Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Taking a breather

I have treated myself to an early birthday present. I am very lucky to already own a platter made by Diana Fayt and have been a huge fan of hers for quite a while now. When I read that one of her plates which had broken in transit had been transformed into lots of individual pendants by Juliet at The Broken Plate I thought 2 things... what a genius idea... and how can i get my mitts on one! I know I'm naughty wearing it before my birthday but it's just so beautiful. I really love it! There are more pendants available here and, even better, some of the proceeds go to an art charity. I'm planning on celebrating my birthday with a bbq over the bank holiday weekend. We've even bought some garden furniture for the occasion so please, please let the sun shine on us!!!!

In other news... The invitations are all made for the wedding with not a moment left to spare! Thank goodness that's over with!! Never again!!!! ;-)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Escaping for a day

Last week it was Mr P's birthday so we got in the car and drove all the way to the island of Anglesey in Wales where we walked miles down a beautiful sandy beach backed with pine trees to the tiny island called Llanddwyn. It's known as lover's island and is one of my favourite places.

We got lashed with rain but as soon as we set foot on the island the sun came out which was just so stunning because everything was illuminated against the dark sky. Soon, as the clouds cleared, we could see Snowdonia across the Menai Straits. Snowdon was covered in snow like you'd expect.

As you can see we took TONS of photos and now I'm having trouble deciding which ones to show you!

Yes that's me taking a photo of Mr P!

We had hoped to make it to this lovely lady's gallery in Beaumaris but ran out of time which was a shame. Hopefully next time.

I know we only went for the day but it really felt as if we'd been on holiday for a couple of days. A change of scenery really does you good sometimes, especially when you're behind on making wedding invitations and they're driving you up the wall!

Anyway, better get back to it! Bye for now.

Friday, 11 April 2008

snow in april

Didn't prince write a song about snow in april? I could tell the light looked different in the bedroom when I opened my eyes on Sunday morning so I sprang out of bed to look out of the window. Such a surprise to wake up and see such a gorgeous change of view. Anyway, these gorgeous photos were taken by Mr P on Sunday morning. I love how the light reflects and bounces off the snow, illuminating everything. It was only there a few hours before it melted but it was beautiful while it lasted. Well worth getting up for!

Have a great weekend whatever you're up to! Bye for now!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

pay - it - forward

Here I am modeling (badly!) the fab bag that Ms sent from Italy as part of the pay-it-forward handmade craft swap thingy. As you can see it already has some things in it and is sooo handy. I'm looking forward to taking it shopping with me so I can refuse plastic bags and it's great for taking all the bits and bobs I need to my guitar lessons. LOVE IT!!!!! There was also one of those brilliant lino prints of the bird and the star which I will post up here when I find a nice frame. Thank you Na!! You are very lovely indeed!! And very good at sewing too!!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

new best friend

Hello, can you believe that it's almost Easter?! I haven't bought a guitar yet but a friend has been kind enough to lend me the first guitar he saved his paper round money up for 36 years ago! I'm terrified of damaging it as it has a lot of sentimental value. In the 7 days it's been in my possession I've quickly made friends with it and have learned enough chords to be able to play raspberry beret by prince (apart from the bridge - need a few more for that bit). So I have my second lesson tonight and I'm really looking forward to it. I can see how this could easily become an obsession with guitar tabs for lots of songs being widely available on the web. It's great fun trying to play and sing along. I think I'm driving Mr P round the bend a bit! As for my fingers, they are completely numb on the ends! And my fingerprints have gone!!! I can now commit the perfect crime with my left hand!!! I've had a few blisters but it's not as bad as I thought it might be. You know what they say... no pain, no gain!!

We have the long weekend to look forward to this week with the Friday and Monday bank holidays! Yay! Hope you're all having a good week! :-)

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

A new discovery (for me)

How gorgeous is Seth Lakeman?!!! I love the really fast bit where his arm is a total blur!

He's doing an outdoor gig at Arley Hall this summer with The Levellers. I'd never heard of him before so thought I would check him out and with my recent new toy, my beloved ipod (which is now surgically attached to me!!), I ended up downloading one of his albums called Freedom Fields. It's brilliant! What a talented man he is!!

On the subject of music, I've yet to get my guitar. Hopefully this weekend. Thanks for all the great advice!! You're all stars! I have printed it out and made notes and I've been doing my research and I feel much more confident about getting the right one now. Thanks! Can't wait to get started!

I've also sold 3 more pairs of earrings!!! It's so exciting. Thank you to 2 readers of this blog! :-) (You know who you are!!)

Have a great day everyone, whatever you're up to!

Friday, 29 February 2008

my first etsy customer

Yipppeeeeee! I have something to celebrate! A lovely lady has made my week by being my first birdahoy etsy customer!! I am so excited!! At first we had a problem with paypal refusing to let her make the payment but I sorted it out quickly with help from the forums on etsy. It was basically a box that needed unchecking somewhere in the deep dark depths of my paypal account. The forums are brilliant on etsy! Makes the learning curve far less steep! So now the earrings are somewhere in the postal system on their way to their destination. Fingers crossed that it goes smoothly and they arrive safe and sound.

I wondered which (if any! yes I know, more confidence please!) would be sold first and I thought it might be either these or their blue equivalents. Now I will make some more for the shop. I also have some more silvery coloured crystals that I'll be using too. It's so much fun this jewelry making lark!! :-)

Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I'm off to buy myself a guitar!!!! I am slightly scared at the prospect of the music shop and trying one out when I don't have a clue what I'm looking for or how to know if one is right for me but hopefully my guitar will find me!! I'm definitely going for one with all metal strings, that much I do know, and maybe a sexy cutaway bit but that's just for aesthetic reasons at the moment!! Anyone got any tips on choosing a guitar?

Monday, 25 February 2008

Songs that are poems, poems that are songs – Meme

Thanks for tagging me Ms Gromit! I've just had so much fun trying to decide which songs to choose for this game. There were just so many I could have chosen.

First up is Rosé by The Feeling. I just love the lyrics in this song, they're so clever. When I first heard it I thought it was called Rosie and was about a girl and I think in a way it is. I love this song, plus I don't mind a glass of rosé either!

Rosé by The Feeling

You and your friends

In boxes of ten

Cool to the touch

You warn me so much

The white to your left

The red to your right

Were all that I'd seen

Till I realised the love that I seek

Lies right in-between

I love ya
Especially today

I love your delicate way

The chill in my veins

Relieves me from pain
Again and again
I lose all control
Your taking your toll
And I'm no longer sane
Don't be afraid

The love that I show
is the love that you made
So don't be afraid
'Cos your in control
I'm just your slave

I love ya,
Especially today,
I love your delicate way.

Don't let him put you down

I won't let him put you down
'Cos your as good as the rest
And you're much better dressed
I think pink is my colour

I wont drink from no other

Oh I love ya

Especially today
Especially this way
Oh Ros
I want ya
Believe me this way
I love your delicate way.

The next song I chose is Folk Song by The Sundays because it transports me to another place when I hear it and this is definitely like a poem. One of my favourite songs too.

Folk Song by The Sundays

summer sky and a throat bone dry

and the fields are all gold

dusty lane with a song in my brain

and it stoned me to my soul

I climb higher move towards the fire
.....blaze sun

silver trees and a whispering breeze

are my sight and my sound

the thought of heaven
couldn’t drag me from the path

when I’m wandering here alone

I climb higher move towards the fire
.... so blaze sun

watch until it dies
slow falling from the sky

pale fading sun

Last one although I could play this game all day! The Boatman by The Levellers. This song fills me with warmth every time I hear it. Would love to be able to play this on the guitar. Hopefully going to be learning how soon if I can persuade a friend to teach me! I think I may have to resort to using John Smiths as bribery! It's a long held ambition. :-)

The Boatman by The Levellers

If I could choose the life I please

Then I would be a boatman

On the canals and the rivers free

No hasty words are spoken

My only law is the river breeze

That takes me to the open seas

If I could choose the life I please

Then I would be a boatman

If I could choose the life I please

Then I would be a rover

And if the road was not for me

Then I would choose another

Cross m
ountains and the valleys deep
Where I would take these weary feet

If I could choose the life I please

Then I would be a rover

But these things they're so hard for me

I cannot choose my own destiny

And all the things that I want to see

Are so unclean

Well I wish I could choose the life I please

But I am not a free m
Others rule my destiny

But my will's never broken

I know someday I will be

Everything that I dreamed I'd be

And when I live the life I please

Then I will be a freeman.

I know someday I will be

Everything that I dreamed I'd be

And when I live the life I please

Then I will be a freeman.

And when I live the life I please

Then I will be a freeman.

So I hope you all had a good weekend. Mine was filled with trying to re-live my youth by playing on the swings and slides at the local park but don't tell anybody!! ;-) Don't want to be told off in the local newsletter! See you all soon.

Edit*** Completely forgot to pass the tag on so I will just tag anyone reading who wants to play. Go on! It's fun!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Warm and toasty!

Look what I received in the post!!! The naughty cyclist gloves!! Thanks Gromit!!! You are most lovely!! They are the softest, warmest gloves I've ever had the joy of wearing and just in time for this cold snap that we're currently having. I think it was -8 degrees c last night! As you can see I haven't wanted to take them off! They have even come in very useful for keeping my hand warm whilst enjoying a nice glass of g&t in the bar the other night! I am showing them off everywhere. I know they are called cyclist gloves but I haven't actually used them for that yet or for showing my feelings towards other drivers but all in good time!! ;-) Your swap package is almost on it's way gromit. Thanks so much once again. I do love them!

I know I haven't been around for a bit, sorry for that. I kept meaning to post and then something got in the way. Will hopefully be back before the end of the week. Hope you're all having fun! See you again soon. :-)

Friday, 8 February 2008


My silly name for fish! I'm still driving myself crazy looking at the number of views of my earrings on etsy!!! Thanks to everyone who's added me as a favourite seller or favourited one of my items!! Cheers!! You're all lovely!! I'm thinking of adding a linoprint later. I've figured out that the best time to add items is in the early evening here when most of the usa has woken up and we're still awake over here. That's my theory anyway.

Now, please would you go over and see gromit and tell her she must sell her cyclist gloves on etsy. They are just so funny! You will see why when you click on the link. ;-)

Have a wonderful weekend people!! :-D

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

I did it!!!

After much deliberation, pondering, wondering, encouragement from lovely people, photo taking, supply gathering and now nervous anxiety I have set up a proper etsy shop!!! I decided to call it birdahoy just like the blog and my username on etsy. Etsy's such a great place. I've been a member for a couple of years now and have bought lots of lovely things from some very creative people. It's a great place to shop for presents too and you can use paypal which is so convenient.

In my shop there are a few pairs of earrings so far and I will keep adding to them along with maybe some lino prints. It's very exciting and scary at the same time! I have to keep stopping myself from going to my shop to see if anything is happening!! It's terrible!!!

The fun bit is naming things... I've been using song titles as inspiration for some of them. These ones are called Ready or Not Earrings!! They're amethyst and glass on sterling silver earwires that I've oxidised again. I just love that rich purple... it seems so long since purple was in vogue, it's nice to see popping up again everywhere.

I went for a beautiful walk at lunchtime to try to stop thinking about etsy for a while. The sun was shining and the birds were singing and everyone I met had a big smile. The sun does that to people doesn't it? Ahhh... I feel so alive at the moment!!

Anyway, I think I will be back here again before the week is up. Bye for now! :-)

Thursday, 31 January 2008

spring breeze earrings

Inspired by my findings in the garden I've been feeling as though spring is on it's way and celebrated by making some earrings with some freshwater pearls and Czech glass beads. I've got the jewelry-making bug really bad! You should see how my bead collection has grown. :-O

I might have to start selling things to justify it!!

I've also been having a bit of a spring clean including here on the blog and I decided to change my banner. Can't get enough of turquoise at the moment. What am I talking about... I've never been able to get enough of turquoise! It's all to do with holidays in Cornwall, gazing at the Atlantic ocean. Bliss!

Have a good weekend everyone!! :-)

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

mr sparrow lino print

I thought I'd share this lino print with you that I did a while ago but never got around to posting. It's called Mr Sparrow and is inspired by the house sparrows that nest in next door's roof! There is a little gap by the drain pipe and they happily raise their young in there. Then they spend the rest of their time in the spiky berberis bush keeping an eye on what's going on and the local cat before eating seeds from the feeder.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Look what I found in the garden!!!

Isn't it a bit early for this? But such a breath of fresh air and so cheerful. It's been very warm here the last few days (14 degrees c yesterday). The birds have even started singing.

The winter flowering heather is still going strong too.

Hope you all had a good weekend. Bye for now :-)

Wednesday, 23 January 2008


I was just about to make myself some lunch when I had to stop and take a photo of these mushrooms because they were just so delightful. I wish I'd stopped before I'd cut the white ones off the base but too late! Oh well, there's an excuse to buy some more next week.

That last photo makes me think of Clarence Cliff. I think it must be the shapes.

Anyway, is it just me or is January flying by. I feel totally out of control this month! So many things to organise and get done that I feel as though I'm running round in circles. I got some fabric samples in the post yesterday from the lady who's making my wedding dress. I only tried the dress on once and since then the memory of it has started to fade. But holding the fabric in my hand, it has finally hit me that I'm getting married!! Mr P chose the suits last weekend too. He looked amazing, so elegant when he came out of the dressing room. I have a big smile on my face whenever I think about it. It's all coming together slowly.

I've been busy making lots of earrings and sorting out my pay-it-forward giveaway from a couple of months ago and I'm almost there with it I think. Hope you're having a good week. Bye for now!

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

a little experiment

Every day with my lunch I treat myself to something a bit naughty. Most days it's a chocolate brownie from the gluten free section of the supermarket but I've been worried about the extra ingredients in there that are possibly not that good for you so was keen to find an alternative. Yesterday I had a go at making some gluten and lactose free chocolate cakes by adapting a recipe and look... they've risen (yay!!!) and are lovely, moist and light and not too rich. This is only the second time I've tried to bake cakes since my diet changed so I was a bit nervous about how they'd turn out. Mr P was my guinea pig last night and thought the cake was great and couldn't tell it was any different to a normal one so I'm going to share the recipe here for anyone who's on a similar diet and might like to try them.

chocolate cakes (gluten and lactose free)

Makes 9 muffin sized cakes

2oz (50g) plain chocolate (I used green & blacks organic cooking chocolate - melts easily)

5oz (150g) plain gluten-free flour (I used Dove Farm)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp zanthan gum (to replace the gluten)

pinch of salt

5oz (150g) soft brown sugar

3oz (85g) dairy-free margarine (I used Pure)

1/4 pint (150ml) unsweetened soya milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degree C / Gas 4. Line 9 deep muffin tins with paper cases.

2. Chop up about 1 oz / 25g of the chocolate into small chunks.

3. Melt the rest of the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of almost simmering water until smooth.

4. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, zanthan gum, salt and sugar into a large bowl.

5. Add the chocolate, vanilla essence, margarine and soya milk and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until blended. *Edit - Add the chopped up chocolate to the mixture and mix.

6. Fill the cases about 2/3 full.

7. Bake until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean. 20 - 25 minutes should do it but our oven took 40 mins because it's old and we need a new one. Transfer to a rack to cool or eat one straight away like I did!

Speaking of which it's lunch time. Might just have to go and eat another! See you later! :-)

Friday, 11 January 2008

a bit of sparkle

I have a secret that I can't tell and it's killing me!!! More about that in months to come! Heehee I bet your mind's boggling now!

What do you think of my new earrings? They took me a while to make but I'm really pleased with them and they're dangling from my earlobes as I type. Wrapping the wire around was really fiddly and wow it took a lot of silver wire, in fact it took all of the wire I'd just oxidised so I was lucky that I didn't run short right halfway through the second earring. I think I might make something similar for the wedding. Has anyone ever tried to make a tiara?

The birds finished the fat blocks off a couple of days ago. The favourite so far is definitely the oat, niger seed and raspberry block. I will have to put the last one out tomorrow and make some more. I counted approx 50 siskins all eating sunflower seeds on the patio yesterday. They are chomping through them like there's no tomorrow!

Anyway, have a lovely weekend. More wedding things for us. I'm worried I'm turning into one of those people who talks about nothing else! Have fun!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

cooking for birds

It's a bit chilly out there and our feathered friends need our help! We've been feeding the birds here with suet blocks from the garden centre that fit into the flat holders. So after my dad gave me the idea I decided that I would try to make some like he does instead of buying them. I have no idea if this worked out cheaper or if they're more nutritious but it was fun!

I had lots of ideas for different flavours and in the end decided on different combinations of veggie fat, niger seed, sunflower seed, tinned raspberries and oats.

It's not rocket science but this is how I did it...

I saved the plastic packaging that the original blocks came in and lined one with tinfoil and left the others naked as a bit of an experiment to see which would come out better. Then in this particular one I piled in some oats and niger seed and mixed it up a bit. You can really heap it in.

In an old pan I melted about 125g of vegetable fat for each block I was making (I used Trex), then I thought seeing as the birds seemed to like the old berry flavoured blocks I would add some tinned raspberries. Of course the mixture separates a bit in the pan but as long as you don't put too much juice in it all works out ok in the end.

Next I poured the fat mixture into the container and gave it a stir. In the background are two I made earlier (in true blue peter style!!): One with oats & raspberries and the other with oats, sunflower, niger seed and raspberries (yes, went a bit mad with that one!).

Then I left them to cool before putting them in the fridge.

A couple of hours later and I turned them out. I don't think you really need the tinfoil as they came out easily without breaking.

Dah dah!! I waited to see which bird would be first on there and it was a blue tit which didn't seem overly impressed but I'm glad to say that since then the siskins have been devouring the one with the niger seed and the starlings seem to really love both. I still have the 'everything' block waiting in the fridge.

Do you do anything to help the wildlife where you live?

Thursday, 3 January 2008

hello 2008!

Have you made any resolutions?

I haven't made any this year but I feel all inspired to get on with things and make some plans of things I'd like to achieve. More about that at a later date.

Christmas was a lovely, relaxed affair at my parents' house. The first time in a few years so all the more fabulous for it! We had roast turkey with all the trimmings and it was delicious. Nobody would have known it was all gluten and dairy free! Fantastic!

Something funny happened... unbeknown to either of us, Mr P and I both bought each other a camera for christmas! But not only that, it was exactly the same model!* Mr P looked horrified when he opened his present which wasn't the reaction I was hoping for, but we had a good laugh about it afterwards. I think we are turning into each other! You know how couples start to wear his and hers matching jackets, etc.

*and I didn't even drop any hints Andrew!!