Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Hidden Houses...

With the snow nearly gone and the sun shining, it was the perfect day to get out and about.
Wanting to go see 'The Den' we walked a different way round the forest than normal and it was on the way back that we saw, hidden in the underbank, a row of derelict cottages...
 Despite walking past them nearly everyday, we had never noticed them before due to the way they were set into the landscape, I can't believe I'd missed them as normally I have a nose for finding these sort of places ;)
It looks like at one time the building comprised of  a barn with the rest of it divided into four small cottages with 3 of them now completely roofless. 
Only having my iPhone on me and with the sun being so low in the sky, the pictures haven't turned out brilliantly but they still give a glimpse into a forgotten past and what happens when nature takes hold. 
The peeling layers and juxtaposition between the man-made and the natural is fascinating and extraordinary and one that can't be easily replicated.
I was surprised to see how many items had been left behind as well; we spotted cookers, fridges, tin baths, a mangle and stoves just to name a few items. They seemed a stark contrast to the moss covered stone walls and overgrown brambles and foliage and makes me think what happened for them to be abandoned in this way...?
As we explored it was very quiet, almost an eerie silence hung over the place but thankfully the bright blue sky and sunshine lifted the atmosphere.
To me, buildings are alive. They live and breathe long after their inhabitants move out and move on and as we imprint our memories on them, and they become the backdrop to our lives, we charge them with our energy until they become as much a part of us and our memories as we are to them. 
 Its easy to see from this angle how we did not to spot the crumbling skeleton of the cottages for so long as they peep out from the hillside.
One day it would be nice to see them renovated and restored as the location is just beautiful with views right across the valley. Until then I am going to continue to explore the forest and see what else lies within that I have yet to discover...

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

DIY City Prints...

So finally deciding to do something with the numerous doodles of buildings and city-scapes I often find myself doing, I have been attempting to turn them into brightly coloured prints...

Obviously they are by no means perfect, drawing is not one of my stronger points, but it is really satisfying creating something yourself and seeing it evolve.
I'd definitely recommend giving it a go as not only will you have an original piece of artwork adorning your walls but compared to buying framed prints its a snip of the price!

Also apologies for the shocking quality of the framed pictures, I only had my iPhone and it is surprisingly hard to capture a shot without getting a glaring reflection in the frame glass.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Carding Shed...

Due to the heavy snow this weekend we decided to stay at home and avoid travelling. This finally gave us the excuse to visit The Carding Shed at Dobroyd Mill in the village, which many of our neighbours have been raving about, and sample the refreshments of the Oil Can Cafe.
Housed in an old woollen mill, the space has been transformed into a unique and quirky 'emporium' with vintage retailers, a classic car garage and a fantastic cafe serving local produce, home-made cakes and only Yorkshire Tea and the only type of tea in my eyes ;)  
It seems to be a very popular place and as I tucked into the best hot roast beef sandwich with amazing hand-cut chips surrounded by beautiful classic cars and listening to vintage songs, it was easy to see why.
It is so refreshing to see places being used for a range of uses and activities.
Each business adds their own originality and stamp on the place proving different enterprises can work together and generate an interesting and exciting alternative to the generic chains of our high streets.  
The up-cycling of items to create the cafe really confirms my belief that there seems to be a resurgence in people returning to good old fashioned values and the make-do-and-mend mentality. 
In times of austerity it seems people want quality and things that will last rather than passing, disposable items that only offer a short term solution. This is also echoed in the rise and demand for vintage clothing; it appears people are becoming tired of mass produced goods craving more original, unique and retro styles instead.  
I believe it is exactly places like this that give people a real reason to stay and spend their money locally, offering them quality, value for money and a great visitor experience.
The friendly staff, relaxed atmosphere and familiar home comforts transport you back into a simpler and more sophisticated era and I  definitely recommend a visit if you are ever in the Holme Valley. 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

To A New Beginning...


Happy New Year Everybody

Those last few weeks of the year seemed to pass by in a blur and I can hardly believe that here we are in 2013 already!
However I've kicked off the year as I mean to go on by being busy busy busy with a few exciting projects in the pipeline. This year I plan to embrace everything that comes my way and I am also looking forward to being able to stream Design & Thinking online sometime in the Spring, finally. For those of you who have not heard about it enjoy the trailer below, its set to be an interesting documentary focusing on how the idea of design thinking can impact our everyday lives from business making decisions to social-change....



Thursday, 13 December 2012

Life Lately According to my iPhone...

A quick architecture round up from my iPhone to get you into the festive spirit, enjoy! 

Getting Christmassy in Liverpool, Manchester and York.

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