Through Our Hands has published its first online magazine! And it's FREE! It is a super publication, achieved by the hard work of Laura Kemshall and Annabel Rainbow. I feature in it! Do have a look - you can even pass the pages like a real magazine! Read your copy here:
Saturday, 26 April 2014
As I said in a previous post, this has been an amazing year for my orchids; practically all of them flowered at the same time, and had dozens of flowers each. In fact they are mostly still in flower.
But the special treat has been the flowering of my miniature orchid - for want of a better name - which I bought in Wells market about four years ago. It had one spindly flower then, and once that one went, it has not flowered again - until this year. Now it has six flowers, on two stems - and several more buds. They are really small, each flower is barely bigger than an inch.
You have to be patient with orchids - don't throw the plant away unless it has completely dried out. This miniature orchid plant has been very healthy throughout the fallow four years, growing beautiful, small, glossy green leaves. So I knew one day it would flower again!
Another orchid that only flowers occasionally - probably every two years - is a another relatively small one, although not as small as the miniature one. The plant is small, with thin, long, light green leaves, but the flower is quite a big bigger than the mini one. It has two colours, a variegated hot pink, and an amazing dark wine colour, velvety and soft looking. It has two flowers only, on the one stem.
I don't know what their names, species, or whatever, are - I only know that they are not Phaleonopsis, which is the type of orchid that is commonly sold in supermarkets, because they are easy to look after and they flower at least a couple of times a year. Don't get me wrong - they are beautiful - and I have several of those. But the ones that are different really appeal to me. Not easy to find - I have promised myself that one day I will go to a specialist orchid nursery and buy some unusual ones - those that need a lot of nurturing to actually flower!
And this is my favourite photo of the wine-red orchid:
Thursday, 17 April 2014
Last week I spent four days in Portsmouth attending the AGM of The Quilters' Guild of Great Britain. I taught my new workshop on "Creating Work in Series", which was a success, and gave my new digital presentation on "Colour, Shakespeare and Maps". I attended the Gala Dinner which was great fun, met a number of old and new friends, stayed in a very comfortable hotel, and had some delicious meals.
I also visited one of Portsmouth's attractions - Gunwharf Quays, with its tall Spinnaker Tower, in the shape of a sail.
There was a bit of blue sky then, but in general it was a grey day. Portsmouth is, or was, a naval city and port, so there is a lot to see along the coast - from just watching the boats go past, to visiting the Mary Rose Museum (which unfortunately we never got round to....)
Below is a view of part of Portsmouth harbour from the top of the Spinnaker Tower. The glass in the viewing platforms is somehow tinted, to protect visitors from the sun - but that day there was no sun, it was grey and overcast - so the photos from up there turned out rather green. Nothing I could do about it.... I could Photoshop them onto blue I suppose, but I decided to leave them as they are - it's the colour both me and my camera were seeing from the top.
Closer-up, you can see lots of different small boats 'parked' in the harbour.
There are naval ships and sailing boats.
The stellae left by the motorised boats make nice patterns.
From high above, people look like ants.
You can zoom into the people eating in the cafe below.
On the viewing platform there is an area of glass from where you look below down the tower - strange feeling, like walking on air.
You have to take your shoes off to walk on the glass. Quite a drop!
When we got down, neither the sea nor the sky looked as green as from up on the tower!
Gunwharf Quays are also a big shopping centre - but I didn't take photos of the shops! nor bought anything. But we did have a nice lunch in Jamie's Italian restaurant.
Friday, 4 April 2014
Thursday, 3 April 2014
Wednesday, 2 April 2014
There are many aspects of Sitges I like. The old town had a myriad of little streets, where it was easy to get lost at the beginning.
This beautiful house in white and blue was very near the exhibition venues.
This house shined golden in the sun - it was near the Marina.
And yes, of course there is a Marina, full of beautiful boats.
And beautiful sandy beaches!
And there was one grey day, when it rained - well, more like a couple of hours in the afternoon....but it turned everything into a different reality, with the low clouds over the hills around the town.
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
The skies could be amazing! And depending on the angle of view, and the camera angle, the same sky could look very different.
These are what I call the 'long clouds' - here in white, yellow and orange, on a blue sky and with a silver sea.
A little later, and from another angle, the clouds turned pink and light yellow.
A bit later, with the sunset, the sky became darker and the clouds looked stormy.
And at night, when the sky and the sea were very dark, reflections of the lights of the town turned the sea gold, silver, blue, green....
Monday, 31 March 2014
Every day brought new colours to my views of Sitges. Every day was different: the sea and the sky, the light, were different.
One day the sky and sea were blue, and the white clouds seem to be chasing each other.
On another evening, the sea was blue and black and the sky was red, pink and yellow.
Another evening, the sea had gone all gold and silver.
Another day, the whole area was shining in blue and gold.
And diamonds seem to be floating on the sea.
Saturday, 29 March 2014
I just realised that we are at the end of March and my last post was in the middle of February! I intended to post here more often this year, but I have not. In fact I have been writing in Facebook instead. So for those who have not seen my photos of Sitges in Facebook, I will post them again here.
I went to Sitges for the annual Quilt Festival of the Spanish Patchwork Association. I had a wonderful exhibition there and taught two classes. The place is beautiful - a beach resort half an hour south of Barcelona - the people were wonderful, the weather sunny and warm, and the food superb. What more can I say?
Dusk was amazing. Nights were crystal clear. I took a large number of photographs and I am starting with a couple of them today, which I call Gold and Silver in Sitges. The first one was taken from the Marina, looking into the town, just before sunset. The second one was taken from the centre of town, looking into the sea, of a giant moon and its reflections on the water.
Will post some more tomorrow. Good night!
Monday, 17 February 2014
This Sunday was the most wonderful sunny and mild day, a welcome change from the rain, wind, storms and flooding we've been having in Somerset. Fortunately we haven't been flooded, our area seems to have missed the worst, but so many people have been affected by the terrible weather.
In one of the recent storms, the huge Tree of Heaven, in the Bishop's Palace Gardens, broke and fell, and this is the stump that was left.
But the wood is not been wasted; craftsmen are collecting pieces and carving all sorts of things. There will eventually be an exhibition of all the artefacts produced from the Tree of Heaven. One large piece is being slowly carved into a giant hand on the spot.
The water from the wells that gives Wells its name, is being channelled into the Palace Moat, which has a very high level of water, to avoid it flooding the town. Good management is the clue.
The mild weather means that snowdrops and other flowers are carpeting the grounds.
I love the combination of trees, vegetation, flowers, wide lawns, rampart walks, and ancient towers, in the Bishop's Palace Gardens. Our own bit of heaven in the town.
And then we had lunch in the new cafe - The Bishop's Table...
But it was just one day - today is grey and rainy again. When will this awful weather come to an end? Climate change has to be recognised and tackled!