Tuesday 8 October 2013

A busy week or two

My younger daughter has been nagging me for not blogging enough. She tells me it's the only way she can keep tabs on where I am and what I'm doing! I've had a good excuse for being so hopeless lately though. Laura has moved to a new house and is in the middle of relocating her Fingerprint business too. With such a major upheaval it's meant that we've been called on for extra baby minding - not that we're complaining, we love having Amelie and it's been an excellent excuse for a few days out in the Autumn sunshine.

First we went to Dudmaston Hall, a local National Trust property. I can't believe this is on our doorstep but we've never been before. I always enjoy the kitchens, dairies and stables better than the grand houses. That probably says more about me than the houses themselves. If it were Downton I'd no doubt be downstairs rather than upstairs! The buildings in the picture above now house the tearoom and the inevitable gift shop. We only went with the intention of walking the grounds but we were in for a treat; they were celebrating the apple harvest and there were tastings from the cider press as well as all kinds of apple products on sale. Best of all, the Morris Men were out in force.

Both of my girls would have hated it. They have always been embarrassed by my jigging about whenever I hear the music. Find me a pair of clogs, a few ribbons and a flowery hat and I'd have been in there! On such a sunny day it set a jolly mood.

We took advantage of the fine weather and walked across the lawns and around the lake. The intention was to lull Amelie to sleep but of course there were far too many distractions and she could not be persuaded.

Late into the afternoon the Morris Men were still going strong. It takes stamina to keep all that stick banging going!

A couple of days later we visited a local farm which now opens to the public. The animals are used to being petted by complete strangers and don't seem to mind but I can't believe Amelie isn't fazed by such a big horse. It was all we could do to keep her from climbing on his back.

Back home I have my own harvest to celebrate. We have an ancient orchard full of fruit but the tomatillos have also been great this year. This batch are ready for grilling.

Before they are whizzed up in the blender with homegrown chillies, seasoning and lime juice to make a sauce for chicken or pork. I have enough in the freezer to last all winter.

I wouldn't want you to think I'm spending all my time out and about enjoying myself or stuck at home in the kitchen! I am making time to be creative as well - life is about balance and I'd probably go mad if I didn't! The little mixed media pockets above are the beginnings of some new work I've had in mind for ages. I'm still working this idea through so I won't go into detail now. No doubt I'll come back to it when I've figured it all out and there's more to say.

While my brain cells are otherwise occupied the number of bird panels is growing. These don't need much thinking about other than to decide which to paint first. I've opted for a wren and a chaffinch here as both are regulars in our garden.The panels had their undercoat of red acrylic and were then topped with a layer of gold metallic, Now they are getting their first washes of colour to block in the shapes and colours of the feathers. Once the paint is dry I'll begin to add the finer detail. I've had so many people write to ask about this project that we've decided to make a video for DMTV. If you're a member you'll be able to see the complete process very soon.

Thanks for dropping by. It's always a pleasure to know you bothered and yes dear daughter - I won't leave it as long again! Linda x


  1. Enjoyed your post as always - please keep them coming

  2. What beautiful grounds. I'd be dancing with you. :) My Great Gram was a Tansy and they had a family band in Warwickshire. She also was in service at the castle, so I'd be in the downstairs crew too. Amelie gets cuter each day and her courage around the horse is impressive. The pockets (?) are wonderful. I could have a whole garland of them around the studio to keep bits and pieces sorted. I am so excited for the bird show on DMTV. I have candidates at the feeders now just waiting to be photographed. Thanks to your daughter for giving you a nudge.

  3. I always enjoy reading about your adventures -- in and out of the studio! I've never seen tomatillos before -- a new veggie to me. Alas, perhaps they're not 'Hardy to Zone 3". :-).

  4. Great to catch up with you as always.

  5. Thank you all for taking the time to leave a comment. I am so happy to know you enjoy my ramblings. I was trying to think of a good way to celebrate a quarter of a million visits to my blog but when I checked the stats yesterday I discovered it had reached nearer 350,000!! How on earth did that happen??

  6. You are so inspiring! I've just come on board, and love to see how you incorporate the arts into your daily life. I did the painting on wonder-under and was very happy with the new technique! Thanks for that and all you give me in the way of knowledge and inspiration!