Total Pageviews

Friday, 14 December 2012

Christmas cleaning...

Today, feeling like a cleaning demon. In the kitchen is a giant and ancient pine cupboard (or press) which contains everything you would find in a pantry, and other stuff too. My usual method for inserting more 'stuff' into this cupboard is to stretch out my arms and shove everything backwards a bit, and place the new 'stuff' at the front. Consequently, and approximately annually, I have to remove absolutely everything and root out the nightmare contents from the back..... Its scary. So, today was the day! Among the many frightening contents I had 4 open bags of sugar, two open bottles of golden syrup, an empty brown sauce, several jars of jam with furry coats, and last years almost empty jar of mincemeat which had formed its own civilisation and government. All now arranged into military order, date order, type order and any other order I could think of. All scary stuff consigned to chicken gullets and turkey fattening purposes.
On a roll, also cleaned the deep fat fryer, fridge, cookery bowl cupboard and removed the more intrusive cobwebs from the kitchen ceiling. Come visit now. Quickly. Before the chaos reasserts itself......
College stuff being marked as I type. Have floated through anxiety into a kind of peace out the other side. Flying above the worry now. If I don't pass I'm not re-sitting. I shall spend my time cleaning...
Excited about my boys coming home, and a few days with the lovely Daisy. Also have a Christmas house guest who is working locally over the festive period. He is most welcome. Pups growing, now nearly 5 weeks old. Still gorgeous.
Have dusted off my Ugly Christmas Sweater for another year - can hardly wait to appear in full sartorial splendour.
If we don't see you over Christmas and the New Year we wish you, one and all, a peaceful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
13th December 2012 - 7am. Over the fields
Same morning. Home

Sunday, 9 December 2012

birdwatchers paradise?

Twitcher alert: look at our birdfeeder! Assuming they are residents of the Parrot Sanctuary about 4 miles from here. Alternatively, I could have been transported to some equatorial paradise whilst I was asleep. Unlikely.

Less successfully, trying the self timer again, prior to last night's dinner dance. Showing a bit of leg there old girl! Also, I was wearing a pair of 6 inch platform shoes in nude patent. Eat your heart out Kate Middleton!! Never too old. Well, almost never...
Last week at skool before Christmas break, which will bring a welcome respite from the travelling. However, expecting to see an awful lot of Louth as I try to manage the renovation of a small victorian cottage. Exciting times.
The puppies are 4 weeks old, cute as buttons and walking quite well now. Have cleaned out dog shed so that they can go outside during the day for short breaks. They need more space to run and fight and its too cold in the garden for smalls. Also, within the next week, I shall need a break from them too!
Dinner dance next Saturday too, then a dinner party, a London gallery trip and a house party prior to Christmas. Our own Ugly Sweater party will take place after Christmas. Dusting off the trusty old woollies in preparation. Hoping both sons will be present to see old friends.
The Farmer has pulled his back/spine, and is hobbling around stooped over like an old person. He's not very impressed. Hoping that a bit of R&R will see him right before Christmas is upon us. Otherwise, I shall be treating him to a Physio visit as a christmas gift. Blaming the cold and trying to do things that were easy when he was 20, but less so at 50!
Turkeys looking large and well-fed in the shed. Feeling pretty guilty about their impending fate.... will let you know how it progresses. First task for big boy when he returns from University will be to despatch one with kindness, bleed it,  pluck it, and hang it outside at 4-6 degrees until Christmas Eve. I shall do the rest...... (those white, frozen lumps in the Supermarket freezer suddenly looking a bit more appetizing!!)
Mucho, mucho XXX

Monday, 3 December 2012

halfway up the stairs....

Almost half-way through my degree. If I pass at Christmas! Have gathered together all this term's work, and am almost ready to present it for marking. Have handed in my written work, and begun researching a new body of work for January 2013. It's going to be an uncomfortable subject for some people. Those of a sensitive disposition look away now. Female genital mutilation. I'm going to make some art around this very difficult and emotive practice. No-one promised that my art would be either beautiful, or tame, so brace yourselves for a difficult set of images in the spring. Historically, artists have used their skill to shine a light on a multitude of issues - social, political, religious etc. So, if I can achieve it, I'm joining the Activism bandwagon. And if it makes just one viewer think about FGM, maybe it will be worthwhile. *sigh*. Just removing myself from my soapbox now.

Other news! Pups growing, new owners being regularly updated. Christmas shopping just about done, some baking required. Tree up on account of busy calendar. Cards written...... some addressing and posting may need to be achieved.......

I thought I had a stack of photos on this machine, with which to beautify this blog. Sadly, I can't seem to find them. Therefore....

That's all folks! X

Saturday, 24 November 2012

sickly end to the week

Well, here's the almost finished piece. I am surprised by how much I have enjoyed both creating it, and also considering the multitude of interpretations it engenders. Keeping looking, keep thinking.

Farrier came on Monday for the yellow horse, who managed to hold onto all four of his shoes prior to the change, for a change. What happened on Tuesday and Wednesday? I have absolutely no idea... just a minute, let me think, no, I am sure, the weather was absolutely ghastly, and I stayed rooted to the kitchen table on Tuesday working on my skool essay, and professional practice notes. Wednesday found me in a junior School again, for my final Workshop. This week I took peacock and pheasant feathers with me for a sketching class, and also an entire pheasant wing ('Oooh Miss that's really horrible - can I hold it?') and a dead but complete and perfect dragonfly. The children worked beautifully, once again, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with them. I may go back in the New Year as a honoured guest!

Thursday found me at College, polishing the above piece, ordering wire to make more models of 'ladyparts' and in a tutorial assessing my 'Masturbation as a Performance' essay. I am living life on the wild side!

Friday, Friday. Early start at College on Fridays in a Professional Practice Tutorial, and I felt really ropey by the time I arrived. By the end of the session I was wobbly dizzy and the proud possessor of a heap of jaw hinge pain. Tottered off home, breaking the journey to rest and pull myself together. Still feeling under the weather. I don't much like not being at full strength!

Now for the plusses. A lovely lady who had one of last litter's pups came this morning and has spoken for the 'big girl' puppy, as a companion for her dog. They will look like peas in a pod. Lords know how she will get on with two hairy,, wild beasts in her tiny car!

Second girl has just been reserved by a lovely family in Richmond near London, and the chocolate boy has three families waiting, the first family considering photos as I type. Fudge, my lovely cocker, it might be your last litter, but you have made lots of families very happy indeed.

I have mucked out my studio shed, which seemed to be full of an accumulation of art materials that no-one (i.e. me) had put away all summer. All spic and span now, and the stove lit just for the hell of it. Evening beckons, my swimming head needs an early night (and possibly a brandy). Let's hope tomorrow brings a full recovery.

This week brought me a minor laptop catastrophe, and my Samsung laptop (19 months old, out of warranty) is now languishing, unloved, and back to factory settings so completely and utterly wiped. Lots of photos lost and corrupted, and rescued documents all over the place on assorted memory sticks and sd cards. Sometimes, I hate technology. What I need is a state of the art Mac. What I can have is the use of Hugh's little Dell. Oh well. Keep on dreaming! Just spoke to the Big Boy on the phone. He's alive. And he tells me his brother was with him last night, so can confirm, at least last night, that Baby Boy alive too. Good to know. I did ask when he would be home for Christmas. He's considering a night or two in London prior to Lincolnshire, and thinks he might go to Edinburgh for New Year. Oh, to be young, footloose and fancy free....

Mucho (in a sickly kind of way) X

Sunday, 18 November 2012

6 days old and lookin' fine

Everyone now more or less recovered from the casearean trauma. The lady herself is taking normal walks and slipping off for a bit of light rabbitting. I think, therefore, that we can assume that she is feeling much more herself. She has plenty of milk, and the pups are, once again, growing before our eyes. I think that one of them is already spoken for, although the prospective owner doesn't know whether to choose the brown boy or a black girl. She's coming next weekend to decide. The remaining two will be £600 each, to lovely homes. Would I say no to a doubtful home? You bet I would.

Today I baked a cake which probably rates as the best I have ever lifted from the oven. Looked like a photograph and tastes amazing. Lime & poppyseed. Wierd, slightly crunchy texture and tastes like a dream. Its all very well me practicing my baking, but I then have to consume the outcome. Therein lies the problem. Pity.

Off to fetch in the hippo-like yellow horse for another spin around the country lanes. Frost lifting and it bodes fair to be a wonderful day.

Adieu. X

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Did another stint at School for my Professional Practice yesterday. On arrival I spied this display on the wall of the corridor. Chuffed? I nearly burst.
Have been working on this wall art in my college studio for some time (just the red mannekins). Today I decided it needed something more. Therefore, I created this opening, which I shall paint white tomorrow, and cut out some red mannekins to be rushing to and from the orifice. Interesting. Any similarity you can see to anything else at all is purely purposeful.
The arrival of the new puppies means that we are hardly getting any sleep, so, for now, that's it folks. Mucho, mucho. X

Friday, 9 November 2012

Waiting, waiting, waiting

Monday saw me join 7 other Fine Art students for a 'group crit'. We wandered around each other's studio spaces alternatively supporting and criticising each other's work. I was the final student of the 8. By then I felt so crushed by the skills of my fellow students that if I had had a match in my pocket I would have set fire to my space to save myself the embarrassment of public scrutiny! The gods know how I will cope with full public inspection and comments next year! As it happens, my fellow artists were very, very kind, I think they took pity on me, and I shall be chasing some of them up for further tips and advice later in the year!

Tuesday found the Farmer and me inspecting the brown cocker closely, and deciding not to go too far from home for the next few days. More news about her in a later blog.

And on Wednesday: I delivered my Art Workshop to a lovely bunch of 10 and 11 year olds for the first time! I had sooooo much gear I couldn't carry it all. We discussed potraiture, they produced some wonderful artistic interpretations, and then, I read The Jumblies by Edward Lear to them to close the session. It was a joy. Returning next week for more of the same. Excited already.

Thursday and Friday have found me missing college, and sitting at home, mostly looking at the brown dog. Also, in momentary lapses of concentration, banging words into the laptop in some sort of order for my 'big 2nd year' essay about masturbation in performance art. Its coming together nicely. And, additionally, the more research I do into this quite tricky subject, the less alarming it seems as a performance. I emailed a young artist who 'did it' in 2004 whilst he was still at college, and bless his cotton socks, he emailed back within half an hour to give me a little bit of first hand info on why and how etc! My hero.

So, the weekend starts here. Dining with ladies tonight, though hoping for an emergency call home vis-a-vis the brown dog. An invitation to a wonderful firework event tomorrow evening hangs in the balance vis-a-vis the brown dog, and Sunday should find us meeting up with our baby boy and the lovely D in Lincoln, where he is taking his team of novice rowers for their first competitive outing. Unless, of course, the brown dog prevents that too. Ho hum. Fingers crossed one way and another.

my lovely little school artists at work
another giant doll, her head was under construction! I have also bought her a much nicer little rara dress. Photo in later blog.
the little one-eye doll enjoying herself down on the farm! She might have to bring a few friends...
Off for my dinner date I go, hi-ho, hi-ho. X

Sunday, 4 November 2012

8th week, first semester

Weeelllll, time keeps marching onwards. Seem to be about half way through the first half of my second year as a Fine Art Student. Still finding it hard to believe:

1. that I gave up working to go to University in my 50's.
2. that Fine Art does not appear to be related to learning much about my own drawing and painting techniques.
3. that Art (including mine) encompasses so much absolutely unbelievable rubbish.

There. I have said it. Sometimes, in the dark of the night, I reflect on the stuff I am producing now and feel a great wave of anxiety and disappointment. Other times, its exciting and entralling. What a switchback journey. Here's a taste of last week's work:
Playing with size and scale, I have made/am making a few of the mannekins at 7ft tall! It's quite a different experience meeting them when they are  'embiggened'!
Two photographic sessions in a fully equipped studio setting with the small mannekins. Trying to work with shadows was one theoretical idea. A bit dissapointing really - I think that each doll is such an interesting little story in its own right, that bundled together with its mates it just becomes a confusion of pattern and colour. Loving the focus on faces though.
The 'Big Wahoonie'. This frame is 120cmx120cm, so quite large on the wall. It has not been particularly well received as a completed piece of work for a variety of reasons. The cut outs are not exact in their lines, and I have wired 2/3 of the front as a slight and fragile representation of barriers or confinement, which is considered not to be 'working'. Even the structure itself, with the hardboard back and forward framing has not escaped criticism. *sigh*. Back to the drawing board!
After a group 'crit' on Monday (practically quaking in my boots about that), all the cut-out mannekin work is being taken down and put away until marking, which, I think, occurs just prior to Christmas. After that, well, I guess it's going to be the big fire again!!!! Must remember to film the destruction this time. Making work out of work. Marvellous.
After long consideration, and much background research around contemporary performance and body art, I have made a surprising (to me) choice for the subject of my 3500 word essay. Brace yourselves. Its going to be some sort of analysis and discussion about masturbation as performance. Yup. You read that right. Any number of 'artists' do it in public on the slightest of pretexts. Sometimes even on very creditable grounds..... this learning curve is sssttttteeeeeeeeeppppppp!!!!!!
Signing off, slightly dejectedly, think of me reading all that arty porn....X

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Weirding me out

She's bald, over 7ft tall, and she is the first part of my new art project. I am duplicating some of the small dolls my friends were kind enough to make. However, mine are not small dolls they are giants. towering over most humans, intimidating and unexpected. I hope that they will create a feeling of unease and discomfort. I'll do my best! This one looks peaceful perched on the little sofa, she will look less comfy when she is tightly bound, and hung by the neck. Yikes. Who knows what direction this body of work will take, or if I will ever be able to settle for peaceful, beautiful painting again! Sooooo exciting. XXX

Thursday, 25 October 2012

a year older, probably not any wiser

It was our wedding anniversary this week, followed two days later by my birthday. So, its been quite a week for celebrations. The Farmer bought me tickets to see Rhod Gilbert for my birthday, and then manfully accompanied me on the outing. Hilarious. Great show. I seem to have received enough gifts of gin to last me approximately a year and enough flowers to fill a florist's outlet. Also, scarf, jewellery roll, biscuits, money..... goodness its been fun!

Pulled this mesh sculpture together at college today. Am hoping to fill it with more small mannekin figures. Its all going a bit critical with the tiny figures. They are everywhere, including my dreams. Wierd, quite, quite wierd.

Our bloomin' dishwasher is on the blink once again, so its fate is sealed - off to the scrap pile, and the search is on for a new one. The Farmer does not much like washing up!

Dreading the firework season, which is almost upon us. The yellow horse hates them. The dogs hate them, and, come to think about it, I am not that keen either. A neighbouring property is holding quite a large event, so I just hope the horse survives the trauma in one piece. Cross your fingers.

Farmer has just popped the cork on a bottle of champagne, so must run (and grab a glass....)X

Sunday, 21 October 2012

dragonfly suicide

My friend recently speculated about the fate of dragonflies when they die. When she opened her back door into the farmyard the following morning look what was on her doorstep! Obviously, the god of dragonflies heard her thoughts, and voila! It is a perfect specimen. She's trying to think of a method of preservation. I suspect the wings will fall off.
Whilst waiting for the Farmer to complete his ablutions I learned a little about the camera's self timer. It turns out that 10 seconds is not quite enough time to set the camera, gallop round our kitchen table, straighten hair and clothing and then pose. Fun though!
We went to Sheffield for a meal last night, and then drove home at midnight with a monster cockerel in the dog cage in the back of the car. Its a long story, however, we are hoping that Rodney (Rodders to his friends) will have a long and happy life here with our ladies. At 5pm the 100 mile outward journey quite fun, radio interesting, passing landscape beautiful. At 1am on the homeward leg, radio reduced to the quite hypnotic shipping forecast, and passing points of interest veiled in velvet night. Therefore much struggling to keep eyes open, stopping of car, stretching, complaining and shuffling in seats. Unsurprisingly both the Farmer and I a teensy bit weary this morning. Nevertheless, a lovely night, eyewateringly funny, and company of dear friends most appreciated.
Old people food preparation now underway, and dogs waiting patiently for compensatory long walk in exchange for being ousted to shed last night whilst we were away. So, I'm orf to don walking boots and exercise the weariness away [unlikely, but worth a try?].

Thursday, 18 October 2012

silver mannequins
if you click this link, you might reach a tiny film from Uni. Maybe. X

Competition winner....

Ye gods, just deleted a post I have been scrivening over for 30 minutes. Sigh. Well, here's the plaque for my competition win, which arrived today, closely wrapped with £100 prize money. Whooperty whoop.
Great day at University owing to input from Design Lecturer, who was passing and decided to sit down and talk to me about the contents of my studio. Exciting times.
Much love. X

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

snakes alive!

Just walked the dogs this afternoon, in a gap between rain squalls and gusting wind. As we made our usual flourishing turn into one of the Farmer's meadows I thought I could see over 3ft of black plastic pipe laying in the grass of the gateway. I bent down to pick it up (and carry it back to the farm for disposal). The black plastic pipe looked up at me and flicked a forked tongue in response! Relaxed and happy, the rather well fed snake endured my close inspection of its head and torso, only objecting to dogs in close proximity. When Fudge actually stumbled over the thing, in all ignorance, the snake coiled like a spring, to strike, and I stepped away hurriedly. We did not return by the same route, allowing Mr/Mrs Snake time and space to make a leisurely getaway. What a treat! I assume it was a grass snake, limbering up for some kind of winter hibernation? What I know about snakes could be written on a postage stamp with space to spare!
One further image:
Who wants to use a print room with these facilities? Me neither. However, a quick word with the technician and she arrived, like Cinderella, and spent the afternoon making all clean and beautiful again. She really should go to the ball.

There was a large hawkish bird on the barn roof this afternoon, which rose from its perch with a wailing cry. I know as much about birds of prey as I do about snakes. However, I enjoyed a frisson of excitement as I watched it wheel away. I didn't even try for an image, or the moment would have been lost. I committed it to memory instead.

A snakey tarrah for now chucks! X

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

long time, long time

long time, long time

Where, or where do the days fly to? Possibly south to the sunshine of warmer climes. They are certainly not hanging around for me to luxuriate in them. However. The last two weeks at University have been productive and creative. All my lovely doll contributors will be delighted to know that the fate of the squashies is sealed. I will not reveal it until I am sure that I have the ability to actually produce it, except to say that I am very, very excited. Less successfully, I cannot seem to get my 'print' mojo in gear, and therefore I am pretending that the print room does not exist for now. I close my eyes when I walk past it, and try not to dwell on the creative vacuum that lurks for printmaking in my world. My 'snippets of fabric' collection requires another 250 samples to complete the piece that they are attached to. The entire operation of locating 600 tiny pieces of fabric, no two the same, sometimes feels like an impossible task. If I ask you repeatedly if you have a scrap fabric bag, and can I share it, just nod and smile. I will move onwards to another victim....

Am beginning to think about a subject for my 3500 word essay. Its likely to be contemporary body and performance art. This may well encompass an artist who masturbated below a false floor as his performance in a gallery, and another who covered himself in his own excrement prior to masturbating and then vomiting. I kid you not. Its a journey of discovery. Just researching at the moment. It needs a strong stomach and a broad mind.

The farmer and I have snatched a weekend away near Battle and Hastings, mostly thanks to the kindness of our lovely niece Emily. She gallantly drove over twice a day and exercised/fed the hounds. Without this assistance we could not have made the weekend, so are truly grateful (as were the dogs...). Photos follow:
the Farmer & Mr Black singing in the rain
Mr and Mrs Black sheltering from a downpour in the crypt.
Myself, at the end of a long day. Tired, muddy and looking like a tramp. Enjoying the only bit of sunshine against the walled garden wall (can I write that?) When I stood up some sort of alarming weed had deposited thousands of tiny, sticky seeds all over my back and bum, and I'm still picking them out of the wool of the jacket. I know it wasn't there when I sat down.....
The driest soldier in the army...
We attended a huge re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings. In the rain. And the mud. And the cold. All day. In fact, despite everything the weather could throw at us, quite a happy and exciting time was had by all. And the re-enacters, all 1000 of them, were absolutely marvellous.
Adieu, adieu for now.

Monday, 1 October 2012

final canvas in set of 6

Well folks, here's my first 'set' of work, the final canvas finished today (the one that looks like an ammonite from a distance!). There's a red suede mannekin on each canvas. If you have the opportunity I would be delighted to hear youR thoughts, good or bad.
I am now beginning 'The Big Wahooney', a single piece, identical theme, but rather larger. Will keep you posted.
*singing now* 'Three more dolls arrrived today, doodah, doodah. Three more dolls arrived today, doodah, doodah, day'. And its not too late folks. If anyone out there in webland feels they could make a doll to a very simple pattern,( the doll to be the canvas on which to illustrate the feelings you have about a very important relationship) Just get sewing. Or knitting. Or even just cutting out and pinning. It will have many, varied, and very emotional friends......
So, a productive and fulfilling day today. Two printing subjects being prepared, one silk screen and one collagraph, which I should be able to work on later this week or early next.
However, I woke up with a migraine, and am drugged up to the nines tonight, so perhaps an early night might be in order. So for now, au revoir, and GET SEWING!!! xxxxxx

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

new blog, new art

James the poodle now has his own blog at He's looking forward to posting!

Are we liking this? Another student commented that it reflected exactly her emotions: hanging on by a thread. Perceptive. I was thinking of 'floating or falling?' Am in process of creating a new one in black, different pattern of cutouts- 'sinking or swimming?'. On a roll with this one. Slightly afraid that when I have run out of puff for cutting out little man shapes I will be an empty vessel, with nothing left in my head. Here's hoping that I have more creativity hiding around my metaphorical mental corner....

James had a ladyfriend over for 'relations' two days ago. She returned today, but was not allowed in as she was discovered to be unwell on arrival. Sadly James had already spotted her over the garden wall, and was absolutely devastated not to be able to get closer. If it wasn't so funny it would be tragic. He cried, wailed, howled and generally behaved like an unruly youth. Good job he's only as big as a cat. Picked him up and shut him in the kitchen where he sulked until the disappointment faded. Poor little bugger. He's relaxing on the kitchen sofa now, with his head on a cushion. It's not a bad life.

Big boy sorting out his new home in Newport, struggling with setting up utility accounts etc. Boiler was broken and immersion fused on arrival, so he has his hands more than overflowing. Excellent, character building stuff. Particularly lack of hot water, heat and internet.

The farm is to welcome some temporary guests this week, in the form of a flock of sheep. They will be eating off all the grassy areas, and fertilizing the ground. Skipperthewonderhorse was boggle eyed at the fence erectors, so goodness knows how freaked out he will be when the critters actually arrive. He will probably have some sort of equine heart attack. He is afraid of sheep, and they are going to be in full view of his entire field boundary. Next door neighbours in fact. What fun. Also wondering what the dogs will make of it. Hoping there will be lots of electricity in their fence, not to keep them in, but to keep the hounds out.

Have enjoyed a lazy day which included a nap in front of the log burner. Bliss.

Adieu X

Friday, 21 September 2012

4 canvasses in a 6 picture set, although the multi-fabric one is a few men short in its crowd owing to a lack of about 20 tiny pieces of different fabrics. The left hand canvas has silver foil men on it, which are frail and light, and waver slightly in air movement. Absolutely delightful (as far as I can see, anyway!). More dolls promised, and discussed their fate today, nothing decided though. Having a weekend away from the scissors (quite a relief) and researching print ideas for media development. Popping along to Lincoln on Sunday morning (I hope) to view a collage exhibition! Who knew such a thing existed.

 Received a postcard from the baby boy and D today, so obviously still alive, and still exploring Cornwall and its environs.

 Big boy really piddled off as his car has failed its MOT owing to a high emmissions reading. *sigh*. Therefore, investigating mechanic has blank cheque to track down problem and solve. As boy wanted to depart for University tomorrow, he is now being held in Lincolnshire practically against his will. Its not pretty! Hoping vehicle will be ready Monday, or at the latest Tuesday. This does mean he is missing the best of "sh*g a fresher week". Sad but true. Life, sometimes, is very hard when you are 21!!!!!

Mucho xxx

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Professional Practice. Two words to strike fear in the heart of an elderly art student..... However, I have managed to find an opportunity to go into a local junior school and deliver a workshop (eek)! I am busily beavering away making poultry portraits using different media! Here's a cockerel profile in fabric collage coming together...... more work needed.

Have prepared a further two canvasses for more tiny little ragdoll figures. Tutor advises I can keep cutting and sticking until I am sick of it..... I could be some time.

Have given far too much time this week to my Chairmanship of a parish land charity 'for the benefit of the poor'. However, hoping that in the coming years I can progress towards winding it up. Fingers crossed. Much water must pass under the bridge between now and then to achieve this aim.

Baby boy gadding around in Cornwall with the lovely D, staying in a Landmark and also visiting friends, I do hope they enjoy their week of R&R.

Big boy revving up for return to Harper Adams, he's off at the weekend if his poorly vehicle is back from the menders, or Monday/Tuesday if car return is delayed. Think his bags are packed and he is under starters orders. He's keen to be away. Grown out of home now. My heart bleeds quietly.

Farmer ploughing, planning and repairing ready for the winter. Busy, busy, busy.

Gin time at this house, so, for now - CHEERS!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

More dolls

Have just received an email advising that I have won £100 and a plaque as first prize in a Beach hut art competition! Well, that will be welcome. Keep you posted.
Mannekin collection is coming on, here they are in my studio space, awaiting development. If you feel you could spare the time to make one, please, please have a go. She/it needs to reflect your most important relationship in one way or another. Just a snapshot of emotion. They are soooo beautiful, and attracting some attention!
Landscape is the sunrise down on t'farm at 6.30am this morning. At 5 degrees it was refreshing, invigorating and awesome. What a combination to walk the dogs in!
And finally, three canvasses are in progress for my first body of work in the new academic year. Surprisingly satisfied with them so far.
Must rush, 1000 things to do. Mwhahh, mwhaahh......

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

whoooo hooooo

A doll promised in the post, a doll promised on my desk at college tomorrow, a pair of dolls (connected) in my college bag, and one more doll in my hand right now. You read that right. Yeah. Four more dolls in the space of 24 hours. Completely giddy with glee. Come On! *punching the air with delight*. I have a good feeling about these models. Keep them rolling ladies, keep them rolling in. And. Of course. THANK YOU, THANKYOU, THANKYOU.

PS - Unbelievably, another doll promised for FRIDAY! (bursting with excitement!!)

Monday, 10 September 2012


If you have a complete, half complete, partially begun doll for me I NEED IT NOW!!! I have returned to University for my 2nd year of a Fine Art Practice BA Hons, and those dolls represent the core part of my second year work. All efforts gratefully and gladly received. Its not about the needlework, its about all the feelings pinned in the doll itself. One last big push ladies, one final effort and it will be out.......

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Stylish sunbathing by The Farmer and his faithful dogs...... soooo relaxing. The Baby boy took out a camera last night to capture an absolutely stunning sunset. A bobby-dazzler. Sometimes, we just need to stand and stare. And appreciate what we do have instead of pining for what we don't.
Big Boy still working down on t'farm at home, ploughing to begin shortly. Wheat and barley safe in the shed, and barley weights much better than the poor, shrivelled wheat. Looking forward to waving it away in the lorries so that we can put this miserably disappointing harvest behind us.
Skool starts tomorrow. Car packed and ready for journey. Unbelievably, found I had slack rear tyre tonight, so shall have to do something about that, possibly on the way to University at 8am tomorrow. Typical. Trouble free motoring for 3 months of study break, and now I need a garage. Aargh.
Yellow horse, girl dogs, boy dog all in fine fettle.
Its late. I'm weary. So, bonsoir mes amis.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

possible piece of work for new term at skool

Well, its taken HOURS of drawing, cutting and then sticking. I am really delighted with it. However. Big boy just came in from work and commented that the red mannekin is not in the right place (in his opinion) and the lines are not straight enough. Blah.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Welcome to Hotel Wainfleet

Mr Black, the photographer, caught on film. A rare event. Normally he's the one taking sneaky snaps. Note the lush union jack jacket. I want one. Quite badly!
Mr & Mrs Black, trying to enjoy an afternoon outing to East Kirkby RAF Museum, on a drizzling afternoon, surrounded by half of Lincolnshire.The event took a turn for the better when we realised that we had not, after all,  missed the Battle of Britain air display, which proved to be wonderful.

The Lancaster and the Spitfire - just showing off

Lifted the bonnet on my car and what did I find? Not this, sadly. But I wish I had.
Spent Thursday in Butlins with the two scamps in the red and white hats. We had a whale of a time, and I can heartily recommend it as a day out for lively little people.
Here are the two little boys racing in their Zorbs. Very tiring, apparently....
And this is the beginning of a piece of art for skool. I'm quite excited about the process of its creation!
So, spent Thursday exploring Butlins with 7 year old twins, Friday cleaning with my sister's team at the caravan park and, later, welcoming 6 house guests at home, Saturday cleaning with my sister-in-law and nieces at their Park, and subsequently feeding the Big boy's multitude of guests and speeding them off to enjoy the nightlife of Bank Holiday Skegness. Spent the early hours of Sunday morning listening to the clanking of a bucket and the sound of beer sickness.....,  daylight hours then shared with a huddle of recovering young people, feeding them carefully and treating them gently. As they departed in early evening 4 more guests arrived for Sunday wine quaffing, and finally, this morning, two very welcome guests appeared for a day of chat and catchup. It. Has. Been. Busy.
If only it would DRY UP so that the harvest could be finished (a vain hope at the moment) all would be well in my world. The Baby Boy has zoomed off to spend his two days off with the lovely D and her family Darn Sarf leaving a trail of dirty washing and damp towels behind him.
Big boy still working at home, filling his time with maintenance jobs until the harvest/ploughing happens (could be some time).
Two girl dogs in season, James the poodle mad with passion and spending every waking moment as close as he can to each of them in turn. What heaven for him. It would appear that he may not be quite tall enough to 'do the job' without a box to stand on..... we shall see.
Dolls keep coming in. Every single one of them is sooooo welcome - if you are thinking of producing one, or halfway through production,  I want you to know that she will be very gratefully received if she makes it here. Very. Very.
I have drawn and cut out over 100 teeny white fabric mannequin shapes (with a tiny bit of help from my sis.) ready to attach them to a large white canvas. They are cut on different biases of the fabric so that they curl and curve in different ways, casting inconsistent and interesting shadows on the ground behind. There is a twist to the overall result, and you will have to wait until I post a picture, after it has been assessed at skool. I am really delighted with the progress of the 'doll project' so far, despite the fact that wielding the scissors for so long has caused a hot, red callus to swell up on my scissor finger!
Much to do this week also, including two more days cleaning up after holiday-makers and trying to get to London for the day for a Print Exhibition (how hard can it be to get a day off?). Therefore, and quite breathlessly, I bid you goodnight - XX