Thursday, 11 January 2018

A Great Start to 2018!


We have had a busy start to the new year.

The garden continues to provide us with yummy parsnips and winter lettuce. The leeks have been a little slow to take, but I'm hoping they will beef up a bit soon. 

The flooding affected us a little too. The boat you see in these pictures is usually on dry land. Funnily enough, it looks quite happy in the flooded garden! However, we were lucky to have only minor wind damage - so that's all good.

We have been working hard prepping for our 
Artist Inspiration Days, and ensuring that all the paperwork and the boring bits are in place. We are really looking forward to opening our garden to the public, and hopefully providing some inspiration for artwork and photography.

Simon has been working on various pieces over the last month or two. Here's a video of him doing some spindle turning. 



Fancy a go at woodturning? Fancy buying a one- or two-day woodturning tuition voucher as a gift? Then look no further - simply click on woodturning tuition for more information. 




I have also been rather busy, working on some new Valentine's Day ceramic pieces. 
Here are a few of them. Click on the caption to visit our site and find out more about the items. Some of them are featured on our Etsy site, and some on our blended monkey site.


Ceramic Lovers Bowl







Etched Blue-Glazed Blossom Vase
Ceramic Lovers Bowl


Heart Votive



Chinese-Style Bowl in Ash



Last, but not least, we would like to say a big thank you to all our customers and Twitterarti for their purchases, retweets and likes. 2017 was a very busy but enjoyable year, and we are looking forward to 2018 being just as interesting! 
We are hoping our Artist Inspiration Days will be popular, and Simon is keen to get more woodturning tuition sessions booked in too. 



Sunday, 31 December 2017

Artist Inspiration Days

Our home & studios are located in a small village on the Norfolk/Cambs border. When we moved here 3 years ago, the house & outbuildings needed a lot of love and care, but we were wowed by the beautiful garden. We had no idea that such a large, gorgeous garden was hidden behind the cottage.


 
The garden is such a gem that we think it is a real shame to keep it concealed from the public eye. Originally created by the previous owner, who was a ceramicist and artist, the garden has a number of little quirks and interesting hidden areas that provide great inspiration – it's a really arty venue. With two ponds, a boat, a little wooded area, a willow tunnel, a knot garden and a number of separate little garden sections, it boasts numerous vistas and interesting angles. Although there are some formal, established beds, we've ensured that plenty of the garden is still wild and rustic. The butterflies and bees love it! And we've spent many an hour taking photographs of its ever-changing seasonal views.


The garden provides us with great inspiration. My husband, Simon, is a woodturner, and his workshop looks out over the garden. I am a ceramicist and silk painter, and my pottery studio looks out over the hot garden which is located right next to the house. The constantly changing seasons in the garden have given me some great design ideas too.




We think art groups, drawing clubs and photography clubs would really enjoy a setting like this which offers so much inspiration. So, we're offering a 5-hour package for groups of 10 or more people to come and enjoy, draw, paint and wander. The gardens are totally private, so they have not been, and are not, open to the general public.



The package includes access to the entire garden, a rustic lunch served in the marquee at the bottom of the garden, and refreshments available to purchase. There are also toilet facilities. The garden offers various seating areas and we've also got a number of picnic blankets which can be used to sit on anywhere in the garden. We recommended booking from 10 am – 3 pm, as this will ensure the best possible lighting too. We would aim to serve lunch at 12.30 pm.




If your art or photography club is interested, please take a look at our Artist Inspiration Days page on our website for more information and photographs of the garden. 
phone us so we can arrange a date that suits and discuss any requirements.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Wintery Scene



Well, we woke up this morning to a truly festive, winter wonderland. Harry & Nutmeg are really loving the snow! The garden is carpeted in about 2 inches of the stuff, and we´re planning on building a few snowmen after lunch.

Since our last blog, we´ve been busy in our studios, preparing more pieces for Christmas. 


Tealight Holders
Our Etsy shop is stocking most of our festive bits and bobs, including tealight holders, ceramic Christmas star decorationswooden snowmen and large ceramic snowflakes.


Our blendedmonkey site has some new ceramic additions, my ceramic Spaces Between Dish, for example, (you´ll be seeing more of this design in the future). I´ve also added my Sea-Kissed Vessel and the Sea to Shore Bowl, which is part of the Seascape collection. 

3 Ceramic Star Decorations


Sea-Kissed Vessel



Sea to Shore Bowl
The Spaces Between Dish
Ceramic Snowflake




Last weekend we took a trip to Munich to take in the Christmas markets, warm ourselves on the odd mug or two of Gl├╝hwein and visit some old friends. 
I lived in Munich for a long time (my daughter was born there), so it was nice to catch up with people again and take in the atmosphere


Now really is the best time to visit Germany; oozing with lots of festive spirit. You can´t beat the Munich Marienplatz Weihnachtsmarkt for that quintessential Christmassy feeling. 

We also visited castle Neuschwanstein, which was breathtakingly beautiful, set in its snowy wonderland. 

A good time was had by all, but the visit was far too short.

I can´t imagine I´ll get the chance to blog again before Christmas, so myself and Simon (Blended Monkey) would like to wish you all a 


                   

    Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy & Happy New Year!







Saturday, 25 November 2017

A Great Start to 2018


We have had a busy start to the new year.

The garden continues to provide us with yummy parsnips and winter lettuce. The leeks have been a little slow to take, but I'm hoping they will beef up a bit soon. 

The flooding affected us a little too. The boat you see in these pictures is usually on dry land. Funnily enough, it looks quite happy in the flooded garden! However, we were lucky to have only minor wind damage - so that's all good.

We have been working hard prepping for our 
Artist Inspiration Days, and ensuring that all the paperwork and the boring bits are in place. We are really looking forward to opening our garden to the public, and hopefully providing some inspiration for artwork and photography.

Simon has been working on various pieces over the last month or two. Here's a video of him doing some spindle turning. 


Fancy a go at woodturning? Fancy buying a one- or two-day woodturning tuition voucher as a gift? Then look no further - simply click on woodturning tuition for more information. 






I have also been rather busy, working on some new Valentine's Day ceramic pieces. 
Here are a few of them. Click on the caption to visit our site and find out more about the items. Some of them are featured on our Etsy site, and some on our blended monkey site.


Ceramic Lovers Bowl







Etched Blue-Glazed Blossom Vase
Ceramic Lovers Bowl


Heart Votive



Chinese-Style Bowl in Ash



Last, but not least, we would like to say a big thank you to all our customers and Twitterarti for their purchases, retweets and likes. 2017 was a very busy but enjoyable year, and we are looking forward to 2018 being just as interesting! 
We are hoping our Artist Inspiration Days will be popular, and Simon is keen to get more woodturning tuition sessions booked in too. 



Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Gardening & Photography

Gardening & Photography

It´s been a few weeks since our last blog, as we´ve been majorly busy in the garden most weekends, and have also been designing some new collections to encompass silk, clay & wood. 

The vegetable patch and fruit cage are coming along really well, and there are plenty of strawberries under the netting, just waiting to ripen. The netting should stop the birds getting to them before we do!
We´ve had a glut of radishes and I´m picking spinach every day to go in salads and sauces. It´s great to grow your own :-).

I´ve been deadheading all the roses to promote new growth and blooms. We´re having such a good display this year, and I´m bringing a lot of flowers into the house for the vases too. 

We´ve also had a lovely show of opium poppies. I don´t recall there being quite so many last year, so the seed has obviously spread well and we´ve been given a great performance. I just love the rich pinks and purples of these gorgeous flowers.

We´ll post some more photos of the garden in the next blog. We´re taking so many shots at the moment, because the garden just seems to keep on giving :-).

If you´ve visited our site www.blendedmonkey.co.uk lately, you might have noticed that under the "Gallery" tab there are now two areas; one for "Clay, Silk & Wood", and the other for "Photography - Prints & Products". 
The photography section will take you to an area where you can buy our photos and have them put on various products. We´ve often been asked if some of our shots are for sale, so we thought we´d use the www.fineartamerica.com site to host them. We´ve had quite a bit of interest from customers in the USA.

Last week we sold "A Cut Above", one of our blended pieces. Its new owner is apparently very happy with it and it has been given pride of place in their recently redecorated bedroom :-).













Monday, 29 May 2017

Bank Holiday Busyness!

Bank Holiday Busyness!


Well, it´s certainly been a very busy Bank Holiday weekend. 
Haven´t exactly relaxed all that much, even though we´d promised ourselves we would. We´ve been waiting for a couple of good weather days so that we could finally get the outside of Simon´s workshop painted. We thought it would look a lot nicer to have it green rather than the plain wood colour it was before. Also makes it blend into the surroundings a little better.

   
And all this good weather has really benefited the rose garden too - it´s looking so lush and lovely. 
Shame I can´t capture the gorgeous, heady scent and share it with you here! 
I guess all that pruning in winter did it some good too. I´ll just have to keep on top of dead-heading the flowers as they go over, and then hopefully we´ll see blooms for some months to come. 
I was never particularly "into" roses until Simon and I moved here a few years ago. The previous owner, Pauline, had planted this semi-circular rose garden many years ago, and I was actually quite taken with it when we looked around the property the first time. We´ve done our best to keep it pruned and tended ever since.

We´ve been posting on Twitter fairly regularly, so feel free to have a nose @blended_monkey.
And we recently put some new pieces up on our site. Here are a few of them; just click on the captions to take you to our site - hope you enjoy!  

Pair of Blue-Washed Oval Bowls
Round-Bottomed Pot
Cluster of Hearts
Seascape Bowl