Tuesday, 31 May 2011


The chicks are getting so big!! They have started to destroy the nest slightly as they are wiggling about and stretching their wings.

Lady and Old Blue are doing an excellent job of bringing them lots of food, especially caterpillars.  Although the one that Old Blue has brought back in the clip below is so big it hardly fits in their mouths.  He has quite a bit of difficulty getting them to take it.

To tell the difference between the two, Old Blue always feeds from the bottom of the nest nearest to the camera.  Lady goes to the far side of the nest; she also has a wider band across her eyes and feeds the chicks much quicker.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Geek Week

I have a very exciting, but geeky week coming up; not only is my friend Scott coming for a visit from Munich, Yay!! We are all going to the MCM Expo at the ExCel in London, double Yay!!!!

But first I want to review the One Man Star Wars show by Charles Ross I went to see last weekend with Sarah Jane.  In a word it was AWESOME!! We also bumped into these guys in the lobby, they fully appreciated my Star Wars t-shirt so I'm glad I wore it now.  Both Sarah and I thoroughly enjoyed the show and as was written in the the description it was just one man singing all the music, playing all the characters, flying all the ships and fighting all the battles, against himself, it was odd, but it worked really well.  Charlie portrayed the characters brilliantly by taking their characteristic features and acting on these, his robotic C3P0 was brilliant, as was Jabba the Hut's lips with his arms.  At the end of the 60 minute show I had tears down my face from laughing so much.  He then sat down on stage and talked about how the show came about and how he plans to bring the One Man Lord Of The Rings show to Bracknell, I will be at the front of the queue!!

The warm up act was also thoroughly enjoyable; Danny Pensive (real name John Cooper) was hilarious. I loved Danny, he is from Sunderland and a little simple, he sung lots of very funny rhymes; I especially like the one about his goldfish.  He also told stories from his diary about his travels whilst on tour with the show.  I will admit that although I suspected that he was in character on stage, I didn't realise until googling him afterwards.   My favourite joke of the evening was in relation to the operating system Windows, who use the slogan 'Life without Walls', "well why would you need windows if you didn't have any walls?" haha!!!

So back to this weekend and the MCM Expo, this will be my second visit, Sarah and I went in October last year and saw all the sneak previews of the Avatar extended DVD release.  Just for picking up a flyer I also was given an awesome Avatar encyclopedia, unfortunately Sarah didn't pick up a flyer she was a little sad about this.  We also got to see the stars of Warehouse 13, I think I like this show for it's easy watching more than anything.  It's very far fetched and silly but that's what sci-fi is most the time and this show doesn't take itself to seriously.  I also bought lots of manga and a rubik cube necklace that works, it's great and kept me occupied on the trip home.  Sadly I didn't take photos of the day because I forgot my camera, but this time I am fully prepared and plan to take enough to fill my SD card.  You will see why I need to take so many in my later posts, if you have never been to an Expo before you are in for a treat!!

A few other things I have planned are a good old fashioned game night with the boys and we are going to see X-men First Class on Wednesday wahoo!! After seeing Thor a couple of weeks ago, which was awesome (I have always been a more fantasy than sci-fi girl!) I am really looking forward to this, I just love James McAvoy!!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


This is the new name my friends at work have coined for my regular posts about the blue tits in the garden, in relation to BBC's Springwatch; nothing to do with scantily clad women; just so you know!!  Although it did amuse me when I was told of a very funny conversation between my co-workers Sally and Janet it went something like this:

Sally - Have you seen Sarah's tits??

Janet - tits?

Sally - They are bright pink!!

Janet - WHAT!?!?

I'm also happy to tell you that the babies are doing very well and have just started to grow some fluffy patches, their feathers will be coming through very soon.  Unfortunately the runt of the family has not survived, he/she/it was accidentally pushed out of the nest and Dad had to mount a rescue mission to put it back in again.  But we believe that it got too cold out on its own and perished soon after.

On a lighter note the other babies are brilliant and Old Blue and Lady are doing very well to keep them all fed and clean. They are just starting to open their eyes so will look a little less alien like in a few days.  To watch all the latest videos don't forget to follow us over at youTube.

Friday, 20 May 2011

One Man Star Wars

Tonight I am going to see the One Man Star Wars show with Sarah-Jane at the Wilde Theatre which is just down the road from where I live at South Hill Park.  I am so excited!!! It's terribly geeky I know, but I just love star wars and this guy just looks brilliant, the write up says:

Pack your light sabre and come and join Charles Ross on his one-man trip to a galaxy far, far away.

Charles Ross spent much of his childhood in a galaxy far, far away, watching Star Wars videos over - and over - and over again. The result of this misspent youth is this hilarious show where he single-handedly plays all the characters, sings the music, flies the ships, fights the battles and condenses the plots into just sixty minutes!

Ross is bringing his hilarious show back to the UK. Whether you’re a committed Star Wars fan or simply want to enjoy a fast-paced, side-splitting evening that’s out of this world, make sure you don’t miss it!

I can't wait and I may even wear my Star Wars t-shirt just to geek it up a bit more!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


Returning from my craft weekend with Gemma I got the news that the blue tits eggs have started to hatch.  Three hatched over the weekend and one more yesterday.  They are bright pink, not very pretty with no feathers at all and have huge yellow mouths.  Old Blue and Lady are doing very well keeping all the babies very well fed.

Too well actually they are returning every few minutes with juicy caterpillars, ants and flies that the babies are very full.  Old Blue must be a first time father as he hasn't quite got the hang of feeding and tends to give the bugs to Lady to feed to the chicks, I'm sure he will get better with time.

To watch all the videos don't forget to check out our youtube page!!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Cushion Crafting Weekend

One of the original planed crafts when I bought freezer paper to make stencils was to make cushion covers that would match the new wallpaper Gemma's living room.  We planned to have a fun filled crafting weekend and little did we know how long it would actually take to make  four fairly simple cushion covers.  Before I start I will apologise for the bad quality photos, my camera is still up the creek (and I may have forgotten to turn the ISO down so they are all stupidly bright doh!! be warned highly photo-shopped pictures ahead!!).

The photo above is the design of the wallpaper she has on one wall, so we started by tracing the green and dotted swirls onto the freezer paper.  Gemma cut out the green swirls with ease and set about using a hole punch to create the dotted design.  This took so long and also had the added difficulty of stamping two holes in the paper as I had to fold it over to make the curve.

After what seemed like hours of punching the designs were ready to paint.  We laid out the fabric and started by marking out the squares as we were only going to paint one side of the cushion.  For some reason neither of us could measure accurately (and before you ask no, neither of us had been drinking!) In the end Nathan suggested cutting out a piece of cardboard the correct side and tracing around it, this was a lot easier!!  By this time it was already late afternoon, but we battled on and started painting on the gold dots.  

To speed up the process we used a hairdryer to dry the paint quicker, although after an hour and a half of painting we were getting tired of this too.

Instead of following the wallpaper pattern we made it random and were thrilled with the results.  The gold was extra sparkly so really shows up against the brown fabric.

We took a break from crafting to let the fabric paint dry thoroughly and headed over to our friend Sarah Jane's for the Eurovision Song Contest.  As always it was a bit ridiculous, it all seems like a bit of a joke to me I can never take it seriously.  Blue, the UK entry didn't score at the bottom, but being beaten by Jedward is a bit humiliating.

We were keen to get back to painting and so when back at Gemma's we decided to start on the turquoise swirls over the top of the spots.

There was only one moment of panic when we had painted the first swirl on and thought "have we made a massive mistake?" but the final result was awesome and we went to bed very happy.

Sunday morning we cut up the squares and iron them on a very hot heat to seal the paint.

The last step was to sew the squares together.  We were going to wait until we could get hold of a sewing machine to do this but we were on such a role we decided to do it all by hand.  We added an invisible zip along one edge and then tacked and sewed the rest insuring the pillow did fit inside.  We had cut the pillows 2cm larger all the way around just in case so had plenty of fabric to play with.

After trimming off the excess and turning it inside out the result amazed us. I think you will agree that the pillows match the wall very well and definitely add a bit more colour to the room.  For a first attempt at making pillows since secondary school I think we did a fantastic job.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Lots Of Eggs

So our little female blue tit (still without a proper name) has been very busy over the past few days.  In total she has laid 7 eggs, although we think that one of these may have been left over from the previous resident.  She has stopped going out as much and has started going to bed very early so she must be very comfortable with the box and preparing for when the chicks hatch.  Old Blue (the male) is not being the best father in the world and only pops his head in a few times a day to bring her food.  But hopefully he will step up his game because those chicks will need feeding a lot!!

Two years ago we had to help hand rear the chicks after their parents never returned to the nest, they were a few weeks old so already quite strong but still needed round the clock feeding.  Mum and Dad managed to feed and 'toilet' them for a couple of days but in the end took them to the rescue centre to be cared for.  I think the 5am starts and half hourly feeds were a bit too much for them!!  Here's a few memories of that time...

Hope you are enjoying our blue tits, visit YouTube here to watch all the videos or stay tuned here and hopefully we will have baby chicks very soon!!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Fabric Flowers

It was my lovely friend Gemma's Birthday last week so I wanted to make her something special, I used some of the fabric I had bought to make a fabric flower.  I styled it on a hair clip I bought a while ago from Miss Selfridge's (I blogged about it here) and cut out the fabric using pinking shears so that I din't have to seal the edges by burning them.  I really loved the final result and almost didn't ant to give it away but I know she will love it and I can always make another.

I also bought her a voucher for Hobbycraft so treated her to a day out on Saturday, when there was a 20% sale off of everything in store.  We got all the bits we needed to paint her cushions and also picked up a few extra crafty things to decorate her house.  I managed to spend a whopping £50 (reduced to £40) but I did buy a gorgeous cross stitch by Valerie Pfeiffer of six little blue tits on a branch called Chrous Line.  I have seen this design before but it was a bit pricey, but I decided to treat myself (especially with the discount).  I have been doing that quite a lot recently, really must stop spending money, but look how cute it is!!

We also visited Dunelm Mill to find some plain cushion covers but couldn't find anything we liked so in the end bought fabric to make them.  We have decided that next weekend will be our craft weekend; food, wine, good company and crafting, life couldn't get much better!!

A quick update on the fire, it rained lots over the weekend which has helped a lot. The fire is completely out and the fire crews are now working to drench the area in water to stop any of it catching alight again.  Some of the roads reopened this morning which helped my journey to work, and hopefully the rest will be opening soon as well.  Dad and I plan to go into the forest to inspect the damage later this week so I will keep you posted.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Hoping For Rain

It's not often in the UK that we pray for rain, but after having the driest and hottest April on record we are. Over Easter the beautiful Swinley Forest behind my house caught fire, whether it was an accident or malicious we just don't know but it has now been burning for over a week and some believe it has been burning for even longer under the ground.  All the roads between Bracknell and Crowthorne are closed (which has caused a bit of mayhem getting to work) and fire crews are working around the clock to keep the flames and heat at bay. These are photos from getbracknell.

When we first heard about it we were initially worried, bearing in mind there is only a road, dirt track and a row of houses between us and the forest.  Fortunately for us, but sadly not for others the wind is blowing the fire away from us towards Crowthorne.  A lot of people in that direction have been evacuated from their homes for their own safety, I just hope the fire brigade can get it under control and they can go home soon.

It seems really weird having a massive forest fire just down the road.  I know the forest like the back of my hand and have ridden and walked there all my life, to see it plastered all over the news is quite shocking.  On Monday I took a walk down Nine Mile Ride (the road down the back of house which is closed) with Mum to see what was going on and although we didn't see any flames we saw an awful lot of smoke.  We didn't get too far down the road before the police stopped us so we headed to Ceasers Camp (a high plateau in the forest) instead to see if we could spot anything, this s the view we got, it is pretty much the same from my bedroom window too.

On Wednesday Dad took a ride into the forest and somehow managed to bypass all the police to speak to the firebrigade.  This a photo he took of the huge tractor used to dig up the ground and prevent the fire from spreading.

They also said that even though the flames are out the peat on the ground is still burning and a small gust of wind will push it onto the brush and set alight again.  I heard the news this evening that they have finally surrounded the fire so can now deal with cooling everything down.  Another photo of my Dad's below of the smouldering forest floor.

Big thanks go out to all the fire crew from around the South who are working around the clock.  It's forecasted to rain tonight it would really help them out, so lets keep our fingers crossed.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Birch Hill and Hanworth Community Website

Today the website I designed for the Birch Hill and Hanworth community went live Yay!! I'm really pleased how it turned out and need to extend a big thank you to my brother Chris for taking the time to make it, even though he had insane amounts of Uni work to finish.  The link is below so if you live in the area or just want to find out what is going on take a look.

The ladies who commissioned the website are currently working on the first release of the Birch Hill and Hanworth newsletter so sign up if you would like to receive it.

I've also been working on some designs for other websites, one was for Chris' new profile page Redesigning the Web.  This is part of his coursework and Chris designed the theme (old and new), the layout and the main globe and I just helped with some of the graphics.  I had a lot of fun with this, instead of several pages it is made up of one continuous page that scrolls up to space and down into the ground.  Chris let me go a bit mad and then he put loads of cool effects in afterwards.  It's not completely finished but we have lots more ideas so will work on it more later in the year.

There are quite a few surprises on this website, there are lots of links hidden around the page, so get clicking to find everything!!