Monday, 23 February 2009

My First Etsy Treasury

I've just put together my first Etsy treasury!
I noticed I had quite a few birds in my Etsy favourites, and Mr Kitsch and I have been enjoying watching the birds in the garden, so it seemed an appropriate theme. I called it 'Bluebirds of Happiness', even though they're not all blue.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out - the colours and the vintage look of a lot of the items. I had more vintage items in there to start with, but put them in my 'alternates', in the end. It's only there until Thursday (26th), but if you want to have a better look, you can click on the link or the picture.

If you're not familiar with Etsy, a Treasury is a way of showing some of your favourite items from other people. It's quite hard to get a Treasury slot, as you have to wait until one becomes available, and whenever I've looked before, it's been in the middle of the night. So I feel I got lucky today!

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Cool and cold

Well, it's been a funny old week.
The start of the week was good - it's half-term, and we had Mr Kitsch's niece and nephew to stay for a couple of days. It's always nice to have a reason to 'visit' your home town. We walked round Clifton and over the Suspension Bridge on Sunday. It was quite cold and Nephew (14) is far too cool to wear warm clothes. He spent all afternoon freezing in a thin jacket. Oh to be young!

There were still patches of snow on the ground. This little heart was all that was left of the snowman Mr Kitsch built on the lawn.

So I wrapped up warm, which I suppose is a sign of age! Niece (17) is a bit more sensible with her clothes, but I think I probably seem pretty uncool to her as well. A couple of years ago, we did have about five minutes when we were a pretty cool auntie and uncle to them, but I think we've passed that golden moment now! We went shopping on Monday, and much as I enjoy looking at clothes, a lot of fashion now just makes me feel REALLY old. I don't mind old fashions coming round again - I really love vintage, but aren't they coming round too fast now?

The rest of the week has felt very disjointed. I still can't work my normal routine, because my back, although better than it was, still troubles me when I sit at my desk. I feel I've lost my creative mojo, and all I've done is put a couple of new things in my vintage Etsy shop. Mr Kitsch has been doing some serious re-thinking of his career (or possible lack of it!), after a big upset at his work.

When we get like this, we start considering outlandish new plans to move to another country, and/or live in a shack on a beach. One of our favourite schemes is to have a snail farm in Spain. This came about when we realised our most successful and prolific garden crop was snails. And it would be nice to do it somewhere a bit warmer!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

A Valentine Story

Twenty years ago (when he was a lot younger), Mr Kitsch received a valentine card. (No, it wasn't from me.) He had a girlfriend, but it wasn't from her. He didn't know who it was from. He used to do hospital radio at the time, and it had been sent to him there. He worked for BT, and started to suspect it might have been one the co-workers in his office. He started to compare the handwriting on the card with the writing of the girl who sat opposite him. He looked again and again at the handwriting, and spent a whole weekend trying to persuade himself that it was the same writing. Eventually he realised that he really, really wanted the valentine to be from the girl who sat opposite him.

He felt bad that he cared more for this girl at work than for his girlfriend, and asked his brother for advice. 'Go out with both of them,' his brother suggested. He couldn't do that. He realised that he didn't really care enough about his girlfriend and finished with her. He asked the girl who sat opposite him if she'd like to go out for a drink. She wasn't too sure at first. You see, she hadn't sent the valentine. But she went anyway, and they spent half the night having one of those getting-to-know-you talks that go into the wee small hours, because neither person wants it to end.

Much much later, when they'd been living together for some time, they found out that the valentine had been sent by a young girl at hospital radio who had a passing crush on Mr Kitsch. Oh yes - we're very grateful for that valentine!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Hearts and stats

Are you feeling the 'luurve' yet? Are you as excited about valentines day as my little dolly seems to be?

Well I'm feeling pretty well-loved, as I've just noticed a couple of nice statistics. Firstly, I've now got 200 people who 'heart' my Etsy shop!! Yay! This is nowhere near as impressive as some, but I'm pleased all the same.

Secondly, I set up stats on this blog a month ago, and in that month, I've had over 1000 hits. Again, it's nothing like as popular as other people's blogs, but at least I feel there's someone out there. It could be the same friend looking 1000 times, but even she's not bored enough for that! Or it could be 100 people visiting 10 times each - I don't think I can work it out. There are more stats about the percentage of new visitors and return visitors, but it seems to take the stats every day. I can't seem to find anything to tell me how many different people have visited over a month.

My new handmade dolly tried to help me work it out, but got very confused-dot-com!

I had wonderful valentine excitement yesterday, when my fantastic swap parcel arrived from Lou (Ludabelle). It was all beautifully wrapped!

And so many lovely things!!! She was very naughty, as we were only supposed to send five things, and she sent six, with extra chocs!

The cream and red spotted fabric you can see, is a beautiful apron, which will inspire me to become a domestic goddess, I feel! I really love the bag with strawberries and cherries - my new shopper, I think! A pretty card with bookmark attached, a mug with chocolates in (yummy!), some bubble bath, a fridge magnet, and a beautiful fluffy handmade heart, with a cute spotty ribbon and button! Wow! How spoilt am I? Thank you so much, Lou!!

And many thanks too, to A Thrifty Mrs, who organised the swap. Lots of fun!

Saturday, 7 February 2009


Despite my back trouble (sorry to keep on about it!), I'm still able to go out for walks. In fact, it's one of the few activities that doesn't hurt my back at all. And because I can't carry anything heavy, I have the perfect excuse for not doing the shopping when I'm out! "Oh dear, are we running out of milk? Sorry, darling, I just can't carry that - you'll have to get it when you're out." "No, I think the weight of a small loaf might just make my back go into spasm. Sorry!" "Honestly, a book of twelve stamps is just too heavy!"

However, I somehow managed to go into a couple of charity shops this week, and picked up a few things. Like these little brooches -

I love the dog, and I like the fact that the 'Avon Calling' pin is a hinged door knocker!

A very kitsch pixie!

A lovely teaset (I wasn't able to carry that lot and had to get Mr Kitsch to drive to the shop!)

A very old book of sheet music for ballroom dancing, (with 'Full instructions for the Dashing White Sergeant'!!), a little Eiffel Tower, and a beautifully illustrated alphabet puzzle.

And of course, I was able to enjoy all the snow.

On Friday, Mr Kitsch and I made a snow chicken. He did most of the work and I sculpted the fine detail!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Back again!

The post has been delayed this week..

No, not that little bit of weather....Well, you may not have noticed, but I haven't been online much this week. My back has not improved. We went out for a meal last weekend, and believe me, you know you're getting old, when your preparations for a night out mainly involve rubbing your back with Voltarol. (Or as we call it, The Painkilling Gel that Must Not Be Named.)

I know, I must sound like a total wuss, making such a fuss about a bad back. But you probably haven't had a really bad back that stops you sitting at a desk. And if you've had a really bad back, you probably haven't had one that gives you shooting pains down your legs. And if you've had one that gives you shooting pains down your legs, you probably haven't had one that goes on for TWO AND HALF BLOODY WEEKS!!

(Deep breath..) So anyway, I finally got to see my doctor today. (Only had to wait a week for an appointment - isn't the NHS wonderful?) He hit me with a hammer. No really - he tested my knee reflexes, and then, with the same little metal hammer, he bashed away at my spine. "No percussion pain," he wrote in his notes. Okaaaay....

So apparently, I haven't got a slipped disc or a trapped nerve. I pointed out that normally, if I have back ache, I do back exercises and it goes away in a few days, so two and a half weeks looks like something different. "That's a valid point," he said.

But he then said we should wait another two weeks (ANOTHER TWO WEEKS??) before we look at getting an x-ray or further tests. So he's told me to dose myself up to the eyeballs in painkillers (I was taking ibuprofen - he says take more and paracetamol). The idea being that if you can stop it hurting, you can move more normally and let your back heal, yada,yada,yada, Isn't that what I've been trying to do?

Oh well. In the spirit of trying to move normally, I've sat motionless in front of the computer for quite a while this evening, catching up on everyone's blogs. But I think I'll have to stop now, the ibuprofen must be wearing off...

p.s Many thanks for all your kind get well wishes!!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Two achievements!

First of all, I FINALLY managed to enter a piece in the UK Etsy challenge. Each month a theme is set, and UK Etsy people create a piece, post a photo on Flickr, and everyone can vote on their favourite. For the past five months, I have been kicking myself, as each deadline comes and I either have no inspiration, no time or no energy to create something. However, the subject for January was 'Japan', and I created these kokeshi doll earrings, something I've been meaning to make for a while. (And even better, two people have voted for my piece, which I think is pretty good for a first attempt. If you'd like to see the entries, you can look here. )

Second achievement is that I have been given my first blog award from BusyLizzie at the Washerwoman. Thank you Lizzie!

Apparently....“The authors say that blogs who receive this award are exceedingly charming. This blog invests in proximity in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be new friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandisement. Our hope is that when ribbons of these awards are cut, even more friendships will be propagated. Please give your kind attention to these writers.” So now you know.

I'm think I'm meant to pass it on to other bloggers, but my bad back means I cannot spend another minute at the computer right now, so I'll save that for another day. Apologies too for not being able to visit and comment on blogs at the moment.