Wednesday, 30 May 2018

WOYWW 469

My desk this week, taken on Tuesday evening because today is my birthday and my hubby is taking me out. (65 today… officially an OAP for heaven’s sakes!) I am writing this in the small hours of Wednesday morning.

WOYWW 469 30-5-18

We were out yesterday too, and I took the album I made about Mum (bottom right) because I wanted to show it to someone. This was a rush job, and the only thing I didn’t have time to complete was a box for each of the two copies – Mum’s friend says she is keeping hers in a biscuit tin for now! I thought I’d make a start on it so that at least I’d have something to protect the album when I was carrying it about yesterday. It is made of pieces of mounting board stuck together with masking tape. I will have to disassemble it again in order to cover it but for now it has served its purpose.

Between the box and the album you can see progress on another heart ornament like the one I made for my hubby’s anniversary card. A friend asked me to make it for her to give to a family member who is getting married – funnily enough the couple’s initials are the same as ours, so I didn’t even have to alter the design!

At the bottom left are some paper table napkins from where we went out today, with a beautiful peacock feather design on them. I just had to rescue them and do something with them – not sure what yet!

UFOs

Also on the creative front this week, I have decided to tackle some of my UnFinished Objects! Remember the socks I knitted for the homeless last autumn? I completed one pair, and only managed 1 1/2 socks of the second pair before my hubby broke his leg and my life went pear-shaped from then on. I have now turned the heel of the second sock, and once they are finished, I’ll ask the person at church who initiated the sock project if he could make sure they go to a good home – even if 6 months late! If I can get this finished, then I can put my boxes of knitting yarns away again. They are cluttering up the far side of my studio and starting to drive me nuts.

01 Progress on Multi-Coloured Socks 30-5-18

They look a bit knobbly but that will all come right once they are blocked.

Garden

A couple of days ago one of our neighbours gave me a present that he’d made to cheer me up after being ill. It was two things to put in the garden – a beautiful little plaque, and some scallop shells strung together which he said would go on the gable of our summer house. He fished these shells out of the Exe estuary where the fishermen had dumped them after scraping the flesh from them. He drilled holes in the tops and tied them together with string.

Here’s the summer house after my hubby put them up. They make nice bunting, don’t they.

Summer House Decorations 28-5-18

The string was a little bit too long, so my hubby cut off the excess and hung it over a branch of the apple tree so that the shells were touching each other – they make a lovely sound when the breeze moves them.

Summer House Decorations - Shells in Tree 28-5-18

The contraption around the tree is a piece of stiff wire netting edged with pipe insulation (to prevent injury to my hubby while he is gardening). This is part of the kitty defences that he’s devised, to stop them getting out of the garden. If they can climb the apple tree, they would be able to get onto the roof of the garage or the summer house, and thence over the fence and onto the road.

Here is a close-up of the slate plaque.

Summer House Decorations - Slate Plaque 28-5-18

He told me he’d cut a roof slate into two halves, and chipped away at the edges to give that lovely effect. He painted the design through a stencil with acrylic paint, and sealed it with an acrylic seal to make it weather-proof. He is apparently now selling them on Ebay and they are going like hot cakes!

What a lovely gift!

By the way, you can see more about the narrow-boat painting I did on the flower boxes hanging on the summer house here, if you are interested.

Kitties

This week we started letting them out into the garden, as they are now officially grown up (a year old). At first they were very wary and tentative, but soon started to grow in confidence. The only problem is, we have an awful job persuading Lily to come in again – we’ve never had such a disobedient kitty – she will only do what you want if it happens also to be her own idea! I suppose all kitties are like this to a certain extent but she has it to an extreme degree! You can see videos of their coming out here and here.

Another rite of passage is the cessation of a midday meal now they are no longer growing so much. At lunch time they sit by their empty bowls and look up accusingly at me as if to say, “Where are our din-dins?” I tell them kitty din-dins are for babies and they are now all grown up and don’t need them! They’ll get used to it. I feel so sad, no longer buying kitten food and deleting it from my Tesco favourites!

Having a nice rest with my hubby. Sleepy Rubes.

02 Asleep on Daddy 21-5-18

Finally, two fun birthday cards! For those not in the know, the “Don’t tell him, Pike” is a quote from the vintage TV comedy “Dad’s Army.”

Don't Tell Him, Pike

On the back it said “Am I my brother’s kipper?” Lol!

Wireless Technology

That’s all for now, folks. It’s been a busy week! Hope you’ve all enjoyed the WOYWW anniversary ATC swap, and I look forward to seeing everyone’s efforts.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Lily and Ruby Out in the Garden Again

This afternoon we let the kitties out into the garden again. It was nice and sunny and warm. Again, we did it late afternoon so that they would be hungry and more likely to come in, but they enjoyed it so much that we had a really hard time getting them to come in, especially Lily, who is dreadful – she will ever only do what she wants, and not what anyone else wants (unless what you want happens to be what she wants). Not even Dreamies were enough to bribe them to come in! We got Ruby in eventually, and shut her the other side of the kitchen door and eventually my hubby managed to grab Lily. I always knew we’d have trouble with that one…

Anyway, here’s the video I made from the footage I shot of them today. You can see that they are already a lot more confident than they were yesterday. Today they went on the grass for the first time, and explored the top part of the garden.

They really started to enjoy the experience of being outside today.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Lily and Ruby’s Coming Out Party

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LILY AND RUBY!

On my New Recliner Chair 14-5-18

24th May was Lily and Ruby’s first birthday, as well as our 32nd wedding anniversary. So much to celebrate! I can’t imagine where the past year has gone. We got our two silver tabby cross kittens last summer, aged 9 weeks, and have watched them grow up through their adorable kitten stage (soooo much fun, and why does it have to be over so quickly?) to become big healthy kitties. They are both quite heavy and Ruby in particular is now quite solid!

One year old makes them officially no longer kittens, but grown up cats. This means no more kitten food. And no more lunch. For the past couple of days, come lunch time, they have both looked very pointedly at their empty bowls and haven’t been too impressed with the absence of Kitty Din-Dins!! Over the past couple of weeks they haven’t actually been as interested in lunch as previously, and haven’t always eaten it all immediately, which proves they don’t really need it, as their rapid growth period has now come to an end. I told them today that if we went on giving them lunch, they’d get too fat!

For their birthday we gave them a packet of Dreamies. These little treats are crack cocaine for kitties. I kid you not. One taste, and they are addicted! We gave them one each and they went absolutely wild for them! The advert says “Cats will do anything for Dreamies” and they are right!

Dreamies

Today to celebrate their coming of age, we let them out for the first time. As expected, they were both very wary and timid, but in no time at all, we are sure they will be scampering in and out at will, and enjoying being in the sunshine. They needed a lot of encouragement from us as they tentatively put first one paw, and then the rest, over the threshold.

The next thing we will need to do is teach them how to use the cat flap, and now they have come of age, they will need the key to the door, in the form of a magnet around their necks to operate the lock on the cat flap. We haven’t got as far as putting collars on them yet, and I anticipate that that will be an adventure in itself!

Here is the video I made of their Coming Out.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Wood Effect Anniversary Card

Today is our 32nd wedding anniversary. Where did the years go?

Having been so ill recently, I only managed to give my hubby a bought card for his birthday, and that was bought for me by a friend! I thought I’d better push the boat out a bit and make an effort and make a nice card for him for our anniversary.

At the County Show last Friday I was fascinated by a little wooden tag attached to the most expensive chopping board (if it hadn’t been for the price I’d have bought it because I fell in love with it!) – the little tag was made of laser cut veneer, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I could make something similar in card, and this would be the basis for my hubby’s card.

35a Burr Oak Cheese Board and Tag

I began in Inkscape, working on my Apple Mac which is connected to the Cougar cutting machine (called Sheba). I found a free svg file online of nesting hearts, and I cut a dozen heart-shaped frames using two of the nesting sizes – unfortunately I forgot to photograph these till it was too late, but this is the paper left after they had been cut out. I ended up with a dozen smaller hearts (the bits that fell out of the frames) and most of these will go in my stash for other projects. In this photo you can also see the A4 piece with a window cut out for the front of the card.

01 Cutting the Pieces

I seem to end up using American Cardstock card for most of my cutting projects because it cuts like a dream. However, it’s not quite robust enough for a card base with lots of embellishments so this would have to be reinforced later on.

Again, I kept forgetting to photograph my progress. For the front and back of the tag I cut two hearts the same size as the outside of the frame, and these pieces also had our initials cut in them, as well as some little geometric flower petals like on the tag at the show. Propped up against the paint pot, you can see the completed frame, and the thickness I was able to achieve by laminating several layers of card together. When the edges were painted they looked like a bit of plywood! See below for the painting technique to replicate woodgrain.

02 Making the Heart Ornament

The initials on the right were the pieces that fell out when I cut them from the hearts, and would be used to embellish the inside of the card.

I had intended to leave the initials in the hearts hollow as well as the petals, but you could see through and the one on the reverse was confusing, so to overcome this problem I stuck a small square of gold card on the back of each piece, so that the initials were gold, and opaque.

03 The Heart Ornament Ready to Assemble

I glued the frame pieces stacked together to give a laminated and more rigid frame for the embellishment. In this picture you can see the linen carpet thread I used to suspend the embellishment, and the two heart pieces (front and back) ready to be attached to the frame.

04 Adding the String to the Heart Ornament

Here is the first piece attached to the frame, with it’s little square of gold card glued on, to make the initial solid, and the hanging thread.

05 Adding the Gold Card to the Back of the Heart Ornament

Here is the finished tag, with the side with my hubby’s initial on the left, and mine on the right.

07a Heart Ornament Complete - Both Sides

I am so pleased with this little heart embellishment – it reminds me of some olive wood Christmas tree decorations I’ve got. I think one could take this idea further and make them in different shapes. They have a Scandinavian or Eastern European feel to them. I’ve wanted to make something like this for ages and thought of using mounting board but this is too thick to cut with Sheba, and you couldn’t cut them by hand. The laminated frame idea works well, or one could just laminate solid shapes. You could still have a design pierced through. They might make nice little Christmas gifts, or perhaps wedding favours.

Moving on to the card base, I painted the whole of the front with beige fluid acrylic, and then with Desert Sands Infusions, taking care to paint broad vertical strips to represent the wood grain, as I did on the heart pieces.

08 Painting the Card Front

Turning to the inside, I created another type of woodgrain background, this time with Distress Stains, to make a lighter background as a contrast. Normally I don’t much like the unevenness you get with these (the dauber bottle isn’t my favourite form of delivery) but for woodgrain the effect is ideal. I used a combination of Antique Linen and Old Paper. This is the technique I used for one of the pages in my Floral Mini Album.

09 Working on the Inside

Here is the main card base, and the piece I cut and coloured with Distress Stains to be stuck on the back of the card front. The hanging string would be sandwiched between these two layers. You can also see the two thin circles I cut from gold card, to frame the hole, both front and back, to give a nice finish to the card.

10 The Gold Frames

Here are all the materials I used to create the embellishments inside the card. I used a couple of the hearts cut from the middles of the frame pieces, and coloured them to look like wood, as for the front of the card, but this time, to add a bit of bling, I also added a light touch of Treasure Gold (gilding wax). For the sentiments I simply used some peel-offs that I’ve had in my stash for years. They were very small, but I like the effect of the gold on the woodgrain, and I didn’t want anything competing with the rest of the design.

11 Materials for the Inside Embellishments

The edges of the hearts were distressed, and they were glued together and stuck down, and some shading added. The initials were what was cut out of the front and back of the embellishment. I daubed them with Antique Linen and Old Paper Distress stains, and they also had a light dusting of Treasure Gold.

I cut a piece of plain white card and stuck it to the back of the card base for extra rigidity. Even though it was just the back, I distressed the edges with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink to take away the starkness of the white card.

12 Stamping the Back

Here is the finished card lying flat.

13 Finished Card Front

Here it is standing, so that you can see how the embellishment turns and moves as it hangs freely in the aperture of the card.

14 Finished Card Standing

15 Finished Card Standing 2

The completed inside of the card. You can see the embellishment through the aperture of the card.

16 Finished Card Inside

I think this faux wood effect has come out very well. When I  have used Infusions in this way before (see this post for an example), I used Desert Sands Infusions straight onto white card, and it came out very orange – not a problem if you want it that way, but I wanted a more subtle approach here, so I used the Infusions on a painted substrate. You could make faux woodgrain in this way with any colour you wanted really.

Another reason I like this effect is that it is very suitable for a card for a man. It is strong and more sombre but it also has a natural effect. I used a similar theme on my hubby’s anniversary card in 2016, but this time with a woodgrain effect created with an embossing folder.

09 Completed Card

I seem to be in a bit of a brown phase again at the moment, after the bright colours of the Floral Mini-Album! I can’t wait to try replicating the effect of the absolutely fabulous wooden moths I saw at the County Show…

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

WOYWW 468

Yaaayyy! I’m back!

Sorry to be absent for so long but those who follow my blog will know that I have recently been seriously ill. However, I am now well on the road to recovery, and celebrating lots of milestones along the way – finishing my antibiotics, getting my own breakfast, starting to prepare simple meals, and generally getting back into the swing of things again. Thank you to everyone who sent good wishes for my recovery.

A major milestone was yesterday – first session back in the studio! It was driven as much by necessity as desire, because tomorrow is our 32nd wedding anniversary, and having failed my hubby miserably by resorting to a bought birthday card for him recently (shock horror) and what’s more, one that was bought for me by a kind friend, I really felt I must make the effort to make him a decent card for this occasion.

Here is my desk today.

WOYWW 468 23-5-18

A little explanation is necessary. Last Friday (another milestone) I made it to the County Show, which you can read about here. This was something I’d really been aiming for and it helped my recovery to have a deadline to work towards – I was darned if I was going to miss the best day out of the year because I was poorly again. Anyway, amongst the exhibits was a stand with beautiful hardwood kitchen boards (I was sorely tempted to buy one but resisted because I didn’t really need one, and not at that price) and attached to the most expensive and beautiful one was a little die-cut wooden tag that really took my fancy.

35a Burr Oak Cheese Board and Tag

I immediately thought that I could replicate something similar with card.

07a Heart Ornament Complete - Both Sides

I cut the pieces with my Cougar electronic cutting machine and stuck a small square of gold card behind each initial. To make the thickness of the ornament, I cut about a dozen heart-shaped frame pieces and laminated them, and threaded a string through the top before sticking the front and back pieces on, completing the piece. I will be doing a blog post about this project once it’s complete.

On my main desk photo above, you can see various cut pieces of card, and the card base being made. To create the woodgrain effect, I painted the pieces with beige fluid acrylic, and once this was dry, painted the surface with Desert Sands Infusions, using a flat brush and broad vertical strokes.

The heart ornament will be suspended in the middle of the circular aperture, and will hang and turn freely when the card is standing up. I’ve got quite a bit more work to do today to complete it – it needs quite a bit of reinforcing, and I want to add a bit of gold embellishment to the front of the card as well. Watch this space.

I shall soon resume uploading the blog posts about the process of making the mini-album about my mum. Next projects in the pipeline are to make two identical boxes to keep the two copies of the album in – Mum’s friend eagerly awaits hers as her copy of the album currently resides in a biscuit tin! – and to complete the long-overdue Infusions Mini-Album which has had to take a back seat for far too long.

As well as it being our anniversary, tomorrow is also our kitties’ first birthday!

On my New Recliner Chair 14-5-18

I cannot believe that they are now officially grown up, and I had a little pang when I bought their first pack of adult cat food this week, marking the end of their kittenhood. I feel like a mother sending her child off to school for the first time… A real sense of bereavement as they were such adorable babies and the kitten stage lasts for far too short a time. I am glad I’ve got all the videos of them, though. They are both so big now, and very heavy – I find it quite difficult to pick them up – that is, if naughty teenage Ruby will even let me near her which isn’t often these days – she’s turning into a real independent little Miss. We will soon be letting them outside for the first time, something which always makes me anxious with new kitties. Hopefully my hubby’s kitty defences around the garden will be 100% effective – 99% won’t do because kitties are designed to find that 1%, you can bet on that.

It is so good to be back, and just in time to celebrate WOYWW’s 9th anniversary. Sorry not to be taking part in the ATC swap, but I wish you all joy in your giving and receiving of each other’s miniature works of art.

Happy WOYWW!

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Devon County Show 2018

On Friday, I was delighted to feel well enough to go to the Devon County Show with my hubby and this year we took a neighbour as well. He had got tickets some time ago and when I was so ill, it was something to aim for and a real incentive to get better as quickly as possible! It was a long day but I held up remarkably well, sitting on my buggy all day. The weather was glorious and we had a really great time – for me it’s one of the best days out of the year, with so much to see and do, and being part of a large crowd of people all out to have a good time, producing a really happy atmosphere.

I took simply loads of photos as usual, and can’t show them all but here is quite a large selection.

A general view as we arrived.

01 General View

Judging the alpacas. They are pretty creatures with such sweet faces, and incredibly soft fleeces.

02 Judging the Alpacas

Inside the alpaca tent, showing some of the products on sale, made from their fleece.

06 Alpaca Products

Judging the cattle.

07 Judging the Cattle

We are always amused by the seriousness of it all, with the farmers in their white coats, and how clean, groomed and polished the beasts are for this annual special day out! Some of the comments made by the judges made us laugh too, all done with the rich Devon accent, “This is Daisy… had her second calf… a fine, firm little udder… there’s a good dairyness about her…” – not a word we’d come across before!

Moving on to the angora goats, inside the tent we found Jan Tillett with her stand. She usually makes an appearance, and at the craft shows too. She is a textile artist and I always enjoy her work.

09 Jan Tillett

Here are some of the angora goats, which produce mohair.

13 Angora Goats

One of the finest local herds is the Corrymoor herd, which usually carries off all the prizes, but I was told that this year they haven’t done so well. This is because their competitors have recently bought in new blood from South Africa and have been producing larger animals. The number of herds in the UK is small, and every now and then it is good to introduce new blood to prevent inbreeding, but Corrymoor have to take special precautions to avoid compromising their organic status. They said that not winning for two or three years was a small sacrifice to make in order to maintain their integrity. They always have a stand selling their socks, and I have frequently added to my collection over the years – they are simply the best socks I’ve ever worn and I never wear anything else now. They are soft but incredibly hardwearing (I bought my first pair years ago and have worn and washed them countless times and they have not worn out), warm in winter and cool in summer, and they come in such a huge variety of colours and I have pairs to match all my outfits!

As usual, we visited the blacksmiths’ tent where we again saw some amazing pieces of wrought ironwork that they had made, including this elegant chair.

16 Wrought Iron Chair

This beautiful mirror surround won first prize and reserve champion.

22 Wrought Iron Mirror

For the first time in my experience, there was an example of the blade maker’s art on display. I am very interested in this, and was particularly thrilled to see that it was a Damascus blade. On the photo on the right, you can see if you look carefully, the patterns made by the folding and refolding of the heated billet (a stack of different steels which are forge-welded together) – several hundred folds are made. Some blades end up with an intricate pattern which is quite beautiful, and the technique makes the blade extremely strong but flexible, and able to maintain a keen edge.

19a Damascus Blade Pics

Going into the large craft and flower tent, we saw a similar display to last year’s, with the knitted poppies everyone had made to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. They were selling quite a few of these poppies this year, in aid of the Haig Fund, this year marking the centenary of the end of WWI.

28 Wartime Memorial

Incorporated in the display was a display celebrating the work of the Women’s Land Army during WWII. I was very interested in this because my mum was a Land Girl and she often spoke about it and how she loved her time in the Land Army, serving her country in time of war by doing farm work in the absence of the men who had gone off to fight.

29 Land Army Display

In the craft tent there was a new display for this year, of fabulous hardwood kitchen boards. I was sorely tempted to buy one… The loaf of bread at the front was made of plastic!!

33 Hardwood Kitchen Boards

This was our favourite board, made of English burr oak, and the texture of the edges, and the grain were stunning. The cracks had been filled with copper and resin, and the whole surface sanded smooth. If it had not cost £350 I would have bought it!

34 Burr Oak Cheese Board

I loved the little laser-cut wooden tag attached to it as well – here’s a detail shot.

35 Burr Oak Cheese Board Tag Detail

It was made of two identically-cut thin slices of wood with a thicker border piece sandwiched between, so that you could see through the laser-cut holes. I thought it might be possible to make something similar in card. It was so attractive, and would make a very pretty hanging decoration.

Having looked at the website before coming, I knew that my favourite watercolour artist would be there – Karen Thomas. I first met her at an art exhibition where a friend had some paintings, and we had a nice chat then, so I was keen to look her up again. I’d seen her at other events in between as well.

36 Karen Thomas Watercolours

I love her bright vibrant colours, and her skilful use of white space, and the spattering technique she so often employs. She has written a beautiful book, and I really wanted to buy this for my hubby as an extra birthday present to thank him for all he’s done for me in recent months, and for all the anxiety he suffered on my behalf recently. The trouble was, he wouldn’t go away! I desperately wanted to get rid of him so I could buy the book without him seeing, and afterwards he said he thought I was staying too long and wanted me to leave! Eventually he wandered off and I conducted a super-quick transaction which also included Karen signing the book for him, all in the nick of time before he reappeared! My heart was thumping! Karen and I exchanged amused glances as we left.

Another new addition this year was the Moth Man. His name is Andre Daniel, and his flier states, “Andre Daniel is the creator of the unique Devon Moths. Each moth is individually crafted from English hard woods and occasionally other native timbers, polished to enhance the beauty and variation of the grain.” Each moth is unique. The wings of each, being sliced from the same piece, are mirror images of one another.

38 Moths 1

42 Moth Collection

I thought these were absolutely exquisite. Again, I wondered whether it would be possible to create something similar with hand-embossed card… Ideas racing through my head!

The central display in the tent was again provided by Lifton Farm Shop. Again they carried off all the prizes, including Best Exhibit in Show. Last year’s was on the theme of Shaun the Sheep and was the best ever (see my blog post here for photos) and this year the theme was Peter Rabbit and several other Beatrix Potter characters.

44 Peter Rabbit Display

The dry-stone wall was made entirely from potatoes!

45 Potato Wall

Here is the angry gardener, Mr. McGregor, having caught poor Peter Rabbit (Peter gets away in the book). I remember my mum reading us the story (and many others) when we were little.

49 Mr McGregor with Peter Rabbit

Mrs. Tiggywinkle, another character – she was a hedgehog, and her spines were represented here by asparagus spears! Here she is, doing the weekly wash. I love the use of gypsophila (one of my favourite flowers) to represent the soapsuds.

51 Mrs Tiggywinkle

Mrs. Tiggywinkle’s house.

53 Mrs Tiggywinkle's House

Another character – the Foxy Gentleman. He was NOT what he seemed. He inveigled poor innocent Jemima Puddleduck to his lair, ostensibly to share afternoon tea with her, but in fact his aim was to eat her. Fortunately she escaped this awful fate.

56 The Foxy Gentleman

Here is my hubby laying a protective hand on the head of Jemima, safely out of harm’s reach!

57 Jemima Puddleduck

At the further end of the tent were the flower arrangements. This is always a stunning display. I can’t arrange flowers to save my life, and am in awe of those who can.

This was my favourite one in the class “Country Garden.”

63 Country Garden 1

In the miniature class entitled “Lullaby,” I simply loved this delicate little arrangement with the single frond of fern gently curving over the top of a tiny cradle. There are some tiny rolls of music underneath. It won 2nd prize.

65 Lullaby 2nd Prize

Another in the same class, this time winning 1st prize. There are tiny little music notes cut from music paper, hanging from the branches of the little tree, and the little cradle is made from music paper too.

67 Lullaby 1st Prize

I loved this one in the class “Strings and Things.” Unfortunately the judges didn’t agree with my choice and they did not award it a prize!”"

68 Strings and Things

The display of arrangements in the theme “Wind Chimes.” Some very clever ones.

72 Wind Chimes Class Display

There were lots of displays of beautiful flowers, including this one of sweet peas, one of my favourite flowers.

77 Sweet Peas

A bit of fun – “Plants with Modified Jeans” lol lol!

78 Plants with Modified Jeans

My hubby rushed me out of the tent just in time to see two people on stilts, dressed in costumes made entirely from silk flowers! They were stunning. They moved so elegantly and the effect was dramatic.

79 Stilt People

You never know what you are going to see at the County Show. I nearly had a heart attack as I narrowly escaped being exterminated by a dalek! You can see the man behind, speaking through a special device to alter his voice. He was able to operate the radio controls to make the dalek move.

81 Dalek

Outside the Young Farmers’ tent was the usual display of altered objects done by the different Young Farmers’ groups. This year the theme was altered benches. My favourite was this really fun cow – she has a fluffy tail on the left, and just look at those wonderful pink udders. That judge would surely say, “Great dairyness there”!

84 Young Farmers' Altered Bench - Cow

Around the walls of the tent were the usual displays done in boxes by the Young Farmers. This year the theme was Magic and Mystery. Here are a few of my favourites, the first being Alice.

87 YFC Alice in Wonderland

Narnia!

88 Bow YFC Narnia 6th Prize

They had to incorporate various elements such as cooking, fabric work, use of foliage, etc.

Judging the sheep.

89 Judging the Sheep

Finally, we met the Exeter Morris Men and walked with them on their way to the Beer Tent, outside which they were going to do their display. Such lovely chaps and we so enjoyed this traditional display of an ancient English custom.

92 Morris Men 1

94 Morris Dancing

I took some video footage of the Morris Dancing, too.

The day was too quickly over, so filled with lovely things to see and do. A perfect day, and I’m so thankful I did not have to miss it.

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