Friday, April 30, 2010


We have been invited to Bev and Johns home tomorrow night for a meal-we met Bev when she came to class a while ago.
We have become close friends over time-although we haven't yet met Bevs hubby John-he shares my birthday so I'm sure we will get on fine !
I offered to take along the pudding and decided to make my lemon and lime cheesecake that has always gone down well at dinner parties in the past.
I couldnt find the recipe which is on a bit of paper somewhere but managed to remember it ok and the kitchen was filled with lovely smells all afternoon as I prepared it!
Its in the fridge chilling now-all I have to do tomorrow is add some more zest to the top to decorate it!
We are really looking forward to tomorrow night!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Emails--fly away home

It would appear that some peoples spam filters are set too high--Ive had an enquiry about a painting that has already been sold--Joanne K has asked if I have another one like it--Its called fly Away Home
I have replyed to her twice but havent heard back so imagine that she hasnt recieved my emails.
I do state in several places on my site to always include a phone number when you contact me--at least then I can follow up any enquiries--so Joanne if you read this-please give me a ring or email me your number!


We had a cracking night last night-as always when things are not planned, things always turn out great!
Our friends Marion and Phil were calling by to pick something up and we decided to have a BBQ as we had stuff left over from the weekends BBQ's.
We had treated ourselves to a new chimanea and some new lights for the fishpond as well so it was a great opportunity to try them out.
Bill started off warming up the chimanea slowly as they can crack if you get them too hot too quick, and it was soon throwing out loads of heat.
We had some great food-lamb steaks, beef steak and pork as well-together with lots of lovely herb salad and garlic mayo--delish! One of our favorites if banans wrapped in bacon--its to die for!
Its quite amazing how the fresh air can make you eat!
As soon as it dropped dark the new lights went on in the pond--I am well pleased with them--the lights change colour and the water comes up in various fountains-the photos dont do it justice-the colours change all the time and were lighting up the big tree as well giving a beautiful effect.
We switched the underwater lights on as well and the fish had a great time-its a real treat for them!
The moon was huge and was behind the trees most of the night-very atmospheric.
The time flew by-and we set off one of our new red heart shaped chinese lanterns quite late on!
We cheated a little and held it over the chimanea to inflate it first and save the wax wick so it would fly for longer.
We would have loaded the car normally ready for the market in the evening but as there are no lights in the garage since the contractors managed to drill through the 4 cables 2 weeks ago when putting in the cavity wall insulation, we had to get up extra early to do it this morning--after going to bed at turned 1am and getting up at 6am to get loaded up for the market we are feeling pretty knackered tonight-so an early night for us tonight!


We have been having lots of fun watching the birds in the garden-the little robin is feeding his wife somewhere nearby and is a constant visitor-so Bill made him is own little feeding station in the curly hazel bush.He has fastened a plastic dish in there and keeps it topped up with Robins favorite mealy worms and seed.
We had friends round last night for a BBQ and Robin wasnt at all shy -in fact he seemed to be posing for his photos to be taken!
We were on a different stall to normal today on the market-due to some of the stalls being taken down to allow the annual May fair to take place.
we were very amused to watch this blackbird nicking the grapes from the packs on display! Roger who owns the stall said blackie was waiting for the cherries to come in-he goes mad for them!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Marden Art Club Demo

We have been over to Marden near Hereford tonight to do a demo for the arts and crafts club.
We had met some of the ladies before as I have been to Marden WI twice before-once to do an oil painting demo and again to do the encaustic demo!
We met one lady whose name escapes me now-who after seeing the oil painting demo a couple of years ago-booked up and came to the poppy field class-she loved it and was telling everyone what good results she got and how much fun she had in class!
We had some lovely results tonight in the demo-after I showed everyone the basics we let them loose with the irons and waxes.
Lots of laughter went on with everyone looking at each others pictures and spotting the faces and animals that appear in the melted wax.
In the 3rd picture down there is a lovely horses head in the centre of the picture.
Everyone enjoyed them selves tonight-and Ive got to re-order some more encaustic irons , card and waxes after the members bought equipment to carry on this fascinating art form.

Happy Birthday Chris!

When we were on the market yesterday two of my regular students Pauline and Chris called by to say hello.

It came out in conversation that its Chris's birthday today-and luckily I was able to get a birthday gift to Pauline while Chris's back was turned!

Chris loved his artist watch--Im sure he will be wearing it to class when they come next time!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Todays Class-Summer Day

We had a mix of first timers and some who had been before in today's class.
Sam, Gemma, Helen B, and Lyndsey had all been 4 times before.

Will aged 13 came along with his Aunty Sam for the first time, Jeannette I met at the market on Wednesday , Mercedes had been bought a gift voucher by her daughter Sara-Jane who also decided to join us and Helen lives in Normandy France and had found my website!

None of the first timers had ever painted before-and Mercedes said after the class that she hadn't expected to be able to paint anything any good!
Sara-Jane had a t-shirt on saying "I survived swine flu" which we all thought was just a joke -however it turns out that she HAD in fact been in intensive care on a ventilator for 11 days last November after catching swine flu.
Everyone was a bit nervous-there are a lot of brushes and techniques in this painting--8 brushes, 1 silicon tool and a knife to be precise.
However as I went through each stage in small bite sized bits no-one was left wondering what to do next.
Hardest part was the knife work on the waves-getting the pressure and angle right is quite difficult and all the first timers really came in at the deep end with the first painting they tackled.
We soon progressed with it though and by the time we stopped at 12pm for lunch we were nearly finished.
Its very handy having the cafe at the venue--the students were able to order what they wanted for lunch before the class started and it was all ready for them when we stopped. They do a beautiful melted cheese baghette for just £2 which went down well, as did the bacon butties.There is a lovely patio area for us to sit in the sun and eat as well which was nice as the sun was shining and warm.
We had a wide variety of poppies going in at the end-big ones, small ones-and everything in between-the time seemed to fly by.
We are seeing everyone again--Sam and Gem are coming to do the Birches and bringing her Mum and stepdad so it will be a real family affair!
Helen is going to coincide another trip to the UK with another class she wants to do--Bill made her a box to keep her painting safe en route back to France on Monday!
All in all a great class all round-everyone went away happy and with a lovely painting!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tomorrow Class

Im really looking forward to tomorrow class. Ive got a good mixture of first timers and more experienced students coming.
In this painting they will learn to use a wide variety of brushes and also the knife as well.

It will be a busy few days--I have 9 in tomorrow,we are on the market on Sunday and I have a demo at Marden art and craft on Monday evening!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

To a Phenomenal Woman

I found this on one of the forums I look at--

When I was in my younger days,
I weighed a few pounds less,
I needn't hold my tummy in
to wear a belted dress.
But now that I am older,
I've set my body free;
There's comfort of elastic
Where once my waist would be.
Inventor of those high-heeled shoes
My feet have not forgiven;
I have to wear a nine now,
But used to wear a seven.

And how about those blasted tights --
They're sized by weight, you see,
So how come when I put them on
The crotch is at my knee?
I need to wear these glasses
As the print's been getting smaller;
And it wasn't very long ago
I know that I was taller.
Though my hair has turned to grey
and my skin no longer fits,
On the inside, I'm the same old me,
the outside's changed a bit.

But, on a positive note...
I've learned that no matter what happens,
or how bad it seems today,
life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things:
a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents,
you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a "living" is
not the same thing as making a "life."
I've learned that life sometimes
gives you a second chance.
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life
just being a doormat.
You need to be able to throw something back.
I've learned that whenever I decide something
with an open heart,
I usually make the right decision.
I've learned that even when I have pains,
I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day you should reach out
and touch someone.
People love a warm hug,
or just a friendly pat on the back.
I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tommys Painting

I had the pleasure of Tommy's company again today.
You may remember Tommy from last year when he came to the house and I showed him how to use acrylics rather than the watercolours he had been used to.
Tommy suffered brain damage in an accident more than 30 years ago when he was in the army.
It has left him very weak down one side.He had to sit down after a short while as his back was hurting him, so we got the easel set up on a small table in the kitchen for him.
Tommy also has double vision bless him so its not at all easy to him to paint-although he loves it.
We decided to have a go at The Birches today--as you don't have to be so precise with the paint.
He did the background quite quickly and the first layer of trees.
He found it easier to paint the trees from the top down instead of the usual bottom to top.
When it came to doing the birches he had great control over the brush when shading.
We went into the garage to do the splattering.
Tommy ended up with a few freckles of black paint as he pushed the bristles the wrong way!
After doing some more sponging at the base of his trees we were finished.
He has gone away with more big bottles of acrylic paint to carry on doing it at home.
His wife Margret thinks it will be easier for him to do in in colour rather than black and white next time due to his double vision, which we hadnt thought about beforehand.
Any way Tommy was happy with his painting and has learned some more techniques.
I will no doubt be seeing him again soon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Encaustic Demo

Yesterday we spent an afternoon at the local craft club doing an encaustic demo for the ladies. It was our second time there!
Everyone was able to have several goes at it as well.

We had some stunning results from everyone.
As usual lots of weird things appeared in the melted wax-including a shark with his mouth open!

We are off to Marden Craft club next Monday evening to do another encaustic evening.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Karens 40th

After a really enjoyable class on Saturday it was time to get ready for Karen's 40th birthday party.
I met Karen a while ago when she commissioned a sunflower painting from me.
Since then she has bought numerous paintings from me and also painted her own beautiful paintings in my classes.
We have become very close friends and speak daily!
It was lovely to meet up with Karen and her partner Steve last night-the food was lovely--I had the birthday fruitcake for breakfast this morning,before we left for the bootsale!
The landlady of the Inn on The Green where the party was held was very keen to have a painting class in the pub-and Im waiting to hear the numbers etc so we can arrange it. Sounds like they all want to do the popular Summer Day painting. Watch this space !