Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lost and Found

It's still mad with Christmas preparations here in the monda household - I just thought I'd take a few moments to say 'Merry Christmas' to everyone who has popped by and read my ramblings for the last year - and supported me, my craft and my shop. It is so nice to have met (virtually and physically) and been so inspired by some lovely crafty types (that means you!).I also wanted to share something I found out today. On Christmas Eve and on Boxing Day, if you live in the UK or have access to channel 4 TV you can watch 'lost and found'. This marvellous book by one of my fave illustrators, Oliver Jeffers, has been made into a short film.
If you click this link, you can watch a small excerpt from the film. What a nice lead into the Christmas festivities.
As well as watching this, tomorrow will be filled with making mince pies, and preparing food for the big day - the day where you eat so much you feel uncomfortable, and then lie around on the sofa all day wishing you hadn't eaten so much. Tonight will be a trip to the supermarket to pick up some essentials - the queues of traffic into our local M&S tonight were just horrific - they are open till 10pm, so I'll be going out at about 9.30 - wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

faking it

I'm not a fan of artificial Christmas trees. One of things that conjures up a Chritsmassy vibe for me is the smell of a real tree. All my life, and Christmasses since I was born (33 in fact) I have had a real tree at Christmas time.
I recently read this article about trees, and now I'm even more convinced that a real tree is the right thing to choose. My tree doesn't go to waste after Christmas time. I get it collected for chipping in January.

You might wonder in this case why this year I have got an artificial Christmas tree. I'm not happy about it, really, I'm not, but the choice this year was artificial tree or no tree at all. This is really down to space - and not having any basically! which might have something to do with my lovely but rather large sofa which was purchased earlier this year. No tree was just too baa humbug for me, so we opted for one that looked as much like a real tree as possible - except for the fact that it is tall and slim of course. I have asked people who have been to the house what they think, but are they saying it looks real just to be polite? What do you think?Christmas is speeding here at a rate of knots. I still have presents to make and I'm rapidly running out of time - not to mention the wrapping of said presents. eeek.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

donna and blitzen

Don't be put off by the video, just listen to the song. This is the one the BBC are using on it's Christmas idents. I defy you not to love this, and not to feel at least a little bit Christmassy after listening to it.
I have loved this song ever since the first time I heard it (it's on the soundtrack to the movie 'about a boy') Enjoy :o)

wet wet wet

nope, not the band from the late 80's, early 90's, but the weather today - it has been rather wet, but with relatives visiting - we were going to stick to plan and go into London.
This pic has not been altered in any way - it was so grey - the red double decker buses were the only things that stood out on the horizon!The relatives wanted to do the things that as a (semi) local, you just wouldn't do on a Saturday before Christmas. We ventured into Covent Garden, Oxford street and Regent street - and as predicted they were all jam packed. We didn't do much shopping - just lots of walking. We also ventured down Carnaby street, as the decorations there are usually pretty good and this year was no exception - These are giant inflatable snowmen - really great. The last pic below the snowman is the lights on Regent Street.I had to by pass a couple of shops I really would have liked to go into, but today wasn't really about me - so these shops will have to wait for another day.
I will be popping back into London again just after Christmas to go to the Theatre darling! so hopefully both shops will be open and I can shop till my hearts content!

I'm off to read some blogs now - I have over 350 posts to read (gulp). The relatives have installed themselves on the sofa and are watching Dad's Army. I'd rather eat my own head than watch this, so I have 'Christmas with the Rat Pack' playing in my headphones as I type away. Very festive indeed.

Monday, December 08, 2008


I've been a little absent from my blog this last week or so. A lot is happening here and I just can't seem to find enough hours in the day. How is it that every year Christmas just sneaks up and bites you on the bum? I have lots of emails and messages to reply to - apologies if you are waiting to hear from me - I will reply to everyone eventually. I am also massively behind with my blog reading too.

Thanks to everyone who has swung by my little shop and made a purchase in the last couple of weeks - I've had quite a lot of sales, and some custom orders too, which is very nice, and despite my lack of time I have enjoyed making them.
Here are a few pics of my latest custom order:I have some family visiting this weekend - we thought we would head into London and try to find some Christmas markets - does anyone have any ideas of such things in London this coming weekend? Any suggestions will be gratefully received :o)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

shop update

I've spend quite a large part of the day photographing images and uploading lots of christmassy items into my etsy shop - amongst other things, you will find decorations, stockings, monsters and brooches, oh, and a few items have gone on sale too!

Friday, November 28, 2008

feeling festive?

It's been a bit quiet in the monda camp this week. I have been lurgified for most of the week with a stomach bug, then when I did feel well enough to go back to work on Wednesday I got a migraine on the way to work and had to come home again. I have slept a lot this week, which is no bad thing. I'm pleased to say that I do feel much better at this end of the week.
Until now, I hadn't been feeling remotely festive, however these have certainly helped:
These little ceramic trees with buttons have been my annual purchase of handmade decorations. These were made by organiser extraordinaire Lauren, who is the brains behind Reveal.
I spent today over at Reveal with Lauren and Louise (from Marmalade). We were there to fend off the masses of people beating the door down assist the steady trickle of visitors, and whilst there I also managed to make a few more bird decorations.
Tomorrow is the last day of reveal and so far I've had a pretty good week. I will still be doing a shop update on Sunday (with Christmas Stockings for those who have enquired), and will put a quick note on here when I'm done.

To add a little more festive spirit, I've opened up my box of virtual xmas decs, and changed my blog banner. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

show and snow

We had a little bit of snow over night - which has all gone now. It has been raining most of the day and the temperature has been fluctuating between 0 and 1 degrees throughout the day. As I sit here and type my feet are cold and I'm kind of wishing I had on the really lovely warm pair of slipper boots I saw today in Accessorize. Apparently I have to 'wait to see what father christmas will bring' me - in the meantime I will have cold feet.

At 9am today I was setting up my work at Reveal:At 10am I was in starbucks having breakfast and then I spent a couple of hours in Henley (which is lovely) looking in shops to kill a bit of time until the private showing. I managed to buy a couple of wool jumpers from a charity shop, a panduro hobby catalogue and some lip gloss - quite a random selection.
I didn't end up staying for the private showing because in that couple of hours I actually started feeling really crappy. I'm still feeling a bit crappy now and have just been vegging out on the sofa watching bursts of Matilda and Star Wars this afternoon.

I wanted to make a few more little felted jumper birds for my etsy shop today (Kate, I'll let you know when I'm listing them for sale) but I'm admitting defeat. The sofa, and strictly come dancing are just too appealing.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I've been really busy these last couple of days preparing everything for Reveal which starts tomorrow.
Just thought I'd post a pic of some of the things that I have been working on this week:I'm desperate for a sleep in, but I'll be up bright and early tomorrow getting everything packed up in the car. We are forecast for snow and black ice this evening and early tomorrow morning. I love the snow, but for tomorrow I just hope it holds off until I get to Henley!
I will return tomorrow with pictures of the show.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

on my desk on a wednesday

On my desk today is a little black christmas tree (a bargain £4 from Tesco) with my scrappy tree's on: I bought this for my display at reveal next week - just practising. As a distraction from the work I had to do last night, I also made this little bird from some felted jumper scraps:Cute huh?

Sunday, November 16, 2008


In just over a week, I will be showing and selling my work at Reveal in Henley on Thames. I'm really looking forward to this - hopefully it will be a really good week with plenty of people buying for Christmas. I have the majority of stock I want to take with me, but I've also spent this weekend making a last few bits and bobs - lots of scrappy tree Christmas decorations:I've got a few things to make for reveal this week, but once this is done I will be doing an etsy shop update in a week or so (for those who have asked). Mainly Christmas items, decorations, stockings and cards.

Hopefully I will find something to do with this:Some lovely liberty fabric I accidentally bought earlier on this week!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Free 2009 Calendar

I found this link today on daily candy, and thought it would be rude not to share. A rather nice free printable 2009 calendar from mibo.co.uk when you subscribe to their mailing list. Go on, you know you want to!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

on my desk on a wednesday

On my desk on a Wednesday is a real mess:I really do need to tidy it up before I start making anything else.

I had this idea in my head the other night when I was trying to go to sleep, so last night I made a couple of prototypes: I will make some more with a few modifications but I'm pretty happy with them otherwise - the wood in the background is not actually wood at all - it's textured card, honestly - it does look like real wood doesn't it.

It's been a while since I posted a pic of Stevie. I think she wanted to prove that she does actually use one of her (many) cat beds we have bought her: She is sitting here right next to me whilst I type away - comfy and warm on her fluffy radiator bed. She's improved remarkably really - we're so happy that she seems quite normal now - so normal in fact that she brought another (live) mouse into the house last night. The usual happened - I yelled, she dropped the mouse and the mouse ran off to find a hiding place. This one was much much quicker than the last one, and quick as a flash it hid underneath the fridge, and I had to wait 45 mins for Mr Monda to come home so we could liberate it!

Thanks to everyone who commented on the daylight bulb/lamp from my last post. I managed to find a few energy saving daylight bulbs on the internet so I think I'll probably try one out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

handm@de - oxford craft fair

Handm@de Oxford had a big thumbs up from me. I had a great day on Sunday, sold quite a few bits and pieces and met some lovely bloggers and flickr friends, and made some new ones too.
I've never actually met a blogger before so this was quite an experience. When I was looking around the other stalls I stopped at Raspberry, and Alice looked at my badge and said 'I know who you are!' which was quite funny.
I also met Ali, Sally Ann and Kate, as well as meeting some other lovely people, including Cloudhopping, Quercus Silver, Moments by Martha (Becci) and Letthemeatcake.

My pics from the day are not great - mainly because there wasn't that much natural light in the town hall and my flash was overexposing everything - my mum was in the first pic, displaying my wares very well don't you think!I was pitched up next to Kate from Paperleaf, and My sister (oddball and sticks) and it was nice to be between two great stalls, and two really nice people (even if I have known one of them for my entire life!).

on a less related note, I am thinking of purchasing a daylight lamp, or at least a daylight bulb for my lamp. I know they are massively energy inefficient but I'm really struggling to take decent pictures at the moment. I've never used a daylight lamp before. Can anyone give me advice? Is it worth it?

Friday, November 07, 2008

having fun

Having fun is what I am doing today. Perhaps I am having fun to suppress the mild stress levels of pre craft fair making? Whatever it is, it's a good thing.Monda banner for my stallChristmas decorationgocco printed card
So if you do happen to be around the Oxford area on Sunday, please do pop along to the handm@de oxford craft fair

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

on my desk on a wednesday

I haven't done 'on my desk on a Wednesday' for a while, but as I am not at work today, I thought I would take a quick break to blog.

So, here are a couple of things that are on my desk today...
Handmade ceramic tiles which I bought in Portugal recently:Some tags which Mr Monda kindly printed, cut and punched for me:and a snippit of my latest wip:on a different note, have you ever wondered what your cats do when you go to work? Well today mine have clearly staked a claim on my bed:Yesterday I came home to find them both in the bathroom playing with a live mouse! eek. I yelled at the cats, Stevie picked up the mouse, then dropped him again. The poor mouse then ran straight into the jaws of mellie, and she ran off out of the bathroom with me on her tail. I was yelling at her, so she dropped the mouse, and quick as a flash, without even thinking, I scooped the mouse off the floor, cupped him in my hands and took him outside and set him free at the end of my garden, where he promptly ran off. I just hope he got over the shock and survived.
It was only at the point of releasing him that I thought ' OMG, I just picked up a live mouse with my bare hands!' Fun and games.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

craft fair preparation

I'm madly preparing for my forthcoming craft fair handmade oxford which is just next weekend, Sun 9th November in Oxford town hall - if you are local and want to pop along and say 'hi'. You can click on the link above for more info/directions and info about the exhibitors. Despite madly trying to get everything made in time, I'm really looking forward to it as I've already seen some lovely work and I have my eye on a few things to buy too!

I have been trying to get some good enough light to take some pictures of what i have been making, but it's been very hard. The flash on my camera seems to overexpose everything and makes things look ghastly - so I've taken some pics without flash and tweaked them a little. They are still not brilliant but you get the idea. I have now made 8 (and a half!) of these big stockings, along with various other bits and pieces. Just one week left to get the rest done now. Eek!

Friday, October 31, 2008


I think my last picture heavy post may have killed my blog. I can't seem to view my own blog any more? Anyone else having problems?

***Edit - a new post seems to have fixed the problem. Phew. Perhaps that was all it needed - you know, like the classic IT fix 'turn it off, and turn it on again'. ***

Happy Halloween by the way :o)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obidos and Lisbon

Whilst I was in Portugal, we went to a old town called Obidos (pronounced obby-dosh I think) - a walled citadel with a castle right at the top. All the houses were really olde rendered stone, the pavements were stone cobbles. I took lots of pictures - mainly colour palette inspiration:
Also took a few pictures of some street art in Lisbon: