This will be very exciting for me (and at times probably a little scary) as I will be making some big life changes later in the year. But whilst big steps are planned I have already begun some smaller ones since the New Year...
I find a day is never so happy as when I can bounce out of bed and declare that today is an elephant sort of a day and stitch according. Sometimes it is the arrival of a lovely new piece of mohair which will dictate the order of the day, or the thinking of a new design whilst on a particularly long walk with Mabel. So my little shops at Folksy and Etsy are sadly bare at the moment as I have decided to move from 'Made to Order' to listing things in stock. I will be using my Blog regularly again, after neglecting it for over a year, and my Northfield page on Facebook to make regular updates about what I am making and where and when items will be available.
My gorgeous little dog Mabel had her 1st birthday yesterday. Here are some highlights from the past year (in Mabel's words woofs)... My name is Mabel. I am 1 year old and quite a big girl now. I love to play Frizby at the park and run with my friends Freddie, Poppy and Archie. My mum says I am such a good girl too, because I always come back when I am called, I play nicely with the other dogs and share my toys, and I don't put muddy paw prints on her (often). I have had so much fun over the past year...
I love to explore in my garden, and chasing spiders is my favourite game on sunny days.
When I was little I used to like to watch the washing go round in the machine, but now I mostly like to pretend I am asleep, then take things out of the washing machine when my mum isn't watching! I still like to munch on carrots and fresh veg which is why I am so fit and can run nearly as fast as Emily.
Christmas at my Nanny and Granddad's house was brilliant! I opened all my presents myself and then helped Emily to open hers (she has only 1 eye so she needed a bit of help).
In March I went to the seaside with Emily for the first time. I loved dashing about in the sea with Em and exploring the salty seaweed.
me and Emily at Nanna's house
This is me now. Look how I have grown!
I love to find sticks and sometimes I can sneak them into the house. This is the best one in my collection and I am very proud of it.
Inspired by a real Spaniel puppy named Archie that Mabel and I met at the park recently....
Today we made a new friend at the park, Scruffy and I. His name was Archie. A high spirited little chap with seemingly boundless energy, dashing this way and that, leaping and tumbling, doing the most comical rolls down the little hills in an effort to retrieve a ball almost as big as him.
Scruffy wasn't at all sure of such youthful exuberance so early in the morning, and eyed Archie suspiciously for several minutes before deciding that the newcomer was really no threat to his prowess as the Park's ball retrieving champion.
'Don't those get in your way?', asked Scruffy, alluding to Archie's rather magnificent golden ears flapping in the wind, as they chased a particularly muddy ball through the puddles.
'Oh no, long ears give you wings!', barked Archie happily as he bounded over the brook..and for a brief moment he really did look like he was flying....
Excited! I have just entered the UKCraft Blog Valentine's competition with one of my new designs for 2012, a little Valentine's themed sitting puppy - inspired by the way my Mabel sits in the kitchen looking pleadingly at me hoping for a yummy snack!
Valentine puppy is now available in both the folksy and Etsy shops. Sarah x
...a small rabbit child. He's a little shy, as many woodland folk are. He says he's come to help the Easter Rabbit distribute the eggs, but can not find him anywhere. I explain that he has awoken from his slumber a little early. "Probably another unintended consequence of the global emission of greenhouse gasses", he replies. 'Yes', I whisper quietly, 'probably'. Now sitting in the shop waiting for the Easter bunny at Folksy
oh dear, my much loved email address which has been my friend for the past four years, northfieldprimitivesatyahoo.co.uk was hacked yesterday whilst I was busy in my classroom trying to make subtracting from 20 interesting to my little class of Year1's! Some rather unpleasant people in Nigeria have stolen and deleted all my business and customer contacts are now trying to make out that I am being held for randsom and that I am in need of rather a lot of money in a hurry.
I am happy to report that I am perfectly peachy (although a little tired and in need of some sewing therapy as a result of the rather long hours I am spending on school paperwork at the moment, and also rather embarrased that despite my best efforts with internet security and avoiding any suspicious looking mail or attachments I have fallen victim to hackers). As a result of the hacking incident I am taking steps to close my yahoo account.
If you would like to get in touch for 'pleasanter' reasons, please use my bright, shiny new email address at Windows Live,
Anyone who knows me will know that for many months I have been saying that I cannot possibly have another dog with the house on the market, Northfield Primitives being busier than ever and with the prospect of leaving Early Years Foundation Stage (where I have taught for 10 out of the last 11 years) to go teach a less familiar curriculum in Year 1 in the 'big school'. I have had this conversation aloud with myself, and all my friends and relations *several times! However with the news from my colleague that Bea was expecting her 2nd litter of labrador puppies, it was probably inevitable that I would end up adopting one...so on Wednesday my little pup had her first vaccinations and was able to leave her 9 brothers and sisters and check out her new home...
...and here she is, 8 weeks old, sitting under the willow and fascinated by the noise and movement of the shutter on the camera (enjoying one of her quieter moments!)
Mabel is simply adorable, mischievous, cuddly, inquisitive, and most definitely a thinker - weighing up what is in it for her before she decides to do / not so something! Luckily my mum and dad (via a friend of there's) introduced me to a series of books by Jan Fennell and so Mabel's training has begun in earnest.
So far things are going well. She has slept through the night from the beginning after following Jan's tips and we have cracked the toileting in only 3 days (no accidents inside since Friday afternoon). We are visiting family tomorrow so all will no doubt go pear shaped before long!
My Northfield shops will remain closed for another couple of weeks I expect while I catch up on orders and continue to work whilst Mabel is asleep! There is also the small matter of getting to grips with preparations for the coming term...but we won't think too much about that this week!
and Scruffy dog was mostimpressed by our elegant guest.
'He looks so smart and is very clever',
sighs Scruffy whistfully as he recalls Peppe's descriptions of
dining in the most sophisticated restuarants and cafes in Paris,and tales of narrow escapes and adventures in the Far East during his youth,
stories which Peppe had entertained us with throughout the afternoon.
'You are clever too', I reasurred Scruffy, with a gentle tickle behind his ear.'Yes, but I'll never be as smart as cousin Peppe', he sighed. 'No, he's a one of a kind for sure' I whispered as Scruffy drifted off to sleep on my lap.
little rabbit dreams of becoming a REALrabbit - she heard the story of The Velveteen Rabbit when she was just a wee kitten(she informs me that that is the correct name for a baby rabbit and not a bunny as I once mistakenly called her).So she hops from one window sill to the other, dreamingof leaping through fields of fresh grass, and wonders whether she will keep her vintage rose colour (which she is rather proud of) when her wishes finally come true...
Busy,busy, busy...but I have found time to finish one of my new sized little bears.This little chap is destined for Forge2 Gallery, nr. Oxford (once I've made a few travelling companions for him),but I am happy to make them to order.
A cheeky little chap, Bear is always up to mischief, which no doubt accounts for the fact that he looks so grubby. At least with two rusty bells stitched firmly to his tummy you know where he is, well most of the time...
I am getting so much more confident 'grunging up' my bears. It really is the most fun, whilst also being intenselyscary as it is the final stage in about 4 hours of bear making and it could all go so terribly wrong! No major disasters yet - although it is sometimes difficult to know when enough in enough!
My most 'grungy' yet, this fun loving Bear is looking for a new HOME, and is available in the folksy shop.
I buy alot of my regular supplies from ebay, like glass eyes, vintage boot buttons and Meccano wheels, but sometimes I find something absolutely fab when I'm ambling and not really looking for anything in particular. And so it was on Tuesday when I stumbled upon a pair of vintage golden velvet curtains a lady was selling from a house clearance.
They immediately said to me BEARS! I hit the buy itnow button and then promptly forgot about them! What a lovely suprise when the postie knocked on the door on Thursday, wrestling with several parcels and packages for me. I smiled sweetly when he commented, 'School holidays again is it?' and signed for said packages (note to self: must moderate ebay purchases during vacation periods).
Needless to say everything else was laid to one side as I began work on the bear. The photos on ebay did not disappoint. This fabric was the most amazing old-fashioned velvet I had ever handled! It was also the most fiberous, and seems to have covered the whole house in an old gold velvet dust, however, the resulting bear was worth it... He is a most handsome bear, who is now available for adoption in my folksy shop another little bear adopted!
Easter holidays means tidy the house - no excuses! After failing dismally to cram the remains of the fabric I have been using since February half-term into the floor to ceiling cupboard in my 'workshop' (occasionaly known as the living room) I had no choice but to have a little sort out. It was like Christmas, finding fabrics that were all forlorn, shoved at the back of the cupboard and long since forgotten. Needless to say when I found some old velvets (now crushed) I had an immediate compulsion to make a bear, and all the fabric was hurriedly placed back in the cupboard! A different assortment of fabrics are now piled on the living room floor, and the balance of tidiness/creative mess is restored. The impending visit of 'Mrs Dyson' has been postponed for a later time when necessary bears have been made.
The first bear made herself so comfortable on the sofa I didn't have the heart to tell her she might not be staying for long, so I have made another in a combination of vintage rose and chocolate brown velvets. She is available for adoption here Adopted 22nd April 2011
'What a scruffy dog you are", I gently scold him as he finishes racing around the room and drops his little ball at my feet. He gives me a look like butter wouldn't melt, before attacking my slippers. He loves everything in his little world, but despises baths. Oh we have tried...but such whining and barking and I won't even mention the long faces - so a scruffy dog he will remain, but oh so loveable too.
Last week Panda was a rather ordinary looking panda, but then something strange happened (on Tuesday I think, or was it Wednesday?).
Anyway, Panda is rather excited by the prospect of the Olympic Games coming to London next summer. We keep telling him it is not for ages yet, but Panda being panda is still trying to work out how many sleeps it is before the opening ceremony. Well last week, it might have been Thursday actually, I reminded him of the forthcoming Royal wedding (he'd completely forgotten in all his efforts to work out the sleeps to the Olympics). I had found a piece of lovely woven Union Jack ribbon in the drawer, as I was hunting for rusty bells.
"Would you like me to make you a special 'Royal ruff' to wear as we watch the Royal Wedding?", I asked. Well, he almost burst with excitement, and before our very eyes his little ears and small black limbs changed colour and became midnight blue!
"Now I will match the colours on my ruff...I'm red, white and BLUE", he said proudly.
And as you can see, he is now a most patriotic panda!
Panda is rather hoping he will be adopted by someone who lives in London, so that he can eat masses of cake and really soak up the atmosphere of the coming events. Really he's not fussy where in the UK he lives.... as long as there is always plenty of cake and tea, (and a telly on which to watch exciting national events and interesting documentaries) and he receives lots of love.
I have finished my first miniature, fully-jointed rabbit, and he is absolutely delightful (am I allowed to say that about one of my own creations? hmmm I'm not sure!).
He sits in the palm of my hand (well wriggles really, he says my hands are tickly). He's just 3 inches tall when sitting. Although HE tells me he is actually a tall boy when he stretches out his legs, and that my hands are merely large. I hate to disappoint him and gently whisper that yes, he is really a tall boy...well four and a half inches is tall when you are a baby rabbit with your legs stretched out!
I have a few vintage style Easter boxes which are hen and chicks themed, and it just didn't seem right to put a bunny inside these, so I have made a tiny, freestanding chick for each one. I'm quite pleased with the results. Let me know what you think...
Little chicks are waiting to go to their new home here
My first little old jointed dog is finally finished and he is just as cute as can be. He is sitting quietly now after a mad moment of wagging, pouncing and barking when I told him he was going onto my blog. Agh puppies! I am about to go and work some more on my list of orders. I have a feeling that he is probably not going to stay still for long.. no doubt he will get up to mischief with Panda when my back is turned. At least he has lots of little bells on his collar, so I will know where he is at all times...
Little dog is now available for adoption...please click here adopted 2/3/11
The oven has been playing up again, making baking my animals impossible today. So I have made a slightly larger elephant in the softest baby blue Schulte viscose (I love that stuff, so gorgeous to work with) and...ta dah...my first fluffy old elephant.
He looks lovely with Fee's vintage nursery blocksavailable here
Old elephant is now available for adoption click here
Once upon a time Bear was top of the bill at the circus, juggling, balancing and dancing proudly, to the squeals of delight of the small children in the audience...but now his once strong legs are weak and he can not stand at all. His proud chest has become a little saggy over time, as he is no longer quite so full of beans...but he is still a most handsome bear, who loves to tell stories of his days in the Circus; a Bear who gives most generous bear hugs to all who stop and listen for a while. (Happy ending for you Fee!). Old Bear is waiting to be adopted in my Folksy shop. Please click on the image of Old Bear to see his full description. adopted (by a very lovely lady) 12th March 2011