Thursday, 30 April 2015

Last day of the Month.

Well it seems my blog has become a monthly event. So once more I'm just in time for the month. I almost forgot that April has only 30 days.

Sadly some of those days saw the demise of these trees.



 The Methodist church is (are?) hoping to build an extension and after showing everyone the plans,  and in answer to everyone's questions "Are you chopping the trees down?, they said 'some'. However they took the lot away. Half of them were already down when I took this photo.

And here's what its like now. I suppose we have a better view of the moors now, and the only blots on the landscape are the two garish signs, also belonging to the church.




Opinion around and about is divided, with some people 'Thrilled to bits' because they won't have to sweep the leaves and others (mainly me) horrified. 
Oh Hetty is non-committal and just liked looking out to see all the activity. Can you see her in the window?








I had a long and heated discussion with the Methodist minister who said 'You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to tell him I don't mind going without the omelette. I'm sure the extension will be a big advantage to them, of course, but perhaps not the 'asset for the whole village' they might imagine.

As a result of the discussion there are now signs plastered onto the front of the church calling it 'tree replacement' because they are planting more they say.

Anyway I'm over it.
I have to be.

Earlier in the month, on Easter saturday, we saw the 'Chorley Grand Prix'. We all stood outside and watched a huge number of very serious cyclists hurtle up the hill...


....five times! They did 5 circuits of some very steep hilly places.
Notice the trees?

At the back of the house we had exciting goings-on with a blackbirds nest, and all was going swimmingly with two little comedy beaks sticking out, and much to-ing and fro-ing, when the evil thing happened in the form of our horrible cat who brought in one of the babies. They must have fledged and hung around on the path. Poor thing. Hopefully there's still one baby around somewhere.




I'm also forcing myself to be 'over' that . But it did make me sad.

At the start of April we had a trip out for number two son's birthday. We picked him up in Manchester where there was a superb city sunset..I missed the actual sun in this photo!


He lives in this super duper environmentally friendly block. They have a huge curved lounge window and I don't think they ever need to put their heating on.


When teh sun shone last Saturday we had a lovely late lunch at Wilfs cafe in Stavely and then on to Grasmere, for a beautiful walk all around the lake. 
There's a lovely wooded riverside walk before the lake, with bridges, 



and then we walked back along the road and back through the woods, where, by this time, there were whole families having barbecues on the river bank.
It was a lovely day.


Closer to home..in fact actually at home of course..I've been making. I made some felt in palest seashell inspired colours and I've made some seashell-inspired brooches. I'm testing a few of them on  Etsy at the moment.



I've also made more pieces for wallhangings.

 



Phew.
Just in time
My April blog post just minutes before midnight!


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Marching on

Where has March gone? 
On the last day of February we travelled again to Ballyvaughan for the Concertina school.
While my husband was learning we 'wags' (haha!) were having some creative fun in our little cottage.
I first took some felt making stuff last year and all enjoyed it so this year we made flowers. Now some the actual musicians want to skip class next year and join us! 





 Here are the flowers ....



 and here they are when we remembered to remove the wine bottle!




 As far as the weather..this was the very worst week we've had. My friend and I didn't do much walking. We sat around and ate and did a bit of shopping.. well as much as you can in a tiny Irish village! Look out of that window at the hail.

Thats the bedroom in our little rented house. Its home from home and we always have the same one.



 However the Sunday at the end of the week was glorious



 We made our annual visit to the stunning Polnabroune Dolmen a couple of miles above Ballyvaughan.



 We travelled  along the coast. Look at this stunning way to make an unoccupied house look quite smart.


 The sea at Doolin was spectacular.




 These pictures are not in any particular order. I took this one to show what a wonderful place the Whisky bar is. Tea, Guinness, whiskey, wine and cake all readily available.





 My friend and I did the stunning walk along Rine (Rynn) point where a long sandbar seems to go on forever.




 My footprints





 and the curved beach at the very end. I'd love to be there in summer and maybe swim.


 On our return we were delighted to see an otter running across the sand and I was even more delighted that I had my camera in my hand.



  It was a long way off so I've cropped the picture and its quite blurry but still.....




It was a lovely week catching up with old friends . One had his birthday while we were there so we had cake and a candle. Not quite in the right proportions but its the thought that counts.


We discovered that the gravel path along the Flaggy Shore has been tarmac-ed after the terrible floods last year when most of it got washed away.


On the way back on Sunday evening we stopped by this inlet and I got out to listen to the silence.It was just going dark and the water was like mercury and much lighter than the sky.




As usual our Ferry was cancelled due to the bad weather so instead of sailing at 12 we had to wait until 9pm for the slow boat, so we tok a circuitous route to Dublin via Athlone, Roscommon, and Mullingar stopping by Lough Ree on the way .


 Someone was glad to see us when we got home! Happy to resume their positions!




I took this piece of work with me but didn't do much to it until I got back. 
I had a commission for a magazine article which I can't talk about and it was worrying me all week becasue what i did was awful.

I kept having those anxiety dreams where I'm committed to doing a terms primary teaching and I can't stop crying...you know? 
No?

Oh its just me then is it?

I couldn't do anything else until I'd addressed it. I've finished and sent it but the response has been deafening silence since so I 'm wondering if its not passed muster.

This is not it.

This is a piece that has been re-jigged and I'm quite pleased with it.




Once I finished the magazine piece I got going with brooches again. 








I had a lovely evening at Wirral branch of the Embroiderers guild last week  despite getting lost on the way here and the way back. It always happens when I think I know the way.However once there I was treated like royalty and the lovely ladies bought most of the above brooches from me.



I've just been playing since...






Thursday, 19 February 2015

Satisfied

The Post-Christmas Blues Creativity boost has been great.
First I made the brooches in response to lovely shop/gallery requests and I think that got my Creative Muscle toned.
I was struggling on with this piece since before Christmas but have finally finished it.  I quite like it but there are a few bits I might do differently.



I like the colours and am working on two small pieces from the same batch of felting.

When I was Reeeeeaaally lacking inspiration I decided to do some drawing , you know the 'drawing a day' resolution which lasts about 8 days.
I did a few doodles just letting myself go anywhere with the pencil .





I quite liked this so made a whole lot of pre-felts and constructed a background piece which I think I should have photographed before stitching.

Anyway here it is with stitching...rather a lot..and I really feel satisfied with it. Its a bit busy but I like that.

Its about 10 inches square






It reminds me of the day we got lost in the Pedi Valley on the Island of Symi last September. Click link to see pictures.


The undergrowth was beautifully coloured, shades of pale green and soft ochre, and quite 'seedy' and prickly.  Perhaps not so lush but it has that feel.

I have more drawings so I might look at working those into finished pieces.

I've also been working on another piece but I have a problem with it. Its too influenced by an artist I love. I fear if I post pictures it will be obvious where I have taken my inspiration. I don't know whether to bother finishing it.

I have a few commitments at the moment, the most urgent being a piece for an embellishing magazine in Australia, with an African theme. I know it will go swimmingly once I get going but its just taking that first step..or should I say putting my toe in the water!

I have extended the deadline to give myself a fighting chance! I think its going to be based on  Tuaregs camel saddle bags I saw in a museum in Marrakech.



I'm also excited that I've been accepted for Woolfest! In Cockermouth in June. I can't wait. So much work to be done for that.

In other news: I'm in the middle of a month off alcohol..I only really drink red wine, and not every day either, and I can't say I'm missing it too much. I enjoy a glass with a meal a few  times a week, but then it makes me sleepy and worse still very warm, so I don't miss that.

 I hear that a month off has a wonderful effect on your general health so I'm giving it a go. Most people did January but I didn't get round to it.

 Its not strictly speaking a full month as I didn't start until 3rd February (because we were finishing a box of shiraz) and on 28th I'll be eating in an Italian Restaurant in the West of Ireland so I think that would be a good time to break the fast.

My husband thinks it might be a mistake to start drinking alcohol again in the week we go to Ireland but I must be moderate. I'm not an alcoholic or anything but in the Whiskey Bar in Ballyvaughan I may be tempted to overdo it. Mind you, Margaret the owner make s a great pot of tea and she always brings cake with it.

I suppose I ought to return to abstaining when I get home as its Lent and I'm a good Catholic girl, but guess what? I completely forgot to go to mass tonight for Ash Wednesday. I'd planned to, and just plain forgot. I always go on Ash Wednesday, in fact I don't think I've ever missed before.
I blame it on lack of red wine in my brain.

The funny thing was that my 87 year old Mum rang last night in a flap and asked 'Is it Ash wednesday tomorrow ?' So SHE went to Mass!

Here's another little piece I finished and is available in my etsy shop. Its small...four inches square.


I've also started Yoga.
Its very 'yoga-lite'. I was worried it might be a bit spiritual but its a mixture of Yoga and Pilates and is absolutely fantastic. I am the blob in the corner that can't quite bend enough or balance enough but I feel amazing when I've finished Its actually in our village and thats nice. (Have I mentioned this already?)

Thank you to everyone who commented last time.
I'm sorry if I didn't manage to reply to you , sometimes its difficult to find an email address so if you comment please check back here for replies.
And finally...someone asking to be doodled..I got a bit carried away with the starry eyes. I need practice.




Bye for now.





Mo
st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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