Friday, 31 July 2009

Sir Bobby

Sad news that Sir Bobby Robson passed away this morning. The main news agencies state how he will be best remembered for leading England to the 1990 World Cup Semi Final, however, it is Sir Bobby's enthusiasm, dedication, courage and passion which dominate fan tribute pages, and of course the fact that Sir Bobby Robson is a true football legend and a gentleman.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


Our holiday adventures have taken us to Northumberland to stay with R's parents and we are having a splendid time. Lots of wandering along coasts and hills, sketching and photographing, reading and snoozing, eating and chatting and today a visit to see R's Dad's amazing paintings!

We visited Holy Island at the weekend and the skies were spectacular; broad expanses of rolling clouds against a bright blue kept catching my eye and I'm looking forward to playing with those photographs. I've been a bit frustrated with my own painting and drawing over the last few months as several pieces lie unfinished or discarded but I'm determined to work out more time for it and have ideas for paintings with big skies. Sketching has been great fun and enthusing me to paint again, even if my attempt at a rock looked like a potato, I've at least lifted a brush and it felt great. A lot of the not painting time has been spent on my jewellery and I'm pleased to say I've had a few sales through Projeto Gallery so I can't complain!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Florence Friday

The cascading yellow roses from the Giardino dei Semplici, thousands of small but very full roses tumbled down a wall. I've put together this triptych just to give you a sense of the petite nature of these beautiful flowers.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

28 is Great

Yesterday I turned 28 and so far it's great!

School's out for Summer.
I've been treated by lots of lovely people to lots of lovely things.
The sun has come out this morning.
My new camera battery charger has arrived, without warning, at R's parents'!
We're going on holiday for weeks and getting to see many fabulous people we haven't seen in months.
We'll be on the beach, in the sea, up the mountains, round and possibly in the Lakes!

So to share the joy I'm having a giveaway! Just comment on this post letting me know what your favourite item from my shops is, when we get back from holidays I'll pick a comment out of the hat and the item is yours!

Check out my:

Jewellery on Folksy

Photographs on Folksy and Artfire

See you all soon!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

FREE Verified Artfire Account

Artfire's Free Ride program is offering the chance of FREE Verified Account for LIFE! Very exciting! Some readers may know that I've set up on Artfire and have been very impressed, especially since the new style Fusion studios were launched a few weeks ago. I've been planning on converting my free account to a verified account soon and now have a chance to win one for me and one for one of you!

An Artfire Verified Account costs £7.34 a month with no hidden extra costs and this is what you get:
click on table for clearer view from Artfire

To be in with a chance to win a FREE Verified Account for LIFE all you have to do is sign up for a Verified Account with Artfire and, when 12 people sign up through my referral I'll be awarded a free account for me and one to award to the friend of my choice (or a random generator's choice!). Only the Verified Accounts set up in the next 30 days with my name as referrer count, go on, you know you want to!

You can sign up here .

The £7.37 a month is equivalent to listing approximately 36 items on Folksy, before the commission kicks in and without taking re-listing fees into consideration. With all the extra features this makes sense to me and I like the fact that I can know straight away what I'll be paying each month rather than sitting down with a calculator adding up 20p fees and working out commission on EVERY separate listing! I've enough to do in a day without faffing with that!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Florence Friday

Back to the Giardino dei Semplice today with a photograph full of lovely contrasts. The sun was out and it was a lovely warm morning as we walked around the gardens, however, the sky swiftly darkened, lightning flashed, thunder rumbled and we hid under a group of trees while the rain splashed for a while. It was difficult to capture the intensity of the dark thunder cloud against the still bright buildings and flowers.

I've now got just Monday left at school before the glorious summer holidays begin! We're heading up to Northumberland next week and I can't wait! R gets to do the introductions and tour guiding this time!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Lovely Blog

Thanks to Silver Moss Jewellery my blog is now officially lovely!
The Silver Moss range of jewellery is gorgeous with echoes of natural forms and hints of colour created using sterling silver, glass and gemstones.

The rules of the award are:
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.

3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So here is my list of fifteen lovely blogs:

Aileen Clarke Crafts
Amy Tavern

Bugs and Fishes by Lupin

For What is Chatteris?
Found on Folksy
Half An Acre
Kate Boyce
Laura Baillie Designs
Paperleaf Studios

See the Woods and the Trees
Skinner Studio

Friday, 10 July 2009

Florence Friday

Tomorrow we are heading to Ludlow to hopefully photograph St Laurence's Church and perhaps the castle. I still can't find my camera battery charger and am waiting until pay day before forking out for a new one. It is admittedly agonising not having my dSLR to hand, thank goodness R has let me use his, but I am looking forward to shooting on film tomorrow. Since leaving university and therefore leaving behind access to darkrooms I haven't used film much at all, however, we've finally found somewhere reasonably priced to develop black and white films so I'm going to give them a go and see how they come out. Then I will inevitably drift off into a reverie haunted by dark room fumes and start planning where we can create a dark room, under the stairs perhaps?! Although I'm still convinced there is a basement down there somewhere and must have a look under the carpet!

So, in anticipation of more images of sacred buildings I bring you an image of my clear favourite from Florence, the beautiful, quiet Santo Spirito.

I'm still working through my photographs from both trips to Florence and I think there is more to come from the Santo Spirito folder, as it is I've only processed one! I didn't get quite the image I wanted but I know a man who did. It is simply beautiful. The graffiti on the Duomo walls is right: Brunelleschi is a genius.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Spoilt Pig

Fellow Folksy seller Spoilt Pig makes the most fabulous resin and acrylic jewellery which I think are absolutely fab! Having made me roar my legs off laughing earlier I think she deserves a plug, so go check out her shop, buy everything and read her blog! Aren't her photographs ace?

31 Days to Build a Better Blog

I have mentioned the Problogger site before and a few months ago I worked through most of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge. As a new blogger it was hugely beneficial for me to consider the nature of what I want my blog to be and through the challenge I feel I've improved various aspects of my blog.

Darren Rowes explains his challenge:

"The idea behind this is simply to have a group of bloggers setting aside a month of their time to work at improving their blogs. While we all want to have better blogs sometimes it becomes one of those things that we’re going to do…. one day. I personally find that I improve (in all areas of my life) when I’m more intentional and set aside a specific time to make the improvements. That’s what this project is about."

If you are a newbie floundering in blog land or even an established blogger there is something for you in the challenge. The challenge involves a daily email with a short lesson and task to complete, however you can take the challenge at your own pace and complete the tasks to fit in with your schedule. There is no charge to participate in the challenge, however, if you wish to have a compilation of the teaching, challenges and extra material you can buy a workbook for about $20. I haven't purchased the book as I'm still working through some of the daily tasks which, by nature of the task, allow you to revisit the ideas and apply them to different posts.

Some of the my favourite lessons around writing effective posts include:

These are just three out of the 31 tutorials which you can find on the Problogger site or have sent directly to you when you sign up to the challenge. I've learned a lot, spoken to some fascinating people, read some brilliant blogs and highly recommend this challenge! Do let me know if you have been or become involved, I'd love to hear how you get on!

Friday, 3 July 2009

Florence Friday

Last year one of the highlights for both of us was climbing Filippo Brunelleschi's Duomo, an incredible experience as you find yourself inbetween the 'skins' of the dome itself, emerging into the dome to see the spectacular ceiling paintings by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari and then finally out onto the top ot the Dome itself. The views over the city are wonderful and this year we climbed Giotto's Campanile to see views of comparable wonder! Click on the picture for a scroll along view.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Creative Open Workshop's Handmade Fair

On Saturday R and I did our first handmade fair, sharing a table at the Creative Open Workshop in Birmingham's Custard Factory. It was a gentle introduction to fairs as host Francine was so welcoming and the other artists and crafters and the visitors all very friendly, complimentary and happy to chat. Unfortunately the day was quiet on the visitor side but we hope that all Francine's hard work in promoting the Custard Factory as the Arts centre in Birmingham will encourage more people to visit.

I still can't find my camera battery charger (it's been nearly a week and I'm getting desperate!) so thanks to Francine for these pictures! You can read her account of the day here and do check out the other fabulous sellers at the links below:
featuring the lively print design work of two sisters who print T-shirts, bags and cards. Sarah not only brought a huge range of gorgeous handmade jewellery and cards but made cupcakes too! Sarah screen prints beautiful floral designs and displayed a range of canvases, notebooks, cards, gift wrap, mirrors and badges. had a vibrant display of colourful leather bags, wallets and purses. is the brand new website of jeweller Rachel Warren who displayed her silver, glass and polymer clay work all colour themed with lovely blues, purples and teals.

Emma Blundell and Emma Thompson set up their table with their gingerbread men cards and beaded & charmed necklaces. They are currently working on their website.

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