Monday, 30 September 2013

Am I getting Old? Or Am I Just an Idiot Magnet?

I ask this question because I feel that either I must be getting old or more intolerant of those around me or perhaps it is that the attitude of people is changing and not for the better either.

I particularly notice this when I am driving my car and taking my children to school.  Now I am, I hope, a considerate driver who tries to give way and make allowances to keep the traffic moving along the road, someone who doesn't drive very fast especially with lots of children walking along the pavements as children are unpredictable and will suddenly step into the road without looking, Ive seen it all too often.  However, is there any excuse for adults who suddenly take it into their heads to walk straight in front of your car without any warning.  Ive had this happen on an increasingly frequent basis lately.  A couple of weeks ago I drove across a mini roundabout and just reached the exit road and an elderly man was just there walking across the road, a moment earlier he had been on the pavement, he didn't look at all just stepped out.  Dear readers, two yards away was a zebra crossing!!  I, luckily was only doing about 15 miles an hour and managed to brake and thankfully nothing was coming behind me so I didn't receive a prang in the rear but what if there was, my car could have been a write off, my children injured and myself and all for the moment that it would have taken this guy to stop and think. 

I did, to my shame, yell out of the window at him that he could have used the crossing but there was no reaction at all.  Deaf probably! 

I have had mothers march onto zebra crossings in front of me dragging their children with no warning, no stopping to look.  The children have it drummed into them at school about road safety but what happens when they grow up, do they suddenly forget those lessons, well I didn't!  And Im sure Im not the only one who hasn't forgotten.  I strongly believe that all pavements should have railings fitted along the side of them to prevent people crossing at any but the designated places. 

This morning I came around a bend in the road and there was a man, in his mid twenties I would imagine, calmly sauntering across the road, again not even looking to see if traffic was coming, again only a couple of yards from the zebra crossing.

Is it something in the sea air?  Does it effect some people more than others?

Again I find it when the holidaymakers arrive in the summer, they seem to leave their brains at home.
One Saturday morning I was driving along the main road into town, there was a large van parked on the side of the road that I was heading along so as there was also a lot of traffic coming the other way we had to give way.  I got to the van was just going to head around it when a car started coming the other way so of course I had to stop, only to see the car behind me had tried to overtake me whilst I was trying to overtake the van!!!  He then had to reverse back behind me and had the cheek to wave his arms at me and yelling for me to get out of his way.  I pretended I couldn't see him but had a good laugh watching him trying to squeeze his car back into the little space he had left.  Needless to say he didn't try it again.

Ive had drivers reverse onto the pavement in town whilst trying to park their cars and nearly run my daughter over and when Ive complained one woman told me my daughter shouldn't have been on the pavement!!!!  Work that one out if you can.

And someone, please tell me why is there never a police car in the vicinity when these things take place, do these people go on getting away with it time and time again?

I do feel that in general the attitude of many people is becoming more selfish, everyone seems to be in such a hurry, to be constantly staring at their mobile phone, not to be aware of what is happening around them. 

I refuse to become like that, I shall continue to drive my way, to give way, to not be in a rush and to help people whenever I can, and I suppose no matter what I do I am always going to be that great big IDIOT MAGNET!!!!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Back In the Loop and the Dodgy World of Craft Fairs Bites Back

Sorry I haven't been around too much over the last week, I think moving my mum took more out of me than I realised.  It wasn't so much the physical side of things, carrying boxes etc, I didn't have too much of that to do to be honest, it was more the emotional side of it.  I wasn't prepared for the fact that I would get upset to see my mum leaving what had been my home before I got married and left but also the fact that my dad had passed away in that house.  I have to admit to having tears that day.

So today I am up and feeling much more with it and back in the loop of posting and keeping up the comments on my Facebook page otherwise it will disappear into the Ether and I wont be getting the air space I need to keep going.

You may remember a while back I voiced my feelings about the world of craft fair organisers and how it can sometimes backfire on you.  Well, sadly for myself and many of my fellow crafters, it has.  For legal reasons I am not allowed to name names on here as it may be considered slander although if I had my way then the woman and her company would not be allowed to have any privacy at all!!

Back in early March I paid £30 for a table at an event to be held at the Winter Gardens in Weston Super Mare in Somerset, advertised as being in the Grand Ballroom, on two levels with an ice rink and Santa's Grotto. 

A couple of weeks ago a fellow crafter pointed me in the direction of this woman's page on Facebook and suggested I may like to read the posts there, I was horrified to read that many people were demanding their money back for fairs that had been arranged in Taunton and cancelled without warning the day before, no monies refunded. 

The next day a badly spelled message appears on the page informing us that the lady organiser was in hospital and was unwell, okay but could that same person not have taken her friend or relative's work papers and telephoned all those concerned?  Apparently not!

A few days later and another message appears this time supposedly from the lady's parents and informing us that she was being kept in hospital for another week, please bear in mind that at the same time several very reliable people had seen this lady outside her daughter's school, laughing and joking and doing the school run without a care in the world, someone who was having a nervous breakdown, NO MOST DEFINITELY NOT.  Ive had one years ago and believe me you don't get over it and feel that much better immediately.

Alarm bells ringing I then emailed and requested information as to whether the fair in November was going ahead.  I received a fairly abusive email back, again supposedly from her parents, rudely informing me they had no idea and In shouldn't be taking that tone with them!!  I still don't understand how my polite email could have been considered offensive.

I then telephoned the venue and was told by the events team that they hadn't been able to get hold of this lady, all she had done was make a provisional booking and no monies had ever been paid for the event and as such the venue themselves were now cancelling the event because of other genuine people wanting to book it.  So I posted this information under the event on this lady's business page, and on other facebook pages informing people about it.

It turns out that I am only in the minority of people who have lost money to this scammer and also some people had paid for about six or seven fairs with her and not had any refunds on any of them and all of them had been cancelled without warning!

As I said I am unable to name names but suffice it to say if you come across a page using the title of a little green plus yellow coloured bird and the word events after this, don't touch em with a bargepole, one very dodgy and very very badly behaved person!!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

One Happy Bunny

I am, the one who is a very happy bunny!  My new spinning wheel arrived this afternoon and after a few sweaty hand moments putting it together we were off.  I always worry Im going to break something vital when I have to "do it myself" on furniture and other things.  Im sure Im not alone in this fear.  Its great that everything can arrive flat pack these days because of course its a cheaper way of doing everything and means its more accessible to the world.  Perhaps I should start putting together "do it yourself" jewellery kits?  What do you think?  Just add tools!

Here are a couple of pics of the new wheel...

And that's me, for those of you who don't know what I look like.
On the jewellery front I am looking forward to designing some new pieces over the next few months, sheet copper is on the menu, some new files and a larger vice I think to hold the bracelet mandrel.  I also need to invest in a neck mandrel to fashion some necklaces out of sheet copper.  So lots of ideas, exciting times. 
Have a great rest of the evening.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

There's no rest for the Wicked!!

Yesterday we moved my mum into her new bungalow, well new to her anyhow.  Its a lovely spot where mum has gone to, a lovely small community of 12 bungalows for the elderly, all joined together and with manageable gardens and great security.  I feel happy that she is settled there and when I rang her this morning to see if she had slept well as its always difficult in a new environment, she said she felt as though she had lived there for years, very settled and relaxed.  We are going shopping on Wednesday for new curtains as hers don't fit the windows very well. 

We arrived there at 8.30 a.m. and the removal guys came not long after, it took 3 trips with their little van to get everything down to the bungalow but all was done by 1.15 and after a fish and chip lunch we decided to sort out all the bags and boxes and unpack and put everything away.  By 4.30 we were done, albeit not in the order that mum would like but it was all put away.  Today, I think she has spent the day sorting out her kitchen cupboards to put everything in the order that she likes.  There is an amazing lot of storage there, a very large walk in store cupboard, an airing cupboard and a large shelved cupboard in the hall. 

So today I have been catching up on my household chores, trying not to notice the stiff joints and aching muscles after so much carrying and lifting yesterday, and the ironing is done, beds changed, and we had a trip out to Weston super Mare to do a little shopping too.

Tomorrow I am going to do the fortnightly food shop.  In a quest to save money I have taken to doing my shopping in Lidl, its really reasonable and very good quality food, we eat much better than if we bought Tesco or Asda's value brands.  I am also ordering the new spinning wheel tomorrow and looking forward to its delivery on Tuesday.

I have listed lots of old knitting pattern magazines and books on ebay this afternoon in a bid to clear some space in my poor bookcase.  It has been groaning at the seams with my collection and I don't use all of them to be honest so time for some to go.

Off to put my feet up now with the antiques roadshow so I hope you all have a pleasant evening.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Moving Mother and The Excitement Mounts

Well its been a few days since my last post and I apologise to you all for not having kept up a daily blog for the last week but its been hectic here.  Tomorrow my elderly mum is moving into a small bungalow.  For the last 35 years she has lived in a 3 bed semi with a very large garden and as she will be 80 next year its all got a bit much since dad passed away 3 years ago.  This new bungalow is on the same estate that she lives on now and is a small complex specifically for older people.  Mum already knows many of the people who live there and its only a couple of roads away from her current house so will be perfect.  It has a much smaller garden but still enough for mum to enjoy growing her flowers and summer veg.  Its within walking distance of the local shop and post office and not far from the bus stop, so all in all just perfect.  I know she is feeling a little wobbly about moving but I know once she is settled in that all will be well. 

I have been busy helping her out yesterday and catching up with my own chores today so I wont be behind when we get back tomorrow as I know its going to be a busy day and I don't want to leave mum until I know she is settled and all unpacked, bed made up etc. 

And, on Tuesday I shall be taking delivery of my lovely new spinning wheel.  After much research I have decided on the Kromski Prelude which is a really good wheel and just perfect for my needs.  I have spent the afternoon carding some gorgeous Gotland fibre
so there wont be much jewellery making happening on Tuesday!!
Once next week is out of the way and I have settled down to my new wheel and taken mum shopping for new curtains etc, I shall be back in the workroom to finish off my latest piece which is a one off piece using beautiful Agate stones.
I will post some pictures on my Facebook page when its done.
Have a good evening everyone.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


You might well be wondering what on earth is she talking about today, well....

The sudden drop in temperature has created a craving in me for chocolate and carbohydrates.  I think we may be in for a cold winter folks and a long one at that.  I read an article in one of the national newspapers last week that informed me that we are now in a situation of "global cooling" instead of the usual story of how the ice cap is melting and putting us all in danger, now last year apparently the ice cap didn't melt as much as usual thus keeping temperatures down and explaining why we have had so much cold weather last winter.  Does this mean that all the work we have done in the world to prevent the ozone layer from being damaged any further has helped? or does it just mean that nature is balancing itself out as it usually does when we humans have interfered too much. 

Anyhow I am sat here eating chocolate peanuts as I am writing this because I had a huge craving for them this morning.  I refuse to put the central heating on yet, it doesn't go on until late October or early November at Pure Inspiration towers because Im just too flippin mean to line the pockets of the gas company anymore than I have too.  The children can be seen wandering around in layers of clothes and wrapped in blankets until I give in.  The chickens are fluffed up outside, the guinea pigs are eating more than normal and the dogs are giving me reproachful looks as if its my fault that its getting colder.  For compensation I did tuck the cats up last evening with a blanket over them before I went to bed and judging by the position of the blanket when we got up this morning they hadn't moved much at all in the night.

The other part of the title refers to the world of craft fairs.  Since starting to sell my jewellery and now that my girls are older I have started selling my products at craft fairs locally and a little further afield.  I have found at these fairs that I have got to know some really lovely people and some not so lovely ones as is the way of humanity.  Its always a bit of a risk when you sign up to do a fair because of several reasons

1.  Does the person organising the fair have experience in their field?
2.  Has the venue been chosen with the needs of the sellers in mind? i.e. electricity points, ease of access for loading and unloading, and of course these days, wi fi access?
3.  Has the event been well advertised?

There is nothing worse than sitting all day in a draughty hall only to find that no one turns up because no advertising has been done.   Believe me Ive been there and its no fun.  Its probably worth checking the above points before considering booking a venue and if possible find out from other crafters who have attended previous events at the same location as to whether it was a success or not.

In many cases you are required to pay for your table or pitch up to six months in advance as competition can be pretty fierce for spaces.  What guarantee do you have therefore if the event is cancelled that you will receive a refund for your fees.  The answer is none and really there is nothing that can be done legally to retrieve £30 or £50 that might have been paid out.  No receipts are usually given for such bookings and no signature from the organiser so you are stumped. The legal fees alone would wipe out any monies you would get returned to you and you would end up out of pocket to a large sum so its best to just let it go.

For some large business' this probably isn't too much to lose but for the small, independent crafter it can be a large chunk of money not to mention the loss of the venue which you were hoping would have brought in enough money to cover your pitch costs and more to give you funds for new materials and everyday living. 

Then there is always the question of whether the organiser can be trusted, I have seen too many cases where the money is taken the venue is promised and then nothing materialises and the organiser disappears with everyone's cash.  I have not experienced this first hand I have to say but it happens a lot.  Luckily word does get around and once you get onto the craft fair circuit you do tend to get warned off certain people so know not to fall prey to anything similar.

So points to consider for those of you thinking about getting into craft fairs.  I enjoy my fairs and do so with the help of family who keep an eye on the girls for me whilst I go. 

Coming up to Christmas I have quite a few fairs booked and am hoping they will be profitable, with the majority of them I know the organisers and most of the people who will be attending so am confident that everything will be fine and I shall keep you all posted as to how things go.

Have a good rest of the day everyone, till next time.

Sunday, 15 September 2013


The title says it all really, but said with tongue in cheek, I just cant believe the girls are heading into their third week back at school already.  The days just seem to fly by so quickly, I know I am busy.  I have a craft fair booked for 2nd November next and I do need to stock up on my jewellery pieces as the last fair did clean me out a bit.  Things are selling well at the two retail outlets I have so I am getting low on stocks.  The knitting and weaving part of my business is doing well too with customer orders for the fingerless gloves.  So my days are taken up.

This morning after finishing the European ironing mountain, I decided to go and tackle the ever flourishing jungle that is my garden.  I can only dig for about an hour at a time as I have some osteoarthritis in my spine and after that time it is too painful to continue.  I managed to clear half of one bed and put in some pinks and orange lilies and took the clippers to the long rush grass that insists on growing around the garden. 

I have a pile and a half of waste to take to the tip again but as our glorious council has closed our recycling centre for some of the week that will have to wait until Thursday. 

I have just finished weaving an alpaca scarf which is now on my Wits End page, here is a picture of it, Im rather pleased with its softness and handle.
And now, its off to cook dinner for two poor starving children who of course haven't had much to eat today, :)
Have a good evening everyone

Friday, 13 September 2013


Well last evening my dear gas boiler decided it was going to go on the blink again.  Once again I had no hot water, I rang my gas supplier as my meter was not working either and ended up being told to ring the emergency gas line, I just wanted to know if there was a fault with the gas supply in the area and ended up with someone reading a list of computerised questions about my meter and was it because I hadn't paid the bill!!! Flippin Cheek!  Eventually he agreed that someone would come out and check the gas supply from the road to the house.  After about an hour out came a little man with tools and proceeded to dismantle the gas meter, no everything was fine, into the house looked at the boiler, nope it was definitely the boiler and the pressure was a little low, well we knew that otherwise we would have gas wouldn't we and then turned into a complete drama queen and announced that he had completely turned off the gas at the meter and the boiler because it wasn't safe to use in case we exploded.........................................  Yes, Ill leave that thought with you all, bear in mind at no time had gas been smelled around the meter or the boiler.  Talk about over reacting. 

Then I rang my boiler repair man who laughed when I told him what had happened, he said it was safe to turn the gas on again and try to see if the boiler would start up again, which of course, this morning, it did.  I am not sure if my repair man is going to be able to come out today to look at it and not sure if he will come out tomorrow.  So luckily we all had hot showers this morning and I got the washing up done.  Strange it always seems to happen at about the same time of an evening.  Hmmmmm.  Now I cant decide whether to get the man out just to check everything is okay or whether to leave it and see what happens. 

Well if the boiler needs repairing that will be my spinning wheel fund gone, I am trying to save up for one, perhaps I should frisk the dog again.  I think you may recall a little while ago that I mentioned that once a coin had come out of our dogs coat.  You see, Mad dog No 2 is a border collie with a very thick, very curly kind of coat that needs shearing regularly.  We gave him a bath one summers day a couple of years ago and out of his coat fell this little coin about the size of a 5p.  Under examination it turned out to be an American cent which was minted just after the Civil War in America, it was in really good condition too so we checked on the internet and found it was collectable and put it up for sale on ebay, netting $75 for it, about £45 at the time.  We were well pleased with that.  Now we have a standing joke about frisking the dog when we are short of cash.  He had been in the sea that morning on the beach, so we can only assume it got washed into his coat. 

More recently I had fun when I sneezed and my nose stud shot out and landed in his coat, that took some finding, he did not look amused either.

So this morning I have been plying up two small balls of Shetland yarn spun on my drop spindle and have now got a completed ball of yarn to use for knitting or weaving

This is a Turkish spindle and as you spin you wind the yarn over and under the arms.  When the spindle is full the shaft slides out, the arms pull apart and you have a complete ball of yarn.  Clever.
I also have a Golding ring spindle that I use a lot, head on over to to see what I mean.  I will point out that I bought mine some years ago when prices were a lot lower and it is gorgeous and has worn so well as its had a lot of use. 
Sadly once one becomes addicted to fibre there is little you can do about it, you just have to feed that addiction regularly.
Have a good day all and hope its not raining too much where you are.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

My New Toy and Other Things

Today I took delivery of a new toy.  A steel bracelet mandrel.  For those of you who don't know a mandrel is a form or shape around which metal or wire is fashioned.  In this instance I can shape very thick wire into a bangle and use my chasing hammer or nylon hammer to harden the wire and form the shape and size of the bangle.  I spent a happy couple of hours playing this afternoon.

I also, hurray, hurray, finished my submission for the Art Jewelry Magazine design challenge.  I have photographed and submitted my pictures to the editor but am bound by the rules of the design challenge not to publish any pictures on my blog or page until after 11th October this year soooooooo you will have to wait until then.

Aside from that I have been dealing with tired daughters, one is finding her new school regime a bit taxing especially with all the walking around from class to class and the more difficult lessons and the other one is feeling a bit stressed about her coursework.  I wish it was possible for them to get more sleep in the mornings but we have to be up at about 6.45.  With three of us needing the bathroom in the morning and my bathroom being the size of cupboard its not an easy routine. 

The mad dogs and I went for a charge up the beach.  Mad Dog No 2 is still limping somewhat after straining his tendon again a couple of weeks ago but is improving.  I think his was more of a plod rather than a charge this morning, but it was so lovely down there, the holiday makers have all gone home and the beach is ours again! 

Right, off to bed, Im tired tonight and its going to be an early one and by the way my bottom molar is feeling I think Im going to have to call the dentist tomorrow, I think I need a filling!!!!

Monday, 9 September 2013


Good afternoon.  Well its been a weird couple of days really.  The weekend just flew by and I couldn't believe how busy Ive been.  Lots of catching up on chores, the house really still looks like we've had an explosion but work comes first so it will have to wait till later.

This morning I went to do the food shop, decided to try and save some money so I went to Lidl today and yes came out feeling rather pleased that I hadn't spent as much as I would of done in the local Tesco's but still with the necessary tonnage to fill up No 3 and No 4 daughters.  Despite having a cooked lunch at school each day they are still coming home, and I love this advert, "Hank Marvin" (starving).  If No 3 continues to grow the way she is Im going to have to get an extension built onto her mattress, her poor toes are sticking out from under the duvet as it is, can you get extra long duvets?  Then I suppose you would need extra long bedding too.  For now we are tucking a blanket around the mattress at the end of her bed to keep her toes from getting cold in the night.

So whilst shopping I treated myself to a jar of cockles.  I remember having these when on holiday as a child and still love eating them now.  My two girls really cant understand how I could eat them but I do enjoy them very much and I think shellfish is very good for you.  So cockle sandwich eaten and on with the blog.

I received an email this morning and decided to share this with everyone because it really worried me how clever it was.  I have a contact who helps to organise local craft fairs and is part of our local town's "Team" who do some amazing work on behalf of our town as volunteers, a really lovely person.  The email came with her email address, name, address and phone number.  It stated that she was on holiday in the Phillipenes and had had all her passport and everything stolen.  Then it went onto say that she couldn't leave the country, despite being issued with a temporary passport as she couldn't access her money for several days and had to settle her hotel bills and catch a flight so could I help her with a loan and could I email her as it wasn't possible to contact her by phone.

Me, being me was immediately suspicious and decided to telephone her home phone number whereon I discovered that she is not on holiday abroad but well and truly at home.  The lady in question informed me that she had now sorted this problem but that people were still receiving the email.  I was very pleased that she wasn't in trouble but it was very worrying that so much personal information was in the email.  How do people manage to extract this information despite us having virus control programmes, internet protection etc.  The email was very well written too in perfect English, nothing that would suggest that someone to whom English was a second language could have written it.  I can well see though how someone less on the ball might easily fall for such a con.  There are some very wicked people out there.

And finally as winter approaches I am beginning to believe my boiler has a mind of its own.  We have an instantaneous (think that's the right term), gas boiler that heats our hot water when you turn on the tap and does our heating too.  A good, solid old Worcester Bosch that never fails, except for this time of year when it has a funny five minutes.  Last July the same occurred as happened last evening.  I turned on the tap and although the boiler kicks into life it soon cuts out again and no hot water.  So out comes the instruction manual, trouble shooting page, reset button, flashing red lights, no hot water.  Man is phoned, promises to ring me back today to make appointment.  Half an hour later boiler is working again!!  I have noticed however that the gas supply light was not working at the time of the problem but then comes back on again.  We have no pilot light here so still unsure as to why this occurs, only thing I can think of is that the gas supply is temporarily interrupted (and yes I have paid the bill)!  So man cancelled, boiler working and all well with the world.

Right, off to do some proper work in the jewellery department now.  Have a good day all.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Family Life

I didn't get near the laptop last evening, it was being used by No 4 daughter.  Not for homework reasons that's for sure!!  So no post yesterday.  Today, being Saturday is house chores day.  Cleaning out chickens, guinea pigs and the house.  First this morning I got up about 8, having treated myself to a little lie in and then after breakfast got dressed and sorted out the hens, hosed down the back yard, tidied the garage, showered and re dressed after getting mites on me from the chicken house (bit of an ongoing problem there but not talking about it now cos it makes me ITCHY!!). 

Then decided to change the sheets on my bed, hoover the bedroom, dust the bedroom, pulled out the dressing chest and my mirror fell off, not broken thank goodness, its one of those you hang on a wooden stand, anyhow it smashed the base of an old china dog my grandmother gave me when I was younger.  She was born in 1890 and it had been a 16th birthday present for her, I think originally there were a pair but when granddad died and gran cleared out her house to go and live with my aunty she gave this one to me as a keepsake.  That was when I was 10, I am now 51!  I am gutted, I will try to glue it back together but I don't think its going to be that successful. 

I suppose Im quite sentimental really, Ive never thought of myself in that way and indeed when my husband died I certainly didn't hang onto his clothes or possessions.  I did what I thought he would have wanted and donated his clothes to charity with the proviso they went to another town quite far away as I didn't want to meet them walking down the street.  His possessions I sorted through and divided up between his two sons and our two daughters.  I felt that was the best way.  I have all the lovely cards he gave me and also two rings which I have now given to my two youngest daughters.  But as Ive got older I find it harder to let go of things, to clear out and seem to hold onto things in case they "come in useful".  I do feel I have to get stricter with myself as despite having a couple of massive sort outs this year my home is still cluttered with things I don't really need, e.g. an old t.v., digital box, old wires, connectors. 

I think when you have things have memories attached to them especially when those memories are of people from my childhood that are no longer with us.  When we are younger we think our family members are invincible, never have the concept in our minds that anything will ever happen to them.  Sadly my own children as many others have discovered know that parents do die but I was lucky enough to have my parents love and security for many years.

Talking of parents, I shall be relieved when my mum has finally moved, so far we have had two different moving dates and despite my attempts to pin her down to a day for me to go over and help her pack, she seems to have rallied an army of volunteers from her local neighbourhood to perform lots of little tasks to help out.  She rings me regularly to update me on all these developments so I guess its helping for me to just listen and make encouraging noises as needed.  I know she doesn't want me to have to do too much as she says I have enough to do with the girls, work etc. but I do feel I need to help especially with her being elderly now.  I drew the line at her dismantling an old wardrobe though and so she gave in and allowed a neighbour's husband to do the job instead and remove the pieces to the tip for her.

So life goes on here, now the girls are back at school we have settled back into our usual routine and its quite comforting really, hmmm another sign of getting old? 

Off to get lunch for ever growing children.  More soon.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Designs and Disappointment

As you may have seen from my Pure Inspiration page today, I have been chosen as one of five people worldwide to produce an item of jewellery using Quilling paper (the little narrow strips that are wound into spirals and circles to produce patterns and now jewellery), as part of Art Jewelry Magazine's challenge to produce jewellery from alternative materials.  I subscribe to the magazine, courtesy of my eldest daughter's generous birthday present, and was sent an email asking anyone to enter and I was chosen at random but wow, how lucky.  I am required to photograph my piece of finished jewellery and submit my photographs by 7th October.  The pictures will then be published along with the other four lucky applicants in the November issue of Art Jewelry. 

I am very nervous about this as I have never worked with this medium before and firstly had to watch some U tube videos to show me how to work the paper strips.  Now I have discovered I don't have any PVA glue in the house so its off to the shops tomorrow!  The glue is used to hold the spirals together.  I have to say also that the shapes that the paper makes has inspired me to design some new wirework pieces. 

Obviously I wont be able to put any pictures of the finished item up on my Facebook page until the magazine is published but once it is I will share them with you all.

The disappointment today came about because as you will recall I said yesterday that we wanted to move house and be closer to the girls' school, in order to do this I had to contact the mortgage company to request that I "Port" the mortgage, in other words, take it with me.  However due to the recent bank troubles they have tightened up their criteria that one needs to meet in order to do this and sadly I do not meet their criteria nor am I likely to.  As I pointed out to the underwriter, one obviously needs to prove one doesn't need a mortgage in order to get one!

So we wont be moving house and to be honest I don't know if Im disappointed or relieved.  Relieved that I don't have to dismantle my home and workroom and pack everything up and then set it all up again or disappointed that I don't have a choice.  Its nice to have a choice over things but the current financial situation in this country is making life very hard for lots of us.  I am at this moment in time counting my blessings for what I already have and hoping that in the future things may change.

Have a good evening everyone.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Viewings, Valuations and an Empty House

Today my two daughters returned to school, for Meggie now 14 a step up into year 10 and the serious start of her GCSE coursework years.  For Abigail, 11, her first proper day at the "Big School" into year 7.  I was so proud of both my girls this morning.  Proud of Abigail because I know although her tummy had lots of butterflies and she was so anxious about finding everything and coming home on the bus she got straight out of the car and headed off to find her friends.  Proud of Meggie because she was giving her sister lots of advice and encouragement and when they got out of the car the words "come on squirt"  were I think a big help.  Here they are in their new shirts looking very smart.
I had to swear not to put this on Facebook!  Well it isnt really, only in my blog. 
When Abigail was 5 and she started going to the village school we moved from our house in Burnham on Sea, out to the village of Berrow.  Now we are thinking of moving back into the town.  This house is lovely, in a lovely spot, close to the beach, nice garden, enough room but we are out of the way and you do need a car.  So today I have been to view a couple of town properties.  I never realised just how many little back streets and terraces there were in the town.  I saw one very lovely, large, old Victorian terrace house with lots of room, a smaller garden and a really cute attic room with a ladder up to it, not great for me to climb up and down but as its off one of the bedrooms I can just see the girls loving it for a den.  Then I went to see a "cottage" property tucked away at the back of a couple of rows of houses, beautifully renovated, BUT, the garden is overlooked by about five other houses and the closest I could park is about 30 yards away in the street that the pathway leads off from for the house.  I can just see having to not only fight for a parking space but offloading shopping and hauling it up the pathway to the cottage.  Upstairs there were two bedrooms and a lovely little bathroom under the eaves, downstairs an open plan lounge and kitchen and thats it.  A small porch but no other rooms. no workroom, no workspace.  Not big enough for all of us, just me yes but I have to consider the girls as well.
Do you know I drove home thinking how lovely my current house is and asking myself why do I really want to move?  My unsociable neighbour is one reason, he who bangs on walls violently if he feels the girls make too much noise.  Yet he who swears, shouts, screams and bangs doors in there when it suits him and are we expected to complain, no obviously we aren't.
Living right along the main road with the endless holiday traffic and fumes and noise is another, yet walk a few yards up that road and you are on the golf course and on the way to the most beautiful beach. 
We would be better off financially with a smaller mortgage and town properties are cheaper than out here in the village.  But then moving will be expensive but would release some equity from the property. 
I have a lot of thinking to do.  I have 3 agents coming out to value my property this week and will sit down then and decide which is the best way forward.