Saturday, April 24, 2010

Getting Out and About

 Last Saturday was one of the first bright warm beautiful days of spring here, so we all decided to load up the car with cameras and a picnic lunch and head north.

Bowes Museum, County Durham, England

As you enter this beautiful building, you start thinking about the fortune this couple that founded and donated all the items had.  They traveled Europe and beyond collecting everything from porcelain and furniture to fine art paintings and fine metal works like this silver swan. 

This wonderful piece of art and automaton was built by a French watchmaker in the 18th century and is the main attraction at Bowes museum.  At precisely 2:00 pm everyday this gem is wound only once and put into motion.  The swans head turns from side to side as the glass "water" and fish gently moves below him and plays a tune.  In the final motion he swoops his head downward picking up a fish from the water.  The entire show lasts only about a minute, but it is truly captivating.  It is made of pure silver and is approximately 4'X2' in length and width.  You can get close to it as it is encased in glass and stands on a pedestal. 
There is a lot to do in the same area as the museum.  Within a few miles there are 3 ruined castles and an Abbey.  A few more miles and you come to Raby castle, one of the finest in the country. By the time we were done in the museum and roaming around one of the ruined castles, we ran out of time and headed back home.   

I am sewing when I get a little free time.  The projects I am working on are for charities.  I still have pillowcases in the works and I've started on making bags to donate.  Both these links to the sites have patterns and instructions.  Sometime I'll get some pictures of what I've finished posted.  For now though, have a great weekend and try to get out and about.  ;o)

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