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Spring Cleaning time

Tulips

It’s funny how just a few days of sunshine make all the difference to how you feel, isn’t it? The sun this weekend has been a welcome relief to all the gloom of recent months. I hadn’t intended on starting to spring cleaning, but with we had planned to decorate the hall so whichever way you look at it, it was time to get on with some of those indoor jobs. When the sun shines, it doesn’t seem to matter what you’re doing, as long as the sun shines! One thing I did do was buy some more spring flowers. You can never have too many flowers & they help brighten the house on the days when the clouds cover the sun.

Tulips

As my OH was poorly, we’ve put off redecorating the hall until next weekend. So instead I started Spring cleaning. The biggest change came from washing the net curtains. We only have 2 – one in the bathroom & one in my study. Now, I’m not usually a fan of spring cleaning, especially as these nets are hand-wash only but the one for my study wasn’t this colour when I washed it! It sits in front of a draughty window so had caught a lot of dust. Now it’s washed, ironed & rehung, it’s brought a real brightness to my study, which is always a good thing!

PS – Can you tell I’m on Vine?! I love making those little 6 second videos. They’re a great way to capture a moment in time where a photo might not do it justice, like fresh washing blowing on the line in the sun.

New on Folksy

Hand Knitted Moss Stitch Scarf

I never seem to dedicate enough time to my knitting & jewellery making as I want to. Knitting is easier because I can do it in front of the TV and it’s a lot easier to take places with me so I do it more, but I’m not a quick knitter. When I’m making my jewellery, especially if I have ideas of new designs that I want to try out, I love it, but I need to order materials and get all the kit out so it really takes over. As a result, it’s been a while, but, inspired by my efforts for the Frock’n’roll last week, I’ve added some new creations to my Folksy shop.

First up are my super chunky moss stitch scarves. They are knitted with 2 balls of 200g chunky 100% acrylic wool. It’s a simple pattern but hugely satisfying, as it grows quite quickly. I can attest to how warm it is, as when I’m knitting the scarf, it keeps me extra toasty! I knitted four scarves: 2 in the teal below, one red and one cream and I’m in the process of knitting a purple. They do other colours too, but for now I just need to sell the remainder before buying any more wool.

Hand Knitted Moss Stitch Scarf

Hand Knitted Moss Stitch Scarf

I also made some new silver jewellery for the Frock’n’roll. I’d had a few ideas for a while, so I was glad to be able to dedicate an afternoon to making some and trying out some new techniques, like the bracelet below. I’d never made a bracelet like this before & I really like the simplicity of it, even treated myself to one! I think this design has more potential too & am going to have a bit of a play around with it so watch this space! I also wanted to use uncut chain to make different styles of pendents. This was partly inspired by a necklace that my sister wants. The Trinity necklace below doesn’t have a finished chain, but has uncut chain attached to it using a few jump rings. I really enjoyed making these & am excited to develop this range even further and make some more earrings. Using uncut chain opens up a lot of other design possibilities as well as commissions for people.

Thin Circle Bracelet

Thin Circle Bracelet

Trinity Necklace

Trinity Necklace

I’ve also retaken some photos of stock that I already had but felt that they needed to be given a new lease of life. I also had more stock than I had listed on my site so wanted to make sure everything was up there.

Knitted iPhone Cover

Knitted iPhone cover

Knitted Flower Brooches

Knitted Flower Brooch

While I was sitting at my stall on Saturday, I decided that I want to focus on my knitting, jewellery & making cards (Got some ideas for those too!). I also decided that I need to dedicate a few afternoons a month to making new stock, developing my techniques & simply enjoying the skills I have.

It’s fine to make new things & try new crafts, but I shouldn’t let my passion for these crafts fade. By dedicating time to them, my folksy shop should be regularly restocked with new items and if I decide to do another fair, I’ll have plenty of things to take!

Oxford Botanic Garden

Begonia Augustinei

Saturday was all about relaxing & avoiding doing jobs/chores. So the plan was to head out to Oxford, breakfast at Oxfork & then stroll down to the Botanic Garden. We decided to buy an annual pass as it means unlimited visits to both the Botanic Garden & Harcourt Aboretum, another favourite walking spot. The reason I like both these places is that there’s always something different to see as the seasons change and it means I can take tons of photos to feed my Instagram addiction. We spent ages walking around the garden & were rewarded by seeing some great things & plenty to fill my Instagram page. Below are the pictures I took. Apologies if the names are wrong/missing!

Begonia Augustinei

Begonia Augustinei

Passiflora Alata

Passiflora Alata

Cyclamen

Cyclamen

Dichotisandra Thyrsiflora

Dichotisandra Thyrsiflora

Not sure what this little fella is, but it’s a bundle of seeds

Not sure what this little fella is, but it's a bundle of seeds

Fungus growing on a John Downie

John Downie

Jay

Jay

Now I love all these pictures, but my favourite is the one of the Jay. We’d been looking at some Goldcrest birds, trying to figure what they were, and we spotted a Greater Spotted Woodpecker (my OH has a bird identifier app on his phone!) Then we were walking along & I spotted the flash of the blue on the wing of the Jay. It’s a much bigger bird than I thought a jay might be, as I’ve never seen one before. We followed him around for a bit then he settled on this tree. I never thought I’d get picture of him, but he stayed still for ages! And I just kept taking pictures and walking closer and closer. The picture above is the result. What do you think?! Not too bad for an iPhone picture!

This is why I love going there – you never know what you’re going to see. Plus it’s like a little oasis in the middle of the city. We’re going to go back further into winter to see what else has changed. If you haven’t been, you must go! It’s lovely. And you can always just sit & read on Will and Lyra’s bench and watch the world go by. Let me know if you do go and share any pictures you take! x

Independent Chipping Norton

Brownie

It was a lovely Autumn day on Saturday. The sun was shining, showing off the lovely golden colours of the leaves on the trees. I knew exactly where I wanted to go – Chipping Norton. I used to live near there & hadn’t been back in some time. There were a few new shops that I’ve been desperate to go to. Another reason I wanted to go was because Mark-Making were holding an Instagram exhibition. I love Instagram & was keen to see some of their photos in print. The exhibition was great and it was so cool to see how impressive Instagram pictures can look printed. I’ve definitely been inspired to print some of mine! As we had 2 hours free parking (hear that Oxford City Council?!), we headed to the shops. First stop was Fibreworks. I’d read about this lovely little wool shop on Twitter and on some blogs. It was lovely & I was in the market for some new 10mm needles, which they had. In fact they had a few to choose from.

Giant Knitting

I settled on these lovelies to knit this chunky blue wool that I bought a few weeks ago. I could’ve spent ages looking at the different patterns and wools they had. It’s such a great shop and they do lots of classes & workshops. A real gem of a shop. On our way to the bookshop, we stopped by the Cotswold Deli & Cheese shop and picked up some delicious macarons, my favourite treat. Finally we headed to Jaffé and Neal for some cake, coffee and book shopping. They hav lots of lovely bits and pieces as well as the latest books. My OH bought two new books and we sat in the sunny window, enjoying coffee and cake. I had a brownie, while my OH had the victorian sponge. Recently, all the brownies I’ve had have been really over the top, including one which had huge chunks of chocolate. Far too sickly. I’m very pleased to report that this one was perfect. Not too gooey or too chocolately. Just right!

Brownie

Between Daylesford Farm in the morning & supporting independent shops in Chipping Norton, I had a lovely Saturday. It’s good to see so many Oxfordshire market towns thriving. Keep it up Chippy!

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Another excellent shop in Chipping Norton is the Arctic Fish Bar on the hill out of town. We didn’t shop there on Saturday, but they are hands down the best chips I’ve ever eaten (and I’ve eaten plenty!). Well worth a visit if you’re ever near.

Enjoy! x