Hello and welcome to my blog. I am a new student, starting a distance learning degree through the Open College of Arts, and I am going to blog about what I have learnt and my work. You may be visiting this blog expecting to see work for sale, however I am now concentrating on being a student and loving it! Come and join me for the ride.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Visit to Findhorn

Yesterday as we walked along the pebble beach at Findhorn there wasn't much sun. But, the blue of the sky was stunning. There was a weather front coming in from the west that you can see to the left of the photo, it seemed to be chasing the smaller, whispier clouds away. I couldn't resist taking a few snaps.

This is a photo of a plant I saw along the banks of the River Findhorn today while visiting Cawdor castle. It was almost luck rather than judgement that I caught the fly in the photo, I was trying but quite a few snaps were empty. I'm very chuffed I did catch him though.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

First ever stall

Today I held my first public show of artwork for sale. It was at the RAF Kinloss Friends and families day, in a hangar full of crafty and foody delights. I shared my stall with two others; firstly my partner Andy displayed three of his framed photos (and sold one!). His work is available to view and buy online soon. And secondly my good friends Keeley and Mark. Mark Faulds is selling limited edition prints of his late fathers work, acrylics and watercolour paintings. This work will also be available online soon.

Unfortunately I didn't have any sales today, but it was a good opportunity to pass out business cards out, and hopefully there will be some new people reading this blog soon. Here is a piccie of my stall.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Jammy success

Well, here's my jar of raspberry jam, ready to be entered into the village fair on saturday. What do you think? I just need to make a label now.
To make the jam I had,
300g raspberries
300g preserving sugar
Juice of half a lemon
I heated the raspberries in a pan, squashing them down to release te juices, add the sugar and lemon juice and stir over a low heat untill the sugar has melted. Then boil rapidly for between 5-15 mins depending on the setting point of your batch. To check if its set, place a plate in the freezer, place a blob of jam on the plate and if it sets to a jam texture its ready. Pour into hot, sterilised jars, and seal with a wax cap. Yum Yum!

My latest foraging success has been these cherries, A mixture of yellow and red cherries has made some interesting jam. It hasn't set quite correctly, but its still yummy.

Here is a photo of my first attempt at making bunting. Iv'e used some vintage fabric, and some recycled fabric swatches. I'm quite pleased with it to be honest, it definately brightens up my old shed. But, more practice is required. I'm hoping for some more sun so I can sit in the garden to admire my handi work.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Foraging fun and allotment treats

I love it when you stumble across wild fruit hidden in the undergrowth, its like finding a wild jewel peeking out at you. The woods behind my house are full of fruit and mushrooms just waiting to be found. So today I went on a raspberry hunt. Next weekend its the village fair and one of the competitions is for homemade raspberry jam, so I figure, if the raspberries are local I may stand a chance. Here is my haul.

I already have the same amount again, so hopefully I will have enough for a jar of jam! I will post some pictures of my jam making tomorrow.

We have also had a couple of productive hours in the veggie plot this afternoon. It was time to pick the last of the beans and peas, and dig up the plants to make some room for new ones.

I also pulled all the onions to start drying them out. One of the delights of the veg plot for me has been the onion flowers, they are simply stunning, I can't wait to create some art inspired by them. Here are some piccies of our veggie spoils, I'm so proud of them, it's so satisfying getting to eat somthing you have grown.

I have grown 'Tumbling Tom's' in my hanging baskets and they have done fantastically well. Again I love hunting for them everyday by twirling round the baskets. I have found a recipe for green tomato chutney, and I'm secretly hoping that some of them don't ripen to give it a go! Well wish me luck on my jam making journey.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

New artwork

Here are my two newest pieces of work to be added to my Folksy shop.
Skye Blues was inspired by my New year holiday to the island in January this year. On our first day there we took a drive along the southern coast road on a hunt for good views to photo. We stopped at Arnadale pier and the light was stunning, everything was bathed in a hazy grey tint. This photo remains my favourite from the trip and reminds me of the stunning light on the island.

Sunset no.4 is a drawing mainly from memory, of the view across the Moray Firth from Lossiemouth beach.

Both drawings are professionally mounted and framed and will be available to buy in my Folksy shop soon.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Visit to Edinburgh

Hi everyone, it's been a long time since I last blogged, shameful I know. I just spent a night in Edinburgh visiting a work friend with my other half. Unfortunately the weather wasn't brilliant but we managed to fit in a visit to the National Galleries on Princes street yesterday. I spent time wandering round the permanent exhibitions, looking at the detail in the paintings; they must have taken so long to produce that I know feel the need to embark on a project.

I am already trying to find time to visit again to look around the Impressionists garden exhibition. It feels as though I've commited a crime not visiting while I was there.

We had lunch at Sea Dogs on Rose street (above). The food was amazing, fresh seafood cooked to perfection, and at a bargain price. I had the bacon and thyme mussels, yum!! The china was eclectic and mis-matched, as was the furniture, making a unique dining experience, I recommend visiting as soon as you can!

Today was spent wandering around the zoo, feeling like kids again. My other half has taken so many photos with our new camera, I'll post some soon. My favourites are the koalas and all the colourful birds, I really feel inspired by the colours to try and create a bold piece of work, pens at the ready. Watch this space.