Sunday, 30 May 2010


Too much Eurovision, too much home brewed wine. What can I dooo with myself?!

Ahh, there it is. A bit of orange lacework in pure cashmere. Just enough to distract me from my pounding head, but nothing too taxing. With a hot cup of tea. Painful, but worth it. It was fun!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Sale number one! Get iiiiiin!

Hooray <does happy dance>

I just wanted to share with you a sketch book I made for the lovely Laura. She wanted me to make something in my bunting theme:

Bunting teaset
So I had a good old think, and spent a few hours in the lady shed messing around with fabrics and embroidery. I came up with this:

Garden notebook front


Garden notebook back cover

Garden notebook side fastening

Garden notebook inside
inside cover

Do you like it? I absolutely loved doing it. It was a steaming hot summer's afternoon and I was having fun messing around with fabric. Thank you, Laura. If you'd like one, you can find them in my Folksy shop, button top right.  

On a different note, I just wanted to check you were OK. I don't know what's in the air at the moment, but a lot of friends have been in touch to say they're not doing so well. Depression seems to be rife, as well as general poorliness. I wanted to send you a hug and ask you to take care of yourself. Promise, yes?

I've just started a knitting project, for me, with pure cashmere. It's bright orange! It's such a delight, both in terms of feel and colour. I'll share that with you next time.

Lots of love!

Claire x

Monday, 24 May 2010

Land of hope and glory!

Patriotism is a funny thing. I love, love, love where I live. I love the damp cold winters of England and the green springs and disappointing summers. I even love the red hot, humid days where everyone wilst and complains, but drags out the barbeque determined to enjoy the heat while it lasts, certain that winter will return next week. Maybe it's not just England that I love, but Englishness, with all it's eccentricities.

Saying that, I've got to the point of boiling rage with some 'friends' on Facebook joining xenophobic groups, using football as the excuse. I had to tear myself away on Saturday because I could feel myself getting far too hot and bothered. I've simmered all weekend, and really should let it go because it's doing me no good at all.

I feel sad that national pride has been banjaxed by a few idiots. It's a shame that any patriotism feels somehow equal to racism. Anyway, it's with this in mind that I have been crafting all weekend, and I am blogging this morning.

At this time of year The Cottage garden is stunning. It is heady with the scent of lilac.


And as colourful as can be:



Yet still full of texture. Everyday on the way to school, Charlie and I stop and blow dandelion clocks.


We've made daisy chains, faces from leaves and shone buttercups under our chins. It makes me smile how these traditions pass from one generation to the next, and how much Charlie loves them.

The bees are beside themselves - drunk with pollen. In fact some get so stuffed that they're too heavy to fly back into their hives and they die. This makes me a bit sad. The rape seed is out near us and it's a glorious sea of yellow.

Number three hive looks as though it might swarm, which is concerning Dom. It already has two supers on and is ram packed with eggs and capped honey. Last year two hives swarmed on the same day and Dom had to go and rescue them in a cardboard box, so we're being super careful this year. He's trying to decide whether to add another super (box full of empty frames for them to build honeycomb in), or whether to split the colony in two, each with their own hive. We lost two of our five colonies over winter, so that would help us get the numbers back up.

Anyway, I must dash as I have things to make. Bet you can't guess what I've been up to these hot spring days? Can you? Well, to give you a hint....


.... Perfect!

With love, Claire xx 

Thursday, 20 May 2010

I've only gone and bloody done it...


Gorgeous lilacs in full bloom, outside my Lady Shed*

... opened a Folksy store, that is. Well, bloody hell. I'm a bit shocked I have actually done it, you know? I have been pontificating and procrastinating for months, you know that as well as anyone. But this week, quite unplanned, it has grown a life of it's own and taken off.

Do you remember Zac's Daddy's Cushion (below?) Well Zac's Mum, Ellie, seemed really pleased with it. She posted a really kind thread on a forum we both frequent about it. There I had five pages of people saying lovely things and telling me to open a Folksy shop. So, I obeyed! I have called Mrs-Bee because a) obviously I am a MrsB, being Mrs Boynton and b) Dom and I wanted to sell honey and set up a bee adoption service (details of which are coming soon). Therefore it seemed sensible to use the bee imagery for both.

A link to the shop is here:

What's more, I am delighted to say that I have had an overwhelming interest and all of my items have been on the home page already! Well, you could knock me down with a feather.

Folksy front page 1 crop

(see Fairisle iPod case, in centre)

 Folksy front page 2
(Jolly Roger bunting, top left)

Folksy front page 3
Little Picasso daddy cushion, centre right

Fullscreen capture 20052010 170030
Fuzzy felt wreath, bottom left

Fullscreen capture 20052010 170636
Felted Fairy Bowl, top right.

I think part of the reason I am so amazed is that I never thought I would go into business again. Losing the last business was such a horrible, belittling experience that I never thought I would get the courage again. This may be big or tiny, who knows. The point is that I have tried again. And that makes me feel rather proud of myself, if I do say so myself.

See you soon, lovely blogger

Claire x

   * in case your wondering, my Lady Shed is sort of like my studio, but that word feels a bit too grand. It's a girl's place, with girl's stuff in it and boys are not allowed in. Dom's equivalent is called the 'man hole' - fnar!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Taa-daa Zac's Daddy's Cushion

Well, it's been a strange few days. Firstly big changes within the government. I'm not a Tory voter, so I am curious about this new hybrid government and concerned in equal measure. Also, Charlie's been poorly and at home, which throws the normal routine out of the window. Jonathan is being the typical sulky, stroppy teenager after weeks of good behaviour, and I am finding it very frustrating. Dom is very tired and prone to being sulky and a bit snappy - I was concerned until I remembered that it always seems to happen at this time of year; it must be an end of the school year thing.

I am feeling decidedly off colour still and am being tested within an inch of my life by the doctor, who suspects a thyroid problem, or ME. I am not sure how I feel about this; I am not good at feeling ill. Doctors intimidate the crap out of me.

Anyway, a bit of good news. I have pretty much finished my first ever paid order - Zac's Daddy's cushion. Shall I show you? 


Essentially the idea is to transfer a picture onto fabric by using embroidery. This was Zac's original picture:

There's a little bit on interpretation involved, just to make the picture stand out, but very little really. This is a picture of Zac and his Daddy playing. I absolutely love doing these cushions; I love the drawings that the children do. It feels a real priviledge to get into their minds a little bit. The drawing is then surrounded by a funky fabric, made to request. On this one I had free reign.

It's not completely finished as my sewing machine decided to blow up yesterday - I. Am. Not. Impressed - the bloody things is almost new! The air was a bit blue and sweary, so I had to take a break and calm down. I am going to relax with a cup of tea and an edition of CSI, and then get back to it.


I hope you have a good, creative day today.


Claire xx

Monday, 10 May 2010

Community Love

The first time I heard of a community blanket project it made me cry. I was a new member of Ravelry and read about a group where a long standing and popular member had been diagnosed with cancer. Each member of the group secretly knitted a square which someone patiently joined together, so a blanket filled with love could be sent to the sick friend. It really resonated with me at the time as I was starting to feel ill and the idea of such time and love, as well as the physical comfort it would bring, seemed overwhelming.

The first time I knitted in a similar project was in very sad circumstances. A member of an online community I belong to had lost her daughter at two days old. It later transpired that the home made blanket the little girl was wrapped in was lost somewhere between the NICU and Funeral Directors. Our friend was understandably very upset, so we knit another for her. So many people contributed that it ended up being pretty massive, and our friend, the Mama, said she used to enjoy wrapping herself in the blanket and thinking of all those people who cared about her and her little girl. I was very proud to be a part of that.

This weekend I was contributing to a blanket under much happier circumstances. I can't tell you too much as it's still secret and there's an outside chance the recipient will stumble across this page. Suffice to say, she's very much loved in our little group,and has just given birth to a perfect little girl after a very worrying pregnancy.

Here are my two squares. I can't wait to see the finished thing.

And if you're feeling a bit Monday-ish and blue today, remember there are people who think a lot of you, and they may not be the first ones that spring to mind.

With love, Claire xx

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Jolly Rogering The Second

Lordy, it's been a right old faff trying to work out how to add photos. However, I think I have finally done it, thanks to a handy app. So, here's Roger in his first stages of life. Embryonic Roger:

With the little button brads that are (aaargh?!) to become his little button nose:

With his brothers and sisters:


I am a proud pirate mother, so I beee. Aargh, me hearties.

With love, Claire xx

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Jolly Rogering

Hi gang! How are you? I hope all is well.

This is a bit of an experiment. I am posting from my new iPhone. I

have already lost a post and I have no idea whether I can add photos.

also I only have 15% of my battery left! Having said that, I am loving

the little thing, it's amazingly creative. it's a bit like learning a

new language, but hey-ho.

At the moment I am working on some pirate bunting for my soon-to-be-

here Etsy shop. And there are oh-so-many oportunities for innuendo,

it's been like living in a Carry On film. Oooh Matron!

Its been a lengthy process - I have cut out and edged 54 bones and

accompanying skulls, jaws, eyes and noses. It's been fun, though, as I

have been sitting in the garden sewing and enjoying the lovely sunshine.

Hopefully there will now follow some pictures ..... ;o) if not I will

sort it out when I next get on the laptop.

Lots of love

Claire xx

Sent from my iPhone