Life: Mine: It’s full: Very full

15016351_1247664865307784_3338542209251484497_oI’m a woman.  I’m self-employed.  I’m fairly ‘alternative’ and, am told, slightly ‘eccentric’.  I wear many hats.  Not all suit me…

Life gets confusing and chaotic……

Here’s perhaps why….

13912605_1298769933474183_1529318925936773135_n???????????????????????????????I’m an artist, I occasionally do pet portraits, I often do stained glass commissions. I do have an Etsy shop, which I manage in a very ad hoc way.  I promise to keep a stock of my designs but the artistic bit of me is really only interested in the bespoke commissions and one-off designs , so I struggle to find time to hold stock.  So I make my designs to order.

20170322_123236I teach stained glass.  It’s a new string to my bow.  I love it.  I find it immensely satisfying and it brings me huge amount of joy.

I run a B&B.  This involves being really nice to (mostly) lovely people, talking (a lot), keeping the place clean, ironing sheets (even though I’d never iron my own) and cooking really gorgeous breakfasts.  I do this with my hubby.  We love working together.  It works.  Coming to stay at Cerdyn Villa is like staying with friends (so we’re told) and that, my lovelies was the plan so things her are going well

breakfast

I manage our business website and various tourism pages on social media.  Some of these pages… “www.cerdynvilla.wales” is our lifestyle hub (ooo fancy!), it leads you off to “Pink Butterfly Art and Glass” – my Etsy shop; “Pink Butterfly at Cerdyn Villa” -our FB page combining our B&B and my art; http://www.cerdynvilla.co.uk – our B&B website; “rose-tinted Ramblings” – my blog; “Home of Bog Snorkelling” – the tourism FB page for our town; “@Berni_Benton” – my twitter account

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m a gardener – I look after six people’s gardens.  Mostly elderly ladies, some of whom like to garden with me and its as much about the company as the weeding and pruning.  I LOVE weeding (does that make me odd?  I don’t care, I LOVE IT!)

peanut butter cheesecakeI work shifts in the local cafe and cover for the owners if they go away.  Sometimes I even bake some cakes!

I blog.  For fun, but mainly to keep me sane and promote my work(s) (not necessarily at the same time). Its called Rose Tinted Rambling, but you know that because you are here now.  It’s mainly a brain dumping ground.  Most thoughts evolve whilst I’m either ironing or weeding and I can’t rest until they’re typed.  So there! I try to categorise to avoid you haven’t to read the ‘boring shit’  but I’d say there’s pretty much something for everyone here.

I  advocate for a local elderly lady and manage her finances. It’s my ‘pay-it-forward” – we should all have one.  It’s great to give back.

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I volunteer, Working to help run the weird and wacky events in Llanwrtyd – I am the commentator at the World Bog Snorkelling and Man v Horse.  They gave me the job because, and I quote “if the PA system breaks I’d still be loud enough for everyone to hear”.  Hubby said he could hear me from the house last year and I was three-quarters  of a mile away….

… I hasten to add the mic was working that day.

I am responsible for keeping our household accounts.  Although hubby takes my figures and does the scary bit of filling in the returns and sending them off

I do all the food shopping, planning and feeding. Sometimes I do this well.  Other times we eat out!

I ‘manage’ a tenanted house with 5 flats.  Not for fun, at all, but because the landlords were neighbours but now live in Spain.

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We keep hens, that means they have a house that needs cleaning

11182523_1594413547510404_4888338233642762611_oI’m a mum………

………………………………………….

……..in my spare time (!!)

I do a bit of yoga and belly dancing

a vision in red

I look after my own garden (sometimes I get dressed before I start)

11168862_1046829525379356_5330321855820313332_oI’m a member of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party (say hello to Lady Lily the Pink).  I even stood for the Welsh Assembly

I soak in a bubble bath

I enjoy a good live band

I read the occasional book.  mostly I read blogs  and watch TED talks

I snuggle on the sofa with my Hubby and watch Netflix

I play board games with my boy(s) – son and hubby

I eat out with friends

I eat in with friends

I drink out with friends

I drink in with friends

Sometimes I just drink…….

I love my life, but planning is difficult.  Impossible actually.  So it appears chaotic.  and sometimes it really is.  It also appears disorganised.  But actually it rarely is.  ….

….it just feels it

Logistically its a massive challenge.  It’s so far removed from the 9-5 life I used to lead.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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Tangerine Dreams…

Based on APOD images of Whirlpool Gallaxies - this stained glass window panel was produced for our bathroom as an alternative to obscured glass
Based on APOD images of Whirlpool galaxies – this stained glass window panel was produced for our bathroom as an alternative to obscured glass
Tangerine Dream - Acrylic on Canvas
Tangerine Dream – Acrylic on Canvas

when you stand in our bathroom at night with its curved black ceiling speckled with hundred of fibre optic pinpoints of light; and look down into the shiny black floor tiles, you get the wonderful sensation of floating in space and a weightlessness and clarity from the silence and the sense of infinity all around.

“As we look out from our World the Universe looks back” – acrylic on wood based on the Helix Nebula, a great ‘Cosmic Eye’ 700 light years away in Aquarius

I imagine for a brief moment the ever-expanding universe with its countless galaxies and unfathomable numbers of stars and planets.

“There is Beauty All Around; We Simply Have To Open Our Minds To See” – based on the grat nebular in Orion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then take an introspective look at our small life on our speck  in the infinitely varied and technicoloured, ever-changing, ever evolving universe; and find peace.

This moment in time, the one in which man occupies a little blue and green ball of rock is but a breath in the universal expanse.

“We Shall Never Tame Nature; It Will Not Surrender To Us” – acrylic on wood – A hurricane over the Earth

We should cram it full of friendship and joy, it is too short a moment to squander.  After we are gone – I wonder what magic will fill the tiny void our absence will create.

“When Considering the Universe, We ARE But a Speck of Dust” – acrylic on wood based on APOD image by Adam Black of a spiral galaxy 300 Million light years away in Andromeda

 

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The Creativity inside…

As a youngster I was pretty enthusiastic about art.  As a teen I did pencil sketches of my favourite rock stars, John Taylor of Duran Duran, The Tompson Twins , Midge Ure.  They weren’t bad for a 16 year old.  I never, however studied art at O level or beyond.  The teacher changed, I lost confidence, I was academic so I studied the sciences and maths.  I became an an office worker, accounts, credit control, reconciliations, payroll.  I was good at it and even enjoyed the companies I worked at.  But I longed to be creative.

I would theme my sons bedrooms.  As a baby he had prime colours and rainbows.  As a kid he had space rockets and stars.  As an older teen – red/black bold daring.  I took to gardening for creative release too.

When we moved to our rose tinted  life here in Wales I remember telling John that I the artist in me would show itself.

I joined a local art group and developed some techniques and confidence.  I took on a few pet portrait commissions and took photos photos of local trees and copses and rivers using them to develop techniques of shadows, light flow and reflection.

This is Ruby – such a delicate gem with the most gorgeous collar

I learned how to blend the paints and more recently to introduce texture.

Still Waters - acrylic on canvas
Still Waters – acrylic on canvas

I went on a course to learn stained glass techniques and found it interesting how with glass I had to consider more abstract and pattern use to suggest texture and mood.  I designed a several panels for our front door – making up a little ‘storyboard’.  and then in our ‘space’ themed bathroom, instead of obscure glass , i designed a panel based on a Whirlpool Galaxy

 

Whether I’m any ‘good’ at it, I don’t know. Ii do know its an obsession, I can’t stop.  It moves me and drives me.  Whether people will like them, enjoy them or respond to them – I guess that’s down to the individual.

Our Chickens, Henny meet Handsome George and a family is born
Our Chickens, Henny meet Handsome George and a family is born

What is art? We all have a different view on the subject.  If art is the reproduction of a vista/person/object so it is hard to differentiate between whether its a photo or painting , then I guess I’m not very good.  But is it a row of coloured dots, an unmade bed, a dead sheep in formaldehyde?  If art is anything that makes you think or creates an emotional response then all of life is art.  Scientific discovery is art, construction, destruction, making, baking…. everything is ART.

I am so excited to be part of a two month exhibition at The Wyeside Arts Centre.  My first ever proper exhibition.  Alongside 6 other artists we explore under the title “On Reflection”  – I’ve created 8 pieces, interpreting of space-scapes and sky-scapes in partnership with sentimental quotes that strive to capture the expanse and potential of our existence.

"Dance of the Spirit" - aurora over th Fjord
“Dance of the Spirit” – aurora over the Fjord

So I sit at home, with my partner John.  ever encouraging and happy for me to follow my less-ordinary dream .  I paint, I cut glass, I solder, I blog, I garden.   I create.  Its my art and its a bonus if others enjoy it too.    I hope some of you do.

And, if you happen to be in the Builth Wells area of Wales on 1st May between 6:30 and 8:30 you can join me and the other artists at the preview of our joint exhibition.  I’d love to meet you x

I'm there - my first ever exhibition - ooo, how exciting
I’m there – my first ever exhibition – ooo, how exciting