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Bird Watch

making jan 19 023I took part in the RSPB bird watch weekend last weekend.  Because we are rural and maybe because I put out loads of feeders, which I keep topped up, we have a large number of woodland birds visiting on a regular basis.

I have long been an admirer of Matt Sewell’s bird illustrations.  In one of those moments where you just want to change rooms and do something a little bit more interesting than your average painted wall etc, I decided to paint tiles and the walls with fun stuff.

So I just launched into sketchy cameos of some clunky fun regulars who visit our garden.  I did check out if Matt Sewell did tiles, but I could not find any, so I did some based on his work for the kitchen and to surround our fireplace.

Never having attempted anything like this before I started with acrylics.  These just rub away from a glossy tile.  So I played with other ideas but did not want to spend money really as these are just for fun.  So as I had loads of plain white tiles, I decided to experiment!  I have discovered that acrylics work reasonably well if you paint and then cook them!  About 30mins on a low heat and the paint stays put much better.  I am not sure if they would stand up to washing, but a gentle wipe should be ok.  I will let you know ……………………

So the fun freeze is on its way to being completed.

The fireplacce needs a border of one tile depth around 3 sides.  The grren we chose is a little trickier to paint so I am still playing with ideas.  But hey – a fun Saturday!

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Transformed Tracks

Snow Jan 19 006Change has a unique beauty.

Snow Jan 19 049

Its change, so not always comfortable, but there is beauty to be found – sometimes in the details, and sometimes in the bigger picture.  Maybe both?

Snow Jan 19 024Change almost forces us to look differently

We reassess our familiar landscape

Snow Jan 19 037We can not do anything other than work with what now is.  The outlook will change again in a few days.

Snow Jan 19 057Cut off from normality, isolated in quiet, surrounded with unexpected beauty.  Shifting lines, tracks.  A new perspective.

An adjustment in attitude, methods, routine, clothes, light, thought, time, perspective.

Snow Jan 19 033A different light.  An altered horizon.

Making Distractions

Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man.  It happens to nearly everyone.  You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite.  It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms.  The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet.  Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn;  it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes.  A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber.  The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale.  And then – the glory – so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes.

Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished.  And I guess a man’s importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories.  It is a lonely thing but it  relates us to the world.  It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men.

John Steinbeck  East of Eden

Tom, the third son, was most like his father.  He was born in fury and he lived in lightning.  Tom came headlong into life.  He was a giant in joy and enthusiasms.  He didn’t discover the world and its people, he created them.  When he read his father’s books, he was the first.  He lived in a world shining and fresh and as uninspected as Eden on the sixth day.  His mind plunged like a colt in a happy pasture, and when later the world put up fences he plunged against the wire, and when the final stockade surrounded him, he plunged right through it and out.  And as he was capable of giant joy, so did he harbor huge sorrow, so that when his dog died the world ended.

John Steinbeck East of Eden

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What passages!  What more can I say?  These are the things I want to say and Steinbeck just says them so perfectly.  These are my deepest inclinations.  I have immersed myself in making, loosing doubts and fears in the act of creating.  No direct goals, no real intent, just the act of pushing something inside me to the outside.

Ready to fill up again no doubt!

 

 

Winter

kilve jan 20th 050

Starlings in Winter
 
Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly,
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine
how they do it,
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard.  I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.
Mary Oliverkilve jan 20th 012

kilve jan 20th 120

Happy New Year

Here is wishing you all a very happy new year!

Its always fasinating to think of what the year ahead might hold.  This time last year we did not know that our bonny adorable baby girl would join us.  So the beginning of this year is full of beautiful liquid smiles and occasional protests which state clearly that the available staff are simply not fulfilling their duties fast enough!  We try…………

Christmas was spent house sitting.  It was peaceful and a lovely change.  New walks for the dogs and us.  Evenings spent knitting in a different setting.  Refreshing.

We had a family meal when my son and his wife came down from the Isle of Skye, it was so good to see them.  Island life has fully infiltrated them, running through their blood in every sense.  Their remote croft on the north of the island sits next to the sea and re-defines the term ‘windy’.  They describe the boulders which have to be placed on absolutely everything to keep within walking distance!  The pictures of their life and views are the stuff that dreams are made of, it is simply stunning.

kilve new year 2019 006

To start the new year I decided to follow a tradition which I started when the children were young.  We went to one of my favorite places in Somerset, Kilve.  The rocks and contours of this landscape never fail to inspire.

I thought perhaps that this year I should try to revisit places which resonate with me deep down.  Places to revisit which touch me deeply for one reason or another.  All of these are not too far from where I live.  I have never yearned for far off places, I have never been on a plane, I just live and love the areas around me.

 

I have been using up my stock of wool in creative ways.  Finishing another batch of cardigans and dyeing them for a shop in London where they sell well.  Each individually handmade, dyed and finished.

I have plans afoot for smaller projects and very individual ‘art’ pouches and bags.  Landscapes, lines made by walking and a tribute to local, in every sense.

I do wish creative dreams being realised for everyone for 2019.  Let the journey continue!

Christmas Magic and Madness

Is it me or does something happen in Setpember which causes the rest of the year to slip by as if on greased wheels?  Why do the last 4 months of the year zoom by?  Comparatively the first 4 months of the a new year sort of bump along as if travelling over a rutted farm track.  Oh well, I am not going to change it, so I must accept it, even as a bystander just standing almost clear of the escalator.

Lets start with carnival.  I took Mollie to Glastonbury Carnivalway way back in November.  It was a huge effort and freezing cold, but just magical!  I can’t think which I enjoyed more – her face or the huge effort and time put in to the floats.  Always a spectacle but especially seen through the eyes of a child (sorry, young adult)!

Most importantly the vest BEST event of the year.

Dec 4th 2018 005

Then there was the show.  The slow show.  Unfortunately it was the weekend between black friday and cyber monday!  Enough said.  However I met some lovely people and traders (also people – incidentally).  Overall a bit disappointing but I would do it again as its a local show.

So it looks like loads, and maybe thats where the time went?  But it has taken me so long to recover!  I am still battling with nausea and exhaustion on a daily basis.  I have new tablets to take which have helped a bit.  Pacing myself is something I dont excel at.  In fact I hardly know how to do it!  But I am going to have to make a pact, if not friends with this new state of being if I am going to get anywhere.  Mind over matter does not apply when my body is working against my mind all the time.  My body is not making a terrible fuss, I admit, currently we are getting along, mostly, but this debilatating exhaustion and now nausea are the check point in every day.  When energy is a limited resource I need to learn to spend it wisely.  This I find upsetting.  I mean cancer would be ok if one didnt feel so dreadful some of the time.  Like childhood, wellness is becoming a dim and distant memory.

But I do count my blessings so to speak.  I am still active and I do still achieve.  Mostly this activity keeps me positive and forward looking.  An altered state of being is a strange concept to live with.  Like watching yourself and how you react without being fully present.

Odd.

 

 

New Stuff

October 28th is now a very important date to add to our family diaries.  On this day little Verity entered our lives in person.

 

What can I say?  Everything and absolutely nothing.  No words can sum up this occasion.

It was not an easy ride and for a while a very scary one for baby and mum.  However, we are on the mend and we are all getting used to new stuff.

On my needles?  Possibly a few baby knits(??!!!) and just maybe a few more in the pipeline??  Knitting for a small person is such a wonderful activity.  Anticipation in every stitch.  Choosing colours now we have met her, choosing patterns, yarns and needles.  everything done in small!

00BC9FAC-92A9-44FA-8C2E-39E0379DF9AA

I have also been knitting like mad for my upcoming Christmas craft show.  I want to take my knitted pouches and cardigans alongside the yarn.  Where energy is a limited resource these days I have to learn discipline,(often lost in translation to life), to be realistic about what can actually be achieved in a day, rather than what I desire to be achieved in a day.  Between the 2 is a rather large gap.

I look forward to handknitting in the evenings.  Peaceful, repetitive, soothing.  It is my comfort habit.

Autumn this year has been spectacular.  All the fire colours lining the fields.  Glorious.  Exciting.  Inspiring.