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,

                                                           Chrissie

14 comments:

Hope and Elvis said...

Wow Chrissie, you have been busy and glad to see you put your suffolk puff skills into action. They are lovely and very much your own take on it -grand.

Jane Housham said...

So much going on -- I've spent the last two days stuffing catalogues into envelopes... Envious, moi?

Toffeeapple said...

You have been busy! Do tell, was the craft fair on three floors in Stony Stratford? I went to that one and wondered if I should bump into any bloggers that I 'knew'.

Those Suffolk Puffs are exquisite.

Pomona said...

It looks like you have been very productive! I love the embroideries.

Pomona x

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say, as one of the naughty pupils for your felt-making workshop, I had a great afternoon with lots of hot water, soap and laughter. I think you were much too complimentary of my humble first attempts but I was delighted with the results even so. Can't wait to have another go. However, had I known you were keeping out alternative liquid refreshment .......... I would also like everyone else who reads your blog to know that, idyllic and funny as it all sounds, we really do live in this wonderful little village and all you write is true. As a fellow villager, I love to read your blog and see my life through different eyes - helps me to appreciate even more what we have. Thank you Chrissie for enriching us all. Oh and by the way, those blue beads are gorgeous!
Anne X

mise said...

I love your felt brooches, and your lively industriousness, and I'm sure I'd love raspberry gin if fortune ever smiled on me with a gentleman caller with a bottle and shot glasses. What a good life you lead there.

vintagerockchick said...

Gina had told me about the King Kong postcard - it looks brilliant!
Oh - and that is just the BEST picture of Bryan Ferry - I'm swooning even without the raspberry gin.

Gina said...

Gosh you have been busy. So glad you liked your postcard. I thought " Angel Bright " looked beautifully barmy... just going back for another look at Bryan Ferry

Menopausal musing said...

Another one leering at Bryan Ferry........ phworrrrrrr............

Laughed my head off at the description of the young cake serving boy with clean hands......
Oh, and the man who turned up with raspberry gin... This was such a beautifully written piece, Chrissie..........

Printed Material said...

I'm tired out just reading all of this.... I also chuckled about the lad licking his fingers - whatever happened to food and hygiene training! I knew the feltmaking would be a huge success . When will you be running the next one? I cannot bear to wear anything on my wrists, not even a watch, but I wish I could when I see that gorgeous bracelet. Who knew that old stud like buttons could be so right with something? You are a clever lady you know. Lesley x

Printed Material said...

Just to say that the word verification for my comment above was 'smarmi'. If I was, I didn't mean to be..... do you think there are people who spend their working lives thinking up those words for verification? I hope not, that would be too sad. L x

Jenny said...

Wow you have been busy. My last craft fair was a bit quiet too, I suppose pre Christmas is the best time of year but always worth a try. Always the right time of year for Brian Ferry and gin though.

CAROLYN SAXBY said...

Adore the puffs and the angel and the pebbles ... well everything really! Hope you have a lovely week ahead x

narkeymarkey said...

gosh, you have been busy!

i love the necklace at the start of your post :)

ah, and the friendly gentleman with the jingly pockets certainly made me smile - i think every neighbourhood should have one :)

hhhmmm, raspberry gin was a new one on me though, think i'll need to do some 'research'!