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Review of 2023: A year in colour

It has been a great 2023 so far and we're only a few weeks away from Christmas. Looking out of the window I could be mistaken into believing it was a bright, blue skied summer morning and it's only the long shadows that would suggest otherwise. As we sit in mid-November the heavy grey clouds of summer are just a dark memory as I start reflecting on what was learnt this year and planning my crafts and garden for next year.

Every year my Etsy shop evolves into something bigger and better and although this year has been a bit quiet, statistically I am up on last year, with the majority of my support coming from folks who have bought from me before. I'd like to thank all the good friends I have met this year and for making my shop as popular as it is. Thank you.

The start of the year was spent trying to stay warm as we had a few weeks where it didn't go above freezing. I lost quite a few plants to the frost, but it was beautiful at the time!

During the big chill I decided to create a piece of art, more for myself than for the shop and set about researching the best way to make a really large Wall Hanging Christmas Tree.

I had seen a few on Etsy and came up with the idea to use my poms as the hooks to hang tree decorations from. The finished piece was far better than I could have hoped as not only is it the only one of its kind, it is extremely aesthetic and functional. It is designed to sit away from your wall allowing for fabulous festive shadows to be cast upon its surrounds. It took three weeks to make but I enjoyed every second of it. I'm quietly thinking about making these as an all year wall hanging in great colours and unusual shapes. This is a one-off piece, baubles and decorations not included!

Spring was glorious, some warm days perfect for gardening and studying the new colour schemes I had planted and watched the new growth bud to life. I think Spring colour is so

noticeable because of the drab winter months it ousts. I was fortunate that when I bought this cottage it already had huge mature bluebell beds and so by adding tulips and daffodils I could create either delicate pastel beds or rich, deep and dark beds.

I love chaos gardening, where everything is left to do its own thing, though I will help out a little by moving misplaced self-seeded plantlets, continuously deadhead, weed and feed, and of course control pests organically.

We lost our two house rabbits in Spring. Our buck Mr Bing passed due to old age and although we got a replacement for Jessica she missed Bing too much she also passed two weeks later.

We were fortunate that the rescue we got Jessica's new husbunny from also had two girl bunnies from the same family. This was perfect as it meant they already knew each other and within just an hour or so they were reunited, bonded and living very happy lives. On the first day they did lots of exploring and I got lots of photos of them looking at the hares on the wallpaper! It looked like they were whispering and listening to the hares and sparrows on the wall so I had to send the photos to the wallpaper people. They loved our three Bakewell's!

I had great fun upcycling some wooden chairs my good friend Zoe found for me. I just wanted four, each different and finding anyone selling old, odd wooden chairs in singles had been really difficult. I used Cuprinol Shades paint which left the wood with a slight shine which I liked as it wasn't too 'glossy'! I decorated each differently, some parts got wrapped in wool, others I dry brushed the carved relief, The yarn wrapping stemmed from the wall hung Christmas tree I had made, and I am currently trying to make something wrapped for year round wall decoration..

I had great interaction with a lot of new folks through Etsy, and have been asked to make some fabulous commissions. It is so exciting to make a special peace for someone and I have the luck

of having people who know exactly what they want meaning the making process is so much easier. I made a lot of orange, yellow and cream poms for a 1st birthday party with the theme being the sun. Each pom was different, so creatively this was a really lovely project and I received a photo of them in use, used to tie up party bags!

I had a commission for an extra long draft excluder that went to Arizona. It was actually purples and reds though these photos don't show the true colours, they were just production photos.

I also was asked if I had a Summer Solstice card, (image further down) which I didn't, but I did have an under performing Sunflower card. Together with the customer we created a Summer

solstice card that has done really well. I supplied the design and the lady suggested a great verse for inside. I really enjoyed this project and it was quite special creating something with a third party.

I also created a forget me not sympathy card featuring the design on the left with a Pagan themed poem inside.

I spent the Summer solstice designing very specific handfasting cards featuring kissing hares, hearts, the moon and infinity symbol. They have all done really well with immediate success. I also made a new house rabbit Christmas card to the same style design with little bunny charms, and the blue design is also a Christmas star card with a turquoise bow.

Whilst the summer has been cold, grey and wet which has been rubbish, it has meant that the garden has done really well. As I write (17th November) I have lupins coming out again, the frost

just killed off a newly flowering delphinium and the primroses have been out since September. Everything I cut back has all come again, and the roses are still happily flowering.

I also created a new dark rainbow pom pom, which is completely unique and inspired by the chaos of my garden. There are 25 colours set in fudge brown and greys which offers a really great alternative to pom pom crafts.

In late Summer I had a sudden creative rainbow boost, probably because the weather was so grey; and made a really huge (3 metre) fabulous rainbow garland with flawless rainbow colours. I also came up with a new pom end to my Drafties instead of the usual coconut button.

Once the first snap of a late Autumn could be felt I was ready for Christmas sales and the garden was ticking along without me, we had a few trips out to look at the old bits of Boston and Lincoln.

I've always loved Boston as I had delivered parcels there for 20 years, and although I knew the people I didn't know its history. It has been such fun learning about it that I'll be doing a Boston blog next. For a small town it has a surprisingly huge history that has had a global impact.

My sunflowers were enormous this year, over 13 feet. They self seed each year, always get in the way but they are quite fabulous. I leave the spent flower heads on so they self seed again and for the birds to dine on

It looks so nice outside, but it is far too cold to do anything other than warming hard gardening. If only it had been this sunny with blue skies during the summer! We had a great lavender harvest

collecting from Heckington and Ruskington as usual, and also from my dear friend a few doors up. Because the lavender is so good this year I have introduced a new huge Huggy Hare specifically designed to be sat on a chair or sofa, but always ready for a soothing lavender squeeze. There is a football sized amount of lavender in his body and the first one has already gone to his forever home nearby in Boston! His aroma has filled the whole house and is very much loved! There is also a new frosty rustic Christmas hare, with a little pink nose and a hand knitted scarf in moon colours

.A month ago we lost one of our little Bakewell's. She went very peacefully at home with us both with her. She was very sweet and she was such a great loss. However a few weeks ago I was

told of a little rabbit that needed a special home. Stella, here on the left, is a house rabbit and her owner wanted to make sure she went to a proper bunny home. I have never bonded a pair to a single, but with slow, careful attention they now live together quite happily. Stella has actually bonded to us, and spends most of her time within eyesight. She's not best friends with the other two, but everything is quite harmonious. Having a house rabbit that is bonded to you forces life to slow down a little. Every time she comes to us she gets petted, likewise if we walk past her she gets the much sought after nose rubs. We are a substitute for a rabbit partner and as rabbits are very affectionate as a pair, we too have to offer her attention and spend time playing with her. Hop, Skip and Jump is a favourite game, closely followed by Chase Me!

So there is the year! In summary it has been brilliant, some sad bits, lots of creativity, colour and exploration. Just last week I was asked to help print out the village hall craft fair poster. It was a lovely little project where the design came to me completed, I just tweaked it a little and used a heavier font but the design was lovely from the off.

Festive blessing to everyone, stay warm, cosy and safe!

I will be making our donation to the rabbit rescue in mid December. This year we are supporting a small rescue in Grantham. I'll post on social media with photos and details of what we got them.

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2 commentaires

19 nov. 2023

I always come away from your blog in a happier mood. Love, the Christmas Tree and the upcycled chairs.

Cat's Punky Stuff
Cat's Punky Stuff
19 nov. 2023
En réponse à

Hiya, I forget people read my blogs, hehe. We lead a simple life here, it's all rabbits, chickens, bees and making stuff! It's lovely to hear from you, thank you x🙏

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