Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Window Shopping on Pinterest

Really beginning to like Pinterest as it's so easy to use and I love making different boards up. I went window shopping today and these are now on my wish list. My favourite item is the trousers at the bottom of the page,bet they swing beautifully when you walk.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Perception, Taste & Priorities

In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.7

After 1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . ..

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Enjoy LIFE now....... it has an expiration date.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

StarBurstJewels Wraplet Giveaway $25

 StarBurstJewels run by ZengSha currently living in Florida, started making her jewellery for friends then the friends of friends and so it continued, and in Oct 2009 she decided to open her Etsy shop and is now only 3 sales short from her 100th sale.

To celebrate her achievement ZengSha is offering my readers this beautiful bracelet from her new line called “Wraplets” these are long bracelets that enable you to wrap round your wrist multiple times. One lucky person will win this beautiful bracelet , woven with lime green beads with a brown cord on black leather with a toggle clasp and to finish a beautiful wooden button and can be wrapped up to 3 or 4 times. Value $25

Now you are all drooling and you want to know how you can win this beauty! Well all you have to do is go to ZengSha’s Facebook page and hit the like button and that’s it done, how easy is that? If you want to see more of ZengSha’s beautiful creations pop over to her shop.... ZengSha is also offering a special 15% discount  for the duration of this giveaway. Use Coupon Code "Jewels" at checkout.

A winner will be picked on the 8th Feb and will be announced on my blog, FaceBook and Twitter page.

 Follow this link to enter...... www.facebook.com/home.php#!/StarBurstJewels)

Follow ZengSha on Twitter...... twitter.com/starburstjewels

Good luck to all and many thanks for your lovely giveaway ZengSha and I wish you many more sales to come.

You dont have to follow my blog to enter but thank you if you do xx 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vintage Linen Eyeglass Case - Tutorial

Where did this come from? Well, all because I lost my hard case for my glasses and for two days had my glasses stuck down my jumper or tangled in my hair and I had enough so decided to make my own. I did and of course wanted to show off how clever I am posted it on FB:))  I had a comment left suggesting I could perhaps add a cord so it could hang round your neck. Not sure if I fancied this idea as I have to say I really dislike these cords you get for hanging your glasses on. I know some people don’t seem to have a problem with them but I think they are really ugly and very annoying to wear, just my opinion of course!

I then received 3 mails asking for the instructions on how to make them, was I flattered yip I was indeed. So here is my version and hope if you do make one or several you will let me have a look.
So to get started you will need to find two pieces of material (Cotton or linen work great) I have used a tea stained vintage linen and a wadding for the lining. But you can decide whether you want it padded or not.

Cut two pieces 20cm x 18cm (8”x7”)

Now if you want to add a trim now the time to add it.(I used a scalloped edged ivory lace) place it on the right side of one piece of material that measures 18cm (7”) and add second piece on top same  size so both right sides are together.
Stitch along this edge and then press flat, open  out and it should look like this and then top stitch along lace.

Now fold the long edges together making sure that your seam lines in the centre match, stitch and  press this seam open.

You should now have a tube, turn the side that you want to be on the inside of the case back over the other piece of material, (the wadding on this one will be on the inside) line up the seams and press.
Now stitch across the end and then do a zig zag or serge the edge to prevent fraying. Should look like this trim the ends as shown.

Now turn so the wadding is now on the inside and it should look like this. You should have a seam running down the back centre.

For this one I added a shell button and made a stem and a few French knots. But you can add whatever takes your fancy.

I also added a split ring either side of the case. I used a linen cord and attached it with a necklace crimp with loop to slip into the ring, now you can hang this round your neck.

Hope all that makes sense. Let me know if it doesn't. Below a few other I have made.

Hey Moustache Fancy a Cuppa

What were washed, brushed, combed, dyed, and curled by Victorian gentlemen? Moustaches!

It must have taken them hours if not weeks to create these styles with a little help from using wax, nets (we girls called them snoods and put the hair of our heads in them), mustache brushes, combs, and mustache scissors. Mustaches were grown in all shapes and sizes, and the amount of stiff pomade that must have been  required to hold the hairs in place led to many drawing room disasters.

Problems arose when going for afternoon tea parties. Steam from the hot drinks melted their mustache wax and sent it dribbling down the chin,(attractive) sometimes streaked with dye, (doubly attractive) dribbling right into their cup along with the by then droopy mustache.  The other dilemma was that coffees and teas would stain and discolour the bottoms of many mustaches. I would be reaching for the razor about now!

An English potter in around 1830 named Harvey Adams introduced the first mustache cup. The cup had a ledge called a “mustache guard” that stretched across the inside of the cup from rim to rim. The guard had one semicircular opening against the rim of the cup to allow the user’s mustache to rest safely on the guard. The invention of the mustache cup spread over Europe until most potters featured a product with a similar design. Between the years 1850-1900, famous manufacturers such as Meissen, Royal Crown Derby, Royal Bayreuth, Limoges and others created their own versions of this masculine tableware. Can you imagine a good snog with some of these! I think not. As for some of the cups they are very attractive and I just can't seem to visualise any of these guys trying to drink from them, can you?
Well then again!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Infidel" Ayaan Hirsi Ali 2008

 It took me 2 days to read this profoundly affecting memoir from Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s “Infidel” An incredible insight to a young girl’s traditional Muslim upbringing. Not only did she survive female circumcision, civil war, brutal beatings and later death threats.
She had the courage and intelligence to stand up and speak out for the rights of Muslim women and the reform of Islam.

Salman Rushdie quote: “This is an immensely important book, passionate, challenging and necessary. It should be read as widely as possible, because it tells the truth – the unvarnished, uncomfortable truth.”

The short film made by Theo Van Gogh “Submission” which resulted in Theo’s murder and death threats to Ayaan need no further explanation its short and to the point. I wish this book had never needed to be written, and I too hope like Ayaan that one day all women will be free and equal.

In response to ongoing abuses of women’s rights, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her supporters established the AHA Foundation in 2007 to help protect and defend the rights of women in the West from oppression justified by religion and culture.


 Submission Part 1

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Take My Breath Away

From this spring every car in France will have to be equipped with a breathalyzer. This announcement made by President Nicolas Sarkozy who has made it a personal crusade to cut the number of road deaths in France.

The new plan will force every driver to have a breathalyzer kit in their cars so they can check their alcohol level before driving.

The president's office said in a statement on Thursday that a kit costs just €1.50 to €2 ($2 to $2.70).

Anyone caught without a kit will face a €17 ($23) fine.

Looks like the companies selling these kits will be rubbing their hands on this vote!

Would love to hear your view on this, do you think this will help to reduce the amount of road deaths in France?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Walk in The Forest

Took the kids for a walk in the forest and their task was to find anything they thought would be fun to take a picture off. Here's what they came up with.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Show me your Valentine Ideas

Made anything for Valentines then add your free linky here and lets see what goodies we can find. I will try and add  one but this is not playing nicely with me today and this is my second and last attempt. So here we go again! I will go and see if I can do it this time. Happy weekend

Monday, January 9, 2012

La Sagrada Família, Barcelona

The first thing you see are multicoloured towers piercing the blue sky (yes the sun was shining in November and the sky was indeed blue). You have to try and ignore the huge cranes surrounding the church. La Sagrada Familia is probably the most iconic structure in Barcelona, certainly in mind it is. The church, which is located in L'Eixample, has been a fixture in Barcelona since construction started in 1882 and continues to just grow and grow.

The church already is an incredible intricate structure. For 43 years Antoni Gaudí worked on this project and, since his death in 1926, the task to finish it has been passed on to several architects. All the architects have  respected Gaudí's vision and have made additions with his design in mind.

Impressive stained glass windows line the main room and a lift takes visitors up one of the towers to enjoy the view.(This was sadly closed when we went) Smaller rooms hold exhibits detailing the history and future of the structure. La Sagrada Familia is projected to be completed in 2026, the 100th anniversary of Gaudí's death. In the meantime, it's an incredible experience in itself to watch as this monumental, one-of-a-kind structure is constructed.

You can see work in progress in the work room but my luck was not in as it was a Saturday and they don't work weekends. But I saw the models they are constructing,and well that on it's own was amazing. I also think that the skilled craftsmen working on this project seem to get little mention, although there was a small plaque with some of the workers so I am probably wrong on that point. Gaudi in my mind designed a masterpiece but without the many skills needed to create this work it would have remained on paper.

Sadly on June 7th 1926 he was struck by a tram and as he was taken to be a beggar and had no identification papers on him, he received very little care and died 2 days later. So much for equality and if you’re in shabby clothes you’re nobody. Not much has changed then! A must see if you ever find yourself in Barcelona and watch those trams!

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