Monday, 29 April 2013

Returning to normal or as normal as I get!

So I had elective surgery on Friday afternoon to ensure that no more Swirly babies arrive! I had it through keyhole surgery and what a wonderful thing it is - they went through my belly button and a small hole in my bikini line and that's it! Yes it is painful but nothing that was too bad although getting rid of the air that they pump into your stomach to ensure they can see wasn't fun!! I'm now back to about 85% of feeling like me and getting better every hour. Orders may take a while to get out but they are coming, I promise!

Now to the TMI bit - don't read on if you get squeamish :)

I was meant to be a day case and should have been back out by Friday evening but once they were inside they discovered that my right fallopian tube was 3 times the length it should be and was fused to my bowel (it was described to me as being like when cling film sticks to itself) So they were separated and my surgeon noticed that she couldn't see the open end of the right fallopian tube that the egg releases itself towards. In all probability, this tube has never worked but she still clipped it just in case! She also trimmed away the excess tube as she didn't want it to become wrapped around my bowel which would not be good!! I also had a reaction to the anaesthetic and slept/felt dizzy and sick for most of Friday although I managed to send a garbled text to Matt saying that I had to stay in!

I also have to say that the NHS staff in Burnley hospital are wonderful (except one rude auxiliary nurse) and I wouldn't hesitate to use the NHS again :)

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Time vortex?

I took these two photographs in the studio the other day and it seems that it must exist in a time vortex.

12th July??

And January? It must be a time vortex and not some lazy person forgetting to change dates because if it's a time vortex then I am able to dream about these guys!!

Good theory eh :D

Friday, 26 April 2013

Harry Dog

So, we have a dog :) If you follow me on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter you will have guessed this already but if not, we have a dog! He is a chihuahua and is called Harry - not named by us but his previous owners who named him after Prince Harry as he is a fawn (ginger) colour.

He likes sitting on the top of the sofa if he can't get onto your lap and I swear he is more cat like than dog like :)

He also loves piles of washing and doesn't mind if it's clean or dirty! His favourite thing to do (apart from roll around in washing) is to roll around on our bed - oh and also sleep on it too!

He is a helpful office dog - keeping my sewing chair warm and helping type emails. He also wanted to help screw the doors back onto my cupboard for BCTF ;)

He LOVES snuggles and being close to us and didn't mind his first bath. He'd rolled in bird poo (something else we have discovered he likes!) so we had to give him a bath but luckily he didn't mind it - doesn't like the hair-dryer though!

He is adored by the girls and they love helping out and walking him. I think they also like him as it means we go to the park more often and they get to play on the playground!

We bought him from a couple who live a few towns from us and we weren't told the truth by them about him. It doesn't make any difference to us but it would have been nice not to be lied to! We have also never owned a pet let alone a dog so we didn't know the type of questions to ask - we were naive perhaps but....

We were told he was 3 or 4 when he is more like 6 (it's very difficult to tell the age of a dog once they are no longer puppies but that's what the vet estimates), we were told he was micro chipped (he wasn't but is now) and we were also told that he was fully vaccinated but they couldn't provide any proof and didn't respond to emails when we asked which vet they had used. He also has quite a bit of tooth decay (common in chihuahuas) that he will need to have looked at and the teeth possibly removed. We think he was looked after but not looked after well and as the couple claimed he had fathered 41 puppies, we think he may have been just used as a stud dog. He is very timid around people he doesn't know and he is very scared of other dogs. The fear of other dogs/things larger than them is common in chihuahuas as they are the smallest breed of dog and therefore very aware of their frailty due to size. He has got better and I think walking him up to school where he gets lots of attention has helped - the noise and scurrying of many children seems to help! We are also going to get him some training to help with the timidness and also to get him to come when we call as he can't be let off the lead.

So, in conclusion, we are very glad that he has come to live with us and he is a very much loved dog :)

Monday, 22 April 2013

52 books in 52 weeks - part three

I'm very late in sharing my books from March but here they are at last! I read a fair few books in March but most I'd read before and some were the Harry Potter books so easy to read :)

I reread all of the Harry Potter books as I've read them many times before and as I was preparing for BCTF I needed something that I didn't need to concentrate on too much!

I am a big Philip Pullman fan and have had this book for a while so I thought I would give it a try. All I can say is 'meh' It took a while to get into it but it was ok. Not something I would read again though and it's already gone to the charity shop!

Anya read most of this book in school and I decided we needed a copy so she could finish it and also so I could read it! I loved it! Brilliant and well written :)

I can't say I read this as it's all cartoons and it took me about 10 minutes to go through it but as it's a book I will count it! If you know any frugal people then this would be worth buying for them as it's funny. It is an American book and has some Americanisms but not too many that it will put you off. And of course it came to us via the charity shop :)

19/52 books read :)

Sunday, 21 April 2013

The best kind of bargain!

We went to out first car boot of the season this morning (in a town we'd never been to before) as I wanted to find some things I can use as planters for my veggie garden. I'm not planting many things in the ground this year as our front garden may need to be dug up to have work done on the cellar so I'm sticking to pots and planters.

Here's Harry Dog* checking out the new planters - some were grabbed in Homebase (the 2 newer looking troughs and the 3 black hexagonal ones at the back) The two galvanised mop buckets were £2 each at the car boot (I'm thinking beans or tomatoes with canes in those or maybe beetroot) The two trough ones nearest Harry's head were free from the car boot! Its one of those car boots where the sellers leave massive piles of the stuff they don't want to take home with them and these were quickly grabbed by me! Anya and I also grabbed two planters from someone's skip this morning but don't tell anyone :)

It always annoys me when traders leave big piles of rubbish around after a car boot sale but today I was pleased as along with the planters we also grabbed a wooden pirate ship for the girls to play with :)

As you can see it's quite a hefty ship! There are a couple of bits missing but most of it is there :) Not bad for free eh?

*I've not really told you much about Harry Dog but I'm sure I will soon :)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


Well I'm finally going to write about BCTF :) For those not in the know it stands for British Craft Trade  Fair and is, as you may have sussed from the title, a trade fair for handmade goods. Which is excellent as buyers know exactly what they are coming to look at and that your lead times will be longer than bought in tat as everything is handmade :) It's based in Harrogate at the show ground where the Yorkshire Show is held so the signposting is already very good to get you there - the organisers also have a free bus that goes between the show ground and the train station!

I was in the newcomers section (hence the N before the stand number) so I got a 2x1 metre stand and that included a strip light just behind the yellow sign. It worked really well and the stand was bright enough - the overhead lights worked well too!

This is what my stand looked like. The main draw was the cabinet :) I could have easily sold it at least 20 times over as loads of people liked it. It was very handy in that it encouraged people to stop and then I could chat and explain that I had started my display with the cabinet and it grew from there. It also worked really well with my work and lots of visitors commented on that. I'm also glad I left the gap to the side as it enabled me to have somewhere to stand while people were looking without feeling I was hovering over them or ignoring them by standing out in the aisle. Next time though I need a seat although Helen Markham (who was my next door neighbour) loaned out her stool to the people around her so we each had a chance to sit down for a bit! I also pinched the seats belonging to Rebecca from  Girl With Beads and Mel from Spring Lark!

People were drawn to the chickens as they walked past and only then, if they stepped into the stand, did they look at the other items like gift tags and envelopes. I had an idea for the gift tags that didn't work out at all so the mini suitcase (quickly grabbed from Anya's shelf!) was a last minute idea. Next time it will certainly be something to work on.

I was really pleased with how my stall looked and I felt it really worked well with my items :) So how did it go sales wise? Well I got an order just as we'd finished packing everything up on the Tuesday and it was a sizeable order. I also have several leads to follow up this week so all in all it was worth it. I've rebooked for next year (!) and as silly as it sounds, buyers want to see you coming back again (and out of the newcomers section) so they can be confident that you are still going as a business and won't be as easily phased by huge orders and that they can rely on you! I was talking to someone whose wife runs a gift shop and she never looks round the newcomers section on principle as she has been stung by people before panicking as they had lots of orders and then the company folded!

So all in all it was worth it for giving out cards and being seen and the order was a bonus :) Hopefully some of my follow up emails will yield results too! If you have any questions about BCTF or are thinking about it next year then do ask questions in the comments and I will answer as best I can!

P.S. Some other newcomers got thousands of pounds or orders and some got none so my experience isn't representative of everyone!

Sunday, 14 April 2013


Perfect for us Instagram lovers :) I'm Swirlyarts on there by the way!

Ok I can't embed this video but you can check it out on You Tube here.

Very amusing :)

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Still here!

Well just about anyway :) Set up for BCTF is Saturday so I am getting together the last bits and bobs and hoping that I haven't forgotten anything important! While you wait for my next blog post (probably late next week) see if you can spot me sewing up a chickens bum in this video :)

P.S. I'm at about 3.15 :)