Friday, 29 April 2011

A Lady for today only

A friend on Facebook is encouraging us to make up a Royal Wedding name for the big occasion. 

Start with Lady (or Lord)
Pick the name of a grandparent for your first name
Use the name of your first pet for your surname
and 'of' should be a street where you lived

So, for today, I'm Lady Jessie Petrie Pooch of Trenchard
(curtseying deeply)

and he's Lord Alfred Tigger of Beverley
(bowing from the waist)

What's your Royal Wedding name?

Thursday, 21 April 2011

busy, busy, busy

There must have been a lot happening in my life that kept me away from blogging here ....   Let me think what's been happening  ..... hmmmm

Well, there was the craft fair, a proper one, in a big building with three floors of stalls. We had lots of 'grazers' but it took a while before we sold very much, though I did have several good customers and took a commission for a big necklace to send to a lovely lady.  

Other stallholders were saying that custom was a bit slow, so we wondered if it was because there were too many of us, but who knows.  A wonderful ceramicist that I have come to know online but never had the chance to meet also had a stall that day - Karen from hodgepodgearts.   I've bought a few things from her over the years and I was so tempted to sweep up all her beautifully-displayed wares.   I managed to keep my purchases to some glazed ceramic beads, a cute button and a sweet little brooch.   You have no idea how much willpower that took.  

There was also a caff on site, with wodges of chocolate cake served by a young boy whose fingers were really clean - I know that because I saw him licking them. 


Then there was the concert that we organised as a fund-raiser in our Church Room.  

This is a 19th century building, opened by the Duchess of Bedford, and used as a resource not only for the church, but for the village as a whole.   Since the only village shop closed (after an armed raid), we have had a little community shop housed in the Church Room and run by volunteers.   Mostly the goods for sale are in a walk-in cupboard and the sales counter is an old school desk flanked by a wicker basket full of local eggs and a trolley groaning with penny sweeties.   The Church Room is a wonderful place to go and dunk your digestives and catch up on the gossip.  

In preparation for our concert we had to move all the shop stock from the main room into the cupboard, so that the performers could use the stage area (about the size of your average dining room table!).   And as the idea was to have the audience seated cabaret-style we had to put out all the tables and chairs early on in the day while the shop was open for business.   Michael, the duty volunteer shop assistant, kindly worked around us.   Sort of.   He's a bit of an ivory tinkler himself, with an eclectic taste in music.    While the committee got on with the furniture moving, Michael set up his iPod and selected some suitable musical accompaniment - Stephane Grapelli, Chopin then Bryan Ferry singing Cole Porter.   And just when I thought we might have more or less got the job done, a lovely man who lives further up the lane wandered in with a bottle of last year's home-made raspberry gin and his pockets so full of shot glasses that I feared his trousers might fall down. The gin, and Bryan* crooning in the background, all rather put paid to my Head Girl attempts to keep everyone focussed on the task.  


I rented the premises myself last weekend.   A small group of local ladies wanted to learn how to make felt, so I offered to do a workshop for them.   I started everyone off learning how to wet-felt a bobble and a 'sausage', so that they could see how hot and soapy the water needed to be, how to handle the wool fibres, and how much pressure to exert at various stages of the felting and fulling process.   Being a bright lot, they soon got the hang of it and wanted to get on with their own projects, which we had discussed earlier in the week.   These included wrist warmers, a collection of bobbles with embellishments for a bangle, several pieces of flat felt which would be cut up to become a brooch and a small hanging with an imaginative representation of rock strata.   It was wonderful, so inspiring and rewarding for me, and everyone having a very jolly time indeed.   Stupidly I forgot to take any photos, but one thing I did remember was to make sure the door was locked so that friendly gentlemen with jingly pockets and bottles of rosy pink nectar couldn't come a-calling.

Talking of workshops, Louise of Hope & Elvis produced a great little video of our Julie Arkell one.   I'm about 1 min 33 secs in, saying goodbye to Julie, me carrying a cardboard box and dressed head-to-toe in, well, brown - Julie looking gorgeous in a very gay collection of vintage garments.   

And for those of you who seemed excited at the prospect of being able to take part in such a thing, Julie is making a return visit to Hope & Elvis in 2012 - get your names down now!

a big Suffolk Puff bangle with workmen's buttons from my vast collection

Postman's Knock is going strong and we did our second swap last weekend.   Gina sent me the most painstakingly stitched image of the Empire State Building wreathed in clouds.   The intriguing pull-tag revealed ..... King Kong!   Isn't it clever - I know it must have taken all Gina's ingenuity to work out how to do it.

I made Angel Bright to send to my latest swap partner.   She does look a bit barmy for some reason.  The angel, not my swap partner.

Best wishes,


Monday, 4 April 2011


You may have read in a previous post that 12 friendly bloggers have pooled their various talents to take part in a fortnightly postcard swap, each having chosen a different theme for us all to illustrate as we wish.   My theme is NEW YORK NEW YORK!, which it was Cathy's turn to illustrate. 

We all posted our cards on Friday 1st April and most of the excited participants received them on Saturday.   But, as I live in the Outer Hebrides north Bedfordshire, I always have to wait a day longer than everyone else and not only that, but rarely get a delivery before 11.00 a.m.   So Cathy was drumming her fingers and drinking cups of coffee this morning, anxiously waiting to hear whether I'd received her creation.

Well, it was certainly worth the wait!   I absolutely love her interpretation of the theme and the yellow cab is sooo realistic, I could just jump in and whizz off into the bright lights of Manhattan right now!    And that cheeky and clever old Cathy has included a hilarious extra - try this -

If you click on the Postman's Knock link on the right, you can see all the fab cards that have been changing hands for our first swap.   They're all wonderful and I'm so glad I'm taking part, it's such fun!