Brightening up the grey days of January

The decorations are gone and the sun has yet to show it’s face this week. The skies are iron grey. It’s days like these where music, light and having lots to do keep me feeling good.

We decided on Saturday that, despite the biting cold we would venture to Ely for lunch and a look around.

Ely for those who don’t know it, is a cathedral city in the Cambridgeshire Fens. It was known originally as the Isle of Eels, because  until the 17th Century, when the Fens were drained, it was reachable only by boat. It is still referred to as the Isle of Ely today.

Originally settled by the Anglo Saxons, it was a stronghold of Hereward the Wake but was taken by William the Conqueror in the 1066 Norman invasion and the magnificent Ely cathedral was the result.

In the photos below, the cathedral tower can be seen in the distance.

There was a freezing cold wind, which we were eager to escape, so when we came to a sign for The Almonry Tearoom, we decided it was too cold to look further and we headed inside.

The tearoom is set in the medieval precinct of the cathedral and overlooks the gardens. It’s a beautiful setting and the tea rooms themselves are the kind of place you might expect to see Miss Marple. After a lunch of tea and sandwiches (it seemed fitting somehow!), we wandered down the main street and browsed, until the cold won and we decided to set off home.

Since then I’ve been walking Ziggy but other than that the weather has given me an excuse to stay inside and get on with some jewellery upcycling.

I had a few broken pieces of vintage jewellery that I liked too much to throw away but that I couldn’t wear.

The first is a chandelier earring that I converted into a necklace:


I added some foiled beads to the chain to give it a more contemporary feel.

Next I converted a turquoise brooch and clip earring into a necklace. I removed the broken pin from the brooch and the clip from the back of the earring and filed them smooth. I then glued the earring to an antiqued copper tab and incorporated them into a chain:

IMG_20180109_1142566 (1)

I’ve worn this a few times and I love it!

Finally I used the casing of an old brooch to make a new one from felt:


This looks nice pinned to a woollen winter jacket.

Today, I’m upcycling some candlesticks and making sure I’ve got a good playlist to accompany me.

If you are in a sun free zone, I hope the dark days of January have been good for you and hoping you have a good week.




6 Comments Add yours

  1. Ann says:

    I’ve heard of Ely and its cathedral but I have to confess I’ve never visited that part of the UK. I’m sure you’re going to tell me that I should! I quite like the sound of the Miss Marple tea rooms … I love your upcycled jewellery and i’m especially taken with what you did with that brooch! What a great idea, Sally! Let’s hope some sunshine is on its way … xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you should definitely put it on your agenda, it would be great to meet up!
      No sunshine here yet, I hope it’s a bit brighter where you are xxx


  2. Isn’t it dismal? I am not enjoying this weather at all. What lovely jewellery. Far too nice to throw away all those broken bits and bobs. They look stunning as a necklace. Your brooch is gorgeous. I love all the colours together. Hoping that there is some sunshine on the way too. Outside could do with cheering up. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kelly,I agree, I liked the broken bits too much for them to go in the bin. It’s nice to be able to wear them, I don’t wear clip on earrings either and it was an odd one without the other of the pair.
      I keep hoping the sun breaks through but it’s still unrelentingly grey here, it was supposed to be sunny today according to the forecast, fingers crossed! xxx


  3. As you many times do, you sent me on a research mission. The cathedral looks beautiful and I even looked into what one could do upon visiting Ely. I have to admit, I was mostly interested in the tea rooms and pubs! Our weather has been a tad dreary here too and too dry, unlike the east coast. But I think some snow might be on it way this week.

    You are right, this is the time to get some crafting done. You do such a great job in seeing new life for older jewelry. they are all wonderful but I think the antique turquoise brooch and earring up-cycle is my favorite. Question-have you needle felted your brooch? I want to do some needle felting on a beret but can’t find where I’ve put my needles.

    I always enjoy when you do a post on where you’ve been. xo-Terri

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ely isn’t far from Cambridge and I’ve been quite a few times but never to that tea room before. It was a bit of a step back in time, I really liked it!
    The brooch is made from wool felt. I’ve never tried needle felting but I’d love to give it a go and I’ve been looking up how to do it. If you do it, I’d love to see it. I love the way felting looks. I tried to give it more depth by adding fleece to the back. It’s small, so it was a bit fiddly but I quite liked the outcome. xxx


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