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Saturday, 28 September 2013

Christmas Gift Workshops!

 Getting very excited as we get nearer and nearer to Christmas and this week we have the first 'Heart Garland' workshop which was inspired by this beautiful one made by Christina! Embellished with trinkets, sparkles and buttons it would make an ideal wedding, Christmas or christening gift with a personal handmade touch! Christina has a couple of spaces free on Thursday 3rd October 11-3 £35 and I can honestly say it would be an ideal, no pressure class for absolute beginners! I'm even getting the precious tin of gorgeous Mother of Pearl buttons out...
 After a *first* a *last* as it's the last upholstery day at HH HQ for this year on Friday 4th October 10.30-4 £35 and one of the keen upholsterers is also a BRILLIANT needle felter and has already booked THREE sessions with Jenny Tidman! Fridays 18th October, 8th November and 6th December 11-3 and £30 which also includes a lunch and splendid cake! BEWARE though that needle felting is horribly addictive and episodes of cuteness like this (see below) happen frequently!
 As we are all still crazy about giving handmade gifts it's no surprise that the Container Candles and Festive Firelighter workshop is often requested at the moment and thanks to a friend of Halfpenny Home we are also making the firelighters with teasles which are SOOO spikily pretty! Two more sessions this year on Saturday 19th October 1.30-5 and Thursday 28th November 6-9 £35 we usually end up making about 4-6 container candles and half a dozen firelighters!
 I've wrapped mine in rustic hessian and used one of the new 'naturals' ribbons that have just come in!
 Finished off with a gift tag...
 We've been making soap here for years and indeed HH HQ was once a soap factory! All this time we've loved the coconut oil and cocoa butter that goes into the cold process soap, it makes our hands so the jump from soap to balms isn't that huge at all!
 Balms with healing infusions and essential oils and bathbombs with dried flowers...the list is endless!
 My favourites include a minty foot cream and a coconut and hempwax lip balm, I also now have a use for all those empty jars of Tiger and Oriental Balm at last!
 Three sessions of Bombs and Balms on Friday 25th October 11-3, Saturday 9th November 1.30-5, Sunday 15th December 11-3 £35
 AND did somebody say 'soap'? 
Two more sessions this year Friday 1st November 11-3 and Saturday 30th November 1.30-5 £50 space for 4 persons only and we make 4 soaps which are then divided between the 4. Cold process soap is made with caustic soda in the traditional way and needs 4 weeks to 'cure' so the November workshops will be the last held before Christmas.
 A new workshop this year inspired by the gorgeous new Christmas ribbons! Make a stocking using techniques including applique, embroidery and using bias binding! I love the pompom snowflakes and the turquoise linen is a lovely vintage cloth which is a joy to use! Two sessions on Saturday 2nd November 1.30-5 and Friday 13th December 11-3 £35
 Using the '42 Hands' keepsake quilt as inspiration we have a couple of sewing sessions called hands and feet in which we capture the cuteness of our favourite little people's hands and feet in faded floral fabrics and vintage linens. Learn how to applique, piece quilt and patchwork a work of art! Saturday 5th October 1.30-5 and Friday 11th October 11-3 £35

 The quilt in all it's glory!
Carrot cake for today's workshop and we'll go from this... this in just over three hours!
I have a couple of private sessions for groups of four ladies booked in to make the bag and stocking, indeed any of the above workshops can be booked in this way and I can even bring them to you!
I am also available for one-to-one tuition in all aspects of stitchery, knitting and crafting. 

Crafting parties are a fun way to spend time with friends and I can provide a wide variety of these with prices starting at just £10 per person. Most are also easily adapted to suit children who have an interest in craft!

Book any of the sessions above by either dropping by HH HQ, texting me on 07887511081 or message me via twitter @halfpennyhome

Have a splendid weekend! Nx

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The bad blogger's workshop list...

 Needle felting with Jenny Tidman again tomorrow! Last time Jackie discovered the joys of using cookie cutters to make a festive garland and went on to get a set of a HUNDRED different shapes, she loved it!
I fell in love with this little guy, he is so cute! Vicki had never tried felting before but was keen to give it a go, I think she should be really chuffed with herself for achieving this! Penny is in the background starting a of completed dragon will follow soon!

 Panda bum!
 Becky's fawn (pre-legs) but already so cute and delicate! Becky is another first-timer but with a very supportive aunt who also likes to craft...we're felting again tomorrow, Friday 6th September 11-3ish and I'm about to start prepping the lunch we'll have. A goats cheese, swiss chard and red onion tart with an autumn Eton Mess to follow instead of the usual cake! I've just picked the blackberries...
 I may make my new favourite 'almost' fatless sponge with creme fraiche and fruit for the upholstery days - Friday 13th September 11-4 and Friday 4th October £35 per session and all tools are provided, some materials also but do bring a packed lunch with you, I make you work hard! Below is Penny stuffing the back of her 1950's nursing chair using horsehair instead of foam.
 The almost finished chair, just a box cushion seat to go...
 Container Candles like the ones featured in Country Crafts will be created on Saturday 14th September and as we're feeling a bit more autumnal after a brilliant summer we will be making the pine cone firelighters with Christmas scents...ideal homemade gifts! 1.30-5 £35, there's a variety of containers to choose from including old flowerpots, vintage teacups, kilner jars and some of my vintage pressed glass collection, you will be able to make several!

A fun one-off session on Sunday 15th September 11-4 making a pixie skirt like the ones I am often seen wearing (I have a few, wearing one right now!) a massive choice of fabrics and a big old wedge of cake as well as the whole haberdashery to play in! Places are limited so booking early is advised, the cost including everything is £35!


How well do you know your sewing machine? Learn how to care for your machine, oil and clean it, learn to love it and then put it through it's paces! Friday 20th September 10-3 £35 per person, limited space.
We have a soapmaking session on Saturday 21st September 1.30-5, I'm hoping to try some new recipes out! Spaces available on this popular workshop, your cold process soap will be cured by Christmas! £50 due to the cost of the ingredients involved, cocoa butter and essential oils etc.
 Christina made this beautiful garland for the textile garden we made for the Needham Market Open Gardens and so many people tried to buy it that I have persuaded her to run a workshop at HH HQ showing us some of her exquisite ideas and brilliant embellishment techniques. These garlands make wonderful wedding and christening gifts! Thursday 3rd October £35 including everything you need and some of Christina's favourite cake...

 Not very good photos of the brilliant textile garden that we made for Open Gardens but in real life it was stunning! Bowls of strawberries, felted caterpillars, ladybirds, bees and butterflies - knitted mushrooms in their 'blanket' of compost...
 ...knitted, aubergines, leeks, carrots and peas!
The generous visitors to HH HQ that week donated £50 which I split between Arthritis Care UK and National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society both of which I have an interest in. Arthritis Care run a forum which gave me a lot of support last year when I was very ill and struggling to get the correct pain relief and treatment for Rheumatoid/Psoriatic Arthritis and NRAS are a brilliant organisation supporting people who suffer from this painful and debillitating condition.
I handed out fliers which briefly described my experiences with suddenly becoming ill, diagnosis and treatment along with examples of the effect having an auto immune disorder has on a person's life, friends and family. You can read more about my life with a chronic and incurable disease on my personal blog here.
 The vegetables were all knitted by some of my knitters from my Wednesday morning group one of which is 14, the youngest ever has been 9 and the oldest 81!
 A chance to recreate a mini version of the '42 little hands' quilt that I made for my friend Lynne! Hands and Feet, applique and free motion machine embroidery is a brilliant way to get to know your sewing machine and make a family heirloom at the same time! Capture your favourite little people's feet in time and using wonderful linens and printed fabrics produce a stunning work of art! 
Makes a fantastic Christmas gift!
Saturday 5th October 1.30-5 £35
Friday 11th October 10-3 bring a lunch, there will be cake! £35
 Finally! A little bit of what my mother would call 'showing off' but I was very pleased with how the Bob Marley Barbecue Apron turned out in the end!
 My partner's BIL was 50 earlier in the summer and being a Bob Marley fan and a barbecue king we decided to push free motion machine embroidery to the edge...

 ...bit different to the vintage style of embroidery we'll be using on the 'Welly Fresheners' workshop next Saturday!
 Vintage linens and ticking, old mother of pearl buttons and a pile of old French monogramme magazines for inspiration! I LOVED doing the twirly bits on mine and stuffed with the finest lavender from Provence they will freshen up the smelliest of wellies! What a lovely gift for Christmas...
Saturday 7th September 1.30-5 there's still space and I'm just trying to decide what cake to make...will it be blackberry drizzle or banana loaf or carrot cake or maybe a meringue pie!

Book in the usual way, drop by HH HQ, 3 Station Yard, Needham Market IP6 8AS open Mon, Tues, Wed 10-4 and Sat 10-1, text me on 07887511081, tweet me @halfpennyhome or email halfpennyhome at googlemail dot com I do respond to emails but as my hands are a little sore at times please do be patient if you choose to contact me in this way.

Now off to bake!

Nic x