Sunday, 22 December 2013

So, here is the last post of 2013.

A bit of Christmas greenery.

So have a merry ol' time and let's see what adventures and magic 2014 brings! xx

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Here's the finished painting.

I didn't manage to stay with muted colours for very long! I really quite like some parts of it. 

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Here are some pics of the tea cup painting. This is what it looked like on Saturday.

A little bit blurry, but you get the idea. I'm still getting used to the camera on my phone!

This is how it started out - they look a bit like watermelons.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

What, what it's 27th November. How did that happen?

Here are the November Care Packages for the Oh Comely! November box swap.

I got loads of lovely treats including: a delicious looking recipe, an interesting article about Stephen Shore who I knew nothing about and whose work sounds right up my street; an american Martin Parr, a felt Christmas decoration (eek!), hot chocolate on a spoon (yummy), some cool photos taken by Emma and a sketch book and pencil!

THANK YOU EMMA - I love my box.

I hope Emma liked her box. This is what it looked like before I sent it!

It's such a great idea and reminded me how much I love getting and sending stuff in the post.

The green flowery sticker was bought from the lovely Pavinee's Etsy shop here. The pompom was made using the pompom maker from Madrid - see earlier post. And a cool black and white photo I found in the street of some people up the coast at one of my favourite spots, Tossa de Mar in the 1960s.

General wonderfulness!

Monday, 4 November 2013

I'm also taking part in this box swap. I just got my swapee and she's vegan so I need to think outside the box as far as knitted things go, stuff with wool at least, are out of the question.

Oh comely is a magazine and blog full of lots of lovely treats... click here to see more!
A little card I made! Inspired by the gift... some fantastic crochet.

I've also been making pom poms and started a second scarf! (hoping it'll be ready in time for the Bremen trip in two weeks time)

Hello November!

A few pics from outside.

You may remember a book I started last year when we went drawing down at the port. Well, a year later in baking hot sunshine I continued it.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Wow a month has passed since I last posted. Here are a few things I've been doing...(I also went back to work too!)
I have found a great new site for recipes: the minimalist baker, this is my version of the healthy granola bar which lasted for about 5 minutes in our house! Yum

I have also been painting too.

Three acorn shells from the Retiro park in Madrid.

Three sea urchins from Greece.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Here are pics from the Spanish trip.
A lovely stay in Merída... lots of Roman ruins.

Followed by Caceres.

Monfragüe, interrupted by rain! I managed to avoid eating the local delicacy pickled pig skin.

Salto del Gitano with tens of vultures flying overhead, red deer hiding in the bushes and foxes waiting for a feed.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

I've been painting quite a lot! This is a great development. I mean, just getting up, sitting at the easel and then painting. Great.

Normally I'm undisciplined and find a million reasons to procrastinate. I have found that tuning into Radio 4 has been the driving force.

Anyway here are two finished paintings.

I decided to go with my preferred colours too.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Madrid was fantastic and reminded me of Brooklyn trips to see Michelle years ago. We stayed in a tiny apartment near Tribunal metro. Loads of bars, cafes, interesting shops and galleries. Oh and the amazing botanic gardens and a fabulous day trip to Toledo too.

I forgot to take my camera (strange) so I took a few photos on my phone and did several sketches. 

 Lots of exhibition change overs so I didn't spend too much time inside. I sat on the grass outside the Prado (above) and enjoyed listening to the guitarist and watching all the tourists. Thinking how lucky I am to be able to jump on a train at least once a year to this amazing city.

I revisited one of my absolute favourite places the Sorolla Museum. His paintings are wonderful, I love the fashions of that era, how he shows light especially on fabric and his compositions.

This is a little sketch I did whilst sitting in the wonderful garden. It was peaceful, hot and dry.

Working in education means that at this time of year I always buy some new stationary and take stock. I make some lists and think about what I want to do in the 'new' year. Whilst in Madrid I reread The Seven Laws of Spiritual Success by Deepak Chopra which gave me plenty to think about. 

Friday, 13 September 2013

At home for a few days before heading off to Madrid! I know a summer of adventures, pictures from Extramadura to follow. 

Back to the easel, this is what I'm looking at and painting today.

These leaves are from my birthday flowers from lovely Liz. Beautiful structure and shapes, I've been saving them to do something with. 

Still a way to go yet!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

The last highlight of the mountains was a gathering at J's apartment.
Pretty much the whole team were there accompanied by lots of nibbles and drinkies, interrupted by a gorgeous sunset.

Bye bye mountains, see you and the squirrels again next year!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Two day trips to Italy followed! On Sunday we took the Bernina Express which is an incredible journey, we made several stops along the way to Tirano

One at a glacier park at Cavaglia where there were holes in rocks formed by the glacier. We joined a celebration for 10 years of the holes being discovered and turned into a park.

Another stop was at a small village, some of our travel companions had ice-creams other enjoyed the smell of freshly cooked pizza.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The weather continued to be good so, after class on Friday we ventured to the Swiss National Park. Train to Zernez and then bus(es) to the park.... we got off a stop early. After our walk we luckily arrived 5 minutes before the last bus back to the station!

There was an old mountain man and his wife strolling along ahead of us... he seemed to only be wearing his pants!

There were some amazing views, it was a really fantastic walk.

Beautiful colours as the sun started to set.

lots of lovely trees

By the time we returned to the village we were exhausted and hungry... the cafe was open so we refueled on sausages, whilst flies flew into the blue glow of the electric fly killer. It was quite an experience(!)

Saturday, 24 August 2013

UK was followed by Switzerland... in the sunshine too! It was even hot hot hot in Zurich!

Here's the view from the terrace down over part of the village. 

Here are the views towards the mountains... 
looking left

...and looking right.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Ok here are some more UK pics.

Have I mentioned how wonderful the weather was? This is the lovely beach at Woolacombe. It's a great place for rock pools and so easy to lose track of time. We nearly got cut off by the rocks and the sea and spent 15 tense minutes scrambling over the rocks before reaching safety.

Here are the fantastic rocks at Illfracombe. On the other side of these is the 'controversial' Damian Hirst sculpture Verity

This was a lovely spot at Lee Bay, more rock pools and plenty of seaweed too.

Then the last UK treat a trip to Glastonbury. The Abbey is wonderful and had plenty to keep us amused including the site of King Arthur's burial, birds of prey, a badger set, ruins and a great visitor centre. A perfect stop off before heading to Bristol airport.

Friday, 16 August 2013

So to mark the end of our Welsh adventure we headed to Devon via the Gower Peninsular and a good look at Worm's Head recommended by Gemma. Thank you!

Beautiful weather and long sandy beaches.

We wondered why it was called Worm's Head as it doesn't resemble a worm in the slightest. Originally it was known as 'Wurm' by Viking invaders which means 'dragon'. A giant sea-serpent is much more like it!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

So after the amazing puffins we chilled out and saw the sights of Pembrokeshire...
Tenby which has a museum with paintings by Gwen and Augustus John and a cabinet choc full of curiosities including my favourites: a handwarmer in the shape of a potato (6) and a fire extinguisher (8). Although without the labels I would have had alternative suggestions for their uses.


A wee sketch of the bay tree outside our cottage

Then we dropped into Dylan Thomas' boat house in Laugharne. Beautiful views and a lovely cuppa (well I actually had a fizzy water as it was SO hot). The first poem he wrote from his writing shed about the view is here.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Well, these little chaps were the reason for our trip to Pembrokeshire and let me say it was so worth it! The puffins didn't disappoint us, we had visions of clinging to a foggy rock in the middle of grey seas catching a glimpse of one small bird in the distance.

This image couldn't have been further from the reality! We spent about 3 hours on Skomer Island hanging out with these jolly birds, getting in their way and laughing at their limited landing techniques. So, I highly recommend a visit - check dates as puffins hang out in the Atlantic for several months of the year.

Here's a little watercolour, looking down on the far side of the island.