Sunday 31 July 2011

Saturday 30 July 2011

Back To The Wedding

A follow on from last week's Sepia Saturday picture, because this one shows the bride and groom, plus the youngest bridesmaid who was missing in the previous picture...

Wednesday 27 July 2011

The Old Order Changeth

digital sketch by jinksy

Lines like soft charcoal
appear on my computer.
A plastic pen cries.
It will never feel paper,
only electric signals.

This was my first attempt to sketch using my WACOM Bamboo Pen & Touch tablet. It was a surreal experience, hence my rather strange poetic offering to accompany my In Tandem offering this week. And now for the other picture...Hop over by clicking the link and you'll find a Mr Linky so you can join in too...

“At last! I can have a peep at her art project!”
Jessie had been so keen to answer the front door she’d left the studio one ajar. It was the perfect chance for Sara to satisfy her curiosity.
“Bother- the easel is facing the wrong way – now I’ll have to mind the creaky floorboard, or she’ll know I’m in here.”
As the younger sister, Sara was often dubbed ‘Nuisance’ or even ‘Nosey parker!’ when she asked for a preview. But now was the perfect time to steal one. She almost tip-toed round the room, till she stood looking at the charcoal drawing of a dark haired lad, who stared back at her from the stretched paper on the board.
“I wonder who that is? Bet she won’t tell me…” Hardly had the thoughts entered her mind, than she heard footsteps coming upstairs – two sets of footsteps! Then Jessie walked in the door, followed closely by one who could only be the boy in the sketch…

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Hat's Off!

To Trellissimo! he transformed a Cycle advert into a whimsical apparition in shades of dusky grey-blue-green.

Having never learned to ride a bike, I quickly dispensed with this accessory - well, not quickly - it took quite a long time to paint it out, but now I can concentrate on starry thoughts instead...

Two hundred million or more years
your light's been streaming forth,
much brighter than the other stars...
you surely know your worth?

Across the dancing ocean waves
you've guided seafaring ships
of Polynesian sailors
with praises on their lips

for your luminous, bright beauty...
while to those along the Nile
you were forerunner of flooding
which made the land fertile.

The long hot days of summer
starved all plants and made them wilt
till the river covered all the land
with its annual cloak of silt...

n.b. The original poster was featured by Tess, on Magpie Tales. 

Sunday 24 July 2011

How Napple Got Her Name

Adam and Eve bit that infamous apple
when temptation entered the scene...
Many years later, I turned into a 'Napple'...
how ever could this have been?

A plain 'Granny Smith' was how I began
to be called as my family grew,
and my number one girl first made me a 'Gran!'
Once Baby talked, what did she do?

'Granny Smith' had became 'Granny Apple'
but by Baby the words got condensed,
and Lo, and behold! I was "Napple"
and rather than being incensed

I welcomed the name, joined in the game
and Napple I've been ever since!

Blame all this on the Poetry Jam  prompt word 'Temptation'.
And do go and see where an apple lands when it doesn't fall close to the tree!

Saturday 23 July 2011

Poetics: On Your Feet

Shine (sculpture) by Willie Cole
Second Hand Shoes

I stand outside the Oxfam shop
in front of rows of shoes.
I wonder, would I stand in yours,
if I had to choose?

Some tiny shoes aren’t very scuffed
because young feet outgrew them,
while those were such a comfy pair
their owner's half worn through them.

Not so these, they must have hurt;
they’re scarcely used - no speck of dirt –
and those with heels so high and thin
were never made for walking in?!

There are shoes quite narrow
and shoes like boats
with bulges made by bunions;
there are football boots that boys in specs
might tie with laces and string round their necks,
like the men who sell the onions.

See, those are the fashion of years gone by,
discarded on a whim.
Although they’re almost good as new,
it’s plain that they would never do,
for one must ‘keep up with the Jones’s.’

So all of these shoes, where invisible feet
have imprinted their character, careless or neat,
hold their stories to tell, if we listen and look,
just as clearly as if they appeared in a book.
And what would the story of our shoes be
if they, too, stood in line for the whole world to see?

Thanks go to Brian Miller  (Waystation One or dVerse poets pub) for this prompt. 
But now, I'm going to link this to I Saw Sunday, too, because the sight of those black shoes heaped into a gorilla face, underlined once again that things are not necessarily what they seem. Even the most commonplace objects can make us think again when viewed in a new light... Which is good point to ponder on any day of the week.

Not Quite Haloes!

This old snapshot follows the train of thought I was on in last week's Sepia Saturday for it was taken on the occasion of the same cousin's wedding.

As you can see, it was a chilly, grey and damp day, and the only warm parts of us were the hands tucked into those pretty and unusual muffs. My little Bro (!) in the front there, was quivering like a leaf, it was so cold, but he manfully stood to attention, nevertheless.

I decided not to crop the photo, despite the fact that I have a tree growing out of my head, behind my halo, for the drizzly mist and dated cars add their own charm... so does the Maid of Honour, who will remain for ever chatting away to the unseen photographer, who would have been yet another family member, aunt or cousin.

The dresses were 'shot silk' - (taffeta!) - pale blue with pink overtones, and tiny pink silk rosebuds were stitched on the muffs and headbands. Bro's pageboy pants were pale blue wool, and every item had been made by my cousin's nifty stitchery - I mean the unseen bride, of course. What a girl!

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt may be found HERE, thanks to Alan and Kat.

And here, thanks to Blogpal Hilary of The Smitten Image, is the edited version. Isn't she a star?!

Thursday 21 July 2011

A Stitch In Time

Embroidery makes her eyes ache.
Sewing the silken threads in line
with the picture inside her mind
allows no room for a mistake.
Her strength of will bows to her skill
as she struggles to stay awake
until her mantel clock strikes nine,
leaving her heart, not eyes, to ache.

Poets United took Night Time for their Thursday Think Tank prompt. I was thinking of the days before electricity, when women stitched away by candle light, when I wrote these lines this morning- before I read their prompt! Fortuitous, or what?
Oh, and it fits my own In Tandem, too!

Monday 18 July 2011

Where The Bee Sucks

  That phrase has always sounded funny to me, but you can see why it sprang to mind once I saw what my shutter captured after yesterday's honeysuckle shot - a bee with his nose in the trough! I had no idea he would be in focus, the rate he was buzzing around that lavender bush by my knees. More thanks to Canon's A800 - but what a shame the little ladybird is only a fuzzy blot on the landscape...I had noticed it earlier, but when concentrating on the darting, buzzing monster, it faded into obscurity.

   The Universe's lessons are everywhere. This one reminded me how easily we ignore, or push things into the background of our lives, when really they deserve to have their turn at being in sharp focus for a while, too. How easy it is to take people and things for granted...

Sunday 17 July 2011

At Last!

Years ago, I planted this honeysuckle in the hope that one day it would reward me with its beauty. For several summers it remained a green and sparsely creeping thing, climbing anywhere but over the metal obelisk I installed.
Last year I noticed one or two blossoms, but now it has truly understood its potential!. I zoomed in on one of its many flower heads as a test for my new, simple little Canon A800. Which passed with flying colours, I think you'll agree...

Seems as though this plant is a great reminder to us all, never to stop striving to reach our full potential, however long it may take. Plus it rewarded my eternal hope and faith that one day it would blossom just as I'd imagined! ♥

Susannah's I saw Sunday will no doubt have more delights to brighten this wet day.

Saturday 16 July 2011

Trick Cyclist?

I've always loved this picture of one of my cousins. It was taken in my Gran's back garden - probably by an aunt of ours. That's my 'trike' she's endeavouring to ride, and I can still feel the curve of the bell push under my thumb, and hear its tinny 'tring-tring'.

I learned yesterday that, at 83, she has been diagnosed with lymphoma, and it seems there may be secondary tumours. But when I talk to her on the phone, she still manages to retain her girlish sense of fun. I think that deserves a special Sepia Saturday tribute...

Friday 15 July 2011

Monkey Business?

At the bottom of a box of strawberries that were delivered a few days back as part of my grocery order, this slightly squashy creature eventually came to light. As soon as I looked him in the eye, I could tell he was really a big ape dressed up in a strawberry suit...

Have you got any odd fruit or veg 'animals', with pictures to prove it?   

(I think these two pictures came from the same family album.!)

Thursday 14 July 2011

Curtain Up?

The beauty of our play will come in part from skies
which learn to change their dress in faster time
than an audience will take to spot a scene shift.

A newly painted backdrop prompts an end
to the actor's tale. He speaks his lines,
and, as leading man, holds centre stage
in  Nature’s sunny theatre in the round.

Yet in the gallery the soft applause
of raindrops grows in volume, while the wind
standing ready in the wings, awaits its cue.

The rainstorm curtains held by tasselled loops
slowly draw their veil across the day, and the company
retires to rehearse the second act…

This is meIn Tandem mode - if you'd like to write something to go with this picture too, click on the link in this sentence, and join us!

Monday 11 July 2011

Stick Men

Having spent a good portion of the morning exploring textures and paint options on the drop down lists available with my latest 'toy', (click on the word and you can see what the toy is) I plump for 'paper' and 'water colour'. When I click on these, I have absolutely no idea what will happen on the screen, for into the mix come more list options.

I have to choose amounts for 'thinners', 'loading, 'pressure'. These are from dome shaped symbols whose inner ring slides back and forth, for 'more' or 'less' of the 100% they offer. The permutations are virtually endless.

The first random strokes across the print area look to me like sand dunes. I go with this idea and add a sky which I  hope with have the luminous quality found near bodies of water. I add a pool in the foreground, and some fronds of dry grasses and a dessicated  shrub. The horizon line is bare, and I want a silhouette figure to give scale to the whole thing. This is a real challenge for my ability to control the 'pen' ( AKA brush, as far as ArtRage is concerned.)

A few lucky strokes, and there they are, the Stick Men, who look as though they were meant to be...

Saturday 9 July 2011

Bean Thinking

Flat, stringless Helda beans; been in the fridge long enough to lose their first crispness which would slide effortlessly through the slicer. Now, when I snip the tip and try to push the flat, cut edge through the metal blades, the bean buckles, sticks as the first white seed clogs the cutters, and I have to resort to a knife.

The pale skins are cool beneath my fingers, which soon find their own rhythm – slice into three lengths, cut each section into four thin strips, place in container. Pick up next bean, slice into three lengths, cut each section into four thin strips… and so on…
The resulting heap of green slivers is uniform, and will cook through evenly, all at the same speed. The bonus? They will look appetizing when served up onto a dinner plate, instead of a tangled mess.

Next, I create crisp, carrot batons, rich, glowing red-orange, with slightly paler hearts. They lie alongside the beans in my steamer, and round chunks of leeks and oddly shaped, tiny new potatoes scattered around the edges make a composition any artist would be pleased to capture on canvas.

The whole operation takes exactly the right amount of time for the water in the lidded base of the steamer to boil. I lift the lid and steam clouds my spectacles as I place the many holed steamer section, with its vegetable still life content, onto the pan and replace the lid.

The only difference about these simple actions, is that this time, I decide to translate them into written words. I realise, although to me the commonplace preparation of vegetables is scarcely remarkable, to many other people it would be anything but…And I begin to place myself in the shoes of someone with disabilities which would turn the whole thing into a mammoth undertaking.

I’ve known friends and relations with arthritis in their finger joints, so bad, their whole hands became misshapen, and gripping tools or knives varied between the painful, and the impossible. This is only the tip of an iceberg, when I begin to add amputees, stroke victims and those with birth defects to my list of beings who will never be able to copy my actions unthinkingly. All this is apart from the millions of people around the globe who have no chance of cooking anything. There is no food, no water, no utensils, no kitchen... and no hope.

And these thoughts happened because I made a conscious decision to be more aware of my actions, instead of performing them while my mind was miles away, doing less boring things instead...

I thought this might be a good post to link to Susannah's I Saw Sunday, even though I posted it Saturday! LOL  Blogland days tend to be different, anyway...

Thursday 7 July 2011


For the most part, I hate making them. Procrastination looms. So when it came to choosing which of my own graphic prompts to follow at Two In Tandem ,  you can see why I've taken the easy way out and written something to go with each of them. I understand this is akin to playing games with myself, but I haven't worked out another way of joining in that Mr Linky's List...
Here's number one:-

A sudden shutter clicks and doorways open.
Sunlight lays its hands upon my head
and energy cascades about my being.
It brings a scene shift on the stage of life
and I, as actor, need a different script
to follow.  Playwright, do you heed my words?
The backdrop changes daily. I have learned
that standing in the wings is not enough.
It's time to enter right and play my part.

And here's the second:-

Swooping low among the forest treetops
a raptor starts his routine, lethal quest,
his widespread wingtips brushing close to branches 
where dappled shadows shake, then still, suppressed.

Upon the ground warm blooded rabbits scurry;
they sense the menace hovering overhead.
The bird, aware of each erratic movement,
plummets...and one leveret lies dead.

Back on the nest, his mate sits, incubating.
Her downy warmth enfolds a clutch of eggs
with fragile shells as smooth as river pebbles,
against her taloned feet and feathered legs.

As birds of prey they both are well trained killers,
but parental instincts see them prove their worth,
for slavishly they'll tend their newborn offspring,
until they too may rule the skies of Earth.

Sunday 3 July 2011

Seeing Is Believing?

Wandering around my tiny garden with a camera in hand this morning, I took some random shots of a green plastic bag full of yesterday's cuttings and weeds...But the wonderful monster at the top of this image only came to my attention when I'd downloaded the images. Hope you can see (and enjoy) him too!
I thought he'd be ideal as my I Saw Sunday offering! Hehehe!