Friday, 29 March 2013

This and that

I haven't been idle since the last post, in fact the opposite, just rather busy with my new project over here

I've done a bit to my part of the allotment, but the weather's been much too cold to tempt me out too often.

Preparing for my path and finishing off the first raised bed, I'll need a few more bricks than that pile up against the fence.

The hyacinth I saved is now blooming.......

So not a lot to say this time,  apart from acute cabin fever due to this lack of Spring...... and the long range forecast says it's set to stay cold till May....... wondeferul! 

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The end of the week, it can't be

However did we have the time to fit in work?

It's been a bit of a mishmash this week with lots of different things happening in my diary, so this is a bit of a catch up post.

First of all, I've been pushing my ideas forward on my personal project which you can see here and this is a taster of where I'm heading, having been inspired from a very peculiar direction....

Next I found 2 lovely additions to the Summerhouse collection this week....

I didn't know what I'd use this bowl for when I bought it, but it was the right colours, and then on the way home the light bulb came on, salad of which we'll being growing loads soon, weather permitting.

And of course I didn't need an excuse to buy these, did I.

Then there was some serious plot planning to be done, time's getting on..... good job I did too as I'd got several things wrong,  more about that next time.

And lastly more sketching,  I went back to a technique that I'd learnt on my C&G part 1, creating tone with dots.

First there was 1

Then there were 2 

That's all for now, more news later.....

Monday, 11 March 2013

Very Spoilt

I hope all you mums out there had a lovely Mothers' Day yesterday.

Mine started with a knock at the door, so being lazy I asked the butler to go, thinking it was a neighbour with some newspapers for the garden, imagine my surprise when he returned and announced "There's a parcel for you Madam",  "for me, surely not", I replied but there it was......

Now who could this be from, I wonder....

Beautiful carnations from our son and little grandson, and some spending money at the florist too, thank you both, they're beautiful.

By the time I'd got over the shock and arranged the flowers, the chauffeur had arrived (AKA DH) to whisk me off to lunch at our daughter Hannah's house.

We had a lovely get together, lots of wonderful food with the star of the show being this 3 tiered sponge extravaganza made by Hannah.

We had lots of cake as it's always a family favourite, but still found room for trifle, more gateau, followed by afternoon tea with scones and jam.

Of course us mums all had to have a group photo, we're one short as our son and family couldn't make it down so we were missing Sue, our newest Mummy.

And then there were presents, what a spoilt Mum.

What a wonderful thoughtful set of presents, I'll talk you through. The Russian dolls on the left are American cup measures from Nicola, who remembered that I'd given mine away when we moved. My daughter Pru gave me a present recently of an early '80's Better Homes and gardens cookbook, which is American and all in cups, so the perfect gift. Thank you Nic.

Moving right, this beautiful satin embroidered bag from Hannah is the perfect size for my new A4 sketchbook, or any other posh book that I carry about on my travels and want to keep safe. Her second present is the lap tray in the front, but look what it transforms into when you turn it over, a giant pin cushion, with a turntable top, absolutely great for holding pieces while you sew, or damp stretching small samples. I used it today to help control some difficult needle lace, it was perfect. Thank you Hannah.

And finally from Pru this lovely tea bag holder plus squeezy tongs for the tea bag and green tea. I'm very much a tea addict, it's a very calming ritual, as you've probably guessed by my obsession with tea time paraphernalia for the summerhouse. Thank you Pru, my peppermint tea was so much nicer this evening.

What an inspired collection of presents. 

Friday, 8 March 2013

Variety is the spice of life

When I'm looking for subjects for my daily sketches, I try to get as much variety of subject matter as possible and sometimes I end up choosing the most difficult ones I can find, like this lovely harbour just outside Cardiff, that we've made a special place to visit.

But it's all in the name of practice. This is where our nomad wagon comes in handy and I can sit sketching in the warm on the sofa with a cuppa at my side, perfect.

So when I'm at home I have to work harder to find a subject, and sometimes I get lucky and have flowers...

But then again sometimes I have to work really hard and set up the most complicated still life I can possibly invent....

And occasionally I get inspired by something I've seen on our travels like these amazing medieval panels that I saw in Rodez cathedral in France. The timing wasn't good for me to sketch them at the time so the other day I had a go from this very poor photo that I took at the time.

I chose the top one to study as it was the only one that was half way clear, and it was a fascinating experience. I found myself wondering what the tableau was about, and on working through it I decided that they were offering the King a wash and brush up.

Do you think the person on the left is holding a razor and a toothbrush? 

Also I don't know how many of you will have seen the epic drama World Without End on TV recently, based on a book by Ken Follett, but after I'd sketched the woman on the right she seemed to look uncannily like the wicked Pertanilla, who wet round killing anyone who got in the way of her son Godwin's rise to Abbot.

And lastly when all else fails there's always the self portrait.

I may have to take this out if it looks too bad on the blog, there's only so much humiliation a person can take.

Hmmm maybe next time, when perhaps I've improved


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Picking up the threads

For the last couple of weeks I've been working on some post diploma ideas so if anyone want to see what I'm up I'd be very happy to you over  there

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Sunshine and gardening

As some of you will know by now we were successful in getting our second allotment, which now gives us enough room for food production and and a bit of a garden as well.

I wonder if our success had anything to do with this little lady I found in a charity shop, well where else, who will come with the cups and vase to the live in the summerhouse of my dreams.

Needless to say she has a name, Freda the frog-pot.

As it was so sunny we spent the whole day on the allotment today, marking out the summerhouse plot,

and placing my raised beds,

rescuing some fennel,

and probably a stray rose, or hopefully a gooseberry bush. So all in all a very productive day.


Monday, 4 March 2013

Lovely visits

We had a lovely visit to Bristol to see our friend Carrol on Thursday, and we decided to have a look around the shops in her new neighbourhood. They're right up our street, a charity shop round every corner and an Aldi, which being loyal Lidl fans we hadn't tried. Needless to say Carrol was very happy spending my money for me :-)  Even encouraging me to buy this great jacket for £5.0. I put it through the washing machine and it's come up like new....... bargain!

Thanks for a lovely day.

The next day we headed off to Cardiff to visit our son and family and had some lovely quality time with our newest grandson. We had a great breakfast in one of their local bars, for an amazing £1.99 and 99p for a pot of tea, what a bargain.

And then on Saturday night we were treated to a special meal with champagne and flowers to celebtate the finish of my Diploma C&G, so we felt very spoilt and chilled out by the time we left on Sunday morning. Thanks to all of you for making it such a special weekend, can't wait to see you again soon.