Tuesday, 31 December 2019

My end of year message.

Good Morning, on the last day of the year. It's been a good one for me. I've had holidays and days out. Visited some nice places. Had fun times with my friends. Made some art. Walked a lot. Lived within my means and only spent what I can afford. I've loved my cats, supported charities, and have made people laugh. The world is too serious, I try to be cheerful because I have absolutely no reason not to be.

My mission for 2020 is more of the same. I will be walking the 1000 miles again, starting tomorrow. I will visit more places, and talk to more strangers. I will act the fool, take the micky out of myself to encourage people to laugh. We need more laughter. I like to brighten the day with a bit of banter.

I choose a simple life, my needs are simple, and I choose to keep a positive attitude. No matter how many trolls have a go at me, I will laugh in their faces. (Side note to flis, ignore, you know what I mean). They are only harming themselves when they spew their sarcasm and nastiness. So dear readers, don't forget, you have choices too.

I would like to take this opportunity, as we head for a brand new year, of thanking everyone who visits my blog. Thank you to those who take the time to comment. Thank you to the International Walking Group members who stick with it in their quest to stay healthy, and to lift their minds and spirits. Thank you to those who have made changes to make their own lives better, those who are now successfully budgeting their income, and to sharing your stories with me. It makes blogging worthwhile for me. Thank you to those who thank me.

Walking group please check in tomorrow with your END OF YEAR MILES. Lets all rejoice together at our achievements. We welcome new members, anyone can join in. They just need some means of keeping track of their progress. Every 1st day of the month is check in day. We like to encourage each other, no matter how many miles you are able to do. If you can make the 1000 that's brilliant, if you want to set your own targets, that's also brilliant. The key is to be focused, and to be constant, little and often will get you there.

Checking out on the last day of 2019, and looking forward to a new and shiny 2020. A very Happy New Year to everybody.
Best wishes,  ilona

Monday, 30 December 2019

Something new spotted.

Having a look at yoootooob this morning while eating my brekkie, a mini questionnaire came up. They clocked what I watched yesterday, and are asking me to rate it. It was a craft video about making a junk art journal. Now they want me to give it a star rating from 1 to 5, with a 'not sure' option. It seems pretty pointless when there is already the option to like or dislike the video you are watching.

I wonder what their next move will be. All those which don't make the grade, a certain amount of 5 stars or whatever is the deciding factor, will they get deleted? Will they impose sanctions on poorly performing yooootoooobers? Maybe get their comments facility removed, or maybe get de monetised? It could be that they are pruning out all those which aren't bringing in any advertising revenue. Maybe the video ratings numbers will be used by gooooglie to source new advertisers. Who know what's going on there.

I'm off to Crafty Club. It's a sunny morning, so maybe a walk this afternoon.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Stunning sunset

I was just back from Aldi this afternoon when I saw there was going to be a beautiful sunset. I left the shopping bags on the kitchen floor, unpacking would have to wait. I legged it down the street to catch some shots. 44 pictures later and I thought that was enough, the battery was about to give in anyway. 
I've had a sort out, chucked a lot, and picked a few out to post here. I hung around as the scene changes every few minutes. The next one is always going to be better than the one before, and I didn't want to miss any. The red sun is going down and I thought that would be it, gone. 
But I looked over to the right and saw a new scene emerging, it was more of an orange colour. Just when you think it's all over, it isn't.

I moved along the lane to take pics through the gaps in the hedge.

Then I put the flash on. I like this effect where the focus is on the twigs and the background goes hazy.

A very dramatic ending, at this point I decided to give up and go home.

Walking back through the churchyard. Battery not quite flat, enough for a few more snaps. 

A touch of red still showing in the distance, the church floodlights are on.

No matter how many times I see a sunset or sunrise, I still marvel at the beauty of it. You can click on a pic for a bigger slide show. 
I'm still going out for a walk, even though I have finished the challenge. I start again afresh at zero on the 1st of January. Toodle pip.  ilona

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Here we go again

I was wondering what to do with the spirals. First thoughts were make something like the button heart, but then I thought no that's too samey. I want to do something else. Then I thought I want to make a picture using all felt. It's so easy to work with having no fraying edges. I can see it with lots of embroidery, and maybe buttons and beads embelishments. 
So I got a large piece of paper, drew a few lines, numbered the pieces and cut them out. These are my templates. 
Next I gathered all the felt I have and went through it choosing the colours. A simple design, land and sky. I see a big orange sun up there, and some trees dotted on the hills. The spirals will be the trees. The sun might be a spiral but it would have to be a big one. I am looking for a Folk Art effect. 
Looks pretty simple at the moment, but as I work on it the ideas will come. I like creating something like this as I am never sure which direction it's going to take me. Itching to get on with it now.
Toodle pip.   ilona

Thursday, 26 December 2019

I have walked 1000 miles.

Good afternoon on this Boxing Day 2019. Yesterday was glorious sunshine, couldn't miss the opportunity to go for a walk, and maybe finish off the 1000 mile challenge. Only six miles left, easily doable. I drove to the Humber Bridge, as I have done on several occasions over the years. The walk across it is a mile and a bit, the views are lovely, the tide was out so a lot of mud below it. I could see the big ferry boat docked at Hull, The Deep, a big aquarium on the waters edge at Hull, and the visitor centre at Barton. A few people were about taking advantage of the lovely weather. 
When I got to the North Bank I walked around the Country Park. Some repairs needed here to the boardwalk. Mud on the ground and skeletal trees devoid of all leaves.

I walked along Hessle Foreshore to this point where the path went inland, then turned round and walked back.

I walked underneath the bridge in the opposite direction. The noise of the traffic was always in the background. I don't know how the people who live in the houses close to it cope. I would have to take my hearing aid out to block it. When you stand underneath the bridge the rumbling of the tyres is very loud. 
These little cottages are very close to the bridge. Just across the road from the waters edge.

Time was getting on and the sun was going down. My reward was a fabulous sunset, which I snapped away at. 
Zooming in at the cement works at South Ferriby on the south bank.

I stood enthralled for a few minutes. The view was constantly changing. Couldn't take my eyes off it, didn't want to miss it.

And then I saw this. That bench is perfectly positioned. I love this photo.

Then back over the bridge. You would think that you would get a better view of the sunset from the top of the bridge, but that depends on which side you are walking. There is a footpath on both sides, but often one is closed for maintenance. Unluckily I had to take the left hand path, which is lower than the road, so no more good views for me. 
I made this video. 

I had a big grin on my face while doing this walk, everything was perfect. I enjoyed chatting with a few people. The grandad who was out with his grandson and his dog, before they went home for dinner. The boy proudly told me he had been in the school Nativity play and he had the main roll as Joseph. The lady with long hair bending down to pick a few sprigs of green shoots to make tea with. She told me it was particularly good for clearing the lymphatic system, which makes her feel better. The smart lady who was dressed entirely in red, with her little dog who had a red coat to match it's owner. As she bent down to pick up a dog whoopsie I mentioned that bags are cheaper in supermarkets if she looks on the baby section for nappy bags. She thanked me for that. Being outdoors on a sunny day is my idea of heaven. I hope I have many more days like this in 2020. 

Toodle pip.   ilona 

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Happy Christmas.

Tis the night before Christmas Day, and all is well. I hope everyone has a Happy Christmas, from me and Terry.

Oh dear, it's gone midnight, I'd better get to bed, or Santa won't be coming if I am not fast asleep.
Toodle pip.   ilona

Monday, 23 December 2019

Spiralling out of control

Not a lot to write about at the moment. Crafty Club this morning, Not quite as many there as people are prepping for Christmas. My friend is back from her holidays so I went and had a coffee with her. The plumber came this afternoon to fix my broken toilet, the mechanism inside the cistern had come adrift from the handle. Luckily I have two toilets. He quickly sorted it out, and I am back to flushing again as opposed to chucking jugs of water down it. He is the best plumber in the village. He didn't charge me for the quick repair because he has had a few jobs from the recommendations I have given people by passing his number on. What a nice man he is. Only 13 miles left to do on the walking challenge, and eight days to do it. Easy. 
This is what I am playing with at the moment. I'm cutting strips of felt, 1cm wide, 20cm long, and wrapping them into spirals. I'm making them different sizes so some of the lengths are 30 and 40 cm long. Most are two colours, and I'm also experimenting with three colours. 
They can be squished into odd shapes.

Just playing at the moment, not sure how it will turn out. I shall probably wake up one morning with an idea. These things take time. 

That's all for now. Toodle pip.  ilona

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Looking through the Church Window.

You may remember this, bought at a car boot sale for 50p. I was going to use it for the Lollipop Trees picture, but changed my mind. The bottom shelf thingy is wrapped in dark blue wool. It got put to one side until I could decide what to do with it. The shape of it reminds me of a church window. 

The front is now finished, a piece of scrap fabric found at the Scrapstore. It has wadding behind it and is stretched tight and laced onto a cardboard cut out. 
The outer edge of the window is wrapped with black wool, so I could stitch the picture onto it.

I have enhanced the flowers and leaves with felt tip pens, to make the colours stand out more. And stitched on some foliage to make it less flat.

On the top of the shelf, and the back, I have put thick black fabric and stretched it tight to fit snug.

Those blue flowers were white.

I embroidered around most of the flowers and leaves to add definition.

Flowery buttons at the top.

Tidy back, all covered, with a wire attached to hang it.

It's how I imagined it when I first thought of the idea of looking through the window. Pleased with this one, but it needs some disguising of the stitches holding the ivy on. Maybe some green wool to look like moss. 

Toodle pip.   ilona

Alf the Legend

Made me chuckle this morning while eating my breakfast.

Have this one to be going on with while I finish my latest artwork, the Church Window. I'll get the pics on later. Toodle pip.  ilona

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Ready for 2020

I am usually well organised about buying a new calendar, but this year it took a bit longer to find the right one. A few years ago I paid £1 for a simple calendar with squares on to write stuff. I like the landscape format because it sits on the desk in front of me, it's handy to have it next to the phone and computer. 
Slowly, year on year the price kept increasing, well you expect that don't you. An extra 20p or so, ok, I'll have it because it's the style I want. I went to The Works, a stationary and book shop, and was surprised to see that my usual calendar was now £2. Bit steep I thought, so I walked out. 
Across the road is Poundland, there must be one in there. The rack is close to the front door so I didn't have to walk around the whole shop looking for one. I spotted this one. The front cover is very colourful, not that that matters, it's how it's laid out inside which is important. I turned it over and checked the back. There are twelve pictures, and each month has the normal squares I want. I can have it open on my desk for the current month. 
I removed the front and back cover, the pages are stapled together. Then I chopped off the two months at the bottom with the guillotine, don't need them. Perfect. I've got exactly what I want, for £1.

All ready to go, I'll make the first entry, the workshop I have booked. There is room to log my walking miles, and anything else I need to remember.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

New textile exhibition at 20 21 Arts.

I was in town this afternoon and called in the 20 21 Arts Centre. They have a new textile exhibition on. Several artists are showing their work, and Sue Stone is one of them. You may remember I wrote about her before, she was at the Ropewalk at Barton. Here is the post about my visit to the Open Studios in September. In October I did a workshop with Sue and wrote about it here
Sue's style is pretty distinctive, I recognised it immediately. It's a large piece made up of several small canvases. 

Sue is teaching another workshop in January, at 20 21. It's about applique textile portraits, so I have booked myself a place on it. Something to look forward to.

I called in Aldi this afternoon, looks like they had some super cheap veggies for sale, all gone when I got there. I believe Lidl are doing the same. I think you have to be early to get them. I will miss out because I don't go shopping in the mornings. My friend said she went to town today and it was heaving, car parks full. With a bit of luck I won't have to go again before Christmas, with what I got today, and a freezer full, that should be enough to see me through to the new year.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Nearing the end of my 2019 Walking Challenge

Hello. I did this little video yesterday. Me looking rough, out in the cold, mucky trousers, mucky jacket, mucky boots, but extremely happy. Not much further to go now. I left it a bit late to set out, given myself an hour and a half to do five miles. Hope I get back before it is too dark to see.

Open countryside, not a lot to look at, but a flat surface so I can up the pace.

Not far now, the sun is going down, another half a mile.

Just made it back, it was dark going past the woods, but the street lights at the top of the hill were a welcome sight. Back in time for dinner.
Toodle pip.  ilona