... because life's too short to do anything ALL the time . Creativity and positivity are my "hiraeth"

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Tatt'll Do For Me

So after nearly a year (a dreadful, awful year for the most important person in my tattoo's life) I went to the GORGEOUS new studio ...

... saw the ever lovely Liz for the first time in what felt like a million years and allowed her to inflict pain and suffering on me! Hardly, she's the gentlest tattooist in the world I would wager, but it doesn't stop it itching etc for the next few days.

Liz's creativity is the most amount of creativity that I have to report at the moment as me and my ink become acquainted and my skin heals, I feel a bit sleepy. All the time! As I'm going again on Monday for some more work, I think I might be having a bit of time off my production line, although knowing me, now I've said that I'll have an insatiable urge to create! Goodness knows I have enough to be getting on with!

Oh, and I'm in Real People magazine today. Go and grab a copy - it's only 67p!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Select Preferred Language - "Dickensian"

As usual - I have uploaded the photos the wrong way 'round. Luckily I know you have enough sense to see that!

The weekend of work has dawned again so before I have my pre-work nap, I shall update you about my recent home made conquests.

Having charity shop purchased the old golf club curtains and laundered and assessed them at home, I thought it prudent to get cracking with making and hanging them as there was simply so much fabric I had nowhere to store it.

Being an awkward area to hang a curtain and knowing the weight of the fabric concerned I decided against my usual favoured curtain hanging mechanism (cup hooks and dowelling rods) and opted to buy an actual curtain pole, much as it pained me. I stupidly thought that a good strong (much stronger than I usual buy) would be cheaper than a ready to put up curtain pole, but I was very wrong, £20 wrong, to be precise. Bonkers, isn't it?

So, rail purchased and put up by my excellent Husband, I cracked on with the curtain.

I should, at this point apologise. I appear to be having an extra marital affair with a certain Mr Charles Dickens and I can't help noticing that I keep slipping into fluent Dickensian. I can't help it. Indeed I can't...doh!

I took out one of the linings as it was threadbare and had ripped with use and I enjoyed seeing the edging of the fabric that it is made by an excellent fabric supplier and made and printed in Britain. I then removed the gathering tape from the length as I meant to turn the fabric orientation, obviously to cover a door rather than a window.

Imagine my pleasure and delight when it turns out that the curtains width just happens to be the exact drop, to the centimetre, from the rail to the floor! Now THAT is what they call "meant to be"!

Cutting and sewing the gathering tape onto the edge of two curtains, backs together and one layer of lining, I was glad that I had bought the pole and even more glad that my humble machine stepped up to the mark, then I hung the curtain.

I had to tack up one hem at the bottom where the lining was removed and when sat on the hallway floor, I realised just how much draft was coming through the door I had chosen to cover. Just goes to show, the old ideas are often the best - upvc or no upvc. My door is upvc, by the way, but the draft was still coming through. No more!

This week I went for a coffee also with a lady I have met through the Prima article, and wow, what a lovely and inspirational lady! Especially as she gave me a lovely bag full of beautiful satin fabrics she's come to the realisation she's never going to use. Well I certainly will.

I have an idea of something to make with these fabrics - and of course, the first will be for her. I look forward to a new friendship with this equally busy lady.

And so to nap ...

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Disorganised Chaos

My lovely hairdresser lady once told me that I am "the least organised busy person she has ever met". I take that as a compliment. And I cannot argue with it's truth.

My lovely friend Jane bought me a "life Book" for Christmas this year. It's no ordinary diary, it's the most impressive, efficient diary I have ever seen complete with stickers and a removable contacts section so you don't have to write it all again next year. It's impressive. And I love it.

And I use it. Properly (nearly all the time!).

So why is it then that I have this constant feeling that I should be somewhere, or that I should be doing something that I have failed to annotate in my Life Book? It's very unsettling.

I decided to indulge in the ultimate luxury last night. An early night. Eight o'clock early. And this feeling that I should be doing something nearly ruined it.

I realised that due to my evenings based work pattern early nights are now much more difficult than I thought, as it's usually my time of most activity, combine that with the feeling of "should be somewhere" and that's not conducive to early nights. I slept and slept, but all laboured with thoughts of things I "should" be doing and bonkers dreams about African deserts and tribes people, all makes for a hard going night.

Afternoon naps it is then.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Robert Plant, Charity Shops and Golf Clubs

Yesterday was a lovely day. The sun was out, it wasn't all that cold, and it was dry. More importantly there was no snow whatsoever.

A perfect day for a charity shop haul!

My Step Mum and I went off to Monmouth, a beautiful, historic market town where I can't help but go Robert Plant spotting, although, I'm lead to believe he doesn't live there any more. Can't help it! It's ever since a financially loaded family friend told me she had accidentally run over his foot with her pram once in Monmouth. I swear, even if the charity shops were rubbish, I'd still go on the off chance - and I wouldn't rule out taking a pram.

So we did the charity shop run and picked up some blinders. A complete sewing encyclopaedia - a must for all self taught seamstresses, a paper craft book with some really unusual and useful things in, another vintage tea towel (not come up with any ideas for what to do with it yet) but best of all, door curtain fabric.

I've been wanting to make a front door curtain for a while, but not knowing what fabric to choose, so I put it out there to fate, nature, God, the Gods, ethereal being, whatever you choose, for the fabric to come to me. And it did.

It matches my front door colour beautifully, fabulous quality, thick and heavy, fully lined and even came with curtain hooks still attached. On pouring over it in the shop, the sales lady told me that they had sacks of them as they had come from the local and VERY well to do golf club, so you can imagine the quality.

Golfers do not scrimp on curtains. Fact.

So, combine that with a gorgeous light lunch at a tiny independent bakery/eatery, the best soup and bakewell tart I've ever had, a massive heist on half price scrapbooking materials (I can't believe I've gone through everything I already had) and a jolly good day was had by all.


Friday, 14 January 2011

...Gone Scrapbooking... I May Be Some Time

So it's my weekend off, I've worked the last two weekends and I'm going to enjoy it. What I hear you ask, am I going to do with it...?

Drunk and disorderly down at my local and favourite biker pub in the world?

Coiffing wine with the beautiful people in Cardiff?

Shopping marathon (bleeeeuuurghhhhhh) with my girlie friends followed by lunch and pole dancing...?



Ok so I admit I might be a little obsessed. I blame Helen. And her sister Ruth. Can't get enough of it.

I've poured over Helens books, absorbed loads of clever ideas which I have embellished with my own surrealism (you can't beat a bit of surrealism in scrapbooking craft!) and come up with my own themes and plans. I just wish I'd started it years ago.

I've got odds and ends tucked away everywhere, from our Wedding, our first date, other people's weddings, all sorts of things I can " 'book" (as I like to call it - I'm so down with the kids) and now it's going to cost me a fortune in photo printing. My house is destined to have a thin layer of greased paper minute squares emblazoned upon it's surfaces from the little double sided squishy square things. Perhaps I can scrapbook our divorce too - I think him indoors may divorce me if I don't tidy up.

Maybe I could give my stalker a 'book page!

On with the rock'n'roll lifestyle then!


Monday, 10 January 2011

Danger! This Woman is Bonkers.

This is Marie.

A few months ago, she was given the news we all dread. Now she only has one and a half of what we ladies have two of.

She's the first to say that she's "been in better shape", I doubt anyone could say she's been in better shape mentally. Although they could say she's mental anyway.

So, having kicked the butt of the dreaded "c" (note lower case) word, she has decided to celebrate life and being alive by doing a half marathon.

Now before I paint Marie as some sort of saint, I know most of you are probably thinking "knockers to that, I'd rather go on the holiday of a lifetime!", well so was she. So she did that too. And her tan in this weather is nothing short of stomach churning. Just don't ask to see her white bits because she WILL show you.

So, in short, follow her blog peeps. It's a bloomin' good scream as you might expect if you had the pleasure of knowing her. I'm very fortunate that I do. And I love her to bits.

I can't tell you how proud of this woman I am.

Multi-Tasking Ahoy

As usual, I find myself short of time and have been sans blog for a few days so I thought I'd pull out the multi-tasking stops.

I'm currently cooking a dinner for the family, getting ready for work AND resisting the allure of two borrowed scrap booking idea books off my lovely friend Helen, who's work I have not yet shown you. Damn you clock ticking so fast!

The Mrs Miggins dinner went off splendidly. 2.30 am splendidly actually, 3.30 by the time I got to bed. Suffice to say that I now have CONSIDERABLY more embroidering to do on my table cloth than I did the dinner. And some of it has a shred of decency!

If I had been writing this blog on old fashioned pen and paper the pen would have just shot across the page in response to the left over from Mrs Miggins balloon that just exploded above me. *shouts up the stairs "bring me my brown trousers"

So now I'm just trying to get over my weekend of gruelling shifts, before I embark upon some embroidery. Tomorrow, I promise, tomorrow!

And Helen's just made my day by reminding me that I have the first episode of the current series of Larkrise to watch when I get home, wooo hoooo!!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

So Much Inspiration and SO many lovely people!

I've today completed my third radio show this week! Here's the link:

There are SO many lovely people in this gorgeous medium we call "the wireless" that I wish I had ten sets of ears so I could listen to them all. I'm in the middle of a big Twitter conversation with the lovely Jon off of Radio Wey www.radiowey.co.uk about the "big four" supermarkets. I'm not totally against them, as you might think, because they do provide jobs. And products. But I think that it's all about balance, small people and big business, that's what makes the world go around. There's room for everyone!

Yesterday I took up to Klassy Fabrics in Ebbw Vale, the lovely lady who let me have my supplies and pay for them later. She was bowled over by the thank you card I made her, I also did some screen prints of the blog that I had written about her kindness and took her those. Tomorrow is the (now Bi-) Annual "Mrs Miggins Pie Shop" dinner. It's when I cook for my nearest and dearest lady friends - a Blackadder joke that stuck - and we generally have a good girlie laugh. I've taken the trouble of making some party favours, a bit American I know, but sometimes they DO know what they're talking about, so I took Mrs Klassy Fabrics one of those too. Note to self - find out her name. She actually had tears in her eyes.

Made my day as much as I hope I made hers.

While up there I had a little scout around the charity shops and picked up for £3 a king size duvet cover, relatively unused which is the absolute perfect fabric for my bedroom blind I'm about to embark on. And a really striking, totally unused and utterly beautiful Houses of Parliament tea towel! Sounds bonkers I know, but it REALLY is gorgeous.

And then my friend Jess had a totally GENIUS idea to make it into a blind for my back door. It shall be done and I will share!

So, as you can see, party favours and birthday cards, I think they're really pretty.

But I'm really gutted I forgot to give my trouble making stalker a mention on the radio.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

We Have a Traitor in the Midst!

I've had a wonderful day today. A lovely interview with www.radiowey.co.uk, a splendid radio station and a lovely interview.

Like to hear it? Well here you go ...

And then the afore mentioned lovely Helen took me to visit her sister and her friend who are fellow crafters, and my, what a whole load of inspiration I have from them! Rafts of it! I have never learned so much in one day! Brilliant!

So, now I'm at home, catching up on a few things and luckily on line and tidying up, that sort of thing ... when I get an anonymous comment...

It would seem that I have an enemy! This person has tried very hard to get me into trouble in the past, it didn't work, so they're trying again. The trouble is I'm a very different person now than I was, I'm not going to take it lying down.

I'm not going to say "I know who you are" because quite honestly I have no interest in who you are.

I'm not going to justify any part of my life, or divulge any details about my personal circumstances, or apologise to anyone to whom I feel it unnecessary. As a sad result of this person's sad, spiteful and defamatory actions, I've had to "babysit" my comments and have them moderated before I have them posted. Lovely followers, I will try to do this as quickly as possible so you can all have your usual wonderful input.

I can assure you that normal service will resume very shortly and unless things get really exciting I won't mention it a bit.

Luckily I am a person who tries to see the best in people, however had they make it for me!

I'm sure that the actions of this person/people are a poor attempt at plugging some kind of spiteful hole in their measly existence by bunging it up with jealousy and intimidation. Well, as I said, I'm not the doormat I once was. So good luck!

I'm sure you're a decent person really. I think we all are, aren't we?

Saturday, 1 January 2011

So, What's Next?

Well, exactly.

I've pondered what my exact manifesto is going to be for next, I mean this, year.

Having SUCH an outlet for my creativity last year was incredible, and with such a specific manifesto to keep to it really created an artistic drive that I'd not had the opportunity to work with before. I couldn't possibly just go back to purchasing "soul-less" gifts, and despite not being much of a shopper before, mindless meanderings in the direction of shops never bodes well.

So, I think for this year, I'm not going to "not buy" at all, there are some people for whom there's very little you can make for, but I think in this economic climate it's all about the little people. Supporting the sole traders and small businesses. The market stalls, the craft fairs, the charities, if I'm going to spend, it'll be with them. And another important factor is that it's MUCH better to have one nice, wanted, useful gift than ten that are not your thing. We've all had that, you unwrap it and think "did you think about this at all?!"

The main focus of the ole bloggeroonie will be UP-CYCLING. Not revolutionary, I know, and an awful lot of the things I did last year were up-cycled, and I truly believe it's the way forward. I love very little more than turning something at the end of it's current life into something else and giving it a new life.

The pleasure I had giving hand made gifts and gifts of time far outweighs the pleasure of buying a gift and giving that, so the emphasis is very much on home-made, up-cycled, money cheap but time and effort expensive gifts.

Lets face it, I've only got one lot of friends and family so I'd better look after them - even if they do think I've lost the plot!

I want to hone my existing skills, learn new ones, continue breathing new life into old things (and gradually turning myself into the British Martha Stewart and then shape shifting myself into Kirsty Allsop) and writing. I love writing, and sharing. It occurred to me recently that I always wanted to be, but was never any good at being, a diarist. Well I've only gone and done it! I suppose I never could see the point of writing if no one was going to read it.

Oh and my new year's resolution is that I'm going to stop reading my own press. It's not good for you.

...and the Sun .... and the Mail....


A MUM yesterday completed her challenge of going a YEAR without a shopping trip.

Bethan Brunell, 34, gave up her usual clothes sprees, retail therapy and impulse-buying in the sales.

She borrowed clothes from pals and even made her own Christmas decorations and presents for hubby Steve, 42, and teenage daughter Megan.

Former recruitment consultant Bethan reckons she saved more than £1,000 over the year.

She said: "It meant I had to live a less materialistic lifestyle but it was worth it.

"I will never go back to shopping as a sport but I won't be living as cheaply this year. It has been an interesting experiment and has given me a more soulful existence."

But Bethan, of Pontypool, South Wales, said she is chuffed with her first purchase since her ban ended - a brand new pair of fitted jeans.

Bethan said: "I've borrowed other people's clothes all year, so it is great to have a pair of jeans that fit me perfectly.

"I can't wait to have the occasional treat of a new dress but there is so much more to life than material happiness."

Bethan restricted herself to buying three essentials - food, fuel and toiletries.

But having lost three stone over the year, Bethan admitted she had to go to Marks & Spencer for new pants. She said: "Buying knickers was essential - so that didn't count as a shopping trip."