Trip to Norfolk

I haven’t been to Norfolk before except to visit Norwich, which I love, but it’s been on my bucket list for while. So we booked a few days in May to explore North Norfolk and these are some of the highlights…

Gooderstone Water Gardens is a beautiful and tranquil place where the only sound you can hear is nature. Their map gently guides you around the garden, taking you over several little bridges, into the bird hide (where you might spot a kingfisher) and along to the cafe.

When the owner lived there, back in the 1970s, the land was so wet that he decided to make the most of it and developed the land into water gardens, which he opened to the public.

Gooderstone Water Gardens

Hunstanton beach has stunning, striped cliffs where you can find marine fossils. It’s also the only beach on the west coast of Norfolk.

Hunstanton beach
Rocks and fossils on the beach

At Wells-next-the-sea you can take a short 20 min walk from the town to the beach. This beach had golden sands and was more touristy but we were surprised to find seals sunbathing on the beach!

Sunbathing seals at Wells-next-the-sea

My much overused word of the trip was ‘gorgeous’ so I definitely enjoyed the trip and will be back!

New studio – Crouchmans Yard

I’m always surprised by how much ‘stuff’ you (I) can accumulate. The more space you (I) have, the easier it is to fill it!

Moving studio happened slowly over a few weeks. The previous studio was on the third floor (with no lift) and this was a challenge. The new studio is on the ground floor with parking outside the front door 🙂

As the space is big enough, it has become a new location for the graphic design business I run with my husband, Equilibrium Creative.

Empty studio…
…with heating and a kitchenette

The space really echoed until we started to fill it!

And in a few weeks were in and settled…

All set up and ready for business!

Studio move (again)

So, in mid January this year, our studio landlord issued all the studio holders with two month’s notice to leave! Didn’t see that coming.

I was just getting settled into my new studio space (of 3 months) when I was on the move again. There was the possibility of staying but it involved endless meetings with local ‘supporter groups’ and the local council (who owned the building), without any security that the building wouldn’t get boarded up on eviction day! It was all very stressful and not a conducive environment for running a business.

I started looking around for alternative spaces, of which there was surprisingly very few. But after making some enquiries, a couple of options did come up and I went along to look at them. The second space I saw seemed like a real possibility: the space was bigger; had heating (a major plus!); had it’s own kitchenette; and there were similar small businesses on site.

It was a difficult decision to make as it meant leaving the other artists behind and moving to a studio nearly 10 miles away. But the security the new space offered was the decider.

Old studio all packed up and empty
Leaving the old printing press behind

We moved out in March 2023, the end of an era.

Alpaca socks

I am becoming obsessed with alpacas. Their crimped fringe is so cute but more importantly their fleece is super soft, it doesn’t contain lanolin like sheep’s wool, so there’s no itch! The wool is also very lightweight and breathable.

There are a number of smallholdings with alpacas popping up everywhere in the UK and I enjoyed a visit to Blackwater Alpacas a couple of years ago where we took an alpaca, named Curly, for a walk.

Walking Curly at Blackwater Alpacas

Since then, I’ve been looking at ways to bring alpaca wool into my craft business. As I am often cold I’ve already been making fingerless gloves and scarves, so I thought “what about socks?”

I have an old chunky Knitmaster knitting machine and I wanted to try using it to make socks, so I bought some chunky alpaca wool and had a go…

Alpaca wool

It took many failed attempts and hours of watching YouTube tutorials before I finally got results that resembled socks.

Sock knitting on my old Knitmaster machine

Each sock was knitted on the machine and the cuff was finished off by hand. The finishing touch was to design a packaging sleeve for them.

Alpaca socks

My alpaca socks are £20 a pair and are made to order. DM me if you would like to enquire or to place an order. Thanks!

2022 highlights

Handmade crochet accessories – fingerless gloves, cowls and hats

The main highlight of 2022 has to be dipping my toe into the world of artisan craft fairs!

As with any new venture I always find myself spiraling in towards the intended goal before I reach it. So this journey hasn’t been any different and this is how I’ve gone about it:

Step 1: Help a friend with her stall. Back in June I wanted to gain the experience of being at a craft fair without the risk of doing a craft fair. The day included: pickup, drive, unload, (drive back to collect a forgotten item!), set up, hang out for the day, meet and greet potential customers, cover the stall for little breaks, pack down, drive, drop off. The day flew by!

Step 2: Take part in Open Studios. In early October I moved into a new studio and in mid October we had Open Studios – Phew! Challenging to get everything set up but it was a really good weekend with a few sales to boot.

Step 3: Share a craft stall with friends at different craft fairs. In November and December I shared stalls with friends at three local craft fairs, which was a really good experience. I only had half a stall which meant less space (but less stock was needed!), plus it was half the cost. I also had support throughout the day and gained lots of knowledge from the wealth of their craft fair experience.

Step 4: Have my own stall at a craft fair. This is my aim for 2023 and I have applied for a few fairs that take place early in the year, which I’m waiting to hear back from. Watch this space! Very exciting 🙂

Working up some crochet gloves at the Folk & Bespoke Artisan Fair, Rayleigh Mill. (Photo courtesy of F&B)

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has visited the fairs, liked my posts, followed me on social media, my customers and everyone who has supported me – it’s been a lot of fun so far!

Hope to see you in 2023!

BTW: I will be selling throughout the year via Instagram and in person from my studio at Hadleigh Old Firestation. I also take commissions, so if there is a bespoke size or colour you’d like, please DM me to discuss: