As Winter wanders away….

…I am feeling so much brighter and happier.  I do dislike the greyness and general coldness of winter, and to be honest, if I won the Lottery I would probably buy another home somewhere that was warm and sunny.  Why buy another home and not just relocate?  Because I do love the UK bizarrely.  I’d just like it to be warmer and sunnier…

As it was half term last week I did some tidying up in the garden and my next thoughts should what I’ll try and grow (and most likely fail at) in pots in the garden this year.

As last week was a busy one with the children generally I didn’t get a huge amount done, but I did just about complete a necklace that I was embroidering (you’ll get a proper picture once it’s all finished) and I got some fabric flowers made. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with them yet…..

Once I’ve decided what I’m doing with them I’ll let you know..

And in dance news, well, I’m working on something for my solo at Hipnotic in March, will be tweaking and honing what my Tribal ladies and I will be dancing to at the same event, drilling my learning disability class in readiness for their performance in May, practicing with Covert Bling for the upcoming performances with them, researching what I’m going to do in my new fitness and drills class and start teaching my daughters Primary school class a (hopefully) simple folklore/fakelore dance as this term they are learning about ancient Egypt.  That should be enough to keep me out of trouble….

Picture of Santa

My son (aged three) has gone though a milestone I wanted to share.  This week he drew a picture of Santa.  In fact he has drawn multiple pictures of Santa.  What’s fabulous about them is that I can see they are a picture of someone.  To be honest they mostly look like Mr Tickle but I am loving the fact that he can now articulate more fully what is in his mind rather than it being a random scribble that to him looks fabulous and to me looks like random scrawl.

Santa has made an impact on him this week – we’ve been to two toddler group parties where Santa visited – the first was a pretty poor representation (although well meaning so I mean no disservice) and the second was a fabulous example of an amply proportioned man in a bushy beard and moustache with equally opulent costume, glasses and a cheery demeanour.  I recall being scared witless by my first encounter with Santa (when I was in Infants School at 3 years) and although my son’s general exposure to the man in the red suit has been less than favourable (understandable as per my own recollection) he has obviously been able to  compute his experiences this week and make meaningful marks.

To those of you who do not have children this will seem like a meaningless, boring and petty observation, but I can assure you; the point at which a child can meaningfully portray an image that they hold in their mind and that they can convey onto paper so that an adult can interpret the marks is a wonderful and meaningful one.


The body incorporates the head, but the head has eyes and a smile, arms have hands and fingers and has legs (no feet but I can forgive that!)

I hope that Santa/Mr Tickle makes you smile.  🙂


Busy waiting for Santa…..

…or rather, ensuring the small people in my life have some pressies from Santa to open on the big morning : )

My last post talked about the playing around with photography I was going to do and I did manage to get a couple of hours playing around.  Trying to use the natural light available to me is something of a mission – I live in an old Victorian terraced house and the way they are built pretty much ensures very little light seeps in through the windows.  There are certain times of day in particular rooms where it’s great for a couple of hours, but that very much depends upon the weather outside too – and this being the UK it can be a a bit dismal this time of year.

First up is the photo of a carnelian bead and glass lamp bead bracelet I made recently.  Not perfect but better than some of my other photos recently.  What I should have done (and will do in future) is tape a piece of semi-transparent paper to the window that was offering me the natural light.  That will hopefully get rid of the glare on the bottle.  The pretty perfume bottle is a nice way to show off the bracelet don’t you think?  I’m a bit distracted by the gap I can see in the frame that’s sitting behind the bottle too, so I shall have to make sure that doesn’t happen again either.

Next up is a picture of a choker.  Now, the colours in this are a little off, so I’ll have to tweak the photo again I think before putting it up on Etsy.  They’re only slightly off – the red flower is not quite as bright as this in real life, and the fabric is slightly more red than it appears here.  And I’m distracted by the marks on the bust – I had thought I’d cleaned her up but in my keenness to get some photos done I obviously managed to overlook these.

Something that I’ve been puzzling over is how dreadful my Macro photos look with this camera – I just can’t get close to an object.  After Googling the problem I discovered it’s one of the failings of the camera (as is the over-saturation of reds) so in the next photo I tweaked it with Picnik to get the look I was after:

Pretty don’t you think?  I’m going to play around with that little option a lot more – I love those arty shots of an item that have something in the foreground in sharp focus and everything looking all soft and fuzzy….

Last up is a pretty straight-forward detail shot of a second choker.

So although this may not look like much really, I think it’s a pretty good jump forward with regard to my photography.  In fact, I was seriously considering buying a new camera but realised that in the end it had to be down to me, and that as I can’t actually afford a swanky new camera I ought to just get down to being a little more clever with it.

What I don’t have a shot of is the light-box I made with a card-board box, some gaffer tape and parchment paper, but the next time I have a free weekend (not until after Christmas now) I shall be playing around with that.  So I’d best get to making some small items that can be placed inside it!

Akasha, Queen of the Damned headdress

Little by little I’ve been working on a headdress for a customer who is attending a Hallowe’en party as Akasha Queen of the Damned.  If you’re unsure of what I’m talking about then you can see some stills from the film here and the headdress I’m doing a version of is the one with pendants and coins on it.

It’s been one of those projects that has required a lot of looking at pics from the film, has required a few coats of thinking about, and it’s underway and should be finished by the end of the week.

As usual, early on in the process it looked pretty ….bleak…. then I found some pendants that totally rock and even though they’re not actual Turkoman pendants (as they would have used up the whole of the customer’s budget before I was even started) they’re doing a damn fine job of looking cool.

And because I’m rubbish at documenting what I’m working on as I do it there are no pics yet, but you can be absolutely sure that once it’s done the pictures will be here.

Weekend Tasks

This weekend I shall be child-free so I really need to organise myself.  My under-stairs cupboard is full to bursting with *things*.  Some of it needs to be sold but isn’t suitable for Etsy really, so Ebay is the way to go.  So I need the motivation to get it all out, get it photographed, sized where appropriate, and get listings written up ready to go onto Ebay.  This includes fabric, lace, jewellery, clothing, beads and braids.  If I have time some of it might get made up into stash packs that I can sell.  People around me are very generous and let me have all manner of things that they think I might be able to use.  Being a magpie means that I am sometimes unable to say no when I should but I figure that everything is useful one way or another.  But as the children’s toys and books are increasing with every birthday (and of course Christmas is coming up) I need to both make some extra money and create some space for their things.

Other items need the same treatment (photos and descriptions) but can be listed in my Etsy shop and I like nothing better than having a whole heap of draft listings ready to go so that I can add a new item every day over a period of time.

Then of course there’s the task of gathering up everything that is already listed on Etsy and making sure it’s all in one place instead of there being things all over the house in various drawers, bowls, boxes and decorating my bedroom.  This would actually be one of the more useful tasks to complete this weekend so maybe that one should be first on the list as it’s probably the easiest to complete in a short space of time.

Next there are all of the things that I stash as supplies for making new stuff – I really need to remind myself of what I’ve got and see if I can be inspired….or at least remind myself of what I have, week out things that could be sold as they are or dismantled and sold for supplies if I think I may not be able to use them.

Once I’ve done all of this I need to get on with finishing a custom Tribal belly dance bra and belt and get on with a custom headdress order.  So I’m not sure that I’ve got enough time to do everything over the weekend, but I’m certainly going to make a good attempt at it.  Probably fuelled with coffee and chocolate cake to keep me going!

Oh, and let’s not forget that I have a Belly Dance event, Hipnotic, to run and dance at on Sunday night

September Sneak Peek

So it’s been a long time coming but here are pics of some new items made since the school holidays ended.  The new term of school means earlier nights for the children and more motivation for me to get going with new ideas.

Autumn colours are always a big favourite of mine anyway, and are so fitting at this time of year.

First up, a bead headdress

Next up, a button brooch

Thirdly a necklace

And last of all for tonight another headdress, this time one with lots of extra bling and ornamentation taken from my extensive stash

I’ll be adding them to the Etsy store momentarily so you’ll further pics and better description there.

Tonight I started work on a purple headdress that will have many many peacock feathers once it’s done, but tonights job was to get some extra embellishments sewn onto a medallion.  I’ll keep you posted!