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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Fabulous Felting!

We really are very lucky to have such a talented bunch of creative Halfpenny Home friends, one of whom is Rachel, who has agreed to do some felting workshops at the studio over the coming months. Rachel brought in some of her work to show us and we were so taken with it we thought we should share it with you!
I particularly love the felted flowers, including this beautiful poppy, which can't fail to cheer up even the dullest day!

These colourful felted mats are just gorgeous and are what Rachel will be teaching at her first workshop at Halfpenny Home.

I love the pretty spring colours in this one.

On subsequent workshops Rachel will be showing us how to make one of these beautiful felted lariats.
This lily lariat is my absolute favourite and Rachel has even embellished it with pretty little bronze seed beads.

And what better way to keep your teapot nice and toasty!

Don't need much excuse for a cuppa! Now I just have one more reason......

Link As luck would have it, the new issue of Oh Comely has recently arrived - perfect to go with that cuppa!

I'll be putting the latest copy of Oh Comely on the website over the next few days. Meanwhile, I had to share with you a shot of the back cover, which I think is just lovely!
Do get in touch if you'd like further details of Rachel's felting classes at Halfpenny Home. The first one is on 30th April and you need to do the first one before moving onto the other projects.
Jacqui x

Saturday, 19 March 2011

It's a Wonderful World!

Rory, now 13 weeks old, and ready to enter the big wide world! I wondered what he'd make of it all! But, what a beautiful day for his first proper foray into the outside.
Nic had made him a super little coat in readiness for his outside adventures. Keeping him still long enough to capture him in his new attire proved a tad difficult!
So here is a picture of his bespoke coat, modelled on the arm of our settee! Clock the lovely bias binding and covered button detailing!

And here it is, on the intended model!

And a little closer up!

Needing a little reassurance about this outdoor lark!

All this outdoor play is tiring!

Now time for some more exploring....

Yey, my favourite pink squeaky mouse!

Phew, a hard day....wonder what tomorrow will bring.....
Suffice to say he's now busy snoozing!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Kitchen Alchemy

Today Nic and I got together to make soap, using the basic cocoa butter soap recipe in our book, A Green Guide to Country Crafts. We thought we should certainly practice what we preach!
First job is to make the lye, adding specific measurements of caustic soda to distilled water. The magic then begins as the solution magically warms up....
Whilst the lye is doing it's thing we weigh up our other ingredients...

And add the castor oil and olive oil. If you didn't know better, you'd think it was a cake in the making!

We then melt the mixture, ready to have the lye added.

Our choice of moulds:. silicone muffin cases and some tupperware!

To our basic soap recipe we've decided to add some essential oils of ylang ylang,chamomile and lavender.

The finished mixture ready to put into moulds.

And that's it, the finished soap, covered in cling film is left to set and cure. All done!

Pleased with our handiwork we allowed ourselves a tea-break!
We hope this will whet your appetite, soap making really is very acheivable and easy to do. Yes, a bit of care is essential given some of the ingredients but it is brilliant fun. But don't take our word for it, for full instructions for the basic soap and yummy recipes to adapt the basic cocoa butter soap, such as choc and mint soap and honey and oat scrub, get yourself a copy of the book!
Jacqui & Nicxx

Friday, 11 March 2011

Glassy Birds!

We love glass at Halfpenny Home - anyone visiting us would notice that pretty swiftly!
Buttons, ribbons and yarns have all graced a cake stand at some time...
We have enjoyed playing with discarded and no longer useful glass with Anita, her workshops are great fun and everybody comes away with different things.

I was particularly pleased with this flower pendant which is currently gracing the chandelier in my kitchen and the square bowl with flashes of orange and blue which cradles pears on my old kitchen table.

Our love of glass and a text message from Lisa at the Museum of East Anglian Life inspired us to have a little bit of a Halfpenny Home competition!

We are amazingly proud of A Green Guide to Country Crafts published by CICO books Ltd. recently and Lisa had sent us a picture of a copy on sale in a branch of Waterstones located in Leamington Spa.
When you are next browsing through the craft section of your local bookshop and happen to come across a copy of CC then please snap it, send it to us and we'll enter you into a draw!

The prize is a real life Halfpenny...

set in glass at Anita's workshop and totally unique in every way!
You can enter more than once (but they must be different shops!) and the deadline is the end of April 2011 send them to

And finally (and just because I wanted to post one..) a photo of Rory from last week - getting bigger! Meetings at Jacqui's take longer but are a lot of fun with a puppy to play with...!

Get snapping and good luck, Nic x

Sunday, 6 March 2011

New Arrivals and Vintage finds

What a fun day we had! We'd planned a day of taking photos following the arrival of exciting new goodies at Halfpenny Home.

But how best to show off our new wares? Nic popped in to the Antiques Centre at the Old Town Hall, Needham Market, and they kindly obliged with the loan of some lovely vintage keys.

Gorgeous scandi style woven tapes that I am just ga-ga about!

And beautiful quality narrow velvet ribbons. Nic had an inspired idea of using them with our lovely metal buttons to make wine glass charms! She even allowed me to play with some of her most favourite glasses!

And....last but most definitely not least, these absolutely gorgeous spotty, paisley and floral bias bindings.

Set atop a set of vintage postal scales. How pretty do they look?

It's a hard job but someone has to do all seriousness though, we were both whacked at the end of the day! Now all I have to do is update the website with these gorgeous wares!
Hope you like!

Thursday, 3 March 2011


Here at Halfpenny Home we don't even try to hide the fact that our heads are frequently turned by some rather special buttons!
We sell a lot of different colours, shapes and sizes from the absolutely gorgeous old mother of pearl buttons above all uneven and really heavy to the e.classic wooden toggle...

We get excited when some new ones arrive that are so unusual like these woody ones...

And even though there are an awful lot of them we know where they all are and can usually find them pretty quickly!

I say usually because we had some rather lovely ones arrive the other week and after oohing and ahhhing over them for what is probably a lot longer than the average person I (Nic) lost them!
I looked everywhere!
I dreaded people asking me if I'd found them yet...!
I knew that they were with these rather lovely ribbons below and they are safe and sound!

But yesterday I found them! Almost two whole weeks of being missing finally they are here for everyone to see - I think that you can see why I was so upset?!
Aren't they fab?

They are similiar to the lady face buttons we've had for a while but a whole lot bigger!
Phew! We can put them on the website now...

That's all, Nic x