WOYWW- week 8

I set my table up last night ready for work this morning, I’ve been meaning to paint some hare bowls for a couple of weeks but I keep getting distracted. So no excuses now, I will have to show you the finished bowls next week.

So here they are all waiting for me to get painting.
P1190474I know a lot of gleaming white porcelain won’t excite many of my readers so here’s something I made last week, it’s still hares though.

I will be making these fused glass cabochons into pendants.
Running hare fused glass pendants
Running hare fused glass pendants
Running hare fused glass pendantsI had a new garden visitor yesterday, just as I was leaving the studio I saw this little rabbit, it’s quite tiny , it was having a feast on my plants and didn’t seem to mind the hailstones at all, unlike me.

P1190471Why not pop over to Stamping Ground to see what everyone has on their worktables.

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Carrot cake bran loaf recipe

Remember my new bran loaf recipe? This fruit loaf proved very popular with everyone who tried it so I’ve had a play with another version today, it’s ‘carrot cake’ bran loaf. Just as simple to make, and healthy, it has less sugar than the new bran loaf recipe, so that’s good. I added some ground flax seed and maple syrup to help bind it all together  as I figured the sugar was probably doing that job seeing there’s no egg or added fat in the loaf, and the carrots should keep it moist.

P1190248Carrot cake bran loaf

  • 1 cup all bran
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 1 heaped tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 2 carrots peeled and grated
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • grated rind of an orange, and juice of half
  • scant 1 cup milk
  • teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • some chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • some sunflower seeds.

P1190243Mix everything except flour and baking powder in a bowl with the milk,and leave 30 minutes, sieve in the flour and baking powder, mix well and place in a lined 2lb loaf tin and bake on 180C for 1 1/4 hours.




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My latest crochet project

I’ve a couple of calming photos by a local photographer in my bedroom, one is sea and the other a lake,  I love them for their abstract qualities, and the colours are my favourite colours.

I decided to use Chip it to make a colour palette to help in choosing yarn colours for a crochet blanket.
pic1I would have loved to use natural fibres but the cost was a bit daunting. I think you get much softer colours in natural fibres. I decided to use Stylecraft yarn instead as it’s very affordable so no stress for a beginner, and I’ve used it before. They have a good range of colours so I saved some into a collage to see how they would look, but I added a few more colours when I ordered.

I was going to try a Larksfoot stitch blanket but when I went to Wool Warehouse my bottle went and I decided to stick with Attic24 Ripple Blanket pattern, only mine is twice the width and I’ve chosen my own colours.
larks foot blanket coloursThis is quite a large project but I’ve got ’til next winter to finish it, and it’s kept me warm in the evenings as the blanket has grown. Here’s the first colour repeat. I added a lot of beige to soften the look but would have liked softer tones, but in the winter we need a bit more colour so I’m reasonably happy with it.

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WOYWW – week 7

I have been working flat out this past week , my studio is in a state of organised chaos but this is what’s on my work table right now, I’m making some light catchers with copper inclusions, and coasters today.
The reason I’m so busy is my shops and galleries all need stocking up, I’ve an art event at Easter and I’ve been offered some showroom space too, so this is what I’ve been working on this past week including the vases I showed you in WOYWW #6, they have been fired twice now and they are finished.





Hares are such a pleasure to paint, I hope to paint some hare bowls next week.

But my love just now are the long tailed tits, they are such a delight to watch on the feeder, and they really are tiny.



I couldn’t forget the crested tit


Then there were 2, they will be flying off in different directions next week.


Oh I painted some bowls too, these are large bowls and holding them made my wrist ache.



I had some new garden visitors this week, I’ve a bird feeder just outside the studio window. It’s the first time I’ve seen bullfinches in the garden so I think they will have to be painted soon.
P1190426I told you I’d been busy!


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Icy inspiration

Icy inspiration, from last week’s walk in Ennerdale. I love ice forms, makes me want to get the glass out.

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Cutting fabric with the Silhouette Cameo

For week 6 of  ’52 Things’ I decided to try cutting fabric letters using my Silhouette Cameo. Having worked out the lettering size in the Silhouette Cameo I cut out pieces of fabric and ironed on some interfacing.
P1190245They recommend spraying the fabric with starch and ironing on freezer paper but as I didn’t have any I thought I’d just give cutting a go, so I placed the fabric on my cutting mat held in place with some masking tape.

P1190246I made each letter in a separate page and used the suggested blade settings.
fabric lettersIt worked very well but there were a couple of places where the threads didn’t cut so maybe a double cut would be a good idea.

P1190247I used some leftover fabric to make the bag.


P1190265My apologies for the rubbish photos, here’s a close up picture.


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WOYWW – week 6

WOYWW- week 6. I’m currently painting porcelain, these vases are ready to be given their first fire, they will then be painted again building up the painting, and re-fired. The lustre colours will change in the firing process. P1190359 Would you like to see them when they are finished? And here are the freeform dichroic glass pendants that featured in WOYWW last week.

Now I’m heading over to Stamping Ground to see what everyone eles is up to.

http://stamping-ground.blogspot.co.uk/P1190255 P1190258

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Making Roman blinds

Last weekend I decided it was time to make some new Roman blinds, the last ones shrank when I washed them but they had served well. I have been blindless since we decorated in the Autumn but I was so busy with orders I didn’t have time to make new ones. I looked into buying them but they were so expensive, and as I had made blinds for these windows previously I had all the lathes etc so all I needed was fabric, time, and  my head in the right frame of mind.

‘The Complete Book of Soft Furnishings’ was my guide, it was the third time round for Roman blind guidance.  So out came the sewing machine and tape measure and I drew it all out on paper, I’m not good with figures and measurements so it was check 3 times cut once. I chose a cream textured fabric, the windows are small on the north side of the house, and I want the blinds to blend into the background, I don’t want them to be more obvious than our bits and pieces of art.

Pressing everything as you go is the key to success when sewing things like blinds, or so my mother,who was a fully trained dressmaker told me. I could hear her voice keeping me on track as I sewed, she trained me well.

Making roman blinds CollageJust under a day and a half later I had 3 Roman blinds dressing my windows.
finished roman blinds CollageI’m really pleased with the results, OH said they look the same as the old blinds. :-)

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And then there were two!

I’ve finished the second sock, I can’t say I did a better job of the second one and there was quite a bit of pulling out to be done, I still haven’t got the hang of heel turns and my toe shaping is a bit off.
P1190241I don’t think I will attempt to knit another pair, and I still drool when I get out my hand knit socks from Knitogethersox I really appreciate the quality, fit and everything about my gorgeous socks even more now then before.

Mine are destined to be walking boot socks, but I’m pleased they are wearable. It was something on my ‘to do’ list and now I’ve ticked that box. I’m still persevering with my crochet though, will show you later.


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Ennerdale walk to Black Sail hut

One of the many benefits of being self employed is that you can down tools and take off for a few days when you feel like a break, well it makes up for the days when you work long hours or weekends :-)

Yesterday as the weather was cold but sunny we got up early and headed off to Ennerdale.

Last time I walked this path was almost 40 years ago. Christine if you are reading this post I hope my photos take you back to our YHA days!
I remember it all so vividly, and yesterday I was transported back in time.



Pillar rock

Pillar rock



Ennerdale looking towards Great gable

Black Sail YHA

Black Sail YHA

Black Sail Hut

Black Sail hut

Great gable

Great gable


Angler’s crag


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