Thursday, July 31, 2008

Teasers revealed

Lynda (Aka the Holistic Knitter)  and I did a personal swap recently and as she has now received her parcel, I'll post some piccies of what  sent to her. I painted an ohm lotus flower candle burner (not a good photo of it here), a fabric covered and embellished notebook (which I forgot to get photo's of, but if you go to Lynda's blog, you can see pictures there) and a hand-poured chunk candle (also on Lynda's blog).



As Lynda is an avid reader, I made a felt and lace embroidered and appliqued bookmark


And a sunflower brooch to encourage the sunshine this summer!



I know Lynda likes her stitch markers, so I made a set of button stitch markers for her too.

I'm very nearly finished my Aine Cardi, I'm just in the process of assembling all the pieces now. I have a couple of other projects in my mental queue, I fancy a black Short 'n' Sweet, and also a February Lady Sweater, although common sense tells me that I should finish another one of my WIPS before embarking on something new.

So what else have I been up to? I've been busy with Summer School, which is fun. I have another session tonight, so I'm going to whip up a lesson plan shortly. I signed up for the 42 Sci-Fi Project which is a challenge to watch/read/listen and review 42 Sci-Fi books, films, TV shows or similar. You have 42 weeks and 42 days in which to complete it. I'm challenging myself to read or watch things I haven't done before as I've always been a sci-fi fan and have consumed most of what I have come across in the past.

I've also just signed up for the Leaky lounges Reading group in the Lily and Stag Inn. I've been sorted into Suite 52: Lockharts Lilac Spa and we're reading the Chamber of Secrets.  I've never been part of a reading group, so this will be a new experience for me!  Most of the group will be reading the American edition it seems, while I have the English, so I'm hoping that they're not too different.

M has 2 weeks off starting from Monday, so we're planning to get a tow bar fitted on the car (next Thursday), then Friday morning I have an interview (eek!) for a part-time job, which is at least a year round job and will mean that I won't have these long periods without any income, and then we'll be taking the caravan to Wiltshire for a little holiday! Hurray! We haven't been away for so long, I'm sure the caravan will have forgotten how to move! I need to give it a clean this week and make sure that it's fully stocked with gas, batteries, bedding, food and stuff like that. The place we're going to is a canalside pub with a field at the back which is available to tents and caravans. It's overlooked by a White Horse and is not far from Avebury, so we're planning a mystical holiday, revisiting stone circles and hopefully a trip to Glastonbury. Can't wait!


Happy Holidays!

By the way, if you would like to enter my Blogoversary Giveaway, you have until 4th August to leave a comment. The original post is here and it gives you all the details of what to do and what you can win. I've had some brilliant suggestions so far; thank you everyone that's left a comment so far. Why not check it out? Good luck!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hippy Swap Package


My partner esmecraftin has received her Hippy Swap package, so I can finally reveal some of the projects that I've been showing you teasers from over the past couple of weeks. My large item was this piece of artwork based on Cheryls favourite colour of green, and with a sort of hippy leafy theme. It was hard to photograph as it was quite reflective, but it had a polyclay leave, stamped and embossed with pearlised powders. That was mounted on a real oak leaf which I micro-pressed in my microwave, and then that was mounted on top of a pale pink skeleton leaf, and then that was mounted onto a piece of cut paper and put on top of the background. The background was a swirling painted multi-toned surfaces encrusted with microbeads, glitter and nature themed inclusions. I also made a name plate from polyclay with I stamped and embossed and highlighted with pearlised powders and mounted in the top left hand corner. The frame was a vintage one found in a charity shop which I repainted green and distressed with a copper wash.


I also needle felted a brooch in pink, with a purple swirl on it. I embellished it with beads and iridescent sequins so that it sort of shimmered in the light. 





Cheryl said that she liked paisley patterns, so I made this paisley motif candle burner, with swirls and jewels and lots of glitter. I hope she likes glitter! I also made a green candle to go in it.


Then just for fun, I crocheted a green hair band and sewed these blue flower petals on it. There's a faceted bead in the centre of each flower too.


Cheryl's favourite colours were green and blue, so I made a bracelet for her from vintage green pearl beads, blue marbled beads, and blue and green seed beads. It's a memory wire bracelet, you know, one size fits all!


I sent a hemp macrame bracelet too, which had a handmade Fimo bead in, but I forgot to photograph that before I sent it!

By the way, if you would like to enter my Blogoversary Giveaway, you have until 4th August to leave a comment. The original post is here and it gives you all the details of what to do and what you can win. I've had some brilliant suggestions so far; thank you everyone that's left a comment so far. Why not check it out? Good luck!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Harlestone Firs


Today J and I took K, Joe and Tia up to the local Firs forest which is on the border of the Althorpe Estate where Princess Diana grew up. Harlestone House used to be a country residence there, and was believed to be the inspiration for Jane Austen's Mansfield Park as she resided there for quite a while and letters have been found written by her from there. (A bit of literary history for you there! If that's what tickles you, more history of the area can be found here) It was a completely impromptu excursion - they normally turn out the best! The weather was lovely and the woods were nice and cool, although they were overpopulated with huge wood ants. Big bitey ones that make huge ant hills out of woodland debris. And because it was an impromptu outing, J and I were were sandals and summer dresses - not the best things to be wearing to journey to the land of the 50 ft ants. Yes, I did get bitten, thank you. Still, we had a good afternoon. Here's K and Joe wearing each other out.



Tia decided to end it all in a puddle. This puddle only just covered Joe's feet, but Tia is alot shorter and did the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Frog posture (once seen, never forgotten). She stayed there long enough to get soaked through and stinky, and then she trotted after us, looking very smug.



I love the trees up at Harlestone Firs. Apart from the fir forest, there are some really old native trees there. I feel like I'm in Fangorn there and I expect to see Treebeard bending down at any moment.


Tia sometimes finds it difficult to keep up with Joe and K. She's old and a bit overweight and very lazy!


There's one part of the forest which looks like an ancient avenue, with really old big trees lining either side. I can imagine it was part of a Royal estate once, and can practically see the horse and carriages charging along, or a Royal Party embarking on a hunt.


You may have gathered that I did not kill myself yesterday whilst executing my daughterly duties on the DIY front. I successfully moved several light fittings and fitted a pendant light fitting. Hurray! It all works too! Yay for me! As a reward, Mum gave me one of the old light fittings so now I have a shiny Ikea halogen multi-directional spotlight thingy to replace the crappy broken one in my studio! And I will fit it as soon as the temperature drops a little which I sincerely hope won't be too soon!

By the way, if you would like to enter my Blogoversary Giveaway, you have until 4th August to leave a comment. The original post is here and it gives you all the details of what to do and what you can win. I've had some brilliant suggestions so far; thank you everyone that's left a comment so far. Why not check it out? Good luck!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer's here at last!

Hurray! We've been having glorious weather here for a change! Just the sort of hot summer days that you need to make you feel that you're really on holiday! So I've been spending alot of time in the garden, pottering around, deadheading and making the garden look nice. I've also been crafting in the garden; one job was to re-elastic my Zill (finger cymbals). We've been doing some work with cymbals in class for the last couple of weeks and the elastic in them wasn't tight enough, so I couldn't get a good rhythm for fear of them spinning off my fingers and knocking someone out! The Zill with ribbons on are my thumb cymbals; the elastic on them is a little bigger than the fingers ones, so I know the difference without having to try them all on. The ornate pair are my favourite; they're slightly lower in tone than the other pair. I also crocheted a little purse to keep them in because I'm forever losing them in the depths of my dance bag!

Yesterday I spent painting bulbs in the garden. They're so pretty and now I have a nice batch in my shop, ready to light up everyone's lives *lol* So I'm doing work out there too you know! Just in case you were thinking it's all fun in the sun! Hot

You know, it turns out that my camera also has a flower setting! I love my camera! Look how pretty this poppy is! The local farmers are cultivating these poppies to make morphine, so they pop up everywhere wild now.

And hurray! my Erygium is starting to flower! It's not fully flowering yet, the head will be a deep blue when it's ready, but I love the alien appearance of these flowers!

I'll leave you with a couple more sunsets.

Isn't this one glorious?!

I'm off now to replace a light fitting in my Mums bedroom. I'm a little nervous! I've never done it before, but I have my big book of DIY and a volt meter, so hopefully I won't give myself an impromptu perm! Later Mum and I are going to have a Vin Deisel marathon movie session. She's never seen The Chronicles of Riddick and asked me if it was good. I said it was enjoyable if just for the eye candy 'Ah' she said 'I know, buff?' My sister and I taught her what 'buff' meant a few weeks ago. Yes Mum, Buff! So I'm taking round Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick.

Enjoy the sunshine everybody!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sounds and sunsets

 First things first, do you know how excited I am?? I confessed to you my secret obsession with sunsets, didn't I? Imagine how excited I was to find that my camera actually has a sunset setting! Yes, really! You know there'll be no stopping me now! You'll all be sick to death of sunsets soon. Well, in the next couple of months or so anyway, because there's not usually much sunsets to be seen in gray winter skies.  All the colours you see in the next couple of shots are actually there! The cloud formations too. Aren't they beautiful?


And the sky was that gorgeous fiery colour!

Today I actually have a little more than teaser shots to show you. I have some teaser shots too, but I also have some actual full pictures that you can ogle over. You know how much I like my MP3 players? I have several; one usually has audio books on it; I keep that one by my bed for when I can't sleep, my iPod Shuffle is full of music and travels round with me and I have another one which usually has random stuff on it, language stuff, bits of music, stories, etc. Well the Shuffle is great because it has this handle clip feature which means I can clip it onto whatever I'm wearing, but the others just have a gel sleeve thingy which has a belt loop on it. Pretty useless if you don't wear a belt, and tucking it into your bra strap just makes them a little, well, sweaty (yeah, I know, very gross!), or I drop them whilst I'm in the garden, or pottering around. So I've been planning a cozy for them for a long while and I got around to making one this weekend. It was essential that it had a neck strap, and a hole at the bottom for the ear bud cables to go through was a good idea too. This is what I came up with.

As you can see, it's a felt wallet with a hole punched in the bottom for the ear bud socket, and a decorative piece of sari trim along the side. I made a neck strap from matching yarn plaited into a soft cord and sewn along the sides. Now my iPod can travel round safely with me wherever I go too.


Here's a few more teaser shots.


You'll find out what they are soon enough!

Any guesses anyone?


And here's some stitch marker that I made for DesignVigilante in the OWS swap over on Craftster. She wanted a set of knitting markers and a set of crochet ones. These are the knitting ones. I also made a stitch holder for each set too as a little bonus gift.


These are the crochet ones. The crochet ones are more of a loop than a ring, but they're actually adaptable so that she could use them for either.

There's still time to enter my Blogoversary Giveaway, you have until 4th August to leave a comment. The original post is here and it gives you all the details of what to do and what you can win. I've had some brilliant suggestions so far, thank you everyone that's left a comment so far. Why not check it out? Good luck!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summer skies and summer schools


I had a little change around in the garden the other day and moved the garden bench to another spot on the patio where it's not blocked in by the bike (hurray!) and where it gets the sun all day long! When the sun actually shines that is! My patio is a sun trap and very sheltered, unlike the rest of the garden which is open to all the breezes available to a house on top of a hill. Sometimes that's nice though, so I'm not complaining. Of course, it hasn't taken the girls long to recognise the advantage of the newly placed garden bench. They each have been spotted shamelessly flaunting themselves in unadulterated sun worship. It has also had the benefit of making the Harley shunt up closer to the house, and freeing up more of the patio.

Speaking of cats, today whilst I was blog surfing, I came across this blog all about Chase the cat and her daily adventures. Check it out, it's kinda humbling. It's amazing, her will to live and to enjoy life. It's a lesson to us all. 

Want to see last nights beautiful sunset? Tada! 

Okay, I promised you some Summer School pictures; we're all playing with Modroc here, which is a sort of plaster bandage like the sort used to immobilise broken limbs. 

We made Giacometti inspired spindly figures, plaster hands and Slipknot inspired masks.

The photo quality isn't that good I'm afraid, I snapped them with my mobile phone camera, but you get the picture (Hee hee! Excuse the pun!)

There's still time to enter my Blogoversary Giveaway, you have until 4th August to leave a comment. The original post is here and it gives you all the details of what to do and what you can win. I've had some brilliant suggestions so far, thank you everyone that's left a comment so far. Why not check it out? Good luck!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Well, sort of. I have a sunset obsession. You may not know this about me, but I just love sunsets. I love the colours and textures; the way the sky changes to all these glorious colours and the way the light plays through the clouds. I see the most amazing sunsets from my studio window and I like to photograph them when I can (any sunsets really, not just the ones from my studio window!). I took this photo the other week which showed these fabulous inky cloud formations and the rays of golden sunlight streaming up and reflecting off the bottom of them. But do you see that golden ball of light there in the top right hand corner? Any idea what it is? I can't figure it out at all.

There are also some FO's too (Finished Objects), none of which I can show you at the moment as they're all intended for my current swap partners who may be peeking, but I'll give you a few teaser shots with the promise of better pictures when my partners receive.

But what can they be? Hee hee! I'm not going to give you any clues.

This is a pretty one, I hope my partner likes it!

This I can show you, it's another UFO! It's my Aine Cardi which is growing so quickly. If you want a quick project, this is perfect. I've now done the back and both fronts, and have started on one sleeve. The cardi also features a crocheted motif on each front panel which I'll have to do before I make it up.

Whilst knitting the front panels I needed two stitch holders which I didn't have, so I whipped a couple up using some florists wire and a pair of pliers. They worked really well and the florists wire is soft enough to bend into shape easily, but strong enough to hold its shape whilst you use it.

Okay, another FO here. This jewelled paisley hurricane candle burner will be going into mu eBay shop shortly. It's a lovely swirly turquoise with copper outliner detail.

I've also discovered a great site for all you UK bookworms. Books are so expensive these days and I'm sure you all have a pile of books at home that you've read and probably won't read again. ReadItSwapIt allows you to swap your unwanted books for other peoples unwanted books. I've done a few swaps on there now and I'm quite happy with my newly acquired reading material! M is also a voracious reader and unlike me, won't read a book more than once and is not bothered whether he keeps any of them. I have an *ahem* extensive library of books, fiction, non-fiction, craft books, gardening books, DIY books, text books, cooking books, you name it, I probably have a book on it somewhere *lol* When we were given the opportunity to buy our house, M insisted that of course we should buy, because then he'd never have to move my books again!

If you would like to enter my Blogoversary Giveaway, you have until 4th August to leave a comment. The original post is here and it gives you all the details of what to do and what you can win. I've had some brilliant suggestions so far, thank you everyone that's left a comment so far. Why not check it out? Good luck!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blogoversary Giveaway!

August the 4th will be my Third Blog Birthday - Yay! I can't believe it's been that long since I started up this little ole blog of mine. It's become almost addictive! Anyone else find that they mentally blog in their head as they go through their day? That everything they look at they see blog photo opportunities? Even if those things never make it onto my blog, and lets face it, many of them don't because I have a terrible memory and many of the things I think throughout my day, I instantly forget the minute I sit down at the computer with a blank page in front of me! Never mind. So to celebrate my Blogoversary, I'm having a little giveaway! I was lounging in bed the other night, watching Batman (the one with Catwoman and Penguin in, can't remember the name at this moment) and knitting and my favourite bit of the film came up; the bit where Selina returns to her flat and after trashing it, she hauls out her trusty sewing machine and whips up a slinky PVC outfit to prowl around in. (And why not? If I had a body like Michelle Pfeiffer, I'd probably feel the urge to don stilettos and PVC.) But it got me thinking. How many other crafty scenes are there in films that I've forgotten about, or missed completely? Okay, there's the 80's film 'Pretty in Pink' where Molly's whole wardrobe is DIY and crafty, but do you know, I can't think of any others! So if you want to leave a comment for me, telling me your favourite crafty film moment, or if my blog hates you at the moment and won't let you comment (I think it's going through a phase of that at the moment with some people - sorry) you can e-mail me directly through the 'Contact Me' link on the top left hand tool bar in my blog. You have until August the 4th and I'll draw out the winner then.

And what will the winner receive? Well, I have this lovely Carnelian crystal pendant begging for a good home, the various properties and origins of Carnelian are listed below.


Carnelian gemstone meanings, properties and qualities

Carnelian is the name given to a specific colour of agate. The word carnelian comes from the latin word for flesh (carnis). It applies to any agate that is red to dark orange to brownish in colour. Sometimes referred to as cornelion, it is found primary in India, and various sites around South America. Also found in Brazil, Australia, Russia and the US. Carnelian is a variety of chalcedony.

The most favourable pieces are deep-red to red-orange in colour. A moderately hard stone that is capable of taking a hard polish. Used for thousands of years - from the Egyptians, who filled tombs with carnelian, as they thought it had great power, and would help the souls journey to the afterlife.

Once classed as just the property of the noble classes, carnelian was often associated with social status.

Carnelian Gemstone Meanings - Emotional, Spiritual, etc.

Carnelian gemstone meanings, properties and qualities 2

  • Carnelian protects from bad vibrations.
  • Carnelian can help calm the temper.
  • Carnelian helps an insecure person find strength from within.
  • Carnelian can help with poverty.
  • Carnelian can help in focusing and in realising goals.
  • Carnelian is great for Libras - aids decision making.
  • Carnelian helps to banish sorrow.
  • Carnelian helps give a sense of humour.
  • Carnelian can give career success.
  • Carnelian can help in drama and theatrical productions etc.

Carnelian Gemstone Meanings - Healing, Medical, Physical, etc.

  • Carnelian helps stop the flow of blood - helps to heal wounds and cures blood diseases.
  • Carnelian helps to increase physical energy.
  • Carnelian is an energy booster.
  • Carnelian can be recommended for infertility and impotency.
  • Carnelian helps to increase sexual energy.
  • Carnelian increases appetite.

I'm looking forward to seeing what crafty moments are your favourites.

I leave you with this gratuitous kitty shot, a real chocolate box moment from Keilo!



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