Back to Drawing board

I am getting ready to enter the Open Studio Scheme and biting my nails about Application forms, which really aren’t my thing. I always make a complete hash of forms and have already had to fill in about a dozen to Transport a car back to the UK this Summer, not an easy job , i can tell you. UK Gov. And DVLA, not to mention 6 weeks waiting off road without wheels except the daughters’…

Sketchbooks abound with « 1960s Revolution » sweeties and Matisse look a-like fleurie and too many stripes, well Open STudios aren’t going to want THAT… They are going to say what can we show that the Royal Academy wouldn’t mind hanging in their Summer Exhibition…. I just got back from LONDON but i chose to see the BALENCIAGA Exhibition at the Fashion court at the V&A museum, my favourite museum in the capital. I didn’t have time for anything else and am still chewing the canvas that i didn’t see Zandra Rhodes’ Fashion Museum Exhibition about the Austrian Designer who worked for a Scandinavian or Danish  company who are now in the process of Re-issuing all his mid 20th Century Fabric Designs : Josef Frank Textiles, it was in the Spring i believe…Yet another Catalogue to lug home at some point in the for-seeable.

I’ll just have to keep developing those 15 notebooks of sketches, of all those Jazz & Blues Musicians from last summers outings and turn them into Resist Lino prints, maybe i won’t have time for more than about six – prints i mean, NOT six whole Notebooks! For in fact, They only want 6 Works anyway, but I expect a variety would look good. « BUT you’re work is so Diverse anyway » I hear my friends & family say, yes, no one will believe it at all came from the same hand anyway… i think that’s most of my trouble as an Artist, Designer, Maker, usually

When I go to paint in Dorset with my elder brother and it’s this sort of weather, rainy and cloudy, and not very summery, and so no one else much has turned up to the workshop – because he’s advertised it as « Painting in the Landscape », we tend to sit or stand alongside each other, occasionally perching on a high stool, in the old Abbotsbury school room, except i think it was the village library once, companionably silent, each working on our own Paintings. Mine are quite good but i never bring them home to examine all the way back to France, so on my return to the UK i look for them, they’ve usually fallen down the back of the piano or gravitated back to behind the hatstand under the stairs, and i’m pleasantly suprised as i said, by my large scale A2 watercolours and gouaches and by how well they turned out really, considering i’ve had all of  a day and a half en plein air before it’s too rainy and too misty to see anything at all on that piece of Dorset coastline. Lovely rolling hillsides, covered sparesly with cattle or sheep with matchstick boats on the horizon and the Chesil beach way down below us. And unfortunately i forgot to photograph those 3 paintings didn’t i… They were simply Too big to transport back here and even by car, they were liable to be sat on by the dog.

H for husband is thinking about puppies… Dreaming of little chiottes like their curly haired Shepherdess maman. She’s a rare Belgian Bergère beauty, but not terribly trustworthy, and is prone to wandering off down the road if you’re not looking nor is she reliably obedient unless he reads her the agility manual at the local Doggie club which i believe she enjoys. Whenever i take her out alone, we return with a lot of Photographic images for my Sketching and Painting towards making my Resist Lino prints of French Country landscapes BUT we nearly always lose a ball, whistle or BELL ! Miss Noa-Noa, she’s notorious for jumping in and out of streams and muddy ditches, chasing frogs and lizards, ripping her way though Brambles after pheasant and returning to me ball-less, as she’s forgetful & then she fairly frequently loses her famous bells from around her neck, to trace her through woods and undergrowth, that are usually strung on her collar by  a dog clip or key D ring.

H picked up a miniature copy of a Swiss cow bell at the weekend, it was sitting on our vast French Mahogany Dresser, and H said « she could wear that couldn’t she? » Brass with its’ little embroidered handle. And then he grinned at me ! It’s the monstrous Dresser that he bought on E-Bay, dare i mention its name ever again, Nothing but trouble: first it arrives from the middle of France without its’ shelves, you know, the ones that Dressers are bought for, the ones that hold plates ! SO we ask the famous local Ebonaiste, a Cabinet maker to you and me, to make us a set of matching shelves, replacements at vast expense, only to find on our return this Spring that all our Swiss bells & china ornaments are on the bottom shelf , having fallen through – the supports at each side have come unstuck ! Ah well, back to the specialist maker once again… Currently, his son is fixing an old small pastry table, the ones with marble heavy tops, with rickety shot to pieces worm hole pine legs, not fit for purpose… Guy is happy to source another knob for the one of a pair our Removal guys lost 4 years ago, but he wants me to drop by the Atèlier to check it’s suitable; I’ll probably have to choose two to make up a new pair. Shame ’twas white china and we’d managed to hang onto it since my mum bought it for me about 32 years ago now… Sod’s Law really, when that happens, Men losing my things.

BY The Way – Dear Reader, Please tell me when you are reading my WordPress Notebook Because i shan’t know whose joined me otherwise, shall i ? AND then i’ll be Talking to Myself again as usual ! So Sorry it didn’t end up being the article about : HOW To Choose the Perfect ART Work for an Open Studio Application… Perhaps that will be NEXT time’s theme now, instead! I closed the Derwent Textiles website as no one Told me they were enjoying or even looking at my Fashion Blog there and have now Re-opened this column, and am lately trying to Re-instate LaRoseAnglaiseSilks page on Facebook. Wish me luck !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baby Derwent is imminent and everything is ready, even the Birth pool

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My third grandchild was due today but didn’t show up on time, first babies are generally about 9days late. Lately our friends expecting have had Gabriella and Sebastian, one induced and one by caesar as a breech baby, the next due is already ten days late with an induction booked for Thursday…. Perhaps my daughter’s child will be the entirely Natural birth she has planned for.

It seems she wants everything natural. All the first size clothes are natural and neutral and at first i was only allowed to knit white, cream or oatmeal….I did get bored with that ! And soon introduced fairy rainbow colours which make fair-isle patterns of their own – we have ready two tiny card’s one neutrel and one fair-isle , two tiny hats and bootees to match ! Now we’re onto the really bright zazzy orange and vibrant pink rainbow with blue and green so fit for unisex ! As we’re the only member of the NCT group without knowledge of the sex of our baby to be.

We have worked hard at building the crib and the wardrobe – both flat pack ! And the bean bag chair – stuff it yourself with polystyrene beads (not to be recommended nor swallowed by the dog…) ! Don’t want to have to do that again … We’ve ordered the pram as we’re so so fussy about colour and design when it’s not ours ! And nearly all of them in every shop were over £500 each … We seem to have negotiated a deal with carry cot and car seat included thankfully.

Even the dog is fed up with the state of the Dining room and climbed into the Birth pool and got stuck there one early morning and shrieked to be helped out again !

We can’t wait to greet this new addition to our family and hope it won’t be too much longer, the freezer is full and the fridge had a clean today; we’ve finished sewing buttons onto the knitting and nearly run out of baby yarns. We’ve washed all the nappies and folded the cloths, time to go to sleep and dream… I dreamt i took my 21yr old to school again last night, she was about 6.

I just read about the Tragic front facing accident of a small child…

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Earlier today, I just read about the tragic loss of a small child in a front facing car seat who suffered multiple injuries and died . It’s So Very very sad that a few moments more spent adjusting the seat belts and straps and putting the boy in his car safety seat rear-facing, rather than forwards had cost him his precious little life.

Our hearts go out to those who have faced death with their babies and who have had very difficult nigh impossible decisions to make after such tragic accidents… And our prayers go with them too.

My own third grandchild will be born within the next 2 or 3 weeks hopefully and we wait with excited but low-key breath. Olivia, our 2nd daughter, 25, expects a baby very soon. Everything goes absolutely normally, so she’s opted to have a Home Birth should all proceed in a timely manner in the next few weeks.

Her peer group at NCT National Childbirth Trust class find her spirit brave, but she just sees it as the normal choice to make. SO far two women there have NOT been so lucky. One was Induced a week early and delivered of a beautiful baby because she was told the placenta couldn’t be feeding her as she was rather small for her dates, another went in for a voluntary Caesar on Wednesday because the child was a Breech presentation.

A third mother-to-be from our NCT class expects to ward off at another 9 or ten days late, an Induction, but has already had to agree to a Sweep next week….

We await an entirely  « Normal » birth to happen, and this is and only 3 out of the five girls in class together this season.

Personally i find this rather worrying and the two young women we met when their babes were 4 -6 weeks old to hear their Birth stories, similarly were started off by the Health services and delivered in Theatre with Forceps…. No longer are Midwives allowed to perform this procedure, which left my brother, now 65, with permanent marks on his forehead !

I was a Stop-Start babe a bit like Miss O herself. I didn’t want to come into the world immediately and my mother arrived at Hospital in the fifties only to be sent straight home again…. I myself stayed in overnight and was transferred to the main Hospital after  a night on Gas & Air with nothing moving down or forward… that was a Monday, by Tuesday evening we had waited long enough and at 9pm, after my husband had left  for home after the Visiting hour, at Bed time & Cocoa time, with John McEnroe losing and professing, famously: I do NOT Believe it ! In his fashionable Tennis Hippie headband at Wimbledon and very impatiently bad tempered, my waters went sploosh on someone else’s carpet ! But although some pains followed, i was not opening up as i should have and my baby had indeed to be Induced with a drip up the following day, a  Wednesday…Henry VIII’s own Birth day ! Olivia was born after  they had given mea full cooked Breakfast and let me take an early Bath. I gave Birth standing on my head  as she was painfully a Back to Back baby with her head down !

I also had to be asked if they coud cut her cord in advance of her Birth so she was not only 17 days late she was  a little BLUE Baby with the cord all wrapped around her three times over ….

I’m told TODAY she would NOT have her very long cord cut early, maybe it wasn’t essential at the time, but it certainly felt like  an Emergency. I felt very lucky she was ALIVE and very grateful to the very caring Welsh Hospital who facilitated a relatively Easy Birth in the end, and a 7lb 10oz baby girl almost healthy and well. She was treated as a Special care baby, never put downat all . And for the next three weeks of her early life she spent with me, in a Midwife led unit in South Wales. Even the cleaning lady would hold her while i ate my soup, or went for a wash – My own little Welsh girl with hair of a reddish glow and mild case of jaundice.

We carried her non-stop till she was about six weeks old, she fed little and often and the family holiday was exhausting but the hottest summer in History so we all felt tired carrying her about all day! The Derbyshire Health Visitor came twice a week for 2 or 3 weeks to check on her cord and give her her  bath in a new washing up bowl bought for the purpose !

Unlike her older sister, my third baby girl was born up the road from where we live now and was delivered by me her mother, while the lax midwife insisted she’d not arrive for another hour at least and she was just calling for someone else to sit by me while she went on her Break at 3.15am ! Even the Porter wasn’t on Duty that morning and my husband helped another Nurse, fresh on duty, push my bed and new baby into the lift up to the ward after bathing, weighing and giving her back to me.

That Birth was fine! 1 hour and a half exactly – I sat up, told the wretched woman to get out of my way, she was just a girl really and covered in new fangled for 1993, rather unhygienic looking, multiple piercings all over her face. And as she leant across the high bed and me i nearly fell off , only to catch my little baby who looked up at me blindly smiling – looking like the little Rose that she was, and is !

Apparently my cervix fails to dilate till the moment the child is ready to arrive and as i’d only been told i was 4cm dilated on arrival 20mins before, the midwife had failed to notice the imminent Birth (she was very nearly born in the front of the car on the dual carriageway, the A34 to Oxford !)

Babies are indeed always, a LAW unto themselves. Aren’t they ? Little  blighters my Daddy would say and cheeky monkeys too! If he were here to greet a 3rd Great Grandchild into the 21st Century along with my Mum, Great Grannie Barbar, in her 89th year !

Good Luck to all of you then, those expectant Mum’s out there, including Zeta and Mel  from our group and our heart felt Congratulations to those already safely arrived and just a REMINDER – Please please, make sure you ALWAYS strap in properly your precious little bundles safely and the Rear-facing way round is BEST for all !

 

And Good Luck to her Royal Highness, Princess Kate as we call her affectionately.I wonder if it will be the much awaited little Princess & Royal Berkshire Birth this time ?

Had a Great time at SOPHIE’S Encaustic Art Workshop nr ROMAIN-SUR-ISèRE

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AND AFTERWARDS we had a walk around the historic town with it’w new and old bridges and my husband bought our steak & pommes frites at the Quai Bar before heading back our 3hr journey homewards.

IT WAS FUN to meet another french artistic family and i thought we’d driven a distance but no they had come from Canada ! A grannie & her daughter, from the Loire region- 7 hours drive to see their grandmother who was visiting for the summer, a mum and 2 boys 11 & 12 and baby left with Dad while they & I had an enjoyable afternoon with encaustic paints,handmade by Sophie who showed us how to heat them with blow torches and heat guns ! Making a picture on a wooden board support about 30cm or 12ins square or a similar rectangle. I thoroughly recommend her laid back teaching style, en français, though she often re-explained for me in English if i didn’t understand.

One boy made  a boat sailing on a still blue shining sea, the sun so bright and the threatening submarine lurking beneath the waves! His was towing a great whale or fish….Then he added a photocopied image of a fabulous Dragon in the sky !

The furry friendly husky dog had this name too – Dragonne ! He didn’t look as hot as i felt…

And it gave us a reason to explore a region we’d love to go back to, Romains-sur-Isère is closer to the Rhône Alpes than us and is in that Département !

Sophie herself with her business partner Florence had prepared all the little patty tins of paints, cooking them up in her purpose built Studio with wonderful facilities. She can have 5 or 6 people like us to learn this craft at a time and although we’d not met her or each other before, we were welcomed with coffee and tea and lots of thirst quenching water, on a rather hot 30deg day in a country village just outside the historic place… between Valence and Lyon.

Sophie Van Moffaert has her wonderful exciting collage work for sale at http://www.SoCouleurs.Etsy.com . Here she & i met – where indeed my own SILK Painting and scarves are also for Sale –  http://www.LaRoseAnglaiseSilks.Etsy.com.

Please Come over and see my own Art work as it happens, mostly Photography and Lino cuts just now at DerwentArt.Etsy.com

I think i need a new name ….and not just Rosemarie !

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Well http://www.DerwentTextiles.Etsy.com has become my official ART Shop selling Lino cut prints and Art for the Interiors of those who like it. My Silks are to be had at the other Boutique there called like this the English Rose only in French ! http://www.LaRoseAnglaiseSilks.Etsy.com Please help save my sanity by telling me you read one or the other from time to time….

I’m signed up to several Etsy fellow makers Blogs and jolly entertaining and encouraging they are too…BUT I’m getting NO Visitors ZERO on here…Is the Answer in the Name or is it simply No one knows i exist yet ??

Maybe I need to call this Artist’s grotto or Gather up ye Christian men or Hark hark those Dogs do bark ?? I’m not sure.

Grandissment Growing pains more likely – Noki is going to be tall and thin and rough coated our dear little new puppy is no longer as cute simply enchanting and very funny. Almost the funniest thing yet was Mr Darcy her stable mate, my Dandie Dinmont who also sleeps in the kitchen / not the yard like most French guard dogs… He climbed right into her Den the metal barred caged variety and went to sleep there itself— I nearly couldn’t put Miss Noa Noa to bed Sunday night as he was in it….

Aaah well ! My husband said, that’s because he saw her vein gfed there earlier, he thought if i wait there long enough he’ll feed me too !! Some hope Darcy Derwent – think again Unfortunately i went up to bed myself and forgot to take his photo in there! It would have been good too !

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ChÂteau à Saint Amour Le Jura

We had a very good Lunch at Philippe Bouvard’s en Terrasse avec nos chiens ! On the terrace, where the young woman insisted we bring our two dogs , pup included ! Who were very well behaved for such a very hot day, with their own corner and water bowl ! We ate well, half of us had plat du jour fro 13€ufos and the other two a Steak with frites for 30€ all inclusive 4 courses, including fab Apple tarte and goat’s cheese / or platter and I had 2 flavors/ parfum des Glaces artisanale with a confectionery feat of pink candy floss – spun sugar ! Trés délicieux !

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French farm house window

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Our Music Atélier has this lovely old window which boasts fabulous colours for my African pallette which i shall be painting on SIlks Linens and wools for Spinning this Summer and for next Autumn ! I shall mute some yellows and rusts, brick and charcoal.

Next Winter i hope to re-learn from an old friend how to warp my loom and take up weave as well as Dye for my practical arts practise.

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Spring Tulips inspiring colours for my pallette

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Spring Tulips inspiring colours for my pallette

I can’t wait to get home to my STudio which will need a grand overhawl before i can feel i’ve really taken possession there! Too many clothes from mine and my children’s past must be sorted into Recyclable, re-wearable and give to another charitable institute .
The Summer will be upon us shortly then June will mean i can work outside with my paintings and Silks which will dry there more quickly.
I’m looking forward to Mum’s visit and showing old friends our new French home. Our old farmhouse still needs a lot doing but we are getting nearer feeling at home and more comfortable there.