Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gimpy Days

I’m a terrible one for going through phases, particularly when it comes to pastimes. Case in point being my Etsy treasury obsession a little while ago. I’ve actually not been on there for ages now, but no doubt when the notion takes me I’ll throw myself right back into it. That’s the way I do things, when I come across something I enjoy I tend to overload on it for a while at first. Like playing online Scrabble, or reading too much of the one author.

My current obsession is with the image editing software Gimp. I couldn’t afford to buy Photoshop again when my laptop packed in so I got this free alternative instead; it really is almost as good. At least it is for my purposes, I’m sure proper graphics people would wrinkle their noses at it. Anyway, aside from making my blog banner and buttons, I hadn’t put it to much use until recently. Then about a week ago I was saving some photos when I realised how many I had taken since I got my wee camera. I’ve hundreds! Most of them are quite poor but I have that many I thought I should do something with them. So I started playing around on Gimp and I’ve now found a new outlet for my procrastination. Many hours will and already have been consumed!

Here’s a few examples of what I’ve come up with while playing around with layers and textures. These are only my first attempts at this kind of thing and I’m still only learning, so please don’t judge them too harshly! I’ll have creepy ones to post as the season approaches. And I haven’t forgotten about the promised fungi photos, either, I’ll post them some day soon too. You’re going to be sick looking at photos here by the time this phase passes!

p.s I’ve even started a Flickr account, which you can check out here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

For My Imaginary Garden

I don’t know why I post so many garden-related bits and bobs here, my own is really pretty dull. Just a patch of grass that opens on to the street with no fence or anything. (I like fences.) I do always say I’m going to do something with it but I never seem to get around to it. Partly because the thought of all the creepy crawlies puts me off slightly, but mainly because my man and I never really intended on living in this house for very long, certainly not as long as we’ve been here. We hoped to have been off living the good life in some exotic part of the world by this stage. Or at least to have moved out of town (himself is a country boy originally and swears he won’t be happy till he’s back there). Even now I still have the mindset we’ll be moving on someday soon.  We probably will be…

Anyway,  despite my neglect of my own wee patch, I do love gardens and they do take high priority on that dream home list I like to muse upon from time to time. And so today I’ve another addition to said list I’d like to share with you.  They’re by a sculptor called David Goode, who used to work for Madame Tussauds and created many of their most famous waxworks including Madonna, Michael Jackson and Ronald Regan. He now runs a studio at his home in Oxford and creates these enchanting bronze fantasy sculptures. I think a few of his pieces will look pretty sweet nestled in amongst these in my future cottage garden :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Party Time

Right, so back to proper posting today. I’m going to start off by telling you about a couple of excellent Halloween blog parties that are coming up. I’m new to this side of blogging but I had such a great time with Danni’s Journaling in July event that I’ve decided to give another couple a go.

The first of these is being hosted by Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist. You may already be familiar with her wonderful, wonderful blog from the Tea Party events she’s held in the past.  (If you’re not then it’s well worth a visit.) I wasn’t really sure what a blog party was when she was hosting this year’s Alice-inspired shindig, though, and sadly I didn’t take part. It seemed like so much fun too. Anyway, I’m going to make up for it by joining in with her Halloween Party. It’s a one day event and takes place on October 16. Come along and join the fun!

The second one involves a whole month of seasonal Samhain blogging, courtesy of The Domestic Witch. This being my most favourite time in the Celtic calendar, not to mention the most fun time of year, I don’t think I really need much encouragement to ramble on about it. Joining in with this party just means that I’ll be doing it in the company of other like-minded bloggers. Hopefully I’ll make some new bluggies too. I’ve tons of posts already planned for this one, I can’t wait for it to begin!

Hello Bluggies, I’m back!

A week is a long time in politics, so they say, but I’m telling you now- it’s so much longer in Blogland. I can’t believe I haven’t posted since last Thursday! Usually, if I don’t pop in at least every day or two I get withdrawal symptoms and feel the need to apologise profusely for my absence. What I’m supposed to say today? Will “sorry I’ve been so crap” cut it?  Well, sorry I’ve been so incredibly crap!

I do have numerous and quite valid reasons for abandoning you guys recently, but they’d take another week to get into. Most of them are positive, by the way. Aside from sniffles, sneezes and some amusing football scores, all is super fantastic in the Danu household. It really has been a fine and dandy blogging break. I’ve missed you guys though; I’ve missed sharing my musings and catching up on yours. I’ve got a such a backlog of bluggies (my new term for blog buddies) to call in on I’m going to have to clear an entire day in my diary. It’ll no doubt be a good day, I’m looking forward to it!

Anyway, this really is a just a quick hello to prove I’m still alive. I’ve plenty of fae finds and almost-seasonal spookiness I’m dying to share, including links to some excellent blog parties, but it’s very late and my bed is calling.  Normal service will resume shortly, I promise. Till the morrow dear friends!

p.s I realise the picture has nothing to do with this post. It was just the first one I came across in my file. I’ve been playing around with textures recently; I’m not very good at it but I’ll post some more another day…

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Doctor Who and The Phonies


Right, so this afternoon I was looking up novelty betting on Paddy Power (always good for a nosy) when I came across a couple of rather disturbing sets of movie-related odds. The first of these involved a certain Time Lord taking his Tardis state-side.  Now I do realise that talk of a Doctor Who film isn’t really news, but the last I heard the BBC had stated it was all speculation. Yet it seems bookies are still laying on prices for who’s going to play the man himself…hmm, very concerning.

Aside from the fact that a Hollywood remake is simply a bad idea- most of the show’s quirky charm comes from the fact it really doesn’t take itself too seriously, something that would probably be lost on the big screen-  it’s the actors who are being linked with it that are especially troubling. I’m sure a lot of you have already heard about Johnny Depp’s possible involvement. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got absolutely nothing against Mr Depp and that pretty little face of his. In fact, like most girls, I’ve been pretty much in love with him since I was 14. Look at that picture above, how could you not be!  He’s not bad at the whole acting carry on either. But he’s just not The Doctor.  Though when you look at who else PP are putting in contention for the role you realise it could end up much worse:

Hugh Grant? Orlando Bloom? Robert flipping Pattinson??? Nooooooooooo!!! Give me Johnny and his dimples any day over that lot. At least there’s some real Doctors in there, my personal favourite being Christopher Eccleston. (Am I the only person who thought he was the best of the most recent bunch?) Still, the whole thing’s really quite worrying.

Even more alarming, however, are their predictions regarding another big screen adaptation, this time regarding one of my all time favourite reads- The Catcher in the Rye. Obviously Mr Salinger’s passing has opened up bidding for the movie rights,  but some books just aren’t meant to be made into films and I honestly think this is one of them. Believe me when I tell you that bookies KNOW STUFF. Their business depends on it. And when one of the biggest names in the business is putting Jaden Smith, Daniel Radcliffe, Justin Bieber and even bloody Michael Cera into the running to play Holden Caulfield, I think my fears are justified. Please, please, please just leave this one alone! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yoga Bear!

I’ve always thought Scandinavians seem quite a Zen bunch, and now it would appear even their animals enjoy a good yoga session. These shots were taken by a visitor to Ahtari zoo in Finland and show Santra the bear doing her 15 minute morning workout. Isn’t she so, so cute! Well I think so anyway. When I came across the pics via a friend on Facebook they brought a smile to my fuzzy, bunged-up face.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Doonwood Treasures

Hello blogland. How’re you all doing today? Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. I’m not in the best of form myself but it’s nothing a cup of tea and some toasted muffins won’t sort out. Anyway, back to this evening’s order of business which is a wonderful new Etsy shop called Doonwood Jewellery. The owner of said shop happens to be a friend though I honestly don’t think I’m being biased when I say that her items are absolutely beautiful. Just take a look for yourself! The shop is only a day old and at the minute she only has a few items up, but it seems that even as I type this the talented little madam is adding more. So go check them out!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Kinda Thing

Do you ever come across an artist’s work and think ‘I want to know that person!’? Well I want to know this girl, children’s book illustrator Robin E Kaplan. You can check out her official website here, but it’s the images in her Etsy shop that make me think we’d get on well. It’s evident from her subjects that her and I are of an age with the same taste in pop-culturey stuff. Plus, Ms Kaplan is a trained video game designer and it shows.  Being an a bit of a gamer myself (occasionally an obsessive one) that’s a major plus in my book!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The End of Summer...

...the beginning of autumn. Yippee! This time of year always feels like a new beginning for me. I suppose it does for everyone, what with new school terms, football seasons etc. In fact, that probably explains why my lack of progress in the employment area has been getting me so down recently; I feel really rather lost and useless having no solid work to be returning to. *sigh* But enough about that, I’m not here to moan. I’m here to usher in my favourite season!

I know I’m not alone in Blogland when I say I’m in love with autumn. I mean actually in love. The reasons why are many and varied, but I think what stands out the most is the way you can literally see the wheel of the world turn. And so quickly. Just a couple of days ago the sun was splitting the rocks here, people were swimming in the sea and sunbathing on the beach.  I was wearing a tee-shirt. Then it started to rain on Sunday and the wind picked up. Last night we put the heating on and today I wore my winter coat for the first time. The change is in the air and I’m so excited!

I hope to be a better autumn blogger than I was a summer one. If I’m honest I have been quite lazy with my posting and commenting over the past couple of months. I only realised how bad as I was looking through my photos yesterday and remembered about all the ones from various days out and stuff that I never got round to sharing. So many posts that I put off till another day then forgot to come back to. That’s why I’m sharing these ones from my wanderings over the past week now while they’re still relevant. The trees haven’t yet started to turn here but toadstools are sprouting, flowers are wilting and berries ripening; little glimpses of the coming season with all its wonders of decay and rebirth. 

p.s Just a warning: I didn’t have a camera or a blog last autumn and so don’t be surprised if I go a bit mad with the fungi photos over the next wee while. I just hope I can hunt down the same amazing specimens I  came across last year!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I Want One!

It’s an ‘Anax Imperator Machina’ or, in other words, a solid gold and silver functional mechanical dragon fly.  In fact I want lots of them so I can set them to fly around me while I type; it’d be like being in a Guillermo Del Torro film!  At $15,000 a pop I doubt that’ll be happening anytime soon though. Still, what a beautiful little object.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Storybook Style

If you’re a regular at this blog you’ll know I have a tendency to fantasise about quirky cottages and fairytale homes. So I won’t need to tell you how excited I am about a certain web project I stumbled upon this afternoon called storybookers.com. The first image I came across was enough to get me going, and that was before I read the introductory paragraph:

“This page is devoted to the appreciation of what has come to be called storybook style architecture: those charming, whimsical, often one-of-a-kind structures which defy and transcend standard architectural conventions to achieve something entirely new: a unique blend of art and architecture, whimsy and practicality, fantasy and reality.”

How excellent does that sound! The site’s still somewhat in construction mode at the minute but I think it has the potential to be amazing. They author, John R Marlow, has put out a call for contributions  and is asking people who know of any storybook homes to send in their images and descriptions.  He eventually hopes to build up an online collection of such buildings that will detail their history, construction and anything else that may be of interest. So get out there and get snapping! His contact details are on the website. In the meantime, here are a few wee examples of the type of thing he’s after:

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