Friday, 29 August 2014

Cross stitch project

Recently, I've wanted to do something creative, which is easy to carry around to do.

After finishing reading Little Women, this has inspired me to start a crafty project. I've wanted a project, which is decorative, and I can display my own crafty work. Yesterday, I went out with my dad, to Hobby Craft.  I came across the sale section and saw the cross stitch section.; I rummaged through this section until, I selected the most appealing ones, which was  the flower fairies, as I absolutely adore fairies.

Both were inspired from the Flower Fairies illustrations by Cicely Mary Barker;'  

1. Was Large Cross stitch with scene of summer day and various fairies playing. 

This is the first cross stitch I found. 

2. The one started last night, Is based on the illustration of the Lavender Fairy. 

Original Image - The Lavender Fairy by  Cicely Mary Barker

This is what the cross stitch looks like.

My progress so far

It been ages since, I last competed a cross stitch; I'm finding very addictive and relaxing to complete. 


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Arnos Vale

Arno's Va built in, 1837 by the Bristol General Cemetery Company, who petitioned parliament to be able to build a general cemetery. The cemetery was constructed  in 1840. Previous to this the plot was originally, part of the Arno's Court Manner, it had a villa built upon it, named Arno's Vale villa, the estate was separated and sold off in 1774.

The cemetery contains buildings by Charles Underwood, and  used an Arcadian style. Most of the graves are found on the steep hill and the flat area. This containing two chapel, lodges, a war memorial and a number of listed tombs and monuments
Arnos Vale entrance
General view of the graves
Conveniently, it's located across the road from the Bristol glass factory. Personally, I rarely visit cemeteries, yet after reviewing the posts on Trip Adviser  it seemed hightly recommend from previous vistors. I'm very happy I did, as I got some spectacular photographs of the cemetery. While, walking the cemetery it had an ethereal feel, and I felt transported to another world. It was one an amazing places, to visited: I loved walking the trails, and discovering some secret grove or a gravestone, hidden behind overgrown tree, which added to the mystical feel of the place.

When I first walked into the cemetery, I was greeted by this unusual momentum, which is not something I expected to find in a Victorian cemetery. The monument is dedicated to Raja Rammohun Roy, who is regarded as the 'Father of modern India'. He initiated and promoted progress through Indian during British rule, in turn challenging the tradition Hindu beliefs. He was an active reformer of education, Indian religious and social-cultural traditions (1). The mausoleum was designed by William Prinsep and erected in 1843. Pirnsep took inspiration from Roy's native Bengal and a copied a chhatri (translates as umbrella), a traditional Bengal temple. (2).

During my visit, I came across the Chapel, and I was unable to enter it, which was disappointing. As, the chapel is now used as a venue space catering for a whole array of events.(3). It was a spectacular building and fitted in beautiful to the surrounding scenery, however, it did contrast differently to other parts of the cemetery. The Chapel was restored using money from Heritage Lottery Fund. Originally, was an Anglican Chapel built in 1839, and designed by Charles Underwood, who used A Roman Italianate fashions (3)

I immediately recognized this monument, as used in Being Human series. This war memorial struck me as it's usual for a war momentum compared to others, I've seen. I admire the thought of design sympathetically coordinate with the surroundings. This war monument commiserates service personnel who died during both world wars. Approximately, over 500 service personnel throughout the Commonwealth are buried in the cemetery. Most were from the surrounding, local military hospitals  all the names were listed on the Screen wall memorial (2).

The Future Memorial - by Julia Vogl, designed in association with the Arnos Vale organisation. Their aim directly quoted, ' reflect individually the living community’s collective thoughts on experiencing the cemetery and collectively illustrate their presence.' (4) I thought it, a unique piece of art, which was an excellent example of modern art embracing new concepts, while remaining complementary to the past. The of use of transparent material give an impression of an ethereal feel, as if the monument was a ghost existing between the vale of two worlds; the living world and the next world.

These photographs were some of my favorites because of the contrast they showed to me. I felt the sculptures represented the death of an individual who, once lived. I felt surrounded by the statues installing me with somber reverence and respect for this sacred place. Illustrating the importance of remembrance; these people were once living, breathing, autonomous creatures, with a consciousness and dreams. Now, they cease to exist returning once more to mother nature, and now, fuel the growth of life. They are nothing more than bone and memory. It appeared to be a paradox, surrounded by the dead and so much life of nature. Over time, plants and trees had encroached on the monuments, this divine accompaniment the monuments.

(These were just some of the thoughts were going through my head, while taking the photographs; I loved this place; it was amazing.).


1. The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2013). Ram Mohun Roy.Available: Last accessed 27/08/2014.

2. Wikipedia . (2014). Arnos Vale Cemetery. Available: Last accessed 27/08/2014

3.Arnos Vale Organisation. (2014). Anglican Chapel. Available: Last accessed 27/08/2014

4.Arnos Vale Organisation. (2014). Unveiling . Available: Last accessed 27/08/2014.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A Song of Glass and Heat

Hello, I would like, to share my thanks for those, who have viewed my blog.

I have another, antidote I want to share from my trip to Bristol. I was, approximately, five minutes walk  from the hotel I was staying in from  The Original Bristol Blue Glass Factory, so I went in  for a visit. I entered into the factory shop and looked around at the different items for sale.

All the staff were very friendly and helpful. I browsed around the shop, and was offered the opportunity to observe, how the glass was made. 

I went into the work area, and the first thing,  I was struck by was the immense heat from the furnaces. What surprised me, was high level of skill required and the short amount of time it took to make the glass items. Also the amount of concentration required, along with the high level of dexterity the workers had to mold the glass and the effective team work.  I don't think I could explain what I saw effectively , however, I found a video by the company demonstrating some of the techniques used.

After, observing the demonstration I left the factory area and saw a fantastic blue dragon. Unfortunately, it was out my budget when I inquired about the price. I was told it one off commissioned piece and only three had ever been made due to the complexity and labor required for it. The creator of the sculpture went on further, to explain during the construction process, not all of the pieces are made successfully and have to be discarded. However, he was gracious enough to let me take a photograph of him with the dragon, which was an fantastic piece of unique art. 

The creator with the dragon 
In the near future, I will commission one of these dragons, it's so beautiful. I have always loved dragons since being little.

If anyone is interested, here is a link to the The Original Bristol Blue Glass Factory website  w 

Hotel I stayed

My boyfriend organised a beautiful hotel, for us to stay in;  The Arno's Manner Hotel. Located next to excellent transport links. It was very easy, to get into Bristol city centre, and we were able to get the bus to Bath Spa.

This is front of the Hotel.
The hotel was built as a home known as 'Mount Pleasant', by  merchant, William Reeve in 1760, and he commissioned architecture, James Bridges to build the house.  In 1775, Reeves was declared bankrupt, and the property was divided and sold off separately. 

In 1850, the home was purchased by the Catholic order of nuns known as the 'The Sisterhood of the Asylum of the Good Shepard'. The nuns established it the home as a penitent and built a chapel on to the building. In 1858, the property became the first established Catholic Reformatory school in England.

 In 1965, the hotel was converted into a casino and later, in 1970's a disco opened (Milward).   

The Chapel 

The Chapel
The restaurant area

The hotel is meant to be haunted by a brown figure, which is meant to be a nun. Allgeations state one of the nuns became pregnant and allegedly committed suicide. 
In the 1940's a bomb landed on the property damaging the building, which required work to commence. During the repairs, workmen found a skeleton, which is meant to be the body of the pregnant nun, whose Sisters had bricked up her body to hide her shame. Later, the workers hid the bones elsewhere.

The strongest activity takes place in room 160.  People describe a sensation of being pinned down,  feeling pressure on their chest and seeing mysterious figures rising without anybody being there. Also, others have reported Poltergeist activity; objects being flung and baths filling by themselves. (Haunted rooms 2012).

The body of the Nun was found
Unfortunately, during my stay at the Hotel I saw nothing and experienced no paranormal activity.
  1. The Architectural Glory of the Arno's Manor Hotel by Garry Milward, Regional Business Development Manager. 
  2. Haunted Rooms. (2012). Arnos Manor Hotel, Bristol, Somerset.Available: Last accessed 26/08/14.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Trip - Luggage.

Hello, firstly I would like to thank everyone, who have taken their time to read my blog.

It was my birthday last week, and I turned twenty-six. My boyfriend organized a trip for us to go to Bristol for a few days. I very much enjoyed it, and it was a great way to celebrate my birthday. Over the next few days, I plan to put up some posts and pictures of my trip. Travelling is one of my passions, and I would love to share with everyone.

I am posting a quick and boring one about the luggage I used.  I apologize, it's not exciting, it's just something I wanted to discuss it.

I was away for four days in total; like I said my boyfriend organized the travel arrangements. Usually, from Newcastle you can get a direct train to Bristol, which are operated by Cross Country. However, we took the East Coast train from Newcastle to Kings Cross and got a connecting train from Paddington station to Bristol. My boyfriend explained the reason for this. He's tall and finds Cross-country trains have limited leg room in comparison to East Coast trains, which allowed him the opportunity to smoke a cigarette, while getting to the connecting train. This way did add an extra on to our journey but, it was nice, being able to stretch my legs and  walk around, rather than being stuck on a train for five hours straight.

This is the Wenger  Swissgear Hudson Laptop backpack; I took for four days.  

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Charity shop finds

I wanted to share some of my recent finds from the charity shops. I have always loved shopping in charity shops, and my love affair began from the age of ten. When I would go shopping in Gateshead town center.  The first thing, I ever remember buying was a shabby jewelry box, which cost the princely sum of fifty pence.

Over the years, I've become more selective about the things I buy because at one point, I had enough clothes to open up my charity shop.

 My Mam could never understand my reasons for shopping in them. Occasionally, she'll comment, on what I am wearing and ask, "where I got it from?" I usually replied, from "the charity shop" and  tell her, the price I paid for the item. When we would go anywhere, I always loved looking in the charity shops, and my mom didn't like going in. Recently, I think, she has changed, as, she tells me about her friends outfits and finds. Finding their expensive champagne budget clothes for the price of a supermarket own brand budget.

Over the years, I have noticed charity shops have become more popular. I think it's becoming popular through fashion, which have influenced the trend for second-hand  items. One-time second-hand  items were embarrassing or sign of poverty, however, this no longer is the case. Charity shops have become cool through the re-labeling and advertisement of "vintage".

 In times of austerity, people have cut back their spending and no longer can afford a treat  themselves, without feeling apprehension or guilty. The charity shop offers people the chance to treat themselves, without blowing their budgets. I think media exposure, has contributed to the charity shops rise in popularity. With television shows like Gok's fashion fix and supper scrimpers making features, on how to look great for less than a tenner.

 Also, charity shops are more selective about the items they take, in comparison to years ago. However, the higher quality of donations has commanded the increase in price for the item. Increasing running costs and inflation may have contributed to this. On the whole, I feel they have been valuable acid for those who are on tight budgets  or just want something different.
The reasons, why I love charity shops:

1. Find designer labels, cheaper, than Primark.
2. You never know what you're going to find.
3. It promotes recycling, preventing clothes going into landfills.
4. The money goes to a good cause.  

With winter coming, I want to get more into the Gothic look again and wear black. For a while, I have been trying to get out of the black by adding more color. No matter, what I wear I still, always have the gothic look. I find it such a part of my core, I always revert Gothic ascetic.
These are my recent finds:

I  found this jumper in Oxfam charity shop; it has never been worn I paid £3.99.
The label is called South it's a label I am unfamiliar with. But I love the sleeves
on the top and fabric feel  great to touch and will go with anything.  

This top has a Victorian look to it, originally made by Dorothy Perkins but found in a local charity shop I paid £2.50

This top is by Karen Millen, I found this in an oxfam charity shop and paid £5
I found this top in Marie Curie Charity shop; I paid £3.50.
It will be great in the winter and has lace front, looks amazing.
I think this was Primark.

Life Update.

Hi, it's been a very long hiatus, not to say the least. Since my last post, a lot happened in October. I had a death in the family ...