Tag Archives: Norfolk

It’s where I grew up and where I live

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

Needlefelting in Norwich

Well, Open Studios may be over for another year, but the needlefelting goes on… Last Saturday I packed my big spotty bag with a rainbow of fluffy fleece and went off to the Craft Lounge at the new Arts Desire premises.  It’s all looking very lovely there now, and I especially appreciated the posh new coffee machine, and Kay’s newly acquired skills as a barista. I function so much better after a shot of caffeine!

We had a lovely group of people on the Needlefelt workshop who were very creative and soon got into the swing of needlefelting, with only the odd squeak as someone missed the work and pricked a finger (with no swearing, I was impressed)

Needlefelt workshop at Arts Desire, NorwicgAt the end we had an eclectic mix of creations, several birds, a cuddly mouse, a French bulldog, a scary monster and a rainbow hedgehog…

Art's Desire, Needlefelt workshop

beginners_needleflet, Arts Desire, NorwichI’ve now had a request for a workshop for making needlefelt notebook covers so if you are interested, do let me know.

Back home, I’m trying to get to grips with the garden which seems to have gone mad while my back was turned.  I’ve made lots of moments to just stand and stare at the Albertine Rose though…

Albertine RoseFor 48 weeks of the year it’s a complete thug.  It’s rampaged over the fence into next door and is swarming up their house too, fortunately they really like it.  It sends out long, long branches covered in large thorns which grab at unsuspecting callers and it takes our son, Will, who is also our gardener most of an afternoon to trim it, tame it and train up the wires he’s put on the house.  But at this time of the year it completely redeems itself, smothering the front of the house with fondant pink.  I love lying in bed and viewing the world through rose petals!

It’s all too brief though, and already the North wind of the past couple of days has made the doorstep look as if we’ve hosted a wedding reception…

rose petalsSuch a fleeting moment…

Going back to the needlefelting again, one or two sharp-eyed people spotted the little old man in the tree when they came to visit for Open Studios…

Needlefelt man in the tree NNOSI’m going to leave him there and see what happens.  Will he rot? Will he be eaten by slugs or moths?  Will he be dismantled by birds for nesting material?  Or will he still be there for next year’s Open Studios…?

We shall see!

See you soon…x

 

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

Norfolk November Skies and a Rosy Glow…

Hello!  I can’t believe it’s taken so long to get back here for a catch up.  I must say the new look for the blog is really growing on me now, and it seems to sit much better on a phone or tablet.

Last weekend Two Rivers Trail Christmas Fair was AMAZING!  We couldn’t believe how many people came, there were cars parked all over the village, with people having to walk for half a mile to get to us!  The Planet Penny Stall looked like this…

craft stall Two Rivers Trail..although I don’t think many people managed to stand back to have a look at anything!  If you would like to see more, all the photos I took of the day are over on the Two Rivers Trail website where you can see some of the beautiful things from other members of the Trail.

I actually thought I would have a quiet week catching up with things, but it’s been anything but, and so busy I’ve struggled to find time to even get out for a walk with poor little Higgins…

He’s not impressed!

miniature dachshund

So in the spirit of a breath of fresh air, here’s yesterday’s walk which took place when the sun came out after a miserable gloomy start, and the wonderful Norfolk November skies came into their own.

Norfolk Sky November

Higgins Miniature dachshund

Ivy on treeseedhead and Norfolk SkyAutumn leavesgrasses and Norfolk Skypine conerose hipsYou don’t get long after lunch for walk at this time of the year, do you?  It does mean being treated to a wonderful view of the sunset as we head back home.  Note the mud! Glorious isn’t it?

Norfolk Sky sunsetsunset Norfolk skysunsetEnding just after we arrived back in a wonderful rosy glow.

pink sunsetAnd talking of a ‘Rosy Glow’  I’m going into boastful mother mode again,  Last night elder son Thomas won a second award for one of his children’s books, The Pets you Get at the Brilliant Book Awards!  Proud?  You bet I am!

TYhe Pets you Get - Thomas TayloAdrian Reynolds, the illustrator, you may well have met before with the Harry and the Dinosaurs stories, which have been made into a popular TV series.

Since I often turn up here with a book review I have no compunction at all in recommending ‘The Pets you Get’ as an excellent buy for Christmas!

And now, I have a ‘cunning plan’ for December on the blog so I’m off to see if I can make it work!  And it’s December tomorrow so I better get going…

see you then…x

 

Crochet Balls of all Sizes!

Oh my goodness it’s been difficult not using my sore elbow!  I’ve got so excited about the crochet balls I’ve been making.  They started off as Christmas baubles but they are so pretty I think I want to have them on display all year round!   I’ve been doing a little bit here and a little bit there and ended up with a bowlful…

a bowlful of crochet balls

and then had a happy time with needle, thread and beads giving them hanging loops.

crochet balls on branch

Having discovered  a little dish of small crochet balls lurking on the back of a shelf I had a brainwave and  threaded them in random sequence onto white cotton yarn…

crochet balls on string

…and then made a long crochet chain, working the crochet balls and beads in as I went.

crochet balls on chain

crochet ball chain on tree

Add the original bigger crochet balls and you can see why I am now having to rest my poor elbow yet again!

branch of crochet ballsThis pattern really suits the Planet Penny Cotton colours.  There are so many combinations to put together, it’s great fun.  Would you be interested in a pattern?   I’m currently working on it and it’s always time consuming but hopefully  it will be available by next weekend.

(Ed to add:  The pattern is available here!)

It’s been a busy week in other ways.  There’s been a lot of weather about,  hasn’t there?   I do hope you haven’t been caught up with any of the aftermath of the strong winds blowing us about for the past few days.  I’m currently waiting by the phone to see if my dear OH is going to have a helicopter to fly him home today which will only happen if the wind drops sufficiently.

The middle of the week was glorious in Norfolk and I called in at the Craft Fair at the How Hill Open Day.   My Open Studios partner and all round best buddy Kit was there with her  prints and cards, and several other members of our Two Rivers Trail group.  We’ll be getting together later this month for our own Craft Fair and Exhibition so if you are in the area do come along to say hello.  You can find out all about the event and the artists taking part on the Two Rivers Trail website.

I also met the lovely Sue of The Mercerie who had a stall at How Hill and drooled over her beautiful wool and colours…

The Mercerie

The Mercerie stallAnd had a word with the alpacas from Burnt Fen

Burnt Fen Alpacas..before heading back to the car via this amazing view over the Broads…

View from How Hill NorfolkBefore I go I’ve just time to tell you that I have a fabulous giveaway coming up in the next post, an early Christmas present!  So don’t forget to call back or hit the ‘Follow’  button to make sure you don’t miss it.

I’ll be back in the next few days, so see you soon …x

Little Vintage Lover Fair

Sunday was a day off…hooray! A gorgeous sunny day, just right to pack the car and head off to the Little Vintage Lover Fair in Heydon, Norfolk.  I’ve been spotting mentions of it on various blogs over the past weeks,  I knew my friend Lisa, of Bobobun was going to be there and it’s so long since I last went!

hollyhocks - Little Vintage Lover Fair

It’s such a gorgeous venue, the quintessential English village, part of a large estate with no through road so it’s very peaceful.

Heydon - Little Vintage Lover FairHiggins was delighted with the park…

Higgins at theLittle Vintage Lover Fair…and met some lovely people to talk to outside the tearooms…

Tea rooms, Heydon - Little Vintage Lover Fair

The venue itself was in an early 20th century Army hut, with stalls both inside and out and there was so much to see…

Heydon Village Hall - Little Vintage Lover Fair

car at  Little Vintage Lover Fair

Stalls at Little Vintage Lover FairWe found Bobobun inside, (call over to the blog to see lots more photos!)…

Bobobun Stall at Little Vintage Lover Fair

..and Higgins was delighted to meet Lisa and Little Bun.  He was also pleased to find he was not the only visiting dog so it was an interesting day for him too!

Higgins&pal

(He’s always a little cautious about bigger dogs who might stand on him as you can see!)

This week he’s spent quite a bit of time in the studio helping me (commandeering a crochet blankie to make under the desk extra comfy) while I get ready for the next needlefelt workshop at Arts Desire.

mini dachshund and crochet throw

I’ll tell you more about it after Saturday, but this time we are making mice.  Would you like to see?

Needlefelt Mouse

I’ll be back soon….x