Archive for September, 2010


Almost reasy for harvest

We’ve just had a fabulous weekend in Cornwall.   We went to the Cornwall Food and Drink festival, organised by our friend Ruth, which led to us tasting ( and buying!) lots of very delicious things, and attending a great talk on and tasting of Cornish wines. The winemakers were very generous with their samples so Jim and I thought we  ought to share one glass, but I think that only led to the steward giving us a bit extra each time she topped up the glass with a new wine! They were really very good. One of the vineyards had an open day the second day we were there – Polgoon Vineyard just outside Penzance – so we thought we’d visit, and on a beatiful autumn afternoon we wandered through the vines in the sunshine, looking at the bunches of grapes ready to harvest. Then we tasted the wines we hadn’t tried the day before – delicious – and bought some to bring home, of course!

It was a really good weekend break, good to get away from all the hassles of moving, and work, although I did pop in to the craft shop at Porthleven – I can never resist it – and picked up some paper I may use on a set of oriental cards for PaperCraft Inspirations. Along with a few other things as well, of course!

Today it’s back to normal, with half a dozen things all needing to be done, but at least I’ve picked up my new glasses and can see properly again – can’t believe how long I’ve put up with  my old glasses! I hoped to come back and find a set of stamps waiting to use for the oriental cards, but it turns out they are out of stock so have spent a good half hour on the internet  tracking some down, but at least I had success at last.  Hope they arrive quickly.


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Cover for the charity single

I’ve been working on a design for a cover for the Christmas charity single I’ve made with some friends. We’re hoping to sell lots of CDs, which will have this cover, and lots of downloads, which will have a more modern cover to show, as the market is likely to be younger people. We hope! So my niece Josie has produced some fantastic spray painted designs for me today, based on a stencil of our fairy logo, and I can see it will be difficult to choose which of them to use, but when I’ve decided I will put hers up too.  We’re launching the single with a party and hopefully a  publicity campaign  in November, but I’m starting to panic a bit as it’s coming round very quickly, and now it looks like we’ll be moving house round about the same time, so it will be manic. Why do I get myself into these things?!

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I’ve had a painting accepted as a finalist for the Bath Prize, Plein Air section, so now I have to get it framed. I was rather surprised, as I thought the one I entered for the With the Bath Lions  section was better, and there weren’t as many entries for that section either, but there you go! I’m pleased, obviously, although I don’t think I’m seriously in the running, but there’s a chance of selling it. It’s funny, I almost didn’t enter the Plein Air section, as it had to be done on the spot, and I prefer to work from photos and take more time. I was allocated the Assembly Rooms as my spot, which isn’t the best place in Bath to create great pictures, so I intended to do one picture there, as the rules require, and then do a second picture somewhere else for my second entry. Then for some reason I thought I’d take my pastels with me the day I was going to the Princess Diana dresses exhibition there, and if it was sunny when I came out  I’d give it a go. I was surprised how well it seemed to work, so I went back a week or so later to finish it, and had my photo taken by a chap from the organising gallery who’s trying to make a record of the artists. Maybe that’s why they put me in the exhibition as a finalist! I’m not sure exactly where or when the exhibition is, but I have to get this framed by 18th September I think, so had better get on with it.  Deciding on a frame is almost the hardest bit of the whole process, I think!

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Christmas workshops

I’ve booked a room at Manvers Street Baptist Church for a couple of Christmas workshops, and have been working on some ideas for the first one, which will be Paper Patchwork Christmas cards, on Monday November 8th. I’ll put more details on my website, www. shirleytoogood.com, if anyone is interested. I had great fun making this patchwork pear tree, and the cute little bird. It is simple enough to make in bulk, although I wouldn’t want to make 100 of them! The great thing, of course, is that it’s another way to use up some of those lovely scraps that I’ve been hoarding for ages. We’re hoping to move house soon, so I really can’t go on keeping everything, especially as I will be loosing my lovely loft studio. We will be sad to leave this house, we’ve been here for 25 years and brought our family up here, but it is far too big for  two people, and encourages us  to hoard everything! We will miss the garden, but if it all goes through and we get the house we want, we’ll have a good sized, undeveloped garden, a blank canvas to create something new and lovely, so that will compensate.

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