Saturday, 12 December 2009

new discoveries

I was thrilled to find out this morning that I'd been included in this gorgeous treasury by illusio and that my beloved acorn necklace has sold.

As I've always been quite shy I've never been one for shouting from the rooftops for people to look at what I do, but recently I've been thinking that I should try and increase the views of my work. Just by chance and coincidentally I recently discovered project wonderful. Am I the last to know about it? It's an amazing way to increase exposure for your shop or website although it's a little bit addictive. You bid for advertising spaces on websites of your choice so you can experiment with who is the best audience. You can track the number of clicks and views for your placements. It's an exciting and interesting way to go about it and you don't have to spend a lot of money. It really does make it fun!

Have a lovely weekend x

Friday, 27 November 2009

Free shipping!

Please forgive me for this blatant self advertising but I'd like everyone to know that there will be free shipping at bird ahoy etsy shop from now until Tuesday 1st December to anywhere in the world so if you've had your eye on anything now might be a good time to sort out those Christmas presents or treat yourself. I also love to do commissions so if something you like has sold or you have your own ideas please get in touch. Have a lovely weekend! Bye for now.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

something i'd forgotten

Not far from me is a beautiful
forest. It has been waiting for me to rediscover it all this time. It is full of childhood memories, of sampling sweet chestnuts and kicking leaves.

How co
uld I have forgotten how much I loved it here? Somewhere my imagination can run riot with an endless source of inspiration.

And now in it's magnific
ent Autumn clothes soon to be shed. I had forgotten just how comforting it could be to walk everyday submerged in nature, soaking in all the goodness.

I used
to be under the impression that all the forest looked the same and I'm gladly mistaken. The different places, nooks and wide spaces, lakes and streams, hills and winding paths take me by surprise.
With the eve
r changing light it appears different each time I wander, always trying to lose myself. It's getting increasing difficult as the paths start to fit together like a jigsaw in my mind. But I love it here, it feeds my soul. The gorgeous earthy smells make me happy, walking in the rain is surprisingly good. All thanks to my pup who is becoming a lovely companion.

I have started making earrings again thanks to a lovely customer who made a special request. After our wedding last year when I made all the female guests a pair of earrings as a favour in the final hour, I fell out of love with the process. I'm grateful for the little push, something else I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed. I've also been experimenting with leaves, inspired by the forest, pushing them into polymer clay to capture the texture. What I'd really like to try is PMC, I like the idea of recycled silver. Maybe I will treat myself to a pack and have a play.

Bye for now, have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

i've finally found it!

Some of you may already know just how much I love the scent of lichen...

... it reminds me of places like this. I've often wished I could bottle it.

Well somebody has already done it for me! I'm currently sitting here typing getting wafts of lichen every now and again. I bought a set of
mini perfume oil samples from etsy shop For Strange Women after being seduced by the natural ingredients and beautiful packaging, and yesterday I tried Moss & Ivy for the first time. After the first burst of powerful fragrance had faded I was left with my favourite scent! Lichen!!!! Total bliss!!! I just can't believe that after all this time I've come across it. Happiness in a bottle!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

set in stone

Here are a couple of custom orders I have done for people as keepsakes for their dearest ones. I think it's really sweet to add initials on the back. I like the significance of setting your love in stone. It reminds me of names carved into the bark of tree trunks.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

most romantic place

Voted the most romantic place in Wales it certainly lives up to its accolades.

Llanddwyn Island off Newborough Warren is the sort of place where you can feel a million miles away from home.

I had one of those moments, when you feel completely present and at one with the world, all my cares just faded away.

As we watched the sunset and the birds flying home to roost I found a couple of lovely unusual pebbles and some sea glass. One of the best kind of days. Smiles all round.

I'd really love to hear about your most favourite romantic place, please feel free to leave a comment.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

a little bit retro

Now it's past the event I can show you this pebble necklace I made for a friend's birthday. I thought she'd like a retro inspired design and this stem pattern was the result. I've decided to make another like this but next time remove the centre of the leaves for a simpler look.

Have a lovely weekend... we're off to the beach!

Monday, 21 September 2009

fresh air

Autumn days are definitely here. I love the contrast of the slight chill in the air with the hot sun upon my skin.

Is there a more lovely place than the lake district to see the changing of the seasons? The bracken is glowing orange on the mountains now and the clouds mist the top of the peaks.

Floss enjoyed her paddle and thought it most unladylike to go in any deeper than her belly. She is 18 weeks old now and her character grows by the day.

I have another lino print in the works. I had finished one but decided that I didn't like it so it will stay hidden for now. Let's just say that the new one's inspired by one of the furry creatures that visits our garden. Which reminds me, we discovered a hedgehog last night! There seems to be more and more wildlife since we got Floss. I wonder why?

Wishing you lots of cosy Autumn nights with woodburning fires, hot chocolate and cinnamon apple pie. I feel a list coming on!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

a little surprise

Look what was swimming around in our pink trug which had a couple of inches of rain water in it!

A cute little newt! I think it's a common newt but I've never seen one before so I'm not 100% sure. There's no pond in our garden so it was a nice surprise. It has now been moved to safety away from puppy eyes!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Major excitement!!!

I've just had a lovely surprise... I was on the front page of etsy again!!!!!! Hurray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here are all the lovely picks chosen by Fern of The Wellington Boot. Thanks Fern for including me!! You made my day!!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

hand pulled prints

What do you think? Please excuse the wonky camera angle... the image is a proper rectangle in real life. Rather than the usual white I chose some gorgeous coloured paper with a slight texture to print my carved lino on this morning as a bit of an experiment. The different colours go beautifully with each other. I'm thinking it would be lovely to have a set of different carvings on toning papers as a series.

The ink is still drying on this one... I love this olive green paper. I used the back of a wooden spoon as a brayer. I do have a fancy baren but my spoon is so much better! I don't know why that is, maybe it's because it's how I learned to do it. Maybe one day I will have a proper press... something to dream about. Or should I say, never lose hope ;-)

Monday, 17 August 2009

a new lino print in the works

This is what I've been up to over the last couple of days or so, planning and carving a new block print. I think it's almost finished. I had designed it in my journal/sketchbook, it's basically a notebook I bought which has all different blue and turquoise pages and I tend to use it for everything... list making, rubber stamp thinking, to do lists, ideas when they strike me, designs for cards, prints, brainstorming... etc. This time when I was re-drawing my design onto the lino I completely changed everything except the bird about 5 times until I was happy, remembering to put the text so it read backwards. What I do is carve to a point where I can't bear it and have to make a print to see how it's looking, then carve a bit more. This is waiting for a test print to see if it's finished after I carved the top section away. Hope so!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

floss goes to the pub

I read that it's important to get your puppy used to everything you like to do!

We took her into town as well and can I just say that if you happen to be a single man looking for a partner then the best thing you could do is get a puppy! Every time I went into a shop I'd come back out to find Mr P surrounded by women!! Seriously, I've never met or talked to so many people since we got Floss, it's completely changed our lives! Not just that, but the world in general seems so different now we've got a dog. I look at everything in a different light. And going for walks is a real joy now we know we can let her off the lead and she won't just run away. She trots along merrily, stopping to sniff this and that and then runs to catch us up. Now we go for a walk every evening we realise what we were missing before when we just flopped down on the sofa. We never thought to go for a short walk. It was always about long walks at the weekend. Short walks just never entered into it. But we've found out it's so relaxing to go out before tea and discuss our days, get some fresh air and see Floss enjoying herself. It's fab!

I know this blog has been all about Floss for the last few posts and I hope you're not getting bored of it. My life really is centred around her at the moment but hopefully I'll have some other things to post about soon! Bye for now!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

puppy's first walk

So yesterday evening, a week after her final vaccination, Floss had her very first walk. It was a very exciting affair with so much to sniff and explore as we walked down the road to the park. Near the end Floss met an adult dog for the first time (other than her mother of course). It was enormous compared to her, a St Bernard I think! And she rolled over on her back and waved her legs around. I think I would have done the same!! :-)

Do you think she's grown? Each morning she seems to have got longer! I'm sure she's turning into a sausage dog!

In other news I've just discovered spotify. What a revelation! Love it! Currently listening to the first of a million kisses by fairground attraction. Have a good day. Bye for now!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Remember this?

It has turned into this:

If you'd like to see what we're growing please click on the photo.

Before the weekend we'd only eaten 1 courgette and a few broad beans and someone said 1 courgette doesn't make a harvest! Well I'm pleased to announce that we've now eaten a beautiful head of broccoli, 1 very tasty rainbow carrot and 4 equally tasty round carrots. The round ones are called parmex I think and are marketed for kids so I couldn't resist ;-) They're beautifully sweet and softer than the rainbow carrot raw so good for salads I think, but cooked the rainbow carrot had stronger flavour. Really delicious! I know it's a small thing but we felt great walking into the garden to get them instead of getting in the car to go to the supermarket. Very convenient!!

As for the bed with the courgettes, this has failed slightly. It was supposed to be the 3 sisters method where the runner beans provide nitrogen for the maize and courgettes, the maize provides a support for the beans to grow up and the courgettes shade the roots of the other plants. The courgettes are doing fantastically well, but I'm afraid the maize hasn't grown fast enough for the beans so I think I will have to start it off sooner next year inside. We're really pleased with the courgettes so not all is lost and the broad beans are doing really well too.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Look what Leanne did!!!

How wonderful is this drawing?!!!! I am so excited to have won Leanne Wildermuth's weekly giveaway!!! I now have a beautiful reminder of how Floss looked the first week we brought her home. It's only been 7 days since the photo was taken and already she has grown. I will be able to look back on this time and remember it fondly! The likeness is spot on don't you think? If you've never seen Leanne's work before go and have a look at her amazing paintings of animals with their gorgeous intricate detail. I've been a fan for years now and I'm really chuffed to have had a pet captured by her!

Floss is doing great. We went to a puppy party last night at the vets which is supposed to give them a positive experience before they have to go and have anything unpleasant happen there. Floss had a lovely time playing although she did get pinned down by her ears at one point by a jack russell puppy. One of the disadvantages of having big ears I suppose!! :-D

Well I'm off to give Floss her tea, so bye for now!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Pleased to meet you!

This little puppy is the new member of our family! Her name is Floss and she is an absolute joy (with a bit of mischief mixed in!). I can't take my eyes off her for a minute when she's awake she's into everything!! I couldn't believe it when she climbed into this flowerpot, she makes me laugh so much and she's clever too. Floss has already learned how to stay and come in only one day!! I'm so proud of her. I think we're starting to understand each other!

Anyway, must go as nap time is almost over and I must take her outside. Bye for now!!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Just me, mr P and a load of wildlife

10 things I love about Pembrokeshire (Wales)
  • the beautiful coast path makes for exhilarating walks, like Cornwall but quieter
  • the colour of the sea when the sun shines (my favourite colour as you might already know!)
  • Morgans in St Davids for fab food that tastes as beautiful as it looks, embellished with flowers
  • the artist Chris Neale, a lovely chap, you can visit his gallery on Thursdays
  • the abundance of wildlife... more about that in a later post
  • peace and quiet if you want it
  • naps on beaches and great places to settle down with a book
  • incredibly friendly and helpful locals
  • campsites that allow campfires (a long held dream of mine... simple pleasures)
  • the Druidstone Hotel... the most eccentric place I've ever eaten!
The most exciting thing ever is happening tomorrow!!!!!! I can't wait to post up about it!!! Until then, have a good start to the week. Bye for now!
p.s. I'm a bit behind with my shop update, apologies if anyone has been to look.

Monday, 22 June 2009

set sail with me

A lovely day was spent with my friend who has a narrowboat. It is a work in progress, a labour of love. It's dusty and smokey and full of spiders, nooks and crannies. Chugging down the canal I watched out for canalware art, little floating gardens and enticing names like Margarite and Midnight. Feeling myself being sucked into this other nomadic world of friendly words, folk art and music, nature playing out everywhere. Walking along the towpath we passed a beautiful boat, the owner smiled and halfway down the side was open, displaying her wares. I gasped when I saw it all, painted in traditional patterns, castles and roses and handmade rope fenders. A floating studio, what could be more romantic? They were on their way to the folk and boat festival in Middlewich to see what they could sell. I wish I'd asked to take a photo. With the boat moored up by the pub (in the last photo) we sat on one of the benches while we waited for lunch watching the sparrows and robins hunting for scraps around the beer garden. Good times!

I will be back soon with tales of the camping trip we took to celebrate our anniversary (with a lovely stay in a country house for the day itself) so until then... have a good week!