Friday, 30 December 2011

All good things, as they say, etc. means time for the second tree to return home, so to prolong the agony, I drove her up to London, to her flat. She lives quite near Borough market and so we wandered into there to find some food on our way to Spitalfields.What a lovely buzzin place the market is and right on her doorstep!The smells were so enticing.
I always stop and admire this little shop everytime I go there. Each stall and shop is enhanced by the fact that there are so many in one small area.

We gave into temptation and ordered a garlic and prawn wrap, which you see being prepared outside the shop. So many tourists take snaps of the stalls that this trader even had a sign suggesting people ask before taking photos!
Such a fabulous design! This beauty advertises a clothing store in Spitalfields market. I want it!They don't make them like they used to do. Ohh that sounds old. I'd better stop using such phrases!
Cheese purveyor extraordinaire! I love cheese from here. Unbeatable delights and such love goes into the shopping experience.
oh well, another year closing and a fresh one opening. What challenge shall I set myself? Any ideas?

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

This year has been strange because suddenly I didn't want loads of cards everywhere! I usually get so many from children at work that I run out of spaces to display them.
Anyway, this time I chose a few and placed them on the sideboard in the dining room and on the kitchen mantlepiece mostly. ( I chucked some away!!) I felt rather guilty afterwards. Mind you I know what to do next year, after reading a blog idea here How exciting! I can keep the cards and dispaly them without taking up loads of space or time to hang and rehang because they have blown down in the wind. Result!

Having been on a couple of Raymond Blanc cookery courses, my daughter has gone RB mad! On discovering a few of his knives in K and L sale, she proceeded to jump up and down with excitement and ordered me to put them all in my basket. We could rationalise them later!! She is good at that! We collect things and then go and sit down and decide which to keep and which to discard. However, she managed to persuade me to buy some for myself, some for her (her birthday also being quite soon) and some she bought for herself. They were half price! I have never seen anyone so excited. I love shopping with her.

Friday, 23 December 2011

 Chill out and chat time!
Do they look cooked?

Into the oven we go and cross fingers!
They look ok but the pastry had to be glued together with milk in places! Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone.
Rolling the crumbly pastry. You would not believe how tricky we found this! I don't normally have trouble but for some reason we both made quite crumbly pastry today. Oh well, we will never make it in the catering business.

Nails freshly shallaced, she began to combine the pastry ingredients. She is so lucky, her nails are naturally neat and well shaped. Mine have to be coaxed into some semblance of order.

aprons on

Do you like my vintage apron? I bought it in Brick Lane and I love it!

Making pies

I have been having great fun with my eldest daughter.She came down to stay for Christmas early, so we could spend some time together. Yippee!

We decided to make mince pies after spending hours shopping for Christmas. Firstly I could not buy mincemeat anywhere. I went to 5 shops before I found some. Yes I know I could have made it, but wellll you know how it is!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Beach huts are the newest designs I have made recently. A friend asked me to make one for her with some additional things in the sea but when I unloaded it from the kiln, I forgot to photograph it before giving it to her. Perhaps she can take a pic for me.It is hard to be organised sometimes, in all the excitement.
The panorama shot looks a bit wobbly up close but with practise, I'm sure it will work brilliantly.
My last fair before Christmas! It was great being able to leave my stall up for a few days. I was able to have a lie in on Saturday and today.

Why is it so cold at fairs? Maybe something to do with open doors I suppose. On Saturday I had loads of extra layers on. Although it kept me warmer I felt bundled up and lumpy! Today I chose to brave the chill and to wear less layers. Funnily enough it was not so cold because I could move around more.

It was quiet today so we burst into spontaneous song along with Doris Day! I met a new lady who does sandblasting and she runs courses, so maybe that could be my next adventure, who knows!

WoW, I tried out the panorama facility on my iphone at the square Tower today. It worked really well. I shall be doing more of them now I know how to work it. This was just before the fair opened and I only managed to do one side of the upstairs, but I was really pleased.

Brighton craftaganza

Other stalls setting up. I have used my iphone images for these pictures because I have left my camera at work!! What an idiot. I can't get in to collect it now until after the New Year. Oh well I wil just have to cope as best I can!

Freezing cold and tired, I arrived at Fabrica to set up my table for the craftaganza Christmas fair. Warm greetings from other stall holders soon melted away that exhausted feeling,reminding me of why I loved this fair last time. Although there didn't seem to be quite as many potential customers as in March, I had my best sales to date. Very exciting. I also met a lovely young girl who was amazing. She had such natural style and poise. Her clothing range was gorgeous too.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Back to the world of the living!

Where has this half term gone?
New head, new broom sweeps clean is absolutely true . I have no time to make or create at all. Let's hope next half term will be calmer, then I can have a life outside work!

I have weird new contact lenses in and am finding it hard to concentrate- one eye for close up and one for distance. My head hurts!!

Monday, 15 August 2011

canal dreaming

 The hotel claimed to be a short distance from Bath, so we set out to walk along the canal route suggested. Although it was much further than we were led to believe, the canal boats along the river certainly made up for it. I overheard one man saying that he lived in his boat all year round and enjoyed travelling along the canal from town to town, stopping as the whim took him. It sounded so romantic!

I began to look with closer interest and discovered that some boats even used solar power to heat their water etc.

Loads of the boats had a cat or dog in tow! I love the individual style of the art work on each boat. They choose lovely names for the craft too! I had visions of me kitting a boat out with sweet little curtains and vintage china. I would be sitting alongside sketching or making something while the sun streamed down and warmed my body. The kettle would be whistling on the stove and my husband would be pottering in the galley making lunch!!
Then I suddenly thought about the practicalities of waste disposal, mainly toilet waste, and came down to earth with a bang as I realised that I hadn't seen a sluice anywhere along the banks. Nor had I noticed a tap for fresh water. Ahhh! my dream bubble popped!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Crafts at the Tower

It was lovely weather for most of the day and we had a good steady stream of visitors to the fair. I even sold some things!

It is early days but people are gradually beginning to realise that the fairs will be a regular event. In fact one of my customers had returned especially to buy from my stall, which was lovely!

There is even a website for our group now and you can find out about all the other sellers here. There are ceramic artists, textile designers, jewellery designers, photographers and mixed media artists!

The next few dates for Crafts at the Tower.
28/29 August (2 day event) TBC

25 Sep

23 Oct

27 Nov

17/18 Dec (Christmas Fa

Friday, 22 July 2011

Square Tower, Old Portsmouth

I am part of the Crafts in the Tower Group, which have recently joined Southsea Art and Design group to run joint craft fairs in the Square Tower Old Portsmouth. It is lots of fun and I am making lots of new art and craft friends! There is a brilliant tea room in the tower with gorgeous home made cakes and tea , all served on an eclectic mix of vintage tea cups and saucers. We will be running fairs on the last Sunday of every month. There is a fair this Sunday from 4 p.m. It is well worth a visit, even if you just want a cup of tea. Of course, we hope people will also be interested in our stalls!!

 View along the hot walls next to the Tower, overlooking the sea.
Stall holders getting set up.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Fishy things

My latest work features glass fish. I haven't decided what to do with them all yet. Maybe I will hang some in a group or put waves of glass behind them. Not sure really. Sometimes I get a good idea and then I get afraid of the next step in case I mess it up or it isn't as I had imagined it. I should have more confidence in my own ideas. Time to experiment is another factor that I never seem to manage.

Here are some fishy things from folksy. Hope you enjoy looking at them. Click on the photo for the link.
Mangle prints are a favourite of mine. Everything is so gorgeous. You must have a look!
                                    Inspired scilly above used wire to make this fabulous item.
                                   Coastal collections used ceramic and metal for this design.It is so full of life!
Cutie pies have some funky jewellery made from polymer clay. Neat work!
Cheery deary have a number of mixed media paintings like this. I love the fish poking their heads out of the waves.

Do you have a favourite choice from my collection? Do let me know.

Catching up

Finally, my head is above water again and I can return to things that I love, like blogging. I have been so bogged down that I forgot to take my camera to Glastonbury even! So no pictures of the mud and me. I fell over 3 times in one evening and was absolutely covered in it! I had a good time but came home early because I couldn't do without sleep! I wasn't as well prepared as I might have been either. Never mind.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Day 2 summer sampler

My wire birds! I made these!! I'm so chuffed! Drawing with wire was such amazing fun
After selecting a bird to copy, we had to draw the outline in wire.

 Next you join the wires using a binding action to hold each piece in place.

Legs are made separately form one piece of wire. Unfortunately I didn't cut off a long enough piece so later I modified the back claws to overcome this problem.

To attach the legs to the body, I had to use some thinner wire, binding it either side of the legs, to the body, checking that they were the right height and position with the original photo of the bird. It already looks bird like by now though it is a bit unstable. The head kept plonking onto the table as if it were inebriated!

 Long swooping side lines make the bird take on 3D qualities now. I added a few more lines to give it a more substantial look before choosing some scraps of fabric to bind together leaving a length of wire to attach it to the inside of the bird. I was so excited that I started a second bird which I later completed at home.

Cathy was such a delightful tutor, encouraging and helpful. I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop and intend to make many more things from wire.

My final workshop was making this bag. I will add my photos of each stage another time, but here is the finished article.I might be making some of these for my girls at Christmas time. Shhh! Don't tell them!

I can't make up my mind whether people would want to see the different stages of making on my blog or not. Let me know what you think.