Sunday, 26 May 2013


I was at Belper Arts Festival yesterday, and it felt an interesting start to the day, when one of the other artists said that she had already seen my work.  it turns out that her water colours, which are lovely, are in the one of the same venues as mine (The lovely White Peacock tea room and emporium).  It turns out we'd both popped in there yesterday, but at different times, her with her work, and us later on for their bistro night.  Small world.
The world got even smaller, when a few minutes later, one of the Artists who has a studio in the building, came over to look at my silver birches, and told me that she also creates silver birches, but in pastels.  OK that bit's not particularly surprising, lots of artists are inspired by silver birches, but it is strange that I recognised her from a holiday in Iceland that we were both on about 12 years ago!  At that time she wasn't drawing, and I hadn't started sewing,  but 12 years later, not only do we have the shared love of Iceland, we're inspired by the same subject matter.  (Though I really must be more careful in how I ask questions, I was so surprised to see her, that I just blurted out "Have you ever been to Iceland?" - It would have served me right, if she'd replied with "No, I prefer Sainsburys"......)
Then when we got home, me and Col were researching the area we now live in, and it's links to DH Lawrence (neither of us had realised that the White Peacock tea room, is a reference to DH Lawrence's first novel), and then, when I picked up the Guardian, the front page of the Review is all about.....DH Lawrence.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

choosing a weather forecast!

Why do weather forecasts have to be so, very varied?  Sometimes its nice to be able to browse the diiferent forecasts until you find one you want, but sometimes it would be really helpful to know what the weather is going to be doing.
I've got an outdoor stall at Belper Arts Festival this weekend, and while I'm loving the forecast of a sunny day with highs of fifteen degrees, it would actually be really useful to know, and be able to prepare for, high winds and snow.
My preparations are reminiscent of packing to go on holiday to the East coast as a small child; t shirt, ground sheets, flask, anorak, sunnies......

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Treasure Hunt

Just come back from a really good activity - I'm not a confident orienteerer (is that a word?) but have just done the Run Challenge around Eastwood, which is more like a giant treasure hunt.
Forty five minutes to find as many control points (and answer questions such as "What is the last digit on the post box?" and "Which day of the week is the Clairvoyants night?"  (Hmmm should they need it advertising????)   )
Points get deducted if you're late back, and so as well as sorting out a route, and looking for clues, you have to be realistic about how quickly (or in my case, slowly)  you think you can run.  
As well as doing speedwork and hill work, by stealth, you really don't realise that you're doing it, it has the added bonus of getting to know new routes for when it's dark at night, and running through fields of cows isn't an option.
The Eastwood event is really handy for us, but their website shows that they're setting them up in lots of places - very exciting to be at the start of something new! 

Monday, 20 May 2013

who said village life was quiet

After a busy weekend last weekend, and knowing that I've got a busy week ahead, we decided to have a lazy Sunday, catch up with friends, and visit the Lady Bay Art Festival.
We've both become captivated by a garden chair - based on the old wicker "egg" chairs, that are suspended from the ceiling, this work of art, can be suspended from a tree, or from a metal sculpture, and it is truely wonderful to look at, and relaxing to sit it, one couple who have bought one, take duvets outside in the winter, snuggle up in it, and watch the stars - how fantastic is that.
Any way busy week ahead in the village, there's a footpath walk today - its purpose is to report on any maintenance that needs to be carried out, but has the added advantage of linking new routes together for us, a treasure hunt run in Eastwood on Tuesday (hope I don't get lost) and a gourmet bistro night at The White Peacock Tea Rooms on Friday night, before sorting out everything to take to Belper Open Arts Festival on Saturday.
Best get cracking

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Can you see the sea?

Today, I hope to, finally, get around to mailing my scarf off to my tutor to be assessed for my degree work.

I've been so busy preparing for the Open Studios, that my degree work, unfortunately, had to take a back seat.
The scarf is hand dyed and is inspired by the sea, I like to think that the colours capture the colours of the sea, swirling blues greens and greys, and I hope that the structure works too; I wanted to create something that felt inviting to step into, but had the potential to be threatening too; dangerous, and out of control, with the risk of being pulled down and submerged.
A big thank you too, to my friend, who thought that she was just going to put it on, to see how it sat, and was a bit surprised when i got the camera out to start taking photos!

Friday, 17 May 2013

monkey business

well the good news is that the local paper have decided to do a little video of me and my work (apparently video clips are the way forward even with local news papers), the bad news is that the clip features below a comedy monkey at a traffic island, and you have to click on that page before you can find the video "Jackie Ward, Artist)
Currently feeling the same double edged feeling of having run a Marathon, but being overtaken by  a pantomime horse

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

And relax...

Well that's my first ever Open Studios, and after all of my initial worries, that
a.   I might be sitting there on my own for the whole weekend
c.  People might comment on the state of the garden (it's a work in progress, not helped by the rain)
b.  People might walk straight in, and straight out
and  d.  and e.
I can honestly say that I had a lovely time; people came who I haven't seen for a long time, neighbours came and supported me, people came who had heard about it by word of mouth, or had seen the Open Studios publicity, and as well as being able to explain how I work, I was able to hear about other peoples arts, interests and passions,
We actually saw the last visitors back at around 9pm Sunday evening!  so went to to bed with that strange combination of shattered yet buzzing

Best bits - two little girls who, on entering my studio, were as excited, as if they'd entered a sweet shop, that, and teaching them how to felt - stopping them from pulling and treating the wool gently - priceless.
Then the next morning opening up my inbox, and finding an email from a lady who had travelled from Lincolnshire, which was extremely lovely to receive.

Funniest moments - the comment "we thought you'd closed for the day, but then we saw a couple of mugs moving behind the door".  priceless, still smiling now, both about that, and my lovely weekend, ach well back to the sewing machine..

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Drum roll

And here's the reason why I've had so little time to post anything over the last few weeks

My lovely cosy new studio.....

Only a month ago, we didn't even have a concrete base, and now thanks to my lovely shop lifting (err sorry shop fitting) husband, I have a lovely studio, and (literally) just in time for this weekend's Open Studios Event.

The timing's been very tight, the electrics only went in on Tuesday, and I've been moving stuff in around the Electrician, but it's here, and apart from some last minute tweaking, it's really, and I really really love it.

I can look down the garden as I work, and as my next door neighbours are getting some chickens, I'll have some company too.
Just can't believe it's all mine....

Open Studios, 11 & 12 May, The Moor Cottages, 36 Moor Rd, Brinsley, Nottinghamshire, 10am-5pm
shaky hands - I'm so nervous - hopefully better photos tomorrow!

last minute sweeping!

just got to get the bunting up