Galvanised pots and bits and bobs

I’ve been a fan of the interiors shop at Creake Abbey in Norfolk for a while now, and many Norfolk visits are punctuated with trips there for some interior, and garden inspiration. But what’s peculiar is that I can’t find a previous visit here on my blog; it could be that I’m not looking properly, because it’s attached to something else, or it could be that I have, up until now, just kept their wonders to myself. Who knows.

If it’s the latter though, then today I’m about to spoil that. Home by Annie Lambert is my must-visit shop on each visit, once I’ve stopped off at the deli and the cafe that is. It’s the sort of place that has things that if they weren’t here together I’d most likely wander straight past them - Joyful Living is another place like that, and I’ve managed a stop there on this trip too, so look out for photos from there soon.

My attention - and imagination - is always captured right outside the shop with these galvanised pots of almost every shape and size. Frequently the dogs also look pitiful at me and encourage me to take them home, but so far I’ve resisted (although I’m sure my resolve won’t last forever). The sensible me wonders how on earth we’d get them home, the devious me wonders if they’d be ok on top or underneath MOH’s bike, or even instead of his bike, but then I sense him realising that’s what I could be plotting and he looks worried…

He doesn’t have to worry, quite just yet though. These are a one-day-right-property kind of purchase, and if we were to take a dog home now, I’m not sure what the foxes, or next door’s cat would make of it at all.

Galvanised pots of all shapes and sizes at Creake Abbey
So many pots to choose from at Home by Annie Lambert

I told you there were all shapes and sizes, and now you can see why getting them home could be such a problem. And that’s even without getting to the dogs…

MILK CHURNS TOO
GROW OLD ALONG WITH ME THE BEST IS YET TO BE

GROW OLD ALONG WITH ME THE BEST IS YET TO BE

Actually looking at the dogs again, I fear the foxes would have them as playthings, and that can’t happen. The quote on the sundial’s pretty good too isn’t it? We haven’t even got inside the shop yet, and I can sense MOH twitching. I wonder if it’s the how-will-we-get-them-home plan, but then realise it’s more likely because I’ve commandeered his phone after leaving home unintentionally without mine. He’s realised though that there’s no point me giving the phone back until we’re out of the shop, and he’s fine with that, I think he just wants to know if he’s expected to receive it in between shots or not!

THREE GREEN BOTTLES…

THREE GREEN BOTTLES…

FINALLY INSIDE THE SHOP

Finally we’re inside the shop and my attention is immediately drawn to the globe, I’m not sure why as we already have one. The unit to its left with the jug and candles to match the paintwork are my eyes next stop. My magpie self doesn’t quite know where to flit to next.

enamel jugs and pistachio coloured candles

And then I spy the crockery. Piles of gilt edged plates and saucers. Flowers and pretty patterns, but below them fish. Clearly worn and clearly used, and for me that’s what makes them great. MOH is a new and pristine kind of person when it comes to homewares, but over the years he’s getting to know my style and gradually we’re blending our styles to create our own.

stacks of crockery, edged with gold
crockery decorated with fish

There’s shelves and shelves of inspiration in the shop, and it’s here that I spied the Lettres a Picots, which I posted earlier in the week. I didn’t go back and get them, and I still kind of wish I did even though I’ve no use for them. If the feeling remains strong then I know I can phone to find out if they’re still there, and if they’re not then it wasn’t meant to be.

Shelves of inspiration at Home by Jane lambert
pictures piled up on a chair

It’s the kind of shop that the more you look, the more you realise there is to see. Which I know sounds daft but I could always spend much longer here than I do, I think MOH knows that and that’s why his role is chief-chivvyier-along. Which to be fair, in places like this, is just as well.

I mean, this is just asking to be looked through isn’t it?

bits and bobs just asking to be sorted through

Yes, another visit is needed. One which coincides with a bike ride for MOH if I’m lucky…

Life at 139a is 6 years old...

Well, I’m not quite sure how that happened and I’d like to say it was well and truly celebrated - well it was with pink champers and a couple of nights away, but that might have been more to do with Valentine’s Day in reality.

But when I realised I’d reached another milestone with my blog I didn’t want to let the event go completely unnoticed here, and so I’ve raided Unsplash for a suitably stylish six photo, which I’m sharing along with six facts blog-gy facts.

Photo by  Clem Onojeghuo  on  Unsplash
  1. I still enjoy writing my blog, six years on. I’m not sure I ever thought about it long-term, but over the years it’s evolved and grown with me and I’ve grown with it. More than ever I relaxed about the various ranking and stats, and more about what I’m writing about and who’s reading and interacting with my blog. I’m much more likely to use my stats to see what’s working and what’s being read, rather than to compare myself to other blogs.

  2. I’m happy with my ‘brand’ too. There’s been a few tweaks to the layout, but since I moved to Squarespace, the look and feel have been pretty much constant. I’ve no desire to change it (and quite frankly, probably not the time to either), so that’s just as well. I’m more certain than ever that Life at 139a will live on whenever the time comes to move house because…

  3. Blogging is now ingrained in what I do. So unintentionally leaving home without my phone for a day out on Saturday was quite strange, mildly liberating and quite frustrating all at the same time, especially as there were pictures I wanted to take (cue commandeering MOH’s phone).

  4. I’ve more plans for this space than I’m sure I’ll be able to put into practice, but the same could be said of my home-life, work-life, holiday-planning-self, craft to do list and almost everything I’m involved with. I guess that means I like things to be busy and am open to change, but don’t always have the time, and perhaps confidence, to make them all happen. But at least some of them make it through.

  5. I’m a night owl who often runs out of ‘night owl hours’ so it seems I can be sensible at times too, as I know I have to get up for work in the morning. So while I could (and do) spend time on my blog each evening and into the small hours, there’s never enough time, as there has to be sleep.

  6. I value each and every comment and interaction with my blog, it might take me a while to reply (see number 4 above) but I will. I’m working out how I can catch up, stay on top and even stay ahead of myself at times too so I don’t always feel like I’m chasing my tail, though I think that’s a symptom of modern day living.

So happy sixth blog birthday to me, here’s to many, many more.

'Life Circles' at Norfolk Makers Festival

You might have seen some of these mandalas on my Facebook yesterday, there were a chance discovery at the end of a day wandering around Norwich, where we randomly stopped in The Forum, an interesting looking building close to our hotel. And then discovered the Norfolk Makers Festival, which was taking place in the large open space inside the building, and there was all sorts.

MOH quite quickly spotted the whittling class, but couldn’t be tempted to whittle away. I spotted the Homage to the Granny Square - more on that another day - and if he’d have whittled I would have sat down and crocheted a granny square contribution. There were knitted figurines, knitted villages, calligraphy, still life painting and much more, including this exhibition of Life Circles, or mandalas.

Colourful mandalas at the Forum in Norwich

I didn’t think I was much into mandalas. I see them regularly in crochet Facebook groups but hadn’t really seen the point of them, or found anywhere that I’d put them. But seeing these, I’m beginning to change my mind, and that’s mostly because of the shadows, which I think are even more magical than the mandalas themselves…

mandalas as part of the Norfolk Makers Festival

It’s been said that mandalas have been used to aid meditation by many cultures, I’m not sure if it’s the patterns, being able to express oneself, of the process of crafting which as we know is good for our mental wellbeing. In fact I’m hosting a craft session with a colleague at work on the upcoming University Mental Health day, which of course I still have to prep for!

the shadows on the Forum's walls in Norwich were spectacular
More mandalas, more shadows

These mandalas originated by Kally Davidson, a freeform crochet artist, who has been encouraging people in her community to make their own mandalas, which started using a crochet pattern passed down from her great grandma.

matching the mandala to the shadows at the Norfolk Makers Festival

Kally says that “this collection of mandalas is like a cross section of my community, influencing and inspiring action in each other like the radiating circular ripples caused by water droplets” and she’s thankful for this as it feels as if the community are “always part of the rings that make me.”

mandalas of all colours and all patterns

And for me, what makes them work isn’t necessarily the colour or even the shapes, but the impact that the group has when they’re together like this, and how that’s magnified by the shadows. Which when you compare that to Kally’s quote, does kind of feel quite deep…

I think I’m converted, what do you think of them?