Sunday, February 28, 2010

A New Cupboard A Worn Out Pencil and A Birthday Giveaway.

This week I  bought a cupboard. How could I resist this wonderful piece of furniture crying out for a new home in our local charity secondhand shop? Look at all the storage it has!

It's a lovely old piece and reminds me of 'Moonacre Manor'.

Looking at the state of my pencil though. Hmmm... maybe I should be spending the pennies elsewhere!?

I've been busy with more hearts. A special one for a relative of mine's birthday and a couple more hare designs that have been listed and sold and are on there way to their new homes.

I've almost completed a new painting on canvas. But not quite. It still has a few finishing touches to be put to it, so I will wait just a little while longer until I show you that one.
You may have noticed I've altered the blog banner. I thought it was time for a  small change, as it's my blog's birthday! To be precise it was on the 29th February two years ago that I started blogging. I can't believe it's been that long! What a wonderful time I've had. A big thank you to all the lovely people that visit here and follow and all the friendly, kind,warm and  positive comments that you leave. :)

Surely this means it must be time for a giveaway!! .......

So, all you have to do is leave me a comment here, letting me know which is your favourite print I have for sale in my Etsy shop. Then next Sunday I will pick a winner out of the hat and they will win that favourite print. Good luck ! x

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Little Trip Out

This week the children have their school half term break, so the house has been filled with sounds of piano playing and smells of biscuit baking.
The sky has been really showing off, wearing the most amazing clouds and colours.

Its been a week of recharging batteries. A time to visit special places.Today, a visit to Gloucester cathedral.
It was snowing and icy cold.

Luckily inside was lovely and warm and we wandered around drinking in history and inspiration for two hours, fuelled in between by a mug of hot chocolate and slice of cake in the coffee shop. I won't go into too much detail about the cathedral, as you can read  about it here. But here are my photos of things that inspired me.

  The hand painted ceilings and walls.

 Beautiful  lettering on stone and stained glass

Cold stone faces

Everything reminded me of how much I love medieval colours.

And this marble hand was so beautiful, I just had to keep touching it.

I've always been in love with stained glass and here of course it is everywhere.
But this window below wove a magic spell over all of us.It's by local stained glass artist Tom Denny

My small camera couldn't capture how beautiful it really was. It needs to be seen! You must go and see it, if you are not far away. It's simply stunning.

A different kind of magic crept into our visit too. The cathedral has been used numerous times as the film set for the Harry Potter films. Here are 'my two' standing in the passage where the message written on the wall proclaimed..... "The Chamber of secrets has been opened"

They enjoyed exploring, seeking out the different areas that had been used in the films, and so did I.

To finish our trip off and because it was snowing, (as in the story) how could we resist a wander, just a few steps from the cathedral to a rather famous address. Number 9 College Court. A little shop just off Westgate Street that once belonged to an old Tailor his cat and some very clever mice.
My favourite Beatrix Potter story. :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gold On Fur And Some Old Work

This morning golden sunlight on golden fur. As if to fool me into thinking it's the warmest of  summer days outside.

It is bitter cold outside. Blades of grass are sugared  with frost and the water in the bird bath is solid again.

I cocoon myself in scarf, hat, gloves and coat to venture out into the garden. A bunch of snowdrops and to defrost the bird bath, my small mission. It's thirsty work when you are a bird preparing to build a nest. Flitting branch to branch and darting from tree to hedge, I've been watching them from my window as I work.

There is new growth in the garden. Among the dry browns, a new primrose and a single bluebell  emerge.

 And back indoors, it doesn't take long for the snowdrops to open up.

I have started a new painting on canvas and will be back to show you pictures very soon......

In the mean time and because I haven't any new work to show you today. Here are two old paintings of mine which were done for a personal picture book project, a few years back. It got abandoned in dummy book form when I was told by publishers that the illustration style was too old fashioned looking? I also felt my story wasn't strong enough.

 I'm thinking of going back to the one below as I'm not quite happy with it.  The sky needs darkening down a little and the tree needs more work too. Then, if it turns out ok I might make it available as a print?

What do you think? :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hares In The Cold. Aceos And Moss Green

I've been out in the cold, this week. In the shed where the saw lives, cutting out some wooden hares.
Once they were cut out and drilled, then came my favourite part. Sitting in the warm, next to my little heater, listening to music and bringing them to life.

They have been painted, highlighted with gold and adorned with beads bells and ribbon.
And are almost ready for their journey by photograph to the Etsy shop.

I've also been playing around with paints, and this was the result of Monday evenings play.

An ACEO sized acrylic painting on watercolour paper titled 'Sweet Rest' which will also be for sale.

Today I needed to get out in the fresh air and stretch my legs. The woodpecker was tapping  and the spring song of blackbirds preparing to nest. I needed a breath of green.

 Velvet moss.

 Just like the elusive velvet moss green coat that I have been hunting for forever....

Tommorow will be a trip to town for various bits and pieces and a long overdue book browse in the charity shops. I think I have to, or I could well become a hermit here?