Sunday, September 14, 2008

Spend The Weekend With Me, Around My Home

OK are you ready for this? I just hope you enjoy this as much as me.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
A rainbow arrived in our valley in October 2007. A colourful artist who has spent a year delighting us all with her creativity and involvement in our community. Meet Imi Maufe.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
She rides around the valley on her bike with her artists materials on board. Always colourful and smiley.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Sadly she will soon be leaving us after spending a year as artist in residence at Highgreen. Want to see it? OK!
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Fabulous isn't it? Highgreen is owned by William and Cynthia Morrison-Bell a lovely couple who are the best art patrons I know. Note the work going on at the left of the building. This is a stage being erected for the local Amateur Dramatics to perform Pride and Prejudice this coming weekend. There will even be a Pimms Tent so I will definitely be there.
They offer artists a year living in a fabulous studio in The Dovecote a converted former stable and loft behind their home. Let's go in.

How lucky would you be to get a year living and working here?
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
One of my favourite paths.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Walls covered in moss in every shade of green you could possible want.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
There's even a Toy Workshop on the path. Want to look closer?
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Isn't it delightful? Shhh we can get even closer.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Look it's called Tarset Toys.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Next door there's an old barn with a field on its roof. Lets look closer at that.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Lovely don't you think? Right we are going into the big barn now to see some of Imi's wonderful creations.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
This is the barn. I could live in it just as it is. How's that for a ceiling?
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Ah so that's where Imi parks her bike.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
A stunning way to display her month by month recollections of living with us all. Closer up? OK.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
She has really caught the essence of the place.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Sadly her last month though not yet finished. Love the way she has penciled parts in. I have a tear in my eye now.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
She has called her final exhibition Raffle Tickets and Midges. Let me explain. In this area there is always raffle tickets for sale. Money has to be raised to keep things going for the locals and Midges are little flying b*st**ds that come out during July and August. They bite and are the bain of everyone's life.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
One of the things I love about Imi is that her art is accessable. So much so that she has put all her work out with big YOU CAN TOUCH signs all around it.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
She has limited editions of her work for sale, some housed in specially designed and handmade boxes. I am tempted.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Look an even bigger one. Don't be afraid to touch she doesn't mind a bit.

See those little numbered books on the right well she has 16 images in each one. For instance she jumped on the Post Bus which is for locals to get around the valley whilst the Postman is picking up mail. She has photographed each post box he picked up from. All bright red, set in walls, on walls or on lovely antique posts. She has done 16 books each with a different theme.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
We have a company called Unison Colour here that makes and sells pastels for painting. Imi worked with them to understand their colour palette based on colours of the area and produced this artwork which is one of my favourites.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
OK before we go grab a coloured badge and write down what that colour makes you think of. Imi will hang it on the wall and you get to keep the badge. Mine is Laduree green and makes me think of the last Macaron I had in Paris.
Let me say one thing before we go -
Imi you have brightened up everyone's life for the past year with your colourful clothes, colourful personality and your creativity. Your involvement on our community has been total and always done with a smile. We will miss you.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Good Morning are you ready? It's Family Fun Day in our market town. I have to cook you all a traditional British Sunday Lunch later, made from local produce. There's a food market at the Fun Day so can you help me carry my purchases?

It's a lovely stroll down the road that has a river running through it. The amount of rain we have had lately I'm surprised those houses haven't flooded.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
This road eventually leads to Hareshaw Linn a fabulous waterfall. You can go there later if you want but it's one and a half miles and I have Sunday Lunch to cook.
So let's go in and see what they have.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Locally grown flowers and plants.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Meet my friend Jill Self who has just started her business selling Simple Soup. Buy some and you will die with delight. Simple, tasty and all made with local produce. Good Luck Jill!

Local crafts including these gorgeous baby items. My purse is jumping about in my handbag.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
We need fish for starters, roast beef for the main course and vegetables to go with the beef. I'll pick you hold the bags. No, no I'm paying this is my treat.

Let's just have a sit and listen to some local musicians before we leave. Anyone want a drink? I can't I'm driving.
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Sorry but we have to go up the road to the cottage that has some gates to open. Let me introduce you to Albert the most miserable bull in the world. I pass him almost every day and he never has a smile for me. "Oh well we are going to have beef when we get home so at least raise a smile to the fact that it isn't you Albert"
a weekend in the tyne valley northumberland
Now it's time for lunch but beware our Sunday lunches leave you feeling very full. Roast beef is a name the French use to describe English people. The Yorkshire Puddings are the best thing about this lunch.
When you are finished put your feet up and get ready to open those gates on the way out.
Bon Voyage, hope you enjoyed your weekend.


Paper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paper said...

Thanks Di, I thoroughly enjoyed it, in this way I got to spend two weekends for the 'price' of one, could I ask for more?? And I would be happy if I could spend as little as 1 month at Highgreen! the envy....

Ilva said...

that was me, I just hate it when I forget to sign into the right blogger id! Sorry!

rochambeau said...

Hi Di!
Thank you!! I needed a mini vacation but had no idea that today you would invite me for a fun sojourn.

This you realize I know....but must tell you again, you are a lucky girl to live amongst such natural beauty with such beautiful old mossed walls & estates.

Imi is a doll & has graced your community. Isn't it interesting to see & feel all she has absorbed and given back to your dear Tyne Valley community? Your paths will miss being graced by her bicycle and smile,

Thank you again for writing this post Di. It has started my morning off on the right foot!


poppy said...

Thank you Di, that was so wonderful! And that Yorkshire pudding was delightful, do you have the recipe?

; )

Candy said...

I came here from Tongue in Cheek and I was thoroughly delighted!! Oh how I long to touch Imi's art! And your lovely lovely town was a surprise pleasure for me to visit. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing. Oh and the brunch was lovely.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

oh my goodness.......! It all looks great and I want all her numbered little books and that fantastic paint painting!!!

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

Oh Di! thank you for inviting me - it looks lovely where you live :-)

Enzie at World Market Portraits said...

It is so lovely to see that an artist is embraced by the community. From the looks of it, a lot of talented people seem to reside there and it must be fun to browse through all that is being offered.

Well, I had fun too. Di, thanks for the invitation. I am ready to spend a year in that magical place called Highgreen! LOL

Sarah said...

What a wonderful entry! To read how much of a positive influence she has had on the community :)

Charlie @ So Lovely said...

Hi Di:
Those are such beautiful photos. It makes me homesick for England. I went to boarding school, for many years in Cold Ash, nr Newbury. Obviously not close to where you live, but it has the same feelings.
I think we should all take up Imi's mode of transport. So simple yet so practical.

corine @ Hidden In France said...

Amazing that such life is possible. It is so, so different from mine. This was wonderful. But now I want to experience it for real one day.

sfgirlbybay said...

aaah, thanks for the invite! so lovely!!

sfgirlbybay said...

oh, and i forgot to thank you for the yorkshire puddings!! my dad makes the best. a sunday tradition at our house, too!

Flights of Fab Fashion Fancy said...

Thanks Di-the most fun I've had in a long time! Albert is sooo handsome! Loved lunch-especially the pudding!


- Suzie - said...

Good Afternoon,
thank you for your invitation to this beautiful romantic British weekend! Fantastic! I missed your trips to the markets!
Until soon,

Country French Antiques said...

What a wonderful weekend, you are a great hostess!

paris parfait said...

Oh I want to live in that artist's cottage! What terrific work she does! I want to visit all those post boxes. Thanks so much for the unique and delightful tour. xoxox

Sylvie said...

Thanks for all the delicious images of local color and culture. Better open that gate extra wide. I had a second helping of Yorkshire Pudding!

la la Lovely said...

I so enjoyed that!!!! I love England and just looking at all of the pictures made me so happy! What a beautiful area you live in. And that house, can dream!!!

Primrose said...

Thank you for that delightful weekend, Di. I have tears of envy at the fact I don't live there all the time! I loved all the country walk pics as well. Such a beautiful part of the world! x

Bridget said...

Thank you for this fantastic week-end, Di! Highgreen is incredible, just like a dream, I'm in love with your country, a great post!!

Mélanie said...

Merci for the voyage ! I enjoyed pretty much

stencil helen said...

That is so funny that we had a similar blog idea this week. Thank you for calling in on my weekend.
I enjoyed calling on you too and am sorry that Imi is leaving you all. I wish Jill good luck with her soups too, you are right they are so good.
We are both so blessed to be living in Northumberland, albeit at different ends of the county.

lookbook said...

A really lovely post - thanks Di!

Britt-Arnhild said...

Absolutely delighful Di.
Thanks for inviting me.

Gillian said...

Highgreen is dropdead.
Love it!!!
Those yorkies and beef remind me that it's high time I cooked a real meal around here.
We are 75% English after all.

Thank you for the lovely weekend tour!

Sea Angels said...

Such a lovely area. I have always been tempted to take longer than a quick week-end in the north east, your home area looks wonderful, and colourful you lucky thing. Thanks for sharing Di.
Hugs Lynn xx

babelfish said...

What a wonderful weekend treat, I love Imis' work, and as always thanks for taking us around your part of the country - such a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere.

sex said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.