I have been really busy the last week or so. Last Sunday I was the main photographer for Emma's best friend's wedding, with Fuzzy and Ken sharing secondary photographer responsibilities, and Ivy as back up videographer. I was so nervous about it, because I was going to be responsible for Felicia and Jeff's main wedding pictures. I was so worried that if I screwed things up they would have lousy pictures. My head was swimming for weeks before the day.
I don't think they would mind if I showed you a little of my work.
|I have been asked to make sure everybody knows that the Groomsman just bought this truck, and the bumper stickers are not his own! That's Emma peeking out from between the Best Man and the Groom, on the right.|
|Batman high tops for the bride!|
I have been anxious to get to this day of our trip to England. We visited York, where I sought out the miniature shop. But I'll get to that...
The trip to York was a 'park and ride' trip. We drove closer to York, and then parked and took a bus into York, because of the problems of parking there.
|Emma,Ivy, Ken's sister Marjorie, who treated us to the trip, me, and Marjorie's husband Cliff. We parked here to ride...|
|...this. We're in the back with Ken's sister Gloria, in white, on the right, and her husband beside her.Marjorie and Cliff in front of them. We do not know the guy in front who is picking his nose.|
York is a very old city. It was founded by the Romans in 71 AD. Now that's old. In America, if something is 100 years old we say, "Wow! That's old!" But York is really OLD.
|Constantine the Great was proclaimed Roman emperor in York in AD 306, in case you're having trouble reading the plinth.|
York is full of buildings like this half timbered Tudor era house. Notice how it sags in the middle!
|Ivy and Emma.|
|There are some fantastic figures carved on the outside of the Minster, which is the second largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe.|
The first church was built on this site in 627. The Minster, which is actually called the 'Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter in York', was built over 250 years, between 1220 and 1472. It was designed to be the greatest cathedral in the kingdom, and is still considered to be one of the finest Medieval buildings in Europe.
|What we didn't realize is that he was also photographing us.|
These days the upkeep of the Minster is subsidized by the fee charged to tour it. The last time I was there it was donation only. I guess that didn't bring in enough money. The crypts have wonderful statuary and carvings, but we didn't pay to see them.
Seems like the Minster is always under repair. The first time I saw it was less than a year after the July, 1984 fire that destroyed a large part of the roof, (and caused 2.25 million pounds worth of damage!), and it was still being repaired. You wouldn't think that a building that's mostly stone would be so susceptible to fire, but the roof is made with wooden timbers. When it burned in 1984 it was rebuilt with timbers, in the original design. They wanted to keep things as original as possible, but there was one concession: parts of the new structure would be coated with fire retardant plaster.
|Two ancient structures: The Minster, and me.|
|Stone masons were carving while we watched.|
From the Minster we looked around the streets of York. Ken caught me nipping into a toy shop. I was not allowed to take pictures though. I tried!
The little square had some performers working.
As we went through York, with all of it's chocolate shops, it occurred to me that the ideal gift for my chocolate loving best friend Lori would be some of the artisan chocolates sold in York. British chocolate is wonderful. Maybe not as sweet as American chocolate,but it makes up for it with a higher milk content and a wonderful creamy texture and flavour.When I found chocolate horse heads I knew this was the right gift for Lori, who also loves horses! And what did she think of them? "Actually, I prefer a Hershey's bar." Whaaaa?!
But the shop where I bought the horse heads had something else I also couldn't pass up...
Emma wanted to get high tea while she was in England, (That is, lunch and dessert. 'Cream tea' is just tea and desserts. 'Tea' is dinner,at least in the North.), so she and Ivy stopped at this tea room.
And so as not to waste everyone's time, while the girls were having high tea, I sought out a miniature shop I had read about, The Miniature Scene of York.
|It was a short walk from that square where the street performers were plying their trade.|
It's a small shop, but they have a lot of wonderful goodies. All that time I was being good and saving my money? It all went astray here!
The shop is owned by a very nice man, Graham Barlow, who was working at the shop that day, and his wife, Lynda. They moved a while back, and are now at this address:
|I promised Graham I'd email him when I got to the blog post he'd be in, so he could read it.|
As well as mass produced things, they also carry a selection of hand made items. Lynda makes some of the hand made items, and Graham makes some others. They also carry items made by other artists.
This was one of my favourite things! I really wanted it. It was made by a local artisan.
But I did buy this. It's a radiator.
|I also got this set of silverware.|
This carriage is amazing. Keep in mind this is 1/12 scale! This was another favourite of mine!
I thought this jointed porcelain doll would be too expensive, but when I saw that it was only 6 pounds 95 I had to have it.
|It's only about 2" tall.|
I nearly bought one of the mail boxes on the top shelf. And look at that beautiful wardrobe on the middle of the top shelf.
They even had some of the same things I make.
|Like these ink wells with quill 'pens'...|
|...and these eye glasses and magnifying glasses. Graham made all these things himself.|
|See the umbrella stand with the walking stick in it? Graham gave me that when I ended up buying so much stuff.|
|The round racks had small goodies like these...|
|This is the cool working door knocker I bought.|
|And I got these tiny brass buttons that really have holes for the thread.To show you exactly how small they are, here they are with that 2" doll.|
|There was also a selection of hair for doll making on those racks. I bought several shades of red hair, my favourite.|
This rack was loaded with rugs and house making parts.
This whole wall had house making supplies. I nearly bought some of that 'wrought iron' fencing and a gate.
This was probably my favourite case. I loved the kitchen scene on the right of the 5th shelf down.
This kitchen scene.
|I resisted the bread oven door and flue because I thought I could make those if I really had to, but I did buy two different firebacks and a couple of sets of andirons.|
I preferred the last one, but look at this kitchen. I love the light up pot bellied stove and the spit and logs on the left!
Since I had the beginnings of that kitchen I couldn't resist this real working door latch and set of hinges!
This case was full of people.
There were some things to fill a witch or wizards lair.
|Electric candles! How cool are those?!|
|I only spotted them t the last minute. If I hadn't spent every last pence and gone back for more I would have bought one.|
I even bought something for Emma. You should have seen her face when I told her I had. It was the "Eww. What could I possibly have wanted from a miniature shop?!" face. I got quite a different reaction when she saw it though. She loved it.
|Emma is a huge fan of The Monkees. I got her the Davy Jones gold record.|
|Graham kindly gifted me with it so I didn't have to make another trip to the pub!|
|Now there's a guy that's a good sport.|
We talked about different ways of making some of the things we both make, and shared methods and ideas. As I told him,I wish I had known ahead of time we were going to have that discussion. I would have brought Graham some Triple Thick Glaze, like I use.
Anyway, if you visit York, pop in to check out the shop. Or check it out online.
Here's how I found Ken when I went to get more money:
It was a beautiful old pub. The sisters and spouses were all taking a break here and insisted that I get a drink.
When the girls met up with us at the pub, Emma got my rose drink, but Ivy brought Ken an eclair from the tea shop. Ken is always going on about how he wants an eclair with real cream inside, but they don't make them that way here. This one had real cream. It was pretty awesome,even if it did look nasty from being squashed in Ivy's shopping.
After we finished our drinks we walked back into York's busier part, where we had come from. I spotted this shop.
|Apparently there are two shops in Leeds and this one at 9 Lord Mayor's Walk, in York. You can check out their webpage HERE.|
Hmm, looks promising.
I loved this little guy. I would have given him button shoes though, not saddle shoes.
Lots of bears inside.
New stuff, and old.
|A real 'skin horse', like in The Velveteen Rabbit.|
A case with dollhouse things.
I liked this girl.She's made of wood.
|She's made by Elisabeth Pongratz.|
So were some of these.
I really liked this girl, (Her eyes look freaky here, but it's just the light.), but she was bisque. Eww. I hate the feel of bisque. If she had been made of wood too I might have considered making her my splurge.
They had some Kidz N Cats dolls.
And lots of babies.
Loads of little dollhouse people.
But the prices were too high for me.
We walked on back toward the park and ride bus stop.
Ken photographed this sign. Keeeen?!
|What are you trying to say?|
After we retrieved the van we drove to this restaurant, where we ate dinner. Actually, it was lunch for me, since I was the only one who didn't get to eat in York. (Except for my Bakewell Tart ice cream.)
This delicious cheese and apple thingy was supposed to be an appetizer.
This was my meal: roast potatoes salad, and a vegetable pie.
I think Ken had to finish it for me. We've been home for weeks now, and I am still craving those English potatoes and some kind of veg pie, which I am not good at making.
Back at Gloria's that night, the girls and Ken looked through Ken's mother's things and family mementos. The girls never met their grandmothers, so it was a chance for them to sort of get to know one of them a bit, and a chance for Ken to bring back some memories.
More of the trip to come in the next post.