Thursday, 1 March 2018

Spring through a Veneer of Winter

If you like the snow, read on. If you’ve had enough of it, bear with me; I’ve got some lovely pictures of ice – well, I think they’re lovely anyway… 😊

It’s been much colder this winter than it has for years and now with the “Beast from the East” forecast to come over Britain this week, it’s freezing. I have confirmation of this because my weather station (a.k.a my cat Boots) has decided to stay in much more.
I wondered if it would be a harsh winter because the holly berries were out much earlier last year and they say that if they’re out early it’ll be a hard winter. I took a photo of the berries last September which you can see in this post:

The other day I found two perfect ice discs on top of Boots’s outside water bowls and each day they’ve got thicker.

I’m now judging the temperature by the thickness of the ice on the water. This one is practically a bowl in itself:

This morning the whole bowlful was frozen. You can see Boots’s tail there too in the bottom right corner.

The thing is, it’s like having two seasons at the same time; it’s freezing, icy and snowing yet the daffodils and crocuses are out.

I couldn’t resist taking this photo. It’s like seeing spring through a veneer of winter.

The patterns in the ice are amazing. When you look closely, you can see ripples, bubbles and different structures within.

It’s St David’s Day here in Wales, so a Happy St David’s Day to everyone whether you’re in the snow or not. What have you been doing? Do you enjoy the snow or do you hate it? Let me know in the comments.

Stay warm and stay safe. I’m off to get my toboggan! 🏂☃😉

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Cat Nap 2 cont..

Did you hear about the earthquake in Wales at the weekend? Did you feel it? I did. I’d never felt an earthquake before so I didn’t know what was going on; it seems most people didn’t. I think practically everyone thought there’d been some kind of crash of some sort. I was almost at the epicentre so I felt a huge shudder of the chair I was sitting on and heard a rumble. It wasn’t until I checked social media that I felt reassured that it wasn’t something bad.

Just to prove that Wales is still in one piece after it, here’s a photo I took from the car. 

It’s not bad considering we were going about 70 mph. Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving! 😉😁

I’ve continued working on my Cat Nap 2 and here’s the final piece:

It’s all embroidered by hand with stitches suggesting the fur in the various colours and from dark to light. Here’s a close up:

While I’ve been working on this, the garden has begun to sprout back into life. The privets which I cut back last year have new little leaves:

There are small leaf buds on branches:

The crocuses are awake and showing their gorgeous purple:

Snowdrops have burst forth from their winter sleep:

I bought some roses last weekend to cheer things up even more:

Their yellow looks wonderful against my purple wall. I’ve been feeling tired recently so the colour really brought some brightness to the cloudy days.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Cat Nap 2

Continuing on from my last post, I’ve taken another of my ‘Cat Nap’ drawings and developed it.

This was the original sketch:

And here is the watercolour I did:

I’ve printed it on fabric and now it’s ready to be embroidered.

As it’s Valentine’s Day today, here’s a photo I’ve taken with a rose and a heart shaped stone I found a long time ago.

The book is a volume of Welsh poetry and these particular poems are about love, “Serch” being a Welsh word for “Love”. There’s also “Cariad” which means the same thing.

I’m really enjoying watching the Winter Olympics at the moment. I watch it every four years. I’m not a huge fan of much sport, but for some reason I love this, particularly the snowboarding, the luge, the skeleton, the bobsleigh and the speed skating. If I were younger, I might have a go at one of these. Maybe.

Love to everyone, have a lovely day.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Cat Nap & Snow

January and February always seem a bit depressing to me. It’s been dark in the mornings and dark in the afternoons even on a sunny day. By about 3 o’clock the light has gone, clouds come over and the day gets gloomy.

I’ve decided to try to see things with a sense of joy this year; not so much a “New Year’s Resolution” as a “New Year’s Perspective”. I’ve realised in the last few years that we can either let things that happen get on top of us or we can choose to look at them objectively and keep our minds clearer and happier. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth giving it a try. Everything is ok.

To keep this feeling of joy, I’ve done a new experiment with a picture I drew a while ago of my cat Rusty. He’s no longer with us, but he always brought joy to me and I’m keeping it fun with this. He liked to sleep on my bed and one day I drew him while he was there. He’d often fall asleep laying on his front with his face down on the blanket – how he could breathe, I never knew!

I did a watercolour of the drawing:

Then printed it on fabric:

Then I embroidered it:

This is an experiment to see how it turned out, but I’m quite happy with it and I’m going to turn it into a small wall hanging I think. Or maybe I’ll try to find a frame to fit it in. Either way, I’ve got another one coming along soon, a slightly different picture.

I took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of January. It was a lovely way to spend an hour, watching the birds in my garden. I also made the Birdwatch bites to eat while I was there – the recipe came with the pack I was sent. They tasted ok but I think I’d put fewer oats in if I made them again.

All the birds were the ones I see regularly in my garden. Watching them can be a really good way of getting out of your worries for a while, to help you get perspective on things. I try to see if I can spot them whenever I have the opportunity.

It’s actually snowed here for the first time in about four years. I’ve been hoping for it to snow, if only enough just to have a walk in it because I find the world really peaceful in snow. It seems to bring calm and quietness. I took a few photos as usual.

Whatever you’re doing this week, enjoy it!

Friday, 19 January 2018

A Mini Wallhanging

I was really tired at the end of last week, so missed a blog post. I didn’t want to write anything I could come up with just to post because if I’m inviting you to read my blog, I want it to be good enough for you.

So, here, at last, is something I’ve been working on.

To start off the new year, I’ve gone with something small and gentle as an easy project to get me back into my work. (I needed something easy; after the holidays it’s been difficult to get back into everything, even though I really want to get on with my textiles.)

I’ve made what I’m calling a Mini Wall Hanging because it’s quite small, only 12.3 cm x 14.9 cm (excluding the hanging ribbon). It’s an image of a hydrangea flower to presage the coming of Spring.

Here’s the finished thing.

And here’s the process it went through. First, I stamped an image onto fabric and coloured it. Then I put it on a backing fabric.

I added some stitching around the edges and some beads…..

…and sewed it all together.

I’ve also begun a personal drawing project where I’m hoping to do a small drawing or sketch every day for a year. This was my first one, a couple of toadstools. The fairy hasn’t arrived yet!

And here’s a cat.

I’ll (hopefully!) be posting my daily drawings on my Twitter and Instagram accounts, which you can find here if you wish to:

I hope you’re coping with the cold weather. I am, just about, although I actually like cold, frosty days; it gives me the chance to layer up with warm clothes and scarves and enjoy being cosy. Also, the coldness now makes us even more welcoming of the warmer temperatures in Spring when they arrive. I hope Spring also comes with more energy for me.  

Speaking of warmer weather, this rose has been flowering all Winter. It doesn’t normally – an effect of global warming do you think?

The blooms haven’t lasted very long though. They’ve been withering at the petal edges and turning brown fairly quickly, giving a lovely wabi-sabi effect.  

I’m just about keeping on track with my aims for January with the drawing and plans for my textiles, I just hope I can keep it up. Do you have any goals for this year? I’d love to hear them if you do. For now, enjoy the weekend.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Christmas and New Year seemed to go really fast for me and now here we are in at the beginning of 2018. I hope you enjoyed the holidays and had a chance to relax. For some reason I don’t really feel like I had that much time to ‘just be’ as it all went so quickly, but I had a lovely Christmas anyway.

Well, it’s back to normal from now on I suppose, with the decorations coming down today. The rooms will look extremely bare. I’m thinking of making some decorations that can be put up at different times of the year, although it depends how much time I have! 😊

For now, I’ve made this to remind me of the Spring and the light, sunnier times ahead.

It’s a cherry blossom which fell from my tree last year. I pressed it and stuck it to card with tissue paper, then stamped butterflies around it.

In the garden there are signs of Spring already. My mother’s camellia has been flowering for a while. It always flowers during the winter though. 🌼

There are daffodils sprouting in my pots. 🌱

And there are bluebell leaves emerging from the earth. 🌿

I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions, I gave that up a long time ago because I just got disappointed if I didn’t stick to them. But I have got goals for this year which I hope to share with you as and when they’re achieved. They include new textile projects to work on, more painting and one big goal that I’ve been hoping to achieve for a while, but I don’t want to say too much about that yet. When I seem to have got near to it before, I’ve had setbacks, so I’m waiting until it’s actually done so I don’t speak too soon!  😃

Whatever your plans are for this year I wish you all the best with them. Have a lovely weekend. 💖