Wednesday 27 April 2011

A propitious weekend

Half way through the two bank holiday weekends already, hope you're all having a good time. Much to our surprise we were invited to an Antiques fair on Monday, it was organised by a friend of ours that we have known for a long time, she has run fairs in this area for over 20 years. We took along some bits and pieces and two chair seats to work on, it turned out to be a good plan, we achieved a lot!

I guess I worked for about 4 hours, but I'm really pleased to have got this far along with the weaving of this stool. My other half also managed to weave all four stages of another chair seat and he started the diagonals, fantastic!! A lot of folks were interested in what we were doing, a couple of them sat down in front of us and watched for ages - so a good day all round. it's Wednesday.......

This weeks word and wisdom:

Propitious - Auspicious; presenting favourable conditions; disposed to bestow favours

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow" - Albert Einstein

Yes, it was a propitious weekend.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

The Bluebell Wood

What beautiful weather - so warm for this time of the year. We decided to make the most of it on Saturday - for years now I've wanted to go to one of the local bluebell woods, but for various reasons the only free time we've ever had was too early or too late to see them at their best. Not this year...........!

The one thing the photo can't give an impression of is the gorgeous smell of hyacinth and fresh earth.

It was wonderful. This wood is a popular spot on the Kingston Lacy Estate near Wimborne. The bluebells were in full bloom and the weather was of those days you will remember forever.

Felix Dennis summed it up for me perfectly in his poem The Bluebell Wood. You can hear him reading the full poem here. It is this last section that made me realise that he feels the same way about the woods....

"My mind has marked that afternoon
To hoard against life's stone and sling;
Should I go late, or I go soon,
The bluebells glow- the birds still sing."

Thursday 21 April 2011

Easter and Bank Holidays

The last full working day before Easter, then next weekend there's the royal wedding and May day. So I hope everyone will get the chance to spend time relaxing in the company of family and friends. The weather here in the UK is promising to be warm and sunny for at least this weekend, excuses....... go out and enjoy!!

We have our usual "to do" list so will be kept busy, but hopefully will get a chance to have some fun too. We'll be answering the phone whenever possible this Saturday then as normal from Tuesday until Thursday next week, normal service will resume as from Tuesday 3rd May. Please bear with us, deliveries will be slower than normal because of these Bank holidays, so if you need something urgently, please tell us, we'll do our best!

Meanwhile........ remember the woven sculpt I did a few weeks back, (here).....? It will be included in the silent auction to raise funds for Walford Mill's project to build a new access bridge to the gallery...... and the egg basket (here).....? This will be in another silent auction to be held at Sherborne Castle Country Fair at the end of May which raises funds every year for local childrens charities.

If you fancy putting in a bid and supporting the sterling work of these two wonderful organisations, please keep an eye on the Walford Mill and Sherborne Castle websites for details. Sherborne Castle already have a long list of items to be included in their sale, some really interesting goodies!!

Have a great holiday, have fun - after all, it's always later than you think.......

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Word & Wisdom of the Week

Okay, okay, I'm sorry Tom I missed out last weeks word! So this week two for the price of one:


Incapable of being tired out; not yielding to fatigue; untiring...........(I wish.....)
Holding tenaciously to a purpose, course of action, or opinion; resolute......(it helps sometimes.....)

Wisdom of the week:

"The road to success is always under construction" - Lily Tomlin
Absolutely agree with that!

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Wonderful weather for weaving...?

A whirlwind few days.....The weather has been stunning here, we actually spent some time gardening over the weekend! It's taken three years so far, but we have eaten the very first crop off our asparagus plants.

Okay, so we only had two each! In the background you can see that the crop of Jerusalem artichokes was a little bit more successful - we ate those too, roasted with sweet potatoes.

Work continues to mount up because of my shoulder, I'm still being very careful. The double sided seat is virtually finished, it's a most unusual thing to find. This one comes from a commode chair so even when the seat is up, you are still looking at finished canework rather than the underside. Time consuming work in the extreme, completed beautifully by my long suffering other half!

We're feeling a bit worn out today. Yesterday we had a panic phone call from our eldest son, he was driving home when he had sudden severe pains in his abdomen that were so bad he had to pull into a car park and lie curled up on the back seat! I called an ambulance and to cut a long story short, we finally left the hospital A&E department at 9.30pm last night. He's okay'ish now, but still in some pain. It seems it was an attack of acute gastritis - so frightening, it makes you realise just how fickle life can be.

Thursday 14 April 2011

A fancy fender stool

Light rehabilitation at the moment! The shoulder pain is slowly going away and at least I can use it properly now, albeit with care. I'm trying not to look at the great big armchair that caused the pain with it's torturous seat, (perhaps that should have been word of the week!) and have turned attention to a much more sensible thing.....

The lovely couple who own this said, " make it pretty, you choose the pattern".......oooooh, music to my ears.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Shoulder ache!

It was all going swimmingly well............until my shoulder REALLY started to hurt. This is the culprit:

It's a huge armchair designed by Hans Wegner known as CH22 and as you work on it, you are constantly reaching over, pulling through or otherwise in an awkward position!! I'll go back to doing something a bit less stressful I think....., even close cane weaving is beginning to look more appealing.

Monday 11 April 2011

An egg basket, (singular) - for Handmade Monday!

I know I said last Monday that I wanted to finish at least two baskets by now.... well I didn't, I only managed one - what a disappointment! Why does everything always take longer than you expect? Anyway, I am pleased with it - it's an egg the US they're sometimes called "buttocks baskets", (for reasons that will become obvious, see below!) I do enjoy myself when I'm making baskets.

The handle has a design woven into it, a chevron running in opposite directions to the centre. To make the pattern stand out, I dyed the weaving splint blue.

One other target from last week was achieved, the new seat rail for the stool is made and glued in place. That's the easy bit done, just a couple of weeks worth of weaving to go onto the seat now.

We also started a big Danish chair seat and finished four other rush seats last week, so we weren't slacking, honest!

For the second consecutive week I'm taking part in Wendy's Handmade Monday, pop over and have a browse, the page is here. Some lovely things to look at.

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Word & Wisdom of the Week

Word of the week:


Foolish talk or ideas; nonsense. From the Dutch pop (doll) and kak (dung).

That'd be dolls poo then!

Wisdom of the week:

Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense. - Robert Frost


Tuesday 5 April 2011

Wendy's Handmade Mondays

Sometimes you come across people with such rare talent you can only look on in awe........

VW clock by Wendy at 1st Unique Gifts

Wendy is one of these people. Not only is she inventive and highly talented, but she also gives up her time and blog space to promote other craftspeople every week with "Handmade Monday" . The formula is straighforward, if you have a hand made project to share with the world, then blog about it with a link to Wendy's site, then you enter your blog link on Wendy's Handmade Monday post. Simple!

I took part for the first time yesterday and as a result had a lovely time looking around at all sorts of beautiful work by fellow crafters in the blogosphere. There is so much to see, if you're interested in the world of creativity then have a look for yourself, I can highly recommend it!!

Monday 4 April 2011

This weeks projects.

Spring has sprung so it's time to, well....just get on with things I suppose! First target for this week - to make at least two egg baskets, it'll be Easter soon after all. I've started - this is the "God's eye" weave that holds the handle and rim together.

I fancy using some bright colours for the body of the basket, so the next step is to dye a load of round and flat reed. Any suggestions anyone?

Second target is to make a new rail and at least start the weaving on this pretty stool. I say "start" the weaving because it's so close and fine I have a feeling that it will take a couple of weeks at least to finish.

This was a great piece to take apart, a true insight into how the experts carried out their craft a hundred or so years ago. They cheated so well you couldn't see the joins, brilliant!!!

Saturday 2 April 2011

Freeform weaving

Well it has no traditional practical use, so I couldn't really call it a basket! The inspiration for this sculpture was "bridge" and "river". It's not huge only measuring about 17" across but it still took two days to make.

Walford Mill Gallery at Wimborne are fundraising to build a new bridge to give easier access for the disabled to their centre, it is also their 25th anniversary this year. To celebrate, they are planning a "silent auction" of works and an exhibition entitled "Silver". Artists and makers previously involved with the gallery have been invited to offer an item for inclusion in the event, this is my offering! It may not be accepted, but whatever happens, I hope that the auction raises loads of money - the gallery is a great place - full of inspiration.

Friday 1 April 2011

Word & Wisdom of the Week

Word of the week:


Obviously from contra - against - and fibula, the smaller of the two bones in the lower leg. Means "pulling one's leg"

Wisdom of the week:

You know why I'm pulling your leg? Because I can't touch it from where I am. - Gene Simmons

 It's not Wednesday, have a great April 1st.....................!