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.
We had a lovely time on Anglesey last week - what a lovely island. The surprising thing for us was that there is so much to do there that we didn't cross back to the mainland until it was time to come home, we had thought that we'd be backwards and forwards over the bridges during the week. Happily there is still more than enough of interest for us to go again.
One of the places we visited was Moelfre where we spent a happy few hours at the lifeboat station & museum. There was a marvellous machine there where you could pose for pictures which show you in various RNLI boats, great fun! We laughed so much doing ours that a queue of cackling onlookers formed behind us. They continued to cackle whilst posing for their pictures and I think one of the ladies may possibly have laid an egg. The most amazing thing about this entertainment is that it was free! I'm sure they could raise quite a lot of money by making a small charge.
The day after the lifeboat visit we went to the north of the island and had a lovely lunch in a café in the main street of a lovely village (Cemaes). It wasn't until the two men who were sitting behind me left, that I glanced at them through the window and realised I had been sitting in very close proximity to Larry Lamb. They were filming a new series there. It must be a very different experience filming there than in Albert Square.
Since getting home I've been busy making new necklaces etc and have put several new items on the website, click on the new items link to see what's new.
I will be at Beccles Farmers Market (at the Heliport) on Saturday morning.
Our boy is famous - he's made it onto the cover of the South Elmham Community News!! "Otto Enters Dog Show on his Own" - clever boy, although he didn't actually do it on his own. He was picked up by Annabel, one of the organisers, because we were unable to take him. I understand he had a grand time, and he came home with a "third place" rosette, of which he is justifiably proud. Dick did have a little word with him about not winning - but it was his first attempt after all!
I was extremely impressed with the delivery of our new (yes, New!!) suite today. We had informed the sales lady when we ordered it that we lived in the middle of nowhere and that it would not be advisable to use a lorry, and that a van would be much easier. Anyway, a whopping great lorry arrived. After a few failed attempts to get it up the drive (I advised against even trying), they parked it in the layby up the road and carried everything some distance - it wasn't just the new items they had to carry - they were taking away the old suite too!! I rewarded them with well earned refreshments.
I am currently putting new items on the website, ear-studs, earrings and necklaces and hope to have it all done soon. Why not have a look on the New Items section.
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.
The weekly(ish) ramblings of a self-employed jeweller and countrywoman based in the Waveney Valley.