The Art of upcycling

I was browsing the charity shops last week and I came across a window display advertising the CirculART trail, which shows the work of artists and craftspeople who make things from re-purposed materials.

The displays in Charity shops in Cambridge this month are being used to highlight the work that charity shops do to cut down on waste. The website is worth looking at and the photo below shows an example from one charity shop window:


Last weekend saw us finally taking the ‘van away. We and a group of friends spent the weekend at a site on the banks of the river Nene, near the beautiful old town of Stamford.

I’ve included a few photo’s but as I didn’t ask for anyone’s permission, I don’t want to include photo’s of the group. We arrived to strong winds and putting up awnings and tents was a bit of a trial but we triumphed never the less and then relaxed with good food and plenty of wine.

After a decent stretch of good weather the sky tells it’s own story.



Waking up on Saturday morning, the ‘van looked cosy and the bed, which we re-upholstered, was very comfortable.






The rain largely held off for most of the weekend and we were able to spend Saturday looking around Stamford. I’ve never been there before so I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful old stone buildings.

We saw lots of groups of Morris dancers, each group had a very distinct character and the group below looked very striking. We started chatting to them and they told us a little of the history of their dress and it was fascinating. The styles have evolved from the regions and work that the dancers originally did and both the dances themselves and the dancers attire vary widely.

This group looked so colourful and another group we caught sight of were decidedly steampunk in their attire!

Today it has rained torrentially for most of the day, our brief summer seems to be over!

Have a lovely week wherever you are.




10 Comments Add yours

  1. QThe word “upcycle” caught my eye. One of the reasons I started going to charity shops was with the idea of combining my finds into upcycles projects. My oldest daughter had started doing this and I really likes some of the things she came up with. Well, when I got there, I found things that I jest wanted to wear-a lot of them! The most I ever do is an alteration here and there.

    I had to look up Morris dancers because that was uncharted territory for me. From what I saw on YouTube it looked like it was a men’s only club. But I think one of the dancers in your photo is a lady. Do women dance in Morris groups today? Happy “Vanning”. Terri

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Terri, I agree, there’s some great outfits to be had out there. I love upcycling generally but am also happy to use what I find unchanged if I like it. Do any of your old posts have your daughter’s work in them? If so, I will look back through them to see what I can find.
      I don’t know much about Morris dancing but it’s true that it used to be a very male domain that has now become so popular with women that there are teams that are entirely female. It has also become quite edgy in style!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure if we have anything on the blog because she’s only on a post once in a while. I don’t think you do Instagram but I do know she has a lot on her Instagram account, which is

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I just visited Michelle’s Instagram account and I love her style and individuality. Thank you for sharing it. I loved her cakes too!


  2. Vix says:

    The van is out and enjoying life, just like you! How lovely to finally get some use out of him.
    I assumed you were still having the same weather as we were enjoying when we escaped last week (the joys of travelling internet free). I’m freezing today.
    The chazza window looks so inviting and cleverly thought out, who on earth could resist not having a mooch in there?
    There’s a few Morris Dancing bloggers. There’s lots of different factions. I used to think it was all old chaps waving hankies but a lot of it is quite subversive, its roots being in the dark days before trade unions, a way of different trades communicating with one another hence the blackened faces popular in some of the groups. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet you feel so glad to be back 😉 After the beauty of Corfu the good old British summer is a poor second isn’t it! If it’s any consolation I’m freezing too, wearing leggings under my skirt and a jumper.
      I thought the window display was great, the road it’s on is full of independent shops and has a great vibe. Each July, artists in Cambridge have open studios in their own homes, where you can go and look at their work, a lot live around there and there are some highly individual houses.
      It was great chatting to the Morris dancers, I knew so little about them and it inspired me to read a bit about it when I got home. I loved the subversive side, some of them looked quite punky. I may have to look a blog up to see what they say. xxx


  3. ratpip says:

    Brian is gorgeous! Isn’t it amazing how you can live well in such a small space? Wouldn’t like to do it all the time though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brian was very well behaved! He’s so small that it didn’t feel like we were towing anything.
      It shows how little is needed to be comfortable, I have to say though, it’s great for a holiday but it would feel cramped for longer.


  4. Ann says:

    I love a bit of upcycling! Oh, and isn’t Brian looking invitingly cosy? Glad you were finally able to take him out. It’s a pity about the rain, though. I could have done with a bit less of it in Wales … Love the steampunk like outfits of those Morris dancers! xxx


  5. I was hoping you got some good weather but last week was dire wasn’t it. I hope you had a good holiday despite the rain.
    It was good to finally get away in Brian, it would have been nice to go for longer, we just need to find the time, load him up and go! xxx


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