Jack Valentine

Growing up in Norfolk I had no idea that I was one of only a lucky few that got to take part in a Valentines day tradition.
Talking to friends that have moved into the area recently, I’ve discovered that Jack Valentine only visits the children of East Anglia.

When I was little “Jack” would wrap individual chocolate bars in newspaper and throughout the evening, he would knock on the door and run away, leaving a sweet treat on the door step. While I fully believed that Jack Valentine was of the same stature as Father Christmas, he proved a sprightly fellow and my brother and I never caught him. Laughing and running between the back door and the front door was almost more enjoyable that eating the chocolate, it’s one of my most vivid childhood memories and I’m happy to say that Jack Valentines continues the tradition in my house.

Red wrapped gifts from Jack Valentine

However you celebrate Valentines day, have a good one

Shelley

Autumn in the garden

Saturday, Stunning blue skies and warm enough to cycle to the shop in a T-shirt

Beautiful.

Sunday, Misty morning, chilly and damp. A perfect hot chocolate day.

Just as beautiful.

And to top it off, it will soon be HALLOWEEN

I love Autumn

Shelley

Upside of the cold weather, the return of baked potatoes.

It was so hard to cook this chap!

But, as ever my stomach won the argument.

I’ll spare you the after shot…

Happy October Everyone

Shelley

Dragged back, kicking and screaming from a summer hiatus.

Summer seems to have come to a crashing end and thoughts of Christmas are not helping.

I’ve just started organising this years Handmade Christmas Fair which will be held in Wymondham Arts Centre, Norfolk on Thursday 6th December. We will open from 5pm and free admission.


I’m hoping for a fine selection of locally produced artworks, gifts and decorations. Participating artists, makers and further information will be listed here;

http://www.facebook.com/HandmadeChristmasFair

The fair will be open as part of the Wymondham Dickensian evening so there will be plenty of other events taking place in the town centre to make a fun night out.

Happy September Everyone.

Shelley

Open Gardens, the appreciation of other peoples hard work.

It was Wymondham’s Open Gardens last weekend, an annual event that I love. For a small fee which goes to charity you get a map and gain admission to lots of truly hidden gems. There were around thirty gardens included this year.

I’m not a great gardener, or even a good gardener, but I pride myself in being able to appreciate the ability in others.

I’m attracted to white flowers and the green veining on these is beautiful. I think that they’re Scabiors but feel free to correct me, I’m always open to being educated.

Silver Birch is another love of mine, and this group of three planted in a flower bed really glow despite the lack of sunshine.

The garden below is my favourite. The photograph above was taken from the bottom of the garden, combine that view with moss covered brick steps, meandering grass paths through billowing boarders, and all of it just the right side of left to it’s own devices and I’m smitten.

Mm mm, I wish I was there now.

Happy Gardening, be it your own patch or someone else’s, enjoy.

Shelley

Jubilee Family Fun

Busy busy busy, I’m organising a free creative event for children to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee on Saturday 2nd June in Wymondham, Norfolk.

Made the posters, drawn a stamp outline complete with the Queens head for colouring in, and now I’m sitting here at 1 in the morning making paper crowns, It’s mad that I find this fun, or should that be I’m mad?

I hope that what ever you’re up to you enjoy the extra long weekend.
Shelley

That’s my kind of spontaneous city

Walking through Eaton park in Norwich this weekend, on the way to get a well deserved ice-cream, I was delighted to rediscover the Spontaneous City

It’s one of the pop up artworks that seem to appear randomly, in and around Norwich each year, as part of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

These were built by London Field Works in 2011 and have mellowed beautifully, becoming a part of nature.

I love unanticipated artwork. Pieces that you can come across completely out of the blue, that are not jarring, but add to your enjoyment of a place.

I hope something unexpected brings you joy too.

Shelley

Sunshine, just when I thought I’d never see you again.

Norfolk, among others places in the UK, was placed under a hosepipe ban around a month ago and it honestly has not stopped raining since. This is not me complaining we really don’t have the extremes of weather some have to contend with, plus I love moody weather, storms and dark sky’s.

Too much of anything can’t be good though, so, as if to make up for it we just had a very welcome couple of hours of sunshine, that and the fact that Norfolk is currently awash with beautiful yellow fields have enticed me outside for a well needed stretch of my legs.

Naturally I had my camera with me and I tried to capture some of the sunnier moments.

I hope you’re enjoying a few golden rays.

Shelley

PS  I’m working on a fancy dress costume this week end with my eldest, so, lots more crafty fun on the way.

Properly dressed for the occasion

As I was finishing the card from my last post I decided that the bottle of wine that was to accompany it was woefully under dressed. I started by trying to tie a simple paper knot around it, but it quickly became an actual tie.

The silver paper I was using was not really paper but the plasticy gift wrapping that you can never get sellotape to stick to. The flexibility made tying the tie quite easy and then it had to have a collar which was just a strip of paper folded in half.

After that I couldn’t resist making a ribbon bow tie with wing tip collar.
I will never again, take wine out without first making sure it’s properly dressed.
Shelley

The last in a long line or I love my Scarf.

The last row, I’ve finally finished!!!

I only say that because it’s taken me about two years not because it’s been a chore, far from it, I have loved knitting my first scarf.

The pattern is called Logan and came from The Pure Wool Collection by Rowan.

For a large chunk of that two years it has taken me, the knitting languished in the bottom of my wardrobe, having had the needle swiftly removed by my curious toddler.

The really annoying part was when I finally remembered to give it to my mum to be rescued, it took her less then five minuets to restore it.

I had asked mum if she would teach me to knit and she very kindly gave me the book, wool, needles and a lesson for my birthday. Thanks mum.

Despite the needle-ectomy and inordinate length of time it took me, I can’t recommend this pattern highly enough. Bearing in mind that this is the first full blown knitting project I’ve taken on, I’m sooo pleased.

This has to be, for me anyway, the perfect combination of easy to follow pattern, forgiving design and an end result that appears complex enough to impress and encourage.

I see far more knitting in my future, but given the time scale per piece, I don’t think any one will be getting a scarf for Christmas, at least not this year.

If you have a recommended beginner knitting pattern, I would love to hear about it.

Shelley