Monday 29 August 2011

Week 34

                       Work in progress, black and white ink and brushes
Here we have my page for week 34.  I tried something different this week and used black indian ink and white ink.  I added  little drops of white to the indian black and liked getting lots of different tones from dark to light grey.  I left my saucer for you to see some of my mixing. Above is also my work in progress from yesterday. When I completed it today I also made a little chart of my colour mixing from dark to light.  It was interesting using just the two inks,  black and white, but a little hard on my eyes with three large feathers to paint with my fine sable brushes.  I am pleased with the results as I thought these feathers were so lovely and I wanted to capture them.
I have finished my quilt on Saturday, it felt good,  I will post a picture at the end. Whilst I was sewing the binding  I kept watching the sky,  as it started to build up with big rain clouds.  I changed into old clothes and shoes and went down to the shore at 6 o'clock.  It was very wet again after more heavy rainy days and nights during the week.   This rain water rushes down the hills and swells the rivers,  it eventually makes its way to the sea.   Although the tide had gone out,  the tidal river was full and fast flowing from these rain waters,  on their journey out to sea.  The waterlogged shore had so much water,   it was running in little waterfalls off  the banks  into the river.  Gullies are cut into the sand as it drains away.   I kept hearing loud splashes as huge chunks of the sand banks dropped into the water,  it reminded me of a programme I watched on the television where we listened to chunks of ice fall off a melting glacier and drop into the sea.  As  usual I collected my feathers and some seaweed and a shell.
The sky was getting darker and the clouds thicker.  I sat for a while on the limestone boulders and watched the rays peeping through the clouds.   It felt very atmospheric, with the dramatic changing sky.  My last photograph  captured the suns bright glow over the water,  it made me realise how lucky  I am to be able to experience this  place, and so I will share it with you too.  As I made my way home  it was getting much darker.   It  was a beautiful sunset,  red sky behind the huge dark clouds and a few hours later it was absolutely pouring down.

Hope you like my week 34.  Thank you for the really lovely comments, I enjoy reading them all.    Millyx

Monday 22 August 2011

Week 33

Here is my page for week 33.  I am really really busy at the moment as I am making a quilt.  I spent all day Saturday sewing and pinning the pieces together and kept glancing out of the window at the shore.  The day was grey and gloomy and I was torn between working on the quilt and going for my walk .   I realised I have never shown you my little pincushion,  stuffed with the sheep wool I collected on week 16.  It is a rather special pincushion because it has one of my drawings on the beautiful linen fabric.   I haven't shown it to you because I promised to keep it a secret,  that I have been drawing for a wonderfully talented interior designer who is now about to launch her own fabric collection.   Just look at this for a little glimpse of the beautiful fabrics coming on 1st September.  So exciting.
I am making the quilt as a Gift of a Quilt,  part of the project for the 2012 Olympic games.  They aim to have 500 quilts,  to give each country a gift of a quilt.   I wanted to do this, so signed up to do it last year at the Nec Festival of Quilts when I put my butterfly quilt in the show,  now have to get it completed.  I have been enjoying using my little pincushion and sewing like mad,  just the binding to do and I am nearly done,  it is made from mostly recycled shirts and sheets in a pinwheel design.

 After the sewing and  needing a break I ventured out at  5pm for my usual Saturday walk.  It looked really grey and gloomy,  no view as all the hills are covered in the low grey mist.   As I entered the shore I knew I was in for a soaking.  I headed towards the tidal river and heard the noise the birds were making.  They were so loud,  screaming at each other,  sounded like a real squabble, like  heated exchanges....maybe they were arguing.  It was such a wet damp  day,  maybe  birds get grumpy in the  elements.  I felt really relaxed,  the quilt is getting done,  one more thing off my "To Do"  list.   I liked my walk in the fresh air even when it started to drizzle and I became wetter and wetter.  As I followed the tide line I noticed lots of seaweed and feathers, leaves, broken bits of crabs and lots of grassy, straw like tangles.  The beautiful full moon has been lighting up the shore at night,  it also brings the fuller tides and washes up more debris. 
I collect some seaweed,  feathers, the pale blue shell and some oak leaves.  I walked through the long grass, my toes are squelching with water in my shoes, the water is creeping up my trousers and I can smell their clean washed freshness, now they are going to need washing again. The millions of  tiny drops of rain were weighing  down the long grass.   The same tiny drops  rest gently on the feathers with their water repellent qualities.  Not another person here,  just me,  me and my thoughts of my page 33 which I am organizing as I walk.  Thoughts of my tea which I have put into the oven, a baked potato and then I will warm the plum crumble for pudding.   Not  another person,  just glimpses of faces from a carriage of  the passing train.  As I leave the station,  close the gate to this silent grey world,  my feet clatter over the rusty metal bridge and I notice the same rusty colours of my found oak leaves.  The smell of my tea drifts through the kitchen door,  I kick off  my wet shoes, shake my jacket and wipe the water from my face and dripping hair.  Another page,  like an Olympic athlete I am well on my way to my goal, the finishing line is in sight, the end of the year, to achieve all 52 pages.  Hope you like it.
As always, thank you for the lovely comments.                           Millyx

Sunday 14 August 2011

Week 32

Here is my page for week 32.  It has been a wet week and the shore was very wet and muddy.  I went for my walk just before 5pm and just as I was walking along the edge of the limestone barrier I heard the familiar hoot of the steam train.  I quickly grabbed my camera and managed to photograph the train before it disappeared round the bend and out of sight.  The birds scattered as the train thundered past, many were feeding in the sand and low waters after the tide has gone down.  I kept out of the sand as it looked very soft and sloppy.  The tide line was full of feathers and crabs, lots of leaves and some small pieces of seaweed but they were covered in the brown scum.  I collected clean feathers, lost by the birds and looking so pristine unlike the ones in the tide line.  I found a red berry and I know that soon in the weeks to come I will find many. 
There was a fresh breeze which I enjoyed even though I kept having to hold on to my hair from getting in my eyes.   One bird also  seemed to battle against the elements as she swam across  the strong flow of the tidal river.  It was my friend the swan.  I sat and watched as she twirled around against the rippling water.  She swam near to the edge as if to say hello and followed me along the bend to calmer water.  As I walked through the long grass I found the little toadstools with their long stems and umbrella shaped heads.  So I picked the three you see on my page.  I sat for  a while and all was quiet, no sheep, no moths, no train, an ideal time to see a rabbit.  I thought I heard a fish jumping but it was a huge piece of sandy bank falling into the water.
 The rusty coloured water from the hills has reached the shore and pours along the river, after so many wet days,  the heavy clouds still hang over the tops of the lakeland hills.   It feels more like Autumn,  cooler evenings and the nights drawing in.  The red berries hang on a hawthorn tree and the blackberries are ripening by the railway line.  As I leave for home I can hear  the geese in the distance.  The sun peeped  through the clouds with shafts of light and in moments the water lights up and twinkles,  now it looks more like a summer evening.
Hope you like Week 32.  Three of the striped Curlew feathers, three toadstools, the red berry and a piece of hornwrack.  I washed all the Curlew feathers I found, read last week, so beautiful all lined up.

Thankyou for your lovely comments.     Millyx                                                  

Sunday 7 August 2011

Week 31

Here is my double page for week 31. It has been a week of high tides and I was interested to see what I might find this week. On Wednesday I saw a huge jelly fish washed onto the shore, see photograph below. The tides left a nasty brown scum everywhere and the shore has been very wet and muddy. The shore was littered with feathers and crabs and a variety of bits and pieces of seashore objects.  The weather forecast gave a really wet day for Saturday so I went down on Friday evening, to enjoy a lovely evening.  Saturday was fine so I went again and wandered across the other side of the tidal river to the bigger shore.  It did rain and we did get a little wet but we had a really nice walk and saw the geese on the sandy shore.  I collected so many feathers, found where the curlews sit and so many beautiful striped feathers came home with me.  We estimated about 200 geese after counting 60 in one group and seeing the others.  There were two black cormorants, a heron, the curlews, gulls, oyster catchers and  two white geese amongst the brown ones.  It was such a loud noise when all the geese flew, all honking, the sounds echoing across the estuary.  I have added lots of images of the shore.
I am here just about to leave the shore after our walk with my bag full of finds. I chose the seaweed pieces as it is a while since I have really seen any, the lovely blue shell and the blue duck feather.  The striped Curlew feather and one belonging to one of the geese.  We kept finding where the geese had been sitting, lots of feathers and the pellet shaped poo.  The pools and gullies were all full of water and more and more of the grassy banks are breaking up and falling into the sand. We saw two little fish in a pool and heard other bigger fish jumping in the tidal river. A little rabbit sat on the bank and lifted up her ears when she heard us talking, then quickly disappeared down a hole.  I found a small mermaids purse and saw little shrimps.  The shore is littered with empty and broken crab cases and legs, it was nice to see a tiny live crab moving in the sand. 
On Saturday we saw the steam train go through the village again and return later.  Here is my photograph from two weeks ago, taken off our railway bridge by me. It is such a lovely sight, wanted to share it with you.   I will leave you with some images from my walks.

Hope you enjoy seeing a little more of my walks.                                      Millyx