Sunday, 27 March 2011

British Summer Time begins & THE CENSUS!

It doesn't even feel like spring has fully arrived yet in the Ribble Valley - but British Summer Time started this morning, "Spring forward, Fall back" 
Giving us Brits an hour less in bed we don't get back until autumn, but the nights are now an hour lighter - I had a feeling this was going to be abolished this year, but no - we have been saved from gloomy nights for another year! 
I know this is a contentious issue on our small Island, many people in the far north want it abolished because the mornings are dark again - and as we no longer need to "dig for victory" it isn't really needed to help feed the country in desperate times, but I like it - I like looking forward to longer days, I like the fact that it is peculiar to us, and I like the fact it confuses people! 

So here is a whoop to BST! 
have you changed your clocks yet?

And don't forget to fill out your CENSUS forms today! Figure out what your job is, count the bodies sleeping through the hour change - and declare you are a JEDI KNIGHT!
I love this country!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Red Nose Day - behind the scenes exposed!

Tomorrow is Red Nose Day - As usual I have bought a red nose, but due to financial er...lack of money, will not be contributing any more. 
A few years ago I was fortunate to get the opportunity to work in one of the Red Nose Day call centres for the evening. An e-mail had circulated work from the DWP asking for volunteers, and you could also bring any friends along to - so I fired an e-mail straight back - then surprised my hubby, daughter, brother and friend with their sudden volunteer roles - luckily they were all really chuffed and excited!

We had a fantastic night - we each had our own desk and phone with head set at Cardwell House Job Centre Plus office in Blackburn - Baby fig was too young to man the phones, so was assigned a position as runner - dashing round the desks collecting the pledges, then tallying up the totals.

It was quite a surreal evening - there was a TV in the corner with the show playing, and the phones never stopped, we were warned to expect a massive increase in calls each time one of the scenes in Africa was shown, and we certainly got them!

I had 3 memorable calls in the evening - the first from a lovely lady who's brownie pack had backed biscuits and sold them raising £65. She asked if it would be possible to get them mentioned on TV - but there wasn't anything I could do to make that happen! The second was from a gentleman with a very serious tone - I asked him how much he wanted to pledge then almost fell of my chair when he calmly said £4000! I covered the mouth piece and hissed "this guy wants to donate £4K what do I do?" - "Take it off him!" said the guy in charge. Do'h

The third memorable call was my last one of the evening - we were shutting down and logging off ready for another call centre to take over when my phone rang, the guy on the other end had been watching the programme in the pub - and was extremely er...well oiled.
He did not have a credit card to make his pledge with (the only way possible for anyone to pay over the phone) and for 15 minutes I tried to get him to understand this, That I couldn't take cash over the phone, and that if he went to post office the next day he could pay it there. He was crying by the end of the call - so much has the show moved him - I was almost in tears too - everyone but the guy in charge had left the building and nearly all the lights were off - I often wonder if he did go and make a donation the next day.

Anyway - that's enough rambling - enjoy Red Nose Day wherever you are, and think of all those volunteers in call centres all over the country excitedly waiting for your call!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A bit of what you fancy does you good!

Today has been a wierd old day. I have not gotten into the sewing room yet - but instead have become enraptured by twitter, and done some baking!!! 

The kind butcher sorted me out when he asked what I was after, and I replied "Tea for 2 for £5.56" as that was all I had in my purse - managed to aquire mince, potatoes and eggs - the eggs have gone into a fruit loaf, the potatoes and mince will be transformed by Mr Juicy later on.

Baby Fig has the night off work - she is working in the Whalley Arms pub, and has developed a nasty throat infection - although I thought she might have drunk enough alcohol to kill any bugs etc!

My first ever PURCHASED ACEO arrived from Estonia this morning - photo's to follow soon - in the mean time here are two more ACEO's I have been busy creating! 

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

ACEO me-o

Have you heard about ACEO's? I am completely obsessed with them at the moment - the title had me all curious at first, so after some investigation I found out they are tiny pieces of art work that can be traded and collected, they can be in any medium so long as the dimensions are 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" 
Mostly they are in what I would call 'ART' mediums like pencil, paints etc - but anything goes!
And here is my very first attempt at an ACEO - you never know, it could be worth millions if I ever become famous! 
for the wiki definition click here

ACEO: Art Card, Editions and Originals

 I have been buying more buttons this week after the two brooches I made for the craft fair sold straight away - I LOVE these, and fully intend to buy even more - to check out the shop click on the photo, she is so lovely to deal with as well! 

And now...The Craft Fair...what a strange day! and what an odd bunch of people these stall holders are! The lady on the stall next to me was very upset about so many things, most of which hadn't even crossed my mind, and another would not let me take any photo's of her work in case her designs were stolen, I explained I only wanted to blog about them, put a link to her shop etc, but no, she ended up shooting odd looks at me for the rest of the day.

Overall I had quite  good day, I took more money than I expected, but that was due to quite a lot of sales to friends and family!

So here is just a couple of shot - the bottom stall was soooo gorgeous, I love how she has taken a theme and used it so inventively, I wanted the rug, and the bags, and the brooches (one of which will be coming home with me at the next fair!) please check her Folksy shop out - again another REALLY nice down to earth Lancashire lass.

Next Fair!!! 19th March HERE! Pop along if you are in the area - I would love to meet y'all!


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Treasure Island - with cute animals.

The sun has been fighting through a thick haze all day, making it look warmer than it is! After spending most of it chained to my sewing room, on my last sewing day before Saturdays Craft Fair (tomorrow is labeling and final titivating day!) Mr Juicy and I went for a swift walk to blow some cobwebs out of the old noggin!
Jemmy was extremely pleased to be out for a second time, and Stitch came along for part of the way

He insisted on walking over the snow drops I was trying to get a shot of. Too cute to be told to bugger off though! 

This little guy was born a few nights ago in the field opposite - his mum had kept us awake shouting for an epidural the night before.

This season should be re-named 'the time of cute baby animals'

Thanks for your comments on my last post - I am in the process of inventing the perfect island paradise - in true sci-fi manner, once imagined - anything is possible! 
so far there is a small hamlet of warm stone cottages, large gardens with soil perfect for growing veg.  Trees, fields, streams, hills and valleys - but it all fits onto a few square miles! the children can run round barefoot, and the village shop will not be tesco's, but a lovely co-operative that also stocks the fruits of out crafty labours for the odd tourist who makes it there. Now then, men... Strong, outdoor types with rugged good looks, and they can have an old barn on the hill to do bonding type things like building fires etc. when there is a good period drama on TV!

oh well, will keep working on that plan.

So, before I say ta ta for now, here are two pickie of a couple of brooches and some key rings I have been slaving away over - ready for Saturday!!!! 

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

you wait for 1 craft fair, then 3 come along at once!

It has been CRAZY here at Juicy Towers this past few weeks. After getting hitched up mentally to the possibility that lady Golfers may be from another planet and not appreciate my hand made earth items, and being set right by some of you good readers, I have signed up to 2 more craft fairs BEFORE the golf club fair.
 I have always suffered from 'What the heck, give it a go' syndrome. This in the past has seen me come away from various meetings with a new role. For example, when Taryn was a tiny figlet, I ended up as chairperson of her play school committee, then after attending a meeting to re-energise the local horticultural society, and sitting listening to 2 old gents argue about weather to alter the entrance fee from 15p to 20p for half an hour - I left as Chairperson - again. When some parents wanted to start a 'Rainbow' unit in the village, I came out of the meeting running the 'new' unit - then there was no knit and natter group,  the African drumming class, the list goes on and on - it got so bad that my husband threatened to cut my arm off to stop me raising my hand at the crucial 'do we have any volunteers?' moment - now I just avoid going to meetings - but a tempting e-mail...well, sometimes you do just have to throw caution to the wind and sign up! 

I have been face booking the events, twittering the events, sticking up posters, handing out fliers, and busy busy making items I just hope the buying public will love so much they need to part with their cash to own it! 

In the mean time I have been watching programmes like Hugh's fish fight, The peoples supermarket, country file amongst others and feeling quite confused and torn up about being a part of the whole 'problem'  - I have resolved to buy unusual fish, shop at the fishmongers, and keep an eye out for mackerel on local chip shop menu's (although I can't remember the last time I went to the chippy!) I am trying to shop at Tesco (or the others) as little as possible, but as a child of the 70's I have grown up with large supermarkets and no local grocery shops - so it is taking me some time to get my head around how I shop - getting there though! And country files report on affordable housing for local people in rural locations hit a real chord - this has been a gripe of mine for 20 years! I was brought up in a house my parents bought from my great grandfather, and they still live their - however when me and baby fig moved out almost 20 years ago, I could not afford to buy or rent a property in the village, so had to move to the next village where much of the housing was council housing or mill terraces, and over that 20 year period the prices of houses in Whalley has become obscene! a small 2 up 2 down will set you back up to £250K! The village is growing and growing with new housing - about 10 years ago a huge old 'mental hospital' was closed down apart from a small secure unit - then hundreds of new houses were built around the site, almost doubling the village population - and now plans for another 2-3 hundred houses are being made. All on green fields. They are even considering building a new school - please don't let them knock down the 200 year old school we already have! 

I am feeling less and less like a 'local' I hardly know anyone in the streets and shops, and while walking down a country lane the other week had some 'newcomer' in their 4x4 blast there horn at me to move then call me a 'yokel' as they tore past! 

Give me an Island, with a sewing machine and a stack of fabric - nice weather, Internet connection, and a husband who can catch our food.