Thursday 25 October 2012

Twenty One Years

Twenty One Years is the title for a book I'm working on, not how long it's going to take me to finish.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find they get waylaid by domestic chores . . . . for the last couple of days I've been working on a print for a book, and I've got to the stage where all I need to do is one more cut and then print the final colour.

But do I do that? 

Well, not when the hens need feeding and a bit of a chit chat, the dogs want a walk, or when the apples need stacking??!

What else . . . oh anything I can think of other than print! I'm surprised I didn't stop to wash the kitchen floor which actually does need some attention.

It's madness really. I know I've been fretting about my colour choices because I even dream of trying various combinations. I should be here in the Shed making work, not twiddling about in the garden.

The lovely first stage, a simple single colour, bright and jewel like.
The bright jewel like colours are not my usual choice, so I've moved a tiny way away from my comfort zone, and feeling slightly trepidatious, the second colour goes on.
So, this morning found me looking at last night's cutting away and not wanting to think about another colour so I high tailed it outside . . . the best place for me to be as that's where I do my thinking . .
. . . I finished and wet prints are hanging up to dry, more photos to follow.

I did, however, finish the Tangled springtime print. 

The four images below show the progression from first, to final idea.

Monday 22 October 2012

Apple Sunday

Sunday was one of those soft grey and damp days of early autumn - our garden patiently waiting for us to give it a bit of a tidy-up . . . .

so late afternoon found us collecting some more of the bumper apple crop that we have,
and there are plenty more waiting in the wings!
Any day now I'm expecting a delivery of wooden crates to store our goodies, in the meantime I've found a few cardboard boxes and have stacked them in my mini garden shed.
The overflow are outside the back door - wrapped in newspaper in an attempt to keep the blackbirds from scoffing the lot.

Some articles in the media suggest that domestic gardens have produced better fruit this year than the commercial growers. When I look at our apple trees, laden with fruit, I'd be inclined to agree.

I guess in a garden like ours (and the many others just like it) and unlike commercial mono-cultures, we have a great variety of plants including wild flowers, which means there is more food for bees and more places for them to live, encouraging a healthy population of bees to pollinate our plants.

And significantly, most of the pesticides used in agriculture, especially the systemic pesticides, are toxic to bees - so maybe our gardens will be the last refuge for these insects.

Bit of a worry, in my opinion, as we rely on them for so much - time perhaps to join the Uk Natural Beekeeping Alliance.
Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, time to start on the apple chutney . . . . .

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Autumnal colours

While walking Rufus this morning, I couldn't help but notice the autumn colours. 

Even though it was somewhat grey the colours glowed with such an intensity, especially the reds, almost as if lit from within.
Few trees are yet showing autumn colour in their leaves, these have the faint hint of gold about their crowns. I suspect that by the time I get back next week from France, they will all have changed.
Trying to sketch while holding onto a dogs lead is nigh on impossible (I don't even really know why I attempted it) 
so I gathered bits and pieces along the route . . . . to carry on working in the shed.
Autumn's the time when goodies are gathered from the garden, and again this year we have tons of apples.
I planted this Arthur Turner because of its gorgeous blossom, and it makes one of the best baked apples ever.
It's not the only thing I grow for its colour . . .
these Arran Victory spuds are the most glorious purple, and make a brilliant mash.

Friday 5 October 2012

Pleasures and Pitfalls

Oh, the pleasures and pitfalls of eBay.

I return intermittently to eBay, often late at night, for a bit of innocent window-shopping. Only occasionally getting snared. This time I should have known better (and it calls my innocence into question) as I've had it in mind for a while to make a book using a typewriter . . ?

Typewriters have a kind of romantic aura about them,
. . . . perhaps a cautionary tale of falling in love with on-line shopping!

Thursday 4 October 2012

Impromptu bookbinding

There seem to be a limited number of contemporary bookbinding workshops available, however, bookbinder Lori Sauer has improved the situation with BINDING re:DEFINED and yesterday I spent a very enjoyable day in Marden making a leather bound travel journal.

I was recently offered some leather, but as I hadn't previously used any I was hesitant to take it, fearing it would sit on a shelf in the Shed, unused. . .

Then, as luck would have it, I followed an on-line link and was reminded of Lori's workshops (I took part in one in April last year) and I noticed she was using leather, well, obviously it was meant to be. So, with 3 days to go I sent an email to see if I could be squeezed into her workshop, yes, one space left  - so it was mine.
We spent the morning making a paper bound prototype,
and in the afternoon, making a leather bound journal.

I'm so glad that the impromptu offer of leather scraps prompted me to take this workshop, I've learnt so much.

Monday 1 October 2012

A little less Wild Disarray

The beauty of lino is that it can be so easily cut up . . . . 
and blocks can be cannibalised at will,
leading to all sorts of interesting permutations.
It looks a tangle still, (which after all is what I'm after) but it's easier now to 'read' the print. I've reached the stage where I need to mull for a bit - so these will 'hang around' the shed while I have a think.

In the meantime, how come it's October already, (harvest is in, fields are ready for the next crop, it's all tidy and the colours - so deep and warm) . . .
I imagine it was a mellow autumnal day when Adam succumbed (a bit of a pushover eh?) . . .
a birthday month for me, and Mr B, an aunt and a couple of friends who are all librans - at least this gives me an excuse to make one of my occasional zodiac birthday cards. 
The zodiac project is one of many kept in my head, and worked on sporadically, it make a nice distraction when I'm working on something like my 'tangle' print, that needs more reflection.