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

Friday, 4 September 2015

My Week On A Page #3 (PPF)

It's party time once again and I'm happy to say I've managed to bring something to the party this week.
Although it's titled My Week On A Page #3, which isn't actually true... because it's taken me longer than a week to complete.
 I'm happy with the outcome.
Each item is chosen for a particular reason for that week.
Like a painting journal instead of a written one.
Week #3 has a dog lead (leash)
My favourite mug,
New glasses
Pewter and gold pill pot
and yellow jasmine
(There's no particular importance to the order).

I must say that I have enormous pleasure in producing these paintings.
 I also have to admit that with each one I learn at least one or two things, either about my paints, shading or whatever... it's a huge learning curve.
So thank you Tracey Fletcher King for putting me on to this project.
If you want to see the master at work then click on her name and enter her studio.
I've taken this shot from a different angle, because the silver doesn't show up if taken from the usual angle.
I hope it shows up enough.
There have been times with each one of these weekly paintings that I've reached that terrible teenage stage, where I am unsure I'm going to produce anything worth looking...and nearly bin it but then something happens and it begins to come together. It's a very strange feeling.

So why did I chose these items... well the dog lead is easy. 
This particular lead has been on so many adventures both here and in Australia... it may even have had a life in Qatar, but I can't remember for sure when we bought it. 
I was away last week and missed my morning walks, so that was the first thing that came to mind on my return. Also whilst I was away I went to get my glasses out of my bag, only to have half appear. It's not a great look to have your glasses sort of perched half on and half off your face.
It certainly gets you noticed.
I had a very helpful young man come to my aid from an optician shop, but it made me realise that to be a good girl guide (always to be prepared) I shouldn't rely on only one pair.
So, I had to buy an emergency pair from a chemist shop... and they were so cheap but I love them. 
I only need magnifying glasses for reading or detail work, so they're ideal and they are so light you don't even know that they're on your face. 
Okay, I'll confess (much to my embarrassment) that I spent quite some time retracing my steps trying to find my glasses one day and yes, you've guessed it... they were on my face!!!
Enough... I can hear your laughter from here!

Moving on swiftly... to my little pewter pill pot. 
I purchased quite a few items of pewter when we lived in Brunei, but when I chose this lovely little pot I didn't even know it was a pill pot... and when I did I certainly didn't think I'd ever use one.
Until recently that is. 
I'll not go into detail but that little pot is with me each and every day. 
It's quite a heavy wee thing to lug around in your bag, but I love it and it keeps me right on where I am with medication.
The jasmine was another surprise when we arrived back to our house here from Australia. I'd forgotten that we had white jasmine growing around the front door, but I certainly didn't remember the lovely yellow jasmine in a large container. I suspect that someone might have left it behind.
Whenever I look at it or see those lovely little sunshine flowers, it reminds me of a friend in Australia.
How brave of it to flower here?

And lastly... my favourite Denby mug.
I've shown and talked about my mug (hehe) numerous times before on my blog.
How I love HOT tea and that this mug is the best I've found that keeps my tea hot enough.
Now you'll think I'm spoilt and maybe I am, but I have a cup of tea brought to me every morning. 
Sometimes, I'm ready to receive but sometimes it can be really early and I'm not quite awake... so my hubby came up with this plastic top which makes a seal over the top of the cup.
Not only does it save the slops and spills on it's precarious journey from our kitchen to my bedside but it keeps the tea hot until I'm awake enough to drink it.
It's brilliant!!!
(hubby's not bad either)
I'm not sure about my editing this morning... it's rather dark here but it gives you the idea.
I'm heading over to join the Paint Party Friday link, so if you'd like to see more then click here.
So that's it for this week... I'm away next week (again!) so I've got lots to get organised.
Thanks for visiting my place and I hope you have a great weekend and I'll see you again soon.
Have fun 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Let's eat cake

I feel I've neglected my blog lately, but then something has to give I suppose in this game of spinning the plates to maximise each day. 
I've been tinkering into the Instagram world, both with mine and Muffy's account (yes she has one) and I have to confess, I'm a little put out because she now has over twice my followers! 
But if it takes photo's of me in the bath or having to rub disgusting things on my skin... well you can forget it! I'll let her reign supreme, although she'll never stop rubbing my nose in it.
Eww... enough.
Also, I'm trying to spend more time painting and there's always to garden calling me.
Sometimes, I get daunted with so much that I want to post that it then seems too much of a task or would take too long, so I put it off. 
What you might call a world class procrastinator.
Does that happen to you? If so, how do you overcome it?
I'm thinking if I just write brief posts then that might be better
 (HA! Be brief... Me...that's a laugh in itself)

So let's start... 
How about a cake? 
I know I haven't shown any baking for quite some time. 
Mainly, because I've just been baking what you might call my screensaver. 
I have to say this IS the easiest cake to bake and stays moist for days. 
A great treat to produce if you have unexpected guests. 
We've been enjoying the new season of The Great British Bake Off - season 6.
It's finally inspired me to get baking once again... but nothing fancy or time-consuming just yet.
My son's been requesting his favourite banana loaf for some time, so what can you do when he passes his exams but.... 'BAKE'
(by the way that was in Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc's voice - the hosts of the show)
It's a great way to use up any bananas that may be getting too ripe.
I also included some walnuts inside and pine nuts on the top to decorate.
Can you smell that? Mmm... good eh?
I'm not sure if it should have a crack showing... (that's a little joke to viewers in the UK)
but there it is anyway, so thankfully it's not going up before Mary Berry or Paul Hollywood. 
I'm off to pop the kettle on and to do my own taste test.
I'm linking up with T stands for tea time today.
Have a wonderful Tuesday and I hope to see you soon.
Possibly a few pounds/kilo's heavier!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

My Sunday Photo... Sunset

I had no intention of posting yet another sunset photograph this week, but when tonight's sunset display started I couldn't resist. There's a huge full moon tonight too, but I know I'll never do it justice with my photographic skill. I need to practice more... but maybe one day (or night!) I just might capture it.
If you'd like to see lot's more Sunday Photo's then just click on the link to be transported.
Have a super Sunday everyone and thanks for visiting my place

Friday, 28 August 2015

Let the Cock Crow - PPF

Let the cock crow! Morning everyone
Although I'd loved to keep some chooks (chickens) I don't think I could have a cockerel. 
For instance, I was visiting an agricultural show a few weeks ago and went into the poultry marquee. Unaware that I was standing right in front of a prize cockerel taking in a cute chook opposite, he let out a cry. 
Oh my goodness did I jump... he gave me such a fright that I nearly laid an egg!
I did try to take a video of him but he went all camera shy and wouldn't so much as cluck!
Ever since that day, I've had a mind to paint a cockerel using the loose style that I'm trying to adopt as my own. 
So here he is...

I'm not convinced that he's finished yet. 
I haven't used any white highlights or finalized his tail feathers, but I'm actually being prolific this week for me. I'm actually painting two pieces at once!
(You can tell that the weather hasn't been the best if that's the case)
I started My Week On A Page #3
There's still a long way to go with this, but I'm pleased that it's well underway. 
I think I should rename 'my week' to 'my fortnight' (two weeks) because I can't seem to complete them in just one week. 
Anyway, here it is so far.
When I post the finished piece I'll explain why the objects have been chosen, otherwise this post will take a week to get through and I know you'll be wanting to visit so many other artists work today as part of the Paint Party Friday link.
Here's a view of my desk that many of you might not have seen... with my Quality Control Manager keeping a close eye on the proceedings. 
Well, maybe one eye as she enjoyed getting all roasty toasty in the sun.
But don't get carried away thinking we are having glorious summer weather here... 
...because just look up at the sky.
We certainly have had a mixed bag of goodies, weather wise this summer... but not enough warmth in my book.
Average temperature over the summer months for this part of Scotland have been around 12 degree's (that would be approx 53 degree's Fahrenheit)
Yes... for summer! 
Another view to show my feathered friends are still visiting me daily. 
The seven white doves sit waiting patiently to be fed.
They arrive early in the morning and spend most of the day here.
It's a good game for Muffin to chase them when they land on the patio, but they seem unperturbed. 
I think they have sussed out that she's all fluff and flounce and not fierce or ferocious in any way.

And finally, I wanted to share this morning's view from my bedroom window.
This was about 6.00am.
Now unfortunately the picture would be a grey blanket of cloud once more. 
The sun's disappeared.
I think I may have to be an early riser (which thankfully I am) to make sure I get enough light before winter comes to call.
Is it me or does this picture look autumnal to you?
Eek... I hope not because I'm still waiting for summer! 
(I think that might have to be 2016 now)
Have a great Friday and don't forget to pop across to the Paint Party Friday gang... 
they'd love to see you
Paint Party Friday
Thanks for your visit... I love to see you and even more so if you leave a comment. 
Toodleloo for now

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

What's on your work desk Wednesday (WOYWW 325)

Cuteness Alert!
As it's Wednesday I thought you might like to see what's on my desk this afternoon.
Just two things firstly.... make sure that you have the sound switched on and secondly... I can assure you that no animal was harmed in the making of this video.
So here she is... dah dah!!!

I am seriously working in the studio this week, but I thought I'd be super quick with today's post and let Miss Muffy do the talking.
She's fresh from the grooming salon and wanted to give you a wave and say 'Hi'.
Besides it's 'National Dog Day'
If you would like to see some artwork then take a trip across to Julia's WOYWW (What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday) and visit desks from all over the world.
I'll be sure to let you see my new project's soon.
Have fun https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511767.gif
and thanks for your visit

Sunday, 23 August 2015

My Sunday Photo... Melrose Abbey

The magnificent ruin of Melrose Abbey in the Scottish Borders.

I don't usually write any words with my Sunday Photo post but this week I thought decided I would because this incredible abbey deserved them. 

Unfortunately, when we were passing through Melrose the abbey wasn't open to the public so therefore this is the nearest I could get to take photo's.

More facts about the abbey: 
Melrose Abbey is a magnificent ruin on a grand scale, with lavishly decorated masonry.
It dates back to 1136 when it was founded by King David 1 and was the first Cistercian monastery in Scotland.
The exterior of this magnificent ruin is decorated by unusual sculptures, including hobgoblins, cooks with ladles and a bagpipe playing pig.
The abbey grew rich on the wool trade suffered through the Wars of Independence and was substantially rebuilt in 1380's. It continued in use as an abbey until the Protestant Reformation of 1560. After that, the existing monks were allowed to stay on: the last one died in 1590.
Another interesting fact is the abbey is the supposedly, the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart, which is marked with a commemorative carved stone plaque.
When the abbey is open visitors can also visit a small museum housing a display of artefacts found within the abbey.
Maybe I will return when it is open to the public to take close-up photographs.
I'm linking as usual to One Dad 3 Girls link so if you'd like to see more photos then click on the link.

Enjoy your Sunday everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 21 August 2015

My Week On A Page #2 - PPF

Yet another busy week this week.
I'm trying to catch on so many things, but I did manage to finish the painting from last week.
My Week On A Page #2
So here it is...
(If you missed or would like to read about why I've chosen the objects that I have... then click here)
Initially, I roughly sketched the objects with a pencil.
Then I under-painted them. 
This is a new technique for me but one that I now love to do and think it makes such a big difference to the finished painting. I'm trying to keep this loser style and it's certainly enabling me to paint more. I'm not getting too precious with details which can take up so much time.
I'm enjoying this new style and hope it will evolve.
I used Kuretake: Gansai Tambi Japanese watercolour paints to build up the layers.
Then outlined with a black pen.
I also wrote a brief description to remind myself of why I chose each object.
The highlights are painted with silver watercolour paint but unfortunately it doesn't show up very well in this photograph. I like it especially on the birdfeeder and bottle.

It's a brief post today because I want to start a new painting so please forgive me.
If you'd like to see more artwork then click on the links below
 to join Eva and Kirstin's  Paint Party Friday and Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Paint Party Friday
Thank you for your visit ... I'm still trying to visit everyone who has visited my place over the last few weeks, but it's taking me some time. 
If I haven't got to you yet please be patient... I'll hopefully visit you as soon as I can. 
In the meantime enjoy your weekend... have fun and lots of creativity.

Friday, 14 August 2015

My Week On A Page #2 (unfinished) PPF

After having so much fun last week, creating a painting which illustrated my week on a page
I decided to give it another go this week.
I found that it has really helped with my decision making... what to include in the painting, colour combinations, and composition, so thank you Tracey Fletcher King who passed on her inspiration for this project. 
Unfortunately, my week might actually stretch over a few weeks at the rate I'm going, before I manage to finish it. But then it's not all my fault, as I had guests staying over last weekend and then I'm heading off myself tomorrow. 
I've had to cram a whole week into four days! (What a woman!!!)
So let me show you what I've done so far... here's my preliminary sketches.

There are tales to tell as to why I've picked what I have to be included in my week, so maybe it's best to start at the beginning of the week. Once my house guests had left... it was beds stripped and into the washer before they were half way down the lane... along with the toweling robes and bath towels.
To say I go through gallons for fabric conditioner is an understatement, but when my hubby came home with this latest bottle I just burst out laughing. 
It's called Doussy!
Now I'm not sure how the manufacturers or you might pronounce it, but my hubby actually calls doggy doodoo's or poop, a doozy (see how polite I'm being) 
So to think I'm going to be washing my clothes in dog doings just tickled me.
He wondered why I went into a fit of giggles when I saw the label.
(It doesn't take much to amuse me)
But then on Tuesday Muffy did have a 'doussy' day because something must have visited our garden overnight and left it's calling card.
To say that this beastie had a problem might be an understatement... and have you guessed yet? 
Yep Muffy rolled in it. 
Well not exactly rolled... more camouflaged herself in it.  
She had to be bathed twice outside in the open air (which didn't amuse her with a chilly breeze blowing at all) but there was no way that pong was coming into my house!
She even had to be squirted with her doggy perfume once dry just to make sure.
And that's why the doggy brush is included in this weeks page ^..^

Along with the fabric conditioner... hubby decided to buy kitchen utensils.
Now at one stage I could say he doesn't even cook... at all... but lately he's been having a dabble.
With success I might add (well he might read this and you have to give positive reinforcements wherever possible) but I've never EVER seen him whisk anything over the 37 years we've been married. I suppose it's a case of never say never eh?
Anyway, it's a beautiful colour so it was added to the page too.

There always has to be plants involved in my week and I'm thrilled that my Eryngium are doing so well. I love to include them in my flower arrangements around the house. 
Like a mini Scottish thistle
The honeysuckle is flowering too and it's perfume wafts on the breeze.
I thought it would be good to include it as a link to help bring the composition together.
Lastly, there's the bird feeder (one of 10 I might add, that I have dotted around the house...not all the same design but feeders all the same) 
I think this might be a little more difficult to paint than I initially thought. 
Why is there always something to catch you out?
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the photo I took of the desk and window yesterday, which included my enthusiastic peeping pigeon... well dove really. He/She was perched very precariously on the ledge leaning in watching me paint.
We now have seven white doves come to call daily.
(it sounds like a song doesn't it... seven doves a-calling)
I'm now called 'Momma Dove' by the way, because I nip out early most mornings to feed the birds in my dressing gown. It's a white, hooded, ankle length robe and I'm sure the doves think that I'm one of them!
So I must fly away and leave you now... my weekend starts today and I haven't even packed yet. 
But why don't to nip across to the Paint Party Friday with Eva and Kristin... they'd all love to see you.
Click here to be transported.

Paint Party Friday
Have a wonderful weekend everyone
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