Wednesday 20 August 2008

Sleepy Hedgehog

I am not the only one round here who sleeps through rare sunny days...

We call him Heath (get it, Heath Hedger). I nearly stepped on him last month as he snoozed on a wee sunny patch on the narrow path. You can see more of the wildlife in my garden on my Folia pages.

Thursday 7 August 2008

7 minutes of sky

July 8th 2008, 8.08pm to 8.15pm (click to enlarge)

A month ago I took pictures of the fast changing sky for seven minutes, these are just a few of them. It was like having a whole month of skies fly by in one ad break. Sky is all I seem to show you these days, but not being out much and not being on the internet either means sky is pretty much the best thing I see each day (not today, day 3 of grey skies and floods).

You probably guessed I've not been well. It takes a lot to stop me blogging. Still not ready to do regular posts but I thought I should update a bit, it's been over 2 weeks. One great piece of news is that my neighbour has asked me to plan her garden for her. When it is done I will be able to enjoy it too so I'm choosing plants for year round interest and going for lots of scents and varied foliage. It feels great to be able to apply my mind to something creative even though I can't do the physical making.

I've still not visited any of you and have taken to inventing stories in my head about what you might be doing, they are all very extravagant... I imagine Susan painting huge murals everywhere, Heather be commissioned to do pinhole wallpaper for a range of exclusive (but not pretentious) boutiques, Lisa collaborating with everyone I admire (oh wait, she's doing that already!), Anna suddenly moving to an island off Indonesia that is threatened by rising seas (not unlikely). I've had these thoughts about all of you who I normally visit. I'm especially thinking of those of you with aches, pains and chronic illness, you know who you all are, I hope you've been having more good days than bad.

Tuesday 22 July 2008

Clouds, again...

Still too tired to blog but always watching the sky and snapping it when I can. That big black cloud dropped 10 minutes of the heaviest rain then the sun came out. We've had two really summery days and tomorrow also meant to be good. The cat is loving it, and is recovering well with lots of sunny places to sleep in our gardens. I went to check on him yesterday (has to be watched as his medication gets reduced) and instead found a sunbathing hedgehog! I took some pics but not uploaded them yet.

Much thanks to everyone who is commenting and visiting even though I've not been doing many or varied posts. I've not been completely useless, 2.5 years late I've finally started trying to edit my Swedish holiday / Ice Hotel photo's. So many images, they are quite refreshing during these few hot days. When I get to blogging more I'll start showing some of them, until then you can see previous photo's I blogged of the Ice Chapel, the Kiruna Snöfestival, and the Ice Hotel.

Tuesday 15 July 2008

Tiny harvest

My 1st blueberry! There bush is only 3 inches high so there are only five berries this year, but I can honestly say it was the best blueberry I have ever tasted. Grow little bush, grow.
Update: It produced about 64 berries the next year. Yee-ha! More details on my Folia pages.

Hectic days, sleepless nights

Sun, wind, showers, the gulls are loving it

Once again, I've neglected my blog. I've not even been checking comments, but I am trying to go through them today. And goodness only knows how many emails I've missed. I'll try and catch up a bit this week. For anyone wondering why I've been blog absent read on, for everyone else, some pictures from June.

Thalictrum at Malleny Gardens

Remnants of June

On the day I started to recover from my own infection, the cat began to succumb to one of his own and nearly died. It was awful, and with Mr P away for a week I had to manage all the vet trips myself. Given that I can't even get to the shops to buy my own food, this was somewhat of a challenge. Fortunately my stress levels got high enough that the adrenalin kicked in and helped me handle the travel, after a fashion. The vets got his temperature down after a few days and he finally ate and drank one week after stopping and he was able to come home before Mr P returned. He's still weak and has lost a lot of weight, but he can walk again and seems keen to keep an eye on his territory, though god forbid he gets into any fights at this stage. I bloody love that cat.

My tall Hebes are bursting with flowers for the bees

The nights when he wasn't here were awful, I couldn't sleep at all, and then when he was here I still couldn't sleep as I was so worried about him dying. Lots of tears, then lots of joy. Now that it's all over I'm completely wiped out and have had no oomph for blogging at all. Plus I seem to be having serious problems with my eyes. I'm a bit shocked how fast my sight has deteriorated in just 2 weeks so I'm guessing I'll have to get my eyes tested and start wearing specs. Hopefully that will sort things out. In my darker moments when the cat wasn't here I was planning what kind of art I would make if I went blind! I do get carried away with my thoughts, good or bad. Lucy also got the all clear from the vet, her lump was just a fatty cyst, nothing to worry about, and her wound is healing well.

Such a lovely background for wild flowers.

Sunday 6 July 2008

After the rain...

Dramatic skies at 10pm last week after yet another torrential downpour. It was a bit like being under a stormy sea full of undulating waves, really quite beautiful, and these photo's don't do justice to the intensity of the clouds. The dark bits were so dark, you could almost feel them sagging from the weight of water inside them. We haven't had any consistently dry weather yet, and the forecast for the week is grey skies, rain and an average temp of 12-13º, an echo of last July. The extra wool blanket is back on the bed and I needed a hot water vottle on my feet last night (the cat agreed and spent the night on the bottle too, instead of tucking into my cold arms. He is very unimpressed by all this wet weather and spends a lot of time sheltered under a conifer.

The perils of popcorn

Blogger won't let me upload images, not sure if it will even let me post this. I'll try again tomorrow. After 10 days of feeling extra awful I realised I had an abscess on my molar. The culprit was a piece of popcorn husk!

Once I realised what it was (when it was so hugely swollen that my self help brain kicked into action (finally!) and I made a mouthwash with diluted apple cider vinegar & geranium oil (because I had run out of Tea Tree oil) to kill the bacteria and sooth the pain which I used every 2 hours through the night. I also made pressed on
a teaspoonful of sodium bicarbonate to draw out the nastiness.

By the time I saw the dentist the next day I had pretty much cleared it, except for the piece of popcorn. He said he would have given me anitbiotics if I'd come to them earlier, but that what I'd done had been really effective so there was no need for any medication. I was so pleased with myself, I hate taking antibiotics and you know how much I believe in the power of vinegar for all manner of things.

Apparently the infection had been really severe but I had attributed the feverishness and feeling awfulness to my other ailments and didn't really take the gum/tooth pain seriously until I found a pea sized lump in the middle of my jaw which, it turns out, was a swollen lymph gland. I thought lymph glands/nodes were at the back of the jaw and under the jaw, but there are little ones all over the place. You learn something new everyday. I'm rather fond of my little bit of lymph now, the unsung hero of my jawline. I wonder how long it will take to go flat again?

So the moral of the story, if you get popcorn under you gum and you can't reach it with floss, go to the dentist before it turns nasty.

Wednesday 2 July 2008

This time on white

Flower arranging

I thought it looked like a butterfly wing so I did some playing...

Or maybe a moth...

Tuesday 1 July 2008

In the grass

Lucy yawning 2 weeks ago, before the vet visit
She likes to sniff around the field. Since I have to sit a lot while she does her sniffing I took my camera one day and decided to see what was right beneath my nose as I waited for her...

Here she is with all her hair intact...


Lucy had a suspicious lump removed. about 10 days ago. Still waiting on the results but the vet seemed to think it should be ok. But look at the enormous patch they shaved off her, I'm glad it's not winter as she'd be really cold. She's not allowed to hop skip jump (or run) and has to be kept on the lead until at least Friday.

I'm sorry to have been off the blog for over a week. I seem to be having a lot of trouble with my eyes, and looking at the screen is really painful. Do any of you with M.E./Chronic Fatigue have eye trouble? I never did the 1st time I had this, so it may just be age related. In fact, I'm getting eye ache already so I better send this before I have to stop.

I hope you are all well, and that those of you with gardens are enjoying the fruits of your labours. I'll try and post a picture of a nice corner of my garden soon, when the downpour stops and the sun shines.

Tuesday 24 June 2008

Brooches that look like rocks & minerals

Maria Lóbez: Brooch, L'invisible 1 2008
Silver, methacrylate
(via Klimt02)

Marielle Ledoux: Brooch, Untitled 2008
(via Klimt02)

Célio Braga: Brooch, Untitled 2007 (via Klimt02)
Textile, felt, glass, hair
Looks like it's covered in Boulangerite crystals.

Yu-Chun Chen: Brooch, Flowerness of the bird II 2007
Iron, paint, horn, steel
(via Klimt02)

Flora Vagi: Necklace, Untitled 2007
Wood, silk
(via Klimt02)

Update: I thought I should include some real minerals too...

Ferberite from Bolivia via Mineral Classics

Ferberite (rare doubley terminated twin) on matrix from Bolivia via Mineral Classics

Monday 23 June 2008

Nature's sculpture

Malachite via Palagems

Barite (botroidal) via

Galena pseudomorph after pyromorphite via Crystal Classics

Goethite (Botroidal) via Crystal Habits

Magnetite- No Mag Bol 5071 from Mineral Classics

Friday 20 June 2008

My work + olympic pool

2008 Olympic Swimming Pool designed by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation jointly with Australia's PTW Architects and Ove Arup Pty Ltd (more images)

3 layered papercuts 1991 based on The 4 Day Sketchbook, 1991

The roof and walls of the new Olympic pool reminds me of much of my work, and made me realise I haven't posted any of my old work since the 1st of May. So let's remedy that right now...

Drawing from The 4 Day Sketchbook, 1991

A print (recent) of a drawing from The 4 Day Sketchbook, 1991

Papercut (1992) based on a drawing from The 4 Day Sketchbook, 1991

Several papercuts, 1991-'92, layered together

If you are new to my blog you can see more of my work in this style such as this felt brooch, this & this papercut, this book, this crochet. Or see more work in general by clicking the My Work tag at the end of this post.

Thursday 19 June 2008

I miss the Western Isles

This is either Barra or Benbecula, 1992 or '93.

When I was at college I used to like walking/camping my way round the Western Isles whenever I could. I hope I can do these things again sometime. Above was one of those days when you looked around and couldn't believe the intensity of the sky, though though looking at this I can't help but wonder if maybe I had a polarizing filter or something on the camera, though I'm sure I didn't own one. If only there were digital camera's back then, I used a roll of film every day and it still wasn't enough to capture all the beauty of the islands and their ever changing weather and isolated beaches.

Tuesday 17 June 2008

Just before it rained

I never cease to feel lucky at having this view 5 minutes from my house.

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