Saturday, 31 December 2011


Here's hoping 2012 will be a good year for us all.

Signs of spring already!
I took these photos this morning. Whilst much of the cherry tree is still not in flower, more and more twigs are bursting into bloom about three months earlier than they should.

My primrose is also coming into flower though they get eaten by birds or insects. I have left it tucked up in it's blanket of leaves in case of cold weather to come. It will look much better later on, in Spring. Nice thought.

I can't believe I haven't posted for 10 days! I seem to have lurched between being frantically busy and total idleness. Time to get a grip and become more organised but no New Year resolutions - that way I don't have to feel guilty if I can't keep them!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Thankyou for all the 'virtual' friendship throughout the year and here's to more in 2012.

Joseph seems to have gone missing. I think he got fed up with all the visitors.

I couldn't decide ..................

which image ........................

to use, so posted a selection.

The calendar above was made for me by my son's Japanese friend. Each Sunday is subtly overprinted with a little sleeping cat and bank holidays have a green moon symbol. She drew the grids by hand and the kimono shape is that of an opened out kimono - the fabric is a gorgeous Japanese cotton print, and two little metallic butterflies finish it off. Everything is perfectly aligned and a little paper heart secures the hanging loop on the back.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Caught in the Act!

I glanced out of the window this morning to see this -

then he saw me and I had to be quick to get a picture. It's not very clear as I had to take it through the window.

He's doing is bit to save the birds from overeating. My husband puts out peanuts, niger seed as well as a mix of other seeds, suet or lard, apples, bread, meal worms and sultanas. I worry that the RSPB will be after us for the rise in avian cholesterol levels and obesity!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A New Breed?

Poppy stood in front of me for two or three minutes before I noticed her like this. There was too much talking going on and not enough fun and games.

She looks as if she is wearing a surgical mask in this photo.

And in this one she seems to have a deformed nose or a small shoe attached to her face.

Apologies for the poor photo but the light was awful and the wind kept moving this branch of pink cherry blossom. Only one part of the tree seems to be trying to bloom, so hopefully the rest of it will wait until the correct time.

I completed all the work for the first Module of my course today but have not photographed it yet, so can't post it. I will probably have time to do it on Friday - hopefully the light will be better for photography then but no guarantees.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Strange beings, a little friend and a welcome sight.

I can't believe that I am already working on the last chapter of Module 1 of my Sketchbook course. These strange faces are for chapter 9 and involved finding out about the work of the 16th Century painter Arcimboldo, who painted portraits with fruit and vegetables making up the features. Thank goodness I wasn't required to paint the face, but only had to create it from fruit and vegs. He even has designer stubble on his kiwi fruit chin! I quite like his sweet corn kernel teeth even if they are yellow.

This version, made up from fruit and vegs cut from magazine illustrations looks a bit sinister to me. It was a fun exercise to do and I never dreamed I would think of using carrots to represent hair.


I can't believe it is over a week since I last posted - I don't know where the time goes.

Today we had our little friend with us and in this photo I have just mentioned the word 'walk'. I think I got her attention! It is slightlty blurred as she swivelled her head round to look at me.

In a little wander round the garden, trying not to notice all the weeds that have been steadily growing throughout the autumn, I came across these Christmas Roses or white hellebores. They are well in bud and should bloom in time for Christmas. I have tried growing various hellebores for ages without success but in recent years they have been very obliging. This will be the first time the white ones have flowered for Christmas.

A more disturbing discovering was a spray of pink cherry blossom in the front garden - not due for three more months. I tried to get a photo but the light wasn't right. I do hope the tree will realise it's mistake and hang on till the middle of March when it becomes the main attraction.