Wednesday, 31 December 2014


It's New Year's Eve.

I don't know where the past two weeks have gone.  Admittedly I did miss several days due to a raging abscess tooth infection, which laid me low for a while and made me wonder if I might have to have my Christmas dinner liquidised to drink through a straw.

In the downtime between Christmas and New Year I was full of plans to work on my own projects and do some serious strategic planning for the coming year.  

Predictably, I've had limited success with both of those. 

OK, so I've emptied my little shop window and dismantled it.  Or to be more accurate, it fell apart. 

Several years of being packed and unpacked to take to fairs have resulted in it becoming a bit ramshackle and I knew I would need to do repairs.  The fact that it has come apart of its own accord isn't a problem, as it will be easier to repaint if I remove the glazing and have the assembly in its separate components.

I've removed all the signage and the internal decor.  I've also painstakingly removed all the gripwax I'd used to fix the tiny toys in place but that's as far as I've got.

Similarly, my strategic planning is coming along s-l-o-w-l-y.  I'm finding it difficult to buckle down and focus on the task in hand.  

My infatuation, (bordering on obsession), with Pinterest isn't helping either.  The more I pin and build my boards, the more emails I get from Pinterest 'suggesting' other boards I might be interested in.  I know I should just ignore those emails, but it's always soooooo tempting just to click on one and before you know it you've spent an hour or more lost in 'Pinterest Time', which doesn't abide by any of the physical laws of the known universe.

There is no such thing as spending a few minutes on Pinterest.  I wish there was a virtual equivalent of tying a rope round what I laughingly call my middle, handing the other end to a responsible adult and instructing that I be pulled out after a specified amount of time.

I have no willpower.


Saturday, 20 December 2014

What the duck.....?

OK.....I'm officially worried.

Usually at this point in the run up to Christmas I'm in a state of controlled panic. 
Presents to buy, the house in complete disarray,  preparations woefully inadequate.

But not this year.

No by no nonny no.

THIS year, all my ducks are not only in a row, they're doing a perfectly synchronised tap dance whilst playing a not entirely untuneful rendition of Colonel Bogey on kazoos.

I'm THAT well organised.

OK, so my Secret Santa gift, ordered in plenty of time several weeks ago still hasn't arrived, but I'm sure it will be here before Christmas......

And we still have two guest bedrooms to set up.....

And all the festive food shopping to do......

But apart from that everything's tickety boo.

Which means I can turn my thoughts to some strategic business planning for 2015.  I normally set aside the 'Twixmas' period for that, but this year I'm SO WELL ORGANISED that I've made a start on it already.

I know.

I can't believe it either!

What could possibly go wrong..... ?

Friday, 12 December 2014

AIM Advent Calendar Tutorial......

This year, once again, the Artisans in Miniature (AIM) group has produced a wonderful online advent calendar, with a different miniature tutorial behind each of 24 doors on the lead up to Christmas Eve.

My own tutorial is behind Door 11 

Complete kits are available for this little doll, or alternatively you can buy a ready to dress ballerina, as described in the tutorial.  Please contact me for further details or to purchase.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Happy Birthday Blog......!

This blog is 8 years old today.


Doesn't time fly.......  it seems like only yesterday I took my first tentative steps into the blogosphere, with this brief post.

And now, here we are, almost 1400 posts later, still going strong.  

Well, strong-ish.  

My posting frequency has dropped significantly since the heady years of 2009-2012, and this will be the first year since 2007 that I've posted fewer than 100 times.

I blame Facebook.

I keep hearing that blogging has had its day, and that we should all be, like, down with the new kids on the block of 'soshal meejah'.

I don't agree.  This blog was my first love and as such I won't abandon it in favour of younger, trendier upstarts, with their inane tweeting and poking.  

FB and Twitter are the fast food dives of social media.. the McDonald's or Burger King.
Blogs are much more like a fine dining establishment, with a la carte menus and silver service, where you can pull up a chair, relax and enjoy the experience.

So, Happy Birthday blog!  Here's to your continued good health, and I'll try be a more consistent blogger in the coming year.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

And the winner is........


A few weeks ago I decided that instead of starting a major new project I would upcycle an existing one.... I blogged about it HERE.

I had 10 entries, all of which were put into the metaphorical hat in front of Small Dog.

She had one job.

Pick a slip.

We had to wake her up from one of her many naps and explain to her what she had to do, ie pick up one of the folded slips from the floor in front of her. 

She can't claim ignorance of the rules, as she's drawn prize winners loads of times. 
However, she was grumpy.....
Perhaps as a result of being wrested from the arms of Morpheus.
Or perhaps because it's so cold and gloomy.
Or perhaps she got out of the wrong side of her basket this morning.

Anyway..... she sat and looked at the paper slips.  
Then she looked at us.
Then she promptly turned on her furry little heels and went straight back to her bed.

On the second attempt she looked even more disgruntled.  Never have I seen a look more obviously declare "Oh for Dog's sake.... WHY have you dragged me out of my lovely snuggly bed AGAIN, to look at a pile of paper?!"

In an effort to engage her interest, we stirred the slips, inviting her to pick one.

I should have known her mood was not conducive to cooperation but we persisted, until she suddenly dashed forward, grabbed one, and made off with it back to her basket.

She had THAT look on her face.  The 'Don't Mess With Me!' look that never bodes well.  
We could see the winning slip poking out of her mouth but apparently the rules of the game had changed.

SD: "Well?  What?  You wanted me to pick one so I did.   This one.  It's mine now".

Me:  "Well done.... that's brilliant.  Can I just have a look at it for minute please.  You can have it back when I'm finished with it".

SD:  Lying down and proceeding to chew the slip, like a small hairy spy eating a secret code.  "No.  It's mine.  I picked it, now I want it.  It's mine.

Me: *sigh*  Trying to entice her to drop the slip in exchange for one of the others

SD: Raising her eyebrows and clenching her teeth on the slip "Grrrrroffff.... s'mine!"

At this point I decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and sat down at my desk, feigning disinterest in the whole issue of ownership of the slip.  At which point SD promptly spat out the slip and lay down to resume her nap with a loud harrumph.

So, finally,  here we have it.

A bit chewed and damp round the edges but thankfully still legible..... the winning name for my Alice shop window. Congratulations Josie!

However, as it is the season of giving and goodwill to all, and as I enjoyed ALL of the suggestions, if all of the other entrants could email me their contact details, I will send them a consolation prize as a thank you for taking the time and trouble to enter the competition.

And as for Small Dog.....let's just say her bid for the December Employee of the Month is a lost cause.