New Things….

….but not new things I have made.

It’s been a funny couple of weeks.  Very cold weather meant that I spent most days last week wearing my coat indoors between 9am and 3.00pm and getting very little done whilst J was at nursery.

And then at the weekend there was a great flurry of things happening.  First off I dropped my phone (one held together with gaffer tape no less) down the toilet.  I spent most of Friday and Saturday trying to get it dried out enough to assess the damage.  In the meantime my parents visited us on Saturday and within the haul of goodies they brought with them were:

A knife (I’ve got lots of knives so I made them take it back)

A First Aid kit for the car (I’ve got one in the car, one in the house and one in with my camping gear, so I made them take that home too)

Some teeny little stockings for the Christmas tree (ok, I’ll keep those then)

A couple of belly dance belts (ok, I’ll keep those too)

Chocolates (go on then, twist my arm….)

Another box of chocolates (owww, more arm twisting)

A bottle of wine (ooooh, ok, if I must keep it….)

Secateurs (long story, don’t ask)

A laptop (REALLY?  you don’t want it?)  It turns out that my mum got it from a friend who got it as an incentive when he bought a phone.  He didn’t want it, gave it to my mum who in turn spent three weeks playing Solitaire on it, decided she has no interest in anything it can do for her and so has given it to me. !!!  A while ago a friend came round to my house with her laptop and after identifying the network and putting in the password the laptop wouldn’t work.  I later Googled this (just in case I ever got a laptop – which in fairness seemed unlikely) and found out that I probably needed to get a dongle as my PC is wired, not unwired.  But on Saturday I got the laptop to connect via my home broadband and so now I was feeling all….technical 🙂

About an hour after my parents left my ex called to say that he had an armchair, did I want it?  Yes please!  We currently have a sofa that me and the two kids can get onto and the only chair in the sitting room was a creaky and uncomfortable wicker one – now we have a big old armchair so it’s all getting quite comfy.  I’m already looking forward to sitting in the wicker chair in the garden during what I hope will be a balmy summer (well, I can hope can’t I?)

And on Sunday I discovered that the dunking my phone took meant that the battery couldn’t hold a charge for more than 6 hours, and all of my photos, music, vids were wiped, and the camera would no longer work.  Time for a new phone.  I now have a pretty good touch-screen phone, nothing too flashy and got that to connect to the home broadband earlier so now I’m really teched up!

You may notice that no-where in this post do I mention dancing/classes/making stuff…..I’ll save that for later in the week, so in the meantime why not click on over to 1st Unique Gifts and see what the very crafty people over there have been up to!

Fun weekends ahead?

So at the weekend we’re off to a small theme park in my old stomping grounds – it’s a place I last visited many many years ago when I was a little girl and that when I worked in the town used to drive past each day.

Me and the children are off to Wicksteeds in Kettering with the Single With Kids group – so it’s all single parents and their children camping for a weekend together in one big group.

*Pray for sunshine* everyone.  I would like this last camping weekend to be a good one, and the sun always helps.

The school holidays have been pretty good this year for us.  Last year was a dark time for me and as children are resilient they do not seem to remember that mummy was not *herself* this time last year.  That I am grateful for.

The next two weeks are something I have been looking forward to – this weekend we are away, then we come back for a few days and then we go off again for a seaside break before returning the day before school for my oldest.  Hopefully the sun will shine on both weekends.

As for me?  Well, I hope to regain some of my love for dancing (it has eluded me for far too long) and I hope to get back into a routine where I can start being as creative as I need to be.

Head Stuff

I really must on with making some new headdresses methinks.

There’s always a million ideas, and a squillion bits of jewellery to plunder and some new flowers popped in to say hi on Sunday so I’d best get creating!

Once a upon I had planned to get around 10 or so pieces done to take to WOMAD but that hasn’t happened… never mind, it’ll probably be raining anyway so I should invest in umbrellas!

But I am tempted to look at vending at a couple of festivals next year, very tempted indeed….

Taking Great Pictures

As you may know, taking great pictures is not my strong suit but I’m going to be trying again to get better shots of my handmade and vintage items as soon as the dark skies clear and the rain stops falling.

Whilst I am not pinning all hopes of more sales from my Etsy store on simply having better pictures I am keen to ensure that I have the best photographs possible.

So this has been my research subject for the week – to buy a light tent or not?  What can I use as a fabulous but not too distracting back-drop or background?  Do I need a better camera?

I think the camera I have is pretty good, and I’m getting better at using the settings and functions on it and to be fair to myself I cannot afford a new one.  Having a tripod has helped enormously.  All I have to do now is make British summer conditions work for me, and find the best spots in the house to get the best light (something this is always going to be changeable and that I’ll have to be flexible about).

I’ve found some great articles online about photography and here are some of the better ones:

Table Top Studio

Handmade Marketing

Everything Etsy

I’ll keep you posted with progress….




Oh what to do….?

Suddenly I am child free this afternoon….

So here’s the list of what I need to do before 4pm:

Get ready for Hipnotic tomorrow; costumes, music, get paper plates from somewhere (why couldn’t I find paper plates in Morrisons?), make cakes and hide them from the kids, do some more dance practice, housework, ironing…..

Actually, scratch the ironing….

Or……..shall I have a cup of tea and read a book and have a nap?

The latter is very tempting……maybe that can be my reward if I manage to squeeze everything else into the next hour?

The Octopus

Late last night the Octopus with its sticky, snakey tendrils of self-doubt slunk up behind me and got me all tangled up in myself.

I had thought I’d banished this particular beast, but it just goes to show that you can never take anything for granted when it comes to monsters.

Normal service will be resumed shortly.

The bedtime ballet……

…is in reality more of a fight.

This is about children by the way…

Yes.  I know it’s a bit warm.  And yes, I know it’s light outside.  But for heaven’s sake, surely after being up since silly o’clock small children with busy lives and full tummies should feel the need to go to bed, and sleep.

Not want to get into each others bunks, spill water, need their sleeping bags (sleeping bags!!) and generally feel the need to bang and crash around until I have to steam up-stairs and play the evil mummy card.

I’m no fun when it gets to this point, no eye contact or kisses or kind words, just stern admonishments that they should GET BACK INTO BED.  All totally lost on them the minute I close the door.  My almost three year old is currently over-tired and shouting for the kids who live across and up the road…maybe he hopes they’ll come and save him from evil mummy who keeps making him get back into bed….

Don’t they know I have to write a blog, do some dance practice, make a Mucha inspired headdress for the Etsy shop, do some more dance practice, think about how I’m going to cobble together a costume for Sunday’s performance at Hipnotic (for which I need to practice some more, did I mention that?)

I think I’ll go and eat some chocolate and hope they don’t smell it.