Wednesday 28 June 2023

Making A Carved Harvest Basket

 So this is a follow on from the last post. 

The basket I made was a prototype for this basket, so I knew what it would look like and give me enough space to carve a design on the side. 

You can watch the video here - 

Hopefully it shows the effort and thought that goes into carving a design like this and how long it takes, even though it's sped up in the video!

This basket will be for sale a little later in the year - once the article is all approved - I don't want to sell it before then! 

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday 27 June 2023

How To Make A Harvest Basket

 So I got asked to write an autumnal project for Woodcarving magazine. My mind went straight to harvesting and a harvest basket. I make many of these already for sale, but I didn't have one that you could carve the sides on, not really anyway. 

I decided to make a new design, more like a traditional trug in shape, that would have a wide side that I could carve. 

This is a video of two parts, this first part I'm making the new basket, bending the ash for the handle and just dialling in the design. I was really pleased with it. The handle looked great. I ended up listing it on Etsy as a one off and sold it within a few hours, so I guess others agreed as well! 

If you want to support me and what we do here you can buy one of my other harvest baskets here -

I put a lot of effort into my baskets and other products and I really love it when people buy them, but even more when they send me pictures of them in use! It really makes me smile.

I keep wondering what the next step with my products is. Do I list them with more online stores like Notonthehighstreet, or do I approach physical shops? I've had a few contact me lately. Or do I start doing shows?

Saturday 24 June 2023

Gardener's Questions And Answers At Hellen's Festival

I've been terrible at updating the blog lately. I've been making lots of videos though and trying to keep my social media going. Life has been very busy! 

One thing I really wanted to share was Hellen's garden festival and how the Q&A session went. 

I was on a panel with Tasmin Westhorpe, John Cunningham and Andy Walton (son of Terry Walton from Radio 2), with Terry Walton acting as our "roving mic" for all the questions. I was told I was bringing a "smallholder" outlook to the panel and I really enjoyed our time in front of the audience. 

We got asked some great questions and it was awesome for us to all put our own spin on things. there was one about roses, which I had no idea about the answer, but still came back with a story about taking down a climbing rose to build a porch, saving all the petals and making my own Turkish delight! (I had people come and talk to me about that afterwards)

The only question we were all stumped on was from a friend (Tony from the seed swap) and it was about his "enlarged plums" which I guess is a question that has the potential to be tricky to google. We sent him in the right direction to get help though. 

The whole festival was just a joy as always. We actually managed to go both days this year, although I always end up talking to everyone and spending very little time with my own family! 

Monday 19 June 2023

Patio Renovation Part 3 - Slabs Down & Looking Great!

I dread to think how many how's I've spent on getting this patio back into shape! All of it hard graft, especially in this hot weather we've been having. 

 I have to say I'm so pleased with it though. It looks so much better and I can't wait to start using it again. 

Let me know what you think to the finished patio! 

Saturday 17 June 2023

Patio Renovation Part 2 - Lifting Slabs, Building Drains

 I've been trying to squeeze the patio renovation into any little gaps in time I could find. Luckily the week before last I managed to give myself a few days on the job and it feels much better! 

Watch this and let me know what you think. Part 3 will be out really soon!

Saturday 10 June 2023

Hellen's Garden Festival 2023

Today is the day! 

It's a day we all look forward to. I always feel like I owe the Hellen's team for taking a chance on me doing a talk, as now that's a firm part of my business! 

I'm really looking froward to it this year, although suffering with a massive case of imposter syndrome as I'm on the garden Q&A session with some really top gardeners - Terry Walton (or his Son Andy depending how things go), Tasmin Westhorpe and John Cunningham. I've been told I bring the smallholder element to it! 

 We're giving our talk at 2.00PM so hope to see some of you there.

If you do come to the festival make sure you come and say hi to me! I'm really friendly ;-)

Monday 5 June 2023

The Walk Back

 Sometimes I take a picture of our normal life and it feels like it's from a book. 

This one I snapped on our way back from children's cricket on Friday night. Walking on the footpath through a field of barley, the sun setting in the distance. It sometimes feels like our village fulfils some cliche of English village life long gone from many places, and I'm happy it does. A village full of friends, probably a dozen or more people I could drop our children with in an emergency with no worries at all. I feel lucky to bring the children up here. 

Saturday 3 June 2023

Preparing For The Cold When It's Warm!

With the ground being harder we've been moving some firewood around. 

As soon as it gets warm my mind automatically switches to preparing for the winter. Preserving food, getting the wood ready to heat us. 

 This short video talks a bit about that and talks about when I was on building sites collecting my offcuts. 

Let me know what you think!

When do you start prepping for winter?

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