Monday, 30 June 2014

Shell Gallery Ledbury

Managed to get to The Shell House Gallery in Ledbury on Saturday for the start of the 'Shirt Collar Project' exhibition.  Beautiful work and well worth a visit.  The supporting work was also very interesting and I particularly liked the pieces by Nancy Nicholson.

The final picture was one of the supporting pieces in the exhibition which I loved.
Unfortunately, it has been a very sad weekend too as Sox has been injured and we do not know how.  He is quite poorly at the moment and has had several visits to the vet. He has to go back again on Tuesday morning to have a rupture repaired and his foot looked at in more depth.  He could have been hit by something or perhaps the fox has had a go at him.  He disappeared on Friday and we eventually found him in the garage on Saturday morning, injured and traumatised.  He cannot put any weight on one of his front legs and has a bulge at one side of his tummy.  His body looks a bit bent at the moment.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Prickly visitor

This little chap has been visiting our garden each evening and finishing off bird food and cat food I put out for it.  DH managed to take a photograph with his iPad - although he seems incapable of getting the hang of it for its proper use at work.  I believe there is a bigger hedgehog about too as it snuffles about the garden under the undergrowth  making a lot of noise looking for slugs and snails after I have gone to bed.  (I do apologise for the quality of the photograph when you enlarge it)

Monday, 23 June 2014


This beautiful little moth has been hanging around in the back garden for several days.  It is a Scarlet Tiger Moth I think.  It has got damage to the bottom edge of  its left upper wing.  It looks as if it has been singed.  It also has a red and black striped body and a red underside to its wings.  A startling thing to see.

Printing class again this morning and we were trying our hand at drypoint printing.The plate was something I have not used before - Rhenalon.  It was similar to OHP plastic and you just scratched the surface with a needle (or similar) to create lines.  Found it difficult to see what you were actually drawing onto it.

I did not ink this up very well as I did it in a hurry.  I had spent most of the lesson making a first print from a collagraph print I had prepared the previous week using textured wallpaper scraps, carborundum and other bits and pieces.

The lesson got off to a bad start as the fire alarm went off just as we arrived so we spent a while out in the car park in the lovely sunshine until the problem was resolved and we could go back in.

The past week has been busy too.  Met up with Harrogate EG pals on Wednesday and had a nice walk. Went out for a meal with friends from Darlington on Thursday evening.  Met up with friends from Kent who had been to a Bristol Owners event at Prescott on Sunday.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

A Walk on the Wild Side

What a lovely time I had on Wednesday of this week.

Several friends from Yorkshire (and a dog) had come down to stay in the Cotswolds for a 3 day walking holiday with their regular walking group.  I was lucky enough to be able to join them for a 5 mile circular walk around Chipping Camden.  The weather was fantastic, company good and countryside breathtaking.  One gentleman on the walk (not mentioning who) thought that two of us had not seen anything as we were chatting so much.  That is what happens when you only meet up once or twice a year at most!!

This was part of the group trying to decide what they could see by looking at a waymarker on the route.
.... and this is what others in the party were doing in the meantime.  (Man with dog is the source of the rude comment about our chatting)  We came across some lovely wild orchids and ragged robins in a meadow and at the edge of woodland during the walk.  Later we enjoyed a pleasant lunch at The Noel Arms, sitting outside in the sunshine. This was followed by a stroll along the High Street and a dip into the Court Barn Museum before heading back to their hotel for a cup of tea.

After much deliberation I finaly decided to purchase a Sat Nav earlier in the week and it has caused me quite a lot of aggravation one way and another.  First of all it would not talk to our PC, nor the laptop.  I then spent hours over two consecutive days holding onto a freephone number to get assistance before eventually getting an email sent to me with several options to try.  I did eventually get it to register and download information.  DH would have nothing to do with the SatNav - he prefers to use a map and/or try unknown roads that go who knows where, wasting many hours of precious time.

I then discovered the SatNav does not want to direct you along the route you wish to take.  I spent my first journey ignoring it telling me to 'turn right' off the route I was on.  I knew exactly where I was going, I just wanted to know how to operate it.  I admit it was helpful on Wednesday in finding the walkers hotel, but not convinced it took me along the best route.  By this time I did not care .... I just wanted to get there without getting lost!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Tacket Bound Books

 Last Friday we spent the afternoon learning about Tacket Binding.  The one above is Covert Tacket binding and I made this one at home.  I am afraid my cardboard inserts are a bit wobbly and feature an extra set of notchs to what should be there.  I fully intended to paint the cardboard inserts gold but, as yet, have not got round to it.

The second book was made in the class and is traditional tacket binding.  The two leather strips glued to the front and back covers make it nice and strong.

The cover papers were handmade.  The first one used stencils rollered with various colours of acrylic paint and then an inktense block wash over them.  The bottom one is Watercolour paper which has been wetted. Acrylic ink was then dropped onto it.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Cat Napping

This is the lovely Sox.  He has had a hard life.  He was a stray before I started to feed him.  After the trauma of being taken to the vet to be neutered he decided it was better to permanenly take up residence with us, much to the disgust of our then two existing cats.  When we moved he had to come with us of course and now seems to be fairly happy living here (apart from the fact that we have not supplied him with a catflap to come and go as he pleases).  Life was all too much for him yesterday as it was very hot and sunny so he decided to have a nap on the garden table whilst I was busy doing the crossword after lunch.

Was very sad to find the magpies have discovered the location of a blackbirds nest in the clematis in our back garden.  They were harrassing the parents on Wednesday afternoon.  That gave me the excuse to sit out in the garden all afternoon under an umbrella in order to scare them off.  The young blackbirds look as if they are almost ready to fledge.  There are at least three of them.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

I Ink therefore I am

Collagraph No 2
I have recently started going to a printing class each week.  My only problem is that I cannot remember how to do things ... I last did any serious printing in 2007.  I have been trying to ink up collagraph plates and so far have got in a bit of a mess.  I now realise that the inks we are using are far too thick.  Made some progress this week.  The plate above has no theme and the image arose from my doodling in waterproof tile adhesive before it dried.  I then took the sander to it before sealing it with diluted PVA followed by two coats of button polish (shellac to the uninitiated).

I now realise how very, very lucky we were to have all the facilities we had at Harrogate College.  No such stuff here, so have to improvise quite a bit.

Collagraph No 1
This was my first collagraph plate and I intended it to be portrait, but it looks better landscape.  I have to own up to the fact that the colours I used were very random.  I hate waste so was utilising oil based inks that had been left covered with clingfilm from the previous week.

This strange print was actually achieved by running the inked up roller over the back of another print.  The image was picked up from rolling yellow ink over the collagraph plate used for Collagraph No 1.  The plate already had purple ink on it which lifted onto the roller.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Sojourn 'Up North'

I have just returned home after a few days in Yorkshire staying with one of my very good friends.  I had time to meet up one evening with three of the people I did C&G Embroidery with and we had a good old natter and catch up which was lovely.  Lots of nice food whilst I was away, it makes a change not to have to cook.  Think DH stuffed himself with the meals I had left ready for him.  He is not good on quantities, nor cooking for that matter, although all he had to do was put things in the oven.

The weather was brilliant most of the time and the day it rained - Saturday - I was inside as I had been persuaded to go to the Yorkshire & Humberside EG Regional Day.  Fantastic speakers, lots of lovely work, retail therapy and chance to see lots of the people I had got to know whilst a member of the Regional Committee for 4 years.

I took this picture of one of the entries for the regional competition purely because I like maps.  I think the theme was 'Waterways'.

I wish I had had time to stay longer, but needed to be back for my printing class on Monday morning.  I should now be all enthusiastic and full of ideas for subjects for the collagraphs we are currently working on!!  Some hope I think.

Almost forgot to mention all the bikes ... well they have got the big cycling event coming up soon.  There are yellow painted bikes all along the route and in Poole in Wharfedale there were ones with baskets of flowers on the front and back.  Terrific.  Pity I did not take any photographs.