Sunday, 23 February 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - eight

A find of vintage threads; enjoying the label designs and the names of the colours.

Having a very happy time sorting through recent pattern acquisitions.

Cosy night in with my husband, some treats and the long awaited season three of Game of Thrones.

A lovely time having lunch with my sister for her birthday, with my husband and niece enjoying their cuddle time.

Choosing my tea cup ( the rose one at the back) and cake at the start of knitting night. Great fun, and lots of knitting!

Watching The Monuments Men at the cinema, enjoying the film and learning quite a bit.

Arriving at the pub to have lunch with a group of friends after a lovely if drizzly woodland walk. Fabulous rainbow stripes on surprisingly colourful beer kegs.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - seven

Lots of sevens in that title!

Loved the vibrant green of the abundant moss on the tree that I noticed during my dog walk.

Spotted my first snowdrops of the year and was very pleased to see a joyful sight on my walk in the rain.

The fronds of the weeping willow doing a crazy dance in the strong winds. The normally still canal almost had waves.

Enjoying my new favourite china brooch, a trio of narcisus that my mum gave me.

Completed week two of the Fabulous Fit February challenge! Tried out my new handwraps at Boxercise.

Mohair in amazing glowing colours at my local haberdashery.

Fabulous afternoon at patchwork group, plenty of cake, tea, chat and fabric. Completed my first paper pieced hexagon.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - six

I wanted something uncomplicated to knit whilst chatting or watching television. I like this matching set from a 1961 pattern and have completed the hat and started the bag in a gorgeous dark purple.

Some friends and I have set ourselves a challenge - Fabulous Fit February. It involves taking part in 5 exercise classes a week for the whole of February! This week was week one.

Having a chat and a cuddle with my husband and my dog.

Keeping cosy in my new hat knitted from a 1950's pattern.

Sunshine and showers on an afternoon walk with a couple of friends along a disused railway viaduct.

Some great finds from the local antiques centre after a very happy time poking around. Some sheet music, a pattern for a twinset, a couple of needlework books and an activity book from Woman magazine.

Getting together the yarn and pattern for my next garment knitting project - a cabled cardigan for myself.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - five

The first meeting of the year of book group. Just a select few of us this time but still a huge pile of books to talk about and to swap, I came away with several. A very jolly evening.

Lovely colours and textures on a silver birch tree. Admired on a walk through a birch woodland with my dog.

Two flower heads on one daffodil stem. The first one opened a good few days before the second, I have been watching its progress with interest. So pretty.

On a walk with my sister and my niece we saw two horses heads sticking over a wall. On closer inspection they were made of metal and formed the two ends of a bench.

My second time at boxercise! Very hard work but great fun and energising.

Enjoyable time going through my latest knitting pattern additions with my mum, discussing the garments, models and styling, choosing our favourites, planning our next knits and laughing at the horrors.

Much fun at knitting group this afternoon. Lots of tea, cake, chat, laughter and knitting. These are the fabulous works in progress of two of my friends.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

A repurposed textile merchant's house

I spoke in my last post about visiting the Dior exhibition at the Gallery of Costume in Manchester. It is based in Platt Hall which was owned and built by Charles Worsley, a 17th century textiles merchant. He was a favourite of Cromwell, fighting with him in the civil war, and was made the first MP for Manchester by Cromwell. Sadly he died at the age of 35.

The original Platt Hall was a black and white timbered building. It was replaced by the current Georgian hall in 1746. The house and grounds (having undergone various changes throughout the years) remained within the Worsley family until 1908 when it was purchased by Manchester City Council. It had been under threat of being bought for development and would have been torn down and the land used for housing. The council purchase prevented this, the council turned the estate land into a park and the area was also used for exhibitions.

The Gallery now houses one of the biggest costume collections in the UK and I will talk more about this in an upcoming post.

What struck me as I wandered around looking at the Dior exhibition was the beauty of the inside of the house. Obviously not all it's original features and layout are intact but there are some really gorgeous parts which I felt were worth sharing.

When you walk into the entrance hall the first thing that you see is this grand staircase. This is just half of it, there is a mirror image going up the other side. I could quite imagine floating down it whilst wearing a very glamorous dress. The large pot in the cabinet is one of a pair by Grayson Perry, the artist and ceramicist. The blue rectangles contain intricate plasterwork and the alcoves are large enough for statues and maybe had them originally.

This huge window is on the landing at the top of the first set of stairs; you can see more plasterwork in the archway. The light is modern, I really liked the effect of the old and the modern together.

As you walk up the sweeping set of stairs this is what you see. A really detailed ironwork balustrade and a balcony. Standing on the balcony you can look out of the window shown in the previous picture. When you walk through the columned archway there are exhibition rooms to the right, left and straight ahead.

This is the really pretty and ornate ceiling which is in the hallway. You can see a glimpse of it in the picture above.

This lovely, ornate, intricate plasterwork is part of a fireplace in one of the exhibition rooms. Can you imagine living somewhere with such a glamorous fireplace!? I love the pale blue, white and gold colour scheme. There was so much to look at.

This shows the details of the doors and doorways upstairs. I really like the archway that goes into an area of amazing ceiling and also I like the glass archway above the door. You can just see the staircase that leads back downstairs, much less grand, I imagine it was the servants staircase.

That is the end of my little tour of the gallery. I really made a conscious effort this time to take in my surroundings, not just the exhibition that I went to see. That way, I thought I would get even more to look at and even more enjoyment from my outing.