Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Exploring Oxford: Exeter College

Time to explore another bit of beautiful Oxford...

I've already shown you two of the University's Colleges (Magdalen and Oriel), but if you've ever been to the city you'll know there's plenty still to go!

Today I'm sharing some photos of Exeter, whose former students include J. R. R. Tolkien, Philip Pullman and William Morris. Apparently William Morris hated the college and his course but he fell in love with the architecture and history of Oxford's many medieval buildings, and Exeter was also where he met his great friend and creative collaborator Edward Burne-Jones.

Exeter is Oxford's fourth-oldest college. It was founded in 1314 by a Bishop who wanted to educate clergy for his diocese (no prizes for guessing what city he was Bishop of!). Little of the medieval college remains, however, as the small college expanded in the 16- and 1700s, and a new chapel was built in the 1850s.

I loved this stained glass (which I think was in the dining hall?)...


... and the chapel's little spire.


There are beautiful details everywhere you look in the chapel, from the ornate entrance...

... to the carving on the walls...

... to the colourful stained glass.

Isn't it a gorgeous space?

Outside I was enchanted by all the greenery climbing its way up the buildings of the college.

This window was particularly delightful - though I guess you might not think so if this was your room!

The year I visited Exeter they'd opened up the Fellows' Garden for Oxford Open Doors, an annual festival which gives you free access to lots of the historic buildings in Oxford and a peek at lots of places that aren't normally open to the public.

It's always a treat to get to explore a space you wouldn't normally have access to, but especially when it's one as lovely as this. 

The main attraction in the Fellows' Garden isn't the garden itself, though, it's the view! From the far corner of the garden you get a truly fabulous view of Oxford's famous Radcliffe Square and the Radcliffe Camera.

Whenever I return to Oxford now and walk through Radcliffe Square, I can't help looking up at the wall of Exeter's Fellows' Garden and remembering my visit.

Exeter College is free to visit on most afternoons - click here for a full list of the Colleges and their visitor info.

Want to explore more of Oxford? Click here to read all my posts!

Monday, 16 April 2018

Post Office Posters

One of the things I'm lucky to have inherited from my grandparents is a collection of old Royal Mail advertising posters, from the days when they ran a village shop and Post Office.
If you've been reading my blog for a long time, you might have seen some of these posters before as I had a few of my faves framed and on display in my old flat. I only have wall space for a few of them, though, and I thought it might be nice to have a space to share the whole collection, so...

... I've started a new Instagram account for them: Post Office Posters.

I'll gradually be photographing and sharing all the posters over the coming weeks and months, as and when I have time to do so. If you're a stamp nerd like me, are interested in typography or poster design, or just like old stuff then do follow along!

Friday, 13 April 2018

Explore My Travel Archive!

This week I had the great satisfaction of finally ticking off a task that's been on my To Do list for ages: getting all my travel blog posts organised into an easily browsable archive.

It was really nice looking through all my old "Nice Day Out" blog posts to put this page together. I hope it'll prove useful if you're planning a UK trip and want some inspo, or if youjust fancy being a virtual tourist from the comfort of your sofa.

Click here to have a browse!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

January, February & March in Pictures

Sooo... what have I been up to in the first quarter of 2018?

In January...

... I shared a peek at a work in progress that STILL has not progressed to being a finished tutorial. It might be a brand new year, but "too many project ideas, not enough time to make them all" will forever sum up my life.

... I added two new patterns to my shop: felt poppies, and spring flowers.

... I shared a tutorial for using your yarn scraps to make fun stripey cards.

... I used Makelight's Year of Colour tool to see my 2017 Instagram colour palette (unsurprisingly, it turns out I've been using a lot of bright colours!).

... my felt weather mobile tutorial was published over on The Village Haberdashery's blog, along with templates for making some pun-tastic Valentine's Day cards.

... and someone who'd made my cat pincushion bought me a "coffee" to say thanks! (Yay!) The "buy me a coffee" button on my blog is basically a virtual tip jar - I was totally delighted that someone actually used it (and that a few more people have used it since). It's always lovely to hear that people have been using and enjoying my tutorials, or even just reading my blog, but getting kind words and a little bit of financial support feels AMAZING.

In January I also shared my first free pattern with my newsletter subscribers, blogged about trips to Kew Gardens, (part one and part two) and Oxford's Magdalen College, and three more of my tutorials for The Village Haberdashery got posted on their blog: a faux leather lightning bolt brooch, a geometric necklace, and an embroidered snowflakes wreath (completing my year of wreaths project).

In February...

...  this project was still not finished! When I posted this pic on Instagram  I wrote "These shapes are for a tutorial which is *still* a work in progress (January has been soooo busy!), so this post is me committing to getting it Finally Finished and up on my blog next week. Watch this space!", which, er, absolutely has not happened. Maybe it will happen soon? Fingers crossed!

In February I also stitched a mallard duck for my newsletter subscribers...

... came up with some creative ideas for decorating parcels...

... had two more projects published over on The Village Haberdashery's blog (a Valentine's-themed Tic Tac Toe set, and a trio of Plant Lady brooches)...

... blogged about exploring Carfax Tower & Oriel College in Oxford, confessed to not enjoying blogging about books, and had a destash-and-sample sale (many thanks to everyone who bought something!).

Then in March...

... I joined in with March Meet the Maker, sharing a bit about me and my business each day in response to the challenge prompts. It was a lot of fun, especially sharing behind-the-scenes pics like this giant To Do Chart I put together when working on one of my books...

... this snapshot of my dad painting skirting boards while I photographed a wreath tutorial (the joys of juggling self-employment and a renovation project!)...

... and how the fox design from my second book, Super-Cute Felt Animals, evolved from the early sketch to the finished project.

In March I also designed Chicken & Egg Easter ornaments for The Village Haberdashery...

... and they shared my tutorials for making a fun daffodil headband and pretty butterfly hairclips.

Here on my blog I wrote about my flat renovation project and our DIY progress last February, continued my series of posts about Kew Gardens with signs of spring and their wonderful Orchids Festival, and shared lots of snaps from a walk in the snow (gorgeous but very chilly for March!!).

Oh, and I also knitted lots of little white squares for my mini squares blanket! After many years working on this project, it's exciting seeing it slowly turning into a "real" blanket (instead of just a random cluster of knitted squares) and to be counting down the squares until it's finished. Isn't it looking lush?

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