It's a glorious day in Northamptonshire, and as the temperature rises (I'm advised it's set to plummet again, I'll be making the most of today) I'll be setting up my workshop outside.
Before I do, I'll give you a peek at what's been going on lately. I have been entranced by the arrival of spring. I love the light, the rising of the sap, the fresh energy in our garden birds, the sporadic warmth.
I've been reading more of the legends of Brigid, the Celtic goddess of creativity, healing and fire. I like to think she's walking round the garden with me in the mornings, enjoying the colourful gifts from our first ever tulips. (I've never really done much with bulbs, I'm now converted.)
Over the winter I spent months painstakingly breaking down clay soil, removing thousands of stones and slate chippings and adding compost from our wormery to create some small vegetable beds. Today I saw the first signs of reward...
I don't mind the work, time consuming though it is. By the time I've finished I'll know every square inch of our soil, and it's going to feed us for a long time. These tiny leaves make it all worth it.
Jamie Oliver's tip to keep strawberries in hanging baskets has served us well, we haven't lost a single fruit to nibblers. I love the vibrance of this little plant lifting itself to the sun. I've lined the basket with moss, so we'll see if that helps with water retention, and positioned the baskets over the vegetable beds, so no water is wasted. Fingers crossed for happy plants!
Isn't this a beautiful sight? I've been giving saplings a pot and letting them get on with it for years. It's heartening to see them reach for the blue sky with minimal intervention from human hands.
As usual, I'm painting with the seasons. This equinox hare idea will hopefully be transformed into a lovely Ostara card for next year.
I'm painting this one in oils, which are a slow medium, I'm working up layers of oil and Liquin and each layer takes a few days to dry. I am quite keen to try out a new tube of Winton Titanium While on the highlights, as the whites I've got are pretty grey or yellow. This purchase will no doubt be the equivalent of painting a piece of skirting...it'll just show up the rest and I'll be replacing every colour before you know it...
I hope you have a glorious day, whatever you're up to. Let me know how your sping is unfolding!