Sunday, 28 October 2007

Why didn't I......?

My house looks a bit of a mess. There are crafting boxes full of yarn and tape everywhere, not to mention the boxes full of finished hats, bags and hair accessories and the coils of pipe for hoop making and finished hoops. Why didn't I pick something small to make, things that are easy to keep in tiny little boxes?

Oh no. Not I! I make hula hoops and vast quantities of crochet and knitted goods. So dear reader if you are thinking of becoming a self employed hand crafter I urge you, for your own sanity and space, pick a craft that can be packed away into one large filing cabinet or chest of draws....

I made a 5 colour hoop today for a lady in Edinburgh. She picked out a really nice green, purple and pink combo of colours. It's sitting propped up against the wall on the other side of the room and it keeps catching my eye. I swear it's trying to talk me into keeping it. No you naughty hoop, you must not tempt me for you are destined to be the wiggling companion of another!

I must stop procrastinating here and settle down to writing up the Pirate Pixie adventures for the site. Otherwise there will be nothing for the little ones to download and read. I've got some of the pictures ready for them to colour in, but the stories must get written! Avast me hearties I feel Captain Skulduggery Dug taking over me brain again.....

Oh and own up, who ate all my Rotring pens? I have some inking to do.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Sitting On The Doorstep...

This morning I had to take Weapon X (one of our 2 cats) to the vets. He's been fighting with the neighbours cat Joey again and has a big yucky wound on his side. In the rush to get X into his carrier and get out the door and into the taxi, that was to take us down to the vets, I managed to slam the front door closed and leave my keys locked inside. Worst part of that is I didn't notice until I got back home... How stupid did I feel standing outside my own front door in the freezing cold, with a grumpy cat in his cat box? Very! is the answer to that one. I had to call Jon in work to come home and let me in. All I could do was wait.

I let X out of his carrier because he was getting very annoyed. He went off to play with next doors kitten in the garden. I was a bit worried that because he was so indignant and annoyed at having been taken to the vets that he might take out his annoyance on the tiny 9 week old kitten, but to his credit he just played and they chased each other about and practised creeping up on each other. What this tiny kitten was doing out on such a cold day I'm not sure because he was really shivering. When he got tired of pouncing on X he came over to me and sat on my lap. I snuggled him up into the arm of my jumper and he purred. Such a little cutie. I hope he doesn't grow up to be as aggressive as his evil 9 year old housemate Joey. We could do without another bruiser cat on the street.

After a 20 mins wait Jon finally got home to let me in. He was like a whirlwind. He ran up to the front door, unlocked it and kissed me, said "bye hun, love you" and was gone. It was a bit surreal. So now I'm back indoors with a hot cup of tea, wondering if I should scoop up the kitten and bring it in out of the cold as no one seems to be home next door. He's running about in the garden like a loon at the moment... maybe I'll see what he does when he is tired out again. If no one is back by then I'll wrap him up in a blankie and bring him in the house for a bit. It will probably go down like a lead balloon with my to kitties, but I can't let him freeze.

I think I might have to make one of my house keys into a necklace... that or get a door that opens at the scan of my hand. I'm forever forgetting my keys or losing them in the bottom of my bag.

Monday, 22 October 2007

That Sinking Feeling

Do you ever have days where it feels like creativity is desperate to get out of you, but something gets in the way of it doing so. Stupid, trivial little things jumping up and down in front of you willing you not to let anything creative out of your body.

I'm having one of those days.

I tried to buy card to make some gift boxes, but all they had in the store was pastel coloured card or black card. I came home with some of the black... I'm really not a pastel kind of girl. The black card turned out to be such bad quality that at every crease the card flaked and showed an ugly white crack. Not really ideal for gift boxes. It doesn't even flake consistently so I can turn it into a feature of the boxes... pffft.

I was asked by a very nice lady on etsy to make her a bag for her daughter. She requested some specific colours for the bag to be made in and I have spent hours on the internet trying to find the right yarn... but can I find it? Nope! I can think of many other ways to fulfil her request, but I just don't have the right things here in the house to do it and after the walk to the shop to buy the card my legs don't want to go anywhere else. They have gone on strike... pffft.

So, not wishing to sit about doing nothing I decided to make another hat and got out some beautiful multicoloured Blue Faced Leicester wool that I've been dying to use. I rolled the skein into a ball and as I did a whole heap of red dusty particles came out all over the floor and my fingers were stained with dye from the yarn... how am I meant to make baby hats with yarn that will leave them covered in a fine red dust and stain their heads a nicotine yellow colour.. AGRH!

After contacting the seller of the yarn I was told that the dust was part of one of the dyes used to colour the yarn and it was harmless, it just needed washing and rinsing a few more times. To be fair to her, she was very apologetic and refunded me my money straight away, so I'm not really complaining about that. I've washed the yarn and it's hanging up to dry, but still I've not created anything and it's almost 6pm and I'm ready for my bed... pffft, today just wasn't meant to be a creative one.

I hope you are all having a more productive day than I am and that the sun is shining on you.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Woodn't it be good...

I've always felt that trees are very important to me. I feel very calm when I sit under trees, the branches splayed out over my head like a protective umbrella. I always have the urge to talk to them... or maybe it's more the urge to ask them questions and listen to what they have to say. The older the tree the more I want to be able to hear it's story, for they must have a story to tell. They have been there for hundreds of years seeing everything go by and all the ebb and flow of life that passes them. The diversity of life that an old oak supports is amazing. From the birds and the bugs, to the mosses and lichens.

Art inspired by trees never fails to draw me in either. Many years ago I was told off and removed from an art gallery for stroking a Henry Moore instillation. I hadn't even intended to touch it. It just drew me in. For the life of me I can't remember which gallery it was in. I was so mesmerized by it everything else about that day has faded away.

I was reminded of that encounter a few days ago when I saw some other art works inspired by trees. I just had a kind of flash back, which was odd. I decided tonight to go in search of more tree art on etsy and thought I'd share a few with you people here on blogger.

I found this signed print is by atwhim and it reminded me of being young, loving to climb trees and longing to be able to live in one. I'd opt to live in the tall thin green house so I could see higher up into the tree from my bedroom window.

I'm loving the imagery of this work by oladesig. I often feel like pulling the earth up around me to keep me safe and warm. The tiny trees just enhances that warm feeling for me.

Jellybeans is the person that set me on this trail of searching for tree influenced work. She has so many brightly coloured beautiful trees in her shop, it's very hard to choose just one to show you...I picked this one because the bright cheerful colours of the yellow red and green trees make me smile and the cool soft blues and purples of the trunks draw out calm vibes in me.

This large stunning piece has been up for sale on etsy for some time and to be honest I'm a bit surprised. I know johnmcaberysculpture has put a fairly large price tag on it, but to me it's worth every penny and more. I think it's so beautifully tactile and power in the curves and wave like forms only serves to draw me in more, for the sea is another of my loves.

Here is a photograph by my friend Beth. She isn't on etsy, but I had to share this gorgeous delight with you. The colours and the scale of the tree just thrilled me so much when she showed it to me that it instantly became my desktop picture! Sadly this tiny little thumbnail doesn't do it justice. *Click the thumbnail! You know you want to!*

I confess to picking this item just because it made me smile. Yes I know I'm childish, but hey being wide eyed and childlike is not such a bad thing is it? Better that than pessimistic and jaded. Well that's how I think anyway. Thanks tooktothesky for the giggle!

Lastly for now this tiny little pendant caught my eye. It's red blossom and black branches reminded me that although the leaves are dropping now and we are slipping into a cold grey winter, all the joy of spring is there to look forward to. Thanks for the reminder TheIntuitiveGarden

Invite Joy Back Into Your Life.

With so much doom and gloom going on in the world around us its sometimes quite east to forget that each of us can make good things happen. We all have that power. People get into this "why should I do *insert good deed here*? No one will thank me for it" or "If I *insert good deed here*, someone will only come along after me and trash it." Well, both those statements could turn out to be true, but equally your good deed might make someone else's day full of happiness and joy. It might make a huge difference to someone else and lead them to perform a good deed. That good deed might cause another person to have a fabulous day and in return for that they might perform a good deed.... see where this is headed? Happiness can be spread very easily if we all just try a little harder.

Invite happiness and joy back into your life. It's really simple. You can start out with small deeds, like saying good morning to a lonely neighbour. When going to the supermarket, why not offer to pick up groceries for someone that can't get about so easily as they used to, after all you are going to the shop anyway, would it take you so much more time to put a basket in the end of your trolley and pick them up some good too?

A gardening friend of mine used to take cuttings from her garden and pot them up in the tubes that you get from the centre of toilet rolls, grow them on for the summer and then give them away to people. The people that received them were always happy to be given a new plant and she got great joy in being invited around for a cup of tea, to see how the plants were doing.

Some elderly people can find making ends meet very hard, what with pensions being so low and the cost of living being so high. If you know someone is struggling, not turning their heating on for fear of the bills, eating too little, not getting out and about etc, call on them for a chat about something and check they are ok. Find a pretence to invite them over to your home. Maybe tell them you need advice on something that they might now about. Thank them for the advice by inviting them to dinner. Just make them feel wanted and welcome and keep checking up on them regularly. You'd be amazed at the wealth of knowledge these people have collated over their lives. Just because they are old doesn't mean they have no purpose. Help them to feel they are needed and wanted in your community. You never know what they might teach you in return.

Spreading joy can be a very rewarding thing to do. Give it a go today. Just perform one good deed and see where it leads.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Vibrant Mood Enhancers

It's dark and grey here and I'm starting to really sink into the Winter blues. Most people I've ever met that have S.A.D. tell me that mostly they just want to eat and sleep. I'm finding that I don't want to eat and that I desperately want to be surrounded by vivid colours. This colour craving is a new one on me. I don't think I've ever felt this before. It's kind of like feeling hungry but with your eyes, not your stomach.

I'm very tired all the time and I'm withdrawing from society more and more each day. Maybe I'm just meant to hibernate in the winter under a bright pink, purple and orange fluffy blanket. I know when Spring gets here all this will melt away like the ice and I'll feel better again, but I'm really not looking forward to these cold dark days ahead.

I'm trying to channel my energy into finishing off some projects I have on the go, but I'm finding it hard to concentrate. I have orders from my Hyperloop Hoops site for 8 hoops that I need to make, so that should fulfil my need for colours for a few hours today. I love the gorgeous pigmentations of the tapes I use to cover the hoops. The transparent box I store them in is behind me and often when the hankering for colour comes over me I turn and look over my shoulder at them. Even through the box you can see the holographic tapes shimmer. I'm glad I make hula hoops! They even give me joy when they are still in their component form. How many people can say that about their work.

I also have some purses to sew zips into and some Captain Skulduggery Dug Skull & Crossbone key fobs to finish so that I can take photos of them and put them in my etsy shop ready for all those people looking for something a bit different to put into their kids Christmas stockings. Don't be surprised when you visit my shop in the next few weeks that it's full of bright fluorescent or deep dramatic colour combinations. When the cravings for colours get strong, I'm sure I'll be going wild and buying lots of weird colour combinations of hand painted wool to make hats from. I might have to badger some of the great spinners on etsy like Cazza and Shunklies into making me skeins of odd colour combinations. Don't panic. I think it's just a phase I'm going through. I'm sure, come Beltane I'll be back to normal.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Hair, the eternal battle

Why do people always fight the natural tendencies of their hair? If they have curly hair they want it straightened, if they have straight hair they want curls. If they have blonde hair they want to dye it brown, if they have brown they dye it blonde. Why are we never satisfied with what we have? Is it part of the human condition to want something different all the time?

It's not just a modern thing either. The ancient Egyptians adorned their hair with decorations and had different hair styles to denote age and status. The ancient Greek women were known to artificially curl their hair and wear hair bands and decorations. The styles and trends changed through the years as they still do now.

Hair appears to play a huge part in some societies. The styles and the way they are worn are quite often more than just a look. They often denote where you are within a group, your status and your tribe. I guess that's true of today as well.

I took a look through the handmade hair items at etsy to see what was on offer for people to use on and in their hair today. Here are a few of the ones I found and liked. They span from the bright and cheerful to exquisitely elegant.

Here is a bright little button ponytail tie that's perfect for holding all those monster hairs back off your face. I was attracted to the bright orange colour and the kooky little spider design. It was created by dizzlePOP and is aptly named MOLLY the MONSTER.

Then I found these gorgeous bobby pins made by katinkapinka. Such simple, yet pretty flowers on a basic hair pin. Very elegant indeed.

I Picked these bobbles for the fun factor that they glow in the dark. Their beautiful marble effect caught my eye too. Made by Checkitout out of polymer clay, I think they are great fun for wearing in the winter on a dark night.

Now for keeping your locks lovely and clean. This shampoo bar is crated by BlueMarmalade who tells me it not only cleans your hair, leaving it smelling yummy, but it helps to make fine hair look thicker. It has other added benefits that many a mum will be pleased with. Go take a look and see.

Sedesigns has this very elegant Kanzashi Hair Fork on offer in her shop. The delicate detail on the bead is set off beautifully by the simple nature of the sterling silver fork.

More cleansing products for your hair by SudsAndBubbles who has a variety of cold press bars of shampoo for your hair to keep them shiny and clean.

I picked this one because it just made me giggle. A pink ninja? Whatever next! This pink Ninja was made by MoJo and I think it's a great accessory to own. Very cute, even if it's not all that ninja.

Lastly I thought I'd pimp up my own hair creation. This is one for all those people that have to have sensible hair to go to work with but like to jazz it up at the weekends. It's made of 14 felted multicoloured wool spikes that fan out when tied around a ponytail or bun. Great for adding colour to your hair and making it look a bit more alternative.

So what have I learn whilst doing all this searching through etsy shops... well I learned there are many styles and types of hair products to appeal to our many and varied ideas of what out hair needs and should look like.

If I haven't highlighted anything you fancy take a look on etsy and see there is a world of other hand crafted goods for your hair out there. One of them is bound to suit you.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

In the beginning...

So I woke up this morning and thought about cleaning up the house and organising my workroom. I signed onto the net to check emails, orders, my etsy shops and my Hyperloop Hoops site and it's now 12.55 pm and I'm still on the net! I'm so easily distracted from my plans. I need a slap hehe.

I need to promote my shops on etsy more and the hoops and whilst jumping about the net to see how I could do that I hit on this blog site and decided to give blogging a go. I'm not sure I'll be any good at it or if it will just be me rambling on about lots of things no one wants to read about, but nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Today has just been me fiddling with settings and trying to find a template I like. I'll probably change the template again tomorrow. I can never make my mind up. My brain is one of those restless ones that likes to flit about without me having any control over it. I'm sure I was a butterfly in a past life.

I must get on with some cleaning and work now, so I'm going to surgically detach myself from the computer and head off to reacquaint myself with my vacuum cleaner.

May your day be filled with sunshine and joy!
Thanks for visiting my blog.