Wednesday, 29 April 2015

4 Seasons in one day

Today has really been 4 seasons in one day. I have been bringing my greenhouse plants outside every morning but today it is too cold, rainy and windy. They stay inside in the warmth today.

Two types of lily bulbs grown on from last year and pots and pots of Fuchsia. I usually lose a few Fuchsia over Winter but this year it was quite mild and all have survived.

I grow the tulips in pots, when flowering is over I find a space in the garden for them. The yellow ones are in with the roses. The flower is never quite as good as 1st year but  OK.

The Trilliums grow in the woodland part of the garden. They disappear all year and in the Spring there they are as if by magic.

First bluebells out. This wooded area becomes a little bluebell wood when they all appear. Another week before it is at its best.

This clematis is one of the alpina varieties. Lovely strong colour. It scrambles up an old Rowen tree.

The flower heads are quite delicate looking but they stand rain and  wind so are quite hardy.

Hope the weather improves by the weekend as I have some work to do in the garden


Sunday, 26 April 2015

The end nearly in sight

I like to use sewing machine made cords as a way of fastening my books.

This is the fastening for a map style book, recording some walks round my local area.


Fastening for the 1st book in the Farming series


I dye the piping cord before sewing as it helps to disguise any spaces missed when machining.


Threads, piping cord and spools ready for an afternoon at sewing machine.

I like to fill a number of spools before I begin. Nothing more frustrating than a spool running out and everything stops till you locate and fill a new one.(fairy magic hates it as well)
One can buy, one colour, ready to use cords but I like my cords to have a variety of colours as I think they are more interesting.


This is how the front and back of book 2 will look. Not quite finished yet .
Next week!!!!!!!!

I sewed the cords to the linen strip then had to resort to my curved needle and pliers to attach to cover.

I plan to close the book in the same way as the scrolls 3 cords intertwined.
Really making one work to get into the written word.
The story secreted away.
A quest to open the book?

Another page finished. Can you spot the stitched sheaves? This is my take on Wheatsheaf stitch.
There really is an embroidery stitch of this name. I had to use it.
Added another scroll. A theme of 3 is in this book. I know it is a lucky number and we have the Trinity and all that but I must look up meanings of 3.

Still no visit to collect Oats. Had to cancel again. Unforeseen circumstances. It is now left I phone when I can make it. Perhaps next week?

Really see the end in sight now.
1 more page and finish covers.

See you next week
Bye Bye

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Glorious abundance

This is our tame pheasant. He has lost his tail so not looking his best.  He pecks at the glass door throughout the day, I think to remind us he is still around. Not so pleased with him at 4.00am when he starts calling. This was taken through glass doors so a bit fuzzy

I have a little patch of cowslips which I treasure. I keep hoping they will spread all over the wood area but still have only a few so really special when they appear

This daffodil is like the helleborus, it keeps its head down. Have had to give this one some help to show its full beauty. I think it is named Suzy. Must get round to renewing lables.

Glorious abundance. The daffodils have taken over from the snowdrops and are everywhere in large clusters of lovely blooms. Really cheers me up when I walk around the garden.

Osmanthus puts on a glorious display every spring. There has been no rain or wind to spoil the flowers. It has a delicate perfume as an added bonus.


This is a sad tale but also a good one. This Cortaderia was a wonderful specimen with magnificent plumes. I was planning to photograph it to have a record of how splendid it looked this year. Yesterday when I drew the curtains in the morning it was covered in sparrows pulling it apart. I thought they were eating the plumes and was raging as I feed them regularly. After breakfast this is what was left.

You will just have to take my word it was lovely. I discovered the sparrows were taking parts of the plumes for nesting material. So that is the good part of the story, the birds will have lovely soft nests but I am left with this sad looking plant.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Decision made

At long last a decision has been made for inside back cover. I have tried so many different photos before deciding on this one.
 I used all my silk inkjet printing sheets (must remember to order more) but at last I am happy. Other photos were interesting but didn`t work with front inside cover.
I now have a variety of printed sheets waiting for another project. 

Inside spine changed. If you recall I was not happy with first attempt.
Decision made and now happy as is (fairy magic)

Images of Oats, Wheat and Barley throughout the book. Childrens action song.

Oats and Wheat and Barley grow
You or I or nobody knows 
How Oats and Wheat and Barley grow

There are about 4 verses

Decision made about 2nd page. I changed the layout.
Another page almost finished.

Pages 2 and 3 almost finished. Just 5 to get working on.

Have added a poppy to the 1st page. These pages are now definitely finished.

Decision made about adding gesso to outside covers.
(fairy magic said "just get on with it") so it is done.
This has muted the colour a little and added some protection to covers from handling.

O.K. What do you think ?

Plan for next week .

1    Get to Crop Research to make postponed visit.

2     Work on remaining pages

3     Think about outside spine

4     Make machine cords to attach to covers. These 
       will close the book.

Look in next Sunday to view progress. 

Some of my art supplies. A certain make of coffee jar makes great pen holders.

Bye. Bye.


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Turn your back

At this time of the year, turn your back and another shrub has popped its buds and another flower has appeared. One needs to be out twice and sometimes 3 times a day not to miss that moment when a new flower head opens.

Isn`t  this something. Once again name lost. could be Tahiti or Cheerfulness.

This is such a pop of violet and yellow. This group greet me at my front door. Makes me smile as I scramble in my bag for my keys.

The Flowering Currant, everyone has this very common shrub, but at this time of year it puts on a really good show. Pity about the perfume, well smell really.

You will by this time realize I like Hellebores. This is the only double one I grow.
I choose single headed plant to attract bees and other insects. I know the daffodil was double but I have plenty of other varieties which are single. So thats alright.

A promise of things to come. Buds growing fatter every day. This is rhododendron Elizabeth and is very red. 

This is the Camellia in almost full bloom. This is the only one  which is hardy enough to grow in my garden. The garden is in an exposed site and if there is a late frost the flowers turn brown. This year,so far, the weather has been kind.


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Events beyond my control

Late posting

Coming and going over 2 days so events beyond my control.  Not really done to say"excuse me but you must now depart as I have a Blog to publish."
Perhaps if one is a truly big blogger one might just say "go"  I do enjoy visitors just not at blog time.

I have  also been very busy in my garden and greenhouse as at this time of the year there is so much to do

This is all leading up to excuse time.
So enough, this is what I have added to the book this week.

This is my method for making the scrolls.
I stitch the rolled edges over a cocktail stick.

Stitch cords to the back,down the middle. Turn to the front and roll each side into the middle. Knot the cords over rolled scroll and stitch to the page from the back. This is when I wish I had 3 hands 15 fingers.

Added to 1st page / last page when book is opened.
I do think this page is now finished unless fairy magic comes up with a good idea.

Have used sewing machine to write words. I had planned to hand stitch them but I did not like the effect. Messy, using a different method, so stayed with the sewing machine.

Have extended the words over 2 pages. Will stitch across the back to ensure the page folds.

Have cut a stencil and printed barley shapes onto this page.

Stitched beards on the barley using gold threads.

Made an appointment to visit Crop Research Institute 
( 25 minutes from my home) Hoping to get information and oat seeds. 
Mixed media/ textiles do take one to interesting places.
I felt I needed more information to add to unfinished pages.Crop yield etc.and perhaps a chance to do some drawing.

Not a lot to show for a weeks work.
Look in next Sunday and see If I have a more productive week.

Bye Bye


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Back in the Garden

Back in the garden on this sunny Wed. Have been trying in one day to make everything tidy and complete all the jobs not finished this Winter. I had set myself an impossible task. As nature was doing its own thing and there is lots of colour in the garden I decided if I weeded the many paths it would help give an impression of being in control. 
I took some photos in between weeding and cups of tea.

I think these are called Jetfire but as all the labels have disappeared in the front border I will need to look them up. They do look great whatever their name is.

The flowers in the zinc bath have at last flowered. I very carefully planted the bulbs at the same depth, I wanted the flowers to bloom at the same time and to be the same height . They have done their own thing.

The helleborus are at their best just now. I have a number of species but they keep their heads down and are hard to photograph. This is the darkest one I have. Almost black but not quite.

These viola were left in their pot all Winter, sitting in a corner beside the greenhouse. I found them this week, flowering their sock off.

The first butterfly to appear in the garden, at least the first I have seen.

More weeding tomorrow.