Category Archives: Courses

A Grown-up Camera, a Digital SLR…

…ooh-er…

Yes, after umming and ahing for ages, I now have a shiny new digital SLR Camera, and I’m really quite excited about it!

It all began because I spotted fellow East Anglian and Sheepy person Penny, of Penny Lindop Designs, talking about how much she had got out of an online photographic course she had just finished.  I’ve always been slightly intimidated by ‘real’ photography and ‘proper’ cameras, with all the acronyms and numbers, lens and zooms, exposures and depth of field.  These days the automatic setting on a digital compact or the camera on a smartphone can take you a long way.  And having my little Canon IXUS 125 HS (you see, all initials and numbers!) tucked in my handbag is really handy.

However, it’s quite hard work getting the right sort of photos for Etsy, and occasionally for magazines. I end up having to do quite a lot of fiddling around in Photoshop before I’m happy with the result.

So I investigated the photographic course, read my way through the website and had a good chat with Penny about her experiences and decided it’s exactly what I need right now to get my creative juices going.  A new challenge.

You can do the course using a compact camera, but the advice is by the time you’ve got to the end you would be ready to move on so it seemed sensible to learn the ropes whilst getting used to new equipment.  And the bonus was that the recommended digital SLR camera is also a Canon, a make I’m really happy with.

I’m still a little reverential in my handling of this new and (to me) sophisticated bit of kit and it hasn’t been off automatic yet, but I love it!

It makes Higgins look extremely shiny…

Mini Dachshund…and the flowers in the garden look more beautiful than ever…

Flower Montage Digital SLR camera parcticeThe Course is aimed at Designers, Makers, Crafters and Sellers who want to photograph their products, and get to grips with styling, lighting and presentation and I’m really looking forward to learning all about it.  I’ve been having a play and just having the new camera has made such a difference already…

Planet Penny Products photo practice digital SLR camera

 I’m really looking forward to starting the course in September, it’s never too late to go back to school!

If you are interested in the course I think there are some places left, you can find out about it here at Photocraft, and do let me know if we are going to be classmates!

See you soon…x

Needlefelting in Norwich

Well, Open Studios may be over for another year, but the needlefelting goes on… Last Saturday I packed my big spotty bag with a rainbow of fluffy fleece and went off to the Craft Lounge at the new Arts Desire premises.  It’s all looking very lovely there now, and I especially appreciated the posh new coffee machine, and Kay’s newly acquired skills as a barista. I function so much better after a shot of caffeine!

We had a lovely group of people on the Needlefelt workshop who were very creative and soon got into the swing of needlefelting, with only the odd squeak as someone missed the work and pricked a finger (with no swearing, I was impressed)

Needlefelt workshop at Arts Desire, NorwicgAt the end we had an eclectic mix of creations, several birds, a cuddly mouse, a French bulldog, a scary monster and a rainbow hedgehog…

Art's Desire, Needlefelt workshop

beginners_needleflet, Arts Desire, NorwichI’ve now had a request for a workshop for making needlefelt notebook covers so if you are interested, do let me know.

Back home, I’m trying to get to grips with the garden which seems to have gone mad while my back was turned.  I’ve made lots of moments to just stand and stare at the Albertine Rose though…

Albertine RoseFor 48 weeks of the year it’s a complete thug.  It’s rampaged over the fence into next door and is swarming up their house too, fortunately they really like it.  It sends out long, long branches covered in large thorns which grab at unsuspecting callers and it takes our son, Will, who is also our gardener most of an afternoon to trim it, tame it and train up the wires he’s put on the house.  But at this time of the year it completely redeems itself, smothering the front of the house with fondant pink.  I love lying in bed and viewing the world through rose petals!

It’s all too brief though, and already the North wind of the past couple of days has made the doorstep look as if we’ve hosted a wedding reception…

rose petalsSuch a fleeting moment…

Going back to the needlefelting again, one or two sharp-eyed people spotted the little old man in the tree when they came to visit for Open Studios…

Needlefelt man in the tree NNOSI’m going to leave him there and see what happens.  Will he rot? Will he be eaten by slugs or moths?  Will he be dismantled by birds for nesting material?  Or will he still be there for next year’s Open Studios…?

We shall see!

See you soon…x

 

Little Vintage Lover Fair

Sunday was a day off…hooray! A gorgeous sunny day, just right to pack the car and head off to the Little Vintage Lover Fair in Heydon, Norfolk.  I’ve been spotting mentions of it on various blogs over the past weeks,  I knew my friend Lisa, of Bobobun was going to be there and it’s so long since I last went!

hollyhocks - Little Vintage Lover Fair

It’s such a gorgeous venue, the quintessential English village, part of a large estate with no through road so it’s very peaceful.

Heydon - Little Vintage Lover FairHiggins was delighted with the park…

Higgins at theLittle Vintage Lover Fair…and met some lovely people to talk to outside the tearooms…

Tea rooms, Heydon - Little Vintage Lover Fair

The venue itself was in an early 20th century Army hut, with stalls both inside and out and there was so much to see…

Heydon Village Hall - Little Vintage Lover Fair

car at  Little Vintage Lover Fair

Stalls at Little Vintage Lover FairWe found Bobobun inside, (call over to the blog to see lots more photos!)…

Bobobun Stall at Little Vintage Lover Fair

..and Higgins was delighted to meet Lisa and Little Bun.  He was also pleased to find he was not the only visiting dog so it was an interesting day for him too!

Higgins&pal

(He’s always a little cautious about bigger dogs who might stand on him as you can see!)

This week he’s spent quite a bit of time in the studio helping me (commandeering a crochet blankie to make under the desk extra comfy) while I get ready for the next needlefelt workshop at Arts Desire.

mini dachshund and crochet throw

I’ll tell you more about it after Saturday, but this time we are making mice.  Would you like to see?

Needlefelt Mouse

I’ll be back soon….x

Planet Penny Bakery

Planet Penny Bakery - needlefelt cupcakesJust a little post to tell you about the Planet Penny Bakery which is happening next weekend at Arts Desire in Norwich.  The Craft Lounge at  Arts Desire is hosting a workshop next Saturday morning between 10.30 and 1pm where I will teaching how to create these low calorie, high fibre cupcakes.  A plateful of these little fancies would look so cute on a dresser full of eclectic vintage china, and they make great pincushions!

There are still a few places on the course.  It would be lovely to have you along to learn a fascinating skill which once mastered will open the door on all sorts of projects.  The only limit is your imagination!  If you don’t live near enough but have friends in the area, please spread the word…

Strawberry cupcake Planet  -Penny Bakery

Don’t forget to come back and visit very soon because I have such a great giveaway coming up!

I’ve always enjoyed finding gadgets, books, patterns etc I can recommend via the blog.  These days I get approached to write and host reviews. This is very flattering, but I value my relationship with all of you far too much to want to turn my personal space on Planet Penny into advertising space for random ‘Stuff’.  (Believe me, some of the ‘Stuff’ I’ve been approached about is extremely random! )

So I’ve got something fab to tell you about, and then I’ll be giving you a chance to win one of your very own…Can’t wait?  Well, come back tomorrow to find out…

See you then…x

 P.S. This week I’m linking up with Handmade Monday so do call over and catch up with all the crafty goings on! 

 

Happy Birthday, Higgins!

Oh dear..I’m sorry to have been away so long!  I’ve been working hard on the ‘next big thing’ and there just haven’t been enough hours in the day.

But Higgins!  It was his birthday this week.  I can’t believe it’s nearly four years since we brought home this tiny bundle of black and tan trouble…

Higgins Mini dachshund in spotty blanket

Higgins on lead

(You can see more cute photos in the 2009/2010 archives)

He was calling the shots right from the start!  I tried very hard to get him in the party spirit for his birthday photo but you can tell, he really didn’t like wearing a hat, party or not!

Higgins, miniature dachshund in party hat

He’s already eaten all the squeaks out of his birthday presents too, but he had fun doing it!

And coincidently I had a Higgins related present this morning which I’d like to share with you. You’ll remember from this post I had a needlefelting workshop at the Art’s Desire Craft Lounge making little fantasy birds, and one of the participants was Willow, half of Farrell and Holmes who make beautiful things like this…

FarrellHolmes Dachshund

Will had such a good time learning to needlefelt I don’t think she’s stopped since, and this morning I received a card…

Thankyou card

and a mysterious little package…

pink package

In which I found..

Higgins Mirror..this gorgeous little mirror!

Higgins Mini dachshund  Mirror

Now while I’m pretty sure Higgins would love to sit and gaze at his own reflection I’m sorry, it’s going in my handbag!  Thank you, Will!

I’m off to do some photography now.  Remember I was working on the Knitted Mouse Pattern? Well I’m nearly there and plan to launch it this weekend.  If you are one of those frustrated non-crochet-ers who have been begging for a knitting pattern there not much longer to wait, I promise.  All fourteen of the new knitted Rainbow Mice are lining up to show off their best profiles for the camera right now.

I’ll be back soon….!

A Pain in the Neck!

If it’s been a bit quiet on Planet Penny the last few days it’s because its all been a bit of a pain in the neck…quite literally!  I don’t know how it’s possible to lock one’s neck up completely just turning on the pillow to look at the alarm clock  but that’s what I did, very effectively.   So my midweek post got delayed, and now I’m back in the chair with strict instructions from Lara, my amazing chiropractor, to set an alarm and step away from the computer every 20 minutes….

Which is quite tricky…

Feather and Needlefelt birds

I was mobile enough to take the second Needlefelt Workshop yesterday at Arts Desire and like the first one it was great fun.

Needlefelt Workshop, Arts DesireIt’s always fun to see the different interpretations of the same basic skill when we all get together, last week we had these little chaps (spot the bumble bee!)…

needlefelt bird workshop

…and yesterday these little feathered friends were born…

needlefelt birds29June

The Craft Lounge at Arts Desire is proving a great venue for these workshops and I’m looking forward to the 27th July and the Planet Penny Bakery when we will be needlefelting lots of low calorie high fibre treats!  If you are interested in joining us you can find out more right here

Meanwhile, I have been responding to many requests for a Rainbow Mouse knitting pattern for all those who don’t crochet and I’ve come up with this little fellow…

Knitted Rainbow Mouse

and introduced him to his crochet chums…

Knitted and Crochet Rainbow Mice

What do you think?  As soon as I feel happy with the design it will be available  alongside the crochet Mouse pattern via the Etsy shop

Knitted Rainbow Mouse

He seems to be looking very much at home..

And the sun is shining!  The creaky neck has put paid to much gardening, but my lovely son has been over and planted my Sarah Raven Sweet Peas. It’s a super scented collection of white, blue and deep pink …

Sarah Raven Sweet Peas…and I just can’t wait to pick my first bunch and fill the house with their scent.

I don’t think I’ve shown you my Planet Penny Cotton garden project!  It seems a bit mad, but so far has withstood the weather really well…

flowers in tins

Planet Penny Cotton Covered Tins

A possible tutorial?  Let me know what you think…

And now, because the sun is still shining and it’s heading towards being the hottest day of the year so far, I shall take my basket of yarn and the embryo mouse pattern into the garden and enjoy the rest of my Sunday, knitting under the cherry trees.

I hope you enjoy your Sunday too!

See you soon…x

 

 

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