Friday, 30 April 2010

Interested in a giveaway ?

A giveaway with a difference ?

I just hit the 200 follower mark....wooo hoooo.

A huge thanks to all of you who read my ramblings, leave me comments and offer support and advice. I have made so many dear friends through this blog.

I think this is worthy of a giveaway. But... there's a catch. I would love to use this opportunity to raise some money for a charity I have been helping recently.

I have done a number of trades recently where the person who got something from me didn't have to send anything in return but was requested (with no obligation) to donate whatever they could to one of a number of charities close to my heart.

These people need donations a lot more than I need another miniature.

This would be another way I could raise money for one of the charities who provide safe and clean drinking water for children.

Every day more than 4,000 children in developing countries die, simply because they don't have clean drinking water.

So here is what I propose. Please leave me a comment with your thoughts on this whether they be positive or negative.

My idea is that to in order to enter the giveaway you donate 200 pennies ($2) to this charity.

10c buys one packet of Pur Water Purifier.

1 packet will provide 10 liters of clean, safe drinking water.

$1 gives a child clean water for 50 days.

You can see more information at the website and I'll post more when I do the actual giveaway.

I will not be personally collecting any donations.

In order to be eligible for the giveaway, I will ask that all participants donate directly to the charity (they take paypal) and copy their confirmation number into a comment box on the giveaway post.

The confirmation number will merely show you made a donation and will not show how much nor divulge any personal details.

Because I'd like to raise as much money as possible, if you then mention it on your blog you will get 2 entries.

There will be a selection of prizes to choose from….both pretty and wacky plants.

The winner will be drawn at random using a random number generator. You will see that I have set up my blog to give each comment a number.

I decided on $2 as that is 200 pennies…do you think that is too much ?

What do you think about the general idea ?

I haven’t seen anyone who has done anything like this. I have tried to think of any problems this might cause and the only one I could think of was the possibility of fraud so, by having you donate directly, that removes any doubts that the money would get there.

Unfortunately there will be no way for me to determine how much money is raised without asking people to tell me how much they donated and I do not think it fair to ask that.

I appreciate that many of us don't have a lot of spare money these days but I am hoping many of us can afford just $2 and that between us we can make a difference to those who can't just turn on the tap to get a drink of water.

So bloggy friends...what do you think ? Any thoughts / ideas / problems with this ?

Friday, 23 April 2010

Disaster Zone

Otherwise known as my back garden :- )

I am waiting for glue to dry so thought I'd share some real life pics.

As you can see we have a serious weed problem lol.

I am limited to the amount of weeding I can do. I don't want to seize up my shoulder while I am so busy. That's my excuse anyhow :-)

We have a great young lad who does some gardening for us but he is working out of town at the moment so his time is limited.

I am actually weeding myself, a little bit here and there and left handed, but there are just so many it is a never ending job. At least now the summer is here they are all starting to die themselves.

Unfortunately I didn't know (dumb me) that the white tops of dandelions were seeds so they have been spread everywhere :-(

And yet, in amongst this suburban jungle there are treasures galore

Pink Jasmine.

Some kind of rose I think but it has no thorns. Possibly a Lady Banks, although I read they only bloom for a short while and this has been blooming for ages.

This will get staked out properly along the fence once the fence is replaced / repaired.

Random roses grow all over the place. Not very healthy and covered in tiny black fly things. I need to research if I can dig these up and replant them in more suitable places. I love this plant. Not only is it stunning but it just grows and grows with no care whatsoever. At least in California...I couldn't keep one alive back in England.

These ones...I have no idea. Never seen anything like them and you can see how the flowers come of the stems in a very unusual pattern.

Yes we have ants everywhere too :-)

Some kind of fruit idea what though.

Angel Trumpet - sometimes called trumpet of death as the flowers are hallucinogenic.

I've never seen a plant grow so quickly or have so many flowers. It has to be moved as it is totally blocking the guest room window. We have a number of these around the place. At some point I'd like to replace that bedroom window with french doors and have a small patio out there.

Rosemary I think. It smells and has tiny blue flowers.
The bees love it. Needs a serious trim.

And just so it wasn't all weeds, this is our front garden. It was as bad as the back but our gardener guy did his stuff and laid turf for us.

I am not a fan of grass in the desert but every house in the street has it and the style of the house just wouldn't suit a typical desert style garden.

The grass we chose requires little watering though and I will eventually fill most of it in with plants.

This really is a huge job even though it has been turfed as there are huge planting areas to be filled. 2 of the trees are dead.... they have to come out but will be replaced.

This little strip wasn't meant to be turfed but he had some left over and put it here. I will fill this strip with plants. Oh and the basketball net will be coming down :-)

Hope you enjoyed the virtual trip around my garden....if you can identify any of the plants please shout up :-)

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Strange flower

And this is a real one and not one of my recent wacky creations lol.

Me being the aster gardener that I am ( he he) am not entirely sure what it is...I think perhaps an agave ?

All of a sudden this huge spike has appeared in the middle and is covered in what looks like loads of mini bananas lol.

They don't seem to flower any more than this though as the bottom ones are just dying off. Any ideas ?
And yes those are huge dandelions you see....the whole garden is covered with them and I am slowly clearing them :-) I manged to crop out the dead trees but they need to be dealt with by a tree surgeon as they are huge.

With all these orders, at the mo my mini flowers are taking priority over my full sized ones :-)

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

More Alice

Better than the last ones ?

I made the petals on this one with clay instead of paper and I think it is much better.

As for the leaves well.....hmmm not doing too well with the clay ones. I can make them but can't figure out how to attach them to the wire.

For those that haven't seen the movie...and that includes me :-) .... here is a picture of the flowers I am using as inspiration. I just noticed they have eyes painted in so I'll go back and do that with mine.

I am busy, busy, busy with other plants at the mo so can only spend a few minutes on this when I am waiting for the others to dry.

I am on leaf duty for the next few days....they are all painted but need another coat and veining which takes forever. Still can't be worse than picking teeth which is what I've been up to the last few days lol.

Friday, 16 April 2010

And now for a laugh

So I thought I'd try and make some flowers like those in the new Alice movie.
I thought I could combine my flowers and practice my sculpting.

I need to keep practicing....a lot lol.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Coming soon.....


Tuesday, 13 April 2010

And I thought I'd unpacked all my flowers :-)

I made this little hanging basket some time ago but for some reason ( likely me being a doofus) it ended up being packed in the wrong place.

I was just looking for some glue and found this little beauty so it is now listed on etsy.

Having spent the last couple of weeks making silly plants, it was rather nice to see something pretty for a change :-)

Friday, 9 April 2010

Back to reality....and Floozies

Hi peeps

We are back from our mini vacation :-(

We had a wonderful time but now it is back to the grind. Before I get back to work thought I thought you could all come on a virtual road trip with me.

We headed off through Arizona and it hadn't occurred to me before we left that we'd be going pretty high in the mountains. So we saw a fair bit of snow and it was somewhat chilly :-) I even had to scrape ice of the car before I could go get coffee one morning :-)

We pretty much hightailed it though in order to get to Socorro on time. Stopping briefly to check out the Very Large Array.

Luckily, we managed to snag the last hotel room. There were hundreds of people in town. All of them coming to the open day at the Trinity Site.

We had some time so managed to visit the Bosque Del Apache Bird Sanctuary just outside of the town.

Where the Rio Grande isn't too grand at all.

Then, the next morning we headed out to the Trinity Site bright and early thinking it would be swarming with people.

It is 12 miles out of Socorro to the Military base gate then another 17 miles though the base.

The crowds weren't actually as bad as we'd expected them to be.

The whole site has been left pretty much as it was which was a pleasant surprise.

The crater caused by the blast is now covered over.

All that has been added is a small monument.

Most of the trinitite (atomic glass) has been plowed over and removed but there were still some small pieces on the ground if you looked.

From the site there is a bus service that takes you to the MacDonald Ranch where the bomb was put together. This was pretty impressive as it was little more than a shack and hard to beleive something like an atomic bomb could have been made here.

After visiting here we decided to head up to Albuquerque and check out the Atomic Museum where we looked at lots of bombs and nuclear reactors :-)

And now that the main mission of the trip was over it was time to meander back home.

We spent the night in Flagstaff, AZ and toyed with the idea of visiting the Grand Canyon but, with all the snow about, it was just too cold so we decided to leave that for another weekend. Then it hit me how lucky I was that we live so close to the GC that we can visit any time we choose. For many people that is a trip of a lifetime.

So we decided to go check out Oatman, an old wild west town that, although really close to us, we've never seen.

So we hopped back on the old route 66 and drove up into the mountains.

The roads were somewhat interesting to say the least:-)

We planned on stopping in Oatman which was a good job....there was a gun fight going on in the street so there was no driving though :-)

Rather a cute little town in the middle of nowhere. The place is full of donkeys. It used to be a mining town and the donkeys are the descendants of the original mine donkeys. They really ruled the roost :-)

The town has been kept in the old west style and was full of silly named stores.

And places where you could buy a pair of knickers with a wind chime lol

From here we headed out to Laughlin which is a mini Vegas. right on the Colorado River. Close to home and a nice last night stopover. We didn't win any money but the hotel room was only $23 which is the cheapest I've ever paid for a hotel room ever. Even the nasty out to the way motels are more than that these days.

Then it was time to really head home.

Through the Mojave desert which always seems to take forever.

Back onto Route 66.

It always makes me a little sad driving on Route 66. What was once the most important road in the US has now been overshadowed by the freeways so there is often little left except abandoned restaurants, motels and gas stations.

Even the infamous Amboy shoe tree has fallen over.


The bra and kicker tree is slowly getting filled though :-)

Past the dry salt lakes...

Through Palm Springs with all her windmills...

And home, into a storm. No that isn't my house unfortunately but this is our city.

Now it is back to work....I have floozie orders coming out of my ears :-)

Hope you enjoyed the virtual road trip.