Monday, 30 June 2008


Serves me right for feeling happy at the weekend - fell over the laundry basket this morning and broke a toe clean in half! Very painful and I 've been told to stay off work at least for this week - which is kind of a mixed blessing as think of all the time I'll have to paint and craft! This wasn't exactly what I meant whenI said I wanted some time at home......

Must say, the A & E Department at Frimley Park Hospital were pleasant, relatively quick - in and out in 2 hours - and efficient. The NHS gets some stick, but I couldn't fault them this morning.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

A Pretty Good Day...

Well, despite being rather badly sunburnt and having an incipient headache, I feel rather darn good today - it's been a nice one. To start with, when I get up in the mornings I'm faced with these two cuties...
...Jasper the ancient mutt and.....
....Clovis who looks so elegant and aloof but in actual fact spent half his walk this morning rolling in a large heap of grass cuttings with his legs in the air. Who can resist these faces?

Then I had to go and collect a parcel from the Post Office depot and upon ripping it open in the car park (patient is not a word in my vocabulary!) I discovered the beautiful bracelet I commissioned Sybille at Magpie Magic to make for my sister's birthday - isn't it gorgeous? (Don't worry, my sister has an aversion to computers, there is no way she will see this before the day!)

But not only that, Sybille had popped in a little surprise for me, a matching ring! I absolutely adore it and have been waving my hand about and admiring it all day!

And in the garden I discovered that my nasturtiums have started to grow..... vegetables are looking almost good enough to eat....

...that's the first time I have thwarted the snails and managed to grow a lettuce beyond three leaves - yay!

Finally, I sat for 4 hours in the blazing sun at a school fair and made very little money but it is still a profit and hopefully my sunburn will turn to a lovely shade of brown by tomorrow without peeling! Thank you to those few who did buy from me, as always it is much appreciated!

As the day will end with some yummy Moroccan chicken and the first sweetcorn of the season in front of the tv and Dr. Who, with the prospect of doing absolutely NOTHING tomorrow except maybe sauntering round the garden centre, I'm feeling not bad at all...

Monday, 23 June 2008

After the Rain....

Finally finished this - it has taken weeks because I had the portrait in the middle plus this was fairly labour intensive. It is painted using Chinese watercolour paints on brown Ingres paper, with the leaves painted using Derwent Inktense pencils - the Chinese watercolours just weren't strong enough to get the colour of the leaves.

It is painted from a photo I took earlier this year of our apple tree just after a very heavy shower - just as well I took the photos when I did as two days later the blossom all fell off.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

It's Open!! Visit My Etsy Shop

Today I have completed my Etsy shop and I can officially declare it open! This has been several months in the thinking, weeks in the planning, and a week in the making - if I could have had someone else do it for me, it would have been up and running months ago!

Anyway, here it is - Pretty Flamingo - do pop in and have a look. There are only four items in it at the moment as I have been otherwise occupied for most of today, but I will be adding more and more as time goes by.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, 21 June 2008

...Now I know He Loves Me!

My other half came home from Belgium for the weekend and brought me this!!! Other women get flowers or jewellery, I get a jar of Plop.

Actually, I know he brought it to make me laugh, which it did, plus there were lots of other goodies so I'm not complaining! We had fun thinking of ways to eat it - Plop sandwich, Plop on toast, dipping biscuits in Plop, or just sticking your finger in Plop and licking it off......sorry to those of you who don't have the sense of humour of a five year old!

A quick and heartfelt thank you to those of you who bought things from me today at the All Saints Fair - much appreciated.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Etsy Shop - Nearly There!

Well, I am so nearly at the point of 'opening' my Etsy shop, which as you can see from the above will be called Pretty Flamingo. It does exist on Etsy, but as yet has no items for sale - one very good reason for this, I have a stall at All Saints School summer fair tomorrow and at last year's fair I sold about half my stock! So I really don't want to list items today and have to remove them tomorrow. Of course, tomorrow may be totally different and I might just sit there with no customers at all, but I don't want to take that chance - for one thing all this listing/unlisting/uploading/downloading does my head in! I have to learn these things by trial and error all by myself and find it very stressful - don't laugh, I'm being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century against my will!

So have your pennies ready, it should all be done by Sunday............fingers crossed, eh?

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

What Lies Beneath......

I've just been watching the movie 'What Lies Beneath' while making a bracelet - do you think it influenced my creativity in any way?? Actually, I have had the hammered silver teardrop shapes for quite a while with the intention of making a necklace, but this evening I felt like making a bracelet instead. It is made up of S shaped links with the hammered teardrops alternating with light blue glass teardrop beads and interspersed with clear seed beads. When worn it looks fluid and water-like, lovely against a tanned wrist.

If you are interested, this is £10 + P&P SOLD!....BUT I am in the process of setting up an Etsy shop (stop sniggering - you know who you are...) and computer dunce that I am, it's taking me a while. I have got as far as setting up the page, banner & profile, but not had the time to load up items for sale - a fairly important part of the process really! It will be done very soon, I promise, then there will be the grand opening....

In the meantime, I will be at All Saints School Summer Fair this Saturday 21st June, Heatherside School Summer Fair on the 28th June, and Zebon Copse Community Fair on the 6th July, all in Fleet/Church Crookham.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Done in less than a week!

This is what I've been slaving over this week in order for it to be ready for Father's Day. This is done from a mixture of photographs (including having to remove the father's beard - give me a medal!) in shades of brown pencil on cream Ingres paper. Hope they like it!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008


Finally finished a bag I started a week ago - the knitting wasn't the problem, the assemby was. Not difficult, just not very exciting so it got left to one side while I got on with other things. This is knitted in a varigated ribbon & fluffy yarn in shades of purply-pink (that's a technical term, purply-pink, honest!) It has a stocking stitch top with a softly curved garter stitch base, two knitted handles and a knitted rose and leaves decoration. The bag is fully lined with white cotton fabric. There is a large 'popper' to keep it closed. £20 + P&P

And that's just about the last of my amazing bargain yarn from a month ago - just enough cotton tape yarn left for a couple of purses or phone covers.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Copper Fish & some other bits

Last night I got on with a commission for a necklace to match a bracelet I'd given a colleague - can't be bad, give a gift and then make a further sale out of it! It's a silver wire necklace with various pink and clear lampwork beads - very tactile and quite chunky. No more of these, that was a bag of oddments from some bead fair or other and hardly any of them left now.

Then I decided to have a go at making a pendant that I dreamed of a couple of nights ago. That happens to me occasionally, I have better ideas asleep than awake! It's shaped and beaten copper wire,' aged' using heat and hung with a few green glass lampwork beads, all on a brown suede thong. £12 + P&P

I also made the above bracelet - the photo really doesn't do it justice at all. It is with dark blue wire and dark blue AB coated glass beads. Looks very striking when worn and the beads glitter in a lovely contrast to the dark wire. I may just have to make one for myself.....
£7 + P&P

And finally, as the clock crept towards midnight, I made a delicate little bracelet using heat-aged copper wire, vintage copper butterfly charms and some little jade green glass beads. Very pretty and sweet, the beads contrast beautifully with the copper. £10 + P&P

So, feeling a bit tired today but satisfied at getting some jewellery made. Now I have to get back to that portrait.......half-way there!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Normal Service Will Be Resumed Shortly......

I didn't realise it had been so long since my last post - it's been a bit of a manic week. I am in the middle of a rush-job quadruple portrait (four faces!) which needs to be done by the end of the week so haven't had much spare time for anything else. You'll just have to content yourselves with a couple of photos of what's flowering in my garden at the moment.
It's all looking very pretty out there - the flowers are starting to bloom and my tropical plants are thriving. The banana I over-wintered outside is shooting out leaves, and the kiwi vine is taking over the pergola. My cherished three Echiums that I grew from seed are actually growing fast in a flower bed - if any of you are gardeners, you'll know what a feat that is! I so hope they will reach their full potential - 12 foot spikes of deep blue flowers usually only seen in the Canary Islands. And my little pots and boxes of vegetables are doing very nicely too - we may actually eat home-grown lettuce, broccoli and beetroot this year.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Chameleon in Crochet

Finally had a go at reproducing the tiny Amigurumi chameleon from my new book - the above is the result. It's not as small as the one illustrated which takes up just the first joint of someone's finger. I can only think the lady crocheted it out of sewing thread - something I'm not prepared to do as that way lies madness..... He's still only a couple of inches long and considering I had to make the pattern up as I went along, hasn't turned out too bad. I've tried to give him the bulbous swivelly eyes too, but as it's all in the same shade of green, that doesn't show up in the photo. I stayed up until past midnight to get him finished.....tired now.......

Sunday, 1 June 2008

A Big Thank You!

Yesterday I spent the entire day at the Goodwood Organic Farm fun day, manning a stall with all my bits and pieces. I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone that bought something - mostly knitted dogs in their baskets. I must say, the people of Sussex were a very pleasant bunch too!

Whilst there, I met with another on-line pal, Helz and her daughter Chloe. Helz was kind enough to pass on the details of this event to me months ago for which I'm grateful. She's also a talented artist and it was lovely to chat with her 'in the flesh'. It's been quite a surreal week, meeting up with people who I've got to know through the internet and finding out they are just as lovely in real life as they are on my computer!

It was interesting to do a bit of people watching throughout the day - if I had a Pound for every time someone touched and admired the painted wooden daisy pendant or the Country Garden bag, I'd have doubled my profits...and yet they weren't bought. Throughout the afternoon I was visited several times by a little girl who'd obviously fallen in love with a small crochet monkey on my stall but was eventually whisked off by her parents with the words 'we'll come back later'. It was about ten minutes before it was time to pack up and I'd just been remarking that she must have been taken home via the back route to avoid passing the stall, when she came running up with her coins clutched in her hand and finally got her toy!

On a serious note, it's always galling when some people look at your prices and mumble about them being expensive. It didn't happen much yesterday but it did happen. I don't think they realise just how much time and effort goes into the creative process - for example, I charge £15 for a set of knitted dog with knitted coat, basket, blanket, bowl and toy. The dog alone takes about 4 - 5 hours to make; the accessories another two evenings work - 10 hours? So that works out at approximately £1 per hour, not taking into account materials and the know-how. Would anyone else in this country accept that as a rate of pay? I'm not having a whinge (well, perhaps a little!) but it does get my goat!! Luckily, most people are kind and appreciative and they more than cancel out the complainers!