Friday 29 August 2008

Through the looking glass

My nephew Ben and his girlfriend left this morning, and suddenly I have an empty house, just me and the dogs. It feels eerie and silent, and bigger, somehow. I feel like it'll take me a couple of days to settle into my space again. Dare I mention the weather? I admit I have become a woman obsessed, and have not taken this summer's weather extremes in my stride. In fact, we've only had a whisper of rain in the last week, and I find myself rejoicing with these dry days, even though the sun has barely extended its warmth in our direction. Which brings me to today....

I'm rambling, aren't I? I had to cross the moor through thick fog this morning, to reach the north coast (definitely not an epic journey, even if it sounds like that). Suddenly, mid-morning, the sea magically changed from grey to bright turquoise blue, a change that was so startling it took my breath away. I was looking out the window, through some wonderful old glass, and this was the effect. The glass changed the image from photograph to painting (albeit slightly distorted) at the click of the shutter.

And this image is taken outside, in the same direction. I love the contrast between the two, though neither photograph really depicts how vivid the blue was.

Which image do you prefer?

Tuesday 26 August 2008

We have some winners!

Hello. It feels like I haven't visited this space for a while. A house full of visitors has kept me away from my computer, and you know, I've enjoyed the break. It's made me realize how much time I spend in front of my screen, and how it's good to step back once in a while. Remind me of this in a week or two when I've got sucked back in! I have had the odd sneaky peek to see what you're all up to, but no time to linger...

So are you wanting to know who's won the giveaway, or are you wanting to see a pic of my friend Mark (and his thighs!!)? I think Mark is worthy of a photo after cycling over three hundred miles in three days (I should perhaps add that he's a fitness instructor and very fit!)

Thanks for visiting Mark!

Thank you to each and every one of you who not only left a lovely comment about my cards, but also commiserated about the car ordeal. I'm sorry I've not got around to replying to you all, what with guests to feed and entertain, and repair quotes to organise I've not found the time. Car-wise, I'm lucky - the damage is in fact fairly minor, it's just the energy and effort it takes to sort it all out.

I enlisted Walter's help to pick three names from the bowl...though he was a little over enthusiastic and took a mouthful of paper, which got a little soggy in the process.

So three names are....

Tracy (Two Crofters) at Cupcakes at Home and Sea House

Tracy at Dragonfly

Hazel at Hazeljoy

Please email me your addresses and I'll get your little packages in the post. Thanks everyone for taking part.

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Giving it away

Okay, I'm back. I meant to post this yesterday and take some decent photos, but it didn't turn out like that. I was on a roll in the through my 'to do' list, taking the dogs for a bracing walk on the beach and generally feeling good. Then in the afternoon my car had an altercation with a runaway industrial wheelie bin, and I came off worst. Dented rear, smashed window, cracked bumper. I should add that I was not in the car at the time, it was parked. Suffice to say that I now feel wrung out from all the hassle, I won't bore you with any more details, it's too tedious for words.

So my little giveaway to celebrate the hundred! And thank you for all your lovely comments too. I have a love of all things paper...pretty cards, notebooks, tissue paper, moleskines, books, binding, wrapping get the picture. Oh, and my scalpel and cutting tools. So I've been playing around turning my nightly doodles into hand carved stamps which I've then used for printing. It's been fun, and a learning curve too. Sometimes the print works well, sometimes it doesn't. And I get different results depending on the paper and it's texture.
I particularly like printing on tissue paper because it's very absorbent and I love the translucent quality.

These sheets make me smile. They work best with layers of plain white tissue paper behind to bring out the colour. Sorry for the slightly dreary photos.

These are some of the cards - all very simple, and blank inside, so use for anything and everything. I've also printed some square ones on different card, and they all come with envelopes.

This is where I'm unorganized...I haven't put any sets together yet, that's this weeks project. So what do you think? Would you like some? I'm going to give away three sets, and these will go to the first three names drawn from the hat next tuesday evening (26 August), so you have a week to leave me a comment and be included. Have to wait that long...a busy week nephew and his girlfriend are coming to stay, and another friend is cycling down from near Oxford to stay for the weekend (yes, pushbike, 100 miles a day...maybe I'll photograph his thighs on arrival!!). So I must clear up the house, it's a tip.

Oh, and lurkers welcome...come and say hello!

Friday 15 August 2008

Postcard :: feasting

Friday already... and this is actually my one hundredth post. I'm quite surprised I've made it this far without running out of steam! I do have a giveaway, but it's not quite ready, and hasn't been photographed either. I've been hand-printing some cards and paper and hope to wrap it up over the weekend (sorry, dreadful pun), so please come back next time and I'll be a little more organized.

There was some feasting going on in the woods yesterday. I think this is a little over-exposed, but I like the contrast.

Happy weekend, back soon with some goodies for you.

Monday 11 August 2008

Postcard :: dahlia two

Dahlia 'Hillcrest Royal' adding some colour to my bathroom.

Some randomness and an award

I've been tagged by Louise who has two blogs: Home Is Where the Heart Is (for all things inside!) and This Is My Patch (for her gardening exploits), and it's for six random facts about me.... I'm meant to post the tag 'rules' but I'm not going to pass this on, I think it's pretty much done the rounds, so here goes:

one :: the first single I ever bought was T Rex - Ride a White Swan. I had a big crush on Marc Bolan.

two :: my hair is dark and my eyes are hazel but my three sisters are all blonde and blue-eyed. I take after my Mum.

three :: I can't go to the beach without picking up pebbles and seaglass to bring home. My pockets are usually bulging!

four :: as a child, my 'comforter' was a small knitted rabbit (a very poor version of Julie's). He was called Big Bunny and he wore a dress. And he was definitely a 'he'.

five :: back in '96 I cycled round Zimbabwe on my own - a fantastic experience.

six :: I'm left handed, but play tennis and squash with the racket in my right hand (well I would if I still played!).

Is that random enough for you? Hard to think what to write without being too obscure/weird/boring....

Edited to add: All along, one of the things I was going to put down was 'I don't have a television' but such is the state of my brain, I forgot. So I'm adding it in, just to be awkward, and bring my total randomess to seven.

And now for something else....

Lindsay over at Rural Villager has very generously awarded me the Arte Y Pico award. Thanks so much, Lindsay!

This award originated at the uruguayan blog Arte Y Pico and the rules are:

1. Recipients must pick 5 blogs they consider deserving of this award for creativity, design, interesting material, and for contributing to the blogging community in whatever language.
2. Each of the 5 selected blogs must include the name of the author and a link to his/her site to be visited by readers.
3. The recipient must show the award and indicate the name and link to the blog of the one that handed it to him/her.
4. All Award recipients must include a link to the Arte y Pico site to inform all readers about the origin of this award.

So in no particular order, I'm passing this on to:

Pipany at Pipany & the Poltisko Memoirs
Suzanne at Fieldy
Ginny at The Flour Loft and Sweet Myrtle
Tracy at Dragonfly
Alice at The Magpie Files
Jane at Snapdragon's Garden

These six (yes, I'm choosing six, not five! Or seven, if you count Ginny's two) always hit the spot for me, in various ways. Thank you for the inspiration!

Friday 8 August 2008

Postcard :: seedhead

A hogweed seedhead, glimpsed while walking in the woods in the few moments of sunshine we had yesterday.

Thursday 7 August 2008

Tuesday 5 August 2008

Postcard :: dahlia

I bought a huge bunch of dahlias for a £1 from a farmer's roadside stall... a riot of colour with lots of the deep red/almost black ones which I love.

I managed to break one of the stalks on the way home, so this flower head has gently unfolded and collapsed in a bowl of water over several days. Such beauty. I'm not sure of the variety - possibly Rip City or Chat Noir. I'm enjoying watching it slowly disintegrate.

Sunday 3 August 2008

Slowing down

Blogland is on a go slow at the moment - so many people are taking a break with children off from school, and holiday plans to fulfill. As my time is not governed by children and a conventional 9 - 5 working life I had every intention of carrying on blogging, business as usual. But in fact I can feel myself slowing down too. There's a gentler rhythm to my days and if I'm honest, a certain amount of laziness has crept in too. For me the school holidays means an influx of tourists, a general busy-ness around town, and increased traffic on the roads. Translate this as 'stay at home!'

I had vague thoughts of doing something different for August - I've been particularly inspired by Echoes - a collaborative journal, and the Echoes flickr pool. If you haven't come across this, go and have a look. There's some wonderful stuff here - sketches, words, watercolours... so much talent and imagination! So I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm just going to let August unfold... there may be fewer posts, probably less words, more photos, whatever comes up. Or not.

I have a particular love for rusty objects and things that are a bit worn out, decayed, battered. This old rusty table is in my garden, getting more beautiful as time goes by. I have nasturtians popping up all over the place, in various shades of orange - they're so cheerful and uplifting. So here's some rust and some nasturtians. They're making me smile!

I hope you're having fun out there and enjoying your summer!