Sunday, September 30, 2007


Look what happened this morning! Some bastard threw a rock through our bedroom window!!! 9 o'clock! I had just got out of bed as we were going to go to a car boot sale, and Mark was still finishing his morning coffee, when 'BOOM'. It sounded like an explosion.
Look at the size of this thing! Where it landed is right on my side of the bed. If I was still in bed it could have killed me!

Look, here's a penny next to it so you can see how big it is! And yes, that is an earwig next to the rock. There was also a snail that hitched a ride on that rock, but it seems to have done a dissappearing act. By the time we got to the window, there was no-one in sight. And all the glaziers want to charge £150+vat+materials to come out on a Sunday just to board your window up! Not even to reglaze it! You'd have to pay that on top. And wait in another day for them to come back.

We've patched it with a bit of bubble wrap for now and will have to get it sorted over the next couple of days. It took us about 3 hours to clean the bedroom up. We had to strip the bed and hoover everything peticulously, then sling it all through the washing machine. I really wanted to get new bedding, but we can't afford that at the moment. Replacing the window's going to stretch the finances as it is. And yes, we are insured, but you have to get the work done, then claim, then wait and answer all the stupid queries you get back from the insurers, it'll probably be a month or two before we get the money back. If we're lucky. Which we don't seem to be at the moment.

Life sucks.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Got my Ravelry Invite!

How weird is this? Tuesday night I'm lamenting the Ravelry wait, Wednesday night I get home from Jewellery class to find my Ravelry invite waiting for me in my e-mail box!! Wheeee! So now I'm a bonafide member of Ravelry under the name of Samsara (obviously!) I'm starting to add projects n stuff, it's definitely a WIP at the moment! If you're on there too, say Hi!
Just thought I'd update you on the jewellery WIP. I've now created my little hearts, soldered them, soldered them to the big heart and pickled it. I have to clean it and polish it, then I'm ready to cloisonne!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Waiting patiently for my Ravelry invite....

*Sigh* Ravelry.
Everyone is talking about it! I'm still waiting for my invite. When I put my e-mail address in a minute ago to check where I am in the queue, this is what I got...

Found you!
You signed up on July 17, 2007
You are #17895 on the list.
456 people are ahead of you in line.
17819 people are behind you in line.
48% of the list has been invited so far

On a more positive note, I think I may be finished with the HPIYP package for Karan. I packed the box up loosely last night and it's pretty full. There will need to be some more 'cushiony' packing and I may yet slip in a couple more teeny tiny items, but I'm pretty much there.

I've claimed Homerof2 for some artwork in the OWS 23 so I've got to decide what medium and subject I'm going to use. I'm quite tempted to sign up for the 'From my Stash' swap. I keep looking at it, I have loads of stash, and till we've got a few paydays under our belts, money is still quite tight. The sensible side of me tells me to craft for Christmas and the Christmas Fairs whilst the swap addict is egging me to sign up. If it wasn't for the International postage costs....Still, I've sold quite a few things in my eBay shop recently :-)
I posted Rosemary's Weasley Household Item swap package which was the 'Beauxbatons' cape from Fleur, these spider earrings from Ginny and the Weasley is our King badge from Ron. My partner wanted stuff to wear. Hope she likes it all.
Tomorrow is my mega day - I'll be teaching classes all day from 8.30am till 5.00pm. I then have an hour to bolt down some tea and head across town to Jewellery class from 6.00pm till 9.00pm. I have to get some lesson plans organised for tomorrow.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tornado warning

Look what happened today - a tornado hit our town - just a mini one. This is one of the big old lime trees on the golf course by the centre where I work a couple of days a week. It was fully branched and huge and now is barely a half of its size. Most of its poor branches were lying on the floor of the car park. The greenkeepers spent most of the day clearing and chipping all the fallen branches.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My mirror of Erised....

The evil beast that is temptation is rearing it's ugly head. I really, really want an i-pod shuffle. Tescos keeps shoving them under my nose every time I go into the store, I've even gone as far as to compare the prices on eBay and Amazon. They are just so cute and tiny and come with a handy little clip to clip them onto your clothes, something my other mp3 players sorely lack. I'd love one in purple, but I will be happy with black or silver.
It's my birthday in a couple of months, maybe I should wait and drop a few hints. M's pretty good at getting me techno toys as gifts. He has kept me well supplied with laptops, games consoles; both hand-held and home consoles (I love Nintendo, though I don't have a Wii yet), tv's and dvd players (I even have a portable dvd player), mobile phones and cameras. He doesn't do the traditional girlie gifts; jewellery, perfume, lingerie, etc, although he did buy me a Harley Davidson bracelet one year which I guess he got because he was hanging out at the dealership regularly. It's on one of his bike 'burn' routes and he stops and has a coffee with whoever's hanging there.
A less techno temptation that I'm trying to resist at the moment is a dressform. *Sigh* I really want a dressform. I'm not particularly materialistic, but occasionally I get the urge for something.
These are what I would see in the Mirror of Erised. I think I will hint :-)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Back again!

Hello, hello! I'm back! I feel like I've been offline for AGES!!!... My ISP has been playing up and I've been offline since Tuesday night! It's been horrible! I have so much news ! Javede received my OTT (One Tiny Thing) - I made her a crocheted coin purse of her favourite colours with a butterfly bead at one end (she likes butterflies).
I also sewed a small zip in, which I'm quite proud of. I was amused that Javede and I both sent each other purses. Great minds think alike!

I had intended to add a long strap too, but decided against it at the last minute.

My first day back at school went fairly smoothly. I managed to regain my composure even though most of the timetables had changed between Friday and Wednesday and people were turning up left, right and centre that I hadn't got on my register! *lol* I had totally forgotten what it was like in that first month where all you got was blank looks when you spoke to the class. They lighten up once they start to get a grip on the language! I have loads of work for next week now!

Wednesday is going to be a busy day, I will be teaching from 8.30 through to 5.00 with an hour for lunch. I then have an hour to grab my packed 'dinner' and get across town to silver smithing class for 6.00. I have my small hearts cut, formed and soldered now. I'm just giving them the final file and sandpaper before the 'cloisonne' process. I'm really enjoying this class. I just love to learn and I'm learning every week. Oh yeah, I get to melt metal with a flame and cut it with a saw too. that's such good fun.

I did my first baby prints today too. Baby hand imprints in clay, and hand and footprints on pottery pieces. It never ceases to surprise me how wriggly babies are. I'm not a mum and I don't have friends with babies. The last baby I had anything to do with (my mates) just started secondary school! I normally work with adults and young adults. Still, it was an experience, and the baby in question was unbelievably good-natured and adorable. She didn't cry either which made all the difference. I find it difficult to tolerate babies screaming.

Saturday is Karan's Birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY KARAN!!! I wish you happiness, health and good fortune for the forthcoming year. You deserve it Hon!

I have an interview next week too. Wish me luck, it's not going to make me rich, but it may help to free me from a job I hate...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Crazy Week

Yep, it's been one crazy week - I've been working, been doing jewellery workshops, had staff meetings, been car booting, crafting and lesson planning. Term started this week and I have all my lessons grouped together this year, which means I have a couple of days where I'm not in school, though I'll probably be doing freelance stuff. I found out Friday that I have Foundation art for all their classes this year, and I've never actually taught that class before so I've been cramming and trying to get together a few lesson plans. It means that I teach from 8.30am till 5.00pm, and then go straight to silversmithing class for 6.00pm, till 9.00pm. I've just made up a packed lunch and tea for tomorrow. Wow, Wednesdays is going to be knackering!
I also never updated from last weeks smithing class. Here's some of the girls:
Unfortunately Mo who is taking the class has her back to me in these photos. She's the one in the black t-shirt. We have a good laugh :-)

Here's the design I'm currently working on. I'm going to be doing a cloisonne pendant, so I'm cutting out very thin strips of metal to make the mini hearts. Then I have to solder them on before I can enamel them.

That very fine strip you can see there was cut from a sheet of metal and is about 1mm wide. I also filed and sandpapered all the edges! There is about 3 weeks work on that pad there!

This is Fleurs Beauxbaton Cape I made for my swap partner in the Weasley Household object swap - I also have a couple of smaller projects to send off too! I love this pattern from the Happy Hooker - it's the first time I've made it and I think it looks great! It crocheted up like a dream!

I sent Simplyfussfrees crocheted granny scarf off on Monday, but I forgot to take a photo before I posted it! Arrggghhh! I hate it when I do that! I wish I had a photo, it was an all white scarf (white's not really my colour and it's just not practical for an art teacher *lol* ) but it took me quite a while and I was pleased with the result. Oh well, never mind. I'll see if I can nab a picture when she posts one in the swap gallery.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

ABC - todays letter is.....

D, which stands for DOG: This is Joe, our German Shepherd. He's about 4 1/2 years old now and a real bouncy berserker of a dog! He's much larger than the average German Shepherd, I think he's a Shiloh Shepherd , definately a giant breed anyway! He's a really loving, friendly dog, he loves children and our cats, but he does like to chase other animals and likes to be chased himself. He's obsessed with his balls! Rubber play balls that is, in case you were wondering!
DOOR: This is my front door, a bright cheery red, complete with lucky horseshoe, windchime and matching red flowerpot. Bizarrely enough, my front door is at the side of the house as I'm on the end of the cul-de-sac and that's the part of the house that faces the road.

DIDGERIDOO: My house is filled with didges because M plays. Here are a couple of his favourites. The big one is about 6 ft long and is his absolute favourite. They are all eucalyptus and termite hollowed. The big one M imported directly from Australia

DRAGONS: I'm not a big collector, but I do like dragons. There's not much space for ornaments but I do have a few, mostly dragons. Here are a couple more. There's also Norbert in the garden.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 the sky with diamonds...

Yesterday morning I woke up to this sight...the windows of the old Express Lift Tower (also known as the Northampton Lighthouse, even though we're no-where near the sea) lit up by the morning sunrise. I've never seen this happen before and the reflection was so bright, it was like looking at the sun. It must only happen once or twice a year.
I have loads of projects on the go at the moment, but none that I can post piccys of as they're swap projects and I don't want to ruin any surprises. I did make this for me though last night. Black and silver beads on tigertail.

It's quite a delicate necklace and as I wear lots of black it will go with lots of stuff!

I finished WhileyWoo's Kitty beanie and that is now winging its way down the country to sunny Exeter to her as we speak. (Hopefully!)

I have also received some great things recently, so thank you to Called2otherskies and La_chrystelle, Whileywoo, Frosty, Javede and bkrenning4 - Thank you everybody!

Today has been a lovely day, really sunny and warm and not like the weather you would expect from September. Maybe all the months were shifted up a couple and nobody told me. Maybe this is our summer now. I hope somebody tells the schools that so that they can plan the holidays accordingly!

I will be at my jewellery class later and crafting with my Mum and Sister tomorrow night, which I'm hoping M will pick me up from so that I can have a drink or two....

Monday, September 10, 2007

Follow the .....yellow brick road...?

Sunday I spent the day doing ceramic and jewellery workshops at the Harpole Scarecrow Festival. The festival was on all weekend and basically involved the whole village creating scarecrows at their own houses. There were stalls too, and an open-topped bus doing the 'Scarecrow Tour' and all the visitors had a map and a voting form to vote on the best scarecrow of the village.
I didn't have my camera with me, but I took some photos with my mobile phone camera, so the quality's not great, but you get the picture *lol* If you follow the link above, you'll find some better pictures.
Dr who and his Tardis:
Prince Charles on his Triumph:

Nightmare at Christmas' Jack Skellington:

Bonza Bike:

The vintage open-topped London bus:

A particular favourite was the transformer scarecrow which started off as a car and expanded out into a massive robot scarecrow. I think that one was at the house of a mechanic coz he had a load of vintage cars in his drive too. It was a fun day and surprisingly, the weather was lovely!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Rash and grab

*Sigh* I can't wear my spiffy new pendant at the moment because it's brought me up in a rash (damn alloy allergy). I'll have to cover the back with something before I can wear it again, maybe varnish, or felt. I'm having to be bling free whilst I wait for my skin to recover. I think I knew I would be allergic to it, but I wore it to my Mums and also to jewellery class to show off. Guess that'll teach me.
M and I spent the day at Milton Keynes today. They have a massive shopping centre and market there. I'm not really a big shopper, I maybe go once a month at the most. In one of the cheap bookshops there I bought this book 1001 practical household uses for vinegar. It's a great book, it has all the different uses in tabbed section; laundry, cleaning, health and beauty, cooking, DIY, pet care, and outdoor/gardening. I've been looking out for one of these for ages.

I know a lot of uses for vinegar, but I've learnt some great new ones. For example, did you know that a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV) in your pets drinking water will deter fleas and ticks? It will also help dogs with hip displasia as ACV breaks down calcium deposits whilst re-mineralising bones. 2 tsp of ACV and honey in a glass of water will help humans with arthritis for the same reason. How cool is that? There are loads of other tips, but I need to sit down and read through properly without skimming.

It is also one of the ingredients used in the 'no-poo' lifestyle which I have unconsciously been gravitating towards. I have always been reluctant to use chemicals on my skin as I suffer from an auto-immune disease which is worsened by chemical overload. I've figured out a way of making a lot of body products but for some reason my hair has been the last on the list. I only wash it about once a week but after reading even more about it, I have decided to give up the poo lifestyle. I recently made some shampoo bars, but I'm still waiting for those to cure. I think the bicarbonate of soda and cider vinegar approach is just what I'm looking for. It'll be more eco-friendly too. I only have a little shampoo left, and when that's gone, I'm not going to buy any more!

The plastic goldfish are going to go into my Dad's and Bruv's spa boxes this Christmas. I have some clear melt n pour soap from a past project, so I'm going to use it to make 'goldfish in a bag' soaps for them. The girls will get a cp soap each. Also going into the box will be a shampoo bar, bath bomb, body butter, wash mitt, candle, wine glass and mini wine bottle (ah, one of life's most decadent pleasures, a candlelit bath with a glass of wine and your mp3 player!) maybe a hand-made chocolate too. Everything going in will hopefully be made by myself! I made a similar one a few years ago and it went down a storm.

I'm nearly finished WhileyWoos Kitty beanie. Just the ears to do now.

I spent last night working on 3 super secret projects for the HPIYP! (Tralala lala!) I love them all and one of them I'm going to recreate for myself. I spent last week thinking about both projects and how I was going to do them, and now I have the bits, I've made good progress. I've not finished any of them yet, alcohol got in the way and before I knew where I was, I woke up in an undignified position on the bed. The evils of drink I tell ya! Still, at least I always manage to get to bed! I was feeling sorry for myself commiserating not getting on the college course I wanted to do. There were only 14 places and they were all taken by the time I applied. Where's my time-turner? I'm sure Hermione wouldn't have let a simple thing like this stop her! *Sigh*

Friday, September 07, 2007

Buttons and Beanies

This weeks jewellery class consisted of much sawing, filing and sand-papering. Smithing can be a laborious process. I will now longer raise my eyebrows at the cost of hand-made silver jewellery. Even the simplest design takes hours of labour. I cut a fairly large heart design and smoothed it to a mirror-like finish (it's the over-achiever in me!) I then pierced a very thin strip of metal ready to shape into a design to solder on my pendant, which will form the 'moat' into which the enamel will go for the cloisonne effect. I forgot to take my camera this week, so I only have a very crappy camera phone picture of my progress so far!

I finished a couple of things for the Autumn colour swap on Craftermath. This is a keyring (obviously)

And I had a go at making a button brooch. I really like how this turned out! I might have a go at one of these for myself! Buttons from my stash and plenty of hot glue!

My package is now completed and I stuck it in the post this morning. I was just thinking about my mate Gill who lives near the Post Office and wondering if she'd be up yet to take the dogs to Rabbit Field (she's a lorry driver and she does a night shift) and lo and behold, who walks round the corner? Gill! She hadn't actually gone to bed yet, so we had a walk and a chat in the sunshine with the dogs. So nice to catch up. I haven't seen her since that fateful night of several weeks ago where much much alcohol was involved!

I'm a big lover of coleslaw, but shop bought stuff just isn't tangy enough for my tastes, so I've been making my own recently! Much much better. Hopefully I will keep it up once school starts again.

This has red cabbage, white cabbage, onion and carrot in, with a little white wine vinegar and some vegan mayo. I was going to make some pizza cinnabons too, but I used my homemade pizza sauce on some half baguettes that didn't get eaten on the day and needed to be used up. Still yummy though. Halve the baguettes, spread the pizza topping over, then pile halved cherry tomatoes, onion, sweetcorn, pineapple and whatever else you want to on top. Stick it in the oven till the bread crisps and eat with the coleslaw and a bit of salad. Scrummy!

I'm nearly done with WhileyWoo's Kitty beanie. I'm on the decreases now, so I'll be finished on the hat and will just have to add the ears. I haven't been able to start Simplyfussfree's granny square scarf yet because she hasn't decided on the colours yet.

The Harry Potter stuff is going well, but I can't post any pictures yet because it's all secret. I'm also doing another HP swap which involves creating a Weasley household object. My partner Rosemary, would like something practical, so I'm brainstorming for that one at the moment. I watched the Chamber of Secrets again last night because that film has some great shots of the Burrow towards the beginning of the film.

I'm working at the Pottery studio this afternoon, then hopefully M and I will do something together tomorrow and Sunday i shall be at the local Scarecrow Festival doing a jewellery workshop with Maureen. Busy, busy! I've just got some supplies in the post so I will be able to get on with some HP projects. Yippee!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Todays letter is C

C is for...

CAT: here's my eldest cat, Keilo. She has quite a haughty expression on her face here! She's quite a haughty cat actually, with brief bursts of intense lovingness where she strides about, kissing everything in sight (including the dog) and kneading with her paws. It doesn't take much for her to decide she's had enough though and waltz off. I think she has far too much alley cat in her (genetics darling) and is quite happy to sleep under a bush for hours. She would never dream of sleeping on your lap, but is quite happy to kip on the bed given half a chance.

This is Pippin, she's the youngest and a more naughty lively cat you'd be hard to find. She had mad sessions where she hops about flipping a toy in the air and sometimes those toys are real! *Eeeww!* She's also very loving and very vocal and will run into the room calling to be picked up and cuddled. She loves to be rubbed on her face and will lick my hand when I'm doing it as if she's letting me wash her!


Here's our little beauty! She's old, but immaculate and dry inside. She has 2 double beds which pack away so there's tables and stuff in the day. She has a little kitchen area with a fridge and a cooker, a bathroom with a portapotty and a sink. We haven't had the money to go away in her this summer, but we definitely will next summer. She's living at the front of the house at the moment.


The Grand Union Canal runs at the bottom of the hill so it's one of my favourite places to walk with Joe. There's some amazing sights along the canal bank. I've walked and cycled along alot of it.


My local country park is at the top of the hill. It's quite a wild area with lots of fields (including Rabbit Field, our name for a field full of rabbits which Joe loves), lots of trees, and an old ironstone railway. It has some amazing views aswell because it's right on top of one of the highest points in Northampton and you can pretty much see everything from there.

Monday, September 03, 2007

You can get under my Umbrella, ella, ella...

It's been a busy weekend. Saturday I did a craft fair (in a village I'd never been to before, so I was able to use the SatNav that M had bought me specifically for this purpose!) which was reasonably good for this time of year. I sold a really nice very large Celtic hurricane to an old gentleman for a gift for one of his daughters. Unfortunately he spent the afternoon swinging it around behind his back and broke it. I felt so bad for him and offered him a replacement of his choice (it wouldn't have been the same unfortunately as I tend to do OOAK pieces), but he wouldn't accept it and said that it was completely his fault and that he was careless.
The weather was kind of nice (ish) on Sunday, so we postponed the visit to the Sealife Centre in Birmingham, deciding to enjoy the sunshine and nice weather whilst we could. The Sealife Centre is a rainy day activity we decided, and there will no doubt be plenty of those this autumn. The Umbrella Festival was running this year for about the first time in 10 years, it's a kind of indie, green festival. I had decided to take these to the Sealife Centre to release, but I thought the Umbrella Festival would do as well. There was actually a Book-Crossing stall there, so I left the books there. I picked a couple of new ones up too, I know that I'm meant to be de-stashing, not re-stashing, but hey, they'll be read and released!
Some friends were there with their band; Native American flute, didge, djembe drums and percussion. A very eclectic tribal mix! The girl on the left in the purple with the hat is my mate Mandy.

Another friend was there with his eco wood-turning demos. Just bits of wood and very strong thigh muscles *lol* He's been doing this for years. The lathe is turned by a long branch attached to a foot treadle and stand. The string attached to the branch twists around the wood that's being turned and down to the foot treadle and spins it round and round.

We had a good afternoon, enjoying the music, meeting old friends, and soaking up the atmosphere :-)

I finished another one of my Autumnal colour swap items for Solorn. This is a winter muff in lovely autumnal shades. I have a similar one. It's lovely and warm, I take it to craft fairs and winter events.

I also made this bracelet. The beads are mostly reclaimed vintage beads from necklaces belonging to Mum and a friend. Wooden beads with pale green faux pearls spaced with gold and copper seed beads.

I finished
Javede's OTT and posted it today. I won't post the piccys yet until she receives it coz I know she peeps here :-)

I also received some fab cutlery from WhileyWoo too, along with some treats for the furbabies.



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