Thursday, February 25, 2010

Parcel of Goodies In The Post

Isn't it dreadful that there has been yet another earthquake causing loss of life? Apparently it was 500 times greater than the Haitian one but far less devastating due to being deeper in the earth and the Chilean buildings are much sturdier than the Haitian ones. We who live in quake free zones can have no idea how frightening it must be to feel the earth moving beneath your feet.

The weather conditions have been bizzare this winter too. Very severe rains in Madeira and it seems we have caught the tail end of it this afternoon in southern England, but trivial compared to what the Madeirans have suffered. Nature is an all powerful force.

I gave the rapidographs a dusting off and produced this over the weekend. Next time I will do a full sized rook rather than just the head.
These fascinating etchings are by UK artist Tim Slatter. Tim has work in collections all over the world including 16 in the Houses of Parliament permanent collection. That must be something of a record. He originates from Yorkshire and I recognise quite a few of the places he has etched from my own travels up there. There are lots more like these on his website here.

The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe

Autumn Arngill

I love these bright contemporary paintings by artist Irina Alexandrova.


Summer In A Summer Residence

I was surprised and delighted the other week to be told that I had won the "pass the book" giveaway on Carolyn's blog Love Stitching Red. The book has been beautifully covered and annotated inside by Emma of Silverpebble blog and is just waiting for me to start reading. I knew that there were little gifts from Carolyn included in the parcel because she had mentioned them but I was amazed by just how big the parcel was and how many beautiful things she tucked away inside. Everything either heart or red/pink themed. I have listed my loot below. Carolyn, for those who don't follow her blog, is a very talented craftswoman and reading her blog is a delightful experience. She produces stunning textile work and I am very partial to her photo mosaics. Pop over there and see what I mean.

This is the book.
You will probably need to enlarge this photo but this is the inside of the book where each recipient records their name and blog and the date they read the book. Hopefully when it is passed on, there will also be some lovely items to go with it to its new temporary home. I am not sure what mine will be but I definitely won't be able to compete with Carolyn's wonderful array. I will have a giveaway when it comes time to pass it on though.

The contents of the package were extracted slowly and oohed and ahhhd over. Here is a package of vintage style festive 3D decorations, some little printed motifs with love on them, Carolyn's superb handmade and decorated collage tags and my favourite piece, a wonderful velvet and fabric hanging heart with lovely stitched motifs. So much effort and thought went into the giveaway that I am truly astonished. What a very generous lady.

Here is a beautiful length of lace, and another of check fabric, a lovely Gisela Graham beaded heart decoration, a tiny cross stitch heart and two lovely vintage pictures. A long length of pretty red heart lights emerged and I know exactly where I will be putting those. Also received, but not photographed, were two little bags of pretty red beads and another of pink and reddish sequins. Oh, not forgetting those delicious choco and toffee hearts...yum.

Here is a lovely little stash of beautiful red and pinky threads, yarns and ribbons, all sitting in my little ali baba basket. Sorry the photo isn't too great but Blogger doesn't like reds for some reason.
My favourite is the red and green entwined sparkly ribbon.

Thank you so much for all this bloggy loveliness Carolyn. I feel like it has been Christmas all over again.

This is the Sunshine Blog Award which I received from the lovely Lesley of sea blue sky abstracts blog. Thanks very much Lesley. I have previously put awards on my sidebar but Blogger is refusing to put them on there at the moment so here it is.

This is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blog world. The rules are to put the logo on your blog or post and pass the award to twelve bloggers linking to the nominees in your post. Let the nominees know they have won this award by commenting on their blog. Link to the person from whom you received this award.

Stephanie of Primitive Folk Art
Shirley of BeadBag
Melissa of Art In The Wind
Joy of Jamjar

Some pigeons and sheep which caught the attention of my camera lens

From time to time I find a real gem of a book in a charity shop and this book is one of those gems. Although I have no connection with jewellery making or enamelling I am always fascinated by different areas of craftwork. This is a gorgeous book with lots of lovely photos displaying enamelled artworks. It is written by Linda Darty who is a professor of metals at an American university. She teaches and practices the art of enamelling and has some wonderful work on her website here.

Enamelling Book by Linda Darty

Linda Darty - Garden Brooches

Part of a page from Linda Darty's book on enamelling

The Virgin And The Unicorn-William Harper

I first came across Evelyn Williams art when I bought her book "Works And Words" many years ago. The picture below is on the cover of that book. I was very drawn to her portraits particularly, although she paints all sorts of other subject matter. A good proportion of her artwork seems to be the relationship between people and communication without words. I find her work quite dreamlike, haunting, and at times, difficult to understand, but very beautiful. Evelyn is now 80 and has won many accolades for both her paintings and her sculptures. You can find examples of her work all over the Internet by just typing her name into a search engine but a good cross section of her work can be found here at and on her own website here.

Meeting No: 1

All The Days Of My Life No 2



Mother And Baby No: 3

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Linen Hearts, Snowdrops and Birds In Trees

Back from my little blog leave. I think there is the tiniest hint of spring in the air. We will certainly welcome it after the very cold winter we have had. Now they are threatening us with another very hot summer (remember the hot summer we were supposed to have last year). If they say the same thing every year, they will eventually get a hit!

This is my fifth in the series of The Woman Who Planted Trees. I have gone for a bit of colour co-ordination this time.

This is a pen and ink drawing with digital colour. I think these birds are planning on roosting in these trees. We are still having an abundance of birds feeding in the garden, particularly today when there was a light covering of snow. We seem to have a regular Song Thrush too. Thrushes used to be very common when I was a child but you rarely see any around these days. I just hope it remains safe from the prowling kitties.

I found the lovely card below in a local interiors and design shop. I like to go there to check out the cards and just experience being in a wonderfully old building with lots of old wooden beams and uneven floors. I think it probably dates to at least the 1500s but may be earlier. They often stock cards that are a bit out of the ordinary. The publishers are called Flytrappublishing and you can find them here. They are a family firm and some of the designs they use date back to the 1920s but they are all created by different generations of the same family. Being a great fan of printmaking, I particularly like the designs of Sarah and Tony Venus.

Felix and Moppy

Early snowdrops I photographed in a local churchyard a few years ago. I use this image as my desktop at the moment.

Lots of lovely spring flowers around now. These are some tulips I bought the other day

and a pot of hyacinths I treated myself to.

I was very tempted by these gorgeous, tiny linen hearts made by Etsy seller Adantine and I finally had to give in to temptation and purchase them. They are so pretty and beautifully made and she put two extra ones in as well which aren't pictured here. She has some beautiful items in her Etsy shop including the lovely fox and angel below which had already been sold. I haven't decided what to do with them yet but I think some of them will probably adorn a needlepoint. You can pop over to her shop and have a look here.

I found the book below at one of my favourite charity shops. I bought it for a fraction of its original price and was very pleased with my find. It is jam-packed full of the most beautiful botanical drawings, illustrations and paintings. I have posted a few below. I find botanical art quite amazing for its exquisite detail. Every imperfection of the plant or seed is faithfully recorded. Far better than a photograph. These works must have taken the artists hundreds of hours of work.

A Passion For Plants book by Shirley Sherwood

Dragon Arum - Camilla Speight - This is a small view of the complete picture in order to see the lovely pen and ink pointillism used. There is a very amusing story about this drawing which you can read here entitled "A Stink On The 10.30 From Paddington".

This is the complete version of the above

Bergamot And Cherimoya - Margaret Ann Eden

Hydrangea - Brigid Edwards

Amanda Popham is very well known for her lovely narrative and quirky ceramics. (You can see I am into quirky today!) I first saw her work years ago when the gorgeous Liberty of London had a whole section devoted to British art and craft. How I loved that part of the shop. It is gone now sadly but not forgotten, by me anyway. Amanda's work can be found in many galleries throughout the country and also on these websites: Marine House at Beer here and Imagine Gallery here.

Various Ceramics

But Hid My Fond Heart Jug

I found wonderful Scottish artist Ailsa Black quite by chance whilst browsing for another artist. I am really taken by her gorgeous contemporary artworks. Ailsa is based in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland - one of my favourite areas. I particularly love her detailed pen and ink birds and her whimsical and very quirky paintings. Lots of birds sitting on animals and people can never be She has lots of other artworks on her website here.

Self Portrait

Lapwing With Brimstone Butterfly

Fox With Black Headed Gull

Black Grouse With Common Blue

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Back Weekend 20th February

Help..the snow has returned, but only briefly hopefully. How do people cope when they are snowed in for half the year? I take my blue fleecy winter hat off to them. We are such wimps in this country but we have been dreadfully spoiled by the gulf stream.

I won't be around for blogging next week but I will be back the weekend after.

The Bird Gardener - This is a companion piece to "Nurturing" which I posted on Jan 14.

Tigger And Bird Friend - pen an ink

These lovely images below are by UK painter/printmaker Moyra Byford. I love their spontaneity. Moyra produces her work using oils and watercolours and is also trained in restoration. You can find her website here to see more of her work.

John's Hens

Moonstruck Hare

I am a great fan of spooky and scary films and I saw an excellent one recently. It is called Silent Hill and is about a woman whose daughter is abducted and she searches for her at Silent Hill. Silent Hill is a deserted eerie town covered in ash from terrible fires but unbeknown to the mother, she has passed through a portal to another dimension of the town. The town seems deserted but every so often a fire siren sounds and dreadful monstrosities appear to chase the woman. The scenery and special effects are very atmospheric and the monsters really unearthly. I won't tell you the rest in case you want to watch it. It is much more than just another scary film. All I will say is don't watch it late at night with the lights out!!! (If you click on the picture it will take you to the Amazon site, and if you want a much better synopsis than my garbled effort then go here.

The three images below are the artwork of talented Russian artist Galina Popova. Her paintings are beautifully contemporary and colourful. I love her humanised cats. You can find more of Galina's work here at Saatchi, here at Artshop7 and here on her own website.

Some more frosty morning shots and some seedheads. We have been threatened with more very cold weather but hopefully the snow won't make another appearance.

This lovely little mini quilt creation came dropping through my letterbox the other day. It is from an exchange I had almost forgotten about but luckily for me the sender hadn't. It is a small landscape and was beautifully created by Ann Kallio. Thanks so much for your craftwork Ann. I will treasure it.

I bought this book at a charity shop recently. I met the author and artist years ago at the Hatfield House Craft Fair where she had a stand demonstrating her work. It was fascinating to watch her producing her calligraphy. Her name is Dorothy Boux and she has produced a number of books with her calligraphic text and illustrations. Each page of the book is beautifully illustrated with delicate watercolours. I have posted the two I particularly like. All the pages contain either poems or pieces of literature or prose from poets and great thinkers. You may need to click on the images to see them more clearly.

Found a couple of lovely greetings cards by the wonderful printmaker Penny Bhadresa the other day. They are from one of my favourite card companies Art Angels. I have posted about Penny's work previously but if you haven't seen her before you can find her work here.

First Snow

Me and You

Lucy Grossmith creates the most magical and delicate scenes. She lives in the Suffolk countryside and lots of her images are inspired by animals, buildings, nature and country pursuits. She is a self taught artist but has held some very high profile jobs in the art world. You can see masses more of her lovely work on her website and read more about her here.

Walk In The Snow

Secret Garden

Autumn Orchard

Frosty Autumn Day