Friday, 31 July 2009

Lavender hearts & cupcakes

I'm having a productive afternoon making more stuff for the craft stall on sunday. These are lavender hearts and cupcake pincushions.

Hoping to get some rabbit egg cosies done later.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Wind Farm purse

It's the opening of Lissett wind farm on Saturday and I'm hoping to meet a lady from Novera Energy who is involved with it. She very kindly sent me lots of wind farm freebies when I made enquiries and as an appreciation of that I wanted to take her a small handmade gift on Saturday.
The result is this wind farm purse.

Beaded pig keyring

The other evening I met up with an old school friend who was visiting from Scotland. She makes the most amazing bead jewellery, really intricate pieces of Victoriana, Gothic and chainmail to name but a few styles. She also does some little fun pieces and gave me this really cute beaded pig keyring.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

North Dalton village fete

I have booked a craft stall for North Dalton village fete on Sunday. I've got on top of proper work this week and now I'm concentrating on building up as much stock as possible for the stall.
I'm mainly concentrating on the fabric jewellery but will be taking some purses, greeting cards and some artwork prints.

It looks like a bomb has hit here more than usual but I've got so many projects on the go at once that I need all the bits of stuff, haberdashery etc to hand and whilst I'm having a lot of fun I look forward to doing a bit of tidying next week.

Here is some of the stock I've been gathering together over the last couple of weeks.


The weather is set to turn for the worst today so I have managed to salvage some cherries the blackbirds haven't snaffled yet.
These cherries are only small but some of the sweetest & tastiest I've ever had, proving that good things come in small packages!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Otters at Danby, North Yorks

Saturday was a lovely day to go up on the moors and I visited the Danby / Castleton area which is north of Hutton le Hole going over the rugged tops of Blakey Ridge.

Just outside Danby village is a visitor centre which had quite a nice little gallery / tearoom with some interesting crafts and artwork. There were even some small bags of raw sheep fleece to buy but I resisted temptation as I couldn't think of an immediate use for it.

Saw these wonderful otter sculptures along the riverside walk.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Day after the show

It was an exhausting day at the show yesterday and it took me from 5.20pm until 7pm to get off the showground car park and that was literally probably the length of a football pitch, I could've walked home quicker. Sheer volume of traffic and a bigger than expected turnout made for the delays. Plus torrential rain at the end added to the chaos.

The day started at 8am when I dropped my produce off. I then went to find the ERA stand and helped set that up and by 9.30am people were visiting and gathering our leaflets. We were very busy and I'd set up a doodling competition for kids and adults which proved popular. I helped out til lunchtime and then a friend and I went to see how the judging had gone and it was a bit of a washout for me as I didn't win a thing. Of course we wandered round and wondered how some of the things which looked a bit ropey had won. In particular some jam tarts won where all the jam had gooed over the top. I wouldn't even have entered mine if that had happened! I think I was unlucky with my savoury loaf, only 4 people had entered so I guess I just missed out. The judge had scribbled a note saying a few positive things about it but it's little compensation! Not that I'm bitter or anything, it's all in the taking part right!!
The photos show some of the stuff after judging. In the handicraft section where I entered my fabric collage the bag in the foreground won.

Purchased a few groovy things in the afternoon, a wonderful hippy shirt from Black Yak.

Tried to get back to the ERA stall towards the end but the marquee was difficult to find with all the crowds of people I was so disorientated that it took me about an hour to relocate our stall. Fortunately I got back for the last hour as the heavens opened. Still, it was a great day and I met up with lots of friends and some of my customers.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

More baking!

Preparations are going so so. The butterfly buns have come out ok and taste ok too. Not done so well with the cheese scones, this picture is the second batch. The first batch I made didn't taste very cheesy despite using a mature cheddar so I rushed out for a different cheese and have just made these although I'm not sure they taste much better, oh well they'll have to do.

It's only a bit of fun after all and I'm in danger of getting too competitive as I'm considering re-doing the fruit scones if I have time. That said it's after 9 and the savoury bread is only just in the oven plus I have leaflets to still chop and fold so I think time will beat me and it's an early start.... aaaaagh!!

Driffield Show preparations

Tomorrow it is Driffield Show, the largest one day agricultural show in the North of England with over 25,000 people expected to visit.

I am helping out on the East Riding Artists stand where we hope to promote and raise awareness of the diverse range of visual arts in our area.
Needless to say I'm busy getting my promotional material together for arty stuff and business.

For the first time this year I've decided to enter a few things in the produce & craft tent. I'm doing fruit scones, cheese scones, lemon curd, butterfly buns, a savoury bread loaf and a handicraft which I think will be a fabric collage. The first batch of scones has just come out so time to sample with elevenses! Hopefully will have more stuff to display later if things continue to plan.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Vintage Fair - York

Yesterday I went to the Vintage Fair in York which was an event full of vintage fashion, homewares and textiles. I went with great expectations of finding lots of groovy vintage fabric but was a little disappointed as it was mainly clothes, shoes & handbags. Some of the garments weren't that vintage as I saw 2 things which I still have in my wardrobe and I still wear, or maybe that's just me being an ageing hippy!
The more unusual clothes were quite expensive.

There were a few bits of fabric but they were the sort of 1980's flowery quilt covers you find in charity shops and a few old tablecloths. I was determined to buy something as I'd paid to get in so I got this which was about the most groovy piece I saw and I think it's either a tablecloth or curtains and it's a bit patchy but I can cut bits from it.
It was interesting but I think the best finds are still the charity shops and textile auctions.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

1970's Staffordshire

I went to Hornsea today, saw a few bits of over-priced Bronte in a charity shop, looked nice condition but not what I'm particularly collecting.
The Laura Ashley outlet is closing down for good at Freeport this Sunday and the fabric was drastically reduced, I got some flowery and stripey remnants.

However on the return journey home I had another lucky charity shop find, these rather groovy 1970's I believe, Staffordshire pots.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Pottery at Penny's

I had a lovely afternoon yesterday when I visited my potter friend Penny who had kindly offered to give me a sculpture session. As I generally did pots and vessels at my class with the occasional figure towards the end, I never really had a go sculpting animals which Penny is pretty fab at doing.

So we sat in the garden workshop and I had a go at a duck although looking at him now I think he looks more goose like. Anyway after a bit of a rubbish start this was my best attempt, I still have some burnishing to do to get it nice and smooth so that when we smoke fire them we get a nice effect.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Handmade flower purse

On the recent sewing class I wanted to learn how to attach a zip neatly but it turned out there wasn't enough time for that. I think it's just a case of practising different techniques from books I have and seeing if I can get neater.

I had a go at a small purse this morning with some new stripey ticking fabric and embellished with one of my flowers that didn't make the grade for a brooch.

Also pictured here are some large flowers I've done as embellishments for cushions, bags, scarves etc. which I'm trying on Ebay.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Straw Bale Cottage

Today I went to help my friend with the straw bale cottage she is building, or rather nearing completion for the end of the month.

From the last time I visited, which was at the initial bale building stage, it was virtually unrecogniseable and looking quite magnificent. I was very impressed with the spaciousness inside, and the height of the rooms upstairs with the steep pitched roof was quite dramatic.
So much hard work and hand crafting has gone into this project, I'm so pleased to have been able to do a tiny, tiny bit.

I volunteered to do painting as I can't really go wrong with that and we stained some wood with a lovely green colour and then attacked the study with some of the special clay paint which had the most beautiful consistency like vanilla custard. I also helped my friends son with sound proof underlay for the timber floor in the main bedroom.

It made a really nice change from sitting at a desk and computer all day, and the aching limbs tonight are proof of a satisfying hard days work!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Fabric & buttons

One of the perks of being self employed is being able to visit shops during the week and by that I mean shops and places which are usually busy on a Saturday and best avoided.

So today I went to the fabric shop in Scarborough and being a wet day I thought it should be fairly quiet and it wasn't bad. (Every time I leave Scarborough I seem to spot another shop which I'll have to visit another time and today I spotted shop called Vintage Junky which looked to have some very groovy stuff in as I glanced whilst stuck at traffic lights.)

I had a very good rummage in the fabric shop and treated myself to these pieces and I also found the very groovy buttons you can see. The shop is just an amazing place, people seem to come from far and wide to visit it.

This was my treat for the week as I have a hard days labouring ahead of me tomorrow. I am going to help my friend who is building a straw bale cottage as she needs some painting doing. Haven't seen the cottage since I went in the very early stages to help with a bit of building so really looking forward to seeing it as it's nearing completion.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Dressmaking class finished

The 5 week dressmaking class finished yesterday and my garment is completed. I have done a simple waistcoat / tunic and used a plain linen as I didn't want to get into the complications of matching a patterned fabric.

It's taken much longer than I hoped but I have learned some new techniques along the way and I can appreciate I need to be more patient and take some time reading and deciphering the pattern properly and not doing a hurried botched job as I normally would!

Friday, 3 July 2009

Lissett Wind Farm open day coming soon

My first post in July is to mention an event on the 1st August which is the opening of the Lissett Wind Farm. The wind farm company (Novera Energy) are combining their official opening with the village fete.

Lissett is the newest, largest and nearest wind farm to me and as a lover of wind power I can't wait to go and get up close to the turbines. The idea is to take pictures and later turn them into some artwork.

Novera Energy kindly sent me some photos to give me a more detailed look at the site before the opening. The wind farm is on the site of Lissett Airfield which was home to bomber crew 158 Squadron and in the photo supplied to me you can see the wonderful memorial in tribute to the men of that squadron.