I hope you all survived the horrible storm we had last night, the earth really seemed to move for me! The wind was so strong it kept me awake for what seemed to be hours, I honestly felt I could feel the house moving. Luckily for us we don't have too much damage, the main problem being that the greenhouse doesn't have all that much glass left, but I know that many people are far worse off than that. At least we don't have the snow that most areas seem to be struggling with.
Dick and I now have a use for the broken greenhouse glass, we have started our stained glass evening classes, and are both enjoying it immensely. Beginners learn their glass cutting skills on clear glass, and we can now supply plenty of pieces of that!
Today I'm spending time getting jewellery ready for Sue's new clothing shop which is opening in Union Street in Harleston on Monday - I spoke to her yesterday and she's so excited, I must admit I am too. As I'm a bit smaller than I was I shall be looking for something new to wear, I think it's good to support our local businesses. Sue has supported mine over the years and I'm really grateful that she is going to keep stocking my jewellery in her new shop.
I have got quite a quantity of new sterling silver items arriving in the next few days - ear studs, earrings, toe rings, pendants etc, so keep an eye on the website as I will start to put them on as soon as they arrive.
How difficult should it be to get a new chair? In our case it has been quite tricky. I have been suffering a bit with a bad back, especially when sitting at my jewellery making desk, which has made me a bit miserable. I don't like it when it hurts to play with beads. This really started in December when I was spending hours a day to keep up. Dick ordered me a new chair for delivery the next day, it didn't come. When he checked with the supplier, the driver had said that he couldn't find our address. I know we're a bit out in the sticks, but everything else gets here! We put it down to pre-Christmas rush, we got our refund and ordered another one. It didn't come either, same reason given. By now it was too close to Christmas to worry so much, I knew the orders were slowing down, so the decision was taken to wait until the new year. The order was duly placed, and glory be - the parcel arrived yesterday! I opened it, all excited - there it was, not quite the colour we expected (dark claret?), but I was willing to forgive that.. I took all of the pieces out of the box, not many. Small problem, the chair has a five point base, and four wheels were delivered. Aaarghhh!! I don't often get cross, but I was so disappointed. Luckily Dick was a bit more sensible and just used a wheel from the old chair. I'm happy.
I had another disappointment yesterday - I had ordered nine lovely strings of beads from a supplier I haven't used much, so didn't go overboard with the order. Shortly afterwards I received an email saying that eight of the nine items were out of stock. What??? Why have a website if you don't keep it up to date. I can assure you that mine is. Rant over.
Anyway, Otto and I have been out for a fine plod round the meadows to clear our heads. I know it's a bit grotty out there, but I saw a Bullfinch, sorry no photo, I wasn't quick enough. Also, a Woodpecker was pecking away and a Robin was singing his heart out (sorry, photo not the best, but it was somewhat drizzly). So all in all, things are good.
By the way - don't forget the Sale finishes on 14th Jan - and it covers everything on the site, just use the code SALE at the checkout to get 20% off the marked price. Click here to see the shop.
We've done a lot of walking this week, I have no idea how many miles, but even Otto is losing weight. I know the weather hasn't always been the best, and it's not very inviting to get out there, but once you're all togged up and walking it's really enjoyable. Otto isn't keen on the bad weather either, but if we're going there's no way he's going to miss out. The beck has been really high this week, fuller than it's been for a while, but he still loves his swim, he's a really keen swimmer in fresh water, but for some reason he doesn't go in the sea.
Even in the dull weather, there are still some flowers out, we have pansies and wallflowers, and there are still wild flowers - especially the Winter Flowering Heliotrope which has the most wonderful scent. We have some on the other side of our hedge, and if the weather is calm (!?!) the air is full of an almondy (I know that's not a proper word) aroma which is lovely.
Just a reminder that the sale is on until 14th January, 20% off everything (even the new stock which I've put on this week). Use the code SALE at the checkout and the discount will appear automatically. Click here to see the online shop.
We had a long and very lovely walk here in the Saints this morning, but by gum it was cold. There was a fair bit of ice on the road, so it was a bit tricky to stay upright, and you could hear the ice in the puddles cracking. I love mornings like this though, its so clear and everything looks clean and lovely, but Dick gets a bit fed up when I keep stopping to take pictures, which is perhaps a bit over often.
Dick went outside a few minutes ago - to do outdoorsy things, like he does. Unusually though he came back after about ten minutes because it's too cold - he says it's enough to cut your legs off! I shall stay indoors then, with the fire roaring.
BIG NEWS!!! I have decided to have a 20% off SALE on everything on the website, this will happen at the till - but you must remember to use the code SALE before you pay. The sale will continue until 14th January 2018. Have fun!!
Having done surprisingly well on my diet I have awarded myself a couple of weeks off so that I can enjoy the festivities, and will start being very good again in the New Year. I have rediscovered my love of the scone - any scone - cheese, fruit or plain, and have tried both the cheese and fruit varieties during the last few days. When I left my job at South Norfolk Council I was given a fridge magnet declaring my love of scones, so apt (thanks Carolyn, it's still on the fridge). I decided not to make a Christmas Cake this year, it lasts too long and would be too much of a temptation after Christmas, but have made a small fruit cake with no icing or marzipan. Other baking will start tomorrow, just sausage rolls and pork pies - I have to remember I'm not the only person in the house!
I have received so many lovely comments about my photos that I'm considering making a calendar for 2019 showing a year at Howes Cottage, hopefully we'll have a good display of orchids and other wild flowers etc. to make it worthwhile. I'm hoping that it would be a good way to raise a little bit of money for charity, and if they don't sell you all know what you'll be getting for Christmas next year!
There have been a few re-stocks on the website this week, but not much in the way of new items - things have gone a bit quiet now that we're so close to the big day. Thank you to all of you for your custom and friendship this year;. Have a lovely Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year.
I really enjoy the snowy weather - not for travelling, I'm not too comfortable with that, but for photography and dog walking. The winter months can be a bit grey and dull, but a bit of snow makes everything look bright and clean. Otto, aged over 7, sprints and jumps like a young pup, and (being a little dim) tries to catch snowballs in mid-air, luckily catching isn't his strong-point (he takes after me!).
I am coming to the end of Christmas Stall season, with only one left to do in Eye tomorrow evening. It's been a great lead up to the festivities though, so thank you to all of you who have bought either online or in person. I really appreciate it. I am now having time to write Xmas cards and wrap presents, although Dick and I have one more shopping visit (hopefully!) to make, so we're off to Beccles later. Otto is going to the dog "hairdressers" in Spexhall this afternoon for his Christmas makeover, so we'll have some time to do a bit of browsing while he is getting pampered.
As you might expect there are a few new items on the website this week, and happily I have been able to restock the Swarovski Xmas Tree earrings which have been very popular again this year. Have a look on this New Items link. The online shop will obviously remain open for any urgent purchases - I will get items out as quickly as possible and they will all be sent by 1st class post.
It was high time (actually it was well past high time) to get our tax return paperwork into the accountants. I always promise myself that I'll get it done nice and early like I used to, but we seem to have failed lately. I got mine done a few weeks ago, but Dick has been really busy and only got his finished yesterday morning. I don't mind admitting that it had been worrying me for a while and had visions of us being fined for being late. So we set off for Harleston late yesterday morning with two main jobs in mind - see Dick's Mum and Dad, and go to the accountant. We achieved both, sort of... Mum & Dad were outside their house on the way to a Christmas Lunch, so we had the briefest of meetings. Also, we did go to the accountant, but only to apologise for not bringing the paperwork! It was still in the Dining Room, and we blamed each other. Clearly not the most successful of mornings. I returned to town this morning in the rather heavy rain and, yes, I took the paperwork with me. I've stopped worrying now.
It's been a bit grim outside, but not enough to stop me and Otto from having our morning plod. We have a lot of windfall apples on the meadows, which have been left for the wildlife. We had begun to conclude that they hadn't been found as they have been there for a while, but I noticed that the Blackbirds have been having them for breakfast today so they won't be wasted.
I had to include the photo of Dick being his usual daft self - it makes me laugh.
I will be at Halesworth Produce Market on Saturday morning and at Withersdale Street Village Hall on Sunday, so feel free to come along and see me and all the other stalls. As always new there is new stock on the site, have a look on this link new stock
My, it's a bit bleak here today! I walked Otto this morning, which we both enjoyed, but I think we were both quite pleased to get indoors again. Otto has spent the remainder of the morning very much at the "radiator end" of his bed. He did just pad through to see if I had lit the fire, but I haven't, so he padded back to bed again. I must be a bitter disappointment to him at times.
I filled the bird feeders this morning (as I often do), but I was amazed how quickly the birds flocked in when I had done. I hadn't even walked ten feet before I turned round and there were already two Goldfinches and a Woodpecker having a good feed. They must be getting pretty hungry to be that brave. Note to self - need more sunflower seeds, they get through them so quickly.
I have more events coming up during the next week, I'm doing a jewellery party this evening in Hempnall, on Saturday morning I will be at Metfield Produce Market in the village hall, and on Tuesday evening I will have a stall at the Wortwell Bell, so things are a bit hectic. I'm so happy to say that the website (after all this while) is really starting to get some interest, so parcels have been being wrapped much more regularly. By the way, if you do order online your goods will be prettily wrapped and then packed in a good quality cardboard package, so no chance of damage.
As always there is new stock on the website, and more to come over the next few days, click here new items to have a look.
I have been sitting here at my computer desk in the dining room for much of the day. Not just sitting mind you, working. Taking photos of new stock and putting them on the online shop. Interestingly (or not) Otto has been sound asleep behind me, and boy, can he snore! He woke up briefly when I went out to the bin, but as soon as we came back in he took up position and was snoring again within minutes.
I was at my other "workshop" desk yesterday, making all sorts of goodies ready for all the events I have lined up. I do like to have the television on in the background, just for a bit of company. However yesterday I inadvertently tuned in to The Little House on the Prairie, and I saw a two-parter. This is a programme which has always been able to make me (and the rest of my family) cry, and it still has the power - I cried twice, but I loved it! A reminisce and a good old blubber don't do any harm.
It will be a busy weekend again (I hope), on Saturday I will be at the Mendham Church Xmas Fair, and I will be at Langley School on Sunday, so I'd better be off upstairs and make some more Xmas Tree earrings which are selling rather well this year.
I had friends round the other day for coffee, and most unusually I didn't offer any cake, biscuits or other home baked goodies. Luckily they had read the blog about me joining Slimming World so they realised that nothing would be available, and kindly didn't bring anything either, so we just had a lovely catch up with our coffee. Ann even managed to get some Christmas shopping done. I'm really pleased with how well I've done on my diet, I don't often get a bout of self-control, so am making the most of it. However, we have our Christmas Craft Fair in the village on Saturday and I had promised to bake for it. Yesterday I made Cheese Scones and Flapjack and didn't even do a quality control test!! The scones are in the freezer and the flapjack is safely away in an airtight tin, so I should be able to avoid it. Tomorrow comes the time for making the cake - lets just hope I'm still good.....
This week I have added several lovely new Sterling Silver items (amongst other things) which are a little bit different to the run of the mill items you see in the shops, have a look on this link New Items
It would be lovely to see you at St Margaret South Elmham Village Hall on Saturday, we will be open from 10 - 3, for those of you needing help to find us the post code is IP20 0PJ
The weekly ramblings of a self-employed jeweller and countrywoman based in the Waveney Valley.