Saturday, December 29, 2007

a walk on the beach

This is us, all of us walking down Falesia beach

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The best feedback is the personal kind, you know when someone sends you a special message, says something very sweet or includes something of you in their life. When I make things there are always other things in my head and then you see how other people see them and it is all much better or different. The joy of making things and seeing them in other places.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

beautiful things

We are getting ready for Christmas and that includes the annual photo selection for the family calendar for the grandparents and Aunties. Bunny does great photomanipulations, she is a genius and she wanted to trade so the solution was to Christmassy up the December shot - thank you Bunny ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡

Bunny made this for me

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

knit wits

knit wits, originally uploaded by memake.

a grand day out

Memake and me having our own private stitch'n'bitch much to the amusement of the staff of Starbucks at Paddington station. We were there for hours, so long that we missed lunch and almost missed the school run but we did talk about the world, life, virtuality and how to do intarsia knitting - a really grand day out.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Everything is back to normal

No more random convos or waking up to a flurry of sales and messages (well 5 a day is a flurry for me, I have to knit all those blighters by hand)

So in front of me is a list of 11 commissions, all of them equally exciting - what a grand few days, I had a ball. Thank you Etsy

See the interview here

Monday, November 19, 2007

I am very excited

I am trying really hard not too squeal

You can read it here

x x x

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Etsy front page

It's always a thrill to find that you are on Etsy's front page!

But then today has been a day of many treats, small ones that just spring up on you when you are feeling at a low ebb. After having had a strange and curious swelling of the face, burning ears and generally just feeling very pants, a large number of good things happened to me today.

I have had lovely messages from so many people wh have said sweet things, a reinforcement of how lucky I am.

Treats by strangers are included, including this lovely blogpost by an avid pebble collector who collected my pebble twins

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

a full agenda

Don't think I am ignoring you sweet blog or my favours have gone somewhere else (ssshhhh! outcast blog) but I have been very busy, making, sewing, knitting, creating, sticking, wrapping, labelling, ribboning (is that a word???)

We are off this weekend to the South Hill Park Christmas Fair 2007. So after Monday 19th, I will take a little breath and come back to you sweet blog.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

packing my bag, ready to go

Not really but the idea of it sometimes seems good, really good, good like a mug of delicious hot chocolate would feel right now, which on a cold grey windy day would be good but not on a sunny day - so you see what I mean just sometimes does the idea of packing me bag, ready to go, seem good.

But today it is just for effect, really I am off to knitwit's, her of the beautiful house, evidence here, to meet knitwit and knitclicking to prepare for our Outcast day at South Hill Park Christmas Fair 2007.

Outcast, stand 40!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Too busy to fill in what has been happening but have a look at some pretty pictures instead - see you when I am back from

1. one day you will be a man my son, 2. SPT 5th July 07 homage to uk etsy obsessed bad mums, 3. The amazing work of miss bunny :: Baby, it's cold outside, 4. mini morkers, 5. the big one, 6. SPT - Feb 15th

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

10th birthday cocktails

10th birthday cocktails, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Etsy Front Page Treasury - Boys Age 8-11 Picks

wow, this made me smile a lot -

1 because it has some of the best etsy bits on there

2 because the wonderous Heidi Burton made it, she from an inspirational family and lovely artist herself

3 because it features two of my favourite UK'ers Lupin (as mentioned previously here) and Bombus

4 because Heidi made it inspired by the lovely Henrik, who once wrote me a lovely card for some gloves I made him

5 because a pic of my son is on it, modelling a moustache for Lupin

I think I pass the six degrees of separation to heidi test

Monday, October 08, 2007

drowning gloves and loving the dog

So here, I am day 35 of the 365 crafting days project. Making Lupin's aka bugsandfishes hobo gloves drown, well, just soaking them, ready to block and then sew. These are based on the first fingerless gloves that I ever made myself when I was 14, a whole blinking 25 years ago - my knitting has improved ; ).

Those ones, 25 years ago were stripy, I was obsessed even then and my mum aka grandmalovestooknit taught me how

I also realise that I am only 20 whole days behind Lupin.... a kind of number anniversary of multi sorts - have I already said I love numbers??

The last thing I will do tonight, as I do every night is love the dog, no matter how much I want to slunk to bed she is always there waiting to give me a cuddle. Love that dog.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

winding up - crafting 365, day 32

So whirly is at her friends and there is just Louie and me here, we are rambling through our normal conversation:

* What's your favourite playstation game Mum? * which do you think is better DC or Marvel? * If you could be any superhero, which would you be? If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be? * And now we are both here, I am writing this, he is chatting in my ear and we are laughing and no matter how many other things I have to do, I remember that maybe soon he won't want to do this with me so I will leave and savour this moment a bit longer.

*yarn by the amazing skeinqueen
the picture, a small snippet of our home - my sanctuary bit

Friday, October 05, 2007

spider and them

A massive spider is coming!

But they are just laughing

I'll just carry on knitting

A grand day out in the smoke

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

humbug - crafting 365, day 29

brown paper package tied up with string????

Almost, something I have made but I can't tell you who for - it's a secret.

My swap partner decided in the UK swap organised by the lovely and talented Charlotte Narunsky, yes her, queen of the tag game.

It's a brown box from Reading Museum and if I told you what it was called it would give the game away or the colour of the object you will have to be patient and wait and see...bah humbug!

a portrait of an apple

a portrait of an apple, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


it does, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

I was tagged three days ago by the talented Lotte, and please forgive me for almost dropping the tagging ball (sounds like a forgiveness ritual!) but there have been so many balls too juggle. Now I must share with you seven random facts about myself, as well as posting the rules of the game, which are:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

My random facts are:

1. I don't like the bathroom at night, in fact to be honest I don't like it in the day - I pull the flush and run, you know the toilet-flushy monster might get me.

2. I once shared a dressing room with Johnny Ball and David Essex, firstly that will show how geriatric I am but secondly I was only 14 and dancing on Saturday Superstore.

3. I am so unmanageable in a job that I have always had to invent my own job and like to employ equally wayward (I like to call it inspired) people

5. And talking of jobs, do you know that I have the best job ever invented (well, ever invented by me)

6. I love people coming round, just dropping by any old time so come on round.

7. I am slightly obsessive about palindromic numbers or connected numbers, only slightly, but had to be married on 20/6/02 at 2pm and then eat at 6...LMAO... it is only a slight obsession. Oh yeah, and did I say that 2's and 3's and 6' and 7's are some of my favourites.

Now I get to tag people in turn:

1. iant - because he has such interesting headgear
2. monkey - because I really want to know 7 random facts about him
3.yumptatious - because I love what she makes
4. urbanknit - because I am still thinking about the ice-cream on her blog and she makes beautiful things
5. feltbug - because I love her blog and flickr page
6. makelondon - as they are so inspiring
7. RE:form - because she is the exact little sister I would want to have and so talented...RAWWRRR

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

found you at last

found you at last, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

Wow, I love this, everything about it - it is exactly me. I was buying this one and RE said she'd make me my own one. I could not make up my mind and left design choices open and everything about it was perfect - how it was wrapped, how it feels and how it looks.

Thank you RE:form
x x x x x x x x x x x x

Monday, September 24, 2007

walking the pier

walking the pier, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

look what I made today - craft 365, day 5

Today I made this, the new gallery and agreed plans - today was the day (I must give JA credit too, thanks Jim)

Friday, September 07, 2007

A glove for johnny rotten *god save the queen, the...* - crafting 365,day 4

Day 4 in the crafting 365 house

So I was making up all the gloves I had knitted in preparation for the Outcast stand at South Hill Park , yes I know it is over 2 months away but I have a lot of other things on too, including the Affordable Art Fair, jelly and more... and listening all the while to my fidelity old record player.

Breaking out some old faves from my youth including The Fall, Velvet Underground when the Sex Pistols delivered a new energy to the finishing of my gloves. Who'd have thought it??? So these little union jack gloves (in the making) are a homage to The Sex Pistols, Johnny Rotten, God Save the Queen and being able to finish off work in this century!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

just trashy enough

SPT 6 Sept 07, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

So we live in this beautiful home, that was unloved and we have loved it to bits, moving things, fixing things, adding more lights, restoring pieces and now after 9 years there is a new opportunity to change our lives big time. Currently we have so little time together as a family as our mortgage waits to be paid each month (in fact it does not wait, it stamps its feet impatiently) and we have 16 more years to go.

I never imagined I would be a completely inaugurated member of the mortgage club, always having been quite flighty in my movements such as living here at Walsingham House. But my life for many years has been focussed around jelly and soon jelly will be moving to a new home and then the young blood will deliver the next 15 years of jelly's life.

So for us, Si wants to go back to the sea and suddenly Twinkle has appeared and could be our new home, that is a home without a toilet, heating, designated rooms but it does come with running water but sadly the wrong kind that flows through at high tide and needs to be pumped out - are you sold on it yet? She is over 100 years old but has a permanent mooring and a potential to be loved and lived on temporarily whilst the next boat is built.

The extra upside is that we will completely eliminate our mortgage and be able to buy her and the mooring outright so we will be free.

Monday, September 03, 2007

a cup of tea and a mohair spoon - crafting 365, day 1

So the lovely lupin invited me to join the crafting365 pool over on flickr. (This should be okay as long as I remember to photograph my work!)

Here is day 1 in the 365 pool for me - this is a piece of work that has been flipping around in my head for a while but there have been so many projects on the go that I have kept it to one side. It is a handknitted and crochet mohair and merino spoon, inspired by a very old forum post at the beginning of 2007 regarding strange punishments (don't ask) - this also led to the pants competition, which you can read about at the uk etsysellers blog updated by the fabulous lupin, how does she do it??

Venturing into the uk forum is a strange array of delights, you will never know what you might read about from hairy spoons, to pants to so much worse and sometimes it can be distracting away from the real job of making but I love it to bits

So this piece of work is a homage to the uk sellers

The spoon comes in a Reading Museum box which once held a spoon, but never one quite like this.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

bama took this

bama took this, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

another day at the seaside.

Talent is seeping through their veins, Louie loves his board, both surf and skate, playing his guitar and generally looking very rock *starry*

Whirly sings, makes and takes good pictures. She loves it, picking the camera at any opportune moment

I love it, that she does that.

It is nearly time for them to go back to school and me to completely re-focus on my job in the real world. The next few months mean a flurry of art and craft fairs, organising an exhibition, developing new projects, pushing the new build along (for which I shall be wearing this!. I love my job, the variety and change but I will also miss the time with them

And apart from that, I will spend more time updating my etsy shop with new pieces that are waiting to be photographed by whirly (yes she does all my photos, check these out!), keeping to grips with the blog, flickr, knit night, the new puppy May, life and friends - phew, roll on the autumn.

Friday, August 17, 2007

then another one

then another one, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

So this is us.

It has been a little while since I wrote anything here but many things have changed, been happening and are up in the air so it is hard to know exactly what to say.

We have been travelling, visiting, seeing, doing, filling days. My parents left and we miss them, the weather changed and the river flooded. The water broke the bank, the children were stuck at school on the last day and eventually they got home after almost 7 hours.

It could be that the weather was a metaphor for what has been happening in our lives but it is not, it is a larger global travesty making people homeless, under threat of disease and causing long term suffering and death.

We are lucky and we have been living our life to the full: playing in the woods, building dens, skateboarding, surfing , camping in the mud, being with friends, being with family, playing in the Hyde Park , going on a pedalo, going to the sea, loving a rescue dog, eating lovely food, blackberrying, taking a Shetland pony to the pub.

We only wish we could all be together more.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


family, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

So today my mum and dad have moved, sold everything, packed away the things they want to keep and they are driving across Europe to start a new life

x x x

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

birthday girl and hubby

birthday girl and hubby, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

These are two of our best mates, Amy who is a mere 6 days younger than me but always looks way younger (and she has 4 children, how does she do that?) and her hubby, Dom. Dom and Si were mates, many moons ago in London when Si worked on the boats and Dom had a boat and now 21 years on, there we all were, doing the usual birthday thingy, down at the river, one large picnic , bring your own things, do you stuff, hang out, chat, laugh, play rounders, see people you have not seen for a year, mutual friends meeting other people they had never met before, children scavenging, climbing, hiding, creating dens, blowing up inflatable trees we were given and taking polaroids in a kiss me quick theme.

And the rain stayed away just long enough for us to have our party, pack up with smiling children and all go home until next year.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

birthday present from my family

Two whole days since my birthday, it has taken me that long to photograph things, post and get myself back together.


Unusually it rained on my birthday, this year. So the little ones have treated me like a princess, I have been lavished with cakes, so many, made by friends and amazing treats.

Thank you all my lovely friends and family who know exactly what I like, what I love to do and how I like to be.

A special birthday

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

An apt present that came for me today

It is one of those days, I don't know exactly why but it all seems so miniscule in the big scale of things. The largest part of me is optimistic and there is a tiny niggle in the back of my head.

I know what it's not about : getting older, the rain, change of Prime Minister, economic state of the country. trying to live ethically, having a parents/tutor meeting tonight, my mother in law having drained me, that there is no chocolate in the house, the pile of laundry

And the things that make me happy : Bama and Louie, spending one of the last days out with my mum before she leaves the country, setting up the table to make things, having a wicked idea, getting a beautiful present from reform, meeting reform and memake in London and seeing a great show, knit night tonight, making cakes with bama, chatting with etsy friends

All these things have been happening in the last week but there is still a tiny niggle in the back of my head.

I don't know what or why but I did not expect my life to be like this, the smallest thing and the thing that has been there for many years still haunts me and some days it just catches me in an unexpected way, like today.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

*the annoying cycle of my sleep life*

water, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

So this is an old photo of alabama and not all what I was going to write about in my blog post today but something she said this morning changed my plans for the day.

Sometimes, I forget the magical, the profound and the strange things that *they* say. Louie is one for making us laugh, a witty comment but he can also be incredibly sensitive and hit something on the head or make your heart miss a beat by a little anecdote of his day and then he turns back to being 9 years old and objecting to bathing and doing his homework and going to bed.

Even though they are twins, they share many traits but are so very different on other ways, Alabama is more conscientious, worries about her homework, her friends and needs her bed more. They both have a highly developed sense of right and wrong and live in a very socially generous fashion. What I mean is, they are recycling cheerleaders, conservers of energy, loving thrift shopping. One year when they were small, *Santa* delivered books that inadvertently had an Oxfam sticker still inside. Louie squealed that Santa recycles.

I watch them, contemplating what the future will be like for them. So today the thing that made me change my mind about my Tuesday blog post? It was a sleepy eyed bushy haired small child saying *the annoying cycle of my sleep, I am so tired when I wake up, then I am okay in the day and then I am tired at night*

Very annoying indeed

arts longus, vita brevis

Friday, June 15, 2007


katinka, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

There is always someone that is wanting some love in our house, not that they don't get it on demand, it is a constant running tap of affection here.

This is Katinka, she is the baby of the family, nearly 2 years old. I am not sure how we ended up with cats, I love dogs and never had any pets as a child. Eerie was my love, for fourteen years but somehow we have 2 cats. That was the childrens' and the DH fault.

We went to see a friend's kittens and we saw Angel there (Angel is the mum of Katinka) - she was admittedly very cute but never did I imagine she would be coming home with us. Louie, unfortunately looked her in the eye and fell in love. Then before I know it, she is on the way home with us and is the designated family cat. Angel laid with Eerie and followed him around. Now Eerie is gone, Angel has become the dog of the house - standing upright at the front door when visitors come and being protective and not at all languid as I imagined a cat to be. Angel is now Louie's cat, she sleeps in his room and adores him.

So where did Katinka come from? She is the daughter of Angel and Ginger (the cat from the house behind). Katinka is Alabama Whirly's cat, a compromise on the understanding that we have reached our full pet quota, there can be no more. Katinka is just like Bama, slightly kooky, a little clumsy and always inquisitive.

So here she is, lying next to me whilst I type away, choosing the new gorgeous fabric from kirinco as a resting place, always a cat of pure style.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The amazing work of miss bunny :: The Sound of Faeries

There are somethings you need to know about us, firstly we can hear the faeries. They are all around us. They have always been here. Louie will not leave his teeth for them while Bama habitually creates miniature gardens, leaves long letters and writes songs for them.

Today there is a magical world in the garden, our garden what was once a concrete square but now is a lush oasis, mainly on shallow soil, in a small raised bed and an abundance of pots. There is a small old shallow metal bowl with still water and in the bowl lies a sculpture, a mermaid's carved head. Made from river bed stone, from a river bed in Settle, that was once the sea. I lay down by that river/sea once

Under the mermaid's head are coins, a ritual that Louie wanted to do to mark the passing of Eerie, we made a wish of our own and each visitor that came for a few days said a word or two and was solemnly given a coin by Louie.

We believe in faeries, mermaids, ghosts and angels. We see them everywhere

Friday, June 08, 2007

One Very Loved Cat

One Very Loved Cat, originally uploaded by miss-bunny.

Look at this, I don't have to say anything about how beautiful this is.
This is created by the amazing MIss Bunny .

She makes the most beautiful artwork and rocking shoes, just check out her etsy shop, I have been loving those shoes forever and am going to get the perfect pair that will fit my large feet. If you want to read more about bunny check out her blogspot.

I love bunny, I do!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

one very loved cat

one very loved cat, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

Storm, as Louie says, is part of our family - he is more than a cuddly toy. He came Christmas 1999 and he still goes everywhere with Louie. He has been washed, scrubbed and combed many times but he has a flattened grubby fur look now and the only bits that are fluffy are the bits under his armpits (do cats have armpits?).

Storm always looks like he has a smile on his face and is as well travelled as my children, who incidentally are better travelled than me in the past few years. Storm has been all over the UK, Spain, Jersey, France and San Francisco. My heart slightly bolts on these journeys as I am wondering what will happen if gets mis-laid?

Storm is always one of the main characters in many of Louie's short stories, plays and poems - an inspirational cat. Soon I may receive permission from this young author and write up a snippet or two here.

There is no other cat like Storm, with his exceptionally long skinny arms, a large bottom and always just dangling perfectly from under Louie's arm.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

the rabbit before it popped down the hole

This picture is here because I love it.

Alabama Whirly made it, she wanted it here, by the rabbit hole.

It was a grand day out at Sally's, cream teas, friends, chatter, yelping in the trees from swinging and climbing children and all in aid of British Red Cross open gardens

Saturday, June 02, 2007

some little things I like

some little things I like, originally uploaded by alabamawhirly.

This is my house, little nooks and crannies with things I like or that inspire me. This isn't clutter just creativity spilling out all over the shelves. It rubs off on my children, in their rooms I spy small objects and collections that change and merge all the time.

I like looking at cubby holes, it makes me feel more comfortable and the on-going row with my other half about minimal living, clutter free, white walls is lost on me, surrounding myself with the small incandescent/ provoking objects of beauty. The objects can be a seed packet, a tag, a small sculpture, a memory, a stone, an image and they change - different things come and go.

Right now, this shelf is home to our books, with this great card from a series entitled For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness by Julian Germain. Two little things that belong to lou and whirly from our friend Mike at his shop Castor and Pollux

These are some things I like

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

one of my new old favourite things

Sometimes I can't help myself. This is one of those days.
I am beside myself with the gorgeousness of this beautiful Fidelity record player, a present from my friend Marje.

I have dusted of the records, which have long ago become a source of curiosity for the children "are they the ones you play on a wind-up player mummy?". I placed the record on the turnatble, moved over the arm and flicked the auto button and watched whilst the record slipped down onto the turntable and that old familiar sound of a beginning of a record began. I can't get past the delight of that simple movement.

We are working the way through my record collection, from my first ever record I bought at the age of 12, Gary Numan - Cars, through The Cramps, The Fall, Propoganda, The Smiths (it is good to play dreary to 9 year olds - it will prepare them for adolescents). Siouxsie and The Banshees, Bauhaus, Throwing Muses, The Clash, The Pistols,This Mortal Coil, Bowie, Joy Division (more misery) - later today we will end on a cheerier note but first I will quiz the hubby why he has a dodgy record (in my eyes) and he is lucky I did not know this before our marriage - grounds for divorce?