A fruitful day

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Or should I say a vegetable day?  my desire to keep painting seems strong at the moment.  Am I enjoying it, Yes, absolutely.   Am I pleased with the results, absolutely not !!  this is the perfectionist in me, its such a hard task master to have this running all the time.  Never ever feels good enough.  For years, nearly 30 years I have been an interior designer and its only been in last 2-3 years that I can say I am interior designer and not feel a fraud.  My creativity has taken many forms over the years, from drawing and watercolour sketches, to making things with my hands, cutting paper, clay work, collage, oil pastels, dry pastels, oil paint sticks but when it comes to painting, there is a lot of doubt that comes up.  Not Good Enough, is the foremost one and most times it hampers the start, so recently with the urge to pick up my paintbrushes, oil paint and so on and  keep painting is rather new to me.  Its normally paint one or two, dont like them and put paints away for a few months.

Painting is a great teacher, it brings up so much for me that I can now sit and watch and see exactly what is happening as it unfolds.  self doubt, conversations on size, whether to make it abstract or representational.  Then there is the conversation about the cost of oil paint these days, absolutely ridiculous prices and like everything else now we have these small artisan workshops making specialist paints that are even more costly.  One thing that has changed my painting though is Rosemary’s handmade brushes.  I had never heard of an Egbert brush before, but these together with large long flats are helping me obtain the brushstrokes that I desire.  To know they are handmade in Yorkshire make using them feel even better !

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home grown!

IMG_5057IMG_5062Courgettes doing really well, have three plants, two yellow and one green.  Yellow varieties seem more abundant  with huge lush green leaves.

Tomatoes growing strong, although some flowers are not setting.  I have trailing tomatoes too, at first not much happened but now they have perked up and sending out long racemes of tiny toms !

Green Bean which grew really well last year, this year rubbish, slugs keep eating them.  Barlotti beans not eaten, but they seemed to have stopped growing ?  very strange

Chillies, they are doing fine, although again, not every flower seems to set?  any ideas why?

Watch this, inspiring

 

Monday morning blues, oh dear have those feelings today, of oh no, its cold, drizzling and so much to be done, I just want to stay here in the peace and solitude of home.

Weekend was just not long enough.  I know once i start in a mo, all will be well and tomorrow going to take a look at how the next project is coming along.

But for now the feelings are  here, just had a thought “the blues” ,  my bedroom is blue? hope this is not a knock on effect ?

Blue is a calming colour, promotes tranquility and its also about communication too. So NO, I don’t think my bedroom colour is responsible

here are some image of  blue’s complimentary colour, Yellow, just in case there is any doubt……

 

 

 

 

sunset and sea

I enjoyed a most creative day with a dear friend of mine in her studio.   She is a felt maker, and we sat together , chatted about our creative endeavours, and  what was inspiring us, we pulled out lovely coloured wools, my selection inspired by the beautiful sunsets down at the sea that I had been photographing over the month I had off from work.   I had gathered a stone that was really special to me and the sunsets themselves so significant.  So away we went, laying out the strands of wool in the sunset hues, soaping and rubbing.  I knew I wanted some kind of tendrils, not sure why, but now I can see.  My finished pouch that holds my treasured stone has taken on the life of a sea creature, perhaps an anemone e or a squid like being.  I am so pleased with the piece, it feels so special and has become a very treasured object.

a clean sheet, not quite yet

the excitement is building, not long now until the brand spanking new year……..  I so love this time, a time to start again,its like writing on the   first new page of an excercise book when I was at school.  Pristine clean, new pen dipped in just the right amount of ink and writing the first word, such a wonderful feeling.  I have started writing about all the things I want to do, visit, see, experience, create……………    Cant wait, feel so full of optimism……….  just off for another visit to the sea, even though misty I just have to see it, its become a real friend.

this image started life in my bread bin !!, I don’t buy bread in general, but now and again I fancy some nice dark rye pumpernickel, which is fairly moist.  Well I must have forgotten about it totally and when I looked in there at the “zip up” plastic bag in comes in all I could see was what looked like a clump of yellow felt.  It was a mould of some sort, white and yellow, not the usual grey green colour, when I looked it up it was some kind of mould that penicillin is made off !  Just had to photograph this………..  I then layered at cut and pasted the image together to form a pattern………………….

The prized honey bee

One very proud daughter, she won first prize for her chocolate honey cake !!  Doesn’t it look just beautiful, sadly I never got to taste it, it was all eaten at her bee-keeping gathering !

Recipe goes something like this!

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 1/3 cups soft light brown sugar
  • 2 sticks soft butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda (baking soda)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 cup boiling water

Sticky Honey Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Bees:

  • 1 ounce yellow marzipan
  • 12 flaked almonds
  • Special equipment: 9-inch springform tin

Directions

Take whatever you need out of the refrigerator so that all ingredients can come to room temperature, and while that’s happening, melt the chocolate from the cake part of the ingredients list in a good-sized bowl, either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and butter and line a 9-inch springform tin.

Beat together the sugar and soft butter until airy and creamy, and then add the honey.

Add 1 of the eggs, beating it in with a tablespoon of the flour, and then the other egg with another tablespoon of flour. Fold in the melted chocolate, and then the rest of the flour and baking soda. Add the cocoa pushed through a tea strainer to ensure you have no lumps, and last of all, beat in the boiling water. Mix everything well to make a smooth batter and pour into the prepared tin. Cook for up to 1 1/2 hours, though check the cake after 45 minutes and if it is getting too dark, cover the top lightly with aluminium foil and keep checking every 15 minutes.

Let the cake cool completely in the tin on a rack.

To make the glaze, bring the water and honey to a boil in asaucepan, then turn off the heat and add the finely chopped chocolate, swirling it around to melt in the hot liquid. Leave it for a few minutes, then whisk together. Add the sugar through a sieveand whisk again until smooth.

Choose your plate or stand, and cut out 4 strips of baking paper and form a square outline on the plate. This is so that when you sit the cake on and ice it, the icing will not run out all over the plate. Unclip the tin and set the thoroughly cooled cake on the prepared plate. Pour the glaze over the cold honey bee cake; it might dribble a bit down the edges, but don’t worry too much about that. The glaze stays tacky for ages (this is what gives it its lovely melting gooiness) so ice in time for the glaze to harden a little, say at least an hour before you want to serve it. Keep the pan of glaze, (don’t wash it up), as you will need it to make the stripes on the bees.

Divide the marzipan into 6 even pieces and shape them into fat,sausage-like bees’ bodies, slightly tapered at the ends.

Using a wooden skewer, paint stripes with the sticky honey glaze left in the pan from icing the cake. About 3 stripes look best, and then very carefully attach the flaked almonds at an angle to make the bees’ wings, 2 on each one. They might snap as you dig them into the marzipan bodies, so have some spare. I’m afraid to admit, I also like to give them eyes by dipping the point of the skewer in the glaze and thence on the bees: they look more loveable with an expression, which is somehow what the eyes give them, but then this is where the Disney effect comes in. If a more imperial dignity is required, forgo the dotting of the eyes and present this as your Napoleonic Chocolate Cake.

Mmmm bed

Its been a long while since I posted, been away and been very preoccupied with a new project at work

However, right now Bed beckons, not for sleep but for reading, writing, making notes, sketches.  This is the hub of lot of activity on the creative front, its the place where I think, where my ideas come to me and and get recorded for use in futher projects.

Its also a place of great comfort, a nurturing space to get into at the end of the day…………..  tomorrow is a new week, how exciting.

G ‘n T anyone?

The end of a busy period, a rather challenging time on all fronts, but the project has been completed……….  The bar area below is part of an interior design project my company completed friday,  and ended the day with a wonderful Gin and Tonic.  It reminded me recently of a hotel I stayed at in Woodstock recently, it had a bar with 80 different types of Gin……….  Me I like Tanqueray , nothing outlandish but I just love the taste.  I am off now for a break, and teaching a workshop in Malta, so looking forward to it.

http://www.insidedesignco.com

Perfectionism

Have spent some of the weekend writing up guided meditations, visualisations and all manner of stuff for a forthcoming workshop in Malta I run with a couple of friends.   In doing so I was inspired to create this image.   I call it THE MASK ………….. of perfectionism. 

I have worked with many people who are crippled by this, unable to sometimes  even make any steps forward because of the immense anxiety.   Often this control comes of out of a real sense of sadness within, it cannot be revealed at any cost so the person controls their external environment to such a degree that absolutely everything around them has to be perfect. I too have this incidious trait, it can be so cruel, I have battled with this a long time, its a lot easier now I have learnt to let go a little and life has become somewhat less anxious but the creative process can sometimes be a nightmare.  Dr Estes wrote a letter on facebook about perfectionsism,  she explains it so well, I have posted it on my other blog, click here

The image is done in oil paint, oil pastels, scanned into my laptop and layered digitally……………

natures wonders

Isn’t this just amazing, such beautiful colours, soft gauzy almost felted wool like texture.  And all this is mould.  Been a busy week, not eaten at home at all much this week, and today I went into the kitchen to have sardines on toast for my lunch……..  my organic rye and sunflower seed bread had grown these amazing “flower” like mould pattern all over it.    Have done some quick research as I doesn’t look the the blue/grey mould that normally appears on stale bread.  It seems this is a penicillin type mould and grows in moist conditions.  My rye bread is kept in a large glass container with a tight lid, guess in the heat the moisture in the bread  grew warm and these marvellous shapes appeared.

chinoiserie

The coral seems to have taken on a new identity that of heavily encrusted imperial robes of the chinese dynaties,   I love the vibrational levels of  chinese yellow and with the addition or red the levels increase in intensity.  Puts me in mind of the films like “The last emperor”  and “Raise the Red Lantern”  a real feast for the eyes.  This image has come along way from its routes, a piece of red coral in Paris…………..

The “Dada” paper shoe” no. 5

Todays shoe was inspired by dear friend Analu in Rio.  Her Dada workshop produced so many colourful images on flickr that when I started working with crepe paper I just had to dedicate this shoe to her.  THANKYOU ANALU!!

I cut strips of crepe paper and “twirled ” into long spirals, then glued them onto the shoe upper shape.  After finalising the pattern I then completed glueing the upper to the sole………..  Cannot wait to produce shoe no.6 … what to do with them all I ask myself

Flickr: Your Photostream.