Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: competition

The bear necessities

There is rather a sweet blog called ‘Dear Teddy‘ which I have seen mentioned in various places around the old interweb (Daddy Papersurfer, 70steen and Olga, the Traveling Bra – I would have thought another kind of teddy was more her style!).

It’s a blog, by for and about all those old stuffed animals and other beloved childhood toys which have a story to tell.”

Well, a few years ago, I was given a rather strange bear as a Christmas present. I hesitate to introduce him to the other bears over at ‘Dear Teddy’ as I’m not sure of the reception he would get from Grumpy Ted, Snowy Bear and Busy Bear. He is a rather groovy if dare I say, freakish bear designed by Phillipe Starke the famous French designer. Here is a photograph of him….

I’m not entirely sure that any story this little bear has to tell would be suitable for kiddie’s ears. Quite how the puppy, the lamb and the bunny ended up where they did is a story for Hallowe’en I’m sure and would probably be a cautionary tale for us all.

And talking of Hallowe’en, (bear with me- tenuous link following)   Kim over at Laketrees is running another of her wonderful competitions to win a portrait painted by her. The prize will be a portrait of a subject of your choosing, painted in oils/acrylics on a 90cm x 100cm canvas. All you have to do is post about the competition on your blog with a link back to Kim, subscribe to her feed by email and then comes the hard part – choose your subject (you? your son/daughter? partner? pet?) and in less than 250 words say why you have chosen your subject and why you should win! The competition closes on October 31st (Hallowe’en – now you get the link) at 12pm (not sure what time zone that is so get your entry in early to make sure you beat it – Kim lives in Australia!)

Kim also runs the ‘Top Artists Directory’ blog which is a fantastic resource to introduce you to the many talented artist who have blogs. I am in there but I actually feel a bit of a fraud, I’m not sure I’m really an artist as such – and I have been so slack at making books recently (too many holidays, I hear you cry!) but I will get back into it soon.

Milo continues to be a total time waster, the only time I get anything done is when he is like this

He is just so playful and cute, I find it hard to ignore him. He is off for his second jab tonight so he will be allowed out to play properly then and can mingle with other dogs. I shall take him over to see my friend who has two Cocker Spaniel puppies ( who are quite a bit older than Milo) and we shall see how he gets on with them. He should be OK as he came from a house with lots of other dogs. In fact, I’m amazed at how well he has adjusted to just being with me.

I gave him a bath a few days ago. What a sad little creature! There is not much dog under all that fur and he stood there, shivering with fear and looking very bedraggled, skinny and sorry for himself. Once dry and brushed, he looks more like a teddy than Edward Puppyhands does…

Another teddy who I am quite enamored of is this one – the iPulse Teddy Speaker

Your iPod sits in a pouch on his tummy, the controls are on his paws and coloured lights pulse in his feet in time to the music. That is one hi-tech teddy – a Christmas present for the baby that has everything – including an iPod full of nursery rhymes and lullabies….

Here’s a track that should be on there, this is the original version of ‘The Teddy Bears Picnic’ by Henry Hall and his Orchestra – way before my time, you understand, but this is the version I remember from my childhood. And what about that record player? I’d like to see iPulse Teddy get that in his pouch…..


The return of Thelma and Louise

Just a very quick post to show you this book and to tell you I’m not going to be around for a week or so. I’m off on an adventure – I’m flying to Geneva with a friend and we are then driving to Barcelona and catching a ferry over to Mallorca. We are then going to spend a few days at her apartment before flying back to the UK next week. I’m looking forward to the trip – Thelma and Louise eat your heart out! On second thoughts, that didn’t end too well, so maybe not :-)

As I will be traveling around, I won’t be taking my laptop so I’ll be having an enforced break from blogging, so apologies if I don’t visit yours for a while. I’ll catch up on my return. In the meantime, Kim over at Laketrees is having a little competition and is inviting people to vote for their favourite art work. I rather foolishly entered a book and it is up against some stiff competition – mostly (if not all paintings). If you are feeling kind and generous, and like my books I’d appreciate a vote or two so I don’t end up as a complete ‘Billy No-Mates’ over there. Thanking you kindly….

My Zen-like calm…

retro.jpgretro_closed.jpgretro_open.jpg

Every so often I make a book that I’m really not sure works. I have had this stencilled Katazome-shi paper for ages. In fact it is one of the first papers I ever bought from Falkiners. It has such a retro ‘feel’ and very strong colours and I have never been able to find anything that complemented it. I bought this marbled paper from Falkiners last week. It is a from a range of hand marbled papers by Ann Muir. The colours are almost exactly the same as the colours in the Japanese cover paper so I thought it would work but having made the book, I’m not so sure….

It ought to work, I usually choose the two papers by making sure that the inside paper has some of the colours from the cover paper and if it is a different pattern, that doesn’t usually matter as long as one is less ‘busy’ than the other. I think that’s the problem here. They are both too ‘busy’ and so it doesn’t quite work even though the colours are perfect and each paper is fabulous in it’s own right. Definitely a case where ‘less’ would have been ‘more’.

So far this year, I have won a competition over at Go! Smell the Flowers. The prize was a year’s supply of flowers from Flora 2000 – an incredibly generous prize and my first lot should arrive on Monday. Yesterday I heard from Suburose that I had won her crafty giveaway this week! How thrilling! Every week, at her blog Subu, Inc, (which is a showcase for her beautiful recycled notebooks), she has a different giveaway, this week’s is described as follows

…comes from the wonderful and talented Margaret of MargaretsWorld. This is a one of a kind 6×7 collage on wood based on a drawing entitled: “In the Octopus’ Garden”

octopus.jpg

Margaret constructs her art from found, recycled or otherwise discarded things [which makes me love her even more!]. She uses sculpture as well as two-dimensional material, such as canvas or water color paper in a collage format. all items are one of a kind.

If you want to see more work by Margaret, please feel free to visit her etsy site or her personal website [which houses some amazing pieces].’

I also received a beautiful calendar from Kim at Laketrees this week. It showed gorgeous views of the area in Australia around where Kim lives. This was a prize in a sort of supplementary quiz in her terrific ‘Win a Portrait for Christmas’ competition which was won by Colin over at Life.

I think my luck is finally changing! Now I’m don’t really follow horoscopes (except when it says something nice!) I’m a Scorpio and when I read last week that my ruling planet, Pluto is finally moving out of something or other (where it has been since the mid 1990’s) into something or other else this week, so my life is about to change, I was rather pleased. (Until my son pointed out that technically Pluto isn’t classed as a planet anymore so I am being ruled by a big lump of rock – but that’s another story….)

I am convinced that 2008 is going to be a good year, I checked out Pluto and it has been downgraded – but only to a dwarf planet, according to NASA, so that’s good enough for me. I just re-read the horoscope and it actually sounds like it could go either way…this is Shelley von Strunkel in the Sunday Times:

Keeping your nerve during this period of change isn’t easy. Much of your life, and your perspective on the future, is shifting. Some is by design, but just as much involves changes you neither anticipated nor initiated. Obviously, your instincts are telling you to scramble to save what’s worthwhile. But with your ruler, Pluto, moving into a new sign next week — for the first time since the mid-1990s — things can’t remain as they were. Because this influences others and circumstances as much as it does you, it’s a waiting game. Undertake this with a Zen-like calm and you’ll begin this new chapter in the best possible state of mind. “

Well, she was right about the unanticipated, uninitiated changes but the more I read this, the more ambiguous and scary it becomes. All I know is I must think positive and cultivate my Zen-like calm… :-)

Happy New Year

pansies.jpgpansies_closed.jpgansies_open.jpg

Well, here we are, 2008 already. I haven’t written here for ages – a combination of a hectic Christmas and a severe ‘stuck in the doldrums’ mood. Just haven’t felt like blogging but I have decided that as it is a new year I am going to throw myself back into making my books and blogging, it’s good therapy.

Christmas was – well, Christmas was unusual to say the least. I was feeling very depressed following the unexpected break up of my current relationship and not looking forward to the festivities one bit. So my ex-husband volunteered to stay over Christmas and we all ended up having a really nice time. It was good to have someone with me to go the the various parties I had been invited to, and I’m sure we caused a stir. Half the people were wondering if we had got back together (we haven’t) and the other half weren’t even aware we had split up (it was six years ago!) and so were very puzzled by what was going on. I have always wanted a big brother (I have three sisters) and oddly, that is what my ex seems to have become – a great friend. My sons loved having him around and it took the pressure off me having to be jolly when I felt anything but.

The boys are both away after celebrating New Year with their friends so the house is quiet. I cooked dinner for some friends last night and we walked into town to see the New Year in. Today, for the first time I felt like writing. Another year begins and I am going to get on with it, stop moping and make a fresh start. I just read that I have won a year’s worth of flowers over at Go! Smell the Flowers which was a lovely start to the year and maybe an omen that this year is going to be better. Hurrah for me!

So have a very happy 2008 everyone. thanks for all your wonderful good wishes, encouragement and support. You are all fab. This is to make you smile.

laurelhardy.gif