Saturday 25 November 2017

Proper busy......

I've been proper busy of late, running about like a blue-bummed fly.  Teaching this and that, making that and this.... I just don't know where the last few months have gone!

Hard to believe but we are heading for our first anniversary in The Shed.  Yep, it's been open a year in January.  A whole year of crafting and meeting new people - and what an exciting year it has been.

A few crafters and artist have now joined us to teach...

Carl Fitton is running a Learn To Draw course which has proved very popular. His second course is now fully booked and he is devising follow-on courses such as "Experiment with Colour".  I am in awe of the amazing drawings that people produced from Carl's excellent tuition.

And, no, that's not wine they're drinking - not at this class anyway - they are drawing the empty bottle  :)

Tracey Spurgin has also joined us this year. Tracey is a Precious Metal Clay artist and her work is phenomenal!   She has run two very successful workshops now and a third, on how to make silver rings, is booked for April.  These are very popular and book up quickly so if you fancy it, don't delay.

The last couple of classes were pendants and swing lockets...

Another fab class is the one run by Annis McGowan, she takes you through making the most gorgeous needle-felted animals.
Last time Annis taught how to make Herwick Sheep, she will be back in January to make Doorstop Owls!  So exciting.

Memory Bears are so 'in' at the moment, so we welcomed Anne Scott to The Shed to run a class on making these family heirlooms.  She will be back in the New Year to help you make your own.  Keep your eye on the website for dates.

And, I, myself, have been teaching all sorts - from Crochet to Stained Glass.
The Stained Glass 6 week course was really good, with all the ladies (shown here in their safety gear) designed and created their own A4 size stained glass panel.

This workshop will be back in January for another set of panel making.

And as I type this today, we have Tracey Rogers in, working hard and teaching people how to make the most gorgeous Christmas Cards.  I have just sneaked onto the craft floor for a few photos and it looks like things are going well. 

If you fancy learning something new next year, or if you want to join one of our regular craft groups, then you can go on our mailing list - we won't spam you, promise - by clicking HERE and asking to join, or check out the website.

If there is anything you have ever wanted to try, or if we keep running a class on days you cannot do - just drop us a message, we may be able to put something on to suit.

Happy Crafting...

Tuesday 10 October 2017

It's been a week and I am still SOBER 4 OCTOBER.

A week...... a whole week and a bit actually once I have got round to writing this blog.

A week has made me wonder if I have a problem, as most evenings on the drive home from work  (which is usually between 8.00pm and 9.00pm) I envisage popping the cork as soon as I walk through the door.  I haven't of course, but the thought is there - this is very obviously habitual.

Hubster is pretty good though, he knows when I am due in and can often be found hovering around an already nearly bubbling kettle as he says, "Good day at work?  Fancy a brew?"

To be fair, he does that every night, but up until a week ago I would mostly answer with "Yeah. No, wine", to which he would duly open the cupboard and pass me a wine glass.

Of course, this week, the answer has been "Yeah, yeah please" and I get quickly presented with a mug of peppermint tea.

Yes, you read that right... peppermint..... for I have also somehow managed to wean myself off Caffeine.  That hasn't been just this week though, it has been slowly, changing just one cup a day to peppermint until even my morning brew is Caffeine free.

Oh, and if that is not enough, I also joined a Fat Club last week. Well, in for a penny - in for a pound, I thought.

What? Why? You may ask.   Well, I am in my last year of my forties now and feeling the age.  Things ache, things crack, sometimes I walk like a crab after a long day on my feet, sometimes the walk upstairs at the end of the night is like tackling Mount Everest!
 Ok, I exaggerate slightly, but when you stand at the bottom of just thirteen steps, looking up and trying to draw up the energy to start the long climb to bed, you know it's time to take control and get a bit fitter.

So, in a nutshell this week has been caffeine free, alcohol free and naughty food free and I'm FEELING GOOD!

Still time to sponsor me if you wish to.......I am up to one hundred shiny pounds right now, thank you to everyone who has popped in the pot  :)

Tuesday 3 October 2017

I nearly fell at the first hurdle...

My challenge to myself this year is Sober for October.

I have done challenges similar before in the past: 

H2only was a tough one, you had to replace all of your liquid, so tea, coffee, squash, WINE for plain old water for ten days.  It was hard going.  It sounds easy, I know, but the first three days found me in bed nursing a right sod of a caffeine come-down.  Who knew that you could get so ill from coming Cold Turkey off a builders brew?   I did vow never to go back on caffeine, but I failed - on the plus side I did drop from two bags in my brews to just one (left to stew for at least 20 mins before drinking).

Previously I did the Live Below The Line challenge, this is where you live for five days on £5.00. I have done this one twice and didn't find it difficult at all, hence why twice.  It was more enlightening and interesting seeing what culinary delight I could form from a tin of potatoes.

The Sober for October one came about when a friend announced she was doing Brave The Shave... now that is BRAVE, I really am not sure I could do that one, and I was so impressed that I logged on to her account to donate when I thought...... actually, I will do something myself, to stand by her, without the trauma of the clippers and the need for a warm woolly hat.

So sustaining from alcohol it was, as I signed up for Sober In October.

It's a whole month without alcohol - now I do realise that the tone of my typing might make me sound like an old lush, but I have to admit I do like a frequent tipple of the red grape.  Frequent enough to class it as daily (nightly) occurrence.

It began well enough..... until mid afternoon when we took a walk around the local garden centre.  It's one of those posh garden centres where they have a posh food hall with stuff to try - you can almost have a full lunch on a good day.

I started by dipping bread into balsamic vinegars and olive oils, then patiently waited to try the wine samples at the Laithwaite's stand - all very innocent and mindless.

Then I heard Hubster trying to get my attention..... PSSSTTTT, he went, then twitched his head in that weird way that people to do say "come on".  I just grimaced at him, mildly annoyed, as usually he is in the queue beside me getting himself a sample for me to drink too  (he's teetotal).  the second PSSSTTTTTTT was much louder, and the twitch so forceful he might have snapped his neck.  "Come on", he said.  He actually said it, he told me to "come on".

"What" I snapped at him, having no idea what the hurry might be.

One word was all it took to put me in a proper grump for the rest of the afternoon.  Just one word he uttered which brought it all down to earth.  He even whispered the word, thankfully as there was a good few folk about.

"Sober?"   He said. With a grin.

I won't type what one word I used, as it was not very ladylike at all.

But I was very disappointed that I almost fell at the very first hurdle.

I you appreciate how hard this is going to be, it would make me feel better to see donations going in my pot - the price of a bottle of wine would be good   :)

Sponsor me here   :)

Sunday 30 July 2017

Caron Cake Cardigan

I succumbed and bought some Caron Cakes yarn when they came into stock in Hobbycraft in Carlisle.

I bought the shades Rainbow Sherbet, Mixed Berry and Lilac Frosting.

I think it is always difficult to know what to do with a colour change yarn until you can actually see how the colours change.  I could see that this one was going to be quite 'blocky' so I thought I might do little colourful cardigan jackets for my Granddaughters.

I knew roughly what design I wanted so have a browse through Ravelry for a pattern.   I found this one..

You can find it here..

I decided to use the Rainbow Sherbet one first and got to work.
I got all the pieces done, some colours lasted the full piece, while others changed within.  The photo looks awful in this one, the 'orange' is really mustard, and the 'mustard' colour is more of a pea-green.

I decided to join all the seams with a visual join, making it part of the design and adding a touch more colour. Just the buttons to add now, trying to decide between pink pawprint buttons or daisies  :)

I am going to make another, but this time I think I will re-write the pattern so I make the back and front in one piece, therefore spreading the colour a little more evenly.

Thursday 27 July 2017

Progression of The Shed

The Shed has been open now for just over 6 months and it already feels like we have been here for ever!

Looking through some photos from when we first opened, when everything looked clean, pristine ..... and a bit empty.

Now it is slowly getting filled with samples and lots of colour.   The shelves have had to be covered with a light curtain as the craft stuff, although sorted nicely, looked really scruffy and untidy.

Once the kitchen area went in for the Glass-work, we had to move the worktables to a different position, but people seem to quite like them this way.

The sewing machines are all set up on the back wall for optimum light and power sockets  :)

And Claudette, as quiet as she is, watches over all the going-ons.

So as you can see, quite a lot of colour has been injected into The Shed, it's bright, fun, full of inspiration and waiting for new crafters to come and join in on some of the classes.

You can find the latest classes here....

Wednesday 19 July 2017

I am neglecting my blog...

An apology - I am sorry for neglecting you blog, but you know what?  Life is just a bit nuts right now.

I plan classes and workshops, leaving myself just enough time to grab a brew, walk the dog and have a pee in-between.  (usually in that order).

I keep meaning to schedule in "blog time" so I can jot down a few lines, just to let you know how things are going here in The Shed.  I do put most things on Facebook, but I know some of you don't use the dreaded Facebook and prefer to follow here.

Well, to keep you up to speed, we are now in our 6th month of crafting at The Shed, new faces are turning up all the time, which is fab, and I am constantly trying to come up with new fresh ideas to keep the old faces coming back.  I can somehow never find enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do!   I wish I could duplicate myself sometimes  (although not all the times as I think I would also find myself to be a pain in the butt!)

Have you visited yet?  If not, this is where we are.  The Atlas Works on Nelson Street, Denton Holme, Carlisle.  The big red door immediately though this archway.

Unfortunately I can't invite you to 'just pop in' as most of the time I am teaching... but if you do fancy popping by, drop me an email on, tell me a day and I will tell you my free hours.   (FREE hours??   hahaha, but I am sure I can take a break and grab a brew with you)

There are loads of classes and course on offer now, with more being added all the time.  If there is anything you would like to do that is not on offer, why not just ask?  Perhaps we can find a guest tutor to deliver a course that you might enjoy.

This is where you can find all our courses....

Also, we are arranging coach trips.  It has been pointed out that it might be cheaper to get the train - and it very well might, but as it happens the price is worked out per seat and hiring a coach is not the cheapest thing to do.  On the plus side you get to spend the day with like-minded people and might make a few friends along the way.
Our first trio was to Woolfest and everyone on the mini-bus we went in really got on and chatted all the way, hence why we have arranged a couple more.
We shall be heading to Preston in August to shop at Abakhans and Hobbycraft, then to Yarndale in Skipton in September. Click on the link below for more details of those.

If you don't fancy travelling but do fancy making new friends and having a nice night out, then do try out Craft Social Evening.   These have been great fun and well liked - places are quite limited so need booked quite quickly.   You can bring a bottle of your fav tipple if you like, but we do have tea/coffee and squash on hand if you don't drink.
For the money  (£20.00) you get an evening of crafting - the crafts are kept secret until the night but they are good fun - good chatter, and delicious food too.  Where else could you get a good evening out for that?

Find out more below.

Anyway... must dash, got a class due in any minute.  Hope to be back in the not so distant future to give you more updates.

Happy Crafting....


Tuesday 16 May 2017

Owl Obsession Crochet Blanket

I don't think I ever showed you my second Owl Obsession blanket. I made it a wee while ago now when Granddaughter Hope was going into a big girl's bed and needed a bigger blanket.

I used the James C Brett Woodlander yarn in shade L8.

I edged them with a sparkly glittery pale pink yarn.

Lots of little owls appearing.

And more... they breed quickly!

I mentioned it was the second one of these I made, the first one I made for a colleague who was leaving work to have a baby.  I did that one in a Rainbow Glitz yarn edged with white.

This new one was a set of owls wider and a set of owls longer, perfect size for a toddler bed.

And the toddler seems to approve  :)

Monday 8 May 2017

A randon Quilt Top from Charm Squares

Do you know one of those days when you have LOADS to do.  You go to your workroom to get started, not knowing which of the many "must get this finished today" projects to start first - you walk past a piece of fabric, or in this case a pack of charm squares, and think "I will play with these instead"?

Yeah, those days.

I bought this pack of charm squares ages ago, just to see what they were like.  I have never had the inclination to do anything with them, they didn't inspire me, they just sat on my desk, still wrapped, minding their own business.

Then, of course, when I an super busy, they want to be used!!

So, I got them out, tried not to sort them in anyway whatsoever, I really tried to use them randomly - failed a little bit by swapping some of them about.   But I simply sewed them into strips.

Then I sewed the strips together.  Then edged them in some fabric I found in my stash that matched quite well.

And that was that.  I haven't done anything else with it since. It has sat in the same place since then, on my cutting table - meaning I have had to cut on my ironing board  (as usual).  My inspiration has gone.... whittered away on the wind.  I have no use for a blue cartoon themed quilt top, but I guess I should finish it anyway........... at some point. In the future.

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Crochet waistband Tutu

I made the cutest Tutu for Grandbaby no: 1

What is is about Tutu's that make them incredibly cute.  I wish I could wear one, but I would look a wee bit odd, at my time of life!  Think, Mavis.

Anyhoo, this one is pink, frilly and perfect for a little girl who is just starting dancing lessons.

So, I crochet the waistband in a pink DMC Natura Cotton with a 3mm hook, I crocheted it over a band of thick elastic for sturdyness.

Then added a picot fan edging to make it look pretty.

The Tulle is added to the loops created, I only added two layers of Tulle, but I did enough loops for a third layer, so if she ever wants the Tutu "puffier" I can add the third layer easily.

It fit beautifully, and will look super cute on the dancefloor, don't you think?

I lent it to Hobbycraft, Carlisle for their display, looks quite good like this!

If you would like a copy of the tutorial, please email me and I will send you one through FREE of charge  :)