Sunday, 15 February 2015

Hello



Well I'm in bed with the lurgie and thought it would be a perfect opportunity to touch base with my blog ! It's ideal as I am actually still and in one place with some time on my hands , so today is a day for resting , knitting , blogging as well as blowing my nose endlessly and taking cold remedies and feeling slightly sorry for myself !!
 
January has passed me by in a busy blur and my hands haven't stopped creating .
My Yorkshire mill mice have been the order of the day and the odd Mr Fox .


 
 
I was so excited some weeks ago when I found Mr Fox a little brass watch to adorn Mr Fox's plus fours .
 
 
I've being doing lots of tiny knitting too , Mrs mill mouse shawls .

 
In fact I've been keeping an eye out for little pieces that are interesting and help create the narrative of the little characters I make ,the aim of these little extras is to add interest or evoke a memory or feeling to my little textile sculptures.
 I really fell for these miniature replica brass scissors as soon as I saw them.

 
But when I took a trip to a local antique and collectors shop about a week ago I couldn't believe my luck !!
There I was pootling about the place I stumbled across a small chest on the floor tucked under a table , I nearly walked past it . A chest half full of old wooden textile bobbins and shuttles , I enquired to the price , hoping all the while that they would be a reasonable price .
When the lovely lady confirmed the price I was as giddy as kipper as |I could afford some , however I kept a cool calm exterior I didn't want her thinking she had a mad women in her shop . I had enough money on me to  purchased 10 , then I  left . However I did venture back with more cash in hand and went  back  to buy the lot . I just knew they would be perfect to accompany my Mill Mice . I was absolutely buzzing with excitement when I got them home but my find just got better ! I took the bobbins out of the bag to give them a good once over and I couldn't believe it . They had Salts. Saltaire engraved around the base of the bobbins. Well this could only mean one thing , that they were originally in use at Salt's Mill ( an old Victorian Textile Mill) in Saltaire just down the Valley , a place I love to visit often . I was so happy to have found some local history in these bobbins . I'm sure Sir Titus Salt would have approved of his bobbins accompanying my Yorkshire Mill Mice

 
I love these bobbins ......the way they look, the way they feel and the way they smell of old Industry .
I do think it's my own families ties with this industry that makes me so excited about such items ,
 
This week has been my mums birthday and it is her and her side of the family that have a long history with the wool Industry and I thought it would be apt to make her a Mr & Mrs Mill Mouse dedicate to her long departed mum and dad.
Come meet the family .......may I introduced my maternal Grandma Muriel ( she was my nana ) she is in her early twenties in this photo . My Maternal Grandad was Herbert , we think he is in his desert uniform in the photo , it was a picture sent home from when he was doing his army service in the second world war  . Muriel worked in the wool mills of Bradford as a spinner and weaver as did her daughter my mum and my Grandad was an engineers pattern maker so worked in a different sort of mill. My mum helped pick the mice and I'm going to pop some family history into the pieces for her , my mum also chose the sage green as she always remembers her mother wearing a sage green fitted suit , my Grandma made a lot of her own clothes as did many of her generation , she was always well turned out .  My Grandad always wore smart trousers a shirt and a cravat and he never left the house without his flat cap . This special couple will take a bit of time to finish and thank fully my mum is a patient person . But I will come by and share them with you when they are finished.

I am at the moment I am working on  my biggest batch of mill mice to date  , 22 in total ......so production is taking a while .


 
 
As you can also see my work area is very full , in fact I seem to be taking over more of the house as the weeks go by .
So Mr P and I have agreed I need a room dedicated to being used as a workshop/ Studio and as we have a dry very good sized cellar we have made the decision to covert it into my studio . This will be a lot of hard graft and we have to do most of it ourselves as we are doing it on a shoe string  . Hard work doesn't bother me though and I truly enjoy doing rooms up . As you can see there is a lot of clearing to do before we can start knocking it about and making it a nice space to be in .
 
My inquisitive nature got the better of me yesterday , so with a chisel and hammer in hand I started investigating the arched chimney breast and unearthed the Victorian brick work .
I love living in an old house . I can't wait for us to start putting our mark on this room .
 
It's been lovely to have the time to pop by today but now I'm wacked , it's lemsip & sleep for me now .
If your on half term hols have a fab time with the kids .
Thank you so much for calling by and ta ta for now .
Tracy xx

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Welcoming 2015 with open arms

Happy New Year Everyone 
 may your 2015 be blessed with good health and  happiness .
I hope you've had a cracking good Christmas too !

I wanted to swing by and say hello to 2015 with you and also apologise to you for being the most erratic and lapsed blogger of 2014
. I am truly glad to say goodbye to 2014  and I am unbelievably great full to have my mum still with us after her horrendous accident at the start of 2014 and it was a pleasure to care for her when she needed it over the following months  . She is an inspiration to me and  her steadfast and tenacious character see's her battle through life's difficulties and trauma's( believe me she's had more than her fair share !) . She does this with an unshakable determination to make the most of life .She is a small  gritty , feisty Yorkshire women and I am proud to be her daughter  . My mum has taught me many things over the years and I have learnt  lots of life lessons  through observing her and watching the way she deals with life . This is what I am going to draw on this year as I take myself and my family forward through  2015 , I will try to live a good life and no matter what comes my way I need to just crack on and look for the best most positive outcome as possible and if I do take a stumble at some stage I need to remember to pull my socks up and get on  with it !
I will have some challenges ( but hopefully small ones ) to come early in this year as I am not 100% health wise at the moment and haven't been for a while now , but I am now in the capable hands of the specialists and they have made a plan of what needs to be done and I will deal with that when the time comes .
Creatively I have  had an exhausting  but exciting time making on the lead up to Christmas .
I would like to share with you the truly pleasurable experience of making that has been the last 6 weeks .
 
I love making my Angels big and small , and it fills me with joy that people get pleasure from having one of my Angels in their lives and I do believe its good to have an Angel watching over you .
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
I introduced a new lady a few weeks ago , a companion for Mr Fox , it was a wonderful playful time making her as I not only got to fashion her a dress from vintage embroidered linen and trim it with reclaimed lace but I also did a spot of needle felting which I hadn't done in such a long time . I absolutely fell in love with her and can't wait to make some more this year .
 
 



 
My making table has been so busy since I last popped by and I am thoroughly enjoying working from home , I am finding it such a productive and creative process . In fact it is shear bliss , I couldn't be happier with where I work .
 

A batch of Mr Foxes were all wrapped up in their woolie scarfs and set off out on journeys to their new homes .
 


There were a lot of very late nights working lots of tiny stitches , but I love it !!

 
  
 
On the days when it has been too dark to work at my making table , I  got myself all cosy in my chair by the window in our living room and happily sat sewing with a roaring fire for company .
 
 
 Then the Angel mice and Santa's helper mice all started to come to life and as I do a limited batch of these which are slightly different each year I never get bored of making them and they  really gets me in the mood for Christmas .
 
They are such little characters !!



 
 
 
 

Then once all my making was done I got our home ready to welcome Christmas .
We only have a simple twig tree ( as well as other decorations ) , but I like it when it goes up , Christmas has arrived .
 
I have taken this winding down time to work on a couple of projects , some weeks ago I started a pair of ' Nola's Knitted slippers' for those who haven't heard of it , it is an American pattern available on the ' The Seamen's Church Institute' web page
 
It is such a quick and easy pattern and it is exactly the sort of project I need in my life .
Lovely warm cosy toes , result !!
 
I've dug out a crochet project to work on over Christmas  some of you will recognise , it has been a long time languishing in my basket so I thought I needed got crack on with it  . I do like how it's coming together which is spurring me on .
 
I've been taking it easy over Christmas recharging my very empty batteries and over the last couple of days I have been slowly getting back into my work . I have been working on my Mr& Mrs Mill Mice ready for being back too it on Monday once the boys return to school. But today I have slept as I have no energy and I am not feeling great  and at the moment I'm having to work around these sort of days . So as we go into the new year I will have to pace myself and listen to my body but I am very excited about making over the coming months.
Lets see what I can create this year !!
So thank you so much for popping by and ta ta for now .
Tracy xx
 
 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Happy

Well hello lovely folks , I am back and full of creative mojo !!
 Yay, the old me is emerging and I'm in a very happy place right now .
 
Before I continue I just want to say a huge heart felt thank you for all the recent messages of support and encouragement that were left on here on my last post and on facebook and in person . They really kept me going when my head was in a difficult place , I really do appreciate that people took the time to message me and offer me support through their words  . My head is in a totally different place now , I feel positive , happy , creative and back in touch with myself .  My family and friends have noticed the difference and are glad to have the old me back .


So what have I been up to ?
Well  I've been making time to do what makes me Happy .
So firstly I've been making sure I have indulged in lots of quality time with my children and husband and friends too .

 
We have been going on lots of walks and spending time in the great outdoors .
I find spending time outdoors helps calm my mind and gives me a feeling of inner peace .

As a family we have been spending lots of time just hanging out , one early morning drive for a trip to York on the Sunday at the end of the school holidays resulted in a very lazy hour spent chatting and sipping the most deliciously indulgent hot chocolates at ' The York Cocoa House ' whilst listening  to the church bell ring . I think it was about this time I truly started feeling my self again .
 
I've also enjoyed spending times with friends , and what better way to have fun than to join in with the things that make the kids Happy ( although this year I did avoid getting dressed up ) I did thoroughly enjoy myself making scrummy sweet treats for the children  and my friends to enjoy too , back in the kitchen where I love to be .


 
 I made Halloween buns , fudge and plot (bonfire ) toffee , the toffee was a big hit and it rendered people speechless , literally as their teeth stuck together !! so funny . There's something quite amusing watching a group of adults eating very chewy sticky toffee .
 
I have been really enjoying making food which is seasonal and a big favourite in our house this time of year is Pumpkin pie , these are mini pumpkins pies with pecan and maple cream . I sent some round to a friend and neighbour for them to enjoy too .
I love sharing food with others ,whether it's sat around a table together or sharing food  at a party or giving food to others to enjoy , the act of giving and sharing food is so special and it is a way I show people I love & care for them.
 
 
  It has been so nice waking up on a weekend relaxed and I have got back into the swing of making the weekend breakfast special , welsh cakes always go down a treat for breakfast .
 

It's been great to be socialising with friends and I do enjoy the Creative Coopers groups on a Tuesday ( 1pm to 3 pm ) and a Friday ( 9.00am to 11.00 am ) , sharing our yarn addiction is such great fun .

One all important change of late is that I have got my creative mojo back , my head is buzzing with ideas .

 I love the fact that recently I have found some locally produced wool to make garments ( scarfs & shawls ) for my Yorkshire Mill Mice . The sheep who's wool I have bought were reared just outside of Skipton  and their fleece was spun in Yorkshire too.
 Within a couple of days of this gem of a find  I found Yorkshire wool suiting too to make the Mr Mill Mouse trousers and I had also previously sourced some vintage Dewhurst Mill thread bobbins that often are a little extra I send out with the Mill mice and were made in the old Dewhurst mill in Skipton ( a stones throw from my own house ) .It is great to be able to source locally produced items for me to create my makes .
 I'm finding the process of searching for fabrics and yarn quite inspirational and thought provoking and it is making me think about what I make ,  why I design something the way I do and what makes my pieces special and the narrative behind them .
 


 
 
I am particularly enjoying my new working routine and environment and my days are working out so much more productive.
I am getting in to the swing of making again and am looking forward to seeing my little creation take shape over the coming weeks .
 
 

 



 
As I make a new batch of makes I often think of new twists to them so they evolve over time and this in tern keeps them interesting to work on .
Over the last week  whilst working on my next batch of foxes ( the first in quite some time ) I had the idea of woodland items to accompany this woodland creature , I envisaged felted toadstools and acorns , so yesterday I set too . In fact I was fizzing with excitement and I sooo liked the way things went .

 
I even turned one into a brooch this morning .
 

I feel grounded and happy in my work and I hope that this will reflect in what I design and make over the coming weeks .
My home life is settled and comfy and I have balance back into my daily routine .
For those of you that sent such kind and supportive words regards my eldest sons health concerns , this is still ongoing , with more hospital visits booked . They have reassured us they will get to the bottom of things and that they don't think it is anything too serious . So we will be patient and go with the flow and hope we will have some answers before too long .
 
I feel truly blessed right now and happy to have so many kind and loving people in my life and especially people who care enough to stick by me when I'm struggling with life .
 
  Thank you so much for popping by and ta ta for now xx