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

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday WOYWW and so much more

I think I need to write a post daily at the moment because so much is happening. 
It's not a question of having to tell you all that's happening in my life, because you'd be shocked (ha) 
I thought I'd throw that one in just to wet your appetite and let your imaginations run wild!

For today, I'll just show you one of the things that's keeping me busy at the moment. 
I'm taking part in Tracey Fletcher King's online art classes where we are painting food! 
I mean what a fabulous way to get your allocated five a day, plus learning new techniques, meeting lots of friendly talented artists... all keen to have fun and as Tracey say's... "just have a go!"
She's a brilliant teacher, giving so much of her time, energy and amazing talent, whilst keeping everything so relaxed. If you read Tracey's blog (click here if you haven't) then you'll know she is quite a character and so funny. 
Totally unique in a very special way. 

So, let me show you what's on my desk this Wednesday. 
Because I'm linking up with Julia over at Stamping Ground and WOYWW  
(which stands for what's on your work desk Wednesday for anyone not familiar with this acronym) I'm going to keep this brief. (or at least I'll try) 
There's lots of see over there and desks to visit from all over the globe, so it's good to keep it brief. Click here if you'd like to be transported into a crafty/arty world.
So here's my desk...
I have Tracey's video's playing as I paint to keep me loose and not get too caught up in the detail, as is my want. I find listening to the video works as a great reminder that this is to be fun. 
All very relaxed!
Most of what I'm showing you is work in progress... there's little tweaks to be added here and there. Shadows and defining lines and hopefully I won't that one step too far. 
I like some of my subject and hate other's. 
I'm not going to go into detail which is which because everyone will see these differently. 
You might like one that I don't... anyway... let's carry on.
If you can imagine that I had all of the fruit and veg sitting on my desk, which was fine to begin with... but I tend to nip into the studio and dabble, then go onto other things leaving the paint to dry or to revisit at another time.
It wasn't until painting this avocado, that I became aware that virtually every time I looked at it the flesh was a different colour. Yuk! 
Everything was going off in the sun coming through the window. 
Note to self and is one of Tracey's tips... paint quickly!!!
I decided to paint the half of a tomato (which was already on it's way to foosty
(a scottish word for slightly off or certainly well on it's way) because it was so interesting but had to quickly abandon it when there was a serious health risk looming.  
 I think I actually ruined the capsicum with going over and taking that step too far that I unfortunately often do. 
Here's the before photo ... I like it at this stage. 
Oops I wasn't going to do that.
 I've got to master shadows next  (ha... I should be so lucky)
This might be another step too far.
 So that'll do for today...
Here's the links to the websites and I hope you'll have fun this Wednesday with whatever you have planned.
Thanks for your visit and hopefully I'm going to try to catch up with all of my comment replies from the last few posts, in the next few days. 
See you soon

Saturday, 13 June 2015

A little trip to East Lothian...Yellowcraig and Fidra Island

Apparently summer's here!
Okay, well maybe not right here as I'm sitting in my thermal vest, long-sleeved t-shirt, and fleece, so something's obviously gone wrong.
I'm aware that the rest of the UK is basking in sun and high temperatures, because my sister for one, is happy to give me a running commentary each day on what her current temperature is. 
Oh yes and how her hostas have burnt leaves now! 
You can go off people... (that's just in case she's reading this)... I say share nice pleeeeese.
We have had some nice days, but surely we should have more at this time of the year. 
We've only got until the 21st of this month and then we're on the back route to winter. 

Well let's no dwell on that for now... I always try to keep positive and I've lots to natter about. 
I posted a Sunday Photo last week from a quick weekend break and mentioned that I'd hopefully write a post soon. I can't believe how much has happened since we had that break. 
But more about that later or in forthcoming posts...
Here's some photo's to set the scene.
(Space and more space... beautiful walks for miles, or perhaps cycling is your thing?)

We headed down to East Lothian, because one of the things we wanted to tie into the weekend was to visit to the Gardening Scotland Show. 
More about that in a future post. Phew...
See I told you there's a lot to come.
East Lothian with over 40 miles of stunning coastline, golden beaches where you can play spot the person for hours if you were so inclined, It also has 22 golf courses, but thankfully my hubby hasn't embraced golf yet, although there's talk that once he retires it'll be on his wish list. 
There's fantastic walks, cycling or pony trekking... whatever... there's something for everyone.
Hey, but thinking about it maybe I shouldn't be telling you all this?
I should perhaps keep it a secret. 

We stayed in the quaint little sea-side town of North Berwick, which is less than an hour from Edinburgh. 
The coastal scenery is stunning in both directions, such as Yellowcraigs beach where after walking through stunning countryside suddenly greets you. 
We sat for a while to appreciate the space, weather and beauty of the beach, sea and amazing views. 
Not to mention rest a wee while having an ice-cream.
Here's a photo where, if you follow the path, you may be able to see the light-house in the centre of the photo. It's a fair way off into the distance so I'm not sure you'll be able to see it... but it's there.
Here's a closer shot...
The island in the distance is Fidra Island.

Like other islands near North Berwick, Fidra is the result of volcanic activity around 335 million years ago! 
It's also a RSPB reserve now.
Wildlife images from cameras on Fidra can be viewed at the local Seabird Centre.
The lighthouse, which was built in 1885 and automated in 1970, can be accessed via a primitive jetty on the east of the island.
Now here's a fact for you...
Robert Louis Stevenson often visited the beaches at the area known today as Yellowcraigs (shown above) and it is said that he based his map of Treasure Island on the shape of Fidra.

If you'd like to see more of the area and further afield, then click here to revisit a post I wrote back in March of this year. 
We didn't manage a boat trip around the islands this time, to check out the puffin's and other seabirds but I think it's always good to leave wanting... it's certainly a place we'll return to soon.
Well I'll nip off now and hopefully be back soon.
I've got one surprise I can't wait to tell you about.
Toodleloo for now 
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Enjoy your weekend.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

My Sunday Photo


I have to admit it's been rather silly over the last few weeks and I feel I really must apologise to my regular followers. I've totally neglected you recently. Unfortunately, I've been involved with numerous projects that have eaten into my free time... the time that I would normally spend writing blog posts. 
Hopefully, I'll be able to get some sort of normality back into my schedule soon, because I've got lot's to share with you. 
For instance, like a recent weekend away, where we were able to sit and appreciate the space, peace, weather and fabulous views. 
Sometimes it's good to just sit still for a while. 
I'll be writing about this beach and it's lighthouse, along with lots more in a future post, plus my trip to the Gardening Scotland Show. 
As always they'll be lot's of photos too, so I hope to see you soon.
I'm linking up with Darren over at My Sunday Photo so if you'd like to see other Sunday Photos... click here.

Have a great weekend whatever to get up to... enjoy!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Happy Monday

Well helloooo June, 
Let's hope it warms up a fair bit because May was atrocious!
I always try embrace all the different weather we have here in the UK, because that's what I missed when we lived abroad. 
But I'm afraid May tested me and took me to the brink at times. 
I can't believe that Muffy and I had a great walk this morning.
As you can see she loved the freshly cut grass. 
The smell even caught my attention. 
The sky larks where hovering and singing their amazing song, but even with the sun shining there was no escape from that chilly brisk wind. 
In fact, it's been bothering us for weeks now and quite frankly I think it should move on...
Here's Muffypup having a good roll around with gay abandon...
We're not in any hurry... no of course not.
Slow and stop was the order of the day.
Unfortunately when you roll around in an open park there's a fair chance that you'll roll in some indescribable gunge... duck, crows, seagulls and other doggy doodoo's.
So needless to say she had to have a compulsive bath when we got home.
Let me tell you the windows were flung  open and thankfully I always have a towel in the boot for such occurrences.  
That'll be a gold star for me then...
And here she is... our Aga magnet. 
(Who needs fridge magnets? Not in this house anyway)
Thankfully because the Aga hasn't been switched off for summer
(even though there's only 22 days until mid summer)
She's able to stay cosy whilst she dries off.
I tried using the hairdryer but sometimes it gets her too excited and it's game on... chase me... chase me. There's no way she'd get the concept of the limited electrical lead restricting me in the chase.
Anyway... all the high jink are over for the time being and it's time to settle down. 
It's been quite a morning...
 I think I could just snuggle up with her, but unfortunately I've got a lot on my 'To Do' list today.
We were away over the weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to post a little about it. I'm also participating in Tracey Fletcher King's Delicious Paint class which should be fantastic.
I'm also getting ready for visitors and the garden hasn't been touched since last Thursday. 
I may need a rope attached around my middle before I head out there. 
It's been some time but because the blue towel has reminded me about Blue Monday... 
I'm linking up today. I hope to see you over there. 
Have fun with your week and if you've visited me and I haven't returned the compliment yet, then I'm on the case... it just might take me a little time to catch up. 
Here's one last photo
As you can see... she's not going anywhere until that weather warms up!
(p.s. if you like reading about Muffy's antics she's actually got her own Instagram account now. I know but what can you do? 
Here's her addy... the_world_according_to_Muffy

Happy Blue Monday to you all
Blue Monday Instructions

Friday, 29 May 2015

Snails and tails continued... PPF

I can't believe that the last time I wrote a post was last Sunday and here we are... it's Friday already!
This post is going to be a whistle stop too, because I'm away for the weekend (woohoo)
But before I go I wanted to nip into the Paint Party Friday link.

If you visited last week you might remember I started to draw a snail (click here if you missed it) and here's how it has progressed. 
Unfortunately, the photo isn't the best but it's been a funny kind of day... rain, sun and hail once again so it's difficult to get the lighting right. 
As usual I walked the tightrope with this painting and then took a tumble by fiddling and going beyond the point of no return. 
But I did have fun. 
One thing I did want to do though was to put him into the garden where he belongs. 
He's incredibly close to the hosta but he assures me that he'll not touch it.
Talking of the garden... that's my outdoor canvas and where I've been busy all week
I've been weeding and weeding and weeding...
It's a fantastic time when everything in the garden bursts into life, but unfortunately so do the weeds.
I feel like a Neptune trying to hold back the sea... a sea of weeds.
And I'm slightly worried that I'm not winning.
I'm also planting up pots... changing the winter plants and bulbs to a summer display.
It's a good job that it doesn't get dark here until after 10.00pm, although I tend to flag a little before that time. And finally let me show you the veg plot with Muffin exploring in the jungle... 
I know that I have lots of visiting to catch up on... which I will do. If you visited me and left a comment then I will be popping into your place at some stage soon.
So I'll see you later... right now I've got to get packed.
Whatever you're doing this weekend... have fun, enjoy and let's hope the sun warms up. 
Surely it has to soon.
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Sunday, 24 May 2015

My Sunday Photo... swallow

(Experimenting with this photo... loading from my kindle. Hence no usual frame as I haven't worked out how to do that yet)

Look what flew right into our house.
 It's the first time it's been warm enough to leave the garden door open... and this is what happened.
We have many swallows swooping around the house and even have a couple beginning to nest in our woodshed. 
I don't know who was more in a flap... me or him... to get out of the house.
Thankfully, my hubby gentle got hold of him and we released him back outside.
I'm linking up as usual to
 http://onedad3girls.com/blog/mysundayphoto-furry

Have a great Sunday everyone.
Happy Bank Holiday
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