The World Turns To Ice

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Small Steps

I feel like a small, wee vulnerable thing today.  All of a sudden I felt overwhelmed.  I am having work done on the domestic front next week and it means clearing a couple of areas inside and out.  It didn't seem too much of an ordeal until I realised that Mother Nature had been particularly abundant and I could barely get out of my back door. A grape vine has turned into a triffid and is threatening to engulf the house.  I started to cut it back and filled the compost bin as much as I could.  I have now several bags to go to the tip and still it is rampant, a little better though, I think that I'm winning.

I have now noticed that the plums on the plum tree have ripened over-night and are falling into the waiting jaws of  ravenous ants and if I don't collect them up pretty sharpish they will all be ruined.  I have filled up a box and the clock is ticking to do something with them before they rot. Whilst rescuing them I saw that the blackcurrants are ripe and ready to pick on the bush and so are the gooseberries.  The courgettes are metamorphing into marrows and are escaping from the raised bed and the radish leaves are as big as cabbages.....HELP!!!!!!!!!!!

I must calm myself, create a list of priorities and follow it one small step at a time.  My new, shiny gas boiler isn't coming until Monday.  There's enough time yet to get organised so that they can get at all the areas where they will have to work. Then, hopefully, I can hide away in the studio and let them get on with it.

Now, where's that recipe for jam......

Thursday, 29 July 2010

The yarrow meadow

I know that I should cut the grass because it will be almost impossible if I leave it any longer. The dry summer has been good for the wild flowers but the recent rain has meant that the grass is rapidly making up for lost time but its so pretty..... just a little while longer.


The Greenwood is quiet and still this morning, except for the call of the buzzards as they wheel and soar over the treetops. A time for reflection and a lesson for myself which you are welcome to share if you suffer from the same affliction:

I am learning that perfection and the desire for it is a hindrance to creativity. It is not only acceptable to make mistakes but essential. If everything that we made was perfect then there would be no inducement to develop and grow. We would have achieved what we set out to do and no lessons would have been learned on the way. So many times I have held myself back creatively for fear of imperfection and failure.

The result is a body of work released into the world which is 'safe' and 'good enough'; a studio awash with unfinished pieces which have gone so far but have not been completed and a head full of authentic and innovative ideas which are 'on hold' while I wait to feel competent enough to execute them.

Lesson for myself:

Let the mistakes happen. Give yourself the opportunity to fail, fail as much as you like and then turn your errors into possibilities. If you are 'stuck' with a piece of work you are only going to get unstuck if you look at it again and persevere. It is not going to progress if it sits in a pile of 'casualties'. If all else fails, chop it up, rearrange it, work into it, transform it into something new. Who knows what it might become.

Do one thing today that pushes your boundaries. It may not be perfect but its more of a step on the way than not doing anything at all.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Wednesday 28th July 2010

I am thinking today about what to do next on some mixed media jewellery pieces that I have been working on (see image 'work in progress'). These began life as a piece of curtain interlining which then had lace, string, threads etc glued to it. When dry the whole surface was painted with gesso, which was again left to dry. Next came the fun part. I cut several pieces off in brooch sized shapes and painted them in several layers with acrylic inks. When I was happy with the colours I sprinkled them with all sorts of twinklies to get the effect that I was after (these are for the Christmas market so the twinklier the better). Finally I painted several layers of dilute pva over the top. I haven't finished decorating yet and might try some stitching (my poor sewing machine has to put up with a lot!) and beading. I have decided to put a layer of space-dyed scrim on top of a layer of space-dyed boiled felt at the back and then attach a brooch clip. The green one shown will be mine because I like the colours and I can finish that one first and make all my mistakes on it. Though, of course, I hope that there won't be any. We shall see.......

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Happy Tuesday

A light rain is falling on the Greenwood this morning and the mist is rising from the trees. I am packing up some framed prints and cards for the 'Artistree' printmaking exhibition at 'The Blue Ginger Gallery' at Cradley in Worcestershire. The gallery is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 5.30pm, see the website: Our exhibition will be there until 5 September 2010. I'm sure that Sue, the owner would be glad to welcome anyone who would like to visit..........

Well someone got lost on the way to the gallery! I wonder who that was? I took a narrow, very bendy 'B' road and I didn't even believe that I was going in the right direction. I was under the misconception that I knew where I was going, having passed the gallery ONCE a few years before. Therefore, I set out with the only instruction that it was The Blue Ginger Gallery somewhere near Malvern. Luckily providence was on my side and I found it purely by instinct. If you should decide to go to visit the exhibition look at the address and a map before you set out!

There were many oohs and aahs as packages were unwrapped from bubble wrap and we started to separate the work into groups. There were prints of all kinds: intaglio, collographs, mono-prints, prints into clay and onto fabric. Much fun was had as we teetered precariously on chairs trying to hang frames with fishing line from nails high on the walls. After several goes at getting the arrangement right we finally did it and now all is labelled and ready for all to see.

Sunday, 25 July 2010


Midsummer in the Greenwood, the studio is built and ready to go. There is a trail of fabrics, paints and all things twinkly to guide the visitor through the trees to the magical 'Lady of the Greenwood Studio'. And so, the enchantment begins...........