Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Photo Challenge Week 12: Historical

Oh my goodness - I could fill an entire library with historical pictures, I'm such a history geek!!
It's taken me all week but I finally decided on this one ...

This is the "Cooperage", one of the oldest buildings in Newcastle and has a great history..

I've always known it as a pub, which my Dad used to drink in occasionally (sadly, I've never actually been inside). 

The first storey of the Cooperage was built back in 1430 - the ceiling timbers supposedly came from a Dutch merchant's ship that had sunk in the river Tyne which runs opposite the building.  
Due to the close proximity of the old town wall at the foot of Castle Hill, there was no room to extend out so they went up and a new storey was added every century or so.

In 1531 the building was granted to the merchant Thomas Horsley and was then occupied by generations of prominent merchant families until around 1742.  Records show that silk dyer Mr J Robinson bought the building in 1841 but by 1853 it was listed as a grocery store.

In 1863 an established cooper (barrel maker) moved into the building.  Barrel making was big business as they were used were used to transport all kinds of goods from the river: beer, wine, butter and fish.  John Arthur Cooper bought the building in 1876 and carried on the barrel making business.  6 generations and almost a century later, the family moved the business to Ponteland and in 1974 it became a pub.

Long since closed, archaeological digs have taken place inside and pottery from the 14th and 15th century has been found along with Roman pieces.

As with most old buildings, it's said to be haunted.  One particular tale is that the ghost of a sailor who was nailed to a side door for attacking maid on the Long Stairs and he is still said to pound the door to this day 👻

The steps running up the side near the bottom right-hand are known as the "long stairs" which managed to survive the Great Fire of Newcastle in 1854 and they lead up to the castle keep.
The building next door (on the right) is the Michelin star restaurant House of Tides which is a fantastic place.

I love history, especially in my beautiful city so I hope I haven't bored you!! X

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Photo Challenge Week 11: Spiral

So here we go on my first endeavour into blog photo challenges - eek!

I picked this one up from reading Nana Cathy's blog and have watched (or read) from the side lines for the last couple of weeks seeing what others have submitted just so I get the right idea.

The hint which came out last week was "spiral" and I immediately knew which picture I would submit...

I love this picture :)  taken on a day out with my Mum, we walked the stairs rather than took the lift in the Baltic Mill on the Gateshead Quayside.  I looked down over the handrail to see how high up we were and loved the reflection from the floor below (you can just see me in the bottom right corner of the reflection as I took the picture) it actually looks a lot higher than it is because of this reflection and I liked that too.

The Baltic Mill is now a centre for contemporary art which, in all honesty I just don't "get" but I still like to have a nosey around and go up to the viewing platform and look out along the river of my home town/city...

The shiny building to the left is the Sage Gateshead which is a top class music venue, the world famous Tyne Bridge sits proudly in the middle and in the bottom right corner the Millennium Bridge.
Baltic Square at the bottom left hosts all sorts of different events from comedy festivals to the city athletics meeting.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Photo Challege

I've always taken photos and love nothing better than wandering around capturing views and random things - I could never take portraits, I don't have the patience haha!
Last year I entered my very first photo competition; Newcastle Libraries were looking to re-vamp one of their regular titles and wanted pictures of listed buildings within the city for Newcastle & Gateshead: Architecture and Heritage

As soon as I read the article I knew I wanted to submit my picture of St Nicholas' Cathedral that I'd taken a while back.  My friend Julie, her children and I were having a guided walk of the city centre on a lovely Sunday morning and as we stood with our guide talking about Queen Victoria and the position of her statue on St Nicolas Square, I just happened to look behind me and saw the reflection of the beautiful Cathedral spire in the windows of the Cathedral Square office building and immediately snapped this ...

I sent in my entry to the competition and it wasn't long before I was told I was a finalist!
The general public had to vote on which picture they wanted for the book (at this stage I didn't know it was going to be on the cover) I asked everyone to vote for me as you do and I won!
My prize was a gift voucher and a copy of the book.

And here is my picture on the front cover!

AND my name is on there too!  Fame at last hurrah!

I really wish I had the time and money to concentrate on my photography a bit more - I need to get out of auto mode and learn the workings of my camera but courses are so expensive.  I also want to learn "proper" editing too.  I post on Instagram all the time and have editing apps on my phone and tablet but I have no idea on layers and picture stitching etc

Since joining Bloglovin' I've began following a lot of crafty blogs and have stumbled upon reading challenges and photo challenges along the way.  So now it's time to bite the bullet - I'm entering my first photo challenge next week :)

Sunday, 5 March 2017

THE sock post - finished!!

I've wanted to make socks for ages and I will learn to knit them this year with the help from my friends at Ready Steady Knit but when I saw this gorgeous sock yarn from Opal I just had to have it and have a go at crocheting a pair.

There are so many lovely colours to choose from but the bright turquoise really stood out and it was this one I went home with.

The "Snuggly Socks" pattern from Simply Crochet issue 24 was very easy to follow and worked up quite quickly.  It's not a difficult pattern, just double crochet and you can measure as you go against your own foot which is helpful!

The heel was a lot easier than I anticipated, with decreases and then increases before continuing around the foot again.

Leaving just a small seam either side of the heels to stitch up, as you can see Mr Weasley wasn't very interested or excited by the new socks!

I got to the top and as there was a decent amount of wool left, I added a little picot edge just to finish them off...


I'm wearing them in my wellies this weekend so let's hope they keep my tootsies warm!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Spring, craft-tea time and socks!

I love March: spring finally arrives, days are noticeably longer and everything is just a little bit brighter, hurrah!

We passed some beautiful blossom on our way for tea and cake on Sunday, nature is certainly stirring and colour is seeping slowly back into our rather bland winter world...

Almost every Sunday after lunch my Mam and I head up to our local (and favourite) tea shop The Perfect Blend for a cuppa and cake.  There's nothing better than a nice stroll knowing there's a warm welcome and delicious treats awaiting you.

I always take whatever crafty projects I'm working on with me (when they saw my Christmas pudding chocolate orange covers immediately ordered as many as I could do as an added Christmas treat in the shop.  I'm delighted to say I managed 33 and they all sold!) and we chatter while I "work"

I'm delighted that they are launching a craft-tea evening this month (Tuesday 14th) from 6:30pm - 8:30pm and I'm hoping some of my crafty friends will come along :)

So, full of tea and cake, we headed home to watch the rugby and I sewed up the heel seams on my socks!