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What a lot has changed in our lives since my last blog post. I hope you are all staying safe and keeping well and continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I’m thrown between feelings of worry for what lies ahead to feelings of joy that I have some time to just “be”. I am also in awe of those that continue to work so hard to keep the country going.
Having grown used to the 2 metre rule, the necessity to stay at home as much as possible and the queueing to do the weekly shop, I have to admit I’m settling in to the slower pace of life. I’m fortunate enough to have a few weeks off from my keyworker job and have countryside, big skies (that are so blue at the moment) and nature around me to enjoy. I’m going to endeavour to cling on to these things when life begins to return to normal.
With the weather being pretty amazing (what a blessing that is), I have spent a lot of my home time tidying the garden. There have been many unwanted freebies left at the side of the road so I now own a strawberry pot and pretty hellebore that would otherwise have gone to waste. Locals have also been selling young plants, so my garden has benefitted from sweet peas, lupin, delphinium, sweet william, strawberry plants, a couple of alpines and a dicentra spectabilis with its pretty pink heart shaped flowers.
The sewing is most definitely still happening – Ellie’s Treasures remains open and I’m happy to accept orders and commissions. All individual items (except larger canvas artworks) are letterbox friendly and sent 1st class, so no need for a signature upon delivery or a parcel being left on the doorstep or at the sorting office. If you are buying as a gift for someone special, I’m happy to tissue wrap and add a handwritten note, posting directly to your chosen recipient if you wish. Please bear in mind that purchases may take a bit longer to arrive as it’s a bit like a Christmas rush for the posties at the moment.
Hedgehog lovers – do pop over to Gloucestershire based Wild Hogs Rescue Centre’s online auction on Facebook to help raise necessary funds. The centre does an amazing job of researching, rescuing and rehabilitating hedgehogs in their local area so I’m hoping this event is a great success fr them. Bidding opens on 3rd May until the 10th and there’s already a fabulous selection of items to choose from.
Finally, I have been listed in a new small business directory with Pretty and Petit. If you are a looking for something special to treat yourself or send to a loved one then do browse the directory, it is full of amazing small businesses that are continuing to work hard and remain open during this difficult time.
Take care and stay healthy.
I was lucky enough to snap up a Dachshund printed fabric off-cut from a Sophie Allport shop last year and was itching to use it in a new artwork design. Finished and mounted before Christmas, I have only just found time to photograph and list in my online shops. I did however remember to take a few in progress shots and thought I’d share these with you to give you an insight into how the picture came together.
Having chosen the light turquoise blue/green felt as the background, initial colour scheme ideas came from the dark red of the Dachshund’s collar so I started by sourcing buttons in complementary colours.
My next stage was to play with fabrics and trims, building a balanced piece with interest from different patterns and textures.
Tiny embellishments are added last to give additional interest and prettiness to the artwork before being mounted on a white canvas and finished with my logo on the reverse.
As with most of my products, I try to use as many donated and recycled fabrics and decorations as possible to save materials ending up in landfill. For this particular picture, many of the additional fabrics, dark grey paper, buttons and sequins were all repurposed.
To finish, here’s a few interesting facts about these adorable hounds:
* with their German origins, the correct pronounciation of the word “Dachshund” is “Daks-hoont”, with the word “dachs” meaning “badger” and “hund” meaning “hound” or “dog”;
* they have quite a few nicknames, the most endearing to me are “sausage dog” and “doxie”;
* in 1972 Waldie the Dachshund was the colourful mascot for the Munich Olympic Games.
Ref: youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com iheartdogs.com
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas with time to relax and rejuvenate ready for 2020. With the weeks after my last market whizzing by in a whirlwind of commission sewing, it meant the home didn’t get the festive sparkle until the 22nd December! Waiting until then did mean I had two extra helpers in the form of my adult children who had come home from uni, so it wasn’t all so bad! I have given myself a couple of weeks off “normal” sewing to endeavour to finish my own new fabric wallet (started about 3 years ago) – I’ll pop photos on when it’s finally finished (hopefully not in another 3 years).
Both Christmas markets were very busy – thank you to all who dropped by, it was great to meet you and I hope you enjoyed the fairs as much as I did taking part. I picked up a selection of lovely commissions but thought I’d show you this special one … a bespoke science themed artwork for a customer’s daughter. I have to admit, I did dig out my son’s GCSE chemistry textbook for this one, just to make sure I was getting the element details correct!
Looking onwards to spring and my first new item for the shop is this cute hedgehog charm. With the lobster clasp clip, it’s perfect for attaching to a handbag, set of keys or spiral bound notebook. Sewn in striking lime green felt and decorated with lots of pretties, the idea of using a hedgehog charm came from another commission request – I can’t believe I hadn’t added hedgehogs to my range before this.
Hedgehogs are the cutest – we don’t often see them in our garden, but when we do, they are usually scurring away from danger – it’s amazing how fast those little legs can carry them.
Did you know hedgehogs are known as the “gardener’s friend” as they enjoy eating garden pests that could otherwise munch through a patch of prized blooms and veggies? An adult hedgehog can have around 5000-7,000 spines, which are keratin stiffened hollow hairs. These come in handy to ward off predators, rolling themselves into a ball and sticking their prickly spines out. In recent years, the baby hedgehog has been given the name “hoglet”, which is adorable! My husband was a big hedgehog fan during his uni years, calling them hedgepigs and finishing off his signature with a rough hedgie sketch.
With my last Christmas market on the horizon I’m keeping my needle threaded, my charms and beads at the ready, and boosting stock levels whenever I have a spare hour!
Last week’s fair at Pensthorpe was amazing! The weather actually stayed dry (in fact the sun peaked out for a short while), the line up of independent sellers was fabulous and the organisation was brilliant. I’m looking forward to my final fair of the year, and as it’ll be my third year at Deepdale, I know it will a lovely weekend with a great atmosphere.
If you are in Norfolk (or surrounding counties) and fancy a trip out to start or finish your Christmas shopping, then do consider dropping by Deepdale at Dalegate Market, you won’t be disappointed. It’s free to enter and free parking, and with vast selection of stalls, in marquees, barns, pop up sheds and the church too, plus delicious grub to enjoy, you won’t be disappointed.
Ellie’s Treasures will be inside the Brick Barn and I’ll be accepting commissions over the weekend should you be looking for something specific.
Happy Christmas shopping!