Saturday, 5 April 2014

The Return of the Pop Up

The E11 Pop Up is back and has already been running for 2 weeks with another 3 to go. We've had a fantastic display of talented designer makers all from the E11 area. Each week we've had different people and the feedback has been brilliant. If you're in the area over the next 3 Saturdays then pop in and see for yourself.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

February happening...

Time just seems to be speeding by!
So what's been happening? Well....

Frank and Ted turned 14, it's a big year with the next few weeks involving choosing their options at school. There's not really much choice as so much is compulsory but what they have chosen I am pleased with and think they're making good ones.
It was also my Birthday and I turned..... Ha no, no!! It was also my Mum and Dads not to mention four friends! Busy birthday month.

We did the Pop Shop in Orford road again and in a déjà vu kind of way, we heard we had been given the shop in Leytonstone to run the E11 Pop Up again. We have been inundated and I think it's going to be great. This time it will be solely for designer makers that make all their own wares. We have an illustrator, felt, ceramics, glass, yarn, silver, pewter and button jewellers to name a few. It's a lot to take on. Posters and flyers have been designed and the council have kindly printed them for us. The window will be decorated soon with some interior decs too - yet to be made! Then there's the actual making of stuff to sell - it's a busy time!

It's pancake day and would you believe that I only have 3 eggs with no eggs laid today! Those hens got a jolly good talking to today whilst I cleaned their coup this morning. They have laid so well over the glum, grey winter that I've been giving away eggs. But the recent amount of Birthday cake making has surpassed their laying ability. I can't believe I'll have to go out and buy some - unthinkable!!

For my Birthday my dear friend took me to the Fashion and Textile Museum to see Artists Textiles From Picasso to Warhol exhibition. It was lovely and very inspiring and the dresses were to die for. I wish there was fabric to buy tho - actually maybe no to that! For lunch we headed slowly over to Borough Market for lunch, mooching around the streets of Bermondsey along the way.

At the weekend Frank and I headed over to see Sensing Spaces at the Royal Academy. Frank is interested in studying to be an architect and had wanted to see it, so seeing as the kayakers had gone away for the weekend we went. Its rather wonderful and rare for RA to let you touch and photograph the exhibition. It was fabulous!

And finally there's little Betty. She is such a darling who follows you around ready to pounce when you sit down so she can have a cuddle. I have found myself suddenly aware that there I am sitting with her in my arms - just like a baby! She's so well behaved, not as naughty as Moo was when she was a puppy. She loves a cardboard tube and will steal the empty loo rolls and slowly but surely rip them up into small bits, spitting all the bits out. I gave her one from the wrapping paper I'd finished - she couldn't believe her luck! It was massive and she pranced about bashing into everything with it! 

She's such a good girl and we are lucky to have her.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


I've had one of those days that required me to stay home and wait for a parcel. 
I waited, I super cleaned the kitchen. 
I waited and did piles of washing. 
I waited and sorted out the baskets of hats and gloves.
I waited and lolled on the sofa with Betty. 
I waited all day. 
Luckily Mollie Makes came in the post, and boy did it come at a good time. There is a crochet pattern in there for the cutest, quite old fashioned in a retro sort of way baby bonnet. I decided to give it a go - it looked unusual - my kinda thing!
The pattern is divine, I love it but I didn't have the required 4ply yarn and I couldn't go out to get any either due to potentially missing said delivery. I decided to go for it in a lovely deep purple dk yarn, I used a tiny 3mm hook with it. 
It might be ok. 
It wasn't, it's mammoth and I've ran out of wool.
The parcel didn't arrive either. 
So right back where I started. 
Where did my Monday go? 
Now its Tuesday and looking very similar to Monday

Sunday, 5 January 2014

a bit of all sorts and pondering

Slowly easing into the New Year, tomorrow is back to school which is going to be a bit of a shock all round. I have to go in for a staff meeting first thing and then I don't really start back until Wednesday.
I've come to a bit of a halt in the making stakes. So much was done before Christmas, I stupidly didn't photograph any of it so you'll have to take me word for it.

There were 5 commissions to do from the Pop Up. I was wearing my cowl and a lady really wanted to buy it but not my beloved cowl - I truly love it. It is mostly malabrigo  with the odd juno yarn so feels very luxurious and cosy warm. I love the wormy fringing which I only did along one edge as I wasn't sure about them but they've grown on me, the other side I did a picot edge. 

 I sent her off to Abstract, a fabulous new yarn shop in Walthamstow, to choose her yarn colours as 4 were for her friends which where small cowls but she wanted hers to be like mine which was a double wrapper! I ended up adding in quite a few of my yarns too, I'm fussy when it comes to colour. I think I undercharged as I was put on the spot and it took me longer than I thought but you live and learn.

Lillian, my Mother in Law, had asked me to make her a hat for Christmas, I chose a lovely soft grey and bought some harris tweed to add in a bit of colour. The hat ate yarn up and I was short, so I had to buy another ball to finish. Obviously this left me with a lot left over and I've been trying so hard to stash bust too! I decided to make her a matching small cowl and in my haste I realised I had twisted the foundation but carried on as I felt it was going to be ok. It was and had a fabulous twist! I really wish I'd photographed it though.

With no new project in sight I started stash busting and made an all sorts hat in another attempt to lessen my hoard. This was the pattern I followed for Lillians hat. I love the band as it looks woven and I wear it inside out as I prefer the wrong side as I often do in crochet.

My basket of granny squares has sat in the front room for a long time, the only interest in it was from from Betty who loved to steal anything she could. It's big enough basket but somehow I just don't see it anymore. Somebody asked me about granny square books and it stirred me to take a look again. I think I might push myself to do a few more.

This old thing has sat on the back of a chair, I do like it but its an odd size so not a blanket at all, it really should be a shawl but again its the size and I'm not sure about the colour. It is now folded next to where I sit while I contemplate either dying it, adding a striking colour, sewing the ends up to make a cowl but it'll be too big as a cowl but too small to wrap twice or fiddling with a button or two to make the cowl work.

Going to look for fabulous buttons that I hope my button stash will have...

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The last 2013 round up

Well I intended to get here many times but things got very hectic in the last month of the year.

Our Pop Up in Walthamstow went very well indeed, I loved being there and it made me realise how much I missed my shop! 

During that week we heard from Waltham Forest council that they were going to give us their shop! It had been empty for ages although the windows were used for art installations.  It is a huge space but we quickly got to work to decorate the window and inside, we had 3 weeks before it opened to coincide with Small Business Saturday. Opening day came and it was very successful, it was open 4 days a week Thursday - Sunday with the weekends intended to be more for designer makers. We learnt a lot and next time things will be slightly different - yes the council have indicated that they want to continue with the Pop Up.

As well as Pop Ups keeping me busy and crocheting madly to keep up with demand, Christmas was fast approaching. I wasn't my usual organized self and everything felt erratic. I did manage to make my cards but they weren't what I had planned - I shall save that for next year now. I have a feeling I may have sent blank cards as I could only remember writing on some of the envelopes! Shopping was done mainly online but I did hit the shops for the little bits.

Christmas was spent in Scotland, it had to have been the wettest Christmas ever! But it was wonderful time spent with family and dodging showers for walks. Newman was very much missed and we raised a glass of schnapps on Christmas Eve. We continued the Swedish tradition as his mother was Swedish.
We are now home for New Year, we haven't put our usual amount of lights up and even the Christmas tree is smaller - we weren't home but we'll pull out all the stops as usual next year! We have so far played board games - Uno Flash and Monopoly City and eaten good food including scallops and black pudding, roasted new potatoes, salt beef, cheese, salmon. An odd mix but it has been in stages!

So 2013, I can't say you've been the best or even happiest of years in fact you've been pretty grim. It has been a year of difficult times and sadness and the loss of dear loved ones. I can honestly say I'm glad it's over and hope that 2014 is full of happier times.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2014, may your New Year be a New Year that brings luck and prosperity. A New Year that brings happiness and joy Happy New Year

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Shop till you Pop

 I shall be a part of Popstop a new space in Walthamstow village opened by Little Mashers. There are different designer makers each week in the run up to Christmas.
E11 Made is a new venture I'm doing with my friend Gail combining our makes. We have tried desperately to get our own pop shop but to no avail. It seems landlords would rather have empty shops than short lets. We keep trying though! 

I have been busy crocheting away making wrist warmers, collars, bows for hairclips and hairbands, bunting and chunky necklaces amongst other things .
I have also finally got on with trying out some clay in the kiln. I've never done clay before only bisque so I was a little nervous but it worked well and I am very pleased with the results.
I shall be spending the weekend photographing everything before, hopefully, selling it!
Please do pop along, it'll be lovely to see you.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

a while...

Its a been a while. I have no real excuse why but here goes...
  • This year has not been the best and maybe I'm now just trying to sit the rest of it out and hope next year will be better. It just might be.
  • I've lost my way a little with blogging and don't feel I have anything relevant to say. It's just dawned on me that maybe I never did! Oh dear.
  • I've had a lot of angst with my very old 30 year old, now condemned, boiler. This led to the hot water tank being equally condemned for being corroded and leaking (who knew?! not me) Life was taken over with gas leaks, lack of hot water and heat. It was miserable.
  • They dug up my front garden and footpath to replace the extremely old gas pipe that was held up by two rusty old nails. Since then we've had a letter from National Grid to say the whole road will now be dug up to replace the main pipe. Look what I've done!
  • New things are on the horizon which scare me just ever so slightly. But I need to pull my finger out and get on with it.
  • I finished wallpapering the hall from 2 years ago, only to find I didn't have enough wallpaper. I cheated and pieced together as I couldn't justify another expensive roll  - no one would EVER know unless I told them.   oh.
  • Ollie Cat went missing for 2 days and came home not quite herself before disappearing again for a day. I sobbed wondering if this was it for our beloved 15 year old cat. Remarkably she bounced back and seems her old self again, putting Betty firmly in her place when she constantly tries to get her in a head lock!
  • The valve on the car tyre broke off leaving the kayakers stranded in Wales for a few extra hours while they waited for the AA who couldn't fix it so called on someone else. More waiting.
  • The main computer is painfully slow and it takes an age to do anything. So I don't.
Betty continues to be such a little love. She's had her first haircut, not a full schnauzer cut but sort of in a tidy up sort of way. I kind of missed her little Scrappy Doo look! She's been so good and makes me laugh daily. I can't move without her following me about. She's very good off her lead now and is more sociable meeting other dogs, no growling or barking! She loves a stick and has worked out how to get them through the dog flap, another thing she has conquered with no problem! She flies through her little door!

 I've dug out the cowl I intended to start ages ago with some gorgeous yarns that just needed using. I was waiting for a good pattern to jump before my eyes but it didn't so I made one up. Its done on the round, halt trebling with 1 chain in between and changing colour when I fancy. Going to just keep going until it's really wide and the yarn is used up. It should be an extremely toasty cowl when its done.

I'm playing around with some simple ideas, still in progress but so far so good.