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.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

A new design for a competition


Last week I rustled up this design along the theme of trees and vegetables for a competition at a UK fabric printers. I think it is a relatively new company called Lacuna Press and they have launched the competition on Facebook and are asking people to 'like' whichever design takes their fancy before the end of the month and the winner will receive a £50 fabric print voucher.

I would like to thank all the bloggy friends who are also FB friends for popping along to vote for mine. If you'd like to join in the voting for mine or any of the others, there are only a few and I think someone has entered the same design a few times in different colours which is confusing as I assumed it was one entry per person, anyway if you fancy joining in and you're on FB just search for "Lacuna Press" and you will see the designs on their most recent post.

It's a long shot but if I did win then I'll put all the liker names into the hat for a giveaway.

Thanks everyone.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Dad's Army being filmed in Bridlington Old Town

Did you know the new Dad's Army film is being filmed on location in Bridlington and Flamborough, I gather 70% of the film is being done up here.

Now I'm not someone who is a bit bothered by celebrity this and celebrity that and spotting the stars out and about but I have been curious about the set and how the High Street in the Old Town has been transported back to the 1940's.

The last fortnight has seen a wonderful transformation and filming is still in full swing.
I had to call in to Gallery 49 last week and their shop was being transformed into a gentlemen's outfitters. I hope Liz will not mind in me lifting her pictures from a recent G49 newsletter to show you as I have no pics of my own.



The High Street, to anyone who knows it, needs little help to look authentic, it is one of the best preserved Georgian Streets in northern England and it looked tremendous with the flags and bunting strung between shops.

I was in Brid yesterday, it was sunny and I drove past with half a mind to try and get some photos but the area is completed cordoned off now for filming and with security men in place allowing only pass holders in.
So sadly no pics of my own but there are some nice shots on this link to Brid Free Press, takes a minute to load but lots of pics.

http://www.bridlingtonfreepress.co.uk/what-s-on/out-about/more-pictures-dad-s-army-in-old-town-1-6956941

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

My new collection Art on a Scarf nearly ready to roll

Over the last couple of months I've had more of my scarf designs back from the printers and whenever I've had a spare moment and the the light has been good I've been trying to finish them off.




The crepe de chine they are printed on presented me with the problem do I simply roll the edges of the scarves or do I line them. Rolling the edge was one issue, I tried one by hand and it took ages so I began researching a rolled hem presser foot for my sewing machine which was a whole other issue. 

I decided to line them because crepe de chine isn't quite as nice as silk would have been if left unlined, because the crepe was a vivid colour on one side and pale on the other it made them look unfinished.
Because of my vivid colours I wanted equally interesting colours for the backs so every time I was near a fabric shop I was on the look out for contrasting or similar colours and began collecting 'linings'.

 I think I became overwhelmed with all the colours and patterns so it's taken me ages and the last few weekends to sit down and choose colours and stitch them up. I can happily say they are almost done and will be ready for me to put in my shop soon, as Art on A Scarf.

Be warned, I've attached lots of pictures to this one!

First up, vintage caravans





Flower Girls






Vintage memories




My Woolworths artwork




Various assorted






Sunday, 9 November 2014

Festive Fair, end of month, E. Yorks, free stalls


Just a quick post to promote something for my friend and if anyone local would like a free stall just leave me a comment. 

My friend who builds with straw bales is holding a Christmassy Fair on Nov 29th at the straw bale cottage (it is near Howden), it's the first time they've done this and they are offering us free stalls. I will be taking some of my festive gifts and jewellery to sell.

It is also an opportunity to see the latest of their straw bale houses which is nearing completion and they will be doing tours around it. Entrance fee is for the wonderful organisation Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

I know not many local people read my blog but if you are and you do want a stall just let me know and I can give you further details.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

October - not a great month despite juicing!

October is nearly done, it started quite positive but tailed off when I got a horrible cold last week and so I'm just trying to get back to normal this week. It was one of the worst colds I'd had for a few years because for 2 days my temperature was hot and cold within minutes and I couldn't regulate a steady comfort level in this house so being in bed was the best place.

Not like me at all, I couldn't even be bothered to pick up a crochet hook, all the coughing was giving me a constant headache so I was good for nothing. 
What made this so annoying was the week before I'd had a binge of juicing to combat signs of feeling generally run down. We had a full day of no solid food just veggie juices which I planned into a Saturday so that we could stay in and if we felt weak or a bit rough with the lack of sugar etc we could just sweat it out.


I had a wonderful mix of veggie juice 'meals' with the odd bit of fruit in too and I found these milk bottles in Lakeland which were perfect for making a big batch and storing it in for the 24hrs. I survived the day albeit a bit weak and a bit peckish by the evening but hopefully it boosted me with vitamins.



During the cold I made a more citrus and spinach based juice (below).


Early in the month I did this little embroidery for a birthday card.



Still beseiged by huge spiders which I hate so I bought this from Lakeland, not sure if it has made any effect as the house seems to be beyond warding spiders away from cracks and crevices but it's worth a try.


And talking pests, we are having a bad year with mice here and it's just adding to the feelings of miserableness I have. I know on the scale of it life could be worse but it gets me down at this time of year and now the days are short I'm feeling pretty much can't be bothered with most things.

I bought this light bulb to add much needed good light for working and hoped it might cheer me up a bit to get back to crafting.
It's a fabulous eco bulb and gives me equivalent of 150w and not a bad price at £5.99.


Anyway, still with a cough and sniffling I've done a few gentle crafty things, I found some things lying around and fabric printed them, shells and doilly.



Ah, the stress free joy of something simple! Of course all the time I've not been doing anything my mind has been racing away coming up with new ideas of things I want to make and getting myself frustrated at my lack of energy for it. 

Sorry anyone reading for having a moan, hope to have some nice new crafty pics soon.