Saturday, 30 March 2013

New painting, still working on it. It is a scene I am reworking from a day  a couple of weeks back. The view towards a cottage I know from the road.

It has been raining this afternoon. The garden is coming along very slowly. I have been out digging a bit in the flower beds,  started last year. We have a bit of bracken in the garden so I have to keep on top of it. I also have to manage the brambles that will otherwise take over areas. Gradually I am digging out the roots. It is resilient. The nobly woody roots I dug out last year and left on the surface have produced small buds.
 I have a new project. Moving into one of the cottages here that has been empty for a while. We did think to try and sell it, but actually it's nicer than our present one. The other issue is nothing is selling unless you are willing to give away your property. Even the estate agents have gone bust here. We noticed  It will be easy to make habitable. The roof was re slated in the 60's. There is a tiled floor in the kitchen that was also replaced. This too in the 60's. It's traditional still but a bit too smooth. Thankfully some of the other floors are the original cracked clay ones. I will take some pictures as soon as there is some sun. The electrics are a bit dodgy. The cotton covered cables are all beginning to disintegrate so they will need replacing first. Otherwise there are beams and shuttered windows and land adjoining.
I hope Easter for you is pleasant, relaxing pleasurable. My sister is camping in Cornwall. She does have a van, her friends a tent!! I remember years gone by either heading into Wales near Llanthony Priory and Hay On Wye. It's really rather busy though on the roads. Best stay closer to home and potter. 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

I have had a great weekend so far. I am now expected to exhibit in the local Expo. I met a woman who is a sculptor, formerly in bronze and she paints. She seems quite eccentric so after managing to glean her number I shall pay her a visit and let you know how it goes! Also bought some great books at a sale. Yesterday wasn't quite up to the promise of blue skies and heat. I did have a dig in the garden. I created a new garden last year mostly of the kind of flowers you grow from seed each year.
Annuals  I'm not sure what to expect this year but I spy foxgloves and wild Daffodils so far and some Lupins and a thing I can't quite identify  There are still lots of bracken roots that I am trying to lose. If I can. Here it's so cold in winter I really get quite stiff after heavy exercise in Spring. My hips after years of gardening are quite useless. I'm not yet 50!

So this made me smile it's typical of the French not to bother about clearing away the Christmas Decorations. This is the butchers window.

Very envious of this planter. Cauldrons are everywhere still here.

I met up with my friend for a sale, I thought a Vide Greniers but it was actually a clothes sale in a hall. It was actually really good. I now have some really quite tidy clothes.

My friends boy saw this post box and said I must take a photo. The bird table too, just visible matched the house.


New laces.


Next doors cat Bourbas, named after a village.

A survivalist Lupin
It's been a week dominated by a growing menagerie of cats. You have to be cruel in France not to invite a cat or two into your home. My French vocabulary for taking a cat to the vets is rather good these days. Bank account poorer. 

In French Pansy is Pensé or 'Thinkers. My husband, a Magdalene College, Oxford educated  English graduate says it's probably a corruption from Celt!!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Eventually after many false starts I have learnt how to do a basic granny square. It rained all day Saturday and the electric also went off. I remembered how to begin so I got really good at that. But once the instructors got beyond the easy bits I couldn't keep up. There were hooks and wool and chains but I couldn't get everything to look like anything. All the instructors seem to go too quickly on the most complicated bits. The easy bits were too long. Anyway I understand why I never learnt to crochet till now.
The lower image is of a dish I bought and I am hoping to sell. The plan is to try Etsy. I am addicted to buying brocante here in France. You can't really tell what objects you will sustain for longer periods. I like this dish for it's decorative qualities but after living with it for a while I know it's not something that really connects with my life. With me objects are a bit like flotsam and jetsam.  They come and go. I love the idea of letting go of some things to allow me the luxury of finding some more things. Anyways I love ploughing through the internet to see what people are selling and buying. The only thing that has slowed me down has been the complicated postal rates.  I don't know if you have any experience of buying or selling via the internet. I realise it's not so simple as it may appear. This bowl for example I imagine might be 1950's. But I can't find out exactly what age it is or indeed much about it at all.  It might look easy describing an object but it's actually quite difficult. Then there is also the problem of describing wear and tear. Slight variations chips, etc. I hate the idea of disappointing people. Will I ever get around to selling anything?

Thursday, 14 March 2013

I took these photos this evening after a very pretty flurry of snow. Not warm enough  for much activity in the  garden. We had no electricity for most of the day. I tried following, from memory, how to make a crochet granny square. I went round in circles, no corners anywhere to be seen. I can do a chain stitch, join the circle, do a double chain but then I am lost. I do what I think is what I'm told but I end up with something else.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

I went out for a short walk this afternoon. The forest freezes above us  while we are sheltered a little. We are quite near the Haut Folin or high forest. I'm intrigued by how the forest freezes and then today I watched a slow thaw and the ice receding away from us.The sky is very clear this evening so I think there will be more frosty tree tops tomorrow. I am returning to painting a few of the buildings across the lake so I am a bit stuck on this view at the moment. I felt a few plants in the garden. There are some very crispy frosty shoots out there.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Cladonia Pyxidata

I have been working in the garden today. I was excited to find these wonderful Lichens growing on an old rotten door. I am reading that it likes to grow on moss and is a combination of algae and fungus. Otherwise known as Pixie Cup. More InfoWe have 13°C again so it's quite warm. There is still a pile of snow crystals and we had a little bit of hail and there was a bit of thunder. My new bow saw is coming in very handy. I have been sawing hazel to make a manageable hedge and give the Lilac some space. I planted a small Stellata Magnolia, some snowdrops and put in some Roses, 5. I bought Tea Roses, ramblers and climbers in mauves and white. They were less than 2 euros each from Lidls. Otherwise plants are quite hard to find in this area. Any way it's so lovely I'm going back out. The sheep are happy, not bleating for nuts. No lambs yet. The birds are very excited. Nut hatches are very noisy. Then the frogs are really busy too, quite a lot of noise coming from them.  

Monday, 4 March 2013

 Drawing outside as it reached 13°C here. I am using Chinese ink and a brush . This is the first day I have been able to get outside to sit and work. I also did a bit of bramble snipping and I have been hand sawing down some of the over hanging branches and over grown hedges. The snow is still quite thick in places.