when purchasing a handmade craft…..

Yesterday a lovely student of mine gave me an even lovelier note. We do not know who the author is, however it is so lovely I will have to share it with you.

Should you happen to know who the original author is, please do let me know.

 

When buying from a HAND MAKER,

you are buying more than just an OBJECT

You are buying hundreds of hours 

of failures and experimentation.

You are buying days, weeks and months

of frustration and moments of PURE JOY.

You aren’t buying a THING

you are buying a piece of heart,

part of a soul, a moment of someone’s life.

Most importantly, you’re buying

the artist more time to do something 

the artist is passionate about.

Thus enabling the artist 

to create more beautiful things.

 

Need I say more?

 

Happy crafting

E x

It might have been a while, but this was worth it……

Yes, it has been far to long since I have written an update on my blog. It has been a very busy few months, with a family wedding, some home alterations and of course the summer holidays.

My love to craft ladies have been most creative, but I will blog about that a little later.

Right now I would like to write about the most wonderful day I had yesterday.

I was very lucky to nab the last space on an embroidery workshop with Caroline Zoob.

Siobhan, a dear friend and fellow crafter, has been to a few workshops and always comes back with the most beautiful creations. I had bought Caroline’s book (Hand Stitched home) a while back (also on Siobhan’s recommendation), but there is just nothing like “the real thing” isn’t there?

So off we went to Oxfordshire where we were welcomed by sunshine, a lovely cup of coffee and the most wonderful selection of vintage fabrics, embroidery threads and an abundance of inspiration and expertise by Caroline.

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Our workshop was called flowers in a jug and we started designing and making a patchwork table cloth, followed by window frame and a jug of flowers. Some machine appliqué and lots of hand embroidery.

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As  you can see on the photograph, my project is nowhere near finished, but I’m so proud of the result so far. The dark lines are drawn with a  Frixion pen (another new find for me). The magical thing is, that you can draw directly on the fabric and when you want to get rid of the lines you just iron them away….magic….

 

 

Here you see us with  our projects. Please have a look at Caroline’s website where you will find out all about her other workshops and lots of other information too.

Jane was the most wonderful host and spoilt us with a home cooked lunch, fresh ingredients form her garden ( another beautiful oasis of calm), and more.

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All in all a wonderful day for mind, body and soul.

 

Thank you

 

Hope you are having a blissful time too

 

love E x

knitting, wool, crochet and more

Oh what to do with an ill daughter who needs to stay in bed? As a sign of solidarity stay in bed too, that was my thought this morning.

Finally I had time to peruse my latest Landscape magazine which I did, almost cover to cover, until I reached the article about Amanda Perkins who crochets the most beautiful blankets.Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 11.11.53.png

I just love, love,love the colours! The best is still to come – Amanda’s blankets will be exhibited at the Unravel Fair at the Farnham Maltings this weekend! Oh yes, I have planned to visit.

The fair is on all weekend (Friday – Sunday) I have visited the last two years and can thoroughly recommend you do too. It is small enough to manage and big enough to maintain the interest, the most lovely wools and inspiration galore.

 

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Well what is left to say, but to see you there (thank goodness husband can look after ill daughter)

 

love E x

Surprises, surprises

Now here I am again. I have finally received my lovely grab bag of surprise wool, which I was awaiting with great anticipation.

I don’t know how to describe what I felt when I first opened the package – surprise, because it was nothing like I expected, yet I had no reason to have any expectations as it was a surprise package, right?IMG_8189

I liked the colours instantly, a good start, but what was I to knit out of 3 thin balls of wool and 2 chunky?

I mulled it over, discussed it with my lovely craft ladies and slept over it…………. and now I’m knitting………….. sorry I can’t say what I’m knitting yet, it is a surprise for somebody who is very close to my heart. It will have to wait a little until I can share it with you, but I will!

You might remember the other surprise I was not able to show you, well here it isIMG_2727

A nappy cake!! Jackie’s son and daughter in law are expecting their first baby any day now, so Jackie make this great gift for the baby shower. I had never seen anything like this before and think it is a brilliant way to package a gift. Jackie put such lovely thought into all the little add on gifts too! How could you not love this!

Talking of birthdays, not matter what age I think you should celebrate, just because you can. IMG_8250We celebrated Kate’s birthday in style with a home baked chocolate cake ( home baked by Rachel) which not only looked spectacular but also tasted heavenly. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture. However I can share Rachel’s blog with you lovinghomemade. Have a look at the most delicious recipes, I use them so often. Unfortunaltely  I cannot tell which my favourite is as there are too many. I will be making some mango curd today using Rachel’s recipe, it is soo yummy!

I hope you are enjoying the lovely autumn weather we are having in the UK and have a little time to………….just relax………….

I did just that with one of my favourite magazines the simple things

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lots of love

Ex

I can do that……..

Hello

the nicest thing about having new members in my craft classes is to see how fast they can achieve!

Mel arrived last week with a ball of wool and some knitting needles and asked: “What can I do with this?”

One week later she arrives with her very first, very beautiful snood!Mel snood

Now that was easy, wasn’t it? Now she is knitting the second one for her son. Watch out, Mel will be having her own market stall soon.

Lisa is quietly knitting the most beautiful pieces, including this adorable little hat for her grand daughter. I’m sorry the photograph does not do it justice.

Lisa Stella hat
I have almost completed my mohair and silk cardigan, watch this space……

A big welcome to some new members, Kay and Helen. Classes are now on a Wednesday and Thursday morning and a Thursday evening.

I cannot wait to see what the new year will  bring and look forward to hearing all your crafting news.

Have a great weekend

love Ex

AWBS Christmas Craft and Gift Fayre

Hello…..

I know it has been a while since my last post, but I have been busy, busy, busy preparing my stock for the AWBS Christmas Craft and Gift Fair this Friday, 7th November, 10am – 4pm,  at the Ascot Racecourse Pavilion.

 

You are able to download a two for one coupon on the website too.

This is a fair organised by AWBS (American Women of Berkshire and Surrey). I have had the pleasure of being a visitor in the past and have always walked away with some stunning gifts, some for myself, and some for others.

All proceeds to benefit local charities.

Have a look at the vendor list, they are not all seasonal, there will be plenty for every body.

I will have my stall in HALL 2, stall number 75, please come and visit!

Here is a little preview of what I have on offer.

 

 

 

awbs pic

 

 

 

 

awbs cushion pic

 

Look forward to seeing you there

 

 

love Ex

 

 

loving Summer

Hello

Summer is well and truly here, hence less time to write but more time to play.

I have completed my beautiful shawl. It is so soft and has a beautiful drape, and as you can see, can be worn with any kind of attitude.

It is the first time that I would happily repeat the same pattern, I had so much fun knitting this. So much so that several of my craft ladies have decided to make this their summer project. I cannot wait to see the results.

Thank you Blue Sky Alpaca for making such a beautiful yarn.

For UK shoppers it is also available at Loop and Mrs Moon

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Our craft classes have been put on hold 😦 but only for a few weeks, we will all be back in September. It will be great to share our summer stories and crafts too.

I have started working on my tank top. Once again a lovely wool bought through Loop, Eden Cottage Yarns, made in Yorkshire. 75% superwash Merino, 25% Mulberry silk. So much fun to knit with. I will keep you posted.

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I am so proud of Kate who has completed her very first jumper, with only a little  help. She never thought she could manage this and look at her now! It looks so great Kate, no wonder you are beaming 🙂

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I would like to wish you all a great break and look forward to seeing you in a few weeks.

Until then happy crafting.

love E x

To be inspired

As I mentioned in my last post, Farnham Maltings hosted the Unravel Fair. It was all about yarns, wools and what to do with them all. I’m so glad I went with a budget as it would have been so easy to buy the lot.Farnham Maltings dove

All the stalls and the stall holders were absolutely delightful, however one stood out for me, and there were a few, a lady called Jenny Barnett. She is a Master felter par excellence! Send her a photograph of your pet and she will felt it.jenny barnettShe also creates the most beautiful little dresses, fit for any fairy. Please do let me know if you have anything made by her I would love to see it.

I got to meet the lovely lady from Artisan Yarns who dies seaweed and silk wool. Yes seaweed and silk. I could not help myself but had to buy just one skein and am itching to get started.

I had a try at spinning wool, it takes great skill, which I’m sure will come with practice. Will this be the next step?  Oh dear Lord give me more hours in the day 🙂

 

We have been busy here at our classes too. Siobham has finished  making the beautiful cushion cover, her first project on the sewing machine, the napkin rings don’t count she tells me.Siobhan cushion

Thank goodness it is almost the weekend, so there will be more time to knit.

Hope you are happy crafting too!

 

love, E X

 

PS: I found this in the Simple Things magazine: Next time you have a spill go to www.woolsafe.org/uk the award winning Stain Guide app

workshops, birthdays, Christmas……….

Yes, I did manage to get to the Renegade fair in London last weekend. My friend and I braved the torrential rains and headed off. When we finally found the entrance to the fair (took a few trips round the building) we were faced with many enthusiastic crafters, some who were really great and others who were not so great. If I’m totally honest (which I usually am) I was a little disappointed. I expected there to me greater diversity and also more exhibitors. Never the less we had a great time and a most delicious meal at a Thai Restaurant called Rosa’s Thai Cafe.

I have had such a lovely week, thank you to all the ladies who have attended craft classes and workshops this week. I’m learning so much about crafting, but also about many other topics too.
Have you heard about Harry Eastwood? She writes the most interesting and amazing cookery books. Thank you Sarah for telling me about her and to Rachel for bring along her book for me to have a look at. I cannot wait to try the first recipe, just having great difficulty to decide which one?

There has been great progress with our projects and we have started to seriously look at Christmas decorations. All the ladies are so creative, just look at these lovely pictures.angis hearts 2 These adorable hearts have been created by Angi and have Hans Christian Andersen Christmas illustrations. What a fantastic idea.

Kate K has completed her first apron yeah!! it looks so good!kates apron

Charlotte is making slippers, they are beautiful charlotte slippers

Kate G has made a felting bunting, I love the colours it looks so beautiful hung up! Kates Stars

I had my first adult beading workshop which was a great success with all ladies going home with a really lovely piece of jewellery bead workshop cakesbeading workshop table……….
……….and I have decided to knit a pair of socks 🙂ela socks1……..

………I haven’t knitted socks for over 10 years so about time I start. Thanks to German engineering at it’s best I will end up with some lovely stripes without having to change thread at all. Have a look at their website, they have all kind of free patterns to download and off you go. As I added the link I read that I was supposed to knit the wool from the outside of the ball and not the inside ggggrrrrrr. I will have to start again, although it does not look too bad don’t you think?

Now off to start another lovely week with even some snow predicted?

Have a great week

x

Oh so good to be back…….

Oh it’s so good to be back and crafting again.
We had a fantastic break doing very little, but reading and eating even more. I had all good intentions to practice my heart crochets and even managed 2,but ended up giving one to a new friend.
I did manage to crochet on the plane, a great way to pass the time, they did not take my lethal weapon away from me (my crochet hook is wooden) and I could crochet away.crochet plane

Yesterday and today showed a hive of activity with so many new ideas and projects too.group pic

Don’t you just love it when a project comes together? I get so excited when I see ladies trying something new and succeeding!serviette ring These beautiful serviette rings are hand embroidered.
stripey hat
Wouldn’t you like to own such a colourful hat? Rainbow colours to brighten up our rather grey days.

You might remember me talking about the Renegade Fair London Well it is on this weekend and even more exciting I will be going to visit it! My dear friend will be joining me and I soooo look forward to it. If you manage to be close to London make sure you pop by. I have no doubt that it will be very exciting and inspiring too.

My needle felting workshops are taking place this month, this will be so exciting too. There are so many ideas on what to do. If you would like to attend the dates are as follows (booking is essential)
Saturday 16th November – 2.30 – 5pm (how about some mother and daughters craft together?)
Friday 22nd November 10 – 12.30pm
Thursday 28th November 7.30 – 10pm

Have a fantastic weekend

Happy crafting

x