Day Out… Norwich Cathedral

So if you have read any of my previous blog posts you might have come across my This Summer I will post. One of my aims was to start having days out to explore locally and further afield. 

One of my friends mentioned that she had never been to Norwich Cathedral, so we decided to go and explore it. I’ve been quite a few times before, but not for a while. 

  
I love the fact that it is free to go and visit, although they do have a suggested donation of £5.00 per adult, which we were very happy to pay, to ensure the upkeep for future generations. 

  
The Cathedral is about 900 years old and is famous for its exquisite medieval boss’ on the ceiling. I was amazed to discover today that the cathedral has over a 1,000 and that from the back of the Cathedral to the front down the centre the line off boss’ tell the story of the bible, starting with the Old Testament through to the birth of Christ and on to the resurrection.  The workman ship is fantastic. I believe it took about 50 years to build, when you think about how amazing and intricate the craving of the stones are and the technology they had at the time, to create something so beautiful really is an unbelieveable achievement. 

 
I enjoyed the fact that they have blended the old with the new, with a new exhibition area and cafe as well as some more modern stain glass windows. I personal think the stillness of the Cathedral is a lovely atmosphere to sit and reflect. But it’s still alive with the noises of visitors around the build. 

 

While we were there is also spent some time looking at the Ana Maria Pacheco sculptures ‘shadows of the wanderer‘ which are on display at the Cathedral until the end of September 2015. They are created from wood and stand about 6ft tall. 

  

Ten over life-size figures crowd close together and stand as looming shadows behind a young man carrying an older man on his back. This group recalls the tale of Aeneas, who carries his father Anchises from the ruins of Troy, but it also powerfully resonates with current issues, particularly the displacement of people.
The young man at the front of the sculpture group, fleeing from something we cannot see, carries nothing but his father – his past, his identity – and it was I think a stroke of genius that Ana Maria has carved both father and son out of the same piece of wood. This man literally cannot leave his past behind, but must take it with him. And that young man is about to step off the plinth and be among us. How are we going to react? Now, today, as this displaced man and his family arrive in our church?
What will we do? Will we behave with justice and with love?

Neil MacGregor, Sunday 21 November 2010

(Pratt Contemporary Art)

   
 
Do go and check it out on if you are nearby and have time.

Do you know of any gems I should visit? I’ve got plans to go to Norwich Castle Musuem and the V&A soon, so I’m sure I’ll be posting about them soon. xx

Spinning

This weekend I’ve been staying with my Mum. Recently she has started learning to do spinning and has borrowed a spinning wheel. It’s a lovely ‘hobby/ skill’ and very restful to sit and watch. I’m hoping to have a go myself sometime.

The thing that really made me think about is how the crafts we do connect us the past generations and also the future. And I feel it’s important to retain these skills for the future generations.

For thousands of years people have done spinning in some form or another. The earliest evidence of people having spun items to make into clothing dates from about 20,000 years ago.

Apparently the word ‘spinster’ (an unmarried woman) comes from the fact that it would have traditionally been the girls and unmarried women who would have been the ones busy spinning the yarn to be made into clothes.

I can imagine women in the past sitting around chatting whilst they were spinning, much like my Mum and her spinning group do although this is for pleasure when in the past it would have been a necessity.

Mum getting quite a good collection of yarn that she has spun now. I can’t wait to see what she knits with it!

I love the way our arts and crafts give us a sense of connection with the past. I would love to know if other people feel this too.

This Summer I will…

  
Mrs Crafty B tagged me to the ‘This Summer I will…’ Challenge so here is my list…

1) Start my new job.
2) Take my driving test… fingers & toes crossed, I’m so impatient to get driving my little car now. 
3) Learn about mindfulness and try to practice it in my everyday life. 
4) Eat more meals at normal meal times with less snacking/ grazing. 
5) Have some days out on my own to explore. Eg. get on the train somewhere, pop to an exhibition or museum. 
6) Try and be more organised and tidier at home. 
7) Make time for craft/ creativity every week. 
Now I challenge…

Sam of Writing, Coffee and Cupcakes

Lorraine of Let the world float by

Laura of Vinspire UK

and Laura of Inside Laura’s Head

Freebies and Vegan Toiletries

I love a bargain or a freebie, don’t we all?
So I HAD to treat myself to this month’s Marie Claire because it had two mini Ciate nail polishes free with it. IMG_0303

The one I brought included a silver nail varnish and a top coat. I’ve been wanting to try this range for a while, since discovering their nail varnishes are vegan friendly.

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I decided to spend a bit more time and effort over doing my nails then I usually do (although don’t look too closely as its not the neatest job). I removed any oils from my nails using nail polish remover, then did two thin layers of silver followed by a layer of top coat. I always make sure I don’t leave too long between coats because I remember reading somewhere it’s less likely to chip if you don’t leave them to dry in between.

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I found that that after 48 hours the edges have worn away slightly, but as its a light colour you really couldn’t tell and it would have probably last longer if I hadn’t had to take it off for work. Generally I was quite happy with this and will buy some more in the future.

However I’m still waiting for that one amazing nail varnish which is as chip resistant as gel nails but without the phaff of removing it, as I easily get bored of the colours and want a change.

My second purchase was some Original Source shower gel in the NEW Watermelon and Jojoba. It smells lovely and fruity. Plus I love that a Vegan Society approved product is so easily found in the shops and very reasonably priced. If you want a light summery smelling shower gel I would well recommend it.

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My final recent purchase was some new perfume… Pacifica.
I had seen some other vegan/ cruelty free bloggers mention it on Twitter, so decided to go on the hunt into Norwich to find some. We have two Holland and Barrett shops in the city and of course it was in the second one I went to. They have so many gorgeous scents to choose from. I narrowed it down to Island Vanilla or Hawaiian Ruby Guava. I put the testers on and went off to meet a friend for lunch, so I could see how they were on my skin. A couple of hours later I could still smell both of them. I finally decided on the vanilla because I like a stronger scent. But very tempted to go back after pay day and buy another.
Isn’t the packaging pretty too? And it’s the perfect size to carry in my handbag so I can take it out and about with me.

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If you have found any new great toiletries etc. recently or got some old favourites you would recommend I would love to you to pop a comment below. xx

50 THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY

Mrs Crafty B tagged me in her challenge to do a list of 50 things that make me happy. Basically I have to list 50 things then tag some more people to do the challenge. I really enjoyed doing this and recommend you have a go too, even if it’s just 10 things, go on it will be worth it.

So here is my list….

1 My cat Mo – she’s a rescue cat and when I got her she was terrified of everything, I never get bored of seeing her relaxed, more confident and greeting people when they come round.

MO

2 Spending time with my family.

3 My nieces – they are such cutie pies (besotted Auntie).

4 My new fan – my flat is unbearably hot in the summer so this makes me very happy.

5 I work for the NHS and nothing beats seeing a patient get better and go home again.

6 Make & Create Collective – The monthly craft group I’m a member of.

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7 Cross stitch.

8 Making quilts (I have made 3 small ones so far).

09  My Mum’s home made Macaroni Cheese.

mac

10 Getting my subscription of Molly Makes Magazine through the post.

11 My Grannie on my Mum’s side past away about 15 years ago. She was a lovely gentle lady who enjoyed doing tapestry well into her 90s. I have one she did for me when she was 91 years old which is one of my most treasured possessions.

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12 My new car – I’m currently learning to drive so it’s a real treat when someone is able to take me out for a drive in it.

13 My bed – anytime, but especially if it’s got fresh bed linen on it.

14 Memories of my holiday to Turkey in 2013 – I went with a friend from work and we just had so much fun. I did thinking that I would never normally be brave enough to do such as jumping off the top of a boat and rafting.

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15 Sunshine everything just seems more positive & hopefully when the sun is shining.

16 Sitting in Mum’s garden, it’s so relaxing.

17 Dogs – we always had dogs when I was a child so anytime I get to spend with dogs is a joy, they are such gorgeous animals. This week I had the pleasure of spending time with two fox red Labradors and a working cocker spaniel.

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18 Nail vanish and painting my nails or having them painted.

19 Finding clothes that fit – I’m plus size and tall so am quite limited on finding clothes that suit me so when I do I buy them in every colour. 😉

20 Champagne, cava or prosecco – I love my bubbly.

21 My Kindle – I never thought I would be converted to a e-reader but I love my kindle and hardly ever read a paperback version since I was given it.

22 Blogging – I’m new to this blogging malarkey but really enjoying it so far.
And it’s so exciting getting comments/ likes/ followers too.

23 Wandering round museums -I currently have an annual pass to our local museums, so I really must make the most of it!

24 Spending time with my 6 year old Goddaughter and her twin brother.

25 Hairdressers – going to have my hair cut or coloured.

26 Pizza.

27 The BBC iPlayer Radio App – Mum got me into The Archers last year and I also love listening to other dramas. I prefer it to TV as I can do other things whilst listening to a play.

28 The smell of freshly cut grass.

29 Being given a drawing by friends children. I have a few stuck up on my kitchen cabinets.

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30 Hugs.

31 Looking round a good fabric shop and all the gorgeous material (and buying it also, obviously!).

32 A good series on TV.

33 Skype-ing with my friend that lives abroad.

34 Getting into bed after a night shift when you know the rest of the world is getting up and going to work.

35 Getting home and changing out of my work clothes at the end of the day.

36 Sitting in a coffee shop and watching the world go by.

37 Chatting with friends.

38 Going to my Mum’s quilting group (The T ladies), they are always so welcoming and friendly.

39 Text messages.

40 Receiving Postcards.

41 Having a shower.

42 When I have made the effort to put make up on and straightening my hair.

43 Sleep.

44 Scented Candles.

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45 My sizzix machine, that a friend generously gave me.

46 The quilt my Mum gave me, I love curling up on the sofa with it on a cold day.

47 Crunchy leaves in Autumn and the autumnal colours on the trees.

48 Losing weight (just wish it was easier!).

49 Swimming.

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50 Finding decent vegan/ vegetarian make up or toiletries.

I now challenge the following bloggers to list 50 things that make them happy….

Writing, Coffee and Cupcakes

Hey There House

Jo Enefer Design

Parenthood Highs and Lows

My Gorgeous Boys – A Parenting Blog

Cocktails in Teacups

Floral Inspired Life

Sunshine Scribbles
Please do pop along and check out their blogs. x x

Vegan Make Up

I’m very excited as this weekend I have have treated myself to some new makeup, Including this lipgloss (f-bomb) from Urban Decay, which I have been thinking about buying for months now.

UD Lip

I’m a vegetarian, and I’m quite strict with it, so not only do I try to buy products from companies that don’t test on animals but also items that don’t include animal bi-products too. But as another vegetarian I know says “I just try to be a vegetarian to the best of my abilities” and I’ve rather embraced that idea myself, as it can be a real minefield. I’m constantly finding things that it never even occurred to me to consider whether they are vegetarian friendly before.
So when I come across different resources I jump on them. A couple of years ago I brought ‘The Animal Free Shopper’ from The Vegan Society thinking that would make my life easier. However it wasn’t quite what I was looking for, as it only listed certain items/ brand and not necessarily ones you would easily find on the High Street. It’s a great resource but unfortunately for me it has done little more than sit on my bookcase.

So you can probably imagine my joy when I came across this fantastic blog The Vegan Taff. She has reviewed lots of high street products, and through reading her blog Kelly has introduced me to brands I would never consider having vegan friendly items in their range. This has made me very happy… although me not so sure how good it will be on the bank balance!

After reading up on The Vegan Taff and tweeting her directly for advice on mascara I ended up buying ‘Lash Vegas Mascara‘ by Barry M. I can’t wait to try it out.

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And now I have a very long wish lists of items to buy in the future too! Anyway I’m now going to sign off and go and try out my new products. I’ll let you know how I find them.

SD

If you can recommend any good vegan or vegetarian friendly make up please pop a comment below.

The Upcycle Revolution

image On Tuesday 16th June I had the pleasure of going to London with my friend Vicky of Vicky Myers Creations (do check out her blog here) to an event hosted by Gumtree. It was all about upcycling. They had invited 20 bloggers to upcycle something which was then judged on the evening by Max McMurdo. max There were some fantastic items there. This was to celebrate the launching of National Upcycling Day which was on 24th June 2015. All the items from the event are now being sold on gumtree and the money is going to the charity of the individuals choice. These are just a few of the items…

The winner – Neil (of www.upcycling.xyz) with these repurposed drums turned into toy storage, which were fantastic. drums The most unusual was the pet storage/ home by Jen (see her blog here) with its own handmade pet rat in it, that did make me giggle. rat houseAnd of course my favourite (I might be a little biased, as it was my friends entry)…this bench which was made from 3 chairs. I particularly loved the detail of different coloured buttons on the cushion. vicky bench

This is currently for sale on gumtree and all money made goes to a local charity ‘Nelson’s Journey’.

But the thing I will take away from the event was how inspired I am by this group of people who were so passionate about upcycling and blogging. I may just have caught the bug, so watch this space…

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Thank you Gumtree & Max McMurdo for hosting the event and a special thank you to Vicky Myers for inviting me to go along.