Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Number 7: lino printing

First lesson learned today - pictures need better natural light than this!

So, yesterday I went on a course to learn how to do lino printing, in a pottery shop on the North Norfolk coast. It was a bit of a punt as I had never heard of courses being run there before, but I was safe in the knowledge that lunch would be lovely (Burnham Deepdale cafe, need I say more?).

So, I arrived, only to find that the course was being run by Amanda Colville who sells her beautiful work through Folksy under the name Mangle Prints. It really is stunning stuff that I had been looking at online, and having now spent a few hours carving lumps out of a piece of lino, I am even more impressed by the intricacy of the prints she produces.

The day itself was lovely and I would recommend the courses being run at the Hare and Hen pottery at Burnham Deepdale. Philippa was very welcoming even though we probably took over more of her shop than she had anticipated. She also makes fantastic things and it was nice to have a chat with her about how she stocks her shops with things she loves.

As you can see, my technique needs a bit of refinement and I will always be artistically challenged, but I think it might be possible to use lino for fabric printing. Maybe a steep learning curve, but it could help me make my things a bit more unique.

Either way, it was a very good 52.

In other news, this month's scavenger hunt is coming along slowly but surely (to be helped I'm sure by the arrival of a new little camera) and the singing is still fun. I missed last week and am looking forward to brushing up on my calypsos tomorrow. 52s are definitely fun :-)

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Number 6: setting up shop

Ok, I know this has taken a while, but I think it is worth it...
I have a shop!

A real proper shop, with stuff that I have made for sale and everything - you see what I mean about exciting?

Having taken the plunge and sold a few strings of handmade Christmas bunting in December, I was surprised by how interested people were. So, as it is something I enjoy doing and I have some time I could give to it, I thought why not try to set up something more official?

So I got myself organised and made a few strings of bunting (the royal wedding has given me a great theme!) and today, I made myself a little online shop using the lovely community at Folksy.

I have linked it to my other blog at
I set this one up a while back to track my crafty makings and doings. It has been a bit quiet there too for a couple of weeks while the bunting all got organised. Posts get a bit dull when all there is to talk about is bunting...

No sales as yet - now that really will be a first!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Number 5: murmurating

This week I was all about the birdwatching, having decided to take part in the RSPB Great British Bird Count for the first time and also with an expedition to our local RSPB reserve to see the magnificent murmurations of starlings at dusk.

All great stuff. Or you'd think so.

Starting with the bird count, I did a run up to the event by putting out plenty of food, with a good variety of stuff, and keeping an eye on what was popping in to eat at our diner over a couple of weeks, and who liked what.

The hour arrived and I set myself up with our titchy binoculars (bought for grand prixs) in the spare room with a good view of the lawn. And waited. Then waited. And waited some more. Where were the jays, the woodpeckers, the magpies, the long tailed tits? Nowhere... It was like the birds were all sitting in a hedge, watching their watches, waiting for the bird counting weekend to end.

Even the pigeons only showed up at the last minute, and even then only one of them. Wonder if the RSPB come and check up on people who appear to have registered a bird exclusion zone...

Then for the murmurations. By reputation these are spectacular displays with thousands of birds flocking into the reed beds at dusk. We arrived at RSPB Strumpshaw in good time and had a wander around the rest of the reserve, getting muddy feet and a close up view of a flask of coffee from one of the hides.

At the appointed hour, we were huddled together at the best vantage point. We began to wonder whether anything would happen when no-one else had showed up. We waited. We then started to note the absence of starlings. Not even one.

We waited. Maybe they all travel together?

We waited some more. And were rewarded with the arriveal of a 'proper' twitcher, who kindly pointed out that the starlings had all moved on earlier that week.

I can't even claim credit for the photo of the geese (sure I should know which type they are but I've already forgotten). T took it with our new DSLR camera. They were too far away for me to have a chance with the compact.

Here's to better luck next week!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Number 4: photo scavenger hunt

And here they are - my 12 'finds'!

I got this idea from a blog I stumbled across a while back and decided to give it a try. The idea is that every month she publishes a list of things and you have until the end of the month to find them all and get a snapshot.

We have a little compact camera that I started carrying around in my bag and taking pictures whenever I saw the opportunity. I got loads of rubbish and was struggling with one or two down to the 11th hour. I also made the mistake of noting the items down and got one of the things wrong (I thought it was just a toy but in fact it was a supposed to be more of a playground toy).

I've plonked them all in a pdf above and will hopefully have eleven more to add as the year goes on.