Tag Archives: North Norfolk coast

Turf, Surf and Needlefelt Birds

A mixed bag post today, I’ve been lurking inside a lot consoling myself with needlefelt because of the unseasonably cold weather, but then rejoicing in sunshine and warmth when at last we get a brief indication that it’s actually summertime!  I’m only wearing TWO layers today, and no thermal fleece!

The wind seems to have blown constantly for months in this part of the UK and we live in the windiest corner of the village, near the remains of the old mill.  Wind always seems to make everything worse, doesn’t it?  Colder, and so noisy with it whistling around the chimney.  Yesterday’s walk was a bit scary, with small branches being blown off the trees.  I wasn’t sorry to see some rain for the garden though, and Higgins was relieved that the thunderstorm which hit Norwich skirted around us.  Despite all this Mother Nature is flourishing in the hedgerows…

dog rose

green lane

pink campion

white flowerThe grass is long enough now to ripple in the wind like water, and is such a lush green…

grassy meadow

Norfolk field miniature dachshund

But, in true English fashion today the weather is completely different.  The sunshine in the garden brought the bees to the chive flowers…

chive flower and beeI know you are supposed to snip the flowers off if you want nice chives for kitchen use, but how can I deprive the poor bees?

bee on chive flowers

chives with bee

Such a beautiful morning was too good to waste, so Higgins and I headed to the beach before breakfast.  What could be better than a deserted Norfolk beach in the sunshine?

Norfolk beach

The sand is gradually returning after being scoured by the winter gales.  Only a couple of weeks ago this stretch was down to red clay.

Norfolk beach and sunHiggins was very happy..

Norfolk beach and miniature dachshundAnd quite intrepid too in the shallows…

miniature dachshund at the beach

Miniature dachshund paddling…and the pools…

Miniature dachshund in pool

Back home I’m getting ready for the first Needlefelt Workshop next weekend at Art’s Desire Craft Lounge in Norwich.  The first one is all booked up and the second one is filling but fear not, further dates have been added to the calendar!  The   Birds on a Branch piece I created for Open Studios last year is in the shop window because we’ll be making birds, of all descriptions…

needlefelt birds on a branchThis is my latest flight of fancy….

Needlefelt birds

Needlefelt and feather birds

Feather and Needlefelt birds Happy, not Angry Birds!

And, in case you were wondering, there is a winner for last week’s  giveaway of a copy of Caroline Zoob’s gorgeous book, The Hand-Stitched Home.  Thank you, to everyone who entered  with wonderful stitching memories, I really enjoyed reading them.  It seems for every school day horror there was also a wonderful teacher or relative who passed on their own love of the subject.

It  was so hard to choose, I wanted everyone to win, but there’s only one copy of the book!

Please imagine the drum roll, or the pregnant pause beloved of TV Games shows so that I can announce…the winner is… Nikki Pierce who writes her own blog Tales from Swallow Barn.

Congratulations Nikki, I hope you enjoy your copy of the book and that we see some of your creations on your blog before too long (No pressure or anything!)

I’m off now to put the kettle on.  I hope you’ve got your feet up with a cuppa too!

Have a great week and I’ll be back soon…

Sunshine and Flowers

Suddenly it’s Spring!  It’s such an overwhelming change too, after a winter which seemed to go on forever.  The daffodils at the side of the road, resolutely green and tight budded, responded to the sunshine so immediately you could practically hear the sound of popping as they opened.  There’s now a definite green tinge to the brown twigginess of the hedgerows, in a few days Spring will really be busting out all over!

It’s been another busy week, which started with a trip to London.  I went to meet the Pinterest Team, who came over from the US to organise a campaign with selected bloggers.  And they selected me!  Very honoured by that, and very surprised!  Anyway, it all happens in May and I look forward to telling you all about it then.

With a little time to spare, I wandered round and went off to see St Paul’s, knowing that  in  a couple of days I would be seeing it on the news during the coverage of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.  I was too late to go inside, but it is a very beautiful and imposing building, especially with the blossom and late afternoon sunshine.

St Paul's Cathedral, blossom & sunshine

Back home, Open Studios is fast approaching.  We’ve picked up boxes of brochures and postcards and tomorrow we’re off to the Forum in Norwich with our pieces for display in the Taster Exhibition which is on from Tuesday to Friday.   I mentioned in this post that I was making a website for our Art Trail so if you would like to know more about us call over to the Two Rivers Trail (and watch out for the gorilla!)

I’m longing to find time to get out in the garden like some others I could mention…

miniature dachshund sunbathing

…and Higgins isn’t the only one enjoying the sunshine out there either…

butterfly in sunshine

…but at the moment I tend to just wander round with a cup of tea and a camera in my tea breaks.

grape hyacinths in sunshine

These little Grape Hyacinths have survived remarkably well considering they are on one of Higgins’ routes round the garden and he’s trodden on them regularly for months!

cowslips & aubretia in sunshine

forget-me-knots

daffs&grapehyacinthsI’ve done nothing in the vegetable patch, so this little pansy has taken advantage and moved in…

pansy in the sunshine

I skived off from working for a couple of hours this morning to visit the beach.  We’ve not been for ages as we’ve had weeks of Arctic winds blowing straight of the sea and I didn’t think it would do my sinuses much good!  It hasn’t done the beach much good either, as our miles of pale gold sand has been scoured off and deposited elsewhere.  The level of the beach must be about 15 feet lower, and there are pools and stretches of clay.

clay exposed by coastal erosion - Norfolk

The huge chunks of granite which are part of the sea defences and normally partially hidden in the sand are exposed, and it was quite a feat of mountaineering to get over the top and on to the next stretch of beach.

Norfolk beach in sunshineHiggins really enjoyed the pools…

dachshund in the pool..and also discovered the most revolting bit of flotsam…or even jetsom..in the shape of a baby’s dummy.  He smelt it from about 20 feet away, made a bee line for it and carried it all the way back to the car to put in his toy box!

miniature dachshund

So this is why I haven’t finished the project that was going to be my Hand Made Monday feature!  I’m sure you don’t begrudge me a trip to the seaside though, and I will get back in the next few days when it’s done.  I have also taken deliver of a fresh batch of Planet Penny yarn which I need to get back on to the Etsy site so it really is busy, busy, busy at the moment.

Don’t forget, there is still time to join in with draw for a copy of The Knitted Home by Ruth Cross.  Just visit the post here, and leave your knitting story in the comments.  Do take a moment to read some of the stories which have already been left, some of them really raise a giggle.

Back soon…x

 

Scandinavian Hearts

Can I call them Scandinavian Hearts if they are made in Norfolk?  Well, it’s a style I suppose, and I’m not the only one doing it! I’ve just spent the best part off the day finishing off a collection of them for the craft stall, which is why we decided that despite the grey clouds and drizzle we were going off to the coast to blow a few cobwebs away, (in my case it was Merino fleece!)

I love the beach at this time of the year.  It’s deserted and wild and when we came up over the top and out of the shelter of the dune the salt air hit us full in the face.

miniature dachshund on Norfolk Beach

Very bracing, although actually not too cold.  Higgins was in his element, it’s his favourite place for a run, and this time there was the added bonus of the sea whipping up into foam which flipped up into excited blobs which raced up the sand with Higgins in hot pursuit.

sea foam

He also had a happy, and very brief moment with an orange balloon, (from Kent surprisingly, I said the wind was strong!) which Tim found in the rocks.  It danced tantalizingly along in front of Higgins, but by the time I had switched the camera to movie mode the inevitable had happened and the balloon was no more.

But back to Scandinavian Hearts.  This seems like a good moment to show you a magazine that arrived during the week with a Planet Penny mention, because it also features ‘Scandi’Style .

Handmade Christmas Magazine

The mention is a link to the Planet Penny Crochet Bunting, in a Christmas bunting feature which has some other lovely ideas…

and the Scandinavian Hearts are made from red and white tea towels and are very pretty (and very similar to some I made a Christmas or two ago for my own tree)

Scandinavian_Hearts

But my hearts are needlefelted, and embellished with hand dyed yarn.  I really like them just as they are here…

needlefelt Scandinavian Hearts

Scandinavian_Hearts

but I know people often prefer to know exactly what to do with them so they are finished off with a hanger and a ribbon bow to hang on a tree.

Scandinavian_Hearts

needlefelt hearts on tree

You will find details of the Craft Fair here, if you are in Norfolk over Half Term it would be lovely to see you.  In the meantime do call over to Handmade Harbour for Handmade Monday.

I’ll be back soon…x

Crochet, Cats and Crochet Mice….

Welcome back to Planet Penny and another Handmade Monday post.  It’s also a catch up post, because last week I didn’t feel able to bring you up to date with the ‘Clovis the Cat Saga’ because I was dreading the outcome.  But I’m back now, with more crochet, more mice, and even more cats!

If you’ve not visited before, Clovis is my ‘foster’ cat, living with my mum and who suffered a nasty accident 10 days ago, you can find out more in this post.  Last weekend he was safely ensconced in his crate, and I thought I had the after-care sussed.  That was before the Break Out, when he hefted his 8 kilos plus frame out of the crate just as I was juggling with a used earth tray (YUK!) and got out outside!!

To cut a very long story and traumatic story short, he got out, panicked, ran under the neighbour’s car, got up inside the car while we searched elsewhere.  Reappeared several hours later when the neighbour started the car and belted down the garden on three legs and vanished into the undergrowth.  Hours of fruitless searching and calling later I gave up for the night, hoping he would creep in via the catflap under cover of darkness.  The next morning my mum went to look for him inside…no sign… By now it was raining, and I went back to search, dressed in waterproofs and wellies…convinced that he had displaced the pins, caused an infection, had soggy bandages,  was lying somewhere in pain and unable to move and it was all my fault

The neighbour came out and suggested starting his car again, just to make sure he hadn’t gone back underneath, and, just on the off chance before he did, I went back inside  just to check Clovis wasn’t inside.  And there he was, on the bed in the spare room!!!  I couldn’t get near enough to check him over, so I shut him in with food, water and a tray and left him alone over night to recover his nerves, as the following day I had to catch him again and take him to the vet.

Against all the odds he was absolutely fine, I meanwhile have aged 10 years….

Tabby cat on a patchwork quilt with a purple bandage

Tomorrow of course, I have to catch him again for the next vet visit, please wish me luck!

However, I have still fitted in some creativity, the first being a little ‘Granny’ project with the Planet Penny Cotton.  It’s fun making all the little bits and bobs with the rainbow colours, but I wanted to make something pretty for the home…

Crochet 'Granny' squares on Provencal Print

This small remnant of beautiful vintage Provençal Print was crying out to be a cushion back…

Provençal Print cushion back

…and I was pretty pleased with the front too!

Planet Penny Cotton Cushion detail with button

Planet Penny Cotton Cushion detail with orange button

Planet Penny Cotton Cushion on polka dots

Planet Penny Cotton Cushion on school chair

I can’t get away from pussy cats though, while my back was turned Henry decided to give it a quality control check!

Tabby Cat on Crochet cushion

…it passed!

And the crochet mice?

Well, after my last post about using different yarns and hooks to change the size of the mice on the Mouse Patterns, I had lots of comments via the Planet Penny Facebook Page about the cuteness of the teeny tiny mice made from Coton Perlé.  I’ve raided my embroidery basket to make some pretty little crochet mouse hair slides…

crochet mice hair ornaments

a handful of crochet mice hair ornaments

crochet mice hair ornaments

blue/green crochet mice hair slides

and have now bought a mini rainbow selection to have a play with using this much finer crochet hook…

Very happy colours!

a rainbow of embroidery threads

I hope you’ve had a slightly less exciting time where ever you have been over the last week.  I know I’ve given the impression with my photos lately that Norfolk has been having the summer no one else has had, but we’ve had our share of wet days too.  It’s St Swithin’s Day today, and this is supposed to happen…

‘St. Swithin’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St. Swithin’s day if thou be fair
For forty days ’twill rain nae mair.’

So far around here it’s been dry, so fingers crossed!

I’ll leave you with the usual link to Handmade Monday over on Handmade Harbour where you can find lots of lovely blogs to visit…

See you soon …x