I think this is possibly the longest blogging break I've ever taken. Not through choice; I've barely been able to get near a computer for the past few weeks.
It started with half term. Just me and the little one doing our thing. Walking, playing, reading, potato printing and all the rest of it. And I'm not looking for sympathy here but there isn't really an option of anyone taking him off my hands at the moment.
This wouldn't present too much of a problem in normal circumstances, but I had a big handmade and vintage fair coming up. Lots of stock to make and frame. A stall layout to plan. Props, lighting, signage, pricing. Plenty of loose change and notes to collect from the bank. Public liability insurance to arrange (Jay did this one).
Not easy with Joe around.
So I adopted that rather over-used term: 'It is what it is'. We had fun together during the day and I worked in the evenings.
Somehow, everything got done.
On Saturday morning I was up very early and drove to Hoghton Tower with a car full of boxes, a couple of tree branches and craft fair essentials: scissors, cable ties, batteries, fabric, a folding chair and so on.
I found my stall (in an old barn) and emptied the car. It took several journeys. The barn - open at both ends - was bitterly cold.
But the whole thing was in beautiful surroundings. There's something quite special about approaching a historical house on a misty morning. Bits of the buildings are
falling down in a state of romantic decay. All a bit Wuthering Heights, no?
In the barn, I had a florist on one side (selling lovely old pots and tins planted with bulbs, daffodils, herbs and primroses) and a lady selling vintage clothes, fabric and buttons on the other.
All the stallholders were so friendly and helpful, I really did make some good contacts and more importantly, friends.
I also made a respectable profit. This despite treating myself to cups of tea and gluten-free flapjacks. Honey and cinnamon, if you're interested. Baked in muffin tins so they were very substantial. Perfect for after my (packed) lunch of healthy tuna and bean salad.
My stepdad came along early on to help me set up, bringing yet more tea. And Jay brought Joe too. Although Joe + glassware and antiquities = a disaster in waiting. So they didn't hang around for too long. We managed a little wander into the grounds to admire the banks of snowdrops though.
And Joe was adamant I buy the red Welsh blanket on the next stall. So I did. Total bargain, having consulted eBay on such matters. It's now on the end of our bed and it's keeping us extremely warm. I'll put a picture on a post soon, but in the meantime there's something very similar here (although these lovely specimens are new).
By the end of the day the traders were all frozen solid. A quick phone call meant there was a hot bath waiting for me when I got home.
And the next day I did it all again.
I've also finished a commission recently and am now planning my next fair (in April). I came away having learned a lot and I'm bursting with ideas. But I'm not buying yet another notebook. I'll utilise one from my vast collection.
So hopefully this explains my having gone AWOL lately. And why I didn't do this month's Colour Collaborative post. I'd like to thank my fellow Collaborators for being so understanding.
Joe's got World Book Day at preschool today. I spent a good chunk of last night making him polystyrene antennae and this morning we painted his face green. He's an alien (his favourite book being The Great Space Race). Said book belongs to the local library. I'm really hoping he doesn't lose it somewhere.
I also hope March has been kind to you so far. The frosty view in the third photo was taken from Joe's bedroom window. We've had a cold snap and I'm getting a bit impatient with the sheep in the back field. I need lambs to coo over!