Tag Archives: art

Poppies – Yes, it’s That Time of Year Again

Julia and the Garden Group made poppies a few weeks ago, cutting the bottoms of plastic bottles, fitting wire stalks, spraying them red and sticking the bottle tops in the centres.

It’s not a very complicated process, though the step I missed out (smoothing the cut edges using a candle flame) does have the occasional interesting moment. Julia tried making leaves using green plastic bottles, but they turned out a bit see-through. She doesn’t have enough money in the kitty for green paint, in case you were wondering.

With the addition of some scrim netting (because it’s slightly military) and some rosemary (for remembrance) it is now forming an art installation in the garden. See how easily I slip into the language of the aesthete – art installation indeed. It’s some plastic flowers on a fence post. It also includes some sedums (because they are still in prolific flower) and some chicken wire (because there wasn’t enough scrim).

One of the group has printed out a suitable poem too. It’s the Moina Michael poem “We shall Keep the Faith“. I’ve left a link rather than displaying it in full. To be honest, I don’t really like it . Apart from the sentiment I don’t like the way it rhymes red and dead twice in seventeen lines.

As she’s the originator of Poppy Days I will cut her some slack and say no more. After all, my view may not reflect the views of posterity.

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Poppies and Rosemary

 

 

Planters

Julia’s group has finished painting the metal bins so they now have a fine selection of planters on the verandah. There’s a fig in one, a conifer in another and a strange combination of Echeveria Duchess of Nuremberg, thyme and chives in a third. Echeveria and thyme are fine but I have my reservation about the chives. Time will tell.

“Those slate chippings look familiar.” I said, vaguely remembering she’d mentioned them last week.

“They’ve been on the patio for years,” she replied,”you weren’t using them.”

Wives don’t understand the concept of keeping things in case they come in useful later.

 

They aren’t just a garden task, they have provided a useful art and design project too.

She has been given some wooden bins too. The school has made some into trough planters and that’s Julia’s plan too. All we need to do is get the screws out of the hinges. Eight screws. Eight tight screws. Then we need to shorten them and dismantle the doors to re-use them as ends.

It sounds so simple…

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The Stained Glass Museum – Ely

As you may have guessed from a previous post, I’m not impressed with the admission charges at Ely Cathedral. In fact, I’m not really keen on spending money at all, unless it’s on books or unsuitable food. So if I say it was a pleasure to spend £4.50 on the Stained Glass Museum you’ll realise I liked it.

Two roundels showing scenes from the life of St Vincent, c 1220-50 Burgundy region

I’ve always liked stained glass. There’s something magic about sunlight filtering through coloured glass, in much the same way that there’s something wondrous about sunbeams streaming through trees.

I’ll leave it to the pictures now, as I have nothing to say that will improve the glass.

Left, Angel Musician c1440 – 80 Distinctive East Anglian style of painting

Right, Christ and His Followers, designed by Alexander Walker (active 1896 – 1929) though the label says this is c 1885. From a church in Leith. Part of the new wave of Scottish glass – religious zeal having destroyed all he old glass and prevented the making of new glass for several hundred years.

Left, Head of a Young Boy c 1930, designed and made by Christopher Webb (1886 – 1966)

Right, Inner Space by Paul San Casciani b 1935 – representing the view of cells

As you can see, there is a variety of glass, including old and new with a mix of traditional and novel subjects.

Like eating soup with a fork…

After an active morning, with a lot of poultry work and watering, we had lunch and settled down to some serious outdoor education with a trek in the woods and the making of nature memory sticks. I would say “and picking blackberries” but someone has got there before us, for the second year in a row. The sticks are on willow, but despite repeated soaking most of them stayed defiantly unbent.

Here are the results. They look pretty good in real life, though possibly not quite so good in the photos. The sticks, that is. The group, of course, when faced with a camera look shifty, bored or anywhere but the camera. That’s what suggested the title. I’ve just deleted about half the group shots because people moved, looked away, closed their eyes or opened their mouths unsuitably wide. The surviving shots then needed weeding for ones where they have greenery sprouting from unexpected places.

As you can see, it wasn’t the most successful of group portraits – long on character but short on technical skill is a kind way of putting it.

Part of it was my fault, I suppose, as I kept asking for different sorts of cheese to encourage them to pay attention. It may not have worked, as shouts of “Boursin!” and a discussion on paneer proved not to be advantageous to the job in hand.  So, by the miracle of coincidence and cheap digital photography,  here are some pictures.

 

Ramblings, art week and the first post of the day

It’s Sunday and this is just a few random thoughts to get me warmed up so don’t worry if you have a feeling that you’re trapped in an overgrown garden of rampant verbiage.

Belly pork tonight, a NIgella recipe. I made it last week and it turned out well so tonight is to test bif it was a fluke or a repeatable result. If it works again I may add it to my regular recipe selection. There is a recipe on the internet where she marinades the pork and stuff – but as this is great in its plain form why mess with tahini and lime juice? Air miles, Nigella, air miles. We’re going to be eating ours with the first broad beans of the season. I am looking froward to it.

We’ll be having radishes for lunch tomorrow – there are four of us here tomorrow so we can have a couple each. I’m not a great radish fan, but I do love stuff straight from the garden.

Sunday started, as always, at an unreasonably early hour. I then did laundry; wondered if this was what my life will be like for ever (there’s nothing like using a launderette at 7am on a Sunday to make you examine your companions, ambitions and lack of success in life); went home to tidy and make sandwiches, and then went shopping before coming to work.

I’ve used semi-colons there because it’s the right thing to do, as I recall. I’ve also had a go at sticking in an Oxford comma. It’s probably a little late in my life to start worrying about such things – particularly when my normal habit is to use commas, dashes and brackets in a manner that looks like a chimp has thrown a bucket of punctuation marks at the screen. On the other hand, what is life if it isn’t a series of attempts at self-improvement?

Well, having just had a quick look round the last day of Sherwood Art week in the Nottingham suburb of Sherwood, life might be a journey to self-improvement through the medium of novelty knitting – check out the pictures.

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