Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Father Christmas - such a lovely story I needed to share it! I hope you like it too.

The very pretty Old Man's Beard is really popular and I love using it to make ceramic work. Ian was a sweetie and picked me loads of the scrambling,rampant climber this autumn. The flowers are just starting to turn into the fluffy seeds.

Old Man's Beard growing in Dingle

Beautiful seeds

I knew a little about this very special climber but I researched it and found out loads of interesting facts, that I thought I  will share with you. The best one is that one of its MANY common names is Father Christmas! Easy to think about his gorgeous fluffy beard. It is also a popular addition to christmas wreaths.

Sink full

Clematis vitalba is the only native clematis in the UK. There are several great names including, Traveller's Ivy,  Love Vine, Shepherd's Delight, Virgin's Bower and Boy's Bacca. Traveller's Joy is easy to understand but as well as it looking lovely, it was added to beer.

Bowl I made last year

Ready for Christmas!

It makes excellent rope, mice hate the taste so it is used to be used to bind sheaves of grain. It can be used for basketry and is very good for fire kindling. The seeds are a great source of food for birds during the winter. The summer flowers provide nectar for insects and the leaves food for moths.

Baccy Plant and  Smokewood are country names because small lengths of woody stems were smoked as cheap cigarettes. Which is also where the name Woodbine crosses over.

Be careful though because even though it can be used medicinally to help treat stress and nerves, it can be poisonous and  irritate skin. It is also supposed to help the Devil by choking other plants and stems can grow really thick (great for swinging on!). It was introduced to New  Zealand is now a real problem and a national pest.

I LOVE this plant and it helps to remind me about log fires and Christmas!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

What a beautiful day!

Autumn is fast approaching and so we have to make the most of the last few sunny days. I took the camera and faithful hound with me and so here are some of the highlights.

Mandy our wonderful gardener's work

LOVE borage

Crab apples and last of sheep (now gone to visit Mr Ram)

Bumper crop on apples

Guess who I bumped into!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Summer h.Art 2015

Thank you so much  to everyone who visited us this summer (?!) - despite the weather on Monday. There is a Facebook album here.  I have included photos.

Huge thanks to Kate, Alice, Sam, Ian and Harvey.

We would love to see you this Christmas on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December. 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

So exciting - Nearly time of h.Art 2015!

It is that time of year again when you can visit loads of wonderful artists and see them being amazing and creative.This year Kate and I are number 62 and we would love to see you.

Delivering brochures!

If you would like a brochure (we sent out loads so hopefully you got one), we can easily pop one in the post.

This summer (?!) we are open Saturday12th September to Sunday 20th September from 11am to 5pm. There will be Kate's famous cake a day to tempt you as well as great artworks!

If you cannot join us this September then we would love to see you at the Christmas opening Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December. Please bring your friends. We promise to get you well into the festive spirit.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Pennells' Sculpture Sunday

It has been a while since I wrote a blog post. It has been a very busy few months. This week has been particularly hectic. We just had an amazing holiday in our favourite part of Scotland, Ardnamurchan Peninsula. There are a few of the best photos on my Facebook page.

We had a long journey home on Saturday but had a lovely Sunday afternoon at the amazing Pennells' home in Martley. Their garden is so pretty and part of it is an old quarry. A great setting for the many interesting sculptures.

There was a wonderful mix of media and many of Pam and Ian's own artworks. She enjoys making stunning glass and beautiful rugs and he specialises in sculptures.

Pam's lovely glass

Amazing garden

Sculptures in garden

One of my heads

Striking head in border

Pam's yummy food and drinks


Ian's work

Sculptures in quarry

Both Ians!

Pennell's beautiful home
Thank you both for a glorious Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

New obsession, birds

Apologies, I have not written a blog for a while, so here goes!

OK – My latest obsession is birds!

I have just moved my bedroom downstairs (I have a progressive illness). I try to go on my exercise bike and rowing machine most days. It is so boring but now I have a beautiful view of the garden. My son encouraged me to feed the birds and  make it more interesting. 

My husband is used to my mad spending (thank goodness), so it started with finding a good supplier of feeders and food. That is when I discovered the wonderful Garden Wildlife Direct. Buy in bulk because it is cheaper! I have a selection of huge sacks in the barn. Ian is well trained and fills and replenishes regularly.

Once the feeding was sorted, I needed to know who my new visitors were. I found some brilliant identification charts at  CJ Wildlife . To see them properly too I bought a lovely pair of very reasonably priced binoculars  (£25) from Uttings.

My equipment

I have been listening to the dawn chorus most mornings. I know a few bird songs but not many. I have been trying to learn them and there are a lot of really good websites. I have an excellent CD which came with a beautiful bird book by DK called ‘RSPB Complete Birds of Britain and Europe’, I was given for my birthday last year.

Shy little Robin

This Great Tit loves the fat balls!

Thirsty Woodpigeon

My favourite pair of Great Tits

Unless you can spot who is singing, I am finding it quite difficult to identify the correct bird. I am hopeless with phones but I am trying a new app called ‘BirdsongId’. I will let you know in a few weeks how it is going.

I have just joined the RSPB and cannot wait for their pack to arrive! I have learnt /am learning quite a bit of new information and I hope this helps if you decide to give it a go too: )