Time out.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

"A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance."

I need to take some time out, forgive me if I do not visit for a while.


Work in progress

I have been testing out my new Christmas present brushes, there is nothing more inspiring than new equipment! I have posted the work in progress so you can see how I paint. I took lots of photographs of hens and cockerels when I last visited Chatsworth. (A great place to poultry watch!). Some of these showed good close up details of the head, some of the tail feathers etc. I suppose the final painting has selected the best references from over twenty shots.

First of all I make a drawing in pencil on water colour paper, here I am using a tinted Bockingford. I then do a colour wash base before adding the final details. many tiny brush strokes over many hours. As with all my work, I am not 100% happy with the outcome, I have learnt to live with my shortcomings and hope to do better next time!


Craft Hope.

The Etsy community is getting together to help relief efforts in Haiti. Anyone who has items to donate is urged to join in to raise money for this important cause. Craft Hope, see the link in my sidebar, has been set up to benefit Doctors without borders in Haiti.

The shop needs supporters as well as donations, maybe you too could add a button to your blog?
Further details are available here

I decided to donate an artist book, shown above If this sells all the proceeds (minus Etsy fees) will go to the charity, (this goes for all the sales in the shop). So far the shop has raised $7,000 for Doctors Without Borders. In TWO DAYS!

Update, this item SOLD on 17th January. Thank you!

I would also like to thank Eli from raccoltodautunno for this delightful hand painted decoration. Eli was one of the winners in my earlier blog giveaway.The decoration now hangs in my studio and looks very pretty, thank you Eli!


Can you spot the scarecrow?

Last week was so very cold; anyone living here in Britain will not need reminding of how exceptionally cold it has been. We have been staying warm by the fireside, reading our Christmas present books and attempting to finish my jigsaw puzzle.

How very clever of my husband to know how much I wanted a book about Edward Bawden, maybe he overheard the conversation I had whilst in this bookshop? The fact that I spoke through a megaphone is neither here nor there.

How very clever of me to buy him these two books by Susan Hill, an author we both admire. As my Irish mother-in-law would have said, a clear case of “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is my own”.

This is the first wooden jigsaw puzzle of its kind that I have ever attempted. You would think that I would have an advantage having actually painted the picture myself, wouldn’t you? Who better than I to know where the veining on the leaves go? Not a bit of it, I was hopeless, so much for my tried and trusted methods of finding the corner pieces first, this puzzle does not have conventional corner pieces, or straight edges come to that and as for those whimsy shapes, well… it was all too much for my humble brain. I am assured however that for most serious doers of jigsaw puzzles this one is easy peasy.

Can you spot the scarecrow?


A bright and frosty beginning.

click to see more detail.

I have not ventured out of the house today as my wellington boots are in my car and my car is buried in snow! So much for my girl guide training to be prepared.

I took these photographs yesterday when the ground was hard and covered with frost, the fields looked so pretty, It brought to mind this song.

"Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel."

It is a pity that we do not burn logs because Ted just loves to collect firewood.


For Auld Lang Syne.

At the stroke of midnight we sang a few verses of “Auld lang syne” and raised a glass to friends and family, old and new, near and far, in this world and beyond. Sadly now, so many in the later category, however, one of my New Years resolutions is “Do not dwell on the negative”, so instead will remember our many blessings, not least hearing our grandson chuckle when we pulled crackers on Boxing day. Another resolution is “Try to waste less”. I do not have a very good track record for keeping such intentions but I can but try!

So I hope that you will join me in a toast to The New Year, and drink a cup o’kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.