Thursday, September 17, 2015


      For some time I've been thinking of writing more about my inner thoughts and my mind-ramblings. My posts have always been about what I've been doing, things I've finished, WIP, or the flowers in my life and somehow now this is not enough. To satisfy me.
So, often, and not always, I want to open up my blog, sharing more of my thoughts. Not many photos, probably lots more words...I'll see where the mood takes me.
Last night we had two friends of very long standing come to stay, two sisters. Middle daughter came for dinner and we had a very happy night, reminiscing about times gone by, our children being much the same age and having spent lots of time together. 
Today's post then is about the value of friendships, old and new, friendships that endure through thick and thin.
A few days ago I spent a couple hours with three friends who have been part of my life for the last fifteen years, not a huge period of time  but nevertheless very important and valuable. We had been playing scrabble when one friend commented on the value of friendship. We are all in our seventies, facing different sorts of challenges. Our discussions had ranged this day from shoulder operations, illnesses, relationships, as well as age related challenges, not just about ourselves but wide ranging through our community and beyond. What was so important about our chatter was the laughter we shared as we 'wandered' through our afternoon. We laughed as we forgot whose turn it was, we laughed as we stumbled over spelling, we laughed knowing that we do all have senior moments, that we really weren't showing signs of early dementia, an illness feared by most people of our age. It is laughter that cements a friendship I am quite sure, laughter that washes away the tears, laughter that keeps one forging ahead. 
 By the way...I was comforted by one of my girls a few days ago when she said, Mum, you've always been absent minded so you're no different now!
I have moved house, had different situations throughout my life and I sometimes envy those who have stayed in the same home or area most of their lives. But now I could say that each move turned out to be a differnt stage of my life. And accompanying those different stages I've had friends that have travelled beside me.
Sometimes these friendships have endured whereas other friendships have ended or just drifted away. At times I've been saddened by this but I now feel these friends who walked beside me were there to help me through particular stages in my life. And some of these friends would move on as well, to walk beside others who need a helping hand. Like giant shifting tides coming and going, a huge jigsaw of friendships fitting together, circles spinning, moving, joining, and spinning on to other circles.
The amazingly wonderful thing too is that there are all the close friends who will always be close, whether you see them every twenty or thirty years, every week or more often, or just occasionally, always the same, always able to share in whatever is going on, always with a smile and a hug, the hug that says so much.
I am so grateful to all those friends who have helped me get to where I am now. In fact I feel incredibly blessed as I look back and remember. 
And that is where I'm at today! 

Monday, August 24, 2015


We have been here for about 6 months now and it has been a joy watching the seasons unfold, watching to see which flowers appears next. A very bare magnolia began to bud, no inkling of its colour. I cut a promising bud and brought it inside, hoping the warmth would bring the flower on early...which it did! 
                             And now today the flowers are opening up at the rate of knots!


The hellebores here are so happy, lots of different colours with thousands of babies popping up underneath the foliage, I didn't know that this occurred so I'm delighted at having lots to replant and give away.






Yesterday we went to see StoneFruit's new garden and came home with a wee bunch of violets and some beautiful camellias so now have lovely glimpses of her garden with me. The violets are beautiful, delicious whiffs of scent when ever I pass by! I'm really looking forward to more 'garden reveal' from her new home. 



Friday, August 21, 2015


I can't believe it is two months since I last blogged, and just over two months since I came home from NZ with my 'new direction'. All the best intentions to blog more regularly, make more  'creations' as I call my weird women and weird birds! Best intentions gone astray!


This is one I made for an artist friend, with a pallette and a paint brush, the bristles made from dog hair!  
Not too many squirrels around here!

I've been using Gypsona and Modroc plaster of Paris bandages on top of some sort of structure such as armature wire, light cardboard, foil, whatever works, held in shape with masking tape. Sometimes I've found it difficult to get the smooth effect ii wanted and this is where a very handy husband is worth his weight in gold, even more than normal! He suggested I used  a joint compound that plasterers use such as the No More Gaps ( the one he happened to have in his workshop) to smooth over lumps and bumps or to shape small features and also the plaster 'powder'to pat, stroke on where I needed more plaster cover. They work so well and helped me a lot, especially as I'm learning this new craft.

Here half the owl has had the compound smoothed over the bandage plaster, much easier then to paint.

Something else I worked out with plasticine! I modelled a (rather scary) head with plasticine, sliced the head in half...through the ears, then glad wrap over each half,  then use the plaster of Paris bandage to cover each half. Then when the plaster is dry, carefully lift the model off the plasticine , trim off the edges and plaster over the join. With this particular woman I used small pieces of the bandage but now I have the plaster compound I would us it instead, easier to make  a good join.
I do hope these hints might help other newbies!
I'm needing to be more organised with my day to day routine. It is so easy to find other things that 'have' to be done and the fun things are left for a 'better'time. So ....good intentions to do more, such as actually scheduling on my calendar my creative appointments...I'll let you know! 

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Whilst in NZ Kate introduced me to the art of making models using the Gypsona Plaster of Paris over some sort of structure, wire, squished paper, foil and tape of some sort, the. Working in the same manner as happens with papier mâché. I've been getting myself into my work corner, in the cold laundry, whenever I can find a few moments. Really good fun until suddenly I'm coooold! Not having realised earlier as I was so absorbed in what I was doing.

This is for my artist friend and no, this isn't a model of her as she is in real life!

The paintbrush is made from a match and a snippet of our golden retriever's hair, he had very kindly offered to help in any way he could!

This is the beginning of a blue wren for one of my June birthday friends.

And a long legged something?! 

It is very exciting to find this new direction, to have ideas flowing in and through my mind after having felt stuck for so long.

Friday, June 12, 2015


A long day yesterday, 12 hours door to door, and very happy to be home! However the pangs of leaving the family are pretty large! But, there will be a next time and I did have a very happy husband waiting for me at the airport...he didn't quite give me the welcome that Bear, our golden retriever gave me....he literally, the dog I mean, didn't stop spinning around, kicking his back legs up in a skip every time he completed a circle, throwing his soft toy up in the air, talking his talk, for at least ten or fifteen minutes all the time with his eyes glowing with love!! So funny! 
We didn't leave the house much as we were deeply involved in using the plaster of Paris bandages, following different paths with it. Too many great books, yummy meals and lots of chatting!

Kate's butterfly and her caravan...of course a caravan!

Not great photos but Kate will have better ones on her blog I'm sure. Don't you love Hugo's mouse house... Strangely his parents don't want the mouse house to live in their house, to have mice residing with them permanently just isn't on!
Archie with his sustainable art project, beautifully presented in the box he had made, maybe with a bit of help, I'm not sure. I'm so impressed with this work, so interesting to see what he was able to do.

No homecoming would be complete without a wander around the garden...

The first daphne, the delicate snow drops and a mushroom gleaming in the grass! 
So good to be home, good to be with family here just wishing we were all in the same country!

Monday, June 8, 2015


Once again time is flying, bundled up with my family here, embedded as they say in all the everyday happenings that normally I only hear about. I don't need entertaining or to be taken to interesting places, just being here is more than enough.

I look out onto this from my bed each morning, very easy to sit in bed with my cups of tea and watch the sky light up through the last of the Autumn leaves, birds flitting and chatting a few feet from me.
I've been wanting, needing a new direction with creating, feeling very stuck and uninspired. And...suddenly I'm off in that new direction! So exciting! Kate had discovered the Gypsona plaster of Paris bandage crafting. Using it as you do with papier mâché. Building a structure, and then covering with sloppy pieces of the plaster bandage.
Kate has been making an amazing caravan, I'll leave that to her to blog is beautiful...of course!

The rather spooky hand cast behind belongs to Archie, photo bombing! 

This poor old duck hasn't been quite finished, her pipe cleaner arms are to be covered. And she is rather knock kneed poor thing!
We've been using Gypsona bandage, bought from the chemist, I do wonder whether they are wondering about the boys, whether they have many broken bones that the parents are hiding from the medical world?!
Archie had a 'mental health' day on Friday spending a  quietly happy morning alongside his aunt, mother and grandmother who were all occupied with various projects and now today we'll have another special time with my extra family so lots of special times. Hugo had his time with the Gypsona yesterday, making a mouse house!
We did have a library trip just after I arrived to top up all the books Kate already had waiting for me. So many good books with a surprising one for me the best so far...Jodi Piccoult's Leaving Time. Quite different to her other books with a very surprising twist at the end. I think I could have spent my entire time here reading but one needs to talk, eat, (delicious meals!) create,  nap and of course, sleep so all these activities do rather distract me from reading!
And there are persimmons...I love them, eating, looking, appreciating the beautiful colour! 

Home on Thursday which of course will be lovely too, but oh, I do so hate saying goodbye! 

Sunday, April 26, 2015


About three years ago I bought a camellia and planted it is a shady spot where I thought I might have a hope of it growing. Camellias seem to do well in our hot/cold area if they get a good start but I hadn't had any luck with them...until this one survived...but then we left it behind when we moved. And today I've just realised that the camellia I've been ocasionally picking is the same as the one I left behind. One of those happy little coincidences that has happened since we came here.

An at last finished jumper! For the 4 year old J. I was worried that it wouldn't fit him after 18 months of knitting, in very much fits and starts. Lastnight I finished sewing ll those ends from all those stripes and breathed a huge sigh of relief! I have been doing other projects in between knits and now can get going in earnest with my already begun ripple rug....

It is probably not a good idea to look too closely at the ripples, they aren't altogether in alignment but I'm hoping to be an 'expert' by the end!??!

I'm using wool I have in my stash, the brown is not a favourite of mine, nor is the blue but with the other favourites I think they work. And sadly the lime green isn't being produced any more so will have to find something similar. So....hopefully it won't take me two years to finish!
Hope you're all having a happy weekend.