Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Tissue dammage!

I'm getting through loads of tissue paper at the moment - but rather than using it for wrapping presents - it's forming an integral part of my degree work collage - torn up, mosiac like, and then rubbed off and chalked over, it creates a fantastic worn/distressed surface

Monday, 17 December 2012

Tis the season for hot chocolate and marshmallows

Its lovely going out for runs right now - its not icy, there's a winter sun, lots of squirrels, and most people are busy doing last minute shopping, so there's hardly anybody about.  I've been exploring a few new footpaths too, and have got a new offroad, but not overly muddy, short cut over to the Moorgreen Reservoir. It's always beautiful there - bluebells in the spring, camellia in the summer, rich autumn leaves and now beautiful frosts. 
The great thing about running in the winter, is that even if you do a relatively short run, it still feels great, you've got out in the fresh air, and then you can come back in and really appreciate hunkering down.  We've just started making the most fabulous marshmallow hedgehogs too, ideal for dipping in hot chocolate, and, chosen carefully, vegetarian friendly

quarry tiles are for life not just for Christmas.

Wow, once again, I think how lucky I am to have such lovely friends.  Our friend Matt is donating his old quarry tiles the Brinsley wreck, with the proviso, "a quarry tile is for life, nost just for Christmas."  I don't think he realises how happy he has made us, we've been relaying the original quarry tiles back in the wreck, but the few black ones that we had were beyond repair and broken.  Almost half of these new quarry tiles are black, and so we'll be able to make some fancy star patterns in the porch area at the front door.

This morning, I squealed out loud, when I opened a Christmas card, my lovely friend, Sharyn, who makes the most beautiful pop up cards, sent me this through the post.  I don't think my camera does it justice, but believe me its fabulous.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Goats, wreaths, and icy runs

It's been really icy today, the ice only cleared off the windows at 4pm this afternoon, and some of the pavements have stayed white over all day.  I ventured out for a small run, but it was hard going, the pavements were slippy, and the fields were so hard and rutted that it was hard going, I just ended up doing a small circuit near the rescue centre.  Despite being cold, it was a lovely sunny day, and saw turkeys, sheeps, ducks, goats, chickens and ponies - the goats were actually on the track, so I'm not sure if they'd tried a half hearted escape (stoopid, they won't get better looked after than where they are) but fortunately someone was rounding them up, and the chickens were happily clucking around both there, and at the farm down the track - its really nice living here.
The house is moving on too, Colins been hanging some doors, which is keeping the house much warmer, and so now,  in time for Christmas, I have somewhere to hang my wreath!

Monday, 10 December 2012


Here's a sneak preview from "The Sheeps" collection (we've always called more than one sheep "sheeps", since going to Iceland, several years ago, where thats what they were called.  I remember someone trying to correct people, and while I know they were being helpful, actually "sheeps" is a such a nice word,  it makes me smile everytime I say it,  and it shows how impossible the English language is)
Currently I'm struggling with how lifelike versus how styelised my sheeps should be, I like the idea of a slightly scruffy, waiting to be sheared sheep, but this means that they're not the rotund sheep that are usually characterised.
The plan is to donate a £1 from each "Sheeps" sold (now thats not grammatical!) to the Brinsley Animal Rescue centre.  (If you read my earlier post from today, you'll get an idea of how moved I was by the project)
A Sheep in progress....

Brinsley Animal Rescue Centre

The Brinsley Animal Rescue Centre had an open day, and seeing as it is only down the road from us, and that we have a friend who is mad about supporting animal charities, and already sponsors the pigeons, the injured hedgehogs and Rocky the pig there, we all went along.
It's a fantastic set up there, none of the workers are paid, they all work in other jobs and work at the rescue centre as volunteers, they're for ever extending to accomodate new animals, and its obvious that all of the animals there are really cared for, and when ever possible, are released back into the wild, or if appropriate, rehomed.
I think I've talked about Boris the Blind Bull on here before, he was born blind and spent the first part of his life locked in a shed.  When he was rescued by the centre they had to teach him how to kneel down to eat grass, and while I'm normally petrified of Bulls, he is a complete softy who really really enjoys human contact.
What else was so lovely to see was the amount of support and visitors that had come to the open day, only 2 weeks before Christmas, and people had come along to the rescue centre, it was definately more of a family day out than could ever be said of traipsing around shopping centres.
The centre has 2 open days a year, and is definately worth going to and supporting.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


Work is starting on extending the trams and its going to cause havoc to businesses, especially small independent businesses, that don't have the cashflow to prop themselves up while a road is closed to traffic for a year or longer. 
I'm really not convinced that the trams are a good thing, they only replicate existing bus routes, the work in installing them is chaotic for everybody that they affect, and. unlike a bus, if the road ahead is blocked, they can't navigate around the blockage, in effect causing gridlock.
I did though, have a positive tram experience today, while on my commute to the pop up gallery, a group of school children got on, and rehearsing for a Christmas concert, gave us an impromptu rehearsal - it really did put a smile on everybody's faces - its not changed my mind about the usefulness of trams, but it was really lovely

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Pop ups!

I just love the whole ethos of a pop up shop, this is the 2nd one that I've been in, on the run up to Christmas.
I love the way that they give a whole new lease of life to a building, its neighbouring shops,  and, in both of my cases, the local artists that they represent.  They make the area more vibrant, and we've had so many people coming in and saying that they really like the space, that I've just lost count of how many times I've been told it.
Obviously theres a lot of hard work behind the scenes, cleaning and renovating a space thats been empty for a very long time, co-ordinating the permits and licences needed quickly and in a short space of time, knowing that theres only a short space of time to select artists and  promote the premises, and of course the investments needed. 
What these pop ups do show, is that despite the recession, and the fact that "stack em high, sell em cheap, mass produced" superstores exist, people do really appreciate hand crafted goods, and don't want every shop to be a replica of a shop in the neighbouring town.

Dezigne, Carlton St, Hockley, Nottingham, throughout December