Saturday 29 September 2018


I have been busy creating this week.  First there is a birthday card for our nephew.  I do like the vintage look the brown ink and Kraft card gives. I made the stripy envelope just for something different.
 This was made for a colleague at work who keeps forgetting to drink her water.  It actually worked yesterday too as she finished the bottle.  I put some Glossy Accents on the water droplets to make them shine.
 I have recently got a couple of new stamps about being creative.  At work, I often get bogged down in the constant filing, updating spreadsheets, recording information, photocopying, etc. that are part of an admin job.  I made these to remind me to be a bit more positive and remember that there is more to life than work, although I do realise I am lucky to be able to work part time and lucky to have a job.  I really enjoyed making this one, using stencils and stamps.
 More reminders to be positive... I really like the girl's 'sassy' attitude.
This one was inspired by hearing the song 'Life's what you make it' by Talk Talk which is on Youtube here.  It's really bright and colourful and I used lots of ink splat stamps to make the background.  Now I just need to practise what I preach!

Thursday 20 September 2018

Star Plants of late summer/early autumn

 My star plants at the moment are my miscanthus.  I have three varieties - here are Starlight and Kleine Fontane at the back. They are elegant plants and bring movement to the border.  I have found them to be really well behaved too and they provide something to look at throughout the winter.
 This miscanthus Silber Feder is in the other border and is a stunner.  It is statuesque and keeps its flower heads all winter.  If I had a larger garden, I would have many more miscanthus, but I really enjoy the ones I do have.  (The fence panel will be painted black at some point, once the clematis growing in front of it has died down.  The miscanthus will show up beautifully against the dark backdrop).
Helianthus Lemon Queen is a perennial sunflower which has grown absolutely huge this year.  I divided it early in Spring and this seems to have given it a new lease of life.  It towers above me and gives a lovely burst of sunshine yellow. 
 The bees love it too, as you can see.
How about this for a colourful combination?  Cosmos Dazzler, which does live up to its name.  This is a single plant shoved rather unceremoniously into a pot, contrasting against the sunflower.  The cosmos took ages to come into flower and I nearly composted it, but it has redeemed itself now.  As well as 'living for the moment' in the garden,  I do look forward to the way the character of the garden changes with the seasons.

Thursday 13 September 2018

More on Gainsborough Old Hall and All Saints' Church

As promised, here is more from the visit to Gainsborough Old Hall.  I do like this lion sculpture in the Great Hall.
 The Great Hall itself has some beautiful timbers.
The kitchen has enormous fireplaces - there is another one like this on the opposite wall.
This is the view up one of the chimneys - Chris wanted me to take this photo.
 A view of the garden through the diamond shaped glazing.
 Another view of the herb garden.
Chris noticed these hanging acorns on the bed before I did.  They are detachable and I marvel at that attention to detail.
 Even the floors are beautiful, with the brick herringbone pattern.
 Around the Old Hall are paths and grass areas, with trees.
 Another view of the brickwork.
I do like the higgledy-piggledy nature of the building, where you can see areas which were added over the years, like the chimney stack.
Having spent a good while at the Old Hall, we ventured to All Saints' Church in Gainsborough. It has an ancient tower but an 18th Century main body.  On opening the double door, this is what we saw.  It is a large, light and open space, which was quite unexpected.  It reminded me of a theatre, but a church service does share elements of a theatrical performance.   This part of the church was built from 1734 - 1744.  There is more information about the church here.
 This (according to the little brochure I found) is a Morris and Co window.
There was a Georgian font, which was something I hadn't seen before.  It was rather elegant.   I was really impressed with the church as sometimes churches can be dark and oppressive.  This one was decorative, light and beautiful.

Thursday 6 September 2018

Exhibitions at Gainsborough Old Hall

 Last week we went to Gainsborough Old Hall to see a couple of exhibitions before they finished.  I have visited the Old Hall before and you can see my posts about the visits here, here, here and here.  The first was a textile and art exhibition based around Medieval animals, both real and fantasy.  I liked the woodcut bear above and it was printed onto a old piano roll which I though was really clever.
 This read dragon looked very much at home in such an ancient building.
As did this willow unicorn.
The costume exhibition was focused on costumes created for films and I picked out the costumes that appealed most to me.  The photos are not as clear as I would have liked, but this was due to the low lighting.  This first one was for Kenneth Branagh in Henry V.
 This was made for Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth - we all noticed what a small waist she had.
 I was surprised at the level of detail. I thought that short cuts might be taken as the costumes would mainly be seen from a distance, but this was not the case.
These three costumes were worn by Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes and Dame Judi Dench from Shakespeare in Love.
 Dame Judi's sleeve had a beautiful basket weave type pattern.
 Emily Blunt wore this embroidered gown in Young Victoria.
 Robert Downey Jr's flamboyant costume came from Restoration.  I liked the slashing on the sleeves and the ribbons.  (I have obviously watched far too much Doctor Who in my lifetime as I kept thinking this mannequin had moved!)
 This costume was worn by Helena Bonham Carter in Suffragette.  I only saw this film earlier this year and it made quite an impression.  Until then, I hadn't really considered the difficulties faced by the male supporters of female suffrage, or the families of the suffragists or suffragettes.
 Finally,  Kristen Scott Thomas' costume from Darkest Hour.  Again, we noticed how tiny she is, although this was more apparent from the back of the suit.  There are more photos from our visit to Gainsborough which will be in my next post.