Thursday, 29 March 2007

In the pink

Look at this lovely rhubarb, the first of the season for me, I love the intense colour and it tasted gorgeous stewed up and eaten with yoghurt. On Sunday I went to the allotment and used the rotavator for the first time - nearly demolished my raspberries and a neighbour's greenhouse! I came home feeling quite shaken - literally! A friend bought me some hyacinths, they smell beautiful. Bit of a pink blog today!

© Nicky Linzey 2007

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Can I stroke your dog please?

My Jack Russell and I go for about 3 walks a day and invariably someone stops us to say "Can I stroke your dog please?" It's great because we stop for a chat, get to know all sorts of people and make friends with some of them. We were walking through the cemetery which is one of the most beautiful places (flowers, woodpeckers, foxes infact all sorts of wildlife), when Sidney stopped us to ask "Can I stroke your dog please?". It was the start of a friendship that lasted until his death last year. Sidney's wife died a couple of years previously and he visited her grave twice a day on his way to and from the hospital where he helped out. He organised quizzes, painted outdoor furniture, helped at mealtimes among many other things, for people less fortunate than him (his words), even though he was a frail 85 year old. We saw him nearly every day for a chat until last year. I miss him.

Monday, 19 March 2007

It's nearly time

© 2007 Nicky Linzey

I'm getting excited as the time is coming to start planting out my vegetables - anyone who does this will know how I feel. I'd always wanted a vegetable garden since seeing the beautiful ones in almost every garden in France and I thought 'one day when I have a bigger garden I'll have one of those'. Time went on - still no vegetable garden. I woke up one day and realised how ridiculous this was and by lunchtime had dug up half of my lawn to plant vegetables. I haven't looked back and now am in the third year of owning an allotment. It's fantastic to grow, pick & eat your own produce and this year I'm growing garlic, shallots, potatoes, tomatoes, radish, carrots, beans, courgettes, beetroot, salad leaves, butternut squash, raspberries, rhubarb and gooseberries. I recently went out for lunch with someone who asked me 'what was the most exciting thing that happened to you last year?', when I replied that I had cropped 34 butternut squash in the Autumn he looked at me as if I was mad. Growing things also inspires me so much creatively and if I have a mental block then a couple of hours digging & tending my plants sorts me out and there's always something to draw. Just think - 5 years later - I could still be waiting for that bigger garden . . .

My first vegetable patch

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

It's not like it used to be

Success at last - drying in the sun

I used to make paper mache bowls years ago so thought I'd have another go - I need to use the tissue designs after all. Something was not right, I used the same recipe as I'd always done - wallpaper paste with newspaper, then when I'd built up enough layers and the bowl was finished and dry I'd paint on PVA glue and decorate it. However this time the bowls were warping and the layers separating - I'm sure that newsprint has changed, the quality is not as good, that or the glue - I mean you can stick a man to the ceiling with it but try sticking sheets of newsprint together. I eventually had some success using the TV guide - the paper was a bit firmer and has a slight sheen. These are the results . . .

©2007 Nicky Linzey

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

The Penguin

My Jack Russell Terrier is scary. Often when I'm in the kitchen cooking dinner I get the sensation I'm being watched. I look around & catch sight of his shadow reflected on the wall or sometimes there he is - standing on the stairs with his head poking through the bannisters . . . staring at me. I'm sure he's the Penguin in Wallace & Gromit's 'The Wrong Trousers'!

Monday, 12 March 2007

Freezer paper

The thing that's enabled me to put tissue paper through my inkjet printer is freezer paper - it's a miracle. I'd never heard of it before last week but I managed to buy some in my local craft shop. It's like a waxy paper that you'd use to wrap food in and if ironed onto cotton fabric or tissue, stiffens it enough to print on - then you just peel them apart after printing - magic! With tissue paper I cut a sheet of freezer paper the same size as the tissue, ironed around the edges only & printed onto the middle of the sheet. Mind you I might be the only person in the world who didn't know how to do this!

Printer abuse

40 pages of this - although I do quite like the look of it!

I'm abusing my printer at the moment and in danger of completely wrecking it, which would really upset me. It's an A3+ Epson and has been going for years and while it doesn't print particularly well on ordinary or photographic paper it prints brilliantly on all the other weird papers that I've been pushing through it recently. Thick acid free watercolour paper, textured paper - even cotton and best of all tissue paper. I cannot stop printing on tissue now as it produces such a beautiful effect. Every time I put a piece through, I hold my breath knowing that this could be the last print ever for my machine. I had a real scare this afternoon, the tissue caught up and jammed, I pulled it all out but my printer would not work. I switched it off, switched it on, it then printed about 40 pages of undecipherable text and symbols. So I switched it off & then on and it's working perfectly again now. The thing is - do I have the nerve to do it again?

My prints on tissue © 2007 Nicky Linzey

Tuesday, 6 March 2007


I'm in the process of making some resin jewellery, it's a slow learning curve - getting rid of air bubbles, polishing, smoothing, drilling etc. I really should go on a course to learn how to do this but I'm the kind of person who rushes into doing things before I know how to do them properly - I'm too impatient to wait for the course to come up, I just missed one this February and the next ones not til June. I never read instructions - just work things out as I go along - very hit & miss but the only way for me!

After years of working at my computer it's brilliant to actually be making something again. I love resin and glass jewellery and have been buying rings from the Jackie Brazil range and big chunky Murano glass ones from Jam Gallery, my latest acquisition being a goldy coloured venetian type glass ring. I'll photograph some of my resin pieces when they're finished, in the meantime I've drawn them.

©2007 Nicky Linzey

The sun was shining today, the blossom's out, Spring is on it's way.

Monday, 5 March 2007

The Ripple Effect

My first blog is a lot more daunting than anticipated - what to write? I've become obsessed with blogs as recently I've come across so many wonderful ones that have inspired me. They definitely cause a ripple effect, one leads to another, that one to another etc. - just think how many people are being inspired to be creative. My favourite one at the moment and the one that gave me the impetus to start this is print and pattern - pages and pages of great patterns put together from stores and designers, I could look at it all day!

I work from home which is great but quite anti-social - a week can go by & I realise that I have not spoken to anyone face-to-face except my partner, Gray and if I go outside I feel quite faint with the rush of fresh air! So the network & support of fellow bloggers that I see on some sites appeals to me.

I had a lovely day yesterday, the weather was cold, wet and windy so I lit a fire and lazed by it all afternoon. I found some chocolates I'd bought on Valentines Day in one of my favourite shops in Arundel, Sparks Yard, they were in a cupboard and I'd obviously forgotten all about them, they looked so pretty that I photographed them, drew them & then ate them while toasting my feet by the fire.

©2007 Nicky Linzey

© 2005 Nicky Linzey

My sleepy Jack Russell by the fire