This year, 2019 the Woollen Woods were slightly later than usual and this turned out to be a good decision as we were once again very lucky with the weather. As has happened in previous years some pieces were seen for a second time such as the stripy snakes.Most of the trees were decorated with new pieces however, with many trees being taken on by local groups. Transition Belper put up a Bee Kind to Nature Tree with an amazing beehive suspended high above our heads. A line of bees could be seen flying back to the hive and on close inspection a Queen Bee could be seen wearing a small handmade silver crown. Continue reading Woollen Woods 2019
Belper’s first Fashion Revolution event took place during Fashion Revolution Week 2019. The action happened in St Peter’s Church on Friday April 26th, it was very well supported by people from Belper and beyond.The idea for the Fashion Revolution movement came from Carry Somers after the tragedy of the Rana Plaza disaster. On 24 April 2013, a factory building in Bangladesh collapsed killing 1,134 people and injuring 2500 more. Carry (who has a Fair Trade shop in Ashbourne) felt this was a tipping point and something needed to be done. She phoned Orsola de Castro, founder of up-cycling fashion label ‘From Somewhere‘. Orsola immediately said, ‘Yes we have got to do this.” The first fashion Revolution Day took place in 2014. Fashion Revolution Day has now become Fashion Revolution Week and this year took place from April 22 – 28. Continue reading Fashion Revolution Week
Do you wear clothes? In that case please read the rest of this article. Our Member’s of Parliament say the Fashion Industry is a major source of the greenhouse gases that are overheating our planet. Discarded clothes are piling up in landfill sites and fibre fragments are flowing into the sea when clothes are washed. Find out more HERE.
At Christmas I decided to wrap all my Christmas presents with brown paper because I wasn’t sure whether normal wrapping paper was suitable for recycling.
This is the information I found on the internet.
- Some local authorities accept wrapping paper in home recycling collections
- Others ask for wrapping paper to be taken to the local recycling centre
- Some do not collect wrapping paper at all because wrapping paper is not accepted by some recycled paper mills. There are a number of reasons for this.
I looked on my local Councils recycling page and wrapping paper was not mentioned so I am still not sure.
We didn’t manage to recycle all our brown paper as in all the mayhem of Christmas there wasn’t a huge amount of time to remove all the sticky tape. I should have probably folded the paper and then kept it in place with ribbon and not used any sticky tape.
As a family we always have a celebration on New Year’s Day and give small gifts. I decided this year to make up some fabric bags to wrap presents. This worked really well and they can all be reused next year. I didn’t buy any new fabric, just used up bits I had. The only downside will be next Christmas working out which bag is the best for each gift. I tried different ways of making and then came up with one that I could complete in 10 minutes.After Christmas I decided to make some bags by the same method to keep our reusable coffee cups in. We like to keep a couple of cups in the car as you never know when you are going to feel like a coffee and of course by using reusable cup you cut down on single use plastic. You also save money usually at least 25p a cup.The larger bag on the left has two cups in it and the smaller one on the right is big enough for one cup. This fabric I bought years ago on a trip to Estonia. I had used some of it but had a small amount left.
To make the bag for one cup I cut a piece of Fabric 36 cms by 28 cms. I like to stop the edges of the fabric fraying so I used a zig zag stitch around the whole piece. I folded the piece in half with the right sides facing each other and sewed with a straight stitch down the side seam, starting about 6 cms from the top edge and along the bottom of the bag.The next stage was to make the top with a casing for a piece of ribbon to go through. Again I like to neaten my work so I folded back each short 6 cm edge at the side and sewed it in place with a straight stitch.The last step was to turn over the top edge so that it came down about 3 cms and sew with a straight stitch right around the bag. I then used a straight stitch to sew about half a cm down from the top folded edge.The bag can now be turned out the right way and a piece of ribbon threaded through the top casing. This will close the bag and can be tied with a bow.
I visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield for the first time this week. I was very impressed by the variety of exhibitions both inside and out. The Park describes itself as a 500-acre outdoor art gallery and there are over 80 sculptures to see outside. The area was originally the landscaped parkland of Bretton Hall and so the setting is very beautiful. There is much to explore including Lower and Upper Lake , Menagerie Wood, the Chapel, Boat House, Shell Grotto, various galleries and much more.
We didn’t see all of it so there is plenty to go back for. Outside there is a group of figures made by Barbara Hepworth called, The Family of Man. I had been to her house and gallery in St Ives and hadn’t realised that she originally came from Wakefield.This photo is just one of the group which has been on loan to the park since the 1980s.
This year as a new event for Belper Arts Festival, local individuals and groups were asked if they would Adopt a Tree on King Street. The trees were decorated for the duration of the Arts Festival. The idea was suggested back in Autumn 2017 and was quickly taken up by a number of people in the town of Belper. Trees were installed on May 5th and taken down on May 28th. Continue reading Adopt a Tree for Belper Arts Festival
We have just taken down the Woollen Woods and 2018 has been an amazing year. The sun has been very good to us and more individuals and groups have joined in the fun. I have written about previous years on this blog and also linked to videos Woollen Woods 2015 . This one was created for us by a Derby company https://www.ablewild.com . We were written about on the Angel Eden Blog in 2016 and there are links to videos on their page. Continue reading Woollen woods 2018
Once again this year Belper will enter the RHS Britain in Bloom competition. The competition is now over fifty years old and is entered by communities in towns, villages and cities with different categories for each size of settlement. Groups are assessed for their achievements in three core areas: Horticultural Excellence; Environmental Responsibility; and Community Participation. Over 1,600 communities around the UK enter each year, participating in their local region’s “in Bloom” campaign. From these regional competitions, roughly 80 communities are selected to enter the national Finals of RHS Britain in Bloom.Last year ‘Belper in Bloom’ was selected to represent the East Midlands in the Large Town Category in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom UK Finals.
Andrea Van Sittart, RHS Head of Community Outreach, reacted by saying: “Congratulations to Belper on reaching the UK Finals of this year’s RHS Britain in Bloom campaign. To represent their region on the UK stage is an incredible achievement and shows they are already at the top level of community gardening, going the extra mile to improve their local area and make it cleaner, greener and more beautiful for everyone.”
Belper has numerous volunteers and groups who get involved with the towns involvement in Britain in Bloom. These include Belper Gardening Group, Transition Belper, the Open Gardens Team, Belper Goes Green, Friends of the River Gardens, Guides, Brownies, Scouts, local schools and for the first time this year St Peter’s Parish Community Garden. As well as volunteers, the staff at Belper Town Council and Amber Valley Borough Council, will be working to make Belper bloom. Once again this year they will be planting thousands of bedding plants in the parks and planters in and around the town, putting up hundreds of hanging baskets, keeping Belper Railway Station and the grounds of Strutts looking beautiful and keeping the Parks, Wyver Lane and other Nature Reserves accessible and well maintained.
This year as part of the town effort the Belper Woollen Woods are asking local people who can knit, crochet or felt to make flowers which will be used to brighten up part of the route that the judges will walk along.Belper is a fantastic town full of residents willing to be part of Community events. So I am asking everyone who reads this to help make flowers for the Belper in Bloom Group. There are plenty of free patterns on the internet that can be used for events such as this.
I am a knitter so I am adding a few quick and simple knitting patterns to this blog post. However flowers can be crocheted or made out of felt.Flower OneOne main colour of DK Yarn (A) and a small amount of a different colour for the centre of the flower, (B). Needles size 3.25 (10)
Body of Flower Using Col A Cast on 60 stitches
Rows 1 –10 : K2, P2 across whole row. Row 11 : Knit 2 stitches together across the row (30 sts).
Row 12 : Slip 1 stitch, Knit 2 stitches together then pass the slip stitch over… repeat across the whole row (10 stitches).
Break off yarn with long tail and thread back through remaining stitches and pull tight. Join edges with mattress stitch
Centre of Flower Using B, cast on 20 sts, knit 2 rows, cut the yarn and thread through all the stitches. Pull the thread tight and sew base to the centre.
Knit two together across the next row (40 sts), Knit the next row.
Knit two together across the next row (20 sts), Knit the next row.
Knit two together across the next row (10 sts)
Break off yarn with long tail and thread back through remaining stitches and pull tight. Join edges with mattress stitch.
The flower will naturally curl to make an interesting shape.
Row 1: knit, Row 2: Knit 1, kfb k to last two sts, kfb, k1. (9 sts)
Row3:as Row2. (11sts), Row 4: as Row 2. (13 sts)
Rows 5-8: knit, Row 9: Knit 1 (knit two together through the back of the loops) twice, k to last four sts, (k2tog) twice. (9 sts)
Rows 10-12: knit, Row 13: (k2tog through the back of the loop) twice, k to last four sts, (k2tog) twice. (5 sts)
Rows 14-16: knit, Row 17: knit 1, slip 1,k2tog, psso, k1. (3 sts)
Row 18: knit and then Cast off.
Make three or four more petals to complete the flower.
Sew lower sections of petals together by threading a length of wool through all five petals and pull up tightly.
Centre of Flower Cast on 20 sts. Knit 2 rows.
Cut the yarn and thread through all of the stitches and pull to make a circle, sew onto the centre of the flower.
Last Row, (Knit 2 sts, cast off 12 sts) repeat this across the row.
Cut the yarn and thread through the remaining stitches and pull up to make a flower that looks a bit like a daisy. Put in a few stitches to hold in place.
Flower Centre Cast on 20 sts. Knit 2 rows. Cut the yarn and thread through all of the stitches and pull to make a circle, sew onto the centre of the flower.
It would be fantastic if lots of people would help with this effort and we do not have very long before Britain in Bloom. The completed flowers can be left in a box in St Peter’s Church Chesterfield Road, Belper or given to me Anne Clark
If you would like to print off the patterns here is a PDF Flowers
In 2016 I made two shopping bags and a garden cushion from some coffee sacks. They were made from old jute sacks that coffee beans are imported in. I had used the sacks originally to collect garden clippings but didn’t find them very useful as twigs got caught in the weave. The instructions for making these were written up and posted on the Angel Eden Blog. Because the original sacks had been used in the garden they had to be washed but this is not always necessary. Continue reading Up-Cycling and Mending
As a family we are trying to reduce our use of plastic items, particularly single use plastic. Everyones lives are full of plastic which for years has proved to be very convenient and useful. However we now realise the harm it is doing to both animals and the environment. There is also the problem of potential toxins leaking out of the plastic we use to store and cover food.
We have stopped buying bottled water and now use refillable bottles. I have to admit these are plastic but at least not single use. I have however bought a bamboo reusable, take away coffee cup rather than using the ones supplied by the coffee companies. I have already found I can benefit from a 25p reduction in the cost of the take away coffee from some companies. Continue reading Beeswax Alternative to Clingfilm