Friday, 31 December 2010

New Year - New Life

Well we've reached the end of another year; I hope it was a good one for you. Have you made any resolutions? I haven't made any resolutions as such, but this new year will see many changes in my life so my resolution is simply to embrace life and all its challenges.

After 17 years of marriage, hubby and I have decided to part; so when we eventually sell this house we'll be going our separate ways. My daily life will be very different, but I'm looking forward to a new area to explore, new people to meet, a new house to decorate, a craft room to be creative in, a new garden to plant and enjoy, and a little dog to keep me company on long, healthy walks and nights by the fire. But whatever 2011 brings, I shall endeavour to look on the bright side - and on that note, as I'm sick of the snow and dreary winter weather, please enjoy this bright and cheery montage of flowers from my garden this past year.

New people? New places? New experiences? Whatever you wish for in 2011, I hope it's a happy and healthy one for you and your family.

Sharon x

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Saturday, 25 December 2010

We Wish You a Merry Christmas...

Well the time has finally come.

The 'handmade' tree is decorated.

The fireplace is clothed in festive greenery.

The wreath is hanging on the front door.

The skinny tree is bright and sparkly.

The veg is ready for roasting.

The stuffing balls and pigs-in-blankets are ready for the oven.

The table is set.

The stockings are hung.

There's presents under the tree.

So that just leaves me with one thing left to do...

To wish you all a Very Merry Christmas
- hope you day is filled with love and happiness!

Sharon x

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Thursday, 23 December 2010

I'm dreaming of a...


And it looks like we're going to get it!

It snowed last night, and again this morning. So even if it doesn't snow on The Big Day, we're going to have snow on the ground at least.

Everything looks so much prettier with some of the white stuff, doesn't it?

Though I could never tire of this view, whether it's white or not.

But I hope it doesn't snow as much as it did at the beginning of December; not much good for visitors and visiting over the Christmas break.

And eating al fresco on the patio seems a long way off...!

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Sunday, 21 November 2010

Keeping Cosy

You may remember a while ago that I crocheted this blanket for my good friend's new baby.

So in true Attic24 style, here's some photos of Adam and his treasured blankie.

Adam loves getting cosy under his blanket; mum says he stares at the pattern and touches it, showing a great deal of interest. Mum and dad like the blanket too as it's a bit heavier than his other ones so he can't kick this one off and get chilly toes.

The cold winter weather is just starting to bite and I could do with a cosy, handmade blanket for myself. I really enjoyed making this cover as the individual crocheted squares are so portable and quick to do; I'd love to make a bright and cheery one (aka Attic24 again - love the style and colour hit!) Maybe that's a job for after the Christmas fairs though...

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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Happy 175th Birthday!

Do you feel Christmassy yet? I don't. I can't believe it's only 43 days away. The shops are awash with tinsel and stocking fillers but I'm just not feeling it yet. Hubby says I'm like this every year. I just have to wait for Christmas Eve.

I guess once the tree and decorations go up in our house then things will seem a bit more festive. I'm not sure if I'll be putting much up this year though, with having the house up for sale - still. I think my full-on Santa's (tasteful) grotto may put some people off. Then again, what the hell. 34 viewings later (yes, really!) maybe if we put the Christmas tree in the bathroom they won't notice that the toilet is downstairs...

Anyway, before Christmas arrives we've got another three craft fairs to get through (that's about all I can manage with a full time job too!) Our next fair is this coming Saturday - the monthly fair at the Grainger Market in Newcastle city centre. The market celebrated its 175th birthday a couple of weeks ago and there were Victorian-themed events on all week (and a huge cake!)

Bliss Knits was invited to take part in the craft demonstration day on the Thursday. My big sis helped me out on the day and we had a great time chatting to people about knitting and crochet. Lots of the older ladies reminisced about the hand crafts that they used to enjoy, but could no longer manage due to arthritic hands. Very sad.

It was good to see so many young people that were interested in knitting and crochet though. They loved the different yarns and funky needles that we displayed, and took great interest in our stitch samples and the idea that you could make whatever your imagination wanted to - it's not just about jumpers and scarves! It was a really busy day and we sold lots of stock as well as doing our demonstrations and chatting. Huge thanks to family and friends who supported us on the day too!

Other demonstrations on the day included hooky/proggy/clippy mats. The ladies displayed a huge selection of items - gorgeous intricate designs and simple stripes using scraps of cloth. I have a couple of books on the subject, and the tools, and loads of fabric, but I've yet to try out these techniques. One day I'll make the time.

Beamish Museum had a display of beautiful Victorian clothing; I'm amazed at how it survived all these years, though slightly worse for wear in parts. And they also demonstrated amazingly delicate lace making techniques using those gorgeous fancy bobbins!

Regular stallholder Alan from Twisted Nature showed off his delicate watercolour techniques on the day. Like us, he found that people were much more willing to stop and chat than they usually are at the monthly Art & Craft Fair. I guess the Victorian clothing that we wore was a good conversation starter!

The girls at Wylde About Bears also had a good day, demonstrating bear making to lots of interested customers. Sewing the bodies is easy; making their little characters come to life is the hard part!

On the Saturday I was joined by my regular little helper for the Victorian Art & Craft Fair. Again we had to dress up, but this time we were just selling and not demonstrating. It was another busy day - and a good laugh too.

Hubby, who usually hates to have is photo taken, seemed to like showing off his Victorian get-up. Doesn't he look good? Many thanks to everyone who loaned us clothing for the event.

We always have a good day at the craft fairs as we enjoy chatting to the other stallholders as well as the customers. And because everyone was dressed up in their Victorian finery, there was lots of jovial banter going on! Harry and Edna of Bitz and Bobz are always good for a natter, and they did a roaring trade, as usual.

A fairly new trader to the Grainger Market, but not to selling his wife's pretty jewellery, was a very dapper Karl from vjwjewellery.

But my last photo of the day goes to my gorgeous hubby. As it was Halloween, we had some chocolate eyeballs to give away to children who stopped to look at our stall. Always up for a laugh, hubby found an alternative to eating them. Bet that wouldn't have been allowed in Victorian times...!

More photos of the week's events here and reported here.

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Thursday, 21 October 2010

Time is Whizzing By

Where has this year gone? I can't believe we're two-thirds of the way through October already - the clocks go back on Sunday - and it's only 64 days until Christmas!!

I've had a busy few weeks: spending my evenings knitting and crocheting items for the autumn/winter craft fairs; a lovely long weekend break with hubbie; enjoying a new evening class; getting into a new exercise regime - as well as the usual 9-5 job, family and social life. More on these in later posts!

The biggest thing this month though was house related. After five months on the market, we accepted an offer on our house. It was lower than we would have liked, but the housing market is so stagnant at the minute that it was good enough.

We started looking again for a house to buy, as the one we found a few months ago has just sold after two years on the market! We found an AMAZING property - a lovely old stone terraced cottage which had just been renovated and we both fell in love with it. The garden wasn't as big as I hoped, but I thought I could do some great things with it anyway, and the house itself was just so gorgeous... like something out of an interiors magazine.

Our buyers pulled out after a few weeks (they loved the house - their uncle, who was putting a small amount of money into the purchase, didn't). So we're back to square one, and the amazing stone cottage will probably sell really quickly and we'll lose it. Oh well, everyone keeps telling me that 'it wasn't meant to be'. I'm not sure I like this thing called destiny.

The photos in this post are from a day out at the coast with my beautiful Mam a few weeks ago. We started out at some yarn shops in South Shields, took the ferry across the Tyne, wandered round the lovely gift shops in Tynemouth and then spent a couple of hours watching the container ships and passenger yachts sailing up the river and out to sea - and remembering my lovely Dad who sadly passed away six years ago to the day (9th September). Can't believe it's been six years, Dad. We all love and miss you so much.

Where does the time go?

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Friday, 24 September 2010

Folksy Friday Harvest Festival

The September Stars on Folksy are having a harvest festival!

Some rather tenuous links here! Why did I choose such a hard theme?!! Anyway, here's the bountiful crop that I've picked... (click on the shop names to find out more about each item).

Brighten up your home with these cute Russian Doll Matryoshka Hanging Decorations by Court & Spark - with their rosy red apples!

Prepare yourself for that scary party next month with these Happy Halloween Pumpkin Earrings by Miss Bohemia.

Sweet and very practical Baby Dribble Bib - Cherries by Painted Ghost.

Add some individuality to your correspondence with Swirlyarts Jack and the Beanstalk Recycled Envelopes.

I think this luscious Red Cherry Coin Purse by Pipdesigns would certainly cheer me up on a cold, dark winter's day... especially if it was full of money ;)

And finally, Ialbert has produced this very stylish Fine Art Print - Damask design is all over an apple - perfect for your dining room wall.

Have a lovely weekend!

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Friday, 17 September 2010

Folksy Friday - September Stars featuring Butterflies

This week's Folksy Friday is showcasing the hardworking September Stars. This time, featuring BUTTERFLIES (and a dragonfly) - a final blast of summer heat and colour before the cold, wet and windy days of autumn take hold...

As always, click on the shop links to find out more about the individual items.

I love the little details and mix of gorgeous fabrics in this pretty, red Purse by Pants and Paper.

This Twilight Dragonfly Necklace by Whimsical Wren looks so classy in sophisticated black and silver.

Sweet and girly Pink Butterfly Fused Glass Pendant by Blue Daisy Glass.

For an unusual gift why not buy a Ceramic Butterfly Brooch by Tait Gallery? It can be personalised with the name and design of your choice.

This Beautiful Black Butterfly Jotter by Jessicas Jotters is stylish, and really useful too!

Another black and silver combo, this Butterfly Keyring by Sprinkles is simple, but stunning.

Beautiful colours and detail in this delicate Vintaj Woodland Necklace by Facets.

The bird/butterfly image on this Green Bird Pocket Diary by Lilly's Night Garden looks really striking against the gorgeous, handpainted background. I love it! I bought it!

I started my Christmas shopping on Folksy a little while ago. I tend to buy little 'bits and pieces' for my family and friends rather than one big gift, and I get a real kick out of buying them something handmade, something unusual, an item that they won't have seen in the highstreet shops. And of course the shops on Folksy never close for the day; you can browse and buy to your heart's content at 3am in the morning if you like! So if you haven't already, why not click on the links in this post and discover some fab designers/makers. Support handmade! Buy British! Christmas is coming...

Have a great weekend. x

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