Monday, June 28, 2010

Magic Shoes?

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook today- what a blast from the past! I remember wanting these shoes soooo badly! I’m sure any of you who were little girls in the 80s did too. Remember the secret key hidden in the soles? I used to spend ages looking at the bottom of my feet!

p.s Sorry the quality of the video is so poor, but it is very old!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ten Orange Things I Love

A while ago I visited The Hanging Garden where I left a comment on a wonderful little post regarding the colour white. Being the scatter brain that I am I completely forgot about it. That happens more often than I’d like; there are days when I go on commenting splurges and it can be hard to keep note of where I’ve been. Anyway, this instance was a little different because by leaving a comment I was entering into a quirky wee challenge.

You see the lovely Byrony set me the task of finding ten orange things I love, just as she herself had done with shades of white. I only today returned to find what colour I’d been given, and at first I thought orange would be a tough one. When I sat down, though, and put my thinking cap on I realised that it’s a great colour! So here you have it, rather later than planned, ten images of orangey loveliness. Oh, and in the spirit of things, leave a comment if you want to be assigned your own colour!

Ginger Cats

Autumn Leaves

Marmalade On Toast

Harvest Moons

Blood Oranges

Red Hair

Evening Skies

Mushrooms and Toadstools

This Fantastic Peach House

An Madra Rua 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fairy Blessings

"Hand in hand, with Fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place."

Apparently today is international fairy day. I’m not quite sure what that means exactly, but it’s an appropriate date for it (being the last day of midsummer and all that). Well, hope you're all having a good one!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Back In The Day

Tonight is bonfire night! What a beautiful evening it is for it too. If anyone’s confused and thinks I’m getting my dates mixed up then I just want to point out that we have our own one in this wee corner of the world. I’m not sure if it’s just a Donegal thing or if it’s practiced all over the country, but what I do know is that I have many happy childhood memories of this night in years long past. As I recall, there was always tough competition to see which part of the town would have the biggest and best blaze, and there was always a lamppost that caught alight. And, of course, everybody always stayed out far later than they were supposed to. *sigh* I’m feeling old these days.

Anyway, unlike the other bonfire nights ours doesn’t involve the symbolic burning of some reviled historical character. It dates back thousands of years and started off as a way of honouring the goddess Áine. Known today as St John’s Eve, it’s just one more of those pagan customs that survived by being soaked up into the sponge of Christian culture. At least I hope it’s survived, I’m not sure if kids still do it. You know the way it is these days, health and safety and all that malarkey. It’s probably illegal. Actually, it was probably illegal back when we used to do it.  I haven’t been out this evening and I can’t see any fires from my window but I did hear a few fire engines earlier so that’s encouraging (sort of).  Plus, I remember reading a few years ago that the celebrations have been given a new lease of life by Polish immigrants who have a similar custom to us here.  I hope so because it would be such a shame for such an old tradition to die out.

A Little Bit of Magic in Your Pocket

With these charming key blanks from Keys To My Castle you can carry a beautiful work of art around with you all day long.  I wouldn’t feel right letting myself into my dull rented house with something so pretty though. I’ll just have to wait till I get that dream cottage in Brittany, or Tuscany, or the West Country, or wherever I’m in the mood for when the time comes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fantastical Origami

Some utterly amazing origami by Philip West. Now that’s some good paper folding. I don’t know if I’d have the patience for it myself, but if anyone’s interested you can learn how to make your own Yoda master here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Summer Days

Áine, the Irish goddess most associated with midsummer, by Amy Brown.

Hello and happy midsummer to you all! For once we’re actually getting a summer to be in the mid of here in Ireland. But enough about the weather. I’m happy cause it means the evenings will soon be getting darker again, and the mornings too. It was bright till 11 o’clock last night, and it must have been around three or four this morning when the sun came up. How’s anyone supposed to sleep! Maybe I just need blackout blinds… Anyway, in other news, I found out this morning that I don’t have to get an operation I was expecting to have in the next wee while. I might still have to eventually, but for now it’s on hold indefinitely. Woo hoo! What an all round excellent day :) Hope you’re all having one too!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Down At The Bottom Of The Garden

Fed up with the fact that none of my friends or family ever let me take their picture, yesterday I decided to employ the modelling services of this sprightly bunch. A well behaved lot they were too. I’ve tons of pictures of our little adventure in the garden so I might post some more another day. Oh, and I just want to say thanks to Laura from Gypsea Tree for introducing me to the great wee Poladroid gadget I used to edit them. So handy, so fun!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Music From the Mind of Fairies

Hello folks. Hope you’re all having a lovely day. I am, although I’m still coming to terms with the fact that it’s THURSDAY! How time flies when the sun is shining. I’ve noticed this whole summer carry on isn’t very conducive to blogging, at least for me anyway. I remember not too long ago I was posting daily and now look- only two in the past week! Disgraceful. No doubt it’ll be raining again soon though and, as much as some people might sniff at this, I’ll actually be glad to see it. I think I may have mentioned this once or twice, but I’m not a summer person. That said, I still feel obliged to get out for my annual dose of vitamin D.

Anyway, I’m here now and I did plan on doing one of my regular ‘look at the all the lovely things I found on Etsy’ posts. I have, however, been a bad blogger lately and haven’t had a good wee nosy round everyone’s sites in a while. I’m itching to go a wandering so one, albeit pretty darn cool, find will have to suffice for today I’m afraid. It’s an M.M.M.M (Mab's Minded Music Maker) from Nefaerieous.

What’s an M.M.M.M you say? Well, em... I think I’ll let the seller explain:
“It is a rarely known fact that the Mab Fairy, also known commonly as the madness faerie, or by it's Latin name Furiae Mediocris, both receives and is able to transmit radio waves from its brain. Having harvested this marvel of nature in our work of Faerie Preservation as we believe no part should be wasted; we have built a device best suited to put full use of natures finery.

“It has also be discovered, that the Mab's encephalons itself works as a noise storage device and can be used to access music and other sounds which the Faerie had been exposed to prior to it's preservation. This being realized, we have placed a number of encephalons in the transference chamber, to insure the most popular in musical selections."
Any clearer? Thought so. Actually in layman’s terms it’s a rebuilt 1956 radio that’s been rewired to also work as speakers for any device that uses headphones. It’s coin operated and even has a “brain jar” that lights up. Now isn’t that just the most delightful iPod docking station you’ve ever laid eyes on?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Winter Is Coming!

Right, so I know most of you won’t care about this but I just have to share my excitement. It’s an itsy bitsy but oh so tantalising teaser trailer for the upcoming Game of Thrones series by HBO. In fact it’s so short that it’s impossible to make any kind of judgement on what the show will actually be like. I hold super high hopes for it though- not only is it from the makers of one of my most favouritest TV series ever (Rome), but it’s based on the first novel in one of my top five fantasy sagas of all time ('A Song of Ice and Fire' by George RR Martin). The only problem I have with it so far is that it won’t be finished till 2011. That’s an eternity!

As I said, I do realise that only geeky dragon crack addicts like myself will actually care about a vague twenty second trailer for a show that won’t be aired for another year or so. Which leads me to wonder what the point of this post actually is…hmm. Well I suppose I can make this recommendation: if you haven’t watched Rome then watch it and if you haven’t read the Ice and Fire books then read them. Do this and weeks of pure escapist joy will be your reward.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Serious Furniture

Do you ever notice the way designers and architect types always go gaga over chairs? Well, in my experience they tend to anyway. Take the undeniably beautiful creation by Scott Garcia above. It is, in fact, probably one of the most wonderful chairs I’ve ever seen. Though I do have a little trouble taking it as seriously as the designer does in his descriptive blurb:

It’s not like I disagree with his philosophy- god love him, his heart’s in the right place- but come on, it’s only a chair! A pretty darn funky one, I admit, but why can’t it be just left at that? Why does it need a bloody narrative? And if it does then why can we not just be left figure it out for ourselves? Ah, maybe I’m just in one of those moods today. Anyway, I really do love Mr Garcia’s designs. Check out these concrete, yes I said concrete, tables. The second one is embedded with antique lace. How lovely!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Probably The Best Thing Orwell Ever Wrote

I’ve been a busy little bee the past few days, hence the lack of blogging. I wish I could report on some exciting adventure or what not but unfortunately it’s just been your average monotony sucking up my time. I like being busy though, no matter what it is I’m occupied with. It makes that cup of tea (or ten) at the end of the day all the more heavenly.

I don’t drink tea when I’m out usually, I stick to the coffee. It continually baffles me the way cafes and restaurants always invest so much in their coffee making facilities yet totally neglect the needs of us poor tea lovers. They seem to think we’ll be grand with a cheap cash and carry teabag in a creeky old pot. I’m telling you now, I’d rather drink dishwater. At least in this part of the world it comes in a pot, I suppose. I remember being in the States some years back and in a fit of desperation I chanced ordering what was billed as ‘hot tea’. What I got was a mug of lukewarm water with a teabag at the side. Sacrilege. I’m sorry to all my American blog buddies- it’s a fine nation you’ve got over there but the art of tea is certainly not one of your strong points!

So why is it so hard to get a good cup of tea? And what can be done about it? Well, I propose the following article be written into law or at least set as essential reading for caterers of the world: ‘A Nice Cup of Tea’ George Orwell, The Evening Standard, January 12 1946. Only ever so slightly outdated, it is a manifesto for the brew loving masses. A guide to the perfect cuppa, if you will. Ah Orwell, I have a new respect for him. He sure knew how to make tea! Here’s just a few of his oh so pertinent points:

"The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact... Some people add that one should only use water that has been freshly brought to the boil, but I have never noticed that it makes any difference."

"One should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all… but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round."

"[Tea] should be drunk without sugar... how can you call yourself a true tea-lover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water."
Hear hear Mr Orwell!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Easy On The Eyes

I'm having a bit of a hectic weekend but there's something about these images by German illustrator and photographer Jeanette Woitzik that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Aren't they simply adorable!

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