Category Archives: Folksy Shop

Crochet Mini Mice for Handmade Monday

crochet Mini Mice

When I introduced the Mini Mice on a Handmade Monday Post a month ago I had just finished making them, hadn’t written the pattern and was in the run up to Open Studios etc.  Definitely the last time I introduce something that isn’t in the final stages of going ‘live’!  Since then I have been asked over and over about the pattern, the kits and when I would have them available.  The thing is, I really want to get it right.   I don’t want to disappoint anyone with a pattern that doesn’t work or a kit which doesn’t look like fun, which is why I’ve been beavering away all week to get things ready for this post.

As you can imagine, the Crochet Mini Mice kits take a little while to build, and I had to find a way to supply the yarn so it’s tidy, but also looks attractive.

I now have a new little windy gadget and some cards.  Here’s the yarn in all it’s rainbow gorgeousness…

The Mini Mice kits will also contain the magnets, the stuffing, the eyes and noses and the all important pattern, enough to make 14 mouse magnets. All you will need is a 3mm hook and a needle and black thread.  I think my next quest will be to source a supplier for 3mm hooks as I’d love to be able to add those to the kits.

The pattern will be for sale on my new Etsy shop.  I’m sort of teetering in the middle at the moment between Etsy and Folksy.  Because I have so many visitors from the US, Etsy seems to be more geared toward that market, while being very user-friendly for the UK and other places.  Does anyone else have any thoughts or experiences about this? I’d love to hear from you if you do.

If you have previously bought a full pack of the Planet Penny Cotton Club yarns from me and would like a copy of the pattern, do let me know and I will send you a copy free of charge.

I will be putting the kits on Etsy this week at £17.50, but as an introductory offer I have 5 to sell at the special price of £15.00 on a strictly first come, first served basis.  If you would like to buy one, please contact me through the Planet Penny Contact Form.

groups of crochet Mini Mice

I was all set to leave you with the links to Handmade Monday over on Handmade Harbour where you will find all sorts of crafty goings on, but I embarked on a mini project today inspired by the lovely Penelope by the Sea on her blog L is for Love.

She has been Noticing Yellow this weekend so I popped out for half an hour to see what ‘yellow’ I too could notice.  Quite a lot as it happens…

What a lovely sunshiney end to the week!

See you 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

Mini Mice for a Crochet Handmade Monday

I wish I could share this beautiful tree in a shaft of sunlight with a blue sky background, but alas the gloom of the last few days makes me worry if I wait for the sun to come out, all the blossom will have faded and died.  It tends to run in a two year cycle, last year there were about three flowers, this years it’s really going to town!

I seem to have spent so much time over the past week with my head down, working, that things are popping out in the garden and I’m missing them.  I’m hopelessly behind with the Garden Diaries, I was full of good intentions but there is only one of me, and it’s a bit of a struggle to not only do it all, but write about it too!

We’re really in the run up to the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios now, doors open next Saturday for three weekends, which is both scary and exciting.  We’re not novices this year though, we had a really positive experience last year, so we’re looking forward to it.

In between winding many, many little balls of cotton over the last week for the Rainbow Mouse Kits I’ve been working on a new pattern and I’ve just finished making the prototype in time to show it to my Handmade Monday chums…  I seem to be in the grip of a mouse obsession at the moment, both crochet and needlefelt and I can’t quite move on from it yet.     I wanted to devise something small, to use up those little oddments of yarn which might otherwise be wasted, so I’ve now got a teeny, tiny mini mouse!

I couldn’t let him be lonely…

…and in the end of course, there had to be one of each colour… and then I thought… MAGNETS!

I’ve had quite a lot of fun playing with them….!

I hope to write the pattern before too long and I’ll put it on the Etsy shop, although if you’ve bought a Planet Penny Yarn pack I will send you the pattern on request.  I’m thinking about a kit too, but does anyone know whether sending magnets through the mail, especially overseas, is a potential problem?  I hate to think of one of my ‘pink parcels’ being detonated in a car park somewhere!

If you are a Handmade Monday regular and wondering about the rest of the wedding bits and pieces, I wrote about it in my last post which you will find here.  It’s worth a visit just to see the amazing wedding cake made entirely from….well I won’t spoil it, go and take a peek!

Next week, hopefully on Thursday, I will publish my first ever Guest Post.  If you have children, or grandchildren aged 10+ or are an avid reader yourself come back to meet the author Thomas Taylor, talking about his novel, ‘Haunters’, which is published next week.  (It’s dedicated to me and Tim, it’s amazing what people will do to be allowed on Planet Penny!!!)

I’ll leave you with a link to Wendy’s Handmade Harbour so you can visit all the other Handmade Monday blogs, and yet more mice…

See you soon….squeak! x

The Merry Month of May….

Everything seems to be happening in the merry month of May 2012!   In the spirit of chasing along so as not to get left behind…

…and before I run out of time…

I know…sorry!

I’m squeezing in an extra post so I don’t get completely overwhelmed with things to say, photos to show and no time.

So, May….first of all, there are three birthdays.  Poor Tim drew the short straw having to go back to work on his birthday.  The Carrot Cake recipe must come out in time for his return home I feel!   Then of course there was the wedding… I do have some more photos to share, don’t worry, but they won’t be of the Mother-of-the-Groom.  A line must be drawn!   And, my own big news, Planet Penny is now officially a business.  Not perfect timing but things were running away from me, and I needed it all to be official.

The Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios event is fast approaching, in fact it’s the weekend after next.  There is still loads to do, but we’ll get there, and if anyone is in the Norfolk area it would be SO lovely to see you.  You can find out all about it here.

The next big exciting thing though is next week, and it’s the launch of my son Thomas’ debut novel in Heffer’s bookshop in Cambridge.  Obviously I’m a proud mum, but I’m not alone in thinking he’s pretty special and you can read a bit about the launch here.   And of course if you are in the Cambridge area you could join in too, and come and say hello, I’ll be the one with a proud grin from ear to ear!

Thomas is going to write the very first Guest Post for Planet Penny in the next few days, too, so do look out for that.

But back to the wedding, and the decorations.  We had Wedding Trees!  It had started in the back of my mind as painted branches on which to hang little pretties, but with the help of St Serendipity again, we found two beautifully shaped Japanese Maples in pots.  At the time they were completely bare, but just in time they put out the most beautiful red leaves which were still small enough for an overall lacy effect, and I draped them with little white lights, tiny white calico hearts and paper doves…

But the thing which occupied most of my time in the run up to the wedding was the cake topper.  I’d had a particular idea in mind from the moment  I heard it was going to be a cheese cake.  and I don’t mean a cheesecake, I mean a cake made of CHEESE!  Wallace and Gromit would be proud!

It had to be mice, didn’t it?  And I didn’t let the fact that there weren’t actually any bridesmaids, or even a pageboy put me off…

And the chef made an amazing job of putting the whole construction together…

Mouse Wedding Cake Toppers

I have to say it was delicious too, and very much appreciated by all the family, complete cheese fanatics every one!

Finally, a Planet Penny Cotton Club update.  I have just moved the yarn packs, Rainbow Mouse Kits and patterns on to the Folksy shop.  I’ve been a little overwhelmed by the administration involved selling them directly, I need time to be creative or I just don’t function!  It all seems to be working well but let me know if you have a problem.

See you soon…x

Needlefelt Sheep for Handmade Monday

I don’t know what the weather is doing in your part of the world, but despite the bright sun, fluffy clouds and blue sky, the wind feels as if it’s just blown off a snow field in this corner of Norfolk!  It doesn’t help that we know we live in the windiest spot in the village, as you can see by our proximity to the village mill, now sadly defunct. That’s us, at the end of the arrow…

So even though I’m still finding plenty of newly emerging flowers…

The view is still decidedly wintery…

…and it would actually be really good to get some rain, and I don’t say that very often!

I’m going to share some other people’s handmade lovelies with you now, before making a very exciting announcement!  So first of all, have you come across a book called Best in Show – Knit Your Own Cat?

knit your own cat

One of the ladies at our Knit and Stitch group was given this for Christmas, and has been knitting her own cats ever since!

Aren’t they amazing?  Imagine knitting a tail, with 4 stitches, on 4 needles!

And, since I am running out of time in my life to make anything for me, I went off to Folksy to find myself a peg bag and found just what I wanted from Plum Pudding, and couldn’t resist these little heart fridge magnets as well…

There are so many pretty things in the shop, and the fabrics are right up my street.

And now for my big announcement…

This is my 300th Blog Post!

Added to which, I have just galloped past 100,000 visits on the Planet Penny stats, so as a thank you to all you lovely people who have loyally followed, and commented and generally joined in,  I’m going to have a prize draw.

This time, I’m offering a very special prize.  Do you remember my needlefelt sheep?

There haven’t been any sheep in the Folksy shop for a while, something I mean to address very soon, and they usually sell for £30.00. But, I have one very special sheep looking for a good home, and because this is an occasion worth celebrating, I am offering her as the prize.  Meet Goldie…

Goldie could be yours, all you have to do is to leave a comment on this post for a place in the draw.  If you ‘like’ me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter  you’ll go into the hat again!  It’s that simple… I’ll keep it open for a couple of weeks to give you all a chance to join in.

And can I make a plea for some healing vibes to be sent my way on Tuesday?  I dashing off after teaching the needlefelt course at The OutHouse Studio on Tuesday morning to have a tooth out in the afternoon, at two thirty would you believe…(tooth hurty!?…sorry..) So I may be a bit feeble for the rest of the week.

Anyway, off to 1st Unique Gifts now to link up for Handmade Monday again, do go and see what everyone  else has been up to.

See you soon x



Reasons to be Cheerful – Lucky 13!

The first thing I found this morning when I went on the computer is that the Guardian has a feature called Reasons to be Cheerful, so we are in good company!  And one of their reasons made me very happy, new in at IKEA is this…

Oh how I love raspberry pink!  Now IKEA is a day trip for us, we have to do the meatballs and everything, but I might have to work on a visit very soon.  I realise there’s a whole love/hate thing with IKEA too.  When we introduced Aimee to it she nearly had to be carried sobbing and screaming into the carpark after half an hour but lured in by something like raspberry pink dishes I think I can be brave!

Going from one extreme to another, in this case a multinational Super Store to an individual business, I love the way most of the things I buy on line from small retailers tend to arrive looking like little presents…

…bamboo crochet hooks from Wool and Buttons

I love using bamboo knitting needles, I’ll let you know how I get on with these…

I’m being optimistic about the garden too, although the last few days have been too gloomy and wet to get anything done at all.  I went out in the drizzle this morning to encourage Higgins to follow, he’d really rather not when it’s wet.

I had spotted the yellow crocuses which grow in the lawn were about to open and thought I could get a lovely shot of Higgins smelling the flowers…

‘Higgins! Look! What’s this?’

Gallopy gallopy…CHOMP!

…one less crocus to brighten the gloom…will I ever learn?

We went off to the garden centre to replace the mini plastic greenhouse which was really useful for starting off seeds but had been ripped off the wall and seen off by the gales.  Fortunately, still half price so it didn’t break the bank at less than £15.00.  This time we’ll put in stronger fixings.  This is a problem when you live in windswept Norfolk.

A new trowel and fork in bright blue. New because you might have noticed someone chewed the handles off the old ones, and bright blue so I don’t keep mislaying them…

…and they look very jolly along with my gardening gloves…

And while I’m waiting to get to grips with the great outdoors, I have a few indoor projects from the cut price shelf to be going on with.

I’m very cheerful that I’ve sold one of my Love Bird Hearts on Folksy and later today I will be adding the larger one, which has been finished off with a primrose…

So, despite the gloom, I’m managing to keep my spirits up, how about you?  If you’ve got some cheerfulness to share please join in with the Linky below, or leave a comment on the post.  It’s always lovely to hear from you….!

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