Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The tiles are starting to be put up!

Today the builders wrestled with pumps in the airing cupboard, radiator taps but then began to put up the tiles!!

P1020244 I switched on the lights to show this! You can make out the chrome 'bits' sticking out of the wall on which the radiator will be hung.

Also the tiles! They are a soft cream colour.....

P1020243 .... and here you can see the shower area. The back wall and sides of the shower have now been tiled. On the right side is a 'magic' shelf! This has been built and tiled with chrome edging all around. The shelf itself is ever so slightly sloping to allow water to drain off. So I will be able to put my shampoo and conditioner bottles there along with the soap. Neat isn't it? Tomorrow the screen will arrive for the shower cubicle and the rest of the wall tiles will be put up by close of day. I can actually now see the transformation from what was before to a thoroughly modern shower room!!!!! The kids will be envious of the old folk :0

Monday, 29 September 2008

How are we getting on?

As nice as our builders are, oooooooooooooooooooh it was soooooooooooooooooooo good to have the house to ourselves again over the weekend!  Not that they turn up too early but you know how it is?  You want to be up and running, have everything tidied up so they can mess it up; get the coffee tray ready for them and make sure there is enough sugar!  Have you noticed?  Whenever builders work in your home they always seem to scoff the sugar!  If I consumed that amount I would be a blown up bunny.  Well, maybe they are a little more active than me.... just maybe!

The rest of the tiling was delivered today so our garage is FULL!  Just enough room to park the car.  Oh yes, there is still a skip on the drive to hold all the rubbish.  My one fear is that we get up one morning to find that 'kind' neighbours have filled it up with their rubbish.  To date, that has not happened!!

lights Anyway, now they have fitted the down lighters - how posh!  One of them is in the shower area and has a combined fan mechanism.  This is being fine tuned at the moment to stay on for a minute after the light is switched off.  All very technical and very smart!!
Here you can see where the old radiator used to be!  Tomorrow is another day when apparentlyradiator placing they will start to fit the chrome heated towel rail  which is 'resting' on the shower tray at the moment! the radiator 

As soon as the radiator has been fitted the wall tiles will be done.  The floor tiles will be done last to prevent them getting unduly messed up. 

Every day, the builders clear everything up and vacuum - I did ask if they could do the whole house but that remark was simply met with a blank stare!  Well, I tried.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

A vote would be so appreciated!

Want to do something that will make my day?  Go on, you know you do!!!

Go to this link http://etsychallenge.blogspot.com/ where you will find my painting entitled Tropical Rain Forest..... image it could do with some love so just click in the circle by it and VOTE!!!  I don't think I have a chance against a very strong competitor but hey!  A girl has to do what a girl has to do!!!

Really appreciate your help though.

Why not submit your own items for entry into the various challenges?  Not only is it fun but it really does work since you get wonderful exposure and leads to sales.  Honestly, I got 3 sales in the last couple of days!

Thanks anyway!  If you have voted for me already, thank you so much!  If you haven't, I would really appreciate your help.

V O T E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, 26 September 2008

No pain, no gain!

Well, that is what they say! We are in the process of having our shower room/ensuite upgraded. In truth it has been totally gutted and we are starting again!

We had the fun of first of all deciding that we actually wanted to upgrade the room. There is something about inheriting bathing facilities from previous tenants, you know what I mean? Well, once the decision was made the fun and games then began!

First of all to find the guys to do the work in the first place. Luckily, where we live we have a great community and a lively internet forum on which we have a section called 'Trusted Traders'. Works a treat! Whenever anyone has any work done for them and they are happy they place a post to that effect on this site. It also works to warn others of dodgy workmen!

So, we decided on the guys to do the work for us. They are a couple of guys who work together. Their system is such that they tell you what you need, order it and then you pay! You enjoy the discount they receive but are in control of expenditure. At the end of the job you pay them the agreed monies to cover their labour costs.

Day one arrived and the important issues were discussed like what would they like to drink? I don't believe in making countless cups of tea/coffee. Instead I ask what they prefer and lay out a tray so that they can then make their own. Usually works out one cup in the morning and one in the afternoon. Interestingly enough have you noticed how much sugar workmen consume? Especially the tall and lanky ones?

Now the real work begins. That of ripping apart the room ready to start sorting the electrics, the piping for the various items and making sure everything that is needed is either delivered or on order. P1020235

Where has my shower gone? P1020236 Some of the tools here and the radiator will be replaced by an all singing/dancing one! You know the chrome towel rail, very fancy!!!

As we go on I shall bring you up to date with progress. Can't wait!!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Etsy has had more exposure in the wide world

Any exposure is good. 

Whilst following a thread on the forum I came across a mention about an article from none other than CNN! http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/18/craft.revival/index.html

In this article CNN have tried to explain the ethos of the Etsy site and how it works in today's world of the Internet.  Once, the only way to buy and sell goods was in the shop environment or marketplace.  Trying to find exactly what you wanted would use up a lot of rubber soles, sore feet and tired backs from trekking up and down the streets looking for that special item.  Since the advancement of the Internet, popularity of computers and the build up of technical knowledge many more people have the chance of buying and selling, not just locally, but in the worldwide marketplace.  This is how the site called Etsy comes in!  Here you find a truly global community that thrives on exchanging ideas and inspiration.

Hopefully, with this extra exposure many more folk will turn away from the mass produced to the quality handmade goods and art that is synonymous with Etsy!

Monday, 15 September 2008

What a magical, rousing, evening

afternoon showing stage and screen

After eight weeks of the best classical music at the Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall the last night of the Proms is always a joyous occasion.  For the last 10 years the last night of the Proms has always included a show in the Park which began in London.  Once it proved such a huge success the idea was rolled out to other cities in the UK. 

For the warm up before the 'real' classical entertainment we had 'Björn Again' who are an Abba tribute band.  They were brilliant and really got us all up and dancing!  An  all male vocal group called Teatro, looking very smart in their DJs gave us beautiful vocals, enough to make you swoon!  Then to reflect the folk theme that has run through the Prom season, Bellowhead preformed, very folksie.   afternoon showing more flagsAt 7.30 in the evening the real classical part of the concert began with Lesley Garrett, David Garrett (no relation but an extremely talented violinist) followed by Jose Carreras, the famous tenor.

For the last few weeks the BBC have been holding a competition to find the winner of Maestro which was a competition to find a celebrity conductor.  The winner was Sue Perkins who is well known to British audiences and for the finale was asked to conduct the BBC Concert Orchestra including Lesley Garrett.  Very impressive!  Especially, since one of the judges was David Soul.  Remember him?  Starsky and Hutch?  Well, afterwards he and his entourage were actually sitting right in front of us!  Quite interesting to watch all the 'lovies' in their own little world!  Even another contender in the competition called Goldie was with them.  Now there really is someone where you have to say, let looks belie!  He is dripping gold off his fingers, teeth, you name it!  But such a nice, normal and considerate guy.

Pr0ud to be British!  That is the feeling you get at the end of the most wonderful evening's entertainment that is varied to suit all tastes both popular and classical.  The proceedings culminated in rousing renditions of Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and of course, the National Anthem!  We sang our little hearts out. As if that was not enough we also were thrilled with wonderful colourful fireworks display which brought the evening to its conclusion.  Everyone got on with their neighbours.  Well, they had to really since we were cheek by jowl but that is all part of it.  Most bring their own variations on picnics, champagne, wine, beer, you name it.  One drink is always available, Pimms!  Certainly, there were plenty of food caterers providing all manner of cold and hot dishes in case you still felt a little hungry.  At night showing stage and screen

Thanks to modern technology we were able to link up with The Royal Albert Hall with the other outdoor venues namely, Manchester, Belfast and Cardiff.

Well, we have now been two years running and we thought this year was even better than last year.  So, I guess we might have to consider going next year again!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Proms in the Park

It's that time of year again when the annual pilgrimage to London takes place!  We go to Hyde Park in London to enjoy lots of fun, food, drink, as well as listening to the most amazing opera singers and musicians, all in the open air.... so please don't rain!!!  Cold I can wrap up for but wet??  NO! 

imageWe meet up with some friends late afternoon and travel on the train/underground to London.  It is reckoned that around 40,000 people attend.  Last year being the first year that we joined in we learnt some valuable lessons!  Do not take the kitchen sink with you!!!!  Food and drink can be purchased at reasonable prices there.  Even so, we have bought some nice 'treat' foods from our local supermarket and have a couple of tetrapak containers of wine to start us off.  We may just have to indulge in  a jug of Pimms!

Pimms!  Now that is a really summery English drink.  image Pimm's is most common in UK, particularly Southern England.  It is one of the favourite drinks at Wimbledon, the Henley Royal Regatta and the Glyndebourne Opera Festival    In days gone by it was very much a drink of the upper classes.  Now everyone drinks it!  The actual drink can be based on different spirits such as whisky, brandy, gin.  The No 1 version, my preferred, is based on gin (mother's ruin!).  You mix one part Pimm's No.1  with three parts lemonade or lemon soda, ice cubes, a wedge of cucumber, mint leaves, slices of lemon, orange and strawberry.  So you can see why it is served in a large jug and then poured into individual glasses.

Last year, our daughter-in-law, brought cans of Pimms which you can now buy so that all you need to add are the vegetables.

Would you like to know a little of the history?  Well read on!

Pimm's was first produced in 1823 by James Pimm who was a farmer's son from Kent who later became the owner of an oyster bar in the City of London, near the Bank of England.  He first offered his concoction of tonic (a gin-based drink mixed with a secret formula containing mixed herbs and quinine which used to stave off malaria!) as an elixir for indigestion.  It was served in a small tankard and was called a No 1 Cup from which the Pimm's No 1 was derived.  The drink became so popular that large scale production began in 1851 to keep up with demand.  The distillery began selling it commercially in 1859 using salesmen/hawkers on bicycles.  In 1865 Pimm sold the business and the right to use his name to Frederick Saywer.  Whilst in 1880 the business was acquired by a future Mayor of London, the chain of oyster bars was franchised in 1887.

Although the Pimm's drink was developed in the next few years to include different versions its popularity dwindled.  In fact Nos 2 - 5 were completely phased out.  It wasn't until the winter of 2005 when a 'winter' version was introduced.  It consisted of a variant of the No 3 which was brandy based but was now infused with spices and orange peel.  The huge company Diageo became interested and in 2006 they purchased the brand.

There you have it!  That was your history lesson for today. image

Enjoy!  I will return, hopefully, from the concert with a sore throat from all the singing of the famous traditional sea shanties that are always rendered towards the conclusion of the season of the Proms culminating with 'Rule Britannia' - very rousing!!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Etsy Spotlight On.... On A Whimsey!!!!

There was great excitement in our household today!  Why?  Well, if you asked you to  read Etsy Spotlight On today, 12 September 2008, you would find out all about ME and other shop, On A Whimsey!!!!   Yes, it is my turn to have the spotlight and I have to say that Rod from Block Head Rod has done me proud!  Thanks a million Rod, you have made me one very happy bunny!!!!

My other new interest continuation

As some of you will remember I have been having trouble with my muse who keeps going on holiday!  Then out of the blue she came back to me and made me try my new interest called wire wrapping.

I really wanted to make some more quilts but since my shop of Precious Quilts does advertise quilt, blankets and so much more... I thought I would try to develop this new skill.  Well a girl has to try, doesn't she?

Wire wrapping is not an easy skill to acquire but I will persevere and see where it takes me.  As you will have seen, below, I have incorporated some beading with it to make my butterfly and spider.  Now I am trying my hand at making my first necklace with glass beads.  Easy peasy, oh really!  Well................ Don't look too closely will you?  I still have a long, long way to go.

Necklace draped over antique  Necklace draped over antique close up

Note I haven't given you a good close up..... I wonder why?  LOL

Anyway, I will keep you updated as I create more.  At least I now have the proper tools.  My dear husband, an ex aircraft engineer, had all the pliers etc and offered them to me.  Bless, somehow tools for mending aircraft didn't sit too well with winding wire around beads!  When I showed him my new tools he did realise and admitted his pliers were a little on the large and clumsy side for this sort of work.  Still, it did help me get started and loved the support he offered me.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

I feel so honoured!

Woke up this morning to find a message from a friend of mine, Janine, to say she had awarded my blog the Brillante Weblog Award!  image My blog!!!!!!

Well, what can I say except, a great big thank you!!! 

Let me introduce you to Janine Maves / Althea Peregrine who is an extremely talented and versatile artist who has been a silk painter for over 20 years.  Amongst her paintings on silk is this wall hanging pictured below.

Silk Wall Hanging with Celtic Theme

image The painting is done on silk shantung and is lined with beige silk dupioni. Drawing from medieval illuminated manuscripts, it features the lion, symbol of Mark the Evangelist, and Celtic knot and braid motifs in subtle pastel colours.

The textile measures 29" wide by 34.5" long. When mounted on the hanger, it is 41.5" wide x 37" long and is truly awesome!




Other works take their form in mixed media collages, assemblages, and paintings on canvas.

As if this is not enough!  Janine has another shop on Etsy called Talking Dog Productions where she concentrates on art cards, jewellery, and unique hand-painted accessories.  So, maybe now you can understand why I feel so honoured to have been chosen for this award by someone who is so talented!

As a winner of this award it is now incumbent on me to nominate 7 blogs for this award.  Blogs that, in my opinion, are enlightening and deserve to be recognised.  If one of the blogs below has been nominated before -you can feel doubly honoured!

  1. http://lizplummer.com/blog
  2. http://scottieacres.blogspot.com
  3. http://nineandahalfdesign.blogspot.com
  4. http://thecreatorspalette.blogspot.com
  5. http://jillstreasures.blogspot.com
  6. http://gunnelsvensson.blogspot.com
  7. http://psoriginal.blogspot.com

And so, my work is now done.  However, if you have been nominated there are some rules, aren't there always?

  • Add the logo of the award to your blog
  • Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
  • Nominate 7 other blogs
  • Add links to those blogs on your blog
  • Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

Now go ahead!  Check out the above blogs for some wonderful inspiration and discover the talent that these people offer to the rest of the world.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Another interest?

Sometimes the muse just doesn't want to visit! So, if IT won't come to me, then I will have to go to it!

Looking around me and whilst chatting to some of my friends I came across the phrase 'wire wrapping'. Interesting, I thought! What is that all about?

Literally, wrapping wire around itself but a lot more subtle than that. In fact it is a form of costume jewellery which can be very plain and simple to very intricate work. It is in fact a very extensive subject. I have seen the most extraordinary pieces created out of copper, silver or gold.

Well, after all that I had to have a bash, didn't I? I have been practicing wrapping wire and have definitely decided it is not easy! Never thought it would be but you have to try.

Here I have a couple of examples of using wire with beads.

image A group I belong to are holding a swap with a twist this month. Basically, you create something in any craft which has a value of approximately $15 and below. Once completed you upload your picture to flickr.com so that everyone in the group can see. The twist comes at the end of the month when numbers are drawn to choose your swap partner. So you do not actually know who your swap partner is whilst you are creating. Saves many headaches of trying to figure out what your swap partner would like!


With the holiday season nearly upon us, well, nearly I saw a pattern to make this cute little spider! Again, using wire and beads to bend and twist into a familiar shape Incey Wincey spider was born.

Two fun little projects to lighten the mood whilst I carry on trying to hone my wire wrapping skills. One day I will get there. In the meantime, my workspace is littered with lots of little pieces of wire which have been discarded in favour of a better piece of wire wrapping!

Monday, 8 September 2008

Monday - a new week and a new blog post on Boomers and Beyond Blog

Since the Boomers and Beyond Etsy Team (BBEST) revamped their blog it has a very clean, crisp and inviting look to it.  In addition to keeping the blog 'alive' authors now regularly post to it every few days.  All manner of subjects are discussed from 'Etsy' to 'How to blog'.  The important thing about it is that the team blog has become a very important vehicle in the sense of marketing the team and Etsy to a wider audience.  There is absolutely no point in showing off each other's pieces, as wonderful as they are, if nobody else is included in the conversation!

So, why not follow this link http://boomersandbeyond.blogspot.com/2008/09/its-not-just-about-chocolate-cake.html to read the latest post by Bags and More by Pam  Pam has managed to draw the reader into thinking they are eavesdropping a private conversation whilst eyeing up some delicious chocolate cake!

Here is a favourite flower created by Pam image "I love crocheting this flower and think they are adorable. They would look really nice as an embellishment on other items, or with a pin on the back, as a brooch!"

What better way to start a week by spending it with friends as well as chocolate cake!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Another new venture for me!

You may have heard of me mentioning On a Whimsey, my other Etsy store? You know the one where I journey through the land of encaustics.

Well, after much thought and mulling over I decided to take the plunge! Yes!!!! On a Whimsey now has a website all of its own! Here you can learn more about the fascinating world of encaustic art as well as buy direct from me or go to my Etsy shop to have a browse there.

Not forgetting my Precious Quilts shop a friend of mine from Van Fleet Street Design created a wonderful video on YouTube to represent both my shops. Do have a look at it if you have a couple of minutes to spare. Make sure your audio button is on because there is music too. I felt so honoured to have this done for me but also, the magical mix of music, words and pictures had me rolling over laughing! Thank you Brett, you made my day!!!!

Monday, 1 September 2008

The first official day of Autumn!

Where did the last 9 months disappear to?  Here we are at the beginning of September, in the last quarter of 2008!

Today our American members are enjoying a holiday called Labour Day.  According to Wikipedia Labour Day is officially celebrated around the world to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers.  America celebrates this event today whilst other countries use 1 May for their celebrations.  The origins of the concept came from the eight hour day movement which meant that eight hours of the day should be devoted to work, eight hours for recreation and eight hours for rest!!!  Hands up all those who follow those ideas!

Instead, I would rather concentrate on the Autumn theme which comes as a welcome relief after the hot summer days which normally occur during the summer season.  However, around the world, the weather has truly been exceptional in every degree.  Sometimes super hot or sometimes super wet depending on which part of the world you live.

So, let's reflect on a traditional Autumn or the Fall as our American friends prefer.  Images appear in your mind of nature providing a splendid last show of what she is capable of and to remind us of the bounty we reap.  Colours of reds, golds, browns and oranges etc abound!

This image from  clingingimages depicts the bounty of Autumn to me.
Cornupcopia, Horn of Plenty Roman Style Window Cling Suncatcher with Stained Glass Effects image GlitznGlass  reminds us of another event to celebrate! Halloween with this Pumpkin Palm Wax Candle scented with a blend of orange, cinnamon, clove and a touch of apple.

image Leaves begin to fall in the Autumn and backroomtreasures captivates this image beautifully with this ACEO Original Watercolor Painting Oak Leaf
image As the leaves begin to fall, the cooler winds start to blow and so thoughts go to warmer clothing such as those created by bagsandmorebypam showing a lovely Autumn Red Poncho image To complete the look why not try these earrings from a shop called streetnoodles - a pretty addition to any wardrobe Copper Leaves II image
So, you are all set to enjoy this beautiful time of year.  Check out more ideas from the Boomers and Beyond Etsy Street Team otherwise known as the BBEST Team to celebrate the first day of Autumn and beyond!

Sale Corner!

Occasionally I will show items that are for sale from me direct which can be paid for using Paypal. Always check to see shipping charges which will need to be added to the item amount!

For regular prices check out my Etsy shop, as well as my sister shop on Etsy which also sells encaustic art http://onawhimsey.etsy.com

Some paintings can be bought directly from my website http://onawhimsey.com

Some samples of my present & past work to give you inspiration for that special gift!

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