You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘beautiful things’ category.
I took a couple of photos of the Victorian house where my workplace is located. It’s a lovely old building with lots of character and a few period features.
There was the possibility that we would move out to a newer, but absolutely charmless, premise in Exeter Civic Centre, but we are staying put. Hurrah! This building has been offices for several years and is slightly shabby, so we are going to give it some TLC and a bit of a spruce up inside. I’m pricing up some signage for outside of the building, hence the photos.
When I’d downloaded them, I zoomed onto the arch over the front door and saw these two fantastic creatures flanking either side of it.
I love them! I’d never stopped to examine them before. They’re each different down to their tail, wings and skin texture.
I have them be benign dragons or griffins. What do you think?
This happy discovery reminds me of the treasures I often find when I stop and look at everyday things.
We’re having a bloody wet and cold summer here in Old Blighty. Steve and I went into Exeter last weekend and everyone seemed really grumpy. I admit that I started losing my sunny-side-up optimism and began grumbling right along with everybody else. Apparently the jet stream, a zone of fast moving winds, typically flowing around the globe about six miles above the earth’s surface, is lower than normal, which is making a wet, cool summer for the British Isles.
I’ve been feeling the lack of sun. I miss the warmth of sunlight on my skin and the low pressure system responsible for the wet weather has been dampening my spirits somewhat.
Normally the afternoon sun floods in through our west facing kitchen windows. The last time we had a long stretch of sunny weather was back in March, as evidenced by the calendar!
The other day, I rode the bus into Exeter for work. I used to take the 7:30 am ‘commuter’ bus, filled with sleepy students and tired wage slaves. Now I get the 9:45 am bus for my very civilised 11:00 am starting time. It’s a jolly bunch on this bus, people going in to shop or have lunch. As more people got on the bus at each stop, they laughed with each other about the horrible weather.
I know people who complain about everything and it’s kind of a drag to be around them. I don’t want to become like that even about the weather. Apparently this current weather system may last through September. The laughing people on the bus reminded me that I can choose how I view my world.
When I alight from the bus, I have a 5 minute walk across town to work and I thought, ‘I’ll look out for what lovely and different smells and sights the rain brings. I’ll find what is good about it’. Right away, I noticed how sweet the rain smells, the shiny surfaces of the streets and buildings and how pretty flowers look sprinkled with raindrops. I bought a new brolly from Laura Ashley, charcoal with light grey polkadots and fuschia trim. I’ve been looking out for a new raincoat and stopped in my favourite lingerie shop, which also sells outerwear, and saw a gorgeous German trenchcoat that I plan to go back and try on when I have some more time.
I am so enjoying getting up and NOT putting my painting clothes on! We’ve finally finished, although I will be painting my studio pretty soon.
This weekend, I put the non-orange portion of the kitchen back together, after having finished painting it on Friday, and gave everything a jolly good scrub, eg, floor, top of fridge, toaster, in the process.
I used some of my hand-dyed (by me!) and batik (store-bought) turquoise fabrics to bring a splash of blue into the kitchen and to add to this Summer’s festivities.
We’re having houseguests this weekend and a bunch of our friends over on Sunday for an Innaugural Brunch to celebrate our newly decorated flat, the Queen’s Jubilee, our 2nd wedding anniversary and just about everything else.
It’s so lovely in here. Sunny outside and warm enough to have the windows open. I’m going to switch sewing machines and do some mending that’s been piling up, while enjoying the birdsong streaming in.
When I show my bed ‘Enter the Forest of Dreams’ this August, it will be in the round, meaning that the bed will be viewable from all angles, front and back. When I made the headboard quilt, I backed it with some yellow-green fabric I’d dyed and a very simple label.
I spent Monday laboriously unstitching and removing the label, but keeping the machine quilting intact. I spent the past two days painting the back of the quilt. For some moments I wondered what I was doing. I rarely practice a technique or work a design out on paper. I just know how a thing should be and try to give it the space to emerge.
I’m into woodcuts and really like how the quilted outlines and details didn’t take up my fabric pastels and paints, giving my forest landscape a hand-hewn quality. I sponged most of the paint on.
I did quite a lot of the painting last night and thought of old fairy tales of women venturing into the nighttime forest, either by choice or by banishment. Women who are different, women who are ‘other’. Women whose vision is focussed on farther horizons than those about her can see and who speak answers to questions still half-formed.
It takes an incredible amount of courage to follow one’s Dream. It can feel dangerous or risky to fly in the face of convention, to turn one’s back on what is on offer and to walk towards a life which is yet to be crafted. I’m going to write these words onto the back in antique gold lettering.
As I cross the threshold of the Forest of Dreams,
my deepest longing is rough-hewn in the gloaming.
The trees gather round
to mind me through the night.
As I fall into sleep, does my Desire become a Dream?
And when I wake, will my Dream become Reality?