Tuesday, 24 July 2012

We've had such a nice relaxing few weeks here, despite the initial endless rain and the usual manic house organisation we put ourselves through before we get visitors, however, we reached a calmness that surprised even me and Gav! 

We made a decision to halt any further work in the shop as it's now taking up a lot of our time and concentrate on finishing the house.  Anyway, i digress, Gav's parents arrived last Monday and we threw ourselves into looking after and entertaining them for the week.  Nicci got called into work every day so it entailed some jigging about of the schedule, but we managed to get out a few times.  Gav took them off to Ellesmere on the Tuesday where they walked around the mere and had a nice lunch, Wednesday we managed to get to Shrewsbury and looked around the old part of town, including some beautiful stained glass windows in the church.  Gav also had an hour in the antiques centre and me and his mum took ourselves off to Waterstones......aaahhh bliss!!!  On Friday we went to:

Outside in the garden
 Dad enjoying playing with the dog

 See the bee?
 In the "very informal" cafe!
Lovely food freshly prepared and Chocolate and Beetroot Cake!!!!
 Mum and Dad enjoying the sunshine

A peacock hen with her chicks
 The Male
 hiding her chicks
 Lizzie, sat at the kitchen table enjoying some attention!
 Walks along the canal at Berriew
 Flowers in the guest room

This is where we saw Stefan Knapp's (1921-1996) beautifully vibrant enamel murals.
Set up in April 2011, in what would have been her late husbands 90th year it was  the ambition of his wife Cathy Knapp - whom i met at a book signing evening in Bishops Castle a few weeks ago and where she suggested we take a look -  I hadn't managed to get there before now and as we had visitors we thought it was a good time to go.

"Stefan Knapp was born in South East Poland in 1921 and was arrested in 1939 and sent to a labour camp in Siberia.  He was released in 1942 as a result of the Churchill-Stalin agreement and made his way to England where he trained as a Spitfire Pilot and did reconnaisance work until 1945.  He suffered terrible nightmares as a result of his experiences and used painting as a way to exorcise his mind..."

If you're in the area pop in and see the exhibition it's really worth it

Finally, I just wanted to mention this.  I get lovely comments all day long about the shop from our customers, they come from all over the world (i know it's not specifically to come to Indigo Moon, but if they're in the area they find their way here), this week we have our stock making it's way to Australia, Germany, France, Africa, Ireland, California, New York and all sorts of other lovely places as well as lots of places around Britain. 

 So it was extra special to find this blog that mentioned us, i remember the lady telephoning us to ask us to put a sold sign on the cupboard and keeping it for a few weeks, they paid us immediately over the phone, but what they didn't know was that another lady had been in that very morning and was returning with her husband the next day!!  She was very disappointed to find it sold, but without a deposit there was nothing i could have done.  I'm pleased for the people who bought it, it is nice when something you buy fits so perfectly into the home!  Thank you Kat and Rich.

"Painting is silent poetry"
~Plutarch, Moralia: How to Study Poetry

Saturday, 14 July 2012

"She does it right"

Yesterday, after a long busy day in the shop and cleaning the house Gav and I set off, around 5.30pm in the middle of a monsoon, for Llangollen, to the Fringe Festival to see Wilko Johnson at the Town Hall. We did it right! By the time we'd got past Welshpool the sky was brighter, the rain had stopped and we looked forward to a nice evening meal and a drink before going on to see the band.
We both love Llangollen, it has some happy memories for us and was one of the first places we looked to set up our business. We got as far as managing to put in an offer on a great property there, but our own sale in Leeds fell through at the same time and by the time we were in a position to look again the sellers had changed their mind.  We did look at other properties but they weren't as nice. Anyway Montgomery isn't far away (about 40 mins in the car) so we go there quite often for a night out.
Our first stop was the Cornmill (right alongside the river) for food:

View of the Corn Mill from the bridge in Llangollen

 This is where we sat, lovely bright big room, with gorgeous views

LlangollenTown Hall, where we saw the band

The band were amazing, although my poorly back reared its evil head from standing too long (and i had to keep going off to find somewhere to sit every now and then).

Wilko Johnson on Jools Holland

So...it's been a busy busy week, last weekend we had stalls at the Montgomery Street Fair, lots going on, many many thanks to our friends who came along and helped, couldn't have managed without you.  And just as we're recovering from that we have a trip to Harrogate on Sunday for the Gift Show on Monday.  My gorgeous girl is coming with us to help us buy, but only on the condition we take her to Betty's!:

I have to be honest, i do like going here myself, it's a treat, but expensive - like a scene from Poirot!

Before Betty's though it'll be a few hours around the gift show, our main buying spree will be for cards and a few bits of jewellery - that's about all we can manage to look around at the moment, we're exhausted.  We'll be able to get there early as we're all staying overnight on the Sunday.

The highlight will be collecting my lovely mother and father (in-law) on Monday who are meeting us at Harrogate to come back to Montgomery for a weeks visit.  So looking forward to spending time with lovely family, got lots planned (weather permitted).

No art work today as  I'm in the middle of creating some pieces for another exhibition in Oswestry so will post when finished

Well thats it for now, back to working, cleaning, shopping, dog walking, cooking etc etc etc 

Monday, 2 July 2012

Rain Rain Go Away....

So fed up of all this rain.....

To take my mind of it today i did some prints of my work on our fab Giclee printer just to see what they looked like and i'm really pleased with them. 

My plan now is to do some pieces for limited edition prints

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Virgil, Gabriel and Jack

 Virgil and the Accelerators
“sublime guitar riffs and perfect fretmanship mastery”
from Virgil, his 18 year old brother Gabriel (drums) and bassist Jack Timmis. 

It's 7.30am Sunday morning and after a hectic weekend i'm just managing  to rest quietly for a few hours before opening the shop, precious time. 

Friday afternoon saw us (Effigy Music) dashing up to...

... "The Flowerpot"
in Derby so gav could recce the band "Virgil and the Accelerators" whom he's filming at their gig in the Marshall Amp factory in Milton Keynes at the end of August. 

My gorgeous girl helped with the shop on Friday so we could skive off early. We'd booked into the Jury's hotel for the night (which was conveniently opposite the flowerpot) but had been warned to be there before 6.00pm as the Olympic Torch was going through the centre and the roads were closing.  So.....we left at 3pm and thanks to the Sat Nav lady, or maybe it was me programming in "avoid toll roads" that we missed the M6 Toll and found ourselves meandering up through Uttoxeter at 6pm.  However, luck seemed to be on our side and just as we thought we were going to have to walk about a mile to the hotel we just managed to whizz down a road that was on the verge of being closed off, spotting the flowerpot and thus the hotel...phew!!!

After an hours rest and some food we sauntered across to the flowerpot, met up with friends and watched these amazingly 'very young' and extremely talented musicians.

It was nice not to have  a late drive home afterwards especially as the recce also involves a chat with the band manager and the band members at the end of the night.

Saturday morning was gloomy and threatened rain and we set off early from Derby to Birmingham (on the M6 Toll this time - to which i owe many thanks to James for finding the postcode on his phone for me- to call in at IKEA - i don't know what it is about these stores...they give me the creeps with their flat packed UFO's and their "outer space" store maps...

see any similarities?

It's probably because i'm of the X Files" generation (thats "files", not "factor") and  
"Trust No One",
 "Believe Nothing"
 "Question Everything"
 is my motto...

But I survived it, with no help from the vile coffee they served in the cafe!!!

Anyway, onto recent art projects:
These are some smaller paintings i've been working on
3"x3" squares (well mostly) i sell in the shop, i only have a few left

...and a remake of an old one, i'm working on

and this is my art desk as of this morning.... messy

I've also got some new assemblage pieces i'm working on too, but will photograph those when finished.

The shop has been fairly steady so far this summer, not as busy as last year but we're enjoying having to be innovative getting people in.  We have some really nice inexpensive jewellery in and have decided to display them properly in glass jewellery cabinets (hence the IKEA trip).  We've had two really big deliveries during the week and the Armoury is brimming with stock everywhere at the moment!!!!!

Okay....time for coffee and toast, enjoy your Sunday everyone.

"Whatever happened to playing a hunch, Scully? The element of surprise, random acts of unpredictability? If we fail to anticipate the unforeseen or expect the unexpected in a universe of infinite possibilities, we may find ourselves at the mercy of anyone or anything that cannot be programmed, categorized or easily referenced". 
 - X-Files