A lot seems to have happened in the month since I last posted. I’ve been busy making new things and learning new things. So much has happened it’s hard to know where to start!
I made a dress…
I used to make a lot of clothes when I was younger. Somewhere along the way I stopped because of time, space and then finally inclination. I forgot how much I enjoy sewing. So it was about 14 years since I last made myself a dress for a special occasion. But a good friend was getting married and I really wanted to make an extra effort for her big day. In the end it turned into something of a making-marathon and I spent a week sewing it instead of the couple of days I’d thought but I was very happy with the finished garment. I was sewing up the hem just hours before the wedding so I don’t have any decent finished pictures of it yet – I might do a post about it when I do!
Then I went to the wedding of my lovely young friends. The day was rainy and I only took my small camera which struggles with low/artificial light and low speed shots so I don’t have many good ones sadly :0( But I can tell you the bride looked gorgeous and the happy couple were radiant with joy and it was lovely to catch up with members of their family whom I hadn’t seen for a little while.
Once all that excitement was over I needed to launch the current Build a Batt Box. I chose Silver Birch as my theme and although the main colours were around greens I also added in complimentary light spring shades. If you like these there are still some available for sale in the shop!
Talking of shops: my next task was to revamp my online business. I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time and turning over options. I’m not technologically minded so for me it was quite a big and scary step to think about moving on. I’ve had this blog for a while, I use a few areas of social media. But so far I’ve never had a website which is something I’ve long planned to do. I joined Instagram recently and with yet another place to park myself on the internet it seemed it was time to pull it all together in one place.
It was a very steep learning curve – my brain ached as I struggled to work out both creatively and practically what I wanted to achieve but it’s been great to challenge myself to a new project! The new website launched last week and I’m happy with the “first edition” – you can view it at barber-blacksheep.co.uk . There are still adjustments I want to make and things to move around but for now it’s functioning beautifully as my new “home” on the internet and the integrated shop has been turning over nicely – it’s relatively well stocked with new dyed and carded fibres just now as well as the current Build a Batt Box and I’ve got more stock due to arrive shortly.
I have more exciting things for the shop planned in the near future so make sure you keep an eye on the website!
Outside of work and weddings I’ve also been busy doing things on the farm with my mother. Winter work continues – hedge laying has now finished for this winter but between Mum, Phil and myself (and Marley!) we’ve laid 2 hedges and trimmed another field boundary. Lots of bonfires and work in rain and shine. (I wrote about our hedge-laying last winter – the blog post is here if you want to know more).
We’ve also been having unwelcome visits from a hungry mystery visitor. We’re unsure as to whether it’s a killer rat, a polecat, a mink or stoat but something with a blood-thirsty appetite and terribly strong claws and teeth has been assaulting our chicken houses and doing a terrific amount of damage, even in what you’d think were inaccessible places. It’s been a daily occurrence trying to fix hen houses and unfortunately one night an intruder did manage to break through and kill one of my mum’s Lemon Pekin bantams. So sad. So for a few nights we had to carry all our bantams down after they’d gone to roost and put them in a borrowed dog crate in our house.
They had a couple of broom handles pushed through the bars at night to perch on – during the dark hours they don’t need to move around much so the fact they were all crammed in for the nighttime was OK. Unfortunately the broom handles did turn round a bit under even the slight weight of the chickens and occasionally tip them off as though it was some kind of humane chicken rotisserie! It was a bit funny for us but possibly not for the poor banties! So after a few nights of this mum and Phil nailed metal sheets over all the hen houses and floors. So far it seems to have deterred the intruder. A friend has lent me her wildlife nighttime camera but with the torrential rains and storms we’ve had and then the Fort Knox DIY efforts on the hen houses I’ve not used it yet – but it will be interesting to put it out with some bait just to see what savage thing is lurking out there at nighttimes!
I’ve had lots of other things to deal with just lately too – all in all I’ve had almost zero time for spinning and knitting. However I have spun up 500g of a new blend for an item I want to make for myself – so-called selfish knitting! It’s lovely and I hope to get this made over the next few weeks time permitting! Here’s a sneaky peak at my yarns and fibre so far…
It’s not long till it’s time to start the garden off. Yet again my mum has stepped into the breach and started on the prep work which I’m grateful for but I need to start sowing a few seeds – it’s still really chilly out there and will be for some time to come but I know it will apes quickly and before I know it Spring will be upon us so I need to get ready!
I hope I’ll be back sooner with more things to show you. Hope you’re keeping warm and happy wherever you are!