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Sunday, 31 October 2010

Fungilicious Forest Fun

I've been off for a spot of forest camping this weekend, at Rendlesham Forest, a forestry commission site near Woodbridge in Suffolk. Though it's not far from home, you could be anywhere and it has a wonderful recuperative effect - it's just so relaxing being so close to nature. The weather was really kind to us.... as you can see from the sun glinting through the woodland. I just love the changing colours of Autumn

We took bikes and went on the UFO forest trail. The picture below is quite eerie I think, but still beautiful.
My bike screeched to a halt when I saw these magnificent funghi! Aren't they gorgeous? I thought of Jane, our Artist friend when I saw these.

We saw squirrels collecting for the winter and here's some bounty for them.

Even this moss growing on an old trunk looked really pretty in the autumn sunshine.

This one looks like it is dripping! How delicate.

And then there were these gorgeous frilly edged funghi below, all huddling together.

But, I couldn't go the weekend without some crafting. Nic had given me a ball of the gorgeous Knit Collage Kinari Bazaar to experiment with some time ago, but I was so nervous of doing it justice, being a novice knitter I almost didn't feel worthy! A weekend of beautiful natural inspiration spurred me on to try.

I've decided to have a go at a cowl using a pattern on Knit Collage "be inspired" section. It seemed straight forward enough......
Until....I got to row 12 and it said to cable stitches. Damn! I hadn't done this before. I called Nic and she talked me through it but I decided I would leave it until I got home, so this one is to be continued - watch this space!

And finally, I couldn't go without including a picture of my lovely veteran westie. He just loved his weekend away, even if he is a bit slow... here he is in his winter finery admiring the view!

A good weekend was had by all.
Hope yours was good too.
Jacqui x

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Get the pots out, it's dyeing time at Halfpenny Home!

This week we thought that we would try a something new and dye with brazilwood, we were not soak the brazil wood (tied up in a little stockinette bag) overnight in water and then simmer it for an hour.
When we added the mordanted items it went this berry red!
The colour result is affected by the acidity of the dyebath and to make it more purple than red we added some soda ash.
Look at this washing line of loveliness, all natural dyes!
Did a bit of dip - dyeing

And finally, you've all seen Barney, Jacqui's dog so here's my dog Bob - a miniature pinscher. He gets jealous when we have evening meetings and once ate the ends of all my knitting needles, I still love him though!
Have a good weekend, Nic x

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Super Stylish Swish!

In amongst all the activity at Halfpenny Home, I've also been involved in working with friends to organise our third, and most up-market Swish! Remember the Twiggy programme on TV where ladies got together to swap their unwanted quality clothes? Well, this is our version. This time around we're doing it in aid of EACH, the East Anglian Children's Hospice for their Treehouse Appeal and it's going to be on 11th November 2010.

It's a brilliant and fun way to recycle and get yourself a new wardrobe to boot! (yes, maybe some new boots too!!). We're organising a fashion show with some of the swap items to be compered by Rachel Sloane, from our local BBC Radio Station, Radio Suffolk. And, of course, given the thrifty nature of the event, Halfpenny Home was happy to be involved and will be having a stall, along with some other local businesses. We're hoping the lovely buttons and notions, ribbons and trims will give ladies lots of ideas of how to maybe customise their new attire!
Above is a picture of the venue for our Swish! Creeting House! You may recall it being featured on Ruth Watson's Hotel Rescue in the summer of 2009. It's a gorgeous place with lovely owners, Di and Steve, who've so generously agreed to let us use it for the Swish. Take a look at their website Highly recommended if you ever want to treat yourself to a weekend in Suffolk and a visit to Halfpenny Home, which is just a stones throw away.
There are still a few tickets left for the Swish so if any of you would like a ticket or more details, do get in touch. You can email and I'll send you further details. For those further afield I promise to take lots of pics of the event and post about it afterwards!


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Yay! It's the new Oh Comely!

We always get excited about parcels at Halfpenny Home, though the contents are usually yarns, buttons or vintage notions from all over the place. This week though it was a parcel containing the latest issue of Oh Comely magazine. Time to put the kettle on and get comfy in the armchair...
Oh Comely is a lovely mix of art and craft, food and creativity - fits in very well at HH where you will find it by the tea trolley laden with bias can always come and have a look through our shop copy, the photography is beautiful.
This issue features a friend of ours, Jess from Cuppa Tea and Cake and some of her polka dot bunting! Jess is also one half of the I Make Fun Stuff duo who organize the fantastic craft fairs in Ipswich - we've been to a few...
We stayed very close to Halfpenny Home this weekend when we attended the annual craft fair that is held in Needham Market - it has 50 stalls and we were one of them!
We took along the new Alpaca Select yarns that we have just got in - 4 ply for socks! It's so soft and comes in lovely colours. It's one of the many new yarns that we were introduced to by Stewart from Maid of Fibre - he visited us the other week and braved the Wednesday morning knitting group who ooohed, aaarghed and sighed their way through all his lovely samples...

More Alpaca Select....!
We were lucky enough to be opposite Kimbeau. who make these gorgeous marinades and sauces along with spectacular fudge and sorrel jam that is out of this world!
We did a lot of tasting before choosing...yum!
If you've ever paid a visit to us at Halfpenny Home you will recognise this table but it is usually completely covered with strawberry tea cosy covered tea pots, hand thrown and painted mugs, projects on the go and cakestands piled high with wool - it's never this clear, ever! I'm just about to cut some fat quarters of our new fabrics and there is an awful lot of them to do...
It will be back to it's usual chaotic messines when normal service resumes tomorrow, Nic x

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Smashing Pumpkins!

The best thing about this chilly autumn weather is the fact that you can really get on with your knitting in public without onlookers thinking that you are a little bit odd!
Since the Knit Collage arrived at Halfpenny Home earlier this year I've been thinking really hard about what to do with it - it's so special that it has to be exactly the right project to really do it justice....I do need a hat but we also have Skye Aran Yarn from Colinette and there's a hat pattern on every skein of that! Kay made this one in Vatican Pie.

I've already made a really long scarf and some mittens which are perfect for wearing when I'm out riding my bike. I found this yarn in QD (YES) QD in Stowmarket! Tipped off by Jane I rushed over there and was knitting it up as soon as I got home...
I'm really pleased with the scarf - I doubled up the yarn and knitted it in moss stitch - it was a really fast knit and it's soooo long with lovely fringing!
With Halloween fast approaching I took part in a Halloween blog swap I sent these spooky treats to Gill, it was great fun!

Any excuse to get on with a bit of bunting making...
Here it is all pressed and packed ready to be posted!
It was a Halloween swap and I had to get in a bit of knitting! I have been planning to make one of these for a while now - neon orange yarn supplied by Miss Pat! Luckily the Sue Ryder shop next door had a teapot the exact size needed - I gave it a good clean before filling it with sweets and wrapping it well!
I think Gill liked it almost as much as I enjoyed making it!
Knitting pattern is on it's way Helen!

We love living in Suffolk and love to support local businesses, we often drop by Alder Carr farm to pick up something nice for lunch - which is exactly what we did yesterday and was greeted by this magnificent sight, isn't it amazing?!
Nic x

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

1st Birthday Celebrations at Halfpenny Home!

We can't believe that a whole year has passed by since the party that we held to celebrate the opening of Halfpenny Home! The sign at the end of the driveway went up on the morning we opened, a little bit late as it had only just arrived the day before..
It's been a very busy and exciting year and we've met loads of new people and made lots of new friends and we wanted to celebrate Halfpenny Home's 1st birthday with them.
With the Humble Jumble all finished and packed away over at the Ark it made sense to us to take a bit of HH over there.

Look familiar?!

What could be better on a chilly October evening than a Fish and Chip supper? We couldn't think of a better way to spend the evening so Hussien over at Has Bond's and Son cooked enough for us all! Served with yummy tartar sauce, vinegar, ketchup and Maldon Sea salt in old glass salt dishes served with some pink bubbly, Aspall Cyder and mugs of tea - perfect!

Thank you everyone for making this a fantastic year for us at Halfpenny Home, Nic x

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

It's nearly here................

It's hard to believe we're almost round to Humble Jumble time again! With Humble Jumble being on a monthly basis it just makes you realise how quickly the weeks whizz past! We love the poster that Beth has created to advertise the event and think it sums it up perfectly!
There's a lovely selection of stalls lined up with a nice eclectic mix of goodies, including lovely handmade items and yummy homemade goodies such as autumn chutneys and preserves.

There's set to be some nice quality jumble so lots of potential bargains to seek out.

Scoffins will be there to tempt us all with their gorgeous selection of home baked cakes and scones.

And of course, there will be plenty of hot steaming mugs of tea! What could be better than a spot of bargain hunting and a nice cup of tea with home made cake on an autumnal afternoon?

Jacqui x