Thursday, October 17, 2013

Car Safety & Security

As regular readers of my blog are now aware, my life and that of my family has changed somewhat radically in the past 9 months. I am now a full time carer for my Mum after her brain haemorrhage and to some extent for my Dad too who has Parkinson’s.

In a day to day sense I've sorted most things out – we have routine and our days are filled with as much exercise as we can manage without tiring and games to play so Mum can relearn some skills. And while I am at home that is all fine and dandy.

But I have found it very hard to go out and leave them alone, even for a few minutes. This situation will improve as Mum gets better, but at the moment I find it hard. Of course it’s totally impossible not to go out though. I need to get to the shops to buy food (lots and lots and lots of food as it happens as we are trying to build both Mum and Dad’s weight up) and also I need to get to the chemist to pick up meds quite often. And this is without even considering the need to just get out on my own for a half hour here and there to retain my own sanity, which I haven’t felt comfortable to do up until now.

So, I was thrilled when the lovely people at Tesco Compare car insurance asked me if I wanted to test and review a Tom Tom Hands Free car kit. I have never needed a car kit before as phone calls would never have been so important that they couldn't wait until I was parked or back home. But in the present circumstances I thought that it would go a long way to ease my mind to know that I could take a call immediately if needed.

The car kit itself is small and neat and comes with both dashboard mounting and windscreen mounting so you can choose exactly where you want it to go. As I already have a satnav (which I bought when we were making endless trips to hospitals all over Sussex earlier in the year), this was very useful as it meant I could pop it over on the dash well out of the way on the right hand side of my steering wheel, and without taking up half my windscreen (which is the only downside to all these gadgets). It comes with an external mic which is located on the front of the cradle and also an extension cable for that, so you can put it up on your sun visor if it’s easier or better. I haven’t found the need to extend the mic location at all, everyone has said the calls have been very clear, but I think the visor location would maybe be better if you travel on faster roads more. I was impressed that it came with the option straight out of the box. The cradle itself has two rubberised clips to hold the phone in place. They are strong and secure and there has been no wobbling around at all. I have an iphone 5 so I can’t comment on how other phones are held but they are full adjustable so I can’t see there would be any issues at all. The phone connects to the kit via Bluetooth, and located on the cradle are two buttons to answer and hang up calls. This is brilliant for short journeys when you can’t be bothered don’t’ want to rake around your handbag finding the phone. It works perfectly from somewhere in a handbag that’s thrown in the back foot well underneath three bags of shopping! There is a charger for your phone too so on longer journeys you could reach your destination with a fully charged phone (that in itself is quite something and extremely useful for the iPhone 5 which I don’t think has the best battery life in the world) I haven’t used it yet as I need to get an adapter from the micro USB which is supplied to the lightning dock that the iPhone uses. But again I am very impressed that charging facilities have been provided straight out the box.
The call quality seems very good. The speaker is great and I can hear clearly, and I've certainly had no complaints from callers at the other end so I assume the mic is good too. And really call quality is all that matters in a car kit.

There were only a few minor niggles and really they are hardly worth mentioning, but for the transparency of a review I will: Firstly if you put the phone in the cradle the two buttons for answering and hanging up a call are totally obscured. Now I assume that if you have put your phone in the cradle that you are expecting to use the phone buttons, but having the buttons accessible would be useful as touchscreens on modern smartphones are hard to use when you’re driving, a quick button press is easier. The only other little point is that within the packaging there are a plethora of little clips and tacks and adapters for attaching cables to this that and the other and extending the mic and the charger etc, but I didn't find enough detail in the user guide to understand quite what every little one is for. I've worked it out since, and as I say it’s hardly worth mentioning really.

It’s such a small gadget really, but it does make me feel so much easier knowing that I can answer a call while driving safely and never really be out of reach. It’s gone a long way to ease my mind when I need to pop out for a few minutes.

Model reviewed: Tom Tom Hands Free Car Kit for Smartphones

Friday, September 06, 2013

i Knit too!

I wonder if you all even remember that i knit?  I'm not sure that I do ;)  Well I thought i'd show you a few things i have made during these past months.  Some with a little story to tell and others just to pass the time.

These socks for example:
These were knit from sock yarn that  a friend sent when they first knew mum was ill and i had no yarn with me.  I made them for Mum, and they were knit during the hours/days/weeks she was in a coma and we were waiting. One of the first times she moved her hands properly was to feel this ball of yarn.  (If I remember it was merino - it'd make me move out of a coma too :D)

The next thing I made was a colour affection. made for Mum for mother's day. I bought Holst Garn Supersoft for this as I wanted to try their yarn.  I loved knitting with it (and it had that lovely sheepy smell that all knitters love) It's washed up lovely and soft (for a pure wool, it's not merino soft!!) and generally i'm really happy.  The only thing I would change is that i think the two shades of green are too similar. (in fact in the photo you can't even really tell there are two shades of green)  i'd make the shawl again.:

Then there was a Cinnamon Toast shawl made from Sparkleduck galaxy (Which does actually have a little bit of sparkle in it *squeeeee*).  Now this is my favourite make of recent months.  The ruffly edge gives it a real swish factor (you know like the good looking blond bombshell with the hair flick - well this is the equivalent in shawls!) and some weight which made it feel good to wear (and also alerts you to when it was falling off, which  I have found to be an issue with others (maybe I fidget too much?).  My row gauge seems a bit out, I did a full extra repeat on top of the full shawl depth, and still i feel it could have been deeper.  But then i'm very long from shoulders to waist so maybe it's just me.  I really love it though, one of my favourite ever knits.

I also made a second one in ice yarns merino viscose. This was a quick make for a weekend jazz festival. I knitted it on 5mm needles and i do actually have some yarn left so may at some point undo the ruffle and add an extra body repeat:

Finally I have a commission knit on the needles now. I needed to wait until life was more settled and I could concentrate a little, and also until the evening temperatures had eased off a little...... I've only done the back and one front so far but i do love knitting an aran. No photos yet - next on the agenda!

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Mum n Dad's house has many doors (it's a laugh when we get new carers, we leave them to see where they go, but no one ever gets the right door first time!) it was a cottage and was extended to the side so somehow it ended up with four doors, then mum n dad added a conservatory so now there are 5.  It's all good tho', doors provide mobility exercises - steps, narrow spaces, thresh-holds, so we find ourselves using as many of them as we can to ring the changes and keep Mum challenged! It's all good fun.

This is my favourite one tho'  ;)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Whilst some form of normality continued

Whilst having one of our now normal strange conversations with Mum a few months ago, She expressed a desire to have veg still grown at home so that when she was hopefully back for the summer there would be the usual produce available for instant gratification when you fancy homegrown veg.  Always one to try to oblige and being a dutiful daughter I took MrNoo to the local garden club centre and we bought just a few of the more obvious veg. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, runnerbeans, and courgettes.  Nothing too much, just a few little bits to entice Mum into the garden on her visits home. (It's a big garden, it constitutes an entire physio session just walking around it - this is a good thing!)

Also when offered an opportunity to work in a greenhouse like this:
with windows that open with an old turn screw like this:

Who could honestly refuse? (Not me!)  Plus let's face it .......... sometimes, just sometimes, it's really good to have a good, honest, valid excuse to go out into the garden alone for a little while ;)

And look, we have been rewarded ;)

The first cucumber - Mum will be pleased!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Life got in the way

You know how you leave a blog post thinking the time isn't right, and the longer you leave it the worse it gets? Well that's about how it's been here.

Suffice to say that our family's world was shattered 3 days before Christmas when my beautiful Mum suffered a massive brain bleed. The short story is that she is now in a rehabilitation centre, coming to the end of her stay there before coming home. The long story is that it has been (almost exactly) 6 months of emotional roller-coaster, deep despair swiftly followed by hope and expectation (repeat thrice daily) and endless hospital meals,  absolute exhaustion in the way that you can't even feel yourself any more, and the best kind of joy for the first hand squeeze, the first smile, the first words, the first (and every subsequent) hug.  The mourning, to some degree, of a life that will never be the same again (for any of us) snatched away in a moment without any warning, but the corresponding elation that Mum is still here, and while her cognitive state is somewhat impaired, she knows who she is, and who her family are and how many yards of fabric you need to buy to make a pair of lounge trousers (!) so although the rest needs attention, she's got the important stuff nailed.

So, that's been it for the past 6 months.  Within the next month she will be home and we will begin our next journey, honing the thinking skills, keeping her motivated to try new things and not get lazy or complacent. To restore her love for crafting in a way that she can achieve it. It'll be a challenge but one that must be met to ensure that her life is what I know she would want it to be, independent and full.

Needless to say crafting has pretty much been off the agenda. I have knit some bits and pieces, while waiting aside hospital beds for something (anything) to happen. And as part of Mum's progressive discharge she was home last weekend and we made the aforementioned pair of lounge pants. Mum watched me as I cut a pattern and affirmed my choices of which seams to sew in what order. (I think secretly she just didn't want to leave me alone with her fancy pants sewing machine! and quite rightly so)

My baby, The Crafters' Barn is still growing from strength to strength. Kris has been amazing and has taken on the contact side of the site and dealt with the (very few) issues that have been experienced. And I have place a few magazine adverts and tried to keep the social media side engaged, with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and a couple of Email Newsletters for sellers. We were a year old this week - that feels kinda strange but very exciting.  I have big plans for the site, but need more time and planning for them than I am able to give at the moment.

So hopefully now I've broken the ice i will be writing here again a lot more often. I have missed blogging.... but then i've missed quite a lot of things these past few months.  Onward and upward as they say.

T'il soon ♥

Thursday, February 07, 2013

It’s the time of year when it all goes pear shaped.

So, I got in my car last week, Spot-dog all tucked up in the boot. Wellies, gloves and a hat in there with her……. Turned the key, ……………and nothing. …………Nada……….. Zip.

Is it just me that always seems to have my car go wrong at this expensive time of year? A few years ago it was the exhaust that dropped off (literally) on 23rd Dec. This year apparently my battery had sparked its last spark. Spot wasn’t hugely impressed when I dragged her back out the car but luckily there is a nice river to walk along not far from me so we went there instead, and it wasn’t flooded (see some things go right!) So I’m now the proud owner of a brand new battery and a few quid lighter. I’m beginning to think I should add my car to my Christmas list as it always seems to demand some present or another sometime around the dearest winter months ;)

It’s times like this when I’m grateful that should anything hugely untoward have happened that we have car insurance. I know it doesn’t cover for breakdowns (although of course some do include cover of some sort) But at least, as I seem to be one of those people that has an issue with my car when pennies are at their leanest, should I have had an accident or anything it would be covered. It is a weight off your mind really even though sometimes those premiums do feel like torture at the time, and given the way some people seem to drive through the festive season ….. ‘nuff said!

Anyway my little motor is now fighting fit and raring to go again. And Spot is slowly forgiving me for getting her hopes up for a long walk and then dragging her alongside a freezing cold river. I wouldn’t even let her chase the ducks!

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - A synopsis....

Our family life has been turned upside down just now, so posting here is not happening. But I wrote this for MrNoo as he celebrated his 50th last week, and i wanted to share so I have a record here that this year needs to be remembered for all the good things and not the end that we are travelling through just now.  Take care everyone xx

2012 – Your 50th year Wink 

You told me I couldn’t celebrate your day, that 50 was hard to take, 
You told me it would stress you out, the fear on your face wasn’t fake, 
You asked me please to be kind and quiet, to ignore it as best I could 
But as it’s your special day, we remember the year as we should. 

Instead of focusing on your age, I thought we’d change the plan 
We’d think about the year we had, as we travelled it in your van 
What Twenty Twelve has given us in memories pure and strong 
And with these little gifts I hope, those memories will stay long. 

This was my dad’s decade too – Seventy was he 
And my sister too was Forty, it’s the year for serious ParTY 
My year was not so special, mine was forty four, 
But you took me and Spot away for three days that surely felt like more 

We travelled down to Bridport, and walked along the beach 
We ate beside the seaside which tends to be our niche. 
We banned all phones and internet, we wanted to be alone 
It worked well for us, we needed it, sometimes it must be done. 

We had two cousins visit, one from near and one from far. 
Devon seemed a long way til “Oz Cuz” upped the bar 
Natalie did Chelsea, and loved it every bit 
Cara went to a wedding. It seems Scots weddings are a hit! 

Our Sporting year was mighty fine, Olympics here they were 
London became the centre of the whole world’s universe. 
We watched (too much) and cheered and cried, we laughed a little too 
We filled ourselves with British pride, it was only what was due. 

We went out to the suburbs, and watched the time trial race 
We cheered for Wiggo, Frome and girls, they truly kept the pace. 
Brad got the Gold at Hampton Court, he really was the King 
The Tour de France had started it, he looked like he had wings. 

We carried on supporting, seeing Cav come true in town, 
His arms aloft as he crossed the line, but another Brit took the crown 
The Tour of Britain winner’s name was Jonathon Tiernon-Locke 
We’d lost Wiggo earlier so it wasn’t much a shock? 

Going back a month or two we travelled a ways up north 
To visit a new jazz fest, we packed up the van and set forth 
We drank with friends the Bennett boys, and Aids and Jools and Jim 
And Norman too and Martin B, and we got a big hug off him! 

We loved the smiley music, the weather wasn’t so kind, 
We got to walk a little bit, so we really didn’t mind. 
The sleeping in the tent was hard, so was cooking on a fire 
The rain put paid to Bar-be-Que’s, Our new tent now is higher! 

So moving on, you bought a shed, and gave it the name “Roses” 
Our old shed became so many things, no problem for you it poses. 
You made our chooks a second home, and made it safe for them 
Just as well, it seems, our flock has grown, again and again and again! 

There is still so much to remind you, the Jubilee, for one 
A whole weekend of pomp and pageant, was so cleverly done 
Then there were a good few days at Hayling, for walks in rain and shine 
And gardening in our plot next door, we barely had the time. 

It’s not always been easy, but life just never is, 
The ups and downs give us a ride,  they give our life its fizz 
It makes us be each other’s strength, we take it both in turn 
We look after each other, it’s the way that we have learnt. 

I hope this will always remind you, of the year that we have lived 
The year that held that special day, a day that is a gift 
It’s fifty years since you were born, and for that I give God thanks 
You are my heart, my soul, my shooting star. I am a river, you are my banks.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

How does time pass so quickly?

I couldn't believe when i just saw the date of my last post. I can only apologise for me lack of keeping you informed how life is Cheznoo. So a quick summary

1. Christmas presents mostly bought, ordered and made. Not wrapped yet as I tend to do that late on Christmas Eve to get me in the mood ;)
2. Tree up and decorated and looking (and more importantly smelling) really rather beautiful.

3. Many winter fires have been lit, and long evenings watching bad Christmas films whilst knitting or crocheting have been had.
4. Long winter walks have been taken in some glorious winter frosty weather
5. Apparently life is passing a lot quicker than I am aware of tho'

So on that note I'm going to away and make the most of today's sun shine.

T'il soon (ish) ♥

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like .......sssssshhhhhhhhhhhh!

Ohmygoodness, I've been so busy with knitting and the Crafters' Barn and normal work and trying to keep the house clean. - Did you miss me?  The Barn has of course got quite busy as we near Christmas, and I am trying to share one product a day on our Facebook page to encourage people to move outside of their normal sellers, it's been good fun tho' perusing through the sellers directory or searching for strange things in the search box to try to find items that are a bit different.

So, just a really quick summary of how the last couple of weeks have been:

I've been playing with the knitting machine (excuse the bathroom mirror photo!) - it's a reversible hat with a contrasting brim, so you can wear it with a folded up brim, in all red stripes:

 Or inside out with an unfolded brim, in blue with red

 and of course both other options inside out and right side in, brim up or down.  The idea worked well, but the finished article is HUUUUUUUUGE, so i need to re-calculate the tension as this would have fit Shrek :D

In Spot-dog news, we went out and bought her a new bed this week. She needed one anyway but I saw this one which has a thermally reflective inside, so it's great for dogs with arthritis or other joint issues as they benefit from their own body warmth as it's reflected back to them. The bed was thin and rectangular around 3ft x 2ft with a brown fleece top and a sort of mesh/polyester bottom.


It's just a screwed up pile of stuff:

Really, you have to wonder why you bother don't you?  And just look at the look on her face *rolls eyes*  
She's also had a bath this week - that was fun (not) although to be fair she didn't move a muscle whilst in the bath....... too petrified i think? LOL

Right, I'm off now to try to make the brim for a Camden Cap that i'm making in Alpaca. Although I can be very technical in my approach to crafting (i have to be as artistic skills are somewhat lacking in my repetoire, so technicality is all I have) but i'm just not envisaging this very well. So i'm just going to bite the bullet and have a go - what could possibly go wrong?!

T'il soon ♥

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Recycling at it's best

MrNoo has been at it again, the remains of the old small shed have become:

a hen house and run:
and a potting bench:

So, my pair that hatched in (errr June some time?) are in the new one, the 5 silkies that hatched last month are where the juniors were and 3 new silkie chicks (yep, I know it wasn't supposed to happen!) are in the hutch. Everyone else is status quo. The chickens are generally suffering from the persistent rain. I had hoped after such a wet summer that we might be in for a dry autumn, but so far that has proven an incorrect hypothesis!  The run where the big girls and boy are is dreadful. I dig it over every couple of days to move the water through as it sits on top in big puddles where they compact the earth so quickly by pacing up and down. Then they drink out the puddles (eeww) which can't be good, and to be honest the smell isn't great with so much wet mud. I'm just about keeping a handle on it with the digging, but if it carries on i'm not sure what we'll do - swap to ducks maybe?

I finally finished my first ever machine knit for me:
The pattern is slanted rib and there are options for a hand-knit or a machine knit version.  My tension ended up way out on the ribbing (lessons learnt and all that!) so it's a bit gathered where the rib had to be attached to the body, and the rib is longer than it should be, and all in all the cardi would fit an 8 ft tall woman who was a size 10/12 with really really long arms. But you know what, I love it, it's warm and snug and I don't care how it looks. :D

That's kind of been it for this week, we've welcomed our first "Aromatherapy and Apopthecary" products into the Crafters' Barn (go take a squizz, they're wonderful and have such inventive names) and we've finally sorted out the image scroller so that it looks pretty on all devices (really, you have no idea how hard that became, every time it looked good on a laptop it looked bad on a phone or tablet and so on and son on!)   Now I think we need to offer better category alternatives..... in the same way that you love a yarn shop that categorises by brand, thickness, fibre or colour. So i think we need to offer similar choices to our Barn browsers? (well not those choices obviously cos that'd be daft, but choices nonetheless)

Right, I have alpaca to knit. Happy Sunday all

T'il soon x ♥

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Steptoe's Yard

(I typed Steptoe's YarN then - freudian slip! LOL)

So it's again been busy Chez Noo, so here is a little roundup of what's been happening:

Someone who doesn't have internet access has asked me to sell her jewellery in The Crafters' barn - I have realised I am not very good at the photography bit though ;) - Her items are made from beautiful Swarovski, Murano, Mother of Pearl and freshwater pearl pieces, and I don't think i'm quite showing the quality....... C for effort, could do better!

As ever, I have been knitting, This is the Ivy pattern from Charted Knitting Designs: A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns

 .... which became a Merino Cowl

A new client asked me if I would make her some Cowls from her own Alpaca yarn, which has been spun from her pet Alpacas (she may as well have said she would pay me to eat cake!) - Best Job EVAH!
We got a new shed which is bigger than the old one and will house my new chest freezer,

 While I went out and got a haircut, the new big shed appeared to have a baby made from some of the old small shed - a little "lawnmower lean-to" to help with space inside:

But the garden may never be the same again (2 days later and I'm still finding "bits" in the lawn LOL) For information, the kitchen looks this way if he cooks too!!

I am beginning to wonder how we ever got what we did in the little shed - already filled the big one, and i haven't put the freezer in there yet!

And finally I went to Ally Pally to the Knitting and Stitching show and bought a few little treasures to play with :

A fabric art embroidery kit which I will do one evening:
 Some embroidery threads - because you often think "if only i had".... well now I have ;)
 A bargain storage box, that is full of little beads and sequins:
 Plus 4 balls of regia sock, an embroidery hoop and a multi-coloured quilting thread to try.

So that according to my camera roll is what I have been up to for the past couple of weeks. There have of course been dog walks, both sunny and rainy. And growing chicks, and another broody hen, and housework, book-keeping,  the bare minimum in chores!

*Phew*    T'il soon ♥

p.s. I have turned OFF word verification AGAIN! blogger seems to keep re-instating it despite my intense hatred of it and the fact that i think it's THE most difficult captcha to read.  So do please leave a comment, and if you ever notice it back on again, let me know :D

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My nearly ready new craft room

Want to see what we've been up to chez noo lately?

We've been starting to create a craft/work room for me.  I generally work in the conservatory, and i love it there because I can watch the garden, the chickens, Spot can roam in and out, and it's a very peaceful place to create and work. But there are times when I need more space, and there are times (a lot of times this year) when it's raining, when it's just too darn noisy in there. So, after much deliberation i decided to move my spare bedroom into the little box room, and use the bigger room as a crafting room.  So as you can see i have a lovely big table, which I already had.  It's currently covered in one of my as yet unused window quilts, to protect from the heat of the laptop and other scratchy or hot things. - If i ever get round to putting the quilt up where it should be, then there are plenty of other things I can use for table coverings (shock, no???!!!)

We bought a few billy bookcases from Ikea, which are perfect for housing all manner of crafting crap equipment and stash. Believe it or not half my yarn stash is in that wicker basket on the shelf. - I know, it's not much is it?!) However I haven't got the fabric stash out yet and that's going to take some space up.

I also have good room for the knitting machine to stay assembled now. Which is great. I can pop up here and swatch/play/make a mess on it whenever I have a few minutes.

On the big table at the moment is a cardigan I'm sewing together for me. I have a feeling that the sleeves are going to be ludicrously long though.... only time will tell.

The second photo is the view from where I sit at the table. The window is to my left and gives me lots of afternoon light, and in front of me I aim to make a swatch board to fill that gaping space on the wall. After all plain wall is just begging to be filled I think? There is also another big wall to my right which could be used if I don't need to put more shelving up...... but there's still a lot of "stuff" to find homes for so I think more storage will be needed there.

So, where do you work?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Autumn and business is booming!

Well finally I have ousted Spot from the blog and am here to tell you how life is and what I've been up to.

I've been a bit slack on the blog since the Crafters' Barn website went live. It's been a big task and I'd like to publicly thank KMS Web Solutions for all the hard work in getting my somewhat half baked idea up and running and knowing what I was thinking even tho' i often couldn't articulate it.

The Crafters' Barn was a really important project to me for a lot of reasons. As a few of my regular readers know, I lost a good friend to cancer last year and needed a project to keep me focussed and working in a creative way. (Strangely, book-keeping didn't really fit the bill?! - who knew?)  I had originally thought that I would just sell my knitting, probably on Etsy or somewhere like that. But the more I looked into it and worked out the commission rates, the more I realised that it was a pretty complicated calculation to work out how I could make money selling that way, and the longer I thought about it, the more I thought I couldn't be the only one that found it hard.

The Crafters' Barn therefore became a passion of mine. To provide a site for crafters to sell where once they had paid their monthly fees there were no more surprises (well other than paypal fees but we can't help that) Margins, overheads, profit markups...... whatever you want to call it could easily be worked out based on getting stuff on a site to sell rather than a differing amount depending on whether you did sell.

The fee structure was worked out to be approximately equal to listing 10 items in a month on the other main selling sites (which roughly charge 20p per item to list) and that is that. No more fees. *phew*

The site would be easy to use, and safe and secure. It is aimed at all crafters, but particularly those that maybe sell via facebook but are finding that increasingly difficult to administrate and small businesses that are just testing the water in online selling.  I aim to be a springboard to allow people to venture into the virtual world and build themselves a market, and then when they're all grown up, to watch them maybe go off and set up their own site when they are comfortable and have a good base clientèle.

 The Junior and Senior school of online craft selling if you will?

The shops have a few customisable functions. Email contact, logo, and facebook and twitter ID's can all be added to superimpose the banner on each shop. So shops can begin to market themselves and gain interest with their own branding.  Items can be put "on sale" at discounted prices, for ever, or for set periods of time to clear stocks.  And whenever I can I put little guides on to help people sell their items. For example I have a guide about SEO and using metatags, which many sellers don't know about.

All products are submitted to google, and we are already doing quite well in the search rankings for some items, but the more sellers we get who use their titles and descriptions well, the better we will do - my aim is to be first page for many handmade items.

Sellers can also register their own domain and have it point straight to their shop bypassing the Crafters' barn homepage. is an example (a little self plugging there!) So, if they are wanting to start building a business model they can do this, then move their domain off to their own website when they are ready.

The look of the site is young and vibrant. i love its quirkiness. Very different to most of the other craft sites, but fun for its uniqueness.  That doesn't mean we are not working all the time to improve the look, usability and functionality. That will probably be a never ending task.

So all in all that's why i've been a bit lax here with my posting. We have around 70 shops now, of which I think 50 odd currently have stock in them.  I am trying to fit in knitting too, I have finished a few items for sale in the barn, but they're not photographed yet. Plus I have a childs school cardigan on commission and a couple of cushion covers. The orders are racking up now for the chillier months. It's great.

In other news Chez Noo, there are five red silkie chicks that hatched last week - wanna see?????

The little one up top needed a couple of hours down my bra when it hatched as Mum let it get cold :(   But it perked up and now I can't tell which it was as they all look the same size and nice and healthy. So fingers crossed. 5 hatched out of 6 eggs - my best hatch rate ever.

Right, I need to be off to cook my tea

T'il soon ♥

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Jointcare+ Challenge 3 and 4 - By Spot

Ha ha, these were fun. There's no photos though and no video......... I'll explain!......

Challenge 3 was to get photos and video of me fetching the yellow ball from the thrower than Mum got in the challenge package - well turns out I'm not a big fan of yellow.  I went after one and just sat by it - it didn't seem to taste nice like my 7 year old dummy that I fetch. Then Mum tried again and I didn't even bother - wanted her to get the message. She didn't and fetched it herself and tried a third time - we lost the ball! (I say we, i mean she of course, if she had listened in the first place and realised I wan't interested we'd still have it.) - So we kind of failed at challenge 3.

Challenge 4 was a 2 week challenge of photos and videos of me being active.  Well the first week we went to the beach, and we had sooo much fun. I ran and ran on the soft sand and Mum and Dad tried to get me to swim across a small pool that forms, and I ran more, and Mum chased me and we laughed.... but we had so much fun Mum forgot to take photos. And if she thought I was doing it all again ..... HaHa, no chance! I might be feeling good, but I'm not 4!!

Then we went for a long walk up at my favourite place, Newlands corner. Mum had her camera ready, she threw the dummy, i chased rabbits, we romped through muddy puddles..... and all mum got was photos of my bum!! - i was toooooo fast for her (she says it was the camera not being fast enough but we all know a poor workman blames his tools) so no photos there either. (Quietly i'm beginning to think Mum isn't quite as good at stuff as she makes out)

Anyway, it only leaves me to tell you at the end of the trial, how I feel.  Well this is no magic cure, I still ache if I over do it, and I still sometimes need a bit more rest than i used to when I was a spritely young thing. But once I warm up and get out I definitely find it a lot easier to move around and jumping in and out the back of Mum's car is no problem at all.  I still find if i have been laying in my bed for a few hours I'm stiff and it's hard to get up at first but again once I'm up life is a lot easier than it used to be. I've tried demonstrating this to mum by standing up against the trunk of the plum tree to steal ripe plums, and dancing round and round in giddy circles when dinner is nearly ready, and jumping up at Dad when he comes in from work, and jumping up at the table to steal a bonio that got left there. I *think* Mum is getting the message, but I'm not sure she's totally pleased about it, it seems to be making her shout quite a bit.

Honestly there's no pleasing some people.

Love and licks, Spot


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