Crafting whether it be crochet, Patchwork, sewing, papercraft, knitting…..its all good for your health so why not join us at no.55


Well it has been an exciting 7 months with one month to go for the ladies who took my Patchwork class.They started off with simple blocks moving onto more complex cutting and piecing and ending with quilting methods. They have came a long way in a short period of time. They also learned a lot about colour and design and how to learn from your mistakes!

My next focus will be embroidery starting on the 28th October with chicken scratch embroidery where we will show off a simple design which can be framed and given as a gift, perfect coming up to Christmas. Details at the side of the blogroviding you are using web version.

I have been trying to finish an oil painting after all my aim this year is to finish projects. I finished this little crochet cardigan in sock yarn and then the little car seat quilt.

Using my cut em boss and an acuquilt doggy I had a lovely little puppy to play with which the patchwork ladies also got to play with. Now talking about mistakes or carelessness to be fair this little quilt had a journey. Whilst I was shaking a can of replaceable glue for another project my doggies got a little splashed and nothing would take out the tiny stains so I embellished with some embroidery stitches!!
I had tried spirit, nail varnish remover and two washes with vanish so be careful when using a spray in your craft room.

There are some days when you just need to do seeing simple, non taxing so what better than a little dragon.
And of course my companion by my side as I work in some black work.

So much happening at Mountstewart- volunteering and visiting

I hadn’t been to the farm yard before and was amazed by its size. Despite the fact it was wet and windy it was good to meet up with other volunteers to explore the outside for a change and see what plans there are for the future.

George Angus gave us a very clear picture of the running of the farm in the early years and his management now for the National Trust.
The future is exciting!!

We were all impressed by the slate roofs quarried not too far away. Recent repairs indoors to keep the weather out
Barley, wheat and beans still grown for feed. 

The remains of the old stud farm fencing  of Lady Mairi Bury’s day (a birthday present from her dad)and the area where she landed her plane.

Saturday was a much better day to visit the garden and see what else was going on. The colours were still vibrant despite Autumn beginning.

sea court printers

 were on site and it was lovely to see them at work. They made some beautiful pieces of art out of the floor tiles than were removed from central hall.

I was fascinated in the work involved in making the plate used to print this picture of the Mairi garden. I can’t begin to imagine the time it takes to get it just right.
It was also good to see screen printing in process something I am completely unfamiliar with and may want to play with in the future with textiles.

Mountstewart-day out for the volunteers part 2

All that walking around the garden had us hungry again so into the Londonderry arms in Carnlough fir afternoon tea.

We were treated to a little talk by the usher in the connection between the Londonderry Arms and Mountstewart. Did you know it was built in 1848 as a coaching inn for Frances Anne Vane Tempest, Marchioness of Londonderry. She was married to the third Marquis of Londonderry. When she died all was passed to her grandson and from him to His second cousin Einston Churchill.
The Londonderry arms as well as serving a lovely afternoon tea have various photographs relating to Frances Anne and Sir Winston Churchill.
I didn’t notice is at first it was another volunteer that pointed it out to me but do you see anything strange about the copy of the painting of Frances Anne on this wall mount. If not then it’s time you paid a visit to the drawing room of Mountstewart to see what I mean.
We had a wander around carnloug between showers before getting back in the coach to visit Garron Tower


I remember coming across Garron Tower some years ago and it was a private boarding school which it still is now. We couldn’t go into the building but it was nice to see the outside. The building itself has been extended with many more school buildings but we focused in the original.

Quite impressive for a holiday home to help aid employment for the locals in the erection of it.

I was particularly interested in the pet grave. Check out Lord Belmont’s blog

Mountstewart- day out for the volunteers part 1

What an excellent day out arranged for the volunteers by none other than Jenny. She even seemed to control the weather as the rain showers appeared briefly in between places of interest.

It was unfortunate many who would have liked to have come couldn’t as someone had to man the fort!
Our first stop was to Glenarm where after an early rise for most we were more than ready for our raspberry and white  chocolate scones.

Can you see the anticipation on their faces.


Jenny making sure we were all organised for our tour of the castle.

We got back on the coach as the castle was quite a bit away. The driver needed a medal for the manoeuvring he had to do around the parking area more suited to horses than vehicles.
We received a very warm welcome to the castle butfrom this point I can not show any photos out of respect for the familystill living there. This was so obvious as it had such a homely feel. It had its portraits and paintings as mountstewart does but the rooms were of a much smaller scale and their own little touches.
The entrance hall had many portraits reminding you of the ancestors, a fireplace to warm you and some pieces of history telling you about a fire they had had that badly damaged this part of the house.
There are some sculptures and ceiling paintings related by one previous lady of the house and although she may have felt she was extremely talented the pieces themselves would have been more suited to Barry’s amusement arcade to this rather grand entrance. The lady giving the history did mention there were to be a further two but the husband havingseen the four in place refused to have more. We went from here into the drawing room. It was gorgeous with the old and new blending perfectly.very welcoming to children also with Aesop fables tiny murals painted at the top of each wall encroaching on the ceiling. Many family photos from different eras, small busts and some needlework. A lovely size of room in two parts the greater part being the lounge area with small dining part adjoining. Then into the dining room which again had some little murals but this time the cherub like characters are believed to be based on a former resident. A wake table on one side and central table that enlarges to seat 20. Again many portraits and paintings of a maritime nature. A gorgeous Victorian side board and various other pieces of furniture. Bypassing the staircase and more portraits we went along a tiny hall to the blue room named because of the wallpaper.  A very cosy sitting room with many paintings of horses and again furnishings old and new looking out to the front of the house and garden.

A very interesting  tour with so much information I can barely remember but seeing the connection with Frances Ann whom we all know well in Mountstewart. Then off we went to the walled garden so that the other half of our group could have their tour.
We were quite amazed at the colours still for this time of year and loved the different areas set out especially the parts left wild and the Large mound you could climb to view the garden.


We came across a number of fruit trees as well as wild flowers and shrubs. One we had never seen before but thanks to a gardening group visiting they identified for us.
They said it was used to make jelly that was put around meats.