Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Waxing and waning....

Hi there.
Mindful Wednesday.
Mmmm.

Still recovering from Ally Pally here!
It’s all very, very hectic at Clarity Towers,
so I came home for a nap.

Yep. 
My Mum always tells me, a little cat nap in the afternoon
is all it takes. Just 20 minutes does the trick...


Works for me every time.

I think it’s the switch-off. 
It’s the momentary shutdown - rather like meditation, 
but really thorough!
And none of us are getting any younger, are we??

Another way to switch off is craft - 
provided you can keep your eyes open!!

Actually, I got caught on camera switching off at Ally Pally,
at the beginning of the day!


My dear friends, Mike and Shona Bossom, were attending,
and Mike was running little make n takes.
It wasn’t too busy first thing, so he invited me to join in.

Didn’t need any encouragement, I can tell you!
With 7 people manning the Clarity Stand, there was really no urgency around being back there, so I indulged.

And it was delightful.
Haven’t had time to play with my Encaustic art stash for years!
Used to enjoy it with the kids quite often.

But you know how it is.
When you craft for a living, 
the last thing you want to do to switch off is craft !!!

But just to let Mike take the reins, 
to let him guide us through the steps,
to follow his direction.
What sweet relief!

No wonder you enjoy doing workshops!
It must be so fun just following and doing!

Here are the pieces I made.
Nothing spectacular.
But I was happy with them.

One of the things I LOVE about encaustic art is 
seeing things in the wax.

See the mountain roads and the canyon?
Squint!


See the secret opening? The cave in the mountain side?
Even has a knocker!


Then I decided to start again.
Can you see the Grand Canyon falling away into the distance?
And at the front there are forests, dropping down the slope.


See the trees and foliage?
A few random poles.
Not sure what they are.
Wanted to practice my reeds,
ended up making snow markers!


Love the way the light shaft sits here.
See the sun hitting the back ridge?
Couldn’t do that twice!


And then I decided to put my reeds into perspective,
and try a red sky and a bird.


Now the reeds actually look like reeds.
And the bird?
Well, considering I didn’t have my specs with me 
and did all of this in a virtual fog, 
I am impressed with the bird!


So this is Ashdown Forest
and the Southdowns.


You see?
Even just showing you my modest attempts at encaustic art 
has transported me away from work and slog.

I want to try again,
but this time I want to add the bluebells in the woods, 
and the gorse bushes on the Downs. 

The thing is, 
that all of the above was pure serendipity.
Simply stopped when I liked where I had arrived,
and started a new waxy journey. 

If you fancy turning your hand to Encaustic art,
follow this link to Mike and Shona’s Website.


Or just go soak up their inspiration and creative energy.
It is both invigorating and powerful.



love always, 

89 comments:

  1. I still have the encaustic kit my mum bought for me at a WI demo over ten years ago but as I wasn't at the demo, didn't know what to do with it. I'm now enlightened! Did a bit of 'chill in' myself today by getting the hoover out! As for power naps - they work wonders! ;~}

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    1. Evening Shelagh did your mum enjoy her gingerbread ?it was lovley for you to share what your mum use to do such a memorable life xxx

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    2. Hi Sheila,
      Off to see her tomorrow, armed with carpet shampoo machine so no guesses as to what I'll be doing on Friday. As for the g/bread - we'll see what she says, a tough act to follow. ;~}

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  2. What a wonderful little break for you x

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  3. WOW these look fabulous and could see everything you described. I haven't tried this before and might just treat myself once I get back. Gorgeous colours and enjoy the rest of your week. ps I am loving the photographs of the cute kitties, I have 2 of my own.
    Hugs
    Linda xxx

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  4. You have now inspired me to get out my starter kit and have the courage to have a go. I love watching their shows and have several recorded. I have been switching off for the last few days by just sitting with a pencil and small sketch pad trying to capture what I could see by the sea. It is so important to find time to take that little bit of time to wind down. Thank you for showing us your lovely pieces. PS. It is so inspiring to do workshops run by others. I am not sure that relaxing is always the right word as concentrating hard for a day is hard work, but it is inspiring and certainly gets rods of your worries. xxxx Maggie

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    1. PPS Looking forward to the open days and to two days of hard concentration with you in July. xxxx Maggie

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    2. Enjoy your sketching Maggie xxx

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    3. Thank you, Sheila. I am not very good but I am enjoying the attempts and making little improvements. My daughter, who is good, has banned me from using anything other than a 6B pencil for now. The trouble is I like to try everything. xx Maggie

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  5. They're beautiful, and make me feel like I want to walk into them. I love the bridge across the ice river in the "snow markers" one, and the reflections beneath it; and the beautiful reeds that really do look like reeds; and the textured foreground that could be fan corals or dead heather or ice ridges or whatever... I have so much craft stuff, some of it I've never used, and really can't justify buying something else so have never tried this, but I loved it when I saw it demoed on C&C. It's real food for the imagination. xx

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  6. Wish power naps worked for me. I only wake up feeling worse with a thick head 😞

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  7. Excellent work. I love encaustic art. I haven't used mine in ages, been a bit busy. Yes I like a bit of a power nap. Especially when it's raining lol. Enjoy the rest of your day xxx

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  8. Excellent work. I love encaustic art. I haven't used mine in ages, been a bit busy. Yes I like a bit of a power nap. Especially when it's raining lol. Enjoy the rest of your day xxx

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  9. I see giant reptiles, dragons i think. They are amazing!

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  10. Great that you were able to enjoy a workshop for a change. Love what you created, encaustic art is something that I have not tried but my granddaughter has had a go and is quite good. Beautiful day here today hope it stays now.Glad the nap did you good, does help sometimes. xx

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  11. Your efforts were really tremendous. What lovely people on that stand. Mike gave me a little sample. Not going to have a go yet, too busy parching. Not had a mindful day - digging wet, claggy soil on my allotment and trying to plant seedlings in pots. Much rather be in my own little world, crafting. Now making swans for my son's wedding 60 plus to write and stick upright!
    Hope everyone out there has had a good day. Thank you to Sheila57 - lovely to hear about your meeting. I will miss your colleague who has just retired.
    Love Anne (Reading)

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    1. Evening Anne hope you soon get back to your crafting xxx

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    2. Anne, I am sure that the hard digging of that soggy soil will have had its place in your mindfulness too, in a different way to your crafting. Just think of the rewards later in the year when all your plants grow, thanks to your work. Take care. xx Maggie

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  12. Beautiful work, and yes I bought the kit, just need time to have a play...a power nap sounds just the ticket,,,the sun is out here, so a lovely evening for a long walk with the dogs...hope the sun is shinning for you ....enjoy your evening...hugs..xx

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  13. Love the idea of it but a little scared by it too. Just getting to grips with the Gelli plate and canvas,not to mention getting started with groovi. I am so impressed when I see encaustic art demos and your work looks beautiful. Glad that you were able to find the time to take part in the workshop

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  14. They are all beautiful Barbara and the thing with encaustic art is that the wax is so malleable that you can change it into something else with just a sweep of the iron. Mind you the results with inked and spritzed backgrounds and also those using the gelli plate can be whatever you want them to be. I can see that for you participating in a workshop must be really therapeutic after being in charge of so many. I have never tried encaustic art but maybe one day. x

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  15. Raining cats and dogs here at the moment! Hail stones as well. Just right to stay in and craft. My Mum calls them power naps, I definitely think a quick nap helps boost energy levels. Xx

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  16. I had a nap this afternoon, in the conservatory, until it got too hot even with doors open, and I had to move!

    Please don't encourage me to do any more different craft at the moment ! I love the colours in these and can see many things, my first thought was put them in the Art Gallery in Porta Banus and you could sell them for a fortune! Glad you enjoyed doing them.

    I haven't watched today's shows but will catch up on ipad later. My nice is expecting in Sept so one of the new plates might help with that ! xx

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    1. Hi Jackie - your weather today sounds amazing! It's been good here, but not that good! Gilly xx

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    2. Hi Gilly and Sheila, yes really nice day following an early frost ! X

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  17. Wet afternoon Sheila, Diane, Pam, Dot, Morag, Gilly and Alison. Certainly crafty weather this afternoon! Had a Clarity parcel when I got home, so new things to play with. Xx

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    1. Oooo a clarity crafty parcel enjoy xxx

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    2. Hi Donna - enjoy your new goodies! Gilly xx

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    3. Hi Donna,
      Horrible day here too. Finally got round to starting my calendar challenge only to find I didn't have slate paint or the stencil or the branch stamp! I finally used some distress ink instead of the slate but don't know if I'm happy with it. I got the birds done and will have to think about the other things later! Hope you got to play with your new goodies. Xx

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    4. Hi Donna, we had a lovely day once the fog had gone today. Trouble is you think you should get the gardening done not be crafting. Hope you enjoyed playing with your new clarity items and having fun crafting. Actually I did do some groovy, then tonight caught up with the 1st of Maria's shows. Oh dear love the baby plates. Can't have anymore yet, dread watching the next show in case there's something else I want. Ha ha. Love Pam.

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    5. Hi Donna
      Gorgeous sunny day here ( sorry!) two loads of washing dry but when hubby came home they had had rain and hail for 2 hours and it's only 20 miles away! Funny weather isn't it ! Xxx

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  18. It was lovely seeing you playing Sunday to doing something different what a lovely couple made friends with them on fb had few chats. I was booking Katie in and Mike said go on you have a go but was worried would make a mess used to watch s lot on CC years ago
    And was always amazed about what they did so had a go was amazing could have sat all day playing was so relaxing and Katie was buzzing about it, so had already got the iron so brought the waxes ready to play at weekend with Katie but may need two
    Irons and more card. Mike said about doing some workshops would be great . Power naps cannot beat them lots love xxx

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  19. Hi Barbara
    I don't think I had better take up yet another craft. I am enjoying Groovi at the moment and have always been able to lose myself in stamping or painting. Your encaustic art pieces are beautiful.
    Hugs from Chris X

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  20. Love all the encaustic art Barbara, lots to see in the pictures!! I must get mine out again and have a go but I only have so much room on our boat for my stash! Currently trying to sort what I really need on to be able to be creative.
    It is lovely to see the photo of you doing a workshop and sharing with others in a different way.xx

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  21. I have never tried this craft but it looks amazing.

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  22. Hiya been nice day for doing an hour in the garden today waxing and waning I think of my planting shedule. I plant to the cycles of the moon.

    Love the encaustic wax art. Must get mine out again.

    Crafty hugs Pen x

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    1. Evening pen how are you today thinking of you hugs xxx

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    2. Hi Pen - pleased to hear your good news, I put a comment after yours on yesterday's blog. Glad that you have been able to do some gardening - I think that planting according to the cycles of the moon is so interesting. I have read about this, but I believe there is a lot to learn. Hugs Gilly x

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    3. Hi Pen,
      Hope you're ok today. Never heard of planting to the cycles of the moon before. Xx

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    4. Hi Pen wonderful news, so pleased for you. That's one worry off your head. You take care and don't overdo it in the garden, I always found gardening so good as while you're doing it you can only think of what you are doing, if that makes any sense. I've only been able to do about half an hour of cutting back, did bend down to get a few weeds out yesterday but couldn't sleep last night with backache. That'll teach me. Hubbys good but I feel I'm putting on him as he does all the vacuuming now and I always did that and the gardening. Love Pam xx

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    5. Hi Pen I'm glad to hear the news was good. I've heard of planting by the moon, my uncle used to quote these things to me when he went to his allotment. Xx

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    6. Pen so pleased you lump was nothing sinister great relief for you hugs xxx

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    7. Morning all, thank you for all your lovely comments and love. It is much appreciated.
      Strange thing is that planting by the moon cycles - does actually work - i have found you get much better crops, and flowers are so much better.

      have a great day crafty hugs one and all. xxx

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  23. I love encaustic art. It's good fun, the best bit is 'seeing' shapes turn into reality. The worst trying to explain to a 'non-believer' that it really a river or tree or wood or person. Still good fun though.

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  24. Evening Barbara its looks amazing but I've got to much clarity to play with Tom always say a power nap does us the world of good my power nap goes into hours xxx

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    1. Evening Donna Dorothy Diane Brenda pam gilly morag sue57 Alison and all my dear blog friends thinking of you all crafting hugs to all on the blog xxx
      I have managed to craft today using my joy stamp making a little scene inside with my wee sheep stamp tree and birds haven't backed it yet as a little crafting is enough for today as my left hand is so swelled and painful in my joints and elbow .but it's so good to craft .
      I watched Maria's first show so much insperation going to watch the 2nd one now 😊

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    2. Hi Sheila - pleased to hear that you have been able to do some crafting, but so sorry to hear about your pain. Take care, lots of special crafty hugs Gilly xxx

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    3. Hi Sheila,
      Sorry to hear that you're in pain but at least you got some crafting I today. Hope things are better tomorrow xxxx

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    4. I think it just something I have to bear I've got blood tests on Monday to see if it's rheumatoid arthritis then they will send me to see the specialist if not it could just be my fibromyalgia or arthritis just hope it can be solved but as long as I can still craft a little each day I can cope with that ,your all so kind with your kind thoughts it helps me through as I know it's not easy for many of the blog friends on here life eh xxx

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    5. Hi Sheila, so sorry to hear that you're in so much pain with your joints again. I really feel for you. Let's hope after your blood tests that there is something they can do to help you. Crafting does take your mind off the pain a little but it's the night's that go so long isn't it. Hope it eases soon for you. Those new baby plates are gorgeous aren't they? Will have them, but have to wait a while. Love and gentle hugs Pam xx

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    6. Hi Sheila
      Sorry to hear you are in pain again, I hope the blood tests get to the bottom of it. Good to hear you managed to craft, I haven't used my joy stamp for ages. I haven't had a chance to watch Maria's shows yet so will watch on catch up but close my eyes when she shows the gorgeous new plates!! Xxx

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  25. Hello Barb. I watched a demo on this stand as I once found a basic (including the iron) in a charity shop but have been scared to try!!!!!!! NOw I feel more inspired to have a go!!!! Your pictures are super - we would expect nothing other from you though!

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  26. They are beautiful Barbara, you are so good at seeing things in the patterns and swirls. Enjoyed Maria's shows today, I have bought the 4 baby plates, and the new border plates, direct from Clarity though. Are you going to be bringing a storage folder just for baby plates out?? Hope so xxx

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  27. What a rare time for you Barb and wow what gorgeous art you made. Stunning pictures and I'm glad you had a little time to relax and craft. Take it easy x

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  28. Encaustic wax is one of my "when I retire and have time" plans - I love the effects. There's a very talented artist local to me who produces wonderful pieces, and does workshops. But I have so many crafty things I don't get time to do already!

    Your pictures are beautiful, and how lovely to sit on the other side of the table for once!

    I have a workshop with Angela next weekend, and just booked onto a retreat, so have my workshop fixes to look forward to!

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    1. Lucinda, I hate to tell you that when you retire someone comes along and steals two days out of every week. Your available time diminishes very rapidly, so start playing with these new ideas now. xx Maggie

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    2. So true Maggie, I'm sure it's more than 2 days in our house.xx

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  29. Hi Barbara, Fabulous piccies of your 'makes' today, I think Encaustic Art is absolutely fabulous, I had a lesson a couple of years ago in Encaustic Art and was really flabbergasted as what can be achieved with wax and an iron, very magical looking, I loved it.
    Lots of love from Patricia xx

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  30. Hi Barbara - I think that you did the perfect thing, having a nap today. When I saw a comment higher up, about calling it a power nap - it made me think of Maggie Thatcher - apparently she swore by them, even if it was only for 5 minutes! Regarding your encaustic art - it looks wonderful and it must have been such a treat for you. However, I won't be starting that, as it would seem that I now have a Groovi habit to be funded!! Now, who's fault is that!?!? Hugs Gilly x

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  31. Hi Morag, Alison, Diane, Pam, Dot, Brenda, Sue57, Julia and Chris M - I hope that you have all had a good day. Resting for me today, and watching Maria - isn't she lovely! At least I can resist the new baby plates, no new arrivals on the horizon! Now the borders - that's maybe a different matter! Not just yet though - slowly, slowly! Hugs to you all, Gilly xxx

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    1. Hi Gilly,
      Yes Maria's shows were great and I did love the new arrival plates and those new borders were fabulous , but I resisted! I need a couple of months where things are showcased that I already have otherwise I'll have to cite Clarity in the bankruptcy courts!! Love and hugs Alison xx

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    2. I had a couple of mindful hours watching Maria on catch up. I'm still waiting for two parcels - system 3 paints from Barbara's sale and the one day special stuff. The shows let us see how we can use plates in general. Very enjoyable to watch.

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    3. Hi Gilly, the show I saw was lovely, still one to watch. Doesn't Maria look amazing, wish I had her willpower, would love to loose some weight, but when you can't walk too far or do a lot of exercise its not going to happen. Hope you've had a good day and that you feel better for resting up. Love Pam xxx

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    4. Hi Gilly
      I haven't watched the shows yet, hoping to watch on catch up when I have a quiet 5 minutes! My daughter arrived home from Uni today for her Easter break before exams so I will be spending some quality time with her and might share my groovi stuff with her. Xxx

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  32. Hubby used to have a power nap when he came home for lunch before retiring. Always said how good it was. It'd take me an hour or so before I could go off. Wonderful if it works for you. Oh! Amazing your photos of Encaustic Art. I did watch a while at the show but it was too late to have a go. Saw it years ago and was fascinated by it. One day maybe, too engrossed with the Clarity products for now. Love Pam xxx

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  33. that is one thing i would like to try. i find it mesmerizing every time i watch them. great pics, hugs xx

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  34. Hi Barb,
    You look as though you were enjoying yourself and you've produced some stunning pictures. I've never tried encaustic art but I used to watch the shows on C and C and was fascinated by it. Maria's shows were great and the new products were stunning. As I said to Gilly though I need you to stop making new goodies though or else I'm going to be divorced and bankrupt ! My main problem is that I have no willpower! I think I'll have to start having power naps that last an hour whenever Clarity is on tv!!! Only joking! Like ve and hugs Alison xxx

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    1. Hi to all my blog friends,
      Hope you've had good day, the weather up here has been horrible again today. See you all tomorrow, off to bed now, love and hugs to you all, Alison xxx

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    2. Night Alison. Yes I'll be in the divorce courts too if I don't control my spending. Sorry about your weather, ours has been good once the fog disappeared, it's been nice and warm too. No coat this afternoon. Take care love Pam xx

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    3. Hi Alison
      No coats today here as well ( sorry) but I think you might have a better day tomorrow. Night night xx

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  35. These are stunning. I haven't seen the demos so I think I'll be youtubing. I spent a mindful couple of hours watching Maria on catch up.

    Diane, I bought a big bag of maltesers today and Jennifer and I had a go - much fun. I can see me spending a fortune on little chocolate balls over the next few weeks.

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    1. Julie I'm so glad it helped, I laughed so much I couldn't even blow and ended up just eating them! Emma has flown home for her study leave so Must go and stock up - I don't stand a chance with chemical equations and formulas now so will need all the help I can get!!! Xxx

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  36. wow Barbara, your artwork is AMAZING. Thank you for showing us. I enjoyed Maria's shows today. Steal wee chill/snooze times at every opportunity, we don't want you getting sick. You too Dave. You both need to be healthy to be able to make the most of your special holiday. Love Brenda xx

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    1. p.s. great to hear your lump is benign Pen, hopefully this is the start of everything going better for you xx

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    2. Lovely that you're here tonight Brenda, the shows were great weren't they? Take Care, love and hugs Pam xxx

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    3. Hello Brenda my lovely lady hope you are ok. You have those power naps if they help you I'm sure Daisy will be happy to join you.
      Sending hugs xx

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    4. Hi Brenda hope your doing ok hugs for you and daisy xxx

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  37. Night night Brenda, sending a hug. Xx

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  38. Night night Brenda, sending a hug. Xx

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  39. Love your Encaustic art! You have inspired me to get my waxes out and play. I haven't done so for way too long! xxx

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  40. Hi, Diane, Dot, Morag and Sue57, hope you've all had a good day. Hope you've had some Sun too. Off to bed now. Love to all on the blog, take care love Pam xxx

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    1. Hi Pam yes sunshine here today. Night night sleep tight xxx

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  41. Hi Barbara
    How lovely that you got a chance to relax and just have a bit of fun in a workshop for a while, love the pictures you created. I can see an owl flying towards you in the Epping forest one - beautiful. Must get our set out and have a play again. Enjoy your power naps, you deserve them!
    Take care
    Love Diane xxx

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  42. Hi Barb. My great auntie Emma used to have a twenty minute nap after her lunch every day. She was skipping with us when we were children when she was in her late seventies so it must have done some good. Never tried encaustic art but I love your creations. Your reference to the South Downs reminded me of when I used to live in Croydon and we used to bike out to Box Hill on the North Downs. It was so beautiful when all the bluebells were out in the spring - ah when I was young. It has been another wet dreary day here in the North East when I know you were basking in the sunshine in the south. Tomorrow is another day. Much love Jayne

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  43. Hi Barb, hope you had a good nap, there are days when I wish my day job would allow me to do the same. Love your encaustic work, really gorgeous. I have not tried it, but one day maybe will. Have a great day. Bx

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  44. Hi Barbara
    I love the colours in your artwork, you are so talented x x x

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  45. Wonderful artwork - another for your gallery maybe? x

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x