Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Cuckoo!

I'm all excited, I heard a Cuckoo this afternoon!
Memories come flooding back of my childhood , when we heard that naughty bird regularly.
Sadly, it's a rare sound in these parts now.


I've done some more pieces for the exhibition, this one is called 'The primroses scattered by April'.


Sunday, 26 April 2009

Magic in the air. . . .

I know I am inclined to waffle on about the trees and the birds etc. etc., but . . . I just had to share the magic I found this weekend.

So, go on, make a cup of coffee and come for a 'walk' with me. . . It's sunny and warm and you won't need your wellies. . .

Early the other morning, Rowan and I went walking in the orchards,
The apple trees were buzzing with life. . .




Walking through the rows of trees , listening to the birds' morning concert.



Scramble down the bank in the little copse and I found these cowslips. Memories of childhood, when we would make 'Posy balls' with these charming wild flowers.
(Excuse please, the mish mash of photo styles, I have a touch of photoshopitis!)

Let's stand for a while and wait for the world to wake up. . . . . take in the view across the river Avon to the village of Offenham.
You can just make out the church in the mist, it's dedicated to St. Milburgha, a Saxon princess.

Yesterday, while Stratford upon Avon held the annual 'Shakespeare's Birthday parade', we went walking in the woods nearby. . .
Just inside the wood, look out across the meadow. . .


Now, take a deep breath and turn around . . . .

My pictures are no match for the real thing, the colour, the scent and the magic in the air.



We've brought all our dogs here through the years and Rowan loves this place as much as they all have.



Just before Christmas I told of the ancient, coppiced Lime trees to be found , deep in the woods.
Here are two of them, with their Bluebell carpet.
Tread carefully here, I'm sure this is sacred ground. . . the birds know it too, such sweet music.


Let's linger here. . . .

Explore some more, this way now. . . .



Rowan is worn out with chasing imaginary critters and my tummy says it's time to head home for a bacon sandwich. . . . coming? xxx

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Meet the Butler.

We had a lovely few days in the Brecon Beacons.
Whilst there, I was delighted to meet 'Butler' (black coat, white bib. . . . ?), seen below in his favourite position on the table outside the pub.

The pub was our temporary 'local', the Three Horse Shoes near Brecon.
Butler manages this busy watering hole from his position at the front of the building, from where he can vet all approaching customers, human and canine.
I'm so pleased that Rowan passed muster because the food and the beer were wonderful!

We sat outside in the sunshine, listening to the Buzzards calling and looking at this beautiful view.
I was such a good girl, "no pudding for me " I said, but when the barmaid brought Mike's pudding , she winked at me and said (imagine please, the lovely Welsh accent) "Now look, I brought you two spoons, see, just in case"
Bless her.
Strawberry and rhubarb crumble, made with rhubarb from the Landlady's garden.
My word it was good.
One trip we made was to Hay on Wye, the town of books. I love this place.
Most of the shops here are book shops, selling second hand, antiquarian, rare , new, anything you could possibly want.
This is the famous Castle Book Shop. Weird eh?
Definitely full of atmosphere and so many wonders , waiting to be discovered. . .
For anyone in the market for books to alter without feeling guilty, there are plenty here, in the outside section, for 50 pence , you can rescue as many as you want!

After my bookish retail therapy we went for a walk in the nature reserve at Talgarth.
It's called Pwll y Wrach, which is Welsh for Witches pool.
The path leads along the side of the stream to a pretty waterfall. The force of the water has made a deep pool which Rowan tried her best to fall into. . .
Along the banks were lots of baby ferns, just beginning to unfurl.

Another outing, to Ystrafelte, to see more waterfalls.
It was a long walk but well worth it, I loved the Arthur Rackham trees .
When we sat down to drink our flask of tea we were joined by this lovely Thrush, who hopped to within two feet of us.


Strolling back towards the carpark, Rowan found an amazing mud wallow, mind you, I was so hot, I nearly got in it with her. . .

On our last day we took the canal towpath,it's the Brecon and Monmouth canal, very scenic.
Never very far away from it, are the laughing waters of the river Usk.


I need a rest now, to get over my holiday, if you get what I mean?

Since Easter I've been preparing everything for a two day workshop I'm teaching next month, in Chester . . . and getting on with the pieces for the summer exhibition.

The Bluebells are just coming out in the local woods, another week and they will be at their
best,.In the orchards along the riverbank, the Apple and Pear trees are showing off their blossom.
Perhaps I better take Rowan for another walk, before I settle down to some work.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Happy Easter



The sun is shining and Easter is almost here, so I'd like to wish you all a very happy Easter.
I love this time of year!
Mike and I are going to spend a few days at Brecon , can't wait. . .
Some time ago I asked for advice about choosing a poem as inspiration for a series of work. Thank you so much to all those kind people who replied.
After much thought, I've changed tack completely and chosen a children's poem by Walter de la Mare, 'The Truants'.
Each verse speaks of children that '. . .Magic hath stolen away. . '
So I've taken a very light hearted look at this and here are glimpses of two of the pieces I've made.

I'm really enjoying working with my embellisher, lovely threads and fibres and Walter's words, of course.