Friday, 27 April 2007

Here is my second monster, One-Eyed Willie, to go with the stripy Marmalade Monster currently battling with the Doctor below:

He measures 13cm by 17cm, and is actually more green than this photo would suggest. I'm currently working on a same-size three-legged mate for him in Barbie pink. I think I'll give her outlandish eyelashes or something equally as girly.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Up until very recently I would've said the worst thing ever to be would be a housewife. Now I find myself - to the horror of my inner feminist - really enjoying the time I spend cooking, sorting out the house and garden, and generally looking after my boys. (Boys being one lanky bloke and two bunnies. I'm not sure I'd feel as warm and fuzzy about it if there really were real, live boys - or girls even - in the equation. How mothers cope is beyond me.)

But for the past few days I've been throwing myself into housewife mode with gusto while I still have the chance. Soon The List Of Things To Do For Edinburgh will arrive and I will have to get back to the old computer-shaped grindstone.

My greatest achievement has been totally sorting out the spare room, which contains millions of boxes, odd bits of furniture and several laundry bags that still hold the majority of my wardrobe. What once was higgeldy piggeldy mess is now a neat and tidy stack over on one side of the room. You can even close the door and everything. I keep wandering in there just to marvel at it's neatness.

And I've really attacked the garden, planting my first early and some second early potatoes and my onion sets out there, plus re-potting the tomato seedlings and moving the baby carrot, beetroot and radish plants outside in containers on the patio.

The best thing about all this is that I really feel, for the first time in ages, that I am accomplishing something. And it's something useful and verging on worthwhile. I feel like I could take on anything right now and, if not win, then kick some arse at least. Woo-hooo!

Housewives rule.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Hurrah! The three Edinburgh Fringe Brochure ads I was working on have all been approved and sent off this arvo. It seems strange that three pieces measuring 9cm by 11cm each could take so long, but they do. They may be small, but they're the first piece of artwork that is done for the Fringe, so they set the tone for all the other publicity material that will follow. Plus, every piece has to go to Lovely Jon for approval, then the act, then the act's other agent (if they have one), and finally the venue the act will be appearing at. It's a long list of people to please.

But to celebrate that little milestone being done and dusted, we took a couple of hours off this afternoon and went up to Wadebridge. As lovely as Wadebridge is - lots of nice independent shops, a great greengrocers, a fabby art/craft/knitting shop and plenty of second hand bookshops - I had my first truly terrible Cream Tea experience. Well, maybe not terrible, but pretty disappointing. Stand up and be ashamed Relish Food & Drink.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love the fact there are lots of independent food producers, sellers and cafes in Cornwall, and Relish are doing a fabulous job of promoting that with their yummy menu and even yummier deli/shop, but dear, oh dear, there are the scones to consider. Full marks for using Boddington Berries' jam (the best jam in the world, and made just up the road in Mevagissey)and lovely local clotted cream (no Rhodda's for them), but the scones are a vital part of the Cream Tea, and these were just shocking. Just fell apart completely. A good scone should be heading just slightly towards the bread side of cake, but these certainly weren't. These were heading towards the crumbly side of dust. And the price of the tea wasn't included with the scones, so for £4.50 I felt mightily ripped off. The worst thing of all was just around the corner was The Tea Shop - a member of the Tea Guild and offering over 40 different types of tea and a vast array of homemade produce - which I didn't even realise was there until we left.

Oh well. On the plus side, it does give me the perfect excuse to come back and try another one!

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Bleurgh. I've been having one of those horrible hang-around-and-
wait-and-see-if-the-client-actually-likes-what-you've-done days. Which is all very well, but they invariably don't have an opinion until four thirty, by which time you've uploaded all your outstanding flickr photos, rearranged your email folders, and pressed refresh so many times on your forum you wonder if anyone else actually exists outside your room. I need to get outside, particularly as it's so nice, but Pain in the Bum Jon has gone off to play cricket, taking the car with him. There's always a spot of gardening, I suppose.

So inbetween times today I've been having a play around with a potential header/business card for my yet-to-be-set-up etsy shop. I had a real faff with which house to choose. I drew about 12 of them, but I think I'm finally happy with this one:

It's a start, anyway.

We also gave Mortimer a bath this morning. I don't think he liked it.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

I'm really enjoying the freedom of this past week. No deadlines, no one to please but myself, no artist's block. I've mainly been spending my time out in the garden - check out our house blog for recent activities - and demolishing the awful panelling that covers the majority of the downstairs walls thus:

I've also been working on knitting up a stripy monster to my own pattern. Here he is so far:

He could do with a bit more stuffing, I think. He's going to have googley eyes on stalks and, of course, he still needs arms and a mouth. I've never really come up with my own pattern before. I mean, it's a pretty basic shape, but the planning of it all is so much fun. I hope to sell these guys - providing I make some more! - on my soon-to-be-made etsy shop. I actually quite fancy the idea of writing and illustrating a toy monster pattern book. How cool would that be?

Lovely Jon and I went up to Lobbs Farm Shop this afternoon and picked up a few goodies. I came across these stunningly packaged biscuits made by Artisan Biscuits:

They also had boxes with The Hare and The Tortoise and The Lion and The Mouse on. I'm going to try to collect the set. Yummy, yummy, yummy, and I haven't even tried the biccies yet.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

We had a lovely weekend just gone. Got out and about, forgot about things for a while, and had a good old explore. We made our way down to Lizard Point, the most southerly point in the UK. Some gorgeous scenery and plenty of cheery spring sunshine, not to mention a rather splendid cream tea (which, stupidly, I forgot to take a picture of for my Best Cream Teas of Cornwall taste test. All unofficial, of course, but the research is a doddle.)

This is the old lifeboat station. There's a road that winds its way precariously down, but here you can give yourself the vertigo-collywobbles by gazing down into its briny depths over the cliff. As you can see, it was built in 1914 and I'm amazed it didn't succumb to the monster waves years ago. There's an interesting red-green foliage growing on the rocks there, almost like a type of seaweed. I must find out what it is.

These lovely stocky little Shetland ponies were grazing on the upper cliff in front of Lizard Lighthouse.

I love this one gazing melancholicly (if that's a word) out to sea. I christened him Heathcliffe, which I think is appropriate.

We didn't look around the lighthouse itself - it was just too nice a day to be inside - but the gate at least was pretty interesting. Stark, minimal, functional. Like the lighthouse itself, I suppose.