Thursday 29 October 2009

Finding Time

No matter how busy... and this week has been busy... there's always time for baking.

Especially chocolate topped, chocolate chunk muffins.
However, the ironing pile seems to have grown.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

The Importance of Being Earnest

The sets have all been built...

The lines are all rehearsed...

Costumes have been hired... or made...

Walls have been painted ...

Curtains have been made...

And the cast have just delivered a near perfect dress rehearsal...

The transformation from village hall to theatre is complete.

Now all we need is an audience!

Tuesday 27 October 2009


Following the advice of many of you blogging commenters... I've transformed my vegetable glut...

Into several jars of hot and spicy vegetable "glutney" (I might have over done the chillis)

Just a slight problem... not sure anyone else around here likes homemade chutney. Which does add up to rather a lot of cheese and chutney sandwiches for me over the next twelve months. Actually now I come to think of it... not really a problem at all.

Lunch over... now I need to get back to my drawing assignment before heading off to a technical rehearsal this evening.

Sunday 25 October 2009

Redressing the Balance

Following yesterday's post several of you left lovely comments suggesting I might be some kind of superwoman who can magic up extra hours in the day... I thought I ought to put the record straight.

This is my ironing basket today... before I added another three washloads to the pile... (and some of the stuff at the bottom has been there months... I kid you not)

This is the dog hair that has accumulated along the skirting board in the hall....

This is my kitchen floor after walking the dog this morning... and it still looks the same this evening...

And this is dinner....

And as for those legs... they were ten years younger and several inches thinner than they are today. So perhaps I'm not so super after all! (I have been busy painting sets today though!)

Saturday 24 October 2009

Amateur Dramatics

I seem to have lost the desire to blog this week, possibly because it has been such a busy week. There has been more drawing... lots and lots more drawing. But that's a story for another time.

There has been teaching... lots and lots of teaching, including a lovely workshop today at Art and Stitch with ten fabulous ladies... samples of their work in progress below.

And there have been outings, but mostly I've been busy with our village amateur dramatic group. When I joined the group eighteen years ago it was solely to help out behind the scenes. I did a fair bit of scenery painting... the following is a set from The Snow Queen.

I've also made numerous costumes.. specialising in Dame outfits!

And I've also directed one or two productions in the past.

And despite protestations that I would never go on stage... I've been known to do a song and dance or two...

The occasional period drama...

One or two comic roles....

And have even been known to expose my legs in younger days.

But this summer I had my arm twisted and I've returned to directing. Since the beginning of September we have been rehearsing The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. It is a fabulous play with an amazing cast and I can honestly say it is one of the best productions I've been involved in since joining the Players in 1991. So if you are anywhere near Steeple Morden next week I can recommend a brilliant night out for only a fiver each! I'll try to get pictures of our dress rehearsal this week... but I'm sure you will forgive any temporary absence. I'm just a little busy.

Monday 19 October 2009

A quick request

I know I should be moving on with my assignments but I wanted to try one last picture ... this time with the introduction of a little colour. I now have all sorts of ideas for turning this into a stitched piece (which will be outside the remit of the module) and this is where you might be able to help. I would like to collect as many newspaper cuttings that relate to dancing or movement as I can and wondered if you could collect any that you might come across and send them my way? I would be most grateful. Please drop me an email if you think you can help.

Meanwhile over the weekend I've been making the most of the sunshine down here and have been digging out the vegetable beds.

And clearing the last of the summer vegetables... mostly lots of green tomatoes and a couple of courgettes that seemed to escape my notice. Do you think I should make chutney?

Friday 16 October 2009

Pears and Walnuts

Having been given a bag full of these...

and a bowl full of these... (from the ex-husband's garden no less!)

It would have been silly not to use them. And so I consulted my book of preserves and found the perfect recipe that used both pears and walnuts.

A pear and ginger mincemeat, which I have to say is a wonderful concoction with no fat but full of fabulous fruit and fragrant spices... so good I could eat it by the spoonful from the jar.

And although I'm trying hard to ignore the fact that December isn't really that far away, I really couldn't help myself... I had to try it out!

But there were still lots of pears left so I also made a pear and cardamon tart tartin (last week's Sunday Times Style Magazine). I confess it took a couple of attempts as I burnt the caramel first time round but it was worth the effort.

Very good with ice cream for pudding tonight.

Lest you think I've been neglecting my homework... just more of the same but with hopefully more movement.

Lots of cut out shadowy stuff which means I'm ready to move on to the next assignment.
But not tonight. I'm going to crash out on the sofa with a glass of wine and my knitting! Have a good weekend!

Wednesday 14 October 2009

At Last...

some progress with my drawing module! I didn't actually draw anyone at Ally Pally last week... just met lots of lovely bloggers, had lunch with special friends, saw some wonderful exhibitions and didn't spend too much money (far too busy chatting all day)... but I did draw people on the train.

Although I quite enjoyed these drawings there wasn't too much movement... apart from one or two people nodding off .

Still despairing of where I was going with the assignment on movement I went back to reread the module and one of the suggestions was to try drawing people moving on TV. I recalled a wonderful Tango dance sequence in the film "Scent of a Woman" (brilliant film by the way) and dug out an old video and watched the sequence over and over again... (a good excuse to watch Al Pacino)

And then I drew it over and over again... producing pages and pages like this...

The next instruction was "to move decisively beyond the observational starting point... developing the research material..." and so working on newspaper I made these pictures of a tango dance sequence...

And my tutor's response: "... you've produced some excellent work." I've got to work on it a bit further and make a final piece that has a more integrated background and has a bit more energy etc etc... but a that little bit of positive feedback was worth all the struggle over the past few weeks.

Of course once I've done the final piece it's onto the next assignment which is " The figure and the environment" and no doubt I'll be back to square one but for this week until my next tutorial... I'm on cloud nine!

Thursday 8 October 2009

Over the Edge

Please indulge me while I moan some more about this drawing module. I really struggled with trying to capture movement last week, only to have another negative tutorial where I was told I was still "edge obsessed"... crikey... is it me? When I see people moving about I see their edges! By the end of the twenty minute phone call I was feeling utterly miserable and useless and none the wiser about how to proceed. It seemed to be a case of go and try again.

Not to be downhearted I went off to life drawing class, where at least I could practise on a non moving target. This chap certainly wasn't going anywhere...

We looked carefully at the skeleton to try to understand how it supports the body and made lots of drawings starting from the inside working out... not starting at the edges!

The teacher was supportive and encouraging and made helpful suggestions for improvements.

And I came home feeling not quite so useless.

The following morning I woke feeling pretty miserable again but ventured into Cambridge where I sat in the corner of the library for nearly three hours drawing people coming and going, moving about. And these are the results....

Probably too many edges and outlines... and as far as I am concerned it looks like a lot of scribble but I am trying hard.

I think part of the problem is that I'm just not interested in drawing people moving about... especially as these drawings have got to be interpreted and developed into a personal interest.

Today I resolved not to think about drawing at all and instead I made some more tea cosies... both commissions. I'm ashamed to admit my friend asked me to make the little one back in March. It was August before I actually got to measure the tea pot and it has taken until this week to track down exactly the right fabric... but I got there at last!

I also thought a little chocolate button therapy was required to take my mind off all the edges (although I can see my own edges expanding rapidly if I carry on eating all this cake).

And just in case that's not enough, tomorrow I'm off to the Knitting and Stitching show to meet lots of friends... some bloggers and some not... and to indulge in a little retail therapy. On the other hand I might be that crazed woman sitting in a corner trying to draw you all moving about.
(without edges of course)