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

Friday, 2 October 2015

My Week on a page... PPF

I'm showing you the view from my studio window today so that you'll forgive me for posting yet again unfinished work! 
But just look at that sunlight and it's October.
I'm in such a rush to dash outside... but I have been up before the sun this morning to start some new pieces of artwork today, so it's not all bad. 

I've had a sketch of Koi Carp drafted for a few days
(which seems quite appropriate as I'm going to use my Japanese paints)
I was unsure what to do first, whether the water background should be painted first or the fish.... a little like the scenario of the chicken and the egg.
Which comes first?
I've taken the plunge (ha... no pun was intended but I'm liking that) and started on the water first.
I've also added rock salt for a water effect, but we'll have to see how that turns out.
I used to use this technique when silk painting.
It's great if it works correctly.

I've also started another 'My week on a page'.
I really should come up with another title of this project because these pages appear every few weeks and certainly not weekly.
But I'm happy if I just complete a page, no matter how long it takes me.
I'm not sure you will be able to see the design and colours in these shots.
But as it progresses I'll be sure to share.
I'll also explain why I've included each particular item.
There's washing on a line, apples, a scrunchy, and Virginia creeper.

I'm off outside now to top up my Vitamin D before this weather disappears.
I'll also catch up later with the Paint Party Friday gang which Kristin and Eva kindly host each week.
Paint Party Friday
Have fun and I hope the sun is shining on you too

Saturday, 26 September 2015

My Sunday Photo

Whist I was tidying the herbaceous borders today I came across this little wee beastie. I wondered if he might be the last bee of the summer to visit my garden... but then I noticed five others feasting on the sedums.
As usual I'm linking up with Darren's Onedad3girls blog.
Have fun

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

My Week On A Page #4 (Autumn arrives) PPF

It appears that spring has finally slipped quietly away and autumn has taken it's place.
I'm afraid I couldn't hang on to it any longer. 
All the signs are blatantly obvious now... the geese have flown over in their perfect V formations... chatting excitedly on heading south to warmer parts. 
The squirrels are busy evading my camera lens in their frenzied activity of preparing their winter food stores.
The leaves are just beginning to put on their autumn colourful display... with the odd leaf gently floating down to the ground. Many others will follow soon, but for now they're like gentle confetti. 
September is one of my favourite months, but one thing that I'm not happy about is the invasion of spiders coming into the house. No matter how often I sweep through with the feather duster... as soon as I turn my back... they're back and the web reappears.

Last Monday started out to be a very wet day, so it gave me the perfect excuse to head into the studio to create my week on a page painting.
Initially I sketched out the design 
The autumnal theme is prevalent with spiders and their webs, evasive squirrels and autumn leaves cascading down the page. I've also added into the sketch, packets used for collecting seeds. 
I have to admit that I've never taken the time to collect seeds before, but I'm going to give it a go this year. The trouble will be to remember where I put them when spring comes to call. 
There's also a bottle of dog shampoo included on the page, because we're heading into the realms of the daily paw spa. 
Muffy has hair (as apposed to fur) and once she gets wet, which lets face it when you're that low to the ground, is quite often. Even the early morning dew can cause soggy paws and tummy.
She can take an age to dry out.
It's a good job that she likes the hairdryer and will come running whenever she hears it.
I think she just loves the warm air blowing on her. 
A reminder of her youth when living in hot climates.
The remaining item is a helinium. 
One of my daughter's favourite plants. 
I've never grown them before, but have been delighted with their fantastic vibrant colour, like mini sunflowers in my border. I can't believe that they are still producing flowers and look like they'll carry on for some time to come... with lots of buds still to open.
They are perfect to cut and bring into the house for floral arrangements.
They last for ages too.
So here's the finished page... My week on a page #4
I have such fun creating these pages. 
It's a great visual diary.
Perhaps you'd like to give it a try? 
Paint Party Friday
Thanks for visiting and I'd love to hear what you'd include on your page.
Have fun and I hope to see you again soon.
Happy painting peeps!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

My Sunday Photo... Nantwich, Cheshire

The quaint market town of Nantwich, Cheshire.
I missed last weekends link up as I was away celebrating my brother's birthday.
Between riffle shooting, archery, swimming, curling, golf, quizzes, cabaret, dancing and of course eating and drinking... we took a walk into Nantwich Town.
It's a beautiful place and thankfully the weather made the visit all the more pleasant.

(Linking with the now award winning @OneDad3Girls)

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Alvaston Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire

our holiday home where we celebrated my brother's birthday.
(click here for more about it's history)
Linking with thanks to the following:

Wordless Wednesday at Create With Joy

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Hydrangea WOYWW

Hello WOYWWer's... how's your Wednesday going?
I've been busy, but then I always am.
But this week is a little more manic than usual. 
I'm about to head off this weekend to celebrate my Brother's birthday (a biggy) so I've been like a headless chicken, trying to get everything done before I leave.
The usual stuff plus enough food for my son and Mufftypup to eat whilst I'm away. 
Yes, that's quite a task!
But I've even surprised myself because in between the madness I've managed to paint!
I've carried on trying to keep the loose style and to be honest I couldn't be any more slack. (Yes I know there's probably a joke in there somewhere... but I'm moving on swiftly)
If I was any more loose I'd unravel.
So as is the WOYWW tradition on a Wednesday to share what we're up to... I'll show you my desk.
Here it is....
We have a few hydrangeas of varying colours, but this one is my particular favourite.
I really enjoyed myself with this one...and here it is finished.
I only spent two days off and on so that must be a record for me.
I used Japanese watercolour paints, Derwent Inktense watercolour pencils and ink to outline.
If you'd like to see more desks throughout the land then click here to visit Julia's link.
But just a word of warning before you do... there may well be some Christmas preparations going on. I'm just hanging on to summer for as long as I can, but I think I'm fighting a loosing battle.
Have fun this Wednesday and thanks for visiting my place.
Hope to see you soon 

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!
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