Thursday, 28 October 2010


You may remember that last October I had to read a shedload of JF/TR books for a Carnegie Kate Greenaway discussion day which I then talked about at great length here. Last year, I enthused muchly on "Millie's Marvellous Hat", the stand-out picture book of the selection for me. This year, I would love to flag up another fabulous picture book, "Morris the Mankiest Monster", written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Sarah McIntyre. (Hey, she has a fab rocket animation on her splash page just like me. Cool!)

I just love the detail and the use of mixed media in Sarah's illustrations. On one page there's a banjo-playing spider, on another a wheelchair-using flea and on another a caterpillar in wellies. (By the way, Sarah is a keen knitter and often goes to Stitch 'n' Bitch meetings in London at the same venue as my friend Clare. Small world.) It reminds me a bit of David Roberts' work, but with a kind of Japanese twist. Not sure if that's even feasible, but I've said it now so it must be. Here are a few spreads from the book:

morris 2

morris 1

morris 3

This particular page is my favourite:

morris 4

It reminds me of someone I know who would much rather stay in bed all day with a large cup of coffee and read his comics surrounded by dirty pants, than get up and do something more productive with his time. In fact......

Oh, what's that, Husband Dear? Yes, yes, I'm coming.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Colour at Kew...

...and A Bit of a Ramble.

Yesterday, Husband and I took a day trip to Kew Gardens. While we were on holiday in Cornwall, we visited the Lost Gardens of Heligan and joined up to their "Friends" scheme which allows not only unlimited entry to Heligan, but Kew and Wakehurst, too. So, I booked the afternoon off work and we went to take advantage of our deal.

We took the train up and walked over the Thames from Kew Bridge station; there are some FAB houseboats on the river there. I'd been to Kew a couple of times while at uni to do location drawing, but that was eight or nine years ago now. (Eek!) I'd never really walked around the grounds, having just headed straight for the glasshouses, and I'd also never noticed Newens just outside Victoria Gate on Kew Road. Wow, that's all I can say. It was a definite Day Off From the Diet.

So we had a lovely wander about, went up the slightly scary Treetop Walkway, and I took a few pictures, including some of glorious fallen leaves:

metal sunflower

red and green

red on black

red green and yellow

 red leaf



After that, we bused it on the no.65 to Kingston, where I took Husband for a gander at my old campus. From the outside it looks pretty much the same, but we sneaked in for a look at the new and swanky reception and art shop area and what was the canteen but is now some kind of creative communal space just right for brainstorming and the like. Flash. We had an early dinner at Byron Burger (oops, off the diet again; I sidestepped the Skinny burger this time AND I had an Oreo milkshake), and then a rather wobbly and full look around John Lewis. LOVE that place. We were just heading back on the train and changing at East Croydon when I jokingly said "Let's go to Ikea!" "Alright then," says Husband. "What, seriously?" says I. "Yup," he says. So off to Ikea we went. We're SO rock 'n' roll on a Friday night.

We got in after eleven hours out and about. Suffice to say, I was cream crackered and pretty much just fell into bed; it was INCREDIBLY hard to get up for library work this morning! But it was a lovely day off and I got to walk about in my favourite type of weather in my favourite season; it was worth the journey just for that.

And I suppose the company was pretty good, too!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Yesterday I Bought...


...a Ukulele. Yeah, I'm cool.

I don't really have any idea what I'm doing, but I'm keen to learn! It's a cheapish beginner model (in gorgeous powder blue, no less. I did want yellow, but they were out of that colour) which suits me fine at the moment. I want to change the strings for some of higher quality, though, and I've been wading my way through this fab site here. My goal is to have some quality Xmas tunes ready for the festive season!

I'm nowhere near this standard (and probably will never be!), but check out this video:


Monday, 18 October 2010

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Another Folksy Friday

Check it out, this 'ere print: in a Folksy Friday blog post here. Thanks to Sam of The Simple Melody.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

I Haz Been Dyeing




Thanks to Jan for providing the venue, the colours and the photos. I duz heart her.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

We Woz 'Ere

Kate Nash, De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill, 4th October. We were sensible (old) people and sat up in the balcony, though.

Awesomeness Itself


miller 2

AMAZING new Michael Miller fabrics, courtesy of Lovely Sam. Cheers, chuck! The tractor driving bunny is my fave:

miller 3

Friday, 8 October 2010

Check it Out!

My Wolf print is mentioned on a Folksy Friday today. Kellie from It's The Little Things has put together a lovely Little Red Riding Hood- themed treasury on her blog which includes my Wolf print. There are some lovely things in there. Go see here.

I like this necklace by Penny Masquerade:


Thursday, 7 October 2010

Signs of Approaching Autumn III

Tights! In funky colours!

yellow tights

(They look a bit mustardy here, but, believe me, they are YELLOW.)

Never mind the approach of autumn, it's here good and proper. After the past few days of dismal cloud and rain, today was my favourite kind of autumn day: bright and ever so slightly crisp. Not cold enough for a coat, but definitely nippy enough for a cotton scarf.

You won't have noticed it from the picture above, but I've faffed around with that particular dress. Here it is in its original state:


And after I tweaked it a bit:

altered grey1

altered grey2

I found that I had made the neck elastic far too short in the original, so I was forever tugging the neckline down, which meant the waist line kept dropping, too, until it was at a really unflattering height and just made the hemline look dowdy. So, I chopped a inch or two off the bodice, stuck in a channel for a belt, and sewed the skirt back on. Then all I had to do was change the elastic in the neck casing for a longer piece. Et voila. Much more flattering, I think. I may do the same on my green, polka-dotted dress, too. The belt, as in my red dress, is just a length of bias binding sewn together. I have tonnes of the stuff knocking around, so I may make belts in other colours. I do love grey paired with pink, yellow or red. Yum.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Saintly vs Sinful

fruit salad

chocolate scone

 choc scone 2

Yep, that's a chocolate scone there. From a lovely place called Schooners right on St. Agnes beach at Trevaunance Cove. The chef had "discovered" them that morning. They were served with clotted cream and Nutella. Genius. (In our defence, we did share it as it was the size of my head. Seriously.)

And a fruit salad comprising of figs, blackberries and redcurrants. There's got to be some balance somewhere, right? What's even more angelic of me is that just before said breakfast I'd been for a swim in the open air pool at the campsite. Me. Swimming. Outside. At 8.45am. In late-ish September. I know! I swear it was still summer in Cornwall.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

End of Week 40


Eek! Week 40!
Really don't like this one. Sorry, Mr. Royal. It's mainly because the punctuation is incorrect, you know.

Sunday, 3 October 2010


One of my fave places in Cornwall, a couple of miles from Penzance. You pronounce it as one word; "Mowzall". It was the only place I found the Malty Mystery flavour of Roskilly's ice cream. (Vanilla with malt and Malteasers). Yum. We had fabulous fish and chips (and said yummy ice cream) on the harbour side there on the last day of our holiday.


mousehole 2

st michaels mount

mousehole 3

mousehole 4