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Monday, 31 May 2010

Smashing Glass!

Above is just a small sample of some of the items I made on a recent recycled glass workshop I attended locally in Ipswich. Anita does the most amazing work which she sells at fairs and gallery exhibitions but she also does workshops - for details of her work and the next workshops see It is a hugely creative day and really absorbing. The best bit is that all the glass is recycled using old window glass, primarily.
I met Anita at a local fair we were both exhibiting at and knew then that I would have to do one of her workshops! In fact I have been on two now and am itching to go again - next time Nicola is coming along too....Nicola lurve's glass so it will be right up her street! I've managed to frame the small hearts and my next job is to make up some wooden plinths for displaying the little houses and flower design...hopefully I'll get this done before I go again. I'm aiming to make some little glass Christmas tree ornaments for presents, and for the tree, next time I go. Gosh, I don't believe I said that word (Christmas) and it's not even June yet!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

My favourite place....

You may be surprised to hear that Halfpenny Home is my second favourite place in the world. My favourite place is here, on my allotment with my chickens, ducks and compost heap. This is what I do before I get to the shop in the morning and after I close the big doors at the end of the day. Hope you have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend, Nicola.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The fruits of my labour!

I've done it! And just in time for Strawberry season too! This is my first knitting project ever - well, unless you count the skinny scarf type efforts of my very young years. It was with a lot of trepidation that I embarked on this project - eagerly encouraged by Nicola who, I have to say, is just totally inspirational and without whom I would never have attempted it! There were a couple of panic phone calls along the way, just to check that I was doing things right, but here it is....and I am so proud of myself!

From comments both in the studio and on the blog, I think there will be a lot more strawberries popping up before long - it just cheers you up doesn't it? And knowing I've made it myself just makes it so much more special! I think I may just make another one.....or two.....

I just had to include the picture of my westie, who's a bit of an attention seeker - he couldn't resist getting in on the act when I was taking these pictures - spot the tea-cosy in the background!


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Yarn, yarn, yarn.

It's been an exciting week, Beth finished her first knitting project - a really snuggly cushion made up of swatches of knitting, all with different stitch patterns. What is she going to make next?
I also wanted to show you this lovely photo of yarn from The Gedgrave Flock, it is so soft. Tracy looks after the wensleydale sheep with her husband over at Gedgrave, just outside Orford in Suffolk. We sell her yarns at Halfpenny Home and I can't wait for her to not be so busy so she can come and visit.
On Saturday we had the first Tunisian Crochet session with Lesley and Jeanette bravely tackling this unusual technique which is a bit like a cross between knitting and crochet. You can see our back garden through the open door, this is where we will be holding monthly Craft and Vintage Fairs throughout the summer starting on the 19th June. Cakes of the week are Coffee and Walnut and Toffee Fudge.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Pretty Finds

I thought I'd share with you a few of the pretty things I found when out bargain hunting at the weekend!
Firstly, these pretty double handled bone china cups, which are so delicate - I thought they'd look lovely planted up with some pretty little violas or something similar - they would also make great containers for making candles too! And then I came across the little pressed glass sundae dishes - my immediate thought was to fill them with some of my most special buttons to have on show, but they would also be lovely with a tiny flower or herb arrangement. They too could also be used as candle containers filled with candle wax. So many ideas! Simple pleasures are just the best.
I also found a lovely selection of art prints - I've shown just a section from one of them. I don't know what I'll do with them yet but I couldn't resist - just lovely!

A treat for Monday morning

Nothing like a bit of ribbon or some fancy pins to brighten up your day and put a spring in your step. This tartan ribbon is one of my favourite things at the moment and I have a piece tied in a bow on the handle of my best shopping basket. It's a shame that some of the Paris Mode label is missing but there's still enough left to make me happy and one day I'll find a use for these gorgeous buttons. I've put the teacup pin cushion there as I love the white flower pins in it. We like cups and saucers at Halfpenny Home although you are just as likely to find buttons and pins in them as you are to find tea.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Oil on Canvas

Referring to the rather wonderful band Japan - sigh!
Also a great heading for the art class paintings, aren't they great? I'm always gushing about the art class and persuading people to go up to the gallery studio and have a look at the art. I love listening in as they are discussing techniques, composition and establishing the darks while I make coffee and get the cake ready for half-time refreshments.

Creative arts and cake!

What could be better than spending a morning painting with great company and lovely cake? Ask any of the lucky people who have just come to the end of a series of art classes with Ed Cooper and they would tell you that they want a WHOLE day! We are sorting out some dates where they will be able to do just that. There are some lovely locations close to Halfpenny Home both for painting and picnics. Here are some photos of the art class and later I'll post some photos of their work.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Knitting Wednesday and another finished project

Annie finished her jumper! It is a work of art and you can see it on her blog she brought it along to knitting and rag rugs this morning and we are all really impressed. The pattern is a really complicated one but she stuck with it.
Annie also designed, embroidered and embellished this Halfpenny Home Opening Hours sign which always hangs by the door. She made it because we also have sewing, knitting, crochet and art classes when the shop is shut on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons and so to remind people we give them a little photo of the sign to keep in their purses. I love the style of the embroidery that Annie does and it's on a lot of things dotted around Halfpenny Home, when you visit us you can try to spot them!
This weeks cake was to be Chocolate Indulgence but the knitters and ragruggers finished it! The deputy cake of the week is Lemon and Ginger (my favourite and also Jan from Sweet and Savoury's favourite too).

Putting the shop back after Crows Hall means that I get to play with lots of buttons and I really like these little metal flowers. This new gingham bias binding is too tempting, I want to make so many things with it!
We had a visit from Crafty Helen yesterday and she said that we should post a photo of the shop, so here you are. There is such a lot to see and you can't pay a quick visit, so allow plenty of time and you can have a cup of tea with us.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Halfpenny Home's big day out!

Where to start! What an enjoyably exhausting day we all had. Having chosen lots of lovely creative goodies to take with us to Crows Hall, not to mention the fantastic picnic food, the big question was, could we fit it all in! We managed somehow....just!

Our home for the day was a marquee looking out over moated gardens and traditional barns housing other craft makers and demonstrators. Blessed with fine weather, if a little breezy at times, we busily set to work creating Halfpenny Home from home, ready to welcome our visitors. There was just time for some of Nicola's fantastic home made sausage and egg pie before Annie, Nicola and Pat changed into their wonderful attire - created especialy for the day. Nicola's appliqued cowboy skirt was soon joined by beautifully embellished skirts and blouses that Pat and Annie had created - resplendent in many of the gorgeous buttons and notions to be found at Halfpenny Home.

Our newly created home was soon buzzing with visitors and lots of laughter. Word soon spread that not only did we have a dazzling array of wares to tempt; jelly babies, chocolate buttons, dolly mixture and other yummy goodies were also up for grabs!

In true Halfpenny Home style, we were encouraging visitors to have a go at creating something unique and many took up the challenge! We had a beautiful display of assorted buttons from which to choose to make into a button bracelet, or necklace. They looked so scrummy we had to ensure they didn't get mistaken for sweets! The picture on Annie's blog is absolutely beautiful. do take a look, it will make you swoon!

It was lovely to see the pleasure gained from making something. Several visitors made bracelets to give away as gifts, which is lovely and even more special to receive. Instructions on how to make a bracelet are to follow, so keep checking back.

We also had gorgeous millinery makes - a beautiful and bountiful selection of felt and straw hats with an abundant and colourful choice of petersham, feathers and flowers with which to adorn your hat of choice. This may be the first of many hat decorating this space!

There was need for refreshment during the day and luckily for us, Aspalls, producers of our favourite tipple, aspalls cider, had a stall at the fayre Peronelles Blush is a particular favourite but, in truth, we love them all!!! Even better, they are a local company - and here at Halfpenny Home we love to support our local producers.

The fayre ended at 6pm as visitors trailed away. We chatted about the events of the day as we packed our wares back into the vintage trunks and handmade bags from whence they came, returning home tired but happy. It was lovely to see old friends who came to seek us out especially as well as meeting lots of new customers who we hope will come and visit us in Needham Market very soon and, we hope, become regular customers. Remember, the kettle is always on!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Cowboys & Cake!

Yeehaa!! We're busy getting ready for the Crow's Hall Country Fayre, Debenham this Sunday, 16th May. Not only are we preparing some great makes for visitors to try their hand at, we are also making new attire to wear!

The appliqued cowboy is rodeoing on some of the new embroidered cotton now available at Halfpenny Home. Hope you can come visit us on Sunday and see him in person! For full details see

Now onto cake! Halfpenny Home is renowned for its 'compulsory' cake....This week's cake is raspberry & coconut supplied by Sweet & Savoury in Needham Market. Very, very scrummy. .

Wednesday is Knitting Day at Halfpenny Home

Whilst Westminster may have been deciding on the formation of the new Lib / Con cabinet here at Halfpenny Home we were busy knitting! Alongside discussing politics we were also in awe of Tina finishing her Strawberry Tea-cosy - more pictures to follow. Tina and several Halfpenny Home followers have been busy with the pattern found in Nikki Trench's book, Homemade Gifts. It has inspired many first time knitters to pick up their needles and knit!