Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Are you a goblin kinda girl?

It’s been a great couple of weeks with some really interesting finds on Folksy, Etsy and Facebook – I love that with this age of modern technology and interaction I can sit in my boat and converse with artists from all over the world.  I wonder what the all time greats would have done differently if their heads had been constantly turned the way mine is?  Would the Brotherhood have quilted some of their paintings? Can you imagine the lady of Shallot hand painted on a giant quilt and stitched and embellished??  Hmmm… I can almost TASTE that one! Lol!  And what would they have made of photoshop and all those digital layers??

Having fallen in love at a very early age with the wonders of Tim Henson’s Dark Crystal, and the oh-so-beautiful Labyrinth I’ve definitely been influenced by the kind of mythical style and am (have been for quite some time) in the process of creating some river sprites.   There are a couple of awesome shops that have taken their own slant on this kind of character, with the most fantastic success!   

I hope that you enjoy looking through this wonderful mix of magical creatures! xxx

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Sucks not being official!!

I wanted to have a gripe and couldn't think of a better place to do it.... Is anyone else at the kind of inbetween stage with their crafting where they really want to move on but to do so would mean a big investment and taking the step to becoming an official company? I really don't want to do that - I like being able to create what I want, when I want, and not having pressure of a turnover or keeping every receipt (I quite like that noone but me knows what I really spend on my "absolutely necessary must have" craft bits and pieces!)

I was interested in perhaps taking a table at a local-ish craft fayre but saw in the small print on the booking that you need to have public liability insurance up to 2million.  To get public liability insurance surely you need to be a company?? I can completely understand the organisers asking for this and it's totally NOT a gripe against them, and I completely understand the need for it, but <stamp> it's not fair! (even if actually it is, really...). 

So I think I'll have to wait for a local village fayre that's set up the old village way with no formal requirements whatsoever and if someone trips and suffocates in one of my cupcakes perhaps they'll just be pleased they went that way and enjoy the taste of their last moment?

Monday, 11 April 2011

My cat beats me up but I'm too old to ring Childline...

Hi! Did you have a gorgeous weekend in the sun?? Wasn't it amazing?? We went for a bit of a pootle on Saturday morning to get some extra chairs for the garden (the teenager has a signifant other now so we need more seating outside!) and then Mr W went off to play rugby and I sat in the sun for a little bit longer. Perfect.
After a bit I went off to watch the game, knowing it would only take me about fifteen minutes to get there I wasn't in a big rush.
Forty five minutes later I pull up in the carpark - the sat nav on the Jag is LIAR!! Big time! I was sooo annoyed! The silly thing is, the match was in a village called Cottenham and if I'd been driving there from Cambridge I wouldn't have even fired up the sat nav but I don't know the way accross the back of the villages out our side, North of Cambridge.
Luckily for me there happened to be a stray rugby player out by the gate of the grounds (which I thought was slightly odd but rather convenient...).
By the time I had walked through the site and found the pitch I was getting more concerned about that stray player though as despite it being slightly in to the second half, and everything to play for as if our lot won there's no way they can be beaten for the league winners now, everyone was kind of milling about looking bored. Then Mr W appeared and pointed out the small group around a stricken player in the middle of the pitch. Luckily at that distance I wasn't able to see the bone that was by all accounts sticking out of his forearm. Nice. It took about an hour for the ambulance to get there (only six in our county, did you know that?) and the guy didn't make a squeak the whole time. Tough as nails. Even when the kindly ambulance folks put his arm in a splint and moved him into the ambulance not a sound passed his lips. Amazing. There would have been split eardrums everywhere if that had been me. I felt so awful for him, but (and I feel a bit guilty about this) so very relieved that it was him and not Mr W. That's fair enough isn't it? I wouldn't wish such a nasty injury on anyone, but definately not on MY boy...

So by the time we got home from this match (where my lot TOTALLY kicked ass and won by a long way!) it was almost half past six and we were determined to take the boat out overnight. The teenager had been warned, her fridge had been stocked, and the cats were inside shouting at me that they hadn't had their tea yet (we have a new routine where they get treats/wet food in addition to their usual dry stuff every night at tea time so we don't have to waste time hunting for them when we're ready to take the boat out!) and the folding chairs were on the roof ready to go.

We threw ourselves onboard, untied the ropes and headed out. We didn't go too far, just enough that we were in the middle of nowhere for a peaceful night. A lot of people seem determined to only ever cruise their boats to pubs but we really like finding a patch of deserted river with no one else around and bashing in our pegs there. Are we antisocial? Praps... a bit...

Sometimes the cow-beasties and ships (sheep - sorry - Pratchett know...) come and say hello, sometimes they don't, but there's always someone we know cruising past for a quick wave and chat which is enough!
So we moored just around the corner on the Old West and it was gorgeous. Of our two cats, Kevin is the intrepid explorer and brave man so he was straight out for a good explore to find something small, fluffy, and crunchy in the undergrowth whereas our little man, Malcolm, kind of hovers by me (obviously in case I need protecting...!). Joseph just goes where the food is!

Kevin (AKA Monster)

Malcolm (AKA Malcolm-the-destroyer, & "little man")
Joseph (AKA Poopy)

After a great nights sleep onboard I was rudely awoken by Malcolm who kept headbutting and punching me on the nose.  He likes his love in the morning and he obviously thought it was time I got on with his fussing.  Hmmm.  At least (unlike Kevin) he doesn't claw you til you fuss him.  It wasn't a nice awakening though!  I gave up and got up anyways and we set off towards Ely waterfront for a cream tea at Peacocks. They have proper old mismatched china and so many gorgeous loose leaf teas that it's hard to choose! We do like a bit of Kwazulu though! Try it if you get the chance!!

After this I went nextdoor to the antique mall to get some beautiful little china coffee cups I saw the week before that were crying out to be made into candles.
It's pretty easy but really satisfying, and the look lush when they're done up in their cellophane!

(this one's going to my mums tonight, as a cheering pressie!)

This one is in my folksy shop!

I made these while we were cruising home which was lovely. Then I sat in the garden, we bbq'd, our friends came and chilled out on our side of the path (they live on their boat behind the trees!), and I got hideously burnt (I put suncream on on Saturday morning and instantly reacted to it so had to scrub it off fast!) but it was an awesome weekend! I finished off with listing all the gorgeous Cath Kidston stuff I made in my shop!  Click here to see it:

So I'll leave you with a picture of the state I'm in today and ask for as much love as possible as I'm not fluffy!!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Beware of strange cookies and pillows!

Firstly, let me apologise for not writing anything for a bit. I have good excuses/reasons but nevertheless, I'm sorry!

So last weekend was my first little fayre. What was originally a village fayre actually morphed into a jumble sale so whilst my table looked beautiful and I sold quite a lot of cakes I sold only a few craft items as people weren't expecting that kind of thing there. The plus point was the organisers were very keen for me to commit to exhibiting at their Christmas Craft Fayre - a long way off yet but a nice confidence boost for me on my first face-to-face exhibition of my work.

You can see my mum here -she shared the table with her own card creations!

I was a little nervous about displaying my cupcakes as I'd had to make them in a real rush as I was finishing a 50th Birthday Cake for a friend that she'd commissioned for her husbands birthday. She wanted his motorbike clubs backpatch on there and its quite a complicated design. In the end I handpainted a patch, then the lettering and moved the patches on to the cake. I was relieved at how good it looked!

The cupcakes got a lot of compliments - but the ones that made me laugh were all the people that said that they didn't look real! Probably the sparkly edible glitter! There was a cake stall at the other end of the hall with a lot of ladies who were obviously a bit of a village institution with their buns and I could see a few looks peering down at me. One of the ladies actually came and had a look but she said she daren't buy any, and then glanced nervously back at the others... lol!

Our teenager manfully took one for the team and went and tried the competitions buns but her description is one I'd best not repeat here!

I had a few of my oversized sunglass cases out on display, and a couple of purses and makeup bags, and I was pleased with how pretty they looked in all their Cath Kidston glory! :o)

By the time mum and I were all packed up and ready to head home my back was really achy so Mr W treated the teenager and me to dinner next door at the pub. After that we came home and I put my feet up and indulged in a simple Maryland Chocolate Chip cookie - to which for some strange reason I had a very fast allergic reaction. Mostly these days when I have a reaction I take my drugs and ride it out at home but my throat quickly started closing up this time so it was off to A&E and straight into resus. The team there are fantastic and they know me well (30+ visits in just over a year will get you remembered...) so they quickly administered what I needed and after a few hours I was allowed to leave. They know I know my reaction, and that we live pretty close to the hospital if I need to get back quickly!

So as we were on holiday this week, Monday and Tuesday were spent pootling about on the boat with me recovering. I get left feeling like I've been beaten up a bit and have lead bones after a reaction but Mr W takes excellent care of me - poor guy. Then Wednesday meant a trip to the hospital for a scheduled endoscopy and a camera down my throat to see if there's some obvious cause for all the allergic reactions, and some biopsies for non-obvious causes. Having been told I'd be out for a maximum of half an hour, two hours later my poor long suffering husband came looking for me.... It took a lot of sedation to get me to sleep and therefore took a long time for me to wake up afterwards. I had a bit of an itchy neck and Mr W pointed out a big rash where a cloth had been laid over the strange pillow in the theatre. I felt a bit puffy and had a bit of a sore throat but having had a camera stuffed down my throat I felt this was quite reasonable.
We home home around 3pm and I curled up on the sofa under my slanket (yes, I have one and I LOVE IT!!) but within an hour my eyes were streaming and crusty and swallowing was just agony. By five o'clock I was having to drool into a bowl as there was no way could swallow, my whole face was swollen and I could barely see so we headed back to our friends at the hospital and I was shocked to see the reaction of my lovely resus team when the saw me. Mr W actually took a couple of photos to show the allergy team but I'll share them with you...
This is a photo from our wedding a couple of years ago - I'm a bit (ok, quite a lot) chunkier now but shows the contrast of what I normally look like to how I looked on Wednesday night!
My whole face swelled up and my neck was huge, and I almost instantly developed conjunctivitus and my eyes are still quite yellow. This reaction really freaked me out as it was to something unknown, and didnt follow my usual pattern. I was given an adrenalin nebuliser to get the adrenalin to the place it was needed the most and luckily it worked fast. I am utterly exhausted even today, three days later, and still feel very breathless and beaten up. No more cookies or unknown pillows for me!!

So as you can see, I've been a busy bunny, but it's back to the day job for me on Monday so hopefully another couple of days relaxing will work wonders. For those of you who are lucky enough to be mums I hope you have a great day tomorrow, and for those of you who aren't mums I hope you take the time to spoil yourself anyways!

Take care my lovelies