Thursday, December 30, 2010


I'm sorry but I'm going to have to moan here. Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and today I have developed a toothache! I think I have lost a filling. I telephoned the dentist for an urgent appointment and they are closed tomorrow. Monday evening at 8 p.m. is the earliest appointment I can make.

If you hear any unexplained whimpers coming from a Spanish direction, it's probably me. Off to check how many painkillers we have in the medicine cupboard......

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Help needed for a worthwhile cause

In the last few days I have been following a particular thread in the Artfire forum. One of our sellers is very ill. In fact, she has stage 4 lung cancer and the prognosis is not good. She may only have a few months left. Her name is Jean and she ran a jewellery supply shop called LadyHawk.

Health care is covered and not a problem but, and this is hard to write, she hasn't the resources to pay for a funeral. She doesn't want to be a burden on her family.

Some of us have been discussing ways in which we could help and a small fund raising campaign has been set in motion. Many Artfire sellers and craftspeople have volunteered to donate a percentage of their January sales and I am one of them. I will send 10% of the proceeds of any January sales and, failing that, she can have what's left in my PayPal account.

Collections have been made showcasing the volunteers' shops (see one of them below) and we have all added the tag "jeanlove" to our listings. If you want to help, please go to, search the term jeanlove and buy anything that takes your fancy.

If this is not possible, as I know many of us are strapped for cash at the moment, then prayers or general good vibes sent in Jean's direction would be just as much appreciated.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Everybody!

I'm here to wish you all a lovely Christmas and a great New Year! Yesterday, I didn't think I'd be able to. We had a big storm yesterday evening and the electricity supply for our whole area was down for several hours. The very high winds must have blown down a pylon.

Added to that our water supply was cut off for twenty four hours! I was beginning to panic about that. It's amazing how often you turn on a tap, expecting something to come out of it, during the course of a day. I think it might be easier to live without electricity than to live without water.

Thankfully, we are all back to normal today! I've had a lovely hot shower and I'm on the internet again. All's right with the world!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Something for the Walls

My husband has just finished redecorating the lounge. Now I have to decide what goes on the walls! I procrastinated by putting together a small Collection on Artfire.  I went traipsing through the Fine Art section and look what I found!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Shabby Sheep is going great!

I just got back from the UK yesterday, where I stayed with my Mum for three weeks and caught up with my sister and saw the grandchildren. I am also please to report that Shabby Sheep Boutique, my future daughter-in-law's shop, is going great guns!

Sheryl seems to have gauged her clientele extremely accurately. The stock comes in and then flies straight out the door! My jewellery is also selling well, apparently which is very gratifying, to say the least.

Shabby Sheep is also the proud winner of Brightlingsea's Best Christmas Window Display Award! I will post some photographs as soon as I have them.

Unfortunately, I still haven't seen said shop in the flesh!  We had rather a lot of unseasonably early snow which prevented travel for a while and then, when I could go, my son Ben went down with a nasty bug!  I couldn't risk exposing myself to that the day before I had to catch a plane back to Spain. Flying Ryanair is bad enough but doing it while you feel like vomiting is not advisable!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

First Sale on Artfire!

I am celebrating today! Last night I sold two pairs of earrings from my Artfire Studio!

It was a nice day altogether really! I'm staying with my Mum in the UK for a few weeks.  We have had a tremendous amount of snow. This is a pic of my Mum's back garden so you can see what I mean.

My sister came round for the evening and fetched us a take away from our local Indian restaurant. I hadn't had a proper curry for months and was suffering withdrawal symptoms! It was gorgeous and I stuffed myself until I could eat no more. 

Then, top buttons of jeans undone, we watched TV all evening! A real girly feast of guilty pleasures -  Strictly Come Dancing, Casualty, X Factor and I'm a Celebrity - Get Me Out of Here!  It's amazing what you can get away with viewing when there are no men around to spoil it!

My sister went home, my Mum went off to bed and I went on line quickly just to see what was happening out there in cyberland.  I checked my emails and couldn't believe it - I had a sale! 

Then, of course, I had to go straight to the forums and crow about it! I had to wait for the dancing kitties to come along before I could go to bed.  The dancing kitties have become a bit of a tradition in the Artfire forums.  Kibbles watches out for "first sale" threads and posts her little animation by way of congratulations. It's very cute! 

Anyway, I'm now off and running! I would love a few more sales before Christmas. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Procrastination is the Thief of Time.....

How true! I am speaking as an expert here. You don't want to know how long it took me to write this post after I first thought of the title.

I am not an organized person. I faff about. I am easily distracted. I forget things. Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow is the tenet by which I live.

Time management is not my favourite subject but I have decided, eventually, that enough is enough and I must try to change my attitude. It's probably too late as I am nearing my 60th birthday and losing it big time!

I have devised a schedule! A daily and weekly schedule! It's a joy to behold - now that I have finally finished it. It took some time, given my aforementioned character defects.

I made a list of all the things I must remember to accomplish each day. I am fond of lists. I make quite a few of them but then I forget to look at them afterwards! I know exactly what I should be doing but I let life and general feeble-mindedness get in the way.

I placed each item where it should be in my gleaming new schedule. There aren't many empty spots I can tell you! There is even an entry entitled “Phone Mum”!

Yesterday, I did fine. That is mostly because “create schedule spreadsheet” was pretty much the only item! Today, I have lots to do. I have already managed two of the items on that list. This blog post is only the third item and it's already the middle of the afternoon. It didn't really help that my husband kept commandeering the computer. Or that my son phoned me unexpectedly. Or that I keep wobbling on and off. (See earlier post for details). But these are really just excuses for not doing what I know I should be doing.

I am very proud of my lovely little schedule. I only hope that I can master myself enough to keep up with it. My husband has taken to calling me “Rimmer”. If any of you have ever seen the TV series Red Dwarf then you will know to whom I refer!

This is Arnold Rimmer, he's a bit of a prat
The clock pictures all come from the studio of TimelyImpressions on Artfire! 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Shabby Sheep Boutique is now open!

I am pleased to announce the grand opening of Shabby Sheep Boutique!

My future daughter-in-law, the lovely Sheryl, has opened her very own shop where she lives, in the High Street, Brightlingsea, Essex. She stocks an eclectic mix of stylish, modern and popular homewares, gifts and jewellery.  She even has some of my jewellery for sale!

I am exceedingly pleased and excited for Sheryl and I wish her all the luck in the world with her project! She deserves to succeed after all the hard work she's put into this.  My son, Ben, did all the decorating and helped look after the kids too. I don't know where they get the energy from!

Very stylish shop front!

Enticing window display!
Sheryl standing proudly behind her counter!

I haven't seen it myself yet but I'm looking forward to that treat when I go to the UK at the end of November.

My sister, Jacqui, and my Mum went to see it at the weekend and took these photos. And very good they are too Mother!

If any of my lovely readers live in the area, please do go and have a look round.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'm Wobbling Again.....

I had intended to keep this blog light hearted and up beat.  However, I'm not feeling too good today because of a long running problem and I thought it might do me good to write about it. (When I've finished I may not even press the "publish" button).

I'm sitting here, at the keyboard, trying to type properly. You can't tell, of course, because I keep going back to correct things! I am suffering from a vertigo-like attack which I call "wobbling" and have done for nearly seven years. It's not really vertigo although I do feel slightly dizzy and I have trouble balancing when it happens.  Its almost like that feeling you get when you're going to faint but without the tunnel vision and the buzzing in the ears.  When I'm walking, I feel like I'm on the deck of a big ship when there's a big swell running.  I have to be really careful - the last time I fell over while wobbling I broke my elbow!  Stairs scare the life out of me!

It started on 1st November 2003. I was in a big building, built out over a cliff and there was a gale blowing.  I thought I could feel the building flexing and moving under my feet but it seemed nobody else noticed this weird effect.  Two weeks later it was still doing it so I went to the doctor.  Her first diagnosis was labyrinthitis.  It might take a while but it would clear up eventually.  It didn't, of course, so she sent me to a specialist.  I've had all sorts of tests and scans (I do have a brain, I've seen it and got the photo!) but they can't tell what is wrong with me.  I was in the UK then and all this testing and visiting specialists takes a long time over there.  In the meantime, I was still trying to work.  I couldn't concentrate on anything when I was wobbling (you have no idea how long it's taken me to type this!) and I kept making mistakes.  Bookkeepers who make mistakes are a liability.  The fact that I worked in a wood working factory didn't help. My boss was worried that I'd fall into something lethal!  I had to give up in the end. 

Here, in Spain, I am again going through the process of all those tests and scans (they have done some that the UK never did) and I am hoping that the specialist will have some clue what my condition is.  Just giving it a name would help. 

It makes me feel very depressed and tired but, the odd thing is, when I am not wobbling, I cannot recall the feeling at all.  I have to describe it to myself, when it's happening, and then use those words to tell the doctor what it's like. If anybody out there, reading this, recognizes this, please do get in touch. 

Sorry for the down beat post, I promise I'll do better next time!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

First post!

This is almost my first ever blog post.  I have recently posted on the blog of Handmade in Europe, a lovely guild I belong to on Artfire.  There, and that's me, seeing if I can put a link in here! I think it worked, hooray!

It took me months to pluck up the courage to post on their blog but, when I finally did, I found it so easy that I was encouraged to start my own. I shall be building this blog, bit by tiny bit, over the coming weeks.  Evidently, I can add gadgets and widgets and all sorts of other esoteric stuff. I'll see what I can find!