Thursday, 31 January 2013

Nippers and tucks

It seems as though we've turned a corner; the days are getting longer, the rain has washed the snow away and it's warmed up slightly.  
Now the snow's gone these snowdrops in the churchyard can be seen

  and I've seen my first lambs.  Look at these nippers with their mums

Remember the Chinese style silk blouse I boughtfrom the charity shop?  This is it

As you can see it's a bit big, so I had what I thought was a brilliant idea to narrow it down.  I've made two pin tucks on either side which run all the way up the fronts, over the shoulders and down the back, effectively taking nearly an inch off each shoulder and taking the body part in by over three inches.
It's got slits at the sides with the fancy knotted buttons at the top which I didn't want to mess with so I've just taken the sides in a little bit, tapering them to the bottom; and shortened it.  I've also shortened the sleeves.  The sleeves have a band at the bottom so I shortened them above the band by making a pin tuck on the inside.
My initial intention was to make it into a V neck, but when I buttoned it up properly I thought the mandarin collar suited me, and I loved the colour next to my face, so I haven't changed it.

The colours are gorgeous, like sapphires and emeralds in the ocean

I thought I might have had the mickey taken when I wore it out the other night, but I just had a couple of people greeting me by bowing their heads with their hands together.  I was very surprised when not one, but four men complimented me on it.  Later on, one even said it again because he liked it so much!  I wouldn't have thought men would like high necks like this, but I guess I just looked so darn cute! 

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Tiers before bedtime

I bought this dress on ebay, and whilst I love the tiers, when I tried it on it felt a bit bare at the front

I didn't like the small metal discs on the straps either because I didn't think the bronze colour went with the grey and looked drab.

so I cut them off and have now got a nice little pile to use on something else.

Remember I bought some net from Fabworks?  It was very fine dark grey net which apparently is used for wedding veils - something I find hard to believe, unless it's for the bride of Dracula or Frankenstein!
Anyway so that there weren't too many different fabrics going on, I cut pieces of the net to cover the back bodice and straps, extending the net beyond the sides for about eight inches so that there were floaty extensions.  I cut some sleeves out and sewed them into the armholes but not joining up the seam underneath so they're open and have handkerchief edges. 

I wanted it to have movement for dancing in, and this is how it ended up

and action pictures

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Ginger coloured wild rabbit spotted in North Lincolnshire

I looked out of the window this morning and saw this ginger coloured bunny in the snow.  I've never seen one that colour before

Poor thing must have been freezing

On closer investigation I saw that it was frozen - frozen solid!

I made it by freezing coloured water in a rabbit jelly mould.  Here's a close up of it before I coloured it's eyes a bit with marker pen

Monday, 21 January 2013

Short lived joy

We'd not been living in this house very long when I opened the bedroom curtains one morning and saw a heron stood on the coal shed roof.  I'd never seen a heron so close before and was positively thrilled.   
My excitement didn't last however when I went outside later and found loads of dead fish floating in what little bit of water was left in the pond.  The heron had waded in to get the fish and punctured the pond lining in the process.  There were still quite a few fish left in the murky water at the bottom so then we had the job of fishing them out and keeping them in various baths and tubs while we relined the pond.
After that we put some netting over the pond to keep herons out.  Last year this was replaced with a piece of security fencing that you have round building sites, not very pretty but is easy to lift on and off.

Which brings me to these two photos taken today -
Nice chunky icicles where water runs into the pond through the fencing

and a heron spotted in our field
it looks like it's stood on the gate but it's behind)

Here are a few more photos I took in the snow

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Winter, Spring, Winter

On Monday we had a fall of snow.  It wasn't much to write home about at first, but when I went out for a walk later, it came on harder with lovely big snowflakes. 

Here are some photos I took in the churchyard, but then my fingers were getting cold and the camera wet, so I put them away. 

Most of the snow had gone by Tuesday, so I decided to have a trip out on the train to find a fabric shop a friend had told me about in Dewsbury.
Coming out of the station, I could see the shop I was looking for, at the bottom of the hill not far away, but I wanted to save going there until last off.  
I'd been on the Charity Retail Association website the night before to see if there were any charity shops in Dewsbury, and as there were quite a few, I thought I'd check them out first.  Before I got to the first one I came across another fabric shop where a lot of the fabric was £1 a yard (I think that might even have been the name of the shop).   It was a very higgledy piggledy place with rolls of fabric leaning up against the walls and you went from room to room and up and down different staircases like in a house.  I was very restrained though and didn't buy anything (which I'm kicking myself for now, because there's no fabric shops at all locally).

After rummaging in all the charity shops I only bought one thing.  It is however a little gem.  A pure silk Chinese style blouse in a gorgeous blue and green colour for £1.  It's too big though so I'll show you it another time when I've done something with it.

In contrast to the snow of the day before, it looked quite Springlike with the sun shining and blossom on the trees outside Dewsbury Town Hall (although it was really cold).

The statue is called The Good Samaritan but when I was googling to see what it was, it seems locals as usual, have other names for it, such as A Curry Too Many!

And now onto my reason for going to Dewsbury, Fabworks Mill Shop.
It's like a warehouse - the entrance is even through those hanging plastic strips like in a warehouse.
They've got absolutely loads of lovely fabrics and trimmings and very reasonably priced too.
Off the rolls I bought a metre of plain blue cotton for £2, and half a metre of some netty stuff for £1.50 that I want for a dress I'm altering.

They've got boxes of upholstery remnants at £1 each or you can fill a carrier bag full for £5.  This is what I managed to get in my bag
8 pieces of a slubby dralon fabric in different colours which are each about 27-30" by 48" wide, two pieces of a fantastic blue and purple tweedy fabric in about the same size and over a yard of beige linen.

I also picked some pieces out of bins that were priced at £10 a kilo.
This little lot cost me £3.  A yard of turquoise pure silk (which the very helpful assistant told me was a real bargain as it's expensive stuff),
27" of this great fabric which is a two tone red and green, with a raised flower design and fringing at one end,

and this scarf which they were selling elsewhere in the store but had somehow managed to get in the bin

All in all I spent £11.50 - I know, the last of the big spenders!

Returning to winter again, today is frosty and foggy.

(click on the photos to enlarge)

Saturday, 5 January 2013

The Haxey Hood

The highlight of the year for many folk from these parts is the ancient tradition of the Haxey Hood. 
This takes place on 6th January each year, unless it falls on a Sunday, then it's held on the Saturday.

It dates back to the 14th Century (making it one of the oldest traditions in England) when the Lady de Mowbray, wife of a local landowner, was out horse riding between the villages of Westwoodside and Haxey and her silk riding hood was blown by the wind into a field.  The farmworkers in the field chased it around until one of them caught the hood.  He was too shy to hand it back to the lady so he gave it to one of the other's to do so.    Lady de Mowbray said that the worker who handed the hood back acted like a lord, and the one who was too shy, acted like a fool.
She was rather amused by it all and donated 13 acres of land in order that the chase for the hood could be re-enacted every year.

For anyone taking part it's pretty much a day of drinking and getting muddy, (and probably bruised).
The officials are The Fool, The Lord of the Hood, and The Boggins and they start early in the day touring the four local pubs singing and drinking, along with anyone else who cares to join them - and many do, the pubs are packed.

At about 2.30 they make their way up to Haxey church where the Fool makes a speech and a fire is lit behind him which is known as Smoking the Fool

He then leads the crowd up to the Hood field, which is on the hill between  Haxey and Westwoodside.
Before the main event starts, 12 hessian sack hoods are thrown, which the children can chase and if any can get a hood to the edge of the field without being stopped by a Boggin, will get a reward of £2.

The main hood is represented by a leather tube and when this is thrown in the air, the idea is to get it to one of the four pubs of the two villages by 'swaying' it.  This is just like a massive rugby scrum (anyone can join in) and usually takes hours. 

Westwoodside has only one pub (The Carpenter's Arms) and Haxey has three, so you'd think the Carpenter's wouldn't stand a chance, especially as it's up hill to Westwoodside, but it's managed to get there a few times over the years.  
The sway doesn't move very fast, with the opposite sides pushing in different directions, and when it collapses it has to be stopped and the bodies pulled out!  It's all very friendly but there can be broken bones and bruises.

Today, despite the valiant efforts of the Carpenter's supporters, the Hood ended up going towards Haxey.  Once it was past the point of no return there was no need to push as everyone's going in the same direction with all three pubs on the same street.   For it to be claimed by the pub the landlord or landlady has to reach out and touch the hood, which is no mean feat with hundreds of people about and the landlord often having to be lifted up.  Neither the landlord of the Duke William or The Loco managed to get it and it went all the way to the bottom of the village to the King's, where it will stay until next year.

Here's the Fool being interviewed for TV