Saturday, 25 July 2015

Summer Holidays are Here

The kids have finally broken up from school for the summer which means I get some much needed rest, never thought when we had our first how busy you can get as they get older!!  I have been stitching inbetween my taxi duties but not as much as I needed to but here's some of what I've been working on...

December's Holly
Cottage Garden Samplings - My Garden Journal
Stitched on Snowy Skies by Sparklies

Game of Thrones - Night Watch
Stitched on Winter Skies by Sparklies
I've also been working on my TAST 2015 project (in a different post) but most of my stitching time is being taken up by DH's HAED, trying hard to finish page 16 before September.

We went off down to Kent earlier in the year to see DH's family, Lukie decided to be his dads mini-me during the week....

at the end of term Lukie took part in a concert for the school musicians, here he is playing a duet with his piano tutor Francis.

Peter 'Boo' was thrilled to receive his 100% attendance medal in his last year at junior school. He's off to secondary in baby is growing up :-(

Darcy decided that she wants to remain anonymous!!

We're off to Northumberland at some point so Lukie can visit Hogwarts (Alnwick Castle) so no doubt DH will be photographing some amazing scenery up there. Here's Bolsover Castle from last weekend when we took the kids out for the day

yes that is Lukie sat playing Lord of the Manor!!

TAST 2015 - Take A Stitch Tuesday

The Take a Stitch Tuesday (otherwise known as TAST) has started again (yay!) if you want to join in hop over to Sharon's site where you'll find all the details.

Week 1 was Fly Stitch and week 2 was Buttonhole Stitch. I've decided to do a bit of a band sampler with the stitches on some fabric from my stash so I can see how they work up and it'll be my version of a stitch dictionary.

Then I brought out one of my quilt blocks that I've made using some of my daughters old baby clothes, I'm eventually going to put these blocks together to make a memory quilt for our bed as it'll all be made of bits of the kids clothing.

After I'd stitched 2 of the button hole wheels I realised they looked like a dolls pram that my daughter had for her baby annabel, the frame is fly stitch and I appliqued a bit of her white fabric to make the hood.

Snowflake fly stitch as this dark fabric was from one of her winter outfits when she was 10mths old. Then I did buttonhole stitch along the edge of gingham fabric from one of her nursery dresses.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Kings and Queens - John

Following on from Richard the Lionheart is King John.  We have all seen John portrayed as the "bad guy" in numerous films/books about Robin Hood or King Richard's crusades.

John was born to Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, he was the youngest of 5 sons and Henry's favourite. There are differing opinions as to when John was born; Christmas 1166 or 1167 in Oxford. When John's brother Richard the Lionheart (now King of England) was imprisoned in Germany John tried to seize control of the crown. Richard reclaimed his throne in 1194 and John was banished. The two brothers did reconcile when Richard's successor, his nephew Arthur, was captured by Phillip II in 1196.  When Richard died in 1199 John became King.

Another war with France was triggered by John's second marriage to Isabella who was the Angoulame heiress.  Isabella had been betrothed to Hugh de Lusignan. A rebellion broke out, John was ordered to appear before Phillip II of France and when he did not it meant war between France and England once again.  By 1206 John had managed to lose Normandy, Maine, Anjou and some of Poitou, he was determined to win back these lands but war costs money. To raise this money his government became ruthless and taxes soared, John exploited his feudal rights even more harshly than before.

Obviously the Barons were not happy and negotiations between John and his Barons broke down. In May 1215 a civil war started which resulted in the rebels seizing London. On 19th June at Runnymede on the River Thames John signed the Magna Carta. This document is one of England's most famous and important pieces of paper, it limits royal power, ensures feudal rights and restated English law. It states that the monarch falls as much under the law as his/her people and that their rights as individuals are to be upheld even against the wishes of the monarch.

Unfortunately John claimed the document was signed under duress, Pope Innocent took his side and a bloody civil war carried on. During this time John laid waste to the Scottish border and the northern counties. At the barons request Prince Louis of France invaded and the civil war continued until Johns death in October 1216. His death at age 49 brought the succession of his son Henry III to the throne and peace returned.