Monday, 29 December 2008


These are the three bags I made and sent to Simon's nieces in Austria. I have been collecting old pure wool jumpers, gathered from various sources, for some time, and excitedly shrinking them in the washing machine, only then to leave them stuffed into a cupboard! I had been planning to make these for some time, so was delighted, however amateurish the results, to complete these at last! The first incorporates some work using the embellisher machine, and the other two have birds and flowers cut out on the Cuttlebug machine, as well as stitching.

This last one was a delight really, as the bobbles were part of the jumper! I get the jumpers cheaply from charity shops. Some shops cannot sell certain woollen items, e.g. where they have been handmade, or where they have shrunk already.

Christmas at Michael House

Christmas was great. We were fully booked with guests. I was quite anxious before the guests arrived, fuelled by not being very busy for a while before Christmas, allowing greater focus on the few days than might have otherwise been the case, and the fact that I alwasy want it to be a great success. I also always hope the guests will get on with each other. They did, they were all lovely, and it all went well.
The dogs behaved, mostly, Barnie only stole on two occasions, a chocolate gift he found in Simon's top room and a piece of Christmas cake he managed to tear off the cake when we were distracted! His (Simon's, not Barnie's!) study is titled the 'Doghouse', and as it has a big TV in there, is now dubbed 'The Doghouse Studio'!

Christmas butterfly

I confess I did not take this photo, I 'borrowed' it from the searchable archives.

Each winter since we have been at Michael House, we have had one or two Vanessa butterflies hibernate in the house over winter. Some have lived, some have died. Last winter one was poised above our bed on the ceiling for months. Then, I realised it had gone. I had not found little sad bits of butterfly dotted about, so I can only assume it survived and went on to enjoy the warmer weather.

We have one in the porch at present. I have put out some sugar water for it to drink. Apparently they taste with their feet, so I hope it knows what it has there! One year I overdid the stickiness and the poor thing got all stuck down, so I hope I have avoided that this time.

I thought the poor thing had died, it was folded up and on its side. But I glanced at it later, and there it was, wings resplendant, so I have popped it back with it's water in the porch.

It is interesting that we make such a fuss of pretty things. If it were a moth, would I be bothering? Perhaps. If it were a wasp, a cockroach? I doubt that there is much difference between a butterfly and a cockroach's experience of pain or pleasure, whatever they have of either. It is largely our love of what we interpret as beautiful or useful that dictates our decision to protect one creature over another. I would be likely to protect a bee before a wasp, a butterfly before a moth, a pretty caterpillar over a cabbage white, I suspect most of us would.

I do hope this butterfly survives the winter and goes on to do great butterfly things in 2009.

I do find another affinity with these butterflies of course, the name!

Monday, 22 December 2008

one present less to open

Barnie has already consumed one present. We hadn't even got it as far as under the tree.

Sunday, 21 December 2008


There was a young dog name of Berrri
Who used to be overly merry
His boisterous jumpings,
and leapings and humpings
were snipped by our friendly veterinary


There once was a lab name of Barnie,
Who had a great love of the sarnie
He’d eat the bird seed,
On all things he’d feed.
We wish that he’d move to Killarney.

For Lovely...

There was a young lady, a charmer,
Who had it in mind, 'Be a farmer'.
So she gave up OT,
She'll make, as you'll see,
Without drama, the best llama farmer.

I am beginning to think in limericks!

Ted remembered something he forgot to put in his letter this year - he is getting scatty in his old age, like the rest of us:

'the uptites hav bene thinking ov getting anuther kat for ajis, but thanc gudnes thay hav not yett. du not remind them. thay wud like a main koon. i thinc that is rasist.'

For anyone reading this who has not received Ted (the cat)'s round robin, you are going to think me completely mad! Ted has very poor spelling and is generally grumpy and rude about everything and everyone. My alter ego? Of course not!

Wishing anyone who reads this a Happy Christmas and a great New Year, in which the only Crunch is of snow underfoot and Coco Pops.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

The unshaded one

Berri managed to completely break his collar last night, but we didn't bother too much, as he was due to have it removed today. He is now so pleased to be lampshade free and is most loving and gorgeous, he doesn't seem to blame us for the whole episode!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


I think I need to list three beautiful things today, as I have not been seeing much as beautiful. Sometimes, reminding myself of how lucky I am and that I have a great life just makes it worse, as then I feel gulty as well as miserable. I am having difficulty getting up at present, I think there may be a little SAD effect on my affect. Anyway, enough maudlin introspection, on with the 3BT.


oh, I know...


Being amongst people at the art group and eating, err cake. Oh, and creating a reasonable pastel picture.

At last having a card machine for guests to pay on. It has a clock on the front, so that will be useful. Oh dear, that is really scraping the barrel of beautiful things.

Anticipation of tomorrow when Berri will hopefully be able to cast his lampshade aside and walk proud and tall again, if slightly lighter underneath.

And now, Ted the cat has just fallen into the recyclling bin trying to get my attention to let him in. 3BT and 1AT.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Getting creative

A watercolour card, very simple, but quite pleasant!
This no longer exists, as I stupidly painted something else which was more important on the back! It was just intended to be a little card, and was copied, roughly, from a book, to learn new techniques. I enjoy painting buildings.

This is a watercolour of Trebarwith Strand, and sold some time ago. I tried to make it my header for the blog, so it now has writing on, but I could not get it to work properly as the title!

This year, partly due to the need to reduce spending and partly to having a bit more time and feeling inspired, I am making quite a few Christmas presents. I will not display those on here until after they have reached their new homes, but here are a couple of my watercolours for now, which have either already sold or are cards or other pictures.

Monday, 8 December 2008

The Shaded One

Nuff said. Sky is clearly embarrassed to be seen with him. It should be coming off soon.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

The Patient

The four legged patient is doing well, he has eaten a lot today and been for a little walk. He forgets he is impeded by a lampshade and just carries on as if it is not there, until he is stopped by it jamming into something. He had broken it even before he left the vet, so it is getting much the worse for wear.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


Berri-Biskit has had the chop today. He now looks as far from the picture of him in a recent post as would be possible to imagine. He has a big lampshade on to stop him licking the affected area, he is very miserable and looks pitifully and, we feel, accusingly, at us.

I have always had all my animals neutered, so I am not really sure why this has been such a difficult decision. Maybe because it is for me the first dog i have had to have done, or because it was not done immediately it could be. The vet was not particularly encouraging of having it done. The decision was made when Berri was badly bitten by a dog which I assume he had tried to mount. He had done this before and been very badly bitten on the beach here. Both times involved various visits to the vet and discomfort, for Berri and all of us. but, he always seems such a proud boy, I hope that has not gone for good.