Sunday, 29 August 2010

A chewed piece of string.

That's how I'm feeling today. I think the stresses of the last few weeks, with Merlin's show and then the Exhibition have had an impact on my energy levels. I seem to have picked up a virus that's left my muscles weak and at times really quite painful. A couple of days in bed have been necessary.

Yesterday the children helped with everything, from hanging out the washing to tidying the garden and vegetable beds. It was such a lovely afternoon and a few hours in the sun was quite a tonic. Today I feel the pull of the woods and a much needed walk beneath the leafy stillness. I've been away from my own special woods all Summer and it's time I revisited some old friends just to make sure that they are well and leafy :D

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Exhibition 2010 - update

A huge jumble of display blocks and bits and pieces become,

somehow arrange into a semblance of order.

Both of my children worked so very hard, moving blocks and painting them. I did have help from two very wonderful woodworkers who may prefer to remain annonymous. But thanks guys :)

The next day the art poured in on a colourful steady flowing tide.

It was all set out with yellow labels that enable the cataloging team (Moomin and I, plus others) to pass the details to the printers. It's a hoooooge undertaking and we are totally bushed now. I may add, that the picture hangers had a much larger team and worked long into the evening after the children and I had left. The total number of exhibits was over 500, phew!

I was pleased with how my Mermaid looked in it's oak frame and I just got it finished in time!

I soooo want these mugs

and this teapot, by a very talented lady called Christine Bull

Preview night is tomorrow, Friday, and that's the time to enjoy being surrounded by so much beautiful art and talented people.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Exhibition 2010.

Today is the start of the crazy fortnight that is the Petersfield Arts and Crafts Society Annual Exhibition. I am back in my capacity as Craft Layout Manager which is not really as grand as it sounds, although I love helping to put together this wonderful show. It's an incredible amount of work, with Exhibits numbering around 600 plus!

I'll be back later with pictures and news, but for now, I must get on and not even the Cow of Time can help me today!

Thursday, 19 August 2010


I have been everywhere from hardware shops to posh kitchen shops and on to cheap 99p shops, but nowhere was the Mystical Chicken of Time to be found. However, in our little village shop I came across the Cow of Time. Is she as powerful do you think? Well, I decided to give her a go as she is mighty cute and if she works then other timers are a moo point, haha!

I have been more organised and set myself a target to get the boring chores done as the Cow counts down the minutes.
Although, the two Ampitheres on the window sill are forever gossiping about how I neglect them. You are so delicate, darlings, that I need to take the time to do it properly, I tell them, cough, cough!

I have managed to squeeze in a little more painting time, and hope to finish this one before the Exhibition hanging this weekend!!! It's far from finished, eek!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

I want a Time Chicken!

I think some of my issues with time and how much of it I waste can be solved by the simple employment of THE CHICKEN OF TIME. The wonderful Jackie Morris often employs this magical being to manage and in all probability even bend time, so that she can fit everything in. It is something I need and I'm at present on a quest to find my own Chicken of Time!!!

I may be some time in the searching!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Magical day.

We did have such a lovely day yesterday and the weather was gorgeous. I tried to plan something that both children would like and think that I did actually manage it, although we're all very tired today.

We began our day with a visit to darling Toffee to see how is he is in his temporary home. I think he wanted to come home with us as he seemed a bit down, not long now though.

Next stop was Jane Austen's house in nearby Chawton. I had no idea that this house existed and the village was like a little time warp with cottages and stately houses that have surely featured in the many TV adaptations of her books.

I was stunned walking into this kitchen, it's almost an exact replica of my dear friend Bovey Belle's kitchen, but smaller and less homely than hers, oh and less cats, haha!

I loved this image from kitchen onto the garden, but the bright sunlight washed out some of the colours. It was very cool and quiet in the kitchen.

This was the drawing room where the family would retire after dinner, to sit and read or sew.

Jane lived here later in her life with just her Mother and Sister Cassandra. The house is quite large by todays standards, with guest bedrooms for visitors, but was considered to be just a cottage in Jane's time. It had it's own bakehouse set in fairly large gardens.

I did enjoy my visit,, but I felt that the children were a little overwhelmed by the other visitors and the shuffling around exhibits. None of us cope well in crowds. We did get a couple of moments to ourselves though and that's when the gentle atmosphere of the place could be felt.

An old Tavern in East Tisted provided lunch, which was fabulous and so worth it to hear the children giggling while trying to act mature! A tall order considering that I've never achieved it, haha!

Then, rather than reclining by a river, we went for a long walk through some amazing woods with views from the hangers down towards The Island, a place where some very wealthy people live in peaceful seclusion.

In a sunny glade atop the Shoulder of Mutton Hill, sits the Poets Stone, dedicated to Edward Thomas, who lived in nearby Steep. I am constantly reminded of what a wonderful and rich part of the country I live in. Also in this general location lived the Author Flora Thompson and the wonderful actor Alec Guinness.

Amid all the intellectual inspiration we found a rope swing!

Old Earth bones and tree bones lay all around an ancient dell. This one had claw marks on it as it lay beside a deep, deep hole. Homes to badgers and nearby a shy stepping deer peered at me between branches before leaping away down a treacherous slope to his mother.

Moomin posed for some future paintings, bless her :)

This one reminds me of Peter Pan :)

Today, some quiet baking and much needed house tidying. Have a happy day all :)

Monday, 16 August 2010


Just lately I've felt the whispering touch of Autumns cool fingers. When I rise in the morning I reach now for a cardigan to throw over my shoulders and the windows stay tightly latched.
"Not yet," I whisper "it's still August, we're not ready for you." and today I was heard and the morning dawned warm and still and I think we have a few days of Summer yet to enjoy :)

I need a magical day today, a day to be Alice, to be a child again and lay beside a river, dreaming.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Illustration Friday!

I've decided to get back into Illustration Friday. I used to do it on the old blog and it was a great way to challenge myself. I'll probably only submit sketches at first, but when I get a little more time I'll try a few paintings too. This will be my Autumn challenge, and I think I will need to set a schedule for myself to fit everything in!!!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

It starts with a thought...

Then a sketch and then a good deal of fussing and worrying about composition.

Sorry the picture is so dark but it's from a photo rather than trying to scan my sketch book :)

I'm hoping to work this into a painting for the Exhibition next week! There's nothing like rushing at the last minute is there?

Friday, 13 August 2010


The Mermaid painting is finished and now with it's new owner. It's based on an image that popped into my head whilst giving Reiki to a dear friend. I was working on my friend's Solar Plexus Chakra at the time, which governs our personal power and self definition. I believe this is how my friend sees herself and the glowing orb represents the golden energy of the chakra.
The black sea horses are connected to her love of horses and one very special black horse in particular.

This isn't all of the picture, as my scanner is only small, but it is the main part.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

A few things.

During the holidays, the Moomin and I have been dogwalking for our friend the Woodelf. On one of our rambles we found a dragon's den. The scorched red earth was proof enough to us that this den was still inhabited and the dogs weren't keen to get too close either. We made our way quickly back to the path. I can see this den featuring in some future pictures.

Back at the Woodelf's home, I took some photos of this lovely chair by the blackened fire pit. Does the Woodelf sit here during the warm evenings, contemplating the dancing flames? You know, I've never asked her and I'm not sure why. Maybe my own imaginings are best left to roam free and wild as I make up stories about her mysterious life.

The watery painting is nearly complete and yesterday was spent finding the perfect frame and mount. I'd much rather just paint and leave the technical stuff to an assistant, haha.

I've added some more pictures to Merlin's blog, which you can check out here. I thought it was time I brought the blog up to date. There are quite a few changes about to happen to him, so I thought I'd share it all in the proper place.

Another piece of news is that my Son has set up his own blog to promote his art. He is a very talented lad and I'm so proud of him. He goes by the name of Magpie and I'll bring you more details when he's ready.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Merlin's Day Out.

We had such a great time at our show today. Merlin behaved so well. He was totally overwhelmed by the journey in the trailer, all of the horses around him and my jangling nerves. He coped so well. He was a little lively and occasionally a bit of a pickle but as soon as we got into the ring, he knew exactly what to do and his confidence took over and gave me the courage to deal with my nerves.

Our first class was 'in-hand pony' and he behaved so well, despite wanting to make friends with a couple of mares. We were marked down to 3rd because he was stiff on his back leg (from kicking the box door for 20 odd miles, I guess!), but I was still more than pleased with his performance, and at least this year no geldings were in danger of a rude shock!

However, our triumph was in the 'handy pony' class, where we won on speed and completion of the course. We flew around and I could barely catch my breath afterwards.

I have to thank my dear friend Lisa for these lovely pictures. She really captured our mood.

It was team work all the way, and I can't thank my hubby enough for his time and energy. He was such a great help and so were both of my children. Thanks guys.x

I'm waiting for more pictures from hubby's camera and there may even be a movie, but I've got to watch it first in case you can see me puffing for breath, haha!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

By Jiminy!

Somehow I've got to get this filthy, scabby pony into some kind of show condition! Is it possible do you think? In typical Merlin style, just a week before the show and he decides to have a major scrap with Toffee. So he's covered in scabs and bite marks, incuding those black bald patches on his face! It's not a camera trick either, he really is yellow at the moment! Tomorrow will be major bath day and then keep my fingers well and truly crossed. As for his behaviour, well that my dears is well and truly in the lap of the Gods, and there's nothing I can do at this late hour!!!

He looks a bit cross, I know, but he was waiting for his supper and wishing I'd stop faffing about!

Early mornings find me in the studio working on a new painting. Here is just a tiny peek at a little detail in the corner.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

We took time out.

Moomin and I took one of our trips out last week and found ourselves at Hayling Island. Normally we avoid the Island in the Summer as it can take over an hour to negotiate the heavy traffic and crowds of beach goers. However, we made a discovery. When the sky is overcast, the Island is empty, Yaaay!

The weather was a little grim and we did get rained on, but the sea was like bath water, so we may well be going back today as there is rain forecast! I know, we're a funny bunch!!!

A few days ago we took another trip to Winchester. I have to admit that this is probably one of my favourite cities. I hate crowds and traffic (and most shops!) and so generally avoid cities as much as possible. Winchester, however has the river, which is such a soothing balm when I start to feel hemmed in and I seem to be drawn so much to water lately.

I took lots of reference photos as I want to do some watery paintings. I have a hankering to do something in the style of Ophelia Drowing by John Millais, especially after watching my Desperate Romantics DVD :)

And there among the reeds we found a little water rat, feasting on the soggy bread thrown in for the ducks. He was very cute and greatly appreciated our little pieces of pitta bread :)