Goodbye 2020

Finding a number 17 for my Countdown to Christmas was easy, I just used my own door number but to make life a bit more exciting, I decided to hold a ‘Giveaway’ and offer a custom made mosaic plaque to the winner.

Giveaway 1After five days all the entrants names were placed in a box, I picked out a name and announced the Winner, promising to make the chosen number in the new year.

Here’s a round-up of my 2020 work and the ‘Giveaway’ plaque will be shared soon :) 2020 Makes2021 hasn’t begun as we would’ve all wanted with another lockdown and more restrictions, but we have to find joy where we can and meanwhile try to stay well physically and mentally.  Wishing you all well and hopefully things will get better soon.

Countdown to Christmas

Since the first lockdown in March I’ve taken to walking to the local shops and ticking both the ‘shopping for essentials’ and ‘daily exercise’ boxes in one go.  I’ve continued to do so throughout the year (only going to the supermarket when necessary).  When I got the idea to do an Instagram COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS project, it was easy to combine that too.   I just walked and walked and always had my phone or camera with me.

For those of you who don’t have Instagram, here’s my countdown …..

28 SignBlack Friday, 28 days ’til Christmas.

25 edited 2I LOVE this 25 sign!   I just had to go back with a Santa hat to use as a prop!24 - 1918 - 1312 - 76 - 1Before I knew it, it was Christmas Day!

Christmas display (1)

I hope that however you spent your Christmas, you and your loved ones remained healthy and well.

I really enjoyed having a purpose to getting out every day, in all kinds of weather.  Now when I go out I’m looking for the first signs of Spring :)

 

New Door Number

Back in the Autumn we decided to give our front porchway a bit of a tidy-up, so we repainted the masonry and changed the colour of our front door.  After taking down the door number that I hand-painted about 20 years ago, I noticed the paint was peeling and would need to be completely redone, so I decided to make a new one and his time it was going to be a mosaic.

Number plaque 1

I’ve used a frost-proof pottery plate and external grade grout so I think this will last for many years to come :)

Green man

 

 

 

Oh Deer!

Made from cardboard, this deer head has been covered with a pretty blue and pink ‘vintage-feel’ papier-mâché and adorned with Capodimonte roses for eyes.

Deer (3) resize Upcycling at it’s best!  Capodimonte roses saved from a chipped candle holder.

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Although just for display purposes, the deer head looks great with lightweight jewellery hanging from it’s antlers!Deer (2) resize

Finding it’s way into my Shop tonight :)   (Follow menu on the left to shop safely)

Short break in Somerset

When we were gifted a couple of days pod glamping in Somerset earlier this year, little did we know what the year 2020 would hold.    After postponing our stay in April we rebooked for the end of September and added a few days to explore Bath too.

Unfortunately some of the places we’d planned to visit didn’t have Covid-19 precautions in place yet, so we made the most of the time we spent there by mainly exploring outdoors.  Lucky for us the weather was warm and dry.

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Bear

Pulteney BridgePulteney Bridge

Designed in 1769 by Robert Adam, Pulteney Bridge is one of the most photographed examples of Georgian architecture in the city and one of only four bridges in the world to have shops across its full span on both sides.

Swan1

Directions

Img_3867 resizeThe Circus – Architects John Wood Snr and Jnr

The Circus consists of three curved segments of Grade I listed townhouses, forming a circle with three entrances.  Look a little closer at the detail on the stonework and you’ll see many emblems, such as serpents, acorns, and nautical symbols. Apparently, Wood was known to admire the druids, the creators of prehistoric stone circles. Convinced that Bath had been the principal centre of Druid activity in Britain, Wood studied Stonehenge, and designed the Circus with the same diameter.

The following day we booked a visit to the Roman Baths.

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P1011737 resize Flavia and Apulia, Roman lady and slave girl

P1011724The roman characters were fantastic, especially the lady by the main baths talking about her makeup!

Royal CrescentThe Royal Crescent

The Royal Crescent, a popular location for films and period dramas.  It would have been lovely to photograph the sweeping crescent without all the parked cars, but alas it wasn’t to be.

Now halfway through the week, the weather turned as we headed off to our glamping pod and rained for most of the journey.   As we entered the site and drove around to the reception we saw a funny scene, sitting on the verandah of the first log cabin, sheltering from the rain were three sheep!   I can’t believe I missed the photo opportunity and hoped they’d visit us on our porch, but it wasn’t to be!

Sheep

We’ve visited the Jurassic Coast in Dorset many times but I have never been lucky enough to find an ammonite.  When we read about Kilve beach and it’s wide range of fossils, it had to be our next day out.

We drove into Kilve and followed a narrow winding road to the beach, parked and had our first cream tea in the beautiful gardens of The Chantry Tea Rooms.  A little while later we walked down to the beach and, mindful of the tide started hunting for fossils.

Rocks

The cliffs were incredible.Ammonites

Within no time at all I found my first ammonite!

Grout colour

The first mosaic I ever made was a green lizard on a blue background (made from left-over kitchen and bathroom tiles).  I’d found a wrought iron half-circle table by the roadside and dragged it home for upcycling.   Next I progressed to smashing tiles and covering an Ikea-bought table with flowers.

Blue grout table top

I really liked the abstract flowers but was never happy with the grout colour I mixed up.   It’s always bugged me.  I attempted to remove the grout a couple of years ago but found it was too noisy, too hard and gave up.   I’ve contemplated taking the table to the refuse centre several times but each time something has stopped me.   I’m so glad it did.

As our new neighbours are having extensive building works done I haven’t felt so guilty creating a racket in my workshop, so while they’ve been drilling, so have I !!

Dremel

I don’t know how many hours or Dremel bits it’s taken, but I dug out as much grout as I could and re-grouted in black.  And I love it :)

Reveal

Black table top

Black table

Moving Gift

Our next-door neighbours were great bird lovers and would feed their feathered friends in the garden each day.   They had sparrows nesting in the eaves of their roof, a bird table in the garden and a bird house on the side of their garage where blue tits would raise their young in safety.  Every bird was welcome, apart from the heron that emptied the fish from their pond!

Bird collageAll photos taken from my back garden

When they announced they were moving I wanted to make them a gift that would be both useful and personalised, so I decided to mosaic a blue tit on a garden planter.

Blue tit planter

We’re going to miss them very much but we’re happy that they’re enjoying their new home and a more peaceful way of life.

 

A post about posts!

Hey, long time no see.  I hope that you’re all keeping safe and well and enjoying this totally strange summer.   It’s been such a long time since I’ve had the time to sit at the keyboard and catch up, but here goes …  this is a post about posts!

At the beginning of ‘lockdown’ (23rd March in the UK) I began working on a new project.  The plan was to cover the two remaining fence post on our patio with mosaics and, as I already had all the materials,  I just needed to come up with the design.

When we had a new fence put up, probably about 12 years ago, I covered one of the posts with an ivy design and lilac background.  As the ivy post sits in the middle (with the remaining two either side) I wanted to come up with a design to compliment the colours.   Every year our neighbour’s climbing rose bushes pop their heads over the fence and give us the most beautiful display.  As luck would have it, they suddenly came into bloom and helped me make a decision.  I picked out purple/lilac flowers for the top of one post and white flowers for the other – and hoped they would match the mosaics I completed three years ago on the other side of the patio. Click here to go back in time to see the other mosaics.

Purple

Stained Glass

Just like last time I experimented with making my own ‘stained glass’ using nail varnish.  I’ve learned that red doesn’t stay true (because last time some of my ladybirds faded) but I’m hoping the green and pink won’t fade.  These posts won’t be in full sun, so fingers crossed.

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Of course I had to incorporate all the beasties that visit our garden too;  ladybirds, bees, butterfly, snails, a frog and a Very Hungry Caterpillar!

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Probably my favourite because the ‘Wide ‘Mouth Frog’ joke always makes me laugh ’til I cry!

Mouse

This little mouse represents a lifetime’s fear and a bit of exposure therapy for me …

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collage

Three panels