Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Sad Little Trout

I found this dead little fish in the stream on Monday and was quite upset as it was so beautiful.  It was very small, between 3-4 inches long and had no obvious sign of why it died.  It was much more colourful than the photograph shows with lovely red spots and red fins.

On the up side I saw a large brown trout swimming upstream and then found a much smaller one under a flat stone whilst I was looking for crayfish.  We have not seen any fish for several months now so it was a surprise.

Saturday, 27 April 2013


When we first moved in we had some rather sickly looking cowslips in the lawn and I have tried to nurture them since then as we both love wild flowers.  They must like the wet weather we have had this past year as they seem to be doing really well at the moment and have produced long stalks with lots of flowers over the past week.  I have to put sticks in the lawn to save them from getting mown down!!  They so so remind me of old fashioned pantaloons.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Worcester Travelling Journal

This little chap was the result of the mount board print block demonstration on Wednesday of this week and he has now become a bag to hold one of the Worcester Travelling Journals.  I have added a label which gives the journey for the latest TJ that I have received to add my input to.

Hope this elephant has a good memory and does not get lost on the way!!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Sox the Dog Scarer

This is the new step outside our front door.  The patched up bricks are where the toilet waste pipe used to come out.  This has now been relocated.  We are awaiting a new door to stop all the draughts and there is currently a huge gap under the one shown here due to the fact that the old doorstep has been demolished and the new one has been built to accommodate the replacement door and surround when it arrives.

Sox had fun yesterday.  I was busy gardening and could hear a dog barking from what sounded like our garden.  When I investigated I discovered that a neighbour's brown labrador was hiding in the garage, terrified of Sox!!  I had to rescue it and return it to its owner, whilst negotiating a spitting Sox who was displaying a lovely arched back and fur that stood on end.  It was worth returning the dog home as I discovered she has a litter of 8 five-day old puppies and they were absolutely gorgeous.  There were cream ones, black ones and one reddish cream one.  She had not been home long when she disappeared again.  Think she must have had enough of the puppies and wanted a rest.

Had Venture Group today and felt that I gave a disappointing demonstration on how to make mount board print blocks.  They are all so clever and no doubt found it very boring!  Got a new travelling journal to add to though which is such fun.

Blue Tulips

One of my friends brought me some blue tulip bulbs back from a trip to Amsterdam last spring.  When I planted them nothing happened so they got pushed away at the side of the garage in a sheltered spot.  What a surprise when earlier on shoots appeared and we now have these flowers - RED ones!!

Hopefully a timely reminder of the trip to the bulb fields with her parents?

Wild Garlic

Although we have had some lovely sunny weather the wild garlic in the Dell still does not want to open.  The buds with their papery cover look like pearls hidden in tissue paper.

Last year I planted wood anenomes in the Dell along with daffodils, dog daisies and some bluebells. Well the wood anenomes have disappeared ... but this little lot have appeared in a different part of the Dell all by themselves.  I guess they came down when the stream flooded because they are growing in the path of silt that was deposited.

We have actually got lots of primroses and wild violets all over the garden too, not only in the Dell.  The two Amelanchier trees are trying to open their flowers, but unfortunately it looks like we could have lost the lovely mature Robinia in the front garden as there is no sign of leaf buds and a lot of the twigs appear to be dead.  Even the mistletoe growing on it is looking very sorry for itself.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Going round in circles

It is all very exciting this week I have passed on the Yorkshire Travelling Journal and received another one in the post today.  In the meanwhile I have been messing about with these woven wheels.  One of the members of Running Stitchers makes padded ones and I thought I would have a go and have found there are several variations and names for this technique.  I want to try lots of different threads too.

Have to pass on the Worcester Travelling Journal on Wednesday of next week so shall have a second surprise when I get my next one to complete.

House now has a lovely new step and is awaiting a front door that hopefully will make the hall a whole lot warmer.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

More Lutradur

Decided I had better test the Xpandaprint I had (which I knew was well past its 'Use By Date') so fished out an old stencil I had created for my Acanthus Pod at college and screenprinted over it onto some Lutradur using a nice little scraper I had purchased some time ago for use with thermofax screens.  Of course, the Xpandaprint came out far too thick, but I heated it anyway and it ended up looking like lizard skin.

I covered it with black gesso and then painted it with a mixture of Lumiere and Stewart Gill paints.  Discovered most of my Stewart Gill paints are now well and truly unusable so they are destined for the bin.  Shame really as I do like them, but obviously did not use them enough or I would have got to the bottom of the jar before it went solid.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Lutradur pieces

Got some paint onto the pieces I produced at the Lynda Monk workshop on Wednesday, but not too happy with the results.  This was a piece of Lutradur which had been thermofax printed with Xpandaprint then zapped with an heat gun.  It is painted with a mixture of acrylic paint and cosmic shimmer spray.

Far from happy with this postcard sized piece.  It has had gesso and white acrylic paint applied before colouring it with a variety of things.  It has become a messy blob.  May have to paint over it and start again.  The background is actually reasonable, but the lacey fragrment is terrible.  I have also started to paint the tube, but it needs more work and I am afraid the lovely sunny weather meant I spent a lot of time in the garden digging up what was once a brick drive where I now want to lay some lawn.

The crocus I planted in the front garden, to remind me of the large swathes of them on the Stray in Harrogate, have now decided to burst open and put on a lovely display. However, another squirrel is stealing my bird food at the moment and is proving to be very wiley.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Lynda Monk Talk and Workshop

Thermofax printed Xpandaprint
Had two lovely days with Worcester branch of the EG this week.  On Tuesday afternoon Lynda Monk gave a talk and did a short demonstration and today she ran a one day workshop and managed to fit an awful lot of samples into the day and we still finished early.  Just what I needed after a lot of hassle at home.

Small Quiltlet ready to paint

Vessel ready for painting