Sunday, 16 October 2011

Village Harvest and Art Exhibition

It’s been a weekend of harvest! Yesterday we saw all the harvest displays in Exeter Cathedral, and today we had our harvest songs of praise service in our local church. The harvest supper was on Friday, but I didn’t go to that, as I knew it would be a very busy weekend and I had to pass on something or I’d get totally exhausted!

The weekend has been full of church and community events to celebrate the harvest this year. Starting on Friday, the church was open to show all the lovely harvest displays, and the art exhibition, and the harvest supper was in the evening in the village hall. Then yesterday there was again an open day in the church, and in the early evening, a concert called “Words for Voices” with the theme of food, in which four people took part, with a combination of songs, readings, and little sketches. We hadn’t planned to be there because of being in Exeter most of the day, but we decided to call in to the church before going home, to see the displays, and found them to be in the interval, so we stayed for the second half. It was very entertaining.

In the evening there was a marvellous hog roast in the pub garden. I think it was the best I’ve ever tasted. Delicious locally-bred pork with perfect crackling, served with apple sauce and stuffing in a nice big bread roll! Lots of people there, and a good time was had by all.

Today, Sunday, again the church was open all day for people to view the displays. In the mid-afternoon there was a cream tea in the village hall – I am supposed to be watching my weight but just couldn’t resist fabulous home-made scones and jam and cream, and a slice of absolutely delicious home-made coffee cake!

After this, we had the songs of praise service in the church, with the choir, and the children singing a song, lots of congregational singing with the old favourite harvest hymns (could you possibly have harvest without “We plough the fields and scatter” and “Come, ye faithful people, come”??) and then someone read John Betjeman’s absolutely gorgeous poem, “Diary of a Church Mouse” which made us all laugh, as always!

Wine and cheese was served afterwards, and the opportunity to chat, and look at everything.

Here are some pictures of the harvest displays in the church.

Each year our local organic farm donates a selection of their vegetables for the big display at the foot of the font.

Here is one of their magnificent cabbages. I just love the design of cabbages! All those tightly overlapping leaves, gradually expanding. I’m sure there’s evidence of the Fibonacci series somewhere here! God the great mathematician!!

These were some more of their fruit and veg, on top of the font. They always put in some of those fabulous ornamental cauliflowers which are definitely geeky – living fractals! I can’t resist them!

Here are some photos of the beautiful floral arrangements around the church. I admire tremendously anyone who can do this. I may be creative in other directions, but flower arranging is definitely NOT my strong point! I’ve got no patience for it, and the results are horrible. I think it makes me appreciate what others can do even more!

Here are some of the window displays. This one depicts the harvest of the orchard. Our area of the UK is famous for its apple growing, and the production of cider and apple juice. See how the apple juice in the bottle on the left glows with the light from the window shining through it!

This arrangement was so pretty, with the delicate mauve flowers and the lace.

This next display depicts the harvest of the sea, with rod and line, fishing nets, and shells.

These stars are made from tissue paper, and they glow with the light passing through them from the window.

This church has a fine example of the sort of carved wooden screen for which Devon is famous. This year someone has made a beautiful garland, complete with lights, to adorn it! He first made one last Christmas, and someone visiting the church on that occasion, who is getting married soon, has requested that a garland be made for her wedding. I think it may become a regular feature!

Here’s a view of it from the back of the church. This photo also illustrates what a huge building this is, for a small village. This weekend has been partly about raising funds for its maintenance, as a little village is ill-equipped to keep up such a demanding mediaeval building.

Also in this photo, you can see the children rehearsing the song that they sang in the service.

While I was going round photographing everything, the bellringers were busy summoning everyone to the songs of praise service. Here is the steep, narrow little staircase that leads to the ringing chamber.

The following are photos of the art exhibition. Both my hubby and I put things in. I was hoping to make a nice lot of sales, but eventually only sold one mirror (the butterflies one with the glass bead gel medium) and one box!! Yesterday someone said she was going to buy one of my mirrors today, but nothing happened, so I don’t know if she’s changed her mind or just forgotten. If she wants one, she can always contact me.

On the table they put out some of my boxes, and also the two frames I made (not for sale!!), one for my hubby for our silver wedding, and the other for our nephew’s wedding. (I’ve just realised I haven’t put any decent photos of the boxes on my blog – I’ll do another post with those.)

On this board are displayed my small flower paintings at the bottom, and at the top right, two little silhouettes my hubby did, and also his watercolour underneath, of a narrow boat in a lock. Unfortunately he didn’t manage to sell anything.

At the further end of the table was the glass blowing and the wood carving.

Everything is being returned to us tomorrow. I shall decide what to set aside for Christmas presents, and then I am thinking of starting an Etsy shop. Our village shop now has an exhibition corner where my hubby has had some of his watercolours, and I may put some things in there.

It’s strange. Everyone loves to look, and admire, and show enthusiasm over one’s work, but when it comes to parting with cash, it’s another matter! I certainly don’t think I overcharged – far from it – if I’d charged realistically for the time put into making the items, NOBODY would have been able to afford them!!! I thought that people might have liked to buy my stuff which was reasonable enough for Christmas presents, and I especially made the boxes with poinsettias and Christmas roses to attract the Christmas market.

The man who was organising it said that everyone who’d exhibited and managed to sell anything, sold stuff to approximately the same value, which was strange. I was pleased that one of my little flower paintings which was selected for the silent auction to raise funds for the church, received 2 bids and the final one was more than I’d charged for the other ones. So I really sold 3 items, but will only be paid for 2.

It’s been a very full, and very tiring weekend for me. I have neglected my emails and all my wonderful blog followers, and the WOYWW blog hop – my apologies to everyone! Over the next few days I shall have to rest, and also catch up with different jobs that have been neglected while I was trying to finish everything in time for the exhibition, but I will get back into some sort of routine soon!


  1. Shoshi, you do so like all the same things as me! Fibonacci is everywhere in nature. God sussed it out a long time before we did. I grew the cauliflowers one year, but not very successfully. Out here in Spain they are called romanos. I am so glad there are still churches that have a traditional harvest. Your's certainly seems to have made the most of the occasion!
    It is very sad that no-one did very well in the sale. People seem to have a mind set that if something is hand-made then it should cost less than a manufactured equivalent, and they fail to see the love and time that has gone into the making of it. And unless they are artists/crafters themselves, they have no idea of the cost of materials. I know I make things more for the pleasure of the making than for the selling, but it is still good to have your work appreciated. Maybe it is just a sign of the times. Money is very short everywhere this year. We have a similar sale with a small group of artists in our village, the first week in December. (To late for Christmas in my opinion, but we don't get all the hype in the shops either until December which is a good thing!) It my first year to exhibit but I am not expecting to sell very much. I hope you have more success with an etsy shop. Kate x

  2. I love looking at your pictures and hearing about your outings. It's just so cool to see! Sorry your beautiful boxes and other items didn't sell very well. I do know that feeling, though! Good luck with your Etsy shop, if you decide to open one. Also, thanks for sharing the pictures of your boxes.

  3. What an incredible church! your pictures are beautiful, I can't imagine the beauty. I hate to hear you didn't get to sell much. These days seem to be a bit tight for people, but maybe this is a good thing for me (just being selfish)! PLEASE be sure to let me know when you set up your Etsy store. I will be more than happy to be your first customer!!! Also, is there a way to follow your blog? I would really love to know when you post, I just love your work!


Thank you for your comments! They are much appreciated. Spammers, please be aware that I read and moderate ALL comments, and yours will be deleted before publication, so please don't bother!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...