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drizzle at first otherwise fair

img_5092The troops have rallied – surviving on emergency rations for days.

The hoover gave up – the new hoover looks scared

Rewards for prolonged period of self-sufficiency so far: new soap dish

Indulgence required before household rebellion.

On my calendar today is written ‘To The Beach’ in pen. Following Christmas fairs on two consecutive weekends and many weeks of preparation a sea breeze was calling.

Ely Cathedral Christmas Gift and Food Fair was a tremendous event. The blue cotton drill hereditary cash bag, handed to me by my wonderful grandparents around 1985 following its retirement from the Alcester WI cake stall, was aired and back in use (an entreprenurial spirit was always encouraged).

And yesterday Histon Handmade, a contemporary design and craft fair with 14 other makers, over 750 visitors, old friends and new, and just 3 cushions left at the end of the day. Happy stats!

The order book is full and there are busy days ahead but today Well-next-the-Sea with a kite.img_5192img_5191img_5185img_5169img_5161img_5154

 

 

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all hands and the cook

The show at  Craftco in September was a wonderful experience – thank you to all who visited and the great feedback.  Who knew hanging cushions on the wall could be so satisfying?img_4206-1

Stitchery workshops are being recieved with enthusiasm. For the most recent I decided zippy bags would  a good idea, not sure all participants agreed… with 10 minutes to go and a second attempt to insert a zip a voice called out ‘I’ve never had children but I imagine it’s something like this!’

More workshops in January, zips optional.

Right now, today, this minute and all minutes between now and Nov 17, I am making work for Ely Cathedral Christmas Fair and Histon Handmade. I have progressed from the calm stage through the denial stage to the batshit crazy stage. Not pretty.

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See you on the other side.

open studio

It is Cambridge Open Studios time of year.  The first four weekends of July, I will be at home and open. Do come and see me, there will be cushions in abundance, some zippy bags and cake. I will be stitching on the Bernina industrie 850, the whippet will be in attendance and we will have tidied up.

I am number 205 in the COS guide, please note the change of address from last year. we are now back at home. Hooray!

 

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“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” ― W.C. Fields

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Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flowers of grass,
What we below could not see, Winter pass.

Edward Thomas

Taken from Collected Poems, Edward Thomas, pub. Faber & Faber 1936.

October 2011, I had trapped everyone in the kitchen to help me name my new Etsy shop.   A pile of books on the table and on top was The Fox in the Attic by Richard Hughes, a good contender we thought but turned out to be in use on Etsy already.  After listing a variety of beasts and the places they might hang out, none of which rolled lightly off the tongue, I picked up the second book in the pile and Edward Thomas offered the perfect solution.

Naming can be tricky. When I was not much taller than a parrot standing on a bulldog’s back I was particularly fickle with the names I handed out; apart from Suzie and Cuddly made by my mum, I would happily change the names of all my toys as and when I felt necessary.

When it came to babies the staff in SCBU became increasingly astonished during our two week stay as Baby 1 and Baby 2 remained anonymous.  In our defence they were 6 weeks early and I didn’t want to repeat the mistakes of my youth. Baby 3 arrived 30 minutes before his due date and was named in our own time.

Pets have been named in a variety of ways, the first was after a painter, the most recent was renamed, by me, as we pulled away from his previous home. Harsh I know but a much better fit.

Thank you Edward Thomas.

 

finger shut in car door… typing tricky

Open Studios are upon us.

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A team effort!

Lovely people from far and wide, finding me… not always easy I am told. Negotiating the unsophisticated green bungee securing the wrought iron gates, wondering whether to retreat on encountering the expanding foam wolf… it says Textiles in the directory… and braving the friendliest whippet in East Cambs.

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Come in people

you are most welcome.

checking in

Things are busy, hectic in fact surrounded by an air of the mildly frantic.paint1

If I were ahead, and no-one was waiting for cushions, fired clay work*, photographs of lampshades or embroidered fabric for upholstery with open studios just 10 days away, it might mean that there wasn’t enough going on.  In fact there is a lot happening, the seat of my pants is thin but intact. Just.

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Hold on blog reader I will be back with the odd annecdote, photograph and offer of cake throughout the rest of 2015.  This is a year of change and during the next 6 months I will establish a rhythm and regular blog posts.

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*Recently, while working in primary schools producing clay panels, I was asked ‘what had the clay done that was so bad it needed firing…’ I feel lucky to have days like this; to drop in with a group of 4 – 11 year olds and watch them working with a material I love

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and there is always time to photograph peeling paint.