Tree carving…

An old cherry tree in the park had to be cut down but this turned into a real opportunity for some art in nature.




A very cold day in Gloucester!



Grow your own watermelon…

I’m always on the look out for slightly unusual or interesting plants which I can grow, normally which are fairly inappropriate to the weather conditions in England! I haven’t got a greenhouse yet so growing anything vaguely exotic is sometimes a problem. Tomatoes just about work but at the mercy of the weather and the famous British summer.

This year, I randomly tried planting 6 watermelon seeds. I didn’t think they would germinate but 1 of them did! It took 2 weeks for the shoot to appear above the soil and was fairly slow to start, but so far it has grown well. I planted the seeds around mid-May and now, at 20th July, it has already developed maybe 7 flowers and what look like a couple of fruits!

There has also been an interesting leaf shape change from the first dicotyledon leaves, through various stages of increasing complexity. The newest leaves are quite rough and spiky with longish white hairs. The edges are crinkly and variegated and there are loads of tendrils which the plant uses to support itself.

I have just planted it out so we’ll see what happens. I’m hoping slugs and snails stay clear of it as it is only the very thin stem which is in contact with the soil, with the rest of the long plant supported above the soil using its tendrils which have wrapped around garden sticks.


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Who knows where this will lead…?


Crickley Hill sunshine…!

Claire is taking two days off work this week and i’m taking the Wednesday off, so we have 3 days for a mini holiday! First day is a trip to Crickley Hill as it was clear and bright. Spring is in the air and the plants are starting to come back to life.

We had a great couple of hours there, with lots of exercise, fresh air and fun! We had a walk through the woods and the boys had loads of fun trying to protect their castle from the invading grasshoppers (Claire and I). That’s a reference to the film Bugs Life!

There were also some tree surgeons cutting back the line of trees along the entrance road and I asked if I could take some of the wood. They said yes and on the way out I loaded the boot up!


Apple leaves…

The start of the process.

The idea now is to crop lots of sections from the scan to make the vertical section image!


Autumn tree…

As a memory creation of autumn, we’ve all been collecting loads of leaves from parks and the garden etc. I love all the colours and shapes and it always inspires me to think about creating things.

There are 3 things which i’ve been thinking about + making with the kids.

The main thing is our autumn tree, which i’ve now finally hung on the wall. This was started on Monday, when I cut up lots of pieces of leaves into squares. These were going to make up the trunk and branches, but in the end, these were used for something else! It just turned into a stick everything on the sheet without Jac either eating, smearing on the walls, licking, dipping hands into or feeding to the cat – the PVA glue!

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Both boys practised with scissors and helped to cut up bits of leaves. Bit of a race against time on the final picture, with Jamie squirting the glue onto the trunk outline and branches and me sticking the leaves down. Good team work there and Jac did help with the glue brush!

The two other things are both related to autumn leaf colours. The first is to make a collage of colours with square cut outs of varying coloured leaves. This would make a patchwork of colours, textures and shapes. I pressed the squares between some heavy books just to make then lie flatter to the page (in my notebook).

The second thing is to use a sequence of coloured leaves from our apple tree to make an artwork. I’ve collected a range of apple tree leaves, ranging from green to brown and maybe titled ‘autumn decay’ which shows the literal progression from life to death. I’m going to scan maybe 8 of the selection and then crop those images to produce a series of vertical rectangles, which will be randomly sorted into a single picture.