Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

I've made the stuffings and sauces and planned the cooking times... I've even done some work in the garden and pruned the grape vines! Now I can put my feet up, and have a cup of tea and a slice of stollen while I listen to the carols from King's (just up the road in Cambridge).

Wishing you all of you a peaceful and happy Christmas Day!

Thank you for following my adventures on Purple Podded Peas in 2013

If you're travelling stay safe this stormy Christmas.


Sunday 22 December 2013

An interlude of calm at the turning of the year

. . . between the busyness of the pre-Christmas retail extravaganza and the cookathon of Christmas itself . . .

Although for me Christmas is actually a quiet time of year, now that the main focus of my work is selling my prints and cards (rather than working on projects for publishers) I am swept up in the pre-Chritsmas retail extravaganza - and that is well under way by October!

So now there is a little lull. The weather has been relatively mild with only slight frosts and no snow, but a procession of dramatic gales is sweeping across the UK. Here in East Anglia we get the tail end of them, brief periods of heavy rain and strong gusts followed by clear skies again.

This morning we drove to the Fens in bright sunshine under clear blue skies and set out for a walk. But soon the clouds rolled over us and rain fell . . .

. . . swiftly followed by a rainbow. 

As I was carefully picking my way around a muddy area by some fencing, I looked down and spotted a broken stick . . . NO! not a stick, it was an antler . . .

On all the walks I've done over the years I've wished to come across a shed antler and until today, I never had. This antler is quiet small, but beautifully tactile, I guessed it was from a Roe Buck – their mature antlers have 3 prongs, this one has 2 and knob lower down (near the palm of my hand) which means it's one of his second pair of antlers. A Roe Buck sheds his antlers in November and starts to grow the buds of the new antlers in December, he will be starting to grow his first full set this winter.

Near the end of our walk, Cliff spotted movement in a field of rough grass . . . I zoomed in with my camera . . .

Yes, a deer! But I was unsure what sort. Luckily it turned and I got some more close-ups . . .

Large black edged ears, a black muzzle and a white bottom. I'm familiar with a Roe Deer's auburn summer coat, but back home I did some research and this is definitely a Roe Deer with it's grey-brown winter fur.

I can't see any antler buds on its head and it has a large area of white fur beneath its small white tail, it is also fairly small (not much larger than a greyhound) - so this is probably a young female.

Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year – from now the days will start to get longer . . . 

. . . and even though the coldest weather of the winter is yet to come and Spring is 3 months or more away, there is the a tiny hint of optimism in the air – here in our garden the snowdrops are already pushing their way through the decaying leaves.

Whatever Santa brings me for Christmas, I already have 2 lovely presents - a Roe Buck antler and I have mended ankles – thanks to excellent treatment, advice and special insoles from Nats-the-physio and Paul-the-Podiatrist . . . I'm enjoying inspiring winter walks once more :-)

I hope you can find time in the run up to Christmas for an interlude of calm between the storms.


Monday 9 December 2013

Inside the House of Made & Found

Saturday was the day we'd dreamed about and worked hard to make happen; Emma's cunning plan was about to become reality – but would it work? would people turn up and buy things?

I was very grateful that was offered a bed in the Made & Found house, for Friday night; so after supper I packed everything in the tardis and drove down to North London. Although it had been a long day, I set to and arranged my wares at one the end of the kitchen . . .

the brick fireplace was perfect for showing my Christmas cards

and the cards and unframed prints fitted onto a round table.

Saturday early morning was a flurry of activity, Val arrived with her woven willow and set up her stall in the conservatory.

Emma arranged a beautiful cabinet of her silver jewellery, made with precious gems and vintage treasures, in an antique cabinet in the hallway.

Also in the hall was Debbie's shimmering display of hand-dyed yarns.

There was more (but I somehow didn't take photos of them!) 
Karen, Lilli and Claire were in the sitting room; Tracy was in her own sewing room; and next to me in the kitchen was Linda.

Also in the kitchen was this delicious array of food baked by Miss Georgina Worthington . . . and yes it was as scrummy as it looks!

 Can you spot someone wearing golden shoes?
I wonder who it is?

Right from when the Made & Found house opened its doors at 10am, the rooms started to buzz with chatter . . . customers were soon buying things and we knew the cunning plan was working!

As the day progressed Twitter friends appeared and introduced themselves . . . some had driven a very long way to be there! In the cosy snug, impromptu crochet tutorials happened between complete strangers and Val taught people how to make stars . . . this is mine :-)

As the light faded outside the visitors drifted away and we had time to chat with each other and swap information and ideas; bartering and swapping took place too!

I came home with a woven willow tree, the softest most luxurious silk and camel yarn and a beautiful eggcup/vase/cup - all even more special because I know exactly who made them.

Thank you to everyone who came along - it wouldn't have been a success without you!

Maybe the Made & Found house will pop up somewhere else in the spring? 

Now I have boxes to unpack and new work to plan . . . and our own Christmas to think about!


Wednesday 4 December 2013

Cushions for MADE & FOUND on Saturday 7 December

This Saturday is the Made & Found sale of handmade goods in North London. I'll be selling framed and unframed prints as well as my cards... including the Christmas cards. But I thought that I should also have a few items to showcase my fabrics, so yesterday I got out the sewing machine and spent the day stitching.

With apologies for the rather rubbish photos, it is so gloomy and dark! this is the best I could manage taken outdoors!

I made two cushions . . .

With button details on the backs . . .

The Stone Hearts cushion has Sea Sprigs on the reverse and the Sea Hearts has Stone Sprigs . . .

I used some letter stamps to print name tapes and hand stitched them onto the backs . . .

. . . and signed them

It would be nice to spend the whole week sewing, but today I'm back in the studio framing prints.

I hope to meet some of you at Made & Found on Saturday