Thursday, 31 January 2013

Winter Bear Fest - WIP

Three weeks to go; and here's a glimpse of part of my work-in-progress.I feel as though I'm still "climbing the hill" in terms of actually producing finished, saleable creations (!) at the moment .... but I see light at the end of the tunnel! All being well I should be attending the Hugglets Winter Bear Fest, on 24th Feb', with new micro dogs, new Frivols, a few Spring bears and a lovely new "Timeless" collection of ultra-traditional teds.

I find that I'm sometimes working until 11pm at night, but Hey; I've got a daylight lamp and sewing glasses!!! Although miniature bears do seem very tiny and insignificant they really demand a lot in terms of attention devoted to them! Lol!

I must flutter away now - although not to settle at my sewing yet: I'm in the middle of a Chocolate Orange extravaganza cake for my oldest son, Max, who is 23 today!! Whattttttt!? Seems like he was only recently a sweet chubby cheeked little boy.

Happy Birthday Max!

Ruth xx

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

200th Anniversary

The 28th January will mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Her work has never been out of print in two hundred years (!) but lots of readers have an extra special soft spot for this novel - and of course the many and varied TV and film adaptations of the book! There has been a whole slew of radio programmes recently, dedicated to the eternal appeal of Miss Austen's story of the Bennet family and their friends, and the marriage fortunes (and misfortunes) of them all.

 I've cosied up with my new Best Mate - or Kindle Fire HD to name it ..... again!!... for the perfect accompaniments of listening to the discussions on BBC iplayer whilst sewing my little ones for Hugglets. What could be more relaxing??? It has also been most obliging in giving me lots of other ways ( or excuses?!) to join in the celebrations; for instance I found a really interesting blog:
 "Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog"   which is encouraging readers to take part in a challenge to read as many books as you can which are linked to the original novel. My little Kindle has already shown me there are lots of novels inspired by the original ; using a further development of events, or imagining the story from another character's point of view etc. It is always well worth reading any reviews first though, as I'm sure some of them are a bit... um... iffy in calibre.

Anyway, I thought I'd put a short list here of a few of the books / ebooks I've come across which would make a lovely indulgent purchase if you love all things Austen like me!!

"Lydia Bennet's Blog" - Valerie Laws : : deliciously funny and naughty skit on the youngest sister Lydia's version of events, which manages to work in lots of quotes from the original book.

"The Jane Austen Pocket Bible" - Holly Ivins  : : the companion book for all of the novels, with details about Jane herself, and social history of the period.

"May, Lou & Cass, Jane Austen's nieces in Ireland" - Sophia Hillan  : : how the tangled lives of Jane's nieces eerily mirrored some of the situations and histories of characters she had created long before.

"What matters in Jane Austen?" - John Mullan : : twenty questions prompted by the novels are discussed.

"The Real Jane Austen" - Paula Byrne : : this one has just been Radio 4 Book of the Week, and discussing items personal to Jane Austen. The author may just have uncovered the only true illustration of the lady herself (the only other certified likeness was drawn by Jane's sister, Cassandra, of her from behind!)

You could always spend an idle minute taking the quiz at "which Austen heroine are you?" whilst dreaming about the perfect Mr.Darcy.......ahem, back to the multitude of sewing methinks!!

TaTa For Now!
Ruth xxx

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Happy New Year!!

I am now 6 weeks past all that nasty surgery, and I'm feeling so much better! Just in time to start everything anew for a brand new year :0)  I have picked up my materials again; after what feels like an eternity, and I'm under "starters orders" with lovely new creations for Hugglets. I tried not to just totally waste time though, and I've enjoyed making friends with my Kindle Fire (we're Best Friends actually! Lol) I've read through "No Name" by Wilkie Collins, and a new factual book the "Complete History of Jack The Ripper" by Philip Sugden (a somewhat wince-inducing choice when you've just had abdominal surgery!) also "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James, and I've downloaded lots of books, including many classics that I either own in physical form (some read, some not) or those I would've bought if I'd suddenly received the world's biggest book token! You see there are MANY classic books to download for FREE (yes; actually free - I couldn't believe the serendipitous luck of it either!!!) In fact I like to think of my Kindle like this:-

... on the inside it's a perfect little Georgian styled library - Tardis-like in its semi-infinite capacity!

I don't normally make New Year Resolutions but there are several things I'd like to achieve this year:

* another visit to York

* a journey to Wightwick Manor - Victorian house stuffed with Arts and Crafts decor, and Pre-Raphaelitisms.

* a lovely celebration of my 25th wedding Anniversary, on 25th June. Maybe a luxury stay in Bath?????

* continue making time for some reading before going to bed!

* keep letting my inspiration flow, and work always to my highest standards

* on a more humble / fundamental note; I'd like to be walking / lifting / stretching normally within the next 6 weeks... so I can be totally ME again! Hooray for that day! :0)

Whoever, and wherever you are I wish you continued Good Health and Happiness, and my Best Wishes for 2013.

Mini Beary Hugs,
Ruth XXX