Four Exhibitions

Ashmoleon Museum

A few weeks ago I was in Oxford, the day I delivered the slippers, and I decided to spend some time in the Ashmolean Museum.

At the time they had three Free Exhibitions and I went and looked at each of them.

But first I went up to the roof terrace and had a cup of coffee. cup of coffee

I tried to photograph the whole terrace but the sun was so bright, I just pointed the camera and hoped! The camera was not quite level as you can see. roof terrace

First Exhibition – The Tale of Prince Vessantara

(This exhibition is on till 9th September)

The story behind the pictures, and there were quite a few though I did not photograph all of them, was that of a past life of the Buddha.

He was born as Prince Vessantara who was such a generous man that he gave away everything, including his wife and children. Generosity is a prime Buddhist virtue but I must say that I was rather shocked at the idea of praising a man for giving away his children.

The story shown in the paintings on show was how a man asked the prince for his children so they could be servants for his wife. The prince agrees. Story of Prince Vessantra part 1

The prince’s wife is of course devastated though that is not shown here. The light was very poor so I only took photographs where it was better.

But later the prince’s father recognises the children and pays the man a great deal of money for their return. Story of Prince Vessantra part 2

Second Exhibition – A Century of Women in Chinese Art.

(This exhibition is on till 14th October)

The century in question here is the twentieth.

Here I only photographed a couple of paintings that were different to the norm.

The first show Tibetan women presenting lengths of white silk to guests. Two Tibetan women

The second I thought was particularly interesting because it show a Western style clock on the wall. Two Chinese women and clock

I also thought the garment in the same display case was so beautiful. beautiful garment

Here is a closer look. embroidery close up

And another piece of embroidery that caught my eye phoenix and dragon embroiderybecause it’s theme contains the phoenix and the dragon just like my Chinese laquer plate does. laquer plate

Third Exhibition – Paintings and a sculpture by Ibrahim El-Salahi a Sudanese artist.

(This exhibition is on till 2nd September)

I especially liked his tree paintings. tree painting

and another tree paintingAnd this tree sculpture. tree sculpture

On the wall opposite the sculpture there was a huge painting of Flamenco dancers that he had see in Andalusia. Flamenco dancers painting

Bodleian Library – Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth

(As you can see this exhibition is on till 28th October)

A few days later I was back in Oxford to meet my daughter and husband and go to see a Tolkien exhibition in the Bodleian Library. The exhibition is free but you do need to book tickets for a particular time slot.

Unfortunately it was not permitted to take photographs in the exhibition but I did take a photograph of the display outside. Tolkien exhibition display

If you are interested in Tolkien, I can thoroughly recommend a visit. We spent at least an hour there and could have spent longer. There were photographs and artifacts concerned with different stages of his life, books and paintings and maps he had made.

And the shop had lots of Tolkien inspired memorabilia.

I bought a fridge magnet. fridge magnet

This is much enlarged of course!

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Monthly Montage – June

Been so busy lately thinking about health matters (nothing to worry about everything is fine!) that I forgot all about a montage for June.

In June, I told you about the dinosaur I made for my Grandson’s birthday and a Never-Ending card I made for my granddaughter’s birthday.
June montageI also had a post about the tea cosy I want to make for my new teapot, some archive pictures concerned with Sunlight, more bread and garden photographs and the slippers I made for James. No Knitting this month, though I was knitting a pair of socks and am now in process of knitting another pair!

I do find these post very useful if I need to remember when I made something. I just choose at the option in the menu and browse.

Montage – May

In May I showed you how I was working on adapting a pattern to make a pair of slippers. I am making the second one now! I also showed you the new larger pot holder I had made and some recent purchases of crochet hooks and a whole variety of yarn. I have just included the rainbow yarn in the montage.

May montageThere were also many photographs of flowers in my garden, especially clematis and lily of the valley. I made some crochet flowers too: poppies. There were also photographs of the apples to be.

I shared a whole load of photographs of pages from my knitting and crochet journal and finally details of my late celebration of Christmas with my family.

And yesterday was …………. Christmas

No post yesterday as it was time for Christmas!

Yes, Christmas transferred from 25th December due to my being in hospital.

I am pleased to relate that I managed to cope with it all quite easily so I am now officially ‘better’! Of course I did spread preparation out over the weekend and had an enforced rest on Sunday afternoon to watch the Monaco Grand Prix, which was good as I get a bit hyper when planning a big occasion.

It started with a Carol at the door from some visitors! “We wish you a Merry Christmas” of course.

Later I managed to take some photographs of the table all dressed up for the big day while having a sneaky Campari and soda with my daughter and preparing vegetables. My daughter helped with peeling and mashing the parsnips to save my wrists!

table laid

I had finally bought a book on napkin folding a while ago when I found a cheap onenapkin folding bookand had busied myself making different designs for each place setting.

The napkins weren’t perfectly square and were so large that for four of the folds I reduced the napkin size by folding the corners to the centre before following the book. However I was still pleased with the results.

Going round the table, widdershins, here is a close up of each one.

My place-setting a pin wheel windmill. pin-wheelGold chocolate coin, extra.

Son: boot bootGranddaughter: rabbit rabbitSon-in law: shirt shirtDaughter: fleur-de-lis fleur-de-lis I can see from the photo that it got a bit squashed when it fell off the table and I haven’t straightened it properly 😦

Family friend: Clowns hat.clown's hatThe crackers were provided by my son who bought them after Christmas when they were being sold off at a much reduced price!

Goldgold crackerand a sort of brown. brown crackerNow I have to admit that once everyone came in and we had crackers, followed by food and wine, I was much too busy to think of more photographs. However I am having a second Christmas lunch today from the leftovers so I will give you a taster from that,

There was chestnut stuffing and bread stuffing and bread sauce. stuffings and bread sauce

Turkey and sprouts and parsnips together with sausage and bacon rolls (but they ate all the bacon!) and cranberry sauce.meal on plate

(I was fortunate to discover that you can get English parsnips even this late in the year: a bit woody in the middle but tasty. I also found frozen sprouts. So all traditional vegetables!)

[Also roast and boiled potatoes, not shown because I avoid them.] And, of course, gravy. gravyGood thick Welsh gravy! meal with gravy

Afters was cheesecake and or strawberries and, if desired, cream. aftersA bit hot for Christmas pud (and it was a very hot day!) and anyway my son ate it all when there was normal Christmas!

All followed by rest, presents (bought by my daughter), a walk and charades!

I think I can say “A good time was had by all”.

Of Clematis and Apples

Just another post from my garden – because I can.

The flowers on the ‘Lemon Dream’ clematis I showed you have died but down below there are more.

Lemon Dream clematis

There is also a flower from the other clematis I planted next to it. (A shorter one called ‘The Vagabond’.) The Vagabond clematisThe other side of the garden my ‘Diana’s Delight’ clematis has suddenly put on a great show. Diana's Delight clematisYou can see that it is planted just to the side and almost behind my rosemary and you can see a Christophe allium just opening.

The apple blossom has all died and I have little blobs of what might be thought of as unsuccessful blossom appearing all over the garden old blossombut on the tree there are signs of future apples, tiny appleseven more in some places. even more tiny applesAnd I did make some more bread – a granary loaf this time but have spared you a photograph. 😉

Knitting and Crochet journal

This post was inspired by a reply to a comment I made to this post on https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/2018/05/15/scrap-happy-adventures-with-junk/which was about creating a ‘junk journal’.

I have a journal but mine is quite different.

The photographs you see are of pages in the order they occur in the book (obviously they are a very small selection). I took the photographs quickly on the floor of my study on a sunny day. (Taking more than one and making them perfect seemed too much of an effort!)

Now my son has a tendency to buy me quirky presents sometimes and they are often tech related. One birthday or Christmas he bought me this. Polaroid printerIt is a small printer that prints tiny prints straight from a camera. The prints are sticky under a backing. At the time I really wondered what I might use it for but I kept it. However it has proved invaluable for creating pictures for my journal.

Now my younger daughter one birthday or Christmas bought me a book with blank pages journal coverfrom Paperchase: a shop that sells mainly decorative paper products. I really love the way three of the butterflies have movable wings.

I shared my attempt to make a copy of this book for my daughter HERE.

Again I wasn’t sure what to use it for but then I had a brainwave and my Knitting and Crochet Projects journal was born.

Here is the first page. I start with a few basics for reference.first page

And then I move on to a few charts and instructions for making basic things. Like my own way of making Granny Squares. diagramsI have never made a Granny Rectangle but, if I do, I have a reference to the way I liked best here!

I also added diagrams of how to do the ‘Magic Loop’ a name shared by both knitting and crochet for quite different things.more diagrams

Now I planned to use black ink for crochet and blue for knitting but you can see I am already forgetting!

This is my first project: a hexagon blanket based on a pattern on the Attic24 blog

first projectYou can see I include charts where it seems to help or save space. They are not always in colour and sometimes I try and photograph them off the screen and include as photos but that is less successful.

Here is a knitting chart that I worked out to create a pattern of adjoining hexagons with three different textures. knitting chartI included a photograph of the hat and scarf where I used it.

Sometimes it is impossible to include details of all the patterns but it is still useful to have a record. Here are details of a doll I made for one of my grandsons.

photographs of doll

When I make socks I like to wait till I have a few pairs and record the basic details. Up to now I have always used a toe-up method with short-row toes and heels.
lots of socksSometimes I want the book to contain details of a complicated pattern I have created, so much, that I add in a printout.adding a printout

I include the details of things I have made from other people’s patterns as well as my own.other people's patternsI have a red A4 folder which is full of printouts of other peoples patterns and also some of my own ones as a supplement to this, so if I want to make more seahorses, the pattern is there, but here I have added details of how I made the finished hanging.

This is where I am about to add details of another make.starting a new entryI cannot write straight easily so I start by drawing pencil lines that I rub out later. Also the book is always behind where I am, so every so often I spend a morning catching up!

At the back of the book, working forwards, I make a list of projects I have in mind for the future. This is the first two pages of this: one for knitting and one for crochet. future projectsYou can see I have completed all the crochet ones but still have not done all the knitting ones. Of course not all projects get listed here only ones I may make in the future and don’t wish to forget.

I am now three quarters of the way through the book but recently my daughter bought me another book from Paperchase. new journal cover

So I have somewhere to continue when I finish this one!

 

Garden update

My garden is very important to me even though I am not much of a ‘gardener’.

So I like to share what’s happening.

I was very pleased a few days ago to see the first flowers on my clematis that I planted not last autumn but the one before. At one point I wondered if it had died but no.  clematis beginning to open

And then yesterday They had really opened out. clematis fully openThey are called “Lemon Dream” and do have just a very faint scent.

More scent below though again you need to go close.

Lilies of the valley don’t photograph easily so here is just a peek. lily of the valleyAnd further along in the same bed I was pleased to see that my Lenten Roses are still making a brave show, though now they have faded from dark pink to a more dusky purple. Lenten roses

April Montage

In April I once more shared a lot of cooking and flowers. There were the Hot Cross buns and Simnel muffins I made for Easter time and a couple of loaves of bread. The same ideal recipe but first as a Farmhouse loaf and then as more of a Bap shape. Now able to get out into the garden, from the middle of the month, I created a few flower portraits.April montageI also managed to fit in some knitting and crochet. I made one of my Celtic Coasters as an Easter present for someone who doesn’t like chocolate. (I know how can you not like chocolate!) And for knitting I made a pair of socks from the wool left over from two other pairs of socks made with similar yarn. I was pleased with how they turned out and aim to make similar socks with other leftover sock wool. Finally I manged to get round to completing my latest cushion.

And although I don’t normally add other things to my monthly montage posts. Since this replaces my normal Monday post, I will add some photographs of things that have made me happy this last weekend.

Here is yet another loaf of bread. Made from my favourite recipe: half white and half wholemeal this time. half and half breadAnd here is my breakfast! breakfast(Interestingly, I realised that although I don’t buy much organic produce, the flour for the bread, the peanut butter and the honey are all organic, either bought because I like it or because it was a good price.

And lastly a photograph of my apple tree full of blossom. apple treeThis is maybe my favourite time of year: seeing the apple blossom and the forget-me-nots and, in my previous garden, the bluebells, all at the same time.

Flowers and my garden

I am really beginning to feel that Spring is coming.

Last time I showed you a portrait of some forget-me-nots, forget-me-notsone of my favourite flowers.

But when I went out later into the back garden, I realised that the forget-me-nots were happy colonising odd locations like here in this crevice forget-me-nots in creviceor growing in the wall. forget-me-nots in wall

I also noticed that the pulmonaria (also know as lungwort), that I had pulled up rather ruthlessly last year because I thought it was swamping the snowdrops, had managed to survive. pulmonaria

I was very happy to hear the hum of bees as they went about their work of collecting nectar and when I went out the front to photograph the flowers on the rosemary I managed to get a couple of opportunist shots. Just point at a distance and hope. Working at this resolution gives lots of opportunity and these next two photograph are using just the original pixels. Not quite in focus but usable I thought. bee on rosemary

and another sort of bee. another bee on rosemary

Of course we have had a fairly wet time in recent months and the paving has suffered. However I tried a little bit of cleaning with a scrubbing brush and water and you can see here the difference that it can make. clean and dirty pavingA large area to clean up though. It will have to wait till I am feeling a bit more energetic.

I am a great admirer of Leanne Cole and her flower photographs (Find the latest here). Just click on the tag below the post: ‘floral friday’ to find more, or use this LINK

And so I have been trying to make similar myself. I think my style is a little different to hers but I hope you like them.

First the lithodora: another of my favourites. lithodora

And the pulmonaria pulmonaria

And a daffodil. daffodil

There were just two left, relatively small flowers on very tall stems.