A grand day out to Yarndale

Last Sunday, I drove a 380 mile round trip to go and look at yarn. No, I haven’t taken leave of my senses, this wasn’t just any old yarn, but a big, beautiful yarn festival in the Yorkshire Dales, hence the descriptive moniker, Yarndale. I’ll try and describe it for those who haven’t heard of it.  Imagine being in glorious quintessential English countryside; green fields, heather covered hills, a bustling market town surrounded by farming country and having the idea of transforming an agricultural livestock mart into a yarn, fabric and craft market for a creative and colourful weekend. This is the ethos behind Yarndale, and the team behind it have worked magic to bring about its great success.

I decided to nip down for the day on Sunday, with my mum.  A lovely, autumnal drive down on quiet roads, 3.5 hours and we were there for the afternoon. Despite reports via Twitter of long queues to get in and hoards of people crowding  round stalls, I need not have worried, it was just fine. Busy enough for there to be a bustling,excited atmosphere but in a relaxed and friendly way.  The venue was so big that it made it easy to wander and browse, and chat to the vendors. Lots of places to sit and rest awhile too which was a big bonus once the feet started to ache!

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There was some colourful yarn bombing outside in the park and in the entrance area to the mart, including this fantastic crochet bunting

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And these mandalas which decorated the railings above the ground floor

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I couldn’t fit them all in, there were almost 1200 of these! A feast for the eyes! All the work of Lucy at Attic 24 and her blog readers, it looked amazing and added such colour and vitality to the venue. Lucy is one of the team behind Yarndale and she was in the building, surrounded by fans. I couldn’t get near to say hello! Probably just as well, she must have been exhausted after 2 days non-stop talking.  Maybe next year?

What else did I see?

Alpacas!

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Sheep!

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I didn’t take many more photos because a) my phone’s battery died and b) really I was there to look at the wonderful and many goodies on offer,  to get some inspiration, to chat to other yarn and craft lovers and to spend some cash! All of which I did……

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My haul of goodies, lovely yarn from Gam Farm Rare Breeds (those are their sheep in the photo above), Teeswater Wools, Ripplescrafts, Littleowlcrafts and Strathearn Fleece and Fibre, buttons from Skybluepink Designs, a case for bits and bobs (I can’t remember who I bought this from, sorry:-( ) and some gorgeous cards and a picture from H-anne-Made.

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It was a real treat to see so many exhibitors under one roof selling so many beautiful and high quality items. I could have spent even more than I did! It was also lovely to chat to all those exhibitors who I bought from and other visitors to Yarndale. There was a warm and happy atmosphere and my mum and I left feeling it was so worth the long trip as we’d had such a great experience.

A grand day out indeed 😉

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Tree of Forgiveness

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This painting by Edward Burne-Jones is another wonderful example of Pre-Raphaelite art which can be seen in the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight, near Liverpool. The painting takes as its theme a classical myth. Phyllis fell in love with Demophoon but he went away adventuring, as Greek heroes did, for so long that she lost hope and killed herself. The gods took pity on her and turned her into an almond tree. When Demophoon eventually returned, he embraced the tree in a fit of remorse, and as the tree burst into flower, Phyllis, taking on human form again, emerged from the trunk of the tree; she forgave him and they were reunited. The intensity of the lovers’ facial expression and their gaze into each other’s eyes convey deep feelings of love and joy at their reconciliation, their physicality and the tree in full bloom give more than a hint of sexual longing and passion. I’ve seen it for myself, it is striking, beautiful and memorable, and is a fitting image for a grey back-to-work-after-holidays Monday!

26: Angel

A beautiful painting for Boxing Day. Angels are part of Christmas legend, and I love Pre-Raphaelite art, so for me, this painting combines these two thoughts perfectly. It is called ‘Angel playing a Flageolet” and was painted by Edward Burne-Jones.

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If you happen to be in Liverpool, you can go and see this painting at Sudley House, one of the city’s many art galleries. If you love Pre-Raphaelite art, then you should visit the Lady Lever Art Gallery on the Wirral, which is full of some wonderful examples of painting of this era.

21: happy Christmas painting

An atmospheric Christmas picture today – this painting, called ‘Glade Jul’ dates from 1891 and is by the Danish painter Viggo Johansen, who was one of the Skagen Painters. I like the shadowy corners of the room and the way the candles on the tree illuminate the room and the dancers’ happy faces – the effective, beautiful juxtaposition of light and dark create a vivid impression of Christmas in the late nineteenth century.

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1: Stars

Today  is the 1st of December and Christmas is in the air. Over the next 4 weeks, I thought I would do a series of Christmas posts; a sort of Advent calendar of posts with all kinds of Christmas and winter-related things; poems, songs, traditions, crafts and food! (I know for some people it isn’t winter where you are, but it is here in the UK!)

So, to kick us off, some crochet.  I made some stars using lovely 100% lambs’ wool, and thought they would look good appliqued to cards.

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Cream card brings out the rich coloursP1040982

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Red card for the cream and gold stars

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And some elegant grey card to make this posh pink star sizzle!

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They’re all shining brightly in my Etsy shop now!

Arty Amsterdam

Some of the things we saw at galleries and museums in AmsterdamIMG_0517Chagall self portrait at the Stedelijk Museum

IMG_0557Magnificent collection of artefacts amassed by the artist himself at Rembrandt’s house

IMG_0507Unusual handbags at the Museum of Handbags and Purses

IMG_0535Colourful and aromatic display at the House of Bols

Quite an eclectic mix of sights!

Unexpectedly AWOL

Oops, I didn’t mean to stay away so long, but with summer holidays and then return to work, I’ve been otherwise engaged.

Here’s something I’ve been making…..cards with crochet!!

What have I been doing……..well, I’ve dodged the gallons of rain we have been subjected to this summer and enjoyed the sun when it appeared, I went to Liverpool where I had a fantastic haircut, and to the Edinburgh festival. I’ve gardened, had a big clear-out of ‘stuff’, caught up with friends, and passed many happy hours in my shed experimenting with yarn. I watched lots of the Olympics and Paralympics. I went to a sale of film props and got some brilliant bargains.

And I’ve given this blog a makeover.

More crochet makings soon; I’m glad to be back!