Tag Archives: miniature dachshund

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…

…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

Midsummer! and a Festival…

It’s hard to believe we’re now halfway through the year and in this little patch of Norfolk we were blessed with a warm sunny weekend in which to celebrate the Summer Solstice.

We are just back from a Midsummer Festival which took place just down the road from us at How Hill, a beautiful spot on the Norfolk Broads.  You might just remember me taking part in a craft fair there a couple of years ago.

How HillThe aim of the Festival was to celebrate the success of the Truly Local shop in the small town nearby, so of course all the stalls, producers and businesses were truly local too.

Truly Local Midsummer FestivalThere was such a lovely atmosphere, we bumped into family and friends, and a great time was had by all, including Higgins!

He was particularly helpful when it came to testing the deliciousness of the beefburgers…

mini dachshund2014-06-21 19.54.542014-06-21 19.55.24What a look of sheer bliss…

Then of course he had to sort out the washing up after icecream…

Vanilla…

2014-06-21 20.05.59Mint Choc Chip…

2014-06-21 20.06.01…and that icecream cornet, surely the pointy bit would go to waste otherwise…?

2014-06-21 20.16.42There were more stalls than I can mention individually, but these are the ones I know you would like to hear about…

It was great to meet Rachael of Foxglove and Gingersnap with her snazzy stitching.  I only knew her through Facebook, I love meeting up with my cyber friends in reality!

Foxglove and Gingersnap

… and Sue Maton of The Mercerie We only ever meet when we haven’t got time to talk properly! She has so many gorgeous things to tempt knitters and crocheters alike…

The Mercerie

The Mercerie Crochet BlanketPaul Williams, one of our Two Rivers Trail-ers was there with his wonderful wooden creations…

Woods World Wide(I now have a dinky little board made from a local fallen tree, exclusively for me to slice lemons on! G & T, anyone?)

And a  brilliant, serendipitous find, Ros Arrowsmith who makes beautiful ceramics with which I have completely fallen in love…

Ros Arrowsmith Ceramics

Ceramics by Ros Arrowsmith

Ceramics by Ros ArrowsmithI particularly love her quirky lettering style and giant handles.  It’s good to find something so fresh and different.

We finished with a walk round the Secret Garden, where my camera started complaining about it’s dying battery.  You can get a little flavour of it here… so peaceful and calm.Secret Garden How Hill, Norfolk

The visit concluded with tea and cake, what could be better?

Back home I’ve a new project on the go, a spin off from last week’s Needlefelt Workshop, and a commission to complete, so I’ll be back soon with photos.

I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend too, see you soon…x

(now where’s that gin and tonic…?)

The Joy of Open Studios

Norfolk & Norwich Open StudiosCould there been a better day taking part in Open Studios?  I don’t really think so.  The sunshine has been glorious and the sky blue…

decorated for Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios…the butterflies discovered the flowers on the courtyard and kept us entertained all day…butterfly on flower…and Higgins had a bath, specially!

mini dachshund after a bath

The Studio is still looking astonishingly tidy…Planet Penny Studio

…and we’ve had so many lovely visitors.

A lady from Yorkshire demonstrated tatting…

tatting

My best friend from Art School came with her husband and friends (and there was soon as much noisy laughter as there ever was when we were studying together!) Lots of local friends arrived to find out what we get up to and old pals from way back arrived to surprise us.

We got rather too excited when we discovered that two of our visitors ran a circus!  And that he was the clown and she was the Ringmaster!circus Ferrel

The clown really loved Higgins and I think the feeling was mutual so for a short while Higgins running away to join the circus was definitely on the cards.

And Emma from Silver Pebble came with her family and stayed and did crochet and finger knitting which was lovely…

Emma -  Silver PeppleWhen eventually every left to go home we sat on the verandah and ate strawberries, clotted cream and chocolate cake and agreed it had been a splendid day all round.

If you’ve ever wondered about taking part in Open Studios yourself, and it happens all over the UK,we would both thoroughly recommend it.  Yes, we make sales but its much more than that.  People are so interested in what we do and how we do it and it’s great when they go away enthused to try something creative themselves.

And there is still next weekend, so if you are in the area and would like to visit you can find out all about us and the rest of the Two Rivers Trail of which we are a part right here.

Hope to see you then…x

 

It’s Raining…It’s Pouring!

After a mostly bright and sunny three days for the first weekend of Open Studios, today we have a deluge!  The water butts are overflowing…

Raining

… the back yard is flooded…

flooded yard

…and the few steps from the back door to the studio are enough to get soaked through.

srudio

I tried to work out there but the rain on the roof is deafening so I’ve decamped to the dining table with the laptop where I am typing with one hand because I have a very worried little dog trembling in my other arm. Higgins hates the rain, hates the wet, the noise and the possibility of thunder too, one supposes.  Anyway he’s stuck to me like a limpet all morning and just wants to sit on my lap ’till it’s all over.mini dachshundAs you can imagine, the last week or so has been really busy, first getting prepared for Open Studios, and then opening the doors and welcoming people in.  So I haven’t managed to personally thank everyone who left such lovely comments on my last post, but I do thank everyone for such supportive messages.

The studio is now a display area and you can imagine just how much stuff I’ve got squirrelled away all over the house to make enough space!  As usual Kit is sharing the space with her beautiful prints…

Kit Calladine Prints…and we have lots of other things to look at and hopefully to inspire people…

Planet Penny Studio

…with of course our little Meeter and Greeter at the ready!

Planet Penny StudioHiggins is quite convinced that Open Studios is actually the annual convening of the Higgins the Miniature Dachshund Appreciation Society.  He greets every visitor with complete rapture, and by the end of the first day was utterly exhausted…

Miniature Dachshund asleepWe now have a few days to catch up before it all happens again next weekend.  If you are local, it would be lovely to see you. There’s a lot else to see on the Two Rivers Trail, (you can find out more on the website) Printmaking, textiles, painting, woodcarving, feltmaking, spinning, beautiful alpacas…

Alpaca in his wedding hat - Burnt Fen Alpacas…and of course, Higgins…

miniature dachshundSee you soon…!

 

Hooray for the Little Red Hen!

Little Red Hen Ladybird Book

click for the story

This is the version of the Little Red Hen story I remember from way back in primary school, how we loved our Ladybird books!

We got to talking about it the other day because my friend Kit was reminiscing about her mum, sadly long gone, who used to quote the Little Red Hen when she had failed to get anyone else to do the necessary thing, whatever it was.

‘ “Then I’ll do it myself,” said the Little Red Hen. And so she did.’

I have been chuntering for ages about the overgrown state of my vegetable patch.  It always needs the most attention when I’m tied up with the run up to Open Studios and it’s got more and more overgrown, weedy and wild every season.  However, over the past two weeks I have channelled my inner Little Red Hen and I DID IT MYSELF!

It looks great….I’m exhausted!  I’ve filled a skip bag with rubbish, the beds are topped up with fresh compost and my little mini cold frame cum green house is crammed full of seed trays and seedlings.

Higgins has tried very hard to help.

Miniature Dachshund

Taking the little fences away from the raised beds has meant he could do lots in the way of turning over the soil, and then firming it down afterwards.dachshund in raised bed

He’s carried the trowel about helpfully (and put it away tidily where it couldn’t be lost)veg patch

More little fences have turned into a priority if any of the seedlings are going to make it to maturity once they have been planted out.  Higgins has history, remember the Mixed Greens?

Did you spot the laburnum tree?  This year it’s being completely wonderful – it alternates – and it’s very special as it was a seedling from the one in my parents’ garden.laburnum

And the bees LOVE it! For the last week or so, ever since the very first buds opened the air around the tree has been throbbing with the sound of very happy little bees…listen to this…

So this is why it’s been a little quiet here over the past week, and now there’s a lot of catching up to do.

While all this was going on the Green Man went off to the Forum in Norwich for the Open Studios Taster Exhibition – you can just see him dangling next to the patchwork…

Forum, Norwich NNOS taster exhibition

Taster Exhibition – setting up

Now it’s all systems go for the main event, which starts on May 24th.

You might like to see a glimpse of the other exhibition which was running at the same time, the most amazing knitted and crochet pergola which was made to raise funds for a local charity…

knitted pergola - John Grooms Court

knitted pergola detail

Just amazing, isn’t it?  There’s an interesting post on The Mercerie blog which will tell you more about it.

My next challenge is turning the studio into an exhibition space…eek!  I’ve just got so much STUFF.

And I haven’t forgotten about those extra little Boxes of Delight.…  2014-04-28 21.37.50

The challenge now is seeing just what I can squeeze inside, so watch this space, I’ll be back soon…x

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