I have always loved History, Literature and Art.........................................................................................................
beautiful things, the stuff of dreams..................................................

flowers, butterflies, fairy tales, embroidered fragments, Chinese blues, Botticelli angels, Blake's visions, Burne-Jones pictures............................................................................................

amongst many other hints and wisps of the past..........................

to catch in my net and weave into mydesigns..................

which I hope others might find as beautiful as their inspirations.

Friday, 29 July 2011

SERAPHINE LOUIS, dite DE SENLIS-the naive, divinely inspired early 20th century painters pictures......

I purposely left images of  Seraphine's art out of the last post as the film/acting/story is so arresting I did not want to put anyone off trying a taster-actual art being very much personal taste.  However, thought it would be nice to show off the amazing colourful work of this relatively unknown artist. 

It is not my normal taste as I am not an Imprssionist fan, but as this is not really Impressionism (bar madness/colour/brush strokes making it reminiscent of Van Gogh), but divinely inspired naive art guess I am intrigued!!! I also love the divinely inspired work of Blake (who in turn inspired one of my artist hero's Rossetti).  More than anything I am in awe of the passion and dedication she showed, under such adverse consitions. To work so hard all her life but despite being so poor and tired she still managed to create works that were true to herself/unique at night after a very hard days work as a cleaner.

Having spent the last two weeks doing a very poor job of the latter and not creating anything at all (being made totally miserable and bored by the whole awful process of pushing objects and dirt around to create order from creative chaos) I admire her creativity even more-even if it does not conform to my usual idea of beauty.....

Friday, 22 July 2011

Country walks and wild flower heaven...

As well as sorting out the cottage I have also vowed to take Toby for longer walks!

Althought the village has a few places to walk dogs, most are beside busy roads or through fields containing herds of semi-wild horses!!!!!!

Today, however, I discovered a new public pathway through the fields to...nowhere exactly it seemed............................... 

Having followed it for a little while, it brought me to a tiny piece of countryside heaven-swathes of purple vetch, giant pink clover, sunny colts foot. masses of  ox eye daisies with all sorts of beautiful butterflies and the hum  bumblebees.  It was totally unexpected, and all the better for that. Unfortunately, as a result, I was unable to take any photographs as I hadn't taken a camera with me :-( Shall try to emember one next time

I am now beginning to desperately want to get on and draw these flowers but still have the mundane to sort.  A good thing as this means I shall finally be spurred in to action, just as I was whilst studying by hand in dates!!!!!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Carlos Schwab-symbolist (1866-1926)

Whilst exploring Geneva we fitted in a visit to the Musee d'Art et Histoire.

This is Charlotte being the human interest in my photo!!!!! The museum was large and contained a wide array of interesting items.  My 'discovery' (personal, as he wasn't lost!!!) was the work of Carlos/Charles Schwab.

The flier shows a beautiful detail  (of blue doves) taken from 'Pelieas et Melisande'. Schwab was a German born artist who was brought up in Switzerland. He then went off to France and became influenced by the Symbolistes and one of their inspirational Pre-Raphaelite artists (and mine!!) Edward Burne- Jones.  No wonder I like some of his work!!! The museum is hosting a year long, changing, exhibition of his work (ending 15th January 2012). At the moment it contains examples of his work as an illustrator.  Wish I could have seen'entre frayeur et hallucination' before it ended in June. Never mind, the taster I had was enough to make me want to discover more about him and the Symbolist Movement.

A quick 'google' revealed very little info, but found one or two pictures I like-particularly 'Death and the Grave Digger'. the angel of death is remarkable-beautiful in an awesome way!!!

So, I shall have to go looking in the deepest recesses of my book shelves, now I am home, for a book I bought on the Symbolistes some years ago, but never found time to read..........oh the luxury of of having time now !!!!!!!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Geneva and the Montreux Jazz Festival

Although I managed a few short posts over the last two weeks there was a distinct lack of photo's..... There is a reason for that!!!! I spent last weekend in Switzerland and managed to leave my camera at my Mother's.  I decided, therefore to leave all reference to my Swiss vacation until I had the pictures to accompany my news!!!

I had a lovely time with scorching weather, a visit to the Montreux Jazz Festival and sightseeing in Geneva.

Here is the famous fountain ( the only thing I remembered from previous visits, as a teenager and then on an inter-rail trip as a student!)

This view of the city has the French alps in the background.  They look very different to when I've seen them covered with snow on past ski holidays!!!

This is the one and only 'street' group that we found in Montreux.  They were very good.  However, as we expected many more we strolled on, past never ending food and 'tat' stalls, looking for more of the same, in the ever increasing crowds. Don't know where they hid themselves, but we ended up enjoying delicious cocktails on the verandah of the very lovely Hotel Suisse,after giving up the search!!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Suhail Shaikh-paper shaper....

Suhail was one of the winners of Isabelle de Borchgraves lovely competition. He submitted a beautiful dragonfly ring, made out of paper-based on model plane making techniques.

Suhail has just started a blog showing some of his new paper cut designs following themes,;such as 'Earth','Air' and 'Water'.  It is well worth taking a look at his wonderful paper creations.  Some are realistic, being based on natural objects such as fish, dragon flies, birds and , more unusually, a praying mantis!  He has also produced a series of much more abstract designs; based on simple shapes and also aeroplane parts, for example  propellers.  The designs are all beautifully photographed, as well as being described in a very lyrical/poetic way by Suhail. He has already had over 1000 visitors since he set it up this month-quite an achievement!

You can see his very interesting work on his blog which is;

Monday, 11 July 2011


Cinderella can go to the Graduation ceremony......:-)

(Although it did seem for a while that my usual computer jinx was at work.......discovered it wasn't just my pass word that wouldn't work and most of CCAD had had problems accessing their results. )

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Over a thousand visitors....

Would never have believed when I was FORCED (!!!!) to set up my blog that in under a year I would be an addict and have had over a thousand visitors :-) So much fun to have done , after the first few teething problems !  :-)

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Sarah Morpeth book making day on Friday...

Set off, on Friday, for Sarah Morpeth's bookmaking workshop at her studio (in the very pretty of Elsden, near Otterburn  in the Borders), two hours drive away.

Was absolutely'blown away' with Sarah's work when I saw it at the The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in the Autumn.  It was lovely to be able to see some of it close up in her studio, as well as being able to see her working environment and talk to her about her designs.

However, the workshop wasn't about paper cutting. It dealt with making the various book types that can them be customised according to a theme by an individual.  Sarah bases her books on a favourite inspirational film.  Her cascade of individual words,machined, torn and then pulled out from a page on a thread, in multiples was amazing. Some of her unique works are able to be seen in the background , below.

Sarah was a good teacher.  She is very enthusiastic about her subject matter, explains everything clearly and is EXTREMELY patient!!!! We all  (five students, on this occasion) had great fun making  popup, beak, pant s(!!!) and concertina books in the morning.

 We then enjoyed a delicious home made lunch , produced by her lovely Mother, in their home, which is next door. In the afternoon we had the opportunity to learn how to make a traditional book with fabric covered board ends and stitched pages. Four o'clock came too soon and sadly I couldn't linger, as I had a long drive home.

Sarah runs workshops on request and is able to be contacted via details on her website

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Village festival -Faith, Hope and Charity/Love!!!

On Thursday I put up a display in the little village, church ready for todays festival.

The festival organisers had asked people to produce Art/ craft/ flowers or whatever to illustrate a favourite biblical verse (as it is the anniversary of the King James' Bible this year).  So, as I had a number of personal items, plus some boards I designed for a project I did in the second year (on the theme of religion/designs for the Durham Cathedral bookshop), I decided to help them by filling a window!!! Hopefully you can tell it illustrates verse 13 Corinthians 13 ???!!!!!

Regulars to my blog will recognise the Hat stand and the heart box and necklace from previous posts!! My display drew  a lot of favourable comments, including are they all yours.  To which I replied yes!!!! I have an unusual collection of bits and bobs that I like to think are eclectic-others have called them eccentric !!!  They all fit Morris' criteria, i.e. only have things that are beautiful or useful in your home, most are the first but a couple cover both! I am not particularly religios having my own weird and wonderful view of life but I do love the embroidered textiles associated with the Cof E and similar groups, so have a few examples found over the years in junk shops.  I also have various hats even though I NEVER wear one.......maybe they are right....eccentric may fit the bill!!!!

The festival itself, that the display was part of, went brilliantly -after alot of hard work by the organisers and some luck with the weather. It is always very traditional and has Morris dancers who, this year, were joined by a group of mummers! I love old things and keeping old traditions alive is very important, I believe.

This shows the back of a Morris dancer and a couple of the mummers in mid flow/fight!!!

Everybody came out in force to support the event,.  It is so nice to be in a village with such a community spirit, and much as I  love foreign travel/living abroad and the lovely countries I have known, it is still nice that there is still a little bit of 'Old Englande' managing to survive in such a technological age.......Long may it continue and thrive for future generations.