Sunday Sevens – Rainy days and Sundays

spring fowers

It has been a hectic week at work, I am feeling somewhat frazzled and in need of restoration. The fog outside is creating a strange sort of atmosphere today, the ticking of the clock and the occasional whoosh from the cars driving through the puddles outside are all the sounds I can hear. Its rainy day weather, as I write everyone in the house is sleeping and even the dog ran back to the house this morning, not wanting his usual long walk in the woods.

spring flowers 2

Romancing the Ordinary, (yes that book again!)

Sometimes at the end of a tough week, I’m too frazzled and restless to watch a film or nap. What can I do besides whine? Rainy day cupboards were the saving grace of Victorian Mothers. In these treasure troves of inspiration were neat and clearly marked boxes of craft supplies, games and novelties that were only enjoyed on a rainy day. Same clever concept what about a neat clearly marked projects adapted to capture the interest of a tired jaded woman.

Two caveats ensure the success of this tradition, novelty and preparation. These should not be crafts that are your normal activity, experiment, browse the craft aisle of your local store for projects in a box. Or create your own, put all the ingredients for a new recipe in a box purely for a day such as this.

When you open the cupboard everything you need should be there, its been my experience that rainy day fun has about 3 minutes to hold my interest before I sigh and slink back into my chair.

March might be the beginning of spring, but it is also known for wet windy weather so it is  easy to slip into despondency about rainy days, but they can be brightened up by doing something new.

I love novelty – you can get lovely little storage boxes from the stationery store or there are little craft packs that come with magazines – Mollie Makes this month came with a pretty little loom. I think I might start putting a few of these together for the next rainy day, I am pretty certain I won’t be waiting all that long! I also like the idea of a small project that can be done in an afternoon.

blue and white

So this wet Sunday, I’ve been experimenting with a bit of photography, and while the light isn’t great on a rainy day, it has been a bit of fun. I’ve been following a blog for a while now, it is heavily religious but the posts fill me with inspiration because the photography is so good (I tend to skim the text!)

 

Our home is still in a bit of a muddle, the garage is full of boxes I need to sort out but as I have gone through things box by box, I have been acquainted with all the small treasures that give me delight. This little jug and saucer set is quite small, but the colour is such a delightful cheery yellow – I can’t resist the spring colour. I picked it up in a charity shop for £2.

Easter might be some time away, but the tulips, daffodils and crocus are pushing their way through the darkness, even though they are battered by the wind, they still flower. The garden is full of buds, the willow has lovely white tufts and I noticed the cherry tree is beginning to bud. I’ve planted some seeds – deciding to focus on flowers rather than veg, we get an organic box delivery every week. There is nothing more delightful than cutting your own flowers and bringing them indoors. I’ve chosen a fragrant sweet pea variety – when they flower you have to continually pick them and they are wonderful to give to friends. You almost never, see them in the shops. I’ve also planted chamomile, lemon balm and enchinacia. I have some dahlia tubers to pot up, so it should be a fragrant summer. The cosmos won the race, with this lovely shoot appearing in a matter of days.

We had a lovely lunch with friends yesterday, afterwards the guys went to a pub to watch the rugby and we headed of to look for curtain material. It is shocking how much it costs to make curtains! Jo has a huge bay window  – while I am happy to help it is going to be a huge undertaking. We have a wonderful warehouse place just outside of Chichester called Falcon Fabrics and we found a number of lovely fabrics there.

Pink roses study

We made the last 15 minutes of the Rugby game, England did very well which pleased me, poor Scott was sad to see his team lose. It is always a good atmosphere watching these matches in the pub rather than home.

roses and lace

This week was the first meeting of our writing group and it went really well. We have arranged a creative date in a couple of weeks. The idea comes from the Artist’s way, where you make regular outings or time to do something creative. We intend to visit three different locations in Chichester – and spend some time in each. I am looking forward to it, and I am enjoying writing and have a short story to complete by next week.

Yellow flowers springI’ve used Picasa to edit my photographs – however I notice that when they are uploaded the processing is not as good as it could be. The pictures are a bitt fuzzy and blurry, mainly due to the reduction in size so that they will load quicker.

The light balance in my camera is not great, I have adapted the settings, but I will have to set up some proper lighting instead of relying on the daylight coming through the window.

So I might look into photoshop – I haven’t used it for years – and it is always good to try something new. I also need to get some new memory for my Mac – these things seem to use much more resources. However, it has been fun, composing and experimenting with photography for a change and making the most of a rainy day.

Happy Sunday!

 

 

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Sketching Challenge

After my promises post, I decided to give myself a little more time for fun. I love drawing and painting but don’t really do much because sewing seems a much more practical use for my time. But when I draw or paint I really do get lost int he process, definitely a becomes meditative and time just slips away along with any worries or woes!

So I have promised that I will do more art! No backsliding it is here in black and white and now on my to do list!

I thought I would participate in a daily drawing challenge, as I needed something to aim at, it was run by a local Artist on the Art Trail this year. It was only a small little sketchbook with thirty pages, so it doesn’t feel daunting.

01-Missing key

Challenge 1 – A Key – I thought I would use negative space instead of observation, I love doing swirly doodle lines so this is entitled – the missing key!

03-Hat

Challenge 2 – A Hat – this is one of my favourites, its a bright red felt pillbox! I really enjoyed the sharp shadows and the dome.

04-Hat 1

Challenge 3 – A pair of scissors – graphite offers so much fun with tone, the handles had quite exciting curves! Of course they had to be dressmaking scissors!

05-Glass object

Challenge 4 – a Vase – this tiny vase is a beautiful Swedish glass maker. The colours change throughout, they make an interesting subject for coloured pencils and it is quite wonky, the test was to replicate the wonkiness and resist the desire to straighten it up!
07-Cotton reel

Challenge 5 – Something red, back to sewing! this cotton reel was good fun to study, had to be coloured pencils otherwise it would not be red.

seam ripper

Challenge 6 – A tool (of course it had to be a sewing tool!) Sadly this is used quite often!

06-Glass object 2

Challenge 7 – Glass Could not resist going back to the wonky vase to have another go! This time from another angle you can really see the wonkiness now!

The great thing about this exercise is that you can focus just on a small object rather than trying to compose a painting or drawing. The scale is simple and the idea of the challenges were achievable in a short space of time.

It has inspired me to do more drawing and certainly has tightened up my observation although these are no way perfect! I think it helps to have something to focus on – I enjoy being challenged. I find without them I can’t seem to focus there is just too much choice.

Do you enjoy challenges?

Susanna Signature

Sugar – Poetry 101 Rehab challenge

Sugar

She knew

He was distracted

Absent

Staring into space

Again

She loved him

Fastening her apron

Reaching for the jar

She smiled

He loved her too

On Monday

Pulling apples from his tree

She made Apple Crumble

Spicing it with cloves and cinnamon

Just like his school dinners

On Tuesday

She baked

Sicilian Lemon cake,

First tasted on honeymoon

twenty years ago

On Wednesday

Golden treacle pudding

with custard

just like his mother taught her

On Thursday

Shortbread fingers

Eaten by the loch

where they discovered

blossoming parenthood

On Friday

The vanilla scent of

New York Baked Cheese Cake

Welcomed him home

By Saturday

He was no longer distracted

They celebrated

With tiramisu