Tuesday 30 September 2014

The English Home magazine Issue 117

Just received my copy of The English Home magazine (November 2014, Issue 117) in the Spanish post today. Inside there's a great little piece by Jill Shearer on botanical art. I am also delighted to say that Inky Leaves also got a mention! I am naturally chuffed to bits.

Monday 29 September 2014

La Fabula at la Finca 28 September 2014

On Wednesday it was time for me to wave a jolly good farewell to English shores. As I watched the docks at Portsmouth and HMS Victory disappear from view, I was filled with a good feeling. There was no sadness, just a strange type of openness which filled my heart. I have been living out of rucksacks for so long now, I have become accustomed to the life of a nomad and nothing appears to frighten me or make me feel unstable. I seemed to have learnt how to ground oneself without using the ground. 
View from our cabin on Brittany Ferries. Farewell Pompey!

So much of Wednesday was rather unproductive and I decided to catch up on much needed sleep whilst indulging in Leonard Cohen songs and some delicious vintage wine. I got the top bunk in what was a rather roomy cabin.

The sea was a millpond and we all slept rather well that night. There certainly is nothing better than being gently rocked to sleep in an air of delicious scent (I went a bit mad at the perfume counter before bed). Breakfast was fantastic (thank you Brittany Ferries) and fuelled with a full English breakfast, half a dozen chocolate croissants and a pot of tea we drove down from Bilbao to Granada in a day (well actually Andrew did. Mum was in charge of regular CD changes and I did sweet FA). We disembarked the ferry at Bilbao with a flock of Hells Angels at around 1pm and arrived in Granada at 11pm. Granada greeted us with an electrical storm of epic proportions. It was very dramatic and terribly exciting. In fact, one could almost describe the experience as Biblical, as by this time we were all indulging in a bit of Leonard Cohen and he was belting out the many verses of Hallelujah during this part of the journey in the middle of the night. God it gets dark here.

After dropping off all of our things in the new office on Friday, my mum and Andrew had to deliver the van back to its depo in Malaga, while I hitched a ride to our house in the mountains with all of the things we needed for our exhibition on Sunday. I'd just like to say a quick thing on van hire here, as its the only appropriate place. If you are planning a move similar to this one, I can say that we all think that using Way to Go van hire is a very good way of doing the move. It is much cheaper (£550.00 for 5 days) and the company was very helpful throughout. 

The entrance leading to the new 'Browse' office and the studios of both Kitty Shepherd and Inky Leaves. Santa Fe, Granada

My new place of work has the most amazing garden complete with an Indian Bean Tree (one if my favourite trees), a Magnolia grandiflora, a Horse Chestnut laden with conkers, two intact Canary Palms, Dahlias, Roses, Jasmine, Wisteria, Cycad and LAWN (as rare as hen's teeth down here) etc. The list of plants is endless...

Saturday was a bit of a nightmare... Prepping for an exhibition always is rather mad isn't it? And let me tell you, it's even worse when moving house... Word of practical advice, don't exhibit if moving house. So, with our labels printed and mounted onto foam board, our plinths primed and statements written we hiked over to the Finca del Castillo Arabe in the Valle de Lecrín on Sunday and set up. Yes, we are totally bonkers. Mum and I were going to hang our work on Saturday afternoon in preparation, but we had another storm and there was too much fog over the National Park for us to actually get through. We also experienced 6 power cuts. I think this is how we have to roll here in Spain...

Tables set up for lunch, art work on the walls. La Fabula at la Finca, La Finca del Castillo Arabe, September 2014

It was a fabulous day in the valley and an experience I will never forget. We had an eight course lunch by a top Granadian chef, Ismael Delagado Lopez, from La Fabula, which was utterly delicious and satisfied (what has recently become) my overwhelming need for posh nosh (London appears to have turned me into a food snob).  You can see some superb photographs of the dishes taken by Barbara Taylor-Harris here

Posh nosh, and VERY tasty too!
Throughout the day, Ophelia got to show off in her new frame which was very carefully constructed by the brilliant firm Bond-a-Frame in Chichester. I'm very grateful to them for not only mounting her in record time, but for exploring such bizarre framing options on my behalf. I am very much aware of what an unreasonable, picky customer I can be in framing shops and they were so tolerant of my demands! Thank you Bond-a-Frame, you did a superb job. I opted for the magic glass with Ophelia too, which is non reflective, UV filtered and is very special in that it doesn't alter the light and colours of the piece in the way normal glass does. Something to do with the composition or ratio of the silicon in it I think... Anyway, Ophelia is delighted with her special, slip mounted, box frame. 

Guests enjoying their Spanish nosh
Mum had a good show and managed to raise €210 for the local charity Acompalia through the sale of her mugs. I was sad to say farewell to this little tree, which also found a new home on that day. It's called The Magic Tree and it's magic.

Mum's magic tree