“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Friday, 19 December 2014

Decoration or devastation?

I can't believe that it's been over a week since I last blogged. 
So what have I been up to...??? 
Up and down ladders fighting with Christmas fairy lights... or decorating the house from top to toe for the Christmas holiday... or dashing around the shops participating in rugby style tackles for those last minute pressies and bargains... or planning menu's for the big day... or...
pulling out a fireplace to install a new wood burner which caused a snowdrift an inch thick of dust in every nook and cranny of the house. 
Yep that'd be the one (will I ever learn... apparently it appears not)
I'm not sure if this is the reno carried over from Phase 1 or the beginning of Phase 2
Well when the main man says can we come to start work on your fireplace this week, what can you say? 
Yes of course I'd like nothing better. 

Here's the evidence...
Impressive isn't it? 
But at least the sun was shining...
And finally the mess started to clear...
I just kept my fingers crossed that it'd be completed in time to get everything in order before Christmas Eve.
We just need a little plastering here a bit of painting there...
A maiden flight...
and voila!
Now the mad panic to get the furniture back in... plus adding a little Christmas magic.
No problem... there's plenty of time right!!! 
(hyperventilating hysterically here...)

I'll hopefully get there... 
and then I'll be able to come back to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.
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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

What's On Your Work Desk... well a dog for starters!

This isn't the normal What's On Your Work Desk post from me today as there's no actual artwork on display. So if you want to see more art/craft then head over to our host Julia at Stamping Ground

For a start I have a dog on my desk... although she's actually Santa's Quality Control Manager and keeping a keen eye on procedures. 
She's making sure that standards are maintained. 
So what is she checking? 
Well basically me. 
I've been recruited as an elf to help with my daughter's Christmas orders. 
Her designs are flying out of the window... well not literally but you know what I mean.
(yes that's rain lashing on that window... see what I'm having to deal with peeps!)
Check here if you'd like a peek at the designs... there seems to be a head to head going on in the league table between Grumpy Owl with his Christmas jumper and Festive Penguins with the Penguins (at the last count) just a beak ahead. 
But that could all change with today's orders.
I've had my troubles with this lot I can tell you... it hasn't all been plain sailing. 
The seal tabs for the plastic wallets have certainly been a challenge!
Once they get a hold of you... the static just doesn't want to let go.
I'm finding them in the most unusual places.... nuff said!
Those little black circles above have white backs that once they are peeled off, make the room look like I'm working in a snow storm.
Talking of which we're supposed to be having a weather bomb hit us today. 
Yes a weather BOMB... whatever that means?
(I'll let you know once we get through it if there's anything to report)
I'm warming the sack here, along with all of my outer wear before heading off to the post office. 
I can hear the groans now as I think back to yesterday's visit. 
There was a queue... as there always is at this time of year, but oh boy they were lined up and wound around the whole post office by the time I left! 
If looks could kill I'd be six foot under now.
I was tempted to shout a cheery... " Merry Christmas Everyone" as I left but thought "Humbug" might have been more appropriate. 

So I'd better get on.... 
I hope to send time over the holidays catching up with everyone that's visited me over the last month or so. I'm horrified that I haven't done that yet as I like to reply and visit everyone.

By the way the art exhibition went well yesterday... I'll maybe post about it later. 
Anyway... I'm away to baton down the hatches now
Hopefully see you again soon
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Have fun everyone and keep smiling! 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

My Sunday Photo...and other things

Today started beautifully with the sunrise casting it's magic light onto the woods. 
It reminds me so much of Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia when the light catches it like this. 
It promised to be a bright day but unfortunately it didn't turn out that way. 
The clouds blew in on a chilly wind and it was accompanied by a shower or two of rain.
I'm keen to see what tomorrow brings because there's talk of snow!
If it arrives I'll be sure to take some photo's.
I can't imagine how Mufftypup will get on if it does arrive, because she's been clipped this week.
Unfortunately she has very little hair at the moment as the groomer seemed to be a little over zealous to say the least. Muffy's been very keen to put her jumpers on and doesn't stray far from either the wood burner or the Aga.

Finally, this week I've finished my little trips away, so it's down to the serious business of getting ready for Christmas. I even enjoyed cleaning the house today! 
I know... what's that about? 
I was concerned too, so I checked my temperature and pulse rate but it seems that I'm okay. 
It just shows what the holiday season does to you. 
  I delegated the job of having the eight boxes of decorations brought down from the attic. 
So tomorrow I start in earnest... decorating the house, trees up, recipes and menu's planned... 
... and then maybe I'll wake up? 

I was also checking through my photos today, and I came across my Christmas book tree. 
I took this photo a few years ago when we lived in Melbourne but I love it.
I thought you might like to see it. 
I was so pleased because I adore books and this just seemed perfect.
I never normally like to even open a book fully whilst reading it, so to break it's back is normally unthinkable for me, but these were older specially chosen ones for this purpose. 
It was quite a busy day today because I was also Santa's helper too.
My daughter has taken a little trip to London and called in the magic elves to keep the studio in full production mode whilst she was away. 
The orders are flooding in for her Christmas designs which is wonderful.
Here's a link if you'd like to take a peek...nicallan.co.uk

As you can see the 'Quality Control Elf' (aka Mufftypup) was in prime position to check I had everything in order.
After all that activity it was time to settle down in front of a roaring fire with our yule log glowing to watch a Christmas movie. 
Someone had better get some serious rest because tomorrow could be quite eventful, especially with a tree coming into the house and possible snow! 
... and so the day comes to a close... (yawn)
but before I head off to snoozeyland I'm going to join the Sunday photo linky, Wordless (on Tuesday)) and Create with Joy.
image-in-ing
Create With Joy
Whatever you have planned for tomorrow have fun and enjoy the day...
I hope to see you again soon
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xoxo

Friday, 28 November 2014

Wonderful Workshops

I can't complain that I haven't had time to paint this week because I've seriously indulged not once, but twice! (GASP!)
Well for a start how could I clean the house when it's been so dark? 
At 3.00pm I've had to turn on lamps for goodness sake.
I dread to think what I'll see when the sun eventually does shine, but apparently that's not going to happen until at least next Tuesday... if we're lucky. 
So for now all my guilt is shut up tight into the broom cupboard. 

But can you guess what the subject matter was for my art group this week?
A Rainy Afternoon!!!! 
As you can imagine I was thrilled Emoji
I have to say I struggled with this one, not only for the subject, but also trying to keep my piece loose.
I nearly freaked out trying to get a little precision on a building whilst using the palette knife.
I apologised to all my fellow desk mates but they seemed to think it was a giggle... so they're now off my Christmas card list!  
I definitely need more time to work on this... so I'm not going to show you it this week.
I wouldn't wish that on anyone never mind my arty friends. 

I'm still attempting to catch up after being away and had completely forgotten that I'd signed up for a workshop.
Thankfully I'd entered it into my phone diary so didn't miss it. 
I had a great time which was organised by the Jack Tierney Gallery in Cults, Aberdeenshire.
The very talented visiting Russian artist Sofia Perina-Miller gave incredible demo's (four in all) and her enthusiasm was infectious, so we all had a play too.
Her work is so incredibly vibrant and free flowing. 
No pencil in sight. 
Here she is painting a poinsettia
Sofia sees everything in intense colour and transfers that to her paintings.
If you'd like to see more of Sofia's work... click here or visit her Facebook page here
Her energy was tangible and listening to her talk about all of her projects, plans and future work left me feeling a little dizzy. She apparently only has about three to four hours sleep a night. 
(I knew that's were I would find some more time... now I just have to try sleep deprivation... although somehow I don't think it'll be for me... I'm a dizzy blonde already at times) 

I now have an extensive art supplies wish list for Christmas, but unfortunately I don't think I've been that good.... I'll have to work on it!
St.Petersburg White Nights Wooden Box Set
Shin-Gansai watercolour pan
600gsm cold pressed paper 
to name but three...

Here's a painting I managed to do within the time restraints.
I always like to outline in pen so was thrilled when Sofia said that we needed to do that on our finished paintings. 
Yay... I knew I liked her 
This second piece isn't finished but I'll maybe have a play with it using the paints I already have. 
It's so dark here so photographs lately leave a lot to be desired...soz!
I'll certainly be looking out for more workshops to attend and Sofia says she will return in the spring.
Roll on spring for so many reasons...

And finally and more appropriately my sincere apologies if you have visited me recently and I haven't returned the call.
I've been away twice in the last few weeks and there's still two little trips planned (although these aren't cast in stone) I will be revisiting my posts to catch up with replies as and when I can.

In the meantime why don't you nip over to Kristin and Eva's Paint Party Friday there's always lots to see.
Paint Party Friday
I'm also linking to Dion Dior's Friday Sketches... click here to visit Dion
Dion Dior
And the Artist's Play Room over at Jenn's Just Add Water Silly blog
Happy Friday everyone... have fun and hopefully I'll see you again soon
(I'll be concentrating on the Christmas festivities after this weekw)
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xoxo

Saturday, 22 November 2014

There was an old woman....

Do you know the song/nursery rhyme "There was an old woman..."?
Sing along with me if you do...
"There was an old woman who swallowed a fly
I don't know why she swallowed a fly
Perhaps she'll die"
Well thankfully I didn't die, although it was touch and go for a time.

I happened to be busy catching up with a few chores after yet again being away for a few days... 
pulling a few weeds as I passed I must have obviously been hyperventilating, because as I bent over 
a wee beastie decided to take a trip into my mouth! 
I tried desperately not to swallow it, but that little bugger was intent on his mission. 
Coughing and spluttering I staggered into the house and tried to drown him by gulping a glass of water, but alas he'd hidden in between somewhere... neither up nor down. 
(cough, cough, splutter splutter...)
Finally after a coughing fit of about half an hour, he must have decided to give in... 
adding to my protein intake for this last week. 
When I explained what had happened reliving my sorry tale to my hubby, he wasn't in the least bit as sympathetic as I thought he should be... 
but then he explained that's a constant occurrence when you're a cyclist.  
Eew!!!

My absence was to sadly attend my Uncle J's funeral.
A huge man who both delighted and frightened me.
I remember when he visited my childhood home... he would enter the room and fill the doorway with his frame. He always asked for a kiss from me knowing it would send me running to hide behind the sofa... 
well I was just a little toot back then.  
I'm so glad that upon our last meeting we laughed about this and I willingly volunteered to give him a little wee peck on the cheek after all these years. I remember his smile from that day.
I also remember he fell asleep once, in a deckchair on the beach with his socks on and later that night we all had such a giggle when he showed us the sock pattern in bright red sunburn on his feet.
I don't think his feet were right for at least a week.  
The sun had burnt right through the weave of the socks.
This was accompanied with white strips across his sun burnt tummy.
The sun hadn't reached between the creases on his stomach, as he sat in a deckchair, but all the rest of his middle glowed bright red.
I'll not dwell too long on all of my memories, but I just want to say what a wonderful family I have.
We all came together and shared our memories and bid him a sad final farewell. 
RIP Uncle J
x

Later, I had an opportunity over the remaining few days to visit aunts and cousins that I haven't seen for years... 
...oh the reminiscing, memories and tales we exchanged.
I'm very blessed with my family and appreciate them all because I know that this is special. 
Not everyone has such a great gift..

Keeping that theme... here's where I originate from....
I've often seen this map on my sister's wall but never stopped to appreciate it...
It's where my roots are and my family (as well as my hubby's) are all still located there. 
Here's a closer look...
I'm not sure you'll be able to read any of the fascinating details...apologies if you can't

So that's it for today,
I had lots of posts in my head from both trips, but as often happens I didn't know where to start... 
or what to say... there was just too much.
I think I'll just leave you with this video clip that I took of Mufftypup running across a field yesterday.
I won't say too much about it as it may spoil it, but I think there's a possibility you'll have a giggle.


Apologise for my high pitch voice but all the music I tried just didn't fit.
It's not my normal voice ~ honestly! 

Have fun and enjoy your weekend everyone...
I'll be back to natter soon
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xoxo

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Goodies, Geese and Getaways

Today started brilliantly when a parcel arrived at my door... it had traveled all the way from Australia
from my friend Tracey Fletcher KingI hugged it just in case some of the heat was still contained within but alas it didn't... but then it had traveled 12,000 miles!
Tracey has relaunched her fantastic Cuppa With Friends Project so why not pop over to see her amazing artwork. You will not be disappointed. 
Here's some of my goodies from her The Tea Spot giveaway and I have to say I've been grinning from ear to ear ever since I opened it. 
First thing this morning, even before the postie arrived we had another visitor...
it was a lovely way to start the day. 
It's the nearest that she's come to the house but I hope that she keeps coming. 
The photo above reminds me of yet another gift that I've received in the last week... 
I'm such a lucky bunny aren't I? 
 ... and it's not even Christmas yet.
Isn't he cute... and he helps to keep my cosy too. 
It's just the perfect size for cuddling.
I now have two hotties... the other heart one shown below was from my son as part of my mother's day pressie. 
 As you can see it's well loved
Although the weather has been atrocious over the last few days... hardly getting light yesterday at all. 
But last weekend was glorious. 
The type of day that you just need to get out and enjoy.
So we took a drive further north and stopped off at the little town of Ellon.
Here is the bridge crossing the River Ythan.
Of course we had to stop at a little tea shop for a cuppa and cake to keep us energized.
We also stopped at a farm shop in Crimon and met these inquisitive coos.
The countryside around Aberdeenshire is spectacular with huge skies
I wanted to get a little closer to these visiting geese, as they refueled in a nearby field before moving on... but as you can see even though I thought I was stealth-like in my approach they spotted me and scarpered.
It's good to get out and about especially on a day like this. 
I treasure these things and store them away for wet, dark rainy days.
Roll on spring although I wouldn't mind a little snow. 
(Eek....did I really say that?)
Whatever you are doing this weekend... have fun and enjoy
Thanks for stopping by and I hope to natter again soon
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xoxo
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