Category Archives: Norfolk

Trips around the Norfolk countryside

Autumn Walks and Acorns

I can’t believe we are nearly at the end of October! It’s all been a bit busy here on Planet Penny.  We’ve just had a flying visit from the grandsons and grand dog which is enough to send anyone in a tizzy, especially Higgins! The grand dog is very “Tiggerish’ and Higgins has to be careful not to be bounced on.

I’m having to do a bit of resting because of the M.E. so I’ve been installing things on my shiny new iPad so I can sit with my feet up and write blog posts.  This my first attempt.  Not so much the writing as working out the best way to process the photos…I’m getting there…gradually.

And I’m also getting ready for the Two Rivers Trail Festive Fair which is coming up next month, so felting needles at the ready, I’ve been making acorns.
But we have had some lovely weather, so over the past few days we’ve been out with the camera enjoying all the colours of autumn, so come with us, it’s only down the road! I love to think that someone was walking along eating lunch, tossed the apple core in the hedgerow, and planted a tree!2016-10-23-10-54-59This is one our favourite stretches along the walk, sheltered enough not to get muddy.Because we do mud rather well in Norfolk!MudAnd while there are acorns on the trees…acorns…there are needlefelt acorns in the studio!So watch this space… I’ll be back to show you the finished articles and with more news about the Festive Fair.

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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Just a little post…

…to say thank you!

Thank you for all the positive comments on my last post.  It’s lovely to hear you are happy to read my ramblings, and Higgins is positively swollen headed at the thought that you want a bit more ‘Dachshund Action’…  He’ll do his best to provide it!

A lot of the things which have been keeping me away from the day to day Planet Penny stuff have been related to getting to grips with sorting out my parents home, my mum’s stuff and all sorts of things I had stored at her house and forgotten about.  It’s an unwritten law, isn’t it, that you always have something left in your parents’ attic, even when you have a home of your own? I know we still have all sorts of odd boxes full of our off-springs’ stuff and they’ve long left home.  I’m being hopeless at parting with things too, even things I actually don’t like, like this Toby jug which has scowled at me from a shelf for as long as I can remember…Toby jug

He’s been banished to a cupboard now, but we haven’t parted company even though he obviously disapproves of everything I do!

And then there are clothes, especially things my mum knitted.  How fabulous is this Patricia Roberts cardigan she made me in the eighties?  I thought I had lost in in one of my many moves, but no it was safely in the attic.  Quite a good incentive to diet, but probably not to have another perm!Patricia Roberts CardiganSitting out here in the studio listening to the rain on the roof it’s hard to believe how hot we were over the weekend.  Higgins is very fed up right now because he hates the rain and would prefer to stand around with his little cabriole legs crossed rather than got out into the garden.   It was a different story on Saturday when it was 28°C, a steamy hot August afternoon… A little post - Norfolk in AugustHe really was a hot little sausage!dog_walk hot_dogSo for now I’m indoors and working on a crochet project with the new Planet Penny yarn. Here’s a sneaky peek…Planet Penny Yarn PastelsI’ve also finished a bag that I started on the Crochet Retreat when I decided to go outside my comfort zone with chunky yarn and a size 12mm hook. I love the bright shades of this DMC XL Cotton…
DMC_XL

DMC XL cotton yarnIt turned out to be a little more XL than I had planned.  Just as well I’m 5’9″ or it would drag on the floor but it’ll be great place for a yarn stash!crochet bag DMC XL yarnI’ll be back with a new post to share those pastel butterflies, see you 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

Just Coasting…

Goodness, it seems an age since I was here!  How are you all?  It does feel rather that the blog and I are coasting at the moment, what with my preoccupation with my mum.  Also, some weeks ago, thinking that this month would be fairly quiet and calm (!) I booked myself on the Photocraft Course which is now in full swing.

I must say it’s very interesting, and the embryonic skills I will have aquired by the end of the course are going to be so useful as I build on them and use them in the future.  More of this to come.

But in the meantime,  I used the week long break in the middle of the course to have a break myself.  With my mum recovering slowly in hospital and with various family members keeping up with the visiting I decided to take myself off to the North Norfolk Coast for a couple of days in a B & B and have a little camera practice.

Now I would say, going on my present record, don’t whatever you do book a holiday at the same time as me if you want good weather!

Because of all the drama around my last trip away I didn’t get to share the photos I took then, but a lot of the time it was like this…

Bexhill-on-Sea…wet and windy.

And then this time, heading off to an entirely different part of the coast, it was like this…

Blakeney in the mist

…and this.

Blakeney QuayI went to Holkham Hall

Lake at Holkham HallSo you sort of get the picture, don’t you?  Not really the weather to lift the spirits.

To add insult to injury, the very same bank of fog casting it’s gloom over Blakeney, Wells and the surrounding area was also keeping poor Tim stuck on the gas platform where no helicopters could fly instead of joining me at the bed and breakfast!

All was not lost though and Tim eventually arrived, along with a burst of sunshine and warmth at lunchtime on the day before we were due to return home!  We took ourselves off to Holt for the afternoon which is always worth a visit, especially when there is tea and cake on offer!

And having been starved of light and colour for a few days I was so pleased to rediscover Ruth and her relocated shop ‘Glory Days’.  The original shop was in Norwich; I loved it and wrote about it here.  It sadly closed, but the new location in Holt is perfect, and in such a pretty little flint and brick cottage.

Glory Days in Holt glorydays 2 glorydays 3 glorydays 4And it’s just so pretty and colourful!  If you are in the area, do call in to say hello and get a colour fix!

So on that happier note I will sign off, and hope to be back before long…x

Flowers and Needlefelt

What a soggy weekend this has been!  We seem to be alternating between having so much rain that the water butt overflows and the road floods, and then having to run around watering the vegetable garden because it’s so hot and sunny.

My garden is now in it’s July slump, all the prettiness of the Spring flowers are just a distant memory and I’m confronted with all the things which should have been thinned out or consigned to the compost heap back at the end of the Winter.  Does anyone like Golden Rod?  I find it sad and funereal.

The roadsides however have been a delight.  This is a typical sight as you travel round the lanes in Norfolk…

PennygatePoppies020714 copy

I’ll just have to sow more poppies in my garden!

But talking of flowers, I’ve been working on a new needlefelt project having had a request for a different kind of workshop, making covered notebooks.

As you know, I like to use needlefelt as a sculptural medium as I love working in 3D, so flat needlefelt is a new departure for me.  However I have really enjoyed creating a woolly garden of flowers to make up for the ones I am lacking outside!

I started off by just using the fibres like paint…

Needlefelt Flowers…but found that adding in simple embroidery stitches gave it more detail and interest. And it was really fun to do!Needlefelt with embroidery

I’ve been using lovely 100% wool felt squares from Blooming Felt to practice on, I’ve got a gorgeous selection of colours. These are the next two in the collection…

Needlefelt flowers with embroideryEmbroidered needlefelt flowersBut the challenge now is finding sheets large enough to cover a notebook.  In an ideal world of course I would wet felt each piece individually but alas, M.E. has rather put paid to something as energetic as that.

But while that particular project is coming together, the workshops I have had for Beginners Needlefelting have gone really well, both the group session at Arts Desire, and a one-to-one session in my studio.  If you live in the area and would like to know more, follow this link.

The next Needlefelt Workshop at Arts Desire is next weekend, and there’s a place or two left, it would be lovely to see you.

And in case you are wondering whether my crochet hooks are rusting in the corner, no, they’re not!  I’ve just completed a commission, and I’ll be back soon to show you just what else I have been making, so watch this space…

See you soon…x

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