Wednesday 28 September 2011

Tidying and Experimenting

First the tidying. Andy is in the process of putting all his Cd's on his ipod. I am in the process of putting all his Cd's in a big box and somehow fitting it in the under stairs cupboard. The cupboard has been sorted as much as possible and the big box is full. He still has more-going in another box-that I took my tools out of-they are now in a 50p vintage suitcase from eBay-99p for two, they are both lovely-lucky score! Anyway, the Cd's have vacated shelf space, so all the stuff on the shelves here-which was on them before but in a very squashed manner, is now displayed. I have managed to fit one of the dolls houses(remember those?-another project uncompleted!) which was taking up a lot of space somewhere else, up there, and the DVDs are alphabetised. This represents Sunday! To be honest, I am not sure how I feel about the newly arranged shelves-I feel a bit like I am living in one of the junk shops I like to visit. If you enlarge the photos you can see some of the things I have accumulated. The oldest thing on there is the little china house up on the right hand side. It is actually a lamp-with an old fashioned plug-from when I was a child. It has a yellow bulb and is a bunny hospital. I love it! To the left of that is our growing collection of OS maps.

First experiment-Making patterns in photoshop-using seaweed from the beach the other day.

Second experiment-Making a lithograph at home. I used the video in this post from Carole's blog. A most interesting process that I don't really understand. I know that the etching process has to do with the alkali soap and the acid coke but apart from that it is a mystery. This was my third attempt and only came out like this, after which I gave up-I am not sure which part of the process was going wrong for me but something was! The biggest mystery is how the parts on the tinfoil plate that look black-and therefore seem to have retained the ink, are not the parts that came out black in the print-the other parts did and the black parts are white. How? Why? !! That, at least, is the same as the video, in that her soap painting was what was printed-and so was mine. Fun process though, despite the faded result. My favourite part was pouring the coke over the soap-it all fizzes up-and then having a quick swig of the coke-art and drinking combined!

After giving up I at least used my black ink by doing a few prints using the glass plate and quick drawings using a glue spreader.

Final experiment-another photoshop one-trying to get a pretty effect with layering. I got an effect but not sure what it is! I used the tinfoil photo, the seaweed and a picture of a lovely morning glory against a blue sky.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Beach Combing

Just a few things-face shaped and triangular stones, bone that looks like a vertebrae, a beautifully weathered enamelled tin lid, part of a crab claw and a piece of plastic.

Monday 26 September 2011

Birds, Sky, Sea,

Just a few more Dungeness photos!

Sunday 25 September 2011

Dungeness Shadows

The weather forecast for yesterday was really good so we decided on a trip to Dungeness. It was like a July day! Unbelievable, and yet some weather people are predicting possible snow in October! We had a lovely day wandering up and down the beach. There is always something interesting to spot there. Yesterday we found two of these creatures on the sand. (I have never been there when the tide is out and didn't realise there was sand! It went out a really long way and was lovely to walk on. If I hadn't been trying to use my camera and carry another find I will show you in a minute, I would have whipped off my walking boots for a paddle as it would have been perfect) I have not looked up what this is yet but it looks like some kind of shark. It has a lovely spotty pattern so I am guessing it is a leopard shark. (That is what I would call it anyway-or maybe a polka dot shark) I felt the skin, as it was quite freshly dead and didn't smell (there seemed to be a wound on the underside which must have been the cause of death). The skin was rough, like a cats tongue, when stroked towards the head, and smooth on the way away from it.

I have now looked it up-it is a Small-spotted Catshark, or lesser spotted dogfish. It is the originator of the mermaid's purses I have found before. See one here found on Sheppey. The shadow below is me with a great beach combing find(Andy found it-he is an expert beach comber!) Who doesn't need an iron arrow? I think it is from a weather vane, but whatever it is from I love it!

The arrow is pointing the way to the sea. I wonder how far it has come? It is very heavy, and shows the power of the sea well by being tossed around as if it was nothing. It was just about buried in the sand, only the tip of the arrow showing.

My last shadows are the delicate ones in amongst the branches of this dried sea kale. (See some here) There were loads and loads of these seed trees, many of them blown up against fences like sea tumbleweed.

For more shadows from around the world, visit HeyHarriet here.

Friday 23 September 2011

Sunrise Construction

This is the construction site for the shooting events venue in the Olympics. The sunrise makes it all look very dramatic. Ironically, for an event supposed to popularise sport, the site has caused the popular cycle route over the common to be closed until it is finished. Ah well, it looks good in the sun.

Thursday 22 September 2011

We Play Together

Old and broken Auto Harp, found in the bin. Lots of enjoyment still in it though, even if it is a bit the worse for wear!

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Amazing Nature

The sights, sounds and smells in my garden this evening.... A crow cawing on the chimney pot, looking down to find who knows what?
The fennel plant absolutely bursting with seeds. I picked some and crushed them in the pestle and mortar. They smell delicious. Andy is going to use some to make some flat bread this weekend. Yum!

The delicate tentacles of the honeysuckle, and its beautiful scent.

The intricacy of the passion flower. I remember when I first saw one of these and how I couldn't quite believe it could exist. And they-well this type at least-grow so easily-as long as they get some sun. There is a little fly on the flower which I only noticed once the photo was uploaded.

The tiger striped beauty of these garden spiders.

I went out there to check on the progress of the squashes. I am not sure when to take them off the plant-if anyone knows this I would be grateful to know! On all of the whole massive plant, there are only two that are big enough to use. Two is better than none though. I just hope my chamomile survives after being used as a squash bed.

Thanks for the lovely face comments below. I wish you could feel the surface of the paint on top of the oil pastel. It is really velvety.

Monday 19 September 2011

Another Face

This is my second go at a face using the oil pastel and gouache as described the other day. I like the way the paint is quite textured and the oil pastel in a yellowy shade shows through.

This is the girl I was using as a model-from a great National Geographic book of portraits I have. Speaking of National Geographic-visit Sam's blog for a heart warming story of a very big and a very tiny creature making friends. While you are there, especially if you like cats, you should have a look at the hilarious video linked to in this post. It is link number 1.

Here the page has rucked up under the wet paint to give her Marcel waves.

This is the final result. Things were not getting any better so I stopped! Quite a weird looking girl in the end! I like the way it looks slightly oil painting like though.

Sunday 18 September 2011

More Pictures!

Salute to the '40s-an event all about the home front in the second world war. This is the edited version of the 300 or so photos I took yesterday. The costumes of all the participants were so good, and there were so many people dressed up, that often it felt like we had time travelled. We visited the dockyard yesterday as we wanted to go out, but not too far away. We had no idea this event was on. I am so glad we happened upon it. A little flash of red links most of these photos.

When water supplies were cut off due to bomb damage, mobile laundries came to the rescue.

A 1940's craft group.

This old sea dog's costume is quite timeless I think.

We always called out food waste bin 'the pig bin' when I was at Primary school.

A hangover from this maybe.

I loved these two men with their little leather suitcases.

This was in the hall where we watched an energetic display of the Lindy Hop.

I really want some utilitarian dungarees!

Mrs Wishy-Washy appears again!

This is a vintage stall selling all sorts of things, including pullovers. All the shoppers, at this second, were also vintage! I gave the pullover I chose to the man on the left to hold, while I went to borrow money from Andy. I thought he was the stall holder. No-he was just helping his friend choose a jumper! I wondered why he gave me such a strange look.