Category Archives: Higgins

Pondering on Autumn days…

Autumn Days in Norfolk

Autumn in the UK is a constant source of surprise.

One day it feels like the sun hasn’t even risen, the gloom and rain is unrelenting and all you want to do is to snuggle up inside by the with a hot drink, a good book and a little woolly project. Oh, and in my case, a warm dachshund!)

And then another day will dawn and all you want to do is to dash of to the beach – again with small dog in tow – and breath in some fresh air and listen to the waves shooshing on the sand.

So this has been the week on Planet Penny.  The wet days and the gloomy days have made persuading Higgins out of the door quite a challenge and I don’t think he appreciates the delights of the autumn hedgerows AT ALL, but I do…

Autumn hedgerow - Nightshade berriesAutumn leavesMin dachshund in coatBut then the sun came out, and after a couple of hours battling with a large overgrown honeysuckle in the garden, Higgins and I headed off to the seaside to catch the last of the Autumn light…Autumn on the Norfolk coastWaxham 6It’s amazing to get there when it’s completely deserted, just me and a little dog, who just runs and runs and runs, and get a bit frustrated when I don’t join in!

miniature dachshundI spend a lot of the time with my head down looking for treasures, sea glass which is a rare find here…sea glassBrightly coloured seaweed…seaweed on the autumn beachjust appreciating the colours of the sea…Waxham 4The clocks go back this weekend, I hate losing the evening light, don’t you, so these Autumn excursions will become even more precious.

And talking of the dark evenings, have you entered the giveaway for the Dayight Lamp yet?  I’ve really enjoyed reading your comments about what you love best about Winter but there’s still some time left to join in, just enter HERE for a chance to win.

Here’s sending you sun filled Autumn days, and cosy crafty Autumn nights by the fire!

See you soon…x

Spring cleaning…in September!

September sunshine - Norfolk UKThat September ‘new term’ feeling never goes away really, does it?  All those years of seeing the ‘Back to School’ displays in the shop windows, the new school sandals (yuk!) and the new pencil case.

So it always seems a good time to start something new, or give something established a freshen up and that’s what I’m working on with the blog at the moment.  I’ve been blogging now for seven years, I can hardly believe it… there are 569 posts!  Because the whole thing has grown up a bit piecemeal over time I need to have a tidy up.

But it’s a bit like deciding to sort out the box of photos under the bed.  I’ve got right back to the beginning re-reading every post, it’s a lovely trip down memory lane!  I’ve gone back to past holidays, the arrival of Higgins and all the cute baby pics, the building of my studio, the passing seasons…It’s such a lovely record of my life and I’d never have done it without the blog.

I’m sure you’ve noticed the new Planet Penny header.  There’s so much going on here that than just wool so although I’m very fond of my sheep, I hope the new look encompasses the fact there’s a lot going on, and it’s all colourful!

But as well as beavering away at the computer I’m trying to make the most of any September sun which comes our way, (which, alas, has been a bit elusive.  I’m listening to the rain as I type!) I’ve been in charge of dog walking this past week so my camera has gone with me, and also a little friend of Higgins called Coco.  I’ve had my hands full.

mini dachshunds in September sunNorfolk UK - SeptemberThe hedgerows are full of berries this year, I don’t know when I’ve seen so many.  It’s a sign of bad weather to come so they say… memo to self: Knit more socks!hawthorn berries - Norfolk UK - SeptemberJust such a fabulous colour, aren’t they?  I always think the Nightshade berries look like necklaces the way they twine through the hedgerows…

Nightshade berries - September - Norfolk UKHaving a supply of poo bags when out for a walk is jolly handy if you want to do a spot of spontaneous blackberry picking…blackberries - SeptemberBut there are still summer flowers…scabious2015-09-19 16.26And bees…

2015-09-19 16.09and a fairy ring…Fairy ring - September - Norfolk, UK toadstools toadstools2But the fairy dogs weren’t interested…Mini dachshunds Higgins&Coco3…until I mentioned the word T-R-E-A-T-S…mINI DACHSHUNDS Higgins&CocoHiggins gets quite bossy about treats!Mini dachshunds - September -Norfolk UKMeanwhile, back home and I’m crocheting up a big warm sweater with cold days in the studio in mind.  After my lovely weekend at the Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive I was inspired by Ruby’s big chunky crochet creations and so I was delighted to find that the issue of Simply Crochet magazine I bought last year (because I’m in it too!) had Ruby’s jumper on the front.Crochet Entrepreneur in Simply CrochetI’ve customised it (because I’m not a sylph-like twenty year old) and I think it’s going to be very cosy.  It’s a brilliantly simple pattern, no shaping and only the one stitch all through.  What can go wrong? Picking up the wrong hook and doing half a sleeve with it before noticing, that’s what went wrong!  2015-09-20 10.11

So, not quite finished yet.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my September ramblings, do you spring clean in September too?

I’ll be back soon…x

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Breakfast: Heart Shaped Waffles

I can’t help it, I’m going to waffle on about waffles!

We’ve been celebrating this weekend, can you believe it’s actually SIX years since Higgins came into our lives…SIX!  Life hasn’t been the same since! Mini Dachshund 2009-09-23 07.19.48So a celebratory breakfast was called for, and excuse to test the super duper waffle maker kindly sent by Cakemart for me try out.  I’ve never made waffles before, simply because I didn’t think I could manage one of those traditional heavy waffle irons, but this one is really easy.

It’s very Planet Penny don’t you think? Pink AND heart shaped…heart shape waffle makerThe only thing to note is the waffle maker is supplied with a European plug and so will need an adaptor if you are in the UK.

The waffle maker comes with it’s own recipe leaflet, but I used the Cherry Poppy Seed Waffle recipe from my new favourite cook book, A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones and it was completely yummy.  The recipe uses oats ground to a flour, something I’ve not tried before, but it makes for a lovely light consistency and you need about 3 tablespoons of batter at a time to make the perfect size. (I had a few wonky waffles to eat while I worked that out!)

Bestron waffle makerServed with the warm cherries and a drizzle of yoghurt these waffles are an absolute treat, and warm up well in the toaster too if you have any leftovers (there weren’t many!)cherry & poppy seed wafflesThe waffle maker is non stick so just needs a wipe with kitchen paper after you’ve finished, no washing up, hooray!

So if you’ve never made waffles before it’s worth giving this a try, and if you are already a convert, what’s your favourite recipe and topping?  It would be great to share in the comments, don’t you think?

I’ll be back soon…x

p.s. before you ask, Higgins had his waffle naked…he didn’t mind!

Happy Friday Number 4

I can’t believe Happy Friday has come around again so quickly!

I fully intended to have written a blog post earlier in the week with all sorts of news in but it was so busy happening I just haven’t had time! So I’m not going to try and shoehorn everything in just here, but instead make sure I add in extra posts and catch up.

My own happiest moments this week was all about friends…

Firstly Higgins met a new friend.  Little Dexter, who is seven months old, came round to play and rang rings round poor Higgins.

Mostly things were just a blur…

Miniature Dachshunds - Happy Friday

But with the aid of a bribe or two we managed a long enough pause to get things into focus…..

Mini Dachshunds for Happy Friday

I toddled off into Norwich to be a ‘lady who lunches’ to meet up with Gabriella  and Lisa, two lovely and talented blogging buddies.  It’s always so nice to have a chance to meet up in the real world!

And I’ve had lots of yummy post this week, I shall just give you a sneaky peek of one of the parcels…

Yarn for Happy Friday

…and tell you all about it later!

So what ‘s happened this week to make you smile?  Tell us all about it by joining in via the Linky below.  If you haven’t done it before, don’t be shy.  You can find out just  what to do here.  It’s a great way of making new blogging friends, and for people to discover you and your blog.

Enjoy a Happy Friday, have a lovely weekend and I’ll be back soon…x

The Penguins Party!

I’m a bit obsessed with penguins at the moment!

I saw the John Lewis advert last week (the beginning of November for heaven’s sake, far too early…but adorable all the same!)

…and in a parallel universe I would definitely have a pet penguin, Higgins would love a little friend.

However, it got me thinking about making something a bit different this year for my stall at the Two Rivers Trail Festive Fair.  With that in mind I’ve made some needlefelt penguins and I thought I’d drop in here for some opinions…

So here’s my little Penguin Party…

needlefelt penguinsAnd the question is, do I or don’t I add little knitted scarves, and would they be better with or without a hanger for the tree?  I’ve thought about too much and need a second opinion! What you think?

And finally thank you you for the lovely comments after my last post.  It’s so good to know you enjoy calling in to Planet Penny.  Higgins, as always, is basking in the admiration of his fans (and really doesn’t want to play second fiddle to some silly penguins!)  Back soon…x

A Grown-up Camera, a Digital SLR…


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

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