Sorry I haven’t been here for a while – time just passes!
I’ve started another days music therapy employment, had 2 reports to write for work, been busy in the garden, catching up with friends here and afar – plus I’ve celebrated my birthday…all in a short space of time – so it’s all been go, go, GOOOO!
I do have various things to share with you over the coming weeks…but thought I’d gently ease myself back in tonight with a few piccies of the kitten Misty.
Butter wouldn’t melt!? Wanna bet?
She’s fully recovered now from her illness – which turned out to be E-Coli !!! She is growing up fast and appears to be getting bigger and longer each day. Her and Merlin are getting on ok considering – although it really is Misty that is the instigator of all of the trouble between them! Misty hides and essentially sky-dives onto Merlin’s back and thoroughly stalks and haunts her at every opportunity. It goes beyond playing – Merlin really appears terrorised! It’s a good job Merlin is a house cat, otherwise I seriously think she would have packed her cat-bags by now and disappeared for pastures new.
Thankfully Merlin still has the run of the upstairs and attic space, somewhere that Misty only dreams of going – she’s explored a couple of times after dodging our fancy footwork at the door – so at least Merlin has some peaceful time away from the kitten…plus she gets to sleep on our bed EVERY night!
They sometimes eat next to each other, and they can bear to sit in the same room at the same time…sometimes – and so we do have some cute photos of them together ;-) However, it’s mostly mayhem!
Misty is half Bengal and half British Short Hair – and whilst content sitting by us and purring herself silly, I think the Bengal in her is impossible to ever tame and she’s just a wild wild WILD child. Ok, she’s still only 15 weeks old so it’s part of the normal kitten process – but she really is completely and utterly bonkers! She is cute though isn’t she!?!
Oh, how the house has changed since she arrived – although we couldn’t imagine being without her though! Could we?!
My beau says Merlin must be the most photographed cat on the planet! I have to agree, but she’s so gorgeous and photogenic that I can’t help taking photos of her! This one was taken on my mobile phone with a new app I found called ‘Vignette’. I love the colours of the shot mixed in with a slightly dreamy effect which compliments the refection in her eyes really well.
I only had time to blog once in December – so thought I’d have a little look back today, the 1st of January – at what’s been happening this last month through some photographs.
We had snow: not tons…but enough to cover the garden…and enough to cause road traffic so that it took me over 3 hours to reach work!
We had friends round, decorated the tree and opened the tinned chocolates far too early!
We shopped and shopped…and wrapped presents, wrestled queues and bought food – and finally watched for Santa from every window.
We hosted my parents over the festive period as well as the in-laws – and little Ben puppy-dog!
We drank, we ate, we opened presents, we cleaned, we travelled, we visited, we partied, we cleaned, we celebrated, we rested, we slept, we cleaned…
…then finally my beau and I spent New Years Eve alone – with only champagne, curry, chocolate and music for company…it was truly wonderful ;-)
Now, here I sit, on the second anniversary of this blog – and on the start of another year, wishing you ALL a very happy 2012 full of love, light, luck & laughter x
I went home at the weekend to visit my mum and dad – which proved, as ever, a photo opportunity to take some pictures of their little doggy Ben! He is now 18 months old and still as cute – however, he appears to have lost his desire for being a photographic model. I had to hold a treat in my hand to even get him to pose! Want to see?
I was also able to take a few piccies of my puddy-cat as she slept on the new sofa. She has been caught scratching it on numerous occasions and so normally is now banned from going on it unsupervised…however, she looked so cute that I couldn’t bring myself to move her! I forgave her for her sneekiness and shrewdness. We bartered and she agreed to a few snapshots in return for another hour of sofa-time! ;-)
I have borrowed this idea from Catherine – who often describes “the moments that inspire or take your breath away, comfort or heal” over on her blog “Jumbleberry Orchard” – which you can find HERE.
The last month has been very very busy with many many commitments (some of which I’ll be blogging about soon) including hen weekends, weddings, day trips, 40th birthdays and several parties – so much so…that last night I sat, totally exhausted, and thought about some of the things I have either completely missed or taken for granted within these busy times – realising that these are indeed the ‘simple pleasures’ that Catherine describes so beautifully in her world.
As life seems to be on fast forward for me at the moment, I’ve decided that it’s particularly important to truly cherish (what may at first appear nothing more than little things) the things that make us smile, the things that remind us how lucky we are to be alive and the things that heal us…often when we truly need it the most. I’d like to continue sharing some of these with you – every now and again – as and when they come into my head.
A glass of cold milk before bed
Seeing my sister for the first time in nearly a year
Working on the laptop whilst hearing my beau busying himself in the next room
My cat sitting on my lap purring
Beautiful cream roses in a vase sitting on the dining table, given to us by a friend
The sound of rain outside on the velux windows
A lovely appreciative comment from someone you’ve never met on your blog
Homemade pumpkin and carrot soup on my return home from work
Freshly washed sheets on the bed
The sound of my mother’s voice on the other end of the telephone
A brand new (although much needed) toothbrush
A stranger’s smile
The smell of freshly made coffee
Being called ‘young man’ by people…when I’m clearly not anymore ;-(
Dancing for hours and forgetting how much it will hurt the next day!
My beau blowing a kiss across the room, as he goes to bed, to say goodnight – & catching mine in return
Standing and staring at the stunning colours of Autumn
…are just some of the simple pleasures that have happened this week.
*photo taken last week at Chatsworth House
It seems like ages since I’ve been here!! So, what’s been happening?
Well OFSTED have been – and gone – PHEW! Most of the teaching and support within the college received a grade 2 (Good) although the management and other systems in place received a grade 3 – which is what we were awarded overall. In their new graded scheme, 3 equals satisfactory! A word I hate, as it’s a non descript word that doesn’t necessarily mean either good or bad! This grade is fine, considering that based on some of our available data, the principal was concerned that we would receive a grade 4 (un-satisfactory!) We didn’t but the college, overall, needs to improve somewhat.
We are apparently below national benchmarks for retention and success although considerably higher than other school and colleges in the area. I was lucky – I wasn’t observed this time by the inspectors. However, for all of the time, effort, blood, sweat and tears I put into my lesson plans, schemes of work, resources, folders and other paperwork I was disappointed that none of it was seen! Oh well – that’s it for another 4 years for the ‘official’ inspection! We have internal observations that create similar feelings of stress – but we’re normally forewarned about these at least!
Sadly I found out that I had referred on my latest MA assignment so I have to re-write and re-submit various sections – which I’m quite unhappy about. However, it is the first time that this has happened within the whole MA so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. I spoke to one of the tutors who informed me that it was almost there – but I needed to re-visit a few areas and tweak them so that it fully fits the assignment guidelines. Hopefully it will only be a couple of days work ;-(
I went home this weekend too – and had a lovely time helping my parents clean the house and sort the garden. I completely stripped and cleaned the whole pond filter system and put it away for the winter – which took hours, but a job that my parents can’t do themselves anymore, so time well spent. I also dusted the whole house, took my Mum food shopping as well as to see one of her friends for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I also spent a huge amount of time with Ben the puppy, although he wasn’t very good at posing for his photograph this time – so I don’t have any really great ones to share with you!
On the other hand, my cat Merlin was particularly happy to pose for snapshots yesterday, so I’ll include a few beautiful ones of her instead. Isn’t she gorgeous?!!
I’ve also been taking pictures of new stock this last week, which is ready and waiting to be listed within my Houdini House Etsy shop. These include an old wooden fold out ruler, some Harry Potter antique specs, a 140 year old daguerreotype and a vintage metal cigarette tin – amongst many many others. What do you think? Watch this space for more news on their listing.
Am looking forward to going to London this weekend to teach ‘The Last Cuckoo’ actor my song – whilst taking in a dance show and a spot of bargain hunting at local markets. I will fill you in all of this on my return! Til then, I promise to have a catch-up on some of your blogs…I’ve been missing you all x
What’s new? Three new coloured sherry glasses for my Houdini House shop.
What’s new? Some fabric from a friend – an assortment of 6 – my favourite is the farmyard scene complete with piglets and lambs! My friend works on a fabric stall at quilting exhibitions and bought us this as a present for looking after her 4 Siamese cats.
What’s new? Two new fabric picture creations which will be featuring very soon in my beau’s shop ‘Art Amour’. What do you think?
What’s new? Another picture of my cat sitting on the window sill in between the secondary glazing.
What’s new? Two new window boxes bringing a bit of extra colour into my lounge.
What’s new? My new Apple MacBook. Some of you may remember my poorly computer earlier in the year. It’s never fully recovered from the virus – so an investment was in order. I will use this for my work – and my studies too – plus it has Garage Band with which I can record my own songs!
What’s new? My latest assignment (!!) which is due to be handed in – in a matter of days – so enough procrastinating – I need to get on with it!
First up – I have been commisioned to write a song for a show. I can’t give too much away at the moment because nothing has been finalised but I’m very excited by it as it will be directed by a well known London director and performed by a well known actor too – so watch this space. I have completed both the music and the lyrics now which currently has a working title of ‘Making Time’. I’ll let you know more as and when it happens – although it opens in Yorkshire in October before going on a short tour to Berkshire, London and Glasgow too.
Me and my beau have also been home to my parents again to help in the garden and the house. I cleaned the house top to bottom for my mum (she trained me well!) as well as sorting the pond (the pump had stopped) and planting cauliflowers, carrots, radishes, beetroot…amongst many other jobs outside and in the greenhouse. Two days later we returned home – to rest! Thankfully with it being Bank Holiday Monday here, I was off so able to catch up with my own errands and other things that needed doing here, but we had a lovely time. I also found time to hoover my car – so now it looks beautiful! (Inside at least!)
I also went to the market (as I do) and bought several things including an old unframed map of the town where I live, three vintage sewing machine drawers, some silver spoons for my garden markers and a Coronation Souvenir Programme from 1936 for George VI.
The drawers had been bought in mind of storage for my cards – but sadly they are slightly too small. Instead I think they will look lovely housing my friend Abby’s tooth fairy bears that she has been making for our planned stall. They’ll add character to the stall anyhow, whatever the use. What do you think?
I’ve also been busy making cards and taking photographs of other objects to sell in both my shops: Houdini Cards and Houdini House. I’ll add a picture of three new ones – as well as a brooch I intend to list for sale in my shop tonight (see here) which simply states ‘MOTHER’. I think it’s beautiful and did buy it for myself – but just haven’t worn it ever!
What do you think to it? I’ve also been taking some photographs for my beau’s shop which my cat has found most amusing! She decided to stand next to the glowing fire / heater in the hallway to check that I was doing it all correctly!
…and yes she pounced!
A few things from my busy week…lovely to make contact again…catch up with you soon…x
Well, I’ve been a seller on Etsy now for just over 4 months. 13 sales – better than nothing I guess! I keep toying with quitting – but then I remind myself how much I do actually enjoy making cards, photographing them and surfing the forums for advice. Check out my shop if you haven’t already done:
Obviously on my travels around the site I see lots of things that I really love myself. I wanted to share some of them (I find tons!) with you – plus a bit of free publicity for them.
First up is this lovely print with the words: “When life hands you lemons make a gin and tonic” !!! I really am going to have to buy this methinks! I love lemons, I love G&Ts and I love trying as hard as I can in turning something negative into a positive. So this really would be perfect for my kitchen! Check the Etsy listing out here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=41025757
Secondly, I have found the wedding ring that I’d like! Although to be honest, anything from their shop is stunnnnnnnnning! This is a gorgeous integration of silver and 9 karat rose and yellow gold. I absolutley adore it. I have a very simple version of this already that my partner bought for me when we were out and about in Lyme Regis with Abby from Mutteringsfromthemoor fame. This is the real McCoy though – I’m definitely keeping my eye on it ;-) You can see the etsy listing here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=35308569
Thirdly, is this hand cut map of Paris. I’m sure you all know my passion for Paris by now – so when I saw this I was abit bowled over! It must have taken absolutley months! The map is made “by removing the unnecessary, leaving valuable information to navigate the main paths of the city. Blocks are cut by hand to reveal the paths, nodes, circles, boulevards, parks and streets of paris.” Bet it’d look great framed! You can see the Etsy listing here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34677913
Next up is this hand crocheted apple cozy. I absolutely ADORE this. I just think a fruit bowl full of apples topped with one wrapped up in this would be tres gorgeous! I’m going to have to treat myself to this at some point for definite! You can see the Etsy listing here at: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37095452
Next up is this beautiful cat bed. Made by a fellow cat lover, the bed is molded of steel mesh which is upholstered and connected to a sleek wood base. This particular one has sold – but she has lots more in other beautiful fabrics. You can see her shop here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/likekittysville
Last up are these stack of 8 colourful prep bowls. I absolutely love ceramics! I am very lucky to have a handmade set that I bought many years ago when I had some money. Only one piece has been broken so far (touch wood) and that was by my cat! I’d love to order some more but she has now moveed 100 miles away. I have my eye on these instead. They are so colourful and yummy looking! The listing for them is here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=39710995
I really could go on, and on, and on, and on – but this posting would last forever – so I shall leave it at that for now. I might make this a regular monthly feature – my Etsy and eBay shares ;-) please let me know if you like them too ;-) x
My mere cat appears to be a Meerkat!
She knows I’ve been busy all day writing my assignment (incidentally just over 13,000 words done – only another 1,000 to go! YAY!!) and so have been unable to go out into the snow. She (Merlin) doesn’t go out either – and so she took my place at the window, lovingly looking out at the slow passing cars and playful children. She rarely assumes this position, and thankfully I had my camera to hand! I wanted to share it with you.
The sun has been shining here all day although the snow doesn’t seem to be shifting! I pray for some more snow tonight…