Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 2000 Blog Party

I've had so much fun playing along with Marit's Top 2000 Blog Party this year

I was hoping to submit an entry for each of the seven days, but I ran out of time :(

Here's what I did get done - complete with links to each day of the party, so you can see what everyone else got up to too:

Day 1: December 25th #2000-#1840

#1953 : The Kinks - Dedicated Follower of Fashion
Day 2: December 26th #1839-#1518

Day 3: December 27th #1517-#1202

#1372 : Robbie Williams - Rock DJ (you might have seen this one on my blog before as I did it earlier in the year)
Day 4: December 28th #1201-#890

#995 : Ralph McTell - Streets of London
Day 5: December 29th #889-#574

Day 6: December 30th #573-#270

#330 : Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street 
(peeps from Collabor-ART will have seen this one already as I multi-tasked and used this for a circle journal entry over there)

Day 7: December 31st #269-#1

#123 : Jimi Hendrix Experience - All Along The Watchtower (this one will only make sense to fellow Battlestar Galactica fans)
Next year I'm hoping to play every day!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Remember that soldering iron I got for chrimbo?

It's fab!!

I'm still in need of a LOT more practice but I'm loving it so far

Here is my first attempt at a soldered pendant .....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A post Christmas round up ....

My blog has been very quiet recently, not because I've not been making stuff, but because most of the makings have been for Christmas pressies and the like ....

But now the big day is over I'm safe to blog

First of all, a book made for my friend Michelle when she came over from the States in October:

The skyline is Venice and the beads are Venetian glass

A couple of birthday cards:

More cards, Christmas ones this time (only made a handful for posting for immediate family and my bestest pal, I'm pretty rubbish at Christmas cards):

A bracelet for Jay's mum as she liked a similar one I made for myself a while back:

Yet more cards, these were for my kids and other half:

(Minecraft / Snoop Dogg / Pokemon)

(Breaking Bad / Battlestar Galactica)

A bracelet for my Secret Santa (I know she has opened up her gifts and she has already sussed they were from me, I think, so hopefully this is safe to blog):

I think I will make myself one of these, it's a good way to use up the leather I have spare from bookbinding, and it's a different twist on a charm bracelet that I haven't seen anyone else doing (although I'm sure someone somewhere must have already had the same idea!)

And I also made her a green man stencil:

I think that's everything ..... as you've already seen the papercut tree I made for my cousins (and yes thanks, to those who asked, they really liked it :) )

Festive round up complete!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Spoilt rotten!!

Squee!!  Airbrush!!!  squee!!!! Dremel soldering iron!!! Squeeeee!!!! Browncoats and Chicago Wolves badges!!   Squeee!!!! Serenity book!!!  DAB radio!!!  books!!!!  Haida necklace!!!  Secret santa bracelet!!!  Pom pom makers!!!!  I'm so spoilt!!!!!

Here's a closer look at my gift from Carmen's secret santa this year - a fabulous bracelet and ring from Brandy in the US of A - Michigan is one of my favourite states, thank you!

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Well, the weather outside is frightful, as the song goes, so I wanted something to do with the boys this afternoon.

I'd seen something on t'interwebs about glittery dinosaur ornaments, and that seemed like a fun thing to do, so I nipped out to the shops this morning to buy some cheap plastic dinos and got to work

Of course the kids didn't help at all because the X-Box was singing its siren song, but I enjoyed myself anyway :D

Step one, slather the dino with PVA glue:

Step two, dunk with glitter:

Step three, rewind, and realise that it would have been easier to screw the eye hook in first so that I had something to hold:

Rinse and repeat until you have three super sparkly prehistoric buddies:

And hang in tree:

and Pterry
This is most likely my last blog post before the big day, so Happy Christmas everyone! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hooray! Something I can blog!

It must look like I have been supremely un-productive recently, but I have been making stuffs, honest.  It's just that everything has been either Christmas related for people who read the blog, so I can't reveal until after the big day - or it's been for Marit's Top 2000 Blog Party, so I am waiting for that to start before I blog my contributions....

Finally, though, I've made something for my cousin, who I am pretty sure is not a blog reader, so I can put it on here :)

So, I was looking for something to buy Cousin Christine (and her hubby), and I saw this pretty papercut artwork in a local arts/crafts shop:

As you can see by the plug sockets next to it, it's not very big, and I thought £35 was a lot, given it was unframed - but I did think my cousins would like it ...... so I decided to make my own version

It took two nights and I now have very achey fingers, but I am really chuffed with the end result!

just getting started....
this was as far as I got on night one

I was getting pretty bored by this point :)
And here it is all framed and ready to wrap:

I hope they like it!

If not, I rather like how it looks on my fireplace with the little reindeers, I might just keep it :D

Friday, December 07, 2012

Rocking Your World Friday weeks 48-50

Despite the fact I have three weeks to cover, I think this will be a quick-ish one (although still as photo heavy as ever, you know me :) ), as I've had a perfectly nice few weeks, but not the most eventful....

The weather has turned very wintry all of a sudden- we don't have snow yet like some of you - but it's soooooo coooooold!  So that does limit our options a little for days out and stuff - and quiet pyjama days indoors with the central heating on become all that more attractive :)

We haven't been completely idle, though, in fact we did start the three week period with one of those days out that I've just been saying we don't do in the winter ....

We headed up to London (it was a Sunday = free parking = cheap day out! at least theoretically) on an art gallery spree.

First stop was Euston, and the Wellcome Collection, to check out Death: A Self-Portrait.

From the blurb : a fascinating exhibition showcasing some 300 works from a unique collection devoted to the iconography of death and our complex and contradictory attitudes towards it.  It was absolutely amazing.

Unfortunately they were super strict with the 'no photos' rule inside the exhibition, but there are plenty on that link above. And here's one I stole from t'interweb of the brilliant (and huge - am guessing they made that woman stand there for scale as she looks a little awkward :) ) plasticine skull.  Totally makes me want to go and play with plasticine.

Plus I did get to take photos throughout the rest of the building - like this one of the Gormley/Crosby Beach dude hanging from the ceiling, and this rather scary sculpture that, for some reason, makes me want to run straight to Slimming World and sign up!

I got two fab books there too:

From the book on the left, which was the official accompaniment to the exhibition, here's my favorite piece from the show (apologies for the bad photo, click on it for a slightly better view) - what a great concept, death and the doctor fighting over the girl's life. I love the way the doc is pushing down on the skull with one hand while supporting his patient with the other:

The other book consists of oversized (about 8" x 10") Day of the Dead themed woodcut print postcards.  I will use some of these for postcrossing, but keep the rest.

And the kids bought themselves little teddies of the MRSA super bug and E Coli :) Like you do :)

Our next stop was the Pure Evil gallery in Shoreditch for this show:

If the name 'Pure Evil' rings a bell, then you might remember him from the street art episode of the Apprentice...

The New York Kings show was excellent, featuring many of the seminal NYC graffiti writers from the 70s/80s - taking their tradition of subway art into a gallery setting with spraypainted artwork on NY subway maps.

The gallery also had lots of little people still in residence from the recent Pablo Delgado show, and some work by Roa and Herakut, along with stuff by the eponymous gallery owner himself.  
The little details are what makes Pablo Delgado's stuff so cool, like the shadows on the gravel.  These guys are tiny, just a couple of inches high
Mr Pure Evil actually turned out to be a really nice chap, he happily chatted away to us and the kids for ages, and was nothing like he came across on t'telly.  Just shows how they edit people to make them look like idiots for the sake of entertainment!  Not that he minded - he said that he sold so much stuff on his website overnight after the show went out, that he thought there was an error when he checked his bank account the next morning :)

And I ended up completely blowing my budget by buying one of his hand-finished prints (ie one he's coloured in a bit) - so imagine this one but with some red hand coloured bits:

It's totally fab, printed on vintage paper, limited run of 100, one of the other 99 is in the V&A's permanent collection, no less!  (I didn't find that out until after I'd bought it)

I need to find an affordable frame for my one (it's a fair size, about 3 foot tall, so that's going to be quite a challenge) and then I can take a proper picture of it.

I love it!

Next stop on our arty tour was the Urban Masters show in Shoreditch:

The line up for this one was impressive:

Bom.K - Blo - Brusk - Gris1 - Jaw - Kan - Sowat - Lek - 
Roa - David Shillinglaw - Zezão - Sweet Toof - Blek Le Rat - 
Ron English - Mac1 - Matt Small - Alexandros Vasmoulakis - 
El Mac - C215 - Joe Black - Seen - Risk - Remi Rough - 
Sixeart - Zevs - Mentalgassi - Nick Gentry - The London Police - 
StinkFish - Rone - Banksy - Kid Zoom - Nick Walker - Shepard Fairey

And it was really well laid out - biiiiiiiig artworks with excellent lighting to really show them off.

My favourites were this one by Rone (mainly because I liked the reflection in the car window)

This amazing, huge, portrait of Chairman Mao by Joe Black, made from thousands of little toy soldiers:

and the portraits by Nick Gentry painted onto floppy disks.  Fantastic!

I love Dscreet's omnipresent owls
The rest of the day was spent visiting a few other little galleries (there are so many in that part of London), and checking out all the new work in the best gallery of them all - out in the street:

Not new, but we hadn't spotted this one before as it was down a side street - by El Mac
a new Stik man

My favourite of 4 or 5 Anthony Lister pieces we spotted - he's been on a roll recently in London! 

Angelic me :)  Not sure who painted these lovely wings

....and not the best photo as it was dark by this point, but I love this collaboration  piece from  Bom.K and Liliwenn (plus more owls :) )
We finished up with a visit to the bustling Brick Lane market (only in London would a street market still be doing a roaring trade at 9pm on a cold Sunday night in November!), played for a while with some remote controlled cars that Sony had provided for some publicity stunt or other, and then helped ourselves to some free hot chocolate and Aero bars from the, um, Aero Bar :)

That was a long old day with lots of walking and so much eye candy I thought my brain would explode :)  But we all had a great time, and slept soundly that night.

Other assorted happiness inducing things from the last three weeks:

- Wildcats cupcakes and ice skate cookies for sale at the ice hockey game, I wish they did these every week

- My Battlestar Galactica series 4 DVDs arrived just in time, as I only had one episode left from series 3 to watch - and best of all, they didn't cost me a penny as I paid for them with Amazon vouchers earned by doing marketing surveys online

- Getting my postcards made in time and posted on the dot for iHanna's autumn postcard swap - I have already started to receive cards back from, so far, Canada and America

- There was a cool exhibition on at one of the galleries near my work by the mosaic artist Cleo Mussi - I loved the spaceman in the window and the phrenology heads

- I've got most of my christmas shopping done.  Haven't wrapped a single thing, but almost everything has at least been ordered.

- Viva Las Vegas's amazing Black Friday sale - 10% off everything plus FREE international shipping.  I couldn't resist that!  So here are my lovely new stamps.

(I have no idea what I'm going to do with the egg baby! but I'm sure it will come in useful one day :) )

- The Secret of Crickley Hall, a ghost story in three parts on BBC - I really enjoyed this - and not only because the yummy Gary from Miranda was in it, although that didn't hurt :)  Also starring in this one - as the super cute youngest daughter of the haunted family - was little Pixie Davies (you might have also seen her in Oreo adverts), who is the younger sister of one of my son's classmates at school.  She is so adorable :)

- Swindon Wildcats beating Manchester Phoenix decisively in one of the most entertaining games of hockey I've seen so far this season

- my eldest son finally getting hold of the t-shirt that I bought his girlfriend months ago from ebay for her birthday - they sent the wrong one and getting it exchanged has grown into the saga to end all sagas, but it is finally resolved!  (he had to actually go to their premises in person in the end after weeks of being fobbed off)

- a trip to the Toby Carvery - so. much. fooooood.  made my tummy hurt but it was all worth it :)

- making, buying, wrapping and posting my secret santa gift by the deadline - I hope the recipient likes it!

- scoring an old anatomy textbook via Freecycle complete with all sorts of cool diagrams - excellent collage fodder

- getting an email from the editors of Featuring magazine asking if they can use a circle journal entry of mine in issue 3 (out soon) - so if you happen to buy a copy, look out for my name :)

- on a related note, Marit announcing this year's song list for her Top 2000 Blog Party which I'm hoping to contribute lots to as it was great fun last year

- Finding a super cool "sheep's skull on a stick" at TK Maxx of all places - I had to have it!  Am going to give it a bit of a makeover - watch this space :)

Photobombed by grumpy cat
- surviving the floods - they caused havoc with my journey to work (my commute went from the usual 25 minutes to over 2 hours for a few days) but thankfully nobody I know has suffered any damage to property or worse

this "lake" in Cirencester is the road I usually drive along on my way home from work ....
- making plans for a potential meet up with internet friends next April, I really hope we can get it sorted

- Reece getting "elfed" in town when we popped in to do a bit of Christmas shopping - and the best bit was that he kept his rosy cheeks make-up on all day - even when he went up the park later with his friend :)

- I won an ebay auction for some really cool (and super hard to get hold of) stamps - postal not rubber :)  I had to search in French and everything.  Was amazed I still remembered the word 'timbres' from school.

- a trip over to Bristol on a Friday night after work to see my middle son Darby, and also to visit yet another street art gallery for a double book signing event.

The artists were Bristol legend Cheo (Jay's a big fan, that's his Egghead book <--), and the creator of the Bristol-a-saurus, Andy Council, who has brought out a cool colouring book featuring many of his popular mural designs:

- treating myself to some new spray paints and caps while we were there

- a fantastic all you can eat buffet meal in Bristol city centre with Darby after the book signing.  It was a lot of fun being out in town on a Friday night, instead of slumped on the sofa watching Come Dine With Me marathons which is what we usually do :)

- my fab new Firefly t-shirt turning up in the post from America:

I think that's everything - and I am seeing a pattern - it seems that almost all of the things Rocking My World this time around involved me spending money - oh my poor, poor bank account!

In a minute I'm going to link this up over at Rocking Your World Friday HQ - aka Virginia's blog.  This will be my penultimate link up of 2012 (or the last one if the Mayans are right....) - hasta la vista Rockettes!