Sunday, 31 July 2011

Plants and pins and brooches

Been playing again-a wistful seaside sort of theme this morning to some of my creations. Sea washed glass lapel/hat pins...

a couple of felt flowers that look like sea anemones

and coral beaded pins.

Also some lush greenery- a felt embroidered oak leaf which pins on with a beaded silver pin to fix it in place. I've been sketching ideas for embroidered felt jewellery for a while now and this is the first prototype of one of the designs, quite pleased with it so far, I shall tweak the next one a bit.

In the houseplant division we have a real beauty bringing me joy this week.

Called a Scadoxus. I bought the bulb ( reduced for quick sale, naturally ) this Spring, the photo on the packet really did not do it justice. I looked it up and when this South African bulb gets to maturity the head of bloom can be 35cms across, so more than twice the current size. If I keep it happy, in a few years the blooms could be on waist high stems and the sphere of starry flowers larger than my head...can't wait.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Preparing for Hatfest

September 16/17/18 is the second Bridport Hat Festival, so preparations for my stall have started. First Hat Pins, which can also be worn as brooches.

That's the easy part, now for the hats....

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Orange and Turquoise

Been knitting again. Another snuggly cowl made with the gorgeous space-dyed thread from Lang:Mille Flamme. I came across this thread at the Knit and Craft Show earlier this year and bought it from a supplier there who has a very lovely range of other yarns too, knitting4fun

I really like the way this thick/thin yarn knits up, soft and slightly fluffy, the different colours come out randomly, not in repeat rows and the colour combinations are delicious.Works well in a simple four row repeat 'wave' pattern that even I can memorise and not get wrong too many times.

This is a tube that can wrap around the neck once loosely or twice more tightly. I'm not a huge fan of circular needles ( the rows are punishingly, depressingly LONG and oh so easy to forget where I am in a pattern) but this tube is knitted like a normal scarf and when there is just enough yarn for another row or two I knit the last row into the first as I cast off.

No point having a new scarf with nothing to match about a necklace

or a scarf pin to hold it in place?

Friday evening fun. I find myself almost pleased there is a chill wind today - I have nearly a low enough temperature to wear my new scarf/jewellery combo, can't wait until Autumn to try it out.

The scarf really deserved TWO necklaces, so I put together this longer one too

Now I feel motivated to go through all those unfinished necklace projects and get them finished!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Summer evening

Just before it started to rain and as the light was leaving I went out with my camera, the weather is turning and it may be a week or so before we get another evening of gentle, warm, dry twilight...the Blackbirds' second brood left the nest today and the stupid young bird has a death wish, it has spent all day drawing attention to itself, sitting on the corner of the conservatory, chirping and calling loudly. 10pm and it has just fallen silent. Are baby Blackbirds the most stupid baby birds on the planet? Earlier this year a brood of five youngsters spent their first morning out of the nest sitting in a row on the seat of the garden bench,wobbling gently,well within reach of the cat in his basket in the open doorway nearby...I do wonder how many of them are still in the land of the living.The Sparrow Hawk was in the garden this week stealing Starlings from the shrubbery.I don't rate the chances of that Blackbird if he stays on top of the roof calling all day tomorrow.
But I can understand the appeal of staying out until late, colours glow, shadows soften and things look quite different in the failing light.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Out in the garden today

Yellow Buddleah surrounded by Yarrows- Yarrows that were told last Summer either you bloom next year, or you GO. I think you will agree that they made the correct choice.

Day lilies.

How I love Day Lilies.

You can eat them, but eating flowers is too brutal for me to cope with.I suspect the taste they have in my imagination is way more delicious than the reality.



Exotic Arums, normally stupidly expensive, grown from reduced ones that are sold off after blooming really cheaply at your local garden centre. They multiply easily, grow readily from seed and as long as they don't get too cold, go on for years and years...this year I shall be on the lookout for some heavily reduced lemon yellow ones and some of the really BIG white ones.

A pretty little Clematis

and the last of the poppies.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Third one finished.

Been a while since I had a chance to paint, but today the third painting in the series got finished.

Painting has had to play second fiddle to family needs ( all last week) and (today) rampant weeds- how many violets do we need in the garden? Answer; not that many....but at the end of an otherwise satisfying morning in the garden I made the discovery that some slimy swine of a slug/snail has eaten right through the stem of my absolute favourite courgette ( Tondo) only one plant of which I grew this year as in previous years I had way too many. No gorgeous round green and cream freckled balls of deliciousness for me this Summer. So, back indoors to painting for consolation.

There was also the consolation of a fresh potato salad made with my home-grown 'International Kidney' potatoes. Waxy, nutty and flavoursome, not quite as many as I had hoped due to the hot weather earlier this year making the spuds grow stupidly fast at the expense of developing tubers, but still worth growing them for one huge bowl of salady goodness.

Now the challenge of the fourth painting to finish the set.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A third painting in the series.

Open Studio fortnight is over, pointless final day due to it being Mens' singles final at Wimbledon... it was like a ghost town outside and in my studio. But I did get on with the new painting. It goes with the other two, eventually there will be three sets of four that relate to each other - does that make sense? There will, with time, be twelve paintings.

Together the first four will look something like this: