Monday, 19 March 2012

Spring Studio

Last week I Spring cleaned the studio.

I changed my postcard/inspiration wall to match the new season. I left the painted vintage seedtrays where they were. They're ready for Open Studios in July and with the addition of a few tacks are great for displaying my jewellery.

The collection of postcards is a little more colourful than last summer, which I think stems from the sudden blast of Spring colour in the garden and from the enamelled colour I've been adding to my silver recently (new items will be in my etsy shop soon).

I adore the patchwork curtains Thriftyhousehold made for me.

The piece of bright vintage embroidered trim I found on Etsy (draped amongst the seedtrays and postcards in the second image) is a favourite recent find. £2 bought me 3 metres of Spring happiness.

My studio had a very exciting visitor on Friday. She and I sat up there and chatted and drank tea and ate apple cake.

I'll be able to reveal more about this in June.

Meanwhile littlest has recovered from the horrid 'flu she had last week and is enjoying being up in the studio with me today.

Edited to add: I will be holding a silver clay workshop here at the cottage on Saturday 5th May. More details here.

Friday, 9 March 2012

The Making Winter Project - did it work?

1. Little Cotton Rabbits 2. Saidos da Concha 3. Knitsofacto 

The Making Winter project was dreamt up by myself and Mrs Thriftyhousehold one day in early autumn 2011. She was excited about wearing woolly tights again. I was not. We wondered whether we could hatch a plan to help those who are less than enamoured with winter to embrace the shorter days more, through creativity and cosiness. The plan was about taking a leaf out of Mrs TH's book and having fun in winter. 

The question is, did it work?

I know that being part of this project meant that the little ones and I reached for baking ingredients much more often. I've made Rebecca's/ Lydia's apple cake alone four or five times over the last few months. That is a very good thing.

Most Thursday evenings I have begun to meet at a friend's house with a small portable project. Four of us have eaten cake and made things together round her fire. Sometimes we sipped ginger wine and watched, perhaps predictably, Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. I has become a regular craft night and a weekly highlight.

Lighting our fire became as essential as brewing tea this winter. We haven't always waited for the evening to reach for the kindling We've realised quite how cheering it is.

All these things have definitely made winter easier for me and the grey sky days have felt a little lighter. There were lots of downright lovely days looking at the gorgeous collection of images and seeing the fabulous enthusiasm with which so many bloggers joined in.

Did anyone else find the project uplifting? There were so many fabulous blogposts (126 of them at least!) and hundreds of images in the Flickr pool but did they enhance winter for you? Did it help to peep at the mosaics? Did you try a new recipe? I would so love to hear from you about it.

Finally a stupendous thankyou from both myself and Mrs Thriftyhousehold for each and every contribution and comment. Truly, without them the project and indeed winter, would not have been so wonderful.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Knit Relief

I've been following the blog Teen Granny for a while now. It's written by a sixteen year old who bakes fondant fancies that would make Mr Kipling weep. She has also whipped up several people, including Prince William, made of knit. It's an excellent read.

Readers of my blog will know that yarn skills are not my strong suit, so when Teen Granny announced Knit Relief, an Ebay auction of handmade things to raise money for Sports Relief, there was only one way forward. I was not about to run a marathon or suddenly be able to knit the Queen. The solution had to be a silvery one. After making a few sewing necklaces in recent months I was keen to make a fine silver knitting necklace. I'm hoping it will raise a little for this great cause.

If you would like to contribute a handmade something (as you see, it does not have to be made of yarn) to the Knit Relief auction then Teen Granny's contact details are in this blogpost. It's not too late to contribute and she'd love to hear from you. 

Meanwhile... are some sneak peaks...

...of the new silvery Spring things I have been making for my Etsy shop and the Selvedge Spring Fair.

More on these next week, along with the final mosaics from the fabulously uplifting Making Winter project.