Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Beauty and The Beast

I have just treated myself AGAIN (shame on me) as I have been ill and pre-ordered myself Beauty and The Beast on DVD.

Release Date: 29th November 2010

When an arrogant prince is cursed to become a Beast, the only way to break the spell is to love and be loved in return. But who could ever learn to love a Beast? After he imprisons Belle, a bookworm who dreams of life outside her provincial village, he sees her as difficult and stubborn while she views him as a monster. But the two soon taste the bitter-sweetness of finding you can change and learning you were wrong.

I am really loking forward to receiving it. I had it on video years ago and was really pleased to see it being re-released. It is a truly lovely film for all the family. Will make a lovely evening in, feet up with a box of chocolates and a glass of wine (or two).
Warmest Wishes

Saturday, 13 November 2010


I have not kept up with my blog over the past weeks. After coming back from Tenerife, I was taken ill and have been in hospital. Nothing relating to my holiday just coincidence. Thankfully I was not taken ill whilst out of the country. I came home a few days ago and am feeling much better now after surgery. I have been working on my novel, doing a quiet bit of knitting and reading some of my poetry books.
The kids have been great. Mum came to stay to look after things whilst I was in hospital - What would we do without our Mums'?
Thank You Mum!
I did however manage to treat myself to a new Steiff Bear whilst ill.
Above is the fantastic STEIFF MOON TED BEAR 2007: 15.5in/40cm: Limited Edition: 2000 Last in series of wild bears.

Warmest Wishes

Monday, 1 November 2010

Back From Holiday

I haven't posted anything for three weeks as I have been on holiday in Tenerife, the Canary Islands. I was given a last minute cheap deal which was just too good to miss so off the three of us went, bags packed into the sunshine. We had a wonderful time, a much needed break.

Also, when I got back yesterday, I had an email informing me that I was the winner of "Casper Bears' Blog Give-A-Way" which is a lovely toy for my beautiful little Westie.
Thank you Casper Bear

Warmest Wishes

Sunday, 10 October 2010


Please click on the photograph above for the link to a giveaway at "Casper Bear" Life Of A Chocolate Labrador. If you love dogs, you'll love this blog.The prize is a lovely toy for your dog.

Warmest Wishes

Friday, 8 October 2010


I found this lovely little poem in one of my Mums' magazines and thought you might like to share it.

Warmest Wishes


My Pom Pom making turned out to be a bit of a disaster, but, I'm not giving up. I would post pictures of my feeble attempt but I think it might be a bit embarrassing, so, over the weekend I may try again and have something fit to post here. Well, maybe! I'm not one for giving up so watch this space!

Warmest Wishes

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


What a hectic day it's been today! Everything that could go wrong DID! Typical! Looking forward to the week-end for some much needed peace and quiet! Kids are both at friends for the evening so I thought I try out a few new "Pom Pom" craft books that I recently acquired from eBay.

Look interesting?

Thought I'd try my hand at a little bit of pom pom Craftiness....

So..... with some pom poms & glue in hand ... here goes....

I'll let you know how I get on

Warmest Wishes

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


Little Book Of Poems For Young Children

If you are looking for a book of poems to introduce a young child to poetry, you will not go far wrong with The Usborne Book Of Poems for Young Children

  • A beautifully illustrated anthology to introduce poetry to young children.

  • Includes works by classic poets such as Shakespeare and Lewis Caroll alongside exciting contemporary poets such as Spike Milligan and Roald Dahl.

  • From bouncy limericks to beautiful nature poems and enthralling stories, every kind of poem is here for children to enjoy again and again.

  • Author/Editor: Chosen by Philip Hawthorn

  • Illustrator: Cathy Shimmen

  • 96 pages

  • Ideal for age 6+
A lovely little book!

Hope you found this useful...

Warmest Wishes

Sunday, 3 October 2010


I have just bought and read 'The Floating Man' by Katharine Towers (Picador Poetry). I love poetry and the title of this one fascinated me. It is a first collection of only 39 pages, and many of the poems are short - but all are well worth the read.

Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2010.

An original collection, subtle yet powerful..

The Floating Man
by Katharine Towers

Appropriately for a book haunted by music, Katharine Towers' poems exhibit an almost pianistic sense of timing, touch and tone. In The Floating Man , Towers writes about weight and weightlessness, presence and absence, the body in space, and our oblique relationship with the natural world, always with a wonderful sense of compositional balance; she is expert at registering the huge emotional shifts effected by the smallest things, whether the scent of apples, the slant of the light, or the grace-notes of memory. Music expresses the things we cannot say, but Towers recruits its power to bring the beyond-words into the realm of speech. The result is a debut of great originality and subtlety.

Katharine Towers was born in London in 1961 and read Modern Languages at St. Hilda's College, Oxford. She has an MA in Writing from Newcastle University. Her pamphlet 'Slow Time' was published by Mews Press in 2005 and her poems have appeared in publications including Mslexia and The North. She lives in the Peak District with her husband and two daughters.

Three poems from Katharine Towers's debut collection, longlisted for the Guardian first book award 2010

In The Oak Woods

I waited to hear
the owl's late evening
call to prayer.

I lay down
under old-fashioned oaks,
quiet for fear the owls might startle
and fly from their tooms.

I waited to hear
the owl's late evening
call to prayer.

and dreamed of moonshine
and moths, the sidelong
sidestepping fox who turned
to ask why I stayed.

I waited to hear
the owl's late evening
call to prayer.

and lay all night
in old-fashioned woods
as the owls' pale faces
turned to ash in their rooms.


This is the tune it has known all along
but kept in its puppeteers' chest of velvet and string.

The notes of Chopin's Ballade march out
as if years of practice have put them
beyond the reach of mistake or expression.
The keys dip and lift, efficient as clocks,

and we notice the piano's reluctance to tremble or weep
as the signature dims into minor. When the adagio comes
there's no sigh, no blissful easing of fingers,
only a rickety pause that wants to be over.

With the last chord, the piano relaxes and shudders,
as if it has said what it meant, and none of it mattered.

Planting Tulips

They might have thought I was praying
knelt so long on the path; and truly
my hands were glad to be down in the dead earth.

Today a man was lifted from our bog.
He came out dark, shining like a length of flexed rope
and opened his inside-out eyes to the sky.

I would have said to leave him be
under the mosses and ling in the bog's orange juices,
not to take him from his own people.

I can almost forget which are my fingers
and which are worms trickling between them.
Perhaps I look like a beast run to ground,

or someone weeping. In spring
these tulips will come up black, stately.

Read The Guardian review of this book by Ben Wilkinson

I hope you found this interesting.....

Warmest Wishes

Saturday, 2 October 2010


 An English Country Lane In Autumn

Now the nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling from the trees, and summer is just a distant memory, our thoughts can turn to Autumn. In the UK the first day of Autumn falls in September and runs through to December. Autumn is well and truly with us here in the UK. It is probably my favourite time of the year. Autumn marks the transition from summer into winter when the arrival of night becomes noticeably earlier and chilier. The possibilities of summer are gone, and the chill of winter is on the horizon. Skies turn grey, and many people turn inward, both physically and mentally. But for me when the colder weather arrives I love to cuddle up in front of the tv with a good book and my faithful pink socks, dog and cat by my side, heating on, pull down the blinds and close the curtains blocking out the world until the next day arrives.

Autumn in poetry has often been associated with melancholy.

Rainer Maria Rilke, a German poet, has expressed such sentiments in one of his most famous poems, Herbsttag (Autumn Day), which reads

Who now has no house, will not build one (anymore).
Who now is alone, will remain so for long,
will wake, and read, and write long letters
and back and forth on the boulevards
will restlessly wander, while the leaves blow.

Similar examples may be found in Irish poet William Butler Yeats' poem The Wild Swans at Coole where the maturing season that the poet observes symbolically represents his own aging self. Like the natural world that he observes he too has reached his prime and now must look forward to the inevitability of old age and death. French poet Paul Verlaines's "Chanson d'automne" ("Autumn Song") is likewise characterized by strong, painful feelings of sorrow. Keats' To Autumn, written in September 1819, echoes this sense of melancholic reflection, but also emphasises the lush abundance of the season.

Illustration For "To Autumn" by W J Neatby

Other things associated with Autumn are the “Harvest” the process of gathering mature crops from the fields. The harvest marks the end of the growing season, or the growing cycle for a particular crop, and this is the focus of seasonal celebrations of many religions,“Thanksgiving” US, and the Jewish Sukkot holiday with its roots as a full moon harvest festival of "tabernacles". There are also the many North American Indian festivals tied to harvest of autumnally ripe foods gathered in the wild, the Chinese Mid-Autumn or Moon festival and many others. The predominant mood of these autumnal celebrations is a gladness for the fruits of the earth mixed with a certain melancholy linked to the imminent arrival of harsh weather.
In Western cultures, personifications of autumn are usually pretty, well-fed females adorned with fruits, vegetables and grains that ripen at this time. Most ancient cultures featured autumnal celebrations of the harvest, often the most important on their calendars.

Personification of Autumn

Autumn is also associated with the “Halloween” season. Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints' Day but is today largely a secular celebration.
Common Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns, ghost tours, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, committing pranks, telling ghost stories or other frightening tales, and watching horror films.

A Jack-O'-Lantern
Autumn leaf colour is a phenomenon that affects the normally green leaves of many deciduous trees and shrubs by which they take on during a few weeks in the Autumn season, one or many colours that range from red to yellow making this a particularly colourful time of the year. It is also a good time for collecting some free natural resources for the kid's nature tables - different types of leaves, big ones, small ones - yellow, brown and green, Conkers and conker shells (Horse Chestnuts), Fir cones (these also make great Christmas decorations when you have finished with them) and bits of twig. Why not take the kids' on a nature walk to experience Autumn for themselves. They can help collect the leaves and cones. There is nothing quite like kicking your way through a pile of fallen leaves on a dry, crisp Autumn day.
Cherry Tree In Autumn

Oak Tree In Autumn

Ahhh… I do love this time of the year
Warmest Wishes

Friday, 1 October 2010


The Flower Fairies are the product of English illustrator Cicely Mary Barker, created during the first half of the 20th century. Unable to go to school as a child because of her epilepsy, she was home-schooled and spent much of her time drawing and painting. Her artwork was influenced by illustrator Kate Greenaway and even more so by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and she developed her talent as a member of the Croydon Art Society. Her flower fairy paintings, in particular, were driven by the Victorian popularity of fairies and fairy stories.
Cicely Mary Barker published her first Flower Fairies book in 1923; she received £25 for Flower Fairies of the Spring, a collection of twenty-four paintings and illustrations. The books enjoyed huge popularity due to Queen Mary’s well-known interest in fairy art. She later published seven more volumes of Flower Fairies. Following the publication of Cicely Mary Barker’s original Flower Fairy paintings and verses, two series of fairy stories featuring original Flower Fairies characters, Flower Fairies Friends and, more recently, Secret Stories, have also been published. The Flower Fairies were Cicely Mary Barker’s most well-known creations. They are notable in particular because of the sweet, realistic depiction of the children, modeled on children enrolled in her sister Dorothy’s kindergarten. She has also been likened to Beatrix Potter in the botanical accuracy of the plants and flowers amidst which the fairies dwell. The Flower Fairies and all related publications are licensed properties of Frederick Warne & Co and the Estate of Cicely Mary Barker.

What  Is A Flower Fairy

Flower Fairies are tiny creatures (the biggest is only 20cm tall) that live in the bottom of gardens, the middle of grassy meadows, and on the edge of distant marshes. Wherever and whenever a seed sprouts, a Flower Fairy baby is born. Each Flower Fairy lives and sleeps in their chosen flower, plant or tree, and as this grows the fairy grows too. Each and every Flower Fairy is in charge of looking after their flower or plant; keeping it strong and healthy by making sure it has plenty of sunshine and water to drink, sweeping away dead leaves, and polishing flowers and stems.

How to Find Flower Fairies

The best times of the day to see a fairy are at twilight, midnight, just before sunrise, and midday. And the best time of the year to see a fairy is on Midsummer's eve, as this is the most magical time for all fairies. Flower Fairies love music and dancing, and hold many balls and parties throughout the year, but on this special night they throw the most wonderful party of all, and every fairy in Flower Fairyland is invited! Fairies don't like to be discovered, and are very good at disappearing quickly (with the help of their magical fairy dust), so you must be very careful and very patient if you are to see one.
Flower Fairies are very shy creatures, and are especially wary of humans. Each fairy has extra-sensitive ears, so if they hear someone coming close to them they are careful to flutter into their flower and curl up tightly. Each fairy wears an outfit made from their own leaves and flowers, so it is easy for them to hide. To befriend a fairy, the first thing you must do is to leave a dish of milk or sugar or even cream out for them in the night.

Who are The Flower Fairies?

Below are a few of Cicely Mary Barker’s well-known fairies. All were born in Milton Keynes

Sweet Rose is the gentlest of the summer Flower Fairies. A kind fairy, she likes nothing more than tiptoeing around her flowers and tending to them in the warm sunshine. She is a very good friend to the honey bees and is often seen guiding them to her fullest blooms and standing protectively beside them as they collect pollen.

Zinnia's flowers are some of the brightest in the garden, with their blooms ranging from pale pink to dramatic orange! With her tortoiseshell wings Zinnia is a colourful sight as she flutters around the flower bed, tending to her blooms and collecting petals to make pretty costumes.


Outgoing and friendly, Buttercup likes nothing better than to skip through the summer meadows, visiting friends and singing to herself in the sunshine. She fills the fields with her yellow flowers, which she polishes until they shine like gold, which give pleasure to all her fairy friends and human children too.

Have you seen the flower fairies?... you don't have to see them to believe in them... you have to believe in them to see them...

Ahhh…I always enjoy getting lost in her Magical World…I hope you found yourself carried away to an enchanting corner of your mind also…

Warmest Wishes

Thursday, 30 September 2010


Welcome To My Blog
 Katie Black @ Home

Hi! My name is Katie. This is my very first post at "blogging" which is all new to me, so please bear with me while I find my feet. I love poetry so many of my posts will include poems. I also love most crafts, books, collecting teddy bears old and new (see some of my huge collection in my sidebar)and plan to write posts about all the above plus the silly things that I get up to @ Home where I live with my two children, dog and cat.

I am starting off with one of my favourite poems which reflects life today


WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


What does this poem make you feel about life?

It makes me feel as if life passes us by far too quickly and I'm sure it does!

That's all for now.....

Warmest Wishes