  Here, everything is explained to you and the stories behind them.  This makes the buying experience so much more personal and the sellers have such pride in watching their hard work being appreciated.  We saw the potters...
... the weavers...
 ... the glassblowers...
 ... but by far were my favourites - the chainsaw wood carvers!  The noise, smell and respect of watching these artists work was heart lifting.  For thirty minutes we watched these men turn a piece of wood into works of art that were to be auctioned afterwards.  My camera was working hard during this time, and I have cut the number down, but I felt that you really should see this fantastic craft (without the obvious high decibel noise coming from the different array of chainsaws used).  It doesn't take long for them to get some form of shape and the wood starts flying through the air.
Their different interpretations were shown instantly as the larger chainsaws were used.
This one was easy to work out as to what the finished object would be, but I loved seeing such a small delicate cottage being made with a chainsaws and heavy boots to steady the wood.
Birds were also being formed.
Heat was being used to accentuate the more delicate cuts into the wood.
And smaller chain saws were used to pick out more detail.
The chainsaws were now relentless as the time ticked away, and the details became more complex.
Every time I looked back at the one in front of me, the details of more wooden sculpturing were more apparent.
The little cottage was almost finished with the tiny chainsaw.
This little toadstool's face was almost there.
And Old Father Time was getting his finishing touches.
The finished products... The Green Man...
... the little cottage...
... the toadstool face with its creator very  happy to pose during the auction...
... and the bird.
The auction prices didn't get above £55, an absolute bargain!  We went along to where their main work areas were and their other works of art were for sale.  Some of their equivalent work were priced in their £100's so we will be back next year with some notes and will snap up one of these newly carved pieces!  Just look at the detail of these wings...
They belong to this dragon fly (and notice the swan in the background).
And these books...
... which belong to this chair.
A truly amazing craft, and one that I would not be taking up, but it is great to watch and see the forms taking shape.  

In another part of the arena, there were live birds such as this magnificent owl on display.
He showed off his amazing soft plumage to the crowds and flew around the arena to pick up tit bits until he couldn't eat any more.
On our way out of the Fair, we stepped into the owl tent where this majestic owl gave a special Mother's Day treat to Mumsy by allowing her to hold him.

The weather kept sunny and the temperature was comfortably warm, it was such a special time for me and Mumsy to just be together and not be rushed around.  The perfect Mother's Day present!

And, for me, there was another purchase to be made before we left!  This little taster is the perfect accompaniment to the projects I have in the pipeline.  It was an enormous bargain!  
 Along with my other projects that I am currently doing, this one will be revealed when all the others are in place.  It's huge!  It just about fit in my car but how could I leave something so beautiful behind.

To all those celebrating Mother's Day this weekend, I hope you have a wonderful day either being spoilt or spoiling those you love.

Now, back to those projects!!

Have a great week and take care.

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Springtime Blossoms

What a joy it is that I am beginning to feel back to normal once again.  Within the last two hours my never ending headache has started to subside and the sheer relief that I am now back on track has lifted my spirits.  This past week I have been such a bad blogger, hardly visiting anyone, reading my comments and wanting so much to reply but my brain was finding it so hard to co-ordinate my virus infected mind and fingers - so, thank you all for the kind comments, I will get around to replying to you soon and visiting your parts of blogland once again.

What I did miss was the Spring Equinox.  I so wanted to sit on the haystack once again as I did with Mr Teen at the start of Autumn (post here), but this was not to be.  Instead I smiled gently at the many pots, vases and jugs of pink, green and white loveliness that I have in each room.  Some reflecting in the newly polished windows to give double the beauty.
 Outside, Spring was playing 'peek a boo' with me and enticing me outside, even though for short intervals.
The warm sun felt so lovely and the busy noises of nature surrounded me.  I've missed the sound of a leaf nudging its neighbour in the wind to say 'wake up it's time to grow'.
The blossom is intoxicating.  When I think of this time last year and the snow showers we were treated to and the daffodils only just starting to bud, I felt so happy that spring has arrived at the correct time and that the seasons were separated this year.
As the rain decided to descend briefly, I was treated to a beautiful rainbow against the gorgeous blue of the sky and the crisp clouds.
And so, back inside I went, to plan in my head the projects I want to do over the next couple of weeks.  I won't give too much away at the moment but they involve working with fabric, metal work, wood and plants.  Right now though, my eyes are mesmorised by the blossom that surrounds my garden and that is enough for now.
This weekend will be lots of fun with Sandringham's Craft Show and Mothering Sunday, so life will be back to normal and a trip will be recorded once again on my camera.  I can't wait!

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Unwelcome Guest (Persona Non Grata)

I have been avoiding a potential visitor for some time now.  I hear a sniffle, a cough, the look of someone who isn't at their best and think 'Let's avoid them like the plague!'.  It worked so well but then at the weekend that all too familiar nose tingle began.  The right nostril... no, I won't let this happen - followed by the left nostril... go away!  Then a BANG on the door... the throat hurts, the fuzziness of a cotton wool head, the ears start to ache and the face feels like it's three times the size.  Yes, the common cold has decided to visit me once again!  My mood is as blue as this gorgeous grape hyacinth! 
 As you can probably tell from my posts, I am not a stay at home person.  I am not a person who likes to sit down for too long, and if I do my mind has to be working.  But, bleugh, I feel rubbish!  Wearing PJ's and slippers out of necessity for some comfort.
The sneezing!  Don't you just hate it when you are waiting for that release of a sneeze?  You prepare for it, your tissue poised, you look up at a light, you take those sharp intakes of breath and then... nothing!... absolutely nothing!  Unwelcome guest... Bleughh!

Or you give one almighty belter of a sneeze only to have the reward of wanting to do it all over again.  Unwelcome guest... Bleughhh!

I look out of my windows and see the gorgeous blossom, but can't bring myself to go out and pick some of it, let alone try to smell it.  Unwelcome guest... Bleughhhh!
The temperatures are getting a little cooler again, but I can't stand a warm house when someone has the dreaded lurgy - it breeds germs!!  I need to be in the greenhouse and dealing with these new babies.  Unwelcome guest... Bleughhhhh!
So, just a little post for you my friends while I try to recuperate and try to keep the dreaded lurgy away from my chest otherwise complications set in.  Unwelcome guest... Bleughhhhhh!

Normal (happier and positive) service will be resumed once this uninvited guest (otherwise known as Person non grata) has decided to return from whence it came.  The dreaded lurgy... Bleughhhhhhh!

Any tips or tricks on how to send this visitor off packing would be greatly appreciated. xx

Good luck with keeping the bugs at bay.

Take care... sniff, cough, atchoooo!

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