Monday, 31 March 2014

Snowshill Manor and Ryton

On Saturday DH decided he wanted to have a day out so off we went to visit Ryton Organic Gardens.  On the way there, having taken the scenic route, we stopped off at Snowshill Manor for coffee and a scone.  It was our first visit and although we only paid to go around the gardens we will certainly be going back again. The gardens were great and I would really like to go inside the house and see its collection.  The windmill above was so amusing.  All the little soldiers were moving about and as it was such a lovely day everyone was standing in the sunshine and watching their antics.

There were two bee skeps in the garden, no bees in residence though.  Lots of white doves too in their own little dovecot which I assume was built to collect the eggs (or doves) for consumption.

This cobblestone mosaic was at the entrance to one of the gardens at Ryton, as were these wooden structures below. They were on either side of the entrance to one of the display gardens.

We seemed to spend all our time eating.  We had lunch at Ryton and as we both enjoy vegetarian food it was a splendid change. 

Looks like the triffids have escaped and taken up residence there too!!  These reminded me of something I had seen at Jinney Ring.  I think they were woven willow on metal stems.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Birmingham Day Out

On Wednesday this week eight members of the Running Stitchers, plus a couple of friends, had a trip to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to see the Grayson Perry tapestries 'The Vanity of Small Differences'.  We had pre-arranged for a guided tour with a talk about each tapestry which certainly made all the difference to our visit.  We all just need to watch the Channel 4 video now.

There was ample opportunity to look around some of the other treasures in the Museum and Art Gallery.  I particularly liked these tiles on display in the William de Morgan section of the Museum.

I apologise for the poor quality of the rabbit picture, believe it must be because I have cropped the original.

One or two of us also found time to pop over to the new Birmingham Library building which is amzing.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Gelli Three

Visited one of the other Venture groups today (Venture Three) and spent a couple of hours playing with Gelli Plate printing.  I took along my bought one and the seven group members that were there had brought along the ones they had made from Gelatine and Glycerine.  Everyone seemed to have fun.

The following are some of the prints I created ....

This print used Golden acrylic.  Leaves were laid onto the Gelli Plate after it was inked and a sheet of paper was then rollered over the top of them.  This was removed together with the leaves.  A second print was then made onto a piece of cartridge paper which had previously had the bird print made on it.  The paint trapped under the leaves produced the lovely colouration.  Think it was a mixture of Payne's Grey and Quinacridone Azo Gold.

The Gelli plate was inked, then a fern leaf was laid onto it over which a paint laden roller was rolled.  The fern leaf was removed and a piece of paper placed onto the Gelli Plate and smoothed over.  This was either just Golden Payne's Grey or there may have been a little bit of Lumiere Metallic Rust lurking about in the background.

This print was just a bit of fun and also a trial to see what happened.  The letters were stuck onto a piece of cardboard using double sided tape.  (The letters were placed the correct way round)  The block was sealed with white acrylic paint and allowed to dry.  The block was then pressed onto the inked up Gelli Plate.

The block at the bottom of this piece was made by a Formy block that had been heated and pressed onto a piece of heavy card which had previously been texturised with Modelling paste.  In the absence of a press I achieved a much better image this way than a straight print from the original block.  The paint was cheap black acrylic.

This final print was just a bit of madness.  Tile grouters, rolled up paper, a print block cut from an eraser and a floral funky foam print block were used together with cheap acrylic paint.  I like the triangles which were printed from the eraser and the randomness of the circles formed by the rolled up paper.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Wild Flowers in the Garden

As I have said before .... primroses grow like weeds in our garden and this lovely clump are over on the bank in the Dell.  It is a shame that the grass does not normally look like that, but it is some turf that I have dug up from the lawn at the back of the house when I was making a new border.  If I do not keep it watered it won't look like that for long.  Also the wild garlic is doing its best to grow through it.

There are also lots of these little beauties all over the garden.  Such cheeky little faces you cannot help but love them, although they are difficult to get rid of when they grow where you do not want them to.

Some progress on the garden fence at the front today.  PL has got the frame for it up and just the overlapping slats to nail on tomorrow.  Let us hope we get a sunny day.  It has been pretty awful today windy and showery.

Monday, 17 March 2014

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud ....

Woodland following a walk across fields
Leaving the wood we came across a field of daffodils
 I have been a very lucky lady over the weekend.  On Saturday a friend from 'Running Stitchers' dropped in to deliver some pelmet vilene and it just so happened she was on her way to have a walk on the Malven Hills and she asked me if I would like to join her.  We both had a splendid ramble taking advantage of the lovely sunny, warm weather.

On Sunday my next door neighbour popped round to say that the Dymock daffodils were excellent at the moment so I persuaded DH that he would rather go out for the afternoon for a walk among the daffodils than stay at home in front of the TV watching the Grand Prix!!  What a delight the daffodils were.  Small and perfectly formed.

Dymock Woods

Pussy Willow along the roadside
Huge tree on the return walk to Kempley
We were mystified by the map we were following which seemed to bear no resemblance to our route.  We eventually fathomed out where we were and managed to get ourselves back en route towards Kempley through Dymock Woods, past the lovely tree above which was absolutely enormous.
View towards Ledbury and the Malvern Hills
We needed the cup of tea and homemade cake that was available in the village hall in Kempley when we arrived back at the car.  The view from there was terrific with Ledbury quite clear to see at the base of the hills and the peaks of the Malverns poking up in the distance behind.  The lovely red Herefordshire soil always brings pleasure to my heart too and there were large spring lambs to be seen everywhere on our walk and evidence of recent deer tracks in several places.
The pink line is our probable route

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Barbed Wire

I am a very sad person .... I have been drawing barbed wire.  First of all with a fine waterproof pen and secondly with a lovely graphite pencil I had for my birthday.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Needlers Street

 Found this interesting street name in Worcester and assume it is something to do with the glove making trade that once thrived there.  Just along from there the Pheasant Inn also two of  these wonderful wooden pillars which I could not decide whether they were acorns or pears, or something else?

A Rock and a Hard Place

Late Monday afternoon and most of Tuesday afternoon I spent enlarging this flowerbed, that was until I came across this ...
It is several large, very hard, rocks which have been concreted in.  I have had the pickaxe at it but think I need to be eating more spinach like Popeye!!

Today I met a fellow member of the Running Stitchers and we went to Greyfriars, a NT property in Worcester.  It was a lovely sunny day, although a bit chilly.  I managed to find some inspiration in the garden and when I downloaded one of the photographs I found there was more to see than what I had looked at through the lens  ...  I think it is the painted canvas in the summerhouse.

Monday, 10 March 2014


I spent most of the weekend in the garden enjoying the lovely weather.  At long last I have got the bare rooted Hornbeam hedging planted at the front, although we still have not got a new fence erected.  Hopefully we will see this happen in the next few weeks.

I must have miscalculated when I worked out how many plants I needed and had several left so I decided to dig out a border at the back and put the remainder in there.  I had to chop a lot off an existing shrub to get them in, but I think they will look good once they are established.  Our lovely oak tree is to the right of the picture and the fence is at the other side of the stream where the wild garlic is growing at an alarming rate now we have some warm weather.

Friday, 7 March 2014


More flowers have appeared in the garden this week with the warmer weather.  We have even had some sunshine.  I tried to capture a picture of the little red female flowers on this Contorted Hazel.  They are so tiny.  The catkins are really long and lots of pollen has been falling off them when they are knocked or blown in the wind this week.  Also now got pulmanaria out, hellebores, daffodils, crocus and lots of primroses.

The plan yesterday was to plant the Hornbeam bare root hedging in the front garden, but having got dressed in my scruffy jeans, I discovered that it was raining when I went outside.  It did not stop me going to the tip to dispose of the rubble I had dug up and coming back with several bags of soil conditioner, which I plan to combine with the remains of the compost heap in the bottom of the trench for the hedge.

The sun has now come out today - typical when I have not got time to go out in the garden.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Spring Crocus

How can you not smile when you look out of the french door and see these little beauties enjoying the spring sunshine.  A massive bumblebee tried its best to get inside one of the smaller blooms to enjoy a feast.

These are in the front garden and are meant to remind me of the drifts of crocus in Harrogate.  Not quite got there yet and I am afraid they are going to have to come out as the rowan tree is slowly dying and will have to be removed.

I have spent every dry opportunity this week digging the front garden where the builders had their rubble heap.  It is backbreaking work and there is loads of builders rubbish buried underneath the soil.  I am slowly getting rid of the worst of it.