Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Once in a Red Moon!

There was a lunar eclipse today, but unfortunately in the UK it was daytime, so it wasn't visible. However, I did go to watch the full moon rise over the bay this evening and the moon, as always when full and rising on a clear night, started off red, and then turned to a deep orange, amber, yellow and finally white. Not quite the same as watching a rare event such as a total lunar eclipse, but always a stunning sight. Unfortunately, my camera made the moon look much, much smaller than it was in real life! Even on maximum zoom! I only have a point and shoot camera. Most of the photos didn't turn out... so I only have red and orange.. no amber or yellow.



There are some amazing photos of the total lunar eclipse, also known as 'Blood Moon', on the Guardian website here. My favourite is this little man and the moon...

From the Guardian: The eclipse as seen in Brasilia. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters


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Monday, 31 March 2014

Sea Scenes on Sea Glass

Here are some more sea scenes that I have painted on sea glass and turned into pendants. There are lots more of these, including some mermaids in the Tiddu shop. Some sea scenes on sea shells are to be added to the shop in the next few days too.




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Monday, 24 March 2014

Clay Days

I recently completed a pottery/sculpture course at the Saturday Art School which was run by University of Wales Trinity St David, Swansea (formerly known as Swansea Metropolitan University). Here are some of the things I made during the 10 sessions that I attended:
Guardian of  The Sea Glass: A pyramid shaped pot with a green dragon who is guarding some sea glass!

Heart of Glass: A little goblin holding a heart shaped piece of sea glass in a tiny pinch pot.
A blue seahorse with a spiral belly!
Another blue seahorse
A hobbit house tea light holder with swimming pool
A hobbit house tea light holder

A large coil pot with melted sea glass. The sea glass changed colour and contained bubbles and crackles after firing.
Unfortunately, I did a poor job of the coiling on this pot and as a result, some of the melted glass dripped onto the kiln shelf. through a crack. The pot stuck to the shelf... oops!!
 
A blue pinch pot with melted sea glass




A flower shaped pinch pot

A heart shaped pinch pot

I really enjoyed the course. It was fun and I learned a lot about clays, glazes, kiln firing, pot making techniques etc. It was a good taster of the full time courses they do there. The Saturday Art School has been running every year for several years now. They have courses for both adults and children. There are a variety of different subjects to choose from including textiles, photography, drawing, printmaking and ceramics. If you're interested in the next Saturday Art School, or if you're interested in attending a part time evening class, contact Jenny Vobe at:

University of Wales Trinity Saint David Swansea, 

Dynevor Centre for Art, Design & Media, 
De La Beche Street, 
SA1 3EU. 
Tel:  01792 481285

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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Natural Homemade Beauty Products


Banana Drama!!

I've always been a big fan of natural DIY beauty products and homemade remedies. Most of my bathroom shelf items can also be found in the kitchen! Olive oil, coconut oil, sea salt, bicarbonate of soda, oatmeal etc. After many, many years of happily and successfully using kitchen items in my bathroom, last night I had my first DIY beauty product disaster! A hair mare! A banana drama! I had read that banana was good for the hair and had read many positive things about homemade deep conditioning treatments using banana, so I decided to try it myself. I blended the banana to a very smooth paste, mixed with water, olive oil, aloe vera and essential oils and put it on my hair. Never again! It took a ridiculous amount of time and water to rinse clear! I thought I was going to have to walk around with banana in my hair forever! I think banana is fine for a face mask... but definitely not for the hair!




Why DIY?

There are so many chemicals in most commercial beauty products. Many of which can be absorbed into the skin and could cause health problems. That's why I prefer to use fresh and edible products as much as possible, because if it's edible it can only be better for you than a cocktail of chemicals! I am also a big fan of essential oils and have been for years. My favourites are tea tree oil, eucalyptus, clove, mandarin, benzoin, frankincense, sandalwood, ylang ylang, chamomile, rosemary, grapefruit and rose.



My Homemade DIY Beauty Products:

Face mask/scrub: A little oatmeal dampened with water. Left on face until it dries (for 5 or 10 minutes). Rub most of the oatmeal off before showering so it does not block the drain, then wash with warm water.  Exfoliates and leaves skin soft.

Face moisturiser:  Coconut oil (virgin, organic, raw) or pure argan oil. Can be used alone or mixed with a little bit of pure aloe vera gel, pure vitamin e oil and a couple of drops of frankincense essential oil and/or rose essential oil.

Lip salve: Coconut oil or cocoa butter. Many people use petroleum jelly on their lips... but this is what it says on the tin... it is a petrol product! I don't think it's very healthy to be licking that all day! Coconut oil and cocoa butter have many health benefits, and are much tastier too. If your lips are cracked or dry, it is a sign you are dehydrated, so drink more water!

Body scrub: Sea salt or epsom salts. Can be mixed with a little olive oil. Cleansing, exfoliating and if used with oil, moisturising. Use oil sparingly... a little goes a long way. And be sure to use a shower mat if using in the shower so you don't slip on the oil.

Shaving oil: Olive oil: perfect for using in the shower as it does not disappear as soon as the water hits it unlike shaving foam. Also non of the nasty chemicals! Moisturises the skin and does not leave skin dry and flaky like some foams can. Again, use oil sparingly... a little goes a long way. And be sure to use a shower mat if using in the shower so you don't slip on the oil.

Body moisturiser: Any of these oils are good to use as an all over body moisturiser... coconut oil, cocoa butter, mango butter, shea butter. My favourite is coconut oil as I love the smell. Be sure to use cold pressed, raw, organic coconut oil, as the refined coconut oil does not have the same benefits... or the same divine smell!

Hair Conditioner: Argan oil... amazing for dry, damaged hair. Add to washed, damp hair to prevent frizz. Can be used on dry hair too, for extra moisture and to tame frizz. Coconut oil... only a small amount is needed. Helps with moisture and tames frizz. Smells great too! Olive oil... smooth a little olive oil through hair before washing to condition and prevent hair from drying out.

Clarifying shampoo: Bicarbonate of soda, water, essential oils. My favourites are tea tree, eucalyptus and rosemary (for dark hair... chamomile is better for blonde hair). Bicarbonate of soda should not be used too often on the hair as it can dry the hair and can also strip dyed hair of its colour.
.
Mouthwash: A couple of drops of tea tree oil and peppermint oil, water. Rinse but, as with all mouthwashes, do not swallow.

Perfume: Coconut oil, essential oil. My favourites are benzoin (smells a bit like vanilla), rose, mandarin, neroli, grapefruit.






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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Some More Mermaids on Mermaids' Tears

Here are some more mermaids painted on sea glass (also known as mermaids' tears). These miniature paintings that you can wear can be found in the Tiddu Shop. As well as these mermaid pendants, you can also find some fairy pendants,  fairy door necklaces, dragon pendants, sea slate necklaces, sea glass pendants, mirror pendants, broken plate pendants and more!
Mermaid Finds Orange Sea Glass
Blue Sea Glass Mermaid

Ice Mermaid
Fire Mermaid
Purple Mermaid
Glitter Mermaid
Gothic Mermaid



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Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Hopes and Dreams of a Sad Seahorse

The Gloomy Seahorse: © Adele Whittle  2014
This gloomy seahorse has a bright future!! He has been chosen to be the logo of a new independent small publisher which is called 'Gloomy Seahorse Press'. He also appears on the cover of a book of poems called 'The Gloomy Seahorse' by Rhys Hughes, who is a well-known writer of comedy and fantasy. As well as appearing on the cover of the book of poems, a black and white version of The Gloomy Seahorse appears in each book published. So this gloomy seahorse has a lot to look forward to! This is an acrylic painting painted on an old book cover.


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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Miniature Moon Found on Beach!!



On Saturday I saw a star fall to earth. This morning I thought the moon had fallen from the sky onto the beach... and shrunk in the wash (surf)!!! Good job it wasn't really the moon, as we may have many stars, but only one moon... I think it would be missed somewhat! Gromit would have been over the moon to find such a thing on the beach. Although he probably would have been disappointed too, as this moon is not made of cheese... it is made of lard. Not quite so tasty on crackers as the old Wensleydale, eh Gromit?!! According to Swansea's beach patrol, it is a lump of  fat that has come from a ship. It is poisonous to dogs (sorry Gromit!), so if you live in the area and see anything like this, it's best to keep your pet away from it as there have been reports of animals becoming sick after eating it.  I thought this mysterious moon shaped object might have been a ball of marble or some other amazing rock. Or I hoped it may have been the meteorite that I saw fall on Saturday night, washed ashore. But unfortunately it is nothing quite as exciting as any of these. Apparently there has been quite a bit of this rancid fat being washed up on Swansea and Gower beaches. I did a google search, but this doesn't look like the same fat as in the photos of previous deposits of fat found on the beaches around here last year. However, it does look a bit like the WW2 lard that was found on a Scottish beach in January 2013. So it's nice to know there might be a little bit of history as well as a bit of mystery surrounding this moon shaped lump of lard!! Here are some more photos of the mysterious moon shaped lard and other weird and wonderful objects found washed up on the beach this morning:

The Lard Side of the Moon!
Miniature Moon and Mumbles!

Marble Rock

Another Marble Rock
There were lots of  stunning rocks washed up on the beach
A Row Boat Wreck!
A Driftwood Swordfish!
A cute little old bottle
Petrified wood: the holes and the marking remind me of  Edvard Munch's painting  'The Scream' (see below)
Edvard Munch's painting  'The Scream'




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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Night of the Meteorite

The meteorite I saw on Saturday looked like this one

We went for a walk on the beach on Saturday evening to watch the moon rise. The moon was full on Friday but it was raining, so we thought we would go and watch it rise on Saturday instead. It's always a great show for me to watch the moon change from a deep cherry red, to orange, amber, yellow and finally white.  I never expected to see a meteorite that night though! What a spectacular surprise! I saw a ball of bright light falling straight down from the sky over the sea. It was bright white with a green hue and a bright orange tail. There were some sparks coming off it too. It appeared for just a few seconds and then disappeared as though it had burnt out. I feel very lucky to have seen this. I have seen a few meteor showers and shooting stars. It is more rare to see a meteorite though. This is the second meteorite I have seen. The first one I saw was in Brighton many years ago. That one was bigger and a deeper orange. It was a huge fireball that fell into the sea. I saw it with my brother as two fishermen were walking by. We had never seen anything like it. The fishermen stopped and we were discussing what we thought it could be. We decided in the end it was probably a flare. However, I was listening to the news on the radio the following day, and many people had seen the same thing. It turned out to be a meteorite the size of a fridge! Good job it landed in the sea! I felt lucky that day as it was my birthday.. what a nice present! A gift from space! I felt lucky to see the meteorite on Saturday night too. Catching sight of a meteorite is a rare and special treat! I wish I had made a wish! I was too mesmerized! The moon rise finished the show off nicely. The clouds failed to spoil the view! There are reports of the meteorite on the UK Meteor Network site. There are individual sighting reports on the Armagh Observatory website.

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Wave Goodbye to the Dunes

I walked along the beach to West Cross and back today. I was saddened by the sight of the missing dunes in Blackpill. I was there just a few weeks ago and I thought the storm damage was bad then... but at least in January the sea left some of the dunes. Now, sadly they have all gone. All that remains is a couple of inches of sand and the roots of some of the grasses. It's a real shame for the birds and local wildlife. Blackpill is a bit of a hotspot for a variety of sea birds. I have seen quite a few birds washed up on the shore, poor things. I hope the winds calm down soon. Here are some photos of the storm damage I saw on my walk today.



Missing Dunes at Blackpill
The Woodman pub is no longer obscured by dunes
These trees will not go thirsty! Flood at Blackpill
Tractor clearing the sand from the path
The hungry sea took a bite out of this wall
This bridge is like an Aeolian harp. When the wind blows through the railings it makes very nice ambient music. It was like listening to Brian Eno!

The river has changed its course.
At least the sea spared this colourful, arty signpost!
Another tree bites the (saw) dust! Yet another tree knocked down by the storms in Singleton Park

But there is hope... snowdrops mean that spring is just around the corner!!

And crocuses too! Hurry up daffodils! Bring on the spring!







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