Now that Otto is a slightly older dog (nine) he doesn't need to go on quite such long walks all the time, although, like us, he enjoys it from time to time. He does, however, get quite cross if he considers that I am late for either his morning or afternoon exercise, and he's very good at giving me "that" look and if I attempt to ignore it he will nudge me until I give in. Even if we're out gardening and he has the run of the place, he still has an in-built clock for walkies. It is a pleasure being out on the meadows for a woman and dog at the moment, it's getting quite flowery out there and the larks are singing beautifully.
I must confess that I haven't spent as much time on the website as I should have for the past couple of weeks, we had a lovely break in Cornwall, and since then I've been spending time in the greenhouse and garden, which I love. I have put some new items on the website during that time, and will be getting up to full speed again next week.
This Saturday morning I will have my usual stall at Halesworth Produce Market, it would be lovely to see some of you there.
This weather! Otto and I got blown round the meadows this morning - I'm not complaining, I like a bit of weather. The field gate had been blown open (this often happens), we have a patented "stick closure" system which just wasn't up to the job in these winds, so I upgraded to the double stick closure version which is holding so far. I have firmly braced the sticks in the ground so I'm hoping it will work. Country life at it's best, in my opinion.
Otto has a favourite toy pig, which has lasted much longer than most of his toys. I was surprised when I opened the door the other day to find the pig laying comfortably in the wood basket snuggled under a towel. Dick has tried to persuade me that this was just down to a series of events (Otto drops pig on top of basket, Dick rubs Otto down with towel after rainy walk and throws towel on top of basket). Not convinced, I like to think that Otto's been looking after his toy.
I have been really busy making new stock this week, and a lot of it has already been put on the website, however there is much more to come. I have also been out in the shed "creating" with fine silver, and hope to have the much requested long earrings with me at Beccles Farmers Market on Saturday, providing I get them fired in time!
We're back from a lovely holiday in Madeira, the weather was perfect and the island is absolutely beautiful. We were so lucky to have a panoramic view from our villa's verandah, I took a ridiculous amount of photos - I always do, but it's hard not to when you're in such a lovely place. We came back to find the weather here was also amazing, we hadn't expected that, it was less of a shock to the system.
Yesterday I had a lovely trip out with friends to Raveningham Hall Gardens to see the snowdrops - what a fantastic sight! I hadn't been there for years, but will be going again, I love walled gardens and will be back to see it in the spring/summer. It's great to have somewhere like that so close to home. We sat enjoying the view from a garden seat and couldn't believe how hot it was. I also have to point out that the cheese scones were excellent.
I received an early birthday gift yesterday, a gorgeous pair of hand knitted fingerless gloves! They are a perfect fit and will help keep my hands warm at the Farmer's Market at Beccles on Saturday morning, my hands really do get cold in that great big hangar, so thank you Ann, much appreciated.
On our way back from Gatwick Airport on Sunday we had a pub lunch with cousins and then stopped at the Bead Fair in Colchester, I have to admit that I spent rather a lot of money! I will be updating the website over the next month or so, I haven't had time to make very much yet, but will enjoy designing new items with my new purchases. Before we went on holiday I had received quite a lot of new silver items, so I will be putting those on the website first - I have already added some stud earrings (and there will be a lot more). The Leaping Hare brooches which keep selling out are back in stock - I know a couple of you are waiting for them.
During the past couple of very cold weeks Dick and I set out on our dog-walking trips wearing several layers of clothing, which is very necessary but not very flattering. Luckily for me some of the walks have necessitated a stop at the post-box for me to post jewellery orders - which is great for this time of year when things are usually super-quiet. After one particularly cold and windy walk last week we were puffing up our drive ready for a nice cup of tea (and cake), we looked so big that we decided to change our names to Stout and Portly. Sadly I think they suit us rather well. I chose Portly for myself, I think it's quite a pretty name. Come to think about it "Stout and Portly" would also make a very good micro-brewery name.
Tomorrow morning will see the first Produce Market of the year at Halesworth, I'm really looking forward to it, it seems such a long time since the last one. It's a lovely, friendly market, and well worth a visit.
I have been busy making new necklaces this week and have put some on the website, with some still to add, why not have a look New Items
I had to titter - Dick just received a business text which had obviously been changed by predictive text - it started "Good afternoon Duck". I'm so easily amused, I just loved that.
As I'm sure you're all aware yesterday was the coldest day of the winter so far. Dick was away early as he was working in London, so Otto and I were left to our own devices. Call me daft (you know you want to!), but when it is really cold I like to give the chickens a real treat of a nice hot meal, and I'm quite sure they are grateful. However, I put their treat on the hob only to find that we had no gas, the chickens therefore had a cold breakfast and although they didn't actually complain Chalky the cockerel didn't look too happy and the ladies looked a little crestfallen. Dick has replenished the gas stocks today so hopefully full restaurant service will resume tomorrow.
Dick has worked away a few days this week, and Otto really doesn't seem to like it. On Tuesday when it got dark Otto decided to wait at the top of the drive for him to come home, it took a while to persuade him to come indoors as I knew it would be a couple of hours before he arrived. What a lovely, loyal dog he is.
I have moved some of my activities in from the workshop while it's so cold, so I have been card making as well as doing my silver work inside. I will have both silver and cards with me tomorrow morning at Beccles Farmers Market. It would be lovely to see you there.
Otto has a brand new coat, he's never had one before, but we thought that now he's a middle aged dog he should have one. I think it makes him look like a military mascot, it's so smart! We had anticipated problems with getting him to wear it as he can be a little headstrong. I needn't have bothered as he really seems to like it and has co-operated fully with the performance of putting it on and taking it off. He is so comfortable with it that he comes home from his walk and straight to bed whilst still wearing it, this reminds me of when I was a little girl - one Boxing Day morning my mother came to get me out of bed only to find me wearing not only my nightie, but my new cardigan and my new Christmas slippers!
I had a very good market last weekend in Beccles, where I sold an amazing amount of my hand crafted fine silver, so I've been out in the workshop making more. I'm very happy with my new zigzag design which I think looks great. There are three new fine silver pendants and some earrings on the site today. Just follow this new items link to see what I've been up to.
No markets for me this weekend, but I will be back at Beccles Farmers Market on Saturday 2nd February and at Halesworth Produce Market on 9th February.
We have just had an exceptionally good weekend, it started on Friday evening in the Bell at Wortwell where a joyous night was had by all, we have such a lovely group of friends there. We always intend to go down for an hour or so, but I don't think we've ever achieved anything like that, it's normally more like three!
On Saturday we had a great day selling at the Christmas Market in Mendham Church. I have been attending this event for several years now and I love it. It's such a traditional day with a really lovely atmosphere (and the food is exceptional). I'm already booked in for next year and wouldn't miss it for the world.
Yesterday we had a visit from my cousins Richard and Wendy - I had to put a this photo of Richard on because, just for once, he's not gesticulating. We had a lovely day catching up, it was nice to see them at ours rather than at a funeral which is where we've seen them lately. Thanks to Dick for a lovely roast, good man.
Today is an "n the shed making things"day, I have already started on some new fine silver pendants, and am going out to start on some more. It takes a few days to get them finished because of drying, firing and polishing, but I'm hoping to get them on the website by the end of the week. As well as the ones in the photo I have some new styles in mind which I'm going to play with shortly. I will also be making more stained glass - it sold rather well at Mendham, so now I have orders to fulfil. I love my "work"!
I'm sure this must happen in other households, but it's getting very annoying in ours now. We have had "the cold" for three or four weeks now, it started with Dick and then came to me and it's been to-ing and fro-ing ever since. You just think you're better when the sneezing starts again. Today though, we both seem clear of said germs, but I have heard Otto sneezing - can you catch a cold from a dog? I sincerely hope not.
On Saturday we had an outing with step-daughter Ruth and Mother-in-Law June to The Old Bank in Bungay for full afternoon tea. What a treat! It was a lovely way to spend an hour or so and we certainly didn't need to eat that evening. It was an experience which will certainly have to be repeated. I do like a scone (and a cake, and the sandwiches etc). It was wonderful that Ruth flew up from Cornwall for the weekend so that we were able to spend time with her and Gran. We'll be out with other step-daughter and husband for lunch on Sunday - and Gran is coming too.
I will be at Beccles Farmers Market with my wares tomorrow from 9 - 1 and hope to see some of you there. As always there are new items on the website, along with a new category, Fine Silver.
Stop press! I just heard a feature on Radio Norfolk regarding a dog which was taken to a rescue centre because "it didn't match the furniture in the living room", I would like it to be known that at great cost we have just purchased new furniture to match Otto!!!
It's toadstool time out on the meadows - we always get a lot at this time of year, but there seem to be more than usual at the moment. There are several different types (I have no idea what most of them are - I'm certainly no expert), some of them grow in really large groups of a hundred or more and look like ranks of little soldiers. I love to see them. Of course Otto pays no attention to them at all, and knocks them over in large numbers as he thunders around chasing pheasants. Luckily he doesn't chase the chickens, he was trained not to at an early age so we don't have a problem with that. There have been several foxes around and we had been keeping the chickens in their run, but it just feels really cruel. I hate to see caged birds, and it feels wrong to have the chickens kept in, so we have come to the conclusion that they are better off "free range" and can take their chances - at least they enjoy life that way.
I've been very busy again this week, and have put lots of new items on the website, including a lovely range of Christmas earrings. Have a look at the new items section to see what's new.
I thought I'd include a list of events which I'll be at with my jewellery between now and Christmas, so here goes:-
Sat 10 Nov - Halesworth Produce Market 9-1
Sat 17 Nov - Beccles Farmers Market 9-1
Sat 24 Nov - Mendham Christmas Market, Mendham Church 10-3
Sat 1 Dec - Beccles Farmers Market 9-1
Sat 8 Dec - Halesworth Produce Market 9-1
Sun 9 Dec - Withersdale Christmas Market, Village Hall 12-4
Sat 15 Dec - Beccles Farmers Market 9-1
Sun 23 Dec - Extra Beccles Farmers Market 9-1 (ish!)
Not as many events as I usually squeeze in at this time of year, but I'm still recovering following my illness during the summer (this is not to say that the above list is final!).
I spent a happy morning in the workshop (aka shed) on Wednesday, I thought I'd get on with making some stained glass stars. I cut several out ready for soldering and got four finished (including hanging hooks & ribbons), and was very happy with the outcome, my soldering is improving nicely. It was a tad cold out there, so I took a halogen heater to make it comfortable for me and Otto, who promptly fell asleep right in front of the heater and was really no help at all. The shed, sorry - workshop, is getting quite full of equipment now, I've got all of my stained glass tools and supplies in there as well as my kiln. Once I have the heater and Otto in there it's really full and I'm forever having to climb over the dog! Still, he's good company.
I have also been making use of my other work space (I know!) and have a lot of new items on sale and have also put some pendants in the reduced to clear section - they are lovely, I've just had them for a while. I don't have a market this weekend, but I shan't get bored, we're off to the pub tonight and have our 6th wedding anniversary to celebrate on Saturday. On Sunday I'm having a visit from my lovely friend Doris and her daughter Sarah, it will be lovely to catch up, I haven't seen her for a year & there's so much to catch up on. From now until Christmas I will be really busy making and (hopefully) selling jewellery and a few stained glass items. Have a good weekend.
The weekly(ish) ramblings of a self-employed jeweller and countrywoman based in the Waveney Valley.