Saturday, 28 June 2014

needs and wants

Oak Angel - Woodcut Print
Beautifully simple - everyone needs an angel and I love the sage green, the oak leaf and acorn wings and those pointy feet. Woodcut by Sarah Young
Hobnail Pitcher - Turquoise
Hobnail Pitcher from Pentreath and Hall, described as 'ugly-beautiful' though I don't see the ugly myself. I love that turquoise...
Antique Cheese Board
Antique cheese boards - for our healthy (?) love of cheesePointers
Pointers by James Brown - if only everything was as black and white!
Image of CLOUDS
For those of us on lazy summer holidays how about a little Cloud Classification, also by James Brown

Books, books, books...can never have enough really. I have just started Wolf Hall so that will take my reading time for a while, I imagine. But after that I was thinking of a series and the Cazalet family might just fit the bill.

Monday, 23 June 2014

made by the sea

If you need to be lulled by gentle sea-sounds, the wet slap of clay dug from the beach and watch an artist at work this video of potter Judith Rowe might be just the thing... I love the opening sequence with the cry of the sea birds and the sound of feet across sand...

Judith Rowe - Made by the Sea from Alun Callender on Vimeo.

Bl Mug copy

sm store

Gr Milk Jug
Wrapping your fingers around a hand-thrown mug as you drink your warming tea connects you to the person who made it, connects you to their creativity, connects you to their wobbles and finger pressure as the clay is turned and formed, connects you to their time and place.

If you want to buy any of Judith's ceramics go to the lovely Made in Hastings shop.

Sunday, 22 June 2014


It's midsummer. There's nothing more important than spending these long day-light filled hours wisely. Picnic bag, children, dogs, towels, wet suits, swimsuits, lake...

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

gooseberry fool :: recipe

The smell and taste of summer are perhaps personified in simple puddings like strawberries and cream or gooseberry fool. It just so happens that the gooseberries and the elderflowers are ripe at the same time and it  is also fortuitous that we have both growing in the garden. It's such a simple recipe- one of Sarah Raven's from her much used Garden Cookbook. Put the gooseberries, elderflower heads and sugar together in a saucepan with a splash of water, bring to the boil and then simmer until the berries are soft (not long). Whip the cream while you're waiting and then put it back into the fridge. When the scented syrupy berries are cool, fold into the chilled cream. I also made some meringues and broke them into the fool for a bit more texture. This, eaten on a warm summer's evening sitting out until the first stars make their appearance, is surely one of the joys of living.

Monday, 16 June 2014


that's the sound of falling in love
Having read a gorgeous interview with Philippa Stanton over on Littlegreenshed I fell head over heels for her scrubbed kitchen table, her flowers, her compositions and her philosophy. She says on her blog by way of explanation
"I paint, and photograph flowers, my table and tea...My photographs often sum up an inner feeling, which I can't put into words or explain in any other erudite way: The Table still life compositions are a sort of visual haiku or poem, which give people the space to think their own thoughts and which also inspire them to take a moment, sit and look, really look, at details and spaces, in particular details of plants and textures..."

Follow her on Instagram or go to her blog and let yourself, your soul be soothed.

Friday, 13 June 2014

cloudy with a chance of rain

This week its all been about clouds and lines on the landscape. Clouds building at the end of the garden, clouds lying over the lake water, clouds pressing on the striped fields. Our small lanes are a whirl of activity as farm machinery tears from one silage cut to another. Meanwhile the clouds wait.
We had a terrific storm a few days ago. Lots of thunder and lightening and pelting rain. The boys were not scared, although Pippin did bark at it all. I was more worried that the rain would damage the elder-flowers growing at the back door (as photographed from our bedroom window). Like the clouds I am waiting. Waiting for them to get a little bigger. Waiting for a nice sunny morning when I can pick them. Waiting to make elder-flower cordial and heavenly scented elder-flower and gooseberry fool.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

home comforts

dresser filled with mis-matched china, pretty cups and floral teapot

butterfly flower fabric on  teeny-but-oh-so-useful footstool (and snoozing pot bellied pup)
Tracy REES - The Listener
the reds and blues of a loved kilim rug

chequered floor and striped bowls

Yes please to all of the above (minus the cats). Home comforts and simple pleasures by Tracey Rees

Saturday, 7 June 2014


Do you know the names of some common wild-flowers? We wandered up the lane beside our house to find some.
 It was a typical Irish summer's day. About to rain.
Lots of painterly skies. I do love clouds.
We found poppies, cow parsley, buttercups, vetch, dandelions, herb robert and greater stitchwort. The dogs bark as the thunder rolls in.
We lift out the watercolours. I paint the vetch. I like its tendrils and heart shaped leaves.
William draws, observing so carefully he finds a teeny, tiny spider.
And then paints the herb robert.

Friday, 6 June 2014

this morning

Toast, coffee, book, scented flowers, clear table, children in school. Peace.

Monday, 2 June 2014

beach combing

Although we are lucky enough to live near lakes both small and large, I will admit that the sea continues to call. We fossil hunt under clouded skies, feet on smooth washed pebbles, fingers sandy from picking up shells, always looking for treasure. Hugo finds flint and perfect driftwood and makes a stone age tool. Dinosaur teeth are uncovered (in truth white triangular stones) and memories are made among the seaweed strewn beaches.