Sunday, 28 April 2013

Like treading Treacle

Well life is hard sometimes and the week before last felt like I was treading treacle and going no where fast!

But things seemed to turn a corner last weekend when I went to spend the weekend at my mums to use her oven and bakes my sisters wedding cakes , me and the boys went to stay so they could see Granny P. and Auntie M. and I could bake (and I wanted to see them too ! ) . I am seriously missing not having an oven , sob sob sob !!

 Boy that was a serious bake off  , the bottom tier only just fit in my mums oven and took five and a half hours to cook . Top tier and bottom tier done , only middle cake left to make and a good friend has offered me the use of her oven for that job . It was lovely spending time with my sister we planned and we ordered ( arggghh brides maid dress , I sooooo need to drop a few pounds !!). But something shifted in my head that weekend and everything didn't seem so overwhelming and I was able to focus better , it's amazing how being with people that have been their all or most of your life help you feel at ease and able to focus .

I got very excited this week when I took my newly bought and painted table/ trolley down to the studio . Oh I do love it and it's cheery colour makes me smile when I open the studio door , as its the first thing I see .It was Lucy's keen eye that spotted it languishing outside of a local secondhand shop and text me to go  take a look . The kind lady said if I took it there and then I could have it for £20, a deal was struck and I carried it home . Yes that's right carried it !! I don't drive so I am used to lugging things about the place and I am not easily embarrassed so it didn't bother me carrying it across town and home . Thankfully it has casters so the last stretch I did wheel it up the road to my house . I'm surprised there aren't any youtube films of a mad women with table in a busy market town .

So the studio is coming along nicely and we are really enjoying finding old and unusual pieces to clean up or revamp to make a creative and inspirational place to work/ design , as well as an interesting backdrop for our makes . We hope to be able to open this pace up to you for you to come and experience in the not too distant future.
We are also keeping an eye out for nice little chairs to put all the crafty bottoms on that we anticipate visiting us and I found this little beauty in my local antiques and collectors centre the other week . I think it is a Victorian bedroom chair and was in need of rescuing . I gave the lovely lady her £9 and whisked it off home and started stripping off the paint .
I was amazed by the pattern that unveiled it's self and was utterly in love with the old vintage yellow and blue colour that made up the different layers on the chair . It has been the most exciting £9 I've ever spent .
I am still in the process of painting the main part of the chair , but I don't have it in me to paint  over the back panel . I adore the texture and pattern too much and want to see some of the history of this sweet little chair when I look at it . I just love old things !!

Today I have been working on the final stage of a textile piece which I am going to frame and it will be for sale in the studio .  I am really wanting to branch out and do some textile pictures and I have so may ideas and really want to get stuck in to developing them .I am quite pleased with how this piece is turning out .

But one thing that really  lifted my spirits yesterday was when the letterbox went , I opened a large white envelope not sure what was inside??  But as I pulled out the magazine I got slightly giddy !!
It was something I and Lucy had been expecting . Some weeks back this lovely magazine Handmade Living got in touch wanting to do a little article on introducing us to their readers and talking about our Studio venture. We gave them the thumbs up and did a little interview and took some pictures and hey presto Saturday morning I'm opening up the pages and seeing the article for the first time .

 Wow I was sooooo pleased with the way they had presented the article . I've never really looked at this magazine before but after sitting with a coffee and taking my time to look through and read the articles I like it ! it is a fab crafty mag covering lots of different crafts and beautifully photographed and there is a bit of something for every one . The issue that our little piece is in  is the June Issue which I believe is out at the end of this month . I know I will be definitely be having a flick through the pages of this magazine in future .

But it did feel a bit strange seeing my things in a magazine almost a bit dream like , I'm not used to this sort of thing but this is my life now , well the one I'm working very hard to create . I love to sew , stitch , knit and crochet and if I can eventually make a living out of it then that will be just grand . But if I can share my love for creating with others too then that would be the icing on the cake .

So thanks for popping by and enjoy the week ahead of you , ta ta for now . Tracy xx

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Making preparations !!

What a wonderful break this Easter break has been , we have just kicked back and enjoyed being at home . I don't think you realise how tired you are until you actually stop !! We have had a really good rest , particularly the hormonally challenged 11( nearly 12) year old who has been delighted at staying in bed until 11 o'clock as often as possible !!

This time at home has given me the opportunity to catch up on some much needed homeyness especially after the last couple of months working towards getting the studio ready to move into . Now there are  tangible signs that spring is well and truly here and it has kick started my green fingers into action .Every year I set out with the aim of try to grow as much to eat as possible and with varying success .Until we are able to afford a house with land I try my best to work with what I have .  I am also living in the hope that due to extended cold period we have been experiencing  we will get heat when we really need it and at the right time for growing crops and flowers . It's been 3 summer's since I last had any bumper crops of anything !! Last year was appalling I gave up in the end and admitted defeat . But this last week especially , my youngest and I have sprung into action and started preparing some edible crops , herbs for a herb garden and seedlings for summer colour .
I love these special times spent with the children passing on my thoughts and knowledge ( all be it somewhat limited knowledge !!) and lets face it what 6 year old boy doesn't like digging in the dirt !!

In fact my kitchen and bedroom have turned into a makeshift green house as it's too cold yet to put anything out and my house is warm and snugly  . So for the next few weeks I will be filling up every available and suitable surface with seed trays and pots .

 Most of my produce is either grown in tubs in my bijou back yard or in my small front garden . I have to be quite inventive with how I grow things and approach it in a very urban gardening sort of way , I recycle as much as possible to grow things in and am always on the look out for inventive ideas .

It feels really satisfying to have made a start on this job .

One very unexpected event last week was purchasing a rather fab bookcase from a friend 20 minutes before she sold her house and handed the keys over . It was a wonderfully bizarre moment with myself and a friend and the window cleaner ( who got roped into the whole scenario )to carry this very large Victorian pine bookcase over two roads to my house . What a sight we three were !! but we got it in and after a mild panic attack , it fit ! There was much jigging about  as at one point it didn't look like it would fit .Phew !!! and I love it .

I decided yesterday after a bout of Spring cleaning in the kitchen that I wanted to have one shelf dedicated to cake and tea . In fact I think I'm going to call it my 'Afternoon Tea ' shelf . A homage to the English afternoon tea !

I've never been able to have my two tea sets out on show they've always lived in a cupboard which I have to strategically remove crockery from every time there is an occasion to use it . Not now , it is straight to hand along with my growing collection of cake stands  . In fact I think this has been a sort of therapy as I am having withdrawal symptoms from not being able to bake . Yes still no oven , sigh !! but at least the shop bought cakes will look pretty on my plates and they are adding some spring time colour to the kitchen , hey it's win win all the way with this idea .

Oh boy this last two weeks has been good for the soul , I feel ready and prepared for returning to my two jobs and the madness and fast pace of life that goes with everyone returning to work and school life .

I am also looking forward to spoiling my friends tomorrow evening and holding our Monday evening crochet group at mine and looking forward to getting back in the swing of making !!

So what ever your doing this week I hope you have a nice time and thanks for popping by .
Ta ta for now Tracy .x