Saturday, 31 October 2009

A Vintage Halloween

I was here today :

and I had a lot of fun. It was a beautiful day, it felt like Summer, there was a lovely atmosphere, great vintage clothing and lovely friends popping in. My lovely Dutch friend came all the way from Chester as a surprise, so nice! The monkeys came with me and had good fun, especially since they were spoilt with sweeties, cherry lollypops, homemade biscuits and hoola-hooping sessions. Boy monkey was dressed as a skeleton for the occasion!

I never know what is going to be popular at the fairs, it seems quite random but today the bags were especially in demand. The little shopping bags attracted a lot of attention and all the ginger bread bags sold.

I had some of these clips left from the previous fair and was quite pleased that girl monkey arranged them on the basket and took a picture at the time because today I learnt about a novel way of using them and I was so surprised that I wanted to share my amazement with you. I don't like plastic but am often too lazy to use containers so I tend to use these clips to close dry food bags. Girl monkey uses them as book marks or to clip papers together and no doubt there are other uses. As I said to the gentleman who came to my stall this afternoon, they really are quite versatile. Indeed, he said, they could be used as tie clips. He then showed me how it would look and liked it so much he bought two! Now there's a new idea. Any more takers? Quick, because I haven't got many left.

After the fair the monkeys were invited to a birthday party in the "Secret Garden" as they like to call it. It is a secret garden indeed but know as Paupers Wood. A beautiful plot of land, urban woodland I should say, in West Didsbury, that is being maintained through a community project. We've been to the wood several times and it is truly magical. The party was fabulous, there was a small fire for roasting marshmallows, hot chocolate, hotdogs and the lit pumpkins at the end of the afternoon really made Halloween special.

Unfortunately when we got home I was pulled into trick or treating. The amount of sweets handed out just makes me feel unwell. Girl monkey had the great idea to hand out her sweets to anyone who came trick or treating at our door but instead of waiting for the bell to ring she left her lovely pumpkin basket with sweets at the door as she did not want to get disturbed during X Factor. It comes as no surprise living in Manchester that her basket got stolen and I had a lot of tears after the show ended. Hope to find some half price ones at the supermarket tomorrow to make her happy again!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Home alone 2

Can't believe I've just had day two of being home alone and still had not any time to myself. Mind you haven't really been home so I suppose that's were the problem lies. I did manage to spend a bit longer in my bed this morning. Got woken up at 10.30 (!) by Busy Betsy Two (BB2) who was lying on the beach. Although it was nice not to have to get up for anyone in the morning, it did feel like a waste of time somehow.

I quickly went downstairs and finished some UFO's for Saturday's Vintage & Craft Fair. Hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Half term mayhem

One half of the term flown by, a few more days and then the monkeys will come home singing Christmas carols. Alongside Beatles songs though, they are practising these for a themed 80th anniversary celebration at school. Girl monkey is busy practising her jive and looking forward to her sixties outfit. Anyone got one in the wardrobe for a petite 7 year old? All I've got is in her favourite houndstooth pattern but was my grandma's so clearly a little big.

The half term started with a fun 70's party organised by one of our friends to celebrate her birthday and wedding anniversary but also to raise money for a very worthwhile cause. She is going to undertake a major challenge cycling in China. Money will be raised for the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Trust to fund medical research at the Wolfson and Weston Research Centre for Family Health in London. Very noble especially since she has just given birth to her fourth child!

Sunday we spent the afternoon/evening in Blackpool, admiring the lights. The monkeys loved it, all the glitz and colour. Girl monkey's friend observed that many girls were wearing very short skirts in the cold weather, what could we say?

Monday we were off to London, the monkeys were going to stay there for a few days. For me it was only one night and some works of art later before returning to a slightly colder Manchester. On the way there the little ones discovered Doodlebuddy on my phone and created numerous art works themselves. Some actually more challenging then the Turner Prize works I went to see at Tate Britain although I shouldn't really say that as I am keen supporter of Modern and Contemporary Art. I did feel slightly underwhelmed at the Turner Prize exhibition though. Three out of the four artists did impress me however I had expected more of it. Anyway it's too late in the day to think about this now. Tomorrow will be my second day of book keeping seminars and I need to prepare for the Vintage & Craft Fair so I better leave my screen alone now.
Sleep well peeps!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Swishing for Genesis

Last night saw the second charity event of the week, this time at the gorgeous Eleven Didsbury Park Hotel.
Organised by Innerglo, the evening was fabulous as usual. As October is breast cancer awareness month, last night was organised in aid of Genesis. There were eye catching pink cupcakes complete with pink ribbon icing (sorry photo not great, it was a little dark and my phone doesn't work well in good ambience!) and lots of pink bubbly.

After a talk about the charity and some wardrobe advise we swiftly moved onto the main part of the night : Swishing! Loved it. Walked in with a dress that once fitted like a glove, now might show a bit more here and there, and walked out with this lovely Indian beaded scarf. Now that was a great swap, all in aid of Genesis.

I never really knew about dress agencies but after tonight I think I might check them out; especially in the current economic climate and my desire to recycle. I saw some really great, never or hardly worn items for a snip. Perhaps if one day I sell the other half of my record collection for a bit more than the £10 I got today I might treat myself....

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

UFO's ready to go

No I am not involved in extra terrestrial activities (not even extra curricular for that matter) just finishing some UnFinished Objects. Earlier this year I said I wanted to use up all my fabrics before buying new ones and I am still sticking to this principle. I keep finding all kinds of lovely fabrics and ribbons in my drawers. Hoping to move house soon I am trying to get everything organised in neatly labelled boxes and if I find a work in progress I will put it aside to finish.
Today I had a very productive morning. The scarf I only started last week though but I finished some brooches, some egg cosies, mended girl monkey's NEW mittens (not worn yet, why the hole?) and finished this knitted bag that had been in the making since March....

I hope to get a lot more items done in the next few weeks so that I can start afresh in my new abodes (shop & home!).

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Beatles, bugs & butterflies

I apologise for probably the worst image of the evening available but it is purely used to illustrate the Debra Charity Ball I went to last night. Until the ball last year I had not ever heard of Debra (Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association) but this charity provides crucial funds for children suffering from EB, a dreadful genetic skin blistering condition, worsened by touch. I was so saddened by all the pain these little ones suffer and all the work that needs to be done before they can even leave the house. Please, do all click on the link above and try to leave all the chocolates alone this week and donate the money saved to Debra.

The snapshot just shows the beautiful painting that my friend Rosana donated for the auction and the lovely Emmerdale boys leaving the stage after scooping up a trophy for their skills on the playing field. The ball was held in the Palace Hotel and apart from the fire alarm going off and all of us having to leave the building the night went smoothly. Still wondering though about table 14, there were no names on the table setting list just "Celebrity table". Now I always find that a little sad and I did not recognise any of them (as expected). They may have been from some soap series but as I don't watch any, even their names on the list would not have clicked and for those who do watch I suppose they will recognise them anyway. Next time be brave and just put a name down, make up one if you have to......

Today we were off to Liverpool. When I first visited the city, about 15 years ago I was not impressed but I have been back several times since last year and am in awe every time I find myself near the docks. The buildings still standing and the new ones fit perfectly together and it really feels like a happening place, much more so than my beloved Manchester. I was even impressed with the Liverpool 1 Qpark carpark, loved the view from downstairs, seeing shoppers walking on top of the dome.

There was a surprise for us and all we knew was that it started with a "B" and that it was new. Girl monkey thought it was the Beatles museum and she wasn't far off as we went to the BugWorld Experience. Both monkeys were very impressed; we were shown a very good movie of bug life and were allowed to touch the biggest millipede I'll ever see, this one was about 6 years old and we were told they could live to about 8 and could reach a length of about 30cm.

Then there was also the biggest snail in the world. I never knew they could grow so large. This would not be possible in our garden as I am not very kind to the species. Don't get me wrong, I do pass them on to the neighbours or give them a lovely meal in the bin.

Before long we hope to move into a new home and girl monkey gets very excited about the new room decorations. The butterfly wall paper and mirrors in BugWorld are now on the list. And then we got to admire some examples of existing butterflies as well. We tried to find the ones we saw in Chester Zoo but no luck. However there were hundreds of stunning examples. BugWorld Experience is certainly worth a visit.

We ended the day in our favourite haunt Tate Liverpool where I stocked up on lovely books for presents and the Mini Masters art classes. Girl monkey impressed some visitors by pointing out works by certain artists, love her!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Not just an ordinary Tuesday

It's been busy in the Betsy household lately. So busy in fact that I do not just live from day to day but from hour to hour. I do not leave the house without my calendar and find myself checking my list in the car every time I have done something. Hence the lack of blog posts... We had a fabulous time during the Didsbury Arts Festival and I hope to put some images up of the art works produced during our workshops and of the Craft Cafe as well. Whilst knitting away to produce some items for the next fair I got a call from my lovely new business partner to go and take measurements....

... not for a new house but to go and buy some furniture for our new shop! So exciting. This is it :

Ok there's lots of things there that need clearing out and it will need a lick of paint but in just a few weeks time we will be up and running! I can hardly believe it, this is a dream come true. Things are looking up! I am now in need of sleep (the new bed isn't great, wishing for my old bedroom back) but as soon as there is any progress I will post more images and information about my new life as a shopkeeper.