Tuesday, 18 December 2007

'Getting To know You...'

A few weeks ago I was tagged by Ewa to reveal eight random facts about myself. I promised her I would do the post when I felt able to, so here goes.
The rules when you are tagged are that you must…

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Write your post.
3. Choose eight more people to tag.
I am at my happiest when I am being creative. Whether it is within the home or in the garden, or, previously in my profession as a primary, then nursery teacher, my life has been full of restless creativity.
1. As a young child at school I was introduced to the art of embroidery. I remember my teacher drawing a set of traffic lights and showing me how to do stem stitches, which I did in the shape of a circle to represent each traffic light, in shades of red, amber and green. It was to adorn a cover for my reading book. The edges were sewn together using blanket stitch. I loved that cover and used it for years.

2. Also, at school, we were taught how to knit a little scarf which had a loop where one end slipped through the other. It sat neatly around the neck, rather like a cravat. I remember choosing Angora wool as I loved the feel of it. Besides, the lady in the shop had intrigued me when she said it came from Angora rabbits, and, as I loved my pet rabbit, that was more than enough reason to have it.

3. For Christmas, when I was five years old, I received a little blackboard and easel and a packet of coloured chalks. My brother drew me little bunches of green holly with red berries around the edges. Then he drew a huge Santa on his sleigh in the middle. We spent countless happy hours taking turns to draw pictures on that blackboard. By watching my brother I learned how to sketch.
4. As well cooking scrumptious meals for her family every day, my mother also enjoyed baking several times a week. These skills were more like hobbies rather than duties, as she perfected them to an art form. When I left home to begin my first teaching post in London, my flatmate and I were at that stage in our lives - late teens - where we always felt hungry enough after work to eat a horse. That’s when my interest in baking and cooking really took off, and the rest, as they say, is history.
5. A few years ago, when I retired, I decided to learn how to do watercolour painting. I began by painting flowers growing in our garden at Barleycorn. That way I felt I was completing the circle, from the planting of the seed which germinated and grew into beautiful flowers, to their final representation in my painting.

6. When I began courses on portraiture, it was only a matter of time before I fancied trying my skills at sculpture. I went to a seminar where I was shown how to make a clay head which I later sprayed with bronze paint and placed in the garden. He was meant to represent the Eastern Sun God, as he faced east and took on a golden appearance as the sun glistened on him early in the morning. But, during one very cold spell in Winter, parts of his face fell off, which means I will need to make another one sometime.
7. Two years ago I was delighted to learn that I would be able to participate in a silk painting class. Many of the skills I learned in my watercolour classes are transferrable to silk painting, though the latter is an art form in its own right. After dabbling for a little while, I painted a design with two Chinese dragons on a square of silk, which became a pretty little scarf.
8. Though as a child I never enjoyed posing in front of the camera, as an adult I became very interested in photography. When our boys were small I used to have the camera ‘at the ready’ to capture those ‘first moments’ in their lives. This September, when we were in China to celebrate the Tea Ceremony and Banquet of our elder son and his wife, I took a video using a camcorder, bought especially for their Oriental wedding. It was the first time I had ever used one. Though there was very little skill attached, basically a question of pointing it in the right direction, it is still a record of the happy occasion.
The beauty of learning these skills over a lifetime is passing them on to others, whether they be adults or children. The old adage rings true every time. If we don’t use our skills, we lose our skills, so we are duty-bound to share them.
The beauty of all things lives in the soul of the person who observes them.

Since everyone is so busy with preparations for the Christmas Season, I will refrain from naming eight people to be tagged, and open it up to anyone who would like to participate.
For the latest Barleycorn photos click here


Kylee said...

Your talent and creativity shine through in your descriptions of what makes you happy. Gorgeous photos of your environs in between, too. Thanks for sharing!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Thanks WG, I enjoyed learning how you acquired so many skills. You're a woman of many talents! You've such a way with words too and I love the pics, especially the last one!

BTW glad you enjoyed my post about Vita so much!

A wildlife gardener said...

A warm welcome, Kylee, on this day when the temps here are at 5 degrees! Lovely to have you come for a visit. Thanks you for the lovely compliments. I enjoyed sharing :)

Hello, Yolanda. Great to have your company too. My hands have given me hours of pleasure, in between reading and listening to music! Glad you liked the Winter sunset.

Vita is a wonderul cat and I urge any animal lovers who read this comment to go and visit Yolanda Elizabet's garden at Bliss to find out about Vita's heart-warming story :)

Sandy said...

That was great to read and I really enjoyed it. Have a wonderful holiday.


Ewa said...

Dear WG, I must admit I admire you for your creativity and your care to develop skills.
Your sentence about completing circle from seed to painting appealed to me a lot - yes - it seems like the goal is complete: from seed to eternal life in art...
It was nice to read and learn more about you. Thank you.
Pictures show that nature is still mild over there :)

A wildlife gardener said...

Another freezing cold day here, Sandy. So, I wish you a warm welcome in spite of our chilly weather. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Happy holidays to you too :)

Actually it was minus 12 degrees at 7am today, EWA...and yesterday, though it has warmed up a lot since then and we are sitting at minus 6 now. We can be extra cold due to the fact that we sit 225 metres above sea level.

Thank you for your kind compliments, EWA, and happy holidays to you too :)

Bimbimbie said...

I'm constantly thinking how blogland has a wonderful ripple effect of how we look and think about our every day lives, and take the time to re-live our happy memory moments ... loved your no 3 *!* Merry Christmas *!*

Libbys Blog said...

Always lovely to learn more about you!
Hope you have a Merry Christmas xx

A wildlife gardener said...

Good afternoon, bimbimbie, and a warm welcome to you on this frosty day, sitting at minus 6 this morning...so a good deal warmer than two days ago.

Thank you for your lovely comments. Merry christmas to you too :)

Lovely to have your company, Dear Libby. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. It was a change from writing solely about the garden. Happy Christmas to you and yours, Libby :)

Linda Lunda said...

Merry Christmas!

Green thumb said...

That was a post I could not read fast enough; it was almost a biography of a meaningful life, full of creativity and learning, condensed beautifully into words which I had to read, feel, admire and get inspired. You are a wonderful woman dear W.G and it is a privilege to know you through your blog.

A wildlife gardener said...

Merry Christmas to you too, Linda, and thank you for visiting :)

Dear Green Thumb, I feel so humbled by your remarks. I find it easier to write about the garden than about myself and since I had been tagged once before I wasn't sure what I'd write...hence, I chose some of my hobbies. Thank you for your valued and much appreciated comments. You are too kind :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It was so nice learning more about you WG. It is great that you got so many opportunities to learn about different ways to artfully enhance your life while you were a child. I am just entering my "childhood" from this point of view. Isn't that what they say at a certain point in life you enter your second childhood. :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

P.S. I love the photo of the log with moss growing on it. I wish I could paint to show the texture of moss. I dabble in watercolor. I do nothing of your quality of work but I bet I enjoy trying as much as you do. :)

A wildlife gardener said...

A warm welocme to you, Lisa. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. you are right in what you say about learning. We must do it from the cradle to the grave.

I have seen your art work, Lisa, and I think it's very original as well as beautiful. thank you for your kind words. Merry Christmas :)

smilnsigh said...

Your accomplishments are amazing. What a source of inspiration you are.

Happy Christmas to you and to yours.


A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you so much, smilnsigh for your generous words. Merry Christmas to you and all your family too :)

joey said...

I so identified with your 'restless creativity' and your inspiring quote ... "The beauty of all things lives in the soul of the person who observes them." Indeed, you are an amazing woman. The world is lucky to know you. Wishing you a most wonderful holiday season and healthy 'creative' New Year.

A wildlife gardener said...

Lovely to have your company, Joey. I'm not surprised in the least that you identified with the post as you are such a creative person yourself:)

I wish you peace and health and whatever else you wish for yourself in 2008, Joey. Thank you for visiting. Haste ye back :)

Chris said...

Great photos and lovely facts about you :-) A very interesting post. Wishing you a very happy Christmas!

paris parfait said...

Thanks for these gorgeous glimpses of your garden! Wonderful photos! And so interesting to learn more about you. Happy holidays to you and yours!

A wildlife gardener said...

I'm glad you liked the photos, Chris, and that you enjoyed the post too. Thank you for your visit and a Merry Christmas to you too :)

Nice to have your company, Paris Parfait. Thank you for the lovely compliments. Happy holidays to you too :)

Sheila said...

I enjoyed your 8 facts..!
It's always nice to learn more about someone..!
Love and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Kari & Kijsa said...

Loved these- such wonderful facts and so much talent and creativity- just loved the embroidering the traffic light!

Merry Christmas blessings,
kari & kijsa

A wildlife gardener said...

A warm welcome, dear Sheila. Glad you enjoyed the post. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and a happy and peaceful 2008 :)

Great to have your company, Kari & Kijsa. Yes, it brought back happy memories from many moons ago! Happy Christmas to you both :)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

So nice to get to know you a little better... but after seeing all of your lovely pictures on this blog I must confess that I wasn't surprised at all to learn of your artistic talents! :)

Have a very happy holidays...

A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you for your very kind comments, Blackswamp_Girl. Happy holidays to you too :)

Marie said...

I wish you a happy new year!

guild-rez said...

Thank you for visiting my blog to say Merry Christmas..
Now I am here to wish you a
Happy New Year..
"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
-- Edith Lovejoy Pierce

A wildlife gardener said...

How kind of you, Marie! I wish you happy days for 2008 :)

Thank you for the lovely quote, guild_rez, and your good wishes. I wish you peace and health and all the things you wish for yourself in 2008 :)

Linda Lunda said...

Happy New Year!!!
I hope the wery best for you in 2008!

Miranda Bell said...

Your story of finding the overgrown plot in the countryside sounds similar to us but we live in Brittany, France! I wonder what corner of Scotland you live in - my husband's from Dundee, my family from near to Castle Douglas and I spent a great deal of time both in the highlands near to Aberfledy and also on the Isle of Skye! Your photos are wonderful and great to see so much wildlife in one place - I've really noticed an increase here since we've cleared so much - wonderful to go down to our woodland and to see mummy and baby hedgehogs! Happy New Year - Miranda

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Dear Wildlife Gardener, a very happy and healthy New Year to you and yours!!

I've written to you in private but my messages kept returning (unable to deliver) after two days. So I'm writing a message here on your blog where I know you'll get it. Thanks for the lovely Christmas message you've sent me!

Wishing you loads of gardening, kittycat and blogging fun in 2008!

Sue "Sioux" Seibert said...

What wonderful photos, and how nice to learn more about you. I love your blogs and the beauty they share. Happy New Year!

Green thumb said...

Dear W.G,
I have always admired you for your sensitive writing and the very relevant issues you highlight through them, and no wonder such sensitivity could only have come from a especially endowed and creative person like you. I absolutely loved reading this post.

A wildlife gardener said...

First of all, let me apologise for the delay in replying this new year.

A warm welcome to you, linda lunda. Thank you for your good wishes. I hope your have a happy year in your garden too :)

Welcome to our little corner of paradise, Miranda. Thank you for introducing yourself and for your very kind words. I shall certainly pop over to visit your garden and find out what's happening.

Dear Yolanda Elizabet, many thanks for your good wishes. I did receive your email and enjoyed it immensely. Thank you so much. I apologise for my delay in replying to you. Happy gardening and days filled with kitty-cat pleasures in 2008 :)

A warm welcome to you once more, Sue "sioux" Seibert. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Happy gardening in 2008 :)

Dear Green Thumb, you are so kind to me. I am positively purring now. Happy gardening in 2008 to you :)

Gowri said...

Dear Wildlife Gardener,

Thanks for sharing those facts about you...that was a very interesting read!

A wildlife gardener said...

A warm welcome to you, dear Thalia. Lovely to have your company once more. Thank you for your kind words :)