I hope you are enjoying the lighter nights, I seem to get so much more done when the days are longer.
Everything in the garden is growing so fast, so not only do I want to be out there working in the garden and enjoying the spring flowers but I also need to get my clay out and set to work making plant tiles. The thing with working with the seasons is you only get one chance at making something so I need to act before the flowers go over.
Here’s some of the plants that are flowering in my garden just now. I love my woodland border.
I have used all of these flowers in my ceramic tiles, some are in the kiln already and some are still drying. I was lucky to get some blackthorn in flower as the wind blows the petals off almost as soon as the blossom opens.
Enjoy your Easter whatever you are doing.
We had some lovely weather for a while then it changed, however everything in the garden is starting to grow and the spring flowers are blooming so it’s time to get back to work. I feel in the mood for making, what a difference a bit of sunshine makes. I even finished my second lockdown waffle blanket, you can find the pattern here. I made the first one a year ago when the first lockdown started.
I managed to take my work into the garden, I sat in the sunshine and put some colour on the snowdrop ceramics.
Now they have been fired for a second time, see how the colour changes. I love rustic ceramics.
As well as hanging hearts with snowdrops there are ring or trinket dishes.
These are glazed on the back.
And decorative ceramic tiles to hang on the wall.
They are now ready to add to my shop, I hope I’ve made enough this year to last until next spring. That’s one of the issues with working with the seasons.
The pulmonaria and brunnera are flowering now.
These are drying, then the firing and decorating process will start all over again. 🙂
There a a few things that stand out for helping me deal with the past year, one of those things has now become a bit of a passion. I’m now a sock knitting addict.
I’ve knitted one pair of socks in the past, on 4 needles but I wanted to try one of the small circular sock needles. It seemed strange at first but well worth persevering with. I love it, you can pick up and put down whenever you want, it’s on of those things you could easily do if you were out somewhere.
I have a beginners tip, If you use self patterning yarn, wind off half the ball( I weigh it ) then lay both ends out and find the same point in both yarns and cut it. Now make your cast on loop both at the same point. Now when you knit the second sock they should match up. I discovered if you knit matching socks it’s easy to know where you are up to on the second sock without counting rows. I check the rows when I think I’m there.
The pattern came from Winwick Mum Blog the site has full clear instructions and videos on all aspects of sock knitting.
This is the first pair that I knit in December, I was pleased with the fit.
Then I knit a pair as a gift. I love the the way the heel is knit, it grips and it’s cushioned too.
I knit myself another pair, this time matching the colours.
Now I’m knitting OH a pair, I really can’t put these down as I love the way the random pattern is working out. I had to measure his foot and follow the instructions to size the sock up. I did decrease the toe on every row on the last few rows as I thought the sock would be too long, it fits perfectly.
Updated to say they are now finished and he loves them.
More sock yarn has arrived but there’s no rush to knit it up yet, I’ve a crochet blanket to finish..
So what to do with all the oddments of wool?
I have just discovered scrappy socks 🙂
Today many Mums will be spending their day at home without their offspring around them and like me you might be wondering how to spend your day.
It’s bitterly cold out there and quite windy so no walk today but I ventured out for some exercise yesterday looking for signs of Spring. There are lambs in the fields, they bring me so much pleasure seeing them skipping around. There were some new lambs, with little raincoats on but I was surprised how big some of them were already. It occurred to me that some of you might not be able to get out to see the lambs so here they are.
Celandines are in flower along the lane but as the sun was hiding they weren’t open so no photos.
I didn’t stay out long as it was so cold and looking like rain, just as I got back it started but I managed a couple of quick photo’s.
Daffodils always make me smile and remind me that Spring is just about here, someone please tell the weather.
The pulmonaria and brunnera are flowering, as are the primroses so hopefully I will be doing some clay work next week. You can’t put it off when you work with the seasons.
I’m intending on having a lazy Mother’s Day today, I might get my watercolours out or read my book, and I need to finish the border on my crochet blanket. It’s good to chill a bit now and then.
I will leave you with some more lambs.
Enjoy your Mother’s Day whatever you are doing, I hope you give yourself a bit of ‘me time’ and relax . xx
Come with me on an adventure to Oban and the Inner Hebrides. I would love to be here right now but I have my memories and I hope to return soon.
We had a lovely break in Oban at the start of the month, the sun shone all week and fortunately there weren’t many midges about.
We stay in Oban quite often, then island hop, taking ferries of all shapes and sizes to different isles.
As you know I love wildlife, every time I come to this area I hope that I will see otters in the wild, but alas once again they evaded me. I did see quite a lot of wildlife though, including these very comical black guillemot, they were fun to watch in the harbour right outside our apartment.
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This week we braved to weather, which was cold but still, to do our first raku firing of the year. It’s always exciting and unpredictable, hopefully in a good way. This time things started off really badly but we sorted the issues and re-fired the first couple of pieces. We also had a few breakages but you come to expect that it’s the nature of raku work.
Here are some leaves that have made it into my Etsy shop, I had a few customers waiting for new stock to arrive so they are going quite quickly.
I have restocked the small raku fish and there are a few larger fish as well, these ones have a lot of copper, the others are turquoise and blue.
I have a few moon gazing hares too, these would be great Easter gifts to let someone know you miss them.
Here’s a closer look.
The snowdrop trinket dishes and hearts that I showed you a few weeks ago are in the kiln now, I can’t wait to open it up but it’s still cooling down, patience pays off in the end.
I am watching things growing in the garden, soon the bluebells will be out, I have some pulmonaria flowering but no sign of the brunnera flowers yet. It’s going to be a busy time in a week or two, watch this space. I like working with the seasons.
Hello blog readers, as I’m not getting out fell walking these days I’ve been enjoying looking back at some of my past walks with fond memories. Come with me up Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain.
I thought you might like to take a walk with me up Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, but I warn you this is a picture heavy blog post.
The weather was perfect during the week for a walk up Scafell Pike. I have been planning to do this for so long but I think I had something of a mental blockage about going up Scafell. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because I hear so many stories on the local news about people getting in trouble and calling out the Mountain Rescue.
This wasn’t the most demanding, or dangerous walk I’ve done but it certainly is challenging, and in bad weather it could be very dangerous indeed, it’s not a walk to be taken lightly.
We chose the easy route setting off early in the morning from the car park at Wasdale Head heading up Lingmell Beck.
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Hello blog readers, it’s been a while since my last post, I seem to be getting less done these days. I thought a lockdown would mean prolific work but it doesn’t seem to be the case.
I am enjoying the cold but bright weather, getting out on my daily walks. As we are all walking the same or similar path each day (following the rules) I like to shake things up a bit by looking out for something to make each walk special. Most often it’s birds or plants but a few days ago I decided to look more closely at trees, especially bark textures.
On my way home I remembered I’d planned to make some wall pockets for air plants but I never got round to making them. Out came the clay and I set to work on the idea in my head. There were some design issues to work out, how to contain the plants, how to hang the piece etc.
Here they are drying nicely, I made a few pebbles as well as plant wall pockets.
They are in the kiln now as I type, fingers crossed they survive the first firing and then I can get decorating. My air plants have arrived and I need to get them displayed on the wall.
In March I decided the best way for me to get through the situation we found ourselves in was to indulge in small pleasures, holidays at home, virtual tours on Youtube whilst clocking up some miles on the exercise bike, good food, wine, lots of reading and craft projects of course. However once the days got shorter I didn’t feel much like working.
December was mostly about self indulgence, so January had to be about ‘my body is a temple’ to make up for the December excesses.
We have followed a healthy eating plan, mostly vegetarian, we have done dry January, we’ve walked locally when weather has permitted otherwise there’s the exercise bike and more virtual tours. I’m still allowing myself the luxury of taking breakfast back to bed and reading until it’s light , as well as little treats such as online art and craft courses. I’ve lost the weight I’d gained in December but it’s more than that, after 2 weeks I felt noticeably different, bouncing with energy, I actually wanted to get back to work.
The snowdrops were still not quite ready so I started making some leaves and fish which will be raku fired on a warmer sunny day.
Now the snowdrops were starting to bloom so I brought some indoors to enjoy for a day before taking them out to the studio for some clay work. It was only 5C out there but I soon got into the zone and the time flew by.
I am feeling quite pleased with myself for finally getting back to work and you know what, I enjoyed every minute.
Spring really is just around the corner 🙂