Rocking My World Friday...

Happy Friday everyone :)

I wasn't going to take part today, honestly I wasn't. It's supposed to be a feel good look back on your week and I really didn't feel like it. How naughty is that and so not in the spirit of Rocking Friday so here I am. Chastised. Mulling over my week...

Humm...

Well, I took some pictures of my commission canvas to email and get feedback on. So I decided not to do anything else to it till I'd had the feedback which made me at a bit of a loose end. I tidied up The Dungeon with this spare time. (No longer the Stu-stu-studio - it's so dark in there and the unit opposite ours was raided this week... not sure why that applies to it's name change but it's now The Dungeon.) so I now have a shiny, clean, tidy dungeon. That makes me happy. Just need to apply the same to the house now.

Humm...

Pinterest I signed up after being invited to join a few weeks ago. Didn't really get it. Left it. Seen it being mentioned throughout the net again this week, people weren't just talking about it but seriously raving. So spent some time yesterday and today having a poke around and now... I get it! Not only that but am addicted completely!


Not sure what it is? Well, best way I can explain it is as virtual pinboards in which you 'pin' stuff you are 'interested' in. Pinterested if you will. Like inspiration boards. BUT, you can see what other people have pinned and pin that to your boards too. Plus, each thing you pin links back to some really amazing blogs that I personally doubt I would have found otherwise. I don't know if I'm explaining it in the best way but it is really very inspiring to say the least. Plus if Firefox decides to die on me - I have my bookmarks, complete with pretty pictures saved online instead of just in my bookmarks. If you'd like an invite to join, give me a nod and I'll invite you.

Hum...

Alright, going to bore you all... I think the main thing this week has been the appreciation of my relationship with Craig. I feel really lucky that I can talk to him about anything and I mean anything and he, me. I've never had that with anyone before not even my closest friends he knows stuff I've never told anyone. He knows the best of me and also the worst. And he's still here. Sometimes, I think I've mentioned it before, I get these moods that are hard to shake off. I think there are triggers but sometimes I don't spot them, he usually does. Anyway - the past few weeks I've been heading into one of those dark places again and it hit me well and truly this week, culminating in the mother of all migraines. What with one thing and another we've chatted and put plans in place today to help me get through these times. The key thing is that I can feel it happening and try to hide it from everyone, I get tired and lethargic and so, so sad... and am admitting to myself finally that it's been happening all my life. Maybe it's slight depression or something, I don't know - I wont go to the doctors as I don't want pills. I have little to no faith in doctors - seen them mess up due to lack of interest, or being to busy maybe, but they've messed up big time with people I love. I don't trust that they don't just dish out medication willynilly.

Anyway, as I say Craig is my strength. Always there even when I'm telling him to go away. Supportive, listening, talking back. We've put plans in place to help me with keeping on top of the house, give me some structure. Get me working on my art & craft properly again, get me smiling. I'm actually feeling focused and happy with things to look forward to. Am going to catch up on emails and blogs over the weekend. If I haven't replied to emails I'm sorry - I just haven't been in my right place. We're going out with the girls tomorrow and am looking forward to the half term this coming week... I don't think I tell him enough, even though he tells me all the time but I love that bloke from the tips of his tootsies all the way up to his dodgy quiff. Even with his questionable taste in music and love of *yawn* politics. He's stuck with me.

So, plans enforced... hopefully next Friday will be more upbeat. Thank you all for stopping by and taking in a rambling woman's mutterings yet again. Why not stop by Virginia's to meet the rest of The Rockers.

How's your week been?

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

UK cover

The Replacement - Brenna Yovanoff

Mackie Doyle is the Replacement. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement - left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is slowly dying in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass guitar or spend time with an oddly intriguing girl called Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place - in our world, or theirs.

The town of Gentry is one of the "lucky" ones - recessions seem to skip over the town, the people are healthy and some might say blessed. A blind eye is turned to the unusual happenings that occasionally occur. People hang protective charms over their children's cribs - steel scissors, horse shoes... you know, nothing unusual... when children change overnight, replaced with sickly changelings, it's accepted. When these ailing creatures die, they are buried on unconsecrated ground but it's not talked about... never discussed.

Except one of them didn't die. One was so loved he got healthier off of that love and grew to be a teenager. Always different, intolerant and allergic to steel and iron, unable to step foot in a churchyard without breaking out in sores, Mackie knows he is different, the whole town knows it. But still. Nobody talks about it.

I loved this Young Adult book. I love stories about mythology and I just wish I had found books like this when I was a teen. As a fan of The Brothers Grimm I would have gobbled this up and asked for more please. Dark and sinister, we are introduced to two worlds, that of the town of Gentry and that of the land beneath it; Mayhem. The inhabitants of both had their measure of likable and detestable characters. Mackie himself comes across as quite cold and unemotional but then you realise how confused he is, how divided about what he should be, what he wants to be and what he actually is.

In a strange kind of way this book reminded me a bit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - in that a gang of kids come together to fight the good fight. That 'demons' and humans go toe to toe in combat but in some cases strike up grudging admiration or even genuine friendships. The town was on the cusp of the gates to the underworld almost... I could really see this book being more than a stand alone novel and could also see how easily this world could become part of a TV series much like Buffy.

Some scenes in the book were quite graphically descriptive, my 14 year old, who bought the book for me, didn't look to sure when I enthusiastically thrust it at her to read when I finished. On reflection I don't actually think she would like it - she doesn't like gore of any kind and there were some possibly unsettling scenes in here - which, when you think about it, the themes dealt with are baby sacrifice, ancient beings demanding their subservient subjects to do their will or pay the cost... you have to enjoy a bit of mild horror as well as a love of mythology to get the most out of this book.

I recommend it - I will read it again and thoroughly enjoyed it :)

USA cover - isn't this one gorgeous?

www.brennayovanoff.com
The Replacement on Good Reads

Many thanks for stopping by :)

Rocking My World Friday...

Hi all. I can't believe I've been a whole week without posting!

So - what's been fabulous about this week? Lets have a think and look back *swooshy hands & time travel glitter*

Hmmm, some book yumminess in the post. Nothing I love more (apart from new art/craft supplies) than getting a new book... so to have FOUR arrive. Well. Happiness indeed.
The bottom two were a win from Book Chick City - honestly this blog is responsible for making my wishlist huge! The top two have been sent for me to review. They all look fabulous!

Next up was Artists & Illustrators magazine. I've often seen this in the shops and ummed and aahed about whether to buy it. I will admit it was totally the Quentin Blake cover that finally swayed my purse to creak open this month... well, truth be told it was Craig's wallet but what's his is mine eh?

Oh my goodness, am I so glad I did. It's one of the best magazines I've read in a long time. The articles in there are so interesting - the hints and tips are so good. Even a lot of the adverts are mini articles in themselves. The articles are so diverse as well - such different styles that make me want to try everything. I particularly love the painting with masking fluid tutorial in there which doubles up as a 'how to' on Derwent Inktense blocks as well. I'll be buying this again... and again. And at £3.95 a month I think it's definitely at the more reasonably priced end of the spectrum than a lot of art/craft magazines. (I'm thinking Art Doll Quarterly & Somerset Studio here, both of which I adore but can rarely justify the price.) Still reading this one a week later!

A spontaneous mini barbecue on the beach. We found a couple of those disposable barbecues in our clear out of the black hole under the stairs this week. So off we trotted to gather some supplies and head to the beach. Great to watch the girls just charging about and having fun in the fresh air.

Our expertise in lighting the barbecue was however, questionable to say the least. A whole box of matches gone and there we sat, non-plussed and debating how to tell the girls they were getting dry cheese rolls for lunch. "Let's just pop it back in the car and try again at home" says intelligent moi. Two minutes and a gust of wind later and the whole thing has caught and is crackling away merrily. Can you imagine if I'd dumped it in the car and it had started up there...? Or if I was driving along and it had started? We did laugh about it but even I am constantly amazed at my stupid ideas sometimes.

A rare piccie of the two of us together

On the plus side we were all amazed at how good Tesco vegetarian burgers taste cooked that way. I love them anyway but they take on a whole different texture and taste when barbecued - just yummy. I'm contemplating going veggie again - I was vegetarian for almost 10 years and then had terrible meat cravings when pregnant with middle monster. I rarely eat red meat still and mostly use Quorn in my cooking anyway. It's mainly the odd chicken curry that is my downfall - but it was nice to know that even my old veggie staples can taste so different.

Swollen tootsies banished meant that I could once again wear one of my favourite pairs of shoes! Yay!Sticking with the healthy eating and attempting to exercise. It's slow going and trying to find exercise I can actually do without injuring myself is proving a challenge but in dribs and drabs it's coming off.The healthy eating is proving to be really easy this time...

My newest attempt at exercise is getting Zumba for the wii. I tried it for the first time today, nearly gave myself a heart attack and Devvie nearly died laughing at my bootie shake. I shall rise above and persevere - the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding... or on the scales!


I'm going to finish there, I always fear I ramble to much anyway - as always I'm pretty sure I've forgotten something, I really should keep a notebook throughout the week for this post - think I will next week!

What Rocked your World this week? Remember no matter how poopy there is usually something, no matter how small that made us smile and that's what Virginia encourages with this post. Look past the poop for the nugget of...er...sweetcorn? That really doesn't read as well on screen as it does in my head. But you get the idea - and it really works at sorting your priorities out y'know. Why not join us next week?


Thanks for stopping by :)

P.s - The World didn't end as predicted. Pretty big positive right there don't you think?

Rocking My World Friday...

...yes I know it's Sunday. So, what's made me smile this week?

Well, driving has got a whole lot more colourful with the explosion of wild daisies and poppies that seem to have sprung from nowhere and now line the roadsides round here. In fact they lined the roads all the way to Hastings on Saturday. It's a gorgeous sight and can't fail to raise a smile.
Image borrowed from here.

Finding out that bonkers Amy has started her own Ning site and is running classes. Check out her post here for a fabulous giveaway and all the details. BUT be quick, for this weekend only her first class is just $10 which works out just over £6 in proper money *g* You bet I've signed up - who wouldn't want to create psychedelic art like this? And if I'm honest? I've paid more for a magazine than the price of this class - I'm so in there!
Amy's creation

I'm seeing Christmas presents for all my girls as a result of this ;) Lets see how quickly I can grunge it up eh?

And talking of giveaways - Cameron's having one over at hers to celebrate her 100th post. I love Cameron's blog - she's one of those bloggers you need to go fetch a cuppa before you read her posts. they're epic and usually full of great tips & techniques or things that make you think.

Seeing more of my family in a week than I probably will for the rest of the year! One of my sister's was visiting from Canada this week so my other sister arranged a mini get together. This was great mainly because said sister makes wicked chocolate bread pudding ( I was good and factored it into my healthy plan - honest Guv!) and of course there were 5 out of the 6 of us sisters together in one room at the same time. That doesn't happen often.

Then of course, we went to see Craig's parents in Hastings on Saturday - that's always great fun to see them and Ruby was on top form demanding curds and whey on her toast -she decided she wanted breakfast at lunch time so Nanna made her cereals and toast - the curds and whey being... lemon curd!

On the weight-loss front I lost 7lbs this week...well, most of that was water loss where my poorly legs have been gradually losing their swelling but I believe 3lbs was actual weight loss. Yay! So with the legs getting better, I am able to walk a bit easier and in less pain. I'm hoping a few more days and I'll stop getting the old tootsies swelling up of an evening... and if not - well, I can live with it if it just happens at the end of the day.

You lovely lot, I know I keep saying it but I mean it and one way or another you always make me smile - you all know who you are, what you've done, said, offered to do and it all means so much each and every word and gesture... and I'm so happy that a certain lovely in particular is home safe and sound and hopefully on the mend!

I'm sure there was so much more this week but I have a snuffly nose and am particularly cotton wool brained tonight so if I remember stuff I shall include it in next weeks round-up. I hope you've all had a good week with a fair few happy moments :) Why not stop by Virginia's gaff and join in?


Thank you as always for stopping by.

Mutant Spider Pin Cushion

Two posts in two days! I know! But I really wanted to show you my new friend and sewing buddy...

Whoopidooings (Carmen Wing) Mutant Spider Pin Cushion (Easy Peasy to make) I was getting fed up of keep knocking pins on the floor and then, where I've been sewing un-shoed due to sore tootsies... standing on the pins. Ouch! So we had to come up with a little helper. This is Maximillion the Mutant Spider. Mutant because he has way more than eight legs.

He was easy peasy to make. If you want to make a Max too you'll need:

  • A lid of some description
  • Some scrap fabric
  • Stuffing
  • Embellishments
  • Needle & thread
  • Glue

I used the lid off of a tinned candle, mine is roughly 3" in diameter but you could use anything - lid off of an empty jam jar, Marmite lid... whatever - just make sure you've finished up the contents first.

Cut a rough circle about tea plate sized in some scrap fabric - the fabric is an old playsuit of my youngest.

Blob some stuffing into the center of the circle, judge how firm you'd like the body to be as to how much stuffing you use. A good handful was used in mine - I've mutilated a cheap Ikea cushion for the stuffing.

Loosely stitched around the edge of the circle (I think it's called a running stitch? I'm so technical!) Then you pull the ends tight to make a ball. Sew the bottom of your ball closed.

Liberally cover the inside base of your lid with your chosen glue - I used Glossy Accents just because it's what was on my desk and I'm to lazy to go hunting. Squidge the ball, with messy sewn up base to the bottom, into the glue. Balance something heavy on top to make sure it dries in there nice and secure - I balanced my Cuttlebug on top - you don't have to live so dangerously with your tools - a heavy book would do.

Leave to dry for a good few hours - I left overnight.

Use embellishments to make pretty. The pompom ribbon and googly eyes on mine came from the Gauche Alchemy colour kits. But whatever you have in your stash - this is such a cheap, quick and fun critter to make just using what you have.

Hope you like :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Art, Heart & Healing - Empathy Monster

This week has seen me playing with my sewing machine. Week three of the Art, Heart & Healing class included making an empathy monster. This little guy is so full of mistakes and flaws it's unbelievable but then aren't we all? I had such fun making him - I love him. He's arrived at his new home now so I can show him to you - I'm reliably informed his new name is Squishy!

Whoopidooings (Carmen Wing) Empathy Monster
Whoopidooings (Carmen Wing) Empathy MonsterModelled by my Random Generator so you can get an idea of the size - isn't she useful?
Whoopidooings (Carmen Wing) Empathy Monster

I've now got to make another for me, all the girls want one too BUT first... wait for it... Craig wants me to do him a mutant pigeon monster for his birthday! Now that, from my beloved, is high praise indeed!

Hope you are all having a fabulous weekend, thanks for stopping by!

Rocking My World Friday


Click the piccie to join in :)

Happy Friday people!

Well, I warn you now it's going to be long and waffly and may not make much sense to anyone but me but this is a positive look back on the week... warts and all! So lets go...

Being in lurve. Yep - it's a soppy one at number one. Craig and I have been together 9 years this month - but that doesn't mean we don't still get our wires crossed - it doesn't happen so often these days but when it does we do it big stylee. We are such opposites anyway and I am SUCH an emotional mess at times - I'm surprised he managed 9 years to be honest... So I'm thankful that even though we can be a couple of muppets - we still talk and untangle those wires. Love my Craigy.

Which leads me to number two - the wonderful Gauche Mamas at Gauche Alchemy who, in one of my emotional moments got caught in the crossfire this week. I was in a "I'm going to sort everything out and make it all OK by blundering through everything with my muddy steel toe-cap boots, so I am" kind of mood. Thought I was doing the right thing by everyone - was doing absolutely the wrong thing by everyone. Again. But the lovely ladies over there, Amy especially - just brilliant. Wiped away the mud and dirt and tidied up where I'd trampled while making me feel a million dollars and not even a bit silly (managed that on my own!) Love you girls and love being a part of the whole GA shindig :)

Playing this song a lot the past few days. One of my favourites songs in the World ever, certainly my favourite Michael Jackson song - even ahead of Thriller! I know! Whenever I need a good talking to or a kick up the backside I listen to this...



It's also my funeral song - my sister knows and has always known, I'll come back and haunt her arse if I shuffle off before her and she doesn't play this at my funeral. And not in a loving, watch over her, haunting either. Oh no! In a lobbing hard objects at her head while she sleeps, kinda way. Not being morbid - just one of those conversations sisters have, y'know? So Michael Jackson's Man In The Mirror - that's been up there on my list this week - as well as Spotify... saved me having to pull out the creaky CD drawer that jams every single flipping time and I usually end up pulling to hard and dropping something on my foot. Spotify. Saves my toes!

The Doctor. No not the Doctor...

The other Doctor. Curer of aches and pains, not Time Lord extraordinaire. I don't like going to my Doctor - he makes me feel like I'm wasting his time before I've even parked bum on chair. But today it was a replacement lady Doctor with the coolest name, pronounced (but not spelt) Dr DIE! She listened to my woes about my dodgy knees today and seemed happy when I said I just needed some advice. T'would appear I've knackered my knees by running , badly, on concrete. After reading through the Couch to 5K program that I had thoughtfully printed out for her and sighing and reading and sighing and muttering about the internet... and sighing some more... she said I'm banned! BANNED for two weeks!

Now I should digress and tell you that Phoebe hurt her fingers earlier this week while playing goalie. Quick trip to hospital and two fingers taped together later... she maybe has a tiny fracture but she most definitely has a... yep you guessed it, a two week ban from any contact sport. Cue her loving Mother guffawing loudly and teasing her sporty daughter mercilessly at the loss of her tomboyish pastime.

Karma sucks I have to say!

Yes, there was much laughter and finger pointing by said child when I got home tonight.

But! It was lovely to be listened to and have some good advice - no more running on concrete, save up for proper shoes, brisk walking in the meantime to build up stamina and strengthen knees... and not feel like I was wasting surgery time.

Talking of trying to get healthy, two weeks in and I am on a roll! Am not struggling at all and am really enjoying eating well. I was also enjoying trying to exercise - but, well, we wont mention that again. Not for two weeks anyway. Have I told you how much I love the Slimming World plan?

THIS much!

Next up, a couple of people have asked about my commission. I still grin when I type that. Well, Caz has given me permission to say it's for her. It's going to be a 10"x 10" mixed media canvas for her craft room. Basically she's left me to my own devices and I just have to tailor it to what I already knows she likes! Eek! If she doesn't mind I'll post on my progress.

On the telly this week - I loved, loved, loved the Perspectives Pre-Raphaelite program that was on last Sunday (more waffling here) and am still loving The Walking Dead - Sundays are turning into the night I hide the TV remote *g*


Oh yeah - one of my favouritest and best Rocking Moments this week was buying some snuggly stripy socks. I can't often find nice ones in huge honking mahoosive feet size but I found a fabby pack in the men's section of Primark this week. Love me my stripy socks I do. Mmm, new socks. Mmm, STRIPY new socks! What? Some people like shoes, some people like bags... I like stripy socks... helluva lot cheaper. What can I say - easy to please!

How was your week this week? Why not drop by Virginia's and play along?

Thanks as always for stopping by... hands up who glazed over by this point?

Perspectives: Pre-Raphaelite


Did anybody watch the Perspectives programme on Sunday night? It was on ITV1 and was about the Pre-Raphaelite style of art.

I loved it. It completely changed my view of Andrew Lloyd Webber - I don't tend to watch anything he is in because I found him annoying... but I love this style of painting it's my very favourite. I'm not so 'up' on art and the famous artists that I know all the names of the different genres and what falls into what category and who painted what, the lines are blurred and smudged to me. I put my hands up to being a complete ignoramous in fact. But I have always adored this kind of painting and aspire to be able to draw/paint in this style.

My sister has a huge framed print of Ophelia on her wall that I have been very jealous of for many, many, MANY years. As a teen I had numerous calendar pages or postcards of various pieces, I was always intrigued with the romance, the mythology and the links to tragedy or death in the pictures... how there is always a story.

As I say this program really changed my view about Andrew Lloyd Webber, his enthusiasm was infectious and I couldn't help but grin as he enthused about his love for this style too - although slightly annoying just how much he had in his private collection... jealousy really does not become me. I really recommend a watch of the program if you can get the link to work for you. Best documentary I've seen in a long while and I will be making it my business to get a book and find out just who did paint those pictures I love so much and that I aspire to.

Thanks for stopping by :)

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