Friday, April 25, 2008

Thank you

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent Alice and i good wishes since moving out of the Flour Loft studio and for this new stage of our creative collaboration. It is lovely to have your support and friendship. We are both in a transition period now until our new spaces are ready. When they are we hope to throw ourselves back into the creative process.

My week, this week has been spent helping my man on the next diy stage of creating my home workspace. First he sorted out the wiring.

Then we insulated the breeze block shell of the building and have started making an interior wall with tongue and groove wood cladding which will eventually be painted. A large amount of the stuff moved from The Flour Loft is in the space already so we are a little cramped. We are almost half way there on the refurb. We have a little matter of moving a door and creating a new window still to see to. Its been a learning curve, but each completed stage brings a great sense of achievement. I am only the builder's mate. Chief builder took a few days off work to push the project further. Still lots to do so guess what we are doing this weekend?

I have however also managed to sow some more seeds in the greenhouse and my first sowings of basil, rocket, romanesco and beans are just starting to show themselves.The weather has really started to warm up here in the South of England and it's been great to feel the sunshine again.
Thank you for all your lawn advice and stories. I am going to enjoy it's lushness a little longer but am planning a gentle first haircut sometime next week.
Wishing you all a lovely weekend.
G x

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Do you think my grass needs cutting?

We have had a pleasant few days here in the south of England.
At this time of year the first few good days of sunshine give rise to the sound of neighbours mowing their prized lawns. Yesterday, whilst in the garden, i heard the familiar hum of a lawn mower to my right. This evening my neighbour to the left followed suit and both gardens are now sporting freshly cut lawns.

It got me thinking.....

Should i cut mine?

I kind of like the shagpile look of it at the moment. The forget-me-nots and the dandelions seem very happy with it too.

But the garden always feels bigger when i finally cut it.

What do you think? Leave it a bit or give it a haircut?

Have you cut yours yet?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Time at home

The girls and I have spent a few productive days pottering about at home and in the garden.
We cleaned the greenhouse out yesterday, finally, and have washed all the seed trays and pots. We are now ready to sow. A little later than usual for some things but as it has been so cold i think that we'll be ok. We did manage to get our garlic in just after Christmas and it is doing well and our raspberry canes are looking promising. We will be growing a selection of all sorts like last year; cucumbers, rocket, tomatoes, sweetcorn, courgettes, french beans, lettuce, carrots, coriander, chillies and basil. We will also be trying brussel sprouts and cabbage and if it's not too late time, one of my fav veggies... leek.

Today i had a lie in. Whilst the girls were playing in their room and i was drinking my morning cup of tea, still lying in bed, i switched on the lap top. and started to 'bloghop'. I came across The Homely Year's blog. I have visited before but not for a while. I must bookmark them for as well as being an enjoyable read,the site is full of great recipes. I came across a few which i jotted down. I fancied trying this lemon cake and as both my girls have sweet tooths i thought they would be keen to help.

It was fairly straightforward and we all took turns, creaming, beating , juicing lemons and grating the zest. We popped it in the oven for 50mins and this is how it came out.

We fancied icing it so sieved the icing sugar into a bowl and mixed it in with more lemon juice. As you can see my icing is always too runny. We ended up coating the whole thing.

The girls also made some shortbread in butterfly, flower, star and heart shapes. They had a friend to play this afternoon and all three girls enjoyed polishing off most of the cake and a fair amount of biscuits. There is some cake left for us grown ups to gobble up tonight. It is very very tasty! Thank you Margaret and Noreen.

Monday, April 14, 2008

studio farewell...

We have packed up our little studio and have bid farewell. We have been so happy there but things move on and new pastures beckon. I took some photos on my final visit to share with you.

Everyday after parking the car i would glance up at our little window to see if Alice was in before me. If she was i knew that the kettle would be on ready for the first cup of the morning.

There are two ways to walk to the front of The Old Bakery; one through the Market square or the other, as i often preferred, to walk around the back, past the railings at the top end of the Public Gardens. Much of my youth was spent here hanging out with my friends. My grandparents lived in one of the terraced cottages behind the park, this place seems timeless to me and holds many special memories.

As i turn the corner and look across to Lenten Street this wonderful house welcomes me.

Weybourne House

This photo doesn't do it justice as twice a year it's frontage is covered with Wisteria flowers. It is heavenly. I always meant to photograph it. I will come back again when it is in flower, so i can show you. The main building is 18th century but it has a 19th century addition on the right. It was rented in 1809-11 by Henry Digweed and family and was visited by Jane Austen. Lenten Street is home to some beautiful historic houses. Rose cottage was once owned by Jane Austen's brother Frank and number 25 Lenten Street was the birthplace of the botanist William Curtis. For further information and history about Alton please follow link. For details of Jane Austen's house in Chawton (a stone's throw from where i grew up) and forthcoming events, click here.

The Old Bakery is opposite Cara's cafe/tea shop where we often bought a slice of lemon cake, and a brownie or two. We shall miss it.

The Old Bakery entrance greets you with two massive folkydokee sign which Alice's Dad organised for us. They are so big that they are kinda shouty. They always make us smile. Must remember to take them down now.

In the lobby you can see the spiral staircase.

Yes the very one which Alice and i carried various stock and furniture up and down for the many craft fairs and events we have been involved in. This is also the very staircase which witnessed the near crushing of my husband when the two of us tried to carry a large metal filing cabinet up. I spent this Saturday with said same good natured husband, moving it all out again. (but the filing cabinet stayed!.. hopefully the next occupants will be able to use it.)

I was so trashed after moving about 20 crates of fabrics and haby, various shelving and storage chests down these stairs but at least it is the last time i will do it . Gigibird asked what we were going to do with all our accumulated fabric stash. Well we have kept all of our most precious fabrics and small pieces of most of the others. We have donated many bits to all our local schools and sold off some lengths. I have saved some good pieces which i hope to ebay and the rest has gone into scrap bags also for school use.

We often bought or were given old clothing from charity shops. Many of these were still complete , like these jeans, so a good few bags were returned to the local charity shops for resale.

So what happens next? Well everything is stored at present until our home spaces are ready, so back to the kitchen tables for us, where we started.
Gosh this is a long post... if you have got to this bit well done! thank you all for your sweet comments on the last post... i will continue the Flour Loft for the moment and trace these next months here in this blog space......and then after that who knows.....not even me!
Happy Monday wherever and whatever!!!!
ginny x

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

1 year on!

It's my blog birthday!

I tentatively started The Flour Loft blog a year ago today. I had come across the world of blogs by accident after doing a few 'goggle' searches. Different blogs kept popping up and i found myself reading more and more and became inspired by the huge amount of creativity and passion which i saw. Initially this blog started as a background to the business 'folkydokee' which Alice and i have ran for the past 6 years. It has been a place for us to show some of the things we make and to keep folk informed of upcoming fairs and new projects. It very soon also became a place where i could share other interests such as vegetable growing, activities with the children and my enjoyment of taking photographs.

I have also been working on a major project with Alice during this past year but have been unable to show much of what i have been doing, which has felt a bit strange. The process has involved many late nights, pressing deadlines, lots of cups of tea and most of all lots of fun.This project is now near completion and i can soon share more with you. This of course is our book, 'Sew Fabulous Fabric', which is published by David and Charles and is released on September 18th 2008. It feels great to finally tell you the title. The book is about using fabric, particularly as you may have guessed, using recycled fabric. In the book we offer 20 different sewing projects which we hope the reader will be inspired to create using some of their own saved and recycled fabrics.

On Friday i drove down to Devon for a last day's photo shoot and on Sunday Alice and i sent off the final text revisions. The book is nearly ready for the print stage and we will see the final colour proof in the next few weeks. It is very exciting. I am waiting for an image of the completed cover to show you and of further details should you wish to pre-order.

Sadly this week the Flour Loft Studio will close.(more news of home spaces to follow) . I am undecided as to how to continue this blog. Should I change it's name or even start a new blog as a continuation? I really hope that in whatever form it takes that i can return to posting about mine and Alice's sewing projects and explorations.

I would like to finish today by saying a huge thank you for all the encouragement and support which you wonderful bloggers have shown me over this past year. Your comments and posts really do make me smile and lift my days.
g x

Thursday, April 03, 2008

One day soon...

One day soon i will have a work space at home. This is very exciting. It will be in the building in the middle of the garden. It has needed a lot of work. In freak weather the space was flooded in the past so, although it is unlikely to happen again we decided to to protect it by raising the floor.

My man has once again found hidden talents and a use for all his beloved tools. I am so impressed. He is not a tidy worker, but he is a really hard worker. Over the Easter weekend he was out in the snow working on this project.

The room will be a place for me to work, a place for the girls to craft and paint and we are also hoping to fit in a tiny laundry area and space for food storage. So it really will have to work hard for us all. It is not huge but will be perfect for our needs.

I am in the process of clutter clearing both at the Flour Loft studio and at home.
The Flour Loft will close next week. Alice and i will continue to collaborate as 'Alice and Ginny'. Not a particularly inspiring name i know but ours nevertheless. We will be changing our website and Not on the High Street to reflect this.

Until the space is ready I will be sewing from my dining room table. Not such a bad place to be as the room is nice and light.

I would like to get back to posting about sewing soon. I am working on something for a special lady, who has been very patient for the wait.

Happy day. enjoy!