Category Archives: Blog

Saving a bee!

This morning  Mr G brought a very wet and tired bee into the kitchen. He put it onto a piece of dry tissue to help it to dry out and I tried to encourage it to have some sugar and water.

1 Struggling

After about 20 minutes it realised I wasn’t trying to hurt it and grabbed hold of the cocktail stick with it’s legs and began to lick the sugar syrup.

3 Getting the hang of it

It very quickly got the idea and I moved it gently towards the spoonful of sugar syrup.

4 Still hungry

Sadly we saw that the poor bee was badly infested with mites, you might just be able to see them, they look like specks of dust on the bee.  It was absolutely fascinating to watch it feeding and I was surprised to see that the bee’s tongue was about 6mm long, you can see it very clearly in the pictures.

5 Having a sugar rush

It was obviously very hungry and seemed to grow as it fed and regained its strength. It decided to make a quick dash across the worktop towards the sink and got extremely cross when we tried to divert it from the danger. After a lot of buzzing and leg waving the bee climbed back onto Mr G’s finger.

6 Feeling better

He carried the bee back outside and after a few more minutes it started to buzz and try to fly; a couple more of practice take offs and it was away.  It buzzed around our heads for a second and then headed off over the garden to freedom. We were elated!!!

So now we have a Bank Holiday Weekend ……. what shall we do?

I know …….. we’ll indulge in that fine British Bank Holiday tradition of decorating …..

IMG_0730

……. such fun!!

We are now living with this new style until the wall dries out. Lovely isn’t it? Watching paint dry is a doddle compared to this. The next stage will be sanding the walls which will be even more delightful …. we know how to enjoy ourselves you know!!

Have a lovely weekend ….

Alison x

 

 

 

 

Exciting news!

IMG_0070

 

 

 

 

 

I know that it’s all been a bit quiet from Shed HQ recently. I do tend to hibernate every year in January and February but 2016 has presented us with a selection of challenges which we’ve had to deal with as a matter of urgency; so to all my friends and followers who think I’ve forgotten about them – I’M SORRY!! I haven’t forgotten you and I will get back to you just as soon as I can xxx

You may remember back in the mists of time that Mr G’s knee had been causing him some problems and much frustration because he couldn’t  play with his new pole lathe! Thankfully he has had “the operation” and is now recuperating well. We decided that an outing and a bit of gentle exercise would be a good plan on a lovely sunny day so we trundled off to Beverley this afternoon for coffee and a bun – and to have a quick look at the East Riding Open Art Exhibition in the Treasure House where one of my pictures had been hanging since December.

IMG_0308

 

 

Rock Pool

 

 

I am utterly amazed and not a little excited to tell you that it has a red dot next to it! It’s been sold! You could say that I’m chuffed to little mint balls and hope the new owner enjoys having it as much as I enjoyed creating it!

IMG_0312

 

 

Detail of some of the tiny shells and beads

 

 

I’ll stop showing off now and go back into semi hibernation! The grey wet weather and lack of sunshine do me no favours mentally and the slowly lengthening days are finally starting to make a difference, thank goodness!

So tonight Mr G and I are going to have the bottle of fizz we were going to have on New Years’ Eve – until one or two things got in the way ……  Chink chink and a very Happy New Year to you all!

Alison xx

 

 

 

 

At last it’s done!

I really think I need a drum roll here because at last I’ve got the website looking a bit more respectable! Whoo hooo!

On a grey Saturday afternoon I had the choice – tackle the ironing mountain or tackle the website! Result – ironing mountain ignored, website sorted …. I think!?? You’ll be able to see any mistakes more clearly than I can so I trust you’ll let me know if I’ve made any or if things aren’t working properly!

IMG_0100

I’ve done my last two craft fairs for this year, this was at Ottringham with the South Holderness Textile Group where I caught the organisers plotting over a well deserved cuppa ….. it was lovely to see some long standing craft friends including Hayley who was showing me how to spin on a drop spindle (I need more practice), Kay who was borrowing safety pins, Hilary with me in the naughty corner again ……. giggling and eating cake like we do ……

IMG_0092

…….. and Debby and her lovely bears – you should take a look at her Facebook page Bearlescent ….. it’s gorgeous!

IMG_0098

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0099

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr G has managed to keep the sprouts going (see previous blogs for the background to this!) while I’ve been out and about enjoying myself and although I say it myself – they are looking excellent, another 26 days and they’ll be perfect!

Mr G has been doing a bit of joinery in the kitchen and he hasn’t managed to cut himself yet! He’s having to move a few things around in order to make a big enough space for my new oven, which is to be delivered on Wednesday – I’m so excited!! A double oven indeed – with self cleaning liners in both ovens – oh bliss and joy! Our current oven has developed the habit of blowing the element, giving off a loud bang and blue flashes, we’ve changed three this year and decided that enough was enough and it would have to go! I’m living in hope that the new one will be installed and in operation for me to learn how to twiddle all the knobs and things well before the turkey is due to be cremated!

I’m off to create something spectacular for supper – if it’s not overdone or with black crunchy bits it will be spectacular – I must be the only person in the village who can burn an omelette and my skill at ash burgers is written into family history!!

Eeek! ….. the sprouts! …… must dash

Alison xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A busy week!

IMG_0185

It’s been a busy sort of a week! Last weekend I was at Waters’ Edge Visitor Centre Christmas Craft Fair; it was really well attended and it was lovely to see so many friends again. A young man called Benjamin came over to see me, he’s utterly charming and I first met him at the Artisans in Action event at Forest Pines last April. He reminded me that I had said I would try to develop a hat which would contain his Rasta dreadlocks but would also continue to expand as his locks grew! I’m on a mission now ….. first job for 2016 will be experimenting with expanding hats – in Rasta colours, so keep looking in to see how I get on!

I’ve also been busy in the kitchen ….. I’ve got the sprouts on the boil for Christmas lunch! I’m a day or too late this year as I usually have them going by Halloween but friends have reassured me that all should be well and that they should be at the peak of perfection by 25th December ….. I just have to remember to keep topping them up with some more water, don’t want them boiling dry!

On Wednesday evening I was at Bilton Village Hall for the first of a series of shopping evenings presented by Eden Hull and Prospect UPmarket and organised by the wonderful Eve Lomax.

IMG_0084

There she is smiling away! What an evening that was, only 3 hours but packed full for the first two and then a bit slower for the last hour. It was also the third anniversary of UPmarket starting so much catching up with others friends and traders went on. I was delighted to be next to Helen Davison, also known as Arty Aitch

IMG_0078

…… there she is – looking a bit wary about having her photo taken! On Helen’s right was Nichola Foster, another regular trader

IMG_0079

……. she managed to avoid the camera that time but I got her and Helen just before we started plotting the mugging of Eve the organiser! Eve was somehow managing to oversee 4 different stalls just behind us and was taking money at a phenomenal rate; we were a touch envious and there was a lot of giggling and teasing going on!  IMG_0090

To complete the mayhem and madness we also had the pleasure of Erica Jayne Wilson at our end of the room …….

IMG_0083

…… here she is setting up her jars of goodies. When the evening quietened down we took turns in going round and trying out some samples, it would have been a waste if we hadn’t!!!! They were very scrummy!

After all this excitement I was ready for a quiet day on Wednesday, which it was, until I turned the oven on to bake an egg and bacon pie for tea; there was a bang followed by lots of blue flashes and sparks!!! Good thing the pie wasn’t in there as it wouldn’t have been a good result! We’ve had this oven for about 16 years and it has blown elements since the day it was out of it’s guarantee period, so as you can imagine we are experts at replacing them. We always have at least 2 spares in Mr G’s shed and our fastest time for an element refit was 23 minutes; this time we were slightly handicapped by Mr G’s dodgy knee which slowed us down to a reasonably respectable 35 minutes!

Thankfully Mr G has agreed that the time has come for a new oven and although there will have to be a few minor adjustments in the kitchen (Mr G designed and built it, out of real wood, so he knows how it all fits together!) I’m looking forward to cooking Christmas dinner without the worry that we might have to change the element halfway through!

IMG_0081

This weekend, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November, I’ll be at Ottringham Village Hall for the South Holderness Craft Group Christmas Fair. There’ll be lots of unusual and unique handmade gifts for you to choose from and we’ll all be there from 10am to 3pm both days. Some of the stalls are only there for one or other day so you could call in both days …. !! Homemade refreshments will be available both days so you can have a sit down and a cuppa while you decide what to buy. I really hope you can find time to call in to this friendly, well established and very good quality event, the organisers go to a great deal of trouble to ensure that there are no bought in goods on sale at these events.

Hope to see you soon, now I must go and check on those sprouts!

Alison xx

 

 

 

 

November already!

Goodness me, doesn’t time fly – it’s cobweb season again! I found some really dense ones this morning as well as the invisible one I walked into as I went out of the back door …… bleurgh …. all over my face and hair and with the addition of wet droplets from the damp and foggy air!

IMG_0057I’m not sure where the spiders have gone, I couldn’t see one anywhere but after weaving all this I suspect they’d crept off somewhere dry for a snooze!

IMG_0067

Last weekend I was at the Burton Agnes Michaelmas Fair, my first venture into such a big event. My space was in a marquee and I managed to get the car unloaded and moved to the car park before it rained. There was a matting surface down but as it had been put over wet grass it wasn’t long before the wet started to seep through. Thankfully I had a tarpaulin with me (it’s always good to be prepared) so that went down under the table and my feet but with the rain coming down and the wind blowing a hoolie outside and the rising damp inside I was nithered by closing time – at which point the sun came out!

Burton Agnes

Sunday dawned bright and cold and I set forth wrapped in so many layers I could hardly move; thermal vest, tee shirt, winter fleece, fleece lined trousers, scarf, gloves and topped off with a felt hat! It certainly did the trick and I was toasty warm – and much happier all day!

IMG_0010

I met some lovely people and had a few sales but not enough for me to be sure about booking again next year ……….

IMG_0012

Next weekend, the 7th and 8th of November I’m heading over the Bridge to the Waters Edge Visitor Centre at Barton upon Humber for their Winter Craft Event. All the goods on sale will be handmade so there’ll be lots of interesting and unique things to see and buy; it’s not too early to get some of that Christmas shopping done!!

IMG_0011

The event is open from 10am to 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday and there’s no admission charge; there are two cafes, one at the visitor centre and another one at the Ropewalk Gallery which is a couple of hundred yards walk away. There’s an easy walk round the site and a lot of hungry ducks to feed, I’m amazed they can still float by the end of the weekend!!!

Mr G probably won’t be with me, he’s still resting his ‘malfunctioning’ knee; he’s had an MRI scan but at the time of writing we haven’t had any results. I think he’ll make good use of two days on his own to  get some of his scientific equipment out to examine a few of the many specimens he’s collected during the summer. There’s a spectacular number of small jars containing some very questionable material on the windowsill of our downstairs loo – or as we call it “The Lavoratory”! It’s not a place for the faint hearted – unless you’re really desperate or have dirty boots on!!

You’ll have noticed I’ve been tinkering with the layout of the blog, I think it’s an improvement but would be interested to know what you think, so if you’ve time to comment I’d really appreciate it! Once I’m happy with it I’ll try and get the other sections sorted out …..

Hope to see you soon

Alison x

 

 

Mr G …… again!

Mr G is a worried man … he’s concerned about his fans and that they might be wondering if he still exists because there was no mention of him in the last blog. I can assure you all that he does still exist and is sitting next to me at the table as I type.IMG_0169

To use his own words – he has a ‘malfunction’ – and it is preventing him from playing with his pole lathe and he is not a happy bunny! Mr G has had a rickety right knee for some time (something to do with his advancing years I think!) and has a support for it which we refer to as his ‘truss’ (he has a matching ‘truss’ for the other knee to support it when it has to take the extra strain). We had decided to visit Staithes for the Arts Festival and he mentioned that his knee was uncomfortable so would wear his ….. now what is the plural of truss – trusses or trice? – anyway with both knees suitably supported off we went to Staithes. We knew Staithes was a traditional fishing village with hills and cobbles and we meandered around for a couple of hours, making a brief stop for the knee trusses to be removed as “they aren’t doing any good”. Mr G was getting more and more quiet as the afternoon went on and I suspected all was not well but he’s a stubborn so and so and doesn’t like to admit to a problem.

IMG_0160

We slowly made our way back up the hill to the car and had a very pleasant drive home. That’s when the trouble started …. it took both of us to get him out of the car and into the house.

Now as you all know Mr G makes very good walking sticks so I retrieved one from the selection box and handed it to him …..

01a527ee1af9af29091eab16b4b6fe5b58588a7f7e

Not much help really but we thought rest and a good sleep might improve things. It didn’t! Thankfully we still had the crutches I was issued with when I broke my ankle a while back so I rescued them from the loft and handed them to Mr G. I know I shouldn’t laugh but it was funny seeing him trying to manage with them and when he finally admitted it was more difficult than he thought I reminded him that he’d told me he didn’t know why I was having so much trouble when I was using them!!!!

It took four days of hopping around – making pirate jokes and searching the internet for wooden legs and wicker basket wheelchairs before I managed to persuade him to see the doctor and now he’s in the queue for an MRI scan on the knees! To provide him with some amusement during the wait for this ‘malfunction’ to be diagnosed he has bought a new laptop. You might know that it hasn’t all been plain sailing …… it arrived on Monday afternoon and by Tuesday evening was back in it’s packaging ready to be returned from whence it came.

He spent this morning researching what to get as a replacement and has now had the bright idea that he might just give it another go as all the on-line reviews are very good ….. I’m going to my shed!

I’ll keep you posted …..

Alison x

 

An Autumn walk

 

IMG_0405

I’ve always found working to a theme a bit of a challenge and in a couple of weeks I’m taking part in an exhibition called ‘Seasonal Shadows’. Back in the summer I didn’t really think I’d have any trouble with this one – but oh dear ho hum and all that …… my inspiration levels are at zero. I have four pieces ready so if the organisers are reading this – don’t panic!!!! I just feel I haven’t really done the subject justice. So I took myself and my trusty little cheap swag pocket camera out for a walk in the village this afternoon to see if I could raise the levels a bit.

IMG_0408

Our village isn’t renowned as a beauty spot but I did find one or two little gems to share with you; these are sycamore seed heads not yet ready to fly like little helicopters as they fall to the ground, I think the colours are just wonderful.

IMG_0392

There are lots of seed heads at the moment, this looks like thistledown but look at a bit more closely…….

IMG_0395

….. and a bit more

IMG_0394

Then there are these beautiful ivy seed heads ……

IMG_0401

A glorious mix of shades of green ……. and you’ll never guess what this next one is

IMG_0400

Close up of a nettle – no wonder they sting so much when they brush your skin, if you look closely on the right of the picture you can see the little hairs that do the damage!

IMG_0403

Then of course there were brambles but as the freezer is packed to the gunnels with brambles from the garden, I just took a picture and left them for someone else

IMG_0399

and the birds! Watch out for the tell tale signs on your car; what is now politely referred to as ‘bird lime’ but we all know to be ‘bird something else’ takes on a dramatic shade of purple when the birds have been feasting on the autumn bounty of berries!

You may have noticed that there are masses of cobwebs hanging outside from everything to anything, a morning visit to the garden means walking with my arms flailing wildly so as to bring the cobwebs down before I walk into them (the neighbours already know I’m bonkers so they just ignore me!) Cobwebs in the face are nearly as bad as cobwebs in your hair – you always think they might just have a passenger …….

IMG_0419

Sorry!! Hope you’re not screaming too loudly – it’s only a photograph, I had to get very close to this to get this shot. Mr G tells me that all spiders are venomous but reassures me that it would take an enormous amount of spider venom to even make me itch …… maybe so but I’d still rather not have cobwebs in my hair!!

IMG_0411

To finish my walk I had a quick visit to the churchyard where I stood by my grandparents’ grave and remembered happy times of childhood and saw these – fabulous autumn cyclamen flowering all around; then back home. On my way I saw an even bigger spider than the last one but it skittered off into the shelter of a tree before I could get a picture!

IMG_0406

 

 

Alison xx

 

 

There may be trouble ahead …….

Mr G and I have been to Beverley and taken some of the goodies from The Shed to St Mary’s Church for the Art in the Aisles event tomorrow. Now I know I’ve told you about it before – it’s open from 10am to 5pm and it will be lovely to see you. Mr G is staying at home (he has ‘man things’ to do!) so Mabel the mannequin and I will be on our own but I think there may be a ‘wee’ problem ……… there’s no loo in St Mary’s Church! So a quick warning for you if you’re coming to visit  …… make sure you ‘go’ when you have the opportunity ……!

IMG_0239

 

Oh and another thing – if you do come (please do!) I may have to ask you to watch over things for 5 minutes or so while I make a quick dash to Tesco to avail myself of their facilities. If I’m not about just hang around for a couple of minutes – I won’t be long! Mabel has assured me that all this doesn’t present her with any kind of a problem and she really doesn’t understand why I’m making what she calls ‘a fuss’! Ho Hum.IMG_0177

Hope to see you tomorrow …. Alison and Mabel x

Latest News!

 

If any of you are free on Saturday 15th August there is an Exhibition and sale of work by ERA (East Riding Artists) in St Mary’s Church, North Bar Within, Beverley. The event is open from 10am to 5pm and I shall be there all day with a selection of goodies from The Shed. There about 20 artists exhibiting including photography, stained glass, print making and paintings in many different mediums so there should be something for all tastes. There are lots of excellent independent shops, cafes and tearooms in Beverley and of course on Saturday there is also the brilliant open market – only two minutes walk from St. Mary’s.

So, if you’re in Beverley on Saturday do please come and say hello – I’ll be on the left hand side – not far from the organ – it would be really lovely to see you!

Alison x