Monday, 29 November 2010

Competition! Two give aways this week!

So, I am giving away not one - but two lovely things this week from my shop

Firstly you can win this beautiful bracelet:

Stunning handmade bracelet combining turquoise magnesite stones, bright orange Czech glass, lemon jade, a white globe, and a coral marble, all looped together in a total length of 7.5 inches 19 cms. It's worth £25.  but you could win it for free!

All you have to do is: 

  • Leave a comment, telling me why you would like to win it for yourself 
  • Or leave a comment saying who you would give the bracelet to and why if you won it. 
  • Follow my blog and please link the competition back to this page inviting people to join in or vote for you if you have a blog or Facebook account.
 You can also vote on answers, the best answer will be picked between us all! The winner will be chosen from the best answer next Monday 6th December.  

To win this beautiful handmade designer rattle worth £15 by Anne-Claire Petit, just post a picture of the little darling you would like to give the rattle to on: and then invite your friends to "like" it. The picture with the most "likes" will be the winner this time next Monday!

Good luck, with love from Headhuntress xxxx

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Silent Sunday - 28th November 2010

Silent Sunday

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Guest Post by Mumra Blog Please Don't Hate Me - I didn't Sign Up For This!

I am super busy at the moment, trying to upload and photograph all my new stock before Christmas which means I'm not able to do any writing this week.  But my very lovely friend Mumra has kindly leant me her favourite and most popular post for all of you to enjoy.

It's a very funny and thought provoking article, you can read more of her fantastic blog here:

So, without further ado, I present to you:

Please Don't Hate Me. I Didn't Sign Up For This

"The older I have got the more I have realised that I suffer from something I can only describe as limited social skills. It is not that I am not good with people, I am. Having worked in some sort of customer/client based job for nearly all my adult life I've had to be.

I also have friends, honestly I do. I love those friends dearly and I love their children. They are people I want to talk to, talk about, ask about. Strangers and new people I just don't deal too well with.

I'm lacking in certain areas. It is mainly because I don't like a lot of people and I'm not very good at covering it up...I'm not a confrontational person don't get me wrong. I'm just not very good at faking interest or appreciation.

This has become more of an issue for me since having Tabitha-Lo. At parenting class Jay and i would sneak in and sneak out. We sat at the back, whispered, giggled and made up stupid stories about the other people in our group. The only thing we got from the class was not to turn up to the next one and hope no one noticed.

I am aware we sound like really bad people, we are not. I can't really prove otherwise right here and now but please take my word for it.

My first morning i went to clinic getting Tabitha weighed i sat with my head down playing about on my iphone. Other mums were chatting about night feeds, telling birth stories. I was texting Jay telling him 'I am in hell'.

I know I need to address it, I want Tabitha to be a social child with lots of group activities to attend and I will have to take part in the school gate chatter at some point. It is so hard when you just don't care.

''Your sons how old? Does he sleep through? hmmmm reallly? Yes I know......Zzzzzzz. Sorry my head just fell off.''

Random people who approach small children in buggies are another issue for me. I get a lot of comments on Tabitha when we are out. I know its because she is a cutie and she blows raspberries but seriously! This is my shortlist of offenders....

1. Grannies who smell of wee or sherry and grab her face and call her a 'poor thing'.
2. Grandparents who fill you in on their grandchild/child ratio.
3. Teenage girls who say 'Oh My God How Cute!!' a lot.
4. And worst of all the parents who talk via their slightly older child 'look at the baby, isn't she lovely, say hello'

I'm really sorry but when i had a baby i did not sign up for a lifetime of walking round with a fixed grin and a pocket full of happy chat.

Some people will think I'm harsh or a miserable moody cow.

I'm really not I'm just out buying bread and milk."

By Mumra August 2010

So, how do you feel about well wishers poking their sixpence worth into your day? Do you swell with pride and enjoy the attention?  Or would you rather the ground just came along and swallowed you up like Mumra?  To be honest,  I was Mrs Anti-Social of Anti-Socialville until I had child number three recently.  I had decided that the best way to have a quiet and happy life was to avoid people at all costs.  So, day in day out for about two years, the only time I went out was to go to the post office to deliver my parcels.  I only communicated by text, sent emails and I developed an aversion and irrational fear of using the phone! 
Cup of tea and a cry anyone?

I realised it wasn't the way forward when I became so bad that I couldn't even take a call from my own Mum.  So, I started to force myself to go out to social groups when I was preggers.  And yes, I sat in the corner, nursing my cup of tea with a tear in my eye, not speaking to anyone  for the entire bumps and babies groups.  Who wants to do that?  I certainly didn't.  Of course, so many groups were like that and they didn't need to be.  

So, I realised that the only way for me to get better was to turn things around and be the opposite of how I felt.  I made it my mission to make sure that no other new or pregnant Mum, was sitting in a room that I was in feeling like she was invisible or her baby was screaming too loud.  So, that's what I did.  I harnessed that acting training as Mumra suggested, got my groove on and made it my mission to be the annoying happy friendly one.  
Start the day with a Boudicca Cry!

After a while it stopped feeling like acting and became natural.  I now actually feel like the gregarious fearless teenager that I used to be all those years ago and if there's an invitation for anything - I'm there like a shot.  I also find that food or wine being on offer helps a lot.

So, fill us in, what are your social fears? How have you coped with the unwanted attention and cooiness that comes with having a gorgeous baby, that no one ever thought to tell you about  when you became a parent?

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Headhuntress's Southsea Music Review

So, one of the great things about the baby sleeping through the night now is that I finally have my social life back. I have been off the scene for a few years. Now that I am back on it, everything seems to be brighter and shinier than it was before.

Big Love Soul Live At The Golden Eagle, Southsea

There are some great things happening in Southsea at the moment with regards to art and music. I would like to give a nod and a mention to the beautiful people in Big Love Soul I have been to watch them play many times now and they sound superb. Miche's vocals are so sexy without her even intending them to be and she does that while playing the keyboard too. Steve is a legend on the drums, Lee will blow you away with his tight bass playing and Paul is just out of this world on the guitar, he's a technical genius with mighty fast fingers and his vocals are really cool too. Their Halloween gig was a huge success and their Bonfire Party went down a storm. Watch this space for more of their gigs coming up. They will be big, mark my words!

I also had the great pleasure of attending the first gig of The Retrospective Soundtrack Players

They performed a set based on the lead singer's favourite film "Cool Hand Look" starring Paul Newman and created a big fat country sound in The Edge of The Wedge, lil ole Albert Road on a balmy Autumn evening. My friend and I didn't quite know what to expect when the group came on wearing muddy white t-shirts.  It made a lot more sense once the double bass player, Ben Ottesen explained that it was based on the film afterwards.  Everyone else that attended that night has given me feedback saying htat, they were their favourite performance of the evening. They happen to have the added advantage of all being highly talented, swapping instruments from time to time.  You can hear how great they sound from the video recording made that night, which isn't easy to capture at a live gig.  The only cover they did was of the Plastic Jesus ditty taken from the film, but given an injection of their own sound.  The best version of that song I ever heard, by far and it's a truly great track.  Hell yeah.

So, next up were Bear Cavalry technical whizz kids with their little keyboards, electronic backing sound loops and guitars.  I'm a sucker for a loop.  They came with their own supporters who were mouthing along delightedly to every word.  I thought they sounded rather splendid even if they did make me feel more like Mutton Dressed As Spam than ever.  You'll love them if you like Bombay Bicycle Club (I'll probably get stampeded by one of the bears on the frontline for saying that) and The Beatles when they were going through their acid years.

Bear Cavalry
My favourite track was Will Smith Solves The Rubik's Cube which had lovely trumpets in it, (hmm, starting to sound like a music review written by your nan or what?!) which sounded spectacular live as they extended it and took the room on a beautiful little journey. 

Finally, the latest new (to me) band I have heard recently were The B Of The Bang

They've been around for a while now, but it's the first time I've heard them.  You can see from their video released in 2007 how sophisticated their sound and look is.  I was captured and enraptured by their stunning sound.  Their technical brilliance and confident presence shone through with a clever sound that was made to look easy.  The mark of true genius. They did some wicked stuff with some bouncy boingy resonance (sorry for the appalling use of adjectives chaps, I'm no musical scientist) which always blows my skirt right up and makes me feel as though I've having a musical hug, i love it so much.  Plus, they got their glockenspiel out.  I'm anyone's for a glockenspiel.

Listen to some of their latest tracks here:

The B Of The Bang, Aaron Bennet Photography

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Jelly Jazz Night of The Dead Party Southsea 30th October 2010 - All Hail Miss Funky Fox!

The Jelly Jazz Night of The dead Party was not only sold-out - but it was a huge success.  The fabulous party was the brainchild of uber talented local DJ Miss Funky Fox AKA Stephanie Jane.

Miss Funky Fox
Not only does she DJ but she also works for Down Syndrome Education International as a psychologist and is also on the Lord Mayor's Appeal committee who are raising money for  Down Syndrome Education International and equally for Rock Challenge - both charities are for children and are based in Portsmouth.

£1,200 was raised from ticket sales, bucket collections on the  night and online t-shirt sales. Half of money has gone  to  Down Syndrome Education International and half to Rock Challenge ... 

Stephanie Jane/Miss Funky Fox said, "Three months ago the Lord Mayors Appeal committee were offered the hire of the castle free of charge for fundraising purposes and when I went there I could just imagine how good Jelly Jazz would be there I went ahead and arranged it all! Organising it was a lot of fun and it all turned out great .. just gutted my juggler was poorly though! My friends did the percussion and saxophone and did a fab job!"

Beautiful Night of The Dead Lady Courtesy of Monk on Tour

"Turned out great" is an understatement, it was A-mazing the music was awesome, the venue looked terrific thanks to Lee Hodges for creating the visuals, the crowd were all lovely, everyone looked fantastic. Not only is Portsmouth's very own Miss Funky Fox a DJ, a psychologist and on the Lord Mayor's Appeal Team, but she also plays the saxophone and I met a bunch of people that evening from her Badminton Club. And to top it off as if that wasn't enough to make her a big contender for this years "work hard play hard" award she even managed to look absolutely stunning dressed as a Mexican banana and I reckon she would do well as an events organiser.    

Loving those costumes, picture courtesy of Monk On Tour

The only downside to the evening was that it had to end so early.  The atmosphere at Southsea Castle was incredible.  It will be forever remembered in the hearts and minds of all who attended.

 Street Artist Collaborative, picture courtesy of Monk On Tour

Artwork  displayed in the courtyard of Southsea Castle by Monk On Tour and friends
Headhuntress and Friends
Lee Hodges, King Konga, Miss Funky Fox and Pete Isaac of Jelly Jazz  courtesy of Adam Parkes
Sexy senoritas, courtesy of Adam Parkes
Night of The Dead Dancefloor Freak, courtesy of Adam Parkes

For more information please visit the Facebook event page: Jelly Jazz Night of The Dead Party Facebook event page

Ghostly ghouls, picture courtesy of Adam Parkes 

Monday, 1 November 2010

The Byre @ Cross Farm

The teen and the Aspie tween were packed off to Turkey to go to a wedding with their father.  So, to help quell my misery (I do miss them, they are so very brilliant at babysitting and loading the dishwasher.)  My lovely husband took me away to the exotic climes of North Devon.

Finding somewhere to go was not an easy task.  It had to be dog friendly, detached, remote and beautifully presented with a bath.  Because if I was going to be in the middle of nowhere trying to relax with the baby, the husband and our big smelly Rhodesian Ridgeback in tow then a bath was the first necessity on my list.
Master bedroom
Fortunately, after a great deal of trawling the internet on my husband's behalf, we found The Byre @ Cross Farm a converted cow shed which ticked all the right boxes and then some and was still available for booking.

Dining area

It's just outside Barnstaple in a little village called Goodleigh..

On our arrival, we were pleased to discover that the local pub delivered food to families who couldn't get out because of sleeping children. So we took the dog for a quick walk down the hill only to be told that it was very busy because it was Friday and they couldn't do us anything till 8.30pm.  All the comments in the visitors book stated that the food was amazing but we were starving and it was only about 6pm, so we marched back up the hill and hubby nipped down to the local supermarket down the road.

We managed to visit Paignton Zoo and had a few walks but baby and hubby were struck by a gastro bug and spent most of the time sleeping while we were there.  So, I got on with writing while I had a chance.  There was no internet connection and barely any phone signal, so I felt very isolated.  I had to get more creative with the novel as I couldn't research any of my ideas and I didn't have a thesaurus or a dictionary with me.  Which is really how proper writing should be done I guess!

Shipwreck on Saunton Sands
Baby, Daddy and Caleb the dog
Cheese face
The owners greeted us on our arrival and left us to it which was perfect as we knew where they were if we needed them.  The local villagers were all very friendly, not many West Country accents though, I suspect most of them were from the South-East like us and had gone there to escape the rat race.  The house was beautiful, and the ensuite complete with a lovely bath was just what the doctor ordered.

The kitchen, dining room and lounge were all open plan and lead on to each other in a galley style with steps.  At first we thought it was going to be a nightmare with our toddling baby, but we soon created a cosy safe area with the two big squishy sofas by moving them back and corner to corner against the steps so that the baby couldn't escape.  He was very happy there and there was also the added bonus of being able to see him from the kitchen so we could let him play while we were cooking.  

The exterior, you can see it bends round in an L shape

There were three bedrooms, the master being ensuite with gorgeous oak furniture and the two smaller rooms being made up of one room with two single beds and the other with a set of bunk beds and another shower room and loo.  We could easily have had room for the older two children and another couple.  The baby slept in the twin bed room.  I brought an extra curtain with us to black out the windows, a must have if you want to get some extra shut eye in the morning, but dark towels work just as well if you ever forget.

Outside was a place to park, lawns, an enclosed pond and an enclosed gated garden, good for barbecues in the summer.  All in all I thoroughly recommend it to families who want to get away from it all but still need a touch of luxury!

In the enclosed garden