Tuesday, 31 July 2012

You've seen her before and .........

you'll probably see her again!     We have this little guest staying with us for a couple of days and I am getting plenty of exercise!    This is her favourite spot for keeping an eye on passers by.
She is very sweet and very good too, inspite of getting me out of bed for a trip round the garden at 2am this morning.
You may remember that her name is Poppy.   We had to leave her at home for an hour this afternoon while I went to the chiropractor - she was so pleased to see us when we returned and must have wondered if we had abandoned her too.

Blogger is still a bit strange and most of the time won't allow me to start typing on the left hand side of the page even though I keep trying to re-align the text, so my spacing is a bit random and haphazard.

The house is almost back to normal after last week's upheaval for the new boiler.   The larger of the two front bedrooms is full to the brim with it's own stuff plus everything from the boxroom which is now empty and waiting for new floor covering which will go down next Monday.    However, my workroom is still not in a state conducive to creativity.  I have various ideas going round in my head - another rag rug; another piece made on the embellisher or perhaps something inspired by medieval tile patterns.   Maybe all three will get made eventually but which will I start first?  By the time I have restored order and found some working space perhaps I will know the answer.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Summer at last.

Sunshine creates such lovely shadows.   I looked down and saw this lovely pattern made by the trellis and foliage growing on it.

Then I noticed this little lacey shadow on one of the leaves in the pond.   Something has been busy eating all those little holes.
While I was by the pond I kept seeing frogs heads peeping out of the duckweed at me but as soon as I moved the camera to focus it they disappeared beneath the surface.   I did catch sight of this one lurking among the plants and there were several others too well concealed to get a clear picture.  I didn't realise they were so camera shy.

However, this little lady was not shy at all and spent several minutes so close that I could have bent down and touched her.   She just spread her tail and wings out on the warm stones and sunbathed.
She is obviously quite young as her baby downy feathers are still clearly visible and she has not yet learned to be wary of humans.   She looked straight into the camera as if she was a professional model asking which pose she should strike.   She retreated into the shade every so often but came back four or five times for more sunbathing.

The buddleiah is in full bloom but still waiting for the butterflies.   They were in very short supply last year too.

If this warm weather stays with us these might ripen for me, otherwise there's going to be a copious amount of green tomato chutney this year.

Friday, 20 July 2012

I'm still here!

Dear blogger has reorganised posting on my blog so completely that I feel I have no control over what is going on.   For a start I can't begin adding text to the left hand side of the page.  Why can't they leave things alone!!!!!!!!

All the pictures are in wrong order but at least I have found out to control the text - no I'm not clever, my daughter turned up in time to stop me having a nervous breakdown!!
Back to the pictures.   The one at the top of this post is purple toadflax, regarded as a weed by some gardeners but I love it and so do the bees.   There should be a bee in the photo somewhere but they wouldn't keep still long enough for me to get a close-up.

Miss Blackbird was taking the air and enjoying the warmth - I almost missed her in the dappled shade in the border.
Note that blogger is winning and not doing what my daughter showed me.  Having said that, there is always the possibility that when I hit the publish button things will alter again.

This day lily was given to me by a friend and was so small it was growing in a yoghurt pot.   It is now magnificent and a gorgeous burgundy colour, not at all pink as it appears in this photo.

I love the way new fern leaves unfurl.   They have been very happy with all this year's rain.

I think the hydrangea's liked it too as the entire shrub is full of these gorgeously blowsy flower heads.

There is a path through here, believe it or not.   I have cleared it thoroughly twice this year and it looks as if it's time to have another go.   There are possibly little forgotten treasures in there somewhere being absolutely swamped by all that greenery.

I was amazed to find that it is so long since my last post - where does the time go?

Monday, 9 July 2012

New Improved!!

New Improved - Now with Added Treasure Gold!! It does give it a lift without making it look too glitzy. One of my daughters suggests I dirty up the beads along the spine a bit. She's probably right but I don't know if I'm brave enough to try it. They do look a bit new and clean.

Several members of my group said I should frame these painted 'dead' catalogue pieces (you may remember I posted 5 or 6 different ones a few weeks back) and thought they were too good to be used as book covers, so to keep them happy I made the piece above. I forgot to photograph it before framing and apologise for the shadows. It was so hard to avoid reflections in the glass. I still have the others to play with in the future.

I recently came across this lovely little book, packed with interesting information about the trees and shrubs commonly found in our hedgerows which are so often taken for granted. It's fascinating and full of the most beautifully drawn and painted illustrations for each plant.

I hope I am not infringing any copyright by showing a couple here - after all I'm plugging the book! It was really difficult to select just two pages - each one is a work of art.

Inspiration for a sketchbook of drawing exercises perhaps. A very nice project to start at the beginning of the year maybe and collect my own leaves, etc., and do just one page a week. The artist is Lizzie Harper and if I could draw and paint like her I'd be a very happy woman.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Finished at last.

Here it is - the finished product. I found it very difficult to photograph in today's (and many other day's!) poor light. I doesn't look nearly as dark as this and is a more coppery brown.

The detail on the front cover shows up better in this shot. My aim was to make it look as if the decorative panels had broken off or been worn away in places. I am wondering whether to add tiny touches of gold with a paint marker pen, or leave well alone. If in doubt, leave it out?

I bound the pages to the spine which was made from a strip of Grungepaper which is a craft product that can be stitched, painted, etc. I bored holes through this to line up with holes in the covers and used very large decorative brads to fasten them together. The back is attached similarly although I have left it free of decoration. As I made the binding stitches I threaded those which would show on the outside with a variety of beads. They seem to have slackened somewhat and I don't know if this is because I didn't draw them up tight enough, or if I tightened them too much and the stitch holes have stretched. Luckily I want the whole thing to look very battered and ancient so a row or two of droopy beads will just add to the effect.

A closer look at the spine. I included one or two hand made rolled paper beads and two long oblong commercial ones with four holes which helped hold things together. They have lovely little spiral patterns and look as if they are made from bone, which is very fitting.