Seemingly the best seller at Lakeland is an electric jam maker. To follow on from the breadmaker presumably. Radio 2 says jam making is the new rock and roll. Might explain why these have been popular this week
Seemingly with the bumper fruit crops everyone has started making jam. Lovely. I'm waiting for the plums on my plum tree to ripen - what is your favourite jam? Have a lovely weekend.
When we were in Orkney I was on a mission to buy a hand knitted Tam-O-Shanter type beret. There were lots about but the colours were either a bit bright or a bit dull. Then - in Tait and Style in Kirkwall I found my hat. Pinks and grey with a dull red stripe; beautifully knitted in a slightly pearly cotton.
When I went to buy it Ingrid Tait explained that the hat hadn't been knitted on Orkney, but had been knitted by a woman in Wales who was in her nineties - the connection was that she was the mother of Ingrid's tutor.
And there - sewn into the hat, along with the Tait and Style label is another black and red cash's name-tape "hand knitted by Joan McLennan".
I recently bought some lovely pink tweed and inspired by Mrs McLennan's hat I have been making up a new colourway in the flower button brooches.
I'm very pleased with them as - though they are summery - they, like the hat, will look great in the Autumn too.
Yesterday, ith the girls away at my parents this week, and the sun shining brightly, Euan and I decided to play hooky. We packed up the tent and headed up to Glencoe.
At the moment our long awaited extension is being built - and the house has descended into even more squalor than normal. It was just heavenly to head off somewhere completely different.
An evening of woodland and moorland walks, fantastic beer, pub grub and live music.
It put everything else into perspective - as you can see from this photo.
When I'm at home, there is a tendency to work, work, work - to stress
about getting a balance right between work and family; to stress about
the need for my business to bring in a decent wage and take the
pressure offEuan a bit.
Getting away - even if it for 18 hours in a Aldi's tent - is just wonderful. Someone else loved it too.
I hope your weekend was good too.
Look at what I found under all the pumpkin leaves 3 munchkin pumpkins - and yes they are meant to be that small. You bake them whole and scoop out the flesh. they are very, very cute. My girls are over at my parents for the next week - playing with cousins and inspecting the larger sized pumpkins that Dad grows, selecting which ones they want for their lanterns come October. I am meant to be getting my head down and sorting out some of the increasing pile of work (and probably clearing some of the house so that the builders can move in).
A while ago I joined Twitter - I posted for a week and then couldn't work out what I was doing there and stopped. Occasionally I give talks on blogging etc. for Stirling Enterprise - trying to get people to think about how they could use social media sites in their own small businesses; trying to get them to think about the idea of a blog/flickr/etc. etc. as being more than a narcissistic time waste. I decided to give Twitter another chance. So for the past few weeks I have been posting here. And second time around it is a different experience. Part of the problem I had before was in who I chose to follow - too many people plugging their Etsy stuff made it seem like I had a salesmanwith his over buffed shoe in my door. I found it depressing as it was anti-connection somehow; a waste of the medium. Well I got rid of all those people from my following list and picked up some others who use it a bit differently. And it is interesting what I choose to tweet about - it is a lot more immediate - so photos of the chicks went up almost as soon as they poddled across the grass; I can vent frustration with a malfunctioning machine; I can ask for help about how to fix said machine; I can give other people help, suggestions or contacts. In many ways it gives a more accurate if more chaotic picture of what trying to run a proper craft business involves. It is a bit like working in an office - the conversations in the corridor - the cups of tea. And what my work involves this morning is setting up a workspace for a diligent young person who is prepared to sit and cut circles out for 4 hour while plugged into an iPod. Which frees me up for the fun stuff :). Hoping your Friday is fun-filled too. J x
I love to use vintage and recycled fabrics in my designs and find that they work particularly well in the pocket mirrors. One thing that is particularly intriguing is how many of the fabrics work very unexpectedly when cut up and put into a different context. This week I have been using up scraps of a pony curtain fabric from 1960s. Any pieces with recognizable ponies had long ago been used and I was left with strips and scraps of rumps, gates, tails and grass. This week I decided to use pieces up on an order for caravan mirrors that was going to Wiltshire. I am so chuffed with them - some bits look like sand dunes, some like grass, others as though people have strung up their bunting and gone camping on the beach. The colours work really well. I find it so amazing that something so figurative works so well as an abstract. The ones in this box are headed out to a stockist but I have made some more up in the same colours this afternoon. Choose between blue, green or beige backgrounds with either a cream or a silver airstream caravan. They are £4.95 including postage within Europe and come in a cream wool pouch to protect the mirror in your handbag.
This was the last rose in my garden. Made into a buttonhole for a wedding guest at the weekend. It is Wiliam Lobb and smelt amazing - the roses haven't liked the thundery showers that we have been getting - so I have to pick the roses in bud for this type of work and let them open out inside. Otherwise there would be the risk of everything becoming a soggy, bruised mess outside. I put them in a bucket in the cabin loo as it is dark and vaguely cool. For the latter part of last week it smelt divine.
Well obviously our trip to Orkney allowed the livestock here in Snapdragon's garden to get a bit out of hand. Look who just came to introduce her new brood. Nope that is not the same chicken as a few days ago with ever so cute day old chicks. This is another - she had been nesting over in the damp field in amongst the brambles. We now have 25 chickens (16 under a month old) and a duck sitting on a nest. Euan has ceased to find the situation amusing as we are running out of suitable accommodation.
But isn't she cute? And very proud! She nudged them about 100 yards to come and say hello to me. well more likely to come and say "Where is our tea?"