Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Years Resolution

Well hello - if there is anyone out there who still checks in here. Firstly an apology for being a naughty little blogger and neglecting you for such a long time.

One of my New Years resolutions if to blog more frequently.

I thought I got off to a good start and then what with one thing and another life seemed to get in the way a bit - too much work and being a little out of sorts. I've had two of my ponies lame and what with frequent visits to the vet and all the stress that goes with it I've been a bit off the mark really - I make myself sick with worry. I try not to but I just can't help it, anyone out there with animals, ponies or livestock of any kind are probably just the same. I've also had computer problems and Mr Monkey has had to strip everything off my computer and reload the necessities - tomorrow I'm going to try to get a photo editor thingy downloaded and then I will be able to share some of my photo's with you.

So perhaps another resolution should be not to get to worked up and stressed about things I have no control over - easier said than done.

Anyway I would like to wish everyone a fantastic New Year and I hope you have a great evening.

Tomorrow will be 2010 and I'm going to get my rear end in gear!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Drumroll please.....

Well the draw for the set of lampwork beads was certainly lots of fun and an interesting event which involved all of the Monkey troop.

In first Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Mansfield my two gorgeous Pilgrim geese they had a waddle over to where the names were folded up and...........
Errrrmm NO THANK YOU we are geese and don't do menial tasks around the garden HUMPH!! They were having none of it.

OK so then Lottie Floppy Dog decided that she would have a little sniff around and see what she could do to help as you can probably see she only has one eye and is blind in the other. Oh and if thats not handicapped enough she happens to be deaf as well. Needless to say a name still didn't get drawn out.

OK so who else do we know who could help us out..... ah here come Rita and Bob the Speckled Sussex

They said sorry you can cluck off, we aren't coming over there - no way, not with a terrier in the garden

OK then who do we know who are super nosey, super greedy and can't bear to miss a thing? Thats right..........we had better call in the Two Fat Ladies surely they will do the honours. Coooooeeeeeey, Charity and Hope where are you?
Here we are
Now lets have a look....

There ya go Dad

And the winner is......... ta daaaa

Now if you would just get in touch with your address I will pop the said beadies in the post to you.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Sunny Sunday

Ahhhhhh a relaxing sunny Sunday afternoon at The Monkey House. This is Jeffy Cat fast asleep and dreaming of who knows what. :O)

Thursday, 17 September 2009


Oh I'm so fed up. I'm in on my own and have just got have a moan to someone and unfortunately for you dear reader you got the short straw.

I have just attempted to make a lovely lampwork cabochon for one of my ring designs and got to the very last tiny bit and the blimmin bead release has broken. I started again because I liked the colours and pattern so much, just got to the end of the second one and once more the bead release broke. Grrrrrr!!!!!!! I'm so cross. That's it I've stamped my feet, turned the torch off, turned the kiln off and have thrown my bananas out of my tree.


Wednesday, 9 September 2009


Here we have a set of 7 lampwork round beads, handmade by me in ivory and black glass wrapped generously in 99% pure silver - yummy.
So....... if you would like to be in with a chance of winning them all you have to do is leave a comment and I will draw names out of the hat on 21st September 2009. Simples!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Oh Bugga

Well in trying to change the http of my blog I have managed to make myself unavailable via links to the lovely, lovely people who follow it.

Why am I so stupid!!!

The only thing I have managed to do is follow myself - why am I not surprised!?

If any of you lovely people have managed to find me here - I'm so sorry for messing it up and thank you for finding me again.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Monkeys favourite recipe.

Well now firstly, sorry I have been away for a while, busy, busy, excuse I know so once again, I'm sorry.

Anyway to make it up to you I thought I would share my most favourite recipe ever - not bananas - although you understand I DO love bananas :O)

Here it is: It's an Angela Nilsen recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine and it really is the best ever Chocolate Brownie in the world as voted for by the Monkey Troop. Did you know that a group of Monkeys is also known as a cartload?

The bonus is it's lower in calories than 'normal' brownies recipes sooooo......that means you can pile on the double cream or ice cream - yummy.


85g dark chocolate , 70% cocoa solids, chopped into small pieces (I used Green & Blacks)
85g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g golden caster sugar
50g light muscovado sugar
½ tsp coffee granules
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp buttermilk
1 egg
100g mayonnaise (I used Hellman's)

Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Pour enough water into a small pan to one-third fill it. Bring to the boil, then remove the pan from the heat. Put the chopped chocolate into a large bowl that will fit snugly over the pan without touching the water. Sit the pan over the water (still off the heat) and leave the chocolate to melt slowly for a few mins, stirring occasionally until it has melted evenly. Remove the bowl from the pan, then let the chocolate cool slightly.

Meanwhile, lightly oil and base-line a 19cm square cake tin that is 5cm deep. Combine the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda. Using a wooden spoon, stir both the sugars into the cooled chocolate with the coffee, vanilla and buttermilk. Stir in 1 tbsp warm water. Break and beat in the egg, then stir in the mayonnaise just until smooth and glossy. Sift over the flour and cocoa mix, then gently fold in with a spatula without overmixing.

Pour the mixture into the tin, then gently and evenly spread it into the corners. Bake for 30 mins. When a skewer is inserted into the middle, it should come out with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it. If cooked too long, the mix will dry out; not long enough and it can sink. Leave in the tin until completely cold, then loosen the sides with a round-bladed knife. Turn out onto a board, peel off the lining paper and cut into 12 squares.

Nutrition per serving: 191 kcalories, protein 2g, carbohydrate 23g, fat 11 g, saturated fat 3g, fibre 1g, salt 0.28 g

PLEASE NOTE - the nutrition detailed above is not for a Monkey sized portion - that would be far higher in 'nutrition'

Now off you go and make some - you won't regret it. :O) :O) :O)

Have a great bank holiday weekend.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Buffed hammered sterling silver ring

Here is a ring that I started making late yesterday and finished off this evening. Its a wide sterling silver band with a hammered texture to the outside and a secret message hand stamped on the inside.

I made one similar to this but with a plain band for my son when he was having a bit of a tough time with exams and other things - he loves it and wears it all the time.

I just wanted him to know that no matter what he is loved ALWAYS.

There are more photos on my flickr if you want to have a peep just click on the flicker box on the right hand side ----->

Buffed sterling silver I AM LOVED ring

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Oh alright then!

Blimey! I just have to introduce you to my two sheep Hope and Charity. They are Coloured Ryelands and are a rare breed. White Ryelands are rare but Coloured ones even more so.

These two have been nagging the life out of me to get their mugs on here :O)

Originally we had three ewes Faith, Hope and Charity, unfortunately Faith died last year and I cried for about a week :O ( We went all the way to Anglesey from Derbyshire to fetch them, and we had been on a waiting list for ages waiting for some to become available. We have bred a few lambs but none this year (Faith died after having twins and I just couldn't face it) The twins did really well we bottle fed them, they survived and now live with my neighbour they are called Fifi and Frank.

I thought I would also put up a picture of them in their winter woolies so you can see how cute they are with their chocolate brown coats on. I just love the white around their muzzles, it looks like they have porridge for breakfast LOL.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Second lampwork ring

Second ring, originally uploaded by GoodMonkey.

Sorry I've not blogged for a few days, have been really busy and also I have got a bit of a summer sniffle. So I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself ;O) Yeah, yeah Monkey - enough of the whinging - get on with what you've popped in to say.

Any how I wanted to share this with you. It's the second ring I have made. I quite like the colours in this one but I prefer the other one with the silver disc rather than just the rivet on the top; Then again I like the hammered finish on the shank of this one. I have also made some beads but not having much luck getting decent photos to show you.

I have also got another ring half made, it's in the pickle at the moment but I will show it when I've finished. It's different in style to this, I might get to have another go at it tomorrow.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Sterling Silver and Lampwork Bead

Silver ring, originally uploaded by GoodMonkey.

I thought I would share with you what I did this afternoon. I made this. The metalwork is sterling silver and the bead is Italian glass lampworked by me. This is the first ring I have made like this and I am really chuffed with it - mainly because I didn't smash the bead when I was hammering the silver. YAY :O)

I had a lovely morning

I had a lovely morning, looking after the animals and then my Mum and Dad came to visit. They bought some guests with them Tom and Bob who are old army buddies of my Dad (back in the days of National Service) and Toms wife Betty. Mum did a brilliant job of tracking them all down last year and she got them together after about 50 years of not seeing each other.

I'm so pleased they have all found each other again; but in a way I'm sad that they have missed out on 50 years of great times together. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to do armed service and rely on each other to watch your back and protect your life - literally. This sort of friendship is extra special and I have to say that every one of Dads friends are absolutely lovely, lovely people - I'm proud to have met them and I'm so very, very grateful for what they and others have done and still do for all of us.
They are off to a reunion/get together for a few days and I hope they have a wonderful time.
I am so proud of my Dad :O)

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Swap Bracelet

Swap Bracelet, originally uploaded by GoodMonkey.

Well here it is. My swap bracelet. I made the beads and Charlotte made the bracelet. Isn't it fab? The bracelet I mean. I have been wearing it everyday since I got it and I will be wearing it everyday for a very long time to come. :O)

Monday, 27 July 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Me and Mr.Monkey went to see the new Transformers film last night. We loved it LOL. Loads of special effects, no plot to speak of but lots of all action robots and the gorgeous Megan Fox thrown in there for Mr.Monkey.

What a woman she is.......... two and a half hours of non stop action and her make up was still perfect, false eyelashes still in place and hardly a dirty mark on her white skin tight jeans!

Here you go Mr.Monkey :O))

Mind you ladies having said that it's worth going to get a peek at the gorgeous Josh Duhamel - yummy ;O)

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Thank you

I just wanted to publicly say many, many thanks to the lovely ladies who bid on, and won the charity auction items of jewellery.

The bracelet was bought by Jayne who I believe is going to pass it on to some lucky lady as a gift.

Also my friend the very lovely Sandy bought the pendant. Sandy is more than capable of making her own beads and jewellery so this is especially generous of her. Even better I will be able to give it her in person when I see her on Saturday :O)

Check out Sandys website here

I think I did it Dawn. Although it did take me two attempts. LOL

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Pic for Evie :O)

Necklace made by me. Lampwork beads made from coral coloured glass, ivory coloured glass and lashings of fine silver which is 99% pure silver. The beads were etched for a soft silky texture then strung on a soft greek leather lace with sterling silver findings. It measures up at about 15 and a half inches so sits really nicely. It is longer than it looks, I have wrapped the leather lace around so that it would stay on the stone wall LOL. You like it?

Click on the pic for a better view.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Charlottes beads, my bracelet

I promised you I would show you the bracelet I made with Charlottes beads didn't I? Well here it represents a warm summers evening with the Brimstone moths coming out to play. The little spacer beads jingle alongside the nugget beads.

Check out Charlottes website here

I wish I could do that thing where you just put the word like "here" and it takes you straight to the link. Arrrrghhhh computer numptie!

Saturday, 18 July 2009


I was driving though a local village the other day and saw this, I had to go back and take a photo just to show you.

Happy Birthday Mr. Jones!

I would like to introduce you to Mr. Jones!

Mr. Jones! is a Dales Pony and they are a very rare breed. On the Rare Breeds Trust watchlist their status is critical. This is a great shame as they are truly wonderful ponies who can turn a hoof to anything.
I bred Mr. Jones! myself and today is his third birthday. Oh and just as a side note he really does warrant the exclamation mark.

Here he is at about 6 months old. Cute eh?

And here he is today, he has had a whole packet of Polos to himself by way of a pressie and he was well chuffed. Three years old already - where does the time go?

Happy birthday gorgeous boy xxx

Friday, 17 July 2009

Time Management.

I went on a time management course yesterday - guess what? (Mother - you won't be surprised by this if you are reading it) I was late.

Thursday, 16 July 2009


Excitement on the road last night.

As hubby and I were heading off to the local pub for the weekly quiz (yeah sad I know but hey it’s the only way to stop him working 24/7 and anyway it's fun and we get quiz, raffle and supper all for the princley sum of £1 - bummin good value for a quid I'd say).
Anyway - I digress. Back to what I was going to tell you.

Just as I was driving up the road hubby said to me “watch out for that lion” Lion!!!! I actually thought it was a huge dog because we do get a lot of dog walkers round our way. Turns out it was a calf and a very new calf at that. He was a gorgeous conker brown colour and he was out on the road. Eeeeek!!!!!

I went into ‘I’m a farmer and I’ll deal with this’ mode got out of the car and scared him away – that’s what a good farmer I would be!

We managed to herd him into lay-by near the gate and phone the local farmer who has cows and calves across the road; I’m on my way he said. Well what seemed like forever later he and his wife came only to inform us that he had checked his calves and had a count up (no wonder it took ages) none of his were missing. By this time the little chap had scrambled through a gap in the gate and got into the field with a herd of young cows/bullocks – that’s BULLOCKS!

It was very nearly dark by now and we phoned the farmer who the herd belonged to – no answer, so left a message on the answer phone – we found some discarded sheep wire and tied it with string to the gate so that he didn’t get out again (assuming that was where he belonged) we phoned the farmer again, and left another message to say we had mended the fence and he seemed to be OK so off we went.

I went to try to get a photo of the cute little guy this evening but couldn’t see him – I do hope he is OK. Of course farmer no.2 hasn’t returned our calls either to say the little chap is OK or indeed to say thank you!

P.S. We were rubbish at the quiz :O)

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Thank you, thank you.

I just wanted to nip in and say a HUGE thank you to all the lovely people who have so generously put bids on the ebay charity auction jewellery. They are going great guns at the moment. Bless ya all xxx

Monday, 13 July 2009

Busy weekend melting glass

Well I have had a very busy weekend. On Saturday I had some torch time and managed to make some beads. I have been struggling for inspiration to make pink beads to make a bracelet to auction in aid of Breast Cancer Campaign. Pink is not a colour I use in my beads very often and I found it quite a challenge. And on Sunday I made them up into jewellery.

I also made some in green and pink for Tommys baby charity.

I have no idea why two of tham are is sideways! They aren't when I view them on my computer screen!! Oh well, technology is not my strong point.
What do you think?
They are on auction on ebay. Why not have a look and maybe a bid. It's all for good causes and 100% of the money goes to these worthy charities.
The pics are the right way up on the listings.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Getting down and dirty......

I thought you might like to see some photos of my pony. I just managed to catch her having a roll in the mud. Why did I think you might like to see her? Well she is pretty isn't she? I just love the look in her eye on that third photo. The fringy thing is supposed to help keep the flies away from her face - a bit like one of those fly curtains I remember as a child. You know the ones with the long multi coloured plastic ribbons fluttering in the wind, the really tasteful one that Grandma used to have up at the kitchen door. Well until she went posh and bought a heavyweight plastic covered chain one that is.
Oh I had better mention the bandage on her leg, about 6 weeks ago I went up to her field and found her with a massive cut to her leg which went right down to the bone, shes on the mend now though. The reason I choose to have bright coloured bandages on her is so that when I drive past her field I can see if it has slipped down or not. She is a bit naughty sometimes when it's itchy she rubs it with her other back leg until the bandage is hanging around her ankle!
If you click on the pics they come up bigger.

Right if I'm quick she won't catch me having a roll

Ahhhhh thats nice

Oh bugga - caught in the act!

Yawn!....What do you mean having a roll in the mud? Not me, I must have been sleep rolling ;O)

Monday, 6 July 2009

Ants in yer pants make ya belly button dance

I lifted up a huge piece of walling stone and disturbed an ants nest. Unfortunately the stone had to me moved to accommodate some groundworks we are having done.

I thought you might be interested to see the ants at work, they organised themselves to move camp and if you look closely you can see the white eggs they are carrying to safety.

The good news for this weekend is that I have now finished the swap bead bracelets. I just need to photograph them and get Charlottes off in the post. So whilst it has stopped throwing it down with rain for the moment that's what I'm going to do now. See ya later.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009


I don't believe it! They have returned and nicked another electric fence unit. I'm so angry and upset :O(

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Mr Toad

I took my camera up to the ponies with me this morning and I’m glad I did. I needed to move some stone and when I lifted a big piece of rock up this little guy was hiding underneath. Do you know what type of toad he is? I have no idea but I suspect he is quite young. I don't know why he just looks young to me LOL

Here's a few pics of my own personal glassy toad. He is the first one I made and nowhere near good enough but I really enjoyed making him.

He is a bead and I made him myself after buying a tutorial from Teresa Lailberte. I've put the link to Teresa’s website below. Do go and visit; she is one seriously talented lady.

Do you know I never used my camera much before starting this blog. I’m really glad I started it now.

I just wish I could get good shots of my beads, still as we say in bead world, practice, practice, practice.

Do you read your horoscope?

Sometimes I do and I was quite pleased to read my horoscope in the Sunday magazine this morning, the first sentence said “This should be one of the most rewarding times of the year for Scorpios” Yay, brilliant! About time!! I’ve had a bit of a run of bad luck recently – not as bad as some poor folk but bad enough to be thinking, “What’s coming next? When is this going to end? Is the moon in the wrong place or something?” – you know the feeling don’t you?

Anyway horoscope assured me that things were on the up – yippee :O) The sun is shining, it’s Sunday - not got to go to work, life is goooood.

So hubby and I went up to see the ponies first thing to put fly repellent on them and to move some stuff around ready for the workmen to come and put some hardstanding in the gateways. Firstly I got my ankles nettled – ouch! Not too bad though, that’ll teach me to put my wellies on won’t it. Then I scraped the skin off my wrist on the fence – ouch! – but not too bad. That’ll teach me to put long sleeves on won’t it? Still it is quite hot so short sleeves and trainers wouldn’t be considered to be out of order would they?

THEN......... and this is what realllllly made me cross was just as we were about to leave I noticed that some *insert expletive here has nicked my electric fencing unit! Grrrrr!! This a little battery powered box that sends an electric current through white tape to stop the ponies getting through to where you don’t want them to be, namely thick lush grass which makes Native ponies very poorly if they have too much. I think they cost around £150. So now I have to get another one – horoscopes PAH!

Kept my promise.

See I like to keep my promises :O)

Here are those beautiful beads. The murrini moths are on both sides so they show through the transparent glass in shades of warm summer evening and they are Brimstone moths.

She's a clever stick that Charlotte.



Sorry my photos are a bit rubbish they really don't do these beads justice.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Special treat for me today

I am a member of the glassy lampworking forum Frit Happens I recently signed myself up to take part in a bracelet/bead swap. I don't usually get involved in the swaps but couldn't resist having a go at this one. Whoop whoop wasn't I just the lucky one? For my swap partner I got the lovely, very talented, Charlotte Why don't you have a peek at her website...... go know you want to.
Good call Shelley. (I'm feeling a bit smug - I'm sure you can tell) I can't show you a photograph of the beads just yet because the blimmin battery ran out on my camera! Grrrrr. I promise as soon as I can I will put a photo up on here - worth waiting for I assure you.
I made two identical sets of beads as did Charlotte with the theme of "Hot Summer Nights" then we swapped. I got mine today along with a very generous gift of some murrine made by Charlotte. I now have to make two bracelets; same design - one for each of us. Charlotte is doing the same so we end up with two bracelets each - good eh?
I just hope I can do these beads justice, I've got loads of ideas and hopefully I will find time to have a go a making something this weekend. Yes of course I'll show you a picture when they're done.
Hope you've had something lovely happen to you today too.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Got rid of the stalker!

At last I managed to shake myself off and get rid of me stalking myself as a follower. I dont know how I managed to add myself as a follower and it's taken me 2 days to remove myself. ( I know I want the whole world to read my blog but upping the numbers by following myself was pushing it a bit far I think. )

Also I *think* I have now finished my essays - phew! I hope they are good enough 'cos if they come back to me or my tutor wants more work I'm going to cry. No really I mean it...I am going to cry and I promise you it's not a pretty sight. It usually involves a lot of blubbing, pathetic wailing noises and quite a bit of snot!

Have you ever seen anything like this?

Have you ? This is an egg that one of my chickens laid and it doesn't have a shell! It's like a soft rubber egg, all sqidgy and flubber like but not not wet at all that would be just plain yucky! It feels sort of velvetty. Velvetty now what sort of a word it that?!
I've been keeping chickens for years and I've never seen anything like it so I thought you might like a peek. Before you ask, NO - I'm really sorry but you can't have it. I have already let one of my vet nursey friends have it she's going to pickle it so that her vet nursey students can see it. If you look really closely you can just see the orange yolk in the middle.
If we were living in Victorian times I would sell it to a travelling freak show and make my fortune :O)

Well what do you reckon? Bizarre or what?

Now then I really must go, I'm supposed to be writing my last two essays to complete a verrrry boring qualification I'm doing at the moment YAWN! Right then I'll start the ironing..........

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Why the Monkeys?

Hello and welcome to my blog :O)

First things first - why the Monkeys? Well I have always praised my son by saying you're a Good Monkey and also my hubby says when I get nervous I go on and on hence the Monkey Chatter so it all seemed like a good idea when I was trying to come up with a blog title that I was allowed to have - whenever I thought I had a great one it wasn't allowed, then again I thought this was a great one but now I'm not so sure. See what I mean about the Monkey Chatter? I didn't even stop for breath there did I?

Anyhow as this is my first post I think I will leave it at that!

Errrrm.....I know that I am following myself but I can't seem to get rid of the stalker at the moment. Blogging hmmmmm this is going to be fun :O)