My sister has been visiting and we have had some days out to our local haunts. First to Woodchester Mansion where we walked down the hidden valley into the park where no human habitation can be seen. We saw the dark clouds coming and ran to the boat house porch for shelter. Amazingly the door was open and we stayed dry inside while the heavens opened.
It was a magical 10 - 15 minutes inside the cobwebbed boat house with water below us and in front and pouring down outside. (We would have been soaked to the skin outside, it was a lovely sunny day and no one brought a mac.) Then the sun came out again and we had tea outside the glorious gothic unfinished mansion.
On Saturday we went to Slimbridge Wildlife and Wetlands and hired a canoe for an hour. My sister in front, my husband at the back steering, paddling and taking the photos,
me in the middle. Magical again with the wind in the reeds and being at duck level on the water. Do not get the impression I am adventurous, brave and intrepid, the water is only 1 metre deep! I still loved it. I will keep those moments and memories as treasure.
I have been adding some sea shells to the puffin embroidery. These were found at Broadhaven where we were staying. You can't get to a beach on Skomer- it's all high cliffs, but I thought I would add some of my beach findings to the puffin page. I was pleased with the barnacles on the limpet shell white french knot with a smaller, dark, thinner thread knot in the middle of the white one.
It was a lovely morning yesterday so I washed my pennant from Mo and hung it on the washing line.
The blue sky behind gave me an idea. I have ironed and backed it with blue fabric and intend to make a feature of the holes. The sunshine brightened the fabric. I think it will be called Mending the Sky. I have an idea of birds in flight and darning stitches.
A few more spots completed on this applique piece that I haven't named yet. Also getting on with the embroidered puffin page, I am going to put in some razorbills and guillemots. It won't be a direct copy of the sketchbook page, just adjusting the composition at the moment.
These are from 2010 but a friend asked for some pictures to show to a budding entomologist who is nearly 3. We were remembering AA. Milnes poem Alexander Beetle.I made lots of boxes some paper some stitched with wee beasties inside.
I have finished the reverse applique spots and am adding to the design of summer greens. It is very different from my recent illustrative work and is strangely compelling. More about stitch textures but I still have a summer garden in mind in an abstract form.
Also painted the background for the summer garden. It feels imperative to get this started while the summer is still with us. Lots of rain has made the garden into a jungle with bright spots of colour.
A few more stitched cards made for the exhibition. I had my plucky blackbird in mind. The one with feathers missing around his neck. A cat pounced maybe or magpies attacked? Last year I saw a pair of blackbirds fighting off magpies to protect a young chick. Very distressing because magpies and jackdaws are persistent. I know, they all have to eat and all have young to feed.
So yesterday it was back down the Fosse Way ( an old Roman Road) to Chipping Campden, a picturesque Cotswold town with yellow stone cottages, topiary, hollyhocks and tourists! The exhibition is small but very pretty and with tempting things to buy which I succumbed to straight away. I enjoyed my morning very much - new earrings and a new scarf! Well you can't have too many can you?
I ground to a halt chasing ideas that didn't work out. So I tried Judy Martins reverse applique dots - peaceful mind restored- all is well. Sometimes things don't work especially when you try too hard. Now I have a slow piece to stitch and will see what develops with a calm mind.
Cards for the Summer Delights exhibition. The birds in the garden and feeding at the bird cafe are a delight. There have been many baby birds. The blackbirds have been successful this year. Old man blackbird is faithful to the garden and waits for me to go out with food. I know it is the same bird because he has been in the wars and lost a chunk of feathers at the back of his neck. I am still pondering and working on some ideas to produce a summer garden piece.
Going for colour! Nothing clashes in the garden but I was brought up on never mixing your oranges with your pinks. As for shovelling in pinks, yellows, purples, scarlets etc well! Sometimes you have to be brave. These aren't brilliant but they are joyous and they do record the day. ( Last Friday at Newark Park). Must add a few bees and butterflies - yes, will go and do that.