I’m sorry, I’m sorry – been neglecting my blog, I know. My excuse is that I have been working on a very complicated web site (well, for me anyway) and after spending every waking moment toiling away at my computer, the last thing I felt like doing when I stopped to relax was blogging. Anyway, it’s all finished now , I even found time to make a book for a friend. I made her a web site a few months ago for her new bed and breakfast business, and she asked me if I would make her a visitors book for her guests to sign. Here it is.
I used an image I took of her house and printed it onto Belgian linen bookcloth. I made the striped back cover in Photoshop and it was tricky working out where to place the stripes and image so that they were in the right place when I bound the book. It worked even better than I hoped. I hope she likes it.
One of the things that tempted me back to my blog (apart from my friend Carol telling me how much she enjoyed reading it – all bloggers should have a friend like Carol!) was finding that the lovely writing gb had given me this award. The award was originated by Montessori Mama – isn’t it pretty? Very cheering on these cold winter days.
The rules are these:
– List six things that inspire my creativity
– Pass the award on to 6 more kreativ bloggers
– Link back to the person who gave you the award
– Link to the people you are passing it on to and leave them a comment to let them know.
2 Other bookbinders. One particular thing that has caught my fancy (which is in ‘500 Handmade Books’) is a wonderful ‘bustrophedon variation’ by Cathryn Miller, which is a sort of book which folds up into a small cube. I think it’s delicious and especially as I think this was created by the same Cathryn Miller who also comments here and is a member of the Book Arts Forum, a wonderfully inspiring place to visit.
3 Blogs. I was inspired to try bookbinding by reading the blog written by Dennis Yuen. He also has a beautiful book featured in ‘500 Handmade Books’. His blog features lots of tutorials and images of the gorgeous work he does.
4 Curiosity. I see something, I have to try and work out how it was done and reproduce it. Expect to see a ‘bustrophedon variation’ attempt gracing (or otherwise) these pages sometime soon…
5 A slightly obsessive nature. I have been designing and writing this web site I have been working on for over a week. I sit down to work as soon as I get up and often find myself sitting working until late at night. I even dream about solutions to problems I am having. I realised on Monday, I had not been out of the house for a week, apart from taking Milo into the garden for a run around. (No wonder I am not having much luck meeting a new chap). I am also obsessive about finding lovely materials to work with, nice paper, leather, fabric and so on. Oh and kit. I love the tools and gadgets and equipment that go with bookbinding.
6 I love it when people appreciate something I have made. It gives me such satisfaction. When I was younger, I was always lacking in self confidence so when people praise my work it gives me such a buzz.
So there you have it.
I pass this on to the following people who all create such wonderful things and who all seem to inhabit a parallel universe where days are 48 hours long. How else do you explain how much they achieve? Or is it that I am rubbish at time management….?
Teresa – home schooling , soap making, homesteading, cooking wonderful food, writing and so much more
Amy H – she knits, she makes books and brings up two small children – they are all gorgeous.
Kylee – making polymer clay jewellery, running language and jewellery making workshops, bringing up a baby, President of her local Arts and Culture Association….
Kim – the friendliest, most supportive blogger who encouraged me when I was first starting out and who is a wonderful artist. She also founded the Top Artists Directory which must take so much time to keep updated and also writes the poetry blog PoeArtica
Astrid – a bookbinder from Germany who has never failed to inspire with the quality and the variety of the books she produces. Not to mention the quantity….
“Maybe they’ve got incredible, original content. Or they’re overflowing with creativity. Is it someone that helps you become a better blogger? Or a bloggy friend you know you can count on? Or maybe it’s someone who simply inspires you to be a better person… or someone else who sends you to the floor, laughing your ass off. Whatever the reason may be, I’m sure you know at least a couple of bloggers that kick ass. Well… why not tell ’em so?
Here’s how to send them some love:-
* Choose 5 bloggers that you feel are “Kick Ass Bloggers”
* Let ’em know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they’ve received an award
* Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to http://www.mammadawg.com
* Hop on back to the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!
To get codes click on the button above which will take you to KABC HQ – don’t forget to link up the person who nominated you for the Kick Ass Blogger Club. ”
OK. Done all that. My five ‘Kick Ass Bloggers’ are *drum roll*
Next up. What can I say? Those of you who are acquainted with Lord Likely and his Astonishing Adventures will probably have an inkling of what is to come. (Insert you own double entendre here).You can read all about his ‘Golden Cock of Excellence’ award here.
In his inimitable fashion, he explained why I was receiving this accolade thus:
“Lady Diane Aldred:supremely creative English rose Diane has been a regular reader of my wondrous journals, and for that she deserves honouring. Plus, with any luck the receipt of said award will endear her to me, and we shall wind up entwined in a passionate embrace, possibly whilst nude.”
In reply I just have to say – consider yourself endeared, we will have to see about the rest :-) The award itself is a little – how shall I put it? Ah yes, outré, for a wholesome blog such as this one (especially as some of my readers might be of a nervous disposition), so if you would like to see it, please click here. Now go and have a lie down.
I watched the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics this afternoon – well some of it – it went on for hours. It was quite awesome and putting aside any issues or disquiet that any one may have about the Chinese government’s policies or human rights record, there was no denying that they have set the new benchmark for opening ceremonies. London is going to struggle to get anywhere close to this stunning performance in 2012.
Here is a 30 second round up the BBC broadcast at the end of the 4 hour coverage this afternoon. The quality of this isn’t brilliant but if I find a better clip I will swap it over later.
This is the ad that the BBC has been running for the games. I love it.
And finally, here’s something that might give you an inkling of how successful the UK Olympic Games opening ceremony is likely to be. These are some UWE students (University of the West of England in Bristol) organising a charity balloon launch. Sigh. I despair.
Well, hello there, I’m back! I have so much to tell you I don’t know where to begin. The new haircut? The holiday plans? My meeting up with an old friend? The lovely walks? No, it has to be my excuse for my absence. After #2 son’s graduation, he came back home with me and we have been hanging out together before he heads off again. It’s been a nice reminder of how life used to be, having a boy with a bottomless pit for a stomach in the house again, it’s been one long round of cooking, food shopping and laundry, movies, music and cooking. And more laundry.
The graduation ceremony was a great thrill for me and the rest of the family. I thought I would explode with pride. My son looked so handsome in his gown (minus cap, you will notice. Apparently, the graduates had been throwing them into the air for photographs after the ceremony and it was thought that was too dangerous – someone had hurt their eye a year or so ago, so political correctness prevailed and they were banned apart from in the official studio portraits – utter madness.)
My two sons and my ex and I, had a great few days in Leeds, it really is a fun city with lots of great shopping (unless you are shopping with/for two very fussy sons – and I thought women were supposed to be bad!) and restaurants. We had one particularly wonderful dinner at a restaurant called Anthony’s which was a bit ‘Heston Blumenthal’ if you know what I mean! Every dish had at least one ingredient that made you say ‘What?!’ (risotto of white onion, parmesan air and espresso? Or poached quail, pea sorbet, cocoa, morels? Or how about my dessert of apple parfait, pork filo and sage ice cream?) We were all totally amazed at how delicious it all was, in fact we would go so far as to say it was one of the best (if not the best) dinner we had ever eaten.
Since we returned, #2 son has spent his days fishing in the river which runs through our garden – amazingly he actually managed to catch a fish yesterday (which he threw back). I don’t know who was more surprised #2 son, me or the fish! He saw an otter in the river while he was fishing but by the time he had shouted me to come and look, it had gone – probably terrified by the loud shouting coming from the river bank :-)
We did manage to spot a fox in the field next to my garden. Apparently, it has four fox cubs which we haven’t managed to see yet but the mother fox comes out every evening for a walk around the field. We managed to catch some shots of her including this one of the fox eyeing up a crow which seemed quite oblivious.
I love the view into the field, as do some others it seems…
We have had a really fun time since we got back from Leeds. I’m very conscious that these times together are going to be much rarer in the future. My nest will be well and truly empty. On the bright side I will have lots of time to make books and play tennis… (knee is finally better, by the way). I have been working on a photo album which I am making as a gift for a friend whose daughter is about to give birth to a little girl – my friend’s first grandchild. Here is a sneak preview.
By the way, an update on my garden furniture saga. PayPal finally decided in my favour and have refunded me £500 which is the most they can, the balance is still to come from the dodgy seller, (Gemma at Land of Sofas) so I’m not holding my breath. I was contacted by someone else who read about my problems here, she had also bought furniture from this wretched woman but had been too late to file a claim with PayPal, so she stands to lose all her money.
When I was searching for alternative garden furniture, I found a web site selling the same furniture, under a different name (Home Living Online) but I could tell from the telephone number that it was the same people. Please do not buy from this company. I have reported them to the Trading Standards people and I hope that they will stop them from swindling any more unsuspecting customers.
Well, it’s nice to be back blogging and I have missed my visits to my blogging friends – thank you for your concern at my absence, but fret not! #2 son is off on holiday next week so the house will be quiet again and I can get back into a routine. Books and blogging here I come….
I try not to use this blog too often as a personal forum for all my pet peeves, personal traumas and disasters however, every once in a while something happens and I just have to explode! Back in April, I thought I was being very clever and bought some garden furniture from an eBay shop. It was a very good price (but still quite expensive -£600 or so). I still haven’t received the furniture.
Here we are at the beginning of July and my garden is still bare. I am furious. Particularly as the company that sold it to me (Land of Sofas based in Poole – be warned!) are now no longer registered as an eBay seller and do not communicate with me at all, and all their contact details are no longer available on eBay.
I managed to track them down and have contacted them several times. The girl I spoke to (Gemma) is always very short with me and seemed irritated I am bothering her. She has given me several dates for delivery, which have passed with no apologies or explanations, so I opened a dispute with PayPal and they are investigating the situation but as time goes by and our very short summer whizzes past, I am still furniture-less. My lovely big sons keep offering to go round and sort her out, as Poole isn’t too far from where I live (she signed off with her home address when she initially contacted me after the sale) but I am resisting their offer and attempting to do things through proper channels but if all else fails, I may go round there myself (with sons and a couple of their taller, even more scary friends) to discuss my refund!
The annoying thing is that the seller does appear to have lots of positive feedback but on closer investigation, most of it is for selling some sports drink bottles. All the feedback for the garden furniture they have sold in the past, says how long they had to wait for delivery and a lot of those people demanded refunds. The lesson from all this is to read the feedback properly. Don’t just look at the high positive feedback score and assume all is well. That’s the end of the lesson, I’ll keep you posted with any developments.
Anyway, rant over. A nice thing this week, has been reading the new ‘Top 101 Artists’ Blogs’ list over at Kim’s blog. Kim very deservedly (especially since her blog redesign) is at number 1, Emila’s lovely blog is at number 2 and guess who is number 3? Yes, moi! It’s such a phenomenal amount of work to update this list every month (particularly given the vagaries of Technorati) so I do recommend you head over there to check out some great art blogs. Kim was also sweet enough to pass on to me one of the many awards she has received recently – the Friendly Blogger award – well I try to be! Thanks Kim!
I’m going to pass this on to a couple of new commentators here at ‘Much of a muchness’ , 70’s teen and Daddy Papersurfer. If you read their blogs you will see why I enjoy reading them so much. And they are indeed, very friendly bloggers :-)
As I write this, there are gale force winds and rain sodden grey skies above, but does this stop #2 son from lighting the barbecue and cooking the ribs he so lovingly prepared last night? Indeed it does not. He is outside wearing shorts, a jacket and a woolly hat, cooking our lunch before we settle down to watch the tennis at Wimbledon (ladies final – the Williams sisters – should be a good one).
After the tennis, #2 son is going out (to play golf would you believe!) and I am settling in to watch Doctor Who – series finale, cliffhanger ending last week, Martha, Rose, Donna, Daleks, Davros and all the Torchwood team, especially lovely John Barrowman aka Captain Jack – I can barely wait – 5 hours 20 minutes to go……
I was supposed to be going to a picnic at Mapperton listening to Cuban Salsa music tonight but that is looking like a non-starter so more TV it is….and then tomorrow, the Men’s Final, Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal, the dream final! Woo hoo!
I was tagged by Mimi over at Mimi writes… to take part in this meme, she tagged a whole lot of people and I noticed I was included over at Kim’s. Mimi was originally tagged by Travis, who created this – just as well, as a Mimi meme is too much of a mouthful :-)
Here are the instructions for Trav’s Staying Out Of The Dungeon Trivia Meme:
He said: A meme needs ‘structions.OK…here’s your ‘structions:
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to:
1. Choose a category from one of these: Television, Stage & Screen, Nightly News, Publishing, Lives & Times, Music
2. Find 8 bits of trivia about your selected category
3. Be sure to let me know when…ok, if…you decide to play along so I can see what you come up with.
4. You may tag, or simply offer the meme for borrowing or stealing as you like.
So here we go. My chosen topic is Stage and Screen.
1 Tom Selleck was the original choice to play Indiana Jones. He turned the part down as he was too busy with ‘Magnum PI’ and it went to the lovely Harrison Ford.
2 Daniel Craig is the first actor to play James Bond, who is younger than the series itself.
3 Johnny Depp only had 169 words to learn in ‘Edward Scissorhands’.
4 Daniel Day Lewis and Russell Crowe were considered for the part of Aragorn in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. Even though he had never read any of the books, Viggo Mortensen took the part, after being persuaded by his son who loved them.
5 ‘The Last Samurai’ was not only Ken Watanabe’s first American Film, it was also the first time he had spoken English in a film. Tom Cruise took no ‘up front’ salary for making this film and trained for two years before film making began, learning sword fighting and taking Japanese language lessons.
6 Bette Davis was the original choice for the lead role in ‘Mary Poppins’. Danny Kaye and Fred Astaire were considered for the role of Bert, which was played by Dick van Dyke (and his atrocious Cockney accent….)
6 In the Coen Brothers film, ‘Intolerable Cruelty’, George Clooney plays a talkative character who is vain about his teeth. In his previous Coen Brothers film, ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’, he plays a talkative character who is vain about his hair.
7 Only days before the role of Batman was cast in ‘Batman Begins’, eight actors were asked to audition for the part. The actors were Christian Bale, Joshua Jackson, Eion Bailey, Hugh Dancy, Billy Crudup, Cillian Murphy, Henry Cavill and Jake Gyllenhaal. While Bale won the part, Christopher Nolan liked Cillian Murphy’s audition so much, he cast him as Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow.
8 Due to his part in ‘The Machinist’, Christian Bale was vastly underweight (about 120 pounds on his 6 foot+ frame) when he was under consideration for the part of Batman in ‘Batman Begins’. After being cast, he was told to become as “big as you could be” by Christopher Nolan, the director. Bale underwent a dietary and exercise regimen and ending up weighing about 220 pounds (about 40 pounds above his normal weight). It was decided that Bale had became too large (friends of his on the film’s crew dubbed him “Fatman”) and he quickly shed about 20 pounds to have leaner, more muscular frame.
So there you have it, 8 perfectly random facts (largely culled from the Internet Movie Database) and a wonderful excuse to have a look at some of my favourite movie actors. Yum!
I’m not going to tag anyone as it’s quite task compiling this list but if you’d like to have a go, please feel free!
While I’m at it catching up on tags and things, Dunn over at Simply Dunn, passed on this lovely award, which she received from Crissy, called the ‘Arte Y Pico’ award. Thank you so much, Dunn!
Arte Y Pico Award rules :
1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award through creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter of language.
2. Each award should have the name of the author with a link to their blog.
3. Award winners have to post the award with the name and link to the blog of the person who gave them the award.
4. Please include a link to the “Arte Y Pico” blog so that everyone will know where the award came from.
I’ve tried to find out what ‘Arte y Pico’ means but the nearest I can get from my translator widget is ‘art and tip’ (which makes no sense) I think it means like a tip of a mountain (the peak) so maybe it means ‘the peak of art’. I’d be glad for a good translation….
The weather here has been glorious, we had a wonderful weekend and I went to my first barbecue of the year on Sunday. It was a gorgeous afternoon and we played croquet which was great fun. Not quite like this game though.
I played tennis yesterday and today and have even been doing some gardening (not my forte, I must confess) but it is so wonderful to be outside in the warm sunshine. Needless to say, it is going to get cooler after today so I have been making the most of it – hence the lack of both bookbinding and blogging. I’m sure normal service will be resumed very soon.