Monday, 24 December 2007

warmest wishes

Just a quick post (no pun intended!) to say merry christmas to you all. I hope you have a lovely day tomorrow. It's been a wonderful year of blogging for me and I feel like I've met so many great people through writing here. You've made it a pleasure with your lovely comments and emails! I'll probably be back here in the new year if not before.

Warmest festive wishes to you and a happy new year! x

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Mr Whippy

Not very seasonal unless you live in the southern hemisphere! This was a special request of an ice cream van rubber stamp for my beloved. It is one of the little gifts that I have put in the wooden advent calendar in the run up to christmas. Ah yes, I think I forgot to mention those. I meant to write a post about them because they've been so much fun to do. It all started because usually we have a chocolate advent calendar each and this year with my diet changing and having to exclude dairy I couldn't have one. So I decided to embrace that and go one better instead of feeling bad about it and now we have one each because Mr P thought it would be unfair if only he had to think of little gifts each day which is fine by me... i've really enjoyed the challenge! So rubber stamps have found their way into a couple of Mr P's drawers. I just can't get enough of making rubber stamps. It's so addictive. In my calendar I have found lots of lovely things like little ink pads and beads. He knows me so well!!

A thank you goes out to who very kindly passed me the true blue blogging award (and helped me to think of a couple of things to put in the calendar - thanks!). I'd like to pass the award on to all the lovely readers of this blog who leave me comments. It makes my day reading them and I appreciate each and every one of them. Thanks everybody! :-)

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

sugar frosting

I woke up yesterday to a world dusted in crystals. So after feeding the birds I grabbed my camera and this is my favourite of the bunch. Pretty, no?

I thought I'd share a few pics of one of the presents I've been making as I don't think the intended recipient reads my blog. I really enjoyed making this bracelet and have finally figured out how to oxidise the sterling silver to a lovely antique finish. You can see it on the clasp. The photos don't get across quite how lovely the colours are with the red being toned down by the mossy green-grey and subtle lilac-grey beads, you'll just have to take my word for it!

Monday, 17 December 2007

the brilliant crowded house

I meant to write about this a week ago but we couldn't get the photo off P's phone. Anyway, now I have it!

Crowded House at the MEN in Manchester. They were absolutely brilliant!! One of the best concerts I've been to I think. They played a great mix of new and old songs. There were some really fun bits where they had the audience singing and it sounded amazing! My favourite part was a slow song when they turned all the lights off in the arena and it was filled with the twinkling lights of people's phones. Who'd have thought mobile phones could be so magical? It looked like thousands of stars.

I hope they come back again.

Have you been to see any live bands recently?

Thursday, 13 December 2007

The siskins have returned!

I've been so excited this week because one of my favourite birds is finally back. The siskins flew in at the weekend. A flock of about 40 landed in the alder trees behind the garden. We are so lucky to see so many. They are very small compared to the other birds. They even make the goldfinches look big. The flock seems to have left a couple of pairs behind and gone on it's merry way. For a better illustration and to see the colours have a look on the RSPB site.

Have you seen any where you are?

Friday, 7 December 2007

making christmas

I've been wondering what to post about because while I have been making lots of things recently as crimble presents I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone! It is so difficult to keep things a secret!! I have to try extra hard because I'm rubbish at it!

I have been carving lots of rubber stamps and P cut me some little blocks of wood for the very thin rubber sheets I have. I wasn't sure what glue to use so I chose superglue. I was slightly worried that it might dissolve the stamps or something but it seems to have worked fine and makes life sooo much easier. I no longer have ink all over my fingers. ;-) I thought I would have to turn up to the christmas parties covered in ink! :-)

Starting to feel very festive and I've bought a cd with classic christmas songs on like White Christmas by Bing Crosby and Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt. It's great! There are a few dodgy ones on there like All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth but I just skip over those ones!

I love seeing what everyone's up to on their blogs... pics of christmas trees, handmade cards and baking. Hope you're enjoying the build up to christmas as much as I am.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

I love surprises!!

I'm pleased to announce that the first 3 people to comment on this post (and say that they'd like to participate in the game) will receive a handmade gift from me sometime in the next couple of months. There is a catch though... you have to pay it forward too by sending handmade surprises to 3 people on your own blog.

I was really chuffed to join the game at shadowsandclouds where I was commenter No. 2!! Hurray! Thanks ! So I'll be sending you something too to say thanks! (Again!!)

How great is this idea?!! I just love the idea of spreading a little handmade happiness around the world. I have lots of ideas for things I can make for this so bring it on!! Comment away!!

Monday, 26 November 2007

mountains and lakes

Have you ever been to the Lake District in Cumbria? It's such an awe inspiring place full of water and mountains which seem somehow friendlier and less bleak than other similar places and now is my favourite time to visit when the bracken has turned it's glorious rust colour to contrast with the bright, luscious greens brought about by all the rain. Yes, it's famous for the amount of rain but we never let that put us off.

You probably can't tell that it was raining really hard when we climbed onto the fells. The rain was horizontal in the strong wind! It was the first time that I have ever been able to lean back into the wind and let it take all my weight. What a crazy feeling that was. Exhilarating!

Coincidentally, we watched the film Miss Potter recently, all about Beatrix Potter and her beloved Lake District. It was fun to see all her characters come to life. What a lovely film but so sad in one part that it made me want to cry.

Who has written better about the Lakes than Mr Wordsworth?

The Tables Turned by William Wordsworth

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your Teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

8 random things

Oh blimey, the lovely gina has tagged me to reveal 8 random things about myself.

The rules are:
*link to the person who tagged you
*post the rules
*name 8 things others don't know about you
*link to 8 other bloggers

Ok, here goes...

  1. I don't drink tea or coffee. Instead I enjoy a lovely steaming mug of boiled water, yep, plain!! Not even a slice of lemon. I like it!! Most people think I'm a bit mad I think. Oh and when I'm at home it's often in a massive, stripy mug that a friend bought me for christmas one year.

  2. When my head hits the pillow I often get a flashback of the dream I had the previous night which I couldn't remember until that moment. Does that happen to anyone else?

  3. I always wonder who the people are who read my blog. I know lots more people read it than comment. I would love it if you said hello. Now's your chance! My email address is in my profile if you don't have a blogger account. I also wonder if people who know me in 'real life' read it and don't let on! ;-)

  4. There are 9 bird feeders in our garden. It is like the bird world equivalent of the food hall at the trafford centre. I actually look forward to the leaves falling off the trees so I can get a better view of the birds fluttering around and now the squirrels too.

  5. I had braces on my teeth from age 15 until I was 19. The week I had them fitted 3 different boys asked me out!

  6. I can't kill anything. I always imagine that if I were to kill a fly then he might have a wife and kids waiting for him at home. I also try to rescue things. I fed a bee some honey in the summer as it was struggling to pull itself across the lawn. It finally flew away after about half an hour of sipping at the honey. People killing things for pleasure or entertainment make me want to be sick.

  7. I am very shy (especially in groups of people) until you get to know me. I find it much easier to write than to talk, and worry that the things I say are sometimes misconstrued. I hate to think I might offend people without meaning to. I am a good listener, I think. Always look on the bright side!!

  8. When I went away I left little notes all over the house for my other half to find. I tried to think of funny places like in a tube of pringles, in the shower, stuck to a door knob.

  9. (An extra one because I'm on a roll...) I hardly ever watch films rated 18 because I can't stand violence. One of my fav films we rented this year was The Chorus (Les Choristes), an uplifting story about a teacher defying authority to make a difference. Have you seen it?
That was easier than I thought it would be!

If you'd like to play along (no pressure, just if you feel like it)... I tag:

Na, andrew, tania, Murray, Janet, Gennine, Penelope and Astrid.

Monday, 19 November 2007

treasure hunting

Have you ever been out treasure hunting for something only to come home with something completely different? We went out searching for a second hand dresser to do up at this amazing place near Manchester where all the profits go to the homeless. The prices are incredibly reasonable with big pieces of wooden furniture like chests of drawers and tables going for around 30 pounds.

As soon as I spied this little tin I fell in love with it and so the mystery began. What on earth had been kept in it? Ring travellers? What are they? So I did a bit of research on the internet and found out that Cook & Co were in the textile business in Manchester at the beginning of the 1900's. I got excited because the timing fit in with the art nouveau design on the tin. A bit more delving and it seems that ring travellers are something that are/were used in weaving fabric. Fascinating to find a little bit of history and a fun mystery solved.

Friday, 16 November 2007

committing to memory

I did this sketch of P before I went away as an excuse to study his face and remember all the details whilst I was gone. It makes him look as though he has a beard which he doesn't. Oops! But it was fun to do and very comforting too.

Whilst at my sister's we have chosen some bridesmaid dresses in a lovely colour. Yay! Thanks for the good luck! And I think I forgot to mention that I've found my wedding dress too. It's gorgeous! Just what I was subconsciously looking for.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

hurray for blog friends!

Look what the postman delivered before I went away...! Can I just say that it was very difficult to contain myself long enough to pause and take photos whilst I was unwrapping this parcel!!

Lots of italian newspaper...

and some persimons!! Look how beautiful they are! They're such a gorgeous shiny orange. I can't wait for these to ripen so I can eat them!! :-D

I have made some amazing friends through this world of blogging and none more so than the wonderful who picked these especially for me because I'd never tried them before and then sent them all the way from italy to the uk! How amazingly kind is that?!! Nà's life is a complete inspiration to me and if you've never been to her blog then you're missing out big time! Nà takes fantastic photos, is completely in tune with the beautiful part of Italy in which she lives, is incredibly creative, friendly and kind, and is my environmentally-friendly heroine! Anyone who can live without a fridge, especially in a hot country like Italy deserves to be celebrated!

Thanks Nà!! You're a complete star and you totally made my day! I am listening to radio dervish (for the 7th time in a row!!) whilst I am writing this. I am completely in love with it. I haven't even started on the other cd yet! You have completely spoiled me! What an amazing surprise! Thank you!!!

Monday, 12 November 2007

mr robin

I was going to post the sketch of the blue tit but decided that this one was better. Hope you like it. I'm writing this at my sister's house and we're off to look for bridesmaid dresses tomorrow. Wish us luck!

Friday, 9 November 2007

last leg...

he's very friendly...

almost there now...

... and that's lucky because the mist is really coming down now...

...but I think that left the best photos for last! Thanks for walking with me!! Have a good day!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

come on... keep up...

Oh good, we're going the right way...

love this bit... it's like a green tunnel...

...anything to post while we're passing?...

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

I know... let's go for a walk!

Up for it anyone?

Some leaves to shuffle through...

don't forget to look up...

Down the path dappled in light...

to the open countryside...

down the hill...

looking very wintry already...

pause for a glimpse of the view...

... more to follow...

Monday, 5 November 2007


As much as I hate spiders (although I'd never kill one, they have as much right to live on this planet as we have) I can't help but admire the amazing cobwebs that I found covered in tiny, sparkling drops of water yesterday morning. They're incredible when you think about it.

Friday, 2 November 2007

little bird stamp

You know it's very satisfying making stamps, knowing you can use them again and again when you've finished carving them. This one is based on a sketch I made of a blue tit.

I really want to draw the squirrel but it just won't keep still or come close enough! Great opportunity today when it scampered onto the patio but couldn't find my sketchbook. Really annoying!

What are you up to this weekend? Anything fun? Have a good one!

Thursday, 1 November 2007

mr pumpkin head pie

Didn't want to make mr jack o'lantern angry by letting his brains go to waste so I attempted a gluten & lactose free pie from a new recipe book I picked up. Now I've never had pumpkin pie before so I haven't got anything to compare it to but it turned out really well I think! The filling's very creamy and silky smooth. Unfortunately it reminded P of egg custard (which he hates) a little bit too much so one slice was enough for him. Oh well, somebody's got to eat it!

The book's called Sweet Alternative by Ariana Bundy.