visit Halfpenny Home Website

Monday, 12 December 2016

Workshops 2017

 These Merry Mice are not only wishing you all a Merry Christmas but also bringing the workshops of 2016 to an end :-( Don't be glum chum, turn that frown upside down :-) because...

 I don't want to Badger anyone (see what I did there?) BUT the end of 2016 means that 2017 is nearly here! Seven and a bit years of creative workshops at HH HQ and we're still coming up with new ones, it usually starts like this...oooooo, this is fun to do! I reckon a load of other people would like to do this too...
 Oh, hello lovely little mouse with red mittens! Did you enjoy the gluten-free apple and ginger cake? Thank you to lovely Sue Howlett for bringing along her fleecy friends and helping some eager crafters to create some fantastic Christmas Creatures from fleece this weekend! We all loved it!
We're a little behind in getting this workshop list out in blogland due to some nasty Avian Flu alert last week which led to a whole day building a sizeable shed to cover the allotment chooksters, elderly cockerel and his 4 retired egg laying wives are now safe and sound! I know other poultry keepers are also concerned including this little kitty's homeowners - let's hope it passes quickly!
 I really enjoyed the two workshops this weekend, I was a bit naughty and booked myself on the jewellery one - no pics because I *may* have been making Christmas presents...
Workshops 2017!
Needle Felting
Saturday 4th  March
Saturday 22nd April
Sunday 28th May
Sunday 25th June
Sunday 23rd July
Saturday 16th September
Sunday 22nd October
Saturday 2nd December
Sunday 10th December 
All sessions are 11am - 3pm and cost £40 per person - a £20 deposit secures a place.
  All materials are included plus you take your tools home with more fleece to carry on stabbing!

Scarlett Valentine Millinery

Sunday 26th February - Silk Roses
Friday 7th April - Origami
Saturday 20th May - Scandi-Handicrafts
Sarah's millinery techniques lead to some extraordinary paper craft and flower creating workshops which are always great fun!
Saori Style Weaving with Cherrie Stevens (Weaverbyrd)
Sunday 14th May
Saturday 17th June
Saturday 8th July
All sessions are 10am-4pm and cost £55 per person, your loom will be warped ready for you to start weaving straightaway!

Polymer Clay and Resin Jewellery Making - we need a better name for this Jackie!

The jewellery is amazing and when you combine it with resin it just looks incredible - cufflinks, brooches, pendants, earrings and bracelets are just a few of the things you can make in a day!

Saturday 18th March
Saturday 15th April
Saturday 27th May

All sessions are 11am - 3pm and cost £40 per person - 5 pieces of jewellery are included to be made with extra findings if wished available to purchase on the day. Please note that the resin has to be left to set for a week so you will need to return to collect.

Lino Cutting and Printing

Saturday 5th March
Saturday 8th April
Saturday 24th June
Saturday 5th August
Sunday 27th August
Saturday 18th November
Saturday 25th November

Print fabric, paper, card or wood with lino cut designs you have designed yourself!

Wet Felting

Friday 28th April
Friday 16th June
Friday 11th August
Friday 6th October
Friday 17th November

Delighted to welcome Kris Marriott to HHHQ! Master felt maker and former shepherdess! Inspiring others to felt and achieve brilliant results. To quote a friend 'Kris has them making a hat, bag or slippers in a day, a day!'
All sessions are 10am-4pm and £55 per person.

Jointed Mohair Bear Making

Sunday 12th and 19th March

Let Helen guide you through the fascinating world of jointed bear making over two days of relaxing hand sewing and bear construction. There's a little hand-sewing homework between the two days, maybe 1.5 hours? (I am very sloooow) but at the end of the two days you will have a very cute mohair bear with moving joints! Sessions are 11-3 each day and the cost is £70 overall including all materials and use of tools. It also includes cake, coffee and tea!


Basic Crochet
Sunday 26th March
Saturday 29th April
Saturday 1st July
Sunday 10th September

Broomstick Crochet
Sunday 17th September

Tunisian Crochet
Sunday 24th September
All workshops are 11am-3pm and cost £40 per person, all materials included and refreshments!

Sewing Workshops

Sunday 12th February - Padded Heart Garland
Saturday 11th February - Sewing Machine Surgery - Bring your machine in and get to know it a bit better in company, with tea and cake and best of all this day is completely free! A donation to NRAS would be appreciated (I have Rheumatoid Arthritis) but is not obligatory.
Friday 31st March - Roman Blinds - make a sample size in a day which you can refer to and make more blinds! Save £££££s
Saturday 1st April - Recycled Denim - Bean bags, bags, organizers or just about anything! Learn the best way to deconstruct an old pair of jeans and rebuild them into something a bit more useful!
Sunday 9th April - As above!
Sunday 30th April - Free Motion Machine Embroidery, doodle with your sewing machine! Create amazing gifts and works of art with your machine :-)
Saturday 13th May - Scandi-style Apron
Sunday 20th August - Free Motion Machine Embroidery as above!

All workshops above are £40 per person, £20 deposit holds space.

Natural Dyeing

Sunday 23rd April - seasonal dyeing
Saturday 6th May - seasonal dyeing
Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th June - Indigo Batik
Saturday 2nd September - Purple Reed Heads
all workshops above are £40 per person and run from 11-3 include all materials and cake

Rag Rugs

Sunday 15th October - Rag Rugs
Sunday 19th November - Rag Wreath
Sunday 26th November - Rag Wreath

Other Workshops!

Upholstery - 5th May - limited to two persons, £40 per person
Puppets! - Sunday 21st May
Papermaking  - 9th July
Brewing - Saturday 15th July and 16th July - Green Walnut Wine

Cheers everyone! It's been a tricksy 2016 but we've nearly done it....x

Saturday, 12 November 2016

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

 What will Santa bring this little mouse?
You may remember the cute little squirrel made for the NRAS Tea Party a few years ago? It was kindly made for us by Sue and was a prize in the raffle! Sue has kindly agreed to take over teaching the Needle Felting here at HH HQ as Jenny feels too unwell to continue sadly. I had been hoping she would change her mind over the summer - we had a lot of fun over the years and I'm sure everyone wishes her well very soon.
 Sue joins us for her first workshop here on Sunday 11th December and we're looking forward to making some cute and fuzzy Christmas Creatures (Christmas Jumpers are optional...)
 Jackie Daly has managed to fit in another one of her popular Polymer Clay and Resin workshops here on the 10th of December where you can make 5 items of jewellery included in the workshop fee with the option of buying more findings on the day! Due to having to leave the resin to harden the finished trinkets can be collected anytime after a week has passed.
 It's been a different kind of week here at the farm with Wednesday seeing me return to my furnishing background. I was kindly asked to teach a Roman Blind workshop over at Snape Maltings, it was a smashing day and at the end we were all exhausted but very happy with the finished blinds. It's part of a new venture for this part of Suffolk and other workshops have included Wellbeing Workshops and demonstrations from an instrument maker!

 A very smart finish!
After I finish the workshop list on here I'm off to get ready for tomorrow's bunting and garland workshop feulled with sugar free peanut fudge!

Christmas Workshops 2016!!!!

Sunday 13th November - Garlands and Bunting for Christmas!
Saturday 19th November - Festive Free Motion Machine Embroidery
Sunday 20th November - Fabulous Day of Festive Stitch Fun using gorgeous Christmas fabrics!
Saturday 26th November - Origami! Gift Boxes and Bags, paper decorations for Christmas all conjured up by Sarah Valentine!
Sunday 27th November - Rag Wreaths!
Saturday 10th December - Polymer Clay and Resin Jewellery with Jackie Daly, make trinkets for Christmas!
Sunday 11th December - Festive Needle Felting with Sue, make a Christmas Creature!
Sunday 18th December - *Silver Clay and Silicon Mould Making. Make shiny 99.9% pure silver for Christmas*

All workshops listed above apart from those marked with a * run from 11-3 and are £40 per person  with £20 deposit required to save a space, full payment on the day of the workshop. The Silver Clay one is £75 per person due to the cost of the materials involved.

Look forward to seeing you on one of these very soon! 
Next Blog Post will be the 2017 workshop list, I'm just waiting to hear back from some talented folk :-) 
Nic x

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Seasonal Workshops - crafting for Christmas 2016!

 The reed heads are popping out which means that it nearly time for one of my favourite natural dye workshops! There are a lot of plants in flower now which are all good dyes, the tansy on my allotment is particularly good this year. I'm running another couple of natural dyeing workshops this year and I'm always happy to do extra sessions with small groups at any other time. Any excuse to get the dye pots out! It seems insane to be thinking about Christmas gifts already but anyone who makes anything will know that these things take time! A workshop is a perfect way to learn something new, create a personalised gift for a loved one and spend a day with some lovely people!
 This year sees a new workshop and a new person teaching here! Helen makes these adorable mohair bears as well as lots of other cute creatures - each bear takes two days to make with a little bit of handstitching homework in the week between dates.
 On my days off I like to get together with a couple of mates and play around with different materials, catch up on gossip and sometimes hatch out some new workshop ideas! Sarah's husband came up with the name - Beadelicious! 
He has a point, with the yummy colours, a bit of shimmer and an excuse to get some tools out!
Last weekend we had another Scandi inspired day with Sarah, some lovely artistic ladies and a raspberry jam and creme fraiche gluten free cake!

 Keeping Sarah busy and who doesn't just love these fabulous fabric roses? Using millinery techniques and tools to form these gorgeous blooms means that you can embellish headpieces or bags!

 We've been hiring the marquee next door to HH HQ to hold some of our bigger workshops, it's a lovely atmosphere and light - when we get all the weavers in there it's like a party! We even have our own 'textile fireworks' with sounds of 'ooo' and 'ahhh' as colours and textures of yarns are compared, selected and woven into the works of art! The next session is booked out but Cherrie is coming to do a couple more sessions for us before Christmas, the first in September is Saori Style and the second in October will be to make a scarf.
 Current list 11th August 2016
Friday 19th - Silk Flowers with Scarlett Valentine - £40
Saturday 20th - Polymer Clay and Resin Jewellery - £40
Sunday 21st - Raspberry Wine Making - £40
Saturday 27th and 3rd September - Mohair Bears - £70
Sunday 29th - Natural Dyeing - £40
Saturday 10th - Stinky Fish, a sewing workshop for children! £20
Sunday 11th - Saori Style Weaving - £55
Sunday 11th, 18th and 25th - Learn to knit socks with confidence and without a pattern! £70
Saturday 24th - Sew a Scandi Style Crossover Strap Apron - £40
Saturday 1st - Free Motion Machine Embroidery and Quilting - £40
Sunday 9th - Crochet £40
Saturday 15th - Weave a snuggly scarf for winter - £55
Sunday 16th and 23rd - Mohair Bear Making - £70
Saturday 22nd - Beadelicious! £40
Sunday 30th - Indigo Batik - £40

October Half Term Workshops 
for children! 
email for details and booking
Tuesday 25th - Skirt making
Wednesday - Weaving
Thursday - Private Birthday Party
Friday - Tweed Owls

Sunday 13th - Christmas Bunting - £40
Saturday 19th - Festive Free Motion Machine Embroidery - £40
Sunday 20th - Stitch a Festive Garland - £40
Saturday 26th - Christmas Papercraft with Scarlett Valentine - £40
Sunday 27th - Rag Wreath - £40
Sunday 11th - Festive Needle Felting - £40
Sunday 18th - Silver Clay Jewellery - £TBC

Book by dropping in to HH HQ, email or call 01449 721123 during shop hours, a deposit of £20 is required to hold a space - full payment on booking for the children's workshops.
It's harder than you would think to get a decent turkey picture but here are my growing up fast babies! Next out of the incubator are Indian Runner Ducks - fingers crossed! Nic x

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Talking Turkey! More workshops for 2016!

 The first day of playing in the sunshine for my baby turkeys and proof that they can be taught how to walk...this was the week before last so they are a little bigger now!

 New project for the children to make this summer holiday, a lot of fun to make and trialled by Hannah who is one of my Super Star Stitchers! She also helped design the owl tidy!
Hannah's owl is the top one, isn't it great?
 Although I'm not usually drawn to crochet I'm finding that having a big project 'on the go' quite nice at present, at the rate I'm working it should be a blanket by next winter...possibly!
 I've had a couple of great dyeing sessions with some fabulous ladies over the last couple of weeks, it's lovely to do it here on the farm when the sun is shining and so different to last year where it rained everytime the dyepans came out! 
The first group did two days of indigo dyeing with me. The first day is spent creating areas of resist by folding and clamping, stitching and tieing or using wax and handcut stencils. In the background I prepare a dye vat, this takes a whole day and is not a timed process at all but changes are observed at each stage before moving on. We do all the dipping in the last half an hour! The following day I get to step back and enjoy watching someone else preparing a vat.
I enjoy watching projects being planned like the napkins clamped between cardboard, even the string and card are kept for future use in some artwork! Mary spent a whole days sewing stripes and tieing groups of three beans into some lawn to make a scarf.

 Mary's scarf after dipping and rinsing!
 Penny's napkins!
 Some children who visit HH HQ had used Loom Bands to tie dye some clothes!
 Penny's spectacular table cloth to match her napkins!
Looking forward to lots more dyeing this summer...but this is not how we get orange pigs!

 I decided to make a few napkins myself, my mum loves indigo!

 We've got a lot of new workshops on the list including Sarah Valentine making the sweet little houses and Scandi Handicrafts as well as the new crossover back apron one! 
Check out the list below!
 You can book in the usual ways, via email or text but it's always nice to see a friendly face at the shop - you never know when you would get a chance to play with a baby turkey again!
 After all this typing I'll be getting the dye books out for this Sunday's Fleece Preparation Workshop with Jenny Tidman, I've been looking forward to it for a long time and so have the lovely people who have booked onto it!
Sunday 19th Fleece Prep 11-3 £40
Sunday 26th Green Walnut Wine 11-3 £40
Saturday 2nd Spinning 10-1 £40 with social spinning session in the afternoon - morning workshop people can attend for free and all other spinners pay £10 for use of drum carders, refreshments and fun! We'll be in the tent so there's loads of space and light.
Saturday 9th Wet Felting 10-4 £50
Sunday 10th Advanced Knitting 11-3 £40
Saturday 16th July Polymer Clay and Resin Jewellery 11-3 £40
Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th Indigo Batik 11-3 £70
Saturday 23rd Dress Patterns, understanding and adapting them 11-3 £40
Sunday 24th Saori Weaving 10-4 £55
Saturday 30th Adapting dress patterns to fit and flatter 11-3 £40
Sunday 31st Crochet 11-3 £40
Saturday 6th Scandi Handicrafts 11-3 £40
Sunday 14th Saori Weaving 10-4 £55
Saturday 20th Polymer Clay and Resin Jewellery Making 11-3 £40
Sunday 21st Raspberry Wine Making 11-3 £40
Saturday 27th August and Saturday 3rd September Make Mohair Bears! 11-3 £70
Sunday 28th August Natural Dyeing with Plants and Mordants 11-3 £40
Sundays 11th, 18th and 25th Learn to knit socks with confidence and without a pattern! 11-3 £70
Saturday 24th Crossover back apron, Scandi style! Learn to work with French seams! 11-3 £40
Saturday 1st Free Motion Machine Embroidery and Quilting 11-3 £40
Sunday 9th October Crochet £40
Sunday 16th and 23rd Mohair Bear Making 11-3 £70
November 13th Soapmaking 11-3 £50
Sunday 20th Stitch a Festive Garland! 11-3 £40
Saturday 26th Nuno Felted Angel 11-3 £40
Sunday 27th Rag Wreath 11-3 £40
Sunday 11th Festive Needle Felting 11-3 £40
Looking forward to seeing you on some of our exciting and fun workshops soon! Nic x

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Workshops far!

 Hard to believe it's been just over two years since the whole of HH HQ was moved over to the Dovecote at Alder Carr Farm! The building is the only one in the country being a repurposed windmill and it even has it's own wikipedia entry!
It was looking very blue around that time as a lot of the dyeing for Indigo was being done at the time and I still love the patterns on these fabrics, looking forward to the warmer weather so we can do some more! Look out for the dyeing workshops, I can also do private sessions if needed.

 Something I thought I would never get the hang of was spinning and although I'm not very good I am enjoying it and find it really is relaxing which I never really believed in the beginning - Jenny is teaching some fleece preparation and spinning in the summer when it will be a lot nicer to be handling wet fleece, places go quickly so if you are interested don't leave it till the last minute...
 We're coming up to the last weekend of sock knitting and with the heels behind us all we have to finish a pair of socks is to shape and graft the toes, there will be another course later in the year! In the meantime there is a day of knitting in the round techniques coming up, see list below!

 Sunny days on the farm make everyone smile and I'm taking advantage of any sunny spells to get the sty ready for our new pigs arriving tomorrow - three girls this time and they are stunners! Friendly and liking a scratch, it's always good to chat to a pig in the morning...
 The brilliant thing about running the shop and workshops is that I get to know people like Jenny and Jackie Daly, Jenny taught Jackie how to felt bowls and Jackie taught Jenny and I how to make jewellery like the pieces in the picture below!
 We are trying to collect together all our workshop examples in the gorgeous cabinet which now sits at the front of the shop, we're getting there slowly and it does make an eye-catching display!

 I did enjoy the short break over Christmas and New Year but it's also nice to have the bustle of workshops again. We've had a few brilliant ones already and this Friday is the first of the dressmaking ones for this year with the focus on zips we'll be making skirts. Next Friday is Scarlett Valentine's Silk Flowers workshop, using heated tools to shape the silk - love it!
 Whenever I get a chance I like a bit of knitting especially when it's as nice as this handspun - I'm making this for a dear friend who helped me move the shop around over the Christmas break. What was upstairs is now downstairs and what was downstairs is now upstairs and if there is one thing an ex-windmill has plenty of it's stairs!
 With a lot of compliments about the new layout it was definitely worth it and being downstairs to run workshops has been really nice although we do have screens for when we are making corsets!
Workshops far!

Friday 4th - skirt making £50 including pattern but you do need to get fabric 
Saturday 5th - Socks £70
Friday 11th - Silk Flowers £40
Sunday 13th - Easter Needle Felting £40 FULL
Saturday 19th - Make a child's popover dress £50*
Sunday 20th - Stuffed Toys £40 3 spaces
Saturday 2nd - Scandi Handicrafts £40 3 spaces
Friday 8th and Friday 15th - Corset Making £75 3 spaces*
Sunday 10th - Broomstick Crochet £40 2 spaces
Saturday 16th - Saori Weaving £55 3 spaces*
Sunday 17th - Polymer Clay and Resin Jewellery £40 2 spaces
Saturday 23rd - Needle Felting a Bunny £40
Sunday 24th - Quilted Cool Bag £40 3 spaces
Saturday 30th - Tunisian Crochet £40 3 spaces
Sunday 8th - Print fabric and make a lampshade! £40
Saturday 14th - Wild Headpieces £40 3 spaces
Saturday 21st - Saori Weaving £55*
Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th - Indigo £40 per day or £70 for both, they will be different!
Saturday 4th - Natural Dyeing with plants and mordants £40 3 spaces
Sunday 19th - Fleece preparation, carding and spinning £40
Wednesday 22nd, Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th - A millinery masterclass! £150 includes all materials*
Saturday 25th - Polymer Clay and Resin Jewellery £40
Sunday 26th - Green Walnut Winemaking £40 2 spaces
Saturday 2nd - Free Motion Machine Embroidery £40
Saturday 2nd Learn to spin 10-1 £40 Social spinning 2-5 £10 but free if you're booked on the morning course! Drum Carders and advice available while you spin in company! *
Saturday 9th - Wet Felting Day £50*
Sunday 10th - Advanced knitting techniques, tips and tricks for neater knitting! £40
Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th - Raku Weekend £45 per session*
Saturday 16th - Polymer Clay and Resin Jewellery £40 2 spaces
Sunday 24th - Saori Weaving £55*
Sunday 31st - Crochet £40
Saturday 6th - Scandi Handicrafts with Scarlett Valentine £40
Sunday 14th - Saori Weaving £55*
Saturday 20th - Polymer Clay and Resin £40
Sunday 21st - Raspberry Winemaking £40
Sunday 28th - Natural Dyeing with Purple Reed Heads and mordants £40
Sunday 9th - Autumnal Needle Felting with Jenny Tidman £40
Sunday 13th - Soap making £40
Sunday 20th - Festive stitching, make a decorative garland! £40
Saturday 26th - Nuno Felted Angel with Jenny Tidman £40
Sunday 27th - Rag Wreath £40
Sunday 11th - Festive Needle Felting £40

Most of our workshops run 11-3 (except for those marked with a * which are slightly different) and we stop for lunch at 1 but only for a short while as we are also fuelled with cake, tea and coffee - our cakes can be wheat free, gluten free, vegan etc. just let us know when booking as it would be a shame for you to miss out!
A place can be reserved with a £20 deposit and can be booked via email or in person at the shop, it's always nice to see you!