Sunday, 27 July 2014

Not so Hairy Bikers (balding?)

The hot weather continues and we were invaded this weekend by a couple of DH's pals who arrived on their motorbikes and erected their tents on our back lawn ready for a sleepover.  It was lovely to sit outside and not only eat our evening meal out there, but also have breakfast too - not all at once you understand.

Le Camping
A lesser spotted not so hairy biker did leave me with a large selection of Thorntons chocolates (Chocolate Heaven Hamper?) which gave me the challenge of how to stop the chocolate melting in a heatwave when the fridge is full of food to feed the visiting hoards!!

Le Grand Departe

The other bike - er
On the upside our telephone line has been restored after almost a week, but now the internet has declined to the extent that it is almost impossible for me to view any posts with photographs on the blogs I follow.

I am afraid I shall have to disappoint my trusty friend who thought the sparrow in an earlier post was part of something for her!!  It's not.

Naughty Sox has been behaving badly this weekend too.  He has an impending visit to the vet on Monday, and obviously feels he is well on the way to recovery.  On Saturday afternoon we could not find him anywhere. He had last been seen on the balcony in the bedroom enjoying the cool air and sunshine.  It transpired that he had decided to make a jump for liberty and had escaped making off into a neighbour's garden. DH eventually got him to come back and he was returned to the confines of the house once more.  Not sure if he has done any damage to himself.  Only time will tell.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Time flies ....

Had to pop to Worcester this morning to take my Edward Thomas piece for the EG exhibition which forms part of the Three Choirs Festival.  Whilst there I took the opportunity to photograph this gate off the High Street in Worcester.  I seem to have got hooked on reading books about the Wars of the Roses and this particular piece of sculpture is to do with the Battle of Worcester and the pikestaffs.  The Wars of the Roses has lots of links with both Yorkshire and the part of the world I am not living in.

At long last the sweetpeas and sunflowers have decided to bloom.  Mind you this one does look a bit like "Little Weed".

I have also finished three wrap around book covers for sketchbooks this week.  This is the second one.

 This little chap has also featured in something else I have been doing ....
Sparrow front

Sparrow Backside!!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Holiday Time

Sculpture by Rachel Ducker
What a lovely few days I have had.  A friend has been to stay and we went to Art in Action all day on Thursday.  The driving there and back was a pain as it took  over two hours each way and with the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim starting on Friday it promised to become even worse.  It was my first time at this event and I will certainly think about going in future years.  Very well organised and lots to see and inspire and you can have a go or watch demonstrations of lots of things.

We were meant to return on Thursday, however, after stopping off at Tewkesbury Abbey to see the Tom Denny stained glass, we decided that neither of us really fancied another 2 hour plus journey to get there.  Instead we took ourselves off to Nature in Art near Twigworth.  Ralph Steadman's wonderful 'Boids' exhibition was still on which was a real treat and gave us a good laugh. The shade under the trees in the garden was the ideal spot to shelter from the sun and enjoy our packed lunch.
Touching Souls by Mico Kaufman

On the way home we popped into Ledbury so that my friend could see the Shirt Collar Project in the Shell House Gallery ...
local textile artist Angie Hughes' piece
 ... and of course we had to have a cup of tea at Chez Pascale to finish off a grand day out.
A shady spot at Chez Pascale

Things have gone downhill since then as we have had two evenings and the best part of today with thunder storms.  I suppose that is what one expects in this country after lots of hot weather.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Wrap Round Book Cover

Reverse and Front of cover
I always think I have been doing nothing, but this week I have been working on 3 wrapround sketchbook covers.  I promised one of my lovely friends that I would make a cover for her with some inspiring words on it.  This one is not it, but as I had the pelmet vilene and bondaweb out I thought I might as well use up some of my scraps of dyed fabric and make one or two more.  This is the only one I have finished.

The fabric has been hanging about since I was at college, which could easily by 10 years ago now!!  It was scrunched up and space dyed and is probably a bit of one of DH's old cotton shirts.  I am never one to waste things.

Had a challenging week again this week ... the cat has not been allowed out and has to be kept caged for a lot of the time, so you can imagine how happy he is about that.  When he is out of the cage all he wants to do is sit on me and nap.  A good waste of time so have seen a lot

Early on Thursday morning a young jackdaw managed to fall down the bedroom chimney.  I was none too pleased because it is the main bedroom that has had the walls plastered and painted and has a new cream carpet.  By Friday, as DH was showing no sign of resolving the problem, I found a hammer, bolster and dust sheets and removed the air vent brick that had been plastered into the wall.  I decided to leave the two french doors open that go out onto a balcony with the hope that the trapped bird will now have returned to the wild.  I did try to capture the bird first by luring it into a cat basket with food, but at soon as I appeared on the scene it popped back through the hole in the wall into the chimney.  It has stopped flapping or cheeping so guess it has gone.  Am now left with a nice hole in the wall that needs repairing.

Everything in the garden is ....

 Inula's have a lovely form.  They start off with fluffy buds which then open out to these lovely yellow daisy flowers.  It looks like they spread easily as they are now starting to take over the part of the garden they are planted in.
Mad Daisies
 I think I originally purchased this daisy at Tatton Park years ago.  I love its mad petals.
The Nasturtiums were planted to attract the blackfly away from the broadbeans, however, I planted too many and you cannot see the broadbeans at all.

Can't remember what the pink flowers are, but you also get them in white, and they self seed everywhere and I love them.  They almost glow in the evening when it is getting dusk.  We have lots of Verbena Bonariensis too.  Both of these travelled here from Yorkshire and have now seeded themselves in this garden.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Ledbury Poetry Week

Last week during Ledbury Poetry Festival, Tilley Printing had a display of altered books in one of their upstairs rooms which were very interesting, however, I found their lovely printing press fascinating.  Having worked for several newspapers and remembering the days when the type was handset ready for printing, the whole experience was so nostalgic. I worked for Westminster Press in Darlington for a time many years ago and can clearly recall having to go upstairs to where the typesetters were working.

I first encountered Tilley Press last year during H-Art and when I saw they were open to the public for two days more recently I could not resist a second visit.  There are trays of alphabet print blocks.  Absolute heaven.

College Exhibition

Fool that I am ... I had to visit the college show twice because I somehow missed that fact that there was a lot of student work upstairs as well as on the ground floor.  You would not think I went to the college every week!!

There was some fabulous sculpture on display with our print classes efforts and also some lovely calligraphy.
I fancy having a go at calligraphy, but as I am such an untidy worker I do not think I would be much good at it.  The following two pieces were upstairs and I think the person who produced them was Valerie Kerridge.

This amusing collection is called 'Malvern Conserve' and each jar contains things relating to Malvern.  I guess there is also a play on the word 'Conserve' as we have the Malvern Hills Conservators.  The textile artist - Anni Dean - attends the C&G Alumni class at the college and also produces some lovely work as part of another forum - The Wednesday Group - which was formed when they all finished their C&G Embroidery studies.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Shed in Colour

At the last printing class this week I managed to produce some more copies of the drypoint shed with added colour.  In addition, I also printed another smaller shed, but unfortunately I have not got any copies of these at home.  It is the college exhibition starting on Friday and the tutor kept them to use for our class display.

Went to Hellens yesterday to the Textile Bazaar and managed to buy yet more goodies from Art Van Go.  I have got a Miracle Sponge which I am going to cut up to make print blocks, also bought a couple more Lumiere paints.  (I am gradually replacing my dried up Stewart Gill paints)  Almost forgot ... I also had to have yet another 6" x 6" plastic template, this time one with letters and numbers.

Sox is still at the vets, hopefully I am going to bring him home today.  He is still very poorly I am afraid.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Poor Sox

Sad to say Sox is very poorly as I write.  He had a 2 hour operation at the vets this morning to repair what they discovered was a very bad rupture and has had to be kept there overnight. He is feeling very sorry for himself at the moment and who can blame him after the trauma of the past few days.  We are still no wiser as to what happened to him.  The one bit of good news was that he has not broken his left front leg, but the x-ray showed that he has got arthritis in it.  We are not sure how old he is but he is at least 11 I guess.

On another front ... we are overrun with squirrels again.  It must be all this year's young ones I think!

Poor old Mr C next door has lost two swarms of his bees this week, so we will not be getting much honey this year.  Both lots of bees decided to swarm very high up in nearby trees and it was impossible to get them down and put them into new hives. Very annoying.