Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mothering Sunday 2014

You know how, traditionally, mothers are allowed to lounge around and be looked after, have breakfast in bed and everyone else does the work on Mothering Sunday?

Well, having been ill since Wednesday, the shine has worn off the lounging in bed bit for me, and I suspect the rest of the family are getting a bit cheesed off with the 'everyone else does the work' part too. However they are carrying on stoically without me.

Here are some of the lovely things they gave me to mark the day and share the love.... thanks guys!

These are from gorgeous daughter who, having watched the programme where Joanna Lumley met, tried to copy his habit of only sleeping 4 hours a night. She has now discovered she's Rose.i.ain't! 

She looked up origami flowers on the internet and made these beauties overnight. I expect she'll nap later on today = )

Here's some seriously happy chocolate.

Stephen's message apart from "Giving flowers is stealing. Do cards make you angry?" (not keen on being asked to feel officially grateful because the day says you should) was "Have Mother's Day Gold", which is a very generous sentiment usually adapted to any occasion: Birthday, Christmas, Thank you etc.
There was also a fabulous book but more of that and its consequences another day....  oooh, suspense!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

London Bridge (not falling down!)

These are a couple of shots of Westminster bridge in London (so not technically London bridge but A London bridge!) in beautiful Spring sunshine. 

It looks so picturesque and the Thames rather sparkly and exotic, rather than the muddy brown slop it can sometimes seem.

It was a lovely clear day and the colours just come up beautifully.

The UFO at the top of the picture is in fact a pod from the London Eye, hovering above the little 'beach' of the Thames at Embankment.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Feeling all Jack Sparrow-ish!

As an addict of Pirates of the Caribbean films and Jack Sparrow, it's impossible to go on board a huge ship and not have a great desire to swing from the ropes, shout "Hoist the mainsail", turn the huge wheel and shoot at an un-dead monkey!

So here are some shots of the top deck of the Cutty Sark to get you in a similar mood.

Ya da da da da and really bad eggs... drink up me hearties yo ho!

Good job I didn't have a hatchet cos the desire to chop all the ropes like they did in the first film was almost overwhelming!

The roof of the visitor's centre forms a glass sea for the ship to sail on. 

What a ship is... what the Black Pearl really is... is FREEDOM!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Beautiful Floor: More Cutty Sark

I knew nothing of this until I had been to visit the Cutty Sark on Friday, but everyone I have talked to since has immediately spoken of the fire that engulfed the ship on 21 May 2007. So here is a newspaper article from the Daily Mail about the fire:

"Fire has ripped through the Cutty Sark, reducing the iconic 19th century tea clipper to a charred wreck.
Scores of firefighters battled to save the ship but flames 100 feet high engulfed the hull at its drydock in Greenwich.
Police immediately began an arson inquiry after residents reported an explosion at around 4.45am.
The 280ft-ship, built in 1869, was undergoing a £25 million refit aimed at securing its future as one of London's leading tourist attractions and symbol of Britain's maritime heritage.
Experts restoring the Cutty Sark, once the world's fastest tea clipper which had survived the worst the sea could throw at her, described the blaze as a "devastating blow".
Chris Livett, chairman of the Cutty Sark Trust, said it had caused extensive damage to the main deck, the tween deck and the lower deck as well as planking on the hull, which had not yet been removed for restoration.
But there was some relief when it emerged many of the ships's historic artefacts, including its figurehead. sails, masts, prow and coach-housing had previously been removed."

I have to say the work they have done on it is beautiful. The floorboards and information boards made from the polished wood of the tea chests are gorgeous.

The Captain's dining room is sumptuous.

I'll let you in on the 'Captain Jack Sparrow vibe' of the top deck soon.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Visiting the Cutty Sark

It was an INSET day at my son's school so, rather than let him fritter it away on various screens as he would dearly love to do, we went on a trip to London together.

There was bribery involved of course: a promised lunch at MacDonalds and time spent on Westminster Bridge watching the buses go past so we could collect bus numbers (20 different ones apparently, all remembered in the order he saw them... the power of Autism on memory!!!).

The Cutty Sark gift shop was  great success as it offered lots of GOLDEN treasures (brass or something like) and he would quite happily have left it at that without visiting the boat (and tried to!) but no, we had come to see the boat (ship?) and we WOULD see it!

Here are some of the beautifully artistic lines and arcs you can see in the frames around the boat...

The roof holds the boat in place and curves beautifully around the shop and visitor's centre.

The lines flow and give glimpses of the ship above through the gaps.

It was a lovely place to visit and I'll post more pictures of other parts soon!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

What could you make from a beaded car seat cover?

Well I don't know what YOU would make but here's what I made a while ago.

Someone gave me one of those seat covers that are made from plastic fishing wire (whatever you call that) and lots of odd shaped wooden beads, some of which were like this

When added to a couple of smaller spherical beads, you can make these...

Cute little Kokeshi dolls  = )

They are about 5cms tall (an inch and a quarter?) and quite tricky to paint in detail. The black lines are added on later with a permanent marker and the little dotted patterns with a barbecue skewer tip. There were many more of these but, you've guessed it, many of them went to craft fairs to raise money for charity.
I think I'm a bit of an addict when it comes to a new craft: I buy what I need to do it, then make many more than is sensible till I give up that particular fascination and rarely revisit it. It's the ideal way to be ready for a craft fair. The making is for sanity and well-being rather than personal profit.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Mocktails and Masquerades

Daughter's 18th birthday party theme was 'Mocktails and Masquerades' (mocktails being non-alcoholic cocktails) so we had to prepare masks for those who may not have their own.

There's something really creepy about masks, whether they're on a face or not. They feel a bit menacing.
So, out with the acrylic paints...

and painting with gay abandon

Such fun!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Ladybird Season

Has it been good over-wintering weather for Ladybirds? I have seen no end in the last week... I vastly over-exaggerate ("I've told you a million times NOT to exaggerate!!"). I've seen three, but two of those were on the same day in the same area in the same minute!! That's virtually a swarm!

Here they are in all their spotted-gorgeousness.

And no, it isn't the same one twice trying to fool me,. I tried to get them in the same shot but they would have appeared so minuscule as to be hardly visible. So they each get their moment of glory.

So when the weather deals you a pleasant day... try spotting ladybirds (pun intended lol).

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Sunshine on the Water

The Almost-Spring sunshine was dazzling and gorgeous on the canal at the weekend so I thought I'd 'share the glare'.

Fascinating difference between the still reflection of the sun in the water by the lock gates, where it's captive and unable to move much...

and the refraction of the image further up the canal as it has recently split off from the choppier river and still carries some of that motion with it.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Sunny Day Sights/ Signs of Spring!

It was the first sunny, warm day we've had in a REALLY long and grey winter so, of course, some members of the family were forced out for a walk (teenage son) while others (dad and sister) had to stay in and get their homework done!

These were the Spring-like features we saw to make our hearts sing and believe that warmth really is on its way and the sun has not deserted us forever.

Violas growing in a heart-shape !

Reliable Daisies... love 'em.

The shadows of me and my boy... looking like Darth Vader being loomed over by the BFG!

Celandines by the river.

And blossom arching over the alleyway. I didn't funk up any colours... 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Enthusiastic Hedgehog

Daughter and I went to Farnham Maltings on Saturday so she could have a birthday spend-up at the expense of her parents. The first saturday of the month is always a vintage and collectables fair. Her blog-site will no doubt feature HER spendings in due time (, but here is the favourite of MINE!

The Enthusiastic Hedehog!!

It's a card from the 'STUFF' range where they do their own prints but also turn old stuff into new products and cards in a vintage-y way. I just love his joie-de-vivre! (if that's they way you spell it...I love it even if it isn't!)

Don't know what there is to see but their address on Facebook is

Monday, 3 March 2014

Turning 18!!!

I can't believe our baby is now 18. That's official adult territory!

She's happy with it now we've explained that nothing much changes: you still feel like a kid and always will, that you'll always feel too young to have to make important descisions and you can still be silly and child-like (like her parents and most of the aged adults she knows and values!).

As a tiny person, she has the disadvantage that no one is going to believe she's 18 without ID proof, and the advantage that she can still get away with young and cute because of diminuitive status, denied to those who take the unfortunate step of growing taller.

                                  HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY ROSIE!!!!