Friday, 26 July 2013

animals in the shed

Miss H and our guest Poppy Dog

i feel quite sure that lovely ladies and lovely gentlemen don’t really approve of their dear upholsterer keeping a possy of animals in her shed, ahem, workshop.

truth is though, for a shed dweller there is nothing nicer than the company of a cat draped over a chair purring its approval at your work, or a little brown hen wandering in to see how far you’ve got.

it is company. and animals are really quite polite when asked their opinion on handiwork, they don’t laugh when you jog around to the theme tune of the Archers and are very sympathtic when listening to a soul rattling on about life in general.

but this week we had a guest: Poppy Dog. it was most exciting as we don’t have a dog and we have been musing for some time about the wisdom of such a thing, even though we’d all quite like one. Poppy came to stay for three days and was sweet and funny and fitted in quite well, but perhaps not with the cats.

i had visions of Poppy dog sleeping on the floor of my shed, listening to me warbling on and keeping me company along with Tom Kitten and Jammy Dodger. But my imaginery menagerie wasn’t to be. Poppy chose to spend her visit keeping Mr H company in his Man Den across the garden. in truth, this is probably a good thing as sharp tacks would be nasty things to stand on in bare paws. they are a little trickier to excuse should a lovely lady or gentleman turn up unannounced. and perhaps dogs prefer the tippety tapping of key boards and quiet rustling of paper to the far noisier tapping of a busy upholsterer’s hammer, mallet and chisel.

so there we were: one large wooden shed with an upholsteress, one cat, one hen and the quiet musings of Radio 4; and one large garden office with a Writer of Some Note, dozens of guitars, one doting dog and the rowdy sounds of 6Music.

Poppy Dog... a man's best friend

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

there are few things more lovely than being there at the start of an adventure…

…and yesterday i was sidetracked from my important upholstery shed schedule by just such an occasion.

yesterday was the day that brand new craft workshop enterprise @theFarm had planned its first photoshoot. @theFarm is all set to launch this september because a certain energetic and intrepid good friend was looking for a business idea, and her upholstery teacher (me!) was looking for new avenues for teaching her lovely craft skills. throw in another irrepressibly crafty lady and the idea quickly gathered momentum…

of course before any splendid crafty enterprise can get off the ground, it’s important to tell your lovely customers about it. which means @theFarm required a photographer to create tempting images for its website (after all, we can’t just expect folks to imagine how fabulous it is).
after some mulling over the cost of proper professional photographers, and the wisdom of asking weighty favours from friends’ husbands who happen to be photographers, and the decision was made: we would shoot the @theFarm photos ourselves, thereby creating them for free whenever we wanted to and with no strings attached. perfect.

five ingredients for the @theFarm Big Day of Photography

• one digital camera and tripod (borrowed from a patient husband)
• three crafty ladies plus a most helpful friend who strikes an awesome pose (drama teacher, obviously)
• one splendid Georgian farmhouse with a huge farmyard, lots of appropriately charming stone walls, and a handful of goslings and hens
• some warm summer daylight
• some handcrafted goodness, huge piles of fabric and vintage loveliness

the day dawned beautiful and 30 degrees+. wearing our sunday best and cheery smiles we propped and posed and worked our woollen wellie socks off. i’m proud that we remained cheery and calm through the shifting and lifting, creative dilemmas (bunting, yes or no? how ‘bout gosling poo?) the animal antics, ever-changing light quality and tea-time for five kids with only a little perspiration and four sets of rosy glowing cheeks to show how hard we’d worked.

so here’s a sneak peek:

eirlys and emma doing a spot of darning…

me, looking a teeny bit hot and feeling quite silly…

emma, who triumphed with the day's most enormous smile…

oh, and if you want to find out more about @theFarm, contact Emma

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

view from the sewing room across to the shed...
 ...and my neighbour jammy dodger taking a stroll