Tuesday, August 15, 2017

More Wool..

I had received a message from a past customer on my Selkie facebook page the other day - she would like some more wrist warmers! Of course I didn't have the right yarn in my 'stock' so I had to go online shopping.

She wanted a pair like this- but when I went to find the yarn online I realised that it's been discontinued. Luckily Springwools still have it in stock so I bought enough for a couple of pairs as it's always been a good seller for me.

I also bought the same yarn in the pink/purple colourway. I wish I could have bought more of it now that I've received my order, but I know that I really have SO much yarn in my boxes and cupboards and I need to work my way through some of that before I can really justify doing a restock.

The lady also wants a pair of wrist warmers made from King Cole's ''Splash'' so I bought two balls of that too - it'll be enough for another pair of wrist warmers at least.

As usual I ended up buying a couple of things that I hadn't even been looking for -- the ''Cabaret'' dk from Stylecraft and ''Sprite'' dk from King Cole. I hadn't heard of either of them so I thought I'd give them a go. I really love the colour and softness of the cabaret one - Stylecraft wouldn't be a brand that I'd use that often but this one seems good quality. Both yarns are wool-free so that can be a bonus - there are lots of people who can't wear wool (or don't want to).

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New Gifts and Some Wool




These great big baskets were also from Bob and Cathys' house - we think that Bob must have brought them back from Saudi when he was working out there (back in the 1980s I guess). Cathy had given them to Mum along with some cookery books, but Mum couldn't really find a use for them so we have them now!



As you can see, the cats love them! It didn't take them long to realise that they were comfy spots to curl up in: even little Ivy has cottoned on to them as a sleeping/play area. I think it would make Bob laugh to see that cats enjoying them so much.


One day last month while I was working on the ferry one of my passengers gave me this amazing frame! It's solid wood and weighs a ton. Eventually it will go up on the wall in the conservatory (we're STILL waiting for the electrician to put up the proper lights in there) but in the meantime it's just propped up against the wall. At the moment it's full of little pine cones, dried flowers and seed heads but Anna was saying how the back unscrews so that you can change what's inside it...so I'm thinking about putting in some of my beach combing finds.


Anna also gave me two big bags full of wool! She was having a big clear out and was taking everything to the charity shop but thought that I could find a use for the wool and frame :) I have the best customers!


I still need to have a proper sort through it all; some of it is very 'baby'ish so I will probably pass that on to my friend Mary and her Mum (who make clothes for premature babies for a charity) but I'm sure I can put most of it to good use :) 


Hats and Headbands


 It feels like a long time since I took photos of what I've been working on - I've taken a break from wrist warmers to make some head bands -- these are ones that I will be bringing to the market tomorrow morning but I've made more for Lucy's shop, and also Daly's craft shop in Valentia (I'm delighted that they are stocking some of my pieces)








Hopefully some of these will sell tomorrow: otherwise I'll be listing them in my Etsy shop eventually. Things have been super-quiet for me on Etsy lately; but then I haven't been listing any new items and only have something like 35 items listed at the moment...hopefully things will improve on there in the run up to the winter and Christmas!

Time Out


I had to take a photo of this - I've been saving my Easter egg for months now...I was fortunate to have been given two solid chocolate eggs made by Skelligs Chocolates this year and I had decided to save this one until I felt like I really needed it.

I've been working on the ferry for four mornings all over the bank holiday weekend; our busiest time of the year and now finally I'm on my two days off! I've managed to get over 10 hours sleep since last night (including a nap after lunch today) and don't have anything planned for the rest of day apart from crochet and tv :)

Tomorrow's Wednesday so I will be giving the market in Portmagee another go -- it hasn't been a great one for me so far this Summer; it was ok to start with, but then I was working and Peter went for me two weeks in a row and only sold €10 worth of stock ... and the pitch costs €10, so I was actually losing money :(

But we're at the busiest time of year now so hopefully there will be more people around? I'll give it a go anyway. I was off work last Wednesday but went to the beach instead...at this time of year I really need to rest up and get my energy levels replenished on my days off...

Vintage Tiles


Last month I mentioned how an old family friend has been clearing out a house - well I'm finally getting around to taking photos of some of the other bits and pieces she gave us -- look at all these wonderful ceramic tiles!


A lot of them are chipped or cracked but I think they are still beautiful pieces of art.


 Yellow isn't even my favourite colour but I love these rose tiles - I'm guessing that originally they wouldn't have had the 'crackled' effect but it adds character.



I really love this dog-rose one but sadly there's just one of this type.




Peter's used the four of these sunflower tiles to make a 'lid' for the other glass battery jar so that I can use it as a make-shift coffee table. I have always loved sunflowers!






A New Addition


Meet little Ivy - I was sitting in the conservatory one afternoon and heard the cats fighting outside so went out to break them up; but it turns out that there was a kitten on the patio and Pearl wasn't happy!

She was very hungry and was riddled with tiny lice and other creepy crawlies so we fed her and took her to the vet to get a 'spot on' treatment and a worm tablet to take a few days later.



She still can't understand why the other cats don't love her - Pearl and Dinah can't stand her at all but Bertie and James pretty much ignore her unless she gets too close for comfort. Oscar is the only one who's been eager to make friends, and even then he gets a bit fed up of him pestering her to play!






 It's really lovely to have a kitten in the house again - and she has settled in so well. I was a bit worried that she might run away (especially as the other cats haven't been so welcoming -- there has been a LOT of hissing) but I think we're ''stuck'' with her now.

The vet said that she was only 6-7 weeks old when she turned up, so she should be old enough to start on her vaccinations next month, and of course we'll be getting her spayed when she's old enough.








Friday, August 4, 2017

Already August


Well we're well into August already and the bank holiday is upon us. The weather has been feeling quite Autumnal lately but today at least was a good day. The blackberries on the bramble at the bottom of the garden are ripening now so I picked as many as I could and made the first homegrown apple and blackberry crumble of the year...and of course it was heavenly: proper comfort food.


As I know I've said previously, at this time of year my days off work are so incredibly precious as it gives me a chance to try and rest up and get my strength back for the next lot of four days.

My friend Julia is the most amazing ceramic artist and all through the Summer she's been running work shops in a friend's art studio, just outside Cahirciveen. I was able to go to the 'make an oil burner' one yesterday and I LOVED it!

The clay was already rolled out for us so all we had to do was to cut the shape of the oil burner (using a template), decorate it and roll it to form the burner and then create a base and a 'saucer' for a lid and then add colour. That sounds relatively basic and straight forward but it was a really absorbing process and the time flew.

This is the top of my 'saucer' - I really really enjoyed the design process of it all - choosing which stamps/stencils/cut outs I would use and then deciding on a colour of glaze. As you can hopefully see, I went for a marine theme - the blue will change colour to a sea green/blue I think (we'll have to wait and see) and the unglazed clay will be white with a clear shiny glaze over it.






 There were only six of us in the class, it was a nice sized group, so that if someone was using one of the stamps that you wanted, you didn't have to wait that long to borrow it. We all made the same basic shape of oil burner but they all were different in design and colour.

I took photos of a couple of the other ones too!




Julia took them away to dry out and when they are ready she will put a clear glaze over the top to give a shiny finish and then will fire them and let us know when they are ready.