Saturday 31 December 2011

Last day of the year.

Here we are on the last day of 2011 and I can honestly say its been one of the best years I've had, which is not what I expected. (There have been a couple of 'downers' but we won't dwell)
The video below (I recommend turning the sound off) illustrates most of it.
Days out, 2 exhibitions and a new body of work, meeting bloggers, my 60th Birthday, an attempt at veg growing, many brooches, Ireland, Dorset, Sussex, Greece, 3 craft fairs and finally Hetty's arrival.

The year seems to have flown by as quickly as the video.

If you want to make your own go to
With thanks to Domesticali for pointing it out on her lovely blog.

And a Happy New year to one and all. Hetty is bathed ready for 2012.

PS: There's 20% off in my etsy shop: coupon code 'twentytwelve'

Saturday 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve

Eat your heart out Kirstie Allsop! Its Jackie's home made christmas. Well...a wreath anyway. A nice slender non- plastic wreath made from a piece of Russian Vine and various bits of greenery.
OK OK the apples and the gold leaves are some sort of plastic but the rest... well... its natural.
I love it. 
Even the lavendar bush has had a touch of glam for the festive season.
So my front door looks very Christmassy and might detract from the awful state of the garden!
And inside? well Hetty and I have been busy...
Can you guess what we've been a doing of?
Making snowflakes.

I just got the urge..
And these are genuine 6 sided snowflakes..not just easy 8 fold paper shapes as seen around t'inter web.
I always insisted when we made these at school that they were authentically 6 sided.
I really enjoyed making these. And then.....and then......I did what every 'cute-dog-owning-person should do.

I got out the treats and struggled..

and struggled
till I got Hetty as an Angel!
The following pictures tell the story.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday 18 December 2011

Letter to the future from the past.

UPDATE: I have just discovered I now have 800 blog followers. Thank you all so much for signing up.
I wonder if I'll ever get 1000?
(And I wonder why?!)

What a wonderful early Christmas present I had last week.

It reminds me of the 'Handwritten' fun we had a couple of years ago. Do you remember? Click here to see.
One of my friends from way back when we were at college, slipped into my Christmas card,  a letter I wrote to her on my 21st Birthday.
Its a snapshot of my life on that day, 19th July 1972 and so lovely to read now, all these years later.

Handwritten of course on Lancashire County Council headed paper from the Architects department where I was working as a student  in my summer holidays. We had finished college in Twickenham and a flat that 5 of us shared, so I suppose that was why I'd sent her a cheque...' for £1.50, but please don't cash it till the end of the week or it might bounce' change there then except the amounts involved!

In the letter I am 'playing secretaries ' and have nothing to do but answer the phone, and am pretty peeved that I've been moved from Div. Admin II  office to Div. Admin. I office because the 'talent' was better in Div II and they'd promised to take me to the NALGO club on my birthday at lunchtime, but now I wouldn't see them!! I was looking forward to all my Aunties and My Grannie coming for tea. What an innocent way to spend my 21st Birthday. All my friends were in Twickenham (or back at their far flung homes) so I was with family and perfectly happy about it.

My main present had been a sewing Machine dad had given me £50 which I was putting into the Abbey National to accumulate enough for a car! (That took two more years to raise the £125 my first car, and old Morris 1100, cost)

Ah..happy days. I dare say we'll be looking back on blogs in the future to see our pasts won't we?
Here is my past being made.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Fair play

Just popping in at this busy time to report on goings on and to thank everyone for their lovely comments from last time. Hetty appreciated them very much but is resting now after the exertion of her first walk. There were many monsters to be afraid of on the main road with headlights on, so she had to stop. Then I trod on her foot when she got beneath it in the darkness and there just happened to be some builders outside a house who said she sounded like a smoke alarm.
Very accurate.
Anyway last Saturday I did a craft Fair in Manchester and it was very nice indeed.

 When I was getting ready I popped into the back bedroom to get the shelves I usually take and spotted the old wooden towel rack. It was much better than the shelves for hanging the brooches on and I think they looked rather good together. Now I must find a suitable solution for all the other  jumble sale-y bits.
 Its strange that I sold all my 'Tweets' last time I did this event, and this time I didn't sell one...well, I gave one away to the delightful Charlotte who was about to buy one,who had the stall next to me and was a delightful companion asking me if I needed a drink or lunch as I was on my own and she had company.
Anyway they may not have sold but they looked lovely on the tree.
I sold only brooches and Harris Tweed purses.
Isn't that strange? 
I love making the brooches best so I am envisaging an ONLY brooches stall next time!!!
Ah well. These things are so unfathomable and there's etsy when I get round to it...probably too late for Christmas.
Today I cleaned and tidied and ironed.
Tomorrow I am going Christmas shopping.

I must just mention our recent Monday night activity.
Well of course, I can't sing...well...I can sing and its not nice, but I do so enjoy it; so when a few weeks ago..actually it was quite a few weeks ago...we were invited to practise with a group of people from the next village who wanted to get a carol singing session going in the local pub I was a bit unsure. Its by no means a choir, but is in the spirit of the Carol Singing Pubs around Sheffield.
See video of the Sheffield singers...NOT US!! and many more.

Anyway thats what we've been doing every Monday since Mid November and it turned out to be in our local pub as the one in Wheelton closed down in the nick of time very sadly, and now instead of driving to the next village we walk two minutes down the road to The Oak Tree Brinscall.
So, if anyone who reads this wants to come and join in..words provided, come to the Oak Tree next Monday night at 8.30 for the last session. Its should be a good one and if you come too it would be better.

My favourite one is Sweet Christmas Bells. Here is the Kate Rusby version.

We practised way back in September and then when we went to Greece after that, I was swimming in the sea singing away to myself  'Sweet Bells..sweet chiming Christmas bells...' whilst doing a bit of backstroke like a single synchronised swimmer in 30 degrees of heat.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Hetty's first post.


My Mums been really busy, running up and down stairs, making a racket with her machine on the table upstairs .
First she made some hearts and she sent them to Munich.
 The order was for 'quieter colours' 

I heard her muttering something about it being too dark to take pictures.

Then she was asked to make some more pendants and these were what she came up with.
There was a lot more running up and downstairs with that thing she's always pointing at me  and I can tell you, its a lot easier now I've learnt to come down one step at a time. 
I can follow her and if she's a bit slow I can nip her heels.
(She gets a bit cross if I do that)

Then someone asked her to make some purple pieces like her 'Noon a Purple Glow' piece.
 (I don't know anything about that because I've only been here for three months)
 So she made these brooches.

She was grumbling again about the photos.

She's done a lot in that sewing room.....and I've helped.
Its a lot of work keeping my patch like this. 
But someone's got to do it.
Those things won't chew themselves you know.

Oh..........................she says to tell you she'll be here on saturday and she's taking all her ETSY stuff with her so she's shutting up shop for the day.

I wonder where I'll be.....?

Saturday 26 November 2011

Felt, cotton and fur.

As many bloggers say at this time of fact at any time of just passes by so quickly and its amazing when I check how long its been since I blogged (or, to my shame, since I read blogs)

I haven't been entirely idle though. I've made a few bits and bobs for an order, some hearts and leaves and Harris Tweets. I don't have any pictures of the tweets but I will be making more soon. They are lying here in a pile waiting for their stuffing and eyes and beaks and legs.

I like the hearts and they've all gone now, but I have to make 10 more for another order

On thursday I went to the Knitting and stitching show in Harrogate with some friends. We all fell for this wonderful book in the Quilt section but can't remember the name of the artist.
Any ideas?

 My pictures are blighted by the shadow of my bulky frame.
 There were many more birds in evidence in the Graduate showcase, Alice Wolfe made these with her father who is a scupltor. They had knitted  'feathers'. They were quite stunning in  a unique way.
 Birds are very 'current' with wings and skulls and beaks in many of the exhibits. A few years ago there were poppy seed heads everywhere. What will it be next? Who can imagine and why does it happen that there is a trending motif?

A particular favourite exhibit was the Korean, Jiyoung Chung with beautiful pieces made of Joomchi a particular type of papermaking technique. Her website is here and is definitely worth a look.

I also enjoyed the Diana Springall exhibit . Her book and tv series in the 80s presented by Jan Beaney was my great inspiration to go ahead and do City and Guilds.There were her original paintings which she worked into designs for embroidery and the finished pieces.

Then there was the Beryl Dean exhibition. It was fascinating to see the great scope of her work from way back in the 30s when her work must have been so 'modern', to her beautiful 'or nue' pieces with precise and controlled stitches. My favourite piece though, was a gorgeous child's dress from the 30s, her student work.
It had beautiful short sleeves made from concentric rows of fabric triangles in shades that looked like a page of the Farrow and Ball paint colour chart, subtle greys and pale duck egg.
No photos allowed!

I ventured downstairs to the knitting and other workshop area. I love this picture with the giant knitting needles and three knitters engrossed in something or other.
 Here is another knitter..sorry I don't have a name. She was telling me about some workshops in London.
I took the knitting pics really for my son's girlfriend who has just learnt to knit and then immediately made some fair Isle socks!!! I incredible is it to be able to knit Fair Isle? And then to put it into socks? Wow.
She's opened an etsy shop with, knitted accessories and  fimo jewellery. Do pop over and have a look and boost her visitors. Its hard to get your head above the water on ETSY . It took me  4 months of hard work publicising my etsy shop to get my first sale way back in 2007 and then another month and a half for sale number two and slowly steadily its built up until my work is in dozens of treasuries, and I make a reasonable number of sales per month...but my biggest seller?
The teabag paper!!!
Now my son's girlfriend also has a blog and the first post has a neat  home made light box to help with photographs in this miserable climate, no expensive materials needed. So perhaps readers could pop over there to have a look.
Well, I said I hadn't done much but mainly I've been busy with this.
And when I remember how I was this time last year, all those smiles she brings can only be a good thing.

Tuesday 15 November 2011


First there were sugared almonds...

then there were chocolate limes....
and recently..and I had to make special felt ..
for these : caramels!
Or perhaps they are chocolate eclairs? The sweetie chewy kind, not the cakes.
Someone has asked me to make some caramel brooches and its not something I would have considered, but now I'm very glad I did. I love the velvet on the butterscotch felt.

Another person has asked me to make a piece along the lines of 'where the cricket sings', but with some purples in it.

So far I have some pieces of felt ready for stitching.

They look so much better in reality than in these photographs.
But  I love them as they are. Felt so surprising and delightful.
Prefelts and other wools added to a prefelt background. 

This afternoon I have listed LOADS of things in my etsy shop.
I suddenly looked and realised it was very low in stock.
My bargain pieces are the Harris Tweed brooches which are lovely (sorry!) 
                                                    They are like sweeties in themselves.

But the photographs aren't so great.

 Its not ALL about dogs!

(Thank you to everyone who commented and welcomed little Hectic Hetty. Those who didn't receive a reply are 'no-reply' bloggers.)

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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