Tuesday, 31 August 2010

What happens in heaven...


An email I received today:

I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels.

My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, 'this is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to GOD said in prayer are Received'...

I looked around in this area and it was terribly busy, with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world...

Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.

The angel then said to me 'this is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people ask for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them'.

I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth.

Finally, at the farthest end of the long corridor, we stopped at the door of a very small station.

To my great surprise only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing. 'This is the Acknowledgment Section,' my angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed. 'How is it that there is no work going on here?' I asked.

'So sad,' the angel sighed. 'After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments'.

'How does one acknowledge GOD's blessings?' I asked. 'Simple,' the angel answered, 'just say Thank you, LORD'.

'What blessings should they acknowledge?' I asked.

'If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world.'

'If you have money in the bank, in your wallet and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy'.

'And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity'.

'If you woke up this morning with more health than illness ~ you are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day'.

'If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation...you are ahead of 700 million people in the world'.

'If your parents are still alive and still married...you are very rare'.

'If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm; you're unique to all those in doubt and despair'.

Ok, what now? How can I start?

If you can read this message you just received a double blessing, in that someone was thinking of you as very special, and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Have a good day, count your blessings and if you want, pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.

ATTENTION: Acknowledgement Department:

'Thank you Lord, for giving me the ability to share this message and for giving me so many wonderful people to share it with.'

Anniversary gifts :-)


Adrian and I exchanged gifts this morning, before he left for work. This print of Wellington is my gift to Adrian.

And this is what Adrian gave to me. Hopefully I may be able to expand my drawing skills a little from matchstick people!

26 years!


Happy Anniversary to my Darling Husband ~ I love you with all my heart :-)

Monday, 30 August 2010

A gentle stroll...


Adrian and I had a gentle stroll this afternoon, to the recycling banks with our weekly accumulation of plastics. We took it slow and steady since poor Adrian has come down with a rotten cold and isn't feeling too well. On a selfish note, I do hope he doesn't share it with me!

The last time I remembered to take my camera with me to the Common, I didn't even notice that this poor tree was dead ~ and it is very close to the "sinking bench"! It looks very forlorn, surrounded by all the greenery and foliage of the other trees.

This is the River Purwell, looking towards the London to Cambridge railway line.

River Purwell again, looking in the opposite direction.

I was taking the previous photograph and these ducks came hurtling along from further up the river at breakneck speed! I expect the thought we had something tasty for them but they were out of luck ~ we were empty-handed.

There are a lot of trees on both sides of the river. I thought this one looked so pretty.

I think I shall have to get myself a book on trees, plants and shrubs native to the UK, then I might actually be able to tell you what it is you are looking at!

There were lots of fluffy seedheads about, mostly thistles though. This dandelion was standing in somewhat splendid isolation!

Bindweed has such a pretty flower ~ it's a shame it seems so intent on strangulation when it pops up in my garden! It is kept more in check by the other wild flowers over on the Common :-)

I don't know what this tree is called but the two different cone-type things, growing on the same tree, were rather fascinating.

A lonesome little buttercup ~ a shining beacon of sunshine amongst all the greenery.

I can't for the life of me remember what this plant is called but I'm pretty sure you can buy it as a garden plant!

The River Purwell flows beneath the railway embankment; when it comes out the other side, it joins with the River Hiz.

A gorgeous butterfly bush, growing at the foot of the railway embankment.

I couldn't resist taking a photograph of this dandelion ~ and then cropping it to produce a giant flower LOL

Bridge carrying the London to Cambridge railway line.

And finally back home, where the Michaelmass Daisies are starting to flower once again :-)

Sunday, 29 August 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, 26 August 2010

The Thursday Poem


Young Woman Reading by a Window by Delphin Enjolras


From The Jungle Books
Quiquern (chapter heading)

The People of the Eastern Ice, they are melting like the snow -
They beg for coffee and sugar; they go where the white men go.
The People of the Western Ice, they learn to steal and fight;
They sell their furs to the trading-post; they sell their souls to the white.
The People of the Southern Ice, they trade with the whaler's crew;
Their women have many ribbons, but their tents are torn and few.
But the People of the Elder Ice, beyond the white man's ken -
Their spears are made of the narwhal-horn, and they are the last of the Men!

Rudyard Kipling
(30th December 1865 - 18th January 1936)

from the book: Poem for the Day One

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Yoborobo goodies


Every so often I mosey on over to Yoborobo's Etsy store and tempt myself with all the goodies she has for sale LOL Sweet Frida is my latest acquisition ~ and she is even more fabulous in person than she looked in her photos.....if that's possible!

You may have noticed that Herman is still in his packaging. Well, that's because I bought him as a gift for a friend and I daren't take him out of his wrappings ~ if I do, then I think I will be way too tempted to keep him!

Adelaide is just so sweet ~ and I am very lucky because my lovely friend Pam (aka Yoborobo) sent her as an early Christmas gift for me! Every time I look at that cute little face, I just find myself smiling :-)

'Violet' is another gift from Pam ~ gosh, I am so lucky! I LOVE Pam's artwork and was so thrilled when I saw this in my parcel! When I opened this parcel, it just made my day :-)

Here's my Yoborobo Corner, on the bookcase in the living room. They all look very much at home, don't you think :-)

A closer view :-)
I now need to find another, bigger, corner for my Yoborobo goodies ~ 'cos you can bet your bottom dollar I shall be buying more of Pam's sweet little creations in the future!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The doll family...

.....just keeps on expanding ;-)

omg, if I'd known the trouble I would have with the girls when they clapped eyes on James, then I may have thought twice before buying him ;-P They are all trying to catch his eye ~ perhaps they will calm down if I can find/make him some clothes!

I bought Sheena from my Flickr friend, Joey ~ mostly because I liked her articulated elbows!

Joey is just so sweet ~ he sent Karen as a little gift :-)

I bought this sweet girl from Joey, too ~ isn't she lovely! Maria needs a session in the dolly spa ~ dearie me, I have so many girls waiting for their appointments :-0

Miriam is another clone from Linda, who is one of my favourite Ebay sellers. Her hair is a little dry but it's a fabulous colour and there is lots of it!
Tracy is another clone, also from Linda. Tracy has such a cheeky face and looks very pleased with herself ~ I think the next photo probably explains why ;-P
And here is why Tracy looks so pleased with herself, methinks!

I'm assuming that she wasn't made like this LOL She has been given a sort of belly button, too. And you may just be able to see that she has an ~ how can I put this delicately?? ~ interesting undercarriage :-D Although that may be something to do with the mould when she was made.

So what do you think of Tracy, my dears?? She is certainly different LOL

Well, I keep buying the patterns ~ but haven't gotten around to actually making anything for my ranks of poor naked dolls yet!




And whilst we are on the subject of patterns, my Mum pulled everything out of their cupboard-under-the-stairs and had a mega clear-out. Some of the stuff came my way, including these vintage sewing patterns :-)
To be honest, t's doubtful whether I shall ever get round to making anything using the patterns, but I really like the artwork on the envelopes so shall keep them anyway.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Inspiration...


So this is me way back in August 1983. At the time I thought I was so fat ~ I would never have dreamed then just how huge I would one day become.

I have to confess that I am feeling pretty low right now ~ well, I have been for some little while actually. I try hard to maintain a "jolly fat woman" persona but it's becoming very difficult to continue with this charade. I look at this photo and the tears just well up. How could I have let myself become so fat, how could I have let myself go so badly?

I'm tired of only living ~ in effect ~ half a life. I rarely go out because it is such an effort to walk far or for very long. I want to change ~ God knows, I certainly NEED to change. I'll be 50 years old next June and the thought of spending however many years I may have left in the shell I have created fills me with horror. And let's be frank, if I don't shed a serious amount of fat then what kind of life will it be anyway?

I thought about finding a photo of a celebrity to use as my inspiration but it isn't exactly realistic, is it? I can, though, use a photo of MYSELF because I am still ME somewhere deep inside this layer of all-encompassing fat.

So, here is my inspiration photo. Please spare me a couple of minutes, from time-to-time, to send healing, encouraging thoughts my way ~ I would so appreciate this, my friends (((hugs)))

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, 21 August 2010

HAZELTON ~ tales from a 12th scale town...




So, I have finally made a start on the creation of my imaginary town, which is populated by my dolls' house folk and their homes. I will post "proper" pictures to accompany future posts as the story unfolds :-)

Here is the first instalment!

Hazelton is a small, pretty, imaginary town somewhere in England ~ set in a time and place which perhaps never truly existed ~ and is where my 12th scale families live their 12th scale lives in their 12th scale homes. It is, of course, an idealised town created by wishful thinking on my part, where the less pleasant realities of the outside world simply do not encroach on the peaceful lives of the little folk who live there.

The Hazeltonians do know rather a lot about the “Big World”, though, and all too often find themselves feeling quite horrified about the things they read in their newspapers and see on television programmes! Life in the Big World is often a topic of conversation, usually ending in agreement all round that they are definitely glad not to be Big Folk! The majority of the Hazeltonians are happy and contented with their lives and really wouldn’t wish to live anywhere else ~ not even in another 12th scale town or village.

Just like the hundreds of other 12th scale towns and villages scattered throughout the world, Hazelton is a very difficult place indeed for Big Folk to find. The truth of the matter is that if the Minikins (which is their own name for their race) don’t wish to be found, then the Big Folk will simply not even be aware of their existence. In many ways, Minikins are really rather magical although not in the same way as we imagine faerie folk or other such beings to be. It’s more to do with their ability to blend into any kind of landscape, to the point of actually becoming invisible to the eyes, ears and even touch of Big Folk. It’s almost as if their towns and villages are enclosed in a bubble of sorts. I really do not know how it works but work it certainly does!

This, then, is a glimpse into the lives of the Minikins of Hazelton, little folk so like you and I, and I very much hope that you will enjoy these tales from a 12th scale town.




© 2010 Sharon Larkin

Friday, 20 August 2010

New outfits

A seller on Ebay had some nice outfits she was selling and I bought a couple of them for the fashion girls. The beautiful Ursula agreed to model them for me ;-)

This dress and hat are meant for a smaller doll, methinks, as it is a teensy wee bit snug across Ursula's shoulders ~ and it has to be said that Ursula really has waaaay too much hair to wear hats! It should fit one of my smaller girls very nicely, though :-)

This dress is so pretty and I think it really does suit Ursula. It came with the matching handbag, along with the pearl necklace and bracelet.

I have bought a few dress-making patterns for fashion dolls recently, as well as finding some free patterns on the internet, so I'm hoping to start teaching myself how to make them before too much longer :-)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

The Thursday Poem


Young Woman Reading by a Window by Delphin Enjolras


One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing further, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

-Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop
(8th February 1911 - 6th October 1979)

from the book: Poem for the Day One

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Not what they seem...


The Ebay seller described this set of dolls as Nancy Ann Storybook dolls plus one "odd" doll. I don't know anything about Nancy Ann dolls so had no idea if this was correct or not. I just really liked them :-)

Petula, the "odd" one in the red dress, is certainly made from a different material from the other four little girls. She is hard plastic and I believe the other girls may be composition. Standing next to Petula is Rosanna, then we have Gladys (who needs a little arm surgery ~ it was such a job to get her arms to stay in position for the photo!), beside her we have Philomena and finally we have Joyce :-)

I've been looking on the internet and to be honest, I really don't think these little girls are Nancy Ann dolls. From what I've read so far, the Nancy Ann dolls were bisque or hard plastic, and I have found a couple of pictures where the dolls were stamped on their back with Storybook. The composition girls all have their clothes stapled to them and I shouldn't imagine that you could do that to either bisque or HP dolls!

Still, it doesn't matter to me that they are not Nancy Ann dolls ~ I bought them because I liked them :-)

Here's a close-up of Petula's back. The stamp is a star and says Hollywood Doll, who were manufacturing these little dolls in various series from the 1940s to the 1950s so I believe :-) I don't know which series of dolls Petula is from, though, which is a shame. The tape on these dolls was there to help hold their underclothes in place, apparently.

Monday, 16 August 2010

And there's more...


Jasmine has had a long journey for such a little girl, all the way from the States, just like Marcella. I'm sure they will be the best of friends :-)

Peggy has gorgeous hair and a rather sweet face, I think. Her outfit is very nice, too.

I'll bet you can't possibly guess what first caught my attention about Ruth ;-) Oh, you guessed it was her hair, right??

Ruth is an Integrity doll and has quite a different look about her to most of my other fashion dolls. She is wearing an outfit with a Barbie label. I really like her :-) One of my Flickr friends asked if I named her after Ruth Ellis! It was just the first name which popped into my head but perhaps there was something just a little subconscious about it LOL

I admit that some of these latest Barbies attracted my attention more for their outfits really! The only dress with a label is the white one which has a pink label saying Fashion Avenue Barbie.

The girls are Nancy (in the blue dress), Theresa, Margo, Kitty and Josie. They could all do with a session in the dolly spa at some point! As you can see, Nancy and Theresa both have jointed elbows. Nancy also has a really cute smattering of freckles :-) Margo's hair is a lovely shade and I like her overall colouring, too.
I think that perhaps Kitty and Josie are older Barbies as they have that younger, more innocent-looking face. They are both really sweet but I particularly like Josie's face :-)

Ah yes, another Sindyish clone :-) Susannah is really lovely. She has Petra Star and von Plasty on her back. She is surprisingly heavy!
She is another clone from Linda.

Agnes is rather sweet. She has been given a pretty wig, made out of mohair I think :-) Her trousers have a Barbie label in them and the sweater is beautifully knitted, with pretty pearl beads as buttons at the back.
Another clone from Linda.

Muriel is another hard plastic Rosebud doll ~ I have such a soft spot for Rosebuds :-) What do you think of her very fetching Sumo wrestler ensemble??