There’s a Mouse in this House

Our second day in York started off a bit damp, so as soon as breakfast had been munched we set off on a little adventure.

In our room was a book about York; where to go and what to do and while perusing the pages the night before we’d seen an advert for the Mouseman. A quick look on google maps told us it was a 30 minute journey to the visitor center where you’re introduced to the life and work of Robert Thompson, the craftsman who became famous for carving a mouse onto all his makes.

After a bit of a random journey (think relying solely on a sat nav that appears to be taking you deep into Yorkshire farmland and away from civilization!) and we had arrived at our destination. The place we had found was Kilburn which is where Robert Thompson’s original workshop is situated.

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So where did the mouse come from? Thompson was carving a screen for a local church and one of his craftsmen commented he was ‘as poor as a church mouse’. This little creature was then carved into the screen and onto every one of Thompson’s creations ever since.

If you’re in Yorkshire and want to see some rare traditional skilled craft, go and visit the Mouseman in Kilburn.

 

Boo-tiful Fair

It’s been years since I carved a pumpkin for Halloween, but in the spirit of the season I took one along for my table at Bakewell Craft and Gift Fair.

He ended up being quite a jolly looking pumpkin – could have been the bottle of red we shared as I carved him. Buddy came to investigate when I’d finished and wasn’t at all impressed with the new visitor. He kept rolling him over so he couldn’t see his face (either this, or another after effect of the wine). Obviously not a Halloween fan, which is slightly ironic for a black cat.

He looked quite happy sat on the chair at the end of my table. Usually I only do one day at the fair, but I decided to try a whole weekend. Fellow stall holders around me were lovely, and there was even a hedgehog called Thomas on the other side to me. Very cute, although I lost a bit of my glee when asked if I would like to feed him some dried grubs….mmmm.

I had such a great day on Saturday and had so many compliments on my table. I can’t say for sure that my head hasn’t swollen a bit. One lady ummed and arrred over which decoration to buy, only to tell me she would buy one now, and some more on the way out. She made a quick trip round the room and purchased the rest of the decs before she left!

My new bird decorations I only finished on the morning of the fair were the best sellers of the weekend – and I think I need to get some more quick!

Sunday was a bit of a quieter day, but that gave me chance to have a nosey round the other stalls. As is always the case, I find alot of tables at craft fairs aren’t filled with things people have sewn, baked or painted themselves, but with things they have bought to sell on. It’s such a shame when there are so many talented people out there – but I won’t get started on that (I’ll never shut up!)

I did find something I wanted to bring home. Dollypeg Delights from Belper makes gorgeous rustic and country home gifts. All the products are lovingly hand sewn using beautiful fabric and many are filled with fabulous scents like lavender and festive spices. This little chap was just too cute to resist and came with a yummy recipe for gingerbread! Ooh, another baking session perhaps?