Tag Archives: taxidermy

a Carnival of Curiosities in Blackburn.

Helter Skelter :)
Helter Skelter πŸ™‚

Roll up, roll up for the carnival is in town. The Carnival Of Curiosities was just one of the attractions at the Blackburn Heritage Festival over the weekend. Myself and a couple of friends prepared to be amazed and astounded as we wandered round the Victorian style fairground. Here are a few pictures from the day. πŸ™‚

Its always lovely to see the Thwaite's  Shire horses.
Its always lovely to see the Thwaite’s Shire horses.

Carousel ride.
Carousel ride.

Nicola Hebson's 'Dead Good Jewellery and Taxidermy.
Nicola Hebson’s ‘Dead Good Jewellery and Taxidermy.

Stilt walker 'Long Legged Larry'.
Stilt walker ‘Long Legged Larry’.
Spooky dolls heads.
Spooky dolls heads.
The Apothecary Bar.
The Apothecary Bar.
Cute owl cupcakes. :)
Cute owl cupcakes. πŸ™‚
Tiny wonders in the Curiovan emporium of Natural wonderment.
Tiny wonders in the Curiovan emporium of Natural wonderment.
'The Remedy. The singer has a gorgeous voice.
‘The Remedy. The singer has a gorgeous voice.
Enjoying a brew in Liz N Lils.
Enjoying a brew in Liz N Lils.
Vintage glamour ~ Its the Sparkle Sisters.
Vintage glamour ~ Its the Sparkle Sisters.

Twydall Crumblepatch's taxidermy marionette puppets.
Twydall Crumblepatch’s taxidermy marionette puppets.

Everybody loves a mermaid.
Everybody loves a mermaid.

It was also nice to see that there is more to Blackburn than just the Mall. If you ever visit you might want to look out for Decades Vintage Fashion on Lord street, No11 Town Hall street ( quirky new gift shop featuring ‘Dead good’ jewellery by Nicola Hebson) and Liz ‘N’ lils vintage style tea room, in what used to be ‘The Grapes’ on Northgate.

I just wish I had had a go on that Helterskelter!

Helter Skelter :)
Helter Skelter πŸ™‚

Cats and Curiosities in the Marais. ^^

2014-07-26 15.02.46

When we decided to go to Paris I must admit I found myself hoping that we would stumble upon the Cat Cafe there.Β Le Cafe des Chats is an unassuming building on Rue Michel le Comte in the Marais district. It is a cafe and home to several furry felines.:) They are all rescue cats who have been chosen for their sociable and laid back natures. In the end I decided to take no chances ( the cafe recommends that you make a reservation) and I booked us a table online. We found ourselves in the 3rd arrondissement a little earlier than planned …..but spotted an interesting museum nearby to have a nosy around first.

2014-07-26 14.02.37

The Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature ( Museum of Hunting & Nature)Β at 62 Rue des Archives is well worth a visit if your in the area. Its packed full of interesting exhibits. Antiques, art,taxidermy and cabinets of curios. I am certainly not a fan of hunting….but the collection here is certainly eye catching and thought provoking. Relics of times past, the museum examines our relationships with animals and nature. There is much to see over three floors and on our visit there was also an unusual Danish Art exhibition mingled with the museums resident bears and wild boar2014-07-26 13.57.24.

2014-07-26 13.52.48

2014-07-26 13.50.55
2014-07-26 13.56.152014-07-26 14.10.372014-07-26 14.13.052014-07-26 13.56.01

2014-07-26 13.44.16

2014-07-26 13.57.10

Soon it was time to head for our table at Le Cafe des Chats and I pushed a rather reluctant Wil in the direction of said cafe. He is much more of a dog person ( though I have seen him playing with/tormenting our cat Slinky on occasion) but he agreed to go…..as the next day I would be devoting my time to watching ‘ The Tour de France’ with him. πŸ™‚

We entered the cafe and showed the girl at the desk our reservation. She told us to wash our hands with the hand disinfectant provided and went through the rules which are : a) no feeding the cats , b) no disturbing any sleeping cats & c) no flash photography. We then could choose where to sit. There are two levels ~ so we headed down the stairs as there was no room on the ground floor. Downstairs is cozy and cavernous with sofas dotted around and a piano. There was no natural light so my photos turned out quite dark.

2014-07-26 15.52.47

The cats all seemed very content ~ some were asleep , curled up on cushions or in bookshelves. Some were being fussed over by the delighted clientele. One mischievous moggy took over a customers armchair ~ so she perched on the arm with her coffee, so not to disturb. Cats take precedence here. πŸ™‚

The idea for ‘Cat Cafes’ started in the far East apparently. People in large cities who cannot keep pets due to their busy work lives , can find solace and relaxation in the company of these placid and affectionate kittys, dropping in after work for a coffee and purr therapy.

2014-07-26 15.08.56

2014-07-26 15.51.07

We both decided on the trio of petite desserts on our visit and a coffee or chocolate. The selection consisted of strawberries with cream, a macaroon and a chocolate cake. They were rather good! Because our reservation was quite late in the afternoon , only cakes and sweet things were available , so bear that in mind when booking.

2014-07-26 15.26.31

2014-07-26 15.11.05

2014-07-26 15.10.02

I think if I ever return to Paris ( I hope I do πŸ™‚ ), I would love to visit the cafe again ~ perhaps booking an earlier time and finding a table on the more light and airy ground floor. It was lovely to see some of the residents snoozing in the window. πŸ™‚

2014-07-26 15.55.05-1

2014-07-26 15.50.56

2014-07-26 15.03.30

Do not despair though, a cat cafe has opened in London too, so if you cannot get to Paris Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium may be an option for other crazy cat ladies like me. πŸ˜‰

Thanks for dropping by.X

Foxy Fascination ^~^

I recently read an interesting post over on the lovely Plastic Rosaries blog about the authors love for all things fox related. I am quite similar in that respect.Foxes are such beautiful creatures yet they are probably our most fierce and controversial wild animal here in Britain. We do not have bears. We do not have wolves.We do not have Big Cats ( except maybe the Beast of Bodmin πŸ˜‰ ) but we do seem to have an abundence of foxes, especially now in more urban areas.

A beautiful Fox Piccie I found on Pinterest.

My experiences of foxes heralds back to my time as a child growing up on a farm at the foot of Pendle Hill in Lancashire. Foxes then seemed to be the bane of our lives , wiping out our chickens and even carrying off baby lambs. Both mine and my sisters pet bantam hens ‘Snowy ‘and ‘Penny’ were killed by a fox. 😦 Dads answer to our fox problem was to let the resident Hunt tear accross our fields, horses and hounds in hot pursuit of a flash of copper coloured tail. And when this didn’t always work ( Foxes are quite wily) some hunters with rifles would arrive.Β  I remember as a little girl, peering into a sack in the back of the hunters landrover after their expedition and it was full of Live cubs. I never did find out what they were planning to do with them. :/

Live foxes though to me were not as scary as the stuffed variety. Family friends at the time had a mounted fox head on the wall next to their upstairs bathroom.Going to the loo was usually preceded with a laughing holla of now don’t let the fox get ya , hmmmm.Unfortunately I would then have nightmares featuring stuffed foxes hunting for me!

Vintage fox fur, The Time Train Vintage shop, Clitheroe

Despite all this I do feel very honoured whenever I have had the privelige of seeing a fox. And it has usually happened in the city, not the countryside. On visits to friends in London I have spied a fox scavenging around the banks of the Thames for food at dusk, a fox sunning himself on a garden shed roof in broad daylight and another fox watching my train home speed by from a grassy embankment.

Of course now foxes seem to be living side by side with humansΒ  in Urban areas. This of course has been the cause ofΒ  controversy in the past with some foxes getting into peoples homes and causing damage and worse. We do not really experience that problem here in my small town….but I suspect I would be wary yet quite delighted if one decided to move in next door….

What are your opinions on Foxes?

Another gorgeous image found on Pinterest.

Mad March Teadance with a Steam Punk twist.

Today I had the surreal experience of running my Tea cup candle stall at a Mad March Tea dance ~ with a Steam Punk twist πŸ™‚
I had never heard of Steam Punk until the lady who organized the event in aid of Fairtrade fortnight asked me and my teacups to attend…..
Steam Punk in the dressing up sense seems to be a mixture of Victorian costume with a sci-fi element.Here are a few snaps I took today.
steam punk 025
steam punk 032
steam punk 022
steam punk 026
steam punk 033

As you can see it was all very Jules Verne! I wish I had taken more pics but I was doing a roaring trade on my stall.Yay πŸ™‚
steam punk 028
Myself and Lisa, who sells lovely tiles and tags ( including some darling Alice In Wonderland ones below) probably didn’t get steampunked enough. But we sure know what to wear next time………x

La Rosa and Whitby.

I thought I would share with you our recent trip to Whitby.I booked a night in the gorgeous La Rosa hotel which is perched high on the West Cliff with views of the harbor and the commanding presence of the old abbey. We were in good company.Lewis Carroll stayed here once. πŸ™‚

All the rooms are individually themed.We chose the ‘Stoker Room’ with its fabulously high bed and amazing views.Its decor was definantly inspired by Dracula too I think…

The furnishings at La Rosa are very quirky indeed.Think of it as a haven for teacups and taxidermy!

Mr Forbes the fox.

The Mad Hatters tearoom is downstairs : )

After we checked in and had a nosy around we went for a wander.The first thing to do was tackle the 199 steps up to the abbey. That was a killer!

The imposing abbey.

After that we definately needed cake.Marie Antionette’s serves the best hot chocolate and I loved my Lemon drizzle cake. Let me eat cake here again I say!
Marie Antoinette’s Patisserie

Scrummy coffee & walnut cake & Lemon Drizzle cake.

There are lots of quirky little shops to browse. I was excited to come accross ‘Dotty About Vintage’,located just over the little bridge in the centre. : )

Pretty things πŸ™‚

La Rosa is very near this whale bone arch given to Whitby by a town in Alaska.It very cleverly frames a perfect view.

In the evening we had a few drinks in the various old Inns scattered round this old seaside town. Most serve a grand choice of real ales which my other half is a big fan of.Alot are dog friendly which is great if your holidaying in Whitby with the hound. All are olde worldy.

After a cozy nights sleep and a leisurely lie in there was a knock on the door.Our breakfast had arrived.

Breakfast is a hamper delivered to your room in the morning.Croissants,fruit,cheese,yogurt,eggs,coffee,orangejuice and fruit cake.Fab! You can choose what time you would like it between 8-30am and 11am. If it was summer (or at least not a wet november morning) we would have definatly eaten it on the balcony.

We needn’t checkout until noon which gave us more time to explore. I wish I had booked another night!

All to soon it was time to head home to Lancashire. On the way we stopped off for lunch at an American diner ‘Uncle Joes’ near Pickering which looked interesting.

The bf had pulled pork,fries,coleslaw and beans.

The decor was pale blue and white with vintage touches.It’s a good place to take the kids too as they eat free during the day Mon-Fri.

Tee hee I think most of my pics have been food related!
Hope you enjoyed the pictures anyway. We had a lovely time. Have you ever visited Whitby?