Monday, July 17, 2017

The most exciting thing......

...that happened this week is that I managed to secure the very last place on a workshop with Seth Apter.  It is not until October but at the rate this year is going I won't have to wait long.  Seth and I found each other many years ago through a similarity of blog names and a shared love of rust.  I have, with pleasure, watched his career grow and blossom but have not been able to get to any of his previous workshops.  This one is at Birds in the Barn near Colchester in Essex.

In my play time this week I have been juggling Le Tour de France, Wimbledon and working on a junk journal. I haven't taken any pictures yet but it is nearly finished.

A couple of outing this week.  One to Hall Place in Bexley for a pleasant stroll round the gardens.  I though this was a very pretty bedding scheme

 One of the features of the gardens is the Queen's Beasts, topiary representations of the heraldic animals.

 The other outing was another visit to Faversham, the more I visit the better I like it.  We had gone to visit some of the Open Houses.  We started with a visit to the market  and bought locally grown strawberries and raspberries and then a nose round couple of antique shops.  No pictures inside the houses, of course, I even forgot to take the exteriors (we were battling an  annoying drizzle by that time) This is a photograph I borrowed from

The houses were full of surprises, from the outside you imagine them to be quite small inside but we saw large bedrooms, comfortable living rooms and in one house even a grand piano.   Most of the houses we saw were built in the 1500's and they must be a real labour of (expensive) love to maintain but it made us wonder if the housing that is being thrown up all around us today with stand the same test of time.
My only picture from the day

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Days are full.....

........Le Tour de France and Wimbledon, well that takes half the day at least. I love watching the Tour for the scenery, sometimes places we have visited, more often stunning views of places from the helicopters which you would never see in a car ride.  My brother introduced me to watching the Tour and we used to discuss on the phone, I miss him.
Weather back to normal British summer, every day is different, Saturday was a can't-make- up it's mind day and we took a little trip down the Darent Valley forgetting it was the lavender season.

Can you smell it?
Another sight was a flash of red as we were driving and I had to go back to catch the most glorious field of poppies I have ever seen.

I really needed a ladder to do it justice.
 Apart from TV my other occupation has been to play with tea bags and paper. Just look, it was such fun.  I bought the cheapest fruit teas that I could find and made up three bowls.
This was liquorice which I thought would give me light brown but in fact it remained a very pale yellow. The other two I used were blackberry & blueberry and masala chai.
I arrange the papers and for once had patience and left them overnight. Whoo!

  One has an embellishment of a leaf I walked in from the garden.

It was interesting how the different types of paper absorbed the dye.
I actually have dozens more but won't bore you, I used the last of the dyes to make book pages. the Blackberry made a lovely grey. You can see them behind these little journaling cards I have been making.
Did I say that after initial reservations I am now deeply in love with Tim Holtz's Oxide Inks.
Sun shining, what to do first?  Oh, housework. OK then.

Monday, June 26, 2017

It was hot.....

...................I am a chilly mortal and love warmth but our little heatwave last week knocked me out.  I did nothing  a little bit of gardening very early in the morning collapsing onto the sofa and reading for the rest of the day. Now thank goodness we are back to normal British summer and can move again.  Yesterday we went to the lovely town of Faversham for the Open Gardens.  We only managed about a third of them but the talking point was the variety and the fact that quite ordinary houses hide amazing spaces. The first one had a wonderful wildflower meadow

 Then there was this tiny little garden  (with a very cosy looking garden room ) crammed full of interest

Another slightly larger garden but still smaller than mine with a lovely summer house which also had a heater for the chillier days.

These three were my favourites, others we saw were too manicured for my tastes. One set of gardens were very interesting and very productive but I didn't get any snaps because they were a bit congested not only with plants but people.  The Gardens belonging to the quite modern houses were small but in addition they had small pieces of land belonging to the local school which they are allowed to use as they see fit as long as  it is tended. the land is on  the other side of a small stream, wish is crossed by a series of small bridges. There was an abundance of vegetable and fruit trees and one even had a chicken house. Hopefully I can go back next year and do better.
Our last visit was the Physic Garden behind an Elizabethan building which originally a grammar school. The garden is being restored and enhanced.  A wonderful tangle of everything.

On the production front very little has happened, I am blaming the weather for what is a massive production slump.

Not producing but I loved these intructions by Mary Corbet of how to open Mill Hill Beads. When we had cats I used to blame them for me getting beads everywhere but I am just as bad without them.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

At times like these........

...... it is difficult to stay up beat and at the moment I am failing miserably.  The sad events of the last two weeks in Manchester and London and afew private issues are sending me into hiobernation mode and the weather isn't helping. 
Bank holiday weekend we had strong winds and heavy rain which brought down the tree at the end of the garden and the rose it supportd .  My fault to a cetain extent as I have been talking about thinning the rose for some time now.  Well we thinned it on Monday alright,   You may remember a couple of weeks ago it looked like this.
Then this happened

 and now it looks like this. 
All I can say is thank goodness for the artificial lawn because in the wet we would have trashed any real grass.
I now have to think of something to fill the gap, it faces north and I would like some winter interest so an ideas would be welcome.This is the gap I need to fill, as you can see we have left the stumps  of the tree and the rose to give them a chance of regenerating.

I am still playing with paper and have nearly finished another junk journal, in the meantime I made a small field notes sized notebook
. Some tuck spots but mainly pages for writing and drawing.
 I wish I could claim to have painted the thrush but alas it was just a scrap I found.

 can we just get the election over so that we can switch on tv, computer or ipad without being bombarded with this opinion and that harangue?
Can we all try just to get along, life is so short.

Off to cut, fold and paste.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Catch up......

.......again.  There have been a few outings in the last two weeks and the time flies by.  One of "the Girls" had a very special birthday and we took a trip to Lewes in Sussex for the first part of the celebration and then for the second part we went to the very special Sew Not Strawberry Jam for a fun day making aprons.  As usual we had a wonderful welcome from Sam whe had taken the trouble to put up Happy Birthday bunting

 and made the most delicious array of meringues, homemade biscuits and a creamy, dreamy, Swiss Roll topped with chocolate dipped strawberries. My bad, too busy eating them to take photos.
This is a very special place and we were delighted to learn that next year Sam ill be arranging workshops. If you search this blog with SNSJ tag you will see some of the great days we have had.
I made a little journal as a gift in anticipation of the good time I knew I would have. Mainly country themed of course.
 One of my favourite pages.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Tidy? Moi?.......

.... no matter how many times I tidy my desk(not often) it always ends up looking like this, I work in a space that is approximately A4.
However last weekend the rest of the house was tidy because my lovely sister-in-law came to stay. She came down from the north of England leaving sunshine behind and didn't see it again until she was on her way home.  So much for the sunny south. However it didn't rain and we were able to get out and about.  One of our trips was to the Antique and Vintage market in Faversham. Lots of temptations..

Brenda bought   me the smallest thimble I have ever seen, under half an inch in diameter.  We tried to imagine the tiny mite who had used it to stitch. We found a lovely charity shop ( just like the ones before Mary Portas) and I collected this lovely bundle. 
Particularly pleased with the stamp album which still has stamps. The book with Chinese writing and the Classical Review in the picture came from another place.

Had a real senior moment when Brenda came down, when to meet the train at Euston at 11.29am and had to wait until 2.15pm. I had mixed up the times of her leaving and arrival trains.  Made good use of it though and had a lovely wander through a bit of London I hadn't visited before. Found this beautiful terrace
it had this park in front of the terrace, an energetic lunchtime game of tennis going on.
Not far away from here I found an amazing second hand book shop, that's where the other treasures were found. I was just wandering so hope I can find it again. Wandered into this

with this at the end of it.
I love London.

On Monday night we had a real treat.  42nd Street at the the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane.  Lovely to see a show with such a large cast.  My goodness those dancers work hard, exhausted just watching.  Brilliant.

One of the reasons my desk is particularly I have been working on two books, one of them a special secret.
Pleased with this one though.
Lovely wrapping paper from John Lewis.
Some pages, don't know how to make those "flip though"videos so just a lot of photoas.

Last one is Turkish Map fold I have just mastered. Yes it's a junk journal, the funny thing about it is, I keep making journals but the nearest I get to journaling is this blog and we know how regular that is.
Addicted I have already started next  "journal".