Cat carving

I know there are better carvings, but I really enjoyed creating this. We didn’t have posh carving tools, just a few knives. I’ve seen pumpkins where just the outer rind is carved away so you get a shallow relief effect. I like it but I guess you would have to use clay modelling tools?

Apparently wild animals can eat the remains of the pumpkin once its been use for decoration. I don’t think hedgehogs like them though? I’m not sure feild mice would like one carved like a cat? Anyway it was fun to do. And it works as a ginger cat, X

Scared?

Walking round the back of the old house, looking for a way in. The rain was cold and icy, falling hard and freezing on the ground and branches as it touched them….

She needed somewhere warm to dry out. No-one in at home and she had lost her keys? But next door was empty, if she could find shelter she could be OK till the morning?

She pushed on a soggy back door, it gave slightly under the pressure. Then the catch slipped and it flew open into a dusty hallway. Cobwebs hung down from dirty bannisters and old bedsheets covered the victorian furniture. She stepped further in. Moonlight and the sodium coloured streetlights filtered through the grubby windows.

A black cat rushed past her, fleeing out of the open doorway. Somewhere in the distance she heard the distant sound of an old fashioned phone.

Stumbling across the old parquet flooring in the darkness, she started to look for a doorway into a living room or reception room. Anywhere that would be walmer. She gently pushed on a old oak door, it opened a crack, it started to creak so she held her breath and waited. Nothing happened. She pushed again and could see light, orange candlelight. A glow coming from a carved pumpkin, almost out, flickering in the slight breeze from the doorway.

Quickly she stepped in, pushing the door behind her. A covered sofa looked like a good place to hunker down for the night…. She slowly sat down, gently, to make as little noise as possible. She felt something slither across her feet. She looked down, and saw to her horror, a dark gloved hand extending through the floor and reaching up to grab her ankle. A flash, so bright and blue lit the room for an instant. In a second she had disappeared. Gone.

Trick or treating?

I have sometimes opened the door to trick or treaters and shouted ‘boo!’ at them. Then tell them ‘that’s your trick!’ Only after being pestered several times…

Trick or treating seems to have arrived in the UK in the last several years. It didn’t really happen before that as we had a lot of celebrations around the fifth of November. (Bonfire night) ‘remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot’. This was when Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament several centuries ago.

I don’t dislike Halloween but children have always made Guy’s (effigies) to burn on top of bonfires, and sat outside at the end of October and start of November begging for a ‘penny for the Guy’ to buy fireworks that are set off on the fifth of November.

So Halloween and spooky goings on are not really traditional here, but the have gained a foothold. X

Black and white filter

One of the problems with taking photos in artificial light with a smart phone is that you cannot always get a good exposure. My solution after trying to alter the contrast and exposures of these two photos was to use a black and white filter. Once I posted them on my Instagram account I used the filter on there which bought out more details in the photos.

Maybe I should have used a fill flash or changed the setting to manual but I don’t know if that would have helped.

Carving pumpkins

I went to an Art lunch today with fellow artists. We had a spicy pumpkin soup and different varieties of cake plus extra treats that pebought along.

The lunch was held at the warehouse building at Etruria Industrial museum, Etruria, Stoke on Trent.

We were asked to carve pumpkins for an event this weekend at the museum where they will be steaming the Etruria Flint Mill beam engine between 11am and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday this coming weekend.

The photos shown are my four carvings. A cat, a dragon, an abstract pattern and a sunflower shape. It was the most fun I’ve had for several weeks!

Still together…

My mom came and saw me at college one September and made me promise not to move in with my boyfriend till after Christmas. I moved in in the October! With a lot of ups and downs we are still together forty years later.. We hate and love each other! I think the wedding vows have it right, sickness and health, richer and poorer. It gives you a clue that the world is not perfect and that you have to work at relationships. Sometimes it doesn’t work, sometimes it does… I guess we were lucky…

This was last year I think…. Memories of madness…. And fun!

Filters

This year for Halloween there have been far more filters on my phone to create strange faces and spooky images. It’s not something I would normally do, but just for a laugh I decided to choose four that I thought were the silliest and most frightful. (I say frightful because I don’t think they are very frightening). Apologies to anyone of a nervous disposition. I think Halloween coincides with a Celtic holiday called Samhain but I don’t know the history of either tradition really. I guess it’s a chance to have a party before the full gloom of the winter season envelops us. Next stop Christmas here in the UK.