Thursday, 30 October 2008

From My Window.

All memory of summer has gone. The colours have faded, washed away, bleeding into the autumn earth. 
And now, outside my window all is silver and softest grey, the only warmth the dry bronze of the reeds stitched across my view.

Yesterday, a day to stay home, a poorly babe to nurse. We light a fire, and silence drifts around us, with only the scratch of pencil against paper,  the rustle of turning pages. 

And as we sit we watch the mountains recede into a cloud of white haze, a curtain drawn between us.

And then, as though on cue, the sun, to light up the powdered mountain. The mountain called the Sugar Loaf. Now sprinkled with sugar-snow, a little bit of magic to brighten our day.

Snow. And it is still October. And last Halloween they watched the fireworks in their pajamas, unseasonal warmth keeping us out in the dark, holding back the winter.

Just that little bit.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Into The City We Did Go.

And so we wend our way into this city of ours, and I find myself morphing into my father, and my children are treated to a guided tour of this little ancient corner of Dublin, though a fairly limited one compared to The Father's breadth of knowledge. 

I'm ashamed (and amazed) to say I have never seen the old city wall before! How'd that happen?

We didn't have time to go in to St. Audeon's Church this time, though now I've had a chance to read up some more I think we will next time.

I do love to wander through the streets of our old city, and each time I wonder just how so many weeks  go by in between visits.

We did manage to make it to Versus in Temple Bar where the Projector Collective exhibition was just winding up. It was wonderful for the children to see their Dad at work in situ and to see other people taking an interest in what they were doing. 

And I have to admit, I felt immensely proud of Jay. In the daily grind it is not always easy to hold onto the idea, the belief in oneself as an artist. And especially as a parent, life has a way of  making time stand still, as though our children, like little magic ships, bear us away to some timeless sea. 

Until one day we wake up and realise that it is all still there, the creative impulse, just outside the window.

Friday, 24 October 2008

White Yellow White

Now for something completely different. 

This is something that Jay is doing this weekend as part of the 
DEAF (Dublin Electronic Arts Festival) festival taking place in Dublin this weekend. Do check out the link for info on events if you are in Dublin over the next few days.

This is what they say about it:

"White Yellow White is a performance based artwork by Projector Collective. It will be the fifth in a series of collaborative projects by members of the collective John Carter, Anthony Kelly and Jay Roche and will form part of DEAF 2008.
The artists propose to paint a room first white, then yellow, then white again over a period of 4 days. While painting they will wear new suits with shirt, tie and new shoes. They will strive to avoid getting any paint on their clothes. In fact, the object of the performance is to survive the application of the three coats of paint without a blemish to their attire.

The project has its root in a folkloric story from the decorating world of a bet taken between two painters as to who was the cleanest and tidiest decorator. Wearing their finest Sunday best they undertook to paint the walls and ceiling of a room without spoiling their clothes. Only one was successful."

There is also a visual and sound recording being made of it as well as an exhibition.

So, while interior design is what pays the bills in our house, it does my heart good to see Jay still managing to fit in his own work, be it making paintings, or projects like this. So, if you are in Dublin pop by to say hi and hopefully I'll get in over the weekend with the children to have a look!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Something Lovely.

I am just too excited for words. I just found out that two of my favourite artists, whom I have featured here before, are showing together in London next month. Cue heart palpitations and brain going into overdrive planning how on earth I'm going to get over to London!

I met Jessie Chorley at last years Knitting and Stitching Show when I went looking for Julie Arkell who hadn't made it across the pond to Ireland with the exhibition. I was so disappointed that she wasn't there. Despondent might be a good word. But I wandered into an exhibition which instantly made me gasp in delight and grin. It was called 'Like Mother Like Daughter' and featured the work of Primmy and Jessie Chorley. I have long been dreaming about getting over to do one of Jessie's workshops, but the idea of an exhibition of these two inspirational women together is just too enticing.

                                                    Hush Doll~Julie Arkell

                                                                My Own Story~Julie Arkell

I think if I was to actually see Julie Arkell's work in person I would probably cry. I just would. It fills me with joy and sadness at the same time. Too beautiful for words. 

                                    A Vanished Garden detail~Jessie Chorley

                                                A Vanished Garden detail~Jessie Chorley

The exhibition is on in the Flow Gallery in Notting Hill from November 7th to January 10th. So if any of you are lucky enough to be in the area, please go and take a peek. I have no doubt it will be something very special.

And finally, I want to leave you with some music that I simply cannot stop listening to. It's been on loop all day. A gorgeous Swedish band called El Perro Del Mar, and you can hear some of their songs here.

So, until next time my friends, this is a very happy girl heading of to slumber and dream of magical creatures and books, and of taking wing across the grey sea to England...

Sunday, 19 October 2008

A Week Of Pictures.

Cake and Mountains.

Sorry for that unintentional break. The day Jay got back, to top it all off, I came down with a horrible head cold and chesty thing, which as worked it way through the family. I think we are all over it now, thankfully, and when I came out of it on Wednesday evening,  I had some baking to do. And some strange baking euphoria took hold and I couldn't stop... 

We had a wonderful weekend in the west which included my big brother's birthday and his son's christening.
A gathering of family and friends. A windswept vista of these, my favourite mountains.

I am back, and I am well. So blogging resumes.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

And The Winner Is...!

Well, this was actually quite exciting! As I wrote each name down I thought, "Oh, but wouldn't it be lovely if she won!"

So, into the hat went the names.

And Finn pulled out the winning name, and it was...


Out Walking all the way down in Buenos Aires.
So the Mood Cloud will be winging it's way to you very soon, and I hope it is always on the fluffy white happy side!

And if there is anyone that would really love one of these, they are for sale! The Big Softees shop will be opening soon, and if you can't wait, hop on over to Chris and let him know!

Thanks again for all your lovely comments and wishes. I think I will be doing this again!

When The Skies Take My Man...

A slow week.
When Jay is gone we carry on.
And every time he goes, all the things that rarely visit us when we are a whole come knocking on our door.
Sick children, sick babies, flat tyres, mice.

And now. It's all behind us, and in 24 hours Jay will be home.

And later today, later than I planned, I will pull a name out of the hat.

So last chance to leave a comment below!

Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

What The Postman Brought.

All the way from Alabama, for a very chuffed little five year old.

I love this gorgeous Snoopy tin, which will definitely be kept on my shelf long after the delicious cocoa is all drunk up!

And isn't this the cutest little cup and saucer to drink it out of?

Thanks so much Emma and Mike, he really is delighted!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Happy Birthday Milkmoon!

Well, I can hardly believe Milkmoon is a year old! Is that possible? I realise now I had no idea what on earth I was doing when I started, except that it was an outlet for my creative urges at a time in my life when my time is so limited. Photography is something that fits neatly into my busy life, and has the added bonus of recording these fleeting moments that are my children growing before my eyes.

I read so many amazing blogs by people, women, mothers like me, who somehow seem to find the time to be creative and to do all the other million things mothers do every day. Admittedly, most don't have four children, but even two or three is still full on, I remember. And some days I wonder how can I simplify my life to be home more, and some days I give up and just get on with the whirlwind of life. And some days I do actually get to sit down at my sewing machine and make something. And then I realise that I can, occasionally fit it in. And you know what? Occasionally is ok. Because suddenly one of my babies is five and in 'big school', and this time next year another of my babies will be getting the train to secondary school and starting a whole new phase of his life. And this truly is in a blink and I am sometimes shocked at how those years are spinning by so fast. And at the end of it all, all those ideas of things I want to make will still be there.

So, to celebrate a year of Milkmoon-ing, and to say thank you to you all for all the encouragement and kind words over these last twelve months, I am going to give something back to one of you. Something that I did manage to sit down and make.

One of these Mood Clouds, designed by my brother Chris and made by me, is up for grabs. Aren't they cute? Turn it to the Smiley side to greet you when you get home, or turn out the Grrr side for when it's your turn to walk the dog and it's raining! All you need to do to have your name in the hat is to leave a comment just saying hi, or telling me what you do with those precious stolen hours that are yours alone. We all have a dream. What's yours?

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Fly Away Jay

Jay has taken to the skies once again. This time he's somewhere on an Island in Northern Japan. Really. Isn't life bizarre...

When he's gone, we sort of go into what feels like a weird suspended animation. Life goes on, but I don't really feel it. And we count each day, and wait for his return, like watching the sea or the skies for some clue that he is on his way.

Thank goodness for Skype!

Roll on the weekend...

A Week Of Pictures.