Jan 25th ~ Tales from Fraggle Towers

Today was the beginning of the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) garden watch, where anyone and his dog is invited to sit in their garden, a park or outside space, and spend an hour exactly counting and registering the birds they see. You can join in or read about it HERE. Herds of people take part every year and it helps the RSPB monitor bird populations across the country. I of course sit and take part, camera to hand. I was a little excited as for the past three days a Greater Spotted Woodpecker has been visiting the Happy Eater tree, which was such a surprise as we’re quite suburban here, and I hoped he’d turn up again today.

I saw sparrows, blue tits, great tits, long tailed tits, blackbirds, collared doves, a woodpigeon, a robin and the beautiful woodpecker. Unfortunately the woodpecker has made a quick getaway everytime I lift the camera, but I did manage one shot of the back of him.

Bird watch day
Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Did anyone else get given a mountain of chocolates for Christmas? We were given loads from family (they know Phil is a chocoholic) a huge box of Lindts, and a tub of Hero’s, a client gave us all a little box of posh chocs each (still in the fridge) also my boss at work gets migraines if she eats chocolates so she gives all that she gets to Phil. This year his favourites were given to my boss by a hearing aid company, and they are still undergoing consumption.

The Wreath Box
more yummy’s

This winter has been quite mild so far, though the nights are cold we are not dropping much below 6 °C (42.8°F) but even so I think the Happy Eater tree is a bit keen, or is confused.

Too soon little flower.

Film Friday will resume soon, I’ve sent rolls off to be developed. I gave up on the instants as I’m also doing the 1 second a day video thingy again this year and it’s too much overlap to do both.

I’ve started another mosaic project, this time a jewelry or nik-nak box, which went quite well, until the grouting when it all went pear shaped. That does seem to be a thing with me, but it’s sortable, fingers crossed.


It’ll look nice in the next picture! 😀

WIP Wednesday on Thursday Thoughts Day

The mosaic table top is finished and installed in our living room and looks quite nice and appropriate there I think.

I should have posted this yesterday but got carried away with planning our week away.  Regular readers will have followed my posts on our trip to WW2 sites in France, Belgium & Holland last October and as the model show that Phil attended at the end of that trip is on again in a couple of weekends time, so we are having another week travelling before we get there.

Still sorting it out, but we’ll be doing Arnhem and the Overloon Museum again, definitely Nijmegan which we missed last time, and possibly a bit of Germany, but ending up at the model show in Eindhoeven.  Of course a camera (or 2 or 3!) will be coming with me, and I’m hoping to give the Rolleiflex SL35 a good workout, but I’ll still need my Fuji for the model show.

Got a bit of a hiccup to sort out in Germany, who knew there were 2 Munsters??  I (now) know one has an umlaut over it and the other doesn’t, but it’s a bit confusing!  The Munster we want to go to is not as short a travelling distance as the one we THOUGHT we were going to. 🙄 Never mind, there’s still time to cancel the hotel! 🤣 But there’s a panzer tank museum in the far away Munster that Phil really wanted to go to, so we may yet decide to do it. Phil will have a fit when he gets home from work and I appraise him of this situation. The moral of this sorry tale is- CHECK YOUR UMLAUTS people! Make sure they’re not sneaking up behind you to b ite you on the ass! 

Laters Gaters 😀 

WIP Wednesday 2

WIP 1 

I’ve cracked on quite well with this one, and luckily the tiles I’d been waiting for arrived last Thursday, so I started with those.

On Friday I managed to spend the whole day in the shed so got a fair bit done. I’d already cut the green tiles into triangles, and the gold ones, so made a start with those areas.

The next job was to sort the Mother-of-Pearl tiles out, which involved cutting little squares of bolsa wood to the back of them so they were the same depth as the other tiles.

I also halved a shed load of tiles for when I started filling in the bigger areas.

and then got to it sticking them down.

So a fair bit done by tea time.   On Saturday I had an afternoon session in the shed and managed to finish the top large area and drew the guidelines for the next session.  It’s not easy drawing on mesh so my lines are wobbly.

On Sunday we had the kids over in the afternoon so I only got 3/4 of the bottom bit done

and on Monday night while Phil was at model club I got it finished.

Of course I don’t mean finished as in The End, but as in the sticking tiles bit is finished. Next job is to prepare the table (ta hubby) and prime it, after which I  wait 24hrs for that to dry, then I’ll be sticking the whole mosaic  on top with some tile adhesive and then deep joy, the messy fun of grouting. By next Wednesday my table should be up and running so I’ll do a final post on it then.




WIP Wednesday

I’ve decided to do a weekly update on my latest mosaic project.  I’m hoping this one is going to be a bit less of a struggle than the last one, and am posting my weekly progress, thereby encouraging me to crack on with it so I have something to show, and not dick about dragging it out like I did with the last one!

This time I’m doing a smaller table top, and this is the table I’m doing

it’s quite old now, and seen better days, but it’s good wood and sturdy so I would rather upcycle than replace it with a new one.

I didn’t want to do a picture mosaic for this one, and am going for a simple, kind of organic abstract, using colours that complement our predominantly green & white living room.

So this is my design

I know, it’s not all that, but it’ll look better when it’s done. (Fingers xt).

These are the tiles I’ll be using

I might change it so the greens are in the enclosures and the whites are the 2 middlesections, but nothing is as yet, set in stone. Or glue 🙂

I’ve been waiting for some dark green small gold veined green tiles to arrive which will be used for the dividers in the pattern and they came today yipee.  My one big niggle is that the little island in the middle of the green there is going to have mother of pearl tiles, which are thinner than the normal tiles, so I’m going to have to cut little squares of 2mm bolsa wood to stick on the back of the tiles to make them of equal height. Not too onerus but a pain in the bum time wise.

I’ve done all the prep, plastic backing under the mesh, everything taped down and stable, some tiles already cut and ready to go, and now the small tiles have arrived I should be able to crack on tomorrow!

Hah there’s my slippers! 🙄🤣

anyway stay tooned for the next installment.


Thursday Thoughts

Such a lot going on in the world, another mass shooting in the USA, allegations of sexual abuse from Hollywood to Westminster, Saudi Arabia purging corruption (waggles eyebrows).  I already did my thinking about guns and the USA when the Vegas thing happened, the Texas thing didn’t even seem like a shock, it’s just how things roll over there these days.  It’s hard to have sympathy for a country who’s president says mass shootings are not a ‘gun issue’.  Only the people can change things, and sadly not enough of them won’t/don’t.

The Saudi thing is interesting, but I’ll wait to see where it ends up before committing too many thoughts on it, the Crown Prince has certainly got an agenda though.

The sex abuse thing, well that’s gone ballistic, and whilst Kevin Spacey is being edited out of his latest movie and being replaced by Christopher Plummer, here we have the suicide of a labour MP who topped himself without knowing what the allegations consisted of.  I have never been sexually abused or assaulted, can’t even think of a time when anyone put a hand on my knee and I’d like to  think if they did, my withering look would have them cease and desist.  But I am an old bird with the confidence that age brings, and a lot of the ladies, and men, who are now making the allegations were young, and working in places where their bosses are male and powerful.  Of course, allegations are just that until proven otherwise, but that isn’t the case for Weinstein, Spacey et al.  There’s been no arrests or trials, oh I’m not saying they didn’t do what they’re accused of, seems pretty obvious they did, but it seems pretty obvious because I’m reading about it on the web, on social media outlets, in the newspapers, seeing it on the news.  This has been the trial, the verdict and the punishment, all without a court of law.  That seems to be the way it’s going anyway.

I believe Weinstein and Spacey are holed up getting ‘treatment’ in the same private rehab centre, “Gentle Path at The Meadows is especially designed to treat and work with male sex addicts … “We also understand that when men gather together with the intention of changing the core of who they are, without distraction from the outside world, a container of safety is created in which they can begin the recovery process,” the website states.  “patients learn how to use their interactions with horses as a way to move past barriers in their own relationships with family and friends”.   Horses??? 🙄   Are horses going to train them to keep their hands to themselves and their dicks in their pants?  It makes me laugh that it’s they who need to ‘recover’, what about the people they (allegedly) abused? Maybe some grovelling and reparation to their victims would be a better way to go. And a prison sentence. Without horses.

So that’s da nooze, and my thoughts on it.

I’ve finally finished the damned tiger table, for those of you who remember the work-in-progress article I did for Clockwork Clouds (which you can read at https://clockworkclouds.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/5225/ the last stretch was traumatic to say the least.  It all went horribly wrong when I had to transfer it to the table, I didn’t use enough tile adhesive, and when I came to soak to the brown paper loads of the tiles came loose.  I’d also used too much PVA glue and it was just ugh! a nightmare. I was not happy.  But I worked on putting as much right as I could, and this is the end result.

I learned a lot about what not to do and not how to do it, and that’s the best that can be said!  The next project is already in my. head and that will be done in a completely different way.

laters gaters 🙂