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Sunday, 29 May 2011

A Yearning for Yarn...

Mmmmm....lovely new yarns from Knit Collage arrived at Halfpenny Home yesterday, we've been waiting a little while for these so the excitement meter hand hit maximum!
Rolling Stone is one of the yarn ranges that sit alongside the very much loved Gypsy Garden ones that we are such big fans of at HH HQ - it gets non-knitters knitting and even fellas find it hard to resist a bit of a knit...

We were both especially taken by the scrummy Pixie Dust yarns - we've not had these before and they are amazing! Lumpy, bumpy yarns with angelina fibre for some heavenly sparkle...

Look at how lovely and green the Emerald Rainforest is.....sigh! I'm so eager to get out a pair of needles and knit one of these up but can't decide which one....

After these lovely crocheted apple cosies appeared on the cover of Mollie Makes we've all been making them - they're addictive! It gives us a good excuse to get the hooks out, use up some of those odd bits of yarn and (of course) choose a very special button with which to embellish them with!

A great deal of debate over the practicality of such fruit jumpers raged during knitting on Wednesday and following a recent trip into Ipswich I can report that they do indeed help to prevent your breaktime apple from getting bumped and grazed whilst rolling around in your favourite wicker basket....
The trip to Ipswich was to pick up the fliers for our 'crafty afternoon' which is on Friday 3rd June at Ipswich Waterstones. We'll be there from Noon with some of the projects from A Green Guide to Country Crafts, come along and say hello, it would be lovely to see you!

Janine at Ipswich Waterstones is really lovely and particularly good at promoting and supporting local authors like us and Katie Ward, a fellow 'tweeter' whose first novel Girl Reading has just been published.

There we are! We are those 'crafty'people...

Look forward to seeing some friendly faces there and perhaps even meeting up with some blog-buddies?
Nic and Jacqui x

Monday, 23 May 2011

Beyond the Red Door - Thornham Walks

Finally, this weekend, I got to Thornham Walks to see Jane's work, Rural Collusions!

It was a great opportunity as the photographic gallery, Beyond the Image were hosting a photographic walk with the chance to take loads of pictures! We met at the Gallery before setting out, past the little antique shop with loads of vintage bikes outside....

And out into the sunshine where Jane's work greeted us as we strolled around Thornham Walks.
Mushrooms galore! The last time I saw these was at Halfpenny Home and now they've found their way onto a tree!

Beautiful roses adorned the Walls of the walled garden

And just look at the sunshine lighting up the veins of these leaves

Jane's moss carpet looked very comfortable and seemed to have settled in really well into it's surroundings. I just loved the colours and the way the dappled light filtered across it.

I also loved seeing the pom pom trim on this really colourful line of yarns and trims!

This looked lovely swaying in the breeze.

One that you could easily miss, but I thought was inspired, was Jane's intricate placement of red yarn in this tree bark. Brilliant!

Single flowers in all their glory.

Colourful bark - the real thing this time!

A magnolia flower

A place to rest in the walled garden

Amazing funghi

A little folly tucked away in the corner of the estate

A field of flowers

I can't remember the last time I visited Thornham Walks but it is a beautiful and relaxing place made all the more delightful for Jane's work.


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Warped! What a load of old sheets...

Anyone visiting Halfpenny Home notices pretty quickly that we love bright colours - the handyed yarns from Colinette, the ostrich feathers in vibrant shades of turquoise and hot pink and the brightly coloured handpainted knitting needles! We are also big fans of pattern - big blousy florals, stripes and ginghams are often paired up with paisley, floral and gingham bias binding!
Which is why people are so often surprised to learn that we also love cool, plain linens - particularly old linen, cotton or metis (linen and cotton woven together) sheets from France. We even used a particularly lovely one (adorned with old mother of pearl buttons...) as the background for the Halfpenny Home online shop!
If you are really lucky you may come across your very own initials on a hand-monogrammed sheet like this one which graces my bed!

They are sometimes almost too nice to be kept just for sleeping between and a few of my windows at home are dressed in old sheets!

It's the hand-sewn seams and the uneven weave that gives the fabric it's unique look and charm.


Sometimes there are small red monogrammes...

and sometimes there are bigger ones - hmmm, HH? Couldn't leave this sheet behind!

We were especially excited to see the linen egg project in the very first issue of Mollie Makes as it's so pretty and a lovely way to use up all those little scraps of fabric that you cannot bear to throw away! We've put together bundles of linen pieces that would be perfect for making these little eggs...look at the daisies!

These are so much fun to make and I can't stop just yet...
Nic x

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A feast for the senses - Weekend Shopping in Bungay!

We took our leave of Needham Market last weekend, for a spot of camping in Bungay....but I have to admit there was an ulterior motive! Not only to enjoy a bit of a break, which necessarily entails hefty consideration of what we will eat (good food is never far from our minds). A case in point being our chicken and chorizo paella doing nicely on the barbie!

But also, to visit Bungay's annual Garden Street Market. It's such a pretty little town and thankfully devoid of the usual cloned high street stores!

Knowing how popular the Street Market is, I was up and about early on Sunday for the quick 10 minute jaunt into the town from our site, to try and beat the crowds!

And what sights, and smells, greeted me!

Plants and flowers of every hue, together with organic veg and herbs, lined the entire length of Earsham Street, which is closed to traffic for the day.

Set against the backdrop of the pretty buildings it makes for a visual feast. There was also plenty of food temptation too - a hog roast was drawing in plenty of trade, as well as Thai food from the local Thai restaurant housed in the pink building you can see above. Yum. Made a mental note to try the thai next time we visit!

By the time I reached the end of Earsham Street things were livening up!

There were vintage garden wares

And a few antiquey items thrown in as well for good measure!

Most of the independent shops were open, and one that I spent a very long time in (!) was No 4, Market Place - it's sort of like a crafter's co-operative with lots of hand made goodies and vintage pieces. Just lovely!

We were even treated to music from this pretty street organ

I made a few purchases along the way - including these pretty seed packets which caught my eye! The excuse being they will make pretty and useful gifts, though I'm not sure I will part with them!

I also stocked up on some more wine crates which will be waxed and pressed into use for growing my salad leaves in throughout summer! I bought a grapefruit mint plant, which has a glorious smell and can be used to make tea, its also suggested that the leaves are good in a fruit salad so I shall definitely be trying that.

And, on my return back to our temporary, but very comfy, 'home' my other half had cooked the most amazing brekkie on the barbie for a well earned Sunday brunch!

It doesn't get much better than that!

Jacqui x
PS. If you want to check out the other street markets held in Bungay, the Antiques Street Market and Christmas Street Market are definitely worth a visit as well. See

Monday, 16 May 2011

Mollie Makes!

A new magazine landed in the Halfpenny Home post box last week and it's caused a huge amount of excitement amongst the crafty persons around these parts...
The cover shows some lovely crochet used to make these pretty apple jackets! I'm not usually found hooking as I'm more of a knitty girl but I was inspired and using some string made a little basket which will no doubt end up housing some buttons at HH HQ sometime soon!

The step-by-step linen eggs also got me going! Jacqui and I had discussed offering up these old linen bundles before - perfect for small projects and lovely to adorn with embroidery and buttons!

Meanwhile any visitors to HH HQ just lately will have noticed the abundance of colourful hand-painted knitting needles everywhere - the new colours are lovely with this deadly shade of purple...

the ever popular red and blue (Halfpenny Home colours...!)

AND my favourite colour green!

Aren't they gorgeous? Nic x