Sunday, 18 August 2013

Alcohol inks and adders...

Sunday 18th August 2013.
Finished another batch of cards yesterday.They were a bit of an experiment really..alcohol ink backgrounds with silhouettes stamped over the top. I'm more happy with the sunset colours than the blue-green effect I think. Here are some of them....


..and here are the images before mounting on greetings cards...actually they are more shimmery than they appear here and have flecks of gold...


...and here is one which I have earmarked for my sister's birthday, flanked by two jugs of heavenly sweet peas. I wish you smell them as their scent fills the room..along with roses they are the essence of summer...


                                                                               
Daughter 2 and I got up early last Sunday to beat the holiday visitors..we went to South Stack lighthouse near Holyhead at the tip of Anglesey.We love to go to see the views, the birdlife, and always there is the hope of spotting dolphins... 


..and who can resist the sheer rare indulgence of cake for breakfast! The cakes and coffee at the visitor centre are great..


We walked along the headland, not a soul to be seen. It was a gorgeous morning. Daughter 2 was lucky enough to spot an adder which slithered past her in a clearing..luckily she was wearing boots. It was a beautiful rusty brown colour and had the usual diamond pattern along its side. 


                       Of course she just had to tick "adder" on the list in the lookout tower...


Look at the beautiful heathers and gorse..we did wonder how many lizards and snakes might be hiding out there in the undergrowth though..we definitely stuck to the path after that!


Meanwhile back at home the garden is thriving. We are eating runner beans at last..these are Thompson & Morgan's "Celebration"..a pretty apricot-colour and a change from my usual scarlet-flowered variety. 
                                                                                   

Eaten lightly simmered only 20 minutes after picking they are nothing like the tough supermarket beans..these are melt-in-your-mouth freshness. 


At last we are now eating tomatoes from the greenhouse..these yellow Sungold tomatoes are so sweet and I eat them like sweets, straight from the vine.


I have a small garden pond I dug about 13 years ago..I can't be particularly proud of it as it needs some attention but it does throw out the cutest tiny little frogs..and for some reason a single white waterlily every summer. It may be the only one but it is waxy perfection.


Another favourite is agapanthus. These particular ones are in a pot and are the most heavenly blue...well worth waiting until late summer for.


Not much summer left for us and as usual I haven't done half the things I wanted to...that's life I guess. Have a great weekend everyone. xx

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Llanbadrig and its unexpected blue loveliness

Llanbadrig..unexpected blue loveliness..

Wednesday 7th August 2013
I had come to hear of Llanbadrig Church on Anglesey only recently and was intrigued about its history.. it seems that Saint Patrick (only a bishop at the time) was shipwrecked right here in 440 A.D. whilst travelling to Ireland.He found sanctuary in a cave with a source of fresh water and founded a church to give thanks for his salvation.Originally a wattle and daub building, it was eventually re-built in stonework, which probably began in the 12th century as with most Anglesey churches.
Skip forward to its renovation in 1884 and suddenly the church aquired a middle-eastern connection. Lord Stanley of Alderney who was funding the renovations had married a Spanish girl who was a muslim and he also converted to the faith, which led to the interior of the church being decorated with moorish/morrocan influences.





Of course I had to visit..anything blue is always going to draw me in...so off we set, my daughter and me, last Sunday morning. It was fairly easy to find, up a lane to the right of Cemaes Bay.
The sight of the gorgeous blue tiles, the mosaic Good Pastor figure carrying the lamb, the stained glass windows...everything in shades of blue... was enough to make my heart leap. Absolutely stunning.










Outside was equally lovely. The graveyard stands on the cliff top overlooking the sea...what a beautiful place to end your days!


I somehow managed to hoik myself over this original stone stile built into the wall...in a not-particularly-dignified way...


We sat for an hour overlooking the sea and I was thrilled to spot a dolphin or porpoise albeit very briefly. It was so tranquil, and the place was alive with butterflies and bees amongst the wildflowers.



I came home feeling so relaxed after what had been a stressful and exhausting week..I had the taste of salt from the sea air on my lips and a lovely feeling of inner calm..despite the warden telling me to watch out for adders! (There had been a nest of adders under a fallen headstone) Actually, I think I think St. Patrick might have been amused at the irony that there was a snake happily bringing up its babies in his very own churchyard! After all, it isn't Ireland and luckily snakes haven't been banished here.  :-)

Oh yes..a quick post script..it seems Llanbadrig has had a taste of Hollywood fame! Part of the film "Half Light" was filmed here (starring Demi Moore).I remember seeing Llanddwyn Island and the pub on the beach at Morfa Nefyn in the film too. Not a huge hit particularly but still.. I wonder if Demi loved the church as much as I did!