Sunday, 30 May 2010

Prayer for World Peace


Dove of Peace ~ Giclee print


We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

prayer for world peace ~ dr jane goodall

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Thursday Poem


Young Woman Reading by a Window by Delphin Enjolras

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost
(26th March 1874 - 29th January 1963)

From the book: Poem for the Day One

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Have you ever wondered why...


Sexy Nude Man Sitting and Thinking


…supermarkets make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions, while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front

…people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke

…banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters

…we leave cars worth thousands of pounds in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage

…they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering

…the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin

…women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed

…you don't ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'

…'abbreviated' such a long word

…it is that doctors call what they do 'practice'

…lemon juice is made with artificial flavour and dishwashing liquid is made with real lemons

…the man who invests all your money is called a broker

…the time of day with the slowest traffic is called rush hour

…there isn’t mouse-flavoured cat food

…Noah didn’t swat those two mosquitoes

…they sterilize the needle for lethal injections

…the whole plane isn’t made from the same the stuff used to make the indestructible black boxes

…sheep don’t shrink when it rains

…they are called apartments when they are all stuck together

…why they call the airport the terminal if flying is so safe

One Object 365 Days Project: 5/365


Ethel~Maud sat in the deserted gnome hamlet, contemplating the state of the world and enjoying the warmth of a beautiful sunny Sunday...

365 ~ Day 122




On Sunday, I was telling Ethel~Maud about the disappearance of the gnomes and she decided to take a look herself. She was very shocked, I can tell you, at the state of the place! She almost disappeared amongst the weeds and poppies :-0

Wonderful Wednesday!


Summer Landscape, 1879 by Ilya Efimovich Repin

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Prayer for World Peace



Dove of Peace ~ Giclee print

We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

prayer for world peace ~ dr jane goodall

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Adding to my dolly collection


I've avoided buying Sindy furniture up to now ~ I'm not sure why really! But ever since I saw one of my Flickr contact's dolls displayed so nicely on shelves, I've been thinking that is what I would like to do with my girls. A few pieces of furniture would be good to display with the dolls and a wardrobe ~ or two! ~ would be especially handy since I am gradually adding to their clothing collection.

So, I saw this wardrobe on Ebay and thought I would go for it even though it's not in very good condition! I've been able to find a few pictures of what this model would have looked like when new and can see that my new acquisition is very battered indeed LOL Now I'm in something of a quandry: do I simply clean the wardrobe as best I can and leave it as-is or do I go for a complete revamp???

I must admit that I am extremely tempted to go down the revamping route and turn it into a "decorated-by-Sharon" wardrobe as opposed to leaving it in the original Sindy version. I'll take photos of what I decide to do in due course ;-)

As you can see, this is the inside of the wardrobe. The set of drawers is in really nice condition but the top shelf and rail are looking very sad. There are also bits missing from one of the doors but the mirror and shoe rack are both fine.

I just keep looking at the wardrobe now, thinking about what I could do with it and how pretty I could make it look!

A bundle of clothes came with the wardrobe ~ these have Barbie labels in them. I really like the skirt and retro top but if I'm honest, I'm not at all sure about the jumpsuit and jacket!

This jacket has an Action Man label so one of my boys will have a jacket, at least.

None of these pieces have any labels. The shorts look quite big so I'm wondering if they, too, are for an Action Man perhaps.

This is such a cute set! The shorts have a Barbie label although the matching top doesn't.

None of these have labels, either. I like these best of all as they have an older feel to them ~ probably because they fasten with poppers rather than Velcro.

And finally, this Sindy came with the wardrobe too LOL

Anthea is in need of some TLC and has lost her left thumb, poor girl. Still, a session in the dolly spa will have her feeling lovely again. Mind you, it may be a while before she can get an appointment as I'm booked pretty solid at the moment ;-D

These four young ladies came together, as a job lot. I'll bet you would never have guessed that it was the two in the middle who caught my eye ~ especially the one with white hair LOL All four are in a nice clean condition, for a change! All three Sindy look-alikes are wearing plastic bras and have nylon knickers; the young lady in pink is going commando ;-D

So, we have Pippa in the rather snazzy romper suit; June with the VERY yellow hair in the knitted trouser suit (the jumper of which has a zip at the back!); then it's Tamsin, my favourite I have to confess, wearing a very cosy duffle coat; and finally, Vivien.

And this little sweetie is Camille, who I think is absolutely lovely ~ I am SO pleased with her!
There is something about dolls like this that I just love ~ I find them extremely appealing. Camille has Camay stamped on her back, in a diamond-shaped box, along with Made in Hong Kong and a number which I think says 6012. She is in very nice condition and her knitted dress is really nicely made. She is also wearing Sindy shoes ~ it's so nice to get a doll with shoes!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

New members of my dolly family...and a bit of dolly surgery!


Josephine arrived at my door yesterday ~ a pressie from my friend, Olive :-) Apparently, Olive saw Josephine and thought of me ~ I can't think why, can you???

Josephine is really lovely and in wonderful condition ~ I suspect she has previously been displayed in a cabinet. I'm sure she will be very happy living with my other porcelain girls, although at the moment she is standing on a little table in my living room!

Iris arrived yesterday, too ~ a pressie to myself ;-) She is also in very nice condition, although her hair is rather dry and frizzy but I'm sure I will be able to sort that out in the dolly spa at some point.

Her clothes are rather fab and in very good condition as well. To be honest, Iris' clothes look as if they have been hardly played with which makes a nice change! It's also lovely to get a Sindy doll actually wearing shoes. All in all, I'm very pleased with Iris indeed :-)

And now for the dolly surgery! At last I have re-attached poor Ethel~Maud's arms ~ much to her relief LOL They are also now both the right way round as previously one of them (I can't remember which it was now) had the thumb pointing backwards. They had both been sewn back on at some point prior to Ethel~Maud joining my dolly family and even if I do say so myself, they look a damn sight better now that I've had a go at them even though it's not a perfect job by any means!

I was a wee bit perplexed as to how the arms should be re-attached, to be honest, as I really wasn't sure whether or not they had been sewn back on properly before. It was quite a difficult job as the fabric at the tops of Ethel~Maud's arms is starting to become a little delicate. In the end, I decided to turn in a fraction more than had been done previously, just so that I was sewing through slightly thicker fabric. I guess arms on dolls do tend to get rather a lot of wear and tear and I don't think she minds that they are now a tiny bit shorter than before LOL

Although it won't be as easy to wash her as it is my vinyl and plastic dolls, I will give Ethel~Maud a session in the dolly spa soon. I'm hoping that she will end up looking at least a little cleaner than she does at present :-)

Doll Census


This is Jane, my baby doll who I have had since I was two years old...and I will be 49 in a couple of weeks time! Poor Jane suffered from my tender ministrations somewhat during my childhood: she no longer has eyelashes, nor her two little front teeth and I bit off one of her fingers ~ oh, the shame of it! Mind you, I did try to make amends on the finger front when I was a little older ~ I sewed over the hole ;-)

She is quite large, about 23" tall, and wears size 0-3 months baby clothes so it's really easy to find pretty dresses for her to wear :-) She lives upstairs on a chair in Adrian's and my bedroom, along with two teddies I have had since I was a baby ~ so they are even older than Jane LOL

Now that I've brought her downstairs to take her photo, I've realised that she is looking rather grubby ~ I think a session in the dolly spa should be on the agenda sooner rather than later!

One Object 365 Days Project: 4/365



Ethel~Maud is feeling much better and is recovering well from her recent arm surgery. She is looking forward to a session at the dolly spa soon :-)

365 ~ Day 121



Ethel~Maud was fascinated by the Mexican Hat plant. She wondered if Sharon would let her have one of the cuttings, as she rather liked the idea of having one for herself.

The Thursday Poem



Young Woman Reading by a Window by Delphin Enjolras


The Button Box

The shades are drawn, the lamps are lit
Across the walls vague shadows flit.
And Mother, smiling, gently rocks
And dreams above her button box.

The button box, the button box,
With souvenirs of vanished frocks
And party gowns of yesteryear,
Old fashioned now, but once how dear.

These disks of metal, bone and shell
Have each a little tale to tell;
And that which keeps the varied hoard -
The battered box - so richly stored.
To her who loves remembrance, is
A treasury of memories.

That giant button had its day
On Father's ulster, rough and gray -
A shield of horn that Baby John
So loved to try his teeth upon;
While this, that might have served an elf,
Belonged to Baby John himself.
That pearly whiteness held in place
Some part of Edith's bridal lace;
And this appeared on nothing less
Than Mary's graduation dress.

These sparkling bits of glass recall
A Christmas feast, a New Year's ball;
And who that saw her could forget
When grandma wore these rounds of jet.

And, ho, what memories of pride,
Of dread, of hope and joy abide
In this bronze button beloved the best
Whereon the eagle seal is pressed,
That gleamed through flame and battle storm
Upon a khaki uniform!

The button box of long ago!
Its true delights the children know
Who thread its many coloured gems
For necklaces and diadems;
Or in their vivid play behold,
A pirate chest of pearls and gold!
And this worn coffer they who will
May find a fairy casket still,
When Memory her stores unlocks
And pours them from her button box.

Arthur Guiterman
(20th November 1871 - 11th January 1943)

Monday, 17 May 2010

Dolls and miniatures


One of my favourite dolls' house miniatures stores on Ebay, Highland Dolls House Miniatures, is sadly having a closing down sale due to family illness. I will be sorry to see this store go as I have bought a number of nice things from them. I recently bought a few more items to add to my bulging dolls' house "stuff" stash!
The little geese above will make admirable door-stops don't you think? I bought one for me and two others are presents for friends :-) Considering how small they are, the geese are surprisingly heavy!

This handpainted desk and chair set is so sweet ~ when I finally get one of my three (!) kits built, it go in a child's bedroom.

I love this handpainted side table; the design is quite simple but very effective I think. This is destined for a hallway, study or library.

This is yet another handpainted piece ~ and I just fell in love with it as soon as I spotted it! This dresser could be used in many different rooms ~ a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, dining room. I will have a hard time, I think, making my final decision as to which room I put it in LOL

Here is the detail on the very top of the dresser ~ isn't it pretty? As it's likely to be quite some time before I get any of my dolls' house kits actually put together, I am thinking that it would be nice in the meantime to display some of my more decorative furniture on a shelf somewhere. That way, I would have the pleasure of seeing the pieces rather than just leaving them in storage for who-knows-how-long!

I saw these blank books and immediately had the idea of making them into miniature journals. After all, we can buy very pretty, decorative journals for ourselves so why shouldn't our 1/12th scale dolls have the same opportunity ;-)

As it is likely to be some time before I build any houses, I decided to give myself some practice with this market stall. I had a dry-run with the pieces a couple of Sundays back and eventually worked out where each piece went ~ the instructions were obviously not written with folk like me in mind! I haven't quite decided what will be "sold" on this stall yet but as I have lots of bits 'n' bobs in my stash, a bric-a-brac stall is looking to be a good option.

This is Edward, the latest male fashion doll in my quest to find chaps that I like! He isn't too bad, actually, although he doesn't look too bright does he?? A wee bit nice-but-dim perhaps LOL He needs cleaning so he will have to have an appointment in my dolly spa soon. As you can see, he has moulded plastic hair which I'm really not that keen on *sigh* Oh well, he will just have to do!

One of my Flickr friends sent me the link to this little sweetie on Ebay ~ I took one look and was hooked! Lucille is lovely but extremely grubby as you can see.

I fully intend to blame Simon (the Flickr friend mentioned above) for this one too hehehehe

Sylvia was listed by the same seller as Lucille and I thought it would be nice if they stayed together. Poor Sylvia is just as grubby as Lucille but she also needs a lot of TLC ~ I have a feeling she is going to turn out to be quite a project!

Jacqueline is a gorgeous little dolly, made by Simba. I don't usually go for the more modern dolls but she was so pretty that I just sort of fell in love with her :-) She has lovely hands and feet, very finely detailed, and super hair. When I first looked at her, I thought that she had some lashes missing from her right eye. On closer inspection, though, it seems that half of them have been sort of pushed over to one side. I very gently, and carefully, ran the tip of a pin over the lashes against the eyelid and they have more or less slid back over again. Her lashes look much better now. Jacqueline is in lovely condition and really looks as if she has hardly been touched, let alone played with!

I have been knitting for Grace again.

This outfit is meant for a Barbie-type doll and the pattern is an old one. It called for 3-ply fingering yarn and no 4 (English size 9) needles. I used double-knit yarn and 4mm needles and just hoped for the best ~ as usual LOL Anyhoo, I'm really pleased with how it turned out and have started on another of the other three patterns which came with this one. So all being well, Grace will soon have four new outfits ~ hopefully she will be nice and share them with her sister, Gloria!

I am a Very Bad Blogger...


Naughty Child by Edwin Henry Landseer


...and I will go sit in a corner and think about what I have done ~ or rather, what I haven't been doing! I have been so remiss with my blogging, only doing the bare minimum; I just seem to have lost my blogging mojo ~ or perhaps...hopefully...it is only temporarily mislaid and I will soon be rambling away once more :-)

Actually, my blog is something of a reflection of my life at the moment: simply doing just enough to keep ticking over. I look outside at all the new growth of flowers, shrubs, trees ~ and oh, how I long for my life to be growing too. Instead, I am in that rather overshadowed place of not quite going backwards but certainly not moving forward either. I am treading water once again and I don't like it. I have been in this place far too many times before and I am tired of making the return journey over and over again!

Oh yes, certainly I realise that treading water is good at certain times in your life. It gives you time to take stock, to step back a little to get a clearer picture, to evaluate what you have done so far and where you would like to go next. But far too frequently, my treading water experiences are more akin to desperately clinging to an-inadequate-for-the-job piece of flotsam, in an attempt to keep afloat and not sink beneath the waves of my life!

I am still here, though, aren't I? I haven't totally disappeared beneath those waves; I still keep floating back to the surface rather than sinking into the depths. Perhaps this is simply a season in my life ~ a sort of mid-life crisis maybe? My 49th birthday is only three weeks away and I can feel myself being pulled far too quickly towards 50.

It seems such a momentous birthday, my 50th, far more so than when I turned 40. I wonder why? Maybe because 50 will be taking me into an "older" phase of my life? I have a growing sense of my finite lifespan, a sense that there may not be enough time left to "live" as opposed to simply "existing". Oh, please don't get me wrong! I am not expecting to drop down dead any minute now but I am for the first time in my life very much aware that I ~ like everyone else ~ simply have no idea whatsoever how many years I have ahead of me and life feels more important, somehow, the older I get.

Of course, I would like to think that I have a good many years left to enjoy life ~ in which case, do I really want to live those remaining years in the same way that I have done so far? I guess the answer to that question is a resounding "no", otherwise I wouldn't even be having this conversation with you, dear readers, would I?

So, I have a little over a year until the hands of time reach that biggie-for-me 50th birthday. One year to turn my life around and start living the way I truly want to...one year to decide just what shape I want my life to have...one year to not just make plans but to actually put the wheels in motion!

One year...

Monday Morning Blues!



Oranges on a Blue Table by Georges Meis

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Prayer for World Peace


Dove of Peace ~ Giclee print

We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

prayer for world peace ~ dr jane goodall

Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Thursday Poem



Young Woman Reading by a Window by Delphin Enjolras


Sailing to Byzantium

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
- Those dying generations - at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
and be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

William Butler Yeats
(13th June 1865 - 28th January 1939)

From the book: Poem for the Day One