Monday 31 May 2010

Beautiful Bonsai

These are the rest of the photos I took of my Dad's Bonsai trees. he has a whole tiny forest! Next time I visit I want to take some dolls to pose amongst the trees. I did try to grow one myself once, but I didn't really know what I was doing so it didn't really work. I would love to have one though. I was tackling the real garden today, after being inspired by some gardens we visited yesterday, as part of the open gardens scheme. I will share some photos tomorrow. The last place we visited was like my dream home. It was the studio and home of a sculptor, and was full of her work, and all sorts of collections of interesting things. It had a little roof garden overlooking a kind of log cabin house, and the house to which it had been gate house in the past. The garden part was entered through a small gate set into a larger one, and was walled. It was up a little out of the way lane called The Hermitage. All of the gardens were in the area near to Horniman Museum which is on top of a huge hill, so they all had amazing views.

Sunday 30 May 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

Clematis and Alliums enjoying the sun this week.
For more shadows from around the world, visit HeyHarriet here.

Saturday 29 May 2010

Bald Doll and a Visit

This is one of two dolls I am working on at the moment and I love how their faces are turning out. They are based on Queen Anne dolls. I am going to experiment with ageing them, but I quite like the clean look of the paint now. I am going to use very shiny varnish on their eyes to try to make them look like glass. I like the bald stage of a doll. I never really plan how to do the hair and then I get to this point and think 'Oh, hair, hmm, or shall I just leave them bald?'

Today we visited Dad and Joan. We had a lovely walk down to the village (on this website the google street view is the road we walked down!) to see an exhibition of Kent artists' work, have a quick browse in the bric-a-brac and a half of bitter in the pub. Then back for a delicious lunch. This is one of Dad's bonsai trees. He is a man of many interests, and bonsai has been one for a long time, so he has a great collection. He is a really good gardener so I don't know what happened to me!

This is the enticing entrance to the barn where the exhibition was held. The barn is about 600 years old. It makes a great exhibition space. This is the view from the barn across the pond. There was a variety of work as you would expect. I didn't get a catalogue so cannot link to any artists apart from this one. She made lovely circus themed ceramics and paintings which I really liked. I also took a fancy to a painting of a lobster, and a raku cat. No purchases were made today though!

I hope your weekend is going well!

Thursday 27 May 2010

I love...

Little dogs picked up from the street by Andy which are just perfect for the dolls houses and which are the best kind of present.
Foxes around the place. They are out and about day and night and I love seeing them. This one is a school fox,  and was spotted by the children after lunch, enjoying the sunshine.

Finishing things. This is the nearly finished display for the wild things-I just need to get a child to do Max tomorrow and the two girls who painted the fish to stick eyes onto them. It is next to the bed I showed last week.
Blackbirds singing to me after work.
I do feel mainly better now thanks. Just the sore throat.
A child in my class has glandular fever so I am wondering if that is what I have.

Wednesday 26 May 2010


Weeds, Kitten and flowers. All growing madly and loving the sunshine.
This weed is Green Alkanet I have discovered tonight.
It is a nuisance in the garden but is so pretty. In the description I read it is
supposed to like damp shady spots. Not true! It grows anywhere. The flowers are edible though and would look lovely on a salad or little cakes.
Cassie about to eat grass.
I don't know the variety of Iris but I love them. I have to go out
morning and night as the flowers go so quickly.
I have kind of missed the last few sunny days as I have had flu,
but I have taken photos each day.

Tuesday 25 May 2010


They travelled all the way from here and so were very tired when they got to my house. But they had their own seven up, so things were not all bad. They are looking forward to moving into their new house as soon as the lazy giant who owns it actually does some renovation. Until then, they are happy to live in and around their little box, with their magical menagerie.
Thank you Linda Sue!
The words are from one of my favourite songs-though they are slightly wrong.

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Lovely Things

This week is rushing by in a whirl of busyness (is busyness right or is it business?!) and I am quite exhausted already! We had a staff meeting tonight about developing our new curriculum, where a teacher from another school talked to us about his school's experience. It was inspiring but I have to ask myself, have I got the energy?
Yesterday I had a lovely evening talking dolls, blogging and other things with Deirdra who is on a grand tour of Europe with her very talented husband John. We took her home to where she is staying with friends, and were treated to a small concert from John! Also Deirdra took some lovely photos of my dolls. I want a bigger and better camera so I am saving up! These are two of my favourites. Deirdra and I have done a doll swap, though I will have to be patient waiting to meet her doll!
The second mosaic is two of my favourite moments from Forest School today. Two of the children rushed over to me this morning and said they had a secret. I followed them and they showed me this 'Mummy bird' in her nest. The second half of the picture is Serena's Mum hiding in the nursery garden, to secretly watch her daughter at Forest School. Serena is visually impaired, and her Mum freely admits that she is very over protective-as you would be. She was very worried about Serena doing F.S. but we reassured her. Serena loves it! Jenny, who works with her, showed Mum (who's name escapes me at this second!) some pictures of her there in the last couple of weeks, climbing the steps, running and laughing. Her Mum said to me this morning that the pictures made her cry! It was really touching to hear her talk about it and so this picture makes me smile-and feel good about Forest School too!

Sunday 16 May 2010


Cassie recovering after a lively morning rushing around chasing flies.
Euphorbia 'Black Pearl' in the rain.

Photoshop mosaic with vintage writing overlayed.

A snail enjoying the rain, but heading towards the roof.
Reports done-23
Reports to do-17

Saturday 15 May 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

Shadowy Physalis. For more shadows, visit Hey Harriet here.

Friday 14 May 2010

What I have been listening to today

These are two short videos of our resident Robin, who, if I prayed, I would pray for. He comes and makes this noise -which seems like a warning noise to me-every evening. The cats sit and watch him. I don't know if there is a nest nearby. He doesn't seem scared though-I was only about four feet away at one point.

The other video is some lantern seed pods I have had since last year which are now outside-they are hanging over two mobiles I made-one from years ago and the other from quite some time ago too. The wind is making the lanterns look possessed I think!

The sound of the robin has come out really strangely. Oh well! But on the plus side, you can play them all at once!

Thursday 13 May 2010

Cassie Etc

Look at Cassie all grown up! She is about twice as big I would say. Twice as silly too. She fell in the pond today. She goes out for a while each evening and hates to come in again. She doesn't understand the cat flap yet, eats the big girls' food, and bullies Lily. She loves it when the printer prints something, and rushes onto the table to see. She is also fascinated by shower curtains, and likes to be swished around the floor on one!
Recent journal pages. I would like to make one of these Queen Anne type dolls-especially since seeing such lovely ones in 'Prims' magazine. Maybe in the summer. I would like to make an Alice doll too. I am nearly half way through my reports. I come home each night and write two, which takes me about an hour and a half to two. I have an idea for a whole new way of reporting to parents next year that is more ongoing and less soul destroying. It will involve photos, quotes, sweet pictures and other lovely memorabilia of their child's first school experiences. I really hope my managers like the idea!
I like the combination of the colours in these pages.
"Where The Wild Things Are" continues at school. Here are today's monsters and the role play area we made this week for Max's bedroom.

Tomorrow we make the sea.

Wednesday 12 May 2010

A Squirrel's House

It was Forest School today, and Catherine rushed over to tell me that she had found a squirrel's house! She knocked on the door but he wasn't home. We hope he will be next time!
I altered this face, with the hope of merging it with a dandelion. I am still merging but it is not turning out quite as I had hoped! It is weird trying to do painting electronically-weird but addictive-and has the great advantage of no mess!
Not altered-just a lovely dandelion.
And another one. In the mess that is the garden, there are some lovely tiny sights.
I love this plant-I think it is called Cerinthe. It self seeds, and nothing seems to deter it. It has such strange colouring-each flower looks slightly different, as if it had been painted with watercolours.

Monday 10 May 2010

Edna, Owl, Clarice and Pamela find new environments

Edna in Nap Wood. This one made me laugh when I first saw the effect!
The oil pastel owl in my friends' garden.

Clarice and Pamela floating over a sunset on Blackheath.
I have discovered the rubber tool, and how to get rid of the rubbed out background. I think I discovered this for myself, using knowledge gained from other parts of the class.
I don't normally say this, thinking that it is up to you, but they look much better if you enlarge them by clicking on them. Especially Edna!

Saturday 8 May 2010

Photoshop Fun

Tiger is enhanced in a garish way.
Butterflies dominate a grey sky.
Stars obliterate my feet.
Butterflies and pretty frames surround the snowy park.
This one is less frivilous.
Trying out the brushes.
Photoshop brushes, free downloadable brushes that have to go in special, almost secret folders on your computer, variations in colour and opacity. The list of amazing things that photoshop does just goes on and on.