Here it is chumlies.  photo P8103582_zps11af9f35.jpgThis post isn't just to show you this damned nifty picture . . .
It's to tell you that I've made a dirty great . . . stinkin' . . . show-off . . . website. And you can look at it here:
And this blog will be moving over there from now - it's pretty nice, the comments format is all efficient and chatty and the layout is good. I hope you'll still like visiting.
It's proper scary telling you folks and I don't think it's finished yet but if I waited for it to be finished before I showed you it might never happen.
So there you go.
Tell me what you think.

A new friend and it's friends

Here is the last friend in the gang - it's a turtoise. It's a characterful small beast, all lollop and bibble-bobble with it's tiny limbs. photo P82042002_zps8245c308.jpgI will photograph it better soon - it's got quite a glorious undercarriage. I've been a bit busy in my nest stuffing and sewing. With only the radio for company. photo P8274380_zps5d239b07.jpgSoon they're all going into a Designers Makers pop-up on Colombia Road. Where I think they'll fit in rather well. photo P8194137_zps5074b97b.jpgAll those cuddly folk lying around comatose on my sofa: it's like an exotic, underwater opium den.
So there you go - a triptych. Very good.

A small collection.

I have a small collection of watering can roses that I really rather love. They're all handsome metal ones of course - none of that green plastic muck. I thought I would take the opportunity today to parade them in front of you. photo P8194173_zpsd528ded1.jpgThis is the biggest one - hello.  photo P8194171_zps6197f006.jpgThis one is slightly smaller but stands up of its own accord, which is rather good.  photo P8194169_zps2b538a1b.jpgI like all their shapes and perforations, they have real character. This one is handsome in copper. photo P8194164_zps0ea24635.jpgThe slightest variations are nice in a collection. I always think of the effort that goes into manufacturing even the tiniest things: the constant tweaking and improving photo P8194163_zpse5cef5ab.jpg  photo P8194159_zps9c3266d3.jpg  photo P8194150_zps460f07e9.jpg  photo P8194148_zps0a694c1d.jpg
conical  photo P8264360_zpsf022ced7.jpgAnd these teeny little one entered the brood this weekend - courtesy of my Mum.
So there you go. It's always good to have a hobby, even if it is collecting watering can roses.

In other news. I'm headed down to Devon tomorrow to play my guitar and sing songs in front of a room full of people. What a strange thing to do - when I was asked it seemed so far in the future I just flippantly said I'd do it. But now the future is quickly becoming the present and I'm feeling a little bit completely unprepared. The Wolves, who organised it, are dead good - go look at their website.
I'll let you know how it goes.


Not the muscular sort of Staffie pup but these boggle eyed Staffordshire whimsies - which I have a soft spot for. More specifically the amazing gang of them that hang out at Gabor Cossa in Cambridge, an antiques wonder-cave run by the most wonderfully camp man.
I like them! I like that they come in pairs and that they're all similar but not the same. One day I will own some. photo P7152774_zps78efbd74.jpg  photo P7152779_zpseaafb17e.jpg  photo P7152792_zpsb90e5845.jpg  photo P7152794_zps683a297c.jpg  photo P7152800_zps4e2893eb.jpg  photo P7152802_zpsd0f1b1b0.jpgAnd there's one cat in the window that looks like it could really hold it's own.


I got a bag of Kanga from the boot the other day. They're traditional African wraps, used for many things: skirts, headscarves, baby slings. I really like their bold, simple patterns, with the border format and the small Swahili moral written on each one. Such a nice thing.
Anyway - here are the best Kanga for you . . . I tried to translate the morals and had quite a good success rate but some are a little baffling.
I hope you like them too.
 photo P7172830_zps0b2536f4.jpg
Wema wako ni kumbusho hatusahau maisha
'Your kindness is a reminder we forget life'
 photo P7172829_zpse63dba8c.jpg
Radhi ni bora kuliko mali
'Pleasure is better than wealth'
 photo P7172827_zpsebc248cf.jpg
Tujitahidi kulima njaa isitufisidi
'Strive to cultivate hunger isitufisidi'
 photo P7172825_zpse2598858.jpg
moto hauzai moto
'fire does not bear fire'
 photo P7172824_zps76109280.jpg
waona uchungu mimi kupata?
'See the pain I get?'
 photo P7172820_zpsb11beb5e.jpg
kusifiwa sikuona
'praise found'
 photo P7172819_zps2774ce23.jpg
manga ya moyoni
'manga heart' . . . hmm
 photo P7172818_zpsfa1d082a.jpg
tosheka na upatacho
'satisfied with upatacho' . . . I don't know what upatacho is, sounds pretty satisfying though.
I like them so much I sellotaped one to my wall by my bed - then it fell on to me in the night and I had the strangest dream.

A new friend

 I made a new friend! It's called the Starfriend: the name suits I think. Sometimes it also gets called 'the person with the long head', Whatever you call it: it's a funny leggy beast. photo P8093368_zpsd083cc26.jpgThe Starfriend's mostly just been hanging out in our house getting cuddles. But this weekend we took it to be in it's natural habitat: the beach. Which it loved. Obviously. photo P8103953_zps2b68d077.jpgIt flew around a lot and Jack had a snooze with it . . . until I woke him up with a nice, cold, salty cuddle. photo P8103869_zps9c30d60c.jpgI'm getting a few whipped up for a pop-up shop on Colombia Road soon. Which is dead exciting. And I'm also working on another little friend - because I seem to work mostly in trilogies. And soon I will also sell them in my Etsy. What do you think?
The cuddly empire grows.

Air plants

There are more and more plants in the shop these days. And yesterday I managed to get hold of some air plants. Clever little brutes they are - growing without roots - and so handsome too.
 photo P8083310_zps5a071171.jpg
Air plants survive with just a spritz of water - which is dead satisfying, after I spritzed them I ended up spritzing most things in the shop. Spritz.
 photo P8083348_zpsc174450c.jpg
A member of my terrarium collection going to good use.
 photo P8083352_zps93835c85.jpg
And also some jars to house the new babies.
 photo P8083353_zps6b0f26d4.jpg
It's like Pinterest round here.
 photo P8083350_zps7e1d10ee.jpg
Some home-grown geraniums - all leggy and wonky.
 photo P8083360_zps1ad0596d.jpg
A corner of the shop is set up like a crazy botanists workroom now.
Come visit the shop, and take a peek at our humble new website.


Ok - this is the second holiday post in a row, pretty sickening I know but I'm going to post it anyway.. 
We went to Istria in Croatia and it was awesome, a real holiday - none of that cycling stuff, just pure lazing and eating.
 photo photo-8_zps4ea7e4b1.jpg
We stayed in Pula
 photo P8013092_zpseba7d7be.jpg
And rode a scooter around the coast.
 photo P8013090_zpse22717a8.jpg
This Aloe was taller than me.
 photo P7313011_zps4762b615.jpg
We snorkled a lot - looking at sea creatures.
 photo P8013052_zps2be33827.jpg
Then eating sea creatures
 photo P8013136_zps93ea3a53.jpg
It wasn't fig season unfortunately
 photo P8023206_zps6425352f.jpg
The sea at Rovinj, where we ate mussels and swam from the rocks
There was a lot of beautiful scenery to look at and we did escape and explore a bit but mostly it was just a real real holiday! We stayed in a naff (but air conditioned) apartment overlooking an ancient square where people relentlessly sold plastic tat to kids and sometimes there was a stage with entertainment - and the entertainers always wore lycra. And you could buy fake designer stuff everywhere and look at tanned people sauntering around in weird neon shorts. And we went on a boat trip with free alcohol where they played Celine Dion (Titanic song included) and conducted a loudspeaker tour in four languages. And I loved it. And I'd like to say I loved it in a middle-class ironic sort of way . . . but actually I just loved it.

Solva Mill - lining our non-existent nest.

Recently Jack and I went on a holiday with his family - to Wales. Pembrokeshire more specifically. And when we came back we had the most amazing souvenir in the boot. A Welsh Tapestry rug. Good. photo P7292975_zpsf8fb9c38.jpgJack will be a teacher next year and so will have a STEADY INCOME (shitabrick) and I think this is a major factor in what happened. What happened? Well . . . we went to Solva Mill and were looking at the rugs and were playing at choosing which one we liked best when Jack just got his wallet out and bought it. It wasn't even the smallest cheapest one. I loitered nearby, all casual like, pretending we always buy high quality stuff from new. It was dead good.  photo P7292974_zps3fa36f19.jpgSo now it's at my house and when we move in together it will take pride of place in our nest. Until then I'm refusing to put it on the floor in case it should get spoiled before time. photo P7112654_zpsdbb6ea5b.jpgSolva Mill is amazing: you're allowed into the weaving shed to look at all the machinery: a weaver was even kind enough to set one going for me. I love all the old machines, as you well know and had to seriously talk myself down from giving it all up to go and learn weaving. photo P7112634_zps90567462.jpg  photo P7112635_zps903b24c5.jpg
There's our rugs siblings - stashed in a suitably idyllic basket. Perfect. A very satisfying little trip, I'd thoroughly recommend it.

(p.s Solva Mill also has a very fine Facebook page with plenty of weaving and pictures of cats, Like it)

Sheep and wool . . .

. . . and Billy Ringhorn.
 I went to Lambeth Country Fair again this year and it was so good! And, as before, Billy Ringhorn was my favourite. I love his show and I don't mind who knows it.
He comes to Lambeth on his way to Scotland where he ends his sheering year. He starts his sheering year in Australia in the spring, then to New Zealand, then works his way around the globe. Proper. And he get's paid £1 for every sheep he shears. One pound! Can you believe it? Someone had better invent a sheep sheering machine sharpish because that £1 gig won't last much longer.
 photo P7202856_zps7b9cdcf2.jpgHis presentation is old fashioned and nice - just a talk and a demo, but it's so pleasing to see a hoard of London folk captivated by someone sheering a sheep. Also the presentation is a bit rubbish in that he presumes you know lots of things, he'll say something really technical and sheep/woolly that you don't understand one bit and then say - 'so that explains that'. It all adds to the charm. photo P7202840_zpsca92a044.jpg  photo P7202837_zps76696808.jpg  photo P7202852_zpsbc29f4a9.jpg
See you next year Billy!