Life at Kerjacob .

Life at Kerjacob .

Monday, 31 May 2010

Festival of Ceramics at la Poterie.

Yesterday I went to the ceramics fair at la Poterie, a village near Lamballe which was historically a village producing huge amounts of pots. The clay was good there and they had plenty of wood to heat the kilns.
Now there is a little museum and workshop for ceramic workshops but each year they have a fair for potters to exhibit their work.
I was bought a small raku bowl as my Fete des Meres presents from my beautiful cats.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Making wishes for happiness.

This time last year I was asked to design a card for two friends who were getting married after 20 years of living together.
Eleven couples wanted something special. What a wonderful thing to do but how to make it . I decided upon a box that would contain individual cards with collages and quotes that I hoped would bring joy to their hearts.
It took a long time to make but every hour was enjoyable.
Creating the collages and then searching for quotes that said exactly what I thought would be wanted.
The end result was a success, the couples who had asked me to make it were delighted.
On the wedding day the married couple were given the box and the tears followed.
Later in the summer we all met up in the South of France to continue the wedding celebrations at their holiday home in Lagrasse.
The special box was carefully brought from England for more friends to see and enjoy.
This year I intend to make more boxes and have begun to think of ideas for collages and will again enjoy searching for special quotes. These boxes I will sell one day if I can part with them.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Planting again.

Again more sunshine and more work outside.
The cats are loving this weather and find places to sleep in the flower beds when its too warm for them.
The garden is looking very good and I love being out there working.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

A busy week !!

I have been a long time in giving any news but what a week.

I've been busy in the garden getting more planting up done.
We had very hot weather up until Monday of this week and at last we've had some good heavy rain.
Luckily we have our own well so we've been able to water the garden especially all the vegetables that are pushing through.

This weekend it was the annual Art Rock festival in St Brieuc.
Every year we go and this time was the best ever as we had the chance to go to the main concerts with French friends.
We saw Pete Doherty on the Saturday night and a rock singer we thought was wonderful called Rachid Taha , Mick Jones from The Clash also appeared with him and his musicians.
On the Sunday we saw Jacques Dutronc for the first time.
He was excellent and the French young and old loved him .
We were treated to visiting the VIP area and drank champagne and ate delicious food.
How lucky we are.
We have some wonderful French friends and love being with them all.

Today I have been busy potting up more plants for the plant sale. This time its been pumpkins, broad beans, pumpkins and African violets .

I have also got laryngitis, not caused by singing at the weekend !!
So I have been very quiet but very busy, sadly it means I won't be able to go to my choir tonight.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Sunshine and ranunculus in Dinan.

Yesterday I went to Dinan.
I had to pick my husband up from the airport at Dinard which is nearby so took the advantage of a little bit of a day out.
Dinan is a beautiful old town with steep cobbled streets leading up from the River Rance to the town.
When I was walking I came across these ranunculus flowers placed in enamel jugs on the table of a creperie.
They just looked so beautiful in the sunshine I just had to take some photos of them.
Today there is no sun and still so cold.
My planted pots are still sheltering in the caravan and I've lit the wood stove.
Tonight we have friends coming for supper and then we're all off to the music night at St Gilles so it will be dancing 'till 1am!!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Singing, sanding and planting.

So it was off to choir practice last night and an enjoyable 2 hours.
When I'm there I just switch off to everything except singing.
Last night a new song in French.
So not only do I have to sing but try to sing with French accent !!

Today the cold weather continues and a strong wind too.
I've been planting up my window troughs but as there is talk of frost I've had to try to protect them. So they'll be in the caravan tonight !

I bought an Indian cupboard at a troc about 2 weeks ago and have been working on it to make it look a bit more 'distressed' as it was rather too bright .
Today I've waxed it and now I'm really quite pleased with it.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Armistice day and finding treasures.

The French have a holiday for the Armistice and there are lots of trocs and other events happening.
Today I went off to Rostrenen to see what I could find.
I always enjoy looking about and seeing if I can find any treasures.
There was one stall with lots of old buttons and things like that.
It must be the influence of my Nan's button box when I was little, I loved them then and still love buttons now.
I managed to find 3 that I liked and will use them on the bags that I'm making.
Also found a lovely old paper from 1912 that is full of embroidery things. It will be great for me to use in my collages.
So with my little treasures and a' tradition' baguette I returned home happily.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Before they go.

I thought I must put some photographs of the spring bulbs before they are finished.
Soon it will be time for me to plant up the pots ready for the summer.
I transfer the bulbs complete with their compost into plastic pots and put them away for a rest until the winter.

Always something different.

Today it is cold and little sunshine but I have many things to do inside and I really find it hard if the sun is shining not to be out in the garden.
Last night we went to a concert in a tiny little village about 15 minutes away from here.
We drove past the cows and the lovely old stone farmhouses until we came to the village hall in a tiny little place.
The coloured lights all lit and standing outside 5 musicians from Nepal in their traditional costumes.
In we went and the walls and ceiling of the hall were decorated with printed Indian fabrics and on small tables there were candles.
We sat and listened to the music from Nepal which was very different, then it was the turn of the musicians from Madagascar. Their music was so alive and happy and I noticed how many people had smiles on their faces.
It was a wonderful evening and as always living here there are surprises which you wouldn't expect in such a rural area.
However culture and tradition are important and to celebrate that with others is always good no matter where you are.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Inspiration comes from a 15th century mural.

After my first series of paintings based on the flowers around here I wanted to do more work.
One day we visited a church not too far from here.
About 10 years ago work had been done on the walls. Whilst removing plaster a wonderful fragment of a 15th century mural was found.
So that was the start.
My first piece was to do a copy of part of the mural, a real challenge but one that just took over.
I wanted to work on it all the time.
I continued to be inspired by granite and wood carvings in churches, many still showing tiny fragments of their original paint. All the carvings would have been painted originally.
At the exhibition the first piece to sell was the copy of the mural. I loved that piece because it had been the start of my inspiration and of course it was good to have someone else love it too.

The granite angel stays here on my kitchen wall, I love it too much to sell it.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The arrival of three surprises.

So to the surprises!
One evening, about 3 years ago, Malcolm told me
that we had a problem in the barns, in fact he said we had 3 problems !!! I was to follow him.
So up the ladder in the dark I went and in a cardboard box, one of so many up there, were 3 siamese kittens with their mother.
She had been around in the garden for a week or so and seemed hungry and we had felt sorry for it. We didn't know what sex she was and certainly didn't know she was pregnant then.
So there we were 4 cats more.
Their mother was so good but she wouldn't let us near her and that we had to respect.
Gradually 2 of the kittens wanted to come and we were able to stroke them, even hold them.
Weeks went by and we nursed the two boys through cat flu, sadly their sister, who was so beautiful wouldn't come near and wanted always to be with her mother.
They had won our hearts and we named them, Fleur, Samuel and Jacob.
Eventually Fleur and her mother left, they preferred the wild life and Samuel and Jacob stayed.
Always together, playing, eating sleeping curled up, so happy.
Then one evening Jacob didn't come home, which he always did. We looked for him, we called for him, Samuel didn't settle and we went to bed hoping that Jacob would be outside in the morning.
He wasn't and later we found him, he was dead. I remember walking back along our lane Malcolm carrying his poor body, we were both crying and feeling so empty and also feeling so sad for Samuel.
Jacob stays with us surrounded by roses in the garden and I know that we both sometimes spend a few minutes in the garden talking to him.
Samuel has now healed in his loss for his brother and happily now Tortue often chooses to curl up and sleep with him. He loves that.

Monday, 3 May 2010

The Golden Shoes.

Just had to add this one from Saturday night.
We ( the women ) all wanted to try them on too!!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Music, cakes, dancing and friends.

The day starts grey but who can complain after all the wonderful sunshine we've had.
Check up on the garden and more signs of growth from the onions and garlic.
In my little tiny greenhouse the salad leaves are coming through. Still exciting to see things grow.
Remember cress growing on cotton wool when you were little, taking it home and eating some ?

Lunchtime and we go down to meet up for the start of birthday celebrations.
The cake with the sparklers goes down well.

Early evening and we're at the party.
We sit with our French friends and enjoy the excellent spread.
Then the music and dancing begins and we're not home 'till 2. am.
A good day with plenty of fun , friends and excellent music.