Tuesday, 26 August 2014

No Title

No title for this post as the things in it bear little relation to each other apart from they have all been photoshopped. I was going to call it 'Photoshopping Life' but that sounds as if I am going to write something enlightening or clever which I am not. I was also going to call it 'Island Graffiti' as there is some, but that is not all there is.  
 This little bird and lots of others like it were running around the beach. It is a Turnstone. I had not heard of these before. It is called this as it turns stones over looking for food. Nice literal name!
 The bins along the sea wall have been decorated. 
 The green weed growing on the wooden groyne is a similar colour to the bins. 
 This is the still life for my next doll picture. This is a very small doll, which I think came from Linda Sue. He is very smart in his black suit and bow tie, just ready for dinner with all the white china characters. All from charity shops apart from the cat jug which was a present from Jenny, my sister in law. The rabbit teapot's parts do not seem to match. The china looks different and the head is very loose, so somewhere there must be another body and another head. I hope they are together too.
 On the left are the four Amineko cats I have just finished making for my friend Sarah in Holland. Two, purple and pink for the daughters of her friend. One, variegated pink and white, for another friend's baby, and the brown one for her mother in law. I hope they like them. The other two are mine. They had to come out of hibernation to remind me about the positions of limbs and features, so deserved to be in the photo.  I love making these cats as they always turn out so cute. I am making another one from variegated 'fairisle' effect yarn for me. I think I will take it on our trip to Amsterdam in September, to help with photos. We are meeting Linda Sue and Stella there. I can't wait! The book I have just finished reading is partly set there although I do not want to have any similar experiences to the character in it. It is 'The Goldfinch' by Donna Tartt and I absolutely loved it. I don't read reviews before I read a book or watch a film as they are likely to spoil it and I like to be surprised and make up my own mind. I have read a few of this book this evening, and people seem to love it or hate it, not much in between. It is 781 pages long, and a book that big would normally take me a long time to read, but I have finished it in about a week and a half as I couldn't stop. I have not been so concerned to find out what happened to a character since reading 'David Copperfield' I am going to go back to the book I abandoned halfway through to start 'The Goldfinch' which I was enjoying, although not in the same feverish way! It is about Katherine Routledge, who, with her husband, organised an expedition to Easter Island in 1910, to investigate and document the history of the island, statues and people. I read a book about her (Among Stone Giants by Jo Anne Van Tilburg, and wanted to read about it all in her own words. I read this book because it was one of the influences mentioned by Jeannette Winterson on her novel The Stone Gods, another book I really enjoyed. I often go off on book chases like this, where one thing leads to another, and they all lead to yet more books in the house!)
I think the thing that makes these cats work so well as the cutest things, is the way they are asleep. Sleeping kittens, puppies, babies, all unbearably sweet!

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Olympic Park

This is a post from a while ago which I forgot about. It was sunnier than today when Andy and I went to Sheppey for a bank holiday trip. It was very wet but fun. We had fish and chips in the car and a walk on the beach too so it was worth it. The olympic park visit  was on the last Saturday of term. I met Caroline and Cheryl, and we spent a lovely day there chatting and sitting in the sun. 












Sunday, 24 August 2014

This Week

The fennel looked good against the blue sky. 
I drove to Hastings with my friend, and we stopped at Hawkhurst briefly. The green there is enormous, and looked picturesque with the houses and sky.
A door in Hastings. Love the colours, and the bat knocker. 
The bottom of the lift up the cliff. 
A crow family who I didn't buy as they were £18! Could always make some if I was desperate. 
A scary 3D medical poster thingammy. 
Seagulls like soft tops. They enjoy leaving presents for the returning owners. These are the babies, though you may not guess it from their size. They make a pathetic mewling sound waiting for their parents to return with fish-or chips.
An approaching storm as we were leaving. 
This is the third of my doll portrait pictures. I decided to paint or draw all my dolls. This should keep me busy! This doll is from the travelling doll project. She is cuddling a teddy that Linda at work gave me. He does have eyes but I have not painted them yet.
Yesterday we saw this ice cream van with spelling mistake. Such a shame when people have paid for professional sign writers and they still do not get it right!
The ingredients for the healthy soup I made. It is sweet potato with whatever else was around. I used ginger powder, coriander powder and chilli. Probably would be nicer with fresh ginger but I didn't have any. It was, and still is, very tasty! I loved all the colours on the plate of chopped vegetables.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Haybales on Blackheath

Not what I expect to see in London. It explains the tractor I had seen the day before though. These were there on Friday and gone on Saturday. There is a farm not that far away so maybe they were taken there to feed the donkeys. The crows were having a good day-maybe eating worms woken up by all the hay making noise. 



 I love the way crows do that hopping half flying run. They are wary but don't seem scared somehow.
 I like this silhouette of a flying crow. I only had my phone so not great focus but the shape is there.

New Job Number 1

I spent the last two weeks working for Arty Party at Blackheath. I really enjoyed it, though I am glad that I have two weeks left to potter around and get jobs done now! The theme was Mexico and the children made all sorts of great things, a small selection of which are below. The kids were lovely and all the adults were too. It was interesting to be working with mainly artists, all of whom have interesting and varied lives, doing lots of different jobs. The best thing was there was no stress. I was not in charge and there was no pressure, apart from getting the work finished. There were roughly thirty children each day with six adults which is a very manageable ratio. The place we were working in was a church hall. It is a lovely light building, and has a great garden which included a climbing tree and places to hide, run and generally just be children! If I continue to do supply for more than a year, which, at the moment I am seriously contemplating, then I should be able to get by in the holidays by working for this group. They seem to be very busy so hopefully there should be opportunities to do so. 
Day of the Dead printing. 
This is a faceboard though this child just chose to put eye holes. They could do anything related to the theme for this one.
Frida Kahlo pictures. The one above is more like one of the originals, and the one below in the style of, featuring this girl's own cat. I love the way she did the cat, and it reminds me of Cassie.
 Papier mache cacti waiting to be painted. 
Finished cacti. 
A little Day of the Dead figure made of plasticine, ready to go in a Retablo. 

Sombreros!
One corner of the hall. 
 Views of the garden. 

 This was taken on the day we had a massive thunderstorm. The grass was soaked and the hall sprung a couple of leaks!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Froglets

I thought I had made up the name 'froglet', but it is either 'a small kind of frog', or 'a tiny frog that has recently developed from a tadpole'. 
 These froglets are waiting for relocation to the pond, from the yard. Our garden is on three different levels, and is is a long way down to the yard from the pond if you are a tiny frog. When it rains heavily lots of them go adventuring and then I have to rescue them. I am getting quite good at it. It is not like catching a big frog, as it is easy to hurt them. My technique is to make them jump into the dustpan, by touching them and then putting them in this bin, the bottom of the shredder, which is just high enough that they can't jump out. Unfortunately Cassie has taken an interest in them recently and brings them down to play with. Some of them have survived but she is not interested in their survival.
I don't know when Andy bought this wine but it is fitting. And froglet sounds even cuter in French!