Thursday, 30 December 2010

New Year : New Blog - an invitation to view

In June 2010, I was engaged professionally to write a monthly on-line newsletter for the long-established seed company, Dobies of Devon, for 'keen and dedicated gardeners'. Last month, I was asked to extend what I have been doing and write a weekly blog as well, covering a mix of gardening topics, along with recipes from my Cotswold kitchen, inspirational gardens to visit, book reviews, and much else. I am really excited about all this, for they are such a lovely, friendly company to work with, and this new blog will in no way be a 'hard sell'. Other team members will be contributing as well, so it should be a fascinating mix of topics and information.

The 'Dobies of Devon Gardening Companion' went 'live' for the first time this morning; please click on the link - it would be wonderful if you would leave a comment.  The layout isn't perfect yet; it's the first time I've contributed to a team blog, so their may be unintentional hiccups at my end. And if you'd like to learn more about the company itself and what they offer, please click here - you can also access my newsletter ('a helping hand' lower left of screen on the Dobies website).

creating a new bit of garden for two of the grandchildren, nearly seven years ago

I am passionate about so many things, and one is to pass on  to future generations the joy of gardening, wildlife, food, history, literature, and creating with ones hands. And, in case you are wondering: no, I haven't been asked to promulgate this new blog; I just truly love what I do and want to share it with others.

A very happy new year to all 'bloggers' and all the best for 2011.

(P.S. I have already started a journal associated with this new blog: that will be shared, too)

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Eve word-whisper

Delivering local Christmas cards around the village late yesterday afternoon, I was captivated by the quiet, the solitude, and everywhere as I walked 'the loop', so much beauty. As always when I am alone, words sprang into my mind; jotted down on an old envelope - I'd forgotten a notebook, a word-whisper just happened. The top photo, along the high road, will be used in a fabric book that I have 'on the go', as will the words; these and other word-spills accompanied by photos collected both this winter and last. Layouts will follow, sitting at my art-cum-writing desk overlooking the village green, then selection of fabrics from the mountain I have been collecting, and then image transfers and stitching. My 'winter observed' will become a keepsake by which I will remember all the blogging friends who so inspire whatever I do.

Christmas Greetings, much love, and all the very best for 2011.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Left-Right, Left-Right

Yesterday, I made a discovery about my own 'creativity'. Having struggled to express myself visually - and in my current determination to think visually before words, I unconsciously picked up a watercolour pen and began sketching these play-birds. Nothing unusual in that, except that without thinking, I picked up the pen in my LEFT hand, though I am actually right-handed. I quite liked the quirky creatures, could write about them, was unconcerned that they were not 'proper' sketches. Did it matter? Not at all, for actually, as I played, it felt as if my brain was being washed out, made new. That the tired old cells that had been struggling all day to complete a written thesis was behind me. I did not need to think, or plan. (I plan even when producing a visual page. It's not that I can't be spontaneous, it's just that pre-planning is part of what I always do.)

So upstairs at my 'writing' desk, I picked up water-colour crayons, again with my 'other' hand, then sprayed the images with water and left them overnight to dry. Tonight, I wanted to make notes. "I'll write left-handed," I decided. "Why not? Both hands are used when I'm TYPING; I don't give a thought to which is which."

Again, tonight, that sense of release. This is no laughing matter - though the images may be laughable. This is something I want to explore - somewhere I have a book on left-brain/right-brain creativity, but I am more interested in this sudden freedom from tiredness. I guess it probably has more to do with me thinking "this does not have to be perfect". I loved trying to control the pen and making the notes in joined-up writing. What I'd like to know, is whether anyone else finds an escape in using their non-dominant hand. Curiously, I was not frustrated in not being able to scribble instant notes. And why did I unconsciously pick up the paint-stick in the way I did? At least I have some 'journal-fodder' to paste in my 'junk-journaling' folder!