Monday, 25 May 2009

Catching up, slowly...

Well, we are as back to normal as we can be since the burglary and a big thank you to everyone who's posted condolences, they're much appreciated.

"Back to normal" - erm, that's to say the repairs are all done but if I'm in the house alone I still jump out of my skin at the slightest unusual noise. (Crikey, it's not as if it even happened when we were at home, am I just a total wuss or what?!)

So I'll soon be catching up on all my blog reading/commenting and I'll soon be posting something more interesting here than a running commentary on our woes, plus I'll be catching up with all the comments on here too.....

We have actually been able to sit out on our patio for one and a half whole days this holiday weekend, it's been brilliant! OK it's raining now but who cares. Let's hope that the promise of a heatwave summer is true, we need it after the last couple of years here.

If you've read what I've said in my bio, well, I have to say the anal spreadsheet side of me has truly come out this evening as I've just spent a couple of hours trawling websites and (actual paper!) catalogues to get the best price for my current jewellery making shopping list and have cut something like £35.00 off a potentially £90 order by doing the comparison thing. I'm feeling suitably smug!!

I leave you with a random image of yours truly paddling on Holkham beach in October last year - chilly but fun.....

Monday, 18 May 2009

A waiting game.

This is now the second day I've spent at home trying to sort out the aftermath of our burglary (Rog and I are taking it in turns!) Things are progressing but I just don't feel I can settle to anything. Today its the glazier I'm waiting for, I know he will definitely be here sometime this afternoon but I don't know when.

So to while away the time I'm going to post some of our huge collection of Norfolk Broads photographs. This is one that epitomises the wide open spaces feel of Norfolk that we love so much.

We've been on two Broads boating holidays (a hired cabin cruiser, not a yacht, we're not "real" sailors). While they were immensely enjoyable they were also extremely hard work in some respects, especially the first one when we were still "learning the ropes". It's the little things that catch you out, like not knowing which direction to moor up in vis a vis the tide.....doing it wrong was a hair raising experience and we are eternally grateful to the big, muscular pair of men that came to our assistance!

Our boat - the Silver Myth. She was magnificent, extremely spacious and very well appointed.

Blimey, I've been in small terraced houses with almost less space!

Breakfast time, chaps! This cheeky bird was tapping furiously at the window to gain our attention and the others were swimming across to us as if their lives depended on it.

It was rather obvious they'd done this before...

The beauty of the Broads on a misty morning.

The atmosphere of the Broads is really hard to describe to anyone who hasn't been there. For a landscape that is essentially man made there is a very ancient feel to it.

This was not far from How Hill, probably one of our favourite parts of the Broads, on the lovely winding River Ant.

View from How Hill.

I love these old Norfolk windmills. When I was a child I had a fantasy about living in one but must admit that as an adult living in something circular has sort of lost its appeal!

Don't you go down in the woods tonight! When we were moored up at the beautiful How Hill we thought, it's a lovely warm evening, lets go for a stroll in the woods...

Not a good idea so soon after having watched Blair Witch Project. A twig cracked when we were only a short way into the woods and we were back in that boat likes streaks of greased lightning.

Gunnera - I'm not exactly sure where we saw these, I think it might have been in FairhavenWoodland and Water Garden. I don't know why but Rog finds it amusing that I find gunnera amusing. Well, don't you think something that looks like a giant rhubarb has an a bit of a giggle factor?!

Hmmm, well, I started this at 2.00 p.m. and it's now 2.50 p.m. He said "just after lunch" so I'm wondering, do I call or what? Perhaps I'll just go and do the washing up and then he might arrive...

Thursday, 14 May 2009


Well, yesterday I was planning a great evening catching up with all my on-line activities. my blog reading list alone is getting really long and I'm very aware that people might be beginning to think I've lost my "voice" due to the lack of any recent comments from this direction...and I've hardly stepped into a forum for what feels like an aeon.

None of this was to be, however, just as I was winding down ready to make my way from work to Sainsbury's yesterday I got a phone call from Roger to say we'd been burgled. Aaaaargh!!

We have been fortunate in that not much was taken - our DVD player, a few DVDs, Roger's Play Station and his guitar and - for some bizarre reason - the base unit for the phone. My computer had been toppled over but is working fine, thank goodness.

The Play Station had Grand Theft Auto in it but they'd dropped the memory card, so when Rog gets a replacement he'll be able to carry on building up his huge scores!!

It must have been a very small burglar because he/she entered after having smashed a pane of glass in the front door. They clearly thought they'd be able to open the door that way - not so, it's deadlocked. And the alarm would have been going off nineteen to the dozen so they'd just have been grabbing what they could in the shortest space of time.

Well, that's it for now, loads to do as you can imagine. And we'll see just how accurate those Lloyds TSB ads are that promise a super fast insurance claims service for customers who bank with them...!

I'll be back when the dust has settled.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Snap! Well, sort of...

There's nearly always some discussions going on in both the Folksy and the Etsy forums on the subject of copying and an awful lot of paranoia can be generated in these threads. I thought I'd post this as an illustration of how similar creations can arise totally genuinely and independently of each other!

The necklace below is for sale in my Etsy shop, I made it a month or so ago but only listed it very recently. The other day I bought my regular copy of Bead, a brilliant UK magazine that mainly features beadweaving but also includes some wirework and polymer clay projects. Right at the end there's a project called Tubular Belles, which is strikingly similar in in construction to my necklace but which must have been submitted a good few months ago!! So clearly neither of us can possibly have been even subconsciously influenced by the other.

Here's my necklace, I can't show you the similar one but see below for a full description of it and some more details...

If you are a subscriber to Bead's you can log on to see the similar necklace, which is designed by the talented Jo Porter. (If you have the latest edition of Bead, it's on page 104.) Her necklace uses very different colours to mine and is made with translucent seed beads rather than with matt ones. She also uses different peyote stitch patterns for each beaded tube whereas I've used the same pattern for each, plus the distance between the peyote tube and round bead sections is longer and the whole necklace is long enough to not need a clasp.

Given that the beaded peyote tube is commonly taught and that there are, after all, only so many different colours, finishes and sizes of seed beads to make them with, only so many different ways creating pattern in them and only so many different ways of arranging the end results then similarities such as this are bound occasionally to arise. So please everyone, let's not be paranoid about copying! There is obviously individual creativity at work both in Jo Porter's creation and in mine.

I'm going to send a photo of my necklace to Jean Powers, Bead's editor, as they do ask for readers' work and are interested in what people have created as a response to patterns published in the magazine. But I'll also mention that I made it before I even opened the magazine!

An interesting thought is that originally I was going to arrange the peyote tubes in a completely different way, with them all in one central section with a length of thong on either side. I did it and it didn't look right, so I changed the arrangement to how it is in the photo!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

10th wedding anniversary tomorrow!

Just a quick post to say I won't be blogging or hanging around in the Folksy or Etsy forums for a couple of days as it's our tenth wedding anniversary tomorrow and we're taking some quality time out to re-vitalise ourselves!

Here are some more photos, this time of Whitby, to entertain you while I'm gone...

Moody, atmospheric shot of the graveyard of St Mary's, the parish church, with the Abbey looming mysteriously behind.

Greedy seagulls who just love to attack unsuspecting tourists eating their fish and chips! Talk about cheeky...

The Huntrodd Memorial - in St Mary's graveyard - an unbelievable (?) set of coincidences...

Saturday, 2 May 2009

I've finally done it!

Yes, after ages of deliberation I've finally set up shop on Etsy. Only three pieces listed so far but "great oaks from little acorns grow" as they say! Here I am: And I had one person heart my shop and one person heart an item within half an hour of introducing my self in the forums, so I'm feeling pretty hopeful.

Loads more listing to do, both on Folksy and on Etsy, but I'm having a break for a couple of days to relax and do the garden! Let's hope the weather bucks up a little, it's been odd here today, sunny and then cloudy in quick succession.

A few flower pics :

These irises in our garden just get better and better each year!

Breathtaking delphiniums at Temple Newsam, near Leeds. I can still remember the fantastic shock of turning a corner and totally unexpectedly seeing these!

I'm not entirely sure what these are, I think they are a variety of primula. These beauties are at Harlow Carr, the RHS garden near Harrogate.

Will be back and blogging again in a few days, happy MayDay holiday to all!