Sunday, August 14, 2016

Antrim Annie.....

We have had much fun over the years with various caravans.. all quite old ones, but they have all served their purpose.. Mainly used for staying in at the various shows we do, and useful as storage for paintings in the winter!       However I have always yearned for a decent size bathroom... the usual little tiny bathrooms that most caravans have are quite claustrophobic!     So I have always been on the lookout for one with an end bathroom.. well last Sunday I found just what I have been looking for.. An Avondale Antrim....we went to have a look and I fell in love,,, The bathroom is bigger than our en-suite at home,, loads of space , a proper shower cubicle and also a full size cooker and fridge too...found a few random things left in her --such as a full size Christmas tree and lights LOL..Also got a full size awning and porch awning with her too,,,

We didn't have an oven in our last caravan, just 3 rings and a grill... which to be honest was enough,,but we have the option now with a big oven too..!    The full size fridge with big freezer compartment will be most welcome....plenty of room for ice cubes and wine, as well as the food!

Loads of storage in the bathroom as well as the rest of the caravan...all the fly screens and sun screens work too..which is a bonus..

cant wait to try out the shower...

Was sorry to see our old one go,she sold the very next day, before we fetched  Annie home. I hope her new owners will have as much fun in her as we did..        I have done a deep clean throughout in Annie, and she is sparkling now.. We have decided to have a couple of nights away next weekend to try everything out-she is quite a bit newer than the old one.so will be interesting to see how everything works,,we are not going far from home but looking forward to it just the same.. the parrots are already looking forward to being spoiled by Jeannie who parrot/fish sits for us... She loves it here too-so everyone is happy!

"Yesterday" Workshop

Marguerite was a long way from home--Miami-Florida to be exact... first time painting..Had some interesting conversations via emails with her-and she sent me some sketches she had done about her time in England which had us creased! Her painting was just brilliant but she said she couldn't take it back to the USA with her..she has de-cluttered her life in the USA and managed to come to England for a month with a 22in suitcase! Blimey---I would need one that size just for my makeup LOL...Anyway  we decided to that I would use her painting to raise money for the O'Connor Cancer Unit at Shrewsbury Hospital where my son Jim has been treated,,  so I will be asking for bids on it shortly and all money will be donated to the unit...
Hahahaha--this is what happens when you squeeze a litre bottle of white acrylic paint--that has an air lock!!! Blimey-what an explosion! Luckily for me I already had my painting clothes on--and the students quickly helped clear up the paint off the floor etc!!!
We had 9 students.. 6 of which were first timers...

We had a wide range of colours used,

you would never believe that these 3 ladies had never painted before...

Beautiful results from the 9 ladies... will look forward to seeing them all again...

Tenbury Show 2016

After a hectic Burwarton Show there was hardly time to draw our breath before heading to Tenbury the next day to get our stall set up for the show on Saturday! Its another brilliant show, very well organised..There was a steady stream of customers all day long..

the tiny paintings looked a little lost as there were so few left! I really must get painting again this week--have a big 2 day show coming up at the Shewsbury Steam Rally at Onslow Park on bank holiday weekend..have a few big ones to get finished and loads of small ones to do...

The paintings on the top left and right of this picture sold-- Stormy Poppies and Squirrels Eye View..and also a big Birches painting that is hidden from view by the chair and my slates stand!

It was fun to demonstrate to the public just how easy it can be to learn to paint ''My Way''

And when I saw Frankie setting up her stall opposite ours on the Friday evening, I promised myself that if I sold 2 paintings at the show I would buy one of her beautiful mirrors that she makes...I fell in love with this one as the cat reminded me of our dear Sparky Cat,,,, I sold the first painting very early on in the day... and went over to tell her I would buy the mirror when I sold another painting....... then I remembered that I had in fact sold a painting the week before from Visions gallery in Shrewsbury..so I was back there in a shot to buy it.. The workmanship is just wonderful..and worth every penny... It hasnt been hung yet at home---its 3 ft tall and I want it to be exactly right,,, to see more of Frankies beautiful mirrors have a look at her website. Frankies Mirrors

Burwarton Show

We had a cracking show at Burwarton this year,,it was very busy from the word go...

We set up our stall a little different to usual, and managed to get everything out really neat!

The tiny pictures proved to be very popular....and didn't get chance to paint any more ready for Tenbury show on the Saturday..

record crowds attended..

This Summer Day painting is going to Australia,,,

and 50 Shades Of Green is going back to Canada,,,I gave instructions to the customers on how to get any dings and dents out of them on arrival back home--both paintings were being packed into suitcases to take back..fingers crossed they arrived safely. We had 2 new students yesterday who had met us at the show too,,,

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Burwarton and Tenbury Shows

We have a busy few days coming up this week,,, we are on the market tomorrow-  then straight from there to Burwarton show where we will get the stall set up ready for the show on Thursday.. its always a busy one for us and most enjoyable as I always get to see loads of my students there! Lots of stuff going on for all the family..

Then on Friday we will set off for Tenbury  where we will set the stall up ready for the show on Saturday-- another great show where I will see loads more of my students and meet new ones! If you are going to Tenbury show--please remember that dogs are not allowed on the showground--so please leave them at home and not in the car..

We will be bloody knackered on Sunday--thats for sure LOL....

Happy Birthday Becki...

I can't believe that my darling daughter is going to be 32 years old tomorrow..where has the time gone?      I am as proud as punch of her-- a kind heart, compassionate soul, understanding mind,  hard working,  wonderful mummy to Tommy and loving wife to Wayne..and always a brilliant laugh! Loves you millions Becki xxxx have a wonderful birthday xxx

Monday, August 01, 2016

The Waterfall Workshop

This workshop was planned for a long time by Jennifer who has been a few times with various members of her family and friends... she had a lovely little pregnant tummy last time we saw her-- the lovely little girl girl was 15 months old when they came to paint!   Scary where the time goes to...anyway  10 of them came together , and another 2 lots of 2... Michelle came to me around 5 years ago and had a private workshop at home-so it was lovely to see her again... she bought along her friend Lynne..It was also lovely to see Joyce again--she received her Artist Brooch off me because she has been at least 6 times! Her daughter Adele came along with her--it was so good to see her--we were at Grammar school together -quite a few moons ago LOL... didn't really get chance to catch up though--must meet up for a coffee at some point Adele...

everyone had a wide choice of colours to choose from... Michelle chose the yellows/greens

Lynne chose to use a lovely purple as a background which gave it a very mysterious feel..

Joyce used ochre and yellow..

Adele adding a few trees...


Ann chose a lovely shade of blue for her background.It worked really well--you would never know that she had not painted before..

looks very misty in Rose's background..

Kerry's background was lovely and vibrant,,,its always amazing how differenet the paintings are -right from the word go..

The paintings develop very quickly...

Fiona went for quite a subtle look,,,

you can add as many trees as you wish..its one of those paintings that just works no matter what,,

Helen adding some shading to her trees here--first time painting for her too...

the bushes go in after this stage,,and completly changes the whole painting--subtle or more dramatic--the choice is yours!

Large and small waterfalls appeared ..

some had streams running into them..

some had rocks behind the water,

some wonderful reflections were added afterwards,,


this was a lovely surprise..a beautiful ''artist'' cup cake for everyone in the workshop--how kind of Kerry...they were all different and delicious too!

Amazing cakes--thanks so much!

every one was different!

nearly finished here....

Fiona's painting ended up quite subtle--  sometimes they start off subtle but end up brighter--

14 happy artists with their paintings!

The Gigglers....they earned the nickname in the early days of the workshops--always giggling away-- nothing changes LOL...

Lynne,Michelle,Joyce and Adele with their masterpieces...

Monday, July 11, 2016

Donation to O'Connor Unit

We have raised enough money again to buy another Dyson fan for the cancer ward in the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where my son Jim was treated for Hodgkins Lymphona last year..  the chemo can make the patients feel very hot and they don't have enough fans to give one to everyone.. so I have a sealed tin on my stall with a note asking people to put something in if they have enjoyed having a laugh at my funny quote slates... so far in less than a year we have raised enough to buy 3 of these fans for the ward.. We dropped the latest one off recently.   My son Jim is doing well after his stem cell transplant that he had the week before Christmas.. he is back at work part time now..but having regular check ups.. he really has had the best care possible from Dr Nigel O'Connor and his team at Shrewsbury, and also the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where he had his stem cell transplant.. Thank you everyone..

Bits and Pieces....

I have had to cancel a few workshops of late because of my Polymyalgia having a major flare up...its very upsetting for me to have to do that , but I have no option when I can't lift my arms to paint!

It has been coming and going for a while now but each flare up seems to get worse and there are only so many painkillers I can have,,, it gets better when I rest-but of course it isn't that easy sometimes.
Between that and the discs in my neck degenerating and causing pins and needles in my arms and legs I have been in quite a state at times!

So a big thank you to everyone for being so understanding and moving to other dates..

I have now been put on a very high dose of steroids again, so the pain and stiffness should be gone again very quickly,,

We will be at the Festival At The Edge in Much Wenlock  this Fri,Sat and Sunday.. we will take the caravan, so I will be able to relax and chill if need be... Its a lovely event and the weather forcast looks like its going to be good...so it will do us both good..
I will have a huge display of paintings up--with the awning and the new Gala tent in use.. and lots of my ''Funny Quote'' shabby -chic slates..

We meet up with old friends we only see there, so looking forward to that very much.. some wine will be packed, and maybe some Pimms too...we just need the sun to shine and the pain to stay away and it will the perfect weekend!

Emerald Woods Workshop --Leicester

We were asked by Amanda, who had been to several of my workshops, if we would travel to Leicester to do a workshop there . We are always happy to travel to do workshops, as long as there are enough people and a suitable room to do it in,, There is an extra charge per head to over our travel costs. In this case it was to be the most unusual place I have ever done a workshop-- in a factory! There were 12 people ranging from 9 years up...just Amanda and Ken had painted before and of course the others all thought they wouldn't be able to make much of a job of it,,

apologies to everyone-- my list of names has vanished out of the diary so apart from Amanda, Ken and Barry I have no idea of names! We travelled up to Leicester on the Friday and stayed in the Ibis nearby.. Bill had prepared the canvas before we left home so we just had to get the easels and paint out for everyone when we got there..

everyone started off with just black and white paint..


we had 4 children painting..

as usual, right from the word go-every single painting was completely different from each other..







Miles joined us from time to time-just to check what was going on in there !

lovely results from everyone quite quickly...

Some amazing spooky trees!


Ken has been twice to Ludlow to paint with me,

Barry was quite surprised at how easy it was..


we had a lovely BBQ for lunch... then it was back to the easels to decide if they wanted to add a touch of colour to the paintings...so many different things can be done to them to change them..

as you can see-some left them monochrome and the others added some colour! They all loved it and we have been asked if we will go back in Sep/Oct to do it again! Will look forward to that very much!