Friday, 30 May 2008

Bits and pieces

Just look who popped into the front garden for breakfast yesterday morning, we think it might be a female, but we couldn't believe how long she stayed eating the peanuts that the birds drop on the ground from the feeder. Needless to say this pic was taken by my OH, surprisingly nimble for that time of the morning :-)

I just thought I'd put up a link to Shirley's new blog that she's had to set up on Wordpress as Bloggger locked her out, and she's had an awful time trying to sort out the old blog and finally gave up in disgust.

We're off to Norwich on Monday as my OH is looking for swallow tail butterflies with a friend and I'm just tagging along for the ride. We're staying in a river side chalet on the river Yare.

I'm hoping to get a lot of R&R and a peaceful look around Norwich on my own, to do some 'creative' shopping and have a look at the cathedral and maybe the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. If anyone knows of any 'must sees' in the area maybe you could let me know.

That is of course if I can tear my OH away from the new ladies in his life (his chucks!) who will be looked after by our brilliant neighbors. I think his next plan is for a couple of pedigree hens, very posh!! and a duck. He's already extending the pen. I wonder when the goat arrives!!

Monday, 26 May 2008

Exhibition finish and B-day

Off you go bus driver!!

Well that’s that all over and I can get on with other things again.
We had a really good social time at the exhibition, and were extraordinarily lucky with the weather. Unfortunately we didn’t inspire the general public to buy out art this time, but our friends and family were delighted with our new work, resulting in 2 sales of a new lino print created by Shirley, she doesn’t blog, but you can see a few examples of her work here. I sold some of my art cards and Mike sold a beautiful elephant print, in between dashing out taking pics of the man next door’s birds of prey. He couldn’t resist holding this beautiful buzzard, Bronwyn, who is a staggering 21 years old, they only live to about 5 in the wild.

I wasn’t too bothered at the lack of sales as yesterday was my B-day and all our children (bar DD3 who’s on holiday in France) came to the show, and thanks to a change in the weather we were able to have a lovely relaxing afternoon enjoying the show and talking to interested people about our work.

We finished the day with an indoor BBQ (weather had failed by then) and I had some lovely B-presents from my family.

My lovely ring bought by my equally lovely OH.

A lovely pair of designer pewter earings from my DS and his DF, from my favorite gallery in Cardiff.

These 2 fantastic books form DD1, the second one being very kindly recommended by Carol

And lastly a year's subscription to the great Cloth Paper Scissors magazine from DD2, so how spoiled am I ???

So in a way it was more a w\e of relaxation than hard work which gave me a chance to see my new work in an exhibition context. This helped me decide on my next direction and showed me that I need to concentrate on my textiles/stitch if I am to create a cohesive collection for further events. I’m still a bit woolly as to a definite direction, but I think that’s not a particularly bad thing, as hopefully it will engender a bit of tension and surprise in my future pieces.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

First day

Left to right, me , Lynda and Pat
Just a quick post to say that the first day of the exhibition went really well and we all had a lovely time. It was especially great for me as Pat and Lynda came all the way over to see the show. We had a great chin-wag over coffee, which was wonderful and we all agreed how nice it would be to meet up at Birmingham for the K&S.

Here are a some shots of the exhibition space, it was a bit hairy this morning as we couldn't start setting up till 8.0 and the show was due to start at 10.0, but we just about made its by opening time.




Thanks to everyone for their support and encouragement, it certainly helped keep the nerves at bay.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Two quilts and a tassel

I had a lovely surprise today when the tassel that I asked Doreen to swap a PC for arrived. It’s absolutely gorgeous, the colours are beautifully subtle and harmonise really well. The beautiful tassel head is embroidered silk paper. And as if that wasn’t enough she has included this lovely cord that she makes on her overlocker, what a good use of a machine I no longer use very often.

And!! Look at these lovely stamps that were on the envelope.

Well I’m finally pulling things together and as you can see I’ve finished the quilt that I designed on the computer in this post. I’m quite pleased with the result, but as usual need to have some distance from it to appreciate it.

I made this quilt about 3 years ago, (it'll go in the exhibition), and have finally managed a half decent pic of it. I made it as a response to how I felt about the pollution on our planet, and the piece then lead on to the piece of poetry I wrote to go with it. It was a long time in the making and it’s true meaning only became clear about half way through. Up to that point I was just exploring ways of using the goddess figure.

Goddess of the Air

I see what you have done
To a planet, so pure and precious
Your buildings are decaying
Suffocating beneath black clouds
Your animals deformed and mutated

Look now to yourselves before you expire
To save the air I have tried to protect
The darkness grows greater
As the wind blows stronger
My powers are weakening
Before your pollutants

Tuesday, 20 May 2008


Well as you can see I couldn't get my OH to leave the garden to do the draw for my 100th post, so I had to go out to him. He insisted on posing in front of the new ladies in his life, 7 hens, and of course the dog had to be in on the act too! I think he thought he might be in for another egg!! We only got them on Friday and already they've superseded me in the pecking order LOL.

Anyway, Val was the winner, so I will be sending off your goodie bag next week, when the exhibition is over and I can get my life back!

Just had to show you a pic of our first clutch of eggs.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Printing play

Thanks to everyone for your lovely comments on my previous 100th post, I will get my OH to do the draw later on, if I can prise him away from the garden.

I while ago I read this post on Carol’s blog and it made me wonder if these raised wallpapers would be any good for printing, so I went round Homebase like a woman possessed tearing off lumps of WP, much to the embarrassment of my poor OH.

Anyway I tried printing with acrylic and it worked beautifully, the deeper relief patterns were obviously more successful. I printed onto a 12”x 12” canvas with a yellow ochre BG as I knew I wanted to use some previously printed autumn leaves. The WP I used is a nice stylised leaf pattern, you can see it here after I’d used it again for a deep orange on another piece.

I over painted the BG with a thin layer of cadmium orange and then applied the leaf print, (printed on mulberry paper) with a thin wash of PVA.

I still wasn’t happy as the leaves looked stuck on so I over painted it again, but this time mixing in a bit of interference gold.

I liked it when I first did it but I’m not sure if I’ve killed it now!

This is the first one of a series I’m doing for the exhibition, so I will post up more as I get them documented

PS sorry for the confusion to anyone who saw this post earlier and then it disappeared, but Blogger bodged the publishing, leaving half of it behind and I had to go out, so had no choice but to delete it.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

100th post

This is my 100th post since I started my blog way back in September last year. I have received so much friendship and encouragement since I started that I can safely say it has changed my creative outlook completely.
I check my emails most mornings and more often than not someone has posted a message that will make me smile or boost my confidence.
So by way of a very small thank you to you all, I will send a goodie bag to the first name out of the hat for anyone who's been kind enough to comment here.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Wonderful week end

Well we couldn’t have been luckier with the weather for our visit to Cardiff. We had a fantastic w/e with our DS and his DF (fiancĂ©).
They loved the commission pieces, much to my relief.

We arrived about 9.30am and shortly afterwards set off for a circular walk that started in Rhossili, which I think is part of the Gower Peninsular.

Before we set off properly we just had to take a visit to the Rhossili Gallery, and what a find that was, wonderful jewellery, and of course the most perfect ring for me, which my lovely DH has bought for my b-day, can’t show you yet as he’s keeping it for the day (at my request).

Anyway we dragged ourselves away and began the 7-mile walk, DS forgot to mention that bit when he suggested the walk!

The first thing I spotted while everyone was admiring the view was this beautiful simple sailor’s memorial, in the churchyard.

It wasn’t long before the pic frenzy really became embarrassing and I risked getting told to get lost, to get these wonderful patterns and textures.

Then just up the path we found this lovely mother and foal. We decided not to have lunch here as we didn’t really have enough to share with the rest of the ponies!

Anyway our DS had decided it would be nice to have lunch on top of this hill, hmmm! It was a long time since our breakfast!! Fortunately we found the perfect spot by a deserted cottage well before the dreaded hill.

We finally finished the walk back on Rhossilli beach, having taken a staggering 5 hours to complete what the guide said was about 2½ hrs. But what did they expect with a photographer and a barmy mixed media artist, for company.

I came back with 40 odd pics and a pocket full of sheep’s wool, an unidentified animal bone and various other unsuitable found objects. Wonderful!!

On returning to Cardiff we were treated to a lovely homemade fish pie and vegetables, which we were all very ready for.

The next day we had coffee in our favourite gallery, Craft in the Bay, after an early morning swim, sauna and spa (and 1½ mile jog for my crazy DH), at the complex where our DS and his DF live.

We then went shopping in Cardiff before going home, tired out but Oh!! So refreshed.
A big thank you to you both for a wonderful w/e.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Cardiff Bay

I'm off to visit my DS and his OH in Cardiff Bay tomorrow morning. I shall be taking the pieces he commissioned me to do, which you can see here, so I'm a bit nervous that they will still like them in the flesh.

I'm looking forward to a cliff walk and a pic-nic on the beach, so lets hope the weather holds.

And of course there's all that shopping to fit in too, so much to do, so little time :-)

Will catch up with everyone on Sunday evening, or Monday, have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008


I seem to have been showered with presents from my OH lately!! Hmmm, lucky me or does he want something? More worrying is, what's he done? Oh dear what a cynical lot we women are!!
Anyway, having read of the delights of the wonderful Dremel machine, on a couple of blogs, one being Ro, I was delighted to see one on the shelf in my local DIY store. I was a bit clueless as to what it actually did till I saw it, to be honest I thought it was some Australian invention, so you can imagine my glee when I discovered what it can do, grinding, drilling, sanding, cutting and all manner of wonderful stuff. So with a bit of careful prompting in the right direction my DH bought it for me, what a nice man :-)

The second pressie arrived the next day, very suspicious!! My DDH (as you can tell the brownie points are mounting ) came home from a very early start to listen to the dawn chorus at the London Wetland Centre, with a beautiful set of bamboo wind chimes, and they sound lovely.

And today, as all good things come in threes, he bought me 6 lovely herb plants to fill up my depleted sink planters. Aren't hubbies wonderful,sometimes

PS I just noticed that DD2 has been experimenting with microwave dyeing and thought you might like to see her exciting results here

Friday, 2 May 2008

Silk paper and post

As I mentioned in my last post I have been busy making silk paper for the forthcoming exhibition. So here's a glimpse of three out of the six I want make.

I'm trying a different form of framing this time, instead of the usual box frame I'm going for acrylic, see what you think, I'm not sure.

The text will be a bit short on the next few posts as I'm trying to teach myself to touch type, of sorts! So fed up with typos!

I received my April PC from Carol T on the CG blog, and it's lovely, really sparkley in the flesh.