Sunday, February 21, 2010

A walk in the woods

It's still freezing cold here, and even though we should be at the boat sanding and polishing on a Saturday, it was sunny and time for a long walk to try and bump up our vitamin D intake.There is always a huge display of yellow winter aconites on the way to one of our favourite spots. A carpet of spring promise and more than I've ever seen there before.
West Harling Church, stands in a field and is always peaceful and beautiful in any weather.
There are snowdrops appearing in tender spots.
this amazing fungus was growing on an old tree and bright pumpkin yellow in the sun.
After going round the Church we veered off on a path through the woods to find lots of snowdrops.
...and a slice of tree slightly older than me.
It was the middle of the day but every puddle was still frozen in a different design.
This collage of leaves and grass and frost would make a wonderful wallpaper.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Baby it's mighty cold out there.

Operation Buns-o-steel has begun again and I've been on a bike ride around my usual 8 mile circuit for the last 4 mornings and 2 last week. The first day I went out it seemed to be drizzling a bit but as I got further round I discovered it was snow! It's incredibly beautiful though and even though the thought of getting out there is horrendous, it's actually fine once you're riding. I've got my outfit down to a fine art, just the right amount of layers and some nice red gloves.
Yesterday I saw 6 deer, one of which stood in the middle of the road to watch me until I almost had to brake. There are two hares too that seem to be in the same spot every morning near the happy hens farm.

I took Ricardo's bike this morning, the trusty Jaque Anquetil as mine is a pile of crap (even though it was supposedly made by women for women!!!) and has been giving me a terribly sore neck.
There are not many colours in the landscape but what is there is subtle and beautiful.
The birds are all coming out now and as I took this shot I could hear the Skylarks burbling away.
Here's some mole action for all you Aussies who don't have them...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ingres: purple and gold

Last year we went to France and spent part of the time staying with our friends Sally & John. One day we went to visit the Ingres museum in Montauban. Ingres is one of my favourite artists, partly because of his incredible ability to paint fabric.
In my workroom I have inspirational pictures blue tacked to the wall and for ages now I have had this picture by Ingres of the Duchesse de Broglie on my wall. It's from a magazine article about a book called "The society Portrait: Painting, prestige and the pursuit of elegance". I've never seen this portrait in real life but it looks a lot more purple in the magazine clipping than any other images I could find on the net. Darn, I may have to go back to Montauban to check the colour.
The colours have inspired me and I've been thinking of making cushions in this weird combination for a while. This is the other inspirational image with similar colours that sits next to it.
Today, I got my act together and found the right combination of fabrics to make up into some Exotic Ingres cushions.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Coffee, Church and Cambridge

Yesterday we behaved ourselves remarkably well and went first to coffee morning at the Church. (Here are the first daffodils I've seen on the tables, waiting for customers.)
(Hosted by the Mother's Union this time, with some fabulous baking involved).
Betty Wood's small cakes with angelica...
Varlie Sheldrake's coffee and walnut or vanilla buns
And yes they are my blackcurrant macarons on my friend Clarissa's glass cake stand.
After we'd sampled a few, we then went on to Cambridge where we dropped off Richard's saxophone at the wonderful 'Wood, wind and reed'. A truly marvelous and labyrinthine shop with the most helpful and passionate staff one could ever wish for. Then we wandered around Cambridge;
one of my favourite things to do. We discovered there is a Penhaligons shop in Cambridge and spent ages sniffing and questioning the gorgeous girl with the aquiline nose and pale blue eyes with Afgani and Catalan ancestors about her favourite smells. She pointed us towards one that has now become my obsession (luckily there are birthdays coming up) called Elixir that smells like a Russian Orthodox Church in Yemen.After wandering some more and marvelling at all the YOUNG people in Cambridge. (Something that is a rarity in East Harling). We decided to go to evensong at Kings college. It was freezing as we waited in line to go in
but it's always such a treat when you get inside. Kings is much smaller than it seems on Television and you can hear the choir perfectly. It does amaze me though how hardly anyone knows what to do when, during the service, at least you'd think they could attempt to read the bits we are all supposed to say at once. It was so dark inside though that reading the words was hard. We hardly knew any of the music except for the last hymn which was 'King of glory, King of peace'. Needless to say we belted it out.
The anthem today though at East Harling Church was one which is always hard to sing as it brings tears to your eyes. I'll leave you in peace now to go and have a listen to 'Be still my soul

Friday, February 05, 2010

The cushion dance of green and pink

Every year at this time as each day gets a little bit longer I start to crave green and pink. Not just any green but the citrus green of new shoots and the pink of blossom. My wardrobe is sadly lacking in that department but my fabric stash is full of those colours so today I let myself dream and made some cushions to make up for the dismal grey that stands for a sky these days. It always takes me ages to set up the bedroom with lights, camera and then action once I've made and filled the cushions but by the time I had, I realised that I didn't need the lights because the sun had come out. Well what do you know. Maybe it's like the opposite of a rain dance. The cushion dance that brings out the sun.