Sunday, 30 September 2007

A bit of fun

This one's for Carrie

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Sam Seat (pronounced Say-yat)

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Vanilla (I'd just be vanilla 'cos I don't really eat biscuits lol)

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)
AFis (I sound like an aphid - nice!)

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Blue Wolf (oooh me likes!)

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Claire Lincoln

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The Green Smoothie (LOL)

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
John Raymond

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Paradise Rock

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )
Ann John

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Stewart Sydney

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Autumn Daisy

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) Banana Pyjamasy (seriously lol)

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Cornflakes Walnut

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
The Writing Sunshine Tour

Saturday, 22 September 2007

My Etsy Shop

I've finally done it! I finally decided to start an etsy shop and just listed my first two items and hope to list some more in the next few weeks!

If you'd like to visit my shop then click here

Having a busy day so no time to write much but I just wanted to draw your attention to my previous post for your chance to win in my first of three monthly giveaways!

Amanda xx

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

My gift to you

Ok guys, here's the first of what I hope will be a three part giveaway!

On the first day of the next three months I am going to be giving away a small gift from me to someone who reads this blog. Each month's gift will be different but you can be sure it will be made with lots of love and attention.

It's pretty simple - and goes along the same lines as most blog giveaways - if you want to be in with a chance to win just leave me a comment. I'll make sure I post each month's giveaway post at least a week before the draw, giving you plenty of time to find it and join in. I'll also post a reminder at the end of any posts put on my blog between the giveaway posting and the day of the draw itself, so you can be sure not to miss it!

So, without further ado... this month's gift!

These three cards will be coming your way if you win the "First of October" giveaway. The blue and green cards are made using Iris Folding techniques - the coloured parts in the centre are made of folded tissue paper and the rest is made from card. The red card is made from the bits of card I cut out to make the blue one (waste not, want not and good for the trees too!!) with some decorative gold paper and red and gold ribbon.

extra note: I decided after making the red bauble card to make some using the same paper and ribbon but on a green background so if you do win and would prefer it on a green background you can choose that option instead (I will send you a photo of the green one if you are thinking of this option.)

Inside the bauble designed cards is the poem:

Bauble hanging in the tree
how very happy you make me,
shining in the candlelight
making the whole room seem bright.

Inside the tree designed card is the poem:

Christmas tree beside the fire
hiding treasures I desire,
will I find beneath your boughs
gifts I'm dreaming of right now?

For anyone who doesn't win but likes the cards, they will soon be going on sale in my etsy shop (the link for which I will be sure to share with you all once I have set it all up properly!!)

Good Luck!!

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Chalice Well

(I seem to have lost my photos for the post - sorry I shall try and fix it later but currently have to run - you know how it is!!)
As you know, I went to Glastonbury last weekend to meet up with some friends I met online. We did this for the first time last year and had such a good time we decided to do it again this year! These friends are very special to me because they have seen me through some of the hardest times of my life... and have, in particular, supported me as I have grappled with some fairly deep spiritual crises!

I don't think I've ever mentioned anything about my beliefs on here, because I tend to shy away from doing so too much because my blog isn't about my spirituality. I am pretty "new age" although I hate using that word because my experience is it is used to cover so many things that most people haven't got a clue what it means. But I have to tell you that a trip to Glastonbury - with all its spiritual connections - especially with people I love and respect deeply was a very special treat indeed!

One of the places we just have to go to is the Chalice Well because it is just such a beautiful place to visit and so peaceful. The picture at the top of this post was taken there and explains part of the reason I love the place so much! I am a nature girl and flowers make me so happy and as you will see in the photos below the whole place is blooming with wildlife!

Not long after we arrived we (the three of us who went together) sat on the following stone bench, surrounded by leaves, meditating and praying in silence - it was beautiful!

Especially because we had the angel below sat right behind us!

We then walked down towards the healing waters and saw one of the holy thorn trees. This particular thorn tree is said (according to legend) to have descended from the original which sprouted from Joseph of Arimathea's staff when he visited Glastonbury. It apparently flowers at Christmas and Easter!!

I love how people tie ribbons to the trees around the garden and leave candles burning by statues because it just adds to the wonder of the place!

We drank from the healing waters just beneath the thorn tree. The waters come from two springs further up the hill (which we also visited and which I might tell you about in a later post if I decide it isn't too "spiritual" for my blog). The two springs represent the masculine and feminine aspects of life - each having different mineral contents in them. The water tastes so strange because it has so many minerals we aren't used to tasting.

I forgot to take a picture of the place where we drank the water from as I was so busy running further down the hill to the place where we walked through the water and where I cleansed my crystals. The following picture is taken by the place where you can walk through the water and I love it because, to me, it is so symbolic of the doorway between the worlds and also where the future is hidden but we can sometimes see the path we will take through the doorway we are about to choose!

This is the waterfall where the water comes down from the place where you can drink from to the place where you can walk through it. Note how red the stone is where the water has passed - that is due to the water itself!

And here are my crystals, freshly washed :o)

We then moved right down to the bottom of the gardens, where there is grass and more running water. I felt so light and happy I skipped down with my friend (but I really wanted to dance and sing and do cartwheels but didn't dare *blushes*)

It was here that we saw evidence of the Faeries who live here - here is the little Faery bridge (sorry it's a bit wonky!!):

And here is the laundry I spotted on a makeshift washing line, hehe!

Thanks for journeying through Chalice Well Gardens with me today - I have such fond memories of my time there and truly wish that everybody could visit it because it really is one of the most beautiful places on earth!!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

The Dirty Penguin

I went to Glastonbury with some friends last weekend. I left my home at 6:30am on Friday morning and returned home at 6:30pm Monday evening and had such a blast I can't tell you!!

I have so many wonderful pictures and stories to tell you but I want to begin with the story of an unfortunate penguin I met along the way!

Friday night we went to a gig my friend and her daughter were doing in a local pub. Whilst we were there we met a guy from another band called The Dirty Penguins. They had a little friend who lived in the pub - we'll call him Percy for the sake of anonymity!! This is Percy's tale!

Whilst watching Angelica performing their closing act, Percy's eyes were drawn to a mysterious beauty across the room. His heart skipped a beat as her eyes met his and he knew right then he wanted nothing more than to speak to this girl. Beckoning her across to his side, he put all this charm to work and was overjoyed when the girl took him in her arms and asked him to return to her hotel room for a night of pleasure. Unfortunately, he was only a little penguin still and knew that papa penguin would never let him leave with strangers. So he had to hide beneath her coat and keep as quiet as a mouse!

Upon arrival at the girl's hotel room he stood nervously waiting whilst she powdered her nose. He was worried that he might be too dirty for her so he ran to the mirror to check his appearance.

Seeing his distress, the beautiful girl's equally gorgeous friend (that would be me hehe) rushed to reassure him with a kiss. That made him blush - he'd never been kissed like that before!!

This gorgeous girl promised him that the beautiful girl would bestow many more kisses upon his beak when she returned which excited him so much he performed his greatest acrobatic tricks off the top of their wardrobe!

Eventually the beautiful girl returned and Percy was overjoyed when he found himself lying in her arms. He sighed with delight and snuggled into his beautiful treasure, lapping up all the attention she would give him.

At last, the time came for them to sleep, and sleep Percy did. So comfortable was the bed and so exciting his dreams!

He dreamt of the day when he would be a tv star!! The Beautiful girl and her gorgeous friends had promised him that with a little bit of work he would one day be the greatest penguin on the box!!

Percy awoke early the next morning and decided to have a shower. He no longer wanted to be a dirty penguin, having smelt what it was like to be in the company of the sweetest smelling girl in the world. So he stole her shampoo and washed off his feathers, ready to face a new day.

He dried himself off and made his way to the kitchen and cooked up a perfect breakfast for his perfect new friends. How proud he was!!

But, alas!! When he returned to the bedroom with the breakfast on a tray, he found a note upon his pillow. I would show you the note, but it is torn into a thousand pieces, such was Percy's grief!! However, I remember the words for they were written with my best pen...

Dear Percy,

What a wonderful time we had... but all good things must come to an end. It is time for us to go now, but we shall remember you, my darling! Remember us, your beautiful girl and her gorgeous friends when you make it as a star!

Love, your beautiful girl xx

We were already on our way by the time Percy had packed his bags and returned home to papa penguin, drying his tears with a hanky which smelt of the beautiful girl. It would be cruel of me to post pictures of his sorrow - and you must be sure to send him your love, for he really is heartbroken. It took him 3 days to get the scent of her shampoo off his feathers, three days of crying each time he caught a whiff!

Percy, or darling Dirty Penguin, we shall remember you always xx

note: no penguins were harmed in the making of this post!!

please excuse the dates on the photos they are completely wrong and I couldn't work my sister's camera out to take them off... I promise you they were all taken this weekend just past!

And now you know just how extremely mad I truly am!

Monday, 3 September 2007

Are you sitting comfortably?

Then I'll begin. Here's a little recording I did for you all. It's a short clip from the second part of my Adventures of Scamp story which I shall soon be selling. Enjoy!

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click To Play

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Christmas Cards

Here are the first two samples of my Christmas cards. I have a set of poems which are related to the designs I am using. All my work is based around poems or stories. I'm thinking of selling some of these on etsy - let me know what you think!

The cards are made using Iris Folding techniques which I just learnt how to do and I have used tissue paper for these particular designs. I need to work on making sure my edges are straight because right now they are still a little rough because I've never used a craft knife before and my only ruler is plastic, not metal, so I keep cutting into it! But I am perfecting my technique with each sample so hopefully by the time I have made a whole set of prototypes I'll be ready to set to doing whole bunches of saleable products!

I can't tell you how much I wish I had a better quality camera so I could show you these in far better detail. Once I start working again and get some cash together I think it's going to be a necessary luxury! I'm just lucky at the moment that I have some good quality craft supplies stocked up from previous years otherwise I wouldn't be able to do any of this right now! I think once my first full paycheck comes in I'm gonna go on a crafter's frenzy hehe!

So this is the first card. My sister loves this one! The poem inside is:

Christmas lantern burning bright
lighting up this winter night
casting shadows to and fro
dancing on the world below

My sister isn't quite so keen on my second design, although I love it! She thinks it would be much better with just one big Christmas tree instead of two little ones - I disagree but accept that my taste may not be what others are looking for so your comments on this particular one would be very helpful for me!

The poem inside this card is:

Christmas tree beside the fire
hiding treasures I desire
will I find beneath your boughs
the gifts I'm dreaming of right now?

So those are the two I have so far - I've got a bauble and star design to go and depending upon how good my own Iris Folding design goes I may also have a fireplace and snowman. I am so excited and also, I have to say, quite glad that today is not quite as sunny as yesterday because although it's still warm and pleasant, looking out at the grogeous sunshine yesterday was doing nothing for my ability to think Christmassy!!

And just as a final treat - a picture to show just how much of a messy crafter I am *blushes*... I can't help it - I get so wrapped up in creating things that order dissolves at times like these and I have to have a major clear up afterwards. It's a good job my parents are on holiday this week because my mum would have kittens if she saw what I'd done to her dining table!

Have a lovely Sunday, all
Amanda xx

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Full steam ahead

I've been so busy working on various projects I can't believe that my dream of crafting for more than pleasure is finally happening. I've got a long way to go before I have a business running but I am getting there and I can finally see results!

I've been writing small poems to go inside some Christmas cards and started working on some Iris Folding designs to go with them - I just finished my first prototype and am so happy with how it came out I am sure I can knock up quite a few and start trying to sell some on etsy. I'd post a picture but need to borrow my sister's camera (as mine is broken) and she is currently laid in bed having spent the night being sick so the photos will have to wait until she wakes up and I can steal her camera (and take her some wholesome food of course!)

My protoype of my handmade books has a few kinks which need straightening out but I am hopeful they won't take too long. I'm working on typesetting the next two and then hopefully by the end of this week I should have working examples of two poetry books and one children's book! I can't wait to show them to you all!

I have so many other ideas I'd like to try out to but I have to be reasonable - I start work full-time again soon so I need to make sure I have time to do a few things well than lots of things badly! I'm using my free time at the moment to wash all my clothes and sort out my wardrobe putting aside what isn't needed right now and sending what I no longer wear to charity. I feel the need to move the energies so lots of things, books included, are being sold or donated and it feels good. I'm ready for a fresh start!

The summer for me has been a bit of standing still and fretting. I am still readjusting to no longer being a student and actually having a choice over what I want to do now. When I left the nursery in April I wanted to set up a business but fear took over and I found myself desperately searching for jobs which paid more. I am only recently realising just how incredibly lucky I am and in doing so I stopped stressing, started believing and trusting the right thing would come to me and sure enough it seems to have arrived...

I've got a meeting on Tuesday with the student support officer at my local university and all being well I should come out of the meeting with a pretty much full-time job which is perfect for me. Fingers crossed!!

I love this time of year - it always feels like a new beginning - far more than any other time of year, even New Year. I think it comes from having spent 18 years in education and September being the beginning of a fresh year! My mindset is simply stuck on September being the start of something new! So I am so happy right now to be getting out of my rut and fully working towards what I want... I'm finally enjoying where I am right now for the first time in perhaps my entire life and I am loving it!

Have a wonderful weekend
Amanda xx