Living in Spain and bringing up a Spanglish family during the current 'crisis' and trying various ways to make some 'dinero'. Enjoying life in the sun, crafting and blogging as much as possible.

31 Jan 2013

New Fans by Kate Dengra in Production

I have been waiting for the terrible weather to brighten up and the sun to come out so I could get outside and start spraying and painting my fans. Today was 21º and no strong winds so out I got on the patio (with my little dog Hobo not far from my side). I feel today has been productive - I managed to get 4 sprayed and painted.

One fan being sprayed (Hobo in the background)

I have created a little photo album on facebook that shows my work in progress - I did this mainly since Tophatter removed a necklace I had on one of their 'handmade' auction sites as they said it 'wasnt handmade'. This really annoyed me that they could make this decision when they haven't seen the IT WAS HANDMADE by myself.......grrrrr......this isnt the first time Tophatter have removed my items so I sent them an angry email and cancelled my account - I will sell on Etsy only from now on! Anyway back to the album! - here it is (so far I have photos of my ceramics class and painting class, my fans in progress and also my Mum painting her fans)

Here are the four just after their 'spray' and drying in the sun. Since this photo was taken I have cut out pieces and painted them and they will be on Etsy tomorrow

You might have seen the one on the bottom right before - yes it is like one of the ones that Christina Aguilera bought from my Etsy store (well her fashion stylist did!)

Xtina Aguilera with her Dengra Designs fan

Andalucia - Keeping It's Culture Alive

One thing about Andalucia that I am really passionate about is keeping the traditions and culture alive. Unfortunately with new technology and different education there is a danger that cuture and tradition will disappear with the younger generation.

When my father in law was alive he took me to the mountains to look for mushrooms and truffles then into the fields to find asparagus and capers. I am sad that he is no longer with us to pass on all his knowledge - he was fabulous at weaving the esparto grass into shoes, baskets and other useful objects and I am afraid I never got to learn that from him.

But I do still have 'in-laws' that can pass down some traditions. My Mother in law is going to teach me how to make chorizo, morcilla (black pudding) and other types of cured meats and my 'Nan in law' is keen to teach me how to make goats cheese. Also we have many 'old' recipe books and my husband is keen to keep cooking old dishes such as gachas and migas - dishes that maybe his Nan would have made but maybe the restaurants etc no longer make. Other traditions such as fiestas I beleive need to be embraced with Ali and this weekend we have a mini fiesta in our village and on 3rd is a National fiesta (which I will write about in a bit more detail later). One of the traditions this weekend is to light bonfires and have grilled meats and sausages - Ramon and I are going to do something similar this weekend for the little monster.

Anyway the main reason I have written this is because I found a new blog/website on the internet yesterday written by a Spanish couple whom have a similar passion to myself. It is all about Andalucia and its culture and traditions and I think it will be a fab blog to keep reading/watching and maybe even contributing to.

ArteOlé is the name of this website and you can find it here.....and it is in English too - click (I am sure it wont be the last time I blog about this website so I will create a little label for it so you can follow my blogs about it.

30 Jan 2013

You Might Be An Artist Lauren Purje

I had to share this as this is ME! (although there is one missing......the housework never gets done!)

29 Jan 2013

Ode To The Blogger - by Elizabeth King

It isnt the first time I have blogged about Elizabeth King but I really do feel I have to share this poem she wrote called 'Ode To The Blogger' - click here to see the source of this poem and a fabulous blog

Ode to The Blogger
A blogger is a writer,
First and foremost, this is so.
A master of the written word,
A mummy in-the-know.
We’re clever and impassioned,
We’ve a canny way with words,
We write the things that interest us,
We’re longing to be heard.

And yet, for me, the blogging world’s
Becoming too elusive,
The groups and chats are forums
Somewhat complex and exclusive:
I know not what a “plug in” is,
“Self Hosted” is a mystery.
The techno world is prevalent,
The fountain pen, but history.

Would Plath or Wolf or Austin
Have reviewed the latest slinky?
Would Atwood, or Du Maurier
Do carnivals or linkys?
“To be or not to be” it seems no longer is the question,
“To follow or no-follow”
Is instead the new obsession.
HTML – what the F**K? I haven’t got a clue!
And even leaving comments has become a right to-do.

ENOUGH! Say I, I’m sinking,
In a world of techno babble.
A word is not a proper word
Unless it counts in scrabble.
So take you “codes” and “badges”,
Take your “pingbacks” and your “themes”,
Take you “widgets”, “stats” and “templates”

I haven’t got the foggiest,
I know not what they mean.
I officially declare,
That all thing’s techy aint my scene.
I’ll just crash on with writing,
Cause the rest seems just a farce,

So you can keep your techno jargon
And shove it up your . . .

. . . ULRs.

23 Jan 2013

Another Fan That Xtina Bought

I thought I had found all the images of the fans (that Christina Aguilera bought) in actual use - on The Voice in USA. However last night I came across this clever animated image of Christina with her first fan purchase from my Etsy shop. I LOVE IT

 photo tumblr_meh27txja01rqzbqio2_250_zps450a83c2.gif

Rainbow Bead Collection

YIPPPEEEEE - my new beads all arrived today so I am going to spend tomorrow making my new line of summer wrap excited!

22 Jan 2013

Cranky Old Man - Poem

  • When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
    Later, when the nurses were going through his meagre possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.
    One nurse took her copy to Melbourne, The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.
    And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

    Cranky Old Man.....
    What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
    What are you thinking .. . when you're looking at me?
    A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
    Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
    Who dribbles his food .. . ... . . and makes no reply.
    When you say in a loud voice . .'I do wish you'd try!'
    Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
    And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
    Who, resisting or not . . . ... lets you do as you will,
    With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
    Is that what you're thinking?. .Is that what you see?
    Then open your eyes, nurse .you're not looking at me.
    I'll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
    As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
    I'm a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
    Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
    A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
    Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he'll meet.
    A groom soon at Twenty . . . heart gives a leap.
    Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
    At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
    Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
    A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
    Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
    At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
    But my woman is beside me . . to see I don't mourn.
    At Fifty, once more, .. ...Babies play 'round my knee,
    Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
    Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
    I look at the future ... . . . . I shudder with dread.
    For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
    And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
    I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
    It's jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
    The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
    There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
    But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
    And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
    I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
    And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
    I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
    And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
    So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
    Not a cranky old man .
    Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. .... . ME!!

2013 First Guestbook Entry

Lovely stay, very welcoming to us all
lovely roast chicken and breakfast
Massive thanks from us all! Leni

Using Flamenco Fans in Dance

The fan is arguably the most dramatic of the flamenco props, after the skirt itself. With it, you can punctuate movements or pauses and convey pride and power. You first need to practice opening and closing the fan. Once you master that, you're ready to add it to your dance.


Practice Fan Basics

1 Distinguish between the front and the back of the fan by looking for its spine, or the wooden support. Hold the front, smooth side towards you and the back towards the audience.

2 Hold the flamenco fan closed in your right hand and raise your arm to a little above eye level. Open your fan with a movement of your wrist, letting the fan drop down so it forms a half circle, with the straight edge of the fan facing downward.

3 Close your fan with a movement of your wrist, moving your wrist away from the fan and bringing the straight edge of the fan parallel to the ground. The fan closes on itself.

4 Practice opening and closing your flamenco fan until it's second nature.

Use the Fan in Your Dance

5 Create a dramatic effect by holding your fan high in the air and opening it. Turning your head away from the fan as you open it can create even more drama. You can then use the fan in any way you like.

6 Echo the movement of your skirt as you open the flamenco fan by pulling your skirt into your body as you raise your hand, and then swirling your skirt back to your side as your fan drops open.

7 Gesture with your fan by drawing it across your body or waving it towards yourself in a flirtatious manner. From here, you can create a nice closing for a section of your dance by bringing your arm out so the front of the fan faces the audience. Close it as you bring your arm down so it's at an angle to the floor.

8 Dance with the curve of the fan facing the audience when you hold the fan high. Turn the fan left, echoing its curve by turning your face in the same direction.

9 Hold your closed fan overhead with both hands while you do turns, and then punctuate the end of a turn by opening the fan.

10 Close your fan at different heights and in different ways to notice the effect each height has on the quality of your flamenco. Close it with your left hand in addition to closing it with your wrist to experiment with different effects.

Read more: How to Use a Flamenco Fan in Flamenco Dancing |

21 Jan 2013

Griffon Vultures

I have lived here for 8 years and I never take it for granted - there isnt a day that goes by when I don't look at the scenery in amazement to live in such a beautiful place. On the mountains, in the distance, is a lovely covering a white and even though it is cold here, the sky is still blue and when the sun shines there is still a bit of warmth.

This morning I was just nipping out to the PO to post my parcels (all my sales from over the weekend) and couldn't believe the sight I saw - about 50 Griffon Vultures all circling overhead - enjoying the thermals. I took a little video of them but the footage isnt as impressive as it was seeing them all so close. They must have been circling for about and hour (I have checked that all my dogs are still here - I wouldn't put it past the vultures to take one of them for a mid moring snack!)

15 Jan 2013

A Dog's Purpose

  • A Dog's Purpose?
    (from a 6-year-old).

    Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa , and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

    I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

    As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

    The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

    The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
    Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

    Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

    He said,''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?'' The Six-year-old continued,

    ''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''

    Live simply.

    Love generously.

    Care deeply.

    Speak kindly.

    Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

    When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

    Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

    Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

    Take naps.

    Stretch before rising.

    Run, romp, and play daily.

    Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

    Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

    On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

    On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

    When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

    Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

    Be loyal.

    Never pretend to be something you're not.

    If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

    When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

    There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right. Think good thoughts for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of LIFE...Getting back up is LIVING...

    Have a great life.

    (source - I found this on facebook but wanted to share the story)

14 Jan 2013

Delicious Crochet

Attic 24

Last year I absolutely fell in love with crochet. I had some lessons in the summer but I am still yet to be any good at it - although most people say it is easy.

Attic 24

I discovered the blog 'Attic 24' and I just love the colours that Lucy uses in her designs - I would love to go to her house and have a look at all the things she has made.

Dellicious Crochet

Yesterday I also discovered another fabulous page about crochet on facebook. Using crochet to cover chairs and other every day object - simply fabulous

Dellicious Crochet

  1. Photo: Lucy over at Attic24 is going to be working her hooky magic on some chairs for The Lounge at Yarndale....this beauty was made by Dellicious Crochet, oooooooo yes, we are feeling InSpIrEd!!!!
    Dellicious Crochet

    YARNDALE - a fabulous event this year 2013 - I will write more about this on my blog later but in the meantime join their facebook page