Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Secret Garden

I have been working on another Secret Garden, inspired by my painting.

I wanted to incorporate a lock and key theme. I etched copper sheet and a brass keyhole escutcheon and riveted the two together and finished it up with green glass beads, a tiny, very old key and brass flower.

I was playing around with props, trying to capture the idea of the secret garden in my photos.

I do like the way this turned out.


I was at a smaller flea market this morning, but I didn't find any treasures today. Well, that is just the way it is sometimes. So instead of vintage and antique buttons and things, some more garden pics; for those of you that haven't tired of them yet.

wild strawberry

These grow everywhere in my garden - all through the flower beds and even in some of the flower pots. I brought them with me when we moved in and they have just taken over. These are real wild strawberries, the tiny little ones that have that intensive taste. I also have wild raspberries, but they were already growing here.

Front garden

This is a view of the front garden. I really need to get out there and do some weeding.

BTW, Casanova is fine. He had one of his bottom fangs pulled, because it was loose. Thankfully, he could keep the rest of his teeth, they did need some cleaning, but that was all.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cat story - Casanova and Cleo

Casanova, spring 2005

This is what he looked like - the stray that stayed. The father of my remaining kittens. He turned up in February 2005 - we had soooo much snow that winter. February is the month that the cats court. The toms can be heard singing and fighting and the ladies just lead them on. You can see he was a stray - very lean, not in very good shape, but muscular and very wary, and oh so hungry! Battle scars everywhere. Later that year I had to have part of his long tail amputated. I came home one evening and the last third of his tail was just bone. We never found out what happened. Anyway, he was a big favorite with the lady cats in our little village and they all fell for him.

Casanova - now

What a face! He has two different eyes, they are even different in size! He looks much more contented now and he has put on quite some weight! In some ways, he is more like a dog, than a cat. He will lie down next to my chair and sleep. Today, he woke me up a four in the morning. I had to keep him in last night and no more food - we have to go to the vet's this morning to have his teeth fixed, maybe extracted. Just now, he can't understand why he's not getting any breakfast. Poor guy!

Cleo and her sister, March 2005

This picture is of Cleo (the mother of my kittens) and her sister, shortly before the kittens were born. Both cats were successfully wooed by Casanova (now why did I name him Casanova??). At the time of this photo, both of the girls were just about 7 months old, still practically kittens themselves. Which is why I made sure they got plenty to eat. But neither of them grew any bigger. Cleo is still smaller than any of her kids.

Cleo, April 2009

Cleo is still with us, although she is not really my cat. She is her own cat. She prefers to sleep at the neighbour's, although she will come in through the kitty door, if the night is very cold or she is hungry or needs help. She just prefers not to share her space with other cats, and her kittens live with me. Cleo actually belonged to the farmer in our village, but even as a kitten, she was always at our place.

Well, have to get dressed to go to the vet's!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday = flea market day; and oh yeah, more flowers

Yes, Sunday is the day for the flea market. Today was the big antique market, where I get to see so many treasures, even if I can't take them all home with me. But if was a successful outing, just the same. I scored some very lovely bits and pieces and some gorgeous old mother of pearl buttons! And a few more filigree pieces.

My garden continues to delight me with new blooms.

Iris sambucus
An iris originally from Italy, not so spectacular in colour, but it has the divine scent of elderberry. Blooming in the background is catnip, which is being visited by dozens of butterflies.

Iris barbata
I love this colour combination!

I'm stumped for the names of these two just now. Have to look them up again. The darker one has the most sumptuous velvety appearance...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Another finished mixed media painting

Secret Garden

Done. Built with layers of colour and plaster and I tried my first image transfer (you were right, Doreen). I wasn't really happy with the result, so I enhanced it with paint and markers and pencils and the piece just went from there; including a little flight of whimsy. I've been working with plaster in my paintings for many years; even before they had all those structure mediums on the market. And I love to sandpaper my paintings to give them a worn aged look. Guess I was a Shabby Chic fan before we knew what that was. This is, as mentioned, a small 8"x8" canvas. I usually do my plaster paintings on wood boards and also usually larger. It is difficult to get satisfactory results in such limited space. The photo is a bit on the blue side, it is actually somewhat more into green. And, apparently keys are on my mind. Maybe I should raid my stash and put some in my jewellery?

New mixed media in progress

I don't know what it is, but I can't seem to leave the paint brushes and watercolour pencils and my other art supplies alone! I'm painting again. Well, that is not actually a bad thing. This is a sneak preview of where I was yesterday, I am now almost done with the painting and it is turning out quite differently that I had first envisioned. This is a small piece, 8"x8".

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mixed media painting finished

Mater Unravelling Or The Red Bug

I finished this mixed media piece this morning. Somehow, this lady seems to have a story to tell. But it will have to wait for a bit, I can't quite hear what she's saying.
Now I am off to my jewellery work space. Have to get some earrings made.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Internet reloaded and some new work in progress


I can't tell you how happy I am to be reconnected to the internet and now we are sooo hi tech! I am coming to you via satellite!!!! And the connection is much faster than we had before! Now, if the satellite antenne will only withstand the storms to come - that is our biggest worry at the moment. We shall see.

Flea market finds
I took a short trip to the flea market this morning and scored some more great brass buttons and a glass eye, such as taxidermists use. Aren't they neat?

This is a new mixed media painting I am working on. It has been calling me and I am just a bit out of the zone with my jewellery. Maybe because the painting wants out. We'll see where this piece wants to go.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I just love columbines! They will grow everywhere in the garden that appeals to them and will not be tamed into staying in place.

They cross with each other wildly, so that every year I am amazed at the colours and shapes of the flowers.

Real children of nature, they do not require special care. And they do not appeal to slugs!!! LOL This is a real plus in my garden.

They are so faerylike, with those little skirts and their delicate leaves.

I wanted to show a few of the variations I have this year.
Sherry Lee, these are for you!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Catching up

Well, it doesn't look like I will have an internet connection for awhile, so I am learning how to cope. My provider has now stated that they cannot provide acceptable and sustained connection - duh! But when they sold us the contract, they said the connection was great ... I don't want to dwell on it, it is nothing but aggravation.

I pinched a nerve in my shoulder on the weekend and I haven't been able to do much of anything, because moving my arm was extremely painful. It is getting better now and I hope I will be able to complete some new jewellery this week (about time!).
That being said - I am going to show some pictures of my garden. Anyone who has seen enough of it should stop here.


Wisteria, behind Rose climber

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm still here...

Just a quick note - my internet connection is down, so I won't be able to post with pictures until I get it repaired, which includes waiting for the defective connection hardware to be sent to me. Sigh! I can access the internet from my husband's computer, but I am cut off from my photos, as all that is on my computer. I hope this gets cleared up soon, but it could take a week. So please bear with me, I haven't fallen off the planet, I am just struggling with technical difficulties.

Have a great day, everyone!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More flea market finds, Tools

flea market treasures

Another trip to a flea market today and I found some lovely chandelier prisms and some beautiful antique brass buttons, as well as some vintage lace.
BTW, this flea market was in Ingolstadt, a town that isn't very far away; situated on the banks of the (blue) Danube (yes, that Danube, but don't let them fool you, the water isn't blue) and this is also the place where Mary Shelley had Frankenstein create his monster, at the then famous university of Ingolstadt.

more flea market treasures

I also enjoy hunting for tools at the flea market. I just love those hammers!

more tools

My husband is as crazy about tools as I am. He has been rummaging through his workshop to find tools that are suitable for the small scale work I am doing (he prefers to work on a larger scale). I asked him to build me a tool to use for dapping sheet metal and he did! It's that piece to the right. He also altered an old hammer for me. What a guy!

hardwood dapping tool

Will you take a look at this? He made this for me yesterday, a dapping tool made of hardwood. Isn't it stunning?

BTW, may I introduce you to this one in a million guy? My husband Max.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Recent work and a message about Get Excited

Jade Rosary

This was something I made recently. A rosary of brass wire wrapped faceted jade beads, with a vintage brass crucifix and vintage gold plated connector. This was a gift for my sister-in-law. Nothing fancy - just a rosary. But I just love those jade beads, all those soft greens.

On another topic: Get Excited

Is anyone still excited? Well, maybe this will help - I have shipped the "things" I have made to my participants today, by (snail) mail. I hope they arrive soon, but you can never tell with the mail.

Clematis alpina

In case anyone is not tired of the flowers in my garden yet - I took this picture this morning. One of my clematis.