For the love of silver…for the love of life!!

Posts tagged ‘Norton Priory Museum and Gardens’

Sorry – I got a little sidetracked…

I can’t believe how long it has been since I last put a post on here…I am so sorry – I got a little sidetracked!!

One of the suppliers I use in the UK to get my fine silver sheet, precious metal clay (pmc) and Argentium silver – Cooksongold.com – has just started a forum.  That may not sound too exciting – certainly not to many of you in the US as you seem to have so many of them (which we have looked at with envy from afar) but it is pretty much the only one devoted to jewellery (as far as I know) in the UK.  It has opened up a whole new world to me!!  I have had the chance to talk to people that know what I am talking about – and have experienced the same problems we have as jewellery makers in the UK – and talk about places and businesses that I have heard of and can access!!  It all seems so friendly…and yes…I have to admit it…I am just a bit addicted…no….majorly addicted!!  I am finding it really hard to drag myself away from the computer in order to make some jewellery…not just talk about it!!

Then on Friday lunchtime I got a commission – a bit of a rush job – to make a pmc (precious metal clay) charm to go on a bracelet – to be ready for Saturday lunchtime!  Well, that stressed me a bit I can tell you!  But I got it finished, packaged and delivered in time!

This is the front and back of ‘Kerry’s 30th birthday charm’ with a peridot swarovski crystal and a black freshwater pearl.

So then I decided to take the rest of the week-end off…to re evaluate…and sort myself out a timetable!

As I have said many times before – my favourite ‘chill-out zone’ is our local visitor attraction – Norton Priory Museum and Gardens – so this is where I went to unwind.

When I got there it was to discover that they had a special display on.  Sir John Myddelton’s Companie of Artisans and Merchants…a historical (Medieval) re-enactment group…were encamped there for the weekend – treating us to a very entertaining display of what life in Middle Age Britain was all about.  They were all very knowledgeable and very willing to talk about and demonstrate the ancient skills and trades they had mastered.  All their clothing was an accurate reproduction of what people wore back in the 1470s.  It was a totally fascinating and entertaining day.

I have photographs here of the 2 women who were preparing the dinner for the whole ‘Companie’ that evening – baking bread rolls and preparing a mutton stew and a baked fish….a selection of ‘oyles, tinctures and ointments’ prepared by the Herbalist and some of the amazing colours of wool produced by the Dyer all made from natural vegetable dyes.  There was also a Blacksmith, Furniture Maker, Silk Worker, Higgler and Candle Maker and many others.  It really was so interesting!

The weather was pretty lousy but that didn’t really matter – I had a lovely afternoon!

So having had a relaxing weekend, hopefully I will approach next week with a rather more balanced timetable – so that I can make a little bit of jewellery…and have a little bit of interaction on the forum… and have a whole lot of fun!!…now that’s what I call balance!!

Rose Nose

I have suffered from hayfever for nearly 40 years.  I have dreaded the summer coming round each year and have missed out on enjoying all sorts of outdoor activities because of it.  I’ve tried all sorts of medication over the years and have even had de-sensitising injections but nothing has really made a long term difference……..could this year be different???

I recently  saw an advert on the televison for a new form of allergy relief which really took my attention…it was for some device that you clip up your nose for a few minutes each day.  Sceptical that this could help my hayfever I did a bit of research on the internet.  The customer reviews seem to indicate that it works really well…but they all mentioned not to use it in public places because it makes you nose light up!!  “Curious”, thinks I…..but I decide to buy one and give it a go.  Even if it doesn’t work it certainly raises your spirits because it makes you laugh every time you use it as it really does make your nose light up like a Christmas reindeer decoration!!!  Far from not using it in public I have decided to use it in front of the world!!!…because I think it might really work!!!

I know that it is only really the beginning of the grass pollen season in the UK but I have been using it for the last few days and decided to give it a baptism of fire yesterday.  I went to my favourite local ‘chill out’ location (Norton Priory Museum and Gardens)  in the  afternoon as it was beautifully warm and sunny and was fortunate enough to arrive just before the start of a guided tour of the Walled Garden.  I’ve been to this location dozens of times but have never heard the history of the gardens so this was really interesting – and the gardens are really lovely.  They have all sorts of ‘old fashioned’ roses – you know, the ones that actually have a fragrance!! and a walk in these sheltered walled gardens was like being in a box of ‘Turkish Delight’ (a soft jelly confection flavoured with rosewater) – soft, fragrant and indulgent!!

At the end of the tour the guide suggested that we take a walk through the ‘wild flower meadow’………hmmmmm.  Normally I would have run a mile at the thought but I decided I would give it a go to see if this device is really making a difference.

It was really lovely – although there was a haze of grass flowers, just above the oxeye daisies, across the whole field – and I walked the path that surrounded it without so much as a sniffle!  Amazing!!

I guess time will tell how effective this thing is as the hayfever season progresses but I am very impressed so far!

My afternoon was rounded off by meeting a lovely Irish lady called Louise from Crewe (and originally from Dundalk) who was kind enough to stop me and tell me that she had been admiring my jewellery!!  Needless to say – I was a walking advert for Solunar Silver Studio as usual!!  …but I have never had this experience before – and it made me feel wonderful!!  So thank you for your kindness Louise! – you really made my day!!

And I hope condron.us will keep me on a high by sending lots of lovely visitors my way!!!

A Perfect Sunny Sunday

What a beautiful sunny Sunday we have had here in the North West of the UK!!  I spent a lovely afternoon at Norton Priory Museum and Gardens in glorious sunshine and not a breath of wind.  The flowers are all beginning to burst forth – grand and glorious!  I couldn’t resist sharing some of my photographs with you.  I have spent most of the week doing major redecorating work at home and my walk through this wonderful, peaceful garden was just the kind of relaxation I needed!  I hope you like my photos!  I will get back to making some jewellery next week…promise!!

Thank you condron.us for sending so many visitors my way!

Life is a Rich Tapestry…

I know this is not exactly ‘up to the minute reporting’ but I want to let you all know about what I did on Sunday!  As any regular readers will know, I am a sucker for a bit of sunshine…( so long as it is not too hot!)…as soon as there is a bit of blue sky and sunshine my spirits lift and I want to enjoy a few minutes in the ‘great outdoors’.  Well, Sunday was one of those days and in the afternoon I was drawn back to our local visitor attraction, Norton Priory Museum and Gardens.  Last time I visited on the 19th of March (see What a BEE…uty!) most of the plants (except the daffs) were still in winter mode with just a couple of promising buds on display, well, on Sunday spring was definitely on the way as you can see from these photos of the magnolia and camelia…so beautiful against the blue sky!

The other delightful surprise I had when I got there was an invitation to watch a fascinating music recital given by ‘Tapestry of Music’, who, dressed in period costumes, led us through a display of musical instruments and music from the 12th century onwards.  They were a lovely couple, full of fun and very skilled.  The instruments were amazing and very beautifully constructed, and the sounds they made were quite enchanting.  A truly unexpected and delightful afternoon!  If ever you have a chance to go to one of these recitals – I thoroughly recommend it!  I have put a link to their website under my ‘Great Art’ category- in the CDs section of their website you get a chance to hear some snippets of the music played on lutes, harps, hurdy-gurdys, crumhorns, shawns and many other mediaeval instruments.  Fascinating!

Once again I would like to thank condron.us for continuing to send visitors my way!  (Blog lovers go visit!)  And if anyone from America (or anywhere else for that matter!) is planning a trip to England – come and visit the North West, there is a lot of historical interest up here and some truly beautiful countryside!

What a BEE…uty!!!

I had a day off today!  I couldn’t resist the lure of the beautiful sunshine any longer…it would have been a sin to confine myself to a windowless cupboard (where I do my precious metal clay work) or a damp and dim shed (where I make my chains).  So I took myself to Norton Priory (Museum and Gardens) our local visitor attraction.  (see my blogroll).  I have a season ticket,  so I often pop in – even if it is just for an hour – to walk in the lovely grounds, listen to the birds sing and the babbling of the little stream that runs through it….beautiful and relaxing.

I took my camera because there is often something of interest there which I could use as inspiration for a piece of jewellery.  Today was no exception and I took over 100 photos (as I keep saying…thank God for the digital camera!) There were lots of different types of daffodil and one beautiful pink spotted rhodedendron, a magnolia with its furry buds just beginning to pop and a deep red camelia flower that was right at the top of a huge tree and impossible to photograph!

But the best bit is what I have recorded here.  Just a few minutes before I reached the exit I spotted this HUGE bee lolling in the trumpet of a beautiful, perfect daffodil, situated at the top of a bank of grass so the flawless blue sky was the backdrop.  As I watched, the fat furry body began to edge its way out, gingerly shuffling  its spindly legs towards the edge of the trumpet…..

…its front legs then began to grope for the frilled edge….oh, it was obviously just SO drunk!!

It slowly began to haul itself up, over the frill and then drag its heavy body onto the top of the trumpet, where it sat…you could almost imagine it groaning…

…and began to groom the heavy dusting of pollen off of its body and legs.  It slowly rotated through 360 degrees, giving the impression of trying to get its bearings before staggering onto one of the outer petals, which had a convienient curl from which it launched itself heavily into the sky…

I had to laugh at its antics…I wonder what reception he got from Mrs Bee!!!…(if he ever found his way home!!)

By the way…many thanks to condron.us, who keep sending visitors  my way…if you haven’t visited them before go have a look!!  (see my blogroll)

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