Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas !

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2015!  Hope Santa brought you lots of good things.  My attempts to take a "selfie" of Mia and I failed miserably, so here's the best I could get ......
 Mia being rather cheeky under the Xmas Tree!

 Lovely decorations for my tree from Lindsay
A selection of some of the lovely goodies I received today
One of Lindsay's gorgeous canvasses ..... already got it on display!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

A few weeks have passed now ......

...... since I last posted on the anniversary of Graham's death. Just been pottering along since then mostly, but for the past couple of weeks I've had a horrid cold that's been a bit stubborn to shift, it just dragged on and on, beginning with an innocuous sore throat, and despite dosing myself up with honey (to soothe my throat) and various cold remedies, it was determined to run its course (including a nasty 24-hour norovirus episode as well)!  So I spent most of the time "lolling around" on the sofa, catching up on TV programmes I'd recorded or doing a bit of knitting when the mood struck (creative and productive, but doesn't need too much thinking or imagination when my head's all fuzzy)!  

However, by this weekend I was feeling much better, much more energised again, and just as well because Monday night I went with Lindsay to the operatic production of "Madame Butterfly" at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool.  I'd bought tickets for us to see this back in July as part of Lindsay's birthday gifts - Lindsay is a huge fan of opera, but for me, it was a new experience, having never been before and not being particularly keen on opera myself.  Anyway, we began the evening with a delicious meal at Nando's, one of our favourite eating places, which is situated just opposite the theatre so we didn't have far to walk after we'd eaten! 

I went with an open mind, not really knowing what to expect. Lindsay absolutely loved the evening, teary-eyed all the way through, clapping and cheering along with the rest of the audience.  For myself, although I enjoyed seeing all the beautiful costumes and the scenic backdrops, and the Grand itself is a wonderful old building. I'm afraid I remained unmoved by the opera, music and singing itself - and despite my best efforts, have come to the conclusion that opera really just is not for me (sorry, Lindsay, I know I'm a Philistine in your eyes, but I really did try - give me a rock concert any day instead *LOL*) !  Well, at least I know now ......

When I uploaded these photos to my computer I noticed all the indoor shots in the Grand show a series of orbs - I know it's an old theatre, rumoured to be haunted, but I suspect these "orbs" are not of a ghostly nature but caused by condensation droplets (maybe) having come into a warm, dry atmosphere from a very wet and rainy night outside!  

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

A year has gone by .....

..... where did the time go?


8th October 2013

To the living, I am gone,
To the sorrowful, I will never return,
To the angry, I was cheated,
But to the happy, I am at peace,
And to the faithful, I have never left.

I cannot speak, but I can listen.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore gazing at a beautiful sea ...
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity ...
Remember me.

Remember me in your heart:
Your thoughts, and your memories,
Of the times we loved,
The times we cried,
The times we fought,
The times we laughed.
For if you always think of me,
I will never have gone.

Monday, 6 October 2014

A Day Out ....

On Saturday I headed over to Port Sunlight on the Wirral, to the Happy Stamper Festival being held in Hulme Hall there.  Lindsay was demonstrating stamping techniques and also displaying some of her own recent art canvasses, which proved to be extremely popular - they are rather gorgeous!  My apparent role was to be "gofer" for the day and more or less the first thing I was greeted with when I arrived was "go grab me a black coffee, I haven't had one yet - please" - I also had to man the stand whilst Lindsay disappeared for a bite of lunch - but I did get to have a look round what is an extremely busy stamping fair.  Picked up some grunge paste and an assortment of metal bits and pieces, ideal for altered art work and at a real bargain price!
 Lindsay, concentrating hard
 .... and explaining something technical !
 Samples of Lindsay's beautiful canvasses
(the notebook was a particular favourite of everybody's)

Lindsay and I (still smiling at the end of a very busy day)!

By the time I arrived home - via train and taxi - it had already turned pitch-black, even though it was only around 7.30 pm) - just time to pick up a naughty "chippy tea" and settle down, in comfy PJ's, to watch "Strictly Come Dancing".  A good day !

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Here's a "Secret" ....

..... Box, that is !  Decided to post pics of the "Secrets" box now that it's finished, as I haven't decided what I'm going to do with it. May end up as a Christmas gift or I may keep it, we'll see.

Anyway, here it is .... and hopefully it'll kick-start me into making some more "art" stuff again - it's about time I did !
Hope you like!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

A Chill in the Air ......

....... with the Autumnal Equinox on Tuesday, seems we are definitely into autumn now, certainly I've had to put the heating on a couple of times over the past day or two and today is particularly grey and dull. Hence - I am in the mood for building up my stash of colourful socks to keep my toes warm during chillier days ......
 Recently completed ..... I love these!
 Currently on the needles ........
..... including this bright and chunky jumper,
which will definitely be keeping me warm come winter time!

I've also now finished the box that I began whilst round at Lindsay's the other day, I'm quite pleased with the result, but can't upload photos of it just yet!  Now I'm trying to get inspired to do a similar makeover on another box I have (well, it's in the form of a stack of three papier mache books with the top cover opening to reveal an inner hidey-hole).  At the moment I'm thinking Victorian, science, mechanical, fossils, entomology ..... rather steampunkish anyway.  But I've just got to let the ideas mull for a little while.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A Messy Day

Spent the day round at Lindsay's, getting messy with paint, glue and stencils, having a go at decorating a papier mache box I had in a grungy, steampunk style (inspired by her lovely canvasses, which can be seen in her Etsy shop and on her blog).  I'm not the best of students when it comes to a "classroom" situation - my brains fly out the window I think *LOL*, so I think Lindsay was rather exasperated with my ineptitude at times and I got "told off" a few times (that's sisters for you)!  Mind you, I did spill some water everywhere and nearly swept the entire contents off the table at one point, so I'll forgive her! Haven't finished the box yet and I think it may end up as a Christmas present, so don't want to give too much away, but here's a peek .....

Yesterday, I took the plunge (after much pestering from Lindsay et al), and dyed my hair for the first time in my life (bringing it back to the colour of my teens), so today we had a lot of fun taking photos of ourselves in a variety of poses (and selfies) in Lindsay's garden.  

I'm afraid none of the selfies we took of the two of us together
 are suitable for public consumption .... ha !

All in all, it was a good day - and an extremely silly, giggly one! - hopefully it'll have inspired me to get cracking again with my own inks and paints and start creating again ..... it's been a long time since I've felt like making anything!

Monday, 15 September 2014

I've given in ......

..... and finally joined Facebook - following Lindsay's lead a day or two ago.  Not got much of a clue so far about what I'm doing but no doubt I'll get the hang of it all within a short time.  Anyway, if you want to pop over to my Facebook page, then click on the pink logo to the right and it'll take you right there.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Birthday Treats !

Yesterday was my birthday which I intended to keep very low-key (don't like a lot of fussy song-and-dance about it at my ripe old age *LOL*), so I just met up with Lindsay after she'd been to the church service at St Chad's in Poulton and we went along to The Elk for coffee with everyone, before heading off to Marsh Mill in Thornton.  We had planned to have lunch there at the Tavern in the Mill, but had been forewarned it might be closed for refurbishments.  This proved to be the case, but we still had a little wander round the shop units there, quite a few new ones since we'd last visited - a gift shop stocking lots of unusual items, sewing/quilting shop with some beautiful fabrics on show and a delicatessen (we were very good though and didn't spend any money - this time)!

So ...... we headed off to try The Red Lion in Bispham, which had been recommended to us as an alternative, and enjoyed a very pleasant roast dinner (a rare treat for me these days, cooking only for one as I do now)!  Both of us felt we couldn't eat another mouthful by the time we left.  Just headed back to Lindsay's after that for a couple of hours, before spending a quiet evening at home in front of the telly (not very exciting I'm afraid but suited me very well yesterday).  I received some lovely gifts from Lindsay - a lovely dark blue and russet patterned "kaftan-y style" top, a "Wreck This Journal" notebook (will have some fun with this, a Kelly Rae bookmark, some "Smash" journal bits and (Lindsay's idea of a joke) a bottle of anti-wrinkle cream (see, I said I'd reached a ripe old age didn't I?) plus a bunch of sweet-smelling sweet-peas from her garden to take home with me.  I also received (and had been hoping I would) this beautiful altered mirror that Lindsay created .......
I'd seen a couple of these (each one is unique) that Lindsay had already made and I rather coveted them, so this beauty is now happily displayed on the wall in my living room.  The other mirrors, along with similarly designed canvasses, have already been snapped up by visitors to Lindsay's Etsy shop, but she's likely to be adding more in the coming days.  If you want to check out what the other mirrors looked like then please visit Lindsay's blog, where you will also find a link to her Etsy shop.

I'm also happy to report that my mission to lose weight continues and I've currently lost around 3 and a quarter stones, which is very pleasing indeed, despite the fact that I have to keep buying new clothes and now I'm finding that some of my rings are becoming rather loose on my fingers.  Fortunately, I also have a few rings that were too tight for me and couldn't wear, so hopefully these will fit me before too long.  And that's about all from me today.  After the glorious sunshine of yesterday, today is a rather gloomy, gray Bank Holiday (lovely and quiet everywhere though) so I'll be stopping at home and catching up on a bit of knitting (my current preferred creative outlet) - I have a little cardigan top and a pair of socks on the go at the moment.  

Monday, 28 July 2014

If you like cats, read on ........

........ It was Lindsay, my sister's, birthday weekend before last so we decided to visit Blackpool Zoo for the day (haven't been in a long time), lots of good conservation work going on, a large new building for the orang utans, a lemur wood, parrot display and many interesting and fascinating animals living there - here are jusr some of the photos from the day .......

 Tapirs - taking it easy
 Penguins - in and out of the water

 The parrots loved showing off their tricks and flying prowess !
 Tree Porcupines (Lindsay's favourites)
 Lemurs - snuggled up together asleep  ........ 
 ..... and on alert at the possibility of food

 Lindsay and I enjoyed getting up close with the lemurs 

I couldn't resist taking a picture of this gnarled old tree trunk

..... And now - for the cat lovers amongst you - a real assortment ......
Firstly, the Meerkats - who can resist them?

Secondly, not very good photos I'm afraid, taken indoors through glass - the female Amur tiger has just produced two male tiger cubs and this was one of their first appearances, courtesy of mum - she's carrying one of the cubs outside though it's very difficult to tell from these shots.  Amur tigers are very rare animals (tigers are one of my favourite animals) and I believe there are only around 450 of them left in the wild so that the birth of two babies here is highly important for their survival.

Three sleepy lions (butter wouldn't melt .....) !!!

And now, for a more domesticated sort of cat, how's this for a real cutie?
Two little kittens have been escaping from next-door through the fencing, following their mum into my backyard - this is the bolder brother (the sister, a pale white-and-tabby, is much shyer and wasn't there when I took these photos) .......
Mia has NOT been very impressed by their appearance and runs away indoors but not - as you can see - before curiosity gets the better of her and she has to check him out (from a safe distance)!
Finally, photos of Mia taken today as she sat atop one of Graham's models - the Green Man mask and Mountain Climber are also some of his creations .......

Looking magnificent, sleek and dark, and planning her next bit of mischief no doubt!

Well, that's it for tonight - just thought I'd share pictures of all the "cats" I've seen this past week or so.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Crafty Call Out .........

......... "all suggestions gratefully received" !

Well, actually, last night I was having a "brainstorming" session with DC (the friend who's going to be doing the bronze casting) as to future items he/we could produce.  So far he's made some wax castings of a couple of Graham's bronzes, one a Reclining Pan, the other a Pirate Skull car mascot, which look to be fairly successful - some way to go yet before they're cast in bronze though, but we were discussing what else might look good in bronze and also appeal to people (the crafting community being included here).  We have a few ideas, but it would be good to get some input from others ...... so, folks, over to you ...... if you have any suggestions (I'm thinking maybe stuff for altered art, beads, focal jewellery pieces, for example) as to what might appeal to you or you would like to see in bronze, I would love to hear from you!
 "Reclining Pan" by Graham Fenn-Edwards
 The "Pirate Skull" Car Mascot (and three others)
by Graham Fenn-Edwards

Sorry the quality of this photo is a little "iffy", it's an old one that I didn't take, but it shows each of the four car mascots that Graham cast in bronze. Just a day or two ago, I was rooting around in the garage (a.k.a. Graham's "distinctly untidy" workshop) and - as seems to be the case every time I go in there - I found a new "treasure" - the dragonfly car mascot (minus wings) waiting to be polished.  It was just sitting there on the bench by the polishing machine, peeking out from behind a cloth, right at the side of the garage door, and I must have walked past it many times without spotting it (I sometimes think Graham is moving stuff around in there for me to find - the same thing happened with his bronze casting notebook, it was sat on a shelf staring me in the face and I could've sworn it hadn't been there before - maybe I've just got a vivid imagination)! Anyway, we do have the mould for the wings so this is likely to be one of the first productions when we get properly going!

"Icon for our Time" by Graham Fenn-Edwards

Thought I'd sign off today by showing you an image of this sculptural piece that Graham created a few years ago, an "altered art" piece, and which was exhibited in an art exhibition at the local Grundy Gallery.  I loved this piece but unfortunately Graham decided to give it to an acquaintance of his, he didn't want to keep hold of it for some reason, and I have absolutely no idea now where it is or what has happened to it - such a shame!