Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Off with her head!

I've been busy this week jazzing up some props for the INYB's forthcoming production of Alice in Wonderland. The heart just needed some new paint, so I gave it 2 coats of acrylic and then some Stickles to make it sparkly - it's carried by the Queen, so she needs a bit of bling I thought, to go with her red and gold tutu! The white rabbit's pocket watch was made from a paper plate that had seen better days and when the wardrobe mistress asked me if I could make a new one I was more than happy to oblige.

The design evolved as I went along, and also became gold instead of silver. I had a circular thin silver cake board that I used as a starting point, but then realised that it would look much better as a gold watch and so I sprayed the whole thing gold when it was put together. The back is the cake board and the front is a piece of cardboard with a sandwich of polystyrene in between. I had to cover the edge with brown paper so that the polystyrene wouldn't do weird things when I sprayed it with paint or varnish (I've seen it melt before!). Then I had a brainwave for the top of it to make it look really watch-like.I used 2 empty cardboard ribbon spools stuck together and a curtain ring stuck on the top. Then I cut out a face from mounting board, which I painted white to make it brighter (it was a bit too cream for my liking. More acrylic paint for the numbers and the rim and voila! Lots of fun and a very messy house......but sure the housework will still be there tomorrow!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Out Walking

This is one a few pictures I took last week in our local park when I was out for a walk. There are a pair of swans that regularly produce a family, I haven't seen any signs this year yet, but everything is so late there may well be a nest on the island in the pond. I love the shape that swans make when they are floating about like this. In fact I am very partial to swans altogether, something to do with the ballet Swan Lake I think. I love that ballet, both the traditional version with girls-in-white-tutus and also the Matthew Bourne version with male swans. One is so ethereal and beautiful, the other so fierce and menacing - but both equally swan-like. I am also a fan of the Trocks version - so funny and clever - those guys have to be some of the most talented performers on the planet.
On the way back from the park the colours of this little celandine caught my eye against a fallen leaf.
I didn't set this picture up at all, just took it as I saw it! And then later in the week, sitting in the garden in the beautiful sunshine, I saw this tiny little violet which has appeared in a big pot that contains a hydrangea.
This week's flowers were these little blue daisies.
I know I am lagging behind with my crafting again, but its all busy busy here with exams and ballet shows and family birthdays - I will catch up soon!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


There was a certain French flavour to this week's flowers - red, white and blue daisies. I realised that I was lagging a bit with using my flowers, so I made some gift tags from the last two weeks lots.

It was a beautiful sunny day today, and indeed the last few days too. Spring has arrived at last, I will have to get the seed packets out and get planting now I think, by the time they are ready, the soil should be warm enough for planting out. The kits for the raised beds have arrived and so they will need to be constructed too. Added to that, its a very busy time with exams and ballet shows - roll on the summer holidays!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cherry Blossom

I took this picture while out on a walk this morning. The cherry trees are beautiful just now, but this one in particular is sooo white and perfect. The other day when I was out walking in the pouring rain, it shone out on a horrible dark day and was so still and beautiful. It reminded of me this poem by AE Houseman, that my father always quoted at this time of year :)

LOVELIEST of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten, 5
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room, 10
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Once the white trees are over, the pink blossomed ones come out and then we have lots of pink snow when their petals start to fall. Lovely!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone - its a sunny day here and chocolate is being eaten!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Somehow it seems appropriate to have purple flowers for Good Friday. I remember going to the church as a child and everything was covered in purple. There was a strange feel about the day, everything seemed very silent and sombre. How different from today, when all the shops are open and it is business as usual. My father was buried on a Good Friday, which also seemed appropriate. That year it was on April 5th, so not very far away from this year. I remember the bleakness of being in the church for the funeral service, listening to music that I cannot now hear without weeping, 14 years later. It was cold that year too, and I remember standing at his graveside and the utter devastation of having to turn around, walk away, and go home. Without him. We came home and spent the afternoon painting eggs with my mother and the children trying to 'carry on as normal'. And I remember sitting beside my mother on Easter Sunday morning in church, when the joyful celebration was over, and she sobbed with grief because joy was the last thing in the world she could feel. Easter is a strange time of year, both bitter and joyful, and always, for me, tinged with sadness.