Monday 31 May 2010

My Month in numbers: May


Here's the fifth installment of the numbers which had an impact on me during the month.

This is my May in numbers:

10 = the number of tomato plants we've just planted in the greenhouse and garden.
I can't wait to be able to wander out again in my bare feet to fetch in my own crop collected in a pocket made from gathering up the bottom of my dress.

You get funny looks if you act like that in a supermarket ...

4,8,15,16,23,42= so after 6 series Lost finally finished. But really, was this mysterious set of numbers, given so much prominence in the early series, ever really relevant to the ending? Not really. Mind you, neither was very much else.

2.8m= The height - while seated - of 'Wild Man' one of the Ron Mueck hyper-realist sculptures we saw at the Extraordinary Measures exhibition at Belsay Hall:

We weren't allowed to take photos so I chose this particular one from the internet [clicking the photo takes you to the original source] as it gives you a sense of scale.

Despite his height, his nakedness means that he's reallynot an intimidating presence. In fact he really elicits your sympathy - would you want to be naked in a room full of people staring at you so intensely?

And yes, he is completely naked, a fact which I also had in mind when I chose a sideways photo to share with you!

If he stood up Wild Man would be over 3m tall. Equally, if he stood up, I think there would have been a small stampede of visitors escaping from the nearest door ....

29%= Approximately how far through Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall I am one month on.
In my
April numbers round-up I was only 4% of the way through ... can I have a gold star yet?

Last week, when I first came down with a cold, I went to bed early and hadn't been there long before a disconconcerting tumbling, fluttering and falling sound came from the chimney breast. As you might imagine, the idea that a bird had just fallen into our chimney didn't aid restful slumber, so I put the light on and picked up where I'd left off reading about Thomas Cromwell instead. I was only a few pages in when I came across this:

"At first there is no sound. Then the timbers creak, breathe. In the chimneys nesting birds shuffle". [pg 93]

Comforting or what????
So, I was then worrying about whether there was a bird nesting behind the fireplace on top of a growing concern over the temperature I was running. Turning back to my book for distraction imagine my delight when, several pages further on, 4 people died from a fever!!

I think I stopped reading right about then.

30 = the number of posts Kirsty and I drafted and posted over the 2.5 days Copy and Paste 1st year anniversary/birhtday party. It was almost 50% again of the total of posts we'd made in year 1! If you missed any there's a full list of the party posts in the sidebar.

18.05.10= marked 18 years to the day when James and I first got together:

[If you want to see the full page just click on the photo.]

3.5 cm= The height of one of my anniversary gifts: Beautiful, isn't he?

796 = the number of steps I managed on the 10 minute 'free-step' challenge on the Wii Fit plus [my other anniversary present]. You're meant to reach 800 steps and I absolutely would've except that... I had to stop and see to the burgers I had under the grill.

Is that ironic? Having to stop your aerobic exercise to prevent burgers burning?

£5.50= the amount paid for 4 very handsome vintage books we found in a charity shop:

They contain such wonderful illustrations that this certainly won't be the last you see of them. I'll be photographing some of the treasures they hold and featuring them in their own posts very soon.

OK then. If the old saying is true I guess that from tomorrow we can start 'casting a clout' again. Farewell May ...

... greetings June! Throughout the month I'll be taking 'Flying Lessons' a new e-course by Kelly Rae Roberts based on how to begin a creative business. So who knows where that'll lead? Maybe my 'June in numbers' will feature how many notebooks I filled through planning my next steps ....

Plus at least three birthdays are happening in June but only one of them is 'In the Night Garden' themed .... I think. Unless you want to be Iggle Piggle too Hannah?

Thanks for visiting me in May and a very happy June to you all.

Julie :)

Sunday 30 May 2010

Blog hop: Birthday layout

Please note - the giveaway has now ended and I used a random number generator to select my winner - who will be announced on the BF blog soon. Many thanks for taking part :)

Hi, hi, hi.

If I'm a stop on your hop between the blogs of the Banana Frog Design Team today then 'hello' / 'hello again' / 'welcome' / 'nice to see you'.

The same greetings apply even if you're not partaking in the hop. I like it when you drop by too.

This month, to celebrate Banana Frog's 4th birthday Bev is offering a set of stamps of your choice as a giveaway on my blog ... and on every other stop of the hop too. The winners will be selected at random from the comments on each blog and will be announced on the Frog blog next week [I'll try and mention it here too!].

Appropriately enough, the theme of this month's hop is 'Birthdays' and along with Banana Frog someone in our house had a birthday too [if you hopped by
here last month you might just recognise the style of the moustache card I made for him below]:

So, with a birthday theme to follow, it was pretty obvious who I should base my project on:

It's a very restrained layout for me using only two main patterned papers and neutral ones at that!

I kept my title clean and simple too, stamped in 'Smokey Grey' Versafine the 'Happy Birthday' is in Banana Frog's 'Pharmacy' font, while 'blue eyes' is in 'Teen (Tiny - Full set)' :
The 'Teen (Tiny - Full set)' also has the days of the week stamps in it, one of which I used here on top of an old ticket from a Alter That ephemera kit:That ticket, along with the tiny strip of Basic Grey at the bottom are there to add a tiny touch of grey/blue to .... please don't make me say 'to bring out the blue in his eyes' ... it's too soppy for me ... but I do like to match colours! To create the raised dots at the bottom of the page I dipped the end of a paintbrush into a pot of Shimmerz Pearlz in 'Grey Flannel' [from 3dJean] and dabbed it carefully on to the paper. I then added a few blobs of Glossy Accents .... and, convinced that I'd end up smudging and ruining it, I put it well out of harm's [and my impatient fingers'] reach until it dried!
Thanks for hopping by today, don't forget to leave a comment if:

  • [a] you want to be in with a chance of winning a set of Banana Frog stamps;
  • [b] you don't mind about winning anything you just want to leave James a compliment about his eyes [he will get big-headed though ... so please word your comment carefully or he'll be impossible to live with!] ;)... or
  • [c] you have something you're just bursting to tell me although I can't promise to keep it to myself. I've used up all my will-power this month in not revealing to James how Lost ended after I got up to watch the finale at 5am on Monday while he didn't see it until 9pm on Tuesday. I was a paragon of restraint!

After leaving your comment, then don't forget to hop on to Kirsty Wiseman's blog for the next birthday themed project.

But before you do, I'll leave you with a few of James's birthday gifts and the homemade wrapping paper which I spray-inked in the garden causing nextdoor's dog's nose to go into sniffing overdrive! [To see more of the album just peeking out then have a look here]

Have a great Sunday and I'll see you tomorrow when I'll be rounding up my May in numbers are we almost halfway through the year already??? How?

J :)

E.T.A: Thanks for your lovely comments - a few people have asked to scraplift this and that's absolutely fine by me! Do let me know when you do, it'd be great to see your versions of it :)

Friday 28 May 2010

Show + Tell: Belsay Hall layout

I'm about to mention my trip to Belsay Hall in Nothumberland again so ... if you're tired if hearing about it, close your ears and just look at the pretty papers instead. Deal?

OK then, here it is:

'Belsay Hall' layout

In a post earlier this week I mentioned how much of the house had been gutted which draws your full attention to the textures of the painted woodwork, bare floorboards, ornate cornices, plastered walls and sections of old wallpaper:

These textures and soft colours are what I wanted to recreate on my layout:

'Belsay Hall' layout - stamp detail

The 'enjoy today' stamp [a Cat's Life Press design available here from 3DJean] is my current 'go to' sentiment stamp and I've been using it on everything - certainly the best £2:00 I've spent in recent weeks.

'Belsay Hall' layout - ticket detail

Finally, I added a 'B' monogram stamp, a Lost-Coast Designs 'Mother Goose' image, and a few flower fairies [both from 3DJean ].

'Belsay Hall' layout - detail

The fairies are ther eto remind me of the Extraordinary Measures exhibition which involved lots of sculpture that played with your sense of scale and which was the reason we went to Belsay Hall in the first place.

I'm really into soft pinks and 'nude plaster' shades at the moment and I'm pleased how I managed to get some of those working through the layout. Plus I also like how the petals around the flower fairies match my hair .... but then I'm easily pleased .....

Thanks for reading today. Tomorrow I had hoped to go for a nice 'rummage' in a big second-hand/ charity shop I've just heard about. But despite having had this cold for a full week now I'm still coughing like a beast; have sticky bloodshot eyes and atrocious posture as my muscles feel like I've had one of those SlenderTone machines stapped to my stomach for the last 7 days! I think I might have to stay inside for fear of scaring the locals.

So, I can't go out, I'll have to live vicariously through you - what've you got planned for the Bank Holiday weekend stretching out ahead of you?

J :)

p.s: I heard Belsay Hall's quite nice at this time of year ... ;)

Thursday 27 May 2010

Overheard: Scouting for girls

Here's a snippet which, if I hadn't heard it with my own ears [in the Student Union Café 27.01.09] I may have doubted its authenticity. But I promise you that this is what was said.

From what I could gather the student speaking was telling her friends about something she'd had to do in a previous job:

Female student: We had to phone her parents and say “We don’t think anything happened, but we just wanted to inform you we found your daughter in a tent …with a Scout”...

It's at times like these when I am sorely tempted to go up to the people I've been listening-in to and ask for more details!

Illustration: fineliner, ProMarkers + juvenile double-entendre.

Tuesday 25 May 2010

365 Patterns: Wallpaper

So, wallpaper.

The perfect way for me to adorn my home with patterns. Or so you'd think.

But, despite being an out-and-out pattern-lover I have only one [+ a tiny bit] walls covered in patterned wallpaper in the entire house. I think it's mainly due to liking so many designs that having to decide upon a single one to feature in a prominent place in my house is almost too much to ask! Also, my near-daily ogling and handling of 12x12 scrapbooking papers pretty much fulfils the desire for a frequent pattern fix.

Which is why I fully understood and completely fell in love with Lisa Whiteing's ingenious use of sheets of Studio Calico paper .... on her toilet wall:

Yes the paper is yellow and yes, I have it too so I'm bound to love it. But really, much respect to Lisa for putting into reality what most of us patterned-paper freaks have only ever drooled over at the thought of casually contemplated doing. Check out this post on Lisa's 'Inky Fingers' blog for the full toilet paper story...[you know what I mean!].

So, which is the singular lucky design made it on to the one patterned wall of the house then? It's this one; row 2, column 3, a simple grey and silver disc design at the top of the stairs:

365Patterns: Wallpaper Archeology

[For further details click on the image]

Most of the other photos above are fragments of wallpapers which we found beneath the paper we stripped when we redecorated. Then, bottom left, there's the strip of 70s graphic design which James found in his first venture into the loft. It may only be a sheet of paper, but in my eyes, he'd found hidden retro treasure!

The top left design is a 1950s wallpaper in the V&A musuem which, now I've seen it inproximity to my landing wallpaper, comes as no surprise that I liked it enough to photograph it! I most certainly have a penchant for circular designs ... but I guess that can wait for its own dedicated 'circle pattern week' post.

Until then ... when we visited Belsay Hall this month I was somewhat taken with how, while much of the original house has been gutted, there remains wallpaper on some of the walls, so a few photos were in order:

131/365 - Vintage wallpaper in Belsay Hall

130/365 - Vintage wallpaper in Belsay Hall

Lovely aren't they? I especially like the little house which someone has drawn on the one above in pencil [on top of the cream flower in the middle]. Belsay Hall was lived in from 1817 to the 1960s so I wonder how long that rather sweet graffiti has been there!

Finally, while I've been surrounding myself and filling my 365 Patterns Flickr set with wallpaper, I remembered I still had a few wallpaper samples from Gauche Alchemy tucked away:

132/365 Wallpaper samples

They're so lovely, the faux bamboo in particular, I've been keeping them for 'something special' like a mini-book cover ... but I'm not sure which, what or when .... yet.

Even before this post I've had my eye on one of the dining room walls as a good place to maybe start adding in a few additional patterns to the house - I'll let you know what / if I decide!

Ok then, onto the musical interlude with which I generally accompany the pattern onslaught. But, let me tell you, finding a song to compliment this post which wasn't from Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' wasn't easy. In fact, it wasn't actually possible.

The only song I could actually think of which mentions a wall in the lyrics - without Googling for others - was Vampire Weekend's 'Oxford Comma'. A song I completely love but, as its 4th word is a 'big swear' I opted not to play it for you right now. So, if you're offended by that kind of thing I suggest that you don't click here and you don't accept a lift in my car [that album lives in my CD changer....sorry].

Instead, for now, sit back and enjoy another Summery little ditty form Vampire Weekend which, as it's called Mansard Roof is almost, kid of, sort of, related to today's wall theme .... nearly... well, you couldn't have roof if there were no walls .... anyway ... enjoy:

Thanks for staring at my walls.

Now feel free to share photos of your own pattern bedecked ones to tempt/confuse me further.

See you soon.


Monday 24 May 2010

Quote: Blurring the lines

As someone who has learned to harness their inner clumsy, imprecise artistic self .... I like how this quote makes me feel justified in embracing my imperfections!

Nature never draws a line without smudging it.

Winston Churchill

Photo: A tree in the grounds of Belsay Hall [15.05.10] is it just me or does it remind you of the head of a rhino / deer?

p.s If you're going to be anywhere near Belsay Hall this Summer you must visit their 'Extraordinary Measures' exhibition which is taking place throughout their grounds.

I'm afraid it had such an effect on me that this won't be the last blog post in which I'll be mentioning it ... I will probably go on about having witnessed some of Ron Mueck's incredible sculptures in the 'flesh' until you're sick of hearing about it .... [who said 'I already am'???].


Thursday 20 May 2010

Overheard: Moving the stars - part 2

Earlier in the week [here] I quoted Gustave Flaubert:

Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to ........... while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.

I'd had that quote nestled in my notebook for a good while before I heard the following, similar, phrase whilst in a computer programming lecture in Spring 09:

Lecturer: When I started programming at 13 I wanted to get the stars to move ….

He then seemed to drift into a nostalgia-filled pause during which I was struck by the similarity between what he'd just said and the Flaubert quote in my noteboook. However ...... turned out that, the stars he'd had his adolescent heart set on moving where the kind you get on a computer screen which, unlike Flaubert's, apparently proved easier to move:

Lecturer: I used to think it must be hard to do but really, it’s actually quite simple, it all depends on ....

...and he went on to describe the coding necessary to create the effect of moving stars on an early home computer.

Perhaps not quite the romantic idea Mr. Flaubert had in mind .......


Tuesday 18 May 2010

I'm sort of like this

First things first, I'd like to thank those of you who joined in with the 'fill in the blanks' Q&As I set over on Copy+Paste during our party warm-up. I've loved reading through your replies!

As promised here's mine. You might have thought that having set the questions I would've had an easier time answering them .... 'twas not so ...

1. Everyone knows that I am usually the quiet one in social group situations but you'd never guess that I'm not really that afraid of official public speaking.

2. I'm proud to admit that I like the scent of Guerlain 'Idylle' perfume but my guilty pleasure is the smell of my cheap Aldi lipglosses which remind me of when I was a little in the 70s!

3. I'm inspired by Andrew Miller, so much so that I often have to pause after reading a line to digest its perfection, and it surprises me when I realise that I've only actually read 2 of his novels.

4. I'm always within arms reach of a notebook but I'm never likely to stop wanting to buy a new one... or two ... every now and again:

How Many is Too Many??

5. I've got lots of lovely garden plants and a very sweet 4x6ft greenhouse but I've always wanted my very own botanical hothouse [plus my very own botanical hothouse keeper to take care of it!]:6. I tried to mount the curb while cycling, with a preoccupied mind and it all ended in tears, A&E and x-rays:

7. If I never finish my current library book 'The Procrastinator's Handbook' [which I've already had to renew once] it will be a joke. Literally. As in: I say, I say, I say would you recommend 'The Procrastinator's Handbook'? .... I don't know ... I never got round to reading it ...

8. I didn't realise how by simply buying a laptop and installing wireless internet access my life would change so much and now look at me, I'm here talking to you for a start! 9. It's not that I don't like going to the cinema but I'd really rather find one which didn't mind me getting up, wandering about and generally fidgeting!

10. Doing housework makes me feel like Sysyphus.

11. Someone once told me that they couldn't have done it without me and then I cried on my way home!

12. I'm happy to say that I know who I am - most of the time - and even when I forget, I know I'm still there somewhere. Waiting. Thanks for reading through these, they really were so very tricky to do!

If you feel like joining in and answering one / all of these questions yourself on your own blog, Facebook , on a layout, in a journal etc etc then please do - here's the link to my original set of questions.

So now you've read mine, what do you reckon? Could you have predicted any of those?

Or am I not who you thought I was? ;)


p.s: I've blogged a layout about a tiny kitchen over on Scattered Scarlet blog today ... how can you resist hopping over there to see that?

Monday 17 May 2010

Quote: Stars

Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to ......

..... while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.

To me, this quotation from Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary says it all about those times when you feel obliged to say something, anything, but when words really don't feel like enough.

When rather than leaving an awkward silence, you hear yourself beating out those tunes on a cracked kettle, uttering some old meaningless platitude then hoping you haven't made things worse.

However, shortly after making a note of that quote I found myself in exactly that situation, I had to talk to someone about a serious situation and was terrified of the consequences of saying the wrong thing.
Afterwards I noted in my journal that while what I'd said would probably not have moved any stars to pity .... I'd said something when saying something, anything was needed. I wrote that while it may have been a bit "cracked kettles and dancing bears, this must be infinitely preferable to dancing language and cracked bears. I'll take the cracked kettle please".

Thanks for reading today,


Photo details: Outdoor sculpture at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The first shows a close-up of a bronze hare in which was embedded lots of odd items, such as the little toy coffee pot!

Sunday 16 May 2010

Show + Tell: 'I want to be ...' mini-book

Last month James and I took our niece and nephew to our local modern art gallery: [I did consider not mentioning that the boys' portraits are distorted because the photo was taken in the reflective surface of an Anish Kapoor sculpture .... but that would've been cruel .... but funny!].

One of the areas of the gallery housed a large magnetic board covered in words and phrases from which visitors were invited to spell out their dreams and, seeing as how we had kids with us [who we could use as cover]we didn't mind getting a bit interactive!

Our nephew came up with this fantasy, sci-fi inspired dream:
While his little sister went for something more fairytale sounding:
[I wish for sunshine rainbow for the stars to fall from the sky castle in the air]
And I went for something minimal:

Mini-book: I want to be ...

I want to be sunshine.

Well, it's yellow, warm and it makes lost of people feel better. Of course I want to be sunshine!

[p.s I have previous form on the yellow / sunshine longing - remember I told you all about it inthis blog post?]

So, when 'What's the Story?' my latest Crafty Templates Quirky Kit arrived and I saw its combination of [amongst other items] the yellow and cream papers and embellishments I knew I wanted to use it to make a minibook of dreams.

Mini-book: I want to be ...

The flowers, fabric and plastic, along with the retro-flowery and the houndstooth Pink Paislee sticky tape from the kit were so perfect for this book that I used them all on the cover.

The book itself is a Maya Road cipboard tag book [not from the kit] which I covered with the crisp '4heures37' papers combined with some vintage book pages from my stash which I sprayed with an acid green spray ink.

I sanded and heat embossed around all of its shaped edges and dressed each page with a ruffle of tape:

Mini-book: I want to be ...

And just because it's empty apart from the sunshine photo at the moment .... doesn't mean I don't have dreams enought to fill it ten times over!

Mini-book: I want to be ...

It just means I'm having trouble deciding which ones to focus on right now ...

If you'd like more info on the kit then have a look here.

If you'd like to share your dreams and wishes projects then that'd be lovely, just leave me a comment or a link and ...

....if you have any tips on how I can achieve a more sunshine-y state without me having to emigrate then do tell!


Friday 14 May 2010

Overheard: The course of true love and cycling...

There would have been a time when, in choosing where to sit in a cafe, I would've gone with a table that was quiet and not too close to anyone else. But that was before I realised the entertainment and inspiration which eavesdropping on conversations brings!

Now I make a beeline for an empty table that's adjacent to a group of chatting people ... listening-in makes such a lovely accompaniment to a cuppa.

Here's part of a conversation between three male students I overheard in the Student Union Café in 2008. I'm afraid I've chickened out and given you the edited highlights of the discussion as it was punctuated with the kind of things you might expect 3 young males to be talking about .....and I don't want to offend anyone.

If you're happy to use your imagination ... then one of them compared his situation to that of a ship going down after hitting an iceberg, which inspired a great yet filthy pun from another. Meanwhile another relayed a story about a trick they played on a boy at school who ended up waiting outside Sainsbury's for ...for something unspeakable to happen ...

You'll have to finish those for yourselves ... !

Anyway .... here's the bits I'm happy to share in mixed company:

The students were discussing the whether one of them should contact his estranged girlfriend:

The Agony Uncle: Please don’t. I wouldn’t be your friend if I didn’t say anything. Go and see a film at the weekend. Don’t just sit and dwell on it.

Estranged + Confused: I went round to see her and she put Hollyoaks Late on! [pause] Which was f#!%ing good though … but how’s that more important than this situation?

[I was with him on this one - I'm not sure when watching Hollyoaks Late could be more important than any situation short of it being your last request on death row.... ]

The Philosopher: This is not life is it?

Estranged + Confused: Nah.

The Philosopher: It makes me wanna sing a Creed song.

It was at this especially heavy moment [!] that one of them changed the subject to something less emotionally taxing ...

Agony Uncle: Have you ever caught your cobblers on a crossbar?

... and all the while I desperately tried not to give myself away by spraying my mouthful of tea everywhere in incredulity ....


Tuesday 11 May 2010

Small Stories: I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name...

The quotation I'd chosen to share in one of my regular quote posts this week refers to how, over time, we come to feel some sort of kinship with those people who we only know by sight or in passing. But, as as I was about to publish the post with just the quotation alone in it, it got me thinking ....

We all have them don't we? People we only know by sight?

Those people who we only ever see in one situation; behind the counter at a coffee shop; waiting at the bus stop each day; crossing the town square at the same time as you each morning.

The people who, if we ever see them out of their usual context, we can never quite place in our minds who they are and why they look so familiar .....

Like the postman/woman.

For long enough now I've referred to the regular van-driving postie who delivers our parcels as 'The bald one in the van who knows me'. I know, it's not an especially catchy or original name, but it does differentiate him from our other regular postal workers: 'The woman who's usually out of breath' and 'The older one'.

But why do I need names for my posties in the first place, I hear you ask.

Well, let's just say that it just makes things easier for James to picture the scene when I'm regaling tales of how I've had to run into the street wearing nothing but his old T-shirt, jogging bottoms and hair dye to retrieve a parcel before it gets taken back to the depot. Or how I have to check my face in the mirror for traces of dried PVA before opening the door to take-in a parcel from one of them ....

Plus, the fact that I work part-time from home and don't watch TV during the day means that my posties and my neighbours are the main dramatis personae of my day.

Anyway ... one day last week 'The young one in the van who I've never seen before' shouted across to 'The bald one in the van who knows me' .... and I discovered that he has another name.

A real name.

Who knew? It's Darren.

'Darren the postman in the van who knows me'.

It's nowhere near as exotic as 'Italian Tony' who used to deliver to Kirsty and I think I prefer the name I gave him, thank you very much.

As the quote below explains, sometimes 'incomplete knowledge' is really for the best:

"For one human being instinctively feels respect and love for another human being so long as he does not know him well enough to judge him; and desire is a product of incomplete knowledge".

from Death In Venice by Thomas Mann

[Visit this post on Copy+Paste to see how another Thomas Mann quotation inspired me to create a mixed-media project to hang on my wall.]

Finally, while I always smile and nod to many of our neighbours I'm afraid their names have eluded me. Which is how come our street came to be populated by people forever known as:

  • 'Parcel lady', 'God lady', 'Gobby Woman at the End';
  • 'Will Young', 'Byrd',
  • 'The Black Shirt' [who we heard was a BNP member]; and...
  • 'Mr.Potato Head'; 'Shrek' and their respective families [eg: Little Shrek, Tiny Shrek, Mrs Potato Head, The Potato Heads' Dog etc etc].
  • ..... and not forgetting 'Phil Spector', who lives at the bottom of our garden!

I wonder if you came to visit me you'd be able to work out who was who?

[Although after revealing the fun with naming people we have round here, you're probably not planning to visit any time soon are you? ......]

I'd really love to hear your stories about the people you only know by sight and even the names you've given them .... mainly so I can be comforted that it's not just me [and Kirsty] who does it!


Friday 7 May 2010

Happy Birthday

There's a lot of festivity going on around here this month.

It began a few days ago with a splendid apple and plum birthday crumble:
Then continued with a trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture park where we had one of our infamous van picnics [ie: a picnic ... in a van...] and where James got rather up-close-and-personal with a large hybrid hare-human bronze: And now it's the turn of Copy+Paste to celebrate it's first year in blogland. Rather than celebrate by inspecting a hare's backside Kirsty and I have spent the last few months planning a party instead!

It's already started so please drop by sometime over the weekend. Right up until Sunday night we'll be posting new projects, hosting giveaways and sharing some incredible work from some our special guests.

Here's a quick peek - but there's a lot more over there for you to feast your eyes on:

Have fun.