Monthly Archives: November 2013

Norfolk November Skies and a Rosy Glow…

Hello!  I can’t believe it’s taken so long to get back here for a catch up.  I must say the new look for the blog is really growing on me now, and it seems to sit much better on a phone or tablet.

Last weekend Two Rivers Trail Christmas Fair was AMAZING!  We couldn’t believe how many people came, there were cars parked all over the village, with people having to walk for half a mile to get to us!  The Planet Penny Stall looked like this…

craft stall Two Rivers Trail..although I don’t think many people managed to stand back to have a look at anything!  If you would like to see more, all the photos I took of the day are over on the Two Rivers Trail website where you can see some of the beautiful things from other members of the Trail.

I actually thought I would have a quiet week catching up with things, but it’s been anything but, and so busy I’ve struggled to find time to even get out for a walk with poor little Higgins…

He’s not impressed!

miniature dachshund

So in the spirit of a breath of fresh air, here’s yesterday’s walk which took place when the sun came out after a miserable gloomy start, and the wonderful Norfolk November skies came into their own.

Norfolk Sky November

Higgins Miniature dachshund

Ivy on treeseedhead and Norfolk SkyAutumn leavesgrasses and Norfolk Skypine conerose hipsYou don’t get long after lunch for walk at this time of the year, do you?  It does mean being treated to a wonderful view of the sunset as we head back home.  Note the mud! Glorious isn’t it?

Norfolk Sky sunsetsunset Norfolk skysunsetEnding just after we arrived back in a wonderful rosy glow.

pink sunsetAnd talking of a ‘Rosy Glow’  I’m going into boastful mother mode again,  Last night elder son Thomas won a second award for one of his children’s books, The Pets you Get at the Brilliant Book Awards!  Proud?  You bet I am!

TYhe Pets you Get - Thomas TayloAdrian Reynolds, the illustrator, you may well have met before with the Harry and the Dinosaurs stories, which have been made into a popular TV series.

Since I often turn up here with a book review I have no compunction at all in recommending ‘The Pets you Get’ as an excellent buy for Christmas!

And now, I have a ‘cunning plan’ for December on the blog so I’m off to see if I can make it work!  And it’s December tomorrow so I better get going…

see you then…x


Feeling Sheepish…

sheepish sheepFeeling sheepish, and a lot else besides! What’s the last thing you want to do when you are up to your eyes getting ready for a Craft Fair…Tommorrow!

Well, probably making major changes to your blog, ones you’ve been dithering about for months and had lined up for a quiet time in the New Year would be high on the list!

However, someone, somewhere had other ideas, and as I was shutting things down last night I found that all the strings which held Planet Penny together had snapped, and all the content was dangling around any old how in cyber space.

So, after a sleepless night, I have dived in and done a refit.  There’s a new theme.  I feel a bit like I’ve redecorated and changed all the furniture around!

I hope you like it.  Please let me know what you think!

I’m off now to drink a large cup of coffee and attack the enormous Chocolate Chip Cookie which Tim has just brought home from the shop to give me enough energy to tackle all the remaining printing and pricing left to do for tomorrow.

Think of me tomorrow afternoon, and if you are in the area, please come and see us…

We’ll be here

I’ll be back soon….x


Come to the Christmas Fair!

There’s a lot scurrying around going on in this part of the world this week, and it’s not just the mice!  We have our very first Christmas Fair this coming weekend, which is exciting and scary in equal measures.

Two Rivers Trail Christmas FairSo who is this ‘we’ I hear you ask…

Well, if you’ve been visiting Planet Penny for a while you will know that for the last few years I, along with my print maker pal, Kit, have taken part of Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios.  It turned out to be a wonderful way of meeting up with kindred spirits living very close by, so this year we got together as the Two Rivers Trail to create an Art Trail for Open Studios in May of this year.

It all worked so well we decided a year was too long to wait to get together again and so the idea of a Christmas Fair and Exhibition was born.  It’s been a great excuse for meeting up over coffee and/or wine for planning meetings!

For various reasons this year the Planet Penny Etsy shop has been my only selling point so it’s going to be fun to step out of cyberspace and into reality and meet real people.  I hope that any Planet Penny readers who live in the area will come to say hello.  My fellow ‘Trailers’ are varied and very talented, so we’ve got a great mix of things to see, and to buy.  If you call over to the Two Rivers Trail website you can find out more about us all.

It’s hard to decide what to sell alongside the pieces I will be exhibiting, as needlefelting is such a time consuming craft and it’s hard to fit it in alongside the pattern writing, crochet, yarn processing, blog writing, knitting and everything else.  This is why it makes more sense to teach it so that others have the fun of making their own creations.  Nevertheless, I decided to make a collection of ‘One Off’ creations, totally exclusive, no two the same.  Collectors items for the Christmas tree!

I started with a basket of hearts, needlefelted with  fleece from my massive bag of colours, another rainbow collection…

needlefelt hearts for Christmas Fair

I was quite tempted just to leave them just as they are, and heap them up on my dresser but no, that is not the plan.

I sat in the corner of my studio with the hearts and gradually disappeared beneath a heap of ribbons and trimmings, buttons, beads and threads while I had a happy few hours making tree decorations…

tree decorations for Christmas Fair

And they do look really pretty on the Christmas tree…

needlefelt baubles for Christmas Fair

Now I’ve just got to persuade myself to part with them!

I’ll be back soon with more pretty things, but for now I’d better get back to the preparations.  I have a red tablecloth to hem!

If you are in the area, put the date in the diary and come and see us, we’d love to meet you, and there will be CAKE!

See you soon…x


Crochet Christmas Baubles – Part Two

Crochet Christmas BaublesWhen I wrote the last post about Crochet Christmas Baubles and the perils of pattern writing I really didn’t expect such a huge response when I tentatively asked for pattern testers.  Many,  many thanks for all the offers, it was very much appreciated.  I’ve not done this before, and decided on 4 testers as I hoped that different things would be picked up by different readers but that 4 points of view wouldn’t confuse me too much!

It’s amazing how many typos got through,  you really do read what you meant to say, not what you actually said. I was able to make tweaks to the pattern to correct anomalies, and to clarify instructions, so the testers’ input has been hugely helpful, so many thanks to Gina, Sarah, Alison and Janet.  This is from Janet, it’s interesting to see someone else’s version!

Crochet Christmas Bauble example

I’ve added the American equivalents to the abbreviations which I hope will help, and I’ve put in illustrated steps which I hope will  make things clear.  It looks more complicated than it actually is!

The pattern is now for sale in the Etsy shop here, along with the yarn of course.

more crochet Christmas baubles

I’m now busy getting things together for the Two Rivers Trail Exhibition and Craft Fair which is coming up on 24th November, and coming up very quickly… eek…!

It’s the only thing I’m doing in the real world for a while (as opposed to cyber space) so if you are in the Norfolk area it would be lovely to see you.  My fellow ‘Trailers’ are a talented lot and have very varied skills so there really is something for everyone.

I’ve just time to fit in a Higgy walk before it gets too dark so I’m off just now, but I’ll be back soon…x

And the Winner is…

Buttonbag Advent Calendar box

I’ve just picked the winner for the Buttonbag Advent Calendar Giveaway and it was SO hard!  So hard in fact I gave up trying to choose between all the wonderful Christmas traditions which so many people had told me about and went for the trusty Random Number Generator…

So the winner is Frances, who has a great family tradition which I would like to copy myself…

“Our Christmas tradition is that my husband and I buy each other a pair of pyjamas and a pair of slippers/or cosy bed socks, we give each other the gift on Christmas Eve so we go to bed and wake up Christmas morning in our new PJs. This is a tradition carried on from when my husband was a kid and his parents would give him and his brother new PJs on Christmas Eve, and has been carried down to our two children (our daughter nearly 3 years old and 7 month old son), as since my in-laws have had grandchildren they have sent a PJ parcel in the post to be opened on Xmas eve. There are so many things right about having new pyjamas at Christmas!!!”

Congratulations Frances, I hope you and your family have years of fun and Advent anticipation with your calendar…

Thank you all so much for taking part.  As always I wish I could give everyone a prize.  Do take the time to visit the post to read the other entries, they are lovely, really bringing home the family spirit of Christmas.  The shops may be full of ‘stuff’ and consumerism, but the heart of Christmas is really about being with the people you care about…

I will be back before long with news about the pattern testing from the last post, so see you soon…x

Crochet Christmas Baubles – The Pattern

Crochet Christmas BaublesOh the joys of pattern writing!  I seem to have spent most of the last week fiddling around with these Crochet Christmas Baubles.

crochet Christmas bauble - closeup

I know a lot of you out there do the most wonderful tutorials and patterns on your blogs, but for those  who have never tried  I’ll give you a little flavour of it.

First, as you sit playing around with yarn and hook you have an idea and you make a ‘thing’ that you quite like.  So, after a bit more fiddling it turns into a ‘thing’ that you really like….Hooray!

Then,  trying to remember what happened the first time round, you make it again, this time jotting down the process as you go.

And then you make it again, this time from the pattern, scribbled on  the back of an envelope, correcting the mistakes.

To the computer to type it out…

Print it…

Make it again, to pick up typos.

Back to the computer for corrections.  Then go through with a fine tooth comb trying to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never seen the pattern before.  Is it explained it simply enough?

Decide some bits need pictures.  Make it again, taking pictures.

Photoshop next, cropping and balancing to make the pics as good as possible.

Put the pattern together on screen.  How does it look?

Print it.

Panic… Have I  looked at it for so long that I’ve missed some howling error?

Have some down time on the Facebook Page and discover that someone has left a comment on a picture shared of a beautiful original piece of work with a link to the Ravelry pattern and find someone has said, and I quote,  

It is BEAUTIFUL! but $5 is too much for a pattern!”


Crochet Christmas  BaublesAnd so this pattern was sent out to some lovely volunteers to try out, and having been thoroughly tested by a textile artist, a crochet newbie and an old hand at crochet, the  Crochet Christmas Baubles pattern is now available to buy on Etsy.  Find it here! 

November 2014 UPDATE:

You will also find it as one of Attic24 Lucy’s picks in the Christmas 2014 edition of  Simply Crochet Magazine just here…

crochet Christmas baublesHave fun…!

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