Where have all the flowers gone?

Rachel's birthday card. Her latest tattoo (grrrrrr!) is a Russian doll so it seemed appropriate.
Rachel’s birthday card. Her latest tattoo (grrrrrr!) is a Russian doll so it seemed appropriate.

It’s September and Autumn is just around the corner. In the week since we came back from the glorious sunshine on the west coast of France, the English weather has been very English. Grey, dull, rainy and just a bit colder than is comfortable. Our world goes from monochrome to technicolour and back again like an art movie from 1970. But without the bad language and cigarettes –  most of the time.

I met up with my old boss yesterday and we spent about three hours wandering around Meadowhall (shopping mall) and setting the world to rights. We went to Carluccio’s for lunch – dead posh – and generally had a whale of a time. Somehow I managed to come home with three new tops. And I hadn’t even realised I needed any until it was too late and the card was out and I was paying. How does that happen? Anyway, we’ve planned a Zentangle day for a select few at some point in the near future and I’m really looking forward to it.

In the meantime, it is my younger daughter’s birthday this weekend and we have been plotting.  Actually, I’ll rewind a bit. I have an honorary auntie, who was a very close friend of my mum and dad, in fact she and her husband were friends of both my parents. In my childhood we had holidays together and her two sons were my childhood friends. Of course, you grow up and apart but my parents remained friends with Uncle Bert and Auntie Sheila all their lives. Auntie Sheila is on her own now and getting on a bit, so we were a bit worried when her younger son, Gavin, emailed to say she had a form of Parkinson’s Disease and is not well.

The loved one and I decided to visit her but she lives three hours away, so, as we were looking for somewhere in the area to stay, Gavin said he was going to be with her for a couple of weeks and would happily do the catering if we went and stayed with them overnight. Coincidentally, it was Rachel’s birthday weekend, so we booked a hotel near to her and plotted with her husband to stay Saturday night with Sheila and then drive over on Sunday to surprise Rachel for her birthday.

I didn't try to do two the same- that way madness lies.
Two slate coasters I did a while ago.

And it worked like a charm. We had a lovely evening and following morning with Auntie Sheila (Gavin did an excellent dinner for us all.) and then we drove for another couple of hours to see Rachel.

The journey from Bristol into South Wales should have been about an hour but the motorway was at a standstill. Why? Who can say? So we got the map out and I sussed out an alternative route, which was also at a standstill, so I sussed out an alternative to the alternative and we finally made it. We had a fabulous afternoon/evening, took Ben to school the following morning and it was an all round success.

Box lid
The box lid I drew on.

As soon as we got home, I raced upstairs to see what the Diva Challenge was. And what did she say? “SO this week, tangle on something unexpected!!”  Stonehenge perhaps? The dog? Hmmmm. I mean, I’ve drawn on slate tiles and leather coasters; I’ve tried to draw on a box, with limited success; the loved one won’t keep still  long enough for me to draw on him. (He says I can’t hit a moving target, such a spoilsport. )

So I was at a loss for a little while. However, I keep a box of “Things to do when I get round to it” items and in it there are three fans ready for me to paint/draw or, if it goes really badly, burn.

Have you ever tried drawing on zig zag folded paper and wood? Neither have I.
Have you ever tried drawing on zig zag folded paper and wood? Neither have I.

I got one out, spread it on the desk and picked up a pen.  Then I put down the pen and went to look for something else. I know when I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.

And then it came to me. I bought some little paper gift bags to decorate a while ago and I suddenly thought maybe I could do one of them. I drew round a tile, to give myself a frame, thought it looked odd so I drew some more. It still looked odd, so I turned the damn thing over and started again. And suddenly, there I was, an hour later, with some very wobbly drawing and a completed gift bag. (One side, anyway.) It wasn’t easy because of all the folds and the handles but I’m reasonably happy with it. I’ll put the name of the recipient in the arch space.

So, thank you Laura, for a Challenge that was a real challenge, I did enjoy this.

The finished side. Patterns used: Schnek, Eke, Punzle and a bit of shading.


Side One - didn't like it so turned it round.
Side One – didn’t like it so turned it round.




16 thoughts on “Where have all the flowers gone?

  1. I love the bag. I was chuckling away at your post sounds like you were a busy bee. UK weather has been really rainy although we did have a fairly sunny weekend,here in Bedfordshire :).joanne

  2. We get a lot of plain paper carrier bags like that here in Ireland as shops are not allowed to give away plastic ones. It is a great use for them and then they can be passed on to a friend. Great blog, I always enjoy reading it, it cheers me up I don’t know how I have gone so long without knowing you were here.

  3. Not surprised you left the fan….but it does look tempting. The bag looks absolutely fantastic though and I’m sure someone will be as happy with the outside as with whatever you put inside!

  4. What a lovely bag to put a special gift in! The bag is a gift itself! Lovely work, although I’m sure hoping to stick around and be able to see the outcome of a potentially tangled fan 🙂

  5. I remember being enroute to New England and needing to drive across the George Washington Bridge into New York City—-always an adventure. Sure enough, when we arrived at our side of the bridge, there was a big lit up sign saying, “Traffic jam on GWB, use alternate route”. Of course, what it should have said was, “Use alternate traffic jam.”

    It sounds like this challenge had a lot of us rummaging around (I wonder how you say that in Spanish). It’s not exactly just “looking around”. Your completed side of the bag is quite lovely, but what do you do when you give it to your friend—just hand it to her with the “good” side facing outwards and hope she doesn’t notice the other side ’til you’re gone? 😉

  6. I like it…though I do think a tangled fan would be delightful. Great idea for gift giving, and I will take Suzanne’s idea and go further with it: Maybe finish the less-than-beloved side, so your friend has a completed gift bag just LOADED with tangles on all sides?

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