Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Christmas presents... Bruce the Spruce!

Click on the bottom four arrows underneath the red line or you won't be able to see Bruce in all his animated glory xxx

Sunday, 5 December 2010

A little gift

So it's snowing and Bruce, my Christmas Tree is ready to come inside. I bought him from the Manchester Market over five years ago, the definite runt of the pack I felt I HAD to take him in and everyone gave him a kind of, 'Wow, that's the one you picked...? He has so few branches... which I, of course, ignored and willed him through every Christmas. He now has a few branches in the middle too and spends his year gearing up for his big moment - CHRISTMAS! Folk send Bruce the Spruce decorations each year and he's now a famous tree. Of course my friends are sensitive enough to know that they can't send anything too heavy so as not to break his big moment (literally!). I've always been a bit of a roaming Gypsy and I've moved since I was born. Bruce has moved from house to house with me and has added a few roots to my year. I'll upload a photo when I decorate him tomorrow. Don't you dare laugh...

I've bought all my gifts and as soon as I get my passport back from the India Visa Application centre (where they seem to have lost it...) I'll be going home to Gibraltar to spend the fairy light season with my little brother and sister, watching films and playing Rabbids. I have a few weeks yet though and a few special gigs to go - namely the Wintersong gigs - one in Edinburgh at the Bongo Club and one at Matt & Phreds in Manchester on the 21st of December - both with full band. I've written new songs all based on Winter and we have a whole bunch of old Christmas songs arranged in our Troubadour fashion. Matt is arranging all sorts of beautifully warming Christmas flavours and I, outside of the writing am making giant bow ties for the band.

I've been asked by lots of folk where you can buy the album to give as gifts for Christmas which is really lovely of you so I can now share the shop with you. Click here - all the profits from the album and the artwork go straight to the band pot so I can keep the 8 piece out there playing and performing all our new stuff so your support goes to a creative cause. Thank you.

I wanted to share a little gift with you too so thought you might like to see the making of the artwork for 'Wish You Well' from the album so here you go...

Happy first Sunday of December x

Thursday, 2 December 2010

getting your house ready for the new year - Feng Shui

Prepare Your Feng Shui for the New Year

As the New Year approaches, you may find yourself thinking over the past year and you may be counting your blessings or thinking about what you could have done differently. If you’re like me, you might do a little of both. Whatever the case, it’s important to start the New Year off on a positive, hope-filled note.

This can include everything from stocking the refrigerator to clearing out old junk from the wardrobes.

To greet the New Year, set aside a couple of hours to give your house, bedroom, or office a New Year Blitz. Just remember, you are inviting a very special guest to your house: The New Year. So treat your house the way you would a very important dignitary. This is a new year of your life so welcome it in a grand way!

Take the list below in hand and check off the items one by one! Are you ready? Then, let’s get ready for the New Year! Remember to get everyone in the house in on the act.

Out with the Old

1. De-clutter

Grab a laundry basket. Next, set a timer and take it with you from room to room. Set it for five minutes. Now, start throwing out old papers, magazines, empty bottles of shampoo from the bathroom, old clothes you know you’ll never wear again! Do it.

Got CDs you never listen to? Throw those out or donate them to charity. Have some old coffee mugs that don’t match or odd drinking glasses still hanging around in your cabinets? Pitch ‘em.

When in doubt, throw it out. Don’t forget to look under the bed, too! And toss that lipstick you haven’t worn in two years! Remember to clean out the pantry, too, and toss that half-empty box of Rice Krispies that’s gone stale.

2. Sweep or vacuum

Get the old energy out by making the floors clean.

3. Do the laundry

Don’t have dirty clothes hanging around. You can throw in a load or two while you declutter. Be sure to fold and put the clean clothes away.

4. Clean the bathroom

Make it sparkle. You don’t want a nasty mess to greet the next year of your life!

5. Empty all trashcans

Don’t want last years’ trash hanging around, do you? Toss, toss, toss.

6. Clean out the refrigerator

Got a half-empty jar of apple butter? Get rid of it. You don’t want to go into the New Year with old food or a moldy science project lurking in the fridge.

7. Clear out visual clutter

Too much stuff everywhere? Clear off the counters in the bathrooms and kitchen. Clear off your desk and dust it. Pitch the sticky notes and papers and things taped everywhere! You can do it. Don’t forget the refrigerator! Make it a blank slate.

Make as much space as possible. You cannot bring in new things if there is no room for it and we want a fantastic year, right? Then make your space “open” for the abundance of the New Year!

8. Yard work

Make sure the yard is picked up and the front door step is swept and clear.

9. Change the sheets and towels

Put clean sheets on all the beds on New Year’s Eve and clean towels in the bathroom and kitchen. New sheets are even better.

10. Clean the car

This is what gets you around during the year. Drive through a car wash, take out the trash and do a quick cleaning.

All done? Wow, doesn’t that feel good! Now you’re ready for the next step.


1. Fill your fridge and kitchen

Stock your fridge with food and make sure the pantry is also stocked. It is bad feng shui to have an empty refrigerator and pantry. If you have canisters in the pantry or on the countertops, be sure to fill these.

2. Got citrus?

Oranges are excellent symbols for the New Year and the Chinese often celebrate the New Year by rolling oranges (symbols of gold) into the house. Place a big bowl of oranges in the living room or central location in the house next to dishes of nuts or candies to symbolize an abundant, fruitful home.

3. Buy a new plant

Put a beautiful new plant in the East (health & family relationships) sector of your house or office to symbolize a healthy beginning. You can also display some beautiful flowers here to symbolize your good health in the coming year.

4. Welcome good news

Place a golden bell in the NW corner of your home, office, or bedroom to bring good tidings from helpful people. Like old school bells? If so, place one of these in the NW corner of your yard for good news from helpful people.

5. Hang up new calendars

What better way to greet the New Year than by throwing out the old one? Take down all of last years’ calendars.

6. Fill your wallet

You don’t want to go into the New Year with an empty wallet. Put some money in your wallet — or better yet — go and buy a new wallet (red is the best!) or purse and start your financial off with new energy!

7. Invite a toad to your house

Place an old, broken clay pot upside down next to a water spout so a toad can make its home here. Toads are believed to invite money into the household; they’re especially nice by the door. You can also place figurines of toads by the door.

8. Feed the birds

Birds are excellent feng shui and believed to bring good news. Fill your feeders or put out a feeder for the New Year.

9. Have fun and celebrate

Fun is good feng shui. A happy vibrant home or space is a good space, so plan a party of some kind of happy gathering. Remember, a home or office with good feng shui is easy to spot it’s the one where everyone goes and doesn’t want to leave! Make your space that kind of place!