Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Mini paintings of Carrock Fell

Following our walk last Sunday I was looking forward to doing some mini oils of Carrock in the snow...

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

A frosty dog walk.

Another gorgeous, cold morning, so with the temperature due to rise it was dog walk with camera. Lots of lovely ice crystals, slippy underfoot and lots of finches, fieldfares and redwings in the hedges.

Ice crystals on a frozen puddle. 

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Carrock and High Pike round walk.

A lovely, but very cold, day. We parked up at Calebreck, the road from Hesket Newmarket to Calebreck was fine, but after that very icey along the foot of Carrock Fell. Great conditions underfoot and the 'soggy saddle' between High Pike and Carrock was lovely and frozen.

The start of the walk looking across to Carrock Fell 

Top left: Carrock Fell
Top right: Blencathra
Bottom two: High Pike - photos taken 2 minutes apart - fabulous skies today!

High Pike summit with Carrock Fell in the background.

Carrock Fell and sumit.

Rocky's day out on Carrock Fell and High Pike.

A glorious cold and sunny day and a great round walk followed by lunch at the Old Crown in Hesket Newmarket. I'll blog details of the walk next.

Looking arcross fro the base of High Pike to Carrock Fell. 
Rocky in his element! 

Friday, 8 December 2017

Mini milk bottles.

I bought the plain mini milk bottles a while back - ready to decorate for the first craft fair ...just completed them time for the last craft fair at Blaithwaite house near Wigton! I'm not quite sure how to market them ...pretty little milk bottles that hold anything from holly to paint brushes ideal stocking filler!

Blaithwaite house : this Sunday 11am - 3pm.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

A bird orientated walk from Singleton campus, Swansea.

Tom walked from the University in Swansea (Singleton campus) along the beach through Blackpill and West Cross to the Mumbles. Then along the coastal footpath past Middle Head to Bracelet Bay along to Limeslade Bay; then up onto the path back to Middle Head and back to the university along the coast path. The weather was full sun without a cloud in the sky, but very cold at around 5 degrees, however the sun meant it was still tshirt weather on the way there.
Top left 3: on the walk back there were 3 different families of long-tailed tits with around 6 individuals in each group.
Top right: Goldcrest in a conifer at Black Pill.
Bottom left: redshank and oystercatchers along the coast of Mumbles and Black pill.
Bottom Right: Stonechat on the heather and gorse moorland areas of Mumbles Hill nature reserve. The highlight however had to be the three sightings of a green-woodpecker at Bracelet bay as it flew by and landed on the limestone bedrock then flew up again and over towards Langland Bay.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Haematite at Limeslade Bay.

More pictures from Tom of Limeslade bay - this time focussing on the lovely patterns when it is combined with calcite. There's a fault that runs through the limestone in bay and iron minerals have percolated into the spaces between calcite crystals in the fault. In some cases the iron minerals (haematite) have completely replaced the calcite. Apparently the Romans mined the iron deposits and mining actually continued until the late 1800s. 

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Caerlaverock WWT reserve

For once a plan came together: the time off; the place and the weather! A glorious sunny day with great lighting for birdwatching and photography.

Lots of whooper swans and barnacle geese.
I loved the potential for a good photo - the feather on the rippled ice ....I just couldn't get the angle or close enough!

Teal; shoveller; wigeon; pintail, gadwall and mallard.
Female bullfinch in the sun.  

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Mawbray at high tide, North Cumbria

We had planned to go up High Pike this morning, as it's been lovely and frosty/ this morning, of course, it melted! So off down to Mawbray for a walk along the beach. Lots of birds at high tide and good views into the Lake District looked promising, as if the cloud would lift, but it didn't and wafts of drizzle soon covered the Solway and then the northern fells .

Oystercatchers, curlew and golden plover murmurations.
The northern fells trying to emerge...
Rocky ...always happy! 

Bracelet Bay and Limeslade Bay ...Swansea.

An enjoyable walk out from Singleton campus along the coastal footpath....for Tom.
Swansea Bay and The Mumbles.
Left - top: Black Pill looking towards the Mumbles; bottom - Black Pill looking towards Swansea.
Right - top: Mumbles pier; bottom -Swansea Bay.

Bracelet Bay: a small limestone bay/cove on the south side of Mumbles Head.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Mae's Tearooms and Gallery

Well that's the table 'Christmassified'....pop up to Mae's in Uldale - or the Ireby lights switch on this Saturday to see more! Plenty of frankincense and myrrh available too - from Oman - the real stuff! ....not to mention the new hand-coloured Hesket Newmarket lino print.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Mini paintings....

Two new sets of mini paintings ...the first of Skiddaw across the Solway mosses and the second of Luskentyre on the Isle of Harris. All done with a palette knife and they are 7cm x 7cm - I enjoyed doing these especially as the alternative was glittering cones!

Friday, 24 November 2017

Mungrisdale Arts and Crafts Fair

Well that's all set up for what will hopefully be a busy weekend! Lots of interesting stalls to browse.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Clyne Valley Brickworks

The Clyne Valley is a lovely county park with a fascinating heritage. 

Until recently Clyne Valley was an important area of industrial activity. Much industrial heritage is still visible within the park. Coal mining was the initial industry in the valley, starting as early as 1305, although it was not until the sixteenth centuries that large scale coal working occurred. This took the form of Bell Pits, a hazardous method of working, which involved the digging out of a cavern as large as possible without causing roof collapse. These can be seen in particular in Clyne Woods on the western slopes of the valley. These were followed by larger pits such as the Clyne and Ynys Collieries. At this latter mine an old winding engine remains.The growth of the coal industry couple with local raw materials led to the growth of related industry. An ironworks was built near Clyne Quarry in the north and a Chemical Works operated off Mill Lane in the south, substantial elements of which remain.A brickmaking industry thrived from the early nineteenth century until well into the twentieth, the final works being demolished in 1950.The industrial activity required transport. A tramway connecting with Mumbles Railway was built in 1804 and a network of railway lines followed. A number of canals were also built, many remains of which are still clear today.  (

Left : Old bricks from the brick-works laid downs along the footpaths
Right: Tracks from the Swansea and Mumbles Railway Clyne Valley Branch.

Left: The Eagle Brickworks at Cwmafan, near Port Talbot, was once part of the Evans Bevan brewing, coal mining and brick making empire. The works ceased operations in 1968.
Middle: a product of Evans-Bevan Ltd, Clyne brickworks who also produced bricks imprinted 'Evans-Bevan Ltd, Clyne Works, Killay.
Right: an unknown brick.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

A walk up the Clyne Valley, Swansea.

On a fine day Tom took the opportunity to explore the Clyne Valley, beginning on the Singleton campus.
Left: looking towards Swansea on the way to Blackpill along the coastal footpath.
Right: Looking towards the Mumbles on the way back.

Autumn colours 

Left: top: bleeding oak crust (Stereum gausapatum) bottom: birch polypore (Piptoporus betulinus).
Middle: top: hairy curtain crust (Stereum hirstutum) bottom: turkey tail (Trametes versicolour)
Right: unknown.

Left: stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus) found in the dunes outside of the university.
Right: collared earthstar (Geastrum triplex) found in a flower bed on university grounds.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sea marbles

I enjoyed making these felt 'sea marbles''s hoping for a sunny morning to take them down the beach and photograph them on the strand line.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Hesket Newmarket hand-coloured lino cut.

...and following my post on the 9th November - here's the colored version now that the ink has dried.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Cumberland foxhounds on Binsey

We'd driven through Ireby this morning as the hunt congregated outside the Black Lion for bacon butties and a drink. I had hoped to take some decent photos, but the square was rammed with cars and there were lots of cones, tape and signs due to the current 'pavement works' - hardly photogenic! We then decided to go for a walk up Binsey and as luck would have it the hunt came past - Rocky was most intrigued!

Binsey - such good views from such a little walk!

We are so lucky to live within 15 minutes drive of Binsey - the views, on such a gorgeous morning, were stunning and Rocky loved it!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Hesket Newmarket lino cut.

Hesket is a really difficult village to get into one picture - I decided the pub and the buttermarket had to be in to define the character of the village - but there are a lot of houses in between and some at right angles to the road. The houses at a right angle to the road were left out as you couldn't see them but we got everything else in..... The bottom of the picture is the grass of the green. Now I just need to wait for the prints to dry before hand colouring them!

I will probably do a couple of extra scenes - a closer view of The Old Crown pub with Denton House to the left and also the corner at the top of the village with the post office and the back road to Caldbeck.

Even the panoramic view on the camera can't get it in! 

The planning and the printing....
The print ...waiting to dry before hand colouring...

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Glittery cones....

Having found and collected the cones - which believe me are heavy (ask my poor husband who had the rucksack!); dried them in the bottom oven of the Aga so they open up; removed the seeds; cooled them; removed more seeds and then painted and glittered them..........but they're worth it! Lots more to go though for the Christmas fares!

Monday, 6 November 2017

Robin textile cards ....

...and back to Christmas cards....this time robins.

The seven day black and white challenge...

I really enjoyed the facebook 7 day challenge of 7 black and white photographs with no people and no explanation. Wish I'd had more time to think about and find subjects, but I enjoyed what I did....most were taken for the challenge and hence the majority were on the daily dog walk!

Dog walks.....

Summer on Orkney.