A Private Viewing

The Capsule Poster

The Capsule Poster

I went to an exhibition at the weekend in a super little private gallery in Norfolk called The Capsule.

The Capsule Extension Gazebo

The Capsule Extension Gazebo

The very talented and very lovely daughters of my dear friends John & Kate were invited to exhibit some of their fabulous work in The Capsule and it is their exhibition that I went to see.

John adding the finishing touches

John adding the finishing touches

Jess and Millie are also the grandaughters of Pam and Neal French’s and you can see how they are so talented. It clearly runs in the family.

Getting Ready

Getting Ready

Their work is brilliant and hugely diverse.

Checking everything over

Checking everything over

It is done with nearly everything you can think of to create with – pens, pencils, crayons, paper, cameras, ipads, paint, clay and many more. I really think they could make art with just about anything.

ready for the viewing

ready for the viewing

The exhibition is a collection of just some some of their stuff

Millie's photos

Millie’s photos

Both girls are hugely busy and enthusiastic artists. Millie loves photography and Jess loves ipad art but their talents spread across everything they try.

Jess's ipad art

Jess’s ipad art

And their work has such charm and freedom of expression.

Jess's Clay Sculptures

Jess’s Clay Sculptures

I loved it all.

and the people came

and the people came

The entire day was a delight

Jess and Millie talking to visitors

Jess and Millie talking to visitors

Setting up, chatting to those viewing the exhibition and watching the girls pieces being so well received made for a super atmosphere.

viewing and chatting over a drink

viewing and chatting over a drink

The interest was phenomenal and I hope it has encouraged them to carry on with even more lovely work.

Millie talking through the work

Millie talking through the work

They were so professional in their dealings with people, it was wonderful to watch and I’m sure they learned some valuable lessons.

Jess talking through some orders

Jess talking through some orders

I imagine it would be quite daunting for such young talent to put themselves out there but they seemed to take it very much in their stride and rose to the task wonderfully.

and they keep coming

and they keep coming

Their talent is endless!

in the fading light

in the fading light

It was a completely lovely exhibition.

Millie's street lamp ipad art

Millie’s street lamp ipad art

It looked like the girls had a great time and there were lots of visitors to chat to about their work.

Night Sky

Night Sky

The interest was keen and a lot of their pieces were sold.

riverbank

riverbank

Their sales were across the exhibition; some originals and some limited edition prints which will be despatched to their supporters soon. The sculptures were just about sold out and I don’t think they went home with much.

a lovely lady in her finery

a lovely lady in her finery

I am myself, the the proud owner of a few of their pieces and I am delighted with them.

cute croc

cute croc

So, people, you saw it here first!

Watch this space because I don’t think this is the last you will see of these super talented young ladies.

a very happy Millie

a very happy Millie


Go Pro

Max the Go Pro Mule

Max the Go Pro Mule

JC bought a Go Pro Hero 3 + black edition in August 2014 and has been playing with it and buying bits for it ever since. He is officially in love with this little bit of tech heaven and now our friend’s daughter has one (from Santa) so they can be geeks together.

a few adjustments required

a few adjustments required

Geek aside, it is rather sweet to watch them getting over excited about a tiny box of tricks. There are a good few decades separating them.

nothing unusual about having a big black box on your back

nothing unusual about having a big black box on your back

Anyway, in the interest of Go Pro advancement in our household, our terrier Max has been persecuted with a cumbersome harness and a little camera recording his every move on some of our weekend walks.

camera position adjusted to front

camera position adjusted to front

To be fair, Max is completely ok with all of this and just takes it in his stride.

I think the harness is designed for a larger dog and some adaptions will be needed to the straps but they get by and Max seems unaffected by it. On occasion, he does try to bury into a straw stack or some undergrowth and can’t quite seems to understand why his progress is limited.

returning with a little more than just the camera

returning with a little more than just the camera

JC doesn’t have much footage that he has chosen to keep yet but he is persevering and we have some half decent stills so far.

Cool as a cucumber and couldn't care less

Cool as a cucumber and couldn’t care less

Watch this space, our little Go Pro mule might offer some interesting images to show you yet!


Neal French

walking figure

walking figure

We had the greatest of pleasure in accepting an invitation to a private viewing of Neal French’s latest exhibition that took place in Norwich during October of 2014.

pin ups

pin ups

pin ups

pin ups

We have been to his viewings a number of times before so we knew we were in for a treat.

We aren’t fortunate enough to own much of his work yet although we do have four lovely verdigris wall plaques from the early 90s that represent the four seasons and we love them.

His figurative sculptures are, however, what he is best known for and they are completely wonderful.

the shopper

the shopper

the shopper

the shopper

All of the pieces are taken from life studies sketched into his sketch books in prolific numbers or they are inspired from photographs taken while he and his wonderful wife Pam’s have been on their travels.

the gymnast

the gymnast

He regularly has commissions whether they be The Grosvenor Group for a West End installation, a bakery organisation installation of Figures on a roundabout in Spalding, a group of figures outside a village hall or a private piece in someone’s garden.

A lot of the commissions are life size and wonderful for it but it was lovely to browse through these smaller bronze and ceramic figures that formed the most part of this most recent exhibition.

female figure

female figure

female figure

female figure

They are all exquisite, made all the more lovely when you can see the thumb prints from his hand workings before they are cast and captured but also because some of the subjects are known to us.

Having spent a little time with the gentleman himself (who would not be as prolific or as well organised as he is without the endless and terribly important support of the marvellous Mrs French, Pam), the pieces come alive as he accompanies discussions about them with a fascinating back story.

Added to all of this (as if there needed to be more), he is an incredibly lovely, rather interesting and very talented man indeed.

All of his work is fabulous and all fabulous for many different reasons but my favourite from this exhibition is by far Shopper.

Marvellous!

cappuccino

coffee break


coffee adventures

it's frothy man

it’s frothy man

After such excitement over our gorgeous new coffee machine, we have had some disappointments.

Our lovely machine blew something inside and was no longer safe to use with water and steam spewing out everywhere.

John Lewis were brilliant about it and because they had no De Longhi stock to replace it and it was dangerous, they refunded us in full and the pretty machine was condemned to the bin, unfortunately.

pixie!

pixie!

We were back to our traditional italian stove top coffee maker for a while and still loving our coffee.

But we missed the frothy milk and the espressos that JC likes. Coffee and hot milk done the old fashioned way just wasn’t hacking it.

traditional stove top coffee maker

traditional stove top coffee maker

After all it is still a bit of a faff using the stove top and a milk pan and even a wonderful morning coffee we can get from our wonderfully seasoned old campaigner hasn’t hacked it really.

We are busy and things need to be as easy as possible really

So!!!!

Having taken full advantage of our lovely friends thorough research, we are now the proud owners of a Nespresso Pixie with aerochino!

And it is wonderful

And it is easy

And there is no mess

And it is cheaper than buying beans and ground.

 

And we have found a fantastic clever devise for storing our pods that can be fixed to the underside of the kitchen wall cupboard. Right on hand but not seen. Marvellous.

pod holder

pod holder

Or mounted on the wall like a piece of art.

wall mounted pod holder

wall mounted pod holder

Finding the flavours that are right for us but it is fun trying and we have had some very helpful tips.

shiney and brilliant

shiney and brilliant

I feel coffee love again!!!


Water Baby

retrieve

retrieve

It’s safe to say that Max does not like the water.

He’s spent an extraordinary amount of time getting wet with weekly baths to sort out his skin problem so I can understand the aversion to it.

not letting the stick go

not letting the stick go

But even before the allergy started, he wasn’t the first into the sea or any body of water that you’d throw a stick into.

He might venture into the shallows to retrieve a treat but we have lost a lot of balls and toys on the beaches of norfolk because he just won’t go in to get them if a swim or deep water of any kind is required.

Hamlet and Max waiting for the throw

Hamlet and Max waiting for the throw

Add a bit of competition though and that is a completely different matter as we found out recently.

fish eye olloclip lens on iPhone 5

fish eye olloclip lens on iPhone 5

We have my sis’s JRT, Hamlet with us for a while again and we took Max for a walk with him to a pond nearby and as soon as there was a chance that Hamlet might beat him to the retrieve, he was right in there.

I've got it!!

I’ve got it!!

 

Swimming no less!!! (well, it actually looked a lot like drowning a lot of the time to be fair).

It was such a lovely evening that we stayed for ages, wearing out the boys and enjoying the sun set.

sun set

sun set

 


Hot Dog

the chase

the chase

It feels like an age since we were on the beach with Max and his little blue ball and this warm weather really makes you want to be somewhere with a cool breeze and easy access to the water.

cool damp sand under foot

cool damp sand under foot

This heat is very hard on dogs and owners are frighteningly careless with their 4 legged friend’s wellbeing at this time of year.

retrieved

retrieved

There are too many tales of windscreens having to be smashed to relieve a distressed and possibly dying dog in a hot car.  Too many feet injuries from hot tarmac and surfaces that we protect ourselves against with shoes.

and very pleased with himself

and very pleased with himself

We’re pretty diligent and since Max now has fur (long story), he feels the heat much more than before. He didn’t have a high rate of tolerance for it at the best of times and has been to drag along on his late afternoon/early evening second walk when it is warm and humid.

He is a terrier however and he isn’t beyond baking himself on the decking before retreating to the shade panting like a steam train but he’s able to control that.

It is easy for a little dog to forget about cooling off when he is tanking around enjoying ourself when it is hot. And I think it is easy for owners to forget too.

cool as....

cool as….

The beach offers the chance to cool off in the water and as long as there is fresh water to drink (the effects of drinking sea water are pretty unpleasant, rapid and can be quite dramatic), it’s the best place to be in the sunshine.

hot dog

hot dog

Even so, JC found a novel way to cool Max right down. He was buried up to his neck in cool damp sand while we were taking a well earned rest and a bit of a snooze over the papers.

He loved it and stayed there for ages. He even managed 40 winks at one point.

nodding off

nodding off

 


love bug

IMG_7193

love bug biccies

I’m not much of a baker and although I used to love it as a teenager, I don’t have much time for it these days. There is always something I’d rather be doing if I was honest.

a plate of bugs

a plate of bugs

But Valentines Day is a tricky calendar event when it comes to us girls getting for our boys.

fizz and love bugs

fizz and love bugs

My plan was to make some romantic sweet biscuits for JC.  So, I thought I’d spend friday evening making these cute little love bug biscuits.

It was quite therapeutic and fun too although I am clearly short of certain tools such as icing bag and nozzles which meant the icing bug head, tail and spots are painted on with a brush.

half finished love bugs (I like these and will make them like this next time)

half finished love bugs (I like these and will make them like this next time)

Not my best artistic endeavours but they are tasty and look really cute.

shadows of the heart cut outs

shadows of the heart cut outs

Might have to rethink next year though as I’m not sure they went down quite as I had planned. LOL.