Back in 2006 I visited the volcanic area of the Avergne. Little did I know then that in just ten years I would be permanently settling just about hour North in Creuse. I always adored France and vacationers there every other year, with Scotland and the North of England as my walking holidays in between.… Continue reading Sketch Avergne
As you may know from my previous posts, I am finally back to art. Hurrah. I completed my pintade portraits and a few on grumpy Bumble goose but hadn’t tackled a full illustration as practise for my future story book projects. Keeping with Bumble I hoped to achieve a colourful and friendly illustration. I am… Continue reading Bumble Goose
Not the best title for a post but had to put that pun in somewhere! Finally we hauled the extremely heavisome ceramic mug printing machine to the farmhouse. Our factory in nearby Gouzon was too cold and we still have a tonne of work to insulate the printing studio. Choosing what project to prioritize and… Continue reading Being a mug!
I started my new project last week, drawing a set of illustrations of my goose Bumble. About two years ago I started writing a book, a collection if stories with the hope that I would somehow illustrate it too. How I would do that was rather beyond me at the time. I hadn’t drawn much… Continue reading Getting to grips with the goose
A couple of weeks ago I posted about finding coloured pencils. A lightbulb moment after a very long time stressing about what medium and what subjects to paint, lit up. Paint. That was the problematic word. Actually the whole acrylic and watercolour thing had turned me off art and although I dabbled a little back… Continue reading It’s an art start
Freezing today but luckily Penquin my Pekin duck had laid an egg. It was still warm and I held it in my pocket between feeding all the feathery family. My girls are now three years old and egg laying is sporadic. With the winter chill all the hens have slowed and from twenty hens I… Continue reading Boys will be boys
Note these are not my drawings, but come from a great book called The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Kevin Cornwell. For a long time I have struggled to find an art medium I love. Watercolour I find restricting with the layers and colour build up of washes and control. I… Continue reading Finding my pencils
From previous posts you probably gather I am starting out on a new journey to get back into art that I abandoned as a teenager. Part of that journey over the past year has been sourcing inspirational art, studying art techniques and amassing what’s beginning to be quite an extensive library of books dedicated to… Continue reading Mad about the birds
On my 7th birthday I asked my parents for Charles Tunnicliffe’s book of bird illustrations. I had at the time a mild obsession with painting owls, especially barn owls, along with Dutch windmills for some obscure reason. Maybe it was a flight thing, the sails rising up into the sky, the connection with the wind,… Continue reading The art of birds
La Grange has it’s tree and its Christmas jumper time for us. It seems Hippo and me shopped the same design! Our collection of stuffed friends in the background…Lob-i-ster, Alfred the pig, Chicken and La Loup. Don’t worry, forever a child at heart and writing stories. You should see the other shelves! In Paris I… Continue reading Christmas Jumpers and Children’s books
My first Christmas in France and we finally got our tiny little tree up. Having only just finished the bedroom in the barn, the tree is perched on top of my yellow chest of drawers as the floor is still full of boxes to be unpacked. But it’s full of Christmas bling, bells and flashing… Continue reading Bon Noel from France
I am stuck in Barts hospital in London. Mum got dehydrated so drip in place..yes I have a 4 hour wait. I was due to meet a friend to celebrate diagnosis of her medical condition. A landmark after many years of frustration. I spotted hedggie on my arrival. Badly sewn eye. As soon as mum… Continue reading Happy hedgehog
I am following Leigh Tate’ s great blog and just purchased her self published book “5 Acres and a dream- The book” as I am starting a new journey in France when I return. Homestead has a wide conitation of ideals and already we have our list that is priority to us: Simplification of life… Continue reading One acre and a dream
I evidentally have holes in my brain. Lots of them. The French tester politely explained that I knew words that were advanced, but fundamental parts of the French language were missing. God knows what I had been replying to his questions, but sometimes he looked confused and at other times plain shocked. My neighbours back… Continue reading Gruyere French
With Brexit, President Macron and Trump all making the news so often, my other half was inspired to go political for a change. Our French Euro having a spat with the English pound and Trump, well probably thinking about his next Tweet. Find many more characters at Chaps, Sods and Fellowettes.
Our tiny little commune is known as La Nourrice, meaning wet-nurse. It is a strange name and I have yet to delve into its history, but in essence a wet-nurse breast feeds another woman’s baby. It was common practice in days gone by, but I am not so sure today, well not in this neck… Continue reading La Nourrice affinage
This post. It is a little long, but the thoughts had to come out. I have been away for a month. Summer heat stroke and a visit to the hospital, along with some physically hard work pointing up the barns exterior walls had impinged on my health and being slightly presupposed to depressive moments, I… Continue reading Change and hope – past and present
Pygmalian fell in love with a sculpture and Aphrodite granted his wish of companionship and made this sculpture human. The famous Eliza Doolittle, of GB Shaws famous play, changed too, from Cockney street girl to refined Fair Lady. Changes manifest in many ways and forgive me for this strangulation of mythology to fit my prose,… Continue reading Pygmalion
A while ago, longer than I dare to remember, I worked in a cheese factory. It was a yearlong contract to unfortunately close down a large specialized cheese importer – HT Webbs and transfer the most profitable cheese to the Danish dairy company Arla Foods. The job was fascinating mainly from the point that to… Continue reading Cheese please
Spending a day in Paris: boats, books and baking Written by Judi Castille in Guest Blogs The anticipation of warm, thick, hot chocolate in little expresso sized cups was alluring. Indulgent pastries and a huge array of chocolate and candy to choose, persuaded me to rise from my slumberous bed and cross the river Seine… Continue reading Paris – Good Life France
When I finally came here to France in March I came with a baggage of old business ventures, ideas, some creative like writing – eight stories in draft and a huge A4 file packed with notes and ideas to complete them – and illustrating the stories too – I hadn’t picked up a paint brush… Continue reading Which direction?
This articled appeared in The Good Life France website this Autumn. But here with photos I took on the day. Over twenty years ago I visited the Chateau du Rivau. In its first stages of renovation by owner Patricia Laigneau, a Versailles trained garden designer with a passion to restore the chateau to its… Continue reading Chateau Du Rivau
A few weeks ago I grabbed handfuls of saffron from very wet grass, took them home to dry, but ended with sogginess and to the compost they went. A lucky accident, the saffron dyed the papers they were draining on and after drying, they turned out to be great background papers for the herb photos.… Continue reading Picture papers
From 2013 to early this year I had invested a huge amount of time and finances on bringing to commerciality a conifer syrup that originated from a recipe my husband’s father made from the pine cones and fir tips he collected whilst walking the local mountains. He was a mountain man – both in his… Continue reading Foraging Future
I first came to France on my honeymoon – Paris, not very original, but it was the start of a life long love of the country. I was 23 years old. Over the years, I am now 50, I travelled to France many, many times and read her history and dreamed of settling down one… Continue reading The Good Life France
My husband Tony carries a little black notebook wherever he goes, scribbling, jotting. I think most of it is highly secret, but sometimes a character appears, there is a lot of paper flurries, ink pens on the move and a bit of cursing on photoshop. Dealing with all our company websites, logos and trade marks… Continue reading Chaps, Sods and Fellowettes
Leanne is a fine art photographer in Australia. Her niche is architecture, landscapes using long exposure, dramatic contrast and now infrared, a new exploration into the reverse world of light. Every month Leanne runs a post – Monochrome Madness – where we can post our photos based on the theme set. It’s nice to be… Continue reading Monochrome Madness
June and July have been solid work, pushing to get our home and gardens clear of overgrown woodland, brambles, piles of unwanted packaging from our moves and painting all our buildings and new fences from a huge array of pots left by my father from his garage. We are now left with an off assortment… Continue reading At the bottom of our garden
The world is full of a cornucopia of blogs, lifestyle photographers, craft projects, entrepreneurs and travellers. It is hard on the very best of days to promote your businesses, to show case your work and find a voice to say how great your products are, that you adore what you do and would move heaven… Continue reading A voice – a journey.
I love floral photography but my other huge enjoyment is sketching, painting and writing children’s stories. At the moment I have four on the go, very different subjects and very different types of illustration. Two will be traditional watercolour, one collage and another more graphic, maybe via printing and stencil – not yet sure. In… Continue reading Doodle and sketches