Monday 26 September 2016

Beautiful Britain - Bitting & Bobbing along the Suffolk Coast

So you've seen what we thought of Aldeburgh, Southwold and Thorpeness. All really different and all lovely in different ways.
This post is a bit of a round up of what else we got up on our Suffolk holiday. Lots of bitting and bobbing about ...

Orford is another lovely Suffolk village, separated from the sea by a huge shingle spit, with lovely coastal walks and a pretty village centre, overlooked by the castle.

We started our visit with a wander along the front where we found more of the now familiar 'fish sheds' and lots of photo opportunities, as well as the most perfect spot for a house.

Martin spent lots of time photographing the wildflowers and rusting metal, both of which are available in sheer abundance ...
Having explored the port area, we headed into the village centre to have a look at the castle. We didn't go in, but you can walk right up to and round it and it looked pretty striking with the clear blue sky behind it.
We could have easily spent more time here and would definitely re-visit if we are back in the area.

Snape Maltings
Snape Maltings is based on the bank of the River Alde at Snape. It is a collection of shops, galleries, restaurants and a concert hall, which fill the buildings of the old Maltings.
It is definitely worth a visit and we spent an hour or so here, mooching about and having lunch.

We particularly loved the old buildings, which retain lots of their original character, and the mirror sculpture, which was great fun in the sunshine.

Sutton Hoo
We didn't really intend on visiting Sutton Hoo, it wasn't really our thing, but we were passing, we are members of the National Trust and it was lunch time and you can normally rely on the good old NT to have a decent cafe, so we decided to give it a go.

We started off with lunch, a very nice Suffolk Monsieur, followed by cake - well it was a NT cafe!

The National Trust describe Sutton Hoo as an 'Awe-inspiring Anglo-Saxon royal burial site'.

As well as the cafe there is an exhibition centre displaying some of the finds and replicas of others. It also tells the story of the site and was actually quite interesting.

There is then a circular walk which takes you around the mounds, with a map showing you what was buried in each of them. To be honest, whilst we did walk around the site, we didn't find it that appealing, though it was a bit of a grey day.
You can then also visit Tranmer House, the home of Mrs Edith Pretty - the landowner who instigated the archaeological digs on the site back in back in the 1930s.
We found the house much more interesting. It was laid out really well, as it would have been back in the 1930s, and we really enjoyed exploring it.

We were fascinated by some of the WW1 exhibits, especially those relating to 'Polly Hopkins', the horse of Major Frank Petty of the Suffolk Regiment, which referred to the same places that Martin's grandad, Will Sidney, had spent time in, at the same time, during his time in the army. At the beginning of the war Will was a Shoeing Smith. It was fascinating to wonder whether Will would ever have come across Polly during his time in Flanders.

Sizewell Beach
We called in at Sizewell beach on our way home from a day out. I think it was a case of morbid curiosity that led us there.

Would we find enormous, glow in the dark fish? Would it be really ugly? We really had no idea what to expect, but I have to say we were both pleasantly surprised.

Yes, there is clearly the evidence of the nuclear power station, but it is still a really lovely spot by the sea.

You approach the beach via a wooden boardwalk, which slopes up a bank.

It is only once we crested the bank that we both were completely surprised by what we saw.

It was actually a bit surreal. Families sitting on the beach and paddling in the sea, to the backdrop of Sizewell B to the land side and, what we can only assume, some form of rigs out to sea.
We actually ended up spending quite a while here, watching a pretty small dog chase a huge 'stick' and generally just enjoying the sunshine ...
... before laying back and just generally chilling out for a bit.
I am sure it's not everyone's cup of tea but we liked it.

So, finally, I've managed to finish off the posts from our Suffolk holiday back in July. We really enjoyed exploring a new part of the country and are always amazed at how much it continues to provide us with new delights.

We are off to the New Forest next, which will be another national park holiday undertaken so, slowly but surely, I am working through my list of the 50 things I want to do before I'm 60.

I'm sure there will be plenty to tell you about, so please, don't go away.

Monday 19 September 2016

Beautiful Britain - Thorpeness, Suffolk

Another of our forays out and about whilst on our recent holiday on the Suffolk coast took us to the small village of Thorpeness.
Whilst we weren't sure quite what to expect, having read this on the Suffolk Tourist Guide, we were looking forward to finding something a little unusual ...
"If there was ever a village that deserved to be called ‘fantastic’ it is Thorpeness, built at the start of last century by a wealthy Scottish barrister with a penchant for mock Tudor and Jacobean architecture. Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie was a Scottish barrister who made his money designing railways and bought some land from north Aldeburgh to south of Sizewell where he created Thorpeness as a holiday village centred around the Meare.

Thorpeness is full of quirky buildings, some of which are more than meet the eye. For example, Ogilvie ingeniously disguised the village’s water tower as an overgrown house, the striking ‘House in the Clouds’, lest it offend the eye! This 5 storey house is still in use today and overlooks the golf course on one side, with views of the boating lake, village and beach on the others."
We weren't in the least bit disappointed. For a pretty small village, it certainly had enough to hold our interest for a pleasant morning's wander and so much colour. I hope you are prepared for a photo overload!
It was another glorious day and we managed to park up on the street alongside The Meare, which is an artificially created, shallow boating lake covering 3 acres, with several streams running off the main lake with landings marked with names on a Peter Pan theme. Tiny islands on the Meare contain locations found in J. M. Barrie's novel such as the Pirates Lair, Wendy's home and many others which children are encouraged to play on.

There were lots of colourful boats for hire for those of the rowing inclination, lots of ducks and a nice cafe with lots of people enjoying a relaxing coffee whilst taking in the sunshine.We had a good wander and managed to spot the Peter Pan crocodile and that 'House in the Clouds' that had really drawn us here in the first place.
We really wanted to be able to see this up a bit closer so made our way back along the main street and took the lane on the opposite side of The Meare down towards the golf club. Towards the end of the lane we took a public footpath on the right which brought us out dead opposite where we wanted to be.
It really is incredible and looked really pretty in the sunshine, backed with a clear blue sky. We'd never seen anything quite like it and took plenty of time just gazing in awe and wondering at the imagination of some people.

We took a short walk to the left, where we found the windmill, again another excellent photo opportunity which we made the most of.
We headed back along the track to the main road and continued our walk through the village, past the Alms Houses and The Dolphin Inn before nipping in to the village shop for ice lollies - it was just so hot.

We spotted a sign for the beach and couldn't help but follow it ... along pretty hedgerows and a narrow track ...
To be faced with an almost deserted wide shingle beach, overlooked by brightly coloured houses and stretching as far as the eye could see in either direction.
The whole of the village of Thorpeness is any photographer's dream, with quirky and beautiful buildings around every corner.
We soon found ourselves back at the car, but not before having a good mooch round the Thorpeness Emporium, where there is a vast array of all kinds of all sorts for a good pick through.

Having thoroughly enjoyed our wander around Thorpeness, we would most definitely recommend a visit if you are in the area.

For us, it was time to head off to Snape Maltings for a bit of shopping and lunch.

Monday 12 September 2016

Beautiful Britain - Southwold, Suffolk

Our second trip out on our recent holiday on the Suffolk coast was to explore another new place we had never been to before.

This time we were off to Southwold and, following our visit to the very lovely Aldeburgh, we had no idea what to expect ... apart from the sea and a pier.

Southwold couldn't have been more different from Aldeburgh but it was most certainly another real treat.

At first glance Southwold is more of a typical English seaside town, with a beautiful sandy beach, a busy pier and some of the prettiest beach huts we've come across.
It was roasting hot and pretty busy, but we were lucky enough to manage to park along the front and made our way back to the pier.

We had a good old wander along the pier and back, where we had some amazing fish and chips in the sunshine.
We then took a walk along the front, nosing in the beach huts, some of which were absolutely gorgeous.
We then wandered back in the opposite direction, back towards the lighthouse.
We finished our visit with a drive out to the quay, where we found lots more of the wooden fish sheds and, apparently, the best fish and chips are to be found.

Monday 5 September 2016

HM@No27 - My August Makes

After a few quieter months, it's now looking like Hand Made at Number 27 is going to be busy in the run up to Christmas, and I thought it might be interesting to do a post about my makes for the month.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook you may have already seen them on my Facebook page, but those of you not on Facebook hopefully it will make for an interesting post.

So, here goes for August ...

Tooth Fairy Pillows
It's actually been a while since I've made any of these and I had an order for four from a lovely lady, to use as Christmas gifts.

Here are pictures of two of them, one for a girl and one for a boy. It always amazes me how many different options of design there are for these and these two are both brand new ...
These pillows are just great for hanging in a child's bedroom. When a wobbly tooth falls out, it just gets popped in the pocket on the pillow and the tooth fairy can easily swap it for a reward at the dead of night. So no more worrying about waking up a little sleepyhead whilst fishing around under the pillow.

I just love the unicorn fabric I've used for Pollyanna's pillow and Robert is a fan of Formula 1, so hopefully he will like these racing cars.

Pollyanna's pillow is backed with a small pink and white gingham fabric and Robert's the blue cloudy fabric.

Dog Walking Pouch
For the same lady, who is clearly very organised, I have made a dog walking pouch in this lovely white, pink and turquoise Scottie dog fabric ...
It's lined in pink and white gingham, has some ribbon and button detailing and comes with a wrist strap with lobster claw swivel clip, so perfect for clipping onto a belt loop when out walking the pooch.

It's just the right size for a few of those little bags that dog walkers take everywhere, a few treats, the house keys and maybe even your phone.

Clearly, it doesn't have to be used just as a dog walking pouch, it would also be handy for keeping all your bits and pieces together in your handbag.

Stretchy Beaded Bracelet
Finally, to finish off this lovely lady's gift shopping with Hand Made at Number 27 I've made this bracelet for a lady that just loves elephants.

It's made up in white howlite semi precious stone beads, with silver tone daisy spacers and finished off with a Made with Love and elephant charm ...

Doggy Bandanas
Following my recent Rag Market haul of Christmas fabric I've made a start on a large order of doggy bandanas for a local dog grooming business. I've still got a long way to go on this order, but I'm really pleased with how this gingerbread man fabric is sewing up ...
I've just got another 196 of these to make, so I'm sure you will be seeing more of these next month.

Papercut Picture Frames
My next make is for an order that I took at the Chancel Primary School Summer Carnival back in the Summer, where we had the craft stall on show.

Of all the makes I had available, would you believe that two lovely ladies both really wanted the same thing, of which I only had one. Fortunately one was happy to wait. She was after one of my heart papercut frames in the Sweet Paris papers, so I've made another up. I also thought I'd have a go at doing the same thing but in butterflies. What do you think?
Christmas Mini Bunting
Another Christmas order that I've made a start on is for some of this lovely Christmas mini bunting, which will look great used as a garland on the Christmas tree, or for decking the fireplace. I've got another order for some of this is some green Christmassy fabric, which hopefully I will be able to show you next month ...
You may notice some small green Christmas stockings in the middle picture, these are a work in progress and will end up as quilted tree decorations. I should definitely have some of these finished to show you for September's makes.

Mini i-Pad Case
And finally, for August, one of my friends asked me if I could make her a fabric case for her mini i-Pad. Well, it's something I'd never done before but decided to give it a go and here it is ...
I-pad not included, I'm afraid! I'm really pleased with how this has turned out and already have orders for two more, one for a full size i-Pad, so I shall have fun trying to adapt my pattern.

So, that's it for August, it's been quite busy over here and I've still got plenty to go at during September, including some pretty darn cute crocheted baby bootees, so watch out for next monthly makes post at the beginning of October.