Category Archives: Exhibitions

Bexhill, Hastings…and a little bit of knitting!

After last week’s London adventure you’d think I’d retire for a rest, but no… the very next day we were packing the car to set off to the South Coast for a couple of days in the Bexhill/Hastings area staying with elder son and family.  It was an eventful start.  While I was away Higgins had tried out his ‘Super-Dog’ impression, leaping off the arm of the chair shouting at a passing jogger and landing painfully hard on his little stumpy legs and pulling a muscle.  This involved a trip to the vet before we set out, a rigorous examination to check nothing desperate had been done, and instructions to make sure Higgins took things easy, and No Running About…

What?  We were on our way to stay with his favourite little boys, who live in a house with a garden full of squirrels….

After a long day driving, Friday is not a good day to travel, Higgins had had the equivalent of 24 hours bed rest and was even less likely to do what the doctor ordered when he arrived, but a lot of effort was put into nursing care…

small dog having a cuddle with a small boy

We had a peaceful morning on Saturday, with a spot of craftiness…

hand made birthday cards

and a trip to the park in the afternoon…

learning to ride a bike Bexhill Park

but the next day it was pouring…

Not a day for the beach for anyone.

We spent the morning with a  little bit of knitting…

small dog helping small boy to knit

you just see how helpful Higgins was being!

In the afternoon however, we donned waterproofs and headed to Hastings…

Rainy day in Hastings

I love the area around Rock a Nore in Hastings with it’s strange black fishing huts, and despite the rain found Claire Fletcher‘s great little studio opened for the afternoon full of beautiful bits and pieces, and one I had only that morning been reading about in a copy of Coast magazine…

When the big black doors in the photo are opened, you see this!

Claire Fletcher Open Studio, Hastings

After a little wander around in the teeth of the wind and rain…

Rock a Nore Hastings

Half Sovereign cottage Hastings

Fishing Boats, Hastings

….we reached the Jerwood Gallery which I’ve wanted to visit since it opened.

It’s an amazing exhibition space, and although it is controversially built next to the fishing area of Hastings on The Stade , the sympathetic design means it sits comfortably alongside the black sheds.  Inside, the large plain windows frame the surrounding views, making the town part of the exhibition…

Black sheds in Hastings, seen from Jerwood Gallery

Inside Jerwood Gallery, Hastings

Gary Hume exhibition, Hastings Jerwood Gallery I now wear the badge I bought in Claire’s Studio with pride!

I love Hastings badge

And I did manage a little bit of creativity of my own…You don’t think I went away without my knitting did you?  Unable to find the pattern I made my fingerless mitts from a couple of years ago (if you remember, Higgins ate them!) I devised a new pattern of my own.  Very simple, (and I could knit in the car too, obviously not while driving!)

knitted wrist warmers

but with lots of scope for embellishment…

embroidered wrist warmers

…and so good I made them twice!

I’ve written the pattern, and it’s available for free here, if you’d like to make some too.

So I’ll leave you for now with the link to Handmade Monday over on Handmade Harbour, and I’ll be back soon…x

A Bug in the System

Hello! So sorry I haven’t been around for a while, and thank you so much for the lovely Get Well Soon messages which were very much appreciated.  I usually have to cope with a bug in the computer system, but this time the virus has been my very own!

The last few weeks have been flagged up for ages as the busiest of the whole of 2012 but I had thought I would gallop out the other end triumphant carrying a banner (or a stream of bunting!), not stagger out with a box of tissues under one arm waving a white flag!

In the space of month there has been:

  1. A Wedding (Proud Mama #1 (with hat))
  2. A Book Launch (Proud Mama #2)
  3. CSSD Student daughter left for Mumbai as part of the Morni Theatre Collective (Proud Mama #3)
  4. Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios- three weekends  (Working hat)
  5. Another Wedding (Proud Aunt (with another hat))
  6. Most of my best-beloved family either visiting or staying (see items 1 & 5)

In amongst all this, Planet Penny decided it was not possible to wait another month to become a business rather than a hobby, which has involved finding a business account, an accountant, taking legal advice….and so on….and so on….

Perhaps it’s not surprising that a rogue bug decide to join the party, but I really haven’t appreciated having such a nasty little gate-crasher!

Today is the first day I have actually found two brain cells to rub together so I’m gradually trying to get my studio back into working order whilst thinking my way round all the ‘stuff’ which has accumulated whilst I (as in ‘my brain’) have been ‘off line’.  so while I’m doing all that, I’ll share a few of the photos taken over the last few weeks….

There has been of course Open Studios, and this is what Planet Penny looked like in ‘exhibition space’ mode…

There were times when you couldn’t see all this though…

…and times when we were playing host to our local MP!

Just down the road our neighbour was hosting her first Open Studio, complete with a herd of Alapacas

and a yurt!

Hands up who is joining me with serious ‘Yurt Envy’!

A fabulous time was had at the book launch at Heffers Children’s Book Shop in Cambridge…

Not often you have to queue to speak to your own son!

And as the rain fell, the garden carried on growing…

Peach Rose

…and growing…

…and growing.

But now it’s back to normal time.  I’ve already re-jigged one set of display shelves to accomodate the latest Planet Penny Cotton Club delivery…

…and it’s heads down sorting out the next pattern and kit.  The packs are for sale on Etsy, follow this link or the the Shop button at the top of the page to find them, plus the Rainbow Mouse kits, Mini Mice Fridge Magnet kits  and patterns.

See you again soon! x

Carrot Cake! – for Handmade Monday

I’m sitting at the computer in the gloom, listening to the rain hammering down.  This is certainly the wettest drought I’ve ever experienced!

In fact now it’s hailing, so that’s going to do for the blossom on the cherry trees, what a crazy mixed up spring!

I’m just praying that Mother Nature will get it all out of her system before the 12th May, and the wedding.

This morning Kit and I went off to the Forum in Norwich to deliver our pieces for the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studio Taster Exhibition, which starts tomorrow, so I no longer have  my branch of woolly birds hanging on the wall.  I’m rather missing their colourfulness!

Once again my creativity this week has been of the secret kind, with the wedding in mind, but I do have a completely scrummy cake recipe to share. Hands up who likes carrot cake!

Unfortunately I didn’t get to it quickly enough with the camera, but you can get the impression of yumminess from this last remaining slice I’m sure!  I’ve put the recipe in the Planet Penny recipe folder, or you can find it here.

It’s been a little quiet on the Planet Penny Cotton Club front of late because I have been awaiting an elusive out of stock colour, but it’s now on it’s way, so if you are on the waiting list, please bear with me, it’ll be here very soon. ( If you are a new visitor you can find out all about it if you follow the link.)

However, I have been plotting, yet another ‘cunning plan’!   I’ve had a huge amount of traffic on the Crochet Rainbow Mouse Pattern page and it’s been pinned on lots of Pinterest boards and ‘liked’ on Facebook  hundreds of times, and people have asked to buy the finished articles.

It occurred to me that if you really wanted to make the whole set of mice in all the rainbow colours, but didn’t want to end up with lots of unused balls of yarn left over then it could be good to buy a Rainbow Mouse Pack, with the required amount of yarn to make one mouse in each colour, which would make it much more economical.

So, that’s what I am offering, and at the moment I have just three packs, on a first come first served basis.  The pack contains 14 balls of yarn, each ball enough to make one crochet Mouse…

…with the pattern and instructions on how to make it into a mouse wreath, plus the beads for the eyes and noses.  All you will need to add would be a 3mm crochet hook, toy stuffing and some black sewing thread, and if you want to make a wreath, I used a florists wire base which cost 75p.

I’m offering the packs at £15.00 each, plus £3.50 P&P (UK)

If you would like to purchase a Rainbow Mouse pack, please contact me here and let me know your address, and the email address linked to your Paypal account and I will send you a Paypal invoice to pay.  It’s as simple as that!

Don’t forget, if you haven’t already entered, the draw to win Goldie, the needlefelt sheep is still running.  I will be taking the winning name out of the hat  next Sunday in time for next week’s Handmade Monday, so there is still time to leave a comment on the post, and for extra entries, ‘like’ Planet Penny on Facebook, follow @woollyplanet on Twitter, or become a Planet Penny blog follower and let me know about it.

In the meantime, I shall leave you with the usual link to 1st Unique Gifts and the Linky to all the other creative bloggers taking part, do go and have a look, and I’ve just joined the High Tea Linky Party at Black Cat Originals where you’ll find some more yummy recipes.

I’ll be back soon….x

Needlefelt Birds for Handmade Monday

Happy Easter to all!  Are you full of chocolate yet?  We’re having a quiet time here as the family are away and so needlefelt birds have been in the forefront of my mind and the felting needle has been smoking…(which is what mustn’t happen to the lamb shanks I shall be putting in the oven shortly for a long slow cook for our dinner à deux tonight !)

We celebrated the start of the hosepipe ban last week with a really rainy day here…

Norfolk garden viewed through a rain spattered window

Some people found it most depressing…

A small dog being very grumpy about the rain

Of course, Murphy’s Law applied too, as after days and days of dry weather, this was the day the soil was delivered to fill my beautiful new raised beds from Home Grown Revolution

These are now looking absolutely splendid…

raised beds from Home Grown Revolution

…all ready for warmer weather and the time to get them planted.  I’m feeling very guilty about the garden as despite my best intentions things are slipping rather, but short of that elusive extra day in the week I would love to find, it can’t be helped.

As well as the smoking felting needle, the keyboard’s been pretty hot too, as I’ve been writing.  I haven’t mention it before (because I sort of didn’t believe it until I saw in black and white) but I am now a Features Writer for UK Handmade, and you’ll find my first offerings here and here if you are curious.  And if you haven’t found UK Handmade’s website before, there are lots and lots of really interesting articles by some amazingly creative people to keep you amused over the holiday weekend!

I was also asked to write a guest blog post by Sue, of SusanD1408Crochet Addict which you can find here if you’d like to know  how Planet Penny came into being.

Meanwhile, back at the felting needles…. You’ll remember last week I had got as far as this…

colourful needlefelt Merino wool balls

….but nobody guessed where I was going with it.

I started with the pale yellow on in the middle…

the woolly feet of a needlefelt chick

(those little feet are very important) …and turned into a special Easter chick…

a needlefelt bird on the letter P

However the real aim is a piece to exhibit at the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios Taster Exhibition at the Forum in Norwich next month.  This has existed in my head for so long it was rather a shock to realise that I hadn’t actually made it yet, so I’ve been working on it all week.  This involved my Easter Chick having a few more friends, a whole flock of needlefelt birds…

pink, blue and yellow needlefelt birds on a branch

A wool branch of needlefelt birds

a lambswool branch of needlefelt birds

I’m now at the final stages, with leaves crocheted in Bluefaced Leicester wool….

…and with any luck I should finish it this evening in front of the fire.  The branch is made from the lambswool yarn I bought from High Fibre, and used with the needlefelt robins at Christmas and I’m really pleased with the way it works in with the whole concept.  One day, when I have time (!) I will knit myself the raspberry colour mug hug from the yarn I bought from Fiona at the Pick’n’Mix Market last year.

Needlefelting is getting a fresh burst of publicity this week with this month’s issue of Mollie Makes.  Aren’t these cute?

So I hope there will be lots of enthusiasm for the Needlefelting Course I’m teaching on 17th April at The OutHouse Studio in Aylsham, North Norfolk.  I think there’s a place or two left, so if you are near enough, it would be lovely to see you!

I’ll leave you with a link to Wendy, over on 1st Unique Crafts who hosts Handmade Monday, and there you will find plenty more interesting things have been going on over the past week!

See you soon x

It’s Spring, It’s Spring!

Wow! Look at the sunshine!

I think Tim brought it back with him.  We went off for a walk in Bacton Woods yesterday.  We haven’t been since the time  Higgins had a play with a very bouncy spaniel, got a sore leg and had to be carried back to the car.  He might be little but he’s very solid!  But it was lovely, and I’ve spotted clumps of bluebells so we must be sure to go back again at the right time.

The gorse made a lovely splash of yellow…

…and Higgins even met a little friend…

I’ve spent the afternoon in the garden today, I’m glad you can’t see the compost under my fingernails! I’m trying very hard to keep up with the Garden Diaries but I’m afraid I’m a bit of a fair weather gardener.  The broad beans are coming on very nicely and I might have a few baby salad leaves to harvest next week, but the carrots and spring onions are taking their time.  I hope a bit of warm weather might do the trick.

More and more things are bursting into flower.  This really is my favourite time of year.  You can feel things growing all around, and I love the fact that the roadsides are filled with daffodils and the hedges with the starry white blackthorn blossom, and every time I go out in the garden something else has popped out.

There’s still the odd garden pest though!

I also love the weeping willow at this time of the year, at the point where the leaves have emerged just enough to turn the branches limey green without hiding its gracefulness.

I’ve been very busy indoors too, and after all the wrapping and packing I’m nearly at the end of this batch of rainbow yarn.  I’ve had so much lovely feedback as the pink parcels have arrived at their destinations.

‘My cotton has just arrived ! It is so so gorgeous (even better than I thought!)’

‘The cotton arrived yesterday afternoon. It is WONDERFUL!!  Better than any cotton I have ever used. I LOVE it! THANK YOU so much for sharing. I am off to crochet a little mouse…  8-)’

And it’s great (and just a little strange) to see the yarn turning up on other blogs in other countries, in Australia and  the USA.

If you haven’t got your pack yet,

 find out all about it here,

Please get in touch with any questions


I’ve been needlefelting, working on the piece for the Taster Exhibition at the Forum in Norwich for Open Studios but I haven’t anything to show you just yet!  What is so frustrating is having a pattern in my head for another crochet idea and NO TIME TO MAKE IT!  I’ll try very hard to fit it in before Handmade Monday comes around again, I do hope it works.

So on that note I’d better stop chatting, and skedaddle off to work again, I hope the sun’s been shining where you are…

See you soon…x


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