Archive for ‘summer fun’

March 29, 2014

Vacation Florida style part 1. Knitting and the seaside.

I have only been to Florida  once before so this trip was to be a sightseeing and trying new things visit. My son has lived here for a while so he knows his way around and is patient with me wanting my daily brew (coffee) and as many yarn stores as we can find. Between us we compiled a list of places and restaurants to visit, where the best yarn shops are and what we’d both enjoy doing, sometimes with my grandson too. We are almost there. I’ve eaten many different foods, drunk different beers, seen new places and made new friends. We’ve been on a ferry, a boat tour to see dolphins, eaten great sea food, fried green tomatoes and fried chicken. Spring rolls, the best biscuits I’ve ever had, (not cookies), shrimp, crab and possibly the best French fries. I’ve cooked for my son too, tonight it’s shepherds pie. Still have to eat some kind of pie though! 

One yarn shop was like an Alladins cave with very helpful staff, we’re patient with me and didn’t mind how long I browsed the floor to ceiling shelves. The other was the complete opposite, with no prices on shelves or yarn bands so when I asked she had to look on computer. There was a workshop going on and I was obviously in the way. I think that is the only time I’ve left a yarn shop empty handed!

I’ve experienced torrential rain, scorching heat, cold, humidity and high winds all in a two week period.

when you go to the beach in England you drive to the coast, park, carry your bucket n spade to the (mostly) pebbly beach, hire a deck chair and wind break and hobble down to the sea. Eat your sandwich and warm lemonade. If you’re lucky you may need to apply a sun hat and lotion. 

We cooked a dozen or so hot dogs, stuffed them in the buns, wrapped them in foil and put them in a thermos bag, wrapped ham in tortillas, grabbed a few bottles of water, cartons of juice, hats, sun cream (factor 60) towels and toys and off we went. Stopped at gas station to buy ice, filled cooler with ice and off we went again. Arriving at the beach we paid our entry fee and drove on, and on….. To the beach. Tide was out, we parked in zone 10, stripped off, and ran over sand to the ocean. Again and again. The only trouble was you had to watch out for the other cars and trucks that kept arriving (then leaving) throughout the day. Part of the beach is a nature reserve and is roped off, much farther along the beach was accessible to 4wheel drive vehicles only due to soft sand. I did fret rather when it was high tide and the car was only a foot away from the waters edge but my son assured me we’d be ok.and we were. 

At home I don’t do the whole sitting on the beach thing, I can’t sit anywhere doing nothing so I had to keep paddling and wandering off. I was very brave too and went in the sea up to my hips all the while wishing I was enjoying it. My son was slightly braver but not much! 

Thankfully much of the afternoon was overcast so it made the walking in the surf a bit more comfortable.ImageImage

 

October 7, 2012

Paul Martins Handmade Revolution

Paul Martins Handmade Revolution will start on BBC2 tomorrow at 3.45. It is a 10 part series shown daily so I will be glued to the TV for the 10 days it’s on! With any luck you may see either me or my giant pumpkin in the title sequences. I have been told I shall be appearing in the 17th October show. I must have been in the background when Paul was chatting to Denise about knitting and crochet.
Paul Martin
The giant pumpkin is ready to be adopted, he is fed up living in a barn! he has some smaller friends too!
Giant Pumpkin

September 23, 2012

Brighton Mini Maker Faire 2012

Still reeling from the amazing event, this year over 7000 people made their way through the Corn Exchange to investigate all the fantastic goings on.
Last year I set up a make a ball event which was amazing, thinking I’d like let more visitors have a chance of learning to needlefelt I made over 100 balls thinking it would be fun (and quick) just to decorate the balls. Super Hero’s seemed like a good theme and thanks to my son the table looked amazing, covered in super hero posters there was lots to inspire everyone. I had made a few samples too.
With 3 volunteers we used up all the balls by the end of the day and had inspired many youngsters as well as quite a few not so young! I couldn’t have done it alone, my volunteers were literally thrown in at the deep end as I wasn’t quite myself having had a melanoma removed from my face just 2 days before! I was supposed to be resting!
I was staying in a little B & B in Kemp Town so had to get a taxi to take my huge box and just as big suitcase to the Corn Exchange where helpful volunteers were ready and waiting. All through the day we were plied with fresh water and a well received lunch.
Once again there was no let up, people just kept on coming! Needles kept on breaking, a few injuries were sustained (some from my helpers?) but the fun kept on happening!
Too pooped for the after party I caught the bus back to the B & B and ate my breakfast cereal before collapsing in a heap!
Thoughts for next year on a postcard please……
Ready & waiting
The one's Esther made earlier
Helen's cat

August 5, 2012

Filming Handmade Revolution at Amberley Heritage Museum

I auditioned for the programme at the end June but was informed I didn’t make the final, I was however invited to the filming and asked to bring George the giant pumpkin too.
The Craft Club contacted me to see if I was willing to help run a knitting workshop throughout the day so more fun to be had. Sheena and family accompanied me and upon arrival we were shown the table under a tree where the yarn & needles waited for us. Denise arrived and after quick intro’s we set to work on knitting squares. Before too long I was asked to join the other makers for some filming. Paul Martin looked quite relaxed as he went over his lines but it took quite a few takes before the producer was happy. Thankfully it wasn’t raining! We had time to chat to other makers and moved around a bit to get the ‘introduction’ shots done.
Meanwhile Sheena and Denise were busy recruiting volunteers to knit or crochet a square or two. Grafitti knitters had decorated some lampposts and trees with bunting and pom poms and stalls were set up with demonstrations of wet felting, soap making and wood-turning. Denise showed me how to arm knit, fabulous when you’ve no needles!
By the end of the day we must have had over 30 squares all crocheted together.
I think the show will air in the Autumn, should be interesting! Look out for George in the introductions!
Denise & Jay
Paul Martin

July 29, 2012

Weald and Downland open air museum photographic challenge

On Thursday Sheena & her boys came with me to the W.D.O.A.M. Sheena & I were to steward the amazing exhibition of the National Guild Weavers,Spinners & dyers so it looked like a long day for the boys- 11 and 14. I came up with a challenge, find and photograph ten items. Something brown, something flying, part of a building,part of a shepherd’s hut, grass,tree,sky,something with 4 legs, wood & stone. The youngest one was up for the challenge so off he went with my camera and about an hour later I saw the amazing results! I have put my ten favourites on flickr for all the world to see! These are my favourites
something flying
wood
tree

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July 20, 2012

My entry for the Rare Breed show on Sunday

Finished in record time, I’m usually still knitting the night before the show. I spun up and plied 108m of Jacob wool into a DK weight yarn for the basket of this tea cosy and odds ‘n’ ends of dyed Wensleydale for the crocheted flowers. Sewing the 30 or so flowers on was time consuming but then when you spin the yarn to make something it does take time! I have many vintage knitting patterns and this was really appealing, I changed it slightly and crocheted the flowers rather than make them with the tool it recommended. Voila, one very sweet tea cosy for a little tea pot! Guaranteed to keep the tea hot!
Flower basket tea cosy
Flower basket tea cosy

July 19, 2012

Uckfield Art Trail 21st July

As part of Art Trail I will be holding mini needle felting workshops throughout Saturday in the Civic Centre, Uckfield. Starting at ten am. Learn a new skill and have fun at the same time. All materials supplied.
Workshop will cost £3.00 to cover materials and of course you get to take your creation home!
If you’d like to take part in workshop contact me direct or just come along on Saturday 21st July
Free entry to Art trail, meet the artists in one venue, no traipsing round the town this year!
For more info check out http://www.uckfieldarttrail.co.uk
needlefelt2
needlefelt3

June 10, 2012

South of England Show 2012

Friday saw me trudging through the mud in my wellies to the Plumpton College Farmyard marquee, mud, mud glorious mud, well at least the pigs were happy! We had a few issues with college staff opening the side of  the marquee which meant the spinners and weavers were in a gale force wind but after the students moved us to other end of tent we were a lot happier for a while…..

Above us a section of the roof had come unlaced and now we had a gale blowing down our necks….

The weather hadn’t put off the visitors, I’ve never seen so many varieties of welly boots in one place-my peg loom rug was growing apace and looking rather smart. The cheviot fleece I’d bought at Heathfield show from the Sheep Show folk is rather gorgeous, money well spent for sure. The shearing team had managed to keep the sheep dry so the shearing demontrations could go ahead, led by Phil Hart they were shearing some lovely Northern mule lambs so the fleece were rather nice and 2 managed to find their way into my car???

The spinners battled on regardless of the wind howling around us and clanging metal on metal, it was deafening making conversation almost impossible. We were risk assessed later on in the afternoon and the part of the tent I had issues with was then laced back up and a little later I realised there was a man on the roof!

Image

Saturday was a much drier and less windy day so I set off in my winter Crocs to the WI tent to do my stints at stewarding there. The ladies were all so friendly and made me feel welcome (only been a member for 3 months). The tea tent next door was busy too and frankly the least expensive cuppa to be found!

I caught up with my good friend Pat for a quick bite to eat before she had to don her pinny and get back to tea tent. I had a bit of a mooch before I resumed stewarding and taking in the entries before me. The work involved in the entries was amazing and I only hope I can reach the standards I saw in that marquee.

Shifts over Pat & I had another look around, picked up a few bargains in flower tent before wending our way home, weary, worn out but happy. Hearing all the comments about my octopus was worth all the knitting!

Image

September 2, 2011

Brighton Mini Maker Faire Sept 3rd

Almost packed, yarn, dyed wools, felting needles,Jacko the pumpkin and foam mats. Just got to iron a few clothes then I can put my feet up for an hour or two.

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