29 Apr 2012

Living in a box, in a cardboard....

…..that probably shows my age! Clear-outs and tidy ups feature frequently in my diary. I don't find cleaning very rewarding, but I do enjoy clearing out stuff and getting organised. I seem to have spent a great proportion of my life living out of and re-arranging boxes, and that’s not because I’ve been on the move – more because my home (and storage space) has, more often than not, been “under construction”! As a consequence I’ve learnt to love boxes –especially posh ones - like my lovely red lacquered cube which is shiny black inside and houses my card making materials. I’ve also collected an array of mobile art “boxes” (essential for the studio-less artist) and my favourite is a Jullian thumb box. My husband brought in a cardboard box yesterday – he said the excitement on my face was astonishing! The truth is that I’m not really that sad, I thought it had just arrived in the post and contained the new wooden box for my pastels - maybe that will arrive in monday.

22 Apr 2012

British Picnics

I love picnics – putting it together, setting it out and of course eating it. The dog loves them too – especially when I’ve remember to pack something special for him. After all the effort of preparing the alfresco hamper, it’s great to get the sun and sit on the blanket to make it a real occasion. But it’s not always the weather for a perfect picnic. Last autumn we subjected our American friend to a real windy “British picnic” but when we aren’t feeling hardy enough for the rug and hamper, there’s always the car !             

14 Apr 2012

Walking with friends

What a lovely spring day it’s been – after yesterday’s hailstorms it was not a surprise to see a thick frost in the valley and snow on the hills, but this afternoon’s opportunity to snooze in the sun was a pleasant surprise. As refreshing was Sunday roast cooked by friends and a stroll in the fields. After working hard on the renovations time spent walking with friends, both 2 and 4 legged, is the perfect tonic whatever the weather. Here are images of a few such memorable walks from this year's diary...            

7 Apr 2012

Brain ache

Back in February I wrote about steep learning curves, and I’m still working my way uphill in the computer department. With snow on the ground the weeding has come to an abrupt halt (as has spring) and I’ve been doing a few things I had been putting off for some time. One was the accounts – urgh! – and the other a mailing list. I managed both without tackling my aversion to spread-sheets. Needless to say, the exercises consumed many hours of valuable painting time, and left me with square eyes and a stiff neck.  However, job done and I eagerly await a tax rebate and a host of new email subscribers. A good friend has kindly offered me some spread-sheet tuition to make next year’s accounts less painful and I have ordered myself a hefty text book to aid the design of a forthcoming series of newsletters – so why not sign up by clicking this unsophisticated link to my very sophisticated form: http://eepurl.com/kFYr1


1 Apr 2012

Winning weeds

Weeds verses painting and the weeds are winning. Another Sunday, another hangover and I’m still weeding, but the aching muscles have eased and my back is better after a trip to the physio ! The battles of the weeds started 5 years ago when a car accident prevented any gardening at all and slowed me up ever since. The long convalescence gave me time to enjoy the garden from a sitting position, and a lot more time to paint. This was one of those paintings - the sunflowers that I had sown earlier in the year. This year's sunflowers have just germinated and I look forward to painting them again.