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Friday, 30 July 2010

Stay calm, make tea!

Here are some of the photos that Tracy Ranger took during her visit to Halfpenny Home last week. We last managed to meet up at the Saint's Market in Ipswich and because Tracy works so hard looking after the Gedgrave Flock, her flock of Wensleydale's with her husband Peter it makes it tricky to find time for a good chat about fleece, wool and natural dyes. I managed to lure her over with the promise of buttons...
I love this cascade of yarns! Maria of mimibellatree also popped in with Emily and Isabella to show off her finished fabruckets.
We were in the middle of a power cut when they turned up but we all stayed calm and made a cup of tea on the camping stove we use for dyeing and settled down with some vanilla cupcakes from Scoffin'. Maria took a couple of the wooden hares away with her, they're new and you can find them alongside the wooden hearts which are ready for you to paint and embellish. You can see in this photo a couple of the hearts that Jacqui has decorated with some Farrow and Ball paint and vintage notions.
Don't forget our blog giveaway! Post a comment before Saturday night to be entered into the draw, Nic x

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Isaac's Day

Some of you may remember the blog post about the wonderful pudding party Nic and I went to recently, organised by our mutual friend, Lisa. It was to support local couple Sarah and Jay Wilkins in their brilliant fundraising efforts following the tragic loss of their baby boy, Isaac, at just six months old, from Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
Sarah has been busy planning and organising a major event which takes place at Isaacs on the Quay, on the Waterfront in Ipswich this Sunday, 25th July from 12 noon, in memory of Isaac, and to support the Childrens Community Nursing Team in Suffolk.
It is set to be a brilliant event with live music, hog roast and bbq, balloon race plus auctions and raffles throughout the afternoon. We thought it would be nice to make a donation of a raffle / auction prize and so wrapped up a little bit of Halfpenny Home along with a voucher for a 3 hour workshop for two. We popped in to see Sarah with our gift and good wishes this evening and hope that Sarah and Jay raise a fantastic amount on Sunday.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Second Vintage and Craft Fair

What a lovely weekend! Halfpenny Home was buzzing with excitement on Saturday as some brave souls set out their wares in between showers.
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The scones and muffins from Scoffin' are out of this world! We are extrememely grateful that they made it as they had been at the Latitude Festival the night before and hadn't gone to bed until two that morning - well done ladies!
Helen and Charlotte bought us some beautiful flowers and a picnic...
Of course the best thing is that we do it all over again next month!
Hope you can make it to the next one, Nic x

Friday, 16 July 2010

Bag Ladies

These gorgeous Fabruckets (thanks Charlotte!) were made today during a lovely crafting lunch with some lovely ladies. Charlotte and Maria are Halfpenny regulars so when they said they would love to bring along some friends for a creative afternoon I suggested that we all have lunch at the studio.
Charlotte's is on the left with some rather lovely grey bobble trim and her friend Helen's is on the right with the great big coconut shell button.
Maria had to leave early as she had to do the school run so hers is 'in progress' but she will finish it soon. She's busy getting all her things ready for the Vintage and Craft Fair tomorrow 11 am - 4 pm.
Bobby is finishing her unlined shoulder bag at home as she was distracted by a crate of handmade beads...mine is unfinished because I was laughing too much and eating cake!
Last time...

Charlotte and Maria brought along Maria's mother Catalina and she made this gorgeous bag and I hear she has been showing it off at every opportunity!
Charlotte made this one for Helen as a present - what a lovely present!
Finally, here is Maria's made in an early 80's Sanderson chintz.
It was such a nice day, I've loved every minute. Nic x

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Finished Projects!

One of Nic's latest projects is this gorgeously soft knitted cotton facecloth. It's just beautiful and is bound to put a smile on your face every time you use it! I particularly love the little heart motif in the centre....but then I love anything with hearts on! And best of all, because it has gone down such a storm in the Studio, Nic has created a pattern which we'd love to share with you! If you'd like a copy of the pattern just email and we'll send it to you so you can make one for yourself! We think they'd make great gifts too, so why stop at one?
I've been busy finishing off some painting projects I've had on the go - you may recall a previous post with the unfinished tray and stool. Well, they are now finished!
As it is lavender season I thought this would make a nice image to decorate the tray with. I've used a combination of stencilling and handpainting to achieve the look.
Below is a little vintage bed tray table I picked up at an auction some time ago for the princely sum of £5. It did take a lot of prep but it was worth it. You may not be able to see from the picture but I've finished it to give a slightly aged appearance - a bit softer than the sanded back 'aged' look but just to give it a patina. I loved the delicate blue paint - perfect for a bedroom.
Hopefully here you can see the handpainted image I have done on the tray itself.
And lastly, the little stool that I've done for a customer. I've already done one in another colourway for the same lady. She has two children and I think they each wanted their own stool to use, hence the request for another one! She has been very patient with me as I've been so busy I have been a bit delayed in getting it finished!
And finally, don't forget the Vintage & Craft Fair this Saturday, 17th July. We now also have a lady coming who will be selling her vintage fabrics. Nic has also decided she will part with some of her vintage linen opportunity not to be missed!
Jacqui x

Saturday, 10 July 2010

When Halfpenny Home Started...

I was looking back at some photos from this time last year and thought I would share some of them with you. Halfpenny Home came about after I saw a To Let sign on a building I had worked in a few years ago. I was getting ready to visit my parents in Northern Cyprus and two weeks later when I returned to the UK I had a plan...I had discussed it with my good friend Tariq over a couple of Efes at his bar and decided it was the right time to set up an Art and Craft Studio.
Liz Worsley very kindly designed and painted my signs and they are perfect. I'm a lucky girl!
I'm eternally grateful for the work she put into them, thank you Liz for being so patient, I love them and they make me smile every day!
Liz also for makes the best almond slices I have ever eaten!
My very good friend Maria made us some lovely cakes with buttons on!
Maria loves making things and we have a lot of conversations that consist of oohs and ahhs, her husband Wal loves old crafts like ragrugs and hates to see things wasted or thrown away - I think you can begin to see why we all get on so well...
They didn't get a chance to see the studio when it looked like this...
I bet you are all glad that the horrible old sink has gone!
All the racking has gone to good home too, Pat and Paul had some in return for a 10 litre tub of paint (we got through a lot of paint) and have helped me so much more since then!
It's been a lovely year, hope you have all enjoyed it too, Nic x

Friday, 9 July 2010

Happy Jeans

Whilst pedalling furiously alongside Pixieannie last weekend on our way back from our favourite shop (see earlier post) I happened to ask her if she thought it would be a good idea to crochet along the edge of the hems on my jeans. She answered in the way that she often does after a bit of a ponder with 'do it' so I did and I love it!
The green is the yarn we found at 'the shop' and the pink is craft cotton that I dyed over the Christmas break with Dylon in mexican red. I cut off the hems of the jeans and turned over the raw edge 1/2" and blanket stitched all round. Then I crocheted a chain stitch into each horizontal part of the blanket stitch. For the second round of crochet I repeated the following pattern of stitches into the first round of stitches - single, double, single all into one stitch of the previous round. This gives it the wavy effect. The next round is just a single into each and I worked it in the pink to give it a nice border against the green.
I've been wearing them today and I'm sure that they have made a really good day a really great day!
Hope you like them too, Nic x

Thursday, 8 July 2010

It's a First!

Here it is! Our first ever blog giveaway. We thought it was time we shared a little bit of Halfpenny Home with you, so we've carefully put together a little selection of goodies that we hope you'll like including pom pom trim, gingham bias binding, velvet ribbon, a selection of buttons and a fat quarter.

To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is leave us a comment on our blog between now and 31st July 2010. It's as simple as that! Good luck!
We can't quite believe it but next Saturday, 17th July, will see our second Vintage & Craft Fair take place at Halfpenny Home. It's on between 11am and 4pm. Amongst the stallholders, Scoffins will again have their yummy scones and muffins for sale and one of our regular Halfpenny Home visitors, Maria will also selling her lovely button jewellery - above is a picture of a pretty button ring that she has made, together with the beautiful cake box also made by Maria. Hope you can make it!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

A lovely weekend!

No lie-in for me this Saturday! I arrived at the local car boot venue at a stupidly early 6.15 to join the other booters busily setting up their stalls. I had my mum for help and we duly set up the obligatory trestle tables and covered them with nice white sheets to set off my clutter to best effect. Though I had doubts about the early start, it was ultimately worthwhile, and of course,I couldn't resist a little rummage around the other stalls. I found just what I had been looking for - a manual typewriter. I don't intend dumping the computer but I do have something particular in mind for my new purchase.....more on that another time! I am also very chuffed with my tin of Nutscene lilac twine. It's just lovely and my tomato plants are now well and truly tied to their stakes with lovely little lilac bows!!!

Some time ago my mum gave me two hardwood deckchairs that needed new slings. As the weather was set fair I decided it was time to get to grips with these! This is the before picture...

As usual, my westie cannot ever be left out of proceedings! Believe it or not there was no staging involved in the picture below. Having sanded and waxed the frame I literally placed it onto the floor to measure my lovely new canvas, and there he was!

Below is the finished article! Finished with lovely flower upholstery pins from Halfpenny Home.

Continuing my productive weekend, I got on with a couple of painting projects I have to do - the stool is for a customer and the tray is destined for Halfpenny Home. They have yet to have their decorative finishes applied so I will try and post again when they are done.

I am so chuffed with the results of my salad sowings! It felt so good cutting my own salad for my tea! My husband made home made beef burgers to accompany the salad and we had peach bellinis too! Very decadent!
As you can see from my very full wine boxes, I think I have a little to learn about sowing! I need to be a little less heavy handed! I did try to thin them but it wasn't successful as I just couldn't bear to throw any away.
Feeling like I have acheived quite a bit this weekend and feeling full and content after a lovely time in the Suffolk sunshine! Hope you've had a good weekend too!
Jacqui x

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Perfect Day

What a great day! It started with me picking, digging and collecting my lunch, thank you lady chickens for the lovely eggs. These are the first dig of the new potatoes and yet another bowl of strawberries - yum! You can't get better than that, or so I thought until I happened to mention to Pixieannie that I may saunter over to a lovely little place we know which has goodies galore and she agreed to accompany me on her lovely new bike. We were not disappointed as we found this gorgeous 4 ply yarn which is perfect for making the vintage inspired socks on - what a great colour!
After all the excitement last Saturday when Jacqui got this rather marvellous tea trolley I didn't think we could be so lucky and find more treasures but I was wrong...
This cupboard was just begging to 'come home'...
and these beautiful cups will be put through their paces...
but best of all, I had one of these pyrex type dishes from phoenix glass for years and broke it the other day whilst washing up. I was devastated at the time but found three of them today - hurrah!
What a great day and we got to ride our bikes down the big hill as well as stopping for icecream on the way home, Nic x

Thursday, 1 July 2010

It's here! The Knit Collage yarn is finally here...

What a lovely day we've had at Halfpenny Home today. This morning we had a bagmaking class with some Halfpenny regulars, Charlotte, Maria, Maria's mum and Isabella the best behaved baby in the whole world - blogpost coming soon ladies! Just before we were due to start there was a knock at the door - it was a parcel from Amy at Knit Collage with these beautiful jacquard ribbons.
Along with these gorgeous yarns. The blue one has crocheted flowers in it, brilliant!
The yarn pictured is - left - Kinari Bazaar- centre bottom - Stardust Garland - centre top - Mermaid Cafe - right - Cherry Blossom. I can't wait to show everyone it, I love it, we all love it and we all want to knit with it! Nic x