Thursday, 14 April 2016

Of green and growing things...

What a week it's been. The vintage and handmade market is over and done with (Hallelujah!) and I'm slowly recovering from the sheer effort of producing prints, making lists, packing boxes and lugging them up and down from the car.

Good Things about the experience:

Meeting a few people who follow my blog (including Sarah from 5 Ladybird Lane)
Spending time with my fellow makers and sellers
Being approached by a gallery in the Lakes who'd like to stock my prints (!!!)
Eating some delicious brownies and macarons.

Bad Things about the experience:

Falling over on Friday afternoon - yes, I was sober - and making a complete mess of my knee
Selling lots on the Saturday and taking very little on the Sunday, which meant overall making the most modest of profits
People taking sneaky photos of my work on their mobiles when they thought I wasn't looking (what's that all about?)
The lugging of boxes from the car and back. Many trips up and down a hill, across a footbridge and along an icy path.

So I've decided not to do that particular venue again. However, I will be here next month. It was recommended to me by a lovely couple selling handmade birds and little houses, so I'll see how it goes.

I've done two fairs now and both times have been situated alongside Chris. She's a florist and has a great eye for vintage vessels which she uses as planters. Old biscuit tins, flour bins, vases and pots - all planted up with bulbs and herbs and succulents and flowers. This time around she had fritillaries and ferns too. She always draws a crowd and it's not hard to see why.

I've had my eye on these wall hangings since the previous market. There are two of them. They're the sort of car boot sale find I dream about.

The picture above also shows some artwork I did recently for Jen, who writes the Little Birdie website and blog. We met when I stayed in the Yorkshire Dales with a group of bloggers and we really hit it off. She's starting a collaborative project called Gather. Harvest. Feast which celebrates local and seasonal produce, so I was happy to create the illustration for her logo.

In other news: Jay and I have volunteered to help clear up the school vegetable plot. No, it's not a cynical move to try and secure Joe a place there (I submitted my application for that months ago). 

He goes to playgroup there on a Monday afternoon and the mum who runs it told me the plot's been very neglected. So we stepped forward and are sharing the overhaul with another parent. It's only a hop, skip and jump from the house so we basically go along at the weekend or in the evening and do a bit then leave a note in the journal which resides in the polytunnel.

I made my first visit there yesterday. Joe was with his grandparents and I thought I'd have a look and assess things. Of course, I ended up weeding one of the beds (above). Plenty of caterpillars, grubs and tiny snails were removed along with a LOT of weeds. My hands were filthy by the end of it.

It's a shame the place has been let go, really. There are signs it was once loved and used.

The rocket's happy enough though, as is the parsley. But it does need a lot of attention. It'll be a good place to take Joe during the holidays as he'll be fenced in safely. Although when Jay took him there on Saturday he kept messing around with the water butt and turning the tap on.

It seems that flooding the bathroom a few months ago hasn't put him off.

The weather's still pretty changeable but we're getting some lovely sparkly mornings. Washing's being hung out and the first lamb has arrived. I'll take a photograph as soon as I get the chance.

The forecast's not looking great for tomorrow but I'm still taking Joe on an expedition. We're going collecting wild garlic from the woods and some nettle tops for soup. I need to up my iron intake. Looking through the pictures of the school veg plot I noticed a clump of them growing in a raised bed. So I'll harvest those (providing I remember to take gloves this time).

Everything seems to be about plants, flowers and gardening at the moment. Which is how it should be, I suppose, at this time of year. The outdoors keeps calling.

Jay gets up at 6am for work each day and often goes out into the garden with the camera before leaving, so this last photo is one of his. Shame I can't add the cockerel crowing but trust me, sometimes I could tape its beak up. It wakes Joe who in turn wakes me. A lie-in would be a wonderful thing.

 Have a great weekend... Hope you spend some (or most) of it outdoors.


  1. how lovely to get involved with the school garden x hope you have a lovely weekend x

  2. I love that the school has a veg plot. Our old school in Leeds used to have one, and chickens. Good on you for volunteering to help with the upkeep though, that's really nice of you. Good luck with future fairs, it sounds like you're gaining the attention you deserve for your beautiful work.

  3. Wishing you a great weekend, too. Our school has a vegetable and fruit garden. It is nice for the children to learn about growing their own food. I saw an interesting recipe for a nettle bread, Anne at Life in Mud Spattered Boots ( That might be something for you and Joe to make together. x

  4. Lovely post Sarah. What fun that the school has a vegetable plot. I' trying not to look at mine... Having fractured my ankle last week there's not going to be much gardening for me. Have a lovely weekend.

  5. The school garden project looks interesting, lots of potential and a polytunnel already in place, look forward to seeing what you do with it. Isn't it great to see everything emerging from it's winter slumber, although we have sleet and snow here as I write! Have a good weekend.

  6. The school veg plot has great promise I think, well done for taking it on. Glad you have another fair planned, even though this one was mixed. No doubt you are learning from every one that you do. And meeting lots of other makers which is no doubt inspirational. I interviewed a local artist today who's just opened a little gallery in town, it's lovely and great to see some different shops opening up. It's a tiny space but it has so much character. I'm so enjoying seeing what artists and makers are doing at the moment. Wishing you and yours a lovely weekend Sarah. CJ xx

  7. The primary school that our two girls went to had a garden (and some animals). They used to love helping out there. Wishing you success with your garden.

  8. Replies
    1. Oh yes, I've heard that... I'll keep an eye out for those unsulphured ones.

  9. Sounds like you are ultra busy at the moment so make sure you look after yourself too! I volunteered to do the school veg garden too, wouldn't have the energy now...I've all on tending my few raised beds! :) xxx

  10. My daughter, whose family live in a two-bedroom flat in the city, is thrilled to have finally secured a plot in the local community garden. Her kids are three and just one, equally thrilled, much more muddy -- really, I think we need more gardens everywhere so that every kid gets the chance to muck about in dirt and see things grow. . . Lucky Joe!


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