Friday, 19 March 2010

Reason(s) to be cheerful... ?

I'm just a bit conerned about what's happening to the paddock opposite. I know that part of it will be turned into a car park for the Baptist Chapel. I'm hoping it won't be too unattractive, though, of course it will help with the parking problem.

At the moment, as well as the clearing work, they've moved a couple of ponies onto the land. If it was revived as a proper paddock with ponies, that could only be a goos thing.

However, the real reason to be cheerful is the advent (a little late) of catkins, those signs of hope, fecundity and, of course, hay fever.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Ice ghosts, glass and irises

Because the weather still persists in being frivolous, the fountain started to freeze this week. As the sun hit it, the ice peeled slowly away like an ice ghost.

This was the briefest phenomenon and disappeared in a few moments, but the image is burned on my mind as well as my SD disk.

So, I'm getting on with my window in spite of being rather daunted by the BBC's MasterCrafts Stained Glass Programme and Sophie Hussain's wonderful work:

I've become more adept at the more complex shapes and am wasting less of the more expensive glass.

I've also learned to mark each piece, especially where they are more or less the same size and configuration, having discovered that turning some pieces (particularly the water glass) means the subtle pattern goes in the wrong direction.

I've also resorted to using the glass saw (to the right of the picture below) for some shapes. I really should get more practice in cutting curves and grozing them accurately, especially concave curves.

I really love this iris. in a way, it's like the ice ghosts and won't last long, but it's very beautiful while it does. There are more beginning to open in the other pots.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Winter into Spring(?), Irises and Stained Glass

It's good to see the tulips coming up without their coating of snow, but the temperature is still dropping below zero at night (and sometimes during the day) so we haven't managed any gardening yet.

I've gone back into the studio to make a start on the new window I'm putting in to replace my first effort in the dining room. I liked the new kitchen window so much, and thought the design was so much better than the dining room, window that I've decided to replicate it and match the two windows at each end of the room.

I managed to get a good clean design in spite of the fact that I almost destroyed the old design and the new frame is bigger than the kitchen window. I've simply recreated the window design and added a border all round which will be in clear iridescent water glass.

I had to buy new supplies from Tempsford and have made a good start due to the fact that Marea's got involved in a TV serial that's on every evening for a week (not my kind of stuff).

Meanwhile, the weather continues to be strange, swinging between warmsunny days, dense fog and deep frost.

Molly the spaniel doesn't like fog. She always seems ill at ease. I suppose it's because she can't see what's coming. She's a very nervous dog at the best of times, though incredibly friendly.

I think she's a bit agoraphobic - she pesters to go out, but whenever we go for a walk, she lags behind on the way out and sometimes stops and looks at me as if to say "Are you really going that far? Do we usually go down here?". Then, when I say "Home!", she's off and is ahead of me all the way.

I sort of remember selecting these Irises, last back end, and thinking "They'll look good in the pots with the crocuses". They're a bit odd, very low and rather ethereal, but quite pretty.

The piece of land opposite is being developed as a car park for the Baptitst Church. I don't know whether to be sad that we're losing a rather wild piece of land with lots of blackberries, etc., or to be pleased that they are doing something to improvethe impossible parking situation on Sunday mornings and almost every evening (youth club, Girl Guides, etc., etc.)

I'm hoping it doesn't ruin the entrance to the village.