Sunday, February 26, 2012

A haiku a day...

We pack up our life,
put in in boxes, watch our
home become a house.

As the rain falls down
the night falls around me and
I fall fast asleep.

Irredescent joy,
Bubbles float over my head
tiny moments pop.

Once more with feeling,
run along the beaten track,
Soon I'll search new paths.

This room is empty
but for memories now, strange
transitory time.

Language slips, plays, twists,

defines and defies us, makes
magic possible.

As the singers sing,
talk turns to unspoken truths:
sometimes life is sad.


Friday, February 17, 2012

A haiku a day...

My street is transformed,
Not just a drib drab world now,
but a huge snowglobe.

Before we leave here,
lets all dance together in
a happy drunk mob.

Sunday: pick your own ending, depending on how much you drink
Version i.
Old Rosie charms us,
her nectar is sweet, golden,

Version ii.
Old Rosie charms us,
her nectar is sweet, golden,
Oh dear tomorrow!

Insomnia bites,
Infects me with a fever,
I burn for hours.

Ideas fly at me,
out of the pages, as if
they had read my mind.

Tiny tasks complete
and yet still so much to do,
exhausted again.

My twitchy eyelid
has returned, it flutters like
a distressed caged bird.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our little English Robin...

"Art thou the bird whom Man loves best,
The pious bird with the scarlet breast,
Our little English Robin"
~William Wordsworth~

These are just a few of the pretty little robins that have been cheering up my winter days with their colourful tummies and pretty songs. Robins will always be one of my favourite birds.
Other birds come and go with the seasons but robins are old reliable, always putting in an appearance in our gardens, parks and along the streets.I love how they appear from out of bushes, then hop around, stopping to tilt their faces in that friendly way to get a good look at you before fluttering off to a nearby branch to charm and delight by singing their sweet tune...


Monday, February 13, 2012

Paisley is my favourite...

I've been busy this last sorting through my wardrobe in preparation for moving to France. In doing so I've uncovered quite a few things that I had sort of forgotten about. Today I bring you the transformation of this gem of my wardrobe that has been sadly ignored, namely this dress...

I bought this on a trip to France because once I tried it on I simply couldn't leave the country without it. You see I have something of an obsession for paisley. A large portion of my wardrobe is composed of various different paisley prints in all kinds of colour combinations. I wore the dress for New Year's Eve last year, but sadly its a bit too tight and low cut on the chest to be comfortable for everyday wearing (why I didn't notice this when I tried it on I don't know). I was thinking of saving it for another occasion, but really paisley print this pretty is too good to be shut away in the land of Wardr Obe (Spare Oom) and should be worn everyday. Look at the upclose details of this amazing print!

To make that happen, I decided to transform it into a skirt using my new favourite trick - creating an elastic waistband (as seen here)!. And so I snipped the dress in half at the waist, using another skirt as guidance for the length (this bit was scary - taking scissors to something means the point of no return - eek!). Then I measured out a length of elastic, folded the fabric down at the waist and sewed around it, creating a tube for the elastic to be threaded through. Once the elastic was in it all got sewed up and TA DA! A fab new skirt....

Here's a close up of the new waistband...

I love it! No longer will this be a sad discarded dress, unable to fulfill its destiny. From now on, it'll be shimmying around in all its paisley glory on a regular basis! I won't, however, be carrying this peacock feather with me wherever I go - that's just a prop I picked up for my impromtu photo shoot because I thought holding something might make me feel a little less awkward about taking photos of myself. (It didn't)...

Why not transform something you love but never wear? It's like going shopping in your wardrobe, which is perhaps not quite as fun as getting to Narnia in your wardrobe, but it is free and you get to be creative and sew!

Friday, February 10, 2012

A haiku a day...

I've been writing these little haikus every day for over 6 months now, which is quite hard to believe as I'm usually rubbish at sticking to things like this. I doubt that anybody else really enjoys reading them, but the weekly ritual of typing them and putting them on here has certainly helped me to keep on writing them. I love how they capture random little snippets of things, like the changing seasons, weird little observations I've had during my days, pretty flowers, frustrated moments, dreams, runs in the rain, snow, autumn etc. It's funny sometimes the way that inspiration strikes me and I think - ooh! that's definitely the subject of my haiku today! Maybe at the end of a year's worth I will print them all out in a little book and it will be one of the most concise and yet strangely evocative diaries I've ever kept. Anyway, here's this week's worth, served up this time with a healthy sprinkling of snow....

On this cold night we
shut out the world and sip wine,

Creaky snow footsteps
through a freshly coated world,
a blank page tonight.

Confused birds singing
at street light reflections on
snow: a fake dawn glow.

Drip drop, melting snow,
the great thaw's started, perhaps
Aslan's on the move?

Treacherous pathway,
Snow sparkles a warning that
I'm running on ice.

A nun, a ginger
beard, school children, you and me,
huddled on the tube.

I'll miss the way that
Distant trains sound strange at night,
like boiling kettles.

ps. If anybody is reading, I invite you to leave a haiku of your own in the comments :)

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Badger of the week (6)

This week's badger is a fine specimen indeed. A carved wooden badger face pendant from Finest Imaginary, a lovely Etsy seller. 'Twas birthday present from me to me earlier this year!

Lets zoom in on that badger shall we?

And because I happened to be wearing another one on the day that I took these photos (is one badger ever enough?) here's a bonus badger which clears up the mystery of what badgers actually do...

love from me and the badgers

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Patching things together...

My latest sewing project involves using up all the lovely co-ordinated scraps of fabric I have left over in my stash from other things I've made. Moving to another country means delving into the piles of stuff in the cupboards and sorting through it all. Lots of things will have to be left behind in storage or given away, but rather than leave these gorgeous fabrics sitting in a box, unloved and unused, I'm finally using them up! Rifling through my stash was much more fun than other bits of packing and sorting that I've been doing - sort of like a visit to my own personal haberdashery :)

Despite being inspired by all things patchy for my crochet projects, sewing patchwork out of fabric is a bit of a new venture for me - I've only attempted it once before for a bag I made a few years ago so here's hoping all the edges meet up once I get sewing! At the moment I'm thinking I'll make a skirt, or maybe a dress, but I'll see how I get on with sewing the patches together first.

Here's a glimpse at some of the fabrics which include paisley, dots, scraps of a sari, squiggles, butterflies and an old miniskirt, all in shades of red, orange and gold...

Do you have any patchwork tips to share?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Squirrelling away...

Isn't it funny how sometimes animals look exactly like the way they do in picture books? Like this squirrel I spotted feasting on a nut clasped tight in both his paws (I want to say hands - just look at his tiny fingers)....

He squirrelled it away up the tree to eat it in the safety of the branches, tail wrapped around himself for warmth...

It must be nice to have such a fancy tail to keep yourself cosy with in the snow and to balance you out when you have to head back down the tree for another snack. It sure would be tough climbing headfirst into the snow without it!

I hope he has a good stash buried down beneath the snow to keep him full during this cold spell!


Monday, February 06, 2012

Birds flying high, you know how I feel...

On a walk to the park on a snowy Sunday I captured these images of black headed gulls flapping and flying about over the icy lake as somebody threw bread for them....

If you look closely
at the picture below, you can see that the gull on the left of got lucky and caught a mini feast in his beak...

Against the white ice of the lake and the grey sky above, the gulls were practically camouflaged. Only their orange beaks and feet and the constant flapping motion of their wings made them stand out from the grey wintery scene behind them...

Looking at them on the screen a few hours later, the birds almost look as if they are hanging in the sky, suspended from tiny threads as their soft white bodies seem to defy gravity independently of their wings....

What strange little faces they have, when you spy them from a certain angle before they swoop in for bread, swerving out of the way of pigeons...

In these slightly blurry pictures of their soft feathery wings, you can sense the speed with which they flap about. Majestic movements in a sky heavy with cold gloom...

Twisting and turning, or hovering mid air, watching over snowy scenes of children throwing snowballs...

Before making their descent to the icy floor below...

Beautiful gulls, happy times.

Friday, February 03, 2012

A haiku a day...

Old friends,
laughter, beer
just like the good old times at

Hours of my life,
long since forgotten, written
out so carefully.

A rainbow ring around
the shadow of our plane as
we float through the clouds.

Nous cherchons a home,
Un petit chez-nous: Bordeaux,
Help us in our quest!

flutter through my mind, each one
so precarious.

Cold, so cold, my bones
feel old, my toes are numb, as
I shiver along.

Goodbye cobbled streets,
we'll be back for you quite soon,
Until then, adieu.