1.5.08

Goose at the match

It is trying, oh so hard, to be spring here - we have bluebells carpeting the woods with a gentle blue haze -




There is Cuckoo Pint, leering suggestively from the verge -





Country folk have always had fun with the nick-naming of this plant and it is variously known as 'Lords and Ladies' 'Parson in the Pulpit' 'Sweethearts', ''Devils and Angels, 'Cows and Bulls' and even (more modernly) 'Willy Lily'. But it's proper name is the Arum Lily. It is now classified as poisonous, though in Elizabethan times its roots were dried and used as starch or as an arrow root substitute. Apparently - in its dried form - it loses its poisonous properties and was also used in love potions- but please don't try this at home.


The swallows are back, diving joyously around the farms, gorging on mosquitoes, though they can't be enjoying the cold wet weather we are enduring at the moment.




And, whatever the weather, it is the start of the village cricket season again and time for aching limbs and muddy whites.




Happy discovery; my needle felting basket fits perfectly into my rucksack, and thus can travel with me on the bike to cricket matches. As most matches last for at least 6 hours, this is valuable work ti
me and with any luck I get to sit in the sun. Or else freeze my fingers off in an easterly wind. Much interest in what I was doing and a steady trickle of people coming over to enquire what I was doing. Not one had heard of needle felting, and were intrigued by the progress; more often they were amazed at how long it took - eight hours minimum or in the case of Lanky Lil, a total of fifteen. The most rewarding enquiry was from a very intelligent young girl who asked me what I was doing and got the full lecture, from how felt used to be made, to the construction of a toy and how I also paint them as artworks. Not only was she polite, genuinely interested and actually listened, she made more intelligent observations than many adults. And - oh blessed 21st century child - I didn't have to explain what a blog was!




Lil enjoyed the fresh air and the sun, and I was so absorbed in working on her that the afternoon flew by; Andy reported that I missed the courting butterflies cavorting past and the kestrel hovering overhead. She turned out larger than expected, and instead of felting her wings to her torso, I added moveable ones, so that she can march - kind of.




I have a mega-apology to make to a lot of people...a few days ago, while trying to add one friend to my Stumble page, I added my entire Yahoo address book...all 269 of them. This was a complete mistake on my part; I pressed the send button before unchecking everyone. Doh! And so they will all have received e-mails on my behalf, pointing them to the site. It's a good little tool for spot-finding sites and blogs you might be interested in, but I really did not intend to bother everyone, especially not the various clients and art directors...though it is nice that some people have linked up to me and found it useful. Others probably did not; I'm sorry. It was a genuine accident, I hate being bothered by that kind of thing myself, which makes it worse. I would fall on my needle felting needle in remorse, but it would almost certainly break.

27 comments:

gilflingsdesigns said...

Oh lanky lil is fantastic!! It is great that you can take your felting on the road with you - I love those little projects that can be worked on anywhere - i hopeless at just 'sitting' and always have to be doing something.

Frances said...

It was great to get outdoors with you and Lil. Your spring signs are so beautiful and full of grace.
xo

Caroline B said...

Lanky Lil is gorgeous, I do like the jointed wings (my little dogs have button joints too, so cute!) The only problem I had with being put in touch with Stumble was the time I wasted being so engrossed! I may have to remove it as I can't sit for hours looking at paintings when I should be doing them!

Soozcat said...

Oh, Lil is lovely.

In the Americas the arum is usually called the jack-in-the-pulpit, although I find "willy lily" hilarious.

I like the basic concept behind StumbleUpon but am a bit wary of the execution, as its toolbar has been classified as spyware or having spyware-like "undocumented features." (Yeah, I'm paranoid.)

June said...

Love Lanky Lil, her face is perfectly captured.

Now I feel like I wasn't really invited to join you at Stumbleupon!!!! Not to worry, I probably won't take up the offer, but it was nice to be asked. I'll pretend it was intentional. :o)

Jess said...

Lovely, lovely pictures, and when I saw Lil's head peeping out I thought it was a REAL goose! We saw some Canada geese at the weekend at Bowood House lake, very fiercly and noisily protecting their full nests!

carolyn said...

Oh my Lanky Lil is just adorable and whatever you do don't fall on your needle felting needle, I NEED to see more of your creations!

French Knots said...

Lanky Lil is brilliant! I find sitting doing nothing hard and like to have a little something in my bag to keep me busy, never as lovely as Lil though.

Soozcat said...

Oh yes, and Eloise arrived today! Much squee-age and dancing about ensued. Thank you!

frazzy dazzles said...

What a wonderful way of passing the time while watching the swing and the listening to the sound of the leather on the willow....Lil looks like she is loving every second of it! - Jen

Rachael Rabbit said...

We have a great photo that my father took of my sister and I picking bluebells from woods in Buriton (near Petersfield) .... we spent hours and we had our arms totally laden with them. I love bluebells ... every time I see them I think of that day.

kate smudges said...

Ah, the bluebells are quite the sight for these flower-starved eyes. I would sometime love to see a field of bluebells like this.

Lanky Lil is so sweet with her moveable arms and the little heart on her foot.

No wonder the Arum Lily has so many inventive names ... what fun!

Girl Chasing Rainbows said...

You are on fire at the moment with these creations Gretel, Uploading new ones every time i check....do you print there tags your self or have you had them done at a print house - they look great! (Im a graphic Designer so the typeface and print geek in me likes to know these things).

Sara (Facebook Sara Garrard - i thought i'd let you see my blog link ,i may have some questions to ask you about editing how it looks and adding all the extras on...when i get a minute, they are so rare!) x

Gordon Fraser said...

HEEHEEHEE Gretel! Nightmare moment or what!?

I was totally into Stumble then today it seems to have relocated.....trying to sort it out again!

Love all your new stuff on here!!!

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Like the pic of Lil watching Cricket. You always coax such lovely shapes out of that wool, amazing really........

julie said...

she really is wonderful Gretel. You have such an eye for freeing the creatures from the wool - I'm not at all surprised that you drew some interest at the cricket match - I for one would love to watch you work.

Alison said...

Now she is a VERY fine goose.
Take care,
Alison xx

elizabethm said...

Lil is fabulous. Liked Stumbleupon too so no apology necessary.

Chris.P said...

The link was an error!!

...Just when i was beginning to feel wanted:¬(

Stephanie Roth said...

Gretel! Each new creation is more fabulous than the next! The jointed arms on this one are so charming. Look out, Chicka, this could be the beginning of something that takes off (look out Margarete Steiff)!

belinha said...

Hello!Me again!Loved reading about the flowers and animals.Here(Portugal) we have now very warm weather.On Friday we had 29ยบ and over the rice fields lots of storks were flying in circles.It's time to build nests!Please, do a felt stork.Or maybe it is not too original, is it?!!;-) Itold already on Flickr- I bought a needle and some wool, I want to try it!Your goose is lovely and the small heart on the foot is cute!Have a nice Sunday!

Viviane Schwarz said...

Oh goodness me, she is WONDERFUL!!!

Jaimee said...

Those Bluebells are so dreamy!

And Lanky Lil leaves my in amazement of your work, yet, again.
I love all your creation!

natural attrill said...

I wondered why you'd sent me that link!
Lanky Lil is marvelous.
You've started Toby at it now, I keep coming across creatures he's needlefelted this last couple of weeks, but complains that 'they arent as good as Gretels!'
P.

Pearl said...

Lil is just beautiful!!!
She looks like quite the character.

Hope you are doing well. Thank you for giving us a peek of your spring.

Hugs,

Cotswoldgent said...

Ah Summer is certainly on its way, although I have not managed to see many swallows.I'm suprised you were not serving tea for the cricketers as well as making Lil!

Alina Chau said...

so cute!