Saturday 25 May 2013

Work in Progress.

Not much progress so far, as you can see.    This is another altered book which I have just started working on.  So far I have removed about half of the pages and begun to stick the rest together in threes so that I'll have a nice firm base to work on.   I then brush gesso over the printed text and when that is dry I add a light colour wash.   The worst part is waiting for the glued pages to dry before I can add the gesso, then waiting for that to dry before I can add the colour and waiting for that to dry before I can stitch the edges.   And at each stage I have to wait for the first pair of pages to dry before I can start on the next!   I have coloured about four double page spreads and am just starting on the stitching.   I have a wonderful ruler with little holes at regular close intervals all down one edge through which I can poke a sewing needle and pierce holes along the page edges.   It makes the sewing so easy having the holes there already and means they are of a uniform size.

I am making this as a gift so can't say too much in case the recipient happens to read my blog - I don't think she does but you never know.   I will add some decoration to the pages but think that I will leave plenty of blank ones for her to decorate.   I plan to include pockets, windows and maybe doors, and little matchbox drawers for tiny treasures.   It will be a long process but I have given myself plenty of time to make a good job of it.

What a lovely day it has been today.   I was busy gardening this morning but what I thought was going to be a little light weeding soon turned into full scale digging once again.  The soil is so heavy here, it's as if the weeds are planted in concrete in our front garden.   I'm amazed anything grows out there at all - in one place the fork struck a huge chunk of stone and elsewhere I have come across lengths of electric cable and other builders' rubbish.   I think they just chucked it all out of the front door when they built the house and then bulldozed it flat to lay the turf.   The soil has always been poor in spite of 30 years of care and nourishment from us.   At least this warmth is helping the snowdrop, daffodil and bluebell leaves to die away.  They look so lovely in flower but so awful when the leaves begin to wilt.

A bit more gardening tomorrow perhaps, then sewing in the sunshine - perfect.

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Innovative planting!

Aquilegia vulgaris underplanted with ranunculus ficaria L.  Celandines to you and me.   You won't find that at Chelsea Flower Show!    I  don't know - a couple of years ago one of the gardens was planted with nettles and docks.    Mother Nature has played a large part in the planting this spring.

I can't believe that the celandines are still flowering this late in the year.  We have an abundance of them  along with the most magnificent buttercups, but most have now been evicted.   Off to put my feet up as I have used all today's energy.

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Look who drops in for breakfast.

This handsome fellow comes for breakfast most days now.   He carefully chooses a piece of bread from the lawn, then hops to the birdbath to dunk it before he eats it.   He also likes mealworms and flew off with a beak full the other morning, so is generous enough not to eat all the goodies himself.

It's a pity his singing voice is so harsh.  The other morning he and his relatives sounded as if they were having a row - they made such a racket but might have been making beautiful crow music together.

I have just been round the garden and noticed daffodils and celandine still in bloom along with acquilegia and clematis about to pop any minute.   What a crazy season we are having.   I am frozen in spite of wearing a warm jumper and a light fleece jacket, AND the heating is on!   I know, it is dreadful having it on in May but I'm cccccccold.   Just off to make a hot drink.

Sunday 5 May 2013

Massive Clearout.

For the past few days I have been laying siege to my workroom and trying to reorganise it.   The contents of every shelf, cupboard, box and bag have been tipped out and drastically edited.   The floor keeps disappearing and re-appearing as work progresses but the worktops are still invisible.
I am hoping that it will encourage a new phase of creativity but I might like the look of a tidy room so much I won't want to spoil it!

The bed in the spare room is covered in bags of stuff for the charity shop and the recycling bins are full.   I am exhausted and still have the work surfaces to clear but the end is in sight, thank goodness.

What a glorious day we are having today - Mother Nature has certainly done us proud this Bank Holiday weekend.   I have been in and out to sit in the sun and recharge my batteries throughout the day.   I just had to take a photo of the little crab apple tree which has come into flower this week - it is so pretty.  
 Strange things are happening this spring.   We still have celandines and daffodils in flower and buds on the acquilegias!    
 A family of crows must have a nest nearby and various members visit the garden.   They like to pick up a piece of bread and drop it into the bird bath before eating it.   One of them was making such a raucous racket this morning, almost drowning out the songbirds.
There's just time to tidy up one more untidy heap before starting to cook supper.    Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Friday 3 May 2013

I'm Pooped.

I took these photos on Wednesday and have only just got round to posting them.    It was such a lovely day, that when we had done the week's shopping we decided to have a picnic lunch at Cannop Ponds in the Forest of  Dean.  
The leaves are just beginning to come out at last.
You can just see one of the ponds in the middle distance.

Tree Beard's fingers ............
................. and toes?
We obviously called at siesta time.

A strange formation on this tree bark.

We could have had 'bread and cheese' with our sandwiches.    Must dash - I hear visitors arriving.