Category: Crafty Culture

#12 A Hooting Time in Bath City

After a long weekend in the beautiful city of Bath I was desperate to share some of my experiences and impressions with you here.

For those who are not familiar with Bath, especially those who don’t live in the UK, I’d like to give you some interesting background on the city itself.

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(Text Source: Wikipedia, Photographs: Sabeena Mughal)

Bath is a city located in the South West England; 97 miles (156 km) west of London and 13 miles (21 km) south-east of Bristol.

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(Image: http://www.bath-heritage.co.uk/about.html)

The city was first established as a spa with the Latin name, Aquae Sulis (“the waters of Sulis”) by the Romans sometime in the AD 60s about 20 years after they had arrived in Britain (AD43). They built baths and a temple on the surrounding hills of Bath in the valley of the River Avon around hot springs.  Much later, it became popular as a spa town during the Georgian era, which led to a major expansion that left a heritage of exemplary Georgian architecture crafted from Bath Stone. Archaeological evidence shows that the site of the Roman Baths’ main spring was treated as a shrine by the Iron Age Britons.

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There are many Roman archaeological sites throughout the central area of the city, but the baths themselves are about 6 metres (20 ft) below the present city street level. Around the hot springs, Roman foundations, pillar bases, and baths can still be seen, however all the stonework above the level of the baths is from more recent periods.

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Bath Abbey was a Norman church built on earlier foundations, although the present building dates from the early 16th century. Most buildings in Bath are made from the local, golden-coloured Bath Stone, and many date from the 18th and 19th century. The dominant style of architecture in Central Bath is Georgian. The most spectacular of Bath’s terraces is the Royal Crescent, built between 1767 and 1774.

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The City of Bath was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1987. It has a variety of theatres, museums, and other cultural and sporting venues. Today, Bath has five theatres. It also has a long-standing musical tradition and holds the Bath International Music Festival and Mozartfest every year, amongst a number of other festivals. The city is home to the Victoria Art Gallery, the Museum of East Asian Art, and Holburne Museum of Art, numerous commercial art galleries and antique shops, as well as numerous museums.

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English Novelist Jane Austen lived in the city from 1801 with her father, mother and sister Cassandra, and the family resided in the city at four successive addresses until 1806. Many films and television programmes have been filmed using the architecture of Bath as the backdrop.

One of Bath’s principal industries is tourism, with more than one million staying visitors and 3.8 million day visitors to the city on an annual basis. The visits mainly fall into the categories of heritage tourism and cultural tourism, aided by the city’s selection in 1987 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognising its international cultural significance.

An inhabitant of Bath is known as a Bathonian!

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Further to this summary I can only add that it was one of the prettiest cities I have ever visited and one with a beautifully soothing atmosphere about it.

On an even lighter note, there appeared to be a theme running throughout my time there- OWLS! They just kept popping up everywhere. Not the real ones, but the cuddly ones in the hand-made, painted and printed forms.

I remember seeing an entire shop dedicated to them too; all for a good cause and aimed towards preserving and protecting the birds. On a fun note, I would like to share with you some owl related experiences of my own!

1. How much is that Owl in the window?!

Toy/cushion owls are proving to be very popular presents all year round, but very festive themed owls have been spotted in the odd shop window in the run up to Christmas 😉

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2. Owl dresses too cute to resist!

I picked up these two dresses at a Market stall in the City centre; I simply could not resist them 😀

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3. Chic Owl Cushionette – Made by Moi

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Last but not least – A little cushion with an owl design I made earlier this month. The Owl and its background is constructed using felt fabric, attached to a beige cotton base fabric. The felt pieces are machine stitched (for the large pieces) and hand embroidered (for the smaller pieces). It was originally made as a gift for someone in particular but was quickly swiped by my hard-to-please brother, which I took as a compliment and had to let him keep 😉 ;).

Well I had a hoot writing this post (sorry), hope you enjoyed reading too.

Take care, until next time…..

Sabeena

More details about Bath City can be found by following the links below:

http://visitbath.co.uk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath,_Somerset

#2 A Family Affair…..

Hi and welcome back to any returning readers and hello if you’re new!

This is my second post and I’m going to write about the various ‘characters’ in my family that have influenced/incited my passion for all crafty things.

Now I hope you will understand what I mean when I say that craftiness must run in the blood; I’m quite sure there are genes for it! I’ve come across so many people influenced by their crafting mums or grans and aunts; watching them in childhood and growing to emulate them in adulthood. For me it was a similar story.

My lovely Mum…..

We are four sibs that grew up watching a very passionately crafty mum with a gift for creating anything and everything within a press of a foot pedal. She had a super powerful sewing machine and I remember we were strictly told not to touch or go near it! It was bought for her by her in-laws shortly after she had married, and it kept her satisfyingly busy for over 25 years after that.

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The machine was a beautiful Japanese Willcox Gibbs model (very old and unique) and required a certain amount of prowess to operate! (Let us say it is not for the faint hearted lol). She rolled off pretty dresses, gowns, bed-sheets, duvet covers and curtains as though it were no work at all!

She had also built-up quite an impressive knitting collection; Needles in every size and wool in every colour. Quite a magnificent collection. Again, jumpers, cardigans of all shapes (and fashions), blankets, tank-tops and all-things baby related just seemed to roll off her needles! Crochet? yes, same again.

In addition to this, she seemed to enjoy decorating and embellishing her sewn/knitted products. I’m talking buttons, gems, laces, ribbons, trims, borders, sequins, the list goes on!!

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Sadly, my mother passed away (rather untimely) about 20 months ago. And I found myself a sort of successor to her valuable treasures. At this point I must tell you I’d never attempted anything more than replacing a lost button and never seriously learnt anything off mum, so I was a little bit hopeless.

Four months pregnant with my first (and therefore overcome with hormones and emotions), I decided justice had to be done with all these remarkable things. I simply had to learn to Sew, to Knit, to Crochet…… A daunting task for a ‘day-dreamer’ such as me. I mean, where to start???

My grandmother…

A light at the end of the tunnel came in the form of my grand-mother; if ever there was an expert of all things crafty in the family it was her. She simply lived to Cook and Knit! And actually if she’s not doing one, she’s doing the other.

Granny’s stories of how mum started out and the projects she was involved in have kept me incredibly motivated. Since the birth of my daughter (now 15months old), my gran has provided a wealth of ideas, inspirations and motivation for all my tiny attempts. I think she was also the first to shed a tear when I first operated mums (smaller) sewing machine lol.

My Aunties…

I have three that have particularly inspired me with their crafty skill.

At the beginning a young Aunty S (who wishes to remain anonymous) showed me basic sewing techniques and embellishment ideas. She taught me basic stitches and pretty baby dress ideas!

Aunty Bobby, who was very close in age to my own mother, is the ultimate crochet queen and my ocean of crochet knowledge. Any pattern, anytime! She was actually bursting with joy when I told her I wanted to learn, and recounted stories of friendly competitions she and mum had to finish similar projects. She told me of fabulous magazines that they both would spend hours pouring over (these are now available online apparently).

Aunty N, was like my finishing touches fairy godmother; when I got a little stuck, she would be there to save my sewing projects from being left unfinished!

And not forgetting the Mum-in-law….

A special mention of my mum-in-law. She lives in Lahore and I met her for the first time in Feb 2013, when I was at my eager-most to learn to sew. She taught me some key pieces to make, that I now cannot live without! It was when I saw her ‘stash’ of remnant fabrics that I became the most inspired and determined. (I secretly took a snap). I have to say my own stash is now equally as impressive 😉 😉

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The hubby….

Last, but not least, being married to a proficient photographer also has its advantages. I hope to share things from hubby in a separate post.

So I’ve now introduced all the key players in my personal craftosphere; you will no doubt see/read much more about them in other posts as they are all an integral part of my crafty life as well as real life.

I would LOVE to hear what/whom has inspired you and how things came about. I hope you will share your experiences. For now, thanks for reading, until the next Post, take care xxx

Sabeena

#1 BlanketsnBabies

Firstly if you are reading this post I want to say thank you! It’s pretty big for me to be here in the first instance, but now that I am, I’m sure it will take no time to settle in and get comfy…
So I’ve started this blog because I think my thoughts were getting a little too ‘loud’ for my personal notebook; I found myself constantly wishing to share/show/tell of new and interesting finds I was making in my own craftosphere. I suppose this blog will allow to me unleash (at least some) of those experiences and discoveries in a hopefully productive environment. This is a completely give and take blog for more beginners of craft, with a chance to ask questions and find answers that will make things more interesting along the way. Anyway, without going into too much more detail about how or why I’m here I’d like to explain why I have named this blog ‘BlanketsnBabies’…well…it was the first thing that stuck out when I thought of summarising my crafty lifestyle. I have a toddler of 15months and when I do manage to finally get her to nap, I make a grab for my crochet or sewing project like a person possessed. The greatest joy for me has been becoming mummy to this little cheeky angel of mine and I find crafting helps me to express, create, invent, weave and produce a beautiful world around me and my family to grow in. More about me much, much, later! Lets start talking crafts!!!

The ones I’m mainly interested in are (in no particular order of preference):
Sewing
Applique
Quilting
Scrapbooking
Photography

Crocheting
Knitting and

Reading Craft books! 😉 😉

The crafts I hope to learn a bit more about are:
Embroidery
Decoupage

Woodwork

And possibly others along the way!

I’d like to stress that I’m still very much a learner/beginner in all of these mentioned in the former list (about a year old) and therefore the pitch of my posts will be along the beginner/newbie level of things. Nevertheless I hope it will be informative too so please do leave feedback if you do find anything is of interest to you. Thanks again for reading and I hope to leave you another post very soon x