Category Archives: stone

Photo Challenge Round-Up: Strength

Version 2

tightly held

strong hand from above

gives support


Jane at Rainbow Junkie……. …………… …… …….hurray for strong sons

Cathy at Nanacathy…….. ……. ……….. …… …….so much strength in this picture

💜 me at Wild Daffodil……… ……… ……….. ……RSJ

💜 Melissa at The Aran Artisan ……………… ……beauty

💜 Jen at Letthesewingbegin ……………………. …..Welsh spirit

💜 Denis at Haiku Hound…….. ……….. ………..crashing waves

Christina at A Look at the Little Things ……. …standing together

Dorris at Dig With Dorris ………. ………… …….kapow! red!


The 💜 denotes a post that is also joining in with Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge – it’s fun to combine the two.

Please let me know if I have missed anyone

Thank you everyone for your extremely STRONG entries this week

Four fab photo fiends created the 52 Week Photo Challenge, we are:

As far as we know it is the only photo challenge which gives you 52 weeks of subjects set out for you in advance. Click here to see them all.

We’d love you to join in any time you fancy

Why not dive in with the next prompt


Photo Challenge Round-Up:Round



Joining in for a round of photo challenge magic are:

Jane at Rainbow Junkie……. …………… ……reflective

Cathy at Nanacathy…….. ……. ……….. …….spin

💜 me at Wild Daffodil……… ……… ………. . floral

💜 Denis at Haiku Hound…….. ……….. ……orbital

Christina A Look at the Little Things ……. …meow

Dorris at Dig With Dorris ………………….in the garden


The 💜 denotes a post that is also joining in with Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge – it’s fun to combine the two.

Please let me know if I have missed anyone

Thank you everyone for your well-rounded entries.

Four fab photo fiends created the 52 Week Photo Challenge, we are:

Next up


Join in any time and leave a link to your post in the comments

Vase OM and EoMV


Pan guards the entrance

flowers celebrate wildness

and happy buzzing bees


The little stone statue of Pan was found in a reclamation yard many years ago, and then found again yesterday whilst I was weeding, hidden under some rampant aquilegias. I thought he would be better placed guarding the fairy entrance to the underworld under the oak tree, but first he had a job to do – modelling as the prop for this week’s In a Vase on Monday, hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Pop across for a gorgeous floral feast and a tour of gardens across the world.


In the Vase: lavender, birdsfoot trefoil, cerinthe, lychnis, alchemilla mollis, and a purple thistle-flowered weed that I don’t know the name of, much loved by tiny bees.

My Flower of the Day is the BFT


with its tiny visitor


I’m staying in the garden to show you my EOMV hosted by Helen, The Patient Gardener

DSC_0006 (1)

Still lots to do but I’m getting there. I have moved a veg trug into the cage to get away from marauding sparrows. The wood was rotting so I have treated it and it awaits compost and plants.

Below is the view looking from East to West, complete with old bits of carpet keeping the strawberries clear of the soil.DSC_0003 (1)

The Autumn fruiting raspberries seem determined to take over the world – their lush growth is wonderful to see.

DSC_0005 (1)

On Cathy’s advice I did not cut back last year’s canes in February and I am getting a lovely early raspberry crop – Yum!!!! They are a bit smaller than last year and a bit more difficult to find under all the new growth, but worth it for being early.

The loganberry is magnificent and I have already had a few berries. It seems very happy with its north-facing position.DSC_0008 (1)

At last some decent gardening weather has turned up so I’d better get out there and clear more weeds.

Thanks for dropping by.


I’m itching to tell you all about my day at the Chelsea Flower Show – Oh what a blissful day!

BUT…… ever since I got home I’m newly inspired to be out in my garden, with not much time for putting a blog post together – so this is a bit rushed but I just had to get a snippet out to you.

My sister got the tickets on Members Day (Tuesday) and we got there at 7.45am, ready to be let through that gates at 8.

One of the first things we saw was Jo Swift being filmed doing interviews

He seemed to be doing them for most of the morning. (click on any photo to see them larger) Sadly my Nikon isn’t working so I only had a little pocket camera with me.

We did a quick whizz round the 17 show gardens before the crowds arrived, here are pictures of just two…


This one by Chris Beardshaw will be installed as a roof garden at Great Ormond Street Hospital as a soothing retreat for the parents of the children in the hospital.


Going to the show is such a special experience as you can appreciate all the intricate details that are everywhere you look, like this gorgeous screen of oak leaf cut-outs.


The one below was my personal favourite designed by Andy Sturgeon:



I just love the sculpture and how the colours blended together. When I have a quiet moment I must look up that orange spiky plant, there are plant lists on the show website.


and the garden was awarded Best in Show.

Have you been watching Chelsea on the TV? Did you have a favourite garden?

to be continued…… I must get back to the weeding….



mar2010 006

mossy layers invite

tiny dragons to lay eggs

deep in our psyche


A response to Our Photo Challenge prompt: LAYER

And Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge prompts: DRAGON and INVITE

With Miss E as a guest prompter this week – so exciting!

It has been wonderful for me to read all the intriguing haiku that have been created around these words – Miss E will be so thrilled and encouraged – can’t wait til tomorrow when we can read them all together.

A huge thank you to Ronovan for giving her this marvellous opportunity and experience.

The Haiku

mossy layers invite tiny dragons to lay eggs

tiny dragons to lay eggs deep in our psyche

I am a Scorpio Dragon myself – there is a fascinating post by ‘Work in Progress’ if you are interested in this sort of thing.

A bit stuck this week, I went through my photos and found this photo of a wall in Gloucestershire I took in 2010 and then it all came together.

To join in just leave a link to your LAYER photo in the comments on Cathy’s Post, or here, and I will include it in the round up on Sunday.

Next Week’s Photo Prompt





down, across and up

life follows an unknown path

tread lightly with joy


Joining week 15 of our Photo Challenge, click on the link to see all the upcoming prompts …..

…..a few of us like to combine this challenge with Ronovan’s weekly Haiku Challenge

Ron’s prompts this week are LIFE and PATH which is perfect for the photo I have chosen this week as paths in Japanese gardens are often designed as a metaphor for life.

Next week’s Photo Subject is REFLECTION




a life of giving

carved in stone


This Haiku is inspired by 3 people this week.

Firstly Jamie and her Photo Challenge prompt word: REMEMBER

Secondly Ronovan and his Haiku challenge prompt words: LIFE and GIVE

And thirdly by Haiku Hound Denis who left a wonderfully encouraging comment in response to my post Windy Haiku

Each month I meet up with a bi-lingual haiku group that is organised by a Japanese Haiku master, (mistress). She encourages us to write 3/5/3 in English as this translates almost perfectly to 17 syllables in Japanese………Be adventurous and have a go at a couple of 3/5/3/ after 5/7/5 and see how you feel!!!”

I’ve had a go and it feels GOOD!

Thank you Denis!

The photo was taken in a cemetery in Tokyo, where I went to find a peaceful spot to have my lunch. The wooden memorial boards (Tohba) are carved to mark an anniversary, either of the date of death, or birth or a special occasion.

Whilst writing this haiku I realised, everyone’s grave marks a life of giving, each one of us gives something during our lifetime …….

When a close friend of mine died many years ago, I had the task of choosing the inscription for her headstone. I adapted a card that I was sent at the time and chose:

“Those who give of themselves live on within the hearts of others”

I had this in mind as I was writing the Haiku.



Sunset’s orange light

Anticipating dark night

Shadows to delight


The call went out

Gather on the cliffs tonight

For cheerful magic DSC_0646 DSC_0652 DSC_0657 DSC_0661

Bluedaisyz Photo Challenge: ORANGE

Ronovan’s Haiku prompts: CHEER and CALL 

Location: Durdle Door, south coast of England

Free Shipping worldwide in the Society6 shops til 25th. Oct.

Here’s a link to mine: Wild Daffodil at Society6

Wednesday Walk – Hardy’s Monument

Good news – bad news – good news.

When my sister was staying we met up with my son and his two boys: Big Bro 5 and Little Bro 3 and went off to the Hardy Monument monumentjust above the village of Portesham, where my sister and I lived with our family as teenagers. Recently the monument to Admiral Hardy (of ‘Kiss me Hardy’ fame) has been renovated and acquired by the National Trust. For £2 you can climb to the top and on a good day, see as far as the Isle of Wight.

Good news: It was a good day, look at that clear blue sky!

I had checked the Monument would be open from 10.30 am and we arrived at 11am.

Bad news: Annoyingly the car park was locked shut and we had to park a little further along the road. We thought that by the time we got there the monument would sure to be open, and

Good News: it gave the boys a chance to ride their bikes.2boysnbikes

and for us to have a walk and enjoy the views


if we hadn’t made this walk we would not have come across this wonderful stone seatseatinviting us to …
be still breathe close your eyes


Just perfect on such a day.

The view was hazy looking out towards the Isle of Portlandhazy

but the sun was gloriously warm and the boys had fun cycling across the heath amongst the gorse and the heatherheathoffand in the old quarryhurray

where the boys (both big and little) had fun climbing up the slopes.

Have you been on a walk in your neck of the woods recently? Leave a link in the comments if you’d like to, I’d love to walk along with you.



Photographer keeps

Harping on about shadows

Clear shapes made with joy


I took Miss E stone carving with Sarah from the Sculpture Hut and with the chippings we had a bit of fun creating a picture for this week’s photo prompt: SHADOW

Go see Cathy’s graphic response.

I think this also qualifies for Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge.

Ronovan’s Haiku Prompts this week: HARP and CLEAR.

I absolutely LOVE the sound of the harp and remembering a wonderful Christmas in the candle-lit Hot Spring Baths at Esalen, when a man and woman dressed in white angel robes, complete with magnificently huge angel wings, played to us on harps as we lay in the hot steamy water – truly heavenly!


harps played by angels

fanning strings with feathered wings

dancing with my heart


Al the Author inspired a great bit of banter this week.

Next week’s Bluedaisy Photo Challenge: LISTEN

What would you photograph?

Wednesday Walk continued

In my last ‘Wednesday Walk’ post I left you half-way round a Cerne Giant circular walk, about to descend the hill to Minterne Parva


a tiny ancient hamlet tucked away amongst the treeseggs

with its 18th Century circular building believed to be either a granary or a cock-fighting ring, next to the stump of a medieval stone crossDSC_0678

the trees with just a hint of Autumn stood out against the oh-so-blue skyDSC_0679

and then further along, just by the lane and next to a little stream there are 4 slate posts created by Rachel Jackson. Carved on them are the local field names found on an old map from 1728, courtesy of Lord and Lady Digby.


DSC_0763once over the main road you head for Up Cerne

Here is a link to another walk you can do in the areaDSC_0689 DSC_0690 DSC_0691

A double avenue of trees leading seemingly nowhere, just after Up Cerne Manor. I’m entering this in Cee’s last Which Way Challenge. I’m sad to see this challenge  go. DSC_0695

Turn right at the end of the trees up a chalk lane past fields of corn,


then up over the hill and down through an ancient hazel wood where I once heard a nightingale, to see Cerne Abbas in the distance.DSC_0701

A walk through an ancient deer park takes you down into the valley once more.DSC_0717 DSC_0718

to the foot of the Giant’s HillDSC_0719

to find a tea room in the villageDSC_0721

serving a yummy cream tea.DSC_0722

Next time we might try one of the two pubs.DSC_0725

After our tea we walked back past the creaky old housesDSC_0726 DSC_0727 DSC_0728 DSC_0729

taking the path along the river back to the car park.DSC_0739 DSC_0742

What a gorgeous walk! I’ll be going again soon!

I’d love to see where you have been walking, just leave a link in the comments below.

Travel Theme: Grey


St Elvis CoveGrey2







Linking in with ‘Where’s my Backpack’s Travel Theme

After seeing Cee’s Travel Theme: Grey post

That is my daughter and Miss E you can see in their wet-suits going in for a swim whilst Master R, Little Miss M and I did some exploring around the rocks.

A Walk on Wednesday.



Haiku Challenge to include: VIE and REACH

to vie for fairness

and reach quiet enjoyment

 should it be this tough




Hard slate, broken glass

Trouble lurking near softness

Today feels like this


Photo Challenge: TEXTURE – So many pictures vying to be here for this subject! But in the end I chose this one as there are several textures and I notice the feeling of tension/danger that broken glass adds to this picture against the soft bouncy-ness of the curry plant.

As I was composing the Haiku I realised what a metaphor it is for how my days feel to me right now.

I have hinted at a very difficult legal situation running along in the background of my happy, family, creative life. It has reached a critical point at the moment – the photo fits perfectly! Please send me loving vibes for a swift and satisfactory resolution PLEASE!!!! Thank you!!! ❤


Other Photo Challenge entries: Texture: Erika, extraordinary – creativity happens!; Melissa: you get 3 haikus and some more street art as a bonus in Melissa’s post; Jamie: a subject that always grabs me too; Garry, a beautifully soft look in the eye

Next Week: EMOTION what photo would you choose?


hello“Hello!”fish spine





fanthis is my favourite photo from last Saturday morning – I will print it BIG

fellow a fellow early-morning beachcomber




spikesthere is something about this I love too, but not sure I would want it on my wall – do you have a favourite?


Delightful hours of meandering along – no thoughts other than jetsam

(the last time I did this was about a year ago in Abu Dhabi – it’s been far too long!)

Beachcombing slowly                                                                                                        On an icy morning                                                                                               Delighting in sunshine                                                                                                 Ideas forming

A fishbone, a pebble,                                                                                                            A net and some shell,                                                                                                         To me, these are treasures…                                                                                              And you, as well?

Walk to Stinsford Church ….

walk1From Dorchester, my friend and I walked across Grey’s Bridge  – that is an egret you can just see, standing at the water’s edge – I must get a better zoom lens! – and then along a path by the water meadows

pathto Stinsford Church, where a cosy entrance invites you in ….

walk2 Thomas Hardy, one of our most famous local authors, went to services here. To say my friend is a fan of Thomas Hardy is an understatement! And she is very knowledgable about him, telling me little anecdotes along our walk – she told me he used to sit in the seat just below the ornate plaque in the photo below, which is on the left of the aisle as you walk in.


This is the gallery above the entrance, where the minstrels would have played before the installation of the organ. g

We both love to read epitaphs (you can see more in the slideshow of the Ringstead walk ) and see another Dorset Church on my Stourpaine Walk.walk4band I’m always interested to see the needlepoint kneelers, all those hours of beautiful handwork


gorgeous maple leaves still lingering into winterwalk4f

and an urn that looks to me like a Nursery Rhyme King with moustache, sitting at the gates to the graveyardwalk4g

where we visited Thomas Hardy’s memorial stonewalk4d walk4ehis ashes are in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey

walk4hLook at the workmanship in the urns either side of a gateway along the path from the church towards the river

walk4j w5bheading towards Bockhampton ………. (to be continued)

For anyone interested in following Hardy’s footsteps there are many wonders to see in and around Dorchester, go to the Tourist Information Centre and pick up a Hardy Trail Guide. A must is the house he lived in, Max Gate, which is opened by the National Trust from April to October. And also Hardy’s Cottage, Thomas Hardy’s birthplace, nestling at the edge of Thorncombe Woods, a great place for a woodland walk.

“A Pair of Blue Eyes” by thomas Hardy is being serialised on BBC Radio 4 Extra a the moment :

Available for 4 weeks.

Portland Ripple

ripplestDecember sunshne! So out with the camera for a ripple fashion shoot.

rockthe colours remind me of Portland – the stone, the sea, the grass and the lichen

owla rather coy owl


with a ripple wing, and teasel tiara


and a not so cosy armchair


or throne ………    Tout Quarry is just one of Portland’s many hidden gems.

You can see the colours used in order in the next post.

At the Beach Hut

Glorious day

the races next field tease trsck

to sit and create


with a wonderful bunch of artists and


and a perky little terrier ……..

Clay play


After the slow business and concentration of learning the new skill of stone carving, Miss E thoroughly enjoyed working with clay and made this delightful leaping dolphin


Exploring a familiar medium in  a different way

The dolphin was left to dryD and the conversation turned to how the clay was used and stored etc, so Sarah showed Miss E how to recycle clay by smashing it with a hammer,


mixing it with water…………. and swidging it about


and then ..


which when held up to the light

000lig backlight

gained magical halos where the paper had absorbed the water.

It was wonderful to watch this process unfold as E was supported by Sarah to explore things as they emerged, E always taking a next creative step with what she was doing.

Even the board on which the model had stood provided a shape that to Miss E looked like a lion’s headtiger

can you see it?


and so a print was made.

For want of a printing press Granny’s great weight was used and because even that was not quite enough to make a decent print, I picked Elfie up and we jumped up and down on the board and … ta dah!


She now had a picture of a .. oh , it turned into a tiger prowling towards the viewer. E was down on her hands and knees demonstrating just how the tiger was moving …

tiger22it’s no wonder Miss E recently won a prize at school for story writing – very proud Granny!!!

The three of us were entirely absorbed for those two and a half hours of wonderful exploration – a very special time  – and so lovely to be able to share it with you all.

Sarah runs workshops for all ages and family groups – tis a fabulous experience and makes a great present. Take a look at this website to find out more.

Sculpture Hut

Miss E (my 6 year old granddaughter) asked me if she could ‘do some art’ with Sarah at the Sculpture Hut and so I booked a session and off we went with our packed lunch and warm coats.

E just loves Sarah’s studio and enjoyed looking at, and talking to Sarah about, different pieces there



she decided to have a go at some stone carving, trying out different tools0001a

and how to make shapes and marks on the stone.


She worked with a chisel and a mallet to make a carving of a shark leaping up over the edge of the piece of stone and then did some

filefiling to soften the edge.





Stone carving is hard work for a 6 year old but she worked for about 45 mins before needing a break.

She discovered that when you come across a fossilised shell in the stone the stone is harder to work.


We went down to sea to look at the rocks that had been broken by the storms and found fossils in them.


and found a warm sunny ledge to have our picnic lunch on and watch the fishermen



and do some knitting – the crocheted blanket was great charity shop find which lives at the hut and the knitting will be a jacket for Miss E.



It was a really special creative time at Granny’s Hut

Miss E also worked with clay – pictures of her creations to follow in another post.

The Craft of Writing


I’ve been itching to write a post about the writing workshop I went to at Walford Mill in Wimborne, Dorset, led by Simon Olding and Sara Roberts. It was called ‘The Craft of Writing; Writing about Craft. 3 hours Fee: £35.

Writing has never come easily to me – at school, I would write something I was pleased with, only to get poor marks and hear other brilliant pieces read out in class. Those childhood memories can hang around to haunt us can’t they!



So I was a teeny bit nervous climbing up and up the wooden stairs to the Learning Loft





However, the atmosphere that Simon and Sarah created was friendly and non-threatening.


We were asked to think of two words to describe good writing about craft and after a discussion, one word to describe bad writing.

Some excellent examples of good writing were shown to us and after a coffee break, we were given an exercise to do.

We had 25 minutes to find and object or group of objects in the Gallery, for which to write a 50 word label.

The label was to be directed at a particular group of people of our own choice. We would then read out our descriptions and receive feedback from our tutors and fellow students.

I was so glad the time was tight and I had to make a quick decision on what to write about, otherwise that process alone could have taken me ages.


As always, I was drawn to textiles and a collection of Ceramic Patchwork by Zoe Hillyard


avase And directed my comments to a group of creative people, maybe students or school children:

“Ceramic Patchwork to add zest to creative recycling.   Doesn’t it just make you want to go home and smash a pot.   Zoe offers a new relationship with the unloved and forgotten object.   Where does this take you? Would you use different covering materials? Would you keep the original shape? Would you add collage and texture?

Zoe Hillyard – what will she do next?” (62 words)


The hardest part was to keep my words to 50, which some people managed to do exactly.


I was fascinated by this collection and am wondering about having a go myself, but mine would be much rougher and textural as nowadays I don’t have the patience for the amazing finish Zoe gives to her pieces.

Some of the other objects that my fellow students chose to write about were:



these exquisitely painted pebblesafungi

a fabric representation of fungi in decay


and some wildly whirling glass bowls by:


I was amazed at what we all managed to write in such a short time and I left feeling more confident than when I walked in.

So thank you Simon and Sara, I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

And Walford Mill is always worth a visit.