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Thursday, 23 December 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

I'm delighted to receive this from Nicky at
I'm also a fan of her blog, so please take a look.

To receive the award I have to tell you five things you might not know about me!

  1. I lived in Turkey, Italy and Spain; each for a year when I was in my twenties and I taught English as a Foreign Language. I later worked as a sub-editor on home & interior magazines and as a PA at Channel 4 and several advertising agencies.
  2. I love 'Gold Digger' by Kanye West, but like a wide variety of music.
  3. I'm learning to play the violin and am currently playing 'Through My Window' in the Grade 2 book.
  4. My sister and friends have been dragging me along to learn to Jive (Ceroc), and I'm beginning to really enjoy it - though I'm not sure my dance partners are - I keep standing on their feet!
  5. I love pickled onions, olives and a day barely passes when I don't eat houmous.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Dancing Hens Breakfast Club

From the New Year and throughout January, we'll be hosting a Knitting & Crochet Breakfast Club on a Tuesday and Friday morning. This is a purely social session, no tuition, only £2.50 fee which includes a cup of fresh cappuccino or tea and a lovely toastie warm studio for you to come along with your needles, hooks, yarn and friends.

We'll be open from 8.30am until 9.45am. So come along and have a great start to your day.

(All Breakfast Club sessions must end promptly in time for classes to commence).

Friday, 3 December 2010

Alpaca Socks

Look what we have for sale in the Studio! Alpaca Socks!

I've always bought the cheapest socks I can. But last year I bought a pair of these from John Arbon Textiles who sell these at all the knitting shows and at the Country Living Show. Of course they are more expensive at £11 per pair and I'd always resisted thinking 'a sock's a sock - why pay more'. Then I put these on and I just got it; I understood why people spend money on good quality socks. They are absolutely gorgeous. They are so comfy and soft.

We have all these colours in stock at the moment in small, medium and large. Pop along and buy some before they all go for Christmas presents.

New Dancing Hens Special Offer

We are currently offering any students booking on a weeday course a 10% discount when booking on a Saturday workshop.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

My guilty pleasure

I'm spending most of my free waking hours working on completely different projects for my new book (yet to be disclosed!), but I can't resist working on this piece. It's made from Rooster Almerino DK in all the colours. I'll be putting a little edging on it and will show it to you when it's finished.

Christmas Stocking

Here is the Christmas stocking that I made for the workshop this Saturday. It's such a pretty stocking and a lovely project to work on for the day. This workshop suits people who have a basic knowledge of the sewing machine or sewers who just want to come and focus on getting this made in a day. Bring your own fabric and trimmings or let me know and I can supply these fabrics and trims that are in the photo.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Christmas Stocking

On Saturday 13th November we're running a 'Make Your Own Christmas Stocking' day. Here is the fabric we'll be using. We'll sew them into strips to make a gorgeous patchwork stocking. Here is the bundle of fabric ready and waiting to be made.

Half Term

Lots of exciting classes this week. Tomorrow is our craft day for children and here are some pre cut triangles ready to hand sew some bunting. Here is my delightful Button Mosaic class. We used some bright colourful buttons from the Button Company and grouted them into an initial. Well done Ella, Megan, Issy, Ashlea and Ellie.

Monday, 25 October 2010


I've been quiet because I've been working hard to finish the final corrections and touches to the crochet book that's out in the Spring. This is called: Cute & Easy Crochet and will be available from February. Here is a preview front cover, though it may not be the exact one.
Am completely delighted with this book. It looks really gorgeous, the projects are all really great, there's nothing in there that I don't like or feel I've compromised on.
We've been testing out many of the patterns in our crochet workshops, so thanks to all those who have been involved and to the many Dancing Hens customers and friends who have helped.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Quilted Bag

Here is a gorgeous bag that Jill made this week. It's a Mandy Shaw designed bag. We're thinking of opening up a class to teach how to make this. It's a really good size. Mandy's bag designs always work really well. Please let me know if you're interested in coming on a class and we'll set one up.


Sue's bunting from our evening crochet class made with all the different edgings that we learned

Thursday, 7 October 2010

New Cushion Kit

With the enormous help from Jill Holden, this is the new cushion kit at the Dancing Hens Studio that I just finished off last night. Very easy and aimed at beginner's or simply anyone who likes the cushion. It's made up of cut outs of little love bird shapes and appliqued on using a blanket stitch. All the materials for the kit, including the applique cotton will be in the kit. The only thing you'll need is an 18in cushion pad, a tapestry/embroidery needle and a sewing machine. I'm just waiting for the little bags to arrive to put the contents in and then it'll be ready for sale.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Well done Dancing Hens Students

Well done Alison, Jane and Charlotte in the Broken China Mosaic class this week. We're holding another class in a couple of weeks and a special children's Button Mosaic class in half term.
Well done Louise! Louise is a complete beginner and has only been coming to our Wednesday evening sewing class for a couple of sessions. This week she finished her first bag.

Well done also to my crochet classes for attempting the beautiful edgings this week and my fabulous other students who all came to our classes this week.

Hen Keeping Class

We had such fun today at the 'Introduction to Hen Keeping Class'. It was a lovely change to have some real hens in the Studio to handle.

Monday, 20 September 2010

New Gift Vouchers

Just received the Gift Vouchers today for the Studio. Available to spend on either classes, wool, fabrics etc.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Maddy's Patchwork

Here is Maddy's patchwork that I finally finished this week. I love this blanket. I don't know if it's because I've made it for my youngest daughter who's leaving for university tomorrow or just love the colours. I've made it out of all my scraps of fabrics, so they each have a memory for me. I only wish I'd saved some of Maddy's clothes from when she was little, but that would just have made me weep buckets into the blanket as I was making it.

There's something about the leaving of your youngest child, even though you know they're going to come back and she's only in south London, so not exactly a million miles away. But university seems a bit of a right of passage these days and she thinks she's leaving home - which makes me sad.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Dancing Hens Launch Party

We had a really lovely time and thanks to all who came. The Wine & Waffle evening was a great success. Natalie Hawes, Flower Grove & Vivienne Schuster: Jill Holden, Sue Seager, Roger Perkins:
Andy Robinson from Laughing Hens & Jeni Hewlett, Fyberspates:
Hilary Green and her gorgeous Grandson, Rudy, winner of 'Name the Teddies' prize:

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Images from the Studio today

Bunting from the Kid's Craft Day: Hand painted by Camilla - finished and looking gorgeous:

Book dresser:
Today we have another Kid's Craft morning.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Crochet Girl's Dress

I'd forgotten about this dress. It was featured in 'Inside Crochet' recently. Looks very pretty and is an easy pattern. The pattern will be on sale on Laughing Hens website soon and uses Rooster Almerino DK.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Sugarpaste Roses Class today

My students made these lovely sugarpaste roses at our class this morning. Next week we're making blossoms. Still places on this Saturday's Crochet Flowers workshop if anyone's interested, please get in touch.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Cake Decorating at Dancing Hens Studio

Today's children's workshop was Cake Decorating with Dancing Hens delightful students:

Monday, 19 July 2010

Today at the Studio

Today Camilla and I have been decorating the Studio. I've been adding to the counter mosaic project, which is taking forever and a lot of broken plates.

Camilla is creating her masterpiece - the dresser. It's looking so gorgeous. She hasn't finished yet, so I'll show you the whole thing hopefully tomorrow when she adds the final touches of the naked ladies in the side panels.
Studio books for sale:
Baby Blanket for sale:

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Paint Effects

We're having a Paint Effects class this morning. Lots of Fired Earth colours and Charleston influences. Camera battery has gone missing and camera dead - will post some pics when the new charger arrives!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Today at the Dancing Hens Studio

I've been up at the Studio since 7 this morning to make a start on mosaicing the counter. It's a very time consuming job, but it's coming on just fine...

I'll be running a workshop on how to do this, so please let me know if you're interested and I'll get some dates together.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Paint Effects Class

I'm running a new class this Thursday 15th July 11am till 1pm on how to make paint effects on furniture.

You'll learn on sample boards how to use simple emulsion paints to transform your table, chairs or dresser. Come and try out using different colours and learn how to distress without the stress!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Pictures of Dancing Hens Studio today

Sofa and coffee table:
Rooster wool:
Beginner's Crochet Class today:

Dom & Rebecca: Jackie, Dom, Rebecca, Nicki, Lauren, Stella:

Studio space:
Studio Book Dresser:
Working space:

Friday, 2 July 2010


Studio is opening on Saturday!
I will be teaching a crochet workshop during the day, so please drop in and see what we're making. Camilla, my lovely glamorous assistant will be there to assist and we'll have some Rooster wool, a little fabric and lots of inspiration!

Address is: Unit 5A, Battlers Green Farm, Common Lane, Radlett, WD7 8PH, tel: 01923 856619.

Monday, 28 June 2010


Lots of painting going on. Trying very hard to get the Studio looking in some sort of order before Saturday.

Offline, which means I'm not able to email anyone at the moment. If anyone feels like a visit out to Radlett soon, please come and see the Studio, it's beginning to look lovely.

Monday, 14 June 2010

New Company Name

We are going to be called:

Dancing Hens

I cannot wait to get this off the ground. We'll be selling lovely handmade items: knitting, crochet, sewing and any other lovely products that we find interesting.

Sunday, 13 June 2010


I swear that when I write a book, I could actually write two with all the samples that have.
I tend to make a project 3 or 4 times before I get it right and then it either gets undone, or thrown away. Such a pity really, but it has to be done to get it looking just right. Perhaps there's a book about my discarded life!

Here are some samples below that are sitting in a pile
At the moment I'm working on a fabulous bag made from this new Amy Butler wool from Rowan. It's called Belle and is an organic cotton. The colours are just gorgeous and I'm going to line the bag with Amy Butler fabrics - when I eventually get to the shops to look for some!