This week I am focusing on making the preparations for opening my shop. This has been quite a journey for me, full of stops and starts over the last few years which have sometimes arisen from external circumstances and sometimes from my own crises of confidence. I think that it is now or never though, the timing is good and I just have to work through all the hurdles that those of you who have set up online businesses will be familiar with.

My logo, which was designed by my lovely papermaking friend, Carol, is nearly ready for use. I am waiting for the printers to send me through some revised proofs then I can make my shop banner and change my avatar and ravatar etc. Hopefully I will be able to share that with you in the next few days.

Today I have spent quite a bit of time making a light box to help with photographing my items for sale. Photography is not something that I know much about so I can see a steep learning curve stretching in front and above me - all advice gratefully received. I found tutorials for making it on YouTube which were very helpful and clear. YouTube is amazing, pretty much everything you could want to learn how to do is on there!

In amongst all this I have been spinning and knitting as usual. I have spun some black alpaca and plied it with some teal/turquoisey coloured merino.

The first photograph to be taken using the light box.

When I first started plying it I didn't really like it much which was very disappointing. I have to say though that it has grown on me and as I knit it I think it looks OK. So I am knitting a simple open vest/waistcoat type top which I hope will not take too long or too much fibre. I am anticipating the usual white knuckle ride towards the end where I fret about whether I have got enough to finish the garment. Those of you who have read my blog before will be pleased to know that I placed a stitch marker at 50 stitch intervals whilst casting on the 224 stitches and it was SO MUCH EASIER! So thank you to those who gave such sound advice before.

Reading/listening has changed this week. I am now listening to The Long Weekend by Veronica Henry. I thought I should have a break from the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries before I spend all my credits on one series (makes me think of being a child with my pocket money being told 'don't spend it all in the same shop and don't buy bubble gum'). I only began listening to The Long Weekend yesterday and have not plugged myself into my ipod today so the scene has been set for several people to have an interesting time in a small Cornish coastal village. I think I am going to enjoy it and will get back to it tomorrow. I am trying to keep my mind clear today as I have a study group meeting tonight to discuss the second chapter of Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom - so I most definitely have not got much mental energy to spare!

I feel like I need to learn a lesson from the bees at the moment. How to just put your head down and do all that needs to be done to reach your goal - busy, busy, busy!

I just went outside to take a picture of the hive but then I thought you might like to see how those tiny ducklings from a few weeks back are doing.

They are growing like mad at the moment and are by far the greediest animals we ever have here - even greedier than the pigs and that is saying something! We managed to hatch twice as many in the last incubation so there are now 12 tiny ducklings in the broody box and I have had to say a firm 'enough' to the rest of the Misty Cottage crew who would happily keep incubating and hatching until we were overrun by ducklings. 18 is plenty for the year I reckon.

One of the veg beds benefited from some attention at the weekend and is looking smart and productive so I'll share a picture of that.

The sun is a bit bright today for everything to show up but there are carrots, parsnips, kohl rabi, peas, kale, brussel sprouts, purple sprouting, beetroot, golden beets and right at the far end, enough Swiss chard to feed almost everyone we know!

Pop along to Ginny's Yarn Along and Frontier Dreams to see what everyone else has been doing.


  1. Good luck with your shop opening! It's probably better not to be a bee - very noisy!

    1. Thanks Wendy. The noise could be a problem but then think of the honey!

  2. Oh, how exciting! I cannot wait to see your shop - what a thrill! It is what I dream of doing too, so I am cheering you on from here!
    The ducklings don't really look like ducklings any more. Garden is looking like it will be very productive soon.

    1. You have made me feel very encouraged today Jayne - thank you!


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