Sunday, 28 March 2010

New terrariums

It really is becoming an addiction. I gave myself an hour or two off writing last night and made another one. The jar is a lovely, chunky greenish glass one from an Emmaus in France, but I made the little Fimo houses.

My best friend Nina likes my terrariums, but had warned me never to make her one, as she kills every plant she owns. So for her birthday I made her a knitted terrarium; one she'd never be able to kill!

Grey wool for the stones, a circle of brown felt for the soil, a circle of green felt (to sew the knitting to!), then three mounds of knitted moss. I also combed some lovely 100% wool yarn I had to make the wispy stuff.

Folksy Friday *26th March 2010*

Sorry that my third Folksy Friday is late! I've had a week from hell in work, super busy. I've also just bought a house, gone to see The Hidden Cameras, gone back to West Wales to visit family and pick up the car... and in the middle of all of that I'm writing my novel and planning a camping trip. Phew!

Theme this week is 'music'.

Okay, from top left:
Music manuscript badge.
Tiny little OOAK music shop. Cute!
Bugle necklace - everythign in this shop is tiny and brilliant!
Broken record necklace. Punky, I like this a lot. I'm inspired to make a wall hanging or canvas with broken records. Maybe for my new house (can't stop saying that!)
Pretty plectrum necklace. This lovely shop is worth a look too. Lush things there.
A volume knob brooch. Awesomeness. Turn it up!

Buy 'em quick before they go!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Blocked, not writer's block

Isn't it typical, the first day of my novel project and I can't write. I had been planning to write during my lunch hour in work, and then for a few hours at home. Yesterday I was in a staff away day at a hotel, and then I had yoga in the night. I would normally have had time after yoga, but I was tired and hungover after seeing The School and The Hidden Cameras on Monday night (links in my sidebar). Had a great night. It included getting lost, giving piggybacks, and way too much beer. I danced all night.

So, back to reality. I'm starting writing properly today. Lucky I gave myself those three 'get out of jail' cards!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Folksy Friday *19th March 2010*

Here’s my second Folksy Friday, and the theme this week has been inspired by a fab film: To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar. The theme is Red & Wild.

From top left:
Strawberry cake, polymer clay ring. It looks delicious. I love the little strawberries cut into slices!
Pattern for Bernard the fox. He is adorable.
I chose this one for the quote on the t-shirt. No other reason. No sirree. Didn’t even realise it was a handsome man modelling it. Nope, I never did!
Cute ninja!

A novel experiment

I am going to write a novel in 30 days. I know it sounds like a tall order (and it is) but I have a plan. I’ve sketched all the plot, characters and main details already; all I want to do in the 30 days I’m allotting myself is get the story down. A rough and ready first draft. I can concentrate on refining and re-writing once I’ve done that. I can’t leave work for a month, but I can leave everything else. I’ve written myself a contract. I’ve called it a Certificate of Promise; an agreement that I will promise to abide by the rules written on the document I have signed.
Here’s a bit from the certificate:
I will write 1,650 words every day for 30 days.
I will check my email only once every day, during work time only.
I will update my blog once a week only.
I will update Facebook via my blog and Twitter only.
I will update Twitter no more than once every day.
I will close my Folksy shop for the 30 days.
I will only watch one television programme per week during the 30 days.
I will not watch DVDs during the 30 days.
I will not play Xbox or Nintendo during the 30 days.
I will not miss out on sleep during the 30 days.
I will only listen to one playlist of pre-chosen songs during the 30 days.
The 30 days will start on Tuesday 23rd March, and end on Thursday 22nd April.
A night off may be ‘banked’ by writing that night’s 1,650 words the day before. This means writing 3,300 words.
Situations may arise whereby I cannot complete the allotted words; therefore I am allowed to pass on writing three times only. If a day is ‘passed’, then the end date of the 30 days shall finish as follows: 1 day passed = end date Friday 24th March; 2 days passed = end date Saturday 25th March; 3 days passed = end date Sunday 26th March.

I had to give myself some leeway: I’m still allowed to watch Glee; I’m still allowed to do Folksy Fridays; I’m allowed to listen to some music – I’ve made a playlist of songs that either put me in the mood to be creative, or directly inspire the story.

To make it all official, I’ve printed the Certificate out, and have sealed it in an inspirational book (Kirstie’s Witnesses by Sheenagh Pugh), then wrapped it in pages from a Dead Poet’s book (Tennyson) and tied it with blue cotton rope. It’s almost like a magick spell. As I was tying the knots, I tied in my intentions and loads of good energy. It’s now hanging on the wall where I will see it every morning when I wake up, and every night before I go to sleep.

So (apart from Folksy Fridays, and maybe the odd sneaky update) I will be offline until April 22nd. Wish me luck.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Welsh cakes

Here's my version. They're a little bit spicier than usual, but still delicious.

Here's my recipe for Welsh cakes

You will need:
450g SR flour
220g salted butter (diced)
Big pinch of salt
2 large free range eggs
150g granulated sugar
Handful of raisins or currants
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Rub the butter into the flour and salt until it resembles breadcrumbs
Stir in the sugar, raisins (or currants) and spices
Mix in the eggs with a butter knife, and combine until a dough forms
Knead for a few minutes on a floured surface
Roll out to about 1cm, cut into fluted rounds (must be a fluted cutter or you're breaking tradition!)
Heat a griddle or frying pan to a low heat and cook 1 cake as a tester - should take 2 minutes each side to get a little brown, and the middle should still be a little squishy
Cook all cakes for about 2 minutes each side and stack in towers on a cooling rack, the heat from the cakes continues to cook them to the perfect consistency
As soon as they are nearly cool, store them in a tin

They last for a good few days, but I guarantee they'll be eaten long before that.

Night sounds haiku

Night sounds heave and skim,
rattling cans through the swoosh
and blare of slow cars.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Folksy Friday *12th March 2010*

My first ever Folksy Friday. I don't know how I managed to escape seeing one of these before, but it's a brilliant idea. Most people who do a Folksy Friday choose a theme, and seeing as I've been putting magickal, fairytale, folkloric things for sale in my shop -I thought I'd use that as a theme. Magick.

Okay, from top left:
A lovely, chunky fairy necklace.
Beautiful handmade wands (I'm coverting the 'night sky' one. Hint hint).
Lovely pewter broomstick brooch, perfect for a witch with a hot date!
The most adorable baby dragon I've ever seen. I can't believe how reasonable priced they are aswell, they must take absolutely ages to make.
Runic Candlesticks from Treecycle. They look properly magickal, and so beautiful.
An exquisite hand-turned wooden dip pen, would be perfect for writing out spells in magickal ink.

Go and have a look at these fantastic items (before someone else snaps them up)!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Spell bottles

New things in my shop.

Click here to go and have a look.


Look at this lovely shop on Folksy: Treecycle.

Beautiful turned wooden things from a cool chap called Andy Beck (must be something to do with the name Andy, eh?)

Look at how beautiful his things are:

Loving the King's Son

A cut-up based on a poem of mine, a speech by Ariel, and sonnet 126 by Shakespeare.

King's son have I landed by himself;
onwards I still will pluck audit (though as thy sweet self grow'st
if nature, is to render stupid, it’s kind of proper).
An honest ache in place of thou, my lovely boy,
who in garments not a blemish,
but fresher than his fickle hour who hast by waning grown.
The pain o thou minion of his and therein show'st
thy lovers withering, left cooling of the air with sighs
in an odd keep, his treasure:
his forcing you to believe something (however resilient to attack)
realising, kicking yourself over and over because you’ve been
so at the moment,
but it’s alright. It’s good.
The places that break, ridiculously,
well it’s like toothache in your head.
This sort of delusion can do no harm that I can see.
The agony of knowing that your skill
may time disgrace and wretched minutes sovereign master,
as thou goest before: and, as thou badest me,
in troops I keep thee back,
in his pleasure!
He may detain, but not still have dispersed thee to his purpose
'bout the isle.
Thy power dost hold time's fickle glass, toothache when your wisdom teeth come through.
I’m nursing a fracture (sustaining delayed) and answered must be,
and his quietus this sad knot.
O tear, o rot,
in your mind always heal –
and grow back stronger.
The angle of the isle and sitting in his arms to kill,
yet fear this.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

My man's heart

My man opened his arms
to hug me,
I reached over
and punched a hole in his chest.
He gasped and watched
as I pulled out his heart,
dripping blood and as big as my fist.
That's all I ever wanted anyway.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Coed Hills

For Nina’s birthday, we went to Coed Hills rural art space. She’s very good friends with the artist who runs it. Click here to see the whole set on Flickr.

Lots of it reminded me of Robert Holdstock’s Mythago cycle. Especially these two sculptures:

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