Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The space in between

Well it has been quite a change the last six months ending a ten year relationship, moving out and losing a home.

I think that it isn't until you lose everything that you can appreciate what you have.

Suddenly you can't invite people back, or have them stay overnight, you have to live by others rules imposed upon your life, it all seems to be loss, bleak.

But the reality is that there is still a lot left, skill, expression for talent, a time of reflection on the road ahead, not having a home means I am free to go in any direction I choose. For the first time I don't have to think about anyone else, just me.

I was lost in accumulation, getting more and more stuff filling the studio until it was overflowing, suddenly its time to stop, take stock and look at all the stuff and wonder what is it all for? What have I created?

What I discovered was a mountain of materials, fabric, paper, wood and wool, a project half completed here and there, I am ashamed at the way that it has all accumulated.

It is so easy to get stuck on the next project, the next big idea, the next item to buy.

I think today we are so bombarded with ideas and stimulation, that it all becomes a whirlwind, flitting from one project to the next, rushing because half way though we spotted our next project and we want to start that while the enthusiasm is still going. Flikr, blogs, books, magazines, websites, programmes, it all is whirring around until there is no productivity because there is no joy in the creation, it is all output.

I lost the joy of creation, the actual process of putting paint on canvas, that feel as the paint slowly slips streaks of strong vibrant colour across the virgin white square, while drowning out the inner critic who whispers it was a 'fluke' last time. It takes courage to begin again, to believe that it will all work out.

I like the quiet comfort of the wool round hook, creating a blanket.

Suddenly I find again the joy of creating out of necessity, to make my life more beautiful or comfortable because I need it.

It isn't so much that I need another granny square blanket, more the memory of a time when I was loved and safe, and cared for, with every stitch I am comforted. While I can create, I am still here, still have something to make the world a more beautiful place.

Then I forget that I have lost so much, I am in the present, creating anew, stitch by stitch, beauty comes from my fingers, and I know that it is just a gap, that space in between.

Thursday, 21 April 2011


We visited Uppark a lovely house set just inside the West Sussex border. Travelling through the country lanes in Tiffany (my little red sports car) roof down and the sun shining it was a wonderful journey. The roads are very peaceful, quiet and the views stunning.

The entrance to the house is not very imposing, rather quiet, but the house itself is beautiful. They have restored it so well after the disastrous fire a few years ago. One rather interesting feature is the tunnels that link the diary and the servants quarters it meant that the servants could not be seen.

There are some gorgeous pieces of furniture, one in particular was a wooden desk with lots of cubby holes, I imagined being some great writer tapping away at an ancient typewriter on it. I love desks, they really do inspire me.

The tea and cakes were a delightful end to a great trip. I plan to do some painting from the photos I took.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Pineapple turrets!

The South Parade has a pier, which is still in use, although sadly it is taken over by amusement arcades and doughnut stands. However, at the entrance to the pier stands two turrets with these beautiful pineapple tiled tops.

Walk along Southsea - Walking on Water

These little boats are nestled ready for a days floating around. I love the duck!

I used to enjoy this when I was younger, spending summer days floating around and pedalling hard. It is nice to see children are still enjoying such a simple activity.

These wonderful balls will take adults, but I was too
shy to try!

It gives you the opportunity to walk on water, this little girl was having a fantastic time.

A walk along Southsea Parade - Mayors Monument

Southsea is a lovely place, separate, by those who live there, as completely separate from Portsmouth.
The area itself is full of beautiful mansions created during the Victorian Era, and there are wonderful to see, as no two are alike!

Along by the boating lake you will find this beautiful fountain, (sadly not
currently working) which was dedicated to a previous Mayor. The angel is holding a dove, and is a beautiful bronze, however the sea winds has eroded her nose a little! What is simply beautiful is the gold and iron work above her, detailed in gold.

These objects are like hidden gems, they were created at a time that seemed to want to create not only something lasting but beautiful.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


My goodness how the time flies! I can't believe I last posted in May!
The summer has gone, the leaves are turning and Autumn is definitely in full glory, I am still running in the Forest a couple of times a week and it is such a pleasure to be in nature. I don't know how long I shall be able to do this as the nights are already drawing in.

Last Saturday was just one of those delightful days when the sun is shining I thought I would take picture of my latest project.
I have always wanted a tattoo, but sadly, I know that I am a bit of a wimp, so any tattoo I had would end up just a dot with a long long line as I ran out of the shop! I do like them, so I thought the next best thing would be to make a tattoo jacket.

It is fairly easy to do, just find a pack of those stick on transfers and then use some fabric medium to set them. The skill is getting them symmetrical, although you could cheat and try a non symmetrical design!

The great thing about this idea is that you will have a completely unique item of clothing, with very little effort!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

It is a start

I have a little confession to make, C bought all singing all dancing scales and I was terrified to discover that I am heavier now than ever!
My summer clothes have been brought down from the loft, and my favourite linen trousers are rather tight! so time to take action.

So today I bought some new running trainers, a sports bra and went off for a lovely run in the Forest. Hopefully soon I shall be running regularly again.

I am going to create vision board based on being a regular runner hopefully that will do the trick!

Looking through this blog, I realise there has been a lack of sewing going on lately, mainly because I have been focusing on painting. However, I am now signed up for Burlesque classes so the machine will have to be dusted off for a corset or two.

This gorgeous chap was just wandering round the tropical gardens back in September.
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Wednesday, 5 May 2010


there is a certain account called SAM but it is prefixed with Chinese characters who uses comments to post a load of writing which is a link... I have reported the account to blogger.

What a shame someone has to be so silly as to hack accounts in this way! So sadly I am going to have to authenticate comments now, which is a pain!

On the other hand this picture is from the flower festival in August last year, I thought it might brighten up a moany post!!!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Ahh now just relax

I love our little caravan, it is surprising how much freedom and pleasure you can gain from the little box on wheels! We spent the bank holiday weekend at the Cookoo Fair at Downton. After so many weeks of beautiful sunshine it was such a shame it did not hold for the fair! There were so many beautiful craft stalls and talented people around, it is always a pleasure to wander round, even if we needed our brollies!

Later that afternoon we simply relaxed listening as the rain pattered on the roof, while our little heater kept us very cosy!

The only question is where are we off to next?
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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Sliding Doors

It saddens me that as we get older we lose our ability to see the wonder that surrounds us, yet children marvel at everything because they see everything anew.

I was struck by this while exiting my supermarket today, the doors were a little slow, so I had to stop a moment and wait. As they slid back smoothly, I was transported back to my childhood in the 70's.

I must have been around six, every Tuesday evening we were glued to the TV screen to see the latest episode of Star trek, the original with Captain Kirk, Spock etc. What I really loved about the show was the sliding doors! Wow, I thought, what an amazing thing, imagine having doors that slid open like that!

So I spent the rest of the day marvelling at every sliding door I stepped through, what wonderful technology that is so every day now, we don't give it a second thought. (I did wish they made that lovely whooshing sound though!) It makes me think of all the things that are impossible right now, but give it a few years and it will become the norm!

I am currently enjoying painting with glitter! this is a butterfly, around 1m by 1.5m on canvass. The round shapes are actually little mirrors.
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Saturday, 24 April 2010

A new notebook!

I just love notebooks! I have lots of them everywhere, I enjoy the newness of a blank book, it reminds me of when I was at school and you are given your new exercise books at the beginning of term! Oh how I used to sweat the first few weeks because the new book was an opportunity to up my game, to write neatly etc! After a few weeks I would make a mistake and then all my good intentions would be forgotten.

I have been looking at art journals for a while on You Tube, wanting to do one of my own, so imagine my delight when at Asda of all places I found a delightful journal for only £3.00! It has the most gorgeous thick cream paper strong enough to take paints etc! So Yippee!

The next hurdle I had to overcome is the fact that I don't like messy art, the type of art journals on YouTube, seem to involve making a huge mess! Don't get me wrong, if you could see my studio right now, you would not agree with my statement, (not to mention the whole decking sparkles with blue glitter! very nice I think, but Clive is not so sure!) What I mean by messy is all the painting, over painting, scratching etc!

I remember doing anti - colouring at the Art House's Creativity Booster, and found the small five colour pack of crayons delightful to work with... so alongside my gorgeous journal I bought a 64 pack of crayons! It must be the cheapest art materials I ever bought 64 crayons for a £1.00! A bargain!

Well, lets just say I am sending everyone crayon crazy, Karen was over last night and she is hooked! You can get so many delightful results with them and they are so easy to use.

I went back to Asda today and bought a notebook for Clive and Mel (it is her birthday!) .

As you can see from the picture above, you really can get delightful results with them!

So bring out your inner child and have a go! you will be delighted I guarantee it!
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Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Poppy Painting 2

I realise it looks similar to one of my previous paintings, but that is intentional! Sally and Tony are always eyeing up my poppy picture, so I thought I would paint them one of their own! (it also means I don't have to keep my eye on mine while they are visiting!) They are getting married in September, so it is a sort of wedding / new home gift. (Now I sound a little stingy!) It looks a little strange here, as I have taken the picture at an angle! I love acrylics, and have to admit, I did struggle to let this picture go!

Monday, 12 April 2010

A lost art

Since I moved my Grandmother's writing bureau into my bedroom, I have started to write more letters! It feels fabulous to sit at my little desk with all my envelopes, notelets and pens just waiting for me to pen a word or two. It feels wonderful! Not only does it give me the opportunity to unleash my passion for stationery, but it delights my artist, especially when I use a proper seal!

There is a delight in writing, especially when you take your time and let the writing develop slowly. This advice came from the Artist's Way, when we slow down to write it actually calms our thinking too!

I have a lovely pen pal, it is such a pleasure to see her writing sticking out among the junk mail, it gives me a little tingle of pleasure. So much so I am thinking of finding one or two more!

I have started to write all sorts of things, to friends I don't see that often and who live far away, a thank you note here and there. It gives me so much pleasure, and in an age of text or email, it gives the opportunity to savour the words, re-read them if necessary. Texting invites us to be succinct, to the point, but will we have a record of our lives as previous generations did?

Alongside my writing desk, I have my noticeboard, (painted on a previous post) and I have letters and cards I received from friends, it is the first thing I see in the morning, and it makes me feel loved and appreciated.

I often feel very busy and there are times when there doesn't seem to be a spare moment, but since I have stopped watching TV so much it is surprising just how much time I have! (Thank goodness for sky plus I say! I don't waste any time on drivel!)

So keep the art alive, write a letter today!
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Monday, 5 April 2010

What a great holiday weekend

Clive had been working really hard on the kitchen over the weekend, so he announced today his day of rest! I got to work painting the kitchen, but managed to get most of it on the floor and my hair! It is now at the stage where it looks worse than it did before and we have worked so hard on it!

After knocking over a whole cup of tea, I downed my tools and agreed with Clive today was just to lovely to waste! We headed up to Lepe beach, just a ten minute drive away and sat looking across a wonderfully choppy Solent to the lovely Isle of Wight. After eating a creamy Whippy Ice cream we promptly both put the seats back and fell asleep! What seemed like a ten minute nap was actually an hour! Sea air has a way of doing that to me!

We stayed a little longer, I took a stroll down to the water's edge discovering my wellie boots have a leak! We supped our tea, chatting about this and that while people watching. The gulls circled above, quiet for once, and the boats and windsurfers were interesting to watch.

I took this picture of the little light house up on the road to Exbury, I love the way all the trees are leaning away from the wind! There is a long line of cottages that look out over the water, I like to imagine they are smugglers houses. What a wonderful place to live, i would never tire of the view.

Such a great way to end a wonderful Easter weekend, hope yours was good too.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter

At last the sun is out, the chooks are happy and on the whole peaceful sand bathing in their new box! (I am still sneaking out to the shed trying to get past them, as they make a terrible noise if I don't feed them!) They are fat enough already!

I was looking at the great items on You tube about vision boards , so I have been cutting up magazines and pictures most of the morning! It is surprisingly relaxing, the difficulty is trying to choose what I want to focus on!

Anyhow, it was a lovely way to spend the morning, happily ignoring the objects and items scattered all around me that needed to be put away. I am really going to have to do a complete re-organisation of the shed, as it is getting totally unruly and not the relaxing space it once was! (painting is sooooo messy, I can't seem to do it without getting paint on yet another pair of trousers, my arms and even my hair!) I spotted some great storage in Ikea, which I have my beady eye on!

I was also taking refuge in the shed, because Clive is revamping the kitchen. I was wandering round Fordingbridge and came across a delightful shop called the butler tray. There was the most gorgeous, (my favourite word) plate rack, which sent me in a bit of a spin for revamping the kitchen over the Easter Break!

Clive is one of those wonderful people, who does things properly and it is a good job too, as I am a very slap dash sort of person! He has spent the last three days, re tiling the kitchen, as a stage one of the revamp! He is having tomorrow off and so it is my turn to paint!

We spent a lovely afternoon having tea with Sally and Tony, we went to visit their new home, can't believe they have been there now for nine months! We are so tardy! Where does the time go!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010


I injured my foot when I was a child, most of the time my foot doesn’t hurt, but sometimes, if I am not careful, or there is alot of rain it really hurts for a while.

Just because I am in my forties, my foot doesn’t miraculously heal, I still have to be careful with it, and not aggrivate it too much. When it hurts, i take care of myself, do things that ease the pain, knowing that in time, the pain will cease and I will be free again.

So what does my foot have to do with being forty and resolving my problems?

We all have human parents, some of us suffer in our childhoods. I sometimes get to thinking Shouldn’t I be over my childhood by now? Shouldn’t I be a strong, loving woman with high self esteem after all my therapy, self help reading and hard work? After all that I should have “sorted” things or “got over it now”

Sometimes my gremlin tells me “told you it did not work, you are right back where you started!” In a really high pitched whiny voice!

Those thoughts may lead me to feel a failure if the same issue comes round again. So not only do I have to have the same issue, but I also load on the guilt for “not sorting it” or “not getting over it”.

So instead I like to think of my rejection sensitivity is something that happens now and then, just like my foot. It hurts, sometimes it really really hurts, I need to give myself tender care for a while, nurture myself and know that the pain will ease, in time.

Maybe it will happen again, and maybe it won’t, who knows? It doesn’t mean I have failed.

It might not be something that works for others, but for me it helps.

with love

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Spring has sprung!

What a lovely weekend, the sun was shining again, after the rain it was great to enjoy the sunny days.

The lovely Karen came over for a crafty evening in the shed on Friday; we made some very pretty photo frames using napkin decoupage. Haven’t quite decided what to put in mine, but they both looked lovely, Karen went home with her gorgeous poppy frame and here is mine.

I learnt napkin decoupage from my charming friend Anna; I made this little canvass when I visited her last week. It is so addictive, as you can get some very lovely effects; I have bigger plans so watch this space.

After our chicken keeping course last week, we decided to revamp the chicken coop (I think we are on the sixth revamp now, I am sure Clive enjoys the challenge and needs to get out his saw, nails and hammer!) We put them in a little run in the garden and they had a glorious dirt bath! They really love to lie on their backs, rolling around in the dirt, scooping it up with their wings. They make the most delightful cooing sounds while doing it!

Digging out the earth was no mean task, but it needed to be done, they now have a nice little grit box so they can bathe with ease! The only problem is that they could not find their bed when the time came so I had to gently put them to bed this evening when it got dark.

I tidied up the garden, which has not really recovered from the devastation of the free range chooks in September. I am also delighted to see my seeds are coming up nicely and will hopefully be ready for the beds in a couple of weeks. It is the first time I have used seeds, so this year I bought a little plastic green house, to see how it goes and maybe next year, (if I keep it up and it isn’t another of my five minute wonders!) We will buy a glass green house next year.

While out shopping with Karen on Saturday, I found a gorgeous pre loved Boden spring dress for a tenner! However I was a little disappointed to find it was a little tight! After my leg injury last year I put on a little weight, but I don’t seem to get the exercise I used to. After seeing the photo of me at the murder mystery I could not ignore it anymore! Clive has decided he wants to lose weight and as usual approached the challenge by purchasing an all singing all dancing weighing scales! It even has a USB option so you can put it on your pc and graph your weight loss! A fantastic device, it will even tell you how much water, fat and muscle you have! Unfortunately it told me that I now weigh more than I have ever weighed in my life!

As usual I have approached the challenge in my usual way, with an IPhone app! There is a wonderful one called get running. You are able to listen to music and it kicks telling you it is time to walk, then you have a minute of running. The idea is that you will be able to run 5k in six weeks, so we can only try! Just in case the app is not enough I have scheduled a run with my friend Julie tomorrow! Then at least I won’t be able to back out of it!

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

By any other name!

I was out shopping last week with my gorgeous boy! It was his nineteenth birthday on Friday so we celebrated by shopping our hearts out! I know he is a talented hairdresser, but this creation was my attempt at seeing if blondes really do have more fun! (we had lots of fun in the wig shop!! I am still a very dark/mahogany brunette!) It was terrific fun and we giggled most of the day, unfortunately I did not get a picture of us at the hat store!
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Saturday, 20 March 2010

Easter Egg Tree

I saw this delightful tree in John Lewis on Thursday, I have always wanted one, as the simplicity of the little wire tree opens up a host of lovely ideas for the seasons. My gorgeous son Will bought it for me and the charming little birdies that are nesting within. (See if you can spot all three!). I had all the little yellow and pink eggs already, so it is nice to have a little tree to hang them on.

I am enchanted with this little object, and look forward to using it throughout the seasons but for now it heralds the joy and beauty of spring with all the new life.


We were visiting our favourite tea shop after our chicken husbandry course today, and there was a lovely little girl who must have only just been around three. She had the most gorgeous pink wellie boots and pink flowery rain coat! It left me wondering, why do we as adults stop wearing bright colours? (I obviously haven't grown up as the lady at the course laughed when she saw my bright pink wellies and flowery raincoat) I hear so many of my friends and colleagues talk about wearing bright colours as if it is a shameful thing to do! One of the secretaries in our office coveted what she described as a beautiful pink coat, she wanted to buy it for her birthday. When she talked about it she was really animated and excited. A week or so later, I asked her about the coat and she said she looked at the sleeves and they were a bit puffy, so she talked herself out of buying it. She was also worried that everyone would stare at her if she wore a pink coat!

I was also talking to someone about their childhood and they told me about a lovely red coat they had as a child, it was their best coat and they only wore it on special occasions, so she only wore it twice before it was too small for her. Her mother passed it on to her cousin, who because it was second hand, was able to wear the coat every day!

So, don't save things for a special occasion, or worry about what other people think, you only have this moment, so wear your party pants and live!
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Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Its a mystery!

Here we all are gathered for the Mystery of the Missing Clock! I enjoy playing these games as it gives me a chance to act and dress up! This was set aboard HMS Gigantic a year after the Titanic Disaster! I was playing a can can dancer, and as you can see we all got into the spirt of the thing!

It was a great evening, I can thoroughly recommend them, although make sure you invite your most extroverted friends, especially if they know each other! We usually buy the Murder a la Carte boxed games, this was one we purchased from the internet, and it was not as good. The characters were a little one dimensional, and the game was a little disjointed so I won't recommend them here, but as I say the boxed games are very good.

I won't tell you who the culprit was, just in case you fancy having a go yourself!
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Sunday, 14 March 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Oh what a lovely Mothers' Day, the sun was shining and the cold winds dropped and it was a lovely day for a walk on the beach! This is my lovely mum, we spent a really happy afternoon wandering along the shore chatting. I am so lucky to have her in my life. She is amazing, and only 72! Happy Mother's day
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Friday, 5 March 2010

Feeling Hearty!

Perhaps it is because we have just celebrated valentines day,
but these little square canvasses caught my eye and
I found myself using a heart motif.
After that it became a little addictive.
(I seem to get an idea in my head and go over it again and again!)

It all started with this little heart,
I must have had these little roses for at least five years,
sitting on my shelf waiting;
then an idea struck to use these beauties to create a little heart.

Anna came round to the Shed on Sunday, she is such a lovely friend,
so easy to talk to! She made a beautiful earring frame,
while I created yet another heart canvass.
I love the combination of beads, hearts and pink paper.
I adore the indigo background but I love the sparkly glitter.

This is my attempt to move away from Pink,
so this is baby blue, sparkly blue admittedly!

All three of these little canvasses are
currently being exhibited locally
which is very exciting!

As it is Mel's birthday soon,
I thought I would make her a little heart canvass.
The words say, First the Dream,
because she would like to write a book, I am sure she will.
I hope she will keep this close to encourage her!

When Mel came round to the shed for our usual Writing (gossip) session,
my heart addiction was still going strong
so I suggested we have a crafty session instead!
Here is her lovely heart all done in a couple of hours!
I just knew there was an artist bursting to get out!

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Sunday, 21 February 2010

If you must have something, it should be beautiful

This started out life as a boring cork notice board, continuing my theme of dotting flowers over everything I thought I would brighten it up a little!

the colours have altered on the screen, it is a lovely pale baby blue.

The corners have little button bow and the top has the same in its centre and of course some lovely sparkly glitter swirls!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Girlie Alert!

Perhaps it is the time of year, when the frost is still thick on the chicken coop, although there are some brave crocuses and snowdrops bursting through the frozen ground, I have found a real passion for flowers of every kind! Last week I was glamming up my dump mirror which gives me so much pleasure in the mornings when I am putting on my make up, that I am a woman possessed!

I spotted this lovely frame in a charity shop and an idea was born! Simply remove the glass and cover the backing board in some wadding and fabric, (using a glue gun!!!! Yipppppeeee) glue the fabric on tightly to form a little pad. Rub down the frame if you are one of those people who like to do things properly, or like me just slap thin layers of ordinary white emulsion over the frame. Glue your padded back to the frame and add a nice ribbon round the edge.

The flowers were purchased at a wonderful little shop called Emerald Crafts in Lyndhurst, at just £5.99 they were an absolute bargain. There are so many beautiful paper flowers available in many different colours you can go for more subtle effects or for a teenager go for bold. (Does that make me a teenager?)

Glue them in place where you feel free, or if you are a little more considerate you can place them around until you get something pleasing to your eye then glue them. (I use the top of a knitting needle to hold the flowers in place while the glue is setting, not only does it give a lovely cup shape to your flowers, it also stops you burning your fingers on the hot glue!)

When you have a nice centre to the flowers, drop a little blob of glue and add some contrasting seed beads to the centre, which makes a realistic flower you will have to keep the bumble bees away!

Use pins placed at a sharp angle to dangle your earrings onto voila! A pretty frame for your earrings and more importantly, somewhere to keep them together! I could have made a lovely display of my hundreds of divorced earrings but I wanted to inspire you instead!

Of course I have very little self restraint and have over done the flowers, yours will probably be far more tasteful!

(you are free to make one of your own, but please respect my copyright thanks!)
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