Sunday, 20 April 2014

Merchant Square - Happy Easter!

Another holiday weekend has come around very quickly!   My poor blog is so neglected these days.  I have been very busy keeping up with making and designing my handmade cards and gifts, which have been selling very well at my favourite craft event at Glasgow's Merchant Square Craft and Design Fair  - where you will find me this weekend!

We have had wall-to-wall Spring sunshine in Glasgow these past few days, which is so refreshing and uplifting!  Hope you are having a great Easter weekend and that the sun is shining wherever you are!

Happy Easter!

Bella B!

 
 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Mother's day - UK

With Mother's Day (here in the UK) only a few days away, I have been busily making cards and small gifts for this most important of celebrations.  I have been attending the Merchant Square Craft and Design Fair in Glasgow every weekend this month and will be there this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) in case you have to pick up any last minute cards.  It has been known for (particularly men) to pick up their Mother's Day cards from me in Merchant Square en route to meeting their Mothers for lunch (20 minutes before meeting their Mother's for lunch!).  Now that's planning........

I have had fun making a variety of cards - examples of which are below:

 
A variation of the one above

 
A special request, for a special message, from a special little boy

 
 

 

Unfortunately my camera, which is only 2 years old, has developed a grey spot right smack in the centre of the lens, so depending on what I am photographing, the grey shadow appears like a mark on the subject (as you can see on the cards above) - the card are perfectly fine - promise!   Until I can persuade myself to pay yet more hundreds of pounds for my THIRD! Lumix camera in 7 years - I will continue to try to work with the one I have.   Lumix compact cameras are great little cameras but this is the second time I have had bad luck with them - my first had white (or paler grey than the mark on this one) blobs that appeared on the lens - and no amount of cleaning the lens can remove these marks.  The problems are on the inside and to even have someone open up the back to investigate - will cost £60 - before the cost of tackling the problem.

So we will continue to limp along together.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Month of Letters - The allure of an old-fashioned pen pal


The Month of Letters Challenge has been picked up by the BBC.  It was nice to see this article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26473507 on the online news on Friday.

 
 
I intended to take part in the Month of Letters Challenge again this year but I didn't quite make my target of writing a letter or note every single day in February (as I did last year) but I did at least make a start on my ever growing list of letter recipients.   Because of the upcoming celebration of  Mother's Day, at the end of this month,  Bella Bheag's card making has taken priority I'm afraid.  I will try to do better in in April! 
 
In fact, now that I am talking about it.... I feel the urge to write, so I must make time and write at least one letter today!
 
Have you written or received a handwritten letter or note recently?  How did it make you feel after writing, or taking delivery of, that oh so personal piece of tangible correspondence?
 
Make someone's day - write and send a note today (if not today, then soon)!  

 

Saturday, 22 February 2014

A wee gift for Mother's Day - or just any day!

Today I have spent way too much time trying to come to terms with Facebook, Etsy and now Blogger.  So much so, that the more I have tried to achieve the less success I've had!

Anyway, below are some images of the wee mirrors I managed to add to my Etsy shop. 

In trying to update/upload/upscale my sites, the more dizzy I find I've become with my options and how to utilise them (and there's so much more I could be doing - but a little bit of information can be dangerous!! So I will stick with these three sites for now - thank you very much!)

Oh well, here are today's offerings....





 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Merchant Square Craft Market - Glasgow

My letter writing isn't going too well so far this month.  Interrupted by my need to create stock of my hand made cards and other small things for a craft fair that I attend regularly - which I am leaving to attend this morning in fact(!) - my letter writing has come to a bit of a stand still.  But return to it I will!


Merchant Square is a terrific venue for a weekly craft market - right in the heart of Glasgow's Merchant City - where you can sit and have a drink, or have a meal or just sit on one the benches to  read your Sunday newspapers - either before or after you browse the many stalls selling some beautiful handmade products.


All under cover - and as the catchy Merchant Square logo says - "where is never rains".  So a really nice place to pass a couple of hours (or only 10 mins if you are only happen to be passing through).

This is my table:


Being a bit of an incompetent where social media is concerned I have been encouraged to have a presence on Facebook if I want to increase awareness of my card making.  So below are a couple of pics recently posted on Facebook - here:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bella-Bheag/442575132511031?fref=ts

If you are on Facebook and would like to 'like' me, please feel free to do so.  As an early Facebooker I am a bit uncomfortable with asking to be 'liked' - it feels rather desperate in a rather "love me, love me" kind of way but apparently that's what counts - the more likes you get the more people become aware of you.  So we'll see....

Here are the Facebook pics:






So fingers crossed for more of these:


What are you doing this Sunday morning?

 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

"Month of letters" Challenge 2014

It's February already and almost a year since I posted anything on my blog - oh dear!











Another new year - and a belated new blog post!  This particular post is about a topic close to my heart -   which is - maintaining the tradition of handwritten correspondence!   In 2012 I wrote a post about the "Month of Letters" challengehere .  Last year I was a bit under the weather so was unable to participate - but here I am - it's 2014 - and I'm raring to go!

So far this month I have had good reason to send around 10 letters and notes of gratitude - which has given me a head start to this challenge!   Some of the notes should have reached their destination by now and others are still winging their way, via by the good old Royal Mail postal service, to their unsuspecting recipients - and I feel good! 

That done, I now have to put together a list of those who will receive some hand written words from me as part of this challenge of daily letter writing.  

How do you feel about this dying art of communication?  Are you done with snail mail since electronic correspondence is so instant/more convenient -  or would you prefer to receive and retain something tangible, more intimate and personal, that you could tuck away to read again and again if so desired? 

When was the last time you wrote or received a handwritten note?  I'd be delighted to drop you a few lines if you'd like!  It wouldn't be a surprise but it would be hand written!

Ta! Ta! the noo!

 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

"I was walking in Memphis....." National Civil Rights Museum and Beale Street

 
So there I was, walking in Memphis, mid-September last year, when on the second week of the trip I happened to turn the wrong way - and that it was it!  The grinding back pain began and, as the week progressed, I knew this was no innocent back pain that a few paracetamol tablets would take care of!  Oh, no! - this had real potential!   By the time my 6.5 hour long flight home was over, I could barely walk (as the fingernail scratch marks along the corridor walls of Glasgow Airport will testify!).  Emergency doctor visits, injections, morphine, perfecting the art of walking with crutches, a fun-filled 6-day sleep-over at the local hospital, from Christmas day until Hogmanay, and more weeks of healing, physiotherapy, learning to throw off the crutches and walk on my own two feet - that is how I have been passing the days, weeks and months since my last blog post - which I happily posted (07 September 2012, 7 months ago today, which just happens to be 07 April) the day before I left for the US of A! How little I knew!

The holiday that was, and the holiday that could have been, became something of a blur - once I was engulfed in unbearable pain - so not much of the holiday was discussed or thought about from the moment I arrived home.

As this is the week of the anniversary of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, Jnr perhaps it is appropriate that I mention, that if I did nothing else on my holiday, I managed to visit the National Civil Rights Museum.

The National Civil Rights Museum houses many displays, which chronicle the struggle of civil rights.


Outside in the baking heat sits a one-woman protest against the museum on this site by Jacqueline Smith, (you can barely see her head in the centre of this pic above the rail).  At the time of my visit to the museum, the protest had lasted 24 years and 185 days. 


The hotel balcony where the memorial wreath hangs outside Dr King's bedroom
   


A surreal experience to be standing right outside the hotel room where Martin Luther King's assassination actually took place. 

    

The sight of this grotesque Klu Klux Klan outfit sent shivers down my spine



Segregation
 




 
Room 306 - Martin Luther King's  hotel bedroom - preserved behind a glass wall. 

From the balcony you can see the rooming house (the Legacy building) that the assassin's bullet was fired from.

The Legacy Building contains the second part of the museum tour - the Timeline Tunnel and the Final Days (November 1967- April 1968) - timeline of movements by Martin Luther King and his accused assassin, James Earl Ray

Preserved behind glass the bedroom - and the bathroom - (where the assassin's bullet was fired from)

View of the Lorraine Hotel balcony from the window on the right, above. 

Iconic image pointing to the rooming house window from the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel immediately after the shooting 


Images from Beale Street


Schwab family motto:  "If you can't find it at A. Schwab, you're probably better off without it!" 

Memphis Music Boutique
 

Signed drum skins





Preparations were underway in Memphis for Halloween. So many pumpkins of all shapes and sizes on sale everywhere.


We flew into and out of Newark airport but unfortunately my travelling companions were none-to-keen on my suggestion of stopping over in Manhatten for a couple of days (what?!), so I had to make do with pressing my nose against the windows of the airport staring out as the sunset and beautiful light over Manhatten in the distance.

This image taken from the plane arriving in NY from Memphis
 

Zoomed in image of the Empire State Building from Newark airport
 

The light is lush in this one - I had to ask what the tall building was - apparently it's the Freedom Tower.

Close up image of cranes still atop the unfinished Freedom Tower

Reflection of the airport lounge windows on this one - but I like how the plane soars above the Empire State Building



Oh well, that's our plane.  Must be off then......