Thursday, 24 August 2017

A meeting of Paperlove

Three years ago I signed up for an online course.  There is nothing new in this, I do a lot of courses, online and otherwise.  But what makes this one different is the friendships that grew. As part of the Paperlove course, Rachel Hazel set up a Facebook Group so that we could share our work and experience. The course only lasted 3 weeks - but for some of us, our friendship lasted and grew. 

After the course finished I suggested the idea of planning a gathering, and we talked about it again last year, when four of us met in London. We spoke of how nice it would be to meet more of the group and the idea took hold....

Ruth agreed to our request to meet at her studio on the Isle of Bute. News was shared, excitement spread, and soon people were booking accomodation and flights.  Because the amazing thing is, people came from California, Canada, New Zealand and Europe! Can you imagne?! Some bought partners and some travelled alone. A feast of friends drawn together through the love of paper! 

For my own part, my husband came with me to Scotland and we stayed in the campervan in a beautiful bay, not far from Ruth's studio.

The first morning I was wandering along the beach collecting shells, when I heard 'hello Sandie'. It was a friend from New Zealand! She saw the campervan parked up and stopped to see if it was me. The excitement of meeting face to face was extraordinary and suddenly it had become real - this was really happening!

There is so much I could share, but to spare you I'll choose some of the highlights and save the rest as memories. So grab a coffee if you like and I will begin:

We all arrived in advance of our 3 days together so had an improntu meet was arranged to say hello and quieten our excitement. And then it was time to gather....

Ruth is an artist and we felt very grateful that she was willing to share her studio for this time together. She showed us how to sketch and paint, something I am keen to learn....

 As you can see, I'm working on it! LOL

Then it was time to walk to the beach where we collected shells and plants.  

The plants were for Eco-printing. We had each offered to share a technique or something we enjoy, and as there were other people who make books I offered to show how I make prints onto paper and fabric.  Chris also does this, back in New Zealand, so we did this in collaboration.  I had also made everyone a small notebook using my eco-printed paper, and this gave examples of what we would make.  

It took a long time to steam all the bundles but it was worth the effort. The results were lovely and several of the group were keen to do more in future. 

Two of our friends were unable to join us but they were very much there in thought and spirit.  Julia had sent us an an individually wrapped gift pack full of treasures....

while Linda sent a postcard to us each. On the back was part of a phrase. There was great excitment in working it out and as one card arrived a day later there was suspension!  

During our three days together we made paper constructions: folded books and origami lanterns... 

and we guilded shells

and did lots more besides.

I am still holding my excitement and amazement that some people travelled so far to make this happen. I'm feeling very blessed and grateful.

But that's not all, there is more to tell, so I'll be back very soon. Hope to see you then, thanks for popping by!  

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

5 in 5 - Melanie - August 2017

Melanie is my friend who lives in Australia and she loves photography.  Every month since the start of this challenge Melanie has taken part in this monthly meme and as she doesn't have her own blog, I post here. I love that we have found a way for her to take part. Over to you Melanie:

"Every time I drive to my daughter house, which is just 10mins away I go down an interesting road called Folkstone Road.  The interest in this road for me is the variety of trees that line the road and the amazing assortment of tree trunks.  So I decided to give you a glimpse of some of these.  In days of old when knights were bold and I used a 24 exposure film I would have filled the film no problem with the different trunks.  With my digital camera my only limit was the five minutes and I leave to your imagination how many tree trunk photos can be taken in 5 minutes in a road lined with trees that also has a reserve filled with trees at one point along it.  So it was difficult to select five photos but select I have and I hope you find the trunk varieties interesting".

Thank you Melanie! I love the shapes and textures of tree trunks and it is a great theme for a collection.  

If this has inspired you to pick up your camera and join in please go to the original post where you will also find out how to link in.

And to find out more about this monthly photo challenge, and how this started, please go to this post.

Thanks for popping by, and I look forward to another post from Melanie next month. 

Saturday, 5 August 2017

5 in 5 - August 2017 - Stories and steam trains

Welcome to '5 in 5' where on the 5th of
each month I post 5 photos that I have
taken in 5 minutes.

Last month I wrote about a visit to Stourport on Trent and while we were there we discovered lots of things to see and do. Our visit coincided with a local steam railway 1940's reinactment, and the stations along the line stepped back in time.

Who doesn't like a ride on a steam train, especially when each station had a different event going on! My husband and son were willing travellers and so we turned up at the station to buy our tickets, with freedom to travel on the line all day.

On the train I set my timer for 5 minutes and started to take photos....

A lady got on and asked if she could share our seat so I took the opportunity to ask for a photo before she sat down. We soon got into conversation...

I learnt that 'Val' and her husband were enthusiastic role players and that their costumes and characters are well researched and modelled on family members. She said it was really important to be as authentic as possible, in respect of those who lived through the war years, and Val asked if I could like to see what was inside her handbag. It reminded me of my Nan's, with it's metal clasp and hinged opening. Val pulled out a beautiful vintage compact case, hand stitched 'To my dear sweetheart'. She told me she had bought it at a boot fair for 25p!  

Next Val pulled out a newspaper cutting, given to her by her elderly neighbour. Val told the story of how her neighbour had been a been a young woman when war broke out, and she had signed up with a friend. They became especially close during their training but her friend was chosen for a special task and they never saw or heard from each other again.

After the war her neighbour learnt that her friend had been trained as a spy and she had worked undercover in France. Sadly, while being pursued, she injured her ankle in a fall and was captured and taken to Ravensbruck Camp where she was later executed by the Germans. She become a national hero and her name has gone down in history. 

I discretely switched  off the 5 minute alert when it sounded, so that it didn't interrupt our conversation. I hadn't expected this chance encounter when I set the timer and on this occasion I decided to disregard it.

At the end of our day we looked back on all the things we had seen and done, and all agreed that this encounter on the train stood out the most. I took lots of photos during the day and others qualified for 5in5. But I have decided to use these, because what's a minute or two between friends, when there is a story that needs telling. And I expect there are many more stories to be told, tucked in drawers and peoples memories. I hope that these too will be shared and passed on, so that they are remembered for years to come. 

Thank you for popping by and if you fancy picking up your camera to join in with '5in5' it would be lovely to have your company!

Here's what you do and there are more details here

1.  Choose a location.

2.  Have your camera ready.

3.  Set a timer for 5 minutes (I use my mobile phone).

4.  Take as many photos you can (or wish to) until the time is up.

5.  Choose 5 photos to download and share by using the link tool below.

                              You have until the 25th of the month to add your photos.

Please add your link below if you would like to take part.

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