Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby…

It was our ruby wedding anniversary on Sunday – forty years. As we both remarked at some point in the day, if one of us had killed the other early on in our relationship, we’d have been out of clink by now! We didn’t have a big celebration, just a Sunday dinner with our elder daughter and a very old close family friend. That hadn’t been the plan. We were all set to jet off to Mexico with my cousin and her husband, who were celebrating their 45th just over a week before. So the plan was to go for a couple of weeks, covering both celebrations with the same holiday. And then I got the date for my neurosurgery  and everything went on hold. (We hadn’t booked it, just made plans.) To my intense disgust, as you can imagine, they went anyway and we stayed at home and didn’t envy them one bit. Even when she kept putting photos on Facebook. It’s a good job she’s family.  (I’m hoping to go next year, but it won’t be the same.)

And for my anniversary present last year, the loved one bought me a lovely ring, decorated with Welsh (Clogau) gold, just like the Queen’s. Well, it might not be exactly like hers, mine’s nicer. So this year, he bought me the matching ear rings. And what did I buy him? Nothing. Why? Because he doesn’t want anything and, whenever I start looking in shops with him, at watches, signet rings or other man appropriate gifts, he stands it so long and then says, “I’m not that bothered, love, don’t waste your money.”  And he means it. He’s rather have a holiday for two than a watch for one. (Me? I want both, obviously.)

wedding-card-goldSo the back/neck is pretty much healed and I am able to draw and craft again, although I still get achey after a while. So I’ve made a couple of cards for my son’s wedding at the end of October. And now I can’t decide which one I like best, If either. I might be doing  a third one just to see if I can get it right. wedding-card-silver

The loved one likes the one with the drawing on so for now, that’s the one I’ll be going with. We’ll see.

Quote from The Little Prince, Antoine de St Exupery
Quote from Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.

And for the swap on Facebook, I’m doing bookmarks with literary quotes, which is proving to be amazing fun, since it involves reading as well as drawing. So far, I have completed five. Three more to go.


I did the writing on some of them by hand but was not entirely happy with it, so the next ones were printed instead. I used Promarkers for the background colour and then whatever came to hand for the detail.

My choice of literary quotes was a bit random, from Jane Eyre to The Little Prince to Adrian Henri and Margaret Atwood. I am enjoying the various swaps and challenges, although there gets a stage where I wonder what on earth I am doing, setting myself so many tasks to do. But, and I know just how sad this sounds, I sort of like the pressure.



Quote from Robert Heinlein, can't remember which book.
Quote from Robert Heinlein, can’t remember which book.
Quote from The Light Gstherer by Carol Ann Duffy.
Quote from The Light Gatherer by Carol Ann Duffy.
Quote from Without You by Adrian Henri
Quote from Without You by Adrian Henri


As always, the shine and sparkle don’t show on the scanned versions, but you get the idea.

So now I’m going to have another practice run at icing a wedding cake, in the hope that I can improve on the previous version, which tasted good but looked very amateur.

And then, and then…

We went down to Stratford Upon Avon for a few days. Now, for those of you who don’t know, this was Shakespeare’s birthplace – and where he died too, for that matter.  If you ever go there, believe me, you will not escape the old Bard. Every house, shop, cafe, street name, public lavatory has a Shakespeare connection. He lived here/he shopped here/he ate here/he walked here/he peed here – you get the idea. The thing is, there is so little empirical evidence that no-one knows what he did for most of his life, or where he was, or who he was with. They don’t actually KNOW his date of birth. It was probably late April because they have his baptism date in the church records (April 26th 1564)  but they tell everyone he was born on April 23rd, as children were baptised pretty quickly because infant mortality was high and they wanted the child to meet its Maker in a state of Grace if possible, and that, coincidentally and rather tidily, is the day he died.

Now Stratford is a lovely town centre with lots of genuine Tudor buildings and a lot more through the ages that are equally as attractive. (For example, The Old Bank on Chapel Street is a tour de force of decorative brickwork.)  As you can see, I borrowed a photo from because I forgot to take a picture myself!Image result for the old bank stratford upon avon

By the time we had been there a couple of days, I was pretty much Shakespeared out, especially as, like every tourist hotspot I’ve ever been too, the souvenirs were of a uniformly appalling standard and sold at a uniformly appalling price.  However, I did go in the Shakespeare’s birthplace centre – the loved one refused when he saw it cost £16.50 even for the elderly and went back to the hotel for a nap.

The museum part was uninspired but informative, struggling as it must with the lack of real information about the man himself. There was plenty about the plays and famous productions and then there was the house itself, where HE was born. And it is; and he was; and it is the real thing. However, none of the contents are original, well how could they be after 450 years? It’s all a case of “this is how it probably might have possibly been a bit like, we think, maybe.”  There were nice ladies and gents in 16th century costumes, plucking away at their lutes and theeing all over the place. They were scrupulous in saying he might have slept in this room and could have been born in this one and this was possibly his father’s workshop and you could see it was killing them. They so wanted to plant a few facts.

But, in the garden at the back of the house, there were actors in costume prepared to give a speech or two at the drop of a hat. “What’s your favourite play?” they asked, “we’ll do our best.” And a pretty good best it was too. I sat for quite a while and they gave me a very good “Friends, Romans, countrymen..” from Julius Caesar. (I think it may have put the girl off a bit, as she could see me silently mouthing the words with her.) We got Cordelia’s big speech from Lear, Richard III’s “Now is the winter..”  and a very nice sonnet that I hadn’t heard before, so I was very happy.  They were good.

And then there was the gift shop. Well, let’s move on, shall we?

And then, on Saturday morning, I went to the RST to see Margaret Atwood in conversation about her new book. But I’ll tell you ALL about that another time.

And then, no doubt, it will be Diva Day and time for the next Challenge. Until then, world, be happy and be good -ish.

So today’s Challenge is:

Weekly Challenge #290 “Duotangle: ‘NZeppel vs Flux”
A Duotangle is a term coined here at Casa Diva for a tile or piece using ONLY TWO tangles (and/or their variations).  Sometimes it’s tricky to limit yourself to only two, and then you must think of new and interesting ways those two tangles could “Go” together!!

So – this week’s challenge uses ‘NZeppel – which i love, and FLUX – which i also love.  AND these two tangles also have two different official variations. 

dc-290And I love both patterns, so I used a REAL Zentangle tile in honour of the fact that I love both patterns. It was drawn with the usual Micron 01 and shaded with Koi water colour pens.

And that’s it for now. Have a great week, world, and be good – ish.


7 thoughts on “Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby…

  1. When I first met my (now) husband, he lived In Stratford in a cottage in old town. I did not really like the tourist parts and spend a lot of time on a bench near the Avon, next to the graveyard near the old church. I loved the atmosphere there. O, I like your tile and I’m glad you feel so much better now.

  2. Nice that you are feeling better and be able again to draw, I like the cards and the bookmarks, original and very nice to give as a little present. I ‘ve never been in Stratford but it looks lovely and so is your DIva’s tile!

  3. I’m so happy to hear you are doing better and able to enjoy your art again. Too bad that you missed the trip though. I like the card with the digi image. Wedding cards should be fun, as should a marriage (unless one of you kills the other). Nice duotangle too! Oh, and my favorite part of your post is where you admitted, out loud, that you for some reason enjoy the pressure. Well, me too. They will take us away soon LOL!

  4. So great to see you back and hear you’re feeling better. Congrats on your anniversary and your son’s wedding:-) Both cards are lovely, though I’m partial to the one with the illustration. I so enjoy reading about your trips, excursions and other observations. After 25 years of study and working in theatre, I’ve had my fair share of Shakespeare;-) Your Stratford upon Avon travelogue had me laughing out loud. Love love love your bookmarks:-D

  5. Oh! you got to see Margaret Atwood in person? how wonderful. I loved her Oryx and Crake…one of book that taught me “just because we CAN, doesn’t mean we SHOULD” (another being His Dark Materials series) Kinda cool, living close enough to just drive to Stratford upon Avon hahahaha. I was there in the mid 80’s and remember seeing “his home” that he shared with Anne Hathaway. Also, the Royal Shakespeare Players on stage for…hmmm…As You Like It. Fun. So very touristy but SO much fun. As to your wonderful art, it is just super, as always. I’m trying to work up the nerve to use quotes. 🙂 You’ve done a very nice job.

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