Friday, 2 December 2011

Busy,Busy, Busier!

Okay, so I thought I was busy a couple of weeks ago but hadn't anticipated the Christmas madness!  I hadn't taken into consideration the fact that I have set up my own workshop at home called The Make It Room and how much of my time it would take!  I'm using my front room which we don't really use and it is the perfect setting to hold my felting and other workshops.
I have already run a few workshops and the other Saturday Andrea Neale ran an Art Clay Silver Beginners class and I then held a felting workshop with the same ladies, all very successful.

Our friend Jo has also had a double session workshop teaching us how to make sugar flowers and then colour and make them into a spray, a class we will be running next year!

Out of the blue, I had a very nice call from Etholle George from BBC Essex asking if I would like to go in and chat on her radio programme about my Hylands workshops and Christmas crafts.  So on Tuesday 22nd November I went along to the studio, armed with Christmas makes and spent a really pleasant hour with Etholle and a very interesting Interior Design tutor from Writtle College.  It was lovely to go in and talk about the things that I make and to be given the opportunity to go in again in the future.

On Thursday last week, I went along and demonstrated feltmaking to the lovely ladies of the Essex Handicrafts Association who were very enthusiastic about needle felting and wet felting, they all had a go and had some very good results!

On Saturday, a few of us went along with Make, Do & Mend to the Made-It Market at the Guild Hall in Cambridge. I taught four workshops, felting twice and crochet twice as well as having a stall with all our handmade things, my daughter Jess held the fort all day on the stall and made lots of sales.  It was a fantastic day but very tiring.

The next day was the Essex Art and Design Show at Hylands House, the Hylands Artists all had some work on display so my stuff went straight from Cambridge into the house!  It was a very succesful day with lots of visitors to the house and park.

A few weeks ago I decided to have a shopping evening at my house, especially in The Make It Room, this was Jess's idea so a few of my friends came along with their lovely makes, and we had a house filled with very jolly Christmas shoppers drinking mulled wine and eating mince pies.  It was more successful than I could have imagined, a real house full, more like a party and I will be repeating the idea perhaps around mother's day so as not to over-inflict myself on my very good friends!

So on next to our Christmas Coffee, Cake & Craft on Saturday at Hylands followed by our big Christmas Fair on Sunday 4th December at the Stables Visitor Centre and Hylands House. Come along and visit us upstairs, entry is free and there will be carol singing and mince pies and lots of lovely individual hand crafted items for you to buy for gifts.

Hope you can make it!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Lots going on!

Goodness me, how the weeks fly when you are busy!  I've not had time to think about writing my blog and now I have sat down to do it, I'm at a loss for words - hard for those who know me to believe, I'm sure!

I can't remember the last time I sat down to knit or make something for myself either but I love to be busy so am not complaining at all.

A few weekends ago I had a busy Sunday at Make Do & Mend, Hannah asked me to teach felting to a hen party! I spent a lovely few hours with some really fun hens making felt corsages for the wedding party.

Two weeks ago I spent Saturday demonstrating felting techniques in Hobbycraft in Chelmsford, meeting lots of potential feltees and a very nice lady called Rachael who tempted me (only because she was using one to cut her cards) into buying a Sizzix machine for cutting my felt! And the fact that the manageress offered me ten per cent off!

Last week I held a Hallowe'en childrens craft workshop in Hylands House, we made orange and black bunting and paper pumpkins, a very good time was had by all.

This has been swiftly followed by another workshop at Hylands in the Stables Visitor Centre, six very nice ladies came along yesterday and made advent calendars with me.

I had used my newly purchased Sizzix machine to cut numbers and had lots of help from Andrea and Karen to assemble kits and stick numbers on the pockets ready to sew! Although it took ages to get everything ready, it was a very relaxed affair and the ladies made beautiful calendars, as you can see!

More news soon about my felting workshops here at my home and my exciting collaboration with Sarah from Blooming Felt!

Next weekend, 12th November remember free Coffee, Cake & Craft, at Stables Visitor Centre, come along and join Andrea and I and bring whatever you are working on and share with us and other like minded makers, or if you just want to be sociable, come along anyway!

Coming up in the next few weeks on 25th November I will be at the Made It Market in Cambridge manning a stall and teaching four workshops, we will be in the Guild Hall in the market place, come and see us if you can!

Also make sure you come and visit us at the Hylands Christmas Fair on Sunday 4th December upstairs in the Stables Visitor Centre, there is a fair in the house too and stalls outside, no doubt there will be mince pies and carol singing too.

Friday, 7 October 2011

More news!

Not only did we have a fantastic time at the Knit and Stitch show at Alexandra Palace yesterday, buying excessive amounts of wool but the knitting machine we had bought arrived today!  As if we hadn't got enough wool to admire, it came with cones and cones of wool!

I also forgot to mention my friend Sarah's Blooming Felt stand at Ally Pally, if you are going along at the weekend make sure you visit her and her fabulous felting supplies in the Great Hall on stand M13, her stuff looks fantastic and she is lovely to go and chat to!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Catching Up!

Again, it seems to have been ages since I remembered to write my blog, a good sign I suppose as it shows how busy I've been!  I have been teaching lots of workshops, the children's school holidays ended with a session at the studio decorating wooden boxes with pretty sea shells, I think the girls produced really good results.

Once the children were back at school beavering away, I had a Felting workshop in Hylands House with a really lovely group of ladies who made the most beautiful felt from which they made their own corsages.

Merino ready for felting

Felted corsages

An excursion to Centerparcs in Holland followed this(for 5 days!), a treat for us all before my daughter Jess went off to start her uni course at Kingston.

On our return, I had a stall at the Vintage & Handmade Fair in the Shire Hall run by the lovely Hayley from Truly Madly Vintage in Moulsham Street.  It took place on a beautiful day and we had lots of people through the door and lots of sales!

This was followed by a beginners knitting workshop at Hylands and another felting workshop, some of the lovely ladies from the felting brooch course earlier in the month came back to visit me and make scarves, as you can see the results were fabulous!

Scarves finished and drying

The final and fantastic event in this blog entry is my visit today to the knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace today!  I went along with my friends Andrea and Jo and my daughter Jess.  On arrival we found the Black Sheep wool stand, a treasure trove full of wool for the keen knitter, bargains galore were found - we all bought wool and lots of Rowan books some selling for as little as £1, who could resist?  I bought some beautiful wool, a gorgeous printed Woman's Weekly tea towel, a Rowan book and some felting materials.  I can highly recommend a visit!  We were tired but elated by the end.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

New Projects

I love Wednesday evenings!  Time for Knit and Natter at the lovely Hannah Elgie's shop Make, Do & Mend in Chelmsford.  A fabulous group of ladies who get together to knit and more importantly catch up with each other and oooh and ahhhhh over the latest knitting pattern purchases! Lots of tea and coffee is provided and someone usually makes cakes, this week Jayne made lovely banana and sultana scones!

Make, Do & Mend has been open since February and has recently moved to its new premises in Byron Road Chelmsford.  I spend a lot of my time in the shop, having taught a children's beading workshop there this morning and another tomorrow, children's felting.

I'd completely put writing my blog to the back of my mind, I think I hadn't been making much so didn't feel inspired, but Jeni reminded me about it at the knitting group so here is a post!  Thanks to Andrea, my friend at Hylands, who urged me to start something new, I went out and bought a new lot of fabric this week - a good excuse to add to my collection!
Here it is neatly folded in my new basket!

So, deciding to make some new stuff for my studio, I started on a range of aprons and have already made three from my fabric stash.  I will post more photos once I have completed half a dozen!


Hope you like them!

Now to go and get ready for my felting workshop in the morning.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Gem at Dreams of a Life in the Country for choosing me in her list of seven blogs!  I've only been writing this blog for a little while and the award is very much appreciated.
Now the difficult part, to write seven facts about myself!

1. I love to eat tomatoes, gherkins and olives, would rather have them than chocolate any day!

2. I have a bad temper and it doesn't take much for me to lose it, especially if someone is rude to me but I'm nice while everyone is nice to me!

3. If I am miserable I make felt to cheer myself up, its like therapy! Laying the fibres out is very relaxing!

4. I love to shop, especially charity shops and places like Colchester, Saffron Walden and Cambridge, I don't like to be inside a shoppping mall but outside where there are individual interesting places.

5. I am a serial interrupter, as I get older it is harder and harder to retain that thought and I have to share it as quickly as I can before I forget! I'm sure I'll only get worse but I intend to be an eccentric old woman who has a parrot and who waves a stick at everyone!

6. I hate doing housework - I have a large dog, a cat and a family who are all very messy and no sooner than I have finished, its time to start again!  The same applies to cooking, no sooner than I have done dinner, its gone and its time to tidy away!  I would rather spend that time creating something which will last and there is always some new craft item tempting me away from such duties!

7. Much to both of my daughters' astonishment, as I am a chatterbox, my school reports all said that I was very quiet and should try to be more outgoing!  This is hard to believe now but its true!

Now I have to nominate another 7 blogs I would like to pass this award on to!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Before I'd even had chance to put my studio back together we were off to France for a week!

We stayed in the Dordogne near Hautefort, in a little converted barn attached to a pretty house owned by some English people.  The weather was lovely and we spent our mornings visiting local markets and our afternoons swimming and knitting (not my husband though!).  We found two fabulous wool shops while we were away and a beautiful textile shop in Sarlat!

Our French garden plus swimming pool!
Fab French market at Terrasson

Chateau at Hautefort

Montignac en fete!

But back to normal now, knee deep in washing and tidying away but it was lovely to get away!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Living Crafts Weekend

Well, the weather was certainly against us at the beginning of the weekend!  As we tried to set up our marquee on Friday, the heavens opened and we had a pond and a stream in the tent!

The weather was pretty bad on Saturday too and it kept people away but the show was amazing, some beautiful crafts on show, lots of workshops to try including felting with yours truly, pot throwing, silk painting, and lampwork.  The chainsaw carving competition was fantastic as seen here!

The Hylands Artists, Andrea Neale, Mona Marnell, James Wilkinson and myself had a huge marquee all to ourselves.

The weather was much better on Sunday and I spent a lovely day holding demonstrations and teaching how to make felt balls!

 My stall, showing my newly felted vases, especially for the show!

Beautiful polymer clay buttons, made by my daughter Jessica
 Hand felted purses with beaded flowers
 Hand felted soaps, also especially for the show!
Lavender scented pin cushions

It was a fantastic show and we met lots of really nice people who I hope will return to visit us at the studio at Hylands stables on our open days, every Sunday and Monday

Thursday, 16 June 2011

A Big Weekend

Lots to think about this week, there is a huge fair at Hylands this weekend and we (as the Artists in Residence!) hav e been given our own marquee to demonstrate and sell our arts and crafts.  Have a look at to see all the things going on.

It should be a lovely event and we are all very excited to be taking part so if you have the chance, come along and visit us!

I will take tons of photos to post on here next week

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Trying new things!

I have been busy doing workshops for the lovely Hannah at Make, Do & Mend - we had a very successful Owl Cushion Workshop, see the evidence below
We have started planning lots of workshops for the summer holidays and I am going to list them all here and on my website later!

I have started planning for the Living Heritage Sculpture and Art Fair at Hylands House on 18th and 19th June, the resident artists will be having their own marquee and will be demonstrating their crafts, please see details at  Lots to think about!  So I have been trying out new types of felting and have been making bags and bowls, thought it might be something nice to do for the fair.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

A beautiful day at the studio!

A gorgeous day today and I am at my studio in the Stables Visitor Centre at Hylands Park, everywhere looks so pretty in the sunshine, I had a walk around the park and took some photos!
 The Stables Visitor Centre, Artists Studios upstairs

Hylands House

View of Hylands on my walk this morning!

A beautiful place to come and be creative, as you can seeI! I came to the studios to hang my other felt picture this morning but had a bit of a disaster with a picture hook and hanging system, hence the walk in the park!

View from my studio window

Time now to prepare for my next workshops, Thursday evening at Make, Do & Mend Beginners Crochet and Children's Puppet Making at Hylands next week.  Tonight  I am going to Knit and Natter at the lovely Hannah's Make Do & Mend in Moulsham Street!