Thursday, 29 September 2016

Cotehele Hanging Garland


Thanks for calling in.

Our National Trust magazine cascaded through the letterbox with a thud yesterday and if you don't get one or didn't notice the feature on the spectacular Cotehele garland, here's the article just in case you fancy making one for Christmas yourself.  Do have a look - there's even a short video with festive music!

National Trust photo
Cotehele is a beautiful Tudor house now owned by the National Trust not far from Saltash. We visited when we were on holiday in Plymouth a few years ago.  Right up on the hill, the views would have been fantastic if it hadn't been so misty.  We could only just make out the bridge over the River Tamar below.  You can also visit the Mill on the Quay by the stream.

I expect the garland will look beautiful once all those gorgeous flowers are installed.


Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wokingham Arts Trail


Thanks for popping in.

There are some artistic people about, behind ordinary front doors a wealth of crafty industry is busying away producing wonderful things. Garages have been turned into ceramic studios, bedrooms into the design hubs for potters, sheds burst with all manner of paints, ground up rock and glazes. Who knew?

After 14,500 steps around Wokingham, I visited 7 of the 11 venues.  You follow the map which had all the details of the venues, artists and their websites - have a look here.  It was a bit odd just waltzing into people's houses but the bunting and signs welcomed us in and it was fascinating to hear about the making process and even have a tour of the studio, learn the stories behind the paintings and admire the surroundings, even have a cup of tea.

The first stop took me past the church.

Here's a very small selection of things on offer, follow the link above for more.

Stained glass by Nicola Kantorowicz - - showing the stages in the process.

Handmade pots by Sarah Abell -

On to the next location, got a bit lost! Delicate ceramic dishes amongst other things by Suzanne Needham -

Back into the town.

Molecular Art by Catherine Hadler was reminiscent of Aboriginal paintings but were actually based on cell structures. Have a look here.

Back out of town in the other direction.  All sorts made from paper, glass and clay from Christine Morgan -

There were some excellent paintings but I didn't feel comfortable taking too many photos.  Now I know that there is all this local talent around when I need to buy that special present.

A great walk on a sunny day amidst the colours of Autumn.


Tuesday, 27 September 2016



How are you?

You've got to have a project on the go, haven't you.  I can't resist a ball of wool, it's the colours really.  I always end up making something crazily colourful, so this time I thought I'd order a Harmony Stylecraft pack put together by Lucy from Attic24.

I'm going to try to make a more subdued blanket.  I've made a start.  How do you think I'm doing so far?


Monday, 26 September 2016

Garden Mosaics


Thanks for visiting. Welcome.

Today, I have four mosaics for you!  I hope you enjoy looking round the garden at this time of change.

First up are the flowers.

Second, just a few photos of the produce.

Then, some leaves.

Finally, wood in all its variety.

On the other side of the world, daffodils and tulips are being celebrated. Amazing isn't it, a great big Mexican wave of flowers around the world!


Sunday, 25 September 2016

Mass and Momentum


Fancy seeing you here!

Last time, I visited the Art Centre by the shops, a new exhibition was being installed so this time I was keen to see what was what.

Dolly Kershaw's Mass and Momentum offers nine different works in which gravity and/or the participant plays a part.

To Participate, 2015 - the sign invites you to sit on the pivoted board to watch and hear the marbles whoosh about around you giving an indication of the mood and experience of the person.

Coloured gravel, 2016 - you are invited to walk over the squares of different coloured aquarium gravel and cause them to merge.

Scales, 2014 - handmade copper scales are balanced by the piles of gravel but the adjustment is altered by the flow of people in the room who are encouraged to add gravel to iron out any inconsistencies.

Magnet wheel, 2013 - horseshoe magnets are joined and interlock like fabric.

Pencil sharpening, 2016 - a fragile column of pencil sharpening

Mobile immobility, 2015 - with all the castors fixed together with the wheels facing in, the wheel created could move.

The I's, 2013 - the I shaped blocks are like a jenga tower. I rather like the expression on the dog's face outside the window who has his eye on a gardener in the corner!

I'm sure the children visiting the gallery will love to have a go with the exhibits.


Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Park This Week


Thanks for calling in.

We've had some rain lately and the temperatures have dropped so it's not surprising that there are a few leaves on the ground now and that things are looking a shade Autumnal.

Sorry about the bin! I just didn't see it, ha ha!!

Here's the keep fit class again, well half of it as the others had already sprinted along the path.

This flowering plant was enjoying stardom this week, all the bees were going crazy on it.

The fair had done its job and was packing up to leave, till next time.

The leaves of change.

Cheerio park, have a good couple of weeks.

Cheerio to you as well!

Friday, 23 September 2016

Lookout its Five on Friday!


It's so nice to see you.  Luckily you've arrived just in time for Five on Friday, the link-up with Amy at Love Made My Home so there are plenty of great posts to look at if you follow the link.

I thought I'd take you for a walk to The Lookout today - it's described as an all- weather venue with 90 hands-on science and discovery activities, but it is in the middle of a forest with lots of footpaths, cycleways and café so you don't need to go to the children's activities or playground if your children are in their late twenties like mine!

One - Children

My visit coincided with a school trip so there were too many children about for photos in the Discovery area. There were so many things they could do - launch a hot air balloon, build a dam in a stream, climb a scaffold to tile a roof, break light beams to play music, puzzles or play in the outdoor park and loads more besides.  On special days some poor adult can wear the Eric the Owl costume, their mascot, and frighten chat to all the children!

These stickers stuck in a ball were an attempt at getting the children to dispose of them in a sensible way, rather than litter the area.

Two - Adults

You can hire bikes to explore the woodland.

Or test your skills at Go Ape, climbing up in the canopy, whizzing down zipwires following a segway course and such like.

There are lots of trails to follow, even a mountain bike one.

Three - Woodland

Swinley Forest, 2,600 acres of Crown land, has mainly pine trees with bracken which is turning brown now.  It was so peaceful, the birds were twittering away as I followed the Heritage trail towards Ceasers Camp.

One area had been cleared and all the trunks piled up.

Four - Pools

Forest Pool was as still as a mirror. Dragonflies flitted about. My camera wouldn't let me zoom as the batteries were running out but I managed to photograph one as it hovered.

Five - Café and Shop

The building blends in well with the surroundings and it's nice to have a cup of coffee, a look in the shop or at the tourist information to finish off your walk.

I hope you've enjoyed a quick look round and that you have a great week.

Bye for now