Thursday, 1 January 2015

Welcoming 2015 with open arms

Happy New Year Everyone 
 may your 2015 be blessed with good health and  happiness .
I hope you've had a cracking good Christmas too !

I wanted to swing by and say hello to 2015 with you and also apologise to you for being the most erratic and lapsed blogger of 2014
. I am truly glad to say goodbye to 2014  and I am unbelievably great full to have my mum still with us after her horrendous accident at the start of 2014 and it was a pleasure to care for her when she needed it over the following months  . She is an inspiration to me and  her steadfast and tenacious character see's her battle through life's difficulties and trauma's( believe me she's had more than her fair share !) . She does this with an unshakable determination to make the most of life .She is a small  gritty , feisty Yorkshire women and I am proud to be her daughter  . My mum has taught me many things over the years and I have learnt  lots of life lessons  through observing her and watching the way she deals with life . This is what I am going to draw on this year as I take myself and my family forward through  2015 , I will try to live a good life and no matter what comes my way I need to just crack on and look for the best most positive outcome as possible and if I do take a stumble at some stage I need to remember to pull my socks up and get on  with it !
I will have some challenges ( but hopefully small ones ) to come early in this year as I am not 100% health wise at the moment and haven't been for a while now , but I am now in the capable hands of the specialists and they have made a plan of what needs to be done and I will deal with that when the time comes .
Creatively I have  had an exhausting  but exciting time making on the lead up to Christmas .
I would like to share with you the truly pleasurable experience of making that has been the last 6 weeks .
 
I love making my Angels big and small , and it fills me with joy that people get pleasure from having one of my Angels in their lives and I do believe its good to have an Angel watching over you .
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
I introduced a new lady a few weeks ago , a companion for Mr Fox , it was a wonderful playful time making her as I not only got to fashion her a dress from vintage embroidered linen and trim it with reclaimed lace but I also did a spot of needle felting which I hadn't done in such a long time . I absolutely fell in love with her and can't wait to make some more this year .
 
 



 
My making table has been so busy since I last popped by and I am thoroughly enjoying working from home , I am finding it such a productive and creative process . In fact it is shear bliss , I couldn't be happier with where I work .
 

A batch of Mr Foxes were all wrapped up in their woolie scarfs and set off out on journeys to their new homes .
 


There were a lot of very late nights working lots of tiny stitches , but I love it !!

 
  
 
On the days when it has been too dark to work at my making table , I  got myself all cosy in my chair by the window in our living room and happily sat sewing with a roaring fire for company .
 
 
 Then the Angel mice and Santa's helper mice all started to come to life and as I do a limited batch of these which are slightly different each year I never get bored of making them and they  really gets me in the mood for Christmas .
 
They are such little characters !!



 
 
 
 

Then once all my making was done I got our home ready to welcome Christmas .
We only have a simple twig tree ( as well as other decorations ) , but I like it when it goes up , Christmas has arrived .
 
I have taken this winding down time to work on a couple of projects , some weeks ago I started a pair of ' Nola's Knitted slippers' for those who haven't heard of it , it is an American pattern available on the ' The Seamen's Church Institute' web page
 
It is such a quick and easy pattern and it is exactly the sort of project I need in my life .
Lovely warm cosy toes , result !!
 
I've dug out a crochet project to work on over Christmas  some of you will recognise , it has been a long time languishing in my basket so I thought I needed got crack on with it  . I do like how it's coming together which is spurring me on .
 
I've been taking it easy over Christmas recharging my very empty batteries and over the last couple of days I have been slowly getting back into my work . I have been working on my Mr& Mrs Mill Mice ready for being back too it on Monday once the boys return to school. But today I have slept as I have no energy and I am not feeling great  and at the moment I'm having to work around these sort of days . So as we go into the new year I will have to pace myself and listen to my body but I am very excited about making over the coming months.
Lets see what I can create this year !!
So thank you so much for popping by and ta ta for now .
Tracy xx
 
 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Happy

Well hello lovely folks , I am back and full of creative mojo !!
 Yay, the old me is emerging and I'm in a very happy place right now .
 
Before I continue I just want to say a huge heart felt thank you for all the recent messages of support and encouragement that were left on here on my last post and on facebook and in person . They really kept me going when my head was in a difficult place , I really do appreciate that people took the time to message me and offer me support through their words  . My head is in a totally different place now , I feel positive , happy , creative and back in touch with myself .  My family and friends have noticed the difference and are glad to have the old me back .


So what have I been up to ?
Well  I've been making time to do what makes me Happy .
So firstly I've been making sure I have indulged in lots of quality time with my children and husband and friends too .

 
We have been going on lots of walks and spending time in the great outdoors .
I find spending time outdoors helps calm my mind and gives me a feeling of inner peace .

As a family we have been spending lots of time just hanging out , one early morning drive for a trip to York on the Sunday at the end of the school holidays resulted in a very lazy hour spent chatting and sipping the most deliciously indulgent hot chocolates at ' The York Cocoa House ' whilst listening  to the church bell ring . I think it was about this time I truly started feeling my self again .
 
I've also enjoyed spending times with friends , and what better way to have fun than to join in with the things that make the kids Happy ( although this year I did avoid getting dressed up ) I did thoroughly enjoy myself making scrummy sweet treats for the children  and my friends to enjoy too , back in the kitchen where I love to be .


 
 I made Halloween buns , fudge and plot (bonfire ) toffee , the toffee was a big hit and it rendered people speechless , literally as their teeth stuck together !! so funny . There's something quite amusing watching a group of adults eating very chewy sticky toffee .
 
I have been really enjoying making food which is seasonal and a big favourite in our house this time of year is Pumpkin pie , these are mini pumpkins pies with pecan and maple cream . I sent some round to a friend and neighbour for them to enjoy too .
I love sharing food with others ,whether it's sat around a table together or sharing food  at a party or giving food to others to enjoy , the act of giving and sharing food is so special and it is a way I show people I love & care for them.
 
 
  It has been so nice waking up on a weekend relaxed and I have got back into the swing of making the weekend breakfast special , welsh cakes always go down a treat for breakfast .
 

It's been great to be socialising with friends and I do enjoy the Creative Coopers groups on a Tuesday ( 1pm to 3 pm ) and a Friday ( 9.00am to 11.00 am ) , sharing our yarn addiction is such great fun .

One all important change of late is that I have got my creative mojo back , my head is buzzing with ideas .

 I love the fact that recently I have found some locally produced wool to make garments ( scarfs & shawls ) for my Yorkshire Mill Mice . The sheep who's wool I have bought were reared just outside of Skipton  and their fleece was spun in Yorkshire too.
 Within a couple of days of this gem of a find  I found Yorkshire wool suiting too to make the Mr Mill Mouse trousers and I had also previously sourced some vintage Dewhurst Mill thread bobbins that often are a little extra I send out with the Mill mice and were made in the old Dewhurst mill in Skipton ( a stones throw from my own house ) .It is great to be able to source locally produced items for me to create my makes .
 I'm finding the process of searching for fabrics and yarn quite inspirational and thought provoking and it is making me think about what I make ,  why I design something the way I do and what makes my pieces special and the narrative behind them .
 


 
 
I am particularly enjoying my new working routine and environment and my days are working out so much more productive.
I am getting in to the swing of making again and am looking forward to seeing my little creation take shape over the coming weeks .
 
 

 



 
As I make a new batch of makes I often think of new twists to them so they evolve over time and this in tern keeps them interesting to work on .
Over the last week  whilst working on my next batch of foxes ( the first in quite some time ) I had the idea of woodland items to accompany this woodland creature , I envisaged felted toadstools and acorns , so yesterday I set too . In fact I was fizzing with excitement and I sooo liked the way things went .

 
I even turned one into a brooch this morning .
 

I feel grounded and happy in my work and I hope that this will reflect in what I design and make over the coming weeks .
My home life is settled and comfy and I have balance back into my daily routine .
For those of you that sent such kind and supportive words regards my eldest sons health concerns , this is still ongoing , with more hospital visits booked . They have reassured us they will get to the bottom of things and that they don't think it is anything too serious . So we will be patient and go with the flow and hope we will have some answers before too long .
 
I feel truly blessed right now and happy to have so many kind and loving people in my life and especially people who care enough to stick by me when I'm struggling with life .
 
  Thank you so much for popping by and ta ta for now xx
 
 


Monday, 6 October 2014

A season of change

Hello lovely folks , how are we all ?
Since I called by on the 23rd of September so much has happened !!
First of all was the wonderful weekend of The Open Studio which coincided with Yarndale , which unfortunately passed me by !
On the Friday before Yarndale I welcomed people to our creative coopers group who had travelled to Skipton ahead of the Yarndale event . We had a fun morning meeting new people and we thoroughly indulged in sharing our love for yarn .



I also opened the door to The Studio on the Friday for people to visit and take a peek and if they so wished they were able to buy some of my handmade textile pieces . It was a fantastic start to a wonderful weekend so many familiar faces popped by and new faces too. I would like to say a big heart felt thank you to all those who visited and made the open studio such a special event.






However the following week was a whirlwind of decision making and action as well as dealing with the uncertainty and worry of life as a parent  and having  unforeseen things get thrown into the melting pop of our family life .
When I first decided to start a business it was so I could make a small living working around my children and our family life and not work being more important than everything else . I've been there and done that and got the T-shirt ! and I said never again!! But over the last year there has been a steady creep of my work life and family life balance get out of kilter which culminated over the last 5/6week of me finding my self very stressed and emotionally strung out as well as being unbelievably unhappy with life .
So enough was enough I sat down and I  had to face up to some very hard business decision . As I write this post  I do it from my new Studio space at home as this is  where I now run my little business ' Handmade Over Yonder ' from . Last Thursday I  decided to move out of The Studio , in truth I had not actually worked in that space for over two and half months . So having sat my self down I started looking at the way I work and the fact that my stock , equipment and all that entails was split between two separate places making my production process very disjointed , as well as lots of time wasted packing and unpacking to transport my work between home and the studio( which also included me on a daily basis carrying a few bags full of stock and equipment to and from home to the studio and back again . ) . I have also had to look at the financial implications of having a studio and for the hours I spent there was it financially cost effective as well as viable?  I also had to consider the impact of me working and the way it was affecting my family life and I was particularly unhappy with this part of things . I like to have a clean orderly house and provide my family with wholesome home cooked food , as well as striving to be as self sufficient as our current circumstances allow but all this was slipping too .  I needed to redress the balance as I felt very disjointed and things were falling apart and  the most important work I will ever do is in these for walls of our home .
So with sad heart on Thursday  I moved out of the studio , I have had a wonder full time in the studio with my studio buddy Lucy ( she did jokingly say she might make a replica of me made out of wool to stand in the corner where my desk was ) and it has been a fabulous experience but the cold hard truth was it was no longer working for me . So with positive steps I have moved my working life in a different direction and I am enjoying my first official day at home working and I'm especially excited as I'm managing to blog in the daytime too !!
 But I have not cut all ties to Coopers Cafe-bar as I will still be attending the creative coopers groups on a Tuesday afternoon and a Friday morning as I love these creative groups and the wonderful people who attend and I wouldn't be without my fix of yarntastic fun with friends ( as well as the great coffee and scrummy cakes ) .

So here's a little peek of my new studio spaces , its bijou but perfect ! ( sorry about the fuzzy pics the light levels are very poor today !)






Thursday was a bit of a double whammy sort of day , as well as moving out of the studio we also got medical results back for my eldest son and without going into detail he is being urgently referred to the pediatricians at our local hospital , this is a very tense and worrying time for me and Mr P . So at least now with working from home I can concentrate my energies when and where they are needed most and my family will always come first . But I do also need to make my business work where ever I am as we have finally decided after over a year of deliberation that we are going to start looking for a new home in a more rural location . We are wanting to become more self sufficient so we have decided life's too short and we need to follow are dreams and try and live a good and full life , I do so wish to have veg patches and some fruit trees and some chickens as well  .
Sorry for  waffling on I just wanted everyone to know where I was and why , but you can still find me in the same places on line as before . I will also be stocking my etsy shop very soon ( link button to shop at the top right hand side of this page ) . I will also be about in blog land  a lot more as I now have access to my computer in the day time , which is great .
Thank you for letting me share my journey of the last couple of weeks with you and thanks for popping by and ta ta for now . Tracy xx