Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Look mum - the Meerkat's got new clothes!

Unlike the Emperor though, these clothes are real.

My meerkats have been lounging around nekkid for far too long. Ok, the trekies are "sort of" clothed - but they never go off duty and can't take their uniforms off.

*trumpet fanfare*

May I introduce to you - meerkats who can get dressed! (No, not without help, that would be magic)

*puts on Miss World commentator voice* Our model is wearing an haute couture frock in two tones of purple which fastens with heart shaped beads.

She is accessorised with a toning shoulder bag in which she keeps the daily requisites of a meerkat gal about town. Her escort, Luke SkyMeerkat has his light sabre at the ready to defend her honour.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Strange creations in the forest

Geocaching in Kings Wood we discovered huge sculptures.

The first one we saw brought out my "grumpy old woman" because as far as I can tell it is *just* a fence. In my opinion Art is about communication, and this says nothing to me except "Why bother?"

After getting home we looked up the artist on the website (I'd have liked to have been able to read this at the time, why weren't there info boards in the Forest?)

"Peter Fillingham: The Last Eleven Years, 2004/5

Peter Fillingham has designed a railing to lead you through the forest, but it doesn’t lead anywhere in particular and is at times quite hard to follow. As a fence it keeps nothing in or out but disappears into the trees its end unseen. Made by a local fencer in softwood it sits lightly in its forest surroundings drawing a line through the forest and raising the question, Is it an artwork or is it a Forestry construction? A piece for your imagination to play with."

The next piece, Ring by Rosie Leventon I liked.

The reflections of the trees in the water were lovely - but I can't help feeling they'd look just as lovely in one of the numerous natural ponds.

Score for a hole in the ground by Jem Finer looked interesting, but again no information board meant we'll have to wait till we go there again (now that we've read up) to fully appreciate it.

Jem says "it is a post-digital work that relies purely on gravity and water to generate music. Inspired by suikinkutsu, water chimes found in temple gardens of Japan, Score for a Hole in the Ground uses tuned percussive instruments, played by falling water, to create music."

We thought maybe you were supposed to chuck stones in it...sorry ;-(

Most beautiful *art* we saw on this walk?

This communicates with me. Awe, wonder, fragility of nature, delicate colours, the softness and texture of the wings, the ephemeral nature of life...

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Live music from Twitter!

Strange but true.

You know everyone says how careful you have to be when meeting folk from the wild world of the web?

True, of course, but I've made so many new friends via Twitter recently.

Yesterday was our third visit to the Hoodener's Horse pub where we met Twitter friends @HoodenersHorse and @pannage (and Mrs "@Pannage") and were entertained by a pair of trumpeters known as The Trumpettes (On twitter they are quite naturally known as @trumpette1 and @trumpette2 !)

It was a great evening, enlivened by the small girl who danced and encouraged us all to join in - so if you're looking for a novel entertainment get in touch with the Trumpettes.

I should also add (rapidly, before @HoodenersHorse gets upset) that the pub food is second to none, particularly if you're a fan of REAL Mexican cooking. See you there next time?

Friday, 24 July 2009

Calling all golfers

I intended to start by saying that my appreciation of golf is pretty similar to Oscar Wilde...but having checked with my dear friend Mr Google, it seems it was actually Mark Twain who described golf as a good walk spoiled.
Having alienated all my potential customers, I'll move on...;-)

(I should perhaps point out this is not Mark Twain)

Leaving that aside, however, my boss has asked me to knit him some wooly warmers for his sticks clubs, and it has occurred to me that they would make a good addition to my shops.

(It isn't my boss, either)

According to my good friend Mr Google once more, it seems most golfers have 3 woods requiring covers - a 1, 3 and 5. If you are (or know) a golfer, it'd be really helpful if you could confirm or deny this to prevent me offering sets of 3 when I should really be making singles (or whatever).

I'll leave you with another golfing quote, this time from Jimmy Demaret. I have no idea if he's right...

"Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at."

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

We Make London

Just over a year ago I went to London to visit the first ever We Make London craft fair. Most of the stallholders were UK Etsy sellers, and it was a fabulous event. I was lucky enough to nab one of the goody bags - and indeed I still use it daily to carry my lunch and other bits and bobs in to work.

A few weeks ago I noticed that the We Make team were having a giveaway on their blog, and of course entered (I'm a sucker for a giveaway, as you know!)

I was lucky enough to get picked to win one of the 50 We Make London birthday badges, seen here on my bag.

I spotted today on the We Make blog that they've announced their new Autumn fair - I recommend the team highly! It'll be a great day whether you go along as a seller or as a buyer - but take my advice and get there early!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Nature's breeding season

Out walking this week: it seems everyone is breeding!

Butterflies were everywhere, but this was the only one obliging enough to pose for me.

At least these bullocks weren't as boisterous as the last lot we encountered!

The ponies were just too cute for words.

And it would seem even bugs are at it:

Monday, 20 July 2009

My tiny tweet has arrived!

I entered a contest on feltmeup's blog and won my choice of tiny tweet!

I was almost too excited to choose, but I decided on pink feet and beak. He arived today - I had to lift him up to meet the seagull, he's so sweetly tiny!

If you can't wait until feltmeup decideds to run another competition, check out her shops here feltmeupdesigns.etsy.com and here feltanomicon.etsy.com and a closing down sale :-( here feltmeup.etsy.com

Feltmeup can also be found on twitter, of course.

Now I'm going back to coo over my tiny tweet!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Let's meet...Glassprimitif

Funny Face Magnet

I'm being kind today - I haven't sent my guest crafter the lengthy list of questions! Jo runs Glassprimitif, home of unique, contemporary and quality fused glass. She says she loves bright colours and in-yer-face design and seeks inspiration in E numbers and artificial colourings in food.


Glassprimitif is also very inspired by patchwork quilts and bases many of her designs on these. Jo uses mostly Bullseye glass (the best quality) as it has the brightest colours and the best dichroic coatings (CBS).

Aegean Sea

She spends hours creating new designs from drawings to cutting, from grinding to cleaning, from fusing to slumping. Each piece is individually made - hence the claim - Unique, Contempory, Quality.

Transparent Twisties

Check out Jo's blog for tutorials and snippets on Glass Making and lots of other stuff too. http://glassprimitif.blogspot.com

Follow Glassprimitif on Twitter

Glassprimitif is currently having a summer sale of glass dishes. Many are now half original price! My favourite is the lovely Tangerine piece I've featured above, just in case hubby is reading ;-)

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Alum Bay

We've been to the Isle of Wight so so many times, and Alum Bay is on the "must visit" list. This shot is looking down at the Bay and the Needles from the top of the cliff.

Sadly it's been completely commercialised now, which I think is a big shame. Piped music, tacky souvenir shops - but at least the stripy sands (as we've always called them!) are still there.

The brave (or foolish) go down to the beach by chairlift. I walk down the steps!

The cliffs have been tilted at 90 degrees over the ages, the vertical stripes are formed by layers of sediment that were (of course) deposited horizontally.

The colours are amazing. The tourist info states there are 21 distinct shades, and I can well believe it.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Fourth of July on the Isle of Wight

We took our oldest son and his girlfriend for their first geocache expedition while we were on the Isle of Wight. This one at Fort Victoria was in the most fabulous (and reflective!) container.

I was really pleased because it was 4th July, and one of the items in the cache stash was a textile badge in the shape of the American flag.

I'm wearing the badge while taking the meerkat for a dolphin ride ;-)

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

NiftyKnits is published!

My blog post about Mersham Knitted village was spotted by Let's Knit magazine. They asked me for a quote and to send me a photo of the house I bought. They said they'd credit me and link to my shop and send me a copy - none of which happened, sadly. However, a former colleague and a friend from years ago both contacted me after seeing my "real life" name and sent me a scan.

Click on the piece to enlarge, and learn by my mistake. Always make sure you're *paid* (in whatever sense) first.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

holiday snaps with a difference

Not your usual beach or scenery pics! We've just had a week on the Isle of Wight, lots of walking and geocaches to be found. We failed to find the cache here, but found a former lifeboat house with this poem painted on the wall. I love it!

I don't know if you can make out the subject of this photo. The house clearly belonged to a trainspotter who had a host of railway signs and memorabilia. The flat roof at the back had been made to look like a station, with a Southampton (a ferry ride away) sign displayed. It amused us because it's our daughter's station!

And finally - topiary discovered in a garden centre. I was longing for a small child to thrust into the driver's cabin!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Pond life

Sitting by my pond... the first water lily is out. It looks like it's carved from wax, the insects love it. the moment the sun goes down it closes up, I hope the bugs get out in time!

A rare treat. I don't often spot the resident newt.

I'm hoping it's a female. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to observe one laying her eggs. She gets into just this position on a leafy strand of pond weed, lays a single egg at a time and wraps it into an envelope of leaf which she makes with her two hind legs - then moves on to the next leaf.