Welcome to my blog. I am 'The Bunny Maker' - aka Anna, confuzzled mother of three boys, maker of sock bunnies for Widget and Friends, owner of The Warren Bunny Boarding and artist behind Half an Acre. Come on in and join the madness!

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Bleurgh ... My eyeballs are arid.....

Bleurghghgh! It's been a promo week ....... I tend to do big wodges of it and then go all yucky and refuse to do anymore! My eyeballs dry up and stick to the lappy screen. Yesterday was the turn of Linkreferral.com. The site is as ugly as hell - ignore that. Actually the whole thing is pretty grim - but it does drive people to your shops - which is all we sellers care about, right? Basically you add your shop URL. It gets listed and people review your shop! Ta-daaaaaaa! It's true. So there. I had 3 reviews within an hour of signing up. To get the most out of it you have to review sites. You can search for the topics you are interested in. You simply rate it using a 1-5 scale and then write a few sentences to prove you actually looked at it!. There is major dross out there - serious dross - and loads of emo-teen blogs to avoid. I've driven nearly 200 people through my shops in the last 4 weeks and had about 30 reviews. Some people have favourited my shops so you never know, they might come back! If you very bored, with nothing else to do (yeah, right!) you can help your ratings by viewing 30 sites (just open the links and close again) and write 5 reviews for the day. This pushes your shop up to the top of the site so more people see it and hopefully review it. If you have a nice shop you will get good reviews etc because everyone is so relieved to actually find something nice to look at! Basically, its free - its quick, its easy, its promotion - get on and do it.
Here endeth the Half an Acre promo tutorial!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Beware the Butt-slap Elf.......

As promised........... but first I must answer a few questions! Yes, Florcita, the soup bowl did make it to the dishwasher. Chukka Stone, you may laugh but labels are next! Lemonshortbread, thank you for the ebay tip - I'm absolutely going to get some more! I've had a lovely amount of comments on here and I'd like to say 'Thank you' and 'I'm glad I've made you chuckle'.
Now ... the Butt-slap elf. Indeed. He's not alone. We also have the dishwasher elves. It's my fault. I married the man responsible. The Butt-slap elf is an irritating fellow. You'll be quite innocently washing-up, going up the stairs, simply walking along and he'll get you ....... slap! slap! slap! right on the butt! You'll turn round ... nothing there ..... except my husband. "Did you see him?!!!" he exclaims, "The Butt-slap Elf, did you see him?". *SIGH*.
The Dishwasher Elves are less annoying, even helpful. They live, obviously, in the dishwasher. "How do you know?", I asked my husband. My husband raises his eyes to the heavens, "How else do the dishes get clean?". "What do they look like?", I ask. "How on earth do I know!", he replies, "when you open the door they vanish, that's what all the steam is. They don't want you to see them. All the steam is made of little bits of elf ". "Do they wear little hats?", I ask. "Don't be ridiculous, that would be silly", he says. *SIGH*.
UPDATE: as with the crabbing I've just been told that once again I am technically INCORRECT. Pah! My husband says that you should NEVER open the door mid-cycle because the light vapourizes the elves - hence the steam. More have to then run up the pipes to carry on the cleaning. Also, now he tells me that there is a BIG pipe that runs under the sea to the Isle of Wight - otherwise how would the elves get there. GIVE ME STRENGTH.

The other day I was feeding money in to the parking ticket machine, busily explaining to my nine year old about how the goblins inside took the payment which lead onto how the Postage Elves get the mail overseas when the lady behind said "You should write a book ......". I don't understand this. I was just explaining how things are.
We live with elves, goblins and other little people .... we have no television ..... our imaginations are in over-drive..
On more mundane levels, I listed this itsy-bitsy ACEO in my Etsy shop today. It's called "Two Hearts" and is a pencil drawing with watercolours. I really like this theme for ACEOs as they are just right for framing and giving to someone you love. It'll need a wide old mount though so you are drawn into the picture. There is something so appealing about the shape of a heart and they are infinately variable. I've got quite a few hearts going on at the moment. I'm trying to put another picture in here but it keeps getting moved down with the text! All the pictures here are on by trial and error! I can't work out how to get them in the correct places half the time. Any tips would be much appreciated. I'll try again. ARGGHGHG! What am I doing wrong? Let's go again....... I can't get the text next to the picture! Look at all that space to fill! Can anyone help?...... any elves out there?

I've had to put the picture in the middle now! Although Florcita did offer me some help - I'm over-tired tonight and can't work stuff out as easily. I've had a question from her - "What about gnomes?". I asked my husband and he replied "Gnomes? Don't be silly, they don't exist". OKAAAAAAAAAAY.
Great hearts, aren't they? Just right for a girl's bedroom wall. Or ditch that idea and have them in your kitchen like the first picture. Not my kitchen, but a friends. Great kitchen! I'll get them into my Etsy shop soon - click on the pics if you are in the UK as they are available from Not On The High Street.com. Back soon!

Friday, 18 July 2008

Smudgy pens, soup and a lime green fish ...

Right - I'm on my computer WAY to long. Do you know how I know this? (that's a lot of ows). I know this because I have worn the letters of a quarter of my keyboard. Yup. Today I did something dumb. It seemed sensible but it is dumb. I wrote the letters back in with permanent marker. Which it isn't. Permanent. Now it is all smudged over the place. It's worse than the picture. It's ten times worse than the picture. What was I thinking. Today I'm painting as well as catching up on line. Yup, I can multi-task with the best of them. But something smells bad in my workroom - not the soup (read on for that bit) - that was spicy sweetcorn chowder - looks like hell, tastes great). It's not my chicken paint either - see an earlier post - its a bit 'pig farmy'. I'm hoping they're spraying the fields round here and its not something rotting in here. Worring. What rotteth in my room, I wondereth.

Over to the right there is a pic of my workroom complete with soup bowl - I'm so scummy. Wait a minute! There! I've put the bowl on the floor by the door ready to go to the kitchen. Will it every get there? Pass. Right now I'm custom painting a fish. A friend of mine wanted one of my pointy fish - in lime green. This is very bold for her, I reckon, as she's a classic creamy, muted kinda girl. Lime green, blue and lilac too! Very nice. Its a slow progression as there's always something online to be doing - like, er, writing blogs. One day I'll spill water in the keyboard and that will be the end of it all! I can't afford another. I'll have to write letters to my flickr groups instead. Here's a pic of it finished. I did a quick pic so I could show you - and its not going into my shops so I haven't gone to too much effort for you (what a meanie I am). It could do with a white background but I don't have any white walls in my house. I've got loads of others though - check them out here.

I like painting these ones. Although this lime one is on its third mouth. I either get it right first time or we're in for the long haul. I also dropped my brush on it and splattered paint blobs everywhere. Cue swearing and much wiping. Eugh, this keyboard gets worse and worse. I can touch type really fast so it must be the combination and friction and heat!

Got to go ...... will be back later to finish!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Crabs, screwdrivers and limpit brains ....

Getting away from toilets and chicken paint - we all upped shop (me, literally), hopped on the ferry and set sail for Seaview on the Isle of Wight. My family have had a holiday home there for about 104 years. You see the ugly building the the middle? It used to look like the one on the left until someone visually challenged ripped the front off in the '70s. Our pad is the bottom flat - we get the garden (teehee). As you can see we are literally within spitting distance of the beach! I've been going there every year of my life - every year - seriously! Now I take my own children there. I feel old.

When we're there pretty much all we do is go crabbing! We have a log book for scoring our catches and we try and set a new record each year. Last year we caught 988 before we had to make a run for the ferry home! This year we're up to 800 odd already so we're definately going to blow the 1000 mark.

Don't listen to this next bit if you are squeemish! We are expert crabbers - and crabbing purists! This means we only use limpits for bait. Do not use those little bags you fill with bacon and CHEAT with - yes, CHEAT with. The crabs get their little legs hooked into the mesh and its a sure thing to land one. No element of danger - no crab sky-diving and smashing onto the rock as you head for the bucket. The purist method is a fabulous hook contrived out of an old coathanger. You also need ....... a limpit, a screwdriver, a medium sized stone and a nine year old boy. Send all out at low tide to get bait. The nine year old finds a limpit (poor thing), shoves said screwdriver under it's shell where it clings to the rock ,er ... like a limpit .... bangs end of screwdriver with medium rock, limpit flies off. Next chisel a hole through the top of the shell - repeated banging needed. You'll know when you are in as you'll get gut splurted up into your eye. DO NOT LICK YOUR FINGERS or you will be sick later. (Its true.. trust me). Stick the rusty coathanger hook through this hole in shell, out through the limpit flesh and wrap round tightly. Lovely. Survey lovely view to take your mind of the limpit murder. DO NOT LICK YOUR FINGERS.
UPDATE: my husband has just read this and has informed me that this information is technically wrong. Typical. The above is how I do it (the correct way) and the other way is the way that men (pah!) do it. So, guys, the bloke way is to smash the hole in the limpits head BEFORE you get it off the rock - this is easier as the limpit does not move (apparently). Move? Good grief, its not like they run off.

Mostly you will catch boring, docile shore crabs. Yawn. For some real crabby action you need low tide. The lower the better. Out on the seaweedy rocks you'll catch (if you can) Velvet Swimming Crabs. BE VERY AFRAID. Shore crabs grab your bait and sit there eating it - Velvet Swimmers grab it and drag it under a rock. Try and pull them up and they let go - they have brains and they are watching you with their scarlet eyes. Some of them swear at you. You need cunning, stealth and nerves of steel. They tangle their legs round the seaweed and pull - you on one end, it on the other. Do not call it obscene names because you will have your children with you. Get the net under it and gently scoop it up. Once in the net - shake the net! They climb out! Shaking gets it on its back in the bottom of the net - quickly get it in the bucket. Once in the bucket DO NOT PUT YOUR HAND IN! It will go for you - big time. They hate you and want you to know it.
Next up are the edible crabs - but don't. Eat them that is. They are smooth and pretty and really not that big. They sit under the rocks and WILL NOT come out. If one gets your bait you have to scoop it with the net but it WILL let go and you'll keep missing it. Yawn. Nice to catch, pretty to look at - just not as much of a thrill as the Velvet Swimmers. Really, really, really low tide and you might spot a lobster. Or find a spider crab in a rock pool. Spider crabs are really slow and dopey - they cover themselves in seaweed as a disguise. It's a treat to find one - more likely you will stand on one first. *shudder*.

Enough of all that murder and mayhem. A crafty interlude approaches. The beaches are great for pottering around on and we collect seaglass, little yellow periwinkles and hag stones. Hag stones are ones with natural holes in them - really cool to find. Traditionally they were hung around horses necks to ward off disease and over the front doors of houses to ward off evil but are now a symbol of protection. I've used them to make my Random Rounds. Each one is, of course, totally different. I've made two, the one you see to the left and another, slightly smaller with red beads. Both are for sale.