Saturday, 30 July 2011

Look what I won!

I'm a big fan of blog giveaways - and you can't win unless you enter, so I enter LOTS!

I was lucky enough to win these fun earrings from the poetess wug and they just came today, sailing all the way across the pond. They came beautifully packaged and boxed and tied with a ribbon (yes, I really should have photographed that, but I was too keen to see the earrings!)

I love Debbie's philosophy expressed in her profile: "I give so much attention to my projects that are made from LEFTOVER yarn is because of a desire not to waste materials in a world that seems to want to throw everything away and move on to the next and newest thing..." I agree - I get extra joy when I finish a project using yarn or buttons and beads from my stash, I feel "worthy" somehow!

Please check out Debbie's shop wuglyees and stop by her blog and enjoy her musings - complete with poems. Who knows, you might be the next winner...

Saturday, 23 July 2011

More MeerTrekkies going boldly to a Star Trek Convention!

Barry is my best customer - he takes his meerkats to meet their real-life counterparts at SciFiCons!

Here are the latest stars:

Meerkats Chekov and Data meet Walter Koenig who of course played Ensign Pavel Andreievich Chekov

MeerTrekkies meet Brent Spiner who played Lieutenant Commander Data.

If you missed the pics of previous meerkats at conventions click here, and just in case anyone makes the usual mistake - no, I'm not the handsome tall chap with the meerkats. That's Barry. I'm short and female!

Star Trek Meerkats available from my shops at Zibbet Etsy or Folksy

Friday, 22 July 2011

Customer service?... and we're people magnets AGAIN!

Mr Nifty and I were hospital visiting yesterday, his 94 year old mother is enduring being patronised by medics like the stoic that ladies of her generation inevitably are.

We decided to eat out before the long drive home, but the pub we had chosen is next to the racecourse, so had a "guard" on the gate to make sure we weren't just trying to get free parking by charging us £10 (refundable against a meal).

Not too much of a problem, we thought, as we wanted to eat. After the expected wait, two meals approached...but Mr Nifty's was not what he'd ordered. There was much discussion amongst the waiters - which we could hear! Oh yes, we'd definitely ordered that....but we hadn't. Not a good start.

They'd left my meal on the table, so we started sharing the chips while we waited for them to sort out the problem. The chef came over, and explained at length that he'd have to remove my meal as Mr Nifty's needed cooking from scratch and of course we'd want to eat together.

At this point, an offer of a free starter (or a drink) would have been welcome...but no.

So we waited.

The waiters continued to discuss the "fact" that we'd definitely ordered the dish we hadn't ordered.

The restaurant section was almost empty...but another "table for 2" arrived...and guess where they were seated? RIGHT NEXT TO US! Why?

Our meals came, they were ok. We ate, we left.

Guess how big a tip we left?

I decided this would be a lesson in customer service ... how not to do it!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

We're people magnets

Mr Nifty and I are desperate to move to the sea, but the property market isn't exactly buoyant right now. So while we're waiting for that elusive house-buyer, we have lots and lots of days out.

(click on pic to enlarge)

Today we walked along the cliffs at St Margarets Bay, just along from the famous white cliffs of Dover. not many people about - but while we picnicked, the people in the distance approached and sat down close enough to touch. WHY?!?!?!?!?! See all that empty countryside? What's so special about where we're sitting?

As I say - we're people magnets.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Folkestone Triennial - is it ART?

So we're back to an old favourite - what is "Art"? I rambled about Banksy way back in May so you'll know I'm not exactly qualified as an expert - I'm not even sure what I like, and even less sure about what I think is "Art"!

However, I'm always up for a day at the sea, so we headed off to Folkestone to check out their Triennial which runs till September 25th. We wandered around looking at installations (with a brief break for a picnic by the sea, of course) and didn't manage to see everything in almost 5 hours - so be prepared! There is a map showing the permanent exhibits and those that are new for this year, but the first piece I spotted was neither, and had no "label" telling me who it was by. I liked it though - especially as it had a conveniently meerkat-sized nostril!

We straight away hit my "problem" with Art. I like this - Folkestone is surrounded by farmland and of course the harbour, so an animal with steampunk-like components seemed very apt to me. But I don't know what the artist intended. I believe Art is a collaboration, a communication between Artist and Audience. I'm not even quite sure what I mean by that though! I suppose i mean there needs to be a message of some sort - but is what I *think* I've understood by the piece the same message that the Artist was intending? And does it matter anyway?

The next piece didn't seem to be on the map either, but as a knitter I loved it and I'm not sure it needs to say anything more than knitting is fun!
*edited* I've just been advised that the next piece is 'Yarn Bomb' by Purl Queens for the Folkestone Triennial Fringe. It's a communal art project for the Inferential Grin - The Triennial Fringe which is organised and funded by the 'Johnny Cotter Gallery' and the building landlord. Thank you Purl Queens and Inferential Grin :-)

We knew we had to see the Folkestone Mermaid by Cornelia Parker, but I was disappointed to only see her from the back. Maybe the front aspect can be seen when the tide is out.

It's beautiful I think - though I've read quite a few negative comments mostly based around "how can it be a mermaid, where's her tail?" and I know that's the first thing many children would ask. When I read how it was made, I had more questions still.

This is taken from Kentonline, you can read the full article here :

"Painting quick setting latex on to her body and then plastering over the top, Cornelia cast Georgina’s back first, then did her front, legs and arms and finally her head. All the while Georgina had to sit motionless, striking the same pose on a granite rock."

So - back to my "What is Art?" question. Cornelia has used Georgina's actual body, and the pose from the Copenhagen mermaid. So is it Art? And who is the artist? Seems to be that Georgina (the model) has done a lot of the work! (No offence intended to Cornelia - I think it's lovely, I'm just trying to understand my own confusion)

I was really pleased to hear Cornelia say: "I like that about Art, that it's very hard to understand what it's for." I don't feel quite so inadequate now!

The next piece threw me completely. I had read that there were several Tracey Emin pieces, but only realised I was looking at one when I saw someone else taking a photo.

Had it not been for the other photographer, I would have seen this as a genuine lost baby shoe. Her other pieces are similar, there's a mitten on a railing

a little cardigan

and others. But why? To me, the knitted pieces in particular looked as if they were actual garments dipped in plaster of paris - though actually they're bronzes. They're quite fun because they fooled me at first, I thought they were real. I've often seen lost baby clothes that a kind passerby has picked up and displayed prominently in the hope that they're found - but is it Art?

This is the description from the website: "Tracey Emin’s art is one of disclosure, using events from her personal life as inspiration for her work. ‘Baby Things’, Emin’s perfect bronze simulacra of baby clothes can be found tucked underneath benches, hanging from railings and lying by a kerb. Exuding an aura of the forlorn and dejected, they are poignant reminders of Folkestone’s high teenage pregnancy rate, which is similar to that of Margate, Emin’s home town."

Sorry - can't see it. I would never have understood that without reading about it.

There are so many many more pieces - but we rather liked this one because we could *do* something. It's also the only piece that resulted in a conversation with other people.

From the website: "Dolven’s installation features a 16th-century tenor bell from Scraptoft Church in Leicestershire, which had been removed for not being in tune with the others. It will be suspended from a steel cable strung between two 20m high steel beams, placed 30m apart. The bell can be rung by visitors using a traditional rope bell-pull."

The poor lady who'd got there before us thought she'd broken it - she hadn't seen the sign that said you have to wait two minutes between pulls!

The website also explains "Since the 1990s Norwegian artist A K Dolven has worked with the idea of being at odds with one’s surroundings" so maybe that's why I liked this - I'm at odds with Art!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Real live meerkats!

We went to Drusillas a few weeks ago, the meerkats were determined to sleep through most of our visit but we did manage to find them awake briefly!

I like this next pic - they're either playing at being bookends or it's a pushmepullyou meerkat!

I wonder what you have to do to get to be the one in the middle?
He'll certainly be warm!

Ouch! I hurt my paw!

There is a crawl tunnel (child size!) which emerges in a perspex viewing bubble - it was a bit of a struggle, but I made it in there.

Didn't trample on too many children. Sadly, too many of them had scratched their little names on the perspex for it to be very good for viewing.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Andre Rieu - my aunt's musical hero!

My aunt has an ever-growing collection of DVDs featuring charismatic Dutch Violinist Andre Rieu and his orchestra. She asked me to look up the prices of tickets to his concerts...and I was staggered to see some seats are ONE THOUSAND POUNDS!

So we won't be attending, not unless there is a lottery win quite soon ;-)

But I did the next best thing... meerkatted him!

Can you tell which is which?

Andre Rieu Meerkat (and much more) can be found in my Zibbet shop, and this week you can get 20% discount by entering a code HYVWE7 at checkout. 20% off any item (or items!), $10 minimum, in my Zibbet shop only *click here*

Friday, 1 July 2011

Wimbledon Weekend

Who better to commentate on the finals than your very own Tennis Ace Meerkat? I'm including a free matching greeting card this year, and have updated the Kat (by popular request) so that his clothes are removable. Don't ask...

See more pics in my Zibbet shop