These here wigs!!!!!

Who’d-a-thought it!

A lovely woman called Sue asked me to be a Guest Blogger on her Crochet Addict site.

I have never done anything like that before and it was fun to put together.

In the piece I wrote, amongst other things, I  posted pictures of my latest hat/wig designs

1colrt

(I’d like my hair dyed like this really!!)

Dwig

 

I think the one above has a sort of Jane Austen look about it – do you?

1clown

 

(apologies for feeble attempt at digital clown make-up!)

And they seem to be getting a lot of attention and some lovely comments so far from Melissa and Cathy

The patterns can be found in the Etsy Shop and on Ravelry.

Ravelry is a site for all things to do with knitting and crochet.

(You have to register with Ravelry to look at pages on there).

It took me a while to work out how the site works and how to sell patterns. But one advantage of having some horrid bug which has kept me away from doing other things (I’ve been in bed most of the week – yuck!), is that I have had time to spend on the computer and despite my brain being fuddled by a temperature etc, I managed to get to grips with Ravelry.

Which has been very exciting because the hat/wigs seem to be making people smile and they are having fun with them and imagining all sorts of occasions for them – halloween being a favourite. I love the zany craziness of it and can’t wait to see pictures posted of my wigs being worn in far flung places!

Hat/Wigs are taking off!!!!

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Saturday Link Love

I have been wondering if our different mediums represented at Stonechat could be combined in some way: stone, wood, metal textiles, hard and soft, malleable and fixed. In this post from Quinn Creative (always such interesting meaty posts) a sculptor who combines paper and metal

QuinnCreative

Andrew Hayes has two great loves–pulp books (or at least their pages) and smooth, cool metal. He chose to combine them into sculptures that contrast hard and soft, permanent and easily destroyed.

23The ease and almost weightless grace make these very pleasing to look at. I’ve love to touch them.

The sculptures are sensual and curved and quite beautiful. It combines altering books with metal sculpture.

Stencils and spray paint are the medium of the artist Above, who creates street art. Above works with shadows and electrical lines and integrates artwork into the surroundings.

The image above shows a long line of people, defeated and waiting. It’s outside an unemployment office in Spain, a country that has a high rate of unemployment.

Here, Above painted white paint over a wall defaced with graffiti, then added the figures to make it an unhappy school day.

The artist Mossi is interested…

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Can you tell me the name of this moth?

I have been bemoaning the lack of moths around recently and was delighted to see this little beauty on my bedroom ceiling this morning

1moth

It is about 2cm long and slightly more corally pink in colour than the picture.

A quick search on the net has not revealed it’s name so if you know – I’d love to hear from you.

There seems to be a bit of a wildlife theme running at the mo ……. hmmm … it must be Summer!

Update: 9.Aug.

Hurray! A lovely friend has found the Moth in one of her son’s old creepy crawly books!

It’s a Rosy Footman – what a gorgeous name!

Thank you so much Liz – I love a mystery solved!

Having found the name I then wondered how this beautiful little pink moth had come by its name. On this Cumbrian website I found this explanation

By the 1770’s a few hundred species had been identified and it must have become harder to think up obvious names, so the Gentlemen entomologists turned to Georgian dress codes for their names. So here we get the sombre Quakers, shining Satins, furry Ermines, raisedBrocades and, for the ones they couldn’t be much bothered with, the Rustics in drab brown garb! Back in upper class mode and the home, there are the Footmen (wings folded straight back like a liveried servant standing to attention), the Wainscots (the texture of oak panelling in the drawing rooms of the day), the Mochas (the pattern of a semi-precious stone) and the pretty Carpets.

Fascinating!

 

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Tweet of the Day: Stonechat

bird_stonechat

BBC, Radio 4 have been doing a series of 2 minute programmes on British Birds, you can listen to the Stonechat by clicking on this link.

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Open Studio (cont)

event

 

Following on from the previous post: A few more pictures of our very enjoyable Open Studio day yesterday

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boys 2chip drawing painting red

 

If you missed it come along on Sunday, 11th August, when we will be combining our Studio Day with an Open Studio for the Portland Legacy Trail .

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Spirit of Portland Open Studio

IMG_4258

The sun came out after all for our free open studio afternoon, and we had some lovely people seek us out.  With the stonechat team on hand we had lots to offer: thank you! It felt good to be working together for the island community festival sharing our talents and our wonderful creative space.

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Bee in hollyhock

Playing with the picture of the bee in the hollyhock I took at Charleston

beein the SumoPaint app as shared by iHanna

by reducing divisions to 4, I got this

bee1

 

and then by increasing the divisions I discovered some perky little Circle Dancing Bee Angels

bee2

which I sent by email to a friend who is far away and low on energy at the moment to perk her up!

I have become fascinated by finding faces in the patterns that emerge – here is another kinda light being from the creamy hollyhock

hh

I have an urge to create some paintings with these pictures as a starting point – but not today the garden is calling. . . .

 

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Charleston Farmhouse

DSCh

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DSCF2993 DSCF3003 DSCF3005 DSCF3006 DSCF3017 DSCF3020More pictures from my trip to Kent.

Charleston Farmhouse near Lewes has a fabulous garden – profusion is the word that comes to mind.

The inside of the house is a must see too, we were not able to take photos but you can see some here. Plenty of inspiration for doodles and fabric design.

And then some playing with the hollyhock pictures.

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Meadow Mandalas

In response to iHanna’s post about the mandala making Sumo Paint tool, I told her that about 10 years ago I used to take photos, make oodles of copies and then cut segments from them to glue together to make mandalas.

She asked to see them so here are a couple from the time:

the first I made from a photo of a bunch of crocuses growing in my garden

crocusand it has a smaller mandala of grasses in the centre

the second is from a photo taken of the grasses and buttercups in the meadow in front of my house at the time

grasspicI think I had played around with it in Photoshop a bit

Here is the mandala:

grassesNow if I could find an app to make THAT kind of mandala I’d be a VERY happy mandala maker! Please let me know if you know of one.

 

 

 

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Mandalas

Yes, I’ll come clean, I have discovered yet another thing that can absorb me for HOURS when I ‘should’ be doing other things!!!

Following Hanna’s post, and her brilliant tutorial notes, I have been playing, first with the rose photos I took in Kent

Rose

I put this one into iPhoto and increased the exposure and the sharpness

Rose1a

And then increased the divisionsRose1then I played with a crocheted brooch I’ve made with Swarovski crystals

brooch

I love the way the texture of the crochet comes out in the mandala

bro1And then of course I could not resist playing with the daisies

DS

DS1 DS2

What do I do with them now? ………

Posted in daisies, Doodles, knitting, mandalas, other artists | 1 Comment

Cake Stand required

It was my granddaughter’s Christening this weekend – we had the most wonderful family gathering in the fabulous sunshine we are revelling in this summer.

ccakes

Friends brought an amazing display of gorgeous cakes

cupc

cupbun

And cake stands were needed.

We had a cardboard one from a birthday party last year and  I wondered if I could make another one

So I gathered mounting card and paper plates (i wondered if old cereal packets would do, but I think you would have to glue 3 layers together to get the stability required)

2c

2ca

I roughly drew round the ‘fairy castle’ cardboard stand ….

Cut the slots in the bases and tried it out

2cau

Then cut the shape out with a Stanley knife, straightening the curvy lines to make it easy

2caup

Cut crosses in paper plates2caud 2cac

Did some doodling to decorate

2cc

And hey presto! A cake stand!

2cta

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Sissinghurst

…….After Derek Jarman’s garden, and the walk from Prospect Cottage to the sea, we grabbed some lunch and tootled off to Sissinghurst Castle, the home of one of my all-time heroines, Vita Sackville-West.

The place was heaving and it was very difficult to get any photos without masses of people in them. I include a few, but best to click on the link above to see better ones.

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DSCF2953 DSCF2957

the famous white garden was a delight, and probably needs to be seen in all four seasons to really appreciate it. Everywhere we go it is the roses that are in their full glory – the scent is sweet and heady, enhanced by the fabulous hot weather we are enjoying.DSCF2958

Is this Miss Wilmot’s Ghost, I wonder?

My mother-in-law loved her garden and when I got married (aged 19) she was keen to pass on her knowledge and enthusiasm, she would take me round the garden and introduce me to plants saying ‘Meet ‘Eleagnus’, she has a secret’ and she would show me the underside of the leaves, which were a soft grey. Then “and here tucked behind poor little contorted Hazel, is Miss Wilmot’s Ghost” – dear Granny, I do miss her!

DSCF2959

And then home with our stash of cherries we had bought from a road-side stall from a man who came from Pembrokeshire in Wales, where my Mum was born – I recognised his accent.

1kcherrythey had been picked that morning and were juicy-sweet!

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A walk to the sea from Prospect Cottage

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DSCF2922 DSCF2923 DSCF2925Windblown shacks and old decaying boats create a fascinating open air ‘museum’.

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DSCF2933The sea, the tide out for miles and people digging in the sand flats, maybe for cockles?

DSCF2934Looking back at the road, with Prospect Cottage on the horizon, just right of the van

DSCF2935Returning along an abandoned track

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Dungeness on Tuesday

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I’ve wanted to see Derek Jarman’s Garden for at least 15 years and on Tuesday, after a long drive across the bleak, flat marshes we found it more easily than I thought we might.

Although it is not as he made it (he died in 1994), it still has an aura, an atmosphere about it and the current owners have kept much of the basic structure of the garden.

It is not so isolated as I had imagined, and quite a walk from the sea……

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Kent on Monday

So much to tell you!

On Monday I spent a very hot and sticky 4.5 hours in my car (no air-con) to stay with friends in Kent and was rewarded by arriving in the most idyllic garden full of roses climbing, rambling and tumbling in scented profusion

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1Kowl 1Kowrs 1Kowro 1kro

The shapes within this one looks like a sculpture to me

1kowlsr

and lavender and catmint against a sunny wall

1klavwe went for a cooling walk by Bewl Water with the dogs

1kb 1Ken 1Ke 1Ken1 1Kd 1kh 1kel

scented with honeysuckle and elderflower (usually over by now).

We saw butterflies, moths and damselflies in abundance and then back home to boogie to The Beatles on the patio whilst a delicious supper was cooking: salmon with a dill, cucumber and creme fraiche with spinach and new potatoes

1ks

followed by lemon pudding garnished with rose petals

1.Kent

Whilst we listened to each others’ selections on iTunes: Eddie Cochrane, Stones, Kinks, Proclaimers.

You can tell we are women of a certain age can’t you!!!

And we laughed  –  a lot!!!

Wonderful relaxing time with good friends who have known each other forever – can’t beat it.

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Studio Day last Sunday

I am a little behind with this post as currently I am in Kent (more about that later).

The weather was glorious on Sunday and we tried to get in any shade we could.

Wendy was drawing pebbles

1.pebblesTony was painting, but I did not a photo before he packed things away.

Sarah has a commission for a stone carving as part of a group project and she was trying things out in clay

1.sarah 1.sarah1I was doing collage, which I find really relaxing and was in a pink mood

1.pink

perhaps brought on by all the pink flowers that abound at this time of year around the huts

1.flosthere were lots of families enjoying paddling, swimming and snorkelling off the rocks

1.swimmersThe sea looked clear and inviting

1.rocksthe rock pools had dried to a mass of glistening salt crystals

1.saltWe had a lovely day!

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Celebrating

We have a lot of anniversaries in our family in July (and then another batch come along in October).

On Friday it was E’s birthday – I have been a Granny for 6 years!

Instead of a card I decorated an ‘E’ for her

Our local Art shop sells these hollow cardboard numbers and letters for just under £2 each.

2E1I gessoed it first and then painted it with acrylic paint mixed to Elfie’s favourite colour – a turquoise blue

2.EbThen with a touch of stencilling and doodling she has her initial that she can hang on her bedroom wall.

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Studio Day tomorrow!

Studio day tomorrow and it looks like being a stunningly glorious day!

Can’t wait!

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OMG! this is just the best thing!

I can’t write too much as it’s late and I really need to wind down or I will never get to sleep, but I just had to share this Kaleidoscope programme from iHanna’s blog

click here to see her post.

Follow her instructions and it is so easy!

It should come with a potential addiction warning though

After some mandalas, I was playing around and this little

creature appeared:

333a

it came from this photo of mine of a lily

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I’m in danger of staying up all night creating a whole Lily family – NOoooooooo  I must resist!!!!!!!

(You can see more experiments here and here)

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Entries close 12 noon tomorrow

Entires for the freebie little jacket, more pics here , will close tomorrow, Saturday 13th. at 12 noon.

 

Draw!

The jacket is going to London as a present for a new baby with a very lovely and unusual name!

Posted in crochet, knitting | 1 Comment

A give-away!

I can’t send the little jacket I posted about yesterday to my godson for his new baby – I noticed a flaw in it – the photos showed it up:

11can you see there is a change in the stitches in a row on the top left hand side of the jacket (top right in the picture). I had sort of noticed it, but pushed it to the back of my mind (do you do that sometimes?). i

I knitted the jacket a while ago, and I think I must have been so caught up in how to alter the pattern to the way I wanted it to be that I wasn’t thinking straight.

When I investigated the work I found that it looks this way on the front because I had started a new ball of wool there and the sewing in of the ends on the back has caused the slight change in how the stitches look.

I know better than to do this!!! AAAARGH! what was I thinking!!

I THOUGHT I never did this sort of thing!

As the jacket is knitted all in one, one has to take care where to change balls of yarn CERTAINLY NOT in the front where it is so obviously on show – I can’t believe I did it!

What now? Should I try to sell it as a ‘second’, unpick the whole thing (I don’t want to do that, I’m sure someone could love it), put it in a charity shop?

I know – a giveaway! Free to a good home! Let me know if you would like it, flaw and all, and I will put names in a hat and choose a winner. I will pay for the postage to where-ever you live.

The jacket is 100% wool and machine washable to fit 6 months – 1 year.

Good luck!

Update: The give-away is now closed and the little jacket is on its way to London and a baby with a very unusual name.

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A new baby!

My Godson and his very clever, lovely wife had their first baby today! There is always a touch of apprehension waiting for a new arrival, but she arrived safely and Mum, Dad, and baby are doing very WELL!

I have had a little coat waiting for her:

jkt, Lily-rose

with crocheted edgingcrochet edge

 

 

 

and a vintage flower button.

button

I have adapted a Debbie Bliss pattern.

 

I really like it as you knit the whole thing, back and both sides together, from bottom up and decrease for a raglan sleeve effect.

raglan

Then all you have to do is sew up the side and sleeve seams – magic!

Happy Day!

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Sunshine!

There are little pockets of time when the world stops spinning quite so fast and one steps into some kind of heaven – lunch with old school friends in a beautiful peaceful haven of a garden gave me just such a blissful time on Saturday .shady corner

Everything about those few hours seemed to be in a bubble of delight, and now I so wish I had taken lots more pictures of Anna’s garden: the pond surrounded by irises, the Himalayan Musk climbing roses that scrambled up through the trees, 40feet and more, the brassicas which looked worthy of a Chelsea garden, poppies and foxgloves all in whites and pinks and some trying to be peonies.peopop

The lunch was delicious. I was introduced to flat Spanish peaches, which I have never seen before, they are quite small and so sweet.

peach

We had them with raspberries and strawberry and champagne creme fraiche mmm!mmm!

and the paper napkins…… My friends do not blog, or read blogs or spend much time on the computer, so they were bemused as to why I might want to photograph a napkin!

napkin

Love those colours together!

And the cute mug of tea after lunch..cup

But you dear readers understand, don’t you!

Inspiration for doodles, colour combos, journaling etc etc….. I might print the pic of the napkin and use it in a photo album spread some how

And I bet the knitters and crocheters also understand why sitting in a gorgeous garden, chatting with old friends after a delicious lunch in the sunshine with a cuppa and crocheting is just about as near heaven as one can get!

tea 2

Anna has also grown a magnificent Rambling Rector rose, tumbling through a tree near her front door, the scent was an extraordinary mix of spicy scents – was it Campari, with cloves and cinnamon.. the smell reminded me of something and I just couldn’t place it. I was so intrigued by it and Anna gave me a bunch to take home

roseswhich I put in a wine glass with ladies mantle and feverfew. I snipped a few of the older blooms off, but couldn’t throw them away, so they float in a little bowl found in a charity shop and they sit on my bedroom windowsill, catching the light and letting the magic of the day stay with me a while longer.

Thank you to Anna and Jane for such a special afternoon.

Here’s to us all finding a pocket of heaven in our world!

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Saturday Link Hop

Quinn finds some amazing blogs to share with us all.
I am particularly fascinated with the Alana’s Doodles – no surprise there!

QuinnCreative

How did Saturday come around so fast again? It’s time to announce the winner for the Featuring magazine: Kristin Freeman is the winner–Congratulations and thanks for reading my blog!

San Francisco may be the City by the Bay, but it is also the city of almost daily fog. When I lived there, I rarely thought of the fog as romantic or beautiful. Simon Christen filmed the fog for two yeas, then edited the flowing, rolling, blowing clouds into a video. Jimmy LaValle composed the music, Adrift, for this piece.

The filming was done in seconds-long segments, and the result is the flowing, rolling ocean of fog enveloping the landscape and landmarks.

Stuart Haygarth is a lighting designer. He collects found objects and recycles them into functional objects–often lighting fixtures. He collects a lot of one object–eyeglass frames, bottles, and then uses one object type to create his work.

He…

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Knitting for Fairies

Last week was bit of a knit-a-thon! (I was happy to take a break at the weekend and go gardening) I have been trying to create a pattern for this darling little jacket:

11111

The style was inspired by one of Annette Hefford’s doll’s designs.

I have added touches of my own, like the picot and moss stitch cuff

cuff detail

and simplified the decoration above the pixie points and added some crocheted daisies (of course!)

I contacted the publishers, Search Press, and they are happy for me to sell my pattern and jackets so long as I credit Annette Hefford for the original idea and Search Press, which, of course, I am very happy to do.

Creating a pattern is a LONG job!!!! I had NO idea!

1farybk

It is SO easy to make mistakes and so the pattern has to be checked and  double checked and knitted several times. And then I find a better way to do things by the wonders of You Tube and whole sections need to be re-written and re-photographed.

Full respect to all you designers out there – Phew!!!!

It took me most of last week, working fairly solidly on the project and still the pattern is not completed. But hurray! the jacket is!

1farytree

and there are 2 sizes: newborn and age 1 – 2,  now on sale in Wild Daffodil

I’m hoping the pattern will be ready in a few days time. . . .

The wool I used is a machine washable, hand-dyed, 100% Merino wool DK by Colinette.

If you have any tips for making the process less time consuming I’d love to hear them!

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Grass Wave

It’s a gorgeous day here for gardening – just taking a lunch break.

Thought I would show you the pictures Pat has sent me of her grass wave, which was inspired by my post on mowing a spiral:

waveI love the way the ‘Winfrith Wave’ leads the eye between the circular flowerbeds and to the scene beyond.

Pat’s wave inspired me to cut some waves in my lawn, and I then saw this daisy idea which reminds me of Pat’s design:

168

I saw it on http://www.indulgy.com.

And here is Pat’s latest picture of her wave:

grasswave2

So lovely in the evening light.

Have you been creative in the garden recently – if so I’d love to hear about it:

And see some pics!

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Workshops!

Eeek! Exciting!

One of our lovely blog readers – Pat of the glorious Grass Wave (more photos to come in another post – it’s coming on beautifully) Has asked me to put together some workshops to run in the Hall in her village. Thank you so much Pat!

This is so exciting as I would love to share all the wondrous techniques and tips and tricks I have learnt over years of crafting and more recently from the treasure chest of ideas and tutorials I’ve found through the wonderful world of blogging. I hope to be able to spread the word and credit the ideas from their source – all those I can remember anyway! AND the Hall has Wi-fi – so we might be able to do some blog-hopping during our sessions.

I am SO looking forward to it, so if you live locally and would like to come along – please DO!!! We’d love to see you. And spread the word if you know anyone else who might like to join us. I know we’re gonna have FUN!

Posted in Altered Books, art journal, collage, Doodles, mandalas, other artists, painting, photographs, recycling, stamps, stencils, textiles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia

We got a visit from someone in the Russian Federation today, but they did not plot themselves on our Map.

SO tempted to put a flag on the map for them – but where would I put it?

OooH! Frustrating!

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Promise of things to come

Everything looks beautiful in the slant of the evening midsummer light.

My garden does not have very much in it at the moment but there is the promise of things to come – apples

app

blueberriesblue

ras

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

raspberries

 

and little wild strawberries, a great favourite with my grandchildren

str

as they were with my children when they were little.

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Studio Days

I was lucky enough to have a couple of days at the beach hut last week, on Wednesday I was working on creating a new crochet pattern

c.crochet

which, of course has a daisy element, my latest passion.

On Friday, Sarah and I worked together: Sarah on a new wood carving

c.carvingand me – a new yellow collage

c.window

which I intend to cut up into postcards and greetings cards, but at the nearly finished stage

collage

I like it too much to cut up yet.

The bottom left hand corner needs a bit more detail…

(it’s so great to be getting visitors from all over the world – Canada, South Africa and USA today – it would be just wonderful if you could take the time to go to the Map of Visitors page and put yourself on Stonechat’s map of the world – it would be great to see you there – go on, don’t be shy!)

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Daisy wig finished

wig.side

The wig adorned with crocheted daisies is now finished and in the shop!

(The original inspiration for this wig came from a picture I found on Google Images when looking for inspiration for a pixie hat. The picture did not lead me to a pattern so I created one for myself. I have only just discovered the designer Megan Reardon on Ravelry. Thank you Megan! You have inspired some fun projects!)

So many of you seemed to like my Daisies post, so I hope you like the finished article.

And now to finish the cushions …

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Saturday Creative Spark

Quinn finds the most amazing things – LOVE this post!

QuinnCreative

Mehmet Ali Uysal is a Turkish artist with a great sense of humor. He starts with a common object, a clothespin, let’s say, and changes what it does. The reaction is to stop in a space you would never even consider and look, smile, or begin to think about the space and the use of space as we go through life.

Clouds are the perfect symbol of the ephemeral–they appear, disappear, move, cast shadows, change shape and amaze. In the desert, clouds are rare most of the year. In New England, a cloudless day usually makes the news. But what about indoor clouds? Dutch photographer Berndaut Smilde’s creates his own clouds, in beautiful rooms, to otherworldly results.

He has a careful process blending humidity and air flow, but the best thing is watching the cloud drift. If you are in a hurry, it starts at 01:23 in this video.

IBM-Ogilvy2Ogilvy…

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Map of the world

I was doing a bit of blog-hopping and came across Zee-maps – a device we can use to see what part of the world our visitors come from.

The WordPress Stats tell only the administrators of the blog which country visitors come from, but this map will let you all know – so long as you put a ‘pin’ on the map to show us your location.

If you do not come from the UK, pan out from the map using the sliding marker on the left hand side and then use the arrows to get to where you live, then zoom in again. You do not have to put any other info.

Oooh! exciting – please add your location!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

gorgeous weekend

It was sunny! It was WARM! we could wear Tshirts – Hurray!

Sunday: I drove to the Cotswolds, 2.5 hours North, to help a friend who was opening her garden for the first time.

Open Gardens at Box

It was a glorious day 111gd

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the first of 330 visitors

And the garden was much admired, especially as Pauline only moved in 2 years ago and started from scratch.

111gdn

Quote of the day: ‘it is just like a Chelsea Garden, it has all the elements!”

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Daisies

Daisies, daisies everywhere

11daises

Can’t stop making daisies and finding things to put them on – they turn out all different because I make them up as I go along – counting when crocheting is SO boring – and I like the variety

11dasmall ones on the green knitted fun wig

 

and big ones on cushions

 

11das

 

 

 

If you would like to knit a fun wig yourself you can find my PDF pattern with photo tutorial in my Etsy shop.

 

 

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Springwatch

The bird, the Stonechat appeared on TV, on BBC 2’s  Springwatch tonight.

A very successful bird having up to 4 broods a year.

Yep, I relate to that!

 

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Grass Art

One of our lovely blog-readers sent me a photo of her latest grass-cutting experiment which was inspired by my post on 22 May about cutting grass spirals.

She persuaded her husband to leave a wave of daisies making it’s way across the garden – I love it!

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In turn I have been inspired  – thank you Pat!

Ooooh! this is what I LOVE about blogland!

And I too have made waves!

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I put the mower on the lowest cut to mark out the wavy lines

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And then cut the remaining waves on the highest cut.

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(Here you can see the new fence in the background. The ground has been dug, covered with farmyard manure and then black plastic – by Autumn I hope it will all be rotted down enough to plant fruit trees and bushes)

It is not as easy to get the stripes as even as when cutting a spiral – ideally you need to be sure that each stripe is not wider than the cut of the mower, which I did not quite manage to do this time.

If you want to have a go – and please let me know if you do! – My tip is that you cut the whole lawn to the same level every 3rd or 4th cut, and create a different pattern with the next cut.

When I kept the spiral intact throughout the summer, the long grass stripes created their own little eco-system with ant hills etc and the lawn took ages to recover – ok in an orchard but not if it is the only bit of grass you have.

Posted in garden, land art, other artists | 2 Comments

Graphic Design

I love this witty, clever design which popped up on Facebook a few weeks ago on the  ‘Trust me I’m a Designer’ page, but I could not find the name of the person who designed it

turn

 

Brilliant!

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Sunny Bank Holiday

My daughter and I took her children to the Hut for the day – as soon as they arrived it was out with the paints, then a walk along the cliffs for a swing and an ice-cream,back for a look around the Sculpture Hut where they found some wood chips from a carving Sarah has been doing, and were inspired to make pictures on the floor

They asked if they could leave them for Sarah to see, or should they be swept away – I said I thought she would be really pleased to see them

So Sarah, Elfie’s is a lion

wdAnd Rufus’s is an alien

But you  probably knew that anyway!

Posted in children's art, painting | 2 Comments

First cut of the year

Yesterday was a perfect gardening day – no wind, no sun, just pleasant warm weather – the first time for months and months I was happy to garden all day – and I cut the grass for the first time – that must be a record – 21st May!!!

It put me in a pleasantly nostalgic mood, fondly remembering the garden I left in 2005. I had a large orchard and was able to mow a huge 7 circuit grass spiral

letsrun

It was just wonderful to see the grasses grow and change throughout the seasons. I walked the spiral each morning for about 2 years.  Children nearly always ran into the centre and out again, shrieking with joy.

Andy Goldsworthy (one of my favourite artists) says the best way to observe change is to stay in the same place; and watching the grasses grow, in the spiral, and flower and go to seed and notice what bugs and beetles, birds and butterflies were attracted to the grasses at each stage, was a brilliant way to understand what he means.

Early morning dew:

grass.morning.small

January

snowMid-summer party

process

I had a wonderful 10 years in West Dorset and it is the garden and the grass spiral I miss the most.

So when i moved to where I am now I mowed a spiral

June.07.22

grass.22HM

It could be seen on Google Earth!

And on what seemed like the only warm day of that summer (2oo8), after the paddling pool was put away:

poolballs

I could not resist a play myself

22.ballsballs1 Aug08 051 Aug08 058 Aug08 037 Aug08 052  Goodnight!

Posted in garden, land art, mandalas | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Colour

It has been so cold for so long that there is not much colour in my garden, so I thought I’d add some of my own:

potI love the shape of this terracotta urn, but it needed a re-paint. After a good clean I painted on a mist layer of watered down emulsionDSCF1284

For the top coat I used some water-based satinwood paint I have left over from painting the bathroom:DSCF1290

Having found more colours left over from decorating I had to do a few more

pots

to brighten up the north facing wall of the garage – still not enough though – there’s more to do …

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I’ve done it!!

Ha! I’ve done it – created a PDF knitting pattern – what a task! – hopefully I have learnt a lot and the next one will not take so long!

Flick Wig

and it is now in my Etsy shop – this feels very exciting!

The file is still 2MB (better than the original 8MB) – if anyone knows if I can reduce the file size without compromising the quality, I’d love to hear from you.

Phew! A coffee and a bit of calm easy knitting is called for.

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Creating Knitting Patterns

I am trying to create a PDF knitting pattern of one of my fun wigs.

wig

It takes longer than I thought!

First there is all the typing of the strange knitting terms:

k

and taking pictures of each processDSCF1610

and then knitting along with the pattern to check it all works,

and then creating a PDF, which turns out to be much too big a file to send by email – arrgghhhh!

Start again!

But soooooooon! I hope to have my first knitting pattern to sell in the Etsy shop.

I really appreciate the work that goes into creating patterns for sale now!

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Studio Day Sunday

Four of us gathered at the huts on Sunday for our second Studio Day of the year. I found it hard to get myself there, tired from a busy week and a late night and the weather wasn’t helping – still dull and windy with no promise of improvement.

But the value of making a commitment to others and just pushing myself  to get there, was immense – I absolutely LOVE quietly getting on with a creative project with others working away too. The best bit of the day for me is when we talk about our projects and what we have all been up to since we last met.

Tony has been working on a fabulous sculpture of an owl, in Portland stone; Sarah a wood carving with a piece of juniper; Wendy is doing an Art foundation course and her portfolio grows and grows, she brought along her steel sculpture; and I am knee deep in crazy collage.

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We celebrated our diversity and all the different materials by arranging them all together:

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Love it!!!

And I left with a spring in my step and so much more energy, ready to face the week ahead – the power of creativity and being with like minds!

A big thank you to Sarah for bringing us all together!

Posted in collage, other artists, sculpture, stone, textiles, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Crazy Patchwork.

I’m still loving the freedom and joy of crazy-patchwork:

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textiles

 

 

 

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and paper

 

I realised yesterday how well this sits in the crazy patchwork of my life – so many different elements jostling for attention in any one day.

I even had iTunes on shuffle whilst at the sewing machine and enjoyed the mix of Cafe del Mar, The Proclaimers, Bjork, Bach, A Welsh Male Voice Choir, Peter Kater, Rock around the Clock, ….” .. if you feel a touch of madness, sit down next to me” (by James)…. tra la la. A Crazy patchwork of music.

Do you notice a theme running through your days and overlapping into your creativity?

Posted in collage, textiles | 1 Comment

Another Glorious Day

What a luxury – 2 days in a row immersed in collage and sea view wanderings.

To get to Portland one drives across ‘The Causeway’ and looking back DSCF1374this morning the sea really was that blue!

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And there were our huts sitting all perky in the sunshine, with ‘Stonechat’ looking just like a little Stonechat

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I think I was the only human there for a couple hours – very different from yesterday when it was a buzzing with people – just me and the larks trilling away.

At lunchtime I went off for a walk along the cliff finding all sorts of DSCF1379strange rock formations,DSCF1383 lunarand a pool I can’t wait to bring the grandchildren to.

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A fabulous five and a half hours of peaceful walking, sorting tearing and sticking.

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Stonechat Studio

Despite a mist hovering around the coast to begin with,

we had a glorious day at the Hut yesterday.

What a fabulous place to sort out my collage cuttings and start another colour themed collage – yellows and oranges this time

studio

the view from the collage table:

studio.coll There were quite a few hut owners around enjoying this May Day Bank Holiday, so I was able to have a chat with some I had not met before – there is a real feeling of camaraderie in this little community by the sea.

Then Sarah and I went for a walk – there’s always new things to see, like a stone ‘sparrow’ that perches on the rocks

stonebird

sparrowAnd Sarah showed me some of her favourite spots and we talked of what our creative response might be to each place and where we might create future mandalas. I got very excited about the thought of being there with small groups of people and each having a go at arranging our bodies as sculptures around and amongst the rocks – must take a picture of the spot that inspired that thought another time, it was right next to here:

ship

 

Not as far as here

viewAnd a bit further along from here. This area of flat rock has mandala potential methinks.

waterfallThen back for a bit more collaging, but not quite enough time before it started to get cold, so Yippeeee!!!!! I’m going back today!

I left at 7.30pm just as a huge tanker was going past

boatOh Happy Day!

Studio Day is this Sunday May 12th – come along and join us 11 – 3.

 

 

 

 

Posted in collage, land art, stone, walks | 5 Comments

An English Country Garden

I had the most delicious day yesterday. A morning in my project room and an afternoon taking myself on an Artist’s Date as suggested by Julia Cameron in her book ‘The Artist’s Way’.

There is a garden, at Knitson Farmhouse, near Corfe Castle open through the National Garden Scheme, this weekend, so off I went armed with camera, doodling book and the latest knitting project.

Once off the main road there was a mile of single track road taking me up into the gorse covered hills above Swanage – I do live in a beautiful part of the world! And I love exploring bits of it I have never been to before.

The garden has been gardened for 50 years by Rachel, who took it over from her father who was, I suspect, as passionate about organic gardening and Permaculture as she is.

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cream tea

 

 

Home-made scones and loganberry jam with clotted creamDSCF1305 DSCF1313 knit doodle DSCF1314 DSCF1344

Plants for sale. I bought a pumpkin plant for Rufus (3) because he has been desperate to sow some seeds since last October when we took them out of the pumpkin lantern, we sowed them a few days ago and half an hour later he was disappointed that they had not come up – he kinda thought he’d be eating one for his tea!DSCF1341 DSCF1310 DSCF1311 DSCF1315 DSCF1323 DSCF1326

A little metal teapot left in tree with moss in it, just the sort of spot a robin might choose.DSCF1319 DSCF1318 DSCF1322 DSCF1338 DSCF1316

 

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Plastic milk containers protecting lettuce plantsDSCF1337

The view as I ate my cream tea
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Another view from the seat.

DSCF1333 DSCF1327 DSCF1317There were visitors there who said they came each year, and I could see why – it is a delight – I will definitely return to see the garden in a different season.

Posted in garden | 2 Comments

Sharing the Link Love

Sharing links to other blogs is a LOVErly  idea from Tammy at Daisy Yellow, so here goes – some British blog links:

1. The blog of a Scottish architect interested in Land Art

2. My fellow blogger Sarah did a stunning photographic project every day for 40 days. And you can spend a day with her on Portland creating works of your own.

3. Attic24 is my all time favourite crochet blog, fabulous colours, tutorials and delightful photos of projects and  glimpses into family life.

4. Dottie Angel, quirky, crafty, vintage, fun!

5. ‘Canvas and Thread’: An artist in Cornwall is a blog I have only just come across, and am looking forward to getting to know.

I hope you enjoy browsing through this group of blogs – they cover quite a range of creativity don’t you think!

Posted in crochet, land art, other artists, photographs, sculpture, stone, walks | 4 Comments

The sun is shining…

The sun is shining, the wind has dropped , there is loads to do in the garden, I’m ready to go clearing, weeding a sowing…. and then, I just can’t help getting distracted!

flo

 

Meet Flo.

Will have to work on finding some leaves that make smiley faces.

And somehow I thought my faithful old walking boots would go well with Flo in this post

boots

 

They took me up towards Everest and many miles round Greece, Spain , Australia and much of the UK, mainly Dorset. Now they sit outside my front door to welcome me home from less adventurous trips. It’s a comfort they are there to remind me of all those wonderful adventures.

Time I planned another one!

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Circus

Yesterday we went to the Circus, the weather was dull and cold but the children were bright and colourful!

colour

E. found some streamers, put them round her ankles and did handstands and cartwheels.

rufclownR. jumped and bounced on the Bouncy Castle.

come on Spring, we are ready for you!!!!

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Machine embroidery

Ever since my wonderful day in London with Lauren Shanley, I have been itching to spend long hours at the sewing machine, and at last I have managed to have a couple of clear days buzzing awayorangeLauren was about to move her shop and was having a bit of a clear out, so I was lucky enough to go home with a bag of delicious pieces of fabric which has been like a great big bag of sweets for me to go through – it’s amazing how much fabric can fit into a carrier bag! Thank you Lauren!

I went for a orange, red and yellow combination first and the next piece is mainly blues bluesThere is something wonderfully meditative about the process of getting all those pieces stitched onto the backing fabric: a repetitive action that requires just enough concentration to keep practical worrisome thoughts at bay but allows other creative free flowing thoughts to play across the mind – bliss!

And as I continue with the stitching all the doodling I have been doing starts to appear on fabric

thread doodle I love the way the backs look too
back

And this combination of red spotty fabric with orange thread on it, just makes my heart sing!

dots

At the moment I just want to carry on covering acres of fabric and playing with the colours and doodles, but ideas of what to do with it are beginning to emerge – more experiments ahead!

More fabric hunting too, anyone got any old clothes they’d like to see transformed into some crazy patchwork?

Posted in collage, Doodles, other artists, recycling, textiles | 2 Comments

Elf Ears

Sometimes I am assaulted by ‘a good idea’ that will not let me alone!

I was invited to a fancy dress party a while ago and decided to go as an elf and so I wanted to make some Elf Ears – much experimenting later and here they are:

Elf earsmade of wire, Swarovski crystals and miracle beads, they twinkle and sparkle and are fun to wear.

They look even betterElf ears2 worn by my lovely daughter.

I made a few in different colours and am posting them now as I have just put them for sale in my Etsy Shop.

Posted in for sale, jewellery | 2 Comments

Last not least

The last post card in Hanna’s Post Card Swap arrived today – hurray!

pc.1And what a treat – thank you Sarah

On the back Sarah introduces me to the artist Rex Ray. I have not heard of him before and am so glad to be introduced. There are pictures on his website similar to the design Sarah has used for her post card. And in the link to Google images you can go to if you click on his name above.

He also does wonderfully colourful designs:

chrysotomontum

Love the colours!

You can see the other 9 postcards here.

Posted in collage, other artists, painting, post card swap | 1 Comment

Postcard swap

Here are the 9 wonderful handmade postcards that have arrived from all over the world – I do love this swap!

postcards

I’m hopeful that the 10th will arrive, but 9/10 isn’t bad.

I love the variety, but also that they look happy together – like cousins!

(The tenth one arrived the very next day.)

Posted in collage, Doodles, other artists, painting, post card swap, recycling | 4 Comments

Download a doodle

This is an experiment to see if I can put a PDF file on this blog for you to print off and play with – here goes:

doodle

Ah, the link to the PDF doesn’t show the picture – here is the picture:

doodle

This is intended as a starting point for you to colour in, add to and make your own. If any of you do print off the PDF above and doodle on it, I would love to know how it went – what you liked about it, what you didn’t, if you’d like another.

Happy doodling!

You can see what I did next on this doodle here.

 

Posted in Doodles | 5 Comments

One in cottons, the other in silks

Continuing with photos of my fabulous day with Lauren Shanley, having created what might be a cushion cover, in cotton fabric for the first piece, Lauren then suggested we use some silks and a strong element of black in the design.

It was great to do this as I would never choose to use black – always good to step out of what one usually does.

She showed me how to make some appliqué flowers:

flo.yel

blkflo

silk

and apply with straight stitching to encourage some fraying.

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I love the stained glass window effect of using the black in bold statements.

flowers.LS

And am delighted with the two pieces which are different but look related – if they do turn into cushions they will sit nicely together and also go well with the granny square cushion that is waiting for some friends to party with on the sofa.

2 pieces

The frustrating thing is that I have had to order an embroidery foot for the sewing machine, hopefully it will arrive tomorrow and I can have a play full Saturday, filling in with swirly lines and adding more embellishments.

Posted in other artists, recycling, textiles, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Painting with fabric and thread

I had a wonderful day with Lauren!

I am pretty tired but wanted to get some pictures on here tonight…

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sdiff starting

 

pinning blocks on fabric to a background ready to zig-zag all the edgeszigzag

I have done a little of freeform machine embroidery many years ago, so it took a while to get the speed and rhythm sorted, and Lauren was completely calm about me breaking needles as I got going! 3 in all! She reassured me this was quite normalfills

then some filling in with kinda doodling stitching on the colour blocks before adding another layer of smaller shapeslayers

The shop is a feast of colour and texture and all Lauren’s bits and pieces are a delight, even the bowl to hold the pinspins

yarnIt felt like doing an abstract painting. There is more work for me to do on it, other embellishments and filling in stitches, but Lauren was keen for me to do another panel ……

more pics tomorrow – must go to bed – yawn ….. zzzzzzz

Posted in collage, Doodles, other artists, recycling, textiles | 2 Comments

Lauren Shanley tomorrow!

Last November I mentioned that my wonderful children and their partners had joined together to give me a one-to-one workshop with Lauren Shanley and at last the time has arrived!

Shanley-Lauren-2-400

I will be setting off before dawn tomorrow to get the train to Waterloo and spend a few glorious hours learning all sorts of scrumptious stuff in her gorgeous shop! How will I sleep tonight!

Thank you to my wonderful kids and their etcs. xxxxxx

Posted in other artists, recycling, textiles | 5 Comments

Links

link-love-icon125

Great idea Tammy of Daisy Yellow to share the links to 5 blogs

Here are some of my favourites:

Quinn Creative

Great thought provoking articles with lots of links to other blogs and art journaling.

Matt

Scrumptious crochet, wonderful colours and stunning photos.

Diane

Art in nature and other beautiful photos.

Melody

Colour, colour, colour – generous blog with so many wonderful tips on quilting, knitting and painting projects AND a beautiful garden.

Alma

Fabulous textile tutorials.

Posted in art journal, crochet, knitting, land art, other artists, painting, photographs, stone, textiles | 8 Comments

Swarovski Daisies

Continuing with the daisy theme, I have just added this fairy princess headband to the ‘Wild Daffodil’ Etsy shop:

wh.headband

With the icy blasts continuing from Siberia, could also be perfect for a Snow Queen. It was fun to add the net and sparkly crystals, and now I think I’ll try one with some coloured crystals in the centres and maybe another layer of netting.

Posted in crochet, knitting | 3 Comments

The clocks have sprung forward and the garden is calling.

There is a quirky website with a page entitled ‘The Ambiguity of Fences’, the author invites people to send him pictures of fences – love it!

I have a fence that is plastic (yuck!), so I won’t be submitting the pics to add to his collection. It was put up by the builder in the late 1970s, and it will soon be replaced by some espalier pear trees.

fence

The golden privet is staying this end but the rest of the trees are going. Whilst the trees are being removed, I needed a place to put some of the plants I want to keep.

box

 

 

 

 

And a 1.8m Veg Trug, on special offer at the local garden centre seems like a brilliant solution

But would it fit in my car, and how was I going to manage it when I got it home. My car is titchy but it is amazing what one can get in it

carboot

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a wheel barrow is a wonderful thing for manoeuvring all sorts of heavy awkward things around. I put the H frames together

Hs

HnstonesAnd then used various bits and pieces to prop the pieces up and get the screws in. It’s very empowering to put things together, that at first seem to need more than one pair of hands

Over 50 screws and 6 bolts later Ta dah!

tadah

And I could save my lavender cuttings, irises, sweet cicely, ajuga, polyanthus, a couple of foxgloves, aquilegia, violets and a hellebore

plants

So now we are all ready for the digger and the sunshine :-).

Posted in garden | 2 Comments

to keep

Sometimes I make something that I just can’t let go of – I’m not sure what it is about this post card particularly but ….

keep.windows

 

I like the window as a way to peep out of the picture and the way the pinks and browns link up, and then there is the hint of blue, hmmm..

This one stays with me!!

You can see others I will be sending here, and here, and here.

 

 

Posted in collage, crochet, Doodles, post card swap | 4 Comments

Vanessa Bell

My friend Pauline has just told me about a website showing art that is owned by Britain but not currently on show:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/

Fascinating  – what a resource!

She was particularly delighted to discover some paintings by Vanessa Bell and picked this one to send to me

BBC - Your Paintings - Garden at Hampstead

I’m looking forward to having a good look round the site to find some more hidden treasures.

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Relaxation, collage style

I have returned home from Wales thick with cold, so I am having a very cosy time in front of the fire today.

Last night I was feeling too tired to do anything that needed thought or planning, and having read Daisy Yellow’s post ‘Cut and Paste Therapy’, I decided that was just the thing. There is nothing more relaxing than thumbing through a pile of old magazine’s tearing out stuff that catches your eye.

I made a pile of ‘whites’ and so a collage grew. It is about A2 in size and on card gathered from the local Scrapstore, which had already been used for a project I did with a youth group ( I LOVE to recycle!)

Whitecollage

Already, even through the tiredness and my cotton wool brain, ideas were beginning to form.

This morning I finished tearing and gluing and then cut the card into post card sizes. . . .

pcs

pc.white

. . .  and made a few more cards for the Spring Post Card Swap.

I have added some of my crocheted daisies – daisies being a mini-obsession of mine at the moment …

pc.w.2

. . .  some machine stitching and couldn’t resist trying out some doodling with a white gel pen.

The weather here must have been affecting me more than I thought as these definitely have a wintry feel – Spring 2013!

Posted in art journal, collage, crochet, Doodles, other artists, post card swap, recycling, textiles | 23 Comments

…..on the way back

There was a rainbow

on the way back

and taking the less rocky path down I came across this memorial stone

giftbtm

This branch of the path takes you the top of the old lime kilns – more ideas of future mandala projects, perhaps creating one that would link the beach and these kiln tops together

kiln tops lime top 2

on the beach again I saw another type of weed

weed weed2

If i had had time I would had surrounded the stones with a band of this weed which looked like tiny elfin trees

m.2b
but that is for another time.

I looked back through my photos and wonder if there is a Photoshop (or some such) programme which would allow me to make a photo mandala in the meantime, superimposing photos of weed and stones on the picture of the circle of stones – if you know of one please let me know.

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A farewell walk

On my last day in Solva I took a walk up the hill to look down on the beach below – still with the mandala in mind – I would have liked to create one by adding to the circle of stones that are there, but because of other commitments on this trip, my mind was not clear enough to give it the space and time it needed. This did not stop me planning one for the future though – and I was delighted I could see the circle from the cliff path.mandala from above

Can you spot it?

However I realise that in the summer the leaves on the bushes will probably hide it from here.

Taking advantage of the break in the weather, I carried on up the hill

looking back

And enjoyed the brilliance of the yellow gorse with its smell of coconut

gorse

higher and higher

higher

until getting to the top of the narrow ridge, you can see the valley and the bay on the other side

view from topand when you reach the headland you can look out across St Bride’s Bay

at the end

right at the very top there are bushes thickly covered in lichen – if lichen growth is an indicator of air quality, this speaks volumes

lichenand turning back, as the rain started to fall I came across a joyful little outcrop of wild daffodils

wild daffs

to be continued ………..

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A walk on Solva beach

When the tide is out

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mandalaA mandala left by another, I wonder how long it has been there

S.beachLooking back towards the village

stoneVibrant green – looks good enough to eat

greenpeak weed kilnsOne of several old limekilns on the beach

yatchs seaLooking out to sea at the mouth of the inlet

jetsam chain solva beach

Posted in land art, mandalas, other artists, photographs, stone, walks | 7 Comments

Solva

I am in Solva, South West Wales – my kinda heaven. My mother is Welsh and I spent my childhood Summer holidays on Newgale beach, so when ever I cross the Severn Bridge my heart sings – and it leaps for joy when I see the beach.

Nowadays I stay in Solva when I visit Pembrokeshire and yesterday, as soon as I arrived, I walked along the beach as the tide was at its lowest. The rocks, above a certain height are covered with the most vibrant lime green weed. When I looked at the photos later I realised there was the colour combo I loved in the post card I posted

limerock

 

Black, white, lime green. Delicious combination.

Posted in land art, mandalas, post card swap, stone, walks | 4 Comments

First Etsy Sale!

Just as I was wondering if it would ever happen, I had my first sale from my Etsy shop! wigsetc 003

This fun and funky ‘wig’ has flown all the way over to Chicago as a present for a friend.

As modelled so beautifully (ahem!) by us Stonechatters on one of our lovely Studio Days. It’s  Sarah’s favourite.

This sale inspired me to work out how to make a knitted Daisy Chain

daisychain.headband

and I am now selling this and the pattern for it in ‘Wild daffodil’.

It is amazing how very bouyed up I feel by this – Spring is springing!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Sand Art

Quinn Creative , another participant in the Spring Postcard Swap dropped by Stonechat and I had a lovely time looking at her blog. I came across this great post ‘What is Art’

In which there is a You tube clip of a Sand Artist in New Zealand

The comments that follow her post, flesh out the discussion of ‘What is Art’ and voice some of the inner conflicts I have lived with, as I try to find a place for my own forms of creativity in my world.

weed mandala

Here is a seaweed and sand mandala I made in October 2007 on Ringstead Beach . It is rare to see so much sand on that beach. My daughter and I were out on a walk with her 3 month old first baby girl, she sat in the sun to feed her baby and I made the mandala – it has been my screen saver picture since and always brings a sense of happiness and calm.

Posted in land art, other artists, post card swap | 5 Comments

Start

This was posted on Facebook by The Painting Experience forwarded from Julian Lennon’s post apparently.

start

Posted in other artists, painting, process art | Leave a comment

Lime Green

Another Post Card for iHannas Post Card Swap.

lime gr

I love the way collage throws seemingly random things together and gets me to play with colour and find colour combinations I would not otherwise have found.

In this case, a recycled little painting in pale blue has been enlivened with black, white, and lime green (a favourite colour) – crisp!

(And then I found the colour combo in Solva beach, South West Wales )

I’m enjoying trying out machine stitching on card to add another texture too – inspired by Hanna and Daisy Yellow.

And Washi tape seems to sneak in to most collages and scrapbook pages lately.

See a couple more post cards in my 24.Mar. post, they reflect the weather we have been having here in Europe!

Posted in collage, land art, other artists, painting, post card swap, recycling, walks | 15 Comments