Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Brand shiny new Etsy shop...and a chance to win some failed products!

Finally! After a term filled with essays, translations, lectures, seminars, presentations and very little creative or online activity Mr.Pigeon and I have returned. We also have some fairly exciting things to show you.

Having chosen a rubbish Etsy username when signing up last year, I decided to start a new shop at http://thepigeonloft.etsy.com/ - it makes a lot more sense than 'happyturnip'(...don't ask!) and will be a lot easier to remember and find. Now, a shop needs stock so over the past week I have been busy producing around 20 'carrier pigeon' screen-printed cotton shopping bags, a new pigeon stationery set and some wine bags. Would you like to see them?

Well you can't see any photos of the cotton bags because they were all awful, but here are the peg-leg pigeon gocco-printed note cards...


Just in case you'd forgotten what 007 looks like...

These are the wine bags...

...and a catalogue-style shot...

But even more exciting (for you lot that is) is that when printing there are often prints which are ever so slightly dodgy. Not horrificly bad, but not really suitable to be sold full-price. So...I thought I'd have a little giveaway for the chance to win a cotton bag and some pigeon stationery seconds. There will be only one winner!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me what you will be or have been doing on Christmas day...in three words. Ready....steady...GO!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Carrier Pigeon

When Mr.P and I went home to do the Birthday draw, I also got a bit of sewing done. What do you think of this hand screen-printed linen drawstring "Carrier Pigeon" bag?
The idea was to make lots of cotton "carrier" bags with the design on, but they take a long time to sew so will not be appearing in the Etsy shop until Christmas unless you want the 'fuzzy' one where the print hasn't worked. This little linen one, however, IS up for grabs!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

And the winner is...

Wow! Thank you to everybody who left a lovely Birthday comment and entered the giveaway- I will try to reply to as many comments as possible, but apologise if I can't reply to everybody- Gmail likes to group comments together so that I can't reply to them. Grrrrr.

I would also like to apologise in advance for the dreadful photo quality- I can't control the weather!

Anyhoo, Mr.P decided that as it was his giveaway he should be involved in the drawing process...

...so I put 41 names in a little bowl, blind-folded one pigeon...

...and the winner is....

Well done, Gina, if you would be kind enough to e-mail me your address, a little pigeon will shortly be on his way to you.
But I couldn't leave it at just one. I also decided to pick two runners up who will receive a little something (not a bird) which I have not decided on yet. The runners up are...

...Cheryl I think I already have your address but AnneMarie you will need to let me know yours. Thanks :)

Don't worry if you didn't manage to bag a birdie- there will be more pigeony goodness in the Etsy shop very shortly!

Monday, October 27, 2008


The Pigeon Loft is exactly one year old today.

Thank you all so much for reading this waffle and for following Mr.Pigeon's adventures so far- what a busy year it's been!

Mr.Pigeon 007 and his glamourous assistant Miss.Hennypenny were made one year ago in Spain and since then they have seen over 50 brothers and sisters fly off to new homes in Scotland, England, Spain, Germany, US, Singapore, Australia and Belgium, they have had their photos taken in various european cities and have eaten many a nice piece of cake with their owner :)

Special thanks go to Ruth and Val- my first 'regulars' (and some of my first customers!) who have been leaving kind comments ever since before The Pigeon Loft came about on the old blog Off The Hook

Now, you can't have a birthday without presents, so I am going to offer you the chance to win a little woolly 'present'- a bird to be more precise. Just leave a comment stating whether you would prefer a pigeon or a chicken (no, you can't say both- I'm not made of money) and tell me what you would like to see Mr.Pigeon getting up to in the Pigeon Loft's 2nd year.
I will pick a winner out of a hat (well, more likely a bowl) and hopefully announce the result on Sunday...GOOD LUCK!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Still alive

I've got some lovely things to show you :)

A few months ago I got an e-mail from Melanie and, after following the link to her site, I fell in love with her unique glass beads. As I loved her beads and she was a pigeon fancier, we decided to do a swap. Mr. Pigeon 038 made his way over to the states and I received a fab package of goodies. I just wish that these photos could do Melanie's work justice- it's PERFECT. My dying camera on the other hand is less than perfect which is why the photos are so unfocused and why there is no photo of the sheep bead :(

Little monsters...

Little frog...

Guess who?

Isn't that amazing?! A MR. PIGEON BEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are three little pigeon beads so I'll have to think of something special to do with them. Maybe earrings and a necklace?
Yet another exciting parcel arrived a fortnight later. This one was from my Russian Doll Swap partner, Rachel. She sews some really great things in funky retro fabrics and this russian doll softie is no exception...

Mr.P was being very friendly with the new arrivals and seemed rather interested in the larger doll's pouch...

Thank you very much, ladies!

Please come back soon- Tuesday is a very important day for the Pigeon Loft...wink wink, nudge nudge...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Back in Brizzle

It's been a while, hasn't it?

I'm back at university to complete my final year (hooray!) and Mr.Pigeon has of course come too. He intends to become an educated bird and has decided to study Ornithology...from my bedroom window.

Due to this inconvenient having-to-finish-a-degree business and lack of crafty goodness, posts may become quite irregular and maybe a bit dull until Christmas. I also ask you to excuse me if I don't get to comment on your blogs as much as I would like to during term time. I will be lurking though! And updating. But don't worry, I have a lot of photos of exciting things saved to show you before I have to resort to rambling on about 20th century Spanish women's literature or German post-war poetry.

Coming soon are pictures from the Russian Doll Swap and a VERY exciting private swap as well as some good news for The Pigeon Loft.

But before all that there is some catching up to do.

Most of the latest batch of pigeons have arrived in their new homes...

  • Mr.P 031 touched down in Singapore to meet his new owner Cheryl.

  • There is not one but TWO Hennypennies named 'Gloria'. The first arrived in Rutland over the summer to befriend Liz's rescue chickens and the second has found lots of chickeny chums chez Moog.

  • Mr.Pigeon 041 (the first pigeon in the new yarn) has been named Hector and has made a lot of woolly friends at Jaqui's house. She has kindly allowed me to use her photos of his arrival...

Wish I was as well travelled as these little birds!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Grand Day In

I had a very special guest at Pigeon Loft HQ today. The lovely Lucy came for a cup of tea, some gocco machine action and to pick up Lofty (a.k.a. Mr.Pigeon 030).

As well as some (much appreciated!) custard slices, Lucy brought me a very special something.

Can you tell what it is yet?...

It's a crochet hook roll!

Not only is it beautifully made with gorgeous fabrics, it will also help to double pigeon production as I seem to spend an awful lot of time locating crochet hooks before I can start. Now they're all in one place. Thank you, Lucy, I LOVE it!

After our custard slices, we got out the Gocco machine. As my photos are dark and wobbly, you can see the resulting seed packets plus an explanation of the whole exciting process on Lucy's blog here.

Talking of Gocco-ing, these scary monster notelets will be appearing in the Pigeon Loft Etsy Shop very shortly. Hopefully with matching envelopes if I ever track some down...

And finally, Mr.Pigeon would like to give a huge "coo" of thanks to Michelle, Mr.Pigeon 037's owner, for finding us some old-style pigeon yarn. Original Mr.Ps can continue for a while yet. Hooray!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Problems at The Pigeon Loft

I'm afraid there's some bad news for pigeon fanciers. Lana Grossa, the company who make Mr.Pigeon yarn, have discontinued Mr.Pigeon's colour and I can't buy it ANYWHERE. This means that there will only be a few more old-style Mr.Pigeons up for sale in future.

Don't worry, this is not the end of pigeon production. I have found some yarn of identical weight in a similar colour and this will hopefully prove to be a decent substitute. It will be arriving shortly so I will unveil the new look Mr.P in the near future and you can tell me what you think of the substitution.

Please feel free to send Lana Grossa angry e-mails...I have!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mr. Pigeon's Grand Day Out

After a year of living in and traveling around Europe, I suspected that Mr.Pigeon might be getting a bit bored at home so I invited him on our annual "Grannies' Day Out" (a day when my friends and I drive out somewhere in Northumberland and have 'a cup of tea and a nice sit down').

Last year we had a picnic at Cragside and this year we decided on a trip to Holy Island (Lindisfarne).

It was a bit cloudy at first...

...so we headed for the tearoom...

...which, to Mr.Pigeon's dismay, was not very pigeon-friendly.

In the afternoon the sun (and a horse) came out...

...and it seemed like a good opportunity to take a photo of Mr.Pigeon ruining posing in front of the beautiful view...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Real Pigeon Loft

Though you might like a picture of where the magic happens! Well, to be honest I make most of the birds on a sofa in front of Desperate Housewives...and the table has only been there for a week (thanks to the ILVA closing down sale)...but it is a real loft!

As so many of you mentioned gingerbread-related disasters and blobby-looking men I thought I'd post my perfect gingerbread recipe. It's never failed me, even when I've used different types of sugar:

350g / 12oz plain flour
1tsp bicarb.
4tsp ground ginger
110g/ 4oz butter
175g/ 6oz soft light brown sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp golden syrup

1) Sift flour, bicarb and ginger into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre.
2) Beat golden syrup and egg together in another bowl.
3) Pour syrup mixture into the well, mix to a dough and then knead until smooth.
4) Divide in half and roll out to 5mm thickness. As I always go a bit mad with the syrup, quite a bit extra flour is needed to stop the dough sticking to the bench. Cut out men and decorate with currants.
5) Bake for 12-15 minutes at 190 oC (although mine never exceed 8 mins.)
6) Make yourself a nice cup of tea and enjoy :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

For those of you who like to ogle pictures of hot men...

I'd been admiring this young chap in the Lakeland catalogue for quite some time and, after seeing him in the Lakeland shop, just couldn't resist taking him home with me.

So, as promised, here are some freshly baked and very tasty gingerbread men...

...can you spot the odd one out?

Friday, August 22, 2008

You asked for it...

The "fewer pictures of cake" promise was not a popular one!

These are carrot cupcakes made from this recipe with bodged (but very tasty) cream cheese frosting.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


My little pigeon is a year old. I can hardly believe it, they grow up so fast! I am of course talking about Mr.Pigeon 001, the original pigeon, who is on the left in the party hat. He is very different from the rounder, softer, plain-winged pigeons I make now (see 007 on the right).

I must apologise for an unplanned month of absence. "Where on earth have you and that bird been" you say?

Well, we've been sunning ourselves in Valencia...

...in bed ill for a week (probably as a result of something eaten in Valencia)...

...in London doing work experience (Mr.P didn't think much of the local laws)...

...and it's taken two days to catch up on e-mails and blog-reading.

You'll be pleased to know (well, you might not be) that I've decided to start doing more frequent but much shorter posts. As there's no longer the excuse of being abroad and away from the sewing machine, there will be much more crafty action and fewer pictures of cake...unless you want pictures of cake, that is...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Off again...

I really am sorry! Mr. Pigeon and I are in Spain (again!) this week, will be entertaining Belgians the week after and will be in London the week after that but I promise to squeeze in as many posts as possible.

I have lots of lovely pictures and pigeon news to post about but until then here is a picture of Mr.Pigeon...or is it a magpie?

Mr. Pigeon is modelling his present from Clare. I delivered Mr. Pigeon 034 (now Charles Abraham Pigeon) to her in person and Mr.P was absolutely delighted to receive this fantastic Newcastle United Football Club pigeon tank top which she had knitted for him!

Unfortunately Mr. Pigeon seemed to think that this new outfit should be accessorised with loutish behaviour and he soon ended up claws-up on the lawn, coo-ing dirty songs and displaying his beer belly (along with the impressively neat back of Clare's knitting)...

Thank you so much Clare! It was lovely to see you on Tuesday and a shame it couldn't have been for longer :)

I'll be back next week with...wait for it...some actual CRAFTING!

Saturday, July 19, 2008



This is just a quick message for those of you on the pigeon fanciers' mailing list. I've sent out all the pigeon and hen release details so please check your e-mail/junk mail/spam inboxes.

In other news, I am still alive (as is Mr.P) and finally back in the rainy UK for good after a busy last week in Germany. I promise to answer all e-mails and post something interesting as soon as possible!

Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mini Quilt Swap

After all the drama of last week I reckon it's time for a nice craft-related, non-violent, gingerbread-friendly post.

First of all (becuase I failed to make it appear at the bottom)... LOBSTER BISCUIT!

...which I couldn't resist and which was delicious in case you were wondering. Much better than real lobster.

Even more exciting was the parcel which arrived earlier this week. It was my "mini quilt swap" quilt from Nicky in Australia.

I love tortoises and requested something to bright to cheer up my boring German walls so Nicky came up with this original design which I absolutely love:

It's a shame you can't see so clearly on the photo, but her stitching is amazingly neat. This quilt has everything- buttons, ric-rac, freehand quilting, embroidery and beautiful fabrics. Even the back is beautifully done:

And if that wasn't enough, she also sent me a pretty handmade card and 3 balls of wool. Thank you so much again, Nicky!

Of course I knew exactly what to do with the red, white and blue yarn...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

"Peckish" part II

Luckily I got there in time to save Fred, pulling Mr.Pigeon out of the box and confiscating his corkscrew. (You didn't seriously think I was going to turn Mr.Pigeon into a murderer did you?)


I only wanted a nibble, I promise, said Mr.P.

But I still made him apologise to Fred...

Fred told Mr.Pigeon not to worry about it.

But what drives a young pigeon to such violence?

It soon became clear that it was all my fault. I've been trying to cut down on all those tasty German sweet things. Without his daily dose of cake, Mr.Pigeon was suffering withdrawl symptoms and even began to hallucinate...

So after taping Mr.P's beak closed (in case of further incidents), I dashed out to the nearest Patisserie and returned with one big bag and one small bag...

...one for me and one for Mr.P...

...although somebody didn't seem to think this was fair...

...and made a beeline for the biggest pastry...for MY pastry.

Oi! Pigeon! No!

I wasn't having any of it...


...and before I get any e-mails about pigeon cruelty, no pigeons were (badly) harmed in the making of this post.

Anyway, after he had stopped sulking and I had promised not to let him go too long without cake again, Mr.Pigeon decided to make it up to Fred by sharing his pain au chocolat.

What a happy ending :)