Thursday, 30 May 2013

Visit by Mr Todd

Unfortunately no photo but  ...  had our neice to stay on Wednesday evening and she had to get up early to go to a client in Oxford this morning.  It was a stroke of luck really as, whilst getting breakfast, I was lucky enough to see a fox stroll across our rear lawn and then pop through the fence on his way up the side of the stream.  I had suspected there was one, but had never seen it.  It was in excellent condition.

We also still have a young crow in the front garden who needs to develop its flying skills.  It is earthbound at the moment.  I want to make some sketches of it but until my right hand gets better this is out of the question.  Not sure if I could photograph it.

Sunday, 26 May 2013


At our last Venture Group I made some new mount board print blocks and since I finished varnishing them I have not had time to try them out.  On Thursday I had a spare half hour so sat down and tried them all.  I used some cheap acrylic paint and then added a wash of Procion dye I had lying about in a jam jar.

This one is a long thin block which I have repeated to create a grid.  It is actually 6 prints side by side and above each other. I took the pattern from an item in the Staffordshire Hoard.  I will probably get a better image with some decent paint, but I quite like the hazy effect.

I was sad on Wednesday - not only did I accidentally drop the blackbird's egg and smash it all over the floor, but also a local black cat caught and killed one of the blackbirds in the garden.  The cat hides under the undergrowth and I am forever chasing it away.  It is very rare for Sox to catch anything!! Don't know whether he is too old or just too lazy.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Holiday Time

I have just received Quilting Arts and the little caravan next door has inspired me to try to create something like this.  Do follow the link to Jamie Fingal's blog ... I am sure you will enjoy her work.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Surprise Treasures

It has been a funny week ... On Wednesday the day had started off well.  I had been on my way to the doctors via the cashpoint only to find my way was blocked just after the local Co-op.  The pub on the corner had caught fire and the fire brigade had closed the road.  There was lots of smoke to be seen, not sure how much damage has been done.  There were lots of spectators.

I returned home to find not one egg, but two eggs sat in the gravel on the drive.  No apparent reason, I can only guess a Magpie or Jackdaw dropped them there.  The giveaway was the scattering of blackbird feathers on the lawn. There still seems to be the same amount of blackbirds and babies feeding in the front garden at the moment so hope the victim escaped.  I think the one on the left is a blackbird's egg and the one on the right is a pigeon's.

Later that day whilst hanging some washing out in the back garden there were strange noises emanating from the front garden.  I went round the house to investigate and found nothing.  I turned to return to the back and had only taken a couple of footsteps when there were more cracks and then a louder creaking and cracking.  A huge branch had decided to fall off an Ash tree across the stream and adjacent to our garden.

On Thursday the electrician almost finished the wiring and it is all just to test now, but the builder did not turn up so we have got a few jobs to complete.  One of which is the tiling in the kitchen.  We were several tiles short and earlier in the week the courier managed to lose the extra ones, but then they seem to have found them again.  This was after the tile shop had decided to take the tiles off their sample board so that we could finish the job.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Secret Folded Star

It is a good job you cannot see the real colours on this book as it is a mess.  I think I am going to repaint the pockets under the top stars as I do not like them.  I wanted it to look faded and feel the stars are actually flowers.  They remind me of those old fashioned primulas 'Gold Lace'.  The book still needs a cover so that is a job for this next week if I get time.

Not happy ....  I had another go at this technique using Lokta paper and coloured it with watercolour pencils which I then wetted.  I think the real answer is to colour your paper on both sides first.

Had a day at Malvern Spring Flower Show on Saturday - dodging the rain showers - so what's new!!  Managed to meet a friend and go to the Living in the Middle exhibition in Ledbury at the Weavers Gallery on Friday.  The supporting sketchbooks were really inspirational and we both enjoyed the exhibition, plus coffee at the french cafe.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Folded Secrets

Had a fabulous workshop with Ruth Smith on Wednesday of this week in Worcester.  It was a two day workshop, however, as I have made the book before I decided just to do the one day.  It was just as well as the builder came on Thursday to finish off one or two jobs and the double glazing people also arrived.  We now have a lovely new front door and front window, plus we have frosted glass in the downstairs cloakroom ... so we might be able to use it now.

This is a selection of the work created on Day 1.  Two of us did the Starburst booklet and I have now coloured mine, but think it needs some more work as I am not happy with how it looks .... hence no photograph.  Once clever person had coloured her paper beforehand and another used coloured paper.

Today I hope to catch up with the 'Living in the Middle' exhibition at The Weavers Gallery in Ledbury.

Sunday, 5 May 2013


Spent a morning recently doodling - chickens from photographs, roughly sketched with a sharpened matchstick stuck in the end of a piece of garden cane and black indian ink were my starting point and then I went and found my new intense blocks and did some coloured versions.  Not sure where this is leading, but I seem to like stitching birds so perhaps they will make it into fabric at some point.