Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Back for a visit

Well, it's been a while, but it seems that in common with most of my regular-reading blogs, other things have taken over, or the interest just isn't the same any more. But I enjoy writing the occasional blogpost, and reading them too, so maybe that will be how it is from now on, a post now and then.

One of the reasons for my absence has been the heat, which I don't cope with physically at all well. Won't bore you with the messy details, but suffice to say shares in Andrex might be a worthy investment! So the period with temperatures in the high 20s/low 30s just didn't suit me at all, and I hibernated. Yes, I know that's something you usually do in winter, but I'm a winter person more than a summer one. Indoors with lots of windows open and blinds closed and even when it has been down to the low to mid 20s, I've not had the mental or physical energy for much really. And today is another hot one, but I'm sitting in my workroom, window in front of me open, desk fan on the go too, and I was just in the mood for a bit of mindless rambling. So here I am...

... and this is another reason for my absence, knocking out fireplaces, installing new, redecorating and so on, and this is the new look sitting room fireplace. We've just finished the summerhouse which has been turned into my meditation/writing space, but a bit too hot and bright out there just now. However a lovely spot for morning coffee and a chat, maybe a photo next time if I remember.

I was talking to a friend recently, also in her 60s, about how our tastes change as we get older. She used to love sewing, soft furnishings mainly, but now finds her hands make it difficult to do the finishing touches, and she hasn't the patience for the fiddly bits anyway. Another friend, like me, used to love gardening, but health issues mean all we can manage these days is a potter. But that's incredibly uplifting to the soul; in my case just fifteen minutes walking around the garden, picking off a dead head here, gathering fresh herbs for dinner, picking beans and tomatoes, radish and picking a pretty posy too, of pinks and lavender, with a sprig of fresh herb in there as well.

Another friend has more or less given up all the handicrafts she used to do and instead spends her time watercolouring and sketching. And has even had friends ask her to paint something for them, had them on show in a local cafe and art exhibition, something I suspect she would never have imagined thirty odd years ago when we first met.

For me too, art - or my version of it - has become a large part of my life. Oh I still knit for charity, crochet too, make felt cushions and pictures as well, but it's the working with acrylics, watercolours, fine tip marker pens, coloured pencils, watercolour pencils, pens and crayons. Glue sticks, double sided tape, Washi tapes, paper ephemera, coloured card, and paper. And a growing collection of books on collage and art journalling.

This is a book diary, a new exercise type book in which I shall record the books I am reading as my current one is just about full - started in 2000 it has over 1500 books listed! Anyway, I decided that the purply shiny cover was too boring, so made a collage cover for it.

My diary too, had a spare page. Normally I use a journal, no dates, so that I don't feel I have to write in them... my life is very quiet, lacking in society, so not much goes on, hence the sparse posts. I just write when I feel like it. However this year was an exception as I found this lovely diary from the makes of FLOW magazine, with a week on one side and blank, lined pages opposite. Some of them have been filled in, or almost filled in, with 'stuff' but a few pages are empty. Can't be having that, it's like having a spot in the garden where there isn't anything growing! So, a bit of acrylic paint to cover it, and then because it's opposite the last week in June, decided to make it flower-themed.

One of my favourite websites since I began messing about with paint etc., is CreativeBug and here you get lots of ideas and so on, not just for arty stuff, but other crafts as well. One of the things to try was putting your pen or pencil on the page, and not looking at what you were doing, just let the pen move, drawing lines randomly. First you do it with your normal writing hand, and then with the other. You can then paint them, fill them in with colour if you wish. Here are my two examples. The BE HAPPY, was just a bit of luck, seeing the almost perfect B shape.

So, there you have it for this month, maybe next month too, who knows. I hope this finds everyone well and enjoying summer. Thanks for visiting.