Monday, 15 November 2010

Days off and such things...

The 'day off' has to be my new favourite institution. Sundays to be specific. Today was a rare, real day off (no traipsing around antique markets, muddy fields or grade II listed buildings, stocking and tidying our other stores). It is the end of car boot season too, which means Sundays shall henceforth be lie-in days. This morning I awoke to the sound of rain on the window and rolled over to savour the warmth of husband and bed and a cozy dog who had snuck onto the bed in the early hours of the morning and taken up temporary residence in the crook of our legs. Life can be sweet.
Then, after lolling I decided to make breakfast but soon discovered the cupboards were bare so pulled on my Ugs and jeans, a long knit wrap (is it just me or are long knits almost always a mistake?) and headed out to the Co-Op on the hunt for some sustenance, preferably of the french pastry variety. It was only half way there that I remembered I had gone to bed with damp hair and looked a sight. Oh well, nobody would be about this early on a cold rain swept Sunday morning, surely?
At the till, as I unpacked my contraband (supposed to be watching the waist line) I felt eyes staring at me then felt a tap on the shoulder, "Hi, aren't you Holly Nicholas-Steele, the lady who has the shop that I read about in the Darling Magazine this week. You are the one telling us all how to decorate our homes. It's so marvelous." Yelp. After a polite chat and fumble to pay I scarpered home only to find that not only was my hair the follicle version of the 4th of July but I had put my long knitwear on inside out. Now I am in no way claiming to be anything other than a 'nobody' but I will certainly have to improve my 'day off' look.

Here's the article which came out this week  in case anyone is interested. 

There is also a Youtube interview in which I was prompted to be rather animated in so please be kind. I am not normally prone to hamming things up (at least not that much).

Now let me introduce you to the most amazing artist. This is the lovely Domenica More Gordon with one of her creations.
Check out her website and biography. Domenica is world renowned for her needle, dry felted pooches. There is a queue the length of the equator to own one of her creations. Brad Pitt is in that queue (hopefully next to me.. he he) but take a look at some more and fall in love like I did.....


As you can imagine, you'd have a better chance of finding the missing Faberge eggs in your Christmas cracker than getting your hands on a Domenica More Gordon original, so I did the next best thing; I ordered one of her Dog kits online and set out to make one of my own.
 This is a very unusual technique and rather than bore you with the details, here is a photographic account of my attempt to make an Irish Wolf hound.

The Kit

The raw wool tops
The barbed needles

The first step- shaping a head

Now for the body

Many hours of needling and felting and......a hound is born.

Now for the face

Add ears
Finally, add grey fluffy bits and collar

and tadaa.....not too shabby.

Next I will guessed it, a boxer. Well the Wolf Hound deserves a mate. Roxy will forgive the flaws in my version of her I am sure.

This week we shall begin preparing for the Christmas Fair season as well as make our much needed run to The Maileg suppliers. We love their bunnies and hope to have a wonderful selection in, in time for Christmas.

New pieces of furniture have been lovingly up-cycled in Steve's workshop using some of the new techniques he learnt at the Annie Sloane paint course he attended last week.

Lovely cake stands which were purchased shortly after taking these photos by a local interior designer.

 ...and a lovely group of Children from Hollymount school came to celebrate a friend's birthday and painted their own versions of Van Gogh's Sunflowers.

As the days cool and the weather feels more on the wintry side of Autumn, we all reach for the woolens (even the long knits) and batton down the hatches for the long cold days ahead. Even Roxy and Moses (our warring cat and dog) have renewed their entente cordiale for the winter.

It is a time to look to the simple things that make life worth living; start a new crafting project, read that book that you have been meaning to read or just rearrange an old bookshelf but look to creativity for inspiration. There is nothing like the joy of feathering your nest for the winter so splash out on some lovely wallpaper or paint a wall in a statement colour. I promise, it is the little changes that will make all the difference. In the meantime, long live the day off. Happy Sunday everyone.
God bless

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