The studio is toasty warm once the heater is on and there is nothing better than sewing away to my hearts content. Radio on, Studio Dog curled up at my feet stitching samples for workshops - it's the best job in the world :)
I've been absent this last month or so as any posts would have ended up being a litany of ailments and moaning, not fun to read. I'm trying to accept my condition and health but really don't. Not at all - I am angry and frustrated with my body for letting me down. I saw my consultant last week ( I get to see him once every six months ) and the first thing he said was 'you look well'....well if he doen't know how infuriating that is to someone with an invisible illness what hope is there.
Enough moaning and woe.
I have been plannng the Spring and Summer workshops in the studio, I am holding two a week so I don't over do it but that means I have to trim my wishlist down as there are always more ideas in my head for classes than time available. I am lucky to have so many wonderful customers who want to make my projects - patchwork clocks, patchwork lampshades or crochet hangers they are all well received and enjoyed. It's fabulous seeing their different interpretations of my ideas - I love my job and it lifts my spirits no end.
In a couple of weeks French Knots Craft Studio will be three years old and my head is bursting with new ideas for kits, ebooks, events, weekend retreats and creative workshops. I keep writing them all down on the mind map that acts as my business plan and will get to them all eventually but not just as quickly as I'd like. Trying to learn patience....well that is very much a work in progress!
Last night was French Knots Craft Studio's long awaited Christmas do!
Oh it was good, Mike Peters and the guys gave their all and were clearly having a brilliant time. I also had a brilliant time, transported back the the first time I saw The Alarm when I was 17. There was just as much passion and energy both from the band and the crowd, though after 2 hours of leaping up and down like a lunatic I was a bit of a sweaty betty to say the least. While belting out the anthems, jumping up and down with my arms stretched high in enjoyment I had suddenly had a clear though ' The Big Sister would be horrified if she could see me!' Ha ha!!
It was the most fun I have had in a long time, loud and raucous, the music vibrating in your body as well as your soul. This knackered middle aged Mum hasn't felt so alive in a bloody long time!
Thanks to the boys for loving what they do and taking us along for the best ride in town last night.
Mike Peters is a cancer survivor and uses his passion for rock and his platform to make a difference through his Love Hope Strength Foundation We signed up for the bone marrow donation database and lots of other fans were signing up too, they are promoting Get on the List - sign up, get swabbed and save a life. Perhaps you could too?
Perfect Christmas do, I think I'll do the same next Christmas,
I have been missing my blog but my motivation seems to be missing too!
Late last year I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and had to take some medication which made me feel ill. I persevered as I was told it would make me feel less exhausted, it didn't and during February I started falling asleep during the day if I sat down for more than 5 minutes. So now I am stopping the tablets and am feeling dreadful. Hurrah, that was a total waste of time. Hopefully once they are out of my system the symptoms they created will stop and I'll just be back to the fibromyalgia symptoms. Which are pants too but better than nodding off just after breakfast.
Signs of spring are cheering, the forsythia in my garden is beginning to bloom with it's bold brash flowers and there hasn't been a drop of rain in about 3 weeks - in Manchester this is unheard of! Well apart from the heatwave summer of '77 that I remember from childhood. These daffs have been brightening up mu studio with their nodding heads. The studio has been very busy and I've been teach workshops 3 or 4 times a week, which I love. Sharing something you are passionate about with other who love it too is just the best job in the world. I've been teaching children how to use sewing machines, converting lots of new people into crochet addicts and have launched Vintage Crafternoon Tea Hen Parties in conjunction with my partner in crime Baking genius Gwyn. It's dreadful - I sometimes have to eat left over cake!
I've got plans for new kits, childrens sewing parties, magazine articles and lots of new creative workshops - it's a shame one of the main symptoms of fibromyalgia is exhaustion otherwise I'd get even more done!
My lovely Mum would have been 70 last month. Even after so many years I still miss her everyday and the older I get the more unfair it seems that she was only in her 50s when she died. How she would have loved hanging out with me in my studio, my inspiration and example of creative, loving motherhood xx
So The Big Sister helped by drawing a name from my newly knitted teal beret and the winner is .....
Christy from Lil Bit Brit. So please let me know your address and I'll get your goodies in the post.
I am going to try and find a few minutes today to have a play with my Christmas present from Mr FK
a fancy pants cutting machine! I want to use it for cutting fabric to make patchwork and applique easier on my hands. They have been getting increasingly painful over the last couple of years, combined with ongoing pain in arms, legs and ankles and also poleaxing tiredness. My GP diagnosed me with fibromyalgia a couple of months ago and I am still learning about how to pace myself ( ha ha!) and what I can do to reduce the pain and improve my energy levels.
Right I have an embroidery tutorial to finish today, a knitted egg cosy pattern to work on for an upcoming class and a hen party booking to plan for - business is going well and I feel so lucky to be doing something I love that fits around the children too.
Would you like to come in for a cuppa and some cake? Bring your knitting.....
This was Mr FKs man shed, full of tools and spiders, now it has been lined with t&g, freshly painted with a lovely wide board floor. That peely green door leads to the extension we built ( one snowy weekend in January!) and that now houses Mr FKs workshop. Isn't he kind! Not only vacating his workshop but also doing so much work every weekend and many evenings to get my new studio ready for the first class. Oh yes, did I mention he did it all with a broken foot!!
The swollen foot that caused so much suffering over Christmas turned out to be a broken bone - only took 3 months to diagnose! So he's now in a foot cast and we are hoping the bone is finally healing.
So I feel really lucky to have this as my workspace, sharing it with the lovely ladies who have been to one of my workshops so far and looking forward to being busy in there in the future. I've put together a range of new classes that I'm really looking forward to- Spring Classes. Showing somebody how to do something you love is so rewarding, when they love it too it's just brilliant. No it's not life or death but I think the peace and healing that takes place when your mind is still and your hands are busy is important and so beneficial.
It looks great in these pictures but is even better when it's full of people chatting and making, with bits of fabric all over the place and the sewing machines whirring away!
So if you are passing my way call in, I'd love to see you!
Thank you for all your good wishes, the first workshop went so well and the ladies left happy with their fledgling knitting and full of lemon drizzle cake! I really enjoyed sharing the studio with them and was delighted that they noticed all the little touches which contribute to the atmosphere. Would you like a peep too?
Do you like the banner I made for the door? I enjoyed fiddling around with pretty fabric and managed to only get a small amount of the glue from the interfacing on the iron.
I love the inspiration board on the chimney breast, it's ribbon strung across an old picture frame and makes the perfect spot for displaying little treasures.
I've used some of my pinny collection as decoration, such pretty fabric should be seen rather then stored away in a suitcase, so here they are enjoying an outing. And a couple of hand embroidered tablecloths have been refashioned into curtains too.
Even the teapot is dressed up for the occasion in it's woolly jumble sale find!
It's all been put together to be welcoming and inspiring, just need to spread the word and get more ladies to come and enjoy it with me! I've started a weekly Knit and Natter session as well as the workshops so it can be a social place and people can drop in, cake will be available naturally.
I'm learning how to Tweet as well - I'm @frenchknots2011 and am gradually finding some fascinating people to follow as well as some old friends from the blogging world. Please come and say hello.
The 'to do' list is getting longer by the day as I'm buzzing with ideas for new classes, where to advertise, preperation for workshops and so on, I keep telling myself it's invigorating - but could do without waking up in the middle of the night with an idea chasing round my head!
I've set up a new place to post about the Studio and the workshops that are available French Knots Craft Studio not that I need another place on line to maintain!
So when you decide to set up a business on a tight time scale with three children of course it's going to be a whirlwind as the weeks whizz by!
The studio is painted, the curtains need sorting out, radiator cover needs painting and then the fun bit of styling and adding the pretty touches. So that's what I'll be doing on Saturday because my first workshop is on Tuesday! And I've got some ladies booked in for Learning to Knit - hurrah! I've been making, printing and giving out leaflets left ,right and centre which I've found surprisingly hard, typical English 'don't want to seem pushy' embarrassment I think.
Thank you so much for your ideas and suggestions, I'm not a tea or coffee drinker but will buy something good and am planning to rustle up some tasty cake too, the atmosphere is very important to me, I want people to feel relaxed yet inspired and I'm putting together some handouts for taking home. I'm becoming a Publisher fan, have learnt to change the ink on the printer and found a supplier for an A frame board to stand outside the Studio so potential customers know that I'm there. Plus making up samples for each of the workshops and of course lists galore!I can hardly believe it's happening, I'm full of plans and ideas.
All good and very exciting! So the giveaway - I promised a length of crocheted bunting to one of the kind commenters
Either bright bunting
So I asked The Big Sister to be my random number generator and to choose a winner for me, she said '4' which is Linaloo! Let me know which colour you'd prefer and I'll send it off to you!
So on the list now is buy tea pot, take my spare sewing machine over to the studio to fix the curtains, put up posters in the library and wool shop if they'll let me, list myself on Net Mums What's On, find someone to run a jewellery making class, finish the banner for the Studio door, make a page for the blog with all the courses listed on..........and sit down with a glass of wine!