Friday, February 27, 2009


This week's Arty Girlz challenge is Butterflies. The winged gentleman in the photograph and captured in the jar is Mr. James Gunston N.D.A., N.D.D., author of Successful Gardening Without Digging (published by Stanley Paul 1960). Mr Dunstan's book details how land may be cultivated without recourse to digging and this makes him a hero to all allotment holders. His gardening tool of choice was a crome - actually a garden fork, forged into a claw shape:
"...The use of a crome instead of a fork or spade has many advantages. The work is easier, and a larger area of ground is prepared in a given time as compared with digging, plant foods are kept in the top layer where most needed, the many burrows made by worms during previous months are unbroken where they do most good and where they act as natural channels for draining and aerating the soil, people who are incapable of digging can continue gardening by using crome and soil bacteria are left where they prefer to be and where they do most good, instead of being buried deeply by digging."

We own a crome and it is indeed a very fine thing. It was purchased from Get Digging, purveyors of Azadas, Mattocks, Long Handled Spades, Long Handled Forks, Cromes, Scythes, Sickles and Slashers.
Mr Gunstan, gardeners and worms of the world salute you!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009



This week, on her blog Robin's Nest, Robin has generously given us three lovely vintage ephemera freebies, including the music sheet that provides the background for this image. When I began, I was thinking of Gaby Bee's beautiful bird ATCs at Colorful Adventures. As I'm going to reproduce this ATC on magnet material, which I've never tried before, I thought I'd keep it simple.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Disintegration Collaboration - Larry's Papers

Larry's Paper's 15th February 2009

Seth, a New York based mixed media artist has initiated a fascinating project. He has invited artists to create a paper bundle, place it outdoors, "then watch and wait". We each post a "before" photograph on our blogs and then, on May 1st, we will all post our "afters".
For some time now, I have been wondering what I should do with a small suitcase of personal papers that belonged to my mother's cousin Larry, whom I discovered whilst researching our family history. When I found him, Larry was near the end of his life and living in a residential home. the oldest member of our family, he had not seen a relative for many years and we grew to love each other. When he died, all that was left of him was a collection of old utility and council tax bills and other paper remnants of life's mundane necessities. Although this ephemera was of no geneological use, I didn't want to throw it away and I've been pondering how they might be integrated into a commemorative artwork. So here are Larry's papers, hanging on the shed wall opposite our kitchen. After May, I should have wonderfully mouldy bits of paper to scan and incorporate into digital images and then I will either make some altered art with them or put them on the compost heap to nourish the vegetables on our allotment. Larry would have preferred the latter and being a very down to earth chap, he would almost certainly have considered the project a "bloody daft thing to do". Hopefully, the birds in our garden will come and perch on the papers which would, at least, have made Larry smile.

There is a link to Seth's Disintegration Collaboration blog: THE ALTERED PAGE in the sidebar of this blog

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Scrap Orchard ATC challenge: Love Done Me Wrong


My precious!
Your promises were so fragile
That you kept them safe in little boxes
Where they could not see the sunlight
And so forgot to grow

Naughtsandcrosses is hosting this week's ATC Challenge at Scrap Orchard and has suggested a Valentine theme "for those of us who tire of the happy frou frou Valentines, for those of us who loved and lost and for those who just feel in the need to share a sassy ATC of how love did you wrong." Marvellous!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

ATC: Oberon


I've made this ATC for my nephew Dan who is in rehearsal for his college production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Oberon's face is actually that of Mrs. Eustacia Campbell, painted in 1765 by Francis Cotes R.A. (1726-1770)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

DAQ ATC Challenge January 2009: Hats


My introduction to the wonderful world of Artist Trading Cards was the DAQ January challenge, the theme of which was hats. This image began as a photograph that my father took of me when I was about 5 years old.
Find out more about ATCs at this link

Friday, February 6, 2009

Make A Moo Or Two: One

I'll sing you twelve, Ho
Green grow the rushes, Ho!
What are your twelve, Ho?
Twelve for the twelve Apostles
Eleven for the eleven who went to heaven,
Ten for the ten commandments,
Nine for the nine bright shiners,
Eight for the April Rainers,
Seven for the seven stars in the sky,
Six for the six proud walkers,
Five for the symbols at your door,
Four for the Gospel makers,
Three, three, the rivals,
Two, two, the lily-white boys,
Clothèd all in green, Ho
One is one and all alone
And evermore shall be so.

Green Grow The Rushes Ho - traditional folk song

Congratulations to Make a Moo or Two who this week, celebrate their first birthday with a challenge to create a Moo (or two) around a theme of the number one. This brought to mind a song that I learnt in school. As a seven year old, I thoroughly enjoyed bouncing up and down whilst singing this song at the top of my voice, having not a clue of its meaning. Wikipedia throws a little light on the subject: the lyrics of the song are in many places extremely obscure, and present an unusual mixture of Christian catechesis, astronomical mnemonics, and what may very well be pagan cosmology.
On this occasion, I've made not one, or two, but a triptique Moo. The gentlemen in the middle is Sam Bennett who was known as the Ilmington Fiddler. Along with members of my own family, Sam was one of the Morris Dancing side in the village of Ilmington, Warwickshire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Arty Girlz: Red & White


This week's Arty Girlz challenge was to work with the colours red and white. This image began life as the Pelican Portrait of Queen Elizabeth the First. Dated c1575 and attributed to Nicolas Hilliard, it is held at the National Portrait Gallery in London.