Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Art Journals, Castles and Scalded Fingers!

Sniff. Sniff. Sneeze. Watering eyes. Sniff sniff. A...a...a....tchooooooooooooo! Sniff. Sniff. And a happy summer to you!

                                      The windswept Pollen Fields of West Norfolk!

Oh dear me, yes. A month and a half late, the hay fever season has hit me like a brick in the face. Not helping that I have to walk down and up the garden path each night and morning from my 'home from home' sleeping arrangements! Still, now I have found a gigantic pair of wrap-around sunglasses things have improved. Goodness knows what a passing stranger would make of us, sidling guiltily from our back driveway over the road to the pub, me in my sunglasses at 1030 pm, clutching my Cath Kidson overnight bag. I'm probably being put down as Jim's secret 'other woman'...except that most of our neighbours are 'in the know'!

Sunday saw me cooking a roast for 9 of us - would have been 10 but Beccie is obligingly in America so we had enough chairs to go round without resorting to garden furniture! Whilst I pottered in the kitchen, Jim Kit and Krissie took Fraser and Dylan to Castle Rising to see.....the Norman Motte and Bailey castle there. Dylan is currently studying mediaeval history at school and so was thrilled to hear we have a genuine important twelfth-century building near us. Its most famous period was when it was the home of Queen Isabella, mother of Edward 11. In 1544 it passed into the hands of the Howard family, who own it still.


                       Obligatory stop-off at the Tea Rooms - hmm, lovin' that applique, Fraser...

                                                             Arise, Sir Dylan!

Meanwhile back at the ranch all was ready for family and guests. Jim laying the table, Krissie sorting the serving dishes, and I was....checking the steaming veggies....yes, you guessed it! Steam scald right across the fingers of my left (fortunately) hand. Arrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhh! The excruciating pain for about 30 seconds. Then just normal really really really bad pain, folks I kid you not! Quick as a flash my hand was under the running cold tap (drought? What drought?) and clingfilm was being sought. Between us, an ex-Girl Guide/ Nurse and a Paediatric A&E Nurse, we sorted me out and I directed operations from the sink whilst Jim and Krissie saw to lunch - Kit doing the child-care and entertaining. I tell you, never a dull moment. Anyway, lunch was great, with top marks to Krissie's famous baked Chocolate Cheese Cake. (well, actually it is Nigella's but we won't tell)

So the Kiwi's are off for a day or so visiting other relatives and we are chillin'.

                                              jim was chillin' at the water's edge.............

                                                  There, you see.....proof!

And while Jim was out doing manly, outdoorsy things, I have been in my sewing room doing some of Krissie's quilt, and also looking back at my old art journals. I got into journalling briefly during the two years I wasn't stitching. Then I stopped. Quite abruptly. Now, though, I have a yearning to be messing about with marker pens, and inks, and carving stamps, and ..........but this time I want to incorporate my paper art into textile work. I just have to get my head round  what I want to be doing. I enjoy collage, whether paper or textile, and I enjoy using text with cloth, so I think I will be having a bit of an experiment. Here are a few glimpses at the sort of thing I was doing.

                                    My early attempts are clearly very derivative.....

                                       ....the wings, the crown, the stripey legs..........

                                           .....oops, another crown, more stripey legs!

             zzzzzzz...zzzzz......more crowns.........birds, the EYE........
           But these are all mine. Sorry about the flash. Collaged cutouts glued to painted background.

                                                rather duller than in real life

                              The bottom is missing from this page  - wouldn't fit on.

So, just a few pages from the journals, now I'm really itching to get going, but have to remember I have a few other things I need to be doing ! OH! and speaking of which, I had a nice opportunity come my way the other day.

I was browsing a rather nice household-ey kinda shop near LynneK when I spotted a .....three tiered wooden tray thingy for putting pot plants on....the name will come to me eventually.. I was having it folded to pay for it when we got chatting at the cash desk and I said as well as holding plants, I might paint it white and use it at the next craft fair. Well! Floodgates opened. What kind of crafts? Did I do workshops? Might I be interested in a plan she (the owner) had for a large back room she was having painted out. More details later, but the upshot is....I will be offering workshops and classes in the autumn! Hows about that for happenstance?

Tomorrow Jim and I out for a nice birthday lunch with Mike, number One son and his partner Vicki. The fun keeps right on happenin'! See you soon, Lx.


  1. My kids used to love Castle rising, nice to see it again. I've just started journaling ,I've a long way to go before they are as good as yours.

    1. Hi Gill - ooh, let's see your journal pages! Go on! As you see, I am a fan of Teesha Moore, but I was 'surfing' last night and there are SOOooooomany other people doing the 'girl/crown/wings/bird' thing, even teaching classes using them. So though I know mine aren't original motifs, I don't feel so bad re-using them because others do too!

      Yes, it's a pity their visit didn't co-incide with a 're-enactment' up at the castle, the boys would have loved that. Never mind they had a great time there.

  2. Hi, looks like you are continuing to have a great time with the family! thank you for your lovely comment on my blog, it's very much how I am feeling at the mo...... me with a blog! Who'd have thought! I haven't done any paper crafts as yet but I have got into 1960/70s wallpaper in a big way, so who knows! Ada :)

  3. Ada, you have caaught the bug now! Wow, hang onto that vintage walpaper! I'd be so tempted to scan and copy it and keep the original safe...which is not the idea if you are making something entirely vintage , I know.Lx

  4. Well, I've always wanted to do art journals but just don't have the imagination in that way. Plenty when it comes to writing, but not arty stuff. Even bought several books on the subject, now they languish on the shelf here or at my favourite charity shop.

  5. Well, Maggie, as I say, lots of my stuff is very derivative, but like anyting else, once you 'get your eye in' so to speak, you get going in your own style. I'm very taken with lettering, whether straight calligraphy, or more journal-type text. I LOVE different fonts, if I had a printer I'd make more use of it to print out text in really unusual fonts to use in journals or as templates for applique. So many ideas.....no time for half of them!

  6. Lynne,
    Love the photo of the knight outfit. My sons would kill for that.
    Those artistic images in bright colors you have in the journals would translate well to quilts!
    Thanks for your comments on the trip to Japan and the indigo shop. You would have loved it there. Everything in the shop was created by hand and dyed by hand.

  7. Ah Marisa, so envious of your trip to Japan...and more so because you know EXACTLY the places to visit! Hope you have more photos to show us.

    Dylan is thrilled with his visit and his chain-mail....on SUnday we will be visiting Roman remains at Housteads in Northumberland, an old `roman fort. Then they hope to pop up to Alnwick CAstle on the way to Scotland, where they filmed Harry Potter, the castle standing in for Hogwarts! There is one excited little boy here!

  8. Ouchy, at the scald. Hope you're healing fast x

    Your red queens are gorgeous ... they would make a lovely theme for a quilt :D

  9. Finger on the mend, Annie, thank you, just the plaster is a flamin' nuisance!

    I'm particularly fond of those Red Queens, for some reason, just thinking about getting all the background faded stamping onto fabric without it bleeding....or leave it out altogether, and just go for the shapes and solid colours.....see, there are always too many options!

  10. What a thoroughly entertaining post! I'm so glad I stopped by. I hope that burn wasn't too nasty. What strikes me most is your eye for colour. I could see those queens, for example, as flaming,
    eccentric, stained glass windows.

  11. Stephanie thank you for popping in and leaving a comment! The final plaster is off the scald and it is taking its chances in the fresh air, dear me ~I am getting so accident prone.

    Oooh yes, stained glass - I love it! I'm afraid I am a bit of a gad about when it comes to media, as I realise now it is colour and texture which excites me, and I have to rein myself in or I would be off in all directions again trying all manner of crafts, finishing nothing. (See my post 'Textile Tarts' which says it all!)

    Lovely to meet you, I shall be visitning often!Lx.


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