Monday, 29 November 2010

My first catch!

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted anything. It kinda makes me feel guilty!! I have been busy though, so I have lots to write about even if it is a bit out-of-date now, lol.

A few weeks ago I went fishing for the very first time. I've gone quite a few times before but just watched my boyfriend and his dad fish. This time I actually took part. We went to a local lake/pond that had just been stocked with trout so it's kinda cheating; with the odds of catching something totally stacked in my favour, lol. Having said that, I did do exceptionally well!! My boyfriend cast the first line for me and even hooked the fish but he let me reel it in - I told him that it didn't count as me catching it so from then on I did everything myself. I went on to catch another 4 myself in the next hour or so!! My boyfriend wasn't fishing himself and his dad only caught one fish the whole time so I think I did pretty darn well for my first time out!! I wasn't all that keen on getting my photo taken though, since I looked rather rough that day, lol. Here's my catch though:

A week or so after the fishing expedition (lmao) we went over to War Eagle, Arkansas and visited the mill and the caverns.

The mill and surrounding scenery are really beautiful, and it was such a gorgeous day!! (I really wished that I had a better camera to do the place justice but my photography skills are, well, non-existent, so I really can't justify the expense of a quality camera.) We wandered around the mill inside and out. It seems to be a pretty darn unlucky place!!  It's been built and rebuilt four times in 1832, 1838, 1873 and 1973 due to flooding and fires!!!

After the mill, we went on to the War Eagle Caverns. We didn't go into the caverns themselves as we'd gone to do the gemstone panning at the visitor centre. I've loved gemstones since I was a kid and used to have loads of fun at the Creetown Gemstone Museum near Stranraer, Scotland (guess I was always a bit of a geek, lol). The bag of dirt for panning was around $10 and you know it's pre-loaded with a few inexpensive gems but it was still a fun experience and I did actually get excited to see the loot, lol.

Anyway, now you know that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth; I'm just in Arkansas, lol.

Monday, 18 October 2010

My First Ever Jack O'Lantern (at age 38)

Okay, so at 38 years old I had never, EVER carved a pumpkin for Halloween. My excuse? Well when I was a kid in the UK, pumpkins weren't available in the stores. I do remember that my parents carved out turnips (or swedes) for Jack O' Lanterns when I was young but since I struggle trying to cut a turnip for cooking I never bothered to attempt carving one for halloween.

Well, this year I'm going to be in the USA for Halloween and my fiance decided to get a pumpin for me to carve. It's a little bit early yet but we figured I may need a practice run, lol. So, on Saturday afternoon I made my first attempt......

We bought a pumpkin carving kit with design templates - cheating a little but I figured that that was allowedfor a first attempt. It took a couple of hours to do even though it was a simple design, and boy did my hands ache when it was done!! I'm quite proud of it though - for a practice run.

Smiling Pumpkin Halloween Sticker sticker

Vintage Halloween Pumpkin Pattern Mousepad mousepad

Cute Pumpkins postcard

Pumpkin Patch card

Pumpkins in Fall Leaves card card

100_0643, 100_0643, 100_0643, 100_0643, 100_064... tie

Pumpkin Witch Keychain keychain

Pumpkin Vines card

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Tote Bags

Canvas tote bags are a great alternative to grocery bags for your weekly shopping; sturdy and reusable as well as being environmentally friendly. Until recently I have been using canvas bags purchased at the grocery store, with a huge logo on both sides ....... so I've been paying to advertise for them and that kinda irks me. I have literally hundreds of tote bag designs across my zazzle stores so decided it was about time that I advertised for myself when I do my weekly shop at the store. Here are a few of my own designs and some from other zazzlers:

I can't believe that this one is proced at $58.40, but there you go!!

Earth Day Sunflower Bag bag
Earth Day Sunflower Bag by politicalgirl
Create a bag at

Art Nouveau Rose bag
Art Nouveau Rose by ArtformTheHeart
Create your own personalized bags using zazzle 

Tote bags are also great for carrying books, gymn clothes, or anything else you can think of. I'm always rushing out the door at the last minute and used to always throw whatever I needed to take with me into unsightly plastic grocery bags, not anymore, lol.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Running round in circles, just a-chasing my tail.

You know that feeling when you have so many things to do and not enough time to do them so you just end up flailing around? Well that's how I'm feeling right now and my poor little brain is frazzled from it all.

The reason I'm having such a hectic time? Well I'm trying to promote my zazzle stores (have forgotten all about creating art/designs/products for this week) and I head out for an extended stay in the USA first thing Monday morning. The flights were only booked 2 days ago, so I'm in a mad rush trying to ogranise everything. Normally I excell under pressure so it feels really weird to be chasing my tail like this. I have promotion for zazzle lined up for several weeks/months in advance for some of my stores and also for promoting other artists, but I seem to have run out of time a tad to line up the rest of my stores. I have a hundred and one things to do in my house and relating to my car, finances ets before I leave - please give me an extra 10 hours in the day, maybe that way I can get 8 hours sleep and a few more things done!

Of course, I could possibly be refused entry at US immigration (really worried about that) because my trips and itineraries make them suspicious that I intend to stay illegally, beyond the visa waiver limit of 90 days, so there is always the possibility that I'll be right back here in grey and dreary Scotland first thing Tuesday morning. When I went over to the USA for Christmas last year I was taken aside at immigration control - a total shock because I'm probably one of the most law abiding, honest people you will ever meet - and questioned. They gave me clearance exentually and I only just managed to make my connecting flight - but I'm worried that they may now have a mark against my  name, lol.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Things got expensive!! - or Retro Memories Take 2

I was in the corner store the other day, buying a few things. When I got to the checkout, there on the counter top were "Chelsea Whoppers" - a favourite of mine when I was a kid. They stopped making them years ago but more recently a small company in Ayrshire re-discovered the recipe and has been manufacturing them and selling as a travelling rep. I can never resist when the corner shop manages to get Chelsea Whoppers in stock - it's not a regular thing - but this time, instead of getting 10 strips of whoppers for 40p, I only got 6!! I was majorly disappointed. Back in the day, the little strips were a penny each, the whole box was £2.50 for exactly 250 whoppers (yes, I saved up my pocket money to buy a whole box one time, lol).

I remember when we used to buy "10 pence mix-ups". A little paper bag (poke) filled with penny and half-penny candies. I wonder what you'd get in one of those nowadays - one strip of whopper and a midget gem?

I also remember back in primary school when we had a tuck shop at break time. You could buy a small bottle of Barrs soft drink for around 15 pence and even get 5 pence back for returning the glass bottle! Seems like similar sized bottles of pop are around £1 nowadays and you don't get anything back for recycling the plastic!

I'm really showing my age aren't I? lol

Monday, 27 September 2010

50% Off Cards and 25% Off Pet Clothing

Grab a HUGE 50% off Greetings cards or a nice 25% off Pet clothing through Sunday 3rd October on Enter code: HAPPYDOGWEEK at the checkout.

Just in time to get your pooch some warm t-shirts what with the weather turning colder, lol.

* 50% of the card net sale price and 25% of the pet apparel net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying products are purchased and the coupon code HAPPYDOGWEEK is applied at checkout. The net sale price is the price of the product (excluding shipping and taxes). Offer is valid from September 27, 2010 through October 3, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on only.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Ridiculous Trademarks

With it being in the news recently about Facebook(TM) suing Teachbook over the use of the word 'book' in regards to a social networking website, I thought it would make a good post to point out some other ridiculous trademarks/wordmarks that have been granted around the world. How on earth trademark offices can grant registration on single words or everyday phrases in common use is beyond me. I do hope that I don't infringe any trademarks by writing this post ;oP

"Have a nice day" has a lot of 'dead' trademark registrations for a huge array of products and uses and as far as I can tell, one 'live' trademark.

"Life is Good" is currently trademarked for just about everything by a company of the same name - seriously??? Well ok then, "My Life is Good" .... that acceptable??

"Drama Queen" als has numerous live trademarks covering most commercial uses of the phrase.

"I bet on me" is covered for just about everything that it is possible for a person to wear.
I personally thought it was hilarious that "Roughneck Sausage" was trademarked. It only seems to cover pork sausage products, but really, when I read "Roughneck Sausage" I was thinking a WHOLE different thing, lol.

"GREEN RED NAUTICAL GEAR BY PORTSTARBOARD INDUSTRIES" is also trademarked along with a little pencil drawing circle design. DANG!! I soooo wanted to use that phrase on a t-shirt!!
"Go Green" is trademarked, so we'd better not become environmentally friendly or try to encourage others to do so. ;op

One company believes it has trademark over all uses of the word "Peeps" and trademark/copyright on anything that looks remotely like a chicken. Apparently, Peeps are an American candy that most people seem to find nauseating, but the company who makes them likes to make people sick in other ways too - by suing them for using the word peeps.

Well, I'm not going to be a Drama Queen, so not another Peep out of me. Have a Nice Day because Life is Good.

Banana Tee shirt

Go on, smile, hehehe.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

From a Psoriasis Sufferer

I have psoriasis. On my hands it's pretty bad. Today for example, I have patches of dry on the heel of my hands and around the base of my thumbs, flaking skin, a few small areas where the skin is cracking, and over 100 tiny 'blisters' that are either itchy or painful depending on where they are (underneath a fingernail is worst!). I also have a patch on my scalp about the size of a dime or a 5p piece that is somewhat like a  really bad case of dandruff. In the past I've had the scalp spot be around the size of a quarter or 10p piece and just assuming it was dandruf, scrubbed my scalp really hard with a succession of different dandruff treatments, only to end up with a bald spot (luckily it was easy enough to hide until the hair grew back but it did look rather strange having 'tufty' bits of hair atop my head when the rest is 3/4 way down my back).

Psoriasis looks awful, and if I'm being honest, had I seen it on someone else's hands, not knowing what it was, I would be more than slightly grossed out. It certainly looks as if it 'could' be some nasty, contagious disease and so I fully expect other people to be grossed out by it unless they have encountered it themelves.

Some psoriasis facts:

Firstly, no matter how bad psoriasis looks, it is not infectious. You cannot 'catch' it by touching affected skin.

It's caused by certain cells of the body's immune system becoming overactive and producing an inflammatory response.

The sclaes/plaques/blisters are caused by skin cells renewing themselves at an accelerated rate.

Any fluid within the blisters is actually sterile.

Although the medical profession maintains that psoriasis is neither caused nor triggered by stress, having suffered from it for almost two and a half years, I can tell you that stress most definately does cause psoriasis to flare up. (Let's face it, depression and stress can weaken the body's immune system and cause a whole host of other physical symptoms, so I will not believe that stress is unable to trigger/worsen psoriasis and quite frankly I resent being told that it's a 'ridiculous idea').

Psoriasis can affect any part of the body but the most commonly affected areas are the hands, feet, elbows and scalp.

Types of treatment:

Topical creams and ointments are the first 'go to'. These can be steroid based, vitamin analogues or coal tar preparations.

Phototherapy (UV treatment) is usually the first option if topical treatments are unsuccessful. But don't try it yourself!! Phototherapy uses a very specific, narrow UV spectrum for very controlled time periods and should only be done under medical supervision.

Systemic treatments (tablets in this case) can be prescribed by a dermatologist and most work by slowing down the rate, although cylcosporin is an immune suppressant that can also be used. Systemic treatments spread throughout the entire body and can cause a variety of side effects.

Biological injections differ from the systemic treatments in that they use naturally occuring proteins (hormones, inhibitors etc) and are targeted  specifically to the affected site.

I have personally tried half a dozen different topical treatments, most of which had no effect whatsoever. I was placed on a waiting list for UV treatment by my dermatologist back in April. Finally two weeks ago I got a telephone call that a spot had opened up. However, the treatment is given several days per week over a period of 10 weeks and as I was supposed to be going to the USA for 2-3 months, I had to ask to be bumped farther down the waiting list. Now it would appear that I'm NOT going to America at all (because being practical and worrying about certain, very real and impotrant issues means that I'm not enthusiastic enough and therefore not wanted - * lots of expletives about hipocrisy & double standards removed *) but I'm going to have to wait until at least December to start the treatment now - thanks!

Whenever I blog, I try to include some relevant products from zazzle in the post; partly to illustrate my post and partly in the hope of earning a small referral fee (don't worry, the fee isn't added onto the price of the prducts, you pay the same whether the sale is referred or not). However, writing this post I really didn't think there would be anything suitable. There are many 'cause' products on zazzle, but since psoriasis isn't life-threatening and often considered nothing more than an inconvenience, I didn't think that it would make it onto the zazzle radar. WRONG. There are actually 1,826 zazzle products tagged with 'psoriasis'. Even then, I don't like promoting 'awareness' products because some storekeepers either do not donate a single penny to the cause they are profiting from (grr!!), or have no way to guarantee to customers that they DO donate. On this occassion however, I found that the National Psoriasis Foundation (a genuine non-profit organisation) actually have their own official zazzle store. Their main website can be found here, packed full of information, and their zazzle store here. Another point that is encouraging about the NPF is that they acknowledge a link between psoriasis and stress, something which finally makes me feel somewhat vindicated!!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Do you love Vampires?

Ever since I was a kid I loved horror movies. Way back when I was around 5 years old, my sister and I used to get up in the middle of the night to watch the 'Hammer House of Horror' double bills and anything else horror related. As I grew up, 'The Lost Boys' was one of my favourite movies - I developed a crush on the late Corey Haim whilst my older sister fell for Jason Patric. 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' the 1992 movie was a bit of a let down on the acting front, it could have been so great with a slightly different cast. The movie of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' was completely cringeworthy, but embarassingly, I became hooked on the television series and was also a devout follower of the spin-off series 'Angel'. Interview with a Vampire' (the movie) came out the year after I graduated University and that got me started on reading all of the Anne Rice novels. I watched the first Twilight movie and skipped the rest - I guess I'm too old for that teenage stuff nowadays, lol, but I am hooked on 'True Blood' (it could do with a little less on the explicit sexual content though; yes, I am a prude).

'Say it... Vampire' Shirt shirt

Victoria the Vampire shirt

Vampire Love shirt

Vampires Coffin T Shirt shirt

Home Sweet Home Vampire Fantasy mousepad

Vampire Army gothic Bumper Sticker bumpersticker

Halloween Vampire Panda Bear Cartoon bumpersticker

Halloween Vampire Panda Bear magnet

Nosferatu! magnet

You may also be interested in the article The Origins of Vampires in Gothic Horror Fiction.