Thursday, 31 March 2011

Bleeding hearts

and Celandines and Fritillaria.....Snakes Head in particular.........are three of my fav flowers around at this time of year.......and I have them all in my garden.

 A big clump of Celandine which is a member of the Buttercup family...........although I love this plant it does have a mind of its own and I have loads all over the rest of the garden that I will have to pull up!
 A nice dark version that is not so invasive!

 Bleeding Heart or Dicentra Spectabilis.....I like the way the weird shaped flowers hang along the stem......and that it flowers so early when everything else is still just getting going
 Snake's Head Fritillaria......I LOVE this plant.....I mean just look at that colour and the chequered pattern is beautiful.
I also love the work of Charles Rennie of my fav paintings of his is one of Fritillaria!!
I do miss my garden when I'm in Kazakhstan.......I was surprised just how much!! It is nice to be back in it!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Spring bulbs

BLOOM is the word on "TAKE A WORD" this week.
My Spring bulbs have bloomed!

 Hopefully you can tell that my bulbs are the "OO" in the middle of BLOOM!

 This is a double page spread in my A5 Moleskine journal.

The steampunk lightbulb, lace background and snail stamps are all from THE ARTISTIC STAMPER
This is probably going to be my last post till the end of the week.....I am heading back home to the UK on Wednesday!! Catch up with you all after I get settled back in!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Serzhan Bashirov

is a Kazakh arts professor and silversmith and I was lucky enough to visit his home and workshop yesterday.
 Serzhan at his work desk...........

 ......bits and pieces of silver, bronze and semi precious stones scattered amongst tools..........

 ......a pot of components ready to be made up into jewellery pieces..........

 .......I own a few of Serzhans pieces already!!...........

.......he also sells antique jewellery and uses old pieces to make up into new pieces........these are old Russian purchases yesterday!........

 At the bottom of his garden sits an old yurt......the portable house that Kazakh people used to live in when they still lived a nomadic was a fascinating glimpse into a life now gone

 Inside the yurt is decorated with old embroideries, rugs, wooden chests......I covet one of those!!!

A fantastic end to what has been an amazing week here in Kazakhstan!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

More Kazakhstan!

Yesterday we went on a day trip out to UNESCO World Heritage site......the petroglyphs of TAMGALY TAS. They are about 115 miles outside of Almaty.
For various reasons getting out and about here is not straight forward so we decided to go as an organised group.......7 of us, two vehicles, 2 drivers and a guide..........we had a grand day out!
 Most of the petroglyphs are Bronze Age (there are three ages of images on the site) and are etched into the rock rather than painted.

Can you see the little figure at the bottom with a stick?

 This was one of my image within an image

 The human figures were the most haunting for me......they give a real connection with the people who made them........see the rays around the head? He is a sun god.

 This section had a lot of human figures and what are called The Seven Gods.....not all easy to see.....but one is the figure towards the top with his head surrounded by dots and another to his right with rays coming from his head.

 Now as you can see from this pic we were in the middle of NOWHERE, while that is fab and I had one of those moments when I stood and could hear absoloutely NOTHING, could see no sign of civilisation, amd I thought "I'm in the middle of the steppe in central lucky am I?.......ok getting all philosophical....I'll stop now!! !it is one reason you are not recommended to just set off on your we were over an hours drive from cell phone reception and there is nothing and no-one around. Pic below shows the road disappearing into the distance.....I asked the guide where it went, she shrugged her shoulders and's just a road, a Kazakhstan road!!!
So we get back to the cars to find another car parked beside ours! Then we realised their engine would not start.....after fiddling with it with no luck in getting it started it was decided one of our vehicles would tow it nd try and get it going. So off we luck getting it carry on towing......after the tow wire snapped twice (very rough road) it was decided to leave it where it was and take one of the women (who it turn out was pregnant and due that day....pretty silly place to go on that day!!) to where there was phone reception to call for a recovery truck. Exactly why you don't head out on your own......they were so lucky we were there......we saw no-one else along the road on the way back till we hit the main road.......well over an hours drive.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


It's time for another STAMPOTIQUE DESIGNERS CHALLENGE....I can't believe how quickly the time goes between challenges! Ayway this time you are challenged to create a TRIPTYCH card.
 Here is my example.
 This is one of my all time favourite Stampotique stamps.

Change of subject.....more of my life here in Kazakhstan. Today we went to a huge market called BARAHOLKA.....when I say huge I mean stretches down both sides of a 4km stretch of road!
 This bloke was selling DHOMBRA....local guitars.

 This was our friend Kyle trying on fur hats......not something I would buy personally!!

 Cooking and selling shashlick (meat kebabs) by the side of the road............

 .....selling fruit and veg......

 ....see that little clay mound? it's a clay oven called a tandoor (same as in India) that is used to cook bread by the roadside.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Among the scyscrapers

The word on TAKE A WORD today is ARCHITECTURE......I wasn't going to play until I saw that the theme can be taken very loosly and could even include birdhouses......that was it, the idea came to me!
 So here are my birds flying among the skyscraper bird houses!

Bird houses are Invoke Arts..............little buildings are Character Constructions.........the bird is Stampers Anonymous

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Hibou and coba

These are the words in French and Russian (pronounced SOVA) for OWL.
 More playing with my new OCTOPODE owls.......this is my passport sized journal.......

 ......this one just makes me smile........

 ....and this one looks so cross!!.......this one is in my tiny (smaller than passport) journal.

 ....I now have a collection of hand carved owl word stamps!

Friday, 18 March 2011

O is for

OWL and also for OCTOPUS.

 These are new stamps that WENDY at THE STAMP ATTIC acquired at CHA earlier this year.
 I don't think they are online yet but you can always give Wendy a call if you're tempted!!

 The stamp company is EARTH ART INTERNATIONAL......look closely and you will images upon images within the main image.....very clever!