Oh Deer!

Made from cardboard, this deer head has been covered with a pretty blue and pink ‘vintage-feel’ papier-mâché and adorned with Capodimonte roses for eyes.

Deer (3) resize Upcycling at it’s best!  Capodimonte roses saved from a chipped candle holder.

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Although just for display purposes, the deer head looks great with lightweight jewellery hanging from it’s antlers!Deer (2) resize

Finding it’s way into my Shop tonight :)   (Follow menu on the left to shop safely)

Short break in Somerset

When we were gifted a couple of days pod glamping in Somerset earlier this year, little did we know what the year 2020 would hold.    After postponing our stay in April we rebooked for the end of September and added a few days to explore Bath too.

Unfortunately some of the places we’d planned to visit didn’t have Covid-19 precautions in place yet, so we made the most of the time we spent there by mainly exploring outdoors.  Lucky for us the weather was warm and dry.

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Bear

Pulteney BridgePulteney Bridge

Designed in 1769 by Robert Adam, Pulteney Bridge is one of the most photographed examples of Georgian architecture in the city and one of only four bridges in the world to have shops across its full span on both sides.

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Directions

Img_3867 resizeThe Circus – Architects John Wood Snr and Jnr

The Circus consists of three curved segments of Grade I listed townhouses, forming a circle with three entrances.  Look a little closer at the detail on the stonework and you’ll see many emblems, such as serpents, acorns, and nautical symbols. Apparently, Wood was known to admire the druids, the creators of prehistoric stone circles. Convinced that Bath had been the principal centre of Druid activity in Britain, Wood studied Stonehenge, and designed the Circus with the same diameter.

The following day we booked a visit to the Roman Baths.

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P1011737 resize Flavia and Apulia, Roman lady and slave girl

P1011724The roman characters were fantastic, especially the lady by the main baths talking about her makeup!

Royal CrescentThe Royal Crescent

The Royal Crescent, a popular location for films and period dramas.  It would have been lovely to photograph the sweeping crescent without all the parked cars, but alas it wasn’t to be.

Now halfway through the week, the weather turned as we headed off to our glamping pod and rained for most of the journey.   As we entered the site and drove around to the reception we saw a funny scene, sitting on the verandah of the first log cabin, sheltering from the rain were three sheep!   I can’t believe I missed the photo opportunity and hoped they’d visit us on our porch, but it wasn’t to be!

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We’ve visited the Jurassic Coast in Dorset many times but I have never been lucky enough to find an ammonite.  When we read about Kilve beach and it’s wide range of fossils, it had to be our next day out.

We drove into Kilve and followed a narrow winding road to the beach, parked and had our first cream tea in the beautiful gardens of The Chantry Tea Rooms.  A little while later we walked down to the beach and, mindful of the tide started hunting for fossils.

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The cliffs were incredible.Ammonites

Within no time at all I found my first ammonite!

Grout colour

The first mosaic I ever made was a green lizard on a blue background (made from left-over kitchen and bathroom tiles).  I’d found a wrought iron half-circle table by the roadside and dragged it home for upcycling.   Next I progressed to smashing tiles and covering an Ikea-bought table with flowers.

Blue grout table top

I really liked the abstract flowers but was never happy with the grout colour I mixed up.   It’s always bugged me.  I attempted to remove the grout a couple of years ago but found it was too noisy, too hard and gave up.   I’ve contemplated taking the table to the refuse centre several times but each time something has stopped me.   I’m so glad it did.

As our new neighbours are having extensive building works done I haven’t felt so guilty creating a racket in my workshop, so while they’ve been drilling, so have I !!

Dremel

I don’t know how many hours or Dremel bits it’s taken, but I dug out as much grout as I could and re-grouted in black.  And I love it :)

Reveal

Black table top

Black table

Moving Gift

Our next-door neighbours were great bird lovers and would feed their feathered friends in the garden each day.   They had sparrows nesting in the eaves of their roof, a bird table in the garden and a bird house on the side of their garage where blue tits would raise their young in safety.  Every bird was welcome, apart from the heron that emptied the fish from their pond!

Bird collageAll photos taken from my back garden

When they announced they were moving I wanted to make them a gift that would be both useful and personalised, so I decided to mosaic a blue tit on a garden planter.

Blue tit planter

We’re going to miss them very much but we’re happy that they’re enjoying their new home and a more peaceful way of life.

 

A post about posts!

Hey, long time no see.  I hope that you’re all keeping safe and well and enjoying this totally strange summer.   It’s been such a long time since I’ve had the time to sit at the keyboard and catch up, but here goes …  this is a post about posts!

At the beginning of ‘lockdown’ (23rd March in the UK) I began working on a new project.  The plan was to cover the two remaining fence post on our patio with mosaics and, as I already had all the materials,  I just needed to come up with the design.

When we had a new fence put up, probably about 12 years ago, I covered one of the posts with an ivy design and lilac background.  As the ivy post sits in the middle (with the remaining two either side) I wanted to come up with a design to compliment the colours.   Every year our neighbour’s climbing rose bushes pop their heads over the fence and give us the most beautiful display.  As luck would have it, they suddenly came into bloom and helped me make a decision.  I picked out purple/lilac flowers for the top of one post and white flowers for the other – and hoped they would match the mosaics I completed three years ago on the other side of the patio. Click here to go back in time to see the other mosaics.

Purple

Stained Glass

Just like last time I experimented with making my own ‘stained glass’ using nail varnish.  I’ve learned that red doesn’t stay true (because last time some of my ladybirds faded) but I’m hoping the green and pink won’t fade.  These posts won’t be in full sun, so fingers crossed.

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Of course I had to incorporate all the beasties that visit our garden too;  ladybirds, bees, butterfly, snails, a frog and a Very Hungry Caterpillar!

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Probably my favourite because the ‘Wide ‘Mouth Frog’ joke always makes me laugh ’til I cry!

Mouse

This little mouse represents a lifetime’s fear and a bit of exposure therapy for me …

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collage

Three panels

Queuing for food

I’m not ignoring the dreadful situation people all over the world are experiencing at the moment, I just think it’s important to have a little escapism.  Before we went into isolation a week ago, I took lots of photos in our local park and I thought it would be nice to share them with you.

Please keep safe and well, stay indoors and look out your windows.  Spring is here and there’s so much to see, albeit from the safety of our homes.

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Cat Sitting in Northern Ireland (Day Three)

With news of Storm Ciara moving across Ireland and this being our last full day, we set off back along the Causeway Coastal Route hoping to avoid bad weather.   This time we went in search of 700 year old Layd Old Church in Cushendall.

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We’d read somewhere that Medieval warriors are buried in the cemetery, but we didn’t find their tombs.  However, this headstone was intriguing.   Since we’ve been home I’ve done some research and it turns out Bud ‘CJ’ Platt, Wizard of Zigton is alive and well and living somewhere in America.   He sounds like quite a character!

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One of the headstones is a hole stone which has a legend “The Holestone is an ancient Celtic Stone that provides eternal love and happiness.  Couples undertake an traditional ceremony where the woman reaches her hand through the circular hole and her partner takes it, thus pledging themselves to love each other for ever”.Img_0809

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Game of Thrones was filmed in several locations and we were keen to find The Dark Hedges.   We would have found them earlier if I hadn’t sent us down the wrong road for miles!  The beauty of visiting Ireland during the winter months meant that there was only a small number of other fans/tourists there so we were able to take photos pretty unhindered.

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The avenue of beech trees along Bregagh Road form a beautiful tunnel.  Legend has it that a ghost travels along the hedges flitting from tree to tree!

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Another 13 miles and we were at our last stop of the day.  We’d read that Dunluce Castle was beautiful but nothing prepared us for the view as we rounded the bend high up on the coastal road.  With nowhere to stop at this point, it was impossible to take a photo of the castle from this angle but believe me, the ruins looked incredible against the darkening sky.

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Another film location for Game of Thrones, Dunluce Castle represented House of Greyjoy, the ruler of the Iron Islands in the show, but obviously with digital reconstruction!

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The light was fading fast and the wind was so strong it was hard to stand up so we called it a day and headed back.

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A pretty little rock sculpture island, snapped from the car.

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Back in time for dinner and lots of cuddles with this pretty pusscat.  When we first arrived she wasn’t too sure about sharing the sofa with us, but after three days of treats, combing and a playing with catnip mouse, I think we won her over.  Hope to be back soon <3

Cat sitting in Northern Ireland (Day Two)

After spending time with the pusscat we decided to visit the award-winning St George’s Market in Belfast.  We jumped on a train and enjoyed the ride to Lanyon Place.

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The Market is inside a beautiful Victorian building and has become one of the city’s most popular places to visit.  As soon as we walked through the entrance we could hear live music, smell fresh coffee and see beautiful original artworks and crafts.

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After lunch in the market we set off to find The Big Fish.  No trip is complete unless I’ve seen a mosaic!

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The Big Fish printed mosaic sculpture by John Kindness.

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Cat sitting in Northern Ireland (Day One)

When we were asked by friends if we could look after their cat for a few days in Northern Ireland we jumped at the chance.   Apart from never passing up the opportunity to cuddle a pusscat, we really needed a mini-break.  So last week, with weather warnings of the approaching Storm Ciara ringing in our ears, we boarded a plane to Belfast.

Shortly after arriving we had a brief tour of Belfast streets and saw murals depicting The Troubles and, more importantly, the hope for a brighter future in Peace artwork. celebrating community and tolerance.

Peace muralCultural Icons Van Morrison, George Best and C S Lewis, to name a few. ‘Luminaries & Legends of Eastside’ by artist Dee Craig.  

The following day we set off in our hire car along the Causeway Coastal Route.  Every twist and turn in the road revealed one spectacular view after another.  Day 1 (8) GOT resize

Fans of Game of Thrones will already know that the epic series was largely filmed in Northern Ireland (more about that later).  I loved this signpost sitting in O’Kane’s Layby.

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First visit of the day was to CARRICK-A-REDE rope bridge.   For 350 years, fishermen have strung a rope bridge 30m above the sea to allow them to access the best places to catch the migrating salmon.

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The next stop had been on my ‘bucket list’ forever.

GIANT’S CAUSEWAY

Steeped in myth and legend.  Carved from the coast by the mighty giant, Finn McCool ….. or a geological wonder with over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of intense volvanic and geological activity!

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The walk back up to the Visitor Centre was blowy to say the least.  The Audio Guide told us about The Stookans, (or Windy Gap to locals!) a path between the cliff face and a tall rock.   At one point I was nearly blown off my feet!

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Quick stop to take a photo of this beautiful church tower before heading back for pusscat feeding time and cuddles.