Otto doesn't like it when Dick goes out, he doesn't like it when I go out, but when we both have to go out he really doesn't like it! He has a lovely big brick built kennel with all mod cons for his own exclusive use, but he's not keen on using it. He likes to be with us, and I'm sure he'd love going in his kennel if I went with him, however, this is not going to happen. Last week I had to go into Harleston - Dick was at work. I put Otto's bed, food and drink into the kennel, along with his favourite cuddly toy, Piggle. I put everything I needed in the car and went to put Otto away and lock the back door, no Otto. I looked indoors, upstairs and down, no sign of him. I had a quick scout round the garden, I even looked in the kennel, but to no avail. A check in the back garden didn't work either, and nor did calling him (not unusual). I eventually found him hiding behind the car, his wagging tail was a bit of a giveaway. He went in his kennel, and as I was only out for an hour, he still greeted me warmly when I came home. Love that dog!
We've been spending a fair bit of time in the meadows over the past couple of weeks, the blackberry harvest has been exceptional this year. We've had a few crumbles and fools, and there are plenty in the freezer for future use. I find that this keeps me in Dick's good books, he loves a crumble.
I have made several new items this week, from necklaces to bookmarks (getting ahead for the festive season - sorry to mention it!). Have a look in the new items section to see what I've been up to.
You know how it is when one thing leads to another. That certainly happened for us last weekend, we bought a nice little bookcase for the living room, just the right size to put the television on. I have to say I'm very pleased with it, perfect for our little cottage. Then the fun began, where to put the previous cupboard which held the television - now in the dining room, which meant that the little cupboard/shelf unit in there could go in the bedroom. Also, because we had more space for books I had a sort out, sent some books to the charity shop and moved some others around. We now have one less bookcase in the office, this enabled us to rearrange most of the furniture in there. I'm not at all certain that we've finished yet....
I don't often put pictures of myself on my blog, but I felt I should put this one on to show you all what the well dressed ladies are wearing when dog walking these days. I'm quite lucky that I don't get seen to often when I'm out on my wander round the meadows first thing in the morning.
I have put several new pairs of gemstone earrings on the website this week, they're really good value at £12.50 per pair. The stones come from India and I think they're lovely. Have a look in the New Items section. I'll have them, and some new Fine Silver (which I haven't managed to put on the website yet) at Halesworth Produce Market tomorrow morning.
There I was, quietly having a little snooze on the settee with the television burbling gently in the background. Dick was busily giving Otto a shower outside (he refuses to get in the bath (Otto, not Dick)). Otto managed to slip Dick's clutches and ran indoors to see me, I was awoken by a loud shout from Dick, very quickly followed by the shock of a sodden Otto shaking himself right next to me. Lovely. You'd be surprised how much water Otto's fur holds, believe me, it's a lot. At least he's clean. The living room may take some time to dry!
I took delivery of a wonderful new piece of equipment this week, a kiln. I've been hankering after one for a while now and am very happy (and lucky) to have it. It will enable me to produce much better quality fine silver than I could with a blowtorch. I have already tried it out - as you can see from the photo, I had also made earrings, but these all sold at the Beccles Market yesterday morning. I hadn't even taken photos of them to put them on the website, so more to be made this week. I will be putting the pendants on the website tomorrow and will have them with me at Halesworth Produce Market next Saturday.
I didn't think it was possible to get a double exposure on a modern phone/camera, so I was somewhat surprised to see a photo of Otto and his double. I'm sure he would find this useful when he is hunting (he's really not very good at it). Otto used to be an enthusiastic hunter, and would happily chase for miles and still not catch anything, nowadays he chases his prey for up to about 50 yards and then decides that it's too much like hard work. He's a not very grown up eight and a half years old now, he still loves a cuddly toy and takes a lot more care of them than he used to - they used to get chewed in no time, but he's had his current cuddly pig for some time now.
I'm being extremely busy this week, as well as having some online orders (thank you!), I'm preparing for my annual few days at Walsham le Willows where I will be having a stall at the glorious Open Gardens event on Sunday and Monday. It would be lovely to see some of you there, it's a beautiful village with lovely gardens and this is a very well run event. If you do come, don't forget to pop into the wonderful old barn in the centre of the village, where all of the craft stalls can be found.
Don't get me wrong - I love sunny, warm weather. A good summer's day is an absolute joy, but my poor garden (and everyone else's too) has struggled in the long, hot spell we've just had. In fact the photos on the site today weren't taken in my garden - one was of a lovely bouquet of flowers I received, and the other was at a garden centre I was taken to yesterday by my lovely friend Frances. A photo from my garden would, sadly, show half dead foliage and very little in the way of flowers. I haven't been able to plant anything for weeks because the soil is so hard, I'm hoping that today's rain continues a while so that I can at least tidy up the borders a bit and fill some gaps where plants have died.
I have been fairly busy in the workshop this week, and have made several new items, as well as restringing necklaces for customers who had old favourites they couldn't wear any more. Luckily for me I have also had a few online orders, so have had little parcels to wrap and post. I will be having a stall at Halesworth this Saturday, the first I've done there for some months, so I'm looking forward to meeting up with old friends there. I'm also focussing on preparations for one of my favourite events of the year, Walsham le Willows Open Gardens on Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday.
I have been wanting to go back to Oxburgh Hall for a long time, and Dick has never been, so we decided that this would be the destination for our long awaited day out. It's absolutely my favourite National Trust property, it's got a lovely feel to it and you can't beat a good moat! Of course we made sure that I didn't overdo things, so we stopped for a cream tea (compulsory I think), and had a further stop for refreshment later in the day. I had a great time, but I have to admit that I slept all the way home!
Just for info - Mary's Little Gems will be at the Beccles Farmer's Market tomorrow, I'm not allowed to do the carrying but I can do the selling! It will be lovely to get back to normal. All being well the production of new jewellery will start next week.
I know it's been a very long time since my last blog, but I have a great excuse. I've been poorly. I have honestly had a horrible couple of months which included two stays in hospital (totalling three weeks - which is a long while to be on the acute cardiac unit). I didn't have a heart attack, which is what you would expect to have on that ward, I had pericarditis twice in quick succession, which did me no good at all. However, I am on the mend - it will take a while longer to get back to full strength, but I know I'm getting better because I'm frustrated at what I can't do yet. I'm hoping to get back in the workshop very soon. I'm sorry that I've had to let my business go for so long - it has been my passion for a long time, and it will be again, so please don't give up on me. I'm already designing in my head, if not in the workshop!!
On a brighter note I have been able to watch Wimbledon without the slightest pang of guilt this year, and will be settling down to watch the final this afternoon. Lovely!!
What a wonderful few days of weather we've had. I know I'm old enough to know better, but I've managed to get a bit of sunburn round my neck - too much gardening and walking without enough sun protection. Silly I know, but I've seen several people who have been even sillier - we saw a few reddish bodies in Southwold yesterday. Talking of Southwold, just a reminder that I'm returning to the Box for five days from 21st to 25th May, and am making new items at quite a rate. I have put a few on the website, with more to follow.
I've just been on the phone to my lovely friend Frances, who gave me some good advice. I had told her that we're not having the best of weeks (although we had a lovely highlight with step-daughter Ruth coming yesterday). I said that I really didn't know what to put on the blog this week as I always try to make it cheerful. My wise friend told me to be honest, because nobody can be that upbeat all the time - although I'm pretty good at it. No matter how cheerful I usually am there really is no fun in having father in law in hospital and mother in law home alone. All very stressful. The amazing thing is that they've been together all these years, but were separate yesterday which was their 65th Wedding Anniversary.
"Crikey, that's a whopper" Karan exclaimed as I advanced across the lawn with a large coffee sponge. It was indeed, sadly it was rather more risen on one side than the other, but that didn't stop us from having a goodly wodge each. It has been a wonderful day for sitting outside and having a really good natter (as well as coffee and cake), there's nothing like a good catch up with friends you haven't seen lately.
Apart from today I've been very busy on the jewellery front, you'll find a lot of new items on the website this week, with a lot more to go on. Although I have had a bit of a cold/cough I've spent a lot of time in the workshop with my bead stash from the Big Bead show, I have so many beads now that I have absolutely no excuse.
I have just realised that this is my 100th blog!! How did that happen? It really doesn't feel like that many. I know some are more entertaining than others, but you have to admit that I am persistent.
Following on from my two days in Southwold last week, I have booked a five day block starting on Monday May 21st, so I will have to make sure that I'm well stocked up for that. This Saturday I will be at the Beccles Farmer's Market - why not come and say hello.
Well, here we are in sunny Southwold, me and my glamorous assistant Frances. We eventually got set up in the Box, it's surprising how long it can take to display some jewellery, but we'd like to think we've done it all very tastefully. It was lovely to walk into an empty shop and turn it into a jewellery emporium. Local shopkeepers have been generous enough to display my flyers and several of them have visited to see what we're up to.
There has been a lot of interest in my new range of fine silver - which I have made myself!! Thanks to step-daughter Hannah who arranged for us both to go on a course. My word I'm enjoying it, and have a head full of design ideas, so watch this space. I'm sorry I haven't put much new on the website this week, and I've been concentrating on making enough stock for this shop, as we're here for two days. I'm looking forward to my Southwold pop-up experience again tomorrow, and possibly a lot more over the Summer. I promise to make amends on the website next week.
The weekly ramblings of a self-employed jeweller and countrywoman based in the Waveney Valley.