Friday, January 20, 2017

Winter Wonderland

I'm afraid I've been very lacking, craft-wise.  I went over to the UK a few weeks ago and came back exhausted.  It was fun but wow, we went all over the place and visited people here, there and everywhere!

I wanted to go to East Dereham, my birth town, to put flowers on my relative's graves.  My granddad's, great grandparent's and great, great grandparents.  It's my way of saying goodbye (and getting a good word in teehee)

I also got to visit places that were special to my husband and I.

East Dereham, where I was born and bred,  has a wonderful history.

The sign over the road tells the story of St. Withburga,  or St. Wihtburh.

Wihtburh built a convent here and while she was having it built, she only had dry bread to feed the workmen. She prayed to the Virgin Mary and was told to send her maids to a local well each morning. There they found two wild does which were gentle enough to be milked; they provided nutritious drink for the workers.  (eewwww)

The local overseer decided to hunt down the does with dogs and prevent them from coming to be milked. He was punished for his cruelty when he was thrown from his horse and broke his neck. This story is commemorated in the large town sign.

St. Wihtburh has a holy well in the church grounds. You can just see the church behind the cottage in the next photo.

This pretty little cottage next to the church is Bishop Bonner's cottage.  It's tiddly but belonged to a very important man!

Edmund Bonner  was the Bishop of London.  He was actively involved in separating Henry the 8th from the Catholic church, became a protestant, and then reverted back to Catholicism.  As did many at a time when your faith determined whether or not you kept your head, were hung, drawn or quartered or simply burnt at the stake!

Bishop Bonner became notorious as "Bloody Bonner" for his role in the persecution of heretics (see, that is why people changed faith regularly) under the Catholic government of Mary I of England, but  ended his life as a prisoner under Queen Elizabeth.

Previously he was a tool of Cromwell, now under Mary, he was nothing if diligent in his tasks. This rhyme was made up, describing him.

"This cannibal in three years space three hundred martyrs slew
They were his food, he loved so blood, he sparèd none he knew."

He basically burnt protestants at the stake. And this was his home! 

The cottage, ironically was one of the very few buildings which survived the Great Fire of Dereham!

I used to walk past it everyday when I lived there.  You can go inside in the summer tourist season.

My husband and I first met at The Bull pub in Dereham. It felt rude not to go in and have a drink for old time's sake.

After a memory trip around Dereham, we went to Norwich where I got to meet up with my publisher and meet a wonderful fb friend, Jo.  Jo stitched me a gorgeous friendship sampler. 

It was a wonderful trip but I was exhausted when I got back.

However, just because there's been a shortage of craft doesn't mean there hasn't been any!

I haven't finished  the Winter Wonderland Sampler BUT I've done enough to check colours and shapes and positions etc.  I've stitched a little more than this but this was the last photo I took.

I'm happy enough with it to release it!

This will be my last design. I may do some freebies but no more work-wise.  The etsy shop will stay open for a while because people have started The Year of the Hare and the Witch sampler but as always, the funds go to my granddaughter.

If you want the third and final Holmsey's Winter Wonderland, you can find it here.

Look at what I found, trying to sneak into my luggage.

It's a Holmsey!  Complete with wardrobe!  It's meant to be a present for my granddaughter's first birthday but I've kind of fallen in love with him.  He has a beating heart which took some explaining when we went through airport security!

Right, that's me done!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


  1. What a lovely village you come from! Bishop Bonner's cottage is gorgeous and that pub looks warm and cosy. You both look so happy to be there again.
    Love Holmesy with his new outfit! I think you could keep him for a little while before he goes to your granddaughter.
    Love the Winter Wonderland. I will hop over to your etsy shop this weekend and make sure I've stocked up.
    I haven't forgotten I am sending you the Halloween SAL sampler either, just haven't made it to the post office yet.

  2. No wonder you are feeling did a lot of travelling on that visit. Love the rabbit!

  3. What a wonderful village Gaynor. Jo's Love Always Sampler is beautiful. Such a loving gift.

  4. The walk down Memory Lane can be so long and tiring, but the rewards at the end of it are very much worth it.
    A lovely picture of you and DH back where it all started.
    A precious gift from your FB friend.
    Holmsey with a beating heart... that's adorable.

  5. How wonderful for you to go back and visit together, something I'd like to do one of these days!
    Your sampler is looking better and better, so sweet.

  6. So glad you had a great trip Gaynor. Lovely photos.

    Loving the Holmsey sampler.

    What a wonderful gift from Jo.


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