Thursday, 26 April 2018

Stepping back in our Shropshire history

Hi everyone,

Do you love finding new places to explore. I have lived in Shropshire for 20 years & passed Buildwas  Abbey regularly but the gates have always been closed or I have bot had the time to linger there.

Quite by chance this past week, we passed it & the gates were open & I just knew that it was meant to  be.

This is the background according to wikipedia 

The Cistercian Abbey of St Mary and St Chad was founded in 1135 by Roger de ClintonBishop of Coventry (1129–1148) as a Savignac monastery and was inhabited by a small community of monks from Furness Abbey. The stone from which it was built was quarried in the nearby settlement of Broseley.
The abbey's location near the border of Wales meant it was destined to have a turbulent history. Welsh Princes and their followers regularly raided the Abbey and on one occasion in 1406, during the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr, raiders from Powys even kidnapped the abbot. This however paled in comparison to an earlier event in 1342 where one of the Buildwas monks, Thomas of Tong, murdered his abbot, managed to evade arrest, and then petitioned for re-instatement into the Cistercian order.

I love these places when they are still so that you can feel  the atmosphere of the history that envelops it -  daughter & I were very fortunate that it was early morning & we were the only visitors. The stillness speaks to me, it gives you time to absorb the history & importance of the building & this was just so. 

The arches are so dominant & I can easily imagine silent monks making their way along the corridors & the upper floors which often had corridors in between the walls ...

We could walk quietly between the massive pillars, taking in the vastness of the building & the lovely quietness speaks loudly to me .... 

This view reminded me of Roman & Greek architecture 

The hugeness of the church looking towards the Nave shows the enormity of the Abbey

Magnificent arches hint at the size & grandeur of the Abbey

One of the corner rooms - looks out ...

 The caretaker offered to open the crypt for us - I was keen to see it. However it was really cold there & dare I say it, just a little creepy ...

Looking back from the back of the crypt toward the entrance again ...

The interesting architectural things are kept in the crypt, what history is contained there. There was a feeling of history there, a weight which you could not escape ...

I was glad to get back out in to the sunshine & the bright blue skies after the cold & darkness of the crypt.

I am so glad that I finally managed to visit this impressive Abbey. There is a similar one, Wedlock Priory  just 15 miles away in Much Wedlock that I love visiting too & another Abbey at Lilleshall that I visit often because I love the stillness of it. 

I am one of those who find great peace in the stillness of spiritual places - they help you to stay grounded, to keep life in perspective when there are things that trouble you & life needs a stillness to it. 

I hope you have enjoyed visiting the amazing Abbey with me, may you have a wonderful week too, thank you for taking the time to stop by - your company & comments are always appreciated. 
Dee ~💕~

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Embracing healthy salads

The warmer weather always makes one long for lighter meals, especially salads.

Youngest daughter & I took advantage of my day off to have a local brunch at the lovely Green Wood Cafe  near our iconic Ironbridge. It sits in a beautiful wooded area & the ethos of the centre is commendable - it has courses to teach various wood crafts there & it is one of those places that embraces organic living.

I love my day off each week - it helps me to enjoy my hectic Elective Home Education job more because I am able to step back from it on my day off.

We decided on salad bowls for our brunch

Monday, 23 April 2018

Hand made kiln fired glass art work ...

I have just returned from a visit to my Father in South Africa again. He lives in the vast openness of the Karoo with its huge contrasts.

On my visit last August, I popped in to the local artist Marguerite Beneke . She had shown us around her studio on previous visits & I am in awe of how well she captures the essence of the Karoo through her glass work.

She describes herself as a 'kiln fused glass artist'. Much of the work is fired more than once, each hand painted on the initial glass which is then fired again with the glass beads / bits & placed in a mould to give the various shapes she uses for her bowls & dishes.

These are some of her Karoo inspired work which she sells at galleries all over South Africa.

I am partial to proteas - I just wish I had space in my case for this one ...

Windmills dot the vast Karoo landscapes & are much loved ...

There are so many beautiful buck in the Karoo & South Africa - they are special creatures ...

So very beautiful ...

I bought this one as a gift for a wondering star & her hubby - a gift from the Karoo where her grandfather lives, their decor is inclined to grey colours so it fits in well  ... 

I bought 4 small painted tiles for myself - to remind me of the landscape & things I love.

I always look in on the new work on Marguerite's instagram & am always amazed at her beautiful items.  Do you have a favourites artist that you like to follow?
Dee ~💕~

Sunday, 22 April 2018

My succulents are thriving ...

Hiya everyone

Our weather is looking a lot more Spring like & the jobs are just waiting to be done after our long, grey, wet winter.

One of the most pressing jobs seems to be the succulents that grow in my conservatory at home. It is not heated in winter, but it is light & bright & the succulents thrive, so much so that they keep outgrowing their pots.

They were repotted exactly a year ago - how can they outgrow & multiply so quickly?

I had popped to Ikea with a friend & saw these indoor Bittergurka planters - they should be able to sit on the window sills so I purchased 3 of them.

Once home, while the sun was out, it was time once again to repot these rampant succulents.

Some of the extras were potted up in these cute tin containers for a friend ...

The aloe vera is just loving the conditions - it was gifted by a friend - a single plant that keeps multiplying - I need to use it more for medicinal purposes

The gifted plants look happy & healthy & will soon be on their way to their new home.

An afternoon  well spent.  Thank you for popping by, I hope you are keeping on top of all your seasonal jobs too.

Dee ~💕~

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Very special hand crafted sheep


Late last year, I decided on a bespoke gift for both girls. They both  have the Freedom of London & one of the quirky privileges is that they are allowed to drive their sheep over London Bridge once a year at a special ceremony.

I wanted to mark it with a bespoke gift & after much searching, I came across the beautiful work of
Ruth at Needle Felted Wishes. She uses a variety of wool & fabrics to create stunning, bespoke masterpieces.

We exchanged messages so she could suggest styles & ideas, then she set about making the gifts.

Part of the daughters duties, include very elegant balls in glittering halls in London, & then the  quirky activity of being able to drive your sheep through London - Ruth made the little sheep with their alpaca ears & mohair topknots, as well as two beautiful & elegantly dressed sheep.

The box arrived on a cold, snowy day but opening the box was a joy ...

One of the sets with her lovely pink dress - the attention to detail - all hand stitched - is just so lovely.

Don't you love this ones hair & elegant ball gown?

Look at the tiny shoes peeking through ...

I love their mohair & alpaca hair & details ...

The pretty sequins on the other dress ...

Look at her lovely legs & shoes ...

The two little sheep together - such expressions on their hand sewn faces ...

A beautiful bespoke gift from the very talented Ruth - perfect gifts to mark their achievement

Pop over to Ruth's website & see some of her stunning work at Needle Felted Wishes 

Thank you for stopping by  & taking the time to read & comment.
Dee ~💕~