Thursday, April 28, 2011


Spirrel Monkey is having a 20% off SALE for one day only to celebrate the nuptials of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

Go to

Enter coupon code ROYWED20 at checkout to get your discount.

Happy buying!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tales from the South

I'm back from my road trip to Florida with a burnt on tan and some peeling shoulders. I wasn't able to update much on the road as not every place I stopped at had free wifi, then once in Florida I was busy getting burnt on the beach.

Photos and stories coming soon once I get all my photos uploaded. Here's a sneak peak.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mark Your Calendars!

To celebrate the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Spirrel Monkey will be having a 20% off everything SALE on 29th April from Midnight UK time to midnight US eastern time. So mark your favourites now and grab some bargains on the day!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Family Reunion

For the next 3 weeks I'll probably be a bit quiet on the blog front, as in no long articles, because tomorrow my family arrive from England. I haven't see them since August last year when hubby and I moved out here to the States. So today and tomorrow i'll be busy cleaning and making up beds ready for them.

It will be nice to have a full mad house again and it will be interesting to see how Dexter will deal with it. We've had people round, but no more than two before, so 4 people will probably blow his mind.

Trying to find photos of them but the only ones I have on my computer are my wedding ones.

Above: My Parents
Left: My Sister and Brother (yep big age gap, 20 years)

We plan to go to Florida with them while they are here. Looking forward to getting a bit of guaranteed heat and sun after such a long and cold winter. Never again will I moan about the cold and snow back home, it's nothing compared to what New England gets.

I hope to post little updates on our road trip to the sunshine state, as long as I can get a wi-fi signal, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April Recommended Reading

Dyeing and Screen Printing

By Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor

My specialist subject at university was Textiles, and for my final year piece I did a huge amount of screen printing. This book was amazing, as it went through how to set up and equip a studio, how to prepare images and calculate exposure time, dyeing and printing methods, cloth preparation and fixing. There are also amazing photos of works from practitioners from around the world.

This book is for already practicing artists who already have a good knowledge of basic print methods, but who want to gain more understanding of their craft.

My Rating 8/10

The Lady in the Tower

By Alison Weir

I have a huge fascination with the Tudors, maybe because back home in England I live 10 miles from the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth I and we visited it on school trips. So it figures that I always found the story of her mother’s rise and downfall intriguing and often not truthfully explained.

Alison Weir is an amazing historian and brings the lives of these huge figures to life in an easy and understandable way. I bought this book because for the first time it went into detail about the last few months of Anne Boleyn’s life rather than the in and outs of how she became wife number two. She looks at the reasons as to why Anne was accused, the political intrigues against her, Cromwell’s motives, the evidence which was very much a case of twisted conversations and poorly thought through dates of her crimes with other men! One of the dates she was allegedly sleeping with a courtier was when she was heavily pregnant, as the Queen of England she would not in anyway chance a miscarriage for any man. Another date that she was suppose to be having an elicit affair, she was really miles away at a different palace with many witnesses.

Through Weir’s sources and knowledge of Tudor history you gain an understanding that Anne had no chance of surviving this political smear campaign and was doomed from the beginning. In fact it is shown that Henry, who played the cuckold husband and who was shocked by the evidence in the trial, had already sent for the executioner from France before the trial had even begun. So he must of known she would be found guilty of something one way or another.

The chapter on the day of her death and the agony she must have gone through when the execution was delayed twice shows what a strong and highly religious woman she was. Her speech on the scaffold is also very moving and brave.

The author also looks at the effect of Anne Boleyn’s death on her daughter Elizabeth. Would she of known her mother well? Were they close? Most royal children were brought up in their own households by tutors and nannies. It is thought that Elizabeth associated marriage, sex and birth with death, maybe partly caused by the deaths of her mother, Jane Seymour and Katherine Howard. She must of thought something of her mother as in the book is a picture of a ring that Elizabeth wore which opened up like a locket in which there are portraits of herself and her mother. A great read for any history nuts out there!

My Rating 10/10

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Return of the Flowers?

So where is spring? Normally by this time of the year back home I would of seen a beautiful and colourful display of spring flowers such as daffodils, crocuses, primroses, snowdrops and soon during this month bluebells and cherry blossom. However here in New York so far there is still no sign of spring. The trees are bare, there is no hint of colour from spring flowers and this morning we had more snowfall! It feels like its still January, which is confusing my brain and body.

I have become so desperate to see flowers and colour that I have taken to making my own out of anything I can find. Here are some pictures of my attempt to coax spring to appear and warm my days.







The Green flowers on the right I can’t take credit for. My husband made them for our wedding anniversary in December. He made a whole bouquet of Green flowers (that was our colour theme) and white flowers which were made out of copies of our marriage certificate! I included them here because they are always on display in our bedroom and they cheer me up.