Friday, November 14, 2008


Well keeping warm is not something that is bothering these dogs. The sun is shining and what better time to head out for a drive down country lanes and find a suitable spot for a picnic. I think they might be by a meadow, next to a river, with the reeds gently swaying in the wind and the water racing past. They might dip their hot little paws in too cool of after their game of cricket and then make it back to the car for one last cup of tea before heading home.

This seems a distance summer memory in more ways than one, for all its busyness and eventfulness. I started the 'minivan picnic' painting in June when I found myself sitting next to K's boat in the middle of a concrete jungle. But sitting beside me was the most perfect Minivan. It was such a helpful little car, I had no camera with me and it posed for me just the way I wanted it too, opening and shutting its doors trying to find its most flattering view.

Time and the season has moved on and the nights are drawing in, I love the warm days of summer (although they seemed a little far and few). I remember now all the lovely things about the Autumn. The colours on the trees have been amazing this year. An endless supply of apples has meant ample apple crumbles

We have built a new wood store and with some much appreciated help all our wood is chopped up ready and waiting. With any luck it should be enough to last the winter out. I tend to rely on the wood burner to keep the house warm and cosy in the evenings, its amazing how the warm air rises filling the house.

There is something so very satisfying about stacking logs and something very compforting about seeing a stacked pile of logs.

The chimney has had its yearly sweeping and the wood burner is all ready and waiting to be lit.

I am very lucky to have the luxury of the rayburn. We have brought in the winters supply of oil. This time because of the price we only brought in 500 litres, I find it very funny with oil waiting for the price to be ok but if you run out and then you are just forced into buying at a high price. I have found a lovely new oil engineer who will look at my rayburn when it misbehaves, (like blowing the hotplate up...that sounds more dramatic than it was!!!). If anyone needs a rayburn engineer in sussex I would love to recommend him and pass on his details.

We have been trying to think of ways of making it work more efficiently. Which meant a weekend with all the floor boards up. K put his plumbers hat on and replaced all the pipe work from the rayburn to the hot water tank to the radiators with larger pipes to pump the water quicker into the system. He did a fantastic job and when we refilled the system there was not one leak.
K also fitted me a radiator in my work room. Last winter I managed with out, as I said the wood burner does a good job of heating the house and I'm all for putting more jumpers and hats on. The winter before, my work room was lovely and warm, as I had the chimney from the solid fuel rayburn, which warmed up and made the room all cosy. The oil rayburn required a chimney liner and so no longer does the chimney warm up.

We have also been lagging any pipes in the airing cupboard, which has made more difference than I could possible imagine. The only problem is the airing cupboard is not so warm, not really a problem as it was never big enough to do any airing in.
Captain Rupert is rather amused with all these going on. He says whats wrong with a good old fur coat, is has grown silky soft and thick for the winter. He shakes his ears and twists his tail of he hops down the garden path, out in the wind, out in the rain and out in the cold. As the cold does not bother a brave little rabbit with his handsome fur coat.

And fallen leaves are so crunchy to play in and soo very tasty to eat.

Well I'm not too sure if thats true as in the evening before rabbit bed times, There are some little ears waiting by the door, I let him in and wipes his muddy paws on the door mat, leaving little rabbit paw prints. And off he hops to the fire and enjoys his toast and evening tipple, dreaming of dry grass under paw and long days stretched out under the hedge enjoying the sunshine.

.......................................................................Keep warm................................................................

Jo and Captain Rupert

(PS Note to oneself.... still need to must relearn the art of shorter and more frequent blog posts!)


Amanda said...

Oooooh warmth is so important. We ren a flat where every room has an outer wall, there is no insulation in the roof so just a thin ceiling and metal roof between us and the elements - and we have electric storage heaters - we use one and then use an oil radiator and electric fire to try and keep warm. It's not easy and with having my health bad at the momI have just not been warm once. So I am happy to see I am not the only one thinking about ways to keep warmer!!

Lovely to hear from you and Captain Rupert - hope you are doing well?!

Anonymous said...

Quality not quantity! ;) I enjoyed this warm and cosy post, just right for these ever increasingly dark days!x

Rabbits' Guy said...

Quality .. I vote too. Good story .. nice pile of wood. I bet you'll have some new "pets" in there!

Nice to see the Capt'n ... he is looking good and having fun.

People still view the Carrot Cake recipe and will probably even more so as the Holidays grow nearer!

Clare said...

Hi Jo,

What perfect timing to visit your blog and see your beautiful painting - I never tire of seeing your gorgeous work, every new picture is a delight!

Sounds like you have been very busy of late - we're expecting another delivery of logs next week, so should be nice and cosy for the winter.

It was lovely to chat to you recently - and I am serious about that commission one day soon!

Hope you're keeping well - I am celebrating my 100th post on blog so please pop along and leave a comment for a surprise giveaway!

Clare x

KarenHarveyCox said...

Your artwork is amazing. I love all the details that you put into your paintings. And this last one on your post is totally charming. Karen

Cowboys and Custard said...

It is definitely worth the wait Jo...
Seeing your beautifully stacked woodpile has made me want to light a fire now.. It is so mild today but there is something so satisfying about building a fire and sitting back to watch it flicker and burn and warm ones toes..
Love your new characters..

Hope all is well and we will be seeing you next weekend!

Lots of love
Michele x

The Fluffy Tribe said...

I like your new picture Joanne. Okay I like all your pictures. :) Sounds like you are ready for the cold. It actually got 20 degrees in the night here although we are still having mid 60s for the days and sometimes even a little warmer. ~Jane
Hi Cpt Rupert ~Rabbie

Anonymous said...

what a lovely post - made me warm just reading it. oh how i long for a bunny that is indoor / outdoor like Captain Rupert again! someday...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the new paintings

You are amazing my friend!

Anonymous said...

what happened to your etsy shop?

Libbys Blog said...

Lovely to see you blogging. I always enjoy your posts so blog away long or short!

lulu said...

Oooo... what a delight to pop in and see you back! Capt. Rupert is a most handsome lad indeed with a luxurious coat it seems. :0) What a sweetie! And the art!!! Too yummy for words!!!
Glad to hear that you're getting tucked in for the winter. I'm busy doing the same. Hugs for now, LuLu

Country Cottage Chic said...

The new painting is wonderful - so much to look at!

I don't know how we'd manage without the Aga - it was a bit under the weather so we couldn't switch it on until the nice Aga man came & fixed it last week, now we are lovely & toasty warm again!

Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday!!

tlc illustration said...

What a warm and cozy post! Nice to 'see' you here. Hope you are feeling *well* and that all is good on the homefront.

the flour loft said...

Hi Joanna,
looking forward to meeting you on Saturday.
Ginny xx

Dianne said...

I so enjoy your blog! Just discovered it a while back and I love your drawings and hearing about your pet rabbit. Does he have free roam of your house? I tried that once...but wasn't too successful at it! Anyway, he's adorable and your blog is very entertaining. Will definitely have to order some of those lovely cards also!


ellie said...

Lovely to catch up on your blog ( been off line for too long !) you are busy with building projects. Love your cosy illustrations ! We are trying to keep warm, and building too !! I hope it wont be a very hard winter !!

funkymonkey said...

I can imagine how cosy your woodburner will be with the cold weather we will have this weekend. I love snuggling up in front of the fire at ths time of year with blankets and hot chocolate. This post made me feel expecially cosy.

A Saucerful Of Secrets said...

Dearest Joanna,
Thank you for coming to find me today,it was so lovely to meet you at the fair,you are a very talented young lady who tells magical tales of your Captain Rupert(adorable!)through your wonderful paintings.I will enjoy visiting you regularly to find out how you are and the new adventures of Captain Rupert.Keep warm,Love and Best Wishes, Annie x

Anonymous said...

What a really lovely post. Your bun is very sweet too. Does he dig badly in your garden? Your paintings are wonderful, what a talented lady you are.

Rachael Rabbit said...

I'm always stunned by how much I pour over your photos of the handsome Captain Rupert - boy he really is a total looker!! Sounds like your winter is all set to be a cozy one ;-)

Sal said...

Hi Jo...thanks for your message on my blog. It was even more of a pleasure to be opposite you! You are so talented and I loved your art work.
Fancy you knowing York ..lucky you! I could live there very happily!
Have a good week and take care!
Big hugs ;-) xxx

louise said...

Nice to see another post from you Jo and to hear all is well with you both, and Captain Rupert. I hope you enjoyed the bloggers' meet and that you returned to a cosy warm home. I love the new paintings from you. x

Rosie said...

It was really nice to meet you at the Vintage and Handmade Fair last weekend. YOur artwork is fabulous. Really enjoyed reading your blog.

James said...

Just found your blog, love your work, nice clean full of texture and simple, I always aim to keep my paintings simple but always end up getting lost in the details.