Tuesday, 30 April 2013

....Finding treasure at Bournemouth Scrap Store

I discovered this little cave of magic last year, when we were organising our Olympic sports day at school. Any chance for a little road trip and I am in, so one of the Art teachers and myself went to the Scrap store that used to be in Wallisdown. It has now moved to Boscombe, but is exactly the same. I was amazed by how much stuff was considered scrap, never used stationary, factory containers, material, buttons, bobbles, rolls of 'lush' wrapping paper. It is very exciting!  I would recommend it to anyone! Recycling is good for the environment and also good for your pocket. I managed to pick up lots of bright yellow folders for school and some other things for myself. If I had kids of my own this would be my first stop for some monster building! It is only £6 to fill up a black bin liner to bursting point. You don't have to be a school to join anyone can join individually for £5 see here for more info.

Here are some of my bargains from last Thursday;

I now have a steady supply of lovely wrapping paper 
and ribbon, and sticky back plastic. 

The only downside is that you might end up becoming a little addictive to this
secret place.

Hope you have a great week! 

Gem x

Friday, 26 April 2013

... Living in Dorset

Last weekend was great wombling and selling at Kingston Lacey Car boot, followed by the entertaining Buskers Bash at Wimborne with friends. And a lazy Sunday with Maria and her family at the beach hut in Southbourne. I thought that I should make a list of all the reasons I love about living in Dorset. I spent many camping holidays in Dorset when I was younger so have always had fond memories of it's exciting Jurassic coast. My dad used to take us fossil hunting and many fun evenings were spent climbing trees and going on adventures with friends at Burnbake Campsite.

Here we go!

. Waking up to the view of the sea every morning
. The friends I have made
. My Job, and the people I share most of my day with (they are great) 
. Impromptu BBQ's on the beach come summer
. Hours playing Frisbee and chatting on the beach with friends
. Sand everywhere - you just have to go with it
.Camping trips & Long walks with pubs along the way
. The sound of our gravel driveway - sound of coming home
. Driving home from work and hugging the coastline
. Adventures on my doorstep - Favourites; Dancing Ledge (pub stop at Square & Compass)
Kimmeridge - I find a little spooky but like it
Hengistbury Head
Middle Beach and Joe's Cafe
Chesil Beach / Bridport
Ringstead Beach - Private and lots of great pebbles 
. The colour of the Heather and Yellow gourse in the summer (smells of coconut)
. Week night cycle trips for a Cider at Urban Reef
10. Sea Swims / and general splashing fun! 
. Rolling out of the house and onto the beach
. Coming home from work in the summer and two hours later forgetting all about it
. Cosying down in the winter and going for very quiet walks on the beach, or nature reserves
. Open door policy in the summer, with our flat full of brown sandy folk
. Waking up in the holidays with an adventure down any road of Dorset
. The incredible supply of fresh and local food
. The great charity shops and vintage markets
. Live music and variety of folk bands
. Great country pubs and coastal eateries
. Hearing the  waves from my bed during a blustery storm
. Live music
. Summer festivals, Camp Bestival, Arts Festival by the Sea, Purbeck, Endorset, Wonky Donk
. The sunsets

...... I could go on & on & on


These are the reasons I have been so late in writing a post this week, Wednesday I went to see Daughter and yesterday evening was a spontaneous jaunt to Urban Reef, whilst starring at the big big moon. I can't imagine living anywhere else!  

Where are your favourite places in Dorset?

Wishing you a great weekend!

Gem x

Monday, 22 April 2013

...getting excited about reading 'The Sea Sisters' by the lovely Lucy Clarke

Lucy and I met in Sixth Form here in Bournemouth, and have been friends ever since. Even at the age of 16 Lucy was a keen documenter I suppose; she always took hundreds of photographs of outings and nights out, and wrote up every event in her beloved diary. Writing has always been her passion, and she dreamed of becoming a published author one day. Her commitment and determination is unshakable, and after years of hard work she landed herself a well-deserved book deal. I am so delighted for her that this dream has become a reality, and her novel 'The Sea Sisters' published by Harper Collins will be in the shops from 9th May. Check out her book trailer here.

I have yet to read 'The Sea Sisters'. I told Lucy that I would be going into the bookshop and buying my very own copy. There is something very cool and exciting about buying a book written by a friend that you share so many funny memories with- from our first ever experience of Glastonbury, to being the dancers in our school musical (we were dreadful). Funtimes.

Well done Lucy! So excited for you x

Maria x

PS. If you are local then head down to Waterstones at Castle Point on Saturday 11th May for Lucy's book signing!

Friday, 19 April 2013

.... skiffling with Quinns Quinney

"A tin lid hit on suitcase green, 
The fastest strumming you've ever seen, 
A reel of whistle, a lick of guitar,
banjo, watering can and more by far" 
Rob. F

If you have seen a happy band of noise makers; banjo players, penny whistlers, wash board tinklers, with a double bass in tow and a merry lead singer trumpeting from a watering can, you have probably already heard the unique rural sound of Quinns Quinney. These skiffle, twiddling, suitcase banging musicians have become good friends. Many evenings have been enjoyed drinking cider and stamping our feet to the merry beat of their songs; from 'My Tractors on Fire' to 'Rural Spaceman', our well loved 90's hits have been given a good dose of rural Dorset spirit.

Here is a short vid I made at one of their most recent gigs (sorry it is a bit dark) ;

You can hear more of their songs  here

Local musicians on the festival/folk scene often jump on stage and join the band. But Quinns Quinney is currently;

I was chuffed to be asked to scribble some doodles for their album cover if you match the names
to the musicians in the suitcase, you should be able to work out who is who. 

(CD's available to buy at all gigs) 

Want to hear them for yourselves? Then they are competing with many others at BUSKERS BASH 4 CASH this Saturday in Wimborne from 11- 4pm. Where many musicians are competing for a spot in the finals which will be held in the Allendale Centre from 7pm. The buskers are scored by the public who can purchase a voting pack. Info here

They have every chance of winning this event, but if you are in the area they would give you a cheer if you were to give them your vote. Keep your eye out on their myspace/ Fb page for future gigs. 

QQ Catalogue poses to advertise new T's! Work it!

They will also be playing at this years Wonky Donk Festival and Purbeck Folk festival, I will be blogging about these soon! Thinking about the memories of last year I really really can't wait for this summer to arrive. 

Wonky Donk Festival 2012

Have a great weekend! 

Gem x

Thursday, 18 April 2013

...listening to music with the little fella

My little fella has the best taste in music (I suppose I would say that!). We have made a conscious effort to play him our favourite songs, and are chuffed that he has complied. Perhaps we are too selfish to play him nursery rhymes or kiddie tunes, but it has definitely paid off, as we can all enjoy car journeys singing along at the top of our voices, and discos in our kitchen.
I'm going to burn a CD of his top tunes and save it for him, so that when he is older and listening to the likes of Justin Bieber (please, no!), we can put it on and remind him of the time when he used to have a great taste in music. When he was two and a half. Good boy.

Happy times.

Maria x

Monday, 15 April 2013

.....searching for treasure at Battersea Carbooty!

Today was the first day back at work after the Easter holidays, at least the sun was out and spring is most definitely in the air! Yesterday I came home from a fun filled weekend in London catching up with family. We stamped the pavements of Spitafields and Convent Garden, south bank and Battersea. Yesterday me and and my sis took a leisurely stroll to Battersea Car boot and then soaked up the sun in the park and ate ice cream. A perfect end to a fab weekend! 

These are my bargains! (It is worth paying £3 to get in before 1.30pm)

Budgie seed tin (will use for teabags or birdseed) Sooooo moonrise Kingdom! 

I loved the design on this little cereal bowl! 

I promised I wouldn't buy anymore jumpers but loved this one (check out the back) 

Cute Bird Portraits - Collectors booklet (with little cards inside which were free with PG tips many years ago! 

Test me (I can memorise about 3 - Haha! 

Cute stamp - unfortunately me and my flat mate realised it only goes up to 1999 (never mind) 
All of this cost me just over a tenner! I do love a carbooty!

My sister gave me this when I arrived (I love little this little fella) he's on the look out while I sleep!)

Pistachio ice cream - soaking up the sun at Battersea Park
Wombling at carboots can be tiring! 

Hope you had a fab weekend! 

Gem x

Saturday, 13 April 2013

...finding fun things to do in wet weather

These last few weeks have been quite tricky. The rain has prevented us from getting out and about and exploring, and this makes us cranky and agitated. Plus, having the little fella is quite like having a puppy; he needs to be walked at least twice a day. So we have been thinking of other things to do to occupy/stimulate/entertain/exercise him, whilst resisting the temptation to switch on Cbeebies. This is what we have been up to-

  • making pizza
  • using our year family pass for the Oceanarium
  • taking the train into town and back
  • going swimming
  • getting together with other mama friends at each other's houses whilst playgroups are closed for the holidays
  • getting the 'wet weather' gear on and 'free-running' in the rain (ie. jumping over drains, splashing through puddles, etc)
  • puzzles
  • making little plays up from the stories we read
  • spending a looooooong time in the library
  • finger painting
  • washing up (seriously-the boy loves washing up-strange)
  • learning some basic letters-eg. 'm' for mama, etc.
  • playing hide and seek
  • visiting the garden centre and looking at the plants and gnomes
  • visiting the local fish pet shop (what are these called?!)
Do you have little ones? What do you do when the weather turns (or stays!) rubbish?

Maria x

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

..teaching my sister how to throw a pot!

At the beginning of the hols my sister came to stay. Like me she has found a love for playing with clay and is a regular at the Hackney Farm pottery. But hasn't yet mastered the wheel, so I booked us in for a couple of hours at Trad Pots Pottery in Lytchett so I could show her how to do it! (With some expert help from Mark Baker the Potter)  I have been coming to a weekly evening class here for the last 3 years and I really enjoy it. If your are ever in sunny Dorset this little pottery is bursting with lots of lovely pots made by Mark and other local artists. I love pottery I could do it all day, one day maybe that is what I will do!

Here is a little vid of our throwing fun!

Kylie arms deep in clay! 

Whilst Kylie was on the wheel I used the time to sand down my most recent projects 
and started on the under glazing. 

One of Kylie's finished Pots! (I think I have some twin competition) 

Current Projects ready for final clear glaze before their final firing in the kiln.

Some of my finished work (invading every spare surface in my room) 

Newest Creature to hatch from the Kiln

Finding lots of uses for my multiplying pots - Nut pot! 

Cactus pots! 

Suspicious Hippo - Looking after my pennies in his tum! 

Over the summer I am going to get myself organised and get some of my pots onto Folksy.
Have any of you started selling your wares? I would love to hear from 
you if you have any advice. 

Gem x

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

...spending the afternoon at Honeybook Farm

It's been a delight to have some time off together, just the three of us. We have made it our mission to relax, unwind, and spend some time outdoors enjoying all that our local area has to offer. Fortunately, you can take your pick in Dorset-there are so many exciting and beautiful places to visit. 

The other day we decided to visit one of our favourite little farms. Honeybrook Farm in Wimborne is a lovely day out. We love to take the little fella because there are plenty of animals to get up close to, a warm and reasonably priced cafe, and a wicked play park  The boy adores this place as there is so much to see and do; tractor rides, and lamb-feeding to name a few. Oh, and it is seriously good value for money. If you are local, or are in the area, then you should definitely pay a visit. 

 Saying 'Hey' to the pigs
 Feeding the ponies
 Snoozing piggies
 The bouncy 'pillow'-hours of fun (no grown-ups allowed-we were a bit jealous)
 Pretty views

We're loving our family days out this Easter. Been anywhere nice yourselves?

Maria x