Friday, 27 April 2012

Crafty Folk Congratulations.

Congratulations to Polly from  for her first ETSY sale. Check out this fabulous crochet bunting from her shop that will add some handmade class to your jubilee celebrations.

Congratulations to Dave from  for hitting the 200 sales mark. I love these Tolkien keepsake boxes.

And finally to Shirley from  who has had a great month. These fabric book covers would make great presents for Father's Day. 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Hama Beads - The Next Step


A long time ago I wrote a post about a rainy Sunday afternoon in our house. As a lover of statistics I am suprised when this post keeps coming up as a favourite. Delving deeper it seems that 'superman hama' is a keyword that has made this into the 'sticky' post that it is.

So today I am experimenting with my statistics!

I have done some research into Hama beads. There's a whole Hama world out there and it moves pretty fast. 

It seems popular with fans of Pokemon. The eternally popular Pikachu but now in 3D!

Alexandra Jauhiainen

Hama useful objects too such as these Pokeball coasters.

Pokeball Perler Bead Coasters Set of 4
Beki Harrison

1up Mushroom Perler Bead Lighter Case/Sleeve

You may have noticed this new word 'Perler bead' in the descriptions above. This is a rival brand to the Hamas and is popular due to the different colours it produces. More colours mean more options. These Perler pictures are incredible.

Perler Samuel L. Jackson
 Last picture has to be of the eternally sticky 'superman hama'! On sale too!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Ships of the Desert.

Did you know that the name camel comes from the Arabic word for 'beauty'?
Apart from some very long eyelashes my camel didn't seem particularly beautiful.She was smelly and covered in flies!

I also found out that one of the reasons camels can go long periods without water is due to the oval shape of their blood cells. These can flow when dehydrated unlike our round ones that clump together.

We rode on camels across a varied landscape. We started in a palmerie shaded from the sun then passed through an area of sand dunes before heading along a river bank back to our camp. The children loved the sand dunes. They dug holes, rolled and generally threw a lot of sand about. I seem to have brought half the desert home in my suitcase.

Mid roll!

We spent two nights camping in Bedouin style tents. These are long, low, thick brown tents made from goat and camel hair. They are supported by tall central poles and then have lower poles around the sides. Traditionally more poles represent greater wealth of the owner. The tents are designed to cope with desert life. I can't speak about the cooling properties but in the freezing night temperatures the tent kept me warm. During rare desert rain showers the tent is supposed to be waterproof as the wool and hair expand when wet filling the gaps. During the freak torrential rainstorms and flash floods that we encountered we took the added precaution of tarpaulins over the tents. Not very authentic perhaps but we kept fairly dry. It was a bit noisy though. Add to that the call to prayer, motorbikes, drumming and dogs let's say I didn't get my full 8 hours!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Crafty Folk Catch Up

After my trip I'm a latecomer to the daily listing club in the Crafty Folk Team. I'm trying to catch up with a mixture of expired items and new ones. I may get there by the end of the month! I've quickly got back into a routine and pop into the group a few times a day to favourite and pin. A few items have really caught my eye this week.

Lana from Wishes on the Wind has a new range of resin jewelry. I also love the bauble style necklaces. I think these would look gorgeous and unique as wedding jewelry.

I have a bit of a thing for notebooks and have them everywhere. This little tiny one by thepressgang  is perfect to lose in my handbag!

The shabby chic design on this pocket mirror is fun and unique. I'm a new convert to these mirrors (not being a particularly girlie girl!) but have found them great travel items during my recent camping experience. I think these would make great mini gifts for girl friends.
My final choice is a felted bowl by FrouFrouFelt. I am really drawn to these bowls and love the new additions around the edges. My favourite is this blue one with a co-ordinating bird.

Here is the link to the APRIL club. No rules just do what you can to help each other. Open to all.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Camels and Kasbahs

Camels and Kasbahs, the theme of a great adventure that I have just enjoyed with my family.

We travelled to Morocco with Exodus and joined three other like minded families on a mini bus tour.  It's only a short flight to this North African country but it is like going back in time. Berber men really dress like extras from Star Wars and there really are snake charmers in Marrakesh!

We flew to Ouarzazate a town nestled between the mountains and Sahara desert. This strategic location was controlled at the beginning of the 20th century by the Glaoui to intercept traffic on the saharan caravan route to West Africa.

We stopped at Kasbah Taourirt, a palace built to house many of the towns population at this time. The walls are made of local red clay mixed with straw (adobe) and blend in with the landscape. 

The kasbah consists of many individual ksours (family homes) linked by  twisted stairwells and dark narrow passages. The rooms are of different shapes and sizes all with low windows so that when the occupants sat on the floor to eat and relax the breeze from the mountains wafted in to cool things down.

This is the view through one of those windows.

Some of the larger rooms had ceilings decorated with cedar wood. The patterns were intricate and geometrically inclined. Totally unexpected in this palace of mud.

The children had a great time exploring and particularly enjoyed playing on the field gun that helped to secure the Glaoui stronghold.

The next few posts are going to turn into a sort of travelogue about the trip. I hope they will be of interest and maybe whet your appetite for an adventure of your own. We made a point of hiring guides in Marrakesh to teach us about local crafts and met lots of local artisans. I have lots of photos of their work and working conditions that I hope will inspire you as much as me.