Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Chasing that elusive eight inch square.

When I was at secondary school I had camera envy. 
 It was the early 1980's, and my friend had a 120 film camera, which produced square photos. This was a definite step up from my Kodak 110, with its bulky, clip on stick flash. 
And both cameras are now on display in museums.

Tanbridge House School,  1982.

However, in 2013 I have rediscovered the beauty and symmetry of square photos, particularly for micro and creative photography.
Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for the square photo is not shared by mainstream suppliers of both photo frames and beveled picture mounts.  And not just in Swansea.
Apparently, these picture mounts attract a premium price as they are made to order, whereas the traditional, rectangular aperture is readily available.  
And as for square picture frames...

Which amazes me, as the square photo format is one of the most popular print sizes available for sale on

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Musing on Manchester and pondering roots.

When I mention upping sticks and moving to Manchester the initial reaction appears to be...
Manchester? Are you mad???

No-one seems able to quite get their head around me wanting to swap the very scenic,very rural North Gower for very urban Manchester.  Not at first.  But they do come round eventually.  Most of them.
Particularly friends who have known me - erratically - for decades.

I will always have a soft spot for Gower, but I don't have roots here.  Family, but not roots.  And although my parents have lived here since 1987, their home has never been my home.
Infact, having moved between England and Wales and back again, via Israel, in my youth, I don't know where my roots actually are.
Gower is where I have lived the longest, but I'm not originally from Gower - or Wales.
I consider myself English through and through, was born in Richmond, spent my teenage and early 20's in Sussex, but haven't lived in England since I was 23 - which is exactly half my age!
Whereas my son, who is 21, has always lived on Gower, considers himself welsh through and through (despite having an australian dad and english mother) and has roots well and truely anchored on Gower.

Having just returned from a trip to Urban Manchester, catching up with very good friends and with a head spinning from numerous estate agents, my mind is still set on Manchester.  Although this visit has made me realise how unwilling I am to compromise on what I want.  Not a bad thing.  My list includes:  cat friendly, neighbour friendly, outside space, however small - character, victorian, side street - no hoards of teenagers with cans or oversized England flags....the list goes on!
And I'm looking forward to a return visit.
And checking out houses around Whittaker Lane.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Summer rain.

The delicate beauty of summer raindrops on a fragrant sweet pea.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The plain daftness of Customs and Excise.

I have recently discovered Monaluna, and their organic cotton.
Gorgeous designs, gorgeous colours and alot cheaper to order from the USA than within the UK.

But customs and Excise, in their wisdom, have slapped a paltry £15 limit on the amount of goods I'm allowed to ship in before being clobbered by customs duty.  Not to mention the Royal Mail handling fee.

That's £15 per order, so if I get a job lot of material sent in one package, I'll be stung.
However, if I make more than one small order, that's fine - nothing to pay.
And the postage from the US is - bizarrely - cheaper than a supplier I use in the UK!

Customs and Excise do not make things easy!

Apple, a large owl cushion,  made with a gorgeous organic cotton by Monaluna.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Cutting ties and moving on.

I live in a beautiful part of the country.  

Catching the bus back from Swansea to rural Gower yesterday, the sun was shining, animals were taking shade under a tree and it was perfect photography weather while waiting for a connecting bus.

I have lived here for 21 years.
For most of that time it has been great, but it is not good for craft.
My 21 year old son grew up here, but is now moving on with his life, and it is time for me to do the same.  
So - I'm looking at Manchester. 
And I'm thinking the bus stops may look slightly different!

Monday, 15 July 2013

An ocean away...

I am a self confessed commitment-phobic.
Or, I thought I was. 
 I've changed my mind.
I used to think the best relationships were those with an ocean in between - any ocean would do, just so long as it involved a large distance. 
A previous relationship ended when the person in question took particular offence at my inability to let him over the Severn Bridge.  There were other factors, not least the fact he was verging on bunny-boiler, but the distance thing was definitely an issue.
Having spent my late teens to mid twenties using various kibbutz as enjoyable boltholes from whatever was bugging me in the UK, I was frequently restless.  And avoiding issues. And now, after 21 years in a rural welsh village, I am restless with a vengeance.  With a 21 year old son who is contemplating a possible life in Australia.  I recognise the signs.
And, suddenly, the ocean has lost its appeal.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Tonight is Market Night! With a 10% discount applied to each item purchased.

Sunday 14th July.

Market night starts at The Sherbet Patch at 5pm, and ends at midnight.

The link above will take you to the Market Night album.
All items in this album will have a 10% discount applied, excluding postage, and any items purchased will be posted on Monday.
To buy an item from this album, comment ''SOLD'' under the item, and message me your paypal address, so that I can send you the invoice.
If you don't have a paypal email, payment can also be made via banktransfer.

See you there!
The Sherbet Patch.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Stung by the courier on a Saturday premium!

Three weeks ago I shut The Sherbet Patch and swapped rural South Wales for buzzing Prahran.  My first holiday in over a year!
I posted my last parcel, which cost just £3.  Bargain!
Three weeks later, I book on another owl with the same courier and the price has jumped to £4.20 - a price hike I knew about and grumbled abit, but still a bargain.  A bargain, that is, until I was stung with a £1 Saturday premium!  
Saturday premium???  Just what is it that makes Saturday premium???  Royal Mail treat Saturday as just another day, but obviously not the couriers....hmmm.  
So now I'm waiting in for the courier, who may or may not turn up anytime soon, to whisk Hibiscus off to Cheshire. 
Who will be the last owl I send anywhere on a Saturday.

I love Liberty Lawn, and this is such a flamboyant, vibrant print.
And it has been such a long time since I've been to London......

My newest owl is a doorstop called Ziggy.
Ziggy is made from a sweet, linen mix print by Kokka, featuring The Three Little Pigs.

I'm a big fan of Kokka fabrics and their whimsical, nostalgic take on childhood stories....pure, folk inspired, gentle kitsch!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Thrown by a welsh heat haze through the fogginess of Jetlag.

Today is Thursday.
I know that as my phone told me so.  My bodyclock, now that's a different thing.
Does jetlag get harder as we get older?  For the first three days in Melbourne I was waking up at 3am - this morning, I was awake at 2am. 

From the trams of Melbourne...

Via Heathrow with The Lions...
Yesterday passed in a haze of jetlag, and arriving back in Swansea, to be greeted by a waft of tropial air and temperatures in the 80's, completely threw me.  Llanrhidian smelt like a spanish holiday resort - it's the smell I  associate with the Costa Brava, where Josh and I went to for many years during his teenage. 

Definitely not Llanrhidian.  
And my neighbour immersed in weeds and nettles in a long forgotten part of the garden.
Definitely not Llanrhidian.

I've missed the long evenings.
I've missed the cats.
I've missed my sewing machine.

back to Llanrhidian...
and two snoozy cats...

and a garden awash with colour and weeds and flowers.
I love sweet peas. So quintessentially english.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Bye, bye Australia, bye, bye 45....hello, biscuit tin.

As Australia draws to a close, so does 45.

Tomorrow, I will be 46.
 Oh - my - goodness!!!  How on earth did that happen???  46 is scarily close to 50, which seemed a lifetime away not so long ago.  I think I'll have a mid-life crisis of change and rash decisions.  Maybe I'll stick all options in a biscuit tin and pull one out at random.

21 years is a long time to stay in one place. 
A year is a long time to sell the same designs.
46 is not a year for standing still.

I will miss many things about Melbourne.
I will miss the delis, the food, the knitware - the boutiques.
Spending time with Josh.
I've loved seeing Josh and Issy together.
Catching up with Fiona.  
The blue skies and yellow light.
The photogenic boxes.
The stadiums!

On the plus side, it's summer in the UK and that means light till 10pm, with birdsong at sunrise.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Market Night! All items in stock and ready to go.

                         MARKET NIGHT!
                         Sunday, 14th July
                         5pm to midnight.

Items included in the sale will have a 10% discount applied, excluding postage, and will be posted the following morning.
The first person to comment ''sold'' under an item gets that item at the sale price.

Owls included in the album will include Birdsong, Snoozy Songbird, Willow, Sybil, Blossom, Amaryllis and Peony.
There will also be a selection of cushions and doorstops.

 See you there!
Sarah at The Sherbet Patch.

Friday, 5 July 2013

The lure of Marimekko and 10 dollar skinny jeans.

Chapel Street, South Yarra.
A mecca of sales, food and boutiques.  
And where else could I find the perfect pair of skinny jeans for 10 dollars.  Which (sort of) justifies the rather more than 10 dollars I spent in Marimekko on fabric.

Oh my goodness...Marimekko fabric!  Finnish, crisp and scandanavian.  Vibrant colours, bold patterns and strong, monochrome designs. 

I've been looking for the perfect black and white designs for ages, but with no luck in the UK.  Or Japan.
Unfortunately, everyone else must also appreciate the perfect Marimekko monochrome designs aswell, as not one of them was included in the sale. So, I emerged with a bag full of colour and not a monochrome among them.  
Now, that's willpower!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The charismatic Kangaroo.

On Tuesday I saw my first kangaroo in a natural setting - my first kangaroo anywhere!
Soooo sweet, so charismatic - I was very excited.
Move over squirrels, you've been replaced by a Kangaroo.  Call me fickle, but they are very cute...