Archive for May, 2010

Tapas on the Tapas Tree

Sunday evening

We have a bird tree. Everyone is doing stuff online, it’s all Facebook, Bebo, forums and twitter. Remember Cameron and his funny faux pas on Absolute Radio when asked if he uses Twitter? ‘Too many twitters make a t**t’?  I think we have the coolest twitter place here, I can see it as I sit here typing this post. I can hear it too.

We have a bird tree and right now the birds are twittering in it to their hearts content. It’s a holly tree in the corner of our small garden, one that sits over the corner of my studio and shelters one half of it from the ravages of the winter. The tree keeps my studio dry in the rain but sheds (no pun intended) many holly leaves down the gap between the fence and the studio in the autumn.

I can’t help thinking one of the funniest lines I ever heard in a song……’mangos on the mango tree, tapas on the Tapas tree’.

We have a bird tree….and I love it.

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2 years on

Thursday morning

I have to post and run today. It’s been another manic couple of weeks, with a couple more of the same to come.  I was madly getting ready for an exhibition that started last week at the Bank Gallery in Chobham, and would you believe it finishes this Saturday?  So I  have to go back at the start of next week to collect my cabinet and work. I don’t know how I’m going to fit this 3 hour round trip in, but it will have to happen. And I must remember to take some Blue Tack or Sellotape to stick my parking ticket to the windscreen or I may end up with another parking ticket……oh yes, last Tuesday when I was stewarding and putting my work in my cabinet I somehow managed to displace my parking ticket that I’d faithfully bought, so that the warden couldn’t see it and I ended up with a parking fine, which I contested but they’re being jobs worths about. Here’s a few shots of our exhibition at the Bank Gallery.

So today my job is to prepare for the Bead Fair at Dorking Halls this Sunday. I have beads to clean, dry and inspect…boo, beads to sort into sets and string together, and beads to sort for the bargain pots…yay. I also have all the other small jobs to prepare for the event, the ones that need doing but don’t actually look like they’ve happened, you know, like sorting my float, leaflets and sales sheets etc., boring but very important. I will have more luscious beads, including my Etsy shop stock ( I must work out how to put this on holiday for Sunday), more bargain beads and my usual supply of chains.

Today is also a very special day for me, as it’s now 2 years to the day that I had my hip replaced. I think my last post about hippiness was probably a year ago, no, make that the end of last June when I did the Race for Life. What a difference it has made to my life and that of my family. Two years down the line I feel like me again, it’s taken a while, but the thought of limping and using a stick are starting to fade into the past. I am still concious of walking when I do go out, but it is with a huge grin on my face and a heart full of joy and gratitude for the wonderful technology we have here. Life is sweet. I should celebrate. I’d better plan something in my hectic schedule.

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I’m ranting today…must be election fever

Thursday morning

It’s general election day and my mind is turning to think about the things that could be done better in this country. And I’ve been thinking about some things that keep getting in my way near the front door, and that seem to keep increasing in number, and won’t go away even when I do what it says on the label. Hmmm, what could it be? Phil the Bag? or any of the number of cheap thin virtually useless plastic bags that seem to keep getting dumped through our letter box, at least one each week. It’s not even like you can use them for kitchen waste as they have holes in them. So I’m going to have a bit of a rant now, because I’m getting really fed up with them. I thought we as a country were trying to do our best not to use plastic bags, and I as well as Dickie always take our own bags to do our shopping now. We’re trying so hard to keep our plastic levels down, and yet the charities seem to have a free pass to dump at least one of the offending bags through our letter box every week. How does that work?

I’m a firm believer in recycling as much as possible, and this week we in Horsham were really pleased to have a new street collection on Tuesday that took away junk mail, paper, newspapers, all types of card, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, cans and foil, and basically combined most of what we already recycle with the addition of the things we used to have to take to other centres. The only extra thing we can now recycle is waxed food paper cartons, but hopefully more people will now recycle what we’ve been doing ourselves. I hate to think of all the clothes that are simply thrown away because they’re no longer wanted, and I also know that charity shops are struggling because people that used to give their clothes to them are now selling them on Ebay. I’m cautious about putting my clothes in the recycling bins in supermarket car parks as one of my friends told me how she saw a car drive up to one, the driver then dangled their child out of the window and into the top of the bin to rummage through it and remove what they wanted! Now maybe they were in need, I guess that was OK, but you hear of companies that do kerbside collections for charity, then set up a shop selling what they collect for their own business.

I have to say I wouldn’t mind the bags so much if they actually did what they said they would, i.e. if you have something to put out you use the bag or if not then put it out and they will collect it back. So what actually happens? I’m sure you know already.  You put out the empty bag and it sits on the doorstep until it goes dirty and rotten and looks a complete mess, because when they do turn up in the van to collect the goods people have left out, unfortunately the company that sells stuff will have been around first and nabbed the charity bags…oh yes, I’ve seen it happen, even when the bags were explicitly labelled with the name of the charity on it, then the charity guys don’t even bother getting out of the van to collect the empty bags, and so the pile gets bigger. You can’t win.

So what’s to do? I really don’t know. Maybe they should think of a better greener way to collect. Obviously the bags make people think about donating, and make it easy to just open it and start filing it, but shouldn’t there be some sort of ban on littering our houses with plastic junk?  Just like the amount of junk mail we get, which has increased since some bright spark said it was all right for the junk mail allowance that Posties deliver to go up in quantity. How green is that? IT’S NOT.

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Moved back in…yipeeeeee

Tuesday morning

It’s official, I’m back in my new improved studio. I have insulation, posh lining and a pale laminate floor. I also have a new shelving unit for my glass and a new workbench (well, kitchen worktop). It all looks lovely, now I have to tidy up my jars of glass and organise some way to display and store my huge frit collection without the labels fading in the sun light. I have lots of jars to soak labels off, as I just used to use them as they were, label and all, to store glass rods in that I am using, but no more, I’m on a tidy up spree. I’ve ditched lots of rubbish that was in the old studio, including all those lovely colour wine bottles that I thought I would turn into beads. I’d love to spend the time recycling glass, but to be honest it takes too long for my style of beadmaking. I’ve got really ruthless and have decided to part with glass I won’t ever use and clear out a few bead presses also. All of yesterday was spent sorting out said rubbish and going up and down the steps between the house and garden with handfuls of things to put back in the studio. We can now see the floor in our lounge again, such a relief.

Here’s a couple of shots of my studio progress…..hover over the photos for captions

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