Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Returning home after a summer holiday brings mixed feelings. The cottage we were staying in near the Suffolk coast was absolutely beautiful. It even had its own gargoyle. 

Whilst we were there there was sandcastling, fish and chip eating and even (gasp) real-life beach hut visiting. During the 24 hours before we reached home we all had that familiar flat feeling of a good time coming to an end. 

Despite this, the sight of our (slightly wild and woolly) strip of front garden and the familiar pink walls of our little house was reassuring. As we stepped through the door the little ones rushed off to find toys that they'd left behind and I got my usual post-holiday urge to clean and rearrange. 

It was rather more measured this year though and I realised it was truly lovely to be back amongst cherished objects. 

Within hours the girls and I had filled three our favourite jars and jugs with flowers from the garden and reacquainted ourselves with Mrs Thriftyhousehold's much-loved quilts

The arrival of a wonderful vintage hand-knitted cardigan from etsy in the last few days has added to the  cosy joy of being back home.

Edited to add: A space has become available on my beginners' silver clay workshop this coming Saturday 1st September. It's very short notice but drop me a line on emma at minniedog dot co dot uk if you'd like to come along.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Vergeside poppies

During July the verges near our cottage positively lit up with drifts of wildflowers. The stars of this colourful show for me were the heady mix of self-seeded native corn and breadseed poppies. A mound of abandoned compost on a fenland road, a small patch of waste ground and a stretch of fallow field next to a rural pavement were as stunning as any well-tended garden. 

One of the girls' favourite things to do is snap off our ripe poppy seedheads and scatter their contents around the garden. We visited some of these vergeside poppy gardens to collect seeds in recent days.

I've written about these beautiful displays of poppies and about our seed collecting over on the Sarah Raven blog, Garlic and Sapphire this month. If you fancy popping over the link is here.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Visiting the hut

Cambridge Open Studios 2012 has come to an end. For two weekends I opened the beach hut and garden for the public to visit. Sitting up there in my little wooden shed, making jewellery whilst people drift up the lawn, sometimes pausing to look at the jumble of flowers and then popping in for a chat is one of the highlights of my year. Sometimes groups of people who had never met would stop and talk for a while, shelter from the rain or, in the case of Celia and Val bring portable projects with them and stay for hours, laughing and making. It was bliss.

Here are some of the highlights in pictures:

The first weekend that the studio was open was cold and wet. Slippers were needed.

Lucy's beautiful bag had several visitors of its own!

Despite the unseasonal weather I made some summery designs.

Two of my smaller visitors.

The making area...

...and the waiting area.

Finally, after we had closed at 6, monkey set up her own little millinery studio.

Huge thanks to everyone who visited. It was wonderful.