Monday, 29 April 2013

A new crafty obsession

We have had a visitor at our little Thursday night craft group for the last few weeks. My friend's Mum is visiting and has been coming along.

Last week she shared one of her crafty loves with us. She does hand embroidery.

Now, I have done the odd stitch here and there but never with any tuition or even much reference to a book.

I have never set out to embellish an object by stitching alone.

But with Margaret's encouragement I have chain stitched and French knotted,

I have feather stitched and lazy daisyed

and I am loving it despite the stitches being a bit wobbly and my finger being extremely sore!

I dug around in my stash of books that I might just need one day, and found a wealth of stitchy ideas and instructions.

I rescued this book from the local primary school library when it was being removed from service.

In true thrifty style it seems that it was even second hand when it arrived in a school library in St Helena having spent it's early years in Surrey.

Stitch diagrams never go out of date though and I can't wait to try this double feather stitch once my finger has recovered from the effort of propelling the needle.

What is your latest crafty obsession?


Saturday, 27 April 2013

Drawers for bags

Well, I promised a crafty post, and this isn't the one I was planning but there you go. It isn't really a crafty post at all, it is a renewal, reuse and beautify post:
Take one scummy filing cabinet due to be thrown out by J's office
Spend a considerable amount of time with many and various solvents removing the stickers, sellotape and other adhesive residues
Scrub off rust with a wire brush
Scrub off grime, abovementioned solvents and rusty mess with hot soapy water
Wrestle with the handles until they come off

Apply a couple of coats of car-type spray paint in a bonnie colour

Wrestle those pesky handles back on

and Ta-Da! a bonnie, bright and beautiful addition to your storage capacity.

Ours houses swim and snorkel kit, nappy bag, brownie bag, cool bag, picnic blanket, toddler backpack carrier thingy and shopping bags.

What would you put in yours?


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Istebna around the world

A couple of weeks ago I came across an amazing project. Istebna is a young people's folk ensemble from southern Poland. They are trying to get a picture of their logo taken in every country around the world.

I have just sent them three snaps from St Helena.

You can join in too by downloading their logo here, then emailing your photos back to them.

And you can look at all the pictures they have received so far here.

I think it is a fantastic project and I urge you to support it by sending in a picture and spreading the word.

Happy snapping.


Monday, 22 April 2013

The Briars

Good morning my lovelies!
I am still trying to catch up with all the touristy things we did while J's Mum was here. I promise a crafty post soon - I have finished my summer blouse but need an accomplice to photograph it.
In the mean time one of the very fun things we did was to go for a trip on this 1929 Chevrolet charabanc. Top speed 20 mph down hill with a following wind and a fab way to admire the countryside. 

Some of you may already know that Napoleon was imprisoned on St Helena from 1815 until his death in 1821.

The day after he arrived he was brought to Longwood to view the house that was being prepared for him. 

 On the way back towards Jamestown he spotted the Briars in the valley below the road.

 He asked to be taken down there and introduced to the family who lived there.
He liked the Briars and the Balcolme family so much he asked if he could stay in the pavilion in their garden until the house at Longwood was ready.

He stayed for about 8 weeks, never returning to Jamestown.

The original Briars house no longer exists, but the pavilion with several more recent extensions is still there, set in a pretty little garden.

If I am completely honest, I was much more interested in the garden than in the pavilion, and certainly than in Napoleon who seems to have been a nasty little man.

But some of the furniture was rather pretty. Some is original, some replicas and some just appropriate to the period.

Some of the original pieces have recently been sent to Paris for conservation and to appear in an exhibition in 2015.

It is quite a tiny building so most of his entourage remained in Jamestown.

A marquee was erected in the lawn to accommodate his closest aides.

Seems a shame to spoil the vista.

All in all I should think the Balcolmes would have been pretty pleased when the Longwood house was ready and they all left!

You can just see the Briars tucked in its little valley right in the middle of this picture.


Friday, 19 April 2013

Jonathan: Up close and personal.

I posted here about our first visit to Jonathan. Since January he has been given extra protection. You now have to stay behind a fence at the edge of his paddock and hope he, or one of his gals, deigns to come near you. When we took J's Mum we were very lucky indeed and I thought you'd like to see...

Can you see him trying to hide behind the tree?

You can tell it is Jonathan rather than one of the gals by the lichen on the back of his shell...

J took most of these pics and also these two little video clips...

How completely cool is he?


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Inside Prince's Lodge

Inside Prince's Lodge is the world's largest collection of images and maps of St Helena. 

The glass in the frames gave great reflections from the lights and the windows but I hope you can get a sense on the images. I simply photographed the ones that caught my eye.

Jamestown from the Road (the name for the bit of water where the ships anchor).

St Helena from the North looking into James Bay.

Map with North to the left.

Again, North is on the Left.

Usual way up this time. I wish I could tell you more about the images but there was no interpretation other than what was written on the pictures themselves.

Apart from the cars Main Street in Jamestown still looks just like this.

Oh, I loved this fireplace. I miss our pretty fireplaces at home.