Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Remember Summer

When Christmas is over I will be looking forward to summer. I do not like the snow and cold of winter. I love the sun and the garden. It would be great to think next year could be the year when we see a lot of sun it does happen every ten years so they say we are long overdue. Pictures of my town

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Art Journal of My Holiday in the States

I have at last found time to take photos of my holiday art journal and post them. Its the first journal Ive done I started it at home with some painting and collaging then did the jounaling when resting in the hotels we stayed at along the way. I finished it off when I returned. The book I used was about 3.5" x 5" the paper was handmade which meant I had to watch the pens I used as some bled through to the next page. I mostly used gel pens with watercolour paint. I did enjoy doing this a record of a great time

I am now making a Christmas Journal

Near to Lafayette. We stayed at Bayou Cabins delightful place to stay.
The Swamp or Bayou St Martins Lake Breaux Bridge I did quite a few pages from here

These pages are all from New Orleans

Friday, November 19, 2010

Our Trip to America

We have been back now for over nine weeks it has taken all this time to sort out all the photos Russell took. We or I should say Russell drove at least 3000 miles from Washington to New Orleans we took around 1500 photos. Something I have always wanted to do is visit America to see the way of life speak to the American people hear the music and maybe have a dance not to mention all the tourist places to visit. We couldnt stay long in each place as we had just two weeks to do the drive but we did get a flavour of America and driving ourselves we could go where we wanted drive down the backroads and stop whenever we decided. We had a great adventure and we enjoyed every moment even when the police stopped us for speeding - they did let us off. I enjoyed the heat up to 98f at times but of course with the air conditioning it made it comfortable but being very English we had to turn it off in the middle of the night I was getting cold and the noise was keeping me awake.
If you ever get the opportunity to take a trip like this do it was great fun and with the sat nav and the American roads no roundabouts its great.
I hope you will read some of this I know its a bit long and I dont blog about travel but couldnt help myself. I did do an art journal so might take one or two pics to show you later.

Washington we have arrived at last a long flight booked into the hotel and straight out it was Labour day here in the States a holiday. Lots of people about and its hot. We walked and walked saw all the tourists sights we missed the White House the first time around. We walked and walked again we had bottles of drink and it was hot and we were so tired being hit with jet lag I was in bed by 8.0pm and was out like a light. We found our way about on the metro and the buses. We had three great days here then we were off to pick up the car and then on the way to see America her people and hear the music.

The Blue Ridge Highway very
beautiful we didnt drive as far as we had planned as it took so much time to drive the twisting turning road. We stopped of at Buena Vista for the night and visited a local pub called the Stone Grey we were made very welcome and had a good meal. Next day we visited Bedford the same name town I come from we browsed in Bell Treasures the Antique shop had a chat with Rick and Amy Phillips I could have stayed all morning. Around the corner we visited the art and craft cafe we had a meal and a look around all the crafts. A nice little town to visit everyone we spoke to was pleased we had stopped off to visit. Anyone from around there have a look at my photos from Bedford UK
Nashville thats me and Russell outside the Crazy Horse Saloon we returned there in the evening for a meal and a dance had a great time we saw some line dancing the only time we saw this dance in the States we like to ballroom dance as well as jive and just muck about. We did visit the Country Music Hall of Fame but Russell forgot to bring his camera so no photos.
The next day we were off to Memphis and Beale Street lots of music had a dance for our wedding anniversary and mentioning dancing I was enticed up to dance along the bar cant remember if it was Memphis or Nashville it was early evening not a lot of people about yet otherwise I wouldnt have done it. It was the bar with all the bras hanging up no they didnt get mine. Yes Russell did take a photo I might put it up sometime
On the Sunday we went to the First Baptist Church Nashville we were going to sneak in the back but Shirley and Howard welcomed us and we sat with them right up the front. We did enjoy the service very much like the C of E service I attend in the UK we even sung two hymns I knew. Thank you to all the people who spoke to us and made us welcome
Gracelands the home of Elvis was a modest
home for a big star it felt friendly and homely we couldnt go upstairs which of course we wanted to see. The photo is of the peacock room and there were a lot of exhibitions to see including his collection of cars. Over the road is the commercial part where you can have your photo taken and spend a lot of money including an Elvis outfit which if I remember rightly was around $2000. My impressions of Elvis were he liked to dress up have fun and be surrounded by his friends he gave generously to local charities having been very poor as a child. Glad we went.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This is Breaux Bridge near Lafeyette we stayed two nights here in the Bayou Cabins run by Rocky and Lisa Sonnier who made us feel at home. We stayed in one of the Arcadian Cabins. If you ever visit near here do visit its a very friendly place. Rocky and Lisa will remember me as the English lady who didnt like cajun spice in her scrambled eggs. The town has some interesting shops with a few antique shops we spent sometime browsing. We also visited the famous Mulate's restaurant to eat listen to the jazz band and yes we had to dance. The Arcadian Village is also worth a visit
As we walking around early evening we came across this yard art enclosure there were all sorts of stuff from new to arty things recycled from old signs and rusty old throwouts. As it was closed we didnt get to walk around I didnt think I would get anything in the case to take home but would have loved too. Click on the picture to have a good look.
The Swamp at St Martins Lake Lafeyette Butch was our guide great bloke new everything anyone would need to know about the bayou. This was the most fascinating place I have ever visited we set out in a small boat with six other people the trip lasted for over two hours and as we moved around it went from twilight to sunset absolutely magical. We saw alligators herons turtles alligators flights of herons and egrets killer bees well thats what they looked like great big spiders and two brown owls calling to each other. The
colours of the sunset were out of this world one of the few times I have said if only I could paint. I was quite surprised I didnt get bitten by an insect not even once. Insects like me. What a wonderful trip something I will always remember.

The Laura Plantation that still grows sugar cane along the River Road is a country style house not a fancy house as in Gone With The Wind I have read that book three times but the guide said life just wasnt like that. The first photo is a slave cabin but I shouldnt think it was green as it looks two families lived to a cabin. Records show there were 175 slaves on the plantation in 1804 and records their names ages and the money they were worth. Laura who wrote a dairy about the place didnt die till 1963. A very historical place to visit

The Natchez paddle steamer had to have a journey up the Mississippi. There was a jazz band on board so we had to have a dance we met a group of people whose small son was born in the UK. It was lovely and cool on a very hot day. Looked for Clarke Gable and a Southern Belle but didnt see them

Photos Jackson Square with the art work a lot of mixed media, French Quarter and Bourbon Street. New Orleans Queen of Bling Bars Noise Music.
We had a ball danced again in Bourbon Street listened to the jazz walked and walked had a meal and a few drinks. Next bed and ready to fly home

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mixed Media the Next Page

This page is a collage its as near as I'm likely to get to a photo taken at Scalea Southern Italy of old houses going up a hill. The roof tops are made from corrugated card and the tree from other papers.
I have been making my daughter a scrapbook of most of her baby pictures up until she left home. She is now 40 so it took me sometime
three weeks in fact. I felt I had been doing it day and night. Some days I started at nine and went on till four in the afternoon. Oldish photos are not the easiest to deal with I think the camera used at the time was a Kodak and some of the colour is not very good I didn't have the time or the skill to update them in photoshop.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm Back

Havent posted for a few weeks as Ive been on holiday. Ive achieved an ambition Ive had for some time now. We have toured USA my husband was driving and we drove from Washington DC down through the Blue Ridge Mountains to Nashville Memphis and of course Gracelands down south to Layfette we stayed in Br Bridge right down to New Orleans. We had a wonderful time with a few adventures on the way Russell was stopped by the police for speeding and we got lost a few times even though we had a sat nav. We met some lovely people everyone was very friendly. We both had awful jet lag when we got home and it took ages to recover also due to rushing about and living out of suitcases. We suffered from lack of sunlight the temperature in the States was 98 at one time lowest 86. I loved the hot weather all that lovely sun but of course we were on holiday and could rest for the hottest part of the day. Some of the Brits I know start complaining when it gets to 25c. I started an art journal haven't attempted one before I wanted to make notes along the way to record the things we saw. I don't usually write a diary so to make it interesting to do I collaged and painted the pages. I'm still doodling in it I'm not good at drawing I will put up some pics when its done and some photos we took 1800 and did 3000 miles pheeeew.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lucky Black Cat

Lucky black cat again a little larger this time made from the calico cat pattern.
He might land up on my craft stall


Postcards I am taking to The States with me to post thought I might try posting without an envelope cant remember the term for doing that. I might call them plastic lace as they made from carrier bags strips woven with strips of material and lace then ironed to hold it altogether I then hand and machine embroidered them They came out quite well.

STAR Little Monster

This is Star Ive made him for my granddaughter who is just starting her first teaching job straight from college this must be quite scary but she is in a small village school. She wanted me to make her something to give one of the children to take home for the weekend if they had been specially good. I wanted to make something the children would really like to take home. I came up with this baby monster but I was inspired by Denise at grrl+dog click on the title Star. He or maybe she I did find making one that the boys would like too was a bit restrictive but it was fun to make. I would like to make one that is a bit more wild like the ones Denise has made. I do find it hard to let go and do wild and frayed

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another Altered Book Page

The title for this book is Beautiful Creatures.
I thought the ballet is very lovely and chose Swan Lake for the beautiful swan. The pages are collaged with paint papers and finished with the pictures and oil pastels. I like collage messing with paint and papers the only thing is its time consuming getting all your stuff out sorting and then getting more out putting it all away and then clearing up the mess.
This spread has turned out very well it all hangs together.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Altered Book Page

Altered book for Becky the theme was along the lines of sending a letter from yourself when young and then from older self. I thought this was a bit scary when I first saw the theme but it was quite a fun one to do. My thoughts went back to when I was 16 I left school at 15. Remember my grandmother telling me she left school at 14 and thinking she was still a child. My granddaughter has just finished college to start teaching and she is almost 23.I collaged about what was big in my life then I headed the page Return to Sender Address Unknown that let me out of writing a letter much to busy having fun at that age.If you look there is a picture of me at 16 on the little book we even looked innocent in those days. The second half you can see is not so busy but life is good and the heading is One More Step Along the World I Go with a book of quotes that have helped me through difficult times.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Boy Embroidery

My grandson Ciaran has been visiting me for the day it was too hot to go further than the local swings and while he was watching TV I was sewing I could see him watching me and eventually he asked if he could sew as well. He drew a picture and I traced it on to the material and with a bit of help from me he spent quite some time sewing. He had already sewn a ghost with me a few weeks ago and seems to get very involved in the process. He made a very good job of it considering hes only six. His sister who is ten wasn't interested and stayed inside to read her book Emily isnt very interested in sewing but will take part in any other craft.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bedford River Festival

This is the River Festival in my home town said to be the second biggest festival in the UK after Nottinghill Carnival. I think this year there were more people than ever maybe because of the weather. The parade was great and there was a great crush down by the river with all the stalls and events. My family had a get together in the evening there were about 20 of us we had a good evening. My brother and his wife came to stay for the weekend and we made a great collection for the bottle bank. On Sunday we visited a cousin I hadn't seen for about 40 years when I was her bridesmaid. What a weekend I'm still recovering.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bead Swap

These beads are made from fabric painted or inked stamped embossed and bejewelled. The green bead I embossed with no bother then I changed to a new embossing ink pad and how ever hard I tried it wouldnt emboss very well. I spent some time doing this until I checked the pad it was a white coloured ink pad so no wonder it wouldnt work dah dah.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Journal of Bertha and Doris

Bertha and Doris
are going to have an adventure keep reading to find out what happens.
If you click on the side bar you will find their story