Thursday, 9 April 2015

The March of Spring

It's a glorious day today and there is a definite feeling that Spring has arrived.  We're in a settled period of warmish days with enough sunshine to buck your spirits up so I thought I should pop in here and catch up a bit.  I'm happy to say Val phoned me a few days ago so I shall be taking her cushion to her tomorrow.  Fingers crossed she likes it.

March was quite a busy month and included one stitching Show and a little coach trip to England's magic corner. Ansom!  More of that in a minute.

Starting with some creative eye candy, I finally finished this little embroidery that I started last year!  It is about 5" square and is framed in one of those deep IKEA frames.  The idea was to use mostly french knots to cover the surface but I did move away from that a little as it was taking too long and my hands were complaining.  I was showing it to mum and saying all I had to do now was decide what to do with it.  She said, "You could give it to me!"  I had to smile because I had offered it to her a couple of weeks ago and she had said no.   Anyway, it will please me no end to know that it's in her room for her to look at and enjoy.

I've also made a lap quilt over the course of the last month but I can't show it yet as it's gift but it made me very happy to see it come together.  

Did I mention we went away?  It was a very quick coach trip down to St Agnes in Cornwall.  We had never been there before so we thought a late winter/ early spring break would be a chance to explore, especially as we didn't have to drive down.  We stayed at the Rosemundy House Hotel which was really lovely, tucked away in its own grounds and very welcoming.  They were very understanding about my special diet and made sure I had something appetising every evening.  The coach went out every day but we stayed behind and explored the village and its surroundings.  If you ever go to St Agnes be aware that it's very hilly, there is hardly any flat walking.  

These cottages running down the hill behind the parish church are on a lane called Stippy Stappy.  They were said to have been built for ship's captains and the bigger the ship the bigger the house the captain was accommated in.  Sadly these are now mostly holiday lets with only one having a permanent viallge resident.

Behind and above Stippy Stappy Is Wheal Friendly, the engine house pictured below.  We had a slow walk to it and clambered over a low wall to get a close look.  We decided the private sign referred to cars, not pedestrians ;-)  The view above, through the arched window, is across to Wheal Kitty which now houses various small businesses.

Apart from a link to my own Cornish family history these wheal houses fascinate me in their construction.  When you look at them they are beautifully constructed with features that are echoed in much grander buildings.

Why would they go to the trouble of making these beautiful and quite decorative brick faced openings in such a utilitarian building?  The walls are obviously so thick for strength but I did wonder why the lintel was made of wood?  You can of course see evidence of the buildings purpose in the pulleys and metalworks that remain attached.  Did you spot the tennis ball?

St Agnes doesn't have a seafront, per se, but it does have several beautiful coves and beaches.  We were only able to reach Trevaunance Cove through lack of time and more specifically energy.  

 This is looking north towards Perranporth and Newquay.

We learned in a talk at the hotel that this area to the left of the cove has been manipulated by man to accommodate machinery required to get the ore from mining down to boats in the harbour.  In all 5 harbours were built at St Agnes but none survived the ravages of the pounding sea.  Today the remains of the last harbour still sit on the beach and probably provide some protection for the cliffs.

We were lucky with the tides and were able to explore the caves in Trevaunace Cove for a while.

Lots of beautiful marks and inspiration here.

Being so close to St Ives we couldn't resist hopping on a couple of local buses for a visit.  We were so lucky with the weather and had a very pleasant few hours re-acquainting ourselves with the beach.  Unfortunately we found the sand was a bit squishier than usual and we both ended up with wet feet!  If you're at all squeamish you might want to skip over the next photo!

 Not a pretty sight!

Time to drag ourselves away from St Agnes and St Ives (St Ia) but we'll just say bye to my lttle friend on Stippy Stappy,

I tried to tempt him out with cake but he didn't care for lemon sponge.

The Show I went to in March was the Sewing For Pleasure Show at the NEC.  For some reason I didn't take many photos but it was a good show. 

I was particularly taken with the costumes from the tv drama, Mr Selfridge, the lace was gorgeous.  I suppose I had better admit to a little retail therapy,

And finally, did you see the solar eclipse on 20 March?  We were pathetic in our attempts to photograph it and finally managed to capture some images reflected in our pond, which is heaving with frogspawn,

It was nearly over at this point and we had experienced the weird change in light and sound around totality but in our neck of the woods it didn't go completely dark.  We won't see another total eclipse in the UK in our lifetime, the next is due in 2086, I think.  I'll be back before then.


Anonymous said...

Loving your pictures of Cornwall so much. Those shots of caves and layers of rock really are very inspiring and I just love those blues you've bought from the NEC, especially the bits of space dyed felt.

ju-north said...

You've had a super spring so far! Love seeing your Cornwall pics!

Amanda said...

The little embroidery is lovely! You had fab weather for your trip away. Lets hope it lasts a little longer.

Heather said...

What a super post. I feel as if I've been on holiday myself just looking at your lovely photos - lots of interest and inspiration.

Helen Suzanne said...

looks like you've been having a wonderful time! Very ingenious to use the pond to photograph the moon too! Love your little embroidery... all those pretty knots!

Corrine at said...

I always love your trips. Such textures you always capture in your photos. I know it's your creative juice, but it's fun for us too. xox

Gina said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip to St Agnes. I love your little French knot embroidery Julie.


Hello lovely ... I adore it all. Really love your embroidery with all it's beautiful details. It can't fail to make your mum happy when she sees it in her room. So pleased you and Mr. M enjoyed exploring St. Agnes ... your photos are lovely. I've been many times and your photos capture it's essence. The colours in the caves are very inspiring. And glad you got to your beloved St. Ives. At first glance I thought that was a very special pixie dance Mr M was doing there lol :o) Your photos are lovely, it was good to see them. Sending lots of love always xxxxxxxxx ♥♥♥

imac said...

That dance was for a special friend - My Cornish Pixie. xxx

Maggi said...

Your photos really are stunning Julie. Love the embroidery piece.

Emma said...

Better late than never I really enjoyed your post, lots of interesting things going on. Was that a book by Amanda Hislop or a catalogue??!!!