Tuesday, 20 January 2015

January making and buying

It's been ridiculously cold in the house the last fortnight and I've been making 'house scarves' and buying more long johns. Honestly I think I could set up a shop selling long johns I have so many pairs!

With it being so cold I drop into the same routine at this time of year by doing less challenging crafts whereby I can wrap myself up in layers, not think too much and just knit or crochet very simple things. You can't get much more simple than loom knitting and I started some neck warmers on the circular loom.


There is something quite satisfying about the speed you can create something and here is my first neck warmer.


This pink neck warmer was quickly followed by this bluey one, although not done on the loom but hand knitted.


I'm not much of a knitter but I have got this item on the go also at the moment, it's some sort of scarf / cowl with some interesting wool I bought in Whitby.


Continuing with scarves, this time crochet. I found a Youtube video showing how to do a type of moss stitch for crochet, it was a very good and easy to follow tutorial by Olivia at Girlybunches who has some great crochet videos.

http://girlybunches.com/

A scarf in moss stitch is a good way to use up small scraps of wool.





I didn't want tassels on the end as it's a fairly short scarf to tuck into a coat so not the neatest of finishing off at the ends but it's a nice stitch to do.

Had some of my fabric back from the printers, the Scandi Trees design, and I've sold a bit on ebay.



With some Christmas money I bought myself a nice quality rotary cutter. Previously I had a £3.99 one and it was useless but spending a bit more on this Olfa cutter is proving great for accurately and neatly cutting my fabric.


I bought some more Harris Tweed last week from the weaving lady on Harris and I'm in the throws of creating some textile jewellery and a tweed needle case.




Another needle case I've recently completed in the book style is this one, made with scraps of hand loom cotton from the Skye Batiks shop on Skye which I believe have recently taken delivery of a new batch of my designs on some garments.




Back to crochet, I found a pattern in a recent magazine for crochet buttons and I turned the basic idea into pin cushions.




Thanks for sticking with all these photos, I'll finish with some food just ahead of Burns Night. Joy of joys I found the veggie haggis had made a welcome return to Morrisons, more of a sausage shape to previous years but will make a lovely, hearty feast.


Friday, 9 January 2015

Hornsea Pottery in Homes and Antiques


Fabulous news for all of us who love Hornsea Pottery, there's a feature in the new February issue of Homes and Antiques, yes a massive 10 page feature which is absolutely brilliant and will do wonders to raise the profile of this often overlooked ceramic company.

Very nicely photographed, perhaps more photographs than words but still a worthwhile purchase if you like the stuff.




I think Hornsea pots are certainly the sought after items for folks creating a mid century feel to their homes.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year friends and thank you for all the lovely festive wishes. I am trying to get myself back into a positive frame of mind and manifest a good year ahead.

A few design jobs have come in already this week to keep me busy and I am using any other free moments to launch a new way of selling my fabric designs. At last we have a great new digital fabric printing company in the UK, it's Woven Monkey and they are about to launch a facility similar to what I had going with Spoonflower. The ability to list your fabric designs and make them available for the public to buy and earn yourself a little commission kickback too.

This will be so much easier than the hassle of ordering from the USA and all the import tax you can get stung with. Of course having bespoke short runs of fabric printed is never cheap but this service is comparable in price to Spoonflower, free delivery for us in the UK and having sampled their service last year it's very good quality printing.

I am currently converting my fabric designs to fit new sizes and I am slowly uploading some of my popular vintage caravan designs onto a selling page.
New designs I create will be going straight onto this website too. The service will be going live some time later in January, it's very exciting and I'm looking forward to seeing how it takes off.



https://www.wovenmonkey.com/

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six etc.....


Well sadly, with hindsight, this one didn't prove to be the year to fulfil my hopes and dreams so lets hope next year is the one.

Wishing all my readers a very happy new year for 2015 :) here's to good health, happiness and creativity in abundance x

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Season of Yule


It's here again, whatever you celebrate I would like to wish everyone a most wonderful time over the festive holidays and lets hope 2015 is a great year :)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Harris Tweed sewing needle case and assorted chaos!

I'm not liking December, although touchwood, I'm back to as normal as I can be after the colds and catching up with shopping, christmas cards and chores.
Unfortunately I missed the best time of year for making festive things for my shop, I've lots of works in progress which will have to wait until next Christmas now.

One recent make was this Harris Tweed needle case for Folksy. I have started buying my tweed direct from a lady weaver on Harris. She produces lots of commission tweed orders and then sells some surplus metres through her Facebook page. Very reasonably priced at around £15 per metre, if anyone would like her FB details let me know in a comment.

The inner lining of the case is a fabric from the Downton Abbey range which Makower have produced.




We've been eating microwave food for a few days (yuk!) as I was waiting for the aga man to do a service and he's been today, phew. In 24 hours it should be warm again and ready for some nice cooking over the festive period.


It was quite an eye opener talking to the man about aga's and one as old and inefficient as this one. Maybe like a lot of people I had this romantic image of an aga in an old cottage, part of what drew me to rent this place but over 6 years later the sooner I get away from this costly thing the better.
Rather frighteningly he told me that this one uses 40 litres of oil a week, that means nothing unless you put a cost to it, somewhere between £20 - £30 a week just to run it to cook on. That's over £1000 a year for a crapped out aga, an aga we have to run pretty much all year because there is no 'normal' oven here. There's a lot in the news at the moment about oil prices being cheap, it doesn't make much difference to us as we spend so much on the aga and then the central heating on top.

Anyway there's currently no getting around it as we need to eat and we need to keep warm and I shall try to make the most of it whilst it is newly serviced and at it's peak.

The joys of living here, it's a bit worse than usual at the moment as I feel like i'm living in the middle of a building site.
I really don't like being surrounded by builders, noise and mess, compromising my privacy but that's the current state of play. 
This house is surrounded by old outbuildings in bad states of repair, almost like this house! I informed the powers that be that a roof had collapsed on a shed in summer and they said they would have that building taken down as it was unsafe. They didn't say when or give any details. Weeks, months passed and then 2 weeks ago a team of builders and scaffolding appeared. No one has had the decency to inform us what is going on, the fate of the buildings, whether we loose our coal shed / garage etc. Oh no, as is the way of the landlords, no communication just stuff going on around you as if you don't exist or have any feelings.

I've got banging and drilling going on when I'm trying to work, I'm having to keep curtains shut in the room I call my office or I'll have builders looking in on me. That in itself is difficult as it stops the ever important light for me, the bit of sun that will warm the room and it is making life gloomy. I have a builders van outside my front kitchen window which is also where the sink is so I'm reluctant to spend much time in there. It's pretty much a pain in the butt at this time of year. Oh and you should see the mud that the digger has churned up! Of course I have no idea how many weeks this will go on for, the only let up will be when they pack up for Christmas hols.

Here's a quick look at the mess and chaos and state of some of the buildings.




I think I said this last year, I do hope this is my last winter here.

Ok, rant over. I hope everyone else is having a pleasant run up to the festivities and hopefully the snow will stay away as it would add to the chaos!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Festive craft fair at the straw bale cottage

Heck It's December, I can look back and think how miserable November has been, I've been ill with colds for most of it. I think I was clear for a few days in the middle of the month but then at the end I got the variety of cold with the persistent cough which I've still got and I also lost my voice 4 days ago. After many home cure remedies, the worst was eating raw shallots with sugar, I am just starting to get back a croaky voice. It's years since I had this and I'd forgotten how inconvenient it is, I've not been able to go out to the post office and 'ask' for things to be weighed so I've shut my Folksy shop just now. I'm way behind with festive making and selling and I'm very reluctant to go out when I do feel better and can speak incase I catch any more germs.

Anyway in between all this I had promised my friend who builds straw bale cottages that I would attend their craft fair and cottage open day. I knew it would be a lovely event and if I felt particularly rough then I could pack up early. I also wanted to see the unveiling of their nearly completed, large new straw farmhouse so off I went last Saturday with cough sweets, and tissues.

Here is my stall



I'd managed to make some new textile brooches, festive reindeers.



On the stall next to me was Gill from Lavender and Pinks, she had some lovely wreaths and herb hearts.


The event was to raise some money for Yorkshire Air Ambulance and sales of these lovely cakes and teas and a raffle were going towards that.



Look at the cosy fire which Carol had lit for us, it was very warm as we started to get visitors.



I sold a few bits and bobs but that didn't really matter, it was a warm and friendly event with a lovely atmosphere. I tried not to talk too much as I was having coughing fits but it's difficult not to and I felt a bit rough the day after.

I bought myself a lovely little felted brooch off an East Riding Artist members stall, Lorna Soar had made this.




So glad I went though and got to see their new straw bale 4 bedroom farmhouse which Carol and her son have been constructing over the summer, here it is. It has a beautiful terracotta coloured wash to make it in keeping with the red brick of the area.



I have some pictures inside too.
The straw bales are beautifully curved and shaped around doors and windows before lime washing.


In the hallway picture below you can see a round frame they call a Truth Window, it is a little bit of the straw bale they frame and leave visible, they've done that in all their cottages.



I'm sure they will have the internals finished in no time at all and then it will look super duper.

The 2 smaller straw cottages are available as holiday lets.

www.strawcottage.co.uk

PS. thanks all for voting for my fabric but I didn't win.