Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Catching up , planning and preparing !!

Well I've spent  the last couple of weeks doing lots of things but essentially my time has been focusing on working and spending time catching up with long long overdue orders and planning for future workshops as well as events . I have thrown myself into preparing for these after the enforced slow down  of the summer holidays  . Although I am very busy and very excited by  things that have been discussed and are starting to be planned in' The Studio' by Lucy and I , I am a little cranky with stress !! My husband told me to go boil my head at the weekend ,  I was so out of sorts .  Oh you have to laugh ,  a person could get really offended by such a remark , it's just as well we've been together soooooo long and I have very thick skin .   I think Mr p . deserves a medal for putting up with me .

But I am staying focused and playing catch up  . Here is a peek of a long overdue order for an old colleague who loves my Chicken cushions , she has two now . She has patiently waited and if your reading this Maureen , THANK YOU X.

I am never Happier in my work than when I am making little stitches , I love the textural and tactile quality they give the surface of the piece !!

 As I started to prepare the first lot of workshops for 'The Studio'  I realised we needed an identity for our creative work space . Something we could use on flyer's and posters and it had to reflect both mine and Lucy's identities as well as saying something about the creative space that is 'The Studio' . So after roughly putting something together and using the lettering which was a moving into 'The Studio '  present which was  made by a Graphic designer friend of ours .   Lucy and I got our heads together , Lucy posted on Attic 24 Facebook page to get some feed back and what a useful and informative thing to do . We read and digested   peoples advice and  ideas and we set about the task again , as well as moving location a few time  , we just couldn't get the light right .

This is in my back yard , we had sheets over fences and tall ladders to climb up for photographing . In the end Lucy came up with idea of photographing in her bay this is where she does allot of photography as the light is very good in the morning . We were both pleased with the resulting image and we  adore the background colour . Blue is becoming a signature colour in the studio .

Now I could set too on promotional material  for our first dates in the Studio .

Rag Rug Wreath and Rag Rug Brooch .


TIME : 10AM - 4 PM
COST : £45.00
We are very excited about these workshops and Rachel is a very talented Textile Artist and Tutor , her business is called Bewitched by stitch if you would like to check her out . All the workshops are full day courses and include all material as well as tea/coffee on arrival and light lunch and tea / coffee . The Brooch workshop has been designed to teach both rag rugging techniques in two adorable projects .
If you would like further information please get in touch via my Face book page Handmade Over Yonder or call into Coopers Cafe-bar ( 6-8 Belmont st , Skipton , North Yorkshire ) and come up to 'The Studio ' where we can discuss the workshop with you and show you samples of what you will be making .  

But whilst being busy with work I've tried not to neglect my boys and there needs , now the session is starting to change and different vegetables are coming into season one request I got the other week was for Pumpkin pie . I love this time of year as we move away from fresh zingy tastes to rich aromatic spicy flavours.

 You must try these Baked pitta bread crisps , I've been making them for the boys and for my Crochet buddies for our Monday night Hooky sessions , we have a bit of an addiction to Houmous and they are a fab alongside a great big bowl of Houmous .They are so quick , cheap and tasty and keep really well .

 Oh and it's Parkin time , This sticky spicy cake goes hand in hand with Autumn , and it's a good make ahead cake at least a  couple of days in advance , as it gets nice and sticky after being kept wrapped up for a couple of days .
  Yorkshire parkin

1 egg
3 tbsp milk
175g/6oz golden syrup
100g/4oz black treacle
85g/3oz light muscovado sugar
225g/8oz butter, plus extra for greasing
100g/4ozmadium oatmeal
250g/9oz plain flour
2 rounded tsp ground ginger
2 tsp bicabonate of soda

: Heat oven 160c/fan 140c/gas 3.
:Butter a deep 23cm/9in square cake tin and line .
:Beat the egg and stir in milk , then set aside .
:Put syrup, treacle, sugar & butter in large pan , heat gently until sugar has dissolved and butter has melted .Remove from heat .
: Mix together the oatmeal, flour ginger & bicarbonate of soda in a bowl , then stir into the syrup mixture , followed by the egg and milk . Combine well .
:Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 50 mins- 1 hour until the cake feels firm and a little crusty on top . Leave to cool in the tin .
: Then turn out and peel off the lining paper then wrap in fresh paper and foil  and leave it for at least 3 days to allow it to become softer ans stickier . ( Note I keep mine in original baking paper and don't put new paper on , I just wrap as is  ).

Other preparations I am in full swing of are for the next OPEN STUDIO EVENT  and I'm doing a full weekend this time . As I have previously posted it is to co inside with the Yarndale weekend and while Lucy will be up at the Auction Mart ( the Yarndale venue ) meeting all the lovely yarntastic people I will be here for anyone who wants to pop in . ' The Studio  ' will be full of lovely makes , there will be Yorkshire Mill Mice & Linen Hare and Some Mr Fox's ( but I do need to knit their scarfs ! ) . I have also asked two other crafters to show their work at this weekend ( photos and details to follow ) .

Coopers cafe-bar will be open from 9am on the Saturday morning as always  doing delicious breakfast , you may want to call if your one of  those people  in Skipton before Yarndale opens it's doors at 10am , Lucy has told me today that the Yarndale bus will be doing it's first pick up at the train station to get people up for open doors we think it will leave about 9.45am and best of all coopers cafe-bar is on the same road as the train station ( pick up point ) and literally a 2 minute walk away  . I will be opening 'The Studio '  doors at 9 am on the Saturday( 28th) for anyone who wants to pop in before Yarndale , I will be closing at 3pm as it's my youngest 7th birthday and we are having a tea party for him which as you can understand I don't want to miss .  On the Sunday  ( 29th ) I will be opening the door at 12pm and closing at 4 pm . I've had lots of messages from people saying they are popping in to 'The Studio ' I'm am really looking forward to meeting you and some of you are travelling so far . Also just on the off chance any of you will be in Skipton on the Friday morning before Yarndale we hold a Crochet / knitting group @ Coopers  9.15am - 11ish the group  is free and very friendly the knitters are doing a hat knit along  , this is so I  can teach people of different skill levels all together and I think it will be  fun to see how different the hats turn out !

anyway lots to make , so ta ta for now and thanks for popping by . I will be back soon with updates on the open weekend and I keep getting request for my Cinnamon crumble cake which I will post next time please bare with me . Tracy x

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

back to normal !!

Well I'm supper happy today , the boys are back to school !! whoop whoop .

 I know some of you may be shocked by my happiness at the deprivation of my children's company 24 /7 but this school holidays has been difficult on so many different levels . Don't get me wrong I welcome the summer holidays with open arms but this year by week 4 , I wanted my routine back and the boys back to school . I could go on and waffle on about my woes but I don't want to bore or depress you .

 Essentially big age gap and keeping a 6 year old and 12 year old entertained for 6  weeks has been a real struggle on a budget of more or less zero , I know our family is not alone in being fiscally challenged  . As the holidays have come to a close I have breathed a big sigh of relief .

 But saying that there have been lots of moments and experiences which I will treasure about the holidays even over the last couple of  challenging weeks.

One lovely thing we have enjoyed is spending impromptu moments with friends , on this occasion I had been baking scones to use up some of my homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream so I phoned a friend to see if she fancied visitors so the children could  play and us mums could crochet , obviously who could refuse such an offer . It is so nice to live in close proximity to such wonderful friends that you can rock up to with baked goods and sit , chat , share and enjoy . Friendship is such a precious thing ! and I like to spoil my friends with my homemade goodies  ( I don't think there waist lines appreciate me though ) .

In fact food has been a big part of our experiences this holiday , I do try and make sure nothing impacts on the quality of food we eat  and getting the family to try new things is always fun . Particularly when the colours are unexpected , Red Carrots and Orange Beets what a mixed up world we live in ! My youngest , a big veggie fan did view the red carrots with a great deal of  suspicion .
I thought the colours when I cut into  the carrots were stunning and they were rather scrummy to eat . 

I have been able to grab a few moments of relaxation on this occassion with a good magazine and homemade Butternut squash soup . These little moments when the boys have been occupied have been much appreciated . Over the last week I have been making lots of soup as I start embracing the slight change in the season which we are experiencing as we move towards my most favourite season , Autumn . Oh how I love Autumn , bring it on !!
 We've been on Woodland walks normally after fractious  mornings of fighting boys , oh what a calming effect a good nature walk seems to have . The quiet space around you giving your body and mind chance to become grounded and calm .
In fact I could quite happily live in a wood , maybe I will run away and become a hermit !!  : )
We've taken the boys to explore the local enviroment  , children no longer explore and wonder as we did as children due to the social changes that have altered childhood over the last 30 years . I have many fond memories of summer holidays spent wondering with friends and exploring the area we lived in and it saddens me greatly to think my children will never have this experience as everything is under adult supervision (  and we do try to do it from a distance as often as possible ) .

 But you can't beat a good ramble over yonder hills!!

We did manage to go for the day to York on Sunday , we like to go at least once a year and we had a lovely day . 

We were a little saddened at the fact we couldn't go into the minster as they now charge £10 per adult to enter it . What a great shame this place of worship is now a socially selective attraction . We have always been happy to make a donation as we fully understand that this building requires a great deal of money to help with it's maintainance . We were not the only ones to turn around and mutter complaints at the astronomical fee to enter . My husband felt very strongly about the issue and has sent an email to the Minster , lets see if we get a reply  . So as we couldn't enter we took our selves over the road to St Wilfreds catholic church , what a little gem with some outstanding religious artwork as well as beautiful architecture . Sorry I didn't take any pics but it would have been quite disrespectful , as it is a busy little church and people were poping in for moments of prayer .  We sat and had a few minutes of quite refection and I lit a candle for all those we have lost and said a little prayer . I then put a donation in the box . A place of worship functioning as it should , for all those in it's community that wish to use it .
But our trip to York did mean that my much loved and new shoes got there first real outing , and oh how comfy they are !!! it's like wearing slippers . They are my shoes for Autumn , we all got new shoes for the return to school . They were from Schu  and are by ' Red or Dead ' and were a little expensive but I was brought up to have buy good quality well fitting shoes and as I don't drive and walk everywhere I think my little tootsies deserve some comfort .

One very Happy moments was Monday as this was my first full day at the studio in a very long time and it is now my only job , I am now full time at Handmade Over Yonder . This is not only a very exciting and hopefully productive time but also a little scary as this is what I'm going to live off , arrgghh ! 
As you can see I'm in the thick of things getting ready for the weekend of Yarndale when the studio will be open . I am also just finalising the details of some rag rugging workshops that we've booked in for October and November . Details to follow in the next week .
Another exciting moment this week in the studio ( and were only on Tuesday ) has been the development of Mr. Fox . The tail took 3 attempts to get right and the eyes took 2 attempts . But it is always the way with the first one .

I'm quite pleased with how he's turned out he just needs a knitted scalf . But the only problem now is I've only enough fabric to make another 2 , I think I need to make a phone call tomorrow to see if the lovely shop owner will be able to order more in stock as I bought it a while ago and when I went a couple of weeks ago they didn't have any left , but Mr fox hadn't been created then !! oh bother , I hope they can get some more of this American Linen as it's perfect .
Sorry  if this is a bit of a peculiar post but I think my heads  in a bit of a strange place today !!
Ta ta for now and thanks for popping by . Tracy x