Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Helmsley Trip 2012.

I went on a little day trip to Helmsley! I hadn't been before and it was so quaint. Just such a shame that it rained pretty much all day. We drove through lovely scenery with hills, valleys, fields and forest. We also passed through a number of little villages. They were so picturesque! 

Helmsley is a market town in North Yorkshire. It is quite compact around the market square which I believe is the Mediaeval layout. It is a town with a long history right back to 3,000 BC and has seen Vikings, Normans and Romans! 

I didn't get many photographs due to the rain but I wanted to share a couple.

A couple of the shops around the market square. I bought some delicious chocolate cookies from the bakery to take home. I always take a little something home for my family after a trip out. They were so delicious! 

I wanted everything in the antique shop window! There was a beautiful Regency style desk which was incredible but also had an incredible price! 

Looking up the main street in Helmsley. Most of the shops were little one off boutiques. A little expensive for my tastes but interesting to look around! 

Helmsley church. I wanted to get closer to take more photographs but the ground was so muddy and slippery around it! 

This was a pub right opposite where we waited for the bus to pick us up. So cute with the greenery and flowers! 

This is the inside of the coffee shop where we had lunch. It was nice to get out of the rain as it was quite heavy at that point. It was really sweet and I loved the cushions and rooster in the window!   

I love sugar lumps! I did actually eat a proper lunch though! There was so much choice on the menu. I ended up with turkey and cranberry sandwiches and the ladies I ate with had Yorkshire ham and tuna. The meat was so lovely! The Yorkshire ham especially was so thick and delicious. Yes, we all shared sandwiches and had a couple of each kind! 

Right outside the coffee shop was a little stream. It was shallow but fast moving. It was a little deeper by the end of the day after a full day of rainfall.

Looking the other way down the stream. 

There were flowers all around the town! Almost every shop had flowers over the doors and windows or in big planters outside. They really brightened the place up even in the rain! 



Thursday, 20 September 2012

Art Group - Week Two.

So I went back to the art group! I didn't have much time at all to do any drawing in the week in between classes so I was looking forward to it. 

This is what I drew ......

It isn't finished but it is a red squirrel in a beech tree! I drew the leaves first before daring to attempt the squirrel. I still have the paws to draw in and need to work on the tail. I don't know if I dare to add colour to it as that tends to be were I go wrong. 

Next week the art group will be drawing people and I will be attempting to draw people. For some reason, whenever I try to draw faces, they end up looking unrealistic and almost like a Disney cartoon. 



Tuesday, 11 September 2012

First Art Group Meeting.

I went to my first art group meeting yesterday evening. I was so nervous! I just kept thinking that everyone there would be professional artists and that it would be so intimidating. I used to draw and paint when I was younger but haven't done any art for years and years. I finally worked up the courage to go and ..... it wasn't scary at all! In fact, everyone was friendly and welcoming to me. 

I don't have much to show for two hours! It was a bit of an introduction and settling in session though. I really need to get some smaller paint brushes to use with the watercolours especially as I plan of painting smaller images. Might have to pop to the shop tomorrow! The attempts below were copied from a book rather than a real life bird. 

A Goldcrest. 

A Robin. 

For some reason my first bird turned out better than the second one! I need to keep trying I think. The picture of the goldcrest just seemed to go well right from the start but the robin, well, I just couldn't get the right shape. It just looks awkward and the body parts don't fit together somehow. 

It is amazing that one short session has reawakened my love of drawing. I found it quite relaxing! I don't know why I ever gave it up! 



Saturday, 8 September 2012

September Reading List.

As it heads into Autumn the urge to read really kicks in. I love snuggling up with a good book with the rain beating against the window or when there is a chill in the air. It is still a bit too warm here to feel truly Autumnal but I have a pile of books to read anyway! 

I always have more than one book on the go at once! Generally quite a varied selection too and this time is no exception. Maybe it is due to that back to school feeling that comes with September but I am feeling the need for books with more depth to them. 

The Family Daughter is a recent purchase from KBR Ministries and it is interesting and inspiring. It just feels relevant to where I am in my life now! Plus there are real life experiences and quotes scattered through the book. Most books in this area tend to say "this is what you will do until you marry" with little or no attention given to those who won't get married. It isn't in God's plan for everyone to marry and there are other ways to be used for the Lord. It isn't as though you hit a certain age and, if you aren't married, you suddenly cease to be useful. 

I haven't read Cranford. I have made it to 26 without reading this classic. I don't have any excuses but am aiming to rectify this situation! I have read North and South which was also written by Elizabeth Gaskell and I have seen the wonderful BBC drama. If you haven't seen the adaptations of Cranford or North and South I wholeheartedly recommend them! 

It is also embarrassing to admit that I haven't read much philosophy at all. I am reading Walden at the moment and I love it! I also have the book Walking which is also written by Thoreau. In Walden he discusses reading, solitude and seasons and, through them all, his love and respect of nature shines through! I have a book by Emerson to read too ..... it turns out that, after years of avoiding philosophy based on the assumption that it was dull, I was utterly wrong and it is such a fascinating subject! Reading the works of Thoreau is changing how I view the world and expanding my horizons and knowledge. 

Days on the Road is the diary of Sarah Raymond Herndon and covers her journey west in 1865. This is an era that fascinates me! People were willing to risk everything on the hope of a better future for themselves and their families. I have flicked through this book and it isn't a sugar coated view. The snippets I have read clearly show that it wasn't all sunshine and camp fires. I can't imagine how tough that journey would have been to take especially as you wouldn't have known what you would find at your destination. 

I have nearly finished Almost Amish. I thought it was such an interesting subject for a book and, given my interest in the Amish, I couldn't resist it! I like the characterisation in the book but really I think I would prefer a non-fiction version where someone goes to live with the Amish and adopts their simple life. 

What are you reading at the moment?



Saturday, 1 September 2012

2012 Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to each and every one of you that entered this giveaway! It is always so exciting to get comments as I do love comments. 

A little reminder of the prizes! 

I used the random number generator to pick the winner as I felt that was the fairest way. Plus it saved writing all the comments on paper to draw them from a hat! 

The winner of the 2012 giveaway is .........

Comment 7 - Gretchen of The City Mouse's Country House

Congratulations Gretchen!

Please contact me at to arrange the delivery of your prize.