Brain Ache

Why did I think it would be a good idea to coincide a new studio with a new look to my blog….?  I have no idea.  Despite involving a dedicated computer savvy brain in one country, and the artistic skills of an internationally known illustrator in another, I am still sitting at the computer whimpering faintly, ‘But I don’t understand….’  All I have managed (virtually unaided)  to do is to lose the pink background on my existing blog which I am quite happy about because I kept putting on photos of red things, and thinking ‘Yuk!’

Anyway, it will happen eventually, and when it does there will be a bloggy giveaway (and possible fireworks and cake) but in the meantime there will be whimpering….

So I am soothing my sore and itchy brain with more tulips…

and a  little domestic escapism…

I’m going shopping for food colouring as soon as possible because these are just taking me back to the macaroon shop in Rouen and I never imagined it was such a simple recipe…

There was also mint tea and hot buttered crumpets with honey but the battery ran out on the camera, and I had to eat them while it was hot…

I feel a little better now.


I Haven’t Gone Away…

…but I am on the verge of committing cameracide, if that is what you can call flinging one’s new camera on the floor and jumping on it.  I’ve given it two months now, I’ve printed out all 64 pages of the manual that came on CD – why couldn’t be in a handy handbag size book? I just can’t get the nice crisp photos I was getting with the old faithful Fuji, and I  don’t want to put fuzzy photos on my blog.  So the post I’ve been working on will have to wait until next week, after I have been back to the shop .  Please bear with me, I will be back.

I shall leave my guard dog keeping an eye on things…

Forward Planning

I decided quite a while ago I don’t really DO the New Year thing.   I like the fireworks, but I’m not really into crowds, kissing strangers and Aul Lang Syne.  And anyway, it’s just man made numbers, a hook on which to hang the passage of time, and get our taxes paid regularly. (Sorry, this sounds like a cue for a grumpy old woman alert!)  We decided quite a while ago to turn our year around at the Winter Solstice on the 21st of December, a more satisfactory arrangement in tune with the natural order, and with the promise of longer days ahead.  This is celebrated with close friends with much jollity, silliness, good food and wine.   So my new year has already started.

However, having said that, there is much to be said for a review of the past year when looking at the last page of the diary and seeing the unsullied fresh pages of 2010.   If I have a resolution it is to procrastinate less, and to be more creative.  (If you’ve heard this one before, don’t all shout at once, I’ll be deafened!)

The big project for the next few weeks is a humdinger – a NEW STUDIO!  I have a little shed which was great before I overflowed out of it  into every room of the house.  Now I have to find somewhere to store it’s contents (it has turned into a glorified cupboard) so it can be dismantled and transported to a new home leaving space for – the NEW STUDIO!  So much hangs on this because I have been struggling for so long with not having all my materials and equipment easily accessible.  by the time I’ve tracked down every thing I need to realise an idea, I’ve run out of time, or energy or inspiration.  I’ll also gain space in the house, and it might (might) just stay a little tidier …well I can dream…

I’m off now, to pack a box or two, but I shall leave you with a little puzzle.  This is  my Christmas present from my dear friend Kit, who is also my creative partner in crime.  What do you suppose it is?  Do leave me your guesses…

…and in the meantime I hope that 2010 brings you everything you could wish for, see you in the next decade!

Happy Christmas…

…from me and from Higgins, who has decided that snow is FUN!

We’ll be back very soon, have a wonderful Christmas….

The Pig of Happiness

Today I met Pink Sheep’s little pink friend, and in the spirit of cheering up a dull cold afternoon, I would like to share him, and spread a little of his happiness…

[clearspring_widget title=”The Pig of Happiness” wid=”4ae180cf359d3d7c” pid=”4b128f685f620b1a” width=”340″ height=”500″ domain=””]

Electrical Disturbances

A couple of years ago, at the end of a fairly protracted renovation project on our house, we had a house fire. Only a little fire, but with vast amounts of smoke from all the electrical wiring involved, which permeated the entire house with thick black oily smoke. Only the week before I had been taken off to hospital in an ambulance with appendicitis so I and Henry the cat were safely recuperating at my mother’s house on the other side  the village at the time of the fire. In my rather fragile state, the state of our house and possessions was enough to cope with, I really didn’t need to hear too much detail about the actual event. Unfortunately, my mother’s gardener at the time was a retained fireman, a garrulous man who delighted in the opportunity to lean on his spade and hold forth. Thus cornered one day he regaled me with the exciting tale of how he had broken down our front door with an axe, and with non existant visibility had gone in wearing breathing apparatus, and crawled around on the bedroom floor looking for my body! These images haunted me for months, and I struggled with settling back into our home for quite some time because of them.

All this is to set the scene so that you can imagine how I felt at quarter to five this morning, with Tim in the middle of the North Sea, waking up from a deep sleep and hearing the crackling of electric wiring shorting. Having established it was coming from the main electrical feed into the house, what to do? I did NOT want a posse of firefighters with axes, even if they were potential calender material. I found the emergency electricity number, and pressed 1 for ‘Dangerous Situations’ and talked to Lee. His answer to ‘Is it likely to cause a fire was “Yes, and no”‘ Hmm, reassuring. His solution was to turn off everything at the mains, and wait for a man to call. We waited, me, Henry and Higgins, in the candlelight. I don’t know what they thought, Higgins had a dog chew so probably not a lot. I thought about all those disaster movies where someone looks at a cupboard and says ‘I wonder what’s making that funny noi…KERBOOOOM!’

Have you ever tried casting on a sock by candlelight? It’s pretty unsuccessful, but it stops you thinking about disaster movies. Eventually dawn broke and I could blow out the candles. The emergency man turned up four hours later, he would have been useful if I had gone KERBOOOM! He replaced an enormous fuse, and apologised for my trouble. I wish I could get my fuse replaced, I have completely fizzled out…

Glittering Prizes

I have been selected for not one, but two  blog awards by the exceptionally good-looking, talented and witty illustrator and writer, Thomas Taylor of That Elusive Line.  (Well I know, but if you are going to do nepotism you might as well go the whole hog)  Seriously though, thank you, Thomas, it’s a great start to the week.

Kreativ Blogger

This elevation does come with its own responsibilities though, which are as follows,

1. Copy and paste the pretty picture which you see above onto your own blog.

2. Thank the person who gave you the award and post a link to their blog.

3. Write 7 things about yourself we do not know.

4. Choose 7 other bloggers to award.

5. Link to those 7 other bloggers.

6. Notify your 7 bloggers.

Firstly though, I have to spill the beans, so here goes…

  1. The real me is actually just like Donna in’ Mamma Mia’, I just keep it well hidden.
  2. I have an ironing pile the size of a small Alp, but I’d much rather iron and fold pieces of patchwork fabric.(and then arrange them in colour co-ordinated piles and photograph them)
  3. I waste far too much time playing ‘Bejewelled’ on FaceBook.
  4. I am a closet Trekkie.  Star Trek –The Next Generation for me, and Jean Luc Picard is mine, all mine.
  5. In an ideal world I would have a room full of shoes, ‘Sex in the City shoes’, the higher the better.  (In this world I have duff knees and wear Crocs and Fitflops)
  6. I read diet books while eating chocolate digestives.
  7. I fight a daily battle against procrastination (and invariably lose)

After much deliberation I would like to give my seven awards (in no particular order) to:

Celia at Purple Podded Peas – talented print maker and gardener, with furry studio assistants and feathered under-gardeners.

Vanessa at Do You Mind if I Knit – colourful and chatty, nice with a cup of tea

Gina at Fan My Flame – Textile artist working on Art degree, a similar direction to the one I’ve taken

Geraldine and Jessamy at Smitonius and Sonata – Mother and daughter collaboration, on my wave length.

Lucy at Attic 24 – for a colour infusion

Teena at Kitschen Pink Was my very first ‘commenter’ when I had just dipped my toe in the water.  Teena’s colourful blog inspired me to continue.

Jane at Jane and the ducks – a little taste of ‘French chic’


These are the rules for the Superior Scribbler Award:

1.Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

2.Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

3.Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

4.Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

5.Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Rachel at Slow Lane Life – witty and amusing writing, lovely photos

Warda at 64sq ft Kitchen – beautiful evocative writing and delicious recipes

Tania at Myrtle and Eunice – Family life and Stitching in Australia

Knitting Iris – Knitting, Stitching and self sufficiency in Montana,  Beautiful photos

Kate at Greedy for Colour Crafting in New Zealand

This was all quite daunting when I started trying to sort it all out.  (Thomas cheated- I thought he was better brought up than that! but it did mean I got two awards so I can’t complain)  For me it’s actually been a good way to say thank you to these nominated bloggers for adding an extra dimension to my days, and aiding that procrastination habit!