Friday, December 31, 2010

hello world

Happy new year friends xxxx

Monday, December 27, 2010

A star is born

He is here....Rafferty Joseph McArdell, 7lb 15 1/2 oz was born at 2.15 on 23rd December and brought home on Christmas day. He is perfect, we are all doing well and enjoying every single second......
Happy, happy Christmas xxxx

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I have been housebound since last Thursday but made it out today. This is our back garden and I think it looks gorgeous (click to enlarge). Do you remember sitting here in the Summer Kelly?
Lots of love to all my readers and thanks for hanging in there with us this year. Warmest wishes this Christmas, hope its magic! xxx

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Huuuggee hello

For such a long time now I have wanted to blog about a very special friend and talented jeweller, Kriket Broadhurst.
She lives just around the corner from me here in Beaumaris and she landed here not long after I opened the gallery.
She makes and fires her own ceramic beads which I find fascinating and love going into her studio to see and play with her latest firings and wonder what beautiful creations she will turn them into. Her work has always been incredibly popular in our gallery as it suits young and old. I am a big fan of her new all silver collections, they look great on, dressed up or down, and are very affordable. So take a closer look here and here.
She also has a very lovely blog with some interesting tips for jewellers, and an etsy shop. The pieces below are all on our website.

I am just about hanging in there..... counting down the days, watching favorite films, baking, going to Christmas parties, wrapping presents, waddling down the road for coffee and cake with friends, loving The Apprentice, organising rotas for January, trying to write a staff/work manual for new staff, trying to tear myself away from the gallery and let hubby take control, spending way too much money online because of boredom, packing bags, still loving every kick.....but not every wriggle down as head is engaging, realising I can sleep better without a million cushions surrounding me making me sweat, making wreaths for the front door, struggling to decide on a name, only 6 sleeps to go!

Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, and just in case I don't make it back before, wishing all you gorgeous lovely readers a very merry Christmas xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Betty Flo got married

Well ladies....friends. Thank you thank you thank you, each and every one for leaving such heart felt comments. It made me realise I had definitely done the right thing in sharing our news. Hubby and I have read them over and over again as it really warms my heart.
I didn't mean for it to be so long between posts but we have all had a horrible bug which found me in hospital overnight as so dehydrated. Hubby then got it, then Mum and it was a nasty one. I had to stay away from hubby for a few days while he mended but we are all good now. It seems most of our town had it too. But we had a very positive experience in hospital and met the most wonderful consultant who I have been waiting and longing to meet which has given me a new found confidence for our forthcoming arrival.

I just wanted to share some photos of Betty Flo's first wedding. We had a wedding list at the gallery a few weeks back and as the lovely couple are surfers I thought they might like to use Betty Flo as the wedding car. Along with a beautiful white VW beetle it made quite a lovely convoy. Since then I have had 2 requests to use her next year so we shall see.

This Saturday she is coming out of storage again as we have a Victorian themed event in town with a Christmassy feel too.You may remember we have it every year in Beaumaris where the town dresses up in Victorian costume, there are processions, choirs, punch and judy, craft fairs, an antique fair, fairground rides, apple bobbing, snow machines and much more. This year we are doing face painting in Betty Flo parked up outside the gallery.....could be fun. I will try to remember to take photos. If you are over our way its definitely worth a visit. We serve mulled wine and stollen all day, its a lovely way to get in the mood for Christmas. If you're not already.

I have a freshly baked carrot cake waiting to be eaten that is pulling me away, and I have to leave some things to say in my next anyway. I swear by this recipe, tried and tested many times. Its so big though that I have to do the rounds to neighbours and friends with a slice while it is fresh and at its best. It's from the wonderful Falling Cloudberries book and everyone LOVES it.

Carrot Cake recipe:

4 eggs, lightly beaten
250g caster sugar
185ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
400g carrots, peeled and grated
55g chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting:
180g butter, softened
250g icing sugar
180g cream cheese
3 drops vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas4. Grease and flour a 24 cm springform tin or bundt pan. Whisk eggs and sugar until creamy, then whisk in the oil. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon. Add this to the eggs and whisk. Add the carrots and walnuts and mix together. Scrape into tin and bake for an hour.

Once the cake has cooled; For the icing whip the butter and icing sugar together until its stiff. Beat in the cream cheese and vanilla. Spread over the cake. And decorate with walnut halves.
Its the best I have ever tasted. I could happily sink my head into the bowl of topping its so good.

What a pretty sight, hope all is well with you lovely lot, I am also about to plan our Christmas windows to do tomorrow so bye for now.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

bumpity bump

Well Hello all, or anyone at all?....who knows if anyone still checks into this space anymore.
I wouldn't blame you one little bit. Bloggers are no fun when they're not consistent are they? Well I don't know, it lifts my heart when I suddenly find someone has blogged again after a long absence and I understand that lives have to be lived, people have a LOT going on. I saw a good friend yesterday who reminded me I'd not blogged since June and I had a long think about and decided its about time I share (thanks Ali x)
Well, to explain my long absence, I have been looking after and nurturing a very large belly filled with a very wriggly and blooming baby. Yes, I am 7 1/2 months pregnant and due to give us all a wonderful Christmas present this year.
I have been frightened to write it here for so many reasons but I have come to the conclusion that it is something to rejoice in, celebrate and share with people who I know care a great deal and can send us as many well wishes and thoughts and prayers.

I kept it quiet from as many people as possible until it was so obvious that I hadn't just been indulging on cake and fish and chips all Summer.

The gallery fortunately just goes from strength to strength and was incredibly busy this Summer keeping me focused and occupied. I have one final commission to do pre baby and am starting to wind down.
Its been a rollercoaster of emotions and a long long pregnancy but I can see the end in sight. Fear is my main enemy and positivity the one I need to be best friends with.

We have been looked after and have a plan and I am as confident as any woman can be that I will be holding my beautiful baby by Christmas Day.

It is quite poignant that my due date is exactly 1 year and 9 months after the birth of our little girl last year. We have brought that date forward slightly but still, it seems quite fated to me.

I need and want to celebrate every single kick I get and every last day I have until they arrive.

So for now that's all I feel I can say, I've come out of hiding and feel good about it.

I am just about to go and move Betty Flo (our camper van) to a good spot overlooking the sea where the firework display will take place this evening. We are going to bring flasks of hot chocolate and mulled wine down there so if you happen to be in the vicinity do come and say hello. We can offer you a warm drink. x

Thanks for listening, if you are still there, do leave a comment, just so I know it's worth me popping

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Lovely Lavender

On Friday we went to Chelsea flower show, it was hot, busy but pretty amazing. Above is the Provence garden which I had seen on telly during the week and was dying to see. There were at least 3 people deep trying to see each garden though so we didn't stay as long as we thought. I am almost embarrassed to say we travelled there on the Orient express. It was a surprise birthday treat from hubby. The food and service was pretty special and the grandeur of it all.
Then back to open the gallery for a very very busy weekend. And the highlight of my weekend was meeting a fellow And what a pretty darn special little family they were to meet. They were on their way to Ireland and took a slight detour to come and see us. We sat in our garden under a parasol, drinking beer and getting to know one another in the Sun. I felt like we had known them for years. Thanks for stopping by Kelly, we must do it again soon. Thanks for sharing your wee one too.

Today is glorious, and I am itching to get out there and enjoy the sun but we are struggling to close the doors today.
As much as I would like to I just can't turn away a lovely customer.
Hope everyone is sipping Pimms this evening

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Poppy's puddle

I asked the wonderful Mandy at Belle and Boo to create an image in memory of our daughter. It is called Poppy's puddle.
Mandy is the most amazing person and artist, she has lifted my heart like I couldn't describe. Her blog is a favourite of many.
It makes me happy, it makes me sad, but it is beyond perfect. When I was small I was often found in a puddle just after my Mum had dressed me in a pretty little dress, so I would have taught her to splash till her little hearts content.
The prints are available in the Belle and boo shop, here and here.
I find great comfort knowing this image will adorn little girls and boys bedrooms across the land.
Thank you Mandy, and thank you Poppy xxxxx

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I just finished this commission of Polperro in Cornwall for a lovely couple.
Polperro is one of the strangest, most delightful places I have ever been to in Cornwall. It had an almost magical feel to it, I can't describe it. Its made up of higgledy piggledy houses which of course I love but it seems such a creative little hub. It seems like the locals really really care about their village. There are no big corporate companies there so far, and that the way they like it.

This photo made me smile, lovely hubby was taking photos of our new placemats to go on the website but if you look closer you can see his funny little feet in the picture. I say funny little feet because I always tell him his toes are so straight you could use them instead of a spirit level.

Then someone recently told him he had the most perfect feet they had ever seen. DOH!!!! Oh, he LOVED that!!!

If you happen to be in Brighton, I have some originals and prints in the Yellow house Art open house as part of the Brighton festival. Over 243 venues are showing the work of over 1000 artists, amazing. Just wish I could go down to see some great art and craft.

Hoping for good weather this bank holiday weekend. Have a great one.....x

Friday, April 09, 2010

VW heaven

I promised it is.

We bought her on Boxing day, in the snow. She is 31 years old, likes the sunshine and her name is Betty Flo. She is a beauty is she not????

We had our first real outing in her yesterday. Of course, she broke down, on the top of a mountain in Waunfawr looking out over the Llyn Peninsula, Caernarfon castle, The rivals and even out to Llanddwyn Island on Anglesey, so who cares. Its exactly where I would have chosen to stop to admire the view. Just not necessarily blocking a single track lane miles from civilisation....whoops. But after some good advice on bump starting while in 2nd gear rolling down the hill she decided to have a go again. We got so many waves, thumbs up and beeps it was so exciting. We stalled....ooohhhh, about 40 times on most junctions and roundabouts, and when you have your name plastered on the side its not perhaps the best, but smile politely and 99% of the time people will cheer you on. Only one irate, impatient lady gave us a not so friendly hoot.
My shoulders are aching, a small blister on my left hand but I got out at the end of the day and can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life. So there you go, some colour is back.

(Looking out to sea over to Snowdonia)

She is parked up on the Green in Beaumaris, overlooking the sea and mountains. I have had morning coffee sat in her twice this week, a staff meeting and if it is nice tonight I might just treat the hubby to fish and chips and a game of cards.

All is good xxx

(Anna and Kriket)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

For those that are still there and reading and being patient with me thank you. Thank you for so many well wishes, and concerns, we are ok...ish. I want to write, I try believe me, and then I delete...and delete again. I feel positive and alive some days, most days even, I can smile, and laugh, and enjoy life, but there are still a lot of tears and sadness.
I feel awkward, this blog used to be filled with joy and colour, becaue thats what my life was, and then it was turned upside down, and turned black for a while, and i don't really know what this blog should be anymore. I have drafted so many posts and prssed delete time and time again. I don't know what to say, how much to share.
That's it really, so take tiny steps with me, and we can perhaps find our space in a colourful world again.
Of course life has to go on, and it has but there is always a Christmas, and a Mothers day and birthdays to get through.

This month is becoming a bit more dificult, its the month she was born and it sometimes feels like yesterday, it would have been my dear little sweet Poppy's 1st birthday. It should have been such a celebration, we will celebrate, and buy her flowers and mourn, and send a balloon up for her. We should have been baking cakes and buying tutu's.

The bright blue skies of the last few weeks help, I walk a lot more now than I ever did, and breathe in fresh air, and look again, and delight at the snowdrops carpeting the forest behind us and wish she was with me so much. But I feel lucky to be alive, and experience another Spring, it is a beautiful month....full of hope, and I feel alive but still I miss her desperately. I am fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country, surrounded by sea and Mountains, and every day I gasp at the beautiful light over the sea and the changing view. I have a job I love, a gallery that I can stock full of beautiful pieces of jewellery, ceramics, art and crafts. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally and is my absolute soulmate. I have a lot.

Poppy was a clever little thing, she has taught me about love. Deep, deep love.

The pain in my heart is incredible it physically hurts but I can also sometimes now think of her and smile through the tears, because she has taught me to love and appreciate life. My beautiful, clever little girl xxxx