Inspired by Dickens: Six Poor Travellers House

We stumbled upon Six Poor Travellers House quite by accident when we were walking down Rochester High Street and I pulled pao in.

It was interesting to see what kinds of conditions that the travellers found when they arrived.

A very simple table. There was a sign on the wall saying that some original copper pots had been displayed on the wall but they were now absent because someone had stolen them 🙁

The real star of the building was the garden.

It was pretty amazing what they managed to fit into a tiny courtyard garden.

These beautiful clematis were amongst the lovely flowers and fruit in the garden.

We could have sat there for hours and hours as it was such a tranquil place.

It was such a nice spot.

Another lovely flower.

I can imagine how lovely it would be to wake up just outside this garden but the beds look incredibly hard! There was a big fireplace in each room so it probably wasn’t too cold. It was quite a haven off a busy suburban high street and certainly a chance find!

Making Monday: Bank Holiday Edition

I didn’t have a lot of time to create this week so my Making Monday post is very short! We had a public holiday today so it was nice to spend another day with pao just hanging out and watching the end of Alias (btw, we thought one of the doctors looked like Chris – has she been moonlighting? :))

I was working on something new for my jewellery business – a bracelet. I’ve got a bit to do on it but I’m quite happy with it. I’m planning to do quite a bit of jewellery making this week as I have less than four weeks til Canterbury Eurofair!

I did take a few minutes to make pao a cherry and coconut cake when we got home again – just chucked a few things together to see how they tasted and it was rather yummy!

I’ve started on a blanket as there is quite a chill in the air as autumn is definitely on the way. I’ve been gathering scraps of sock yarn for quite some time now to make a Babette and I’ve finally been brave enough to get the needles out and make a start.

Sirius is rather chuffed with the idea of a Babette blanket!

A brief ramble in Rochester

We managed a very brief trip to Rochester a few weeks back and found ourselves a rather nice cup of tea at the Deaf Cat Cafe and a lovely ramble through the streets.

There is even a lovely quilting shop in the High Street which is rather nice to look at.

Doesn’t pao look at home?

Rochester is famous for its cathedral. We didn’t go on on this occasion but it is nice to look round.

It is the castle which really dominates the city

but we were a bit too tired after a week of conference to want to climb all the steps to get inside.

So we just sat a while and admired the view.

All is green in my garden

I haven’t mentioned my garden this year as it has been a bit of a sore point. I killed some tomato plants and others through neglect – my excuse was that it was too hot in April when it is normally cold and I did forget to water them.

I was also feeling churlish as I’d grown a lot of tomatoes last year with dreams of lovely pasta sauces in mind and was rather disappointed to lose the whole lot because of tomato blight.

But such is the way with gardening. You win some and you lose some and I have just plucked a fresh tomato (my second go) and it is hands-down better than shop bought.

Buoyed by last year’s success, I’ve even tried my hand at peas again and the slugs seem to have ignored them mostly. I’d already had a go at raising some in the greenhouse earlier but they went mouldly and sprouted horrible fungi so in the bin they went. Luckily, this lot seem to be much happier.

This is an unusual success for me. A couple of pumpkin plants which have grown behind tiny. Usually I get slug munching and the poor things are dead before I know it.

Even my roses look even more gorgeous this year.

This climbing rose flowered a second time!

I have to laugh at the kitties though. Sirius is often straight out trying to help when he’s supposed to stay in. Tamyra likes the idea of going on but thankfully she knows which side of the door she belongs on.

An unexpected treat at Lullingstone Castle

When we arrived at Lullingstone, we saw signs for a castle and decided to have a look as we weren’t too far away.

Upon arrival, we discovered that it was a special weekend and that the family home was open for visitors to have a look around.

This is the view of the gatehouse looking back down the drive after we paid to enter.

It was such a lovely house, sadly no photos inside but I could have imagined myself in the entrance hall sitting by the open fire drinking mulled wine and eating minced pies at Christmas time. It was a beautiful stone hallway which led onto a formal dining room which was all set out with blue china and blue glass wine bottles. There was a gorgeous wooden dresser with four different musicians carved into it. Just beyond the dining room was my favourite room, an intimate looking library lined with bookcases filled with leather-bound tomes. So gorgeous.

Upstairs was also gorgeous – a long, high-ceiled gallery overlooked the main lawn and gatehouse. Many artefacts were on display in the room describing the history of silk production and showing some of the silk cocoons. I loved the beautiful four poster bed in an antechamber off the gallery – it was covered in beautiful olive green silk. I loved the way that the house looked lived in but also had all the family history in each antique item.

And not every home you come across has a church in the front garden to one side

or a lake to the other.

It was gorgeous outside- the son of the family, Tom, had created the World Garden to represent the different countries of the world.

Can anyone guess which continent this is? 🙂 (Just checking my lovely blog readers are awake still :))

It was nice to see someone working on some painting in the garden. It was too hot to wait for them to come back and chat to them so I continued on which pao sat in the sunshine.

I found the Cloud Garden which is home to many species of plants which simply wouldn’t grow here.

I also found pao busy with his sketchbook so I sought out some shade for a little rest.

There were afternoon teas to be had so we partook of a refreshing cuppa and slice of homemade cake. Sadly, by the time we had enjoyed our cup of tea, it was too late to go to Down House so we’ll have to go back another day.

Book 63: Room by Emma Donoghue

It has certainly been another busy day but since I’m running my own business that is really quite good 🙂

Book 63: Room by Emma Donoghue

I was really reluctant to read this novel because I had been upset about some of the awful events that had happened in Austria where the guy had kidnapped a woman and locked her in a cellar and this book had been based in a similar situation. It was a long-past book group book but I never made it to the meeting and then it sat sadly on the shelf for ages until I was chatting to Lady Chutney about books one day and she said she’d enjoyed it because she didn’t think about the abuse much because it was written in the viewpoint of the little boy, Jack.

Jack and his mum live in Room. Every day they do different things: gym races by running back and forth, playing games, reading books and Jack has his bed in wardrobe which he must go to so he isn’t seen by the Old Man who comes at night. It is only when they break out of the room that Jack is forced into the reality that is our everyday world. It is quite an adjustment and simple things we’d take for granted really are big steps for Jack.

A really moving book. I’m glad I read it because it was so powerful but it was very sad all the same.

Tamyra isn’t moving from her comfy spot. She is lolling rather than LOLing!!

Book 62: Death without Tenure by Joanne Dobson

Another mad day! IT teaching in the morning, big meeting in the afternoon, IT teaching prep in the evening. Maybe I’ll finish up before it is too late!!

Death without Tenure by Joanne Dobson

This is the latest of the Karen Pelletier mysteries set in Enfield College. I’ve been reading them on and off for quite some time and.. don’t all fall over with shock.. I’ve been reading them in order!

Karen is in the running for a tenure position at her college but her main opponent, Joe Lone Wolf, has been tipped to get the job because of his ethinicity being that he is a native American and college authorities have put more stock in that than his academic prowess. Karen is naturally put out but continues with her application despite being tipped off by her former head of department. It is only when Joe Lone Wolf is discovered dead – killed by peyote buttons – that the spotlight really hits Karen. Faced with a belligerent and unhelpful investigator from the police and her beloved Charlie on duty in Iraq, she has no choice to investigate the crime herself.

It isn’t long before Karen discovers that all isn’t as it appears on the surface and soon finds there is a dangerous killer on the loose.

Sirius has been there all along whilst I’ve been dashing in and out. He’s very calm and often spends his time washing between his toes!!

Making Monday : More knitted jewellery

I’m completely in the throes of making a large amount of stock for the upcoming Canterbury Eurofair. It is a massive event and hopefully there will be lots of new people to meet. I have heaps to do before then so I’m rationing my time as much as I can but I do have making to do so Making Monday is even more special over the next few frantic weeks!! The first photo is one of my biggest favourites. It’s going to be very hard to let this one go! Beautiful sterling silver with Swarovski and pearls but that sea blue shade is so pretty. Isn’t that the worst part of selling things? That you have to sell the ones you love?

I’ve been knitting up a storm in the necklace department and have even tried out a new idea that has been lurking in my mind at the moment. I have just started reading Kari Chapin‘s book The Handmade Marketplace which I am enjoying immensely and I’m now spending more time looking for inspiration so my photographs will be a bit more interesting (I hope) as I’m learning more about how to make things look appealing. I’m also spending all the time I can outside, just looking at things!

I just love this necklace with it’s delicate coloured Swarovski crystals against the grey of the labradorite and the pearly white freshwater pearls. I have really gotten into working with sterling silver wire lately and although it is more expensive to work with it is lovely (and addictive!!)

This is something that is new to me – quite a big piece – more of a choker style item. It did take quite a while to knit but was great fun all the same. The little disks are sodalite and they are surrounded with blue goldstone, garnet, labradorite and faceted sodalite.

Some very delicate tiny Swarovski crystal flowers are incorporated into this necklace. I was sitting in a garden when I knitted this one 🙂

I thought I’d have a go at doing some new photos for some of my existing items. I had a lot of fun out in the sunshine preparing props to make my tiaras tell a more exciting story.

The rose is from my garden and the veil and beaded shoe are from my very own wedding. I’ve now updated the photos of it in my Etsy shop and I totally love them!