Wednesday, 28 July 2010

More pics & a piece of sculpture

More holiday pics ;)

Our friend on the right & his music buddy at our friends friends festival. Wonderful setting in a woodland but it must have been 35 degrees in the shade! They were helping so we were there 11 hours, no taxis in that part of the world.....!

These jazz performers were fabulous

I should have taken a rubbing of this  on a visit to Luze the next day but it was rather high up!

revisiting my youth drooling over these beautiful bikes. I really don't want one anymore but love the memory of my sister & I helping our friend bring his bike into the kitchen when the parents were out. I looked round this bike gathereing/brocante & so wanted to find an affordable part from a Harley to keep as an objet d'art, now that really is showing my age!

I can feel a sculpture coming on! I found one or 2 bits & pieces on the stalls, I'll photograph them later.

Speaking of sculptures, I went to the opening of the Sculpture Trail at Armadale Castle & Gardens & photographed one on the way in by James Adams  'Feller' - love his work. This exhibition was based on 'Scale' & I think his piece really fits it.

Unfortunately the guy doing the opening speech said what a wonderful thing this was, yada, yada, fabulous funding etc & said the one they'd had in '07 wasn't as good quality. I was part of that, as was an artist showing this time so it wasn't just me who could be offended. There were a couple of my friends there who tried to pull me back, no, no, just kidding! But I was somewhat miffed, didn't really want to stay around for the tour  & drinks. I did quietly ask him if he'd seen the previous  exhibition & he said it was excellent, & when I said I'd been involved he apologised after a good bit of mumbling. I wouldn't say I was a pretentious premadonna, but my ego certainly took a small bruise! We'll see what the write up says, as there was no 'public' apology - I didn't expect one.

This is it, I was/am proud of my first sculpture. It was described as 'enigmatic', I was delighted ;). It is simply a collection of pieces off the shore.It gave my family a laugh the few weeks we built it in the back garden (my D helped loads) & that is it's biggest value. They didn't think I was so off the wall when they saw the 10 others!

Friday, 23 July 2010

More holiday pics & a mirror

I haven't made a mirror like this for ages. They're tricky, as I feel I need to screw in each piece of wood as they're so fragile if I don't (I know!) & I can't sleep at night ;) But I do love the bit where I pour part of the beautiful shoreline into lovely sticky black gesso. It struck me only recently that real sand isn't that black, but the contrast is quite striking even so. There are no golden/white sands here, you have to go to the Outer Isles for those, but there are beaches with a variety of colors & textures & my particular favorite are the 'coral' sands. Not coral at all, but calcified seaweed, as a Marine Biologist once reliably informed me.

Anyway, a friend of a neighbor said she would come by to see my driftwood so I thought I should scrabble about & get this on the wall. She never came but it's there just the same! Sometimes I need a gentle kick up the proverbial ;)

Next time I think I'll make the mirror space a little bigger!

A few more holiday pics. There's a secret garden in there somewhere with a moat at the bottom ; the house forms part of the wall of the town, still in Richlieu.

Shutters & doors, ready made squares.

Peeping thru open doors.

I'd love to use sme of these beautiful railings over the arch bits of my pergola. didn't find any at the brocante sadly.

Can't resist shadows

Not sure how this water tower has grass growing out of it.

My family (with their clothes on!)

Les tournesol - how could I resist?

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Two more postcards & some holiday snaps

Yesterday, just before work, I opened a postcard from Angela at Fenland Textile Studio, Lincolnshire, UK. It is wonderful, a beautiful bright pink explosion, I just love it! It's printed fabric with a heart layer so neatly stitched down & around with a mixture of hand & machine stitches all over, just love the few lines of green zinging in there & who doesn't love to be called fabulous?!!!!

I do feel fabulous, truly, thank you so much.

A lovely ditty on the back

encouraging words, indeed. (I'm not old! :)  )

Today I received a card from Bev at Bunny's Girl, Ontario, Canada. It is lovely, beautiful colors from hand painted & printed papers with added hearts & a little butterfly.

Another wonderful double sided card!

I am delighted, thank you so much.

Also in the package some goodies, you shouldn't have!

So I think I only have 3 left to receive, the one I never heard back from & 2 others. Do I write a polite email? Maybe they think I've got them & haven't bothered to write a post about them, maybe they're lost & we don't realise? As I've said, I'm soooo happy with the postcards I've already had but I'd hate to appear rude!

Here are some photos of a small town called Richlieu near our friends

Amazing arches,left is the entrance, right, is looking back

the market in the square by the church & in the huge hall

Fabulous ceiling in the hall & oh, those doors!

Lovely carved features too

More photos later, I hope!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

It's been a long time, but I'm back!

I had a fabulous time away with the family; it seemed longer than it was, time to laze around & catch up on reading, swim, sunbathe, eat lots, chat with our friends, look at the sights & just be.

No pressures really, sure we had to be careful in 35 degree heat for half the time & breezy
sunny weather for the other half  but only one day of pouring rain - my sandles streched they were so wet but that was the day we were looking round the Chateau Villandry inside & the beautiful gardens looked fine in the rain anyway. Sure there was the clearing up after 3 delicious meals a day, a bit of laundry & watching the boys help to rip up the attic floor & chuck it out the window 3 floors up hoping they wouldn't put their foot thru to the ceiling below. Fair enough in return for our keep! (the 'DIL' & I were invited to add to the mural on the wall by the pool, that was our contribution!)

Getting 10 stitches in my calf from walking past a naughtily protruding bit of glass in the recycling bit of the house was a little bit of a trial, but I learnt lots of new bits of French that I didn't ever think I'd need, & our friends now know that the old people's home has a very helpful doctor who gave us directions in excellent broken French (hardly anybody spoke English as it's so rural) to casualty in the town 15 kms away. The boys were well impressed with the wound my 'DIL' less so, my D being quite pale & they all guessed I'd have about 16 stitches so it must have looked bad!

Our friend was brilliant at all the explanations needed along the way & driving me to l'hopital, but first we had to remove the rubbish & recycling bags from the back of the car so that my D could stop rolling around in back distracting me from keeping my leg in the elevated position & the floor from being covered in blood. So, no more swimming. The irony of our holiday, for the very first time, being spent right next to a swimming pool, was not lost on me. But I didn't need to worry - it could have been my D, who'd have been more than a shade of pale, one of the kids which doesn't bear thinking about or the head of the little dog who walks at a perfect calf hight.....  Dammit, I should have taken a picture before they stitched it up!

I'll sort some pics of the holiday but this really says it all.

My boys; youngest, middlest & eldest over our friend.
This is NOT photoshopped!

Back to real life & November weather in July, that's normal here! Lots of post,  emails & phone messages to go thru & of course washing & shopping. But in the pile were 3 more cards, woohoo!

They were from Trudi at Quilting Prolifically from Lincoln, UK. This is amazing, all that wonderfully quilted delicately colored fabric, stitched flowers & that cutaway to juicy lime green, I love it! I have no idea how she made the circles with grids of thread!

I feel like Im up in the clouds, thanks so much.

& from Pat at Lost & Found, Ohio, USA, in an interestingly addressed envelope with a note & I even like the protective cardboard!

 This card is gorgeous, a mixture of paper, hand painted paper & fabric all stitched down beautifully.

But I've got another card on the other side! Absolutely lovely. I'll have to work out a way of 'hanging' these cards so they're interchangeable.....

I feel alternately warmed & cooled, lovely. Thank you so much.

Then I opened Marie's cards, she sent me two! Marie hasn't blogged for a long time & I really hope she'll get back into it one day & we can all visit & see her work when she invites us thru a comment.They came in these wonderfully stamped envelopes - I want to carve my own house stamp now!

 Her cards are fantastic & I got two as she couldn't decide which one to send. I love them both! They are papers, I think, beautifully hand painted - the middle bits are either textured paper or embossed - then there are lots of layers of varnish making a really solid & shiny piece. I love both of them, couldn't possibly decide - I'm so glad I don't have to send one back!

Looking into the depth of these pieces makes me feel totally secure.  Thank you.

I'll try & get some holiday snaps up in the next few days. Even tho I'm well practiced at this loading of images after nearly 50 days of doing it it still takes ages to load 8 pics. I could make the file really small but isn't it great to be able to look right into a piece of work? I love it, so it's worth waiting for. I definitely feel all these cards deserve it.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Off on holiday!

I can't wait, we're off to France, staying in our friends farmhouse near Poitier....they have a pool & I've packed my new swim suit, glasses & suntan lotion. I don't plan to move much it's going to be about 35!!!! I'll have to make my journal there...

A couple of pics (I love this showing off/sharing, no one else really sees my garden!)

Rosa Vichenblau, just ready to come out...I'll miss that but it'll be here when I get back! Doesn't it tone beautifully with the native foxglove?

Eringium, I must have more sea holly next year

Rambling rector, small pixels, sorry

Anybody know the name of this dreadful affliction being suffered by this linarea purpurea? It's morphed horribly into a wide strappy stem. Can't believe the 'correct' sample I chose had a bee on it!

It just makes me feel all wiggly!

I'm still waiting for about 8 cards  - I may get them, i may not. I hope I do but if I don't i so love what i already have. I'll wait till the 24th July or there abouts &
 do a big pic of the beautiful ones i have.

Miss me, see you soon :)

Friday, 2 July 2010

One week later!

I got my postcard from Chris at Prism Trail in California, USA. It is deliciously colorful, I love it! She was worried that it wouldn't arrive at all as I forgot to tell her to put UK on the address but it got here, just took a little longer. The metallic markers are great & I got candles! Didn't get any of those to blow out...maybe they thought 50 was 10 too many...?!

I am blown away, thank so much!

I don't know where the week has gone, life seems to be a bit of a whirlwind in the summer season. Can you believe I haven't finished watching all my 'videos' of the Chelsea flower show? I mean that was weeks ago! I was just starting to plant up 2 window boxes - they won't necessarily go on a window ledge, I just love their shape & I got them cheap at a local crofters market. Anyway, I thought I'd better as the poor plants have been srivelling up almost daily for a month as we've hardly had any rain & they might have a better chance of survival tucked up in some actual soil, I mean, that's what I bought them for! Anyway, I was out there in the sun & light breeze having spent a couple of hours helping out at Rag Tag, did the shopping, came back & watched the boys helpfully unpack it all.... & the middle one make a delicious smoothie. Of course as I said I'd make one too I got to clear up...I think we need to make some ground rules for the holidays. So I finally get outside wearing my brand new bathing suit & shorts - I hadn't bought a suit for about 20 years & in that time things have changed, well, a little, so now I'm fully & decently supported - planning to expose my back for the first time this year to get it used to the sun for our holiday next week & what does it do? The sky fills with ominous black clouds, it starts blowing a hoolie & rains on me. I did say we needed rain...Sigh! I will get out in the sun (& finish the planting) I know I will, with my suncream on, of course! I'm far better off sitting here talking to you guys & then I'm off to the studio - cards, collage, read an inspiring magazine....poor forgotten squares?

Here are some pics of roses, I wish you could smell them!

Albertine, by the greenhouse

Gruinyard Double on the pergola/screen by the river (I admit I stood on a chair so I got the river & not the next door house in ;) )

Zephirine Drouhin on the arch