7/11/2012

Busy as a little bee.

I know I promised to write more about the Lake District but time has run away with me once more so forgive me if I fast forward into July. In between rainstorms of epic proportions we have tried our best to catch a little sunshine and keep on top of our little garden, which is lush and green with all that rain! I have had spells of working non stop, to meet deadlines for projects whilst trying not to neglect my family, house and garden and trying to find time to devote to making books to replenish my shop and some just for fun. The apple sketches are made up part of recent packaging project albeit a little out of season.
I made a brown leather long stitch notebook for my husband and a single section notebook for my mum. A needle book for a friend, based on a tutorial by Tiny Happy that you might like to try out yourself here? I also made a wedding guest book for my Goddaughter and had some left over for a miniature.
When the sun did decide to peep out from the clouds we visited nearby Erdigg, which is located in Wales. It seems strange that within a short drive from our home we can be in a place where “garden” is also called “yr ardd”. This eighteenth century country house has a very warm, friendly atmosphere and you get the sense that it housed servants who were valued and well looked after. I loved wandering through the formal gardens and enjoyed the walled gardens with their herbaceous borders and of course I had to take home a plant from their shop; a purple salvia.
We noticed some newly fledged swallows in one of the buildings, if you click on the photograph you can just about make them out, perched on a cartwheel. One of the buildings housed an impressive array of wood working tools and I thought how much my dad would have appreciated those carefully honed chisels. I think I have inherited his love of tools and woe betides anyone who uses my little hammer without replacing it! We treated ourselves to a cream tea and sat outside in the sunshine, a rare treat indeed.
Later we chatted to the beekeeper who told us how difficult the rain and cold has been for the bees. They will not fly in the rain or cold and this will have an effect not only on the honey yield but also on the fruit and flower crops, as they depend on bees to pollinate their flowers. He showed us the inside of the hive and explained how it worked. I had not appreciated the structure of the hives and how they start as a man made form. This is made of bees wax in the shape of a honeycomb; the bees then build their incredible complex structure onto this, just as they would in the wild. The queen bee is confined to the lower compartment, her size prevents her from entering the higher levels; this is to stop her laying her eggs in the honey. Please correct me if I am wrong: I often am!

13 comments:

  1. Such a lovely post.
    The apples are a delight. So long since I was in Wales. You make it look most inviting.
    Baking hot here so good beach weather.

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  2. gorgeous! thank you for the link :)

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  3. Thanks for finding the sun in your photos Valerie.

    Sun is setting here, dazzling rays as it sinks, giving a dramatic sky with dark clouds and a simultaneous shower of rain!

    Going back for another look at the post now. Lesley x

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  4. Valerie, I love the books you are making. I have a weakness for marvelous handmade books.
    I also wanted to thank you sincerely, for the very kind comment you left about America on my last post.

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  5. What a lovely post. I shall look up both your links. Please let us know if your apples are published! X

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  6. Beautiful post Valerie!! Your work is so inspiring.

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  7. such a wonderful post
    overflows with gorgeous and fun and interesting facets of life
    love your apple piece

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  8. Lovely sweet apple-y apples! And the tidy tools bring joy to my heart.

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  9. Valerie got caught up reading your last two posts. Lovely pictures - your illustrations are simply breathtaking. What a fine artist you are. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Such an interesting post Valerie and i love those little books.

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  11. Lovely collection of books!! And we are needing rain over here... it seems everything is extreme these days. Praying for balance. Wishing you some sun!

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  12. Lovely painting Valerie and those books...stunning! We are finally enjoying some sun and heat and like you, I'm trying to keep up with the garden! Wales looks so inviting.

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