30 May 2008

Round up Time

Wow, it's already Friday. I swear someone is fast forwarding the clock. This weeks Challenge word was 'self' and it seems to have got people thinking. I've had a fair few people say they are working on it and quite a few people show me their entries already. So here are the entries I already have...

This first entry is from Beth. I met Beth through being a poi spinner. She is a really talented lady and has a heart of gold. A nicer person you couldn't hope to meet. For the last 300 days she has been participating in the Flickr 365 challenge and this is a collage of all the self portraits she has taken over that time. I find it amazing just how much Beth has changed in that time. She always has been stunningly beautiful but in the later photos she appears to have a radiant glow about her.

Both the above pictures were drawn by PrincessTigerMouse to represent herself. Both pictures, to me, have a serenity about them, a calmness and feeling of worth . The first one also shows openness in the pose, so although I do not know PrincessTigerMouse all that well I get the impression from her pictures that she is at ease with herself and a fairly happy person.

Nutty Jo (as she titles herself) looked at the challenge in a different way and took the challenge word and used the letters of it to describe herself. This is what she came up with.

S seldomly sensible, slightly silly, sometimes serious, sociable,sentimental & sorrowful
E easily excitable, endlessly embarrassed, earthy, eccentric, efficient,
emotional & eclectic

L largely likeable, loving, listless, lost, liberal & lavish
F forever fearful, facetious, forgetful, folksy, free-thinking, fun-loving
& fair-minded

If you have any entries that you wish to share with the readers please let me know and I'll add them. Thanks to everyone that has already shared their view of self with us and to all those still working on them just let me know when they are done and I'll add them to the blog. You people constantly amaze me with your talents!

29 May 2008

Jumpin Jehosafats Batman!

Of all the cartoon characters I know Robin, The Wonder Boy, has to be my least favourite. The original Batman comic strip didn't have Robin in it, he was added to the cast about a year on from the start. Batman creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger felt they needed a side kick for Batman and as they were big fans of the story of Robin Hood they fashioned The Wonder Boy on him. I personally feel the same way about Robin as Cat Woman did...

  • Catwoman: I could give you more happiness than anyone in the world.
  • Batman: How do you propose to do that?
  • Catwoman: By being your partner in life, I mean it's me and you against the world.
  • Batman: What about Robin?
  • Catwoman: Hmmm. . . I know. We'll kill him.

Now I reckon that if Catwoman were to kick Robin's butt it would start with a Biff! I Make Cute Stuff made this beautiful Biff sterling silver necklace. Perfect for those days when you want to be a superhero but don't really want to wear your underwear outside of your trousers.

Now If I were one of the Monty Pythons Hells Grannies, I'd put a brick in this little bag and use it to thwap Robin. Dressumups made this perfect little bag. On the other side of this bag it says "Bonk", so double the fun!

I'm guessing if Catwoman were to try and knock off The Boy Wonder, Batman would come to Robins aid. The BAM! badge Hybernate made would make a perfect screen to cover up the actual act, because you never did see the final blow land in the comic books.

Message on a button made enough buttons to cover up all the fight scenes in an entire 1960's TV series of Batman and Robin. My personal favourite is the KAPOW! badge. It's such a great word, although all of them are fabulous!

Trusty Sidehick has created the perfect way to add a dose of laughter to a school yard fight, with her children's t-shirt. All you child needs to do is jump across the view of the audience (who inevitably gather round before the teacher breaks it up) every time one of the urchins lands a blow. The audience will be rolling with laugher, which will hopefully also break up the fight- they are only fighting for everyone's attention anyway....

I guess I'm not really with Catwoman as I don't agree that Robin should be killed. I'm not really into violence... maybe we could just ladder his tights so he doesn't want to go out in public.

28 May 2008

The joys of JAM!

Today, Lynne once again asked me for a word on what we could blog about. After ten minutes of her telling me that we can't do "bums", I finally gave in an said "jam" (I think I might be getting hungry!). So it is with great delight, a rumbling tummy and a mouth full of drool, I bring you JAM! Oh, and for the Americans amongst us, to avoid any possible confusion, jam = jelly.

The first delicious item is made by the hands of easyaspiefilling - how awesome is the packaging? As you can see its an apple, raspberry and walnut mixture, hopefully with little chunks of each! I estimate that that jam would go best on... bagels!

Made by Mermaidsparkle - OH WOW! Its a felt version of a "peanut butter and jelly" sandwich! Im constantly amazed by the talents and creativity of the felters on Etsy, and this is no exception. I just think the simple act of making a replica sandwich out of felt is a great, fun idea!

Made by Edysedibles - Paddington bear loves marmalade sandwiches, and so do I! This orange marmalade is a great reminder for me of my childhood. My dad used to make himself marmalade on toast, and I can guarantee that either my sister or I would steal it, whilst the other distracted him from it! I hope this marmalade tastes like the scrummy marmalade I remember! I think this would go best on.... yep, you guessed it, stolen toast!

Made by Jamitall - This is one of my favourite pictures of a product on Etsy. I love the green and red colours together. These scrummy jams contain fruits bought locally at the local farmers market, and they also contain champagne, so please don't down an entire jar of it for breakfast, then take the kids out in the car on the school run! Don't jam and drive!

Panspantry made these beautiful honeysuckle jams. One of my mum's favourite ever flavours is honeysuckle, I might have to buy her a pot or fifteen! I hope they taste as good as the jars look! Should I be embarrassed that I *really* like the look of the lids...?

Quick update on last weeks Challenge

Last week just after posting the update I was shown this next entry, that I did mean to add to the post, but forgot. Naughty me! Anyway here is Hedgewitch's entry for the Orange Challenge.

Hedgewitch titled the photo "My Orange Evil Eyed Cat" and from this picture you would believe the title completely, but as the photo below confirms she really has one of the cutest, butter wouldn't melt, cats you ever did see!

I think I might suffer a cuteness overload if I look at this picture any longer, so I'm off for now to go and help Jon screw some new seats into the van. Have a fun day all!

27 May 2008


I stupidly asked Jon for an idea of what to blog about today, and true to form he said "Pants!" Now being English he means underwear and not trousers. I was going to just laugh and think of something else, but after doing a small search I came up with a whole bunch of pants, that I'm sure are not quite what Jon was hoping for... heehee

Kukubita has made this homage to the Y-Front underpants in this bag. The orange on turquoise is very 60/70's in style. I think it's funky and fun! There are other coloured pant bags in the shop along with some beautiful bracelets.

This button badge from McYarnPants is one of a set of 3 made from an underwear ad from the 1950's. It just made me giggle the way his vest is tucked into those Y-Fronts. Classic! I love the name of the shop too.

Here for you jewellery lovers (so you don't feel left out) is the sterling silver Y-Front pendant so you too can show of your love of the most un-sexy form of underwear ever to be created. Ball & Chain has done a great job of recreating them in fret work.

More badges, but made in felt this time. This rainbow of colour choices comes from Ding Dong Designs. My personal favourite of the ones in the photo are the Purple with the pink trim. Check out Ding Dong's shop for more fun items. I'm loving Bert and Ernie.

So you have just had a baby and you need to let your friends and family know that it's a boy. Swoon antiques has just the thing for you. This card says it all without really needing the text inside. It's a great change from some of the baby blue soppy cards out there. I'm loving it!

I've saved my favourite find of the day until last. How do you become a super hero? Well Kitchy-coo Art answers that question perfectly in this brilliant picture. All you have to do is put on a cape and wear your underwear outside of your trousers! Simple as. Fabulous art works in your shop Kitchy-coo. I'm liking your style very much.

Thanks to all of you talented people. You have given me a giggle and make my day a whole lot brighter. Keep making the Y-Front goodies. I'm loving them all!

26 May 2008

The 'Self' Challenge

This week I thought I'd ask you to define who you are buy something you write, paint, draw, photograph, or make. 'Self' is sometimes quite hard to explain or define so I'm guessing this challenge might take some time to complete, so don't worry if it takes you longer than the week to do. We will keep updating and showing what people make for as long as items are submitted.

As usual you can either send me your item via Etsy conversations or put a link in the comments on this blog post to what you have made/written/photographed/seen. For all the UKHippy crew that want to enter you can put yours on the thread in the Creative Forum and I'll stop by and pick them up. All entries will get full credit with a link back to any website/shop you might have.

23 May 2008

Orange Challenge Round Up

The challenge topic this week was Orange and as orange is one of my favourite colours I felt sure I would be coming up with a bevy of items to share. Most of this week however has seen me stuck in bed doing very little. All the ideas I had will get made, but I'll have to share them with you at a later date. We did however get some lovely entries from some of our readers which I can share with you today.

These gorgeous flowers from Rosebud really brightened my day on Tuesday when she linked me to them on her blog. Bold and bright, they glow so beautifully in the sunshine and the contrast with the green accentuates their beauty even more.

This vibrant orange candle was made for the challenge by the fair PrincessTigerMouse. Not only is it a rich orange colour but it has zesty orange aroma to delight the senses. It's now up for sale in her etsy shop.

High Desert Diva used this pretty & cheerful orange flower fabric to great effect in her bathroom. I think it looks great and adds a splash of colour to the window. Fabulous Job!

Sarah took this beautiful sunset photograph. The way the orange blends into the blue and then fades to a more purple blue really is stunning. Nature is amazing!

This photo of Clementine, or are the mandarins was taken by Marc. Jon is downstairs cooking dinner and this picture is making me wish he would hurry up. My mouth is watering at the sight of them.

Arlia, the creator and model of the above two items is a most talented lady. The trousers and top of the first photo are made from material she dyed herself with home made natural plant dyes. The second is crochet and sewn from sari silk. Check out her Etys shop for more beautiful goodies.

We have so far had no pictures of orange bums, despite a few people threatening to send some in... although you never know what the weekend will bring. Have a fabulous time, whatever you are up to. It's the spring bank holiday weekend here in the UK so Yipppeeeeee 3 days off for all the workers.

22 May 2008

Foggy Grey Matter

I'm meant to be making things, but instead I'm laying on the bed with Jon's head on my stomach as he sleeps. It's making it quite hard to reach the laptop balanced on my legs. Add to that brain fog that is making it hard for me to think of anything to blog about today and I'm guessing this is going to be a short entry.

I should be drawing out a pattern for some little summer crop tops, but it's all too much thinking and planning involved to get the darts in the right place and making sure there is enough space inside them for all the different boobie sizes they need to fit. I also need to think about designing a hula hoop clothes range. Ages ago I approached a few skilled designers to collaborate with me on the job, but it's been so long since I initiated the conversations that I'm sure most of them will have given me up as a lost cause. I guess what I am really looking for is a skilled pattern maker. I can cut and make basic patterns for tops and maybe skirts but I have no experience of skilled pattern drawing and cutting. I have many ideas in my head as to what I want the clothes to end up looking like, but I can't translate that into patterns. I also don't have the energy to sketch out the designs and send them to someone.

I need a body transplant! I wonder if there is a black market in full bodies as well as just body organs? I'd have a really hard time choosing another body anyway. Would you know what to pick? I guess I'd go for the most healthy looking one, but that's no guarantee that it would all work fine...Also how would I feel looking through someone else's eyes or looking completely different. Heaven forbid I end up with big boobs, or a mans body! ... hmmm maybe this body transplant malarkey is more complex than just the science of being able to do the operation.

I'm just rambling now aren't I. I guess it's time to sign off and let you know tomorrow I'll try and write a better article tomorrow.

21 May 2008


I'm finding it hard to concentrate on writing a blog today, because we just got the good news that Jon has got a new job! He starts on 2nd June. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! All my word pictures in my head are doing a celebratory dance in my fuzzy dyslexic brain, so if it wasn't for the spell check on Firefox I wouldn't be able to write this. Yay technology and Yay Jon!

I guess I should get down to making something orange or blogging about something orange, but all I want to do is sing "Jonny is so great! Jonny is so great!" My geeky goodness man has got himself a job in I.T.

Ok, skully think about orange and stop wiggling about and singing, because it's making the laptop jump about too much and Weapon X is giving you odd looks.... ok orange.....

Maybe this gorgeous orange yarn from Knitty Dirty Girl can inspire someone into making something all fiery and warm looking. I'm loving the rich mix of colours. It looks so sumptuous and reminds me of blood oranges.

Or how about this fantastic fantasy dress from Deconstructstress with its fallen leaves and wings. The dress is constructed in layers, a tutu frilled skirt with a long sweeping train over it at the back. I'm loving it!

100 yummy orange numbered resin pendants from LeeLooStudio make a great installation all hanging together, but each one would look equally as great as a solo piece draped elegantly around your neck.

Ok my concentration is failing me now. I'm off to sing more songs about how fabulous Jon is! Have a fabulous day people!

20 May 2008

The rewards of skip diving!

I had an awesome bit of luck yesterday!

Was walking to buy Skully/ Lynne some chocolate, when I walked past a car park out the back of a carpet shop and managed to spot 3 good sized rolls (off cuts) of a nice red colour carpet.
I went into the shop, asked if I could take it and the man said I was more than welcome to it. Slung the largest roll over my shoulder and walked home.

It didn't take me long to finish fitting it in the van, I think it looks awesome, even if I do say so myself!

My favourite bits are the wheel arch comb-overs!

Later that night Skully/ Lynne's sister picked up the other two rolls in her car and brought them over to us. I'll be putting them up on the walls and ceiling!

What do you think?

19 May 2008

The Orange Challenge

This week I wasn't sure what to use as the challenge word, so I said to Jon "Tell me the first word that comes into your head" and he said "Bum". Pffft Men! Typical! So next I asked him "Tell me the first word that comes into your head that's not bum". The word was "orange", hence the challenge this week. I wish I could tell you that we had a more scientific way of coming up with the weekly challenges, but I'd be a lair if I did.

Go forth and create on theme of "orange" and come back here to share with us all what you come up with. You can either send me your item via Etsy conversations or put a link in the comments on this blog post to what you have made/written/photographed/seen. For all the UKHippy crew that want to enter you can put yours on the thread in the Creative Forum and I'll stop by and pick them up. All entries will get full credit with a link back to any website/shop you might have.

18 May 2008

Artisan of the week, Katie of Muju

Yippeeee it's a sunny Sunday and I get to share with you all the work of an amazing artisan... or should I say 2. Muju is a husband and wife team that stocks shops full of the most fantastic goods. I found their shop when I stumbled upon a picture of one of their gorgeously detailed, plush, felt sculptures. Having worked with felt myself I was completely blown away by the intricacies of the designs. When I looked through their shop I saw gorgeous paintings, screen prints and badges that also wowed me, so I had to ask them to be artisans of the week and thankfully they agreed to join in.

1.Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?
Muju is 2 artists from Brighton UK who work together in their seaside studio. Mr Muju loves to draw & paint & collect cameras & Mrs Muju loves textiles & photography, so we make a creative couple. We have been spreading the Muju world vibes around the globe since 2002 exhibiting handmade toys & artwork. We enjoy being independent & focus on our own projects.

2.What led you to take up your craft?
We have both been creative through different mediums throughout our lives, developing skills in drawing, painting, photography & sewing. We are mostly self taught & enjoy the challenge of working for ourselves.

3.Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
The creative process is what it is all about for us.... that's where the real joy is. As a self-employed partnership, we control all aspects of what we do, from managing & updating our websites, to running ToyLife (our designer toy shop & gallery in Brighton - UK)... so we always wish we could have more time to sit in a quiet spot & just draw or play with felt.

4.Which part do you find hardest?
Probably not having enough time to do everything!

5.Where do you hope to be in 1 year's time?
Maybe driving a bus round New Zealand,maybe living up Muju Mountain,maybe on a beach in Fiji,....who knows where the winds of fate will blow us next :)

6.What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Keep on truckin' :)

7.Name other artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?

8.What is your favourite sandwich filling?
Any flavour Burrito..maybe chicken?

Thanks Katie, for taking the time to answer our questions and allowing us to read a little bit more about the background behind your gorgeous works of art.

Dear readers you can find Muju items on their own website and in their etsy shop. This dynamic duo also run Toy Life in Brighton (UK) which is a specialist toy and art gallery/shop. I so want to own a rainbow of little felt men!

17 May 2008

Oooooooo some late runners and racers!

We have a couple of late entries to the sunshine challenge from Nutty Jo and Princesstigermouse.

Nutty Jo penned this haiku...

Sunlight on my skin
Makes me feel alive again
Wakes me from my sleep

Which led PTM to write...

Golden orb dripping
Tiny sparks of life and hope
Into my dark palm.

Sunshine challenge round up.

We have had fewer entries than normal this week and I'm guessing that's due to the lovely sunshine making people want to go outside and have fun, which is fabulous. I do have a few photo entries to share with you that show off the effects of sunshine.

Princesstigermouse dyed her hair with henna this week and took this photo of the sunlight shining on her new rich red coloured locks. You've made me want to dye my hair red now PTM.

The 2 pictures above are from Sarah, showing her day trip to the beach with her son. I love the colours of the sky in the beach photo. That son of yours has the most innocent face and sweet smile. I bet he gets up to mischief. The innocent looking ones are always the ones secretly putting worms in your shoes.

I'd like to share this song with you. Now I have no idea why or what it is about this song that makes me feel warm and smiley inside but it does. When The Polyphonic Spree's first album came out and people kept raving about it, I thought they were crazy, a large choir of people in white robes wasn't really my idea of good music, but then I decided to sit and listen to it and see what they were all raving about and I have to admit it has some strange feel good quality to it and you just can't help but smile when you hear the songs. I quite often put the CD in the player when I'm feeling a bit washed out and low. It gives me the same kind of buzz that African tribal music gives me. I guess it just speaks to my inner rhythm.

Have a fabulous weekend all!

16 May 2008

Expressing Pain

This week has been a bit hard for me as I've been suffering from mind numbing headaches and the usual muscle pain. I'm trying to get ready all the stock needed for the summer festival stalls we will be running, but I'm finding it hard to keep focused on what I need to be doing, hence the fact that Jon has been writing the blog for the past few days and has been running around looking after me. I'm sorry if I haven't been keeping up with anything I have promised any of you out there that I will do. I will eventually get around to it, especially your kite bag Mech. Sorry for any delays.

As I'm here, how about I share with you some of my favourite works that really express the pain I have been feeling lately. I think it is important to allow pain out in some way and one of the least destructive way for people around you is to express it in an artistic creative way. The next items are to me a constructive use of pain.

PaperOrnimentals created this linoleum cut print that to me shows the fuzzy confusion that head pain causes. When you can't focus your brain it's very hard to deal with the pain and use pain management strategies that you would usually. I think this print shows that perfectly.

This print of a pen and ink drawing by Schuchy represents to me the isolation you feel when you are encased in a scratchy bubble of pain. The darkness creeps in and swallows up the brightness making you want to squeeze yourself down into the tightest ball to block the darkness out.

Asunder's print gripped me as soon as I saw it. Years ago I was tutored in pain management and one of the ways we were taught to deal with expressing pain when you needed to be silent was to visualise ourselves expressing the pain and releasing that pain through that mental image. This image is so like the mental image I use it was scary.

Gilfling's drawing shows how I feel today. Almost in control of the pain but not quite firing on all cylinders, trying to keep it all going. The shaky pencil lines denote perfectly how I feel around the edges. A bit wobbly but still intact.

The Shadow Cat has made this doll that just cries out to be hugged and soothed. I really feel his pain and just want to administer pain killers and snuggle him up until he feels better.

I guess that's how Jon feels when he looks at me each day. I swear it's easier to be the person that is sick than be the person looking after someone that is ill. Thank you Jon for sticking it out and being here for me. I love you!

15 May 2008

The annoyances of making things.

Lynne currently isn't a happy bunny.

Her sewing machine downstairs outright refuses to work on a piece of waterproofed fleece she bought to make blankets out of. The problem is, that not only is the machine seemingly incapable of pulling the fabric through smoothly, but the needles keep snapping due to the thickness of the fabric and it's tough, waterproof membrane (it's doubled over as she is hemming the edges). So thus far, she, well - the machine, has snapped 3 three needles and has only finished one blanket. She has more needles, but she refuses to "waste any more flippin' needles on this *beep* *beep* *beep* material". I don't blame her as the only place we can get needles from (the seamstress and haberdashery supplies shop) is a 40 minute bus ride away, and given that the bus service around here is so rubbish, it's about a 3 hour round trip.

Everyone knows the saying "A good workman never blames his tools", but she isn't blaming the machine or the needles, but in this case, it is the needles fault, they simply aren't up to the task. Unfortunately, we don't know where to buy titanium alloy needles that could punch through rhino skin, so we are stuck with the good old steel ones. I would offer to stitch them all up for her, but I'm a man, and thus my sewing resembles a big pile of tinned spaghetti emptied all over the floor, replacing the tomato sauce with my own blood.

I'm just glad that making hula hoops requires no bits that can easily snap, or no bits that are under immense pressure. The tape can irritate me to the point of incredible annoyance when it sticks to itself, but I can just cut the stuck together bit off and carry on - I don't have to waste 5 minutes changing the needle then rethreading it all again.

What bit annoys you the most about the items you make? What's the one thing that if it happens, makes your blood boil?

If you are already at that point of wanting to break something and go and cry in the corner, here is a picture to cheer you up!

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