Sunday, December 22, 2013

The essence of Christmas

I know a lot of you out there are Christians and so I presume that celebrating Christ's birth at this time of year is something you have to struggle to hold dear in this increasingly frenzied avalanche of media inducement to make the holidays all about unbridled excess, an orgasmic frenzy of spending and consumption fit for a Roman Orgy... everything Christ stood against, actually. Well, I seriously mean Good Luck to you all, try and have the Christmas that means something to you and hold out against the tsunami of pressure to be a consumerist drone.

Despite being a non-believer I have always loved Christmas, snow in the air (OK, a bit of frost!), berries in the trees for robin red breast to feast on, twinkly lights brightening the shortest days of the year, being with family and friends, people making the effort to come together for that one meal before trailing away into our increasingly distant lives for another 12 months. The last few years I have been struggling to figure out what, if anything, it means to me. Wondering why I send cards, why I wrap presents, why, why, why - if this is just another excuse for some profit making organisation to take our money and make us do what they have decided we should all do when they have decreed we should do it?

My answer has come from Stonehenge. The latest theories about it's use by my/our ancient British ancestors suggest that it was the site of the largest Neolithic gatherings in the whole of Northern Europe, coming together to celebrate the Winter Solstice. They now know that Brits came from as far as the islands at the top of Scotland, many weeks of travel, bringing with them livestock and supplies, just to gather and feast and revel. If, like me, you find the long bleakness of Winter hard to cope with, then I guess it all makes sense, how much worse was it for them before neon lights and TV to while away the hours of darkness... you couldn't even settle down with a good book, because no-one could write yet, let alone read!

So, I guess in the end if you are one of us non-believers, then it HAS ALWAYS been about fire lights brightening the shortest days of the year, being with family and friends (and strangers too) - people making the effort to come together for that one meal (or perhaps even orgiastic feast!) before trailing away into our increasingly distant lives for another 12 months.

So, have a Wonderful Winter Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkha, or whatever reason you find to come together... Peace on Earth... wouldn't that be nice! xxx

Photos by Peacesoujourner

Monday, December 16, 2013

Back away from the crafters Kirsty!!!

Oh Lord.... am I going completely crazy or does Kirsty Allsopp have truly TERRIBLE taste? I keep trying to watch her crafting shows but I don't understand her aesthetic at all. It all looks like the kind of thing a 6 year old brings home from an afternoon at school, covered in glitter and featuring every colour under the sun. Of course, every doting mother kindly sticks the "glittery whatever" to the fridge door... but Kirsty ISN'T a toddler and I wonder why this show is on in the evening when the ONLY people who will find her "Inspirational crafting tips" in the least bit revelatory must still be in nappies????

SERIOUSLY, £5 for a plastic gadget that makes Pom-pom creation EASIER.... since when was that rocket science??? WHO can't make pom-poms the apparently labour intensive old fashioned way? Thank the Lord we have Kirsty to tell us that if you coat a ball in glue and dip it in glitter you get... a glittery ball! Hhhhhhmmm, let's see, who wouldn't be able to figure that stuff out for themselves? Oh, that's right, the kind of person who would be happy to wake up on Christmas morning to unwrap a pack of home TIE-DYED gaudy coloured shop bought knickers, that's who!

I have found all her shows so far a bit of an insult to all the incredibly talented and hard working artists and crafters out there who work so damn hard to make truly beautiful things.

PS: If you are thinking what a curmudgeon I must be to watch TV with.... I have had a complete U -turn on Ripper Street, this second series has been so fabulously bonkers that I am now a confirmed fan and will be sad to see it end tonight!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

My new models

I used to have quite herd of BJD dolls but thinned them down to the bare  minimum over the Summer. Now I just have 3, two SD and one MSD, all by the Korean sculptors Dollstown. All my custom work is over for this year so I took advantage of the mild weather to work on my own dollies and gave some blank heads a much needed face-up. So meet little Seola and Elysia :o)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Call to local North Wales crafters!

I don't suppose there are that many readers of my blog who live within easy travelling distance of North Wales? If you are local and reading this and would have any interest in some art doll classes or even a doll making and crafting club then please leave a comment below. I am hoping to find a suitable venue and set something up for 2014 if there is enough interest.

A few years back I was booked to teach a series of art doll classes at a local textile/craft outlet but the course had to be cut short due to my having a really bad fall and being out of action for some months. I haven't had time to do anything similar since then. I don't think I would return to that venue as the dolls had to be tailored to craft items that they sold in their shop, and they didn't stock paperclay or gesso so I ended up having to make quite basic dolls, not ideal!

Anyway, I am planning something a little more interesting and hope that I can find the right place to host it and find some like minded doll enthusiasts to come and join me. I will keep you posted on my progress next year :o)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Shop still open until Christmas!

Because I have been able to find work I can now keep my etsy shop open until Christmas (Yay!!!) and there are still lots of lovely BJD hats there, some Bottle dolls and paper dolls and more will be listed as I finish them over the next week or so. Come over and take a look around, I have virtual Mince Pies and a glass of mulled wine for you all! Ok, you have to imagine it ;o)