Today I was treated to a lovely trip to Mottisfont House with some friends. We were going especially to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition which is on there at the moment. But arriving a bit early we wandered the gardens to see what else was happening at Mottisfont this weekend.
We found a special Land Art activity being set up for families. Based on the work of such artists as Andy Goldsworthy, we were encouraged to collect natural materials to make our own “art”. Our results were not spectacular but we had fun and it helped us see our beautiful surroundings with new eyes.
We did eventually enjoy the inspirational work of Kaffe Fassett inside the House but when I returned home I stepped into the garden feeling the urge to play with leaves and flowers! It was such colourful fun collecting and arranging stuff on our old wooden seat. Who needs paints, fabrics or embroidery?! 😊
This blog, started in January 2012, was originally inspired by Writing our Way Home, and their idea of writing “small stones”
I usually write a month of small stones to kick start each year in January. However I am currently following WOWH’s email course of October small stones and am finding great inspiration for just sitting still, and paying attention to life in all its variety.
Today’s quote was from Henry David Thoreau
“You only need sit still long enough in some spot in the woods that all its inhabitants may exhibit themselves to you by turns”
I didn’t need long in the garden this morning (it was drizzling!) to find this inhabitant exhibiting itself to me and inspiring a small stone.
Tight buds hide centres
of yellow mathematical arrangement.
Opening to wind and rain, rusty petals
stretch random sequinned fingers
towards the clouds, defying greyness
with their fiery flowers.
The last few weeks in the garden have been literally fruit full. We had a lovely crop of dark red morello cherries, not really dessert eating cherries but I made them into a rich flavoured sweet sauce. I wish it had set a bit more, but it tastes great on ice cream, or even on toast.
Then it was on to the plums, juicy and sweet, and good to eat straight from the tree. I dried a lot, and froze plenty too, so they will last us for weeks to come.
Today it was redcurrants, no “pick one eat one” rewards here, they are sour and seedy. But they look so beautiful hanging like red jewels in strings from the branches. And they have a translucence and a glow in the redness.
And then I have had another full dose of red on the eyes from another source. At last my Kaffe Fassett quilt is finished. Started in April at a workshop with the great man himself, it has been quite a task. Square by square it has gone together, then layered and quilted. Now I am just completing the binding.Certainly a feast of red!
Last week I had a treat. A chance to meet a hero of mine, and a day to work under his artistic guidance. My sister booked us on a workshop with colour guru and textile artist Kaffe Fassett, whose work has inspired me for many years.
Arriving at the venue, Lady Sew and Sew in Henley, we were greeted by rows and rows of fabric, an overwhelming rainbow of colour. Kaffe and Brandon, his partner, set us to work, but encouraged us to play, to experiment and see what happened when colours met each other. We were following Kaffe’s “Seed Packet” design from his book Bold Blooms, and it was exciting to see what grew in front of us.
After a day of cutting and placing, everyone’s designs were as individual as their creators. Kaffe commented and made suggestions, and signed books before we packed up our mess and left, exhausted but on a high!
All that has to be done now is to finish it! I have been making progress, but there’s a long way to go yet. Watch this space…
What better excuse than the spring equinox to post pictures of beautiful flowers. A walk around the garden reveals blossoms at every turn.
Shades of yellow daffodils and primroses, and hyacinths large and small.
Luscious pinks of camellias and hellebores, and the multi flowering stems of heathers and pieris.
The weather forecaster describes it as unsettled. This morning heavy rain woke me at 5.30 a.m. pounding against the roof and windows. And then by the time I got up to make tea the sun was shining. Now it’s raining again…
Yesterday I made brief foray round the garden while the sun was shining and uncovered some rhubarb. Protected by an old composting bin and “forced” to grow in the dark, the resulting colours are quite shocking! As the rain returned I was able to conjure up a bit of the Mediterranean by squeezing oranges to mix with the rhubarb. With the addition of a good deal of sugar, the resulting sweet pink jam/sauce tasted good on ice cream and yoghurt.
The art journaling course this week had an “on location” assignment – create a page with three elements which captures the feeling of being in your own home. Not easy! Just following where ideas took me I produced a page. It took a bit of collaging to arrange, and size and scale weren’t straightforward, but a kind of linking narrative emerged.
Life at home at this time of year can still feel a bit restricted and constrained, but it certainly has bright moments if I stop to notice them.