Sunday, 8 July 2018

Flaming June! Where Have You Gone To?

It only seems like a week ago to the beginning of last month when I had spent the morning looking at some images of two brides who had both married on the first day of June some years apart and my memories of being surrounded by buckets of glorious sunflowers, fragrant roses and lush foliage as I grappled with scissors, silver wire and the clock!

And although June may have left us for another year, she has been kind enough to leave some glorious weather; although as I was sprinkling the lawn with water earlier today for the Girls to enjoy some grubbing around - I admit to feeling somewhat nostalgic for the occasional rainfall.

Alas, with no rain in sight let's get on with my June Mash-Up!

The Studio:

With the final final dry-build for Nicole's House finally completed - I've been moving sofas and arranging dining room chairs as I plan the logistics of the kitchen design and the creation of a sunken living room.

Having made so many mistakes in the past with rushed constructions, unsatisfactory room plans and abysmal lighting conditions - I've learnt to keep my hands off a dry-build and to simply leave it be until I can imagine myself moving from room to room knowing that every window, fireplace, door and piece of furniture is in the right place.

It was only as I looked at what I thought was the final dry-build did I see the need to lower the roof pitch and that I could also squeeze in another full length window! 

As more images of Nicole's House can been seen on the Brentwood Ghost Blog - there are further exclusives to feast over.

AND having donned my Crooked Hen apron - I have also been experimenting with wire, tape and Mod-Roc to create some trees!

As they will be eventually find themselves among the weird and wonderful in the All Hallows Hamlet - these won't be any kind of ordinary tree!

And by the time I'd finished plastering these strange little trees, I also looked very far from ordinary - with a face of fetching white freckles and those ghost-like hands.

You can catch the big 'Reveal' with a free flight over to the world of the Crooked Hen!

Ancestor Sleuthing and Grave Hunting:

As you can usually find me in the genealogy office at York Cemetery on a Friday, I've been busy ancestor sleuthing for our visitors and grave hunting all manner of interesting folk for my two guided tours in July and August.

The 'Walk on the Art Side' in July will celebrate the lives and legacies of the writers, artist, sculptors and other creatives from whom York Cemetery is their final home and in August I will be leading an evening walk of 'Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths' around the graves of those who met with an unusual end - and given my penchant for storytelling, there should be a surprise or two along the way!

The Other Stuff:

With the demands of my work and the responsibilities as a full-time care giver; I tend not to stray too far from home these days but with a 'day pass' and on the sweltering hot afternoon of the last day of June I took the train to Leeds for the opening party of the 5th annual exhibition of Sketch That - a collection of work by a group of West Yorkshire artists:

Elizabeth Nast, Helen Dryden, Kat Archibald, Letty McHugh, Louise GarrettPixiebiscuit and Rejectamental.

As I champion Helen on social media, it was an nice opportunity to finally meet up and I treated myself to her delightful 'Lettuce on a Chair' who will be coming home with me when the exhibition comes to an end later next month.

If you should find yourself in Leeds before August 13, why not go along to the Ridge Room of the Heart Enterprise and Art Centre in Headingley and meet 'Lettuce' for yourself?

And as I made my way home I couldn't resist popping into the Leeds Samaritans shop and came away with some fabulous steam-punk inspired necklaces perfect for the 'Small Folk' and all for the bargain price of £1.50 as grumpily modelled by Ted!

Family, Feline and Poultry...

As some of you have left me kind messages having been confused by past references to 'my boys' - you can see in this collage of images that they are now both anything but!

For despite the challenges that my life continues to delight and infuriate me with, knowing that they are both seizing life by the collar and are loved by two fabulous girls - well, that's enough for me right now.

And it never ceases to amaze me when I discover the felines enjoying a cat-nap in the most unlikeliest places but perched on top of a Papier Mâché model was a new one for me!

As we're basking in a July heatwave, it's just as well that it seems so wrong to be working on this model for the All Hallows Eve tale now that I have a problem with a squatter of the feline variety!

He certainly looks like he's 'Living in Clover' on his bed of Papier Mâché doesn't he? And if your imaginary inhabitants are in need of a little of that Leprechaun magick,with a pinch of 'Heather' and a pinch of shredded paper money suspended in resin - there is still a vial or two available for sale in the Crooked Hen Gift Shop!

My Bookshelf:

Blessed Are The Weird - Jacob Nordby (Someone who sees the world in the same crazy way as me!)
A Very Private Woman - Nina Burleigh (An interesting biography of a very intriguing artist)
Frances Burney Journals and Letters - Penguin Classics (A fabulous and authentic letter writer and novelist who actually lived through the the glorious 18th century)
The Art of Asking - Amanda Palmer (Crowdfunding pioneer, musician and inspirational!)  
The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club - C. David Heymann (An eavesdrop among the movers and shakers of the Washington elite)
Finding Sarah - Sarah Fergson (A poignant memoir from one of the most colourful members of the British Royal Family!
Domestic Management. With Instructions to Servants in General - Multiple Contributors (I can dream, can't I? Or else I can use this lovely tome for the research of my Lord B house...)

My Playlist:

My favourites for June have been: London Grammar, Tom WalkerEnigma, The Sherlocks, Ben Howard and Taylor Swift.

Must keep that last one quiet from my sons!

May YOUR July be all that you wish!

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