Thursday 28 March 2013

Judgement day!!

Here is the judging panel.
Out for lunch..completely impartial non-bloggers..I made them wade through all the 50 plus comments (which I had cut and pasted anonymously so even I didn't know who the winners were until just now) and choose .

I can now tell you the winners of the Moo business cards giveaway competition are

Jennifer with this comment: 
Wow! How lovely. Perfect post and perfect timing as I have never heard of MOO and I'm about to jumpstart my own little creative venture and was looking to have business cards made. Whether selected or not, MOO just received my business by looking at your beauties. How would mine stand out? The quality printing, for sure!

Mike from Wudwerx with this wonderful verse.

There was a young man from Crewe,
Who filled Bee Hotels with Bamboo,
It was very hard,
Without a nice business card,
So he tried to win some from Moo!

Poetry isn't my strong point..... I'll stick to making Bee Hotels.

Lovely blog post.


Jennyflower with this community bid

Oo oo I love Moo!
I have some Moooo cards myself but how coooool would it be to have some to give out for our community needle groooooup the chain gang? That way we can make even more friends. Hoooooooray! xxxxx

The judges decision is final as they say.

So congratulations to all three, and now you have to send me your usual email address (send to
which I will pass on to Moo and they will give you codes to use at checkout. I suspect there could be a bit of a delay from MOO as its the Easter Holidays but they are worth waiting for. 
You could start your designs now and save the project until you get the code for checkout.
( Remember its for 50 business cards)

Commiserations to all the other entries, but at least you all know about MOO now and if you subscribe to their newsletter they often send offers out.

Have a lovely Easter everyone.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

The suspense!

The giveaway is now closed for judging.
Thank you for all your comments. I have decided to copy and paste them all into a document and hand them over to the impartial judging panel..(two of my friends) and let them decide. I think thats very fair.
I'll post up the winner tomorrow evening so watch this space.

I have not been idle though.
I've been working on two orders for two gallery shops. Lazyhill Gallery in Abbotsbury Dorset and
The Found Gallery in Dunbar, East Lothian.
I feel so honoured to be associated with these two beautiful places.

I also sent my fishy piece to Ramster Textile exhibition. My mounting decision was made last week. I covered two narrow sided canvases with unbleached calico and stitched the pieces on. In teh end it was teh best decision as they needed to be light enough to send , and also narrow enough to frame if a buyer wanted to. 
Here they are ready for off. 20x20 inches..too big for Royal mail next day delivery so I had to spend a fortune and use Parcelforce. 
I hope its worth it.
I won't even know if they've been selected unless one of you dear readers visits the exhibition and tells me!

PS Have any other bloggers out there been invited to the preview of the 'Products' associated with the Pompeii exhibition at the British Museum? I have but I can't afford the train fare and I can't imagine how they think I'm 'press'! I'd die of embarrassment if anyone asked who I was.

Thursday 21 March 2013


Two little parcels came in the post today.

It might well say 'YAY" on the box. I am so excited.
The wonderful people at MOO offered me a 'spend' in their shop in return for a blog post about their products.
I needed no convincing. I have been using MOO for a long time and I already recommend them to friends because their products are SO GOOD. 
(You would not believe the offers from other companies I have turned down because I don't use them..knitting books; software scrapbooking programmes with potentially big financial rewards; free ipad cases..well I'm  thinking about that one!)

Anyway..back to moo..
Two parcels arrived so I opened the little one first. 
A book of 90 stickers with my own photographs on them. 

Thats what's so great about MOO. You use your own photos if you like and you can have every one of them different. Or you can buy ready made designs.

So here they are.

Now to the lovely big box..even the boxes are beautiful quality. 

The first thing I got out was this little lidded box of 50 business cards for me.

As many different photos on the back as you like and your details on the front with one image or a logo which is the same on all of them.

 Aren't they lovely?

I also got 50 cards for my husband from 5 of his photos of projects he worked on.

  This photo was on the front showing a painting in the process of being cleaned.

Some of them have the finished piece on the other side.

On to the next and most exciting packet of all. 

25 Greetings cards. I have to tell you the quality is gorgeous. They are a very substantial matte card blank inside (but you can put a greeting in )

 and what might loosely be called 'my logo' on the back.

 I used photos of my work and other things appropriate for greetings cards.

 Oohh yumyumyumyum. Its a delicious pile of loveliness. 

I've looked into making cards from my work but its always been fraught with difficulty, Moo make it so easy.

There were also lovely white envelopes which were free but you can pay a bit extra for colours.

And finally.....100 deliciously sweet mini moo cards. I've had these before and was just thinking about ordering more when this offer arrived in the nick of time!

Like the business cards you can have as many different photographs on one side as you like, and a fixed one on the other side with your details.
These come in a lovely little lidded box.

NOW FOR THE SCIENCE: the lovely people at Moo sent me a sheet of copy for you my dear readers  .
Here and concentrate and some of this loveliness in the form of 50 business cards will be yours for absolutely free wherever you live in the world.

MOO Giveaway with Dog Daisy Chains

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve teamed up with the design and print guys at to provide a great giveaway to 3 lucky readers! MOO love printing business cards, MiniCards, creating custom stickers, postcards & labels - MOO do it all!


MOO ascended from a desire of gorgeous, first-rate business card design - they make the design and print process accessible and easy. You can choose to either select from the business card templates or upload your own images to create truly unique products.

Giveaway Prizes

WIN: A set of 50 Classic Business Cards for THREE winners.

How To Win!

For a chance of winning a MOO prize, simply leave a comment below, telling us how your design will stand out from the crowd! Be imaginative, funny and most importantly unique! Make us smile you’re in with a great chance of winning.

Winners will be chosen from the comments below and will be asked for a valid email address so they can get their prize.
Good luck!

Here endeth the lesson.

Now, I don't know who is going to choose the winner but it will be someone ..I suspect it will be me but you never know....

Come on...we're waiting.....

Friday 15 March 2013

Moving on..

This is the progress I've made with the piece I started before I went to Ireland.
If I hadn't already committed myself to this, there might have been pictures inspired by the Burren here today. 
However I've added some bits of seaweed

 and incorporated most of the pieces I made earlier, although one old and one new didn't make the final cut so to speak.

 I'm quite pleased with some of the new pieces. I particularly like this squiddy-bit for the way the different colours of felt have separated nicely into panels with the stitched lines.

 It took AGES of moving and placing and trying and re-trying to get all these into some sort of pleasing composition but once I 'let go' of two pieces it came together well.

 I have to confess that I used dabs of fabric glue to hold them in place before stitching them  down.

Then finally added the finishing touches with some hand stitch.

Thats the really fun bit but sometimes I just don't know when to stop!

I think Its finished now.

But as usual mounting is an issue. 
(I am having a very discerning visitor today so I shall ask her advice)

Tuesday 5 March 2013


...........even though we are far away from it now, the silvery silken  waters of Galway Bay will be breaking on the shore at Ballyvaughan.

We have had a lovely 9 days there again, meeting old friends from previous years and catching up.
re-acquainting ourselves with the Burren and its surroundings, and the lovely quiet village.
Every year we have new and different experiences and this year was no exception.

I went to Mass on Sunday morning in the village church. 
Its the first time I have ever been asked to pray for a successful hunt. Lets draw a veil over what that may mean and hope it referred to the safe return of all the riders and no kill.

We thought we'd go to watch. They assembled here...

 It wasn't like the few hunts I've seen in this country, far more 'ordinary' although some were definitely monied and turned up with wonderful horse boxes with push button ramps, and polished leather boots.

 While others were a bit more like garden sheds on wheels.

 I asked a friendly man in a mud spattered riding coat if they caught many foxes...he said they hadn't caught one in twenty years and if they did find one they'd probably 'sit down for a drink with him and tell him what a fine fellow he is.'
They took off suddenly.

 We got the car out and followed them down the road just to see the fast galloping and the hounds but it was a very slow process.They were stuck in a field for ages because the hounds had run off over the mountain where the horses couldn't follow.We were told the best place to see them was on the beach.

 We waited.
Eventually they came across the sand but not in a galloping frenzy but sporadically, in dribs and drabs, all having to be very careful whilst leaving the car park as there was a low overhead height restriction barrier!

A very sedate affair but whatever you might think of hunting it was an interesting thing to see.

On Monday my friend (who comes to keep me company)and I took a trip to Inis Mor one of the Aran Islands. 
Once the awful stressful feat of finding first the car park then the bus in Galway, (being guided by a woman from the ferry company on the phone and running with unlaced walking boots rather like Anneka Rice did in 'Treasure Hunt' all those years ago) was over, we relaxed on the ferry 

 sailing past the shores of Connemara..what a place for a graveyard.

 On arrival we were greeted by the offer of a pony and trap ride all over the island. We accepted..and after a difficult ascent into the trap, we snuggled under the rugs and enjoyed the gorgeous weather and scenery. The driver was wearing jeans, a short jacket and no was freezing but he wasn't.
The stoic little horse who pulled us was called Johnny Cash. Johnny was due for new shoes the next day. I asked what he would do about the trap and he said he'd have to get his other horse..'W' ..short for WB Yeats. What a man.
Every now and then he got out and took a picture for us!

 We trotted up to Dun Aengus a fort on the clifftop, 2500 years old.

There's a sheer drop on the other side.

 After lunch a bit of shopping (Lovely cafe playing Leonard Cohen songs!) we continued along the coast road. I saw seals here in this bay but my camera didn't. They were playing in the blue water enjoying the sunshine .

 On to an old church (all seemed to be '7th century') and another photo opportunity!

The sun shone all day but my goodness it was cold. 
 We could have picked up one of these and hired a bike but I am so glad we chose the pony and trap.
 A little detail near the harbour.
 There was even a seal in the harbour on the mainland when we arrived back in Connemara and the moon rose pink and incredibly huge as we drove back to Galway.

On Saturday we made our usual trip to the Dolmen.

 Here I am looking as round as the aforementioned moon and much pinker.

 A little shop browsing in Ennis in the afternoon....wonderful clothes in some of the shops, but so expensive

 and on Sunday a walk on the beach at Fanore

 watching this young jockey to-ing and fro-ing and eventually trotting up the road home.

 We could hear the hooves on the sand and then on the road as he clopped off home.

Now for the inspiration!!!
I am inspired by all I saw underfoot.
Allow me to share my pictures with you.
I spent a lot of time looking down between the stones and the ridges.

 look more closely...

A puzzling sight
 even with the boat!
 Besides all the sights there were sounds, great friends, great craic, and above all , my husband thoroughly enjoyed his classes with the great Noel Hill, and had plenty of space and time to practise.

I give you....a happy husband.

So I hope you've enjoyed this fourth year of Ballyvaughan.
If you should want to read my previous posts about our visits there please click HERE

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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