Wednesday, 31 December 2008

A few more hours

A few more hours till 2009, I wonder what this year has in store for me ? All positive stuf I hope. One things for sure it'll take something very special to top going to met my friends Andy and Mel in Feb.

We're back home now after a lovely return trip, everything looked so pretty shrouded in frost and mist. I spent most of the journey trying to take photo's as we were driving along lol, it was pretty cold and out of a load of photo's there's only a few that I'm happy with, but it was still worth it.

I had a really nice time at my daughters with loads of laughs, especially on the last night when we all got the giggles and burst into song when my grand daughters boyriend phoned her ...she was so embarassed !!!

The house was really cold when we got back after being empty for a few days, so the central heating had to go on full blast to get the temperature above 5 degree's. It's 14 now so I've turned it down to it's usual level now.

This is a few of the photo's I took on the way home, not amazing quality I know but then we were driving at the time lol.





Tuesday, 30 December 2008

More waffling on

I wasn't going to write on here today, because although we had a great day yesterday meeting up with family and friends, it was nothing I thought would be of much interest to anyone reading my blog.

But then I changed my mind and decided to ramble on for a bit anyway. I don't usually make any New Year resolutions but I think I'm going to make one at least this year. It's to find more outlets for mine and my daughters glass work and also to fire up our own little kiln and see how much this would cost. At present we pay to use a huge kiln that belongs to someone else, this is all good in theory but in practise it can be annoying to have to wait till it's convienent and not being used by it's owner. Also it doesn't give us chance to do test pieces either.

At present our stuff is sold on a commission basis through a gallery, the gallery owner adds 40% on top for selling through his gallery and then a further 15% is added for vat. Which in laymans terms means roughly if I want £6 for my little stained glass angels then they have to sell in the gallery for £12, which is one heck of a mark up on the price. With the credit crunch hitting as it is, I really can't see people paying that much for a little 4" high angel, no matter how posh the shop is and no matter how pretty the angel is either !! So I need to put my business head and think of new ways to sell our stuff without it having loads of commission on the top !!

Monday, 29 December 2008

Another early morning

Yet another early morning for me, I was awake at 4am arhhhhh. It seems to be my destiny in life to be wide awake when everyone else is fast asleep.... oh well.

As expected we went off out yesterday, we decided to go to a place called the Jinny Ring Craft Centre. We eventually found it after going up and down the same road a few times lol.The craft side of the centre was dissapointing as most of the little workshops there were shut, but luckily there were a couple of ponds there with some ducks for us feed, which everyone enjoyed no matter what their age lol. Then it was off for a tour round the local countryside which was pleasant and then we called in at a park to run off some of my youngest granddaughters energy on the way home. By this time it was getting late and it was freezing !! But we persevered and went to the kiddies playground, what a revelation that was, so many weird looking things for kids to play on these days, the only thing that I recognised was a swing lol. One plaything was a pole with a stand at the bottom which spun round. I got a very interesting effect taking a photo of Jenny on that.

Today it's off to my sons warehouse in Birmingham where he sells 1/2 price Argos stuff, so I shall be having a good old mooch round there as always. I'll also be able to catch up with two of my sons there hopefully. The plan is to go and visit some friends afterwards for some fire spinning, but I'm not sure if that will happen as Jennys not feeling too well at the moment, but we'll see.

Dissapointingly it hasn't been cold enough for frost while we've been here. I was going to have a play with my daughters digital slr camera while I was here with some super macro shots of frosty plants.

A very typical family photo feeding the ducks lol.


A not so typical photo of feeding the ducks lol.


This was my favourite photo of the day, Jenny spinning on a new fangled toy in the playground.


Sunday, 28 December 2008

Safe and sound

Well we arrived safe and sound yesterday at my daughter Emma's, but oh those motorways and traffic jams what a nightmare !! There's two things that I don't enjoy in life one is travelling on the motorway and the other is travelling at night, both scare me lol. Travelling at night and on the motorway is a double whammy and something I avoid at all costs.

My younger daughter Jenny, who does all the driving has put a new alert on her sat nav for when she's speeding, much to her amusement it makes me jump out of my skin !! It sounds like one of those air horns the huge lorrys have, when I first heard it I was almost expecting to see an irate lorry driver pull alongside us, waving his fists at us.

I think we'll be going off doing something today, as my son in law is off racing his petrol remote car at the track all day. I've looked online and found a couple of places we could go nearby. So hopefully photo's and more ramblings later.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

A quick trip

Well today we'll be off to a quick trip to my oldest daughter, to see her and her family, and hand out some slightly late Xmas pressie's. Although it's always great to see them, their house is always extremely hot, which is quite a problem at times as I have to be very frugal with heating here. It's a bit like living in a greenhouse for a few days and I really don't need to grow any more lol !! Also as they are a non smoking household, there's many trips to stand on the freezing cold back doorstep, for a few quick puffs :o(

As always I'm totally disorganised, nothings been packed yet. The car needs to be checked for water and oil, although we did do the tyre pressures a few days ago lol. So I better get off here, feed and water the dog, get some breakfast, have a bath and pack my stuff.

A group photo yesterday at my daughters when her 3 older kids came to visit.


My daughters 5 kids, from back left Martin, Jamie, front left Rheanna( known as Ragz) Lacey Mae is the little cutey in the centre and Hayley on the end.

My daughter Emma and her hubbie Sparky.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Peaceful stress free day

Yesterday was a great, stress free, and peaceful day. My daughter bought me a 3 disc set of brain training cd's for my pc, something I've wanted for ages.I hardly every have conversations with anyone but my daughter and my brain seems to be turning into mush lol, sometimes I sit and go to type a word and for the life of me I can't remember how it's spelt !! Hopefully these discs will get my brain on track again :o)

The weather is gorgeous here, the sun's shinning, the sky's blue so hopefully later we'll take the dog for a walk on the beach again. He really enjoyed his walk yesterday and had a good old paddle in the sea, while my daughter and I investigated the rock pools. We don't usually go to this beach, so it was a nice change for all of us. I did notice the dog had stiffened up later on though, poor old thing.

Tomorrow we're off down to the Midlands to spend a few days with my oldest daughter and her family, and met up with three of my older sons too. We'll also be fitting in a trip to see some friends there and they'll be a bit of fire spinning too, I expect. Last time we went down, there wasn't any room for my daughters fire spinning stuff but she's determined to make room this time !!

This is my daughter fire spinning.


My daughter spinning again this time with glow poi.


Thursday, 25 December 2008

What a surprise it's Christmas day

Surprise , surprise it's Christmas day lol. Is it any different from any other one in our house ....nahhh not really. The only difference is that I've got a gammon joint boiling away on the cooker. Apart from that it's just the same as any other day, the dogs lying full length in front of me, snoring his head off lol. My daughter's still fast asleep in her bedroom, but she is 25 so the days of waking up early for Christmas are long gone.

We're not really into the whole big turkey dinner either, hence the gammon joint. I decided many years ago that I didnt want to spend all day cooking. As none of the family particulary liked turkey with all the trimmings, it was quite an easy decision lol.

As I sit here happily typing, my heart goes out to all those people who are having to spend the day with family they don't see from years end to the next, and who they don't even like that much either. Yet because it's "Christmas" they feel that they should carry on with the tradition !! I've never been one who likes to conform, so why should I be any different today lol.

As a treat for this so called special day we were going to have the heating on all day, but it's so mild there seems little point. Although when my daughter does eventually wake up she'll probably want it on, as she always seems to be cold anyway.

The sunrise reflecting on the partly frozen pond near Newborough Forest.


A view of some of the mountains on Snowdon looking across Lake Ogwen.


One of the things I really enjoy photographing is fungi. The beauty of these lovely things are often overlooked by people, which I think is a terrible shame.


Wednesday, 24 December 2008

The day before Christmas

Well it's Christmas Eve, and to mark the occasion my house is actually tidy for a change lol. Yes folks, I cleared away all my crafty stuff, and did that thing I really hate ...housework !! Even the word fills me with dread lol, it must be the most boring thing in the world. I never have and I never will get any pleasure from having a neat, tidy, polished, sparkling house, it's just totally alien to me. I'd much rather spend the time doing something useful or constructive, well actually it doesn't have to be either of those things, I'd just rather do anything other than housework lol. The only time I willingly plug the hoover in, is to get up the tiny bits of glass that end up on the carpet ...and that's only cos I don't want the dog to get it in his paws !!

I'm itching to get started on one of two projects I've got in mind. The first is to mosaic a pair of Doc Marten boots, and the other is to mosiac the top half of a female dummy I used to use when I did Ebay. Both will be very tricky because they've got so many curves on them, which I'm sure will drive me nuts just as the guitar did, I finished recently. But that won't stop me having a go. If I do the boots first, it means I've got to figure out a way of making the leather rigid rigid first. The best idea for that, was thought of by my daughter, who suggested I paper mache the inside of the boots. I could just pour a load of plaster inside I suppose, but then the boots would weigh a ton. Either way it'll probably take ages for the boots to be ready, and I like to just get on with things so I'll probably do the dummy first. Hmmm just had a thought, maybe I should take photo's as I go along, to include on this blog...yes I'll do that later I think......

My other main hobby besides crafty stuff is photography. There's nothing I love more than capturing nature at it's best. I particularly like taking weather photo's the harsher the weather, the better I like it. As we live by the sea, I love it when the wind picks up and the waves start crashing about. I've got a favourite spot about 1/2 mile away from where we live, when the winds in the right direction the waves hit a 12ft wide wall called the Breakwater and crash over the top, sometimes the wall completely dissapears with the tons of sea that hits it. Sadly as we live so close to the sea, it's very mild here so we rarely get any frosts and snow is even rarer. So I'm really looking forward to going to the Highlands at the beginning of Feb to see my online friends Andy and Mel. This being the first time I've ever met them in person, I'm pretty nervous, as meeting new people is something I find really hard. But if we get on half as well for real as we do online, I'll be a very happy bunny. I'm hoping that there will be some snow when I go there, as it's been a lifetimes dream to visit Scotland, and even better that I'm going in the winter.... my favourite time of the year !!

This is the Breakwater, if you look closely you can see a red van in the centre of this photo. The driver and his son were extremely lucky to survive, they'd stupidly gone to the end of the Breakwater which is about 1 mile long, to fish and didnt realise the danger they were putting themselves in. What you can't see on the photo is the lifeboat that had to escort them off, as they could have so easily been swept into the sea. I've lived on the coast for the last 12 yrs and it still never ceases to amaze me how little respect people give to something so powerful as the sea.


A snowy scene from the Snowdonia mountains a few years ago. How beautiul is that ?


A gorgeous sunrise taken from just outside a little village called Hermon on Anglesey.

One of my favourite photo's, I'm not sure what caused the rainbow trails but I suspect it was a slug lol.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

My very first blog entry

Well hello everyone, I've often read people's blogs and found them really interesting and toyed with the idea of doing one myself..but as I live a very quiet life I wondered if I'd ever write anything that would be remotely interesting to anyone else lol.

But here I am waffling away..... I live on a small island off the coast of North Wales. Lack of mobility and lack of transport means I spend many many hours at home. To stop myself going entirely insane I fill my time doing various arts and crafts using many different mediums. My first love is working with glass, sometimes it's fused glass, sometimes stained glass but most recently it's been glass mosaics. The mosaics first started out because I was running low on bigger pieces of glass to work with. So in my wisdom or ...... madness, I decided that it would be good idea to cut all these off cuts of glass into tiny 1/4" squares. Hmmm hundreds of squares later, with cuts galore and sore fingers from scoring so much glass, I often wonder if that was such a good decision lol. As I get more used to this blog lark I'll start adding photo's and you'll be able to see whether it was a good idea or not !!

I started drawing as a child, and can clearly remember my mom having a go at my dad, when he used to bring home paper from work for me to draw on lol. Thank god he ignored her, art and crafts have helped me keep my own identity and sanity for many years now lol. Now after two marriages, two long term relationships, and 8 kids my art and crafts is still as rewarding as it ever was. I've turned my hand to many forms of art, including pastels, oil painting, glass painting, silk painting, water colours, china painting, and decorated mirrors. Sometimes I would see things in shops that I liked but could never afford, so I would go home and try making them for myself. These ramblings will probably include some haphazard tutorials of various crafts, so that hopefully others might try new things out.

A close up of the front of my latest mosaic. Which is exhibited at our local glass gallery.

The gallery owner wanted me to do a guitar mosaiced all over this time. The sides were a real pain to do lol.

Finished at last, this took many many days to complete and almost beat me a few times I have to admit. But I got there in the end.