Monday, 30 November 2015

Catch Up

Hello everyone!  Sorry that I haven't been visiting much lately, we have been away for a little bit, but I am back now.  I don't have pictures or tales to tell from our time away, just a little visit that we are keeping to ourselves right now, I am sure that you understand.  Later in the week I might share a couple of things, I will see how it goes. 

I have been reading your lovely blogs and keeping up with your news though and will be able to visit properly again this week.  Thank you for your lovely comments over the last week, I am glad that you enjoyed the visits to Chatsworth and Lyme Park, they were fun places to visit and I see that many of you have enjoyed them too.  Thank you too for the Anniversary good wishes, it was a little bit ago, but it was still kind of you to wish us well! 

It is great too to know that you are all set for the card swap and are or have been busy posting your cards.  Very exciting!  Tomorrow I am off to the Post Office to post my Christmas Cards and various swaps so that will be my first Christmassy job all done.  It seems like a good place to start though.  I haven't opened any of my post yet, but I see that I have several envelopes that look like Christmas cards, so thank you if yours is amongst them, I will let you know that I have heard from you when I go through my post - another job for tomorrow!

Then I must get down to some shopping, I only have a couple of people to buy for though so it shouldn't be too bad.  The Seaglass Shawl that I am making as a gift is nearly done too. 

The rest of tomorrow will be getting on with laundry and other catch up jobs after being away, the supermarket is calling too, we always need food don't we.

We don't decorate for Christmas until about 2 weeks before the big day, as we keep our decorations up until as near to twelfth night - 6th January - as we can, so 2 weeks before Christmas is enough for us.  Once I am all sorted though I will get the Christmas china out of the loft so that we can start using Christmas cups, it is never too soon to have a cup of Christmas Hot Chocolate is it!

Tonight I am planning a not too late night and before that I am catching up with my tv shows as the recorder box didn't record anything at all while we were away so I have to watch it all on demand while I can!

Hope that you are all well, see you soon!

Amy

Just a little reminder about the card swap

Hello everyone!

Sorry to mention this again, but this is the week for sending your cards for the card swap.  By now you should have been in touch with your partners and swapped your names and addresses.

There is a list below of the swappers just in case you aren't sure or have forgotten.

If you haven't heard from your partner and swapped your details by the end of today - Monday - please can you let me know by leaving a comment on this post with your e-mail address as I would love to swap with you.  I don't want anyone to be left out and I am always happy to swap more Christmas cards!  I really mean it, so please do let me know and we don't have to tell anyone else so please don't feel bad.

All comments are moderated, so I won't publish your e-mail address, I will just get in touch with my details so that we can swap a card.

I had a suggestion from the lovely Julie that we have a link party to share our cards, so I will put up a link on Monday 21st December so if you want to do a post you can share your card there.  I will leave it open until Christmas to allow for everyone to catch up depending on how your postal delivery service is - ours is terrible!  No obligation to join in, just a bit of fun!


I hope that you have all managed to make contact, but as I said, please do let me know if you haven't.

Happy nearly Christmas!

Amy

These are the swappers in case you forgot.

Irish Eyes Knitters swapping with That Country Place

A Shropshire Patch swapping with The Summerhouse by the sea

Wainwright and Wright.Co swapping with Crafty Northerner

Red Cardinal swapping with Northwoods Scrapbook

Into The Glade swapping with A Dee Coded Life

Fan My Flame swapping with Love Those Cupcakes

PomPom's Ponderings swapping with Tangled Up In Sticks and String

awholeplotoflove swapping with E. Lizard Breath Speaks

Mamas Mercantile swapping with Love Made My Home

Dotty's Daughter swapping with Creative Chaos

A Haven for Vee swapping with A View To The Fells

MacQue swapping with Fabric Paper Thread

Angel Jem's City Cottage swapping with T's Daily Treasures

My Little Piece of England swapping with Sweetbriar Dreams

Eclectic Home Life swapping with Clicky Needles

Michelle's Make or Bake swapping with Alizabethy Card Making Addict

Three Stories High swapping with September Violets

A Hidden Gem swapping with Julie's Lifestyle

Through The Keyhole swapping with Wuthering Heights Farm

Garden Tea Cakes and Me swapping with Eternally 28

hookin' A yarn swapping with Life On Willie Mae Lane

Senior Adventures swapping with Jumble and Jelly

Lilly My Cat swapping with Poppy Patchwork

It's A Beautiful Life swapping with Mad About Bags

Fairy Bluebell's Craft Adventure swapping with Sunny Corner Farm

Thistle Cove Farm swapping with Lily Bets

Lavender Cottage swapping with Queen B Creative Me

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Peace

As you may know, in the Christian calendar today is the first Sunday of Advent.  Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas day and marks the coming of Christmas.  It is a time of preparation.

If you have been a long time reader of my blog you will know that I always mark the four Sundays of Advent each year.  This year I have decided that I will share a little with you each week about four different topics.  Peace, Hope, Joy and Grace.

Originally I had planned that the first post would be about Faith, but at the moment I am instead drawn to Peace.

What does Peace mean to me?

It means many things.  Harmony, quiet, stillness.  You might also think of peace as being the opposite war.  We reach a peace treaty, we seek peace.

Of course we all hope for peace in the sense of not being at war, and for goodness sake we all know that we need peace of that sort in the world right now.  For everyone we need peace, no matter your religion or faith, creed, colour, sexual preference, tall, short, thin or fat.  We all surely hope for and look for peace.  I am right there along with you, desperate for peace.

Flipping the coin a little though to look at another meaning of Peace what do I find?

Walking along by a body of water, the sea, a river, a lake.  That is very peaceful for me.  Seeing a big open sky, with nothing around where you can really see the sky in all of its glory.  Quiet times in the garden, with the birds flying around and singing and looking at the beautiful flowers.  Baking.  Crocheting.  Staring into space and doing nothing.  Laying in my hammock in the garden in the summer and just watching the wind rustle the leaves in the trees.

Such peaceful moments.

I find the quiet moments of stillness when I am alone.  There is no noise.  No television or radio.  I am not writing with the tap tapping of the keyboard.  Just the quiet when I can think and be.  Recently the radio in my car has only been working intermittently.  Sometimes it just cuts out and there is no radio to be had.  Usually I drive along with it on at full blast and often sing.  Now though I have times of quiet and of peace.  I am enjoying it more than I thought I would.  Although it does make me worry about how much longer my dear little car will last!

My thoughts can be my own and can flow as I wish them to and can take me to different places, to consider different things.

So as Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas and as we surely need peace in many of its forms, this week I am going to spend some time seeking peace, being peaceful and hoping that I can in some small way bring peace to someone else in the world.

Amy

Friday, 27 November 2015

Five On Friday

Taking five to admire a fountain...





This is the Emperor Fountain at Chatsworth House.  You can read more about it here.  It really is quite the most amazing fountain that I have ever seen.  I was captivated by it.  As you can tell by the number of photos no doubt!





As much as I would like to say that I only spent five minutes looking at and photographing the fountain I can't.  It was much longer than that!


These two pictures - above and below - were taken just moments apart.  I haven't done anything to the pictures, it is the sky and the light that has changed.  That is all.






If you get the chance to see and gaze upon this fountain it is well worth taking five minutes to look at it and contemplate what you see.

Thank you for stopping by and for joining in Five On Friday.  I hope that you all have a great weekend.  If you can, don't forget to visit some other Five On Friday posts!

Happy Friday!

Amy

p.s. don't forget to check who you are swapping Christmas cards with and get in touch with your partner.  The details of the swappers can be found here.

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Thank you - as always! - for joining in last week.  I look forward to reading your posts again this week too!  Remember, anyone is more than welcome to join in, read this bit below, go and visit the Five On Friday page and then write your own post and then come back here and link in!



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The Five On Friday "opening hours" are from 6 am on Friday until 7 pm on Saturday.  Please include a link or the button to my Five On Friday post within your post, or to make reference within your post to the button if it is in your sidebar.  This is to be fair to everyone.

If you want to check out anything else about Five On Friday see the All About Five On Friday page - top right of my sidebar.

To visit other bloggers taking part, just click on the links at the end of the post.  Please do go and visit their lovely posts!

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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Chatsworth House 2

Following on from my post yesterday, I have the rest of Chatsworth House to share with you today.  Well, the rest of it that I photographed!


These incredible vases - the ones that look like towers - are called Tulip Vases, the tulips went into the little round pieces that you see on the corners of the different levels.  This type of porcelain is called Delft Ware.



I was interested to see this painting as it is by the artist William Marlow - you can read more about it below.  The interest in Marlow?  Well we have two of his paintings at Basildon Park where I work.  You can see them here.  It was interesting to see more of his work and in a different style.




Again, above you can see modern art paired with beautiful antiques.  Below though is a wonderful antique.  This isn't a violin.  Or a fiddle.  Or any other sort of musical instrument.  It is in fact just - I say "just"!! - a painting.  Isn't it incredible!!  This really amazed us.






Flash photography was allowed, which surprised me as it usually isn't, but it did make taking pictures difficult as in the darker areas when someone else's flash was going off it didn't help others photography - and probably didn't help theirs either - so these pictures don't really show off just how spectacular the beautiful pieces are.






Another little treat for me is the piece of furniture below.  It is very similar in design - although not identical - to one that we have at Basildon Park - you can see ours here.  It is called a Confidante Sofa.  So that the ladies can sit next to the gentlemen, but keep the arm between them, thus maintaining propriety!  Prince Charles has a Sofa identical to the one at Basildon Park - we believe that his is Chippendale!




You might recognise the portrait above.  This is the famous Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, whose story was told in the film The Duchess.  Also - dare I say it again! -  filmed at Basildon Park.  I was actually really surprised at the number of links between the two places.



This beautiful table is made of different stones and minerals.  Work of this type is called Pietra Dura and is an Italian term meaning "hard stone".

Below is an amazing painting by artist Lucien Freud of the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire who died last year.  She was Deborah, one of the Mitford Sisters.



So much exquisite porcelain and other ceramic pieces!





The beds were of course incredible.  The canopies were especially beautiful.  Although I would still need a lot of persuading to sleep in a four poster bed.  I don't like the idea of being closed in!






This painting was, I thought, especially beautiful.  It isn't necessarily "pretty", but nevertheless it was incredible and fascinating.

The damage that you see below - probably caused by sunlight attacking the fabric!






You can see what I meant about incredible bed canopies can't you!




Looking back down on to the main stairs.  You can see someone trying out one of the round chairs with pointy bottoms that I showed yesterday.


This table top is made of malachite.  It didn't photograph very well as it is covered in a piece of glass, but it was beautiful.  I find it a fascinating material.






You know that I love an incredible ceiling!


Yesterday I mentioned something called "Blue John", well, this is what it looks like.  It is a mineral, only found in The Peak District.  It is blue and yellow and looks spectacular when the light shines through it, or it is lit up as this vase is.  Pieces made from Blue John are incredibly - for that read astronomically - expensive!  This piece would run into many thousands of pounds I am sure.



I leave you today with a beautiful lion.  There was a pair of them, probably larger than life size and just incredible!!

I hope that you have enjoyed the visit to Chatsworth.

Amy