Tuesday, 29 June 2010

University ~ at my age? Yikes! And naughty dogs!

Finally decided to take the plunge and have signed up to The Open University. My course starts in October and is the first part towards a degree in literature.

It's been something I've been thinking about for ages.  Originally I planned to do a history degree, but after looking into it I think literature is a bit more me.

Meanwhile some dogs have been caught (by me) in the field with my lovely sheepsie neighbours.  They've been worrying the sheep for several days; and killed some.  Now we have lambs without mummies and mummies without lambs. 

When I tried to chase the dogs off  I found a dead ewe and several others injured.  The damage these dogs did was quite horrendous.  I alerted the farmer and he shot one of them, but the other got away.

Now I'm a huge dog fan ~ but on seeing what they did I wouldn't want one of those particular dogs as a family pet. Although it was sad that the dog was shot, what alternative was there?

Calm has been restored over the garden fence and the other dog hasn't returned, thank goodness.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Petworth & New Stuff

Before the weather turned a bit yuk we spent an afternoon at Petworth which was gorgeous.  The rhododendrons were beautiful and their scent floated everywhere.

Sadly didn't see any of the deer so had to settle for the swans ~ this one just loved having his picture taken. The collection of paintings here is well worth seeing and some great old kitchens.

Haven't had much time for crafts, but have started on some new projects ~ loads of things half completed; as usual. 

I've started making some cosmetic bags and zip purses; these are cut out and ready to go.
My first effort:

Really enjoyed making this ~ in the past I've always been pants at sewing, but it was a lot easier than I thought. I've had some tags made up and started a fabric stash!
And now I'm making resin pendants too!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Thank you volcano! Stuck in Goa, India.

Wow, it's been a while since I last blogged.  Had an interesting holiday in India and then the volcano thing happened.  We were in Delhi when we heard ~ our first thought was what's a volcano in Iceland got to do with us, we're in India?!  Then we heard the rest ~ our plane was stuck somewhere in the Caribbean! And no one was going anywhere.

We were so lucky compared with alot of other travellers we met. We booked with Thomson and they put us up in a hotel and paid for all our food.  It was terrible that some people were just dumped by their tour company/airline and were just left to sort it out themselves. Worse hit were travellers with non-European companies who booked online.

At the Taj Mahal and riding an elephant (I might be smiling, but the bloke wouldn't stop hitting the elephant and I was getting slightly irritated to say the least!).

Anyway finally got back home and the cooler temp was very welcome.  Our holiday in Thailand went pear shaped because of the problems out there, but never mind ~ plenty to do at home!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Funky Flowers & Anklets

I've been having a bit of a brooch and anklet fest ~ I'm tempted to list a few in my Folksy & Misi shops, but as I'm putting them in holiday mode on Saturday I don't think there's much point.  I'm not too sure if buyers can still buy when you're in holiday mode; not done it before.
I've started turning my flowers into fridge magnets and noticeboard pins for a bit of a change.   These ones are slightly smaller than the flowers I usually make.

I love making anklets ~ as soon as the sun starts to shine out come the shorts and leg shaving is taken a bit more seriously!  I've never worn an ankle bracelet myself, but whenever I list some on ebay they always sell out quickly; even with the negative connotations some still associate with them, but if you've got the ankles for it why not?

One of my favourites ~ Strawberry & Lime

Sunshine & Holidays

My blogging has been very sporadic for the last few weeks ~ I've been rather pre-occupied with my forthcoming trip to India. I leave on Saturday! I've never been before, but after watching Masterchef last night I can't wait.  It's a totally different holiday to anything I've done previously.  I've one more shopping trip to make on Thursday and then we're all set to go.  My OH has already packed!

After our trip to the South Pacific last August I had a few problems with one of my legs swelling up after flying. I've had to buy some rather hideous sock things to wear on the plane and with a bit of walking about during the flight I should be ok.

After joining the National Trust we had one of our 'how many places can you visit in one day' days ~ we managed three.  We visited Ightham Mote, Knole and Scotney Castle.  All great places to visit if you're ever in Kent.

Just love soaking up all that history!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Coughing! Favourite Fing Friday!

Ages since I last blogged ~ finally managing to do my favourite fing Friday on Friday!

I've spent the past week endlessly coughing and once I start there's no stopping me (crossed legs as well ~ if you know what I mean).  Went to the doc; I have viral bronchitis ~ great! I used to suffer with asthma, but haven't had an attack in years; now this coughing has aggravated it and I've got to take a blooming inhaler for a while. Took me ages to ween myself off the things!

As I mentioned illness I picked my favourite thing as a lovely little book I discovered a few years ago in a secondhand book shop.  It's called 'Primitive Psychic' and was published in 1824. It has gorgeous olde handwriting inside the cover and I can just imagine it being carried in the pocket of a doctor in the regency period ~ flicking through the well-thumbed pages in search of a treatment or remedy.

Some of the treatments listed in the book are quite peculiar and it's hard to believe that this was a serious book written by John Wesley and originally published in 1747. 

Some of the suggestions for treating a cough are chewing Peruvian bark (?), a slice of turnip spread with sugar and drinking a pint of water while lying down. Interesting though, it has a honey and lemon remedy to ~ so not so strange!
One of my personal favourites though is one for a deep cut ~ bind on toasted cheese! Interesting!
Love these old books though, they really fire the imagination!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Favourite Fings Friday!

Right, I was planning to do a favourite things each Friday.  I know it's Saturday today, but as I forgot to take the photos I was going to include I'm doing it a day late this time.

I'm told that I'm really nosy (probably true) so as I like nosing around in other peoples 'stuff' I thought I'd let everyone else nose around each Friday at something I have in the many boxes and cupboards that I fill with what I'm told is junk! To me it's treasure, of course.

This 'mizpah' brooch is one of my favourite things; I inherited it from my Great Grandmother, Beatrice (known as Minnie). It was a gift to her from my Great Grandfather, Albert;she wore it while he was in France during WW1.  He was a blacksmith from the East End of London and during the war he rode horses which pulled the artillery guns to the front line.

Here they are with my Grandad in about 1913.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Bodiam Castle & brass monkeys!

Sunday we decided to take a trip to Bodiam Castle ~ we go there quite often as it's not far away; we usually walk, but not this time ~ far too cold!

It's one of my favourite places ~ I have a 'thing' about castles and this one has a great feeling about it. Don't let the blue skies and sunshine fool you ~ it was freezing!
We didn't have our usual cream tea this time ~ it's a National Trust property and while the fresh cream and scones are all very nice, they are a bit pricey.
We'll be rejoining the National Trust and English Heritage as it's well worth it ~ with free entry or discounts to loads of places; we have a great time trying to see how many places we can cram into one day!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Three Sunshine Awards! Wow!

In the past week or so I've been nominated for no less than three Sunshine Awards ~ my thanks go to:
Ali at Ali's Craft Studio, Tracy at Cinnamon Jewellery and Emma at Urban Sophistication ~ thank you all so much! I'm really chuffed!

The sunshine award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blogging world!

The rules for accepting the award are -

Place the logo within your blog or post

Pass the award on to 12 bloggers

Link the nominees within the post

Let the nominees know they have received the award by commenting on their blog

Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award

Now for three awards I need to pick out 36 other blogs I enjoy ~ just as well I follow loads!

My nominees, in no particular order, are:

Phew ~ check out some great blogs!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Spring has sprung & over the garden fence!

Has spring finally sprung!? March has started well ~ loads of sunshine even though it's still cold.  Not much is stirring in the garden; the daffodils seem to be later this year.  Had a scoot round this morning, all I could find was a single lonely crocus and my Christmas Rose has finally bloomed!

What's happening over the garden fence? ~ all the sheep have had their bottoms shaved as we'll soon be greeting the new arrivals!

I've been working on some more earrings for my website

I also sold my first item on Folksy, but for some reason the buyer didn't pay; I had to relist it which is a bit disappointing ~ why do people do that?

My amarylis has finally bloomed!

And granny squares are coming along ~ thanks to the arrival of the Ladybird book! Whoopee!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

And the winner is!

A big thank you to everyone who entered my jewellery findings giveaway ~ sorry I'm a couple of days late in announcing the winner.  Work has kept me away from blogging : (

The random number thingy picked Shary as the winner ~ well done to Shary! The goodies will be on their way to you shortly.  My next giveaway will be towards the end of March ~ I haven't picked a theme yet, but please watch this space.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Wax Melts & Jane Austen

Spending ban over ~ I've been stocking up on lots of crafting goodies and eagerly awaiting the arrival of the postman. Meanwhile I've been using up what's left of my wax and making some more melts.

I love this Ikea silicone heart mould ~ makes loads of lovely little hearts, that look a bit like butts from certain angles!
I'm awaiting delivery of some new fragrances to try out and I've finally bought the packaging materials ~ the finished melts should be appearing in my Misi shop early next week.
I expect you're wondering what has Jane Austen got to do with wax melts? Absolutely nothing!

I've been tracing my family tree for years and it can be quite addictive. Some years ago a lady emailed me through a family history forum and told me I was in some way related to Jane Austen (yes, that one).

 As she couldn't provide me with any conclusive proof I didn't take it that seriously; after all, most people who take up this genealogy game hope that they're related to someone famous or, at least, interesting.

Family history is one of those things that I do on and off, sometimes not looking at it for months at a time as I'm easily distracted by other 'stuff'.

My subscription to genesreunited is coming to an end and I was umming and arring about renewing, when I got the reminder email it made me look through my genealogy stuff again and has perked my interest in trying to find out if the Jane Austen link is actually true.

After some digging around, it actually looks promising ~ I have a distant GGGGG... Grandmother, Elizabeth Austen from Horsmonden in Kent.  Now I just have to figure out who her parents were and if they fit in with Jane's Horsmonden ancestors! Not as easy as it sounds, but I like a challenge!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Don't laugh at my granny square!

I've been wrestling with a crochet hook and wool for a couple of weeks now and after countless false starts this is my first attempt at a granny square! The only one I've managed to finish. Now I know it's, well what can I say, um; oh, alright then have a chuckle.

Feeling better for that? Good. Right, I could do these when I was a kid, my Mum taught me with the help of a really good Ladybird book; but I haven't touched a crochet hook in years.  After seeing all the lovely crochetted flowers, hats and all those gorgeous amigurumi whatsnames thingys, I thought I can crochet. Armed with various books I sat down and quickly discovered that actually, no; I can't crochet at all.

I've watched videos on youtube (really good by the way), read books, magazines and picked my Mum's brain (she's forgotten as well) I came to the conclusion there seem to be lots of different ways to actually make a granny square.  I've got this far and the thing I can't figure out is what you do when you get to the end of each round ~ if I could work that out I think I might be able to crack it! But then I've got to think about changing colour on each round. Now that's opening up another can of worms! I WON'T GIVE UP!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

February Jewellery Making Giveaway

I'm doing my first giveaway, the plan is to do a regular giveaway each month and have a different, but craft related prize, each time.  I wasn't sure what to do, but as one of my first loves is making jewellery I decided to choose some findings.  I've been having a root around in my boxes and have come up with a few things.

All findings in this giveaway are silver plated and includes everything in the picture ~ some adjustable charm rings with one, three and eight loops, some clip on earring backs, a charm bracelet, some bead caps, a pack of ten trigger clasps, twenty pairs of earring hooks and a pack of twenty 8mm czech glass purple heart beads.

To win this giveaway all you have to do is say hello in the comments section and next Saturday (27th Feb), I'll pick the winner using the random number thingy. Best of luck!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Goodbye, purple baseball boots!

Oh, well ~ didn't win the lottery as planned so I'm writing this in my sitting room rather than in a hammock on Bora Bora!

Been having a mooch round the garden as the sun shone today.  Trying to remember where I planted my parsnips and following the foxy footprints in what's left of the snow.

The allotment at the bottom of my garden is looking really sad ~ I'm trying to pick a spot for a row of lavender bushes.  Grew too many potatoes last year ~ although once they were bagged up and stored a pesky mouse ate through one of the sacks.  Planning more fruit and flowers for the coming season.

I'll be saying a fond farewell to my favourite boots as they've finally fallen to pieces ~ I have a pink pair waiting in the wings, but it's tough giving up on some old favourites.

Still busy sorting out some new jewellery designs and plans are finally afoot for my website (at long last).

Swarovski Crystal and Pearl Bridal Bracelet
Swarovski, button pearl and piattine earrings and matching pendant

I'm planning my first blog give away for the end of the week ~ this will be a selection of jewellery making bits, so watch this space. Should be appearing on Friday.

Meanwhile I have an appointment with


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