Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Making and Doing

On the whole, we're a family that likes to make things, to do things and whilst we've spent a fairly dormant winter, when the sun comes out, it seems to stir all our creative juices and activity begins.

FR has arranged to have some frames made to provide shade both for the car and for the front of the house. This has resulted in us meeting Juan, who has a piece of land in Villalobos and does all types of metal work if he's asked nicely.  He's incredibly knowledgeable about plants and nature and told us off for having too much water in one of our pot plants...then told us exactly where we had to plant it. He showed us his barn or 'nave' across the valley and then let us into the secret of what he keeps there.....snails! Snails for eating, that he feeds a purely organic and natural diet, including peppermint, thyme, asparagus and other goodly sounding fodder. I don't like eating snails particularly but these sound like the Rolls Royce version and for a millisecond, I found my mouth was watering as he described their juicy succulence. I'll let you know if I succumb...

There has also been the marking of the ground in front of the house - strange lines have been carved out whilst Ruy, Romy and I were out with Pippin the other day. These are lines where a digger will come and trash the front of the house, digging down a good foot or so to allow us to have a proper door-sized opening into our house. At the moment, the door opens and you have to go down two steps to reach the kitchen floor level - anyone tall has to duck to get in and it's something that's annoyed FR since we moved in. So the outside of the house has to come down to reduce the difference between inside and out. It's not going to be an easy job and we're levelling the significant slope and putting down a decent patio at the same time. Could be a dusty summer!!


On Thursday, two of my English students came over. Rocio and Lucia are sisters and I have been teaching them English since last summer, when we had a great time learning nursery rhymes, playing with plastic food, reading books and generally enjoying ourselves.


We discovered a shared love of drawing and making crafty things - their mother is incredibly talented at making jewellery, sewing, knitting and crochet and the girls are equally gifted. I now focus their English class through something creative - we've made cards, painted masks, made Treasure Maps and all sorts of other things.







This week, as Thursday was Labour Day and a holiday, they came to me so we could paint and make as much mess as we wanted and to save me carting all my paint, ink, stamps and stencils to their house.

We've started Art Journals and Romy usually joins us as she's at the same school and they all get on well together. It was a lovely, happy and creative afternoon -  all in English too, even the trampolining!











It pleased me greatly that they spent time with me, painting and then after a spot of trampolining, they went up to Romy's bedroom and began drawing more things...












Yesterday, I bought myself a little wooden box in town and spent another very happy afternoon tangling it to keep my Zentangle pens in and I'm very pleased with the result!
Front and top

One side













And the other side
I did the back too, but perhaps you don't need to see all of it to get the picture!

Mateo got a guitar for Christmas and although progress is slow, I love listening to him practising and exploration of different chords. He has a good ear and makes some really nice sounds, although it's hard to convince him of that - I think he thought he'd find it easier than he does. It's a beautiful guitar and really does make a good sound - hopefully, he'll continue to practice and reach a stage where he can enjoy his own strumming.


Not to be outdone on the art stakes, Ruy produced a little work of art of his own - this is so typical of Ruy's sparse and precise style, I couldn't resist sharing it.
Love him!!


What inspires you to get out and make or do?












21 comments:

  1. Hi Annie , What a fabulous and fun way to learn , we should all be taught like that. I adore your little box , it is fantastic .. I think I am going to look it to this form of Art xx Anne

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    1. Thank you Anne! If you need any encouragement, then you've come to the right place. Check out Zentangle on the internet and also a site called Tangle Patterns and you'll have all you need to begin! Axxx

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  2. Everything inspires me! While I think children should be left to daydream and - dare I say it - get a bit bored sometimes, it is wonderful to be creative and inspired by life. I think your box is brilliant - zentangling works really well on a 3D object.

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    1. It's clear that you draw inspiration from everything, Nilly! If my children ever complained of being bored, I did exactly what my mum did with me...I find them a job to do. They (and I) are never bored now and I would say day dreaming is a perfectly good creative activity in this house. Glad you like the tangles! Axxx

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  3. More fun packed days with your lovely family. The building project sounds big... I hope it doesn't disrupt life too much for you all...but I'm sure the finished article will be good...it sounds excellent. I love the zentangled box Annie, it looks amazing.
    Our creativity at the moment is limited to creating dust free zones in the house ( nearly complete) and shaping the garden again , into something manageable, useful in that I want to eat things from it, and something that is lovely to look at from wherever you sit in it.
    I also have a table runner project to start as Jess's birthday is in 2 weeks time, and although she has already had her present from us, given before we deserted her last week.... I have promised a table runner to match her Christmas present 2013 curtains ! ( How domesticated my 23 year old daughter has become since she has had her own flat ). I'll let you know how the table runner turns out. I have to admit though, that her crocheted blanket started 18 months ago is still a long way from being finished. Lots of love jxxxx

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    1. It has been a very lovely couple of weeks, Janice. The project will be big and pretty messy, I imagine but in the summer, we tend to be very unbothered by routine and tidiness....and it's only 7 weeks til the end of term here! As for dust-free zones....a mere pipedream here!
      I have no doubt your garden will be delighted to cooperate - you look to have a really good starting point this year.
      Hope Jess has a lovely birthday - I still imagine what it must be like to have a 23 year old daughter, though I suspect Romy would love a table runner when she has her own place too. And perhaps I'd better make a start on a blanket just now! It will feel odd enough that Mateo will be 16 in a couple of months..
      Hope you're enjoying your time back in France and that you''re getting out in the sunshine and quaffing the odd glass of wine as the sun goes down. Axxx

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  4. Hello Annie,
    How wonderfully imaginative you are with the English lessons. We are certain that your two students love their lessons with you and, most likely, learn a great deal more and faster than they would otherwise. Active learning at its best.

    You sound as if you have major earth moving works to come. Rather frightening and, definitely, much dust and inconvenience but how exciting it will be to see all your home and garden improvements come into being. It will all be worth it in the end...well, that is what we have said to ourselves when on the brink of major developments such as these!

    Your box is delightfully intriguing. Such fun tracing the pattern across the various faces of the box. Surely a home industry in the making......

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance! I confess that it's less imagination and more self-indulgence during my classes with these two poppets. It's my great luck that they love doing this too. Their ability to enthuse in English over colours, textures, appearance, surprise results etc. is second to none. I do hope they go through life and have the opportunity to use so many positive exclamations.

      I am slightly concerned about the work that is pending....not overly as I have the ability to see beyond the mess to the improvements to come and it is something we have wanted to get done. You will see it, warts and all, once it begins. I hope you have always been able to justify the works you've had done in the end!

      I can certainly imagine completing box after box after box without too much of a problem - getting rid of them once completed is another story! I have a good excuse to make at least five...one for each of us...after that, I'm not sure.

      Axxx

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  5. Hi Annie - I really love your Zentangle box - just the thing to inspire you to do further art. I bet you could sell some of those... Lovely to see that you are giving inspiring english lessons to the girls! They look much more creative than what I've been serving up to my ESOL students on my CELTA course. I feel comforted to see that you've managed to bring Art into your english lessons: maybe I will eventually be able to do the same. By the way, I very much like Ruy's bird - 'fully realised' is how my art tutors would describe it, I think, or, 'a confident creation'. Certainly a bird that knows what it wants to be

    I will be interested to see if you manage to brave the snails. Even with the succulent and healthful diet you describe I am not sure I could really eat them. But they sound like the most cherished snails ever!

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    1. Hi Hita - aha, you're doing the CELTA course! Good luck - is this in preparation for further travels abroad or to help those in the UK with learning English? I really enjoyed the course I did and it has proved definitely worthwhile here.

      Glad you like my tangle box too - I may be tempted to put some for sale, otherwise, we will just have too many at home! And I'll tell Ruy you like his bird. It's very 'him'. He was born fully realised, I think.

      I shall let you know if a snail passes my lips - but even just writing that makes me writhe in discomfort, so probably not.

      Axxx

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  6. Helen Devries5 May 2014 16:08

    That bird! I feel its eyes following me....probably another creature looking for food, water and attention to add to the collection.

    We used to collect snails when in France to give to friends who could be fussed with preparing them which I used to do just once a year for the annual snailfest in the next door village - the only time of the year that my hands were soft and smooth!
    I've eaten them...but I must say that the best part is the sauce...
    A chap had a snail farm up the road from a friend's house...with an electric fence round the snail pit! I used to wonder what would happen to his neighbours' gardens if there was a power cut, but he solemnly assured me that he had thought of that and that his fence ran on a battery.

    I used to spin, dye and weave and enjoyed it enormously, but won't start up again...somehow the years when Leo was so ill knocked the stuffing out of creativity in me...except for building and renovation works!
    I'm so looking forward to getting started on the house in Spain and having it look the way I want.....dust or no dust.
    Blaster Bates strikes again...
    You're right about the works at your place...a right mess for a few weeks and then you have things the way you want them.

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    1. The bird makes me laugh everytime I see it! I am wondering whether the electric fence was to keep the snails in or intruders out....? And I had heard that snail slime is good for the hands.

      I think you are incredibly creative with your blog, Helen. We honestly don't know what you will tell us next but it's always so perfectly pitched and so evocative of mood and image - pure creativity at work there. And renovating property takes a very patient and focused type of creativity too - and it sounds like those juices are flowing now in the direction of Spain..Hurray!!

      It will take my dear husband an age to organise someone to come and start the work...he's not good at starting but once it's started, he'll be like a whirlwind...or maybe a sandstorm!

      Axxx

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  7. Snail slime is meant to be a great skin smoother. Forget eating them, let a few wander over your face for a natural facial. ( don't forget to have photos taken before, during and after)

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    1. Nice thought...B2B....NOT! I think I'd rather eat a dead one than be crawled on by live ones. Only just rather. And really, I'd rather not! Axxx

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  8. I love snails, although I think it's the garlic butter they are soaked in that's more appealing. This brings back a memory of my daughter when she was around 18 months old. We used to go out for an early dinner at an Italian restaurant quite regularly. Believe it or not, at that early age, she always had a double portion of snails and nothing else but bread to dip in the sauce. She loved them. Sometimes I remind her of this but she refuses to believe it.

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    1. I promise when you come to visit one day, we'll pop over to Juan's barn and you can have your choice! My son also used to eat them with great pleasure. Not so much now. And yes, the garlic butter definitely makes anything delicious!
      Axxx

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  9. Your Zentangle box is excellent... I could keep my calligraphy pens in such a box!
    I have found The Flourish Forum online, a wonderful place for calligraphers... it's my new online crush, and it's inspiring.
    Good luck with the building work... I have to get something done about my drafty conservatory... like you, I'm not looking forward to the dust.

    Sx

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    1. It's definitely a box for keeping things in, Ms S, and my Zentangle pens are as precious to me as I am sure your calligraphy ones are....though they are a bit more run of the mill. I shall have a look at the forum you mention as I am still interested in calligraphy, though awfully out of practice!
      I shall worry about the dust as and when work starts. As you may know, it's always mañana in Spain and it's quite true!
      Axxx

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  10. I really love your Zentangled box, Annie, and feel sure they would prove eminently saleable. As for Ruy, I reckon you have a cartoonist in the making there. His bird reminds me strongly of Simon's Cat. :-) I have a strong fellow-feeling for Mateo, as I too wrestle with these first months of learning a new instrument. Does he have a teacher or is he, like me, teaching himself?

    Your English students are SO lucky to have you as their teacher. Learning languages should be sun and so often isn't. I bet what you teach them sticks much better than learning dull lists of vocabulary. :-)

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    1. Hello again, Perpetua! It would be lovely to sell some of my boxes, I will be working on them in the weeks to come and when I have a stack, then I shall see if the local shop cares to put them on show...who knows!
      All three of my children love to draw and they all have a unique style. I just loved this bird of Ruy's and you're right - he does have a bit of a Simon's Cat look...wonder if he's as naughty.
      I am also lucky to have such receptive children to teach. It doesn't work with all of them, but these two are like little sponges and soak up whatever I happen to throw their way. They know every single nursery rhyme that I could remember to teach them and sing them word perfectly! I'm just about to blog about my big change....stay tuned!
      Axxx

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    2. Meant to say as well that Mateo is teaching himself. I'm afraid that if I insisted on a teacher, he'd give up immediately...anything that smacks of work is an anathema to him!

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