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

Wednesday 30 May 2012

What's on Your Workdesk ~ WOYWW 156

They'll be great excitment out there today in the land of WOYWW! 
Why because it the 3rd Anniversary of the ATC Swops!
I don't wish to be a party pooper so I'll keep my post very short today. 
1. Because I'm not taking part in the great swopathon ~ only because I'm a newie to it all and I'm not sure what's involved, so I'll sit back and enjoy all the goings on...maybe I'll join in next year if I'm still blogging.
and....2. I'm suffering with this dreaded lurgy. 
Yep, I saw you physically move away from the screen and I don't blame you...its a humdinger!
So have fun everyone and enjoy the swops. 
I know they'll be some amazing ATC's out there because you're all such a talented bunch.
If you're new here or confused as to what on earth ATC's and WOYWW are about, then nip over to Julia
at her place and all will become clear....you'll have a great time and see some amazing things...but beware it can be addictive!

Oops... nearly forgot to show my desk...well it's not a desk this week, its the dining table actually. I sort of migrated over the weekend into the dining room ~ it was cosier and I didn't feel isolated out in the studio. That's the beauty of my artwork it's easy to set up anywhere with just a pad and my pens.
Oh and before I go....I'm nearly organised for my first 'giveaway' so I'll post details about it later so be sure to keep watching....;D

I'm really excited because I'm nearly ready to attach my Etsy shop on my sidebar now.
I'm just waiting for some good light for the photo shoot.
So there you are....work in progress as they say. Have fun desk hopping and swopping everyone, hopefully we'll meet up somewhere along the way ;D
 p.s.If I haven't clicked on your 'follower' button for your blog please forgive me...it really isn't anything personal, its just that I really haven't had the chance to follow more just yet, but I hopefully will be able to soon.
If you've visited me previously and left a comment ~ thank you...you've made my heart smile.  ♥

Monday 28 May 2012

Guest Blogger....

I know I keep saying how busy I am...and I know that's just life in general these days for everyone, but because I ran out of time to post yet again today, I thought I'd hand over my blog to a guest writer for once....

Although Mufftypup was very keen to begin with...she tended to become distracted very easily. Typically chatting with pooch pals on facebook...

 ......she decided she might blog about her hero...Dr Chris Brown....yes he's a vet, but have you seen him? He can clip my nails any day....
Two hours later still no post....(sigh)...what can you do? You just can't get the staff these days!

Maybe I should try to tweet instead? Nah...I'd rather gruff!

Come on....let's go outside and play!
I'll leave the posting to you....there's always tomorrow....
it's a whole new day untouched

How could I resist that face and those eye's ^..^ 
That's my knee that she's giving her paw to....whilst I tried to photograph her.

Have a great day....she did  ~ enjoy!

Saturday 26 May 2012

Artist's Playroom Challenge....Bookmarks

Now can you believe it?...I didn't think I'd quite managed to fit something into every single second of this past week, so I've decided to enter into a challenge to top it all off...no not the kind consisting of running shoes and puffing for 10k, or getting my tongue around incredible alien sounds learning a new language, or taking to the skies to pilot a plane...but never the less a challenge all the same. Firstly just to complete an entry by the closing time....it's a close call I think, so this will be very brief....
Let me explain....
Because I'm enjoying my new found arty mojo I thought (possibly stupidly) that I'd push myself further and enter into the Artist's Playroom hosted by the brilliantly talented Jenn on her blog Just add Water Silly, Just have a peek at how clever everyone is and then you'll realise what am I thinking because they are all very gifted talented real artists! 
I commented on Jenn's page and she sent a lovely email back to me saying it wasn't too late and that I should enter. How kind and yes I was so taken in....I thought I'd give it a whirl...
 The theme to this week's challenge is bookmarks (there's a different theme each week) but how could a book worm resist that temptation and I have to admit I think the theme possibly swayed me to enter. 
I didn't have time to find open my paints so with my pens handy from my zentangle designs I came up with this....

 I made the bookmark like a book cover so that it would be possible to list inside all the books that you've read with him...by the way he's loving 'The Owl and the Pussycat' for obvious reasons (just a softy) ;D
I even found a tassel and if I tell you how and where it came from I'd have to kill you....its called poetic license and the need to know basis!
Anyway, sorry to rush this post but I must send him quickly on his way, otherwise I'll have missed the entry time...wish me luck! 
Have a great weekend everyone ~ have fun whatever the weather :D

Friday 25 May 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Friday 25th May 2012 

Outside my window...
Even before I opened my eyes this morning I heard the cars swishing past...we're in for a wet one today. I think the sun is having a duvet day. It's still quite dark outside as I type, so thankfully I know where the keys are and don't need to put on a lamp in order to see. For one reason the blinds are open and I don't want to frighten anyone walking past...I'm still in my bed....shocking I know. 
The trees with being soaked in rain have such an intense colour from deep greens to burgundy, reds, oranges and yellow. Some branches are bare now due to a fairly windy day earlier this week. I do love to see all the colours but I'm beginning to tire of collecting the leaves when they fall into the pool, garden or onto the patio! I can't see or hear any birds which is unusual. Perhaps they are having a duvet day too?
There’s a brightly patterned umbrella rushing passing. All else is still.
I am thinking...there's going to be one damp pooch after our walk this morning. Mufftypup is so low to the ground it's impossible to keep her undercarriage dry. If you want to see what she looks like after a wet walk just click here. But she knows the routine by now though...once walked it's straight into the sink for her foot bath with a belly rub included on such mornings. Thankfully like a lot of females she likes a manicure/pedicure pamper...it's just the cold wet feet afterwards that she's not too keen on. Normally there's a mad dash about the house as she tries to dry them but thankfully the she also loves the hairdryer. Hey, I've told you before she's a diva! She has standards ^..^

I am thankful...for all my senses. 
My eyes that enable me to see my family, so many wonderful things nature shows us, to read, to be able to draw, paint or to make, cook or bake.....this is just the tip of the iceberg... I can't imagine how devastating it would be to lose my eyesight.
My ears that I can hear my daughter talking on the phone from across the world, or my son ask when dinners ready. My OH's voice is so familiar it's almost as familiar as my own, it fits very comfortably and the sound of the door handle turning calling out they're greeting when they arrive home. The birds singing, the wind howling when I'm safe inside, rain pitterpatting, the waves hitting the shore, music, church bells....the list could go on and on....
Smell....mmm...fresh bread or baking, freshly cut grass, crisp cotton linen freshly washed and dried outside.
My son's bathroom wafting downstairs when he's about to go out, my new shampoo, Christmas, and here's a strange one...mufftypup's paws! Yep odd I know but there you are...I'm just odd!
Taste...now where do I start...obviously chocolate! My cup of tea especially that first one in the morning, fresh toothpaste, my OH's kiss (here we go again ~ odd), a good glass of Shiraz, apple juice (just to balance it out) iced water on a hot day, spices and herbs, victory V lozengers (but apparently they aren't made in the UK anymore) blueberries....I'd better stop here because we could be here until Christmas...oh sticky toffee pudding (a Christmas treat)...enough!
Touch again the list could be endless but maybe I'll leave this one for you to complete because if you're still reading this...it could get very weird. 
But there you have it...my senses. I'd hate to be without any one of them, so I'm grateful to have all five and hope I keep them for a long time.

In the kitchen...there are masses of milk in the fridge. With my son being away this week it just seems to be stacking up. I'll be making up a batch of  crepe mixture which will be perfect for over the weekend. I purchased a bunch of protea flowers yesterday so they are sitting looking pretty in my large white jug vase.
I bought them ready to accompany my protea card, which I was hoping to photograph today but with the light being poor and the bouncing camera  (yep I dropped it again) I'm not sure that's do-able?

I am wearing...a duvet! I'm thinking of joining the sun and birds in a duvet day ;D

I am creating...I'm still working on my notelets. I visited the printers again yesterday so have quite a collection done. Now all I need is the cello wrappers ~ I need to source today. Also I need to photograph them all for my new Etsy shop. So everything is moving forward but just not finished yet. I think today will be a drawing day...still so many designs in my head wanting to escape onto paper. I'm not sure the light will be good enough for my poor eyes...zentangles can be quite a challenge for the eyes at anytime.

I am going...I'm not too sure as I think I may have the dreaded lurgy lurking in the depths of my chesticles! There's a cough arrived uninvited overnight which doesn't sound too healthy. Maybe I'll be going to the Doctors?

I am wondering...if I'll ever visit the Chelsea Flower Show? It's on my list so you never know. Never say never eh? 
I am reading...'Mr Wroe's Virgins' by Jane Rogers (I started to read it but it's for the next book club meeting so I better allocate some serious reading time soon ~ eek!) 
My reading seems to have taken a back seat since I started drawing...well there's only so many hours in the day. If only I didn't need to sleep I could fit in so much more!

I am hoping...that I can set up my Etsy shop soon and have my art launched out in the big scary world. If I manage to sell anything I hope they go to good homes ;D

I am looking forward to...last time I wrote my journal I mentioned I was waiting for news of a new baby's arrival...still waiting I'm afraid! I'm also arranging my blog's first freebie 'giveaway' in the next week or so...so watch this space as they say.

Around the house...A snoozy dog is snuggled up, snoring gently as she dreams no doubt about a juicy piece of chicken. She's oblivious to the wet weather but that won't stop her once she wakes, she'll still want her walk. There's the customary chair with yesterdays clothes flung over it...doesn't every bedroom have one? A sparkling kitchen floor that will have pawprints and footprints all over it soon no doubt!
A favourite quote for today... Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

One of my favourite things...Whilst I'm cosy inside the house, listening and watching the rain outside. Although if I'm wearing the right gear sometimes I do enjoy walking in it. It's a good job I don't mind I suppose...having to walk a dog in any weather. I still haven't tired of seeing rain...which must still be from my time living in the Middle East and missing it so much.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Work, rest and play but not necessarily in that order : D
A peek into my day... I spotted this just at the side of the house yesterday morning. Hmm...see another drawing coming on :D

 So that's it for this week; I hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't forget to pop over to The Simple Womans Daybook and check out the other day book entries
Have fun : D

Wednesday 23 May 2012

What's on Your Workdesk ~ WOYWW 155

Hello Wednesday WOYWWer's...how are you?
I hope you've had a great creative week but no doubt I'll soon know when I go desk hopping. If you're wondering what I am going on about visiting desks, then pop over to the lovely Julia and join in...there's so much talent out there, plus if you're a sticky beak nosey parker like me, then you'll love snooping around everyone's desk.
So now is the time to reveal my desk....but today I'm going to try and keep my post brief because not only is that Julia's preference, I also want to get on with actually working on my project. Mainly setting up my Etsy shop with some of my designs. I'm still playing with the printing process at the moment, so I'm not sure which designs will make it or when? I've also many more designs still clambering to get out of my head onto paper! 
So other incidentals like eating, sleeping and generally life will just have to wait until I get this sorted.

 It was a little dull taking this photo this morning because the sun hasn't managed to reach over the high hedge yet. It is out but as I've mentioned above I'm a little impatient to get going today so I couldn't wait. Most of the work is contained in plastic wallets too which isn't the best for taking photos. I was sorting through them late yesterday and that's the way I left them. Maybe I should repost in a few hours when hopefully I'm in the thick of things....
So there you are....work in progress as they say. Have fun desk hopping and hopefully we'll meet up somewhere along the way ;D

p.s. Oops forgot to say earlier when I sent this post that I hope to have my first giveaway as soon as I have a set of cards ready.
If I haven't clicked on your 'follower' button for you're blog please forgive me...it really isn't anything personal its just that I really haven't had the chance to follow more just yet, but I hopefully will be able to soon  ♥

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Creme Brulee....

One of my hubby and son's favourite dessert happens to be Creme Brulee. I've seen my husband literally grow devil horns when it appears on a restaurant menu and no matter how full he is, he still has to give it a taste...just to see if it compares...to what I'm not sure, but that's his excuse!
I say it's one of their favourites but there happens to be quite a few others desserts on they're list.
As you may be aware if you're a frequent visitor to my blog, I haven't been baking lately, but at the weekend I thought I'd give them a treat.Well I am watching Masterchef every night, so I suppose I should make an effort now and again.
Unfortunately the whim only came on me once the roast dinner was well under way and hence the daylight was fading, so there aren't my usual photos showing the whole process...forgive me please?
This photo was taken the next day after it had been setting in the fridge overnight, Besides although they do adore this dessert, there's no way they couldn't manage all of the six I baked! Well not after a full pork roast dinner anyway.

Thankfully I had all of the ingredients in the kitchen already....so....I made this one plain vanilla but you can add different favours...ie lemon, chocolate, nuts, fruit, lavender, orange and my favourite...a drop of liqueur...oh or maybe a splash of whisky ;D
I didn't have the heart to tell my boys they would be better served the next day, leaving them overnight to set in the fridge ...well I couldn't stand the tizzyfits that would have ensued, so I let them have one on the same day. I know call me a coward...but anything for an easy life!

Crème Brûlée (serves 4 larger or 6 smaller portions)

  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 120 degree's celcius.
2. Place the cream in a saucepan and add the vanilla seeds and pod. 
3. Place over a medium heat and bring to scalding point, (this is where the name crème brûlée comes from meaning burnt creme)
4. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 5 minutes or so.
5. Place egg yolks and caster sugar in a seperate bowl and beat with an electric whisk for  2-3 minutes or until pale.
6. Remove the vanilla pod from the saucepan and discard, then pour the hot cream over the yolk mixture and whisk to combine.
7. Remove the foam from the top of the mixture with a large spoon. This happens during the beating process but isn't needed. 
8. Strain the mixture into a large jug, then carefully pour mixture into your containers whether 4 x 150ml or 6 smaller ovenproof ramekins.
9. Place ramekins in a deep roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. This will bake the cream without direct heat.  Cover the pan loosely with foil, allowing some air to enter in at the sides.
10. Bake in the oven for approx 40 mins ~ the custards should still have a slight wobble when done. Carefully remove the ramekins from the oven and empty water bath setting aside the creme brulee to cool.

Place brown sugar on a baking tray, turn off oven and place sugar in the oven for approx 15 minutes or until the sugar is completely dried out. Allow to cool, then place in a processor and whiz until it is like fine powder. Store in an airtight container. 
Once the custards have cooled, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to set and chill overnight.

Method for topping:

1. When ready to serve, preheat grill to high.
2. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the brown sugar evenly on top of each custard, and use the back of a teaspoon to spread it evenly. 
3. Place the custards under the grill until the sugar melts and caramelises. 
Keep an eye on them because they can burn very easily. Alternatively, use a domestic blow torch to caramelise but if you're like me it always seems to be empty. 

Verdict..... I think you get the idea...

 Enjoy! ;D

Monday 21 May 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Monday 21st May 2012 

Outside my window...There's a beautiful baby blue sky today with the sun shining, giving a warmth to everything it touches. The trees are swaying gently on a fresh breeze, shedding the last of their autumn colours.
Rainbow lorikeets and magpies are enjoying the warmth after a chilly night. There's a huge truck nearby offloading a families precious possessions, into what will be their new home. Oh what memories...but I'd rather them than me....all at once it can be both an exciting but exhausting experience. 
They certainly have a good few days weather, which should help to get organised and settle in...tomorrow's temperature is reported to go to 19 degree's celcius again. Whoohoo...not bad for being on the threshold of winter!
I am thinking...this daybook appears whenever I get a chance to write it and not like previously ~ every Wednesday. I try to fit it into another day other than Wednesday but it seems to want to wander and hasn't really settled into a new routine for any one particular day yet. I love to write it, so I'm hoping that one particular day will evolve soon. In the meantime you'll never know when to expect me. ;D

I am thankful...that here we see so much sun and beautiful light. Even when the weather isn't particularly good the light invariably is. Plus the sun makes an appearance frequently. It can make such a difference to your mood and activity level. 

In the kitchen...I'm quite tidy in here today...there's nothing left out at the moment. Everything has been eaten. I know there are two Crème brûlées waiting in the fridge for this evening. I made some at the weekend...Yes I know... at last I spent some time baking! They were a huge success but there's only two left. I've wanted to photograph them for a post but by the time we get to eat them, it's too dark plus they don't tend to hang around for any length of time. My son is devastated that he is away for a few days so will miss having the last one. I like to have something nice to eat when we're watching Masterchef...it helps to alleviate the drooling.

I am wearing...Black bootleg joggers, black long sleeved t-shirt with a reddy/cerise/fushia sleeveless quilted jacket ~ a gilet, but as I call it my gibblet! Socks and Ugg slippers with a cuppa as an accessory!  

I am creating...oh don't get me started because I'll be here for hours telling you all about my exciting new cards. A collection in fact. I've still got a few things to sort out, but I'll be posting all about them when I'm ready to launch...so as they say..."watch this space"!
I'm also creating new designs in my head but unfortunately my hands can't keep up or my eyes for that matter...I'm now making a list so that I don't forget them all. I may even try to organise a 'giveaway' if I can work out how the random computer prize picker programme works. Such a lot to learn for an old girl! ;D

I am going...Well in fact I've already been...for my flu jab. It was quite painless really and my arm hasn't fallen off just yet, so lets hope it keeps me safe when the flu arrives. I'm also going into the city one day this week to the printers ~ whoohoo! 
Muffin has her annual MOT due this week too plus I've lots of appointments, the usual running around and shopping...so a busy time ahead.

I am wondering...how my art work will be received? If you paint or create yourself then you'll know what I mean...it's quite nerve wrecking to put yourself out there for criticism. Hopefully the response will be good and I'll be inundated by gazillions of orders! ;D lol
I am reading...'Mr Wroe's Virgins' by Jane Rogers (I started to read it but it's for the next book club meeting so I better allocate some serious reading time soon ~ eek!) 
My reading seems to have taken a back seat since I started drawing...well there's only so many hours in the day. If only I didn't need to sleep I could fit in so much more!

I am hoping...that my son has a good week away but that he keeps safe. He is on a road trip and I'm always nervous when my chicks are out and about. I prefer to have them both in their nests but better still to be all together in mine.

I am looking forward to...hearing that a friends daughter's baby arrives safely into this world. It's her first baby and both her and her husband are going to make wonderful parents. She's now overdue so I'm expecting a text or call at any minute...It'll probably be in the middle of the night...doesn't that always happen? Good Luck to them and I'll keep my fingers crossed until I hear the news.

Around the house...A snoozy dog is snuggled up in her basket, snoring gently as she dreams no doubt about the great walk we've just had or a juicy piece of chicken. There's a pair of walking boots standing guard at the kitchen door...waiting for their next adventure. The radio is playing a tune that has my foot tapping. There's the dishwasher waiting to miraculously empty by the magic fairy and the kettle is just cooling. It's never far from boiling! I know the clock is ticking although I can't hear it because I can see the little hand moving the day forwards at an alarming speed.
A favourite quote for today... Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world ~ Annie Lennox
Just a little trivia...I actually met Annie Lennox in a seafront cafe in Aberdeen once.

One of my favourite things...being cosy and warm. When the temperature drops then so do my activities...I tend to shut down, which can be very annoying. I now realise I have a threshold of 16 degree's celcius which is pretty high I know and some of you would love 16 degree's just now, but if it goes below that then I'm not a happy bunny! I know...what a diva but I just can't help it.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Work, rest and play but not necessarily in that order : D
A peek into my day... taken early yesterday from my bedroom window (through the glass ~ well I wasn't dressed and didn't want to frighten the neighbours!!!)

 So that's it for this week; I hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't forget to pop over to The Simple Womans Daybook and check out the other day book entries
Have fun and don't forget to be kind : D

Friday 18 May 2012

Magpies....one for sorry...two for joy.....

Just to finish off the Magpie post from Wednesday...here's the star of the show....
Handsome isn't he (well I think he's a he or he is in my mind but please correct me if I'm wrong?)

The photo was taken yesterday at my friends house....as I've mentioned previously the family of four magpies  visit her daily.
Unfortunately, this next photo is blurred but then try telling hungry excitable magpies to sit still for the camera and basically you can whistle!!!
 The one on the right is throwing his head back and....chorkling

If you'd like to see the different between an Australian Magpie and a UK magpie then click here for the UK details. They are much smaller and make a completely different chattering sound.

Here's proof that they do actually take the food out of the hand...but with that beak I'm prepared to stand back and watch...I like having all my fingers thank you very much! ;D

The other two magpies are younger and a little nervous so they watched from the roof ~ well Zac and Muffin were sitting at our feet so who can blame them...I think they're pretty switched on birds knowing the dangers (hardly with both Muffy and Zac, but they don't know they're soft as butter) but also where the best restaurant in town is located!

Then if you're lucky you may be able to gently stroke them!
At this stage I was going to take a video of them but my camera batteries died...story of my life...ho hum :$

Anyway...must dash I've got so much to fit in today it's not funny.
I hope you're looking forward to the weekend and have lots planned.
Whatever you get up to ~ enjoy! Keep smiling ;D

Tuesday 15 May 2012

What's on Your Workdesk ~ WOYWW

Wow...Wednesday nearly passed me by...but its been that kind of week AGAIN! 
Firstly, I have to thank everyone for popping by my place last week, leaving such wonderful encouraging comments. I love visitors and really enjoy you're feedback.
So a big thank you to you all and my apologies if I didn't get to you're desk!
Having said that it's because of you that I've bitten the bullet and I'm trying to print my work. 
What a steep learning curve that is turning out to be ~ well its virtually a horizontal hike never mind a steep curve!
So today isn't really my desk as such but what's been produced on it.....
I haven't posted anything since last Sunday because I had to keep a secret from a friend. 
A good secret because its her birthday today and I'm hopefully handing over her present as you read this, with a glass of bubbly in my hand ;D
I couldn't write any details beforehand because she's been with me and my blog journey since day one, so I know she'd have seen it and that would have spoilt the surprise....so this is for her...

 (It was difficult to photograph due to reflections and obviously Neesie Natters isn't plastered across
the original but then I know you'd know that ;D)

In Australia magpies are very popular. I have to explain that they are very different from the UK kind. 
If you would like to know a little about them then see here
It even has a link so that you can  hear their unusual chorkling.
My friend has a family of four calling every day, to be hand fed tasty juicy morsels. 
But I couldn't just draw one magpie (remember the rhyme 1 for sorry?...hence I drew another in the tree ~ 2 for joy) I remember this rhyme so well from my younger days of watching the tv programme 'Magpie' but when I recited the rhyme to my son he thought I'd flipper (his word) gone mad.
I'm trying to keep my entry brief today...and that's a major effort for me, so if you are wondering what I am going on about visiting desks, pop over to the lovely Julia and join in...there's so much talent out there, plus if you're a sticky beak nosey parker like me, then you'll love snooping around everyone's desk.
Have fun, smile and pass on some thoughtful act (make someone's day) :D

Sunday 13 May 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Sunday 13th May 2012 

Outside my window...The trees are dancing in their bright autumn colours, whilst a gentle rain shower intensifies the colours. There are two magpies being very vociferous in the garden. (I'd love to be able to understand what it is they're saying)
Ahh...here comes some sun...the raindrops on the wet leaves look like their wearing a bit of bling now with the sun shining on them. In the distance there's a heavy deep grey sky, so I think there's more rain to come.
I am thinking...how lovely it is to have the weekend to enjoy. 

I am thankful...that I have been able to speak yesterday to both my sister (for over two hours) and my brother (for nearly as long). Thanks to Skype we don't have to remortgage a house to pay for this privilege either. How wonderful it is to keep in touch, to get the latest updates, news and gossip....maybe not ideal when you're only just awake and the video call comes through! :$

In the kitchen...there's the joint of meat ready for the Sunday roast. I know its Mother's Day here and I should be whisked away for lunch, but I was taken out for breakfast yesterday instead ;D 

I am wearing...my bedcovers because as customary for Mother's Day I'm having a slow start today.Bliss!

I am creating...hopefully my own gift cards. It's so exciting....I've had my designs scanned and next week hope to have them printed. I'm having such fun with being creative at last after Mr Mojo went AWOL for 12 years!

I am going...to enjoy a lovely Sunday doing whatever takes my fancy. Next week I'll be heading to the publishers, sessions in my studio, and all the other usual things...oh yes, it's a friends 'special' birthday next week so I'll be taking her to lunch :D

I am wondering...how to begin to get organised for my daughter’s wedding. I need to write everything down so that I can keep focussed, calm and collected. My OH is a great believer in spreadsheets but I think I'll give that a miss. I'm going to have a special book to keep all our ideas, plans, progress details etc....if you have any tips then I'd love for you to leave a comment below which might help me. I'd love to hear any ideas, little traditions you have or just to say 'hi'...
I am reading...'Mr Wroe's Virgins' by Jane Rogers (I haven't started to read it yet and it's for the next book club meeting ~ eek!) My reading seems to have taken a back seat since I started drawing...well there's only so many hours in the day. If only I didn't need to sleep I could fit in so much more!

I am hoping...the cuppa my son's just making me is drinkable. He's not had too much practice so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Mother's Day can be a trial for everyone concerned when it comes to making and having to eat the breakfast. 
p.s.....it was actually a very good cuppa so there's no excuse now ~ he'll be recruited again now that I know he's capable.

I am looking forward to...my OH's project reaching a stage when he may be able to take some time out. It will be great to see some more of Melbourne and Australia in general. The Barossa valley is top of my list.

Around the house...are lazy people today. I think we're all in need of a quiet relaxing day. Even Mufftypup is still snoozing curled up in a ball. 
A favourite quote for today...'What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity. In the end there are no certain answers ~ Martina Horner.

One of my favourite things...at the moment I'm enjoying the Australian Masterchef series. I did wonder if this fourth series could live up to the three previous one's but I'm happy to say so far it's a hit in my book. 
A few plans for the rest of the week: Work, rest and play but not necessarily in that order : D
A peek into my day...In honour of Mother's Day. Firstly my mum celebrating her 70th birthday. Unfortunately she passed away two years ago...I would love to be able to spend the day with her.
Keeping in with the wedding and Mother's theme...here's a photo of my daughter with my MiL at my BiL's wedding.

 This photo was taken quite a few years ago...my daughter is 27 year's old now. 
I hope my MiL's flowers arrive safely today and we plan to chat with her later today (once the time difference is suitable)

 So that's it for this week; I managed to just fit it in before the week ended after all.  I hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't forget to pop over to The Simple Womans Daybook and check out the other day book entries
Have fun : D

Friday 11 May 2012

Friday's Photos...

If you're expecting my Simple Woman's Daybook today, then I apologise....
and if you're not...then why not? ;D
Basically my excuse is that I've ran out of time this week. I know...how could I? 
But I may get a chance over the coming weekend. Who knows?
There's word that we could have some rain...so there may well be time for another post! 
Unless of course, I'm whisked away somewhere quite exotic, warm and totally self-indulging for Mother's Day...other than the option to launch myself into the ironing pile that's now resembling a monument, I suppose. Well that'll be warm but hardly exotic!
But the weather this week has been extraordinary for autumn, so I've been out and about taking snap shots of all the beautiful things that have caught my attention....well some of them anyway.
Like this tree that stopped me in my tracks this morning. I immediately saw a traffic light!
Can you see what I mean? Okay maybe you had to be there?
Then to see the stop sign nearby just made me giggle...okay it doesn't take much ;D
But then here's a tree that's definitely got high blood pressure, angry or just loving making a statement dressed in red! (apologies for the photo ~ it was so bright and sunny)

I love this tree...but then I love all trees I guess. At different times of the day it changes...really putting on a show for everyone.

After drawing the Protea plant last week, I saw this huge plant growing in a nearby garden. I didn't realise how large the plant can grow. This shot was obviously after a shower with the raindrops still evident.

So yes, we have had some rain which means mushrooms. I have to confess I know nothing about mushrooms growing in the wild, so stay well clear and just admire them from afar...but I do like the idea of wandering around the woods with my little basket collecting them. Maybe one day?

For now I'll play safe and collect mine from my lovely local veggie store....

So with lots of sunshine and showers it's not surprising that the lemon trees profusely producing wonderful lemons in abundance!
Unfortunately this particular tree isn't in our garden but we do have about a 12 lemons on ours, so I'm very happy. 
My OH is ecstatic because that means there's enough for his beloved lemon tart!

The eucalyptus flower caught my eye especially with having the three stages of development all on the same stem ~ well that's what I think it is, but if I'm wrong please let me know.

But autumn is drawing to a close and winter should be knocking on the door, although you'd never guess with today's weather. 

I'd have a cosy warm feeling having this wood pile waiting nearby the house...
I really miss our open fire...(sigh)....I'm putting one on my wish list for our next house!

So wherever you are right now, I hope the sun shines on you this weekend....enjoy and Happy Mother's Day to all the Mum's out there :D

Wednesday 9 May 2012

What's on Your Workdesk ~ WOYWW

Can you believe it's Wednesday? But it's all good here because I've been a busy bee...
I'm going to try and keep this post short after yesterday's long one, but we'll see.
This shot of my work desk is of the kitchen isle and not in the studio. The sun was shining right in, so it seemed the best spot to work. You see I'm like a sunflower that follows the sun :D 

So no surprises ~ its zentangles still, but with a twist...see there's some colour! I didn't like the bird of paradise drawing, but couldn't work out why...until 4am one morning (don't ask) then I realised it was because I'd drawn it horizontal and not vertical. So what to do with the scrap one....have a play of course. 
So I thought I'd give the colours an airing! What do you think?
I finished the vertical design (without colour) yesterday and have at least 5 other designs lined up :D

Thankfully, I think my mug is a little cleaner this week, but let me tell you I nearly picked up the paint water to drink so many times I lost count! I think I'll stick with tea in future....
 See the Protea plant design on the right hand side? I'm really pleased with how that turned out. 
What was I saying about keeping it brief? Hmm....
Thanks to everyone who visited my desk last week...I love to have visitors, so the kettle will be on for you as soon as WOYWW starts.

Well if you are wondering what I am going on about visiting desks, pop over to the lovely Julia and join in...there's so much talent out there, plus if you're a sticky beak nosey parker like me, then you'll love snooping around everyone's desk.
Have fun, smile and pass on some thoughtful act (make someone's day) :D

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Seven Seas of Rye

Seven Seas of Rye.....

‘Seven Seas’ of Rye became our weekend retreat for a much needed rejuvenation of our batteries a few weeks ago. The house was perfect and so homely with everything we could need and then some. If you would like to take a peek at the interior and further details just click here

The first evening we had a BBQ ~ the garden was so large at the rear that an impromptu footy match kicked off. Also table tennis equipment, darts and a soccer table available, so the boys were quickly in full activity mode...which was wonderful to see. 
Not a mobile phone in sight!

Rye is situated on the Mornington Peninsula, which is just a short drive outside of Melbourne, so a perfect location when you want to nip away for a few days, but still be on hand if need be. It really does feel a different world from the city.  

Rye extends southwards across the narrow width of the Mornington, right down to the coastline fronting the open waters of Bass Strait. The Mornington Peninsula National Park spans the foreshore here, consisting of scenic walking tracks, rocky coastal features, dunes and pockets of sandy beach. A pathway and steps extends from Tasman Drive down to the sandy bay at Number 16 Beach.

We had some really great weather on the Saturday so it had to be spent appreciating the beach. We virtually had it to ourselves. The sand and surf were brilliant... couldn’t you just sit and watch the waves for hours....I know I could.
There’s something about smooth, clean untouched fresh sand that makes me just want to put footprints all over it...(maybe that’s a little too much information).

Yep they are my footprints...I couldn’t resist making my mark!

And then there's the waves....fantastic surfing!

 I have to confess I didn't venture in...but I know a man that did!

 We obviously had to sample the local recommended fare...visiting Peninsula Pantry for breakfast....
It can be a little tricky to locate so maybe check out their link here to make sure you find it. 

 Do you know how looooong I had to wait for these chairs to be vacant before I could take the photo? It's such a popular place for brekky.
But then look what was inside....and this was only one counter!
Because it was the weekend and everyone knows that calories don't count at the weekend, we sampled lots of culinary delights. 
Steam the Asian Restaurant is highly recommended... I'm sorry no personal photos on this occasion but the boy's people tend to get a little techy when food is delayed due to photographic opportunities! 

Steam in essence is hot, fresh and clean... these are the qualities reflected in their modern Asian fusion style menu. If you enjoy fresh and local seafood ~ look no further you will be in your element.

After all this self indulgence there's only one way to end the day....at the Peninsula Hot Spring...ahh...now 's that's special.


Peninsula Hot Springs is the first natural hot springs day spa centre in Victoria, Australia.
Natural hot mineral waters flow into the thermal pools and private baths providing the idyllic setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. There are two main areas - the Bath house, which offers over 25 bathing experiences and the Spa Dreaming Centre, which offer a wide variety of treatments and private mineral baths. The 50°C naturally hot mineral spring water flows from an underground aquifer 637 metres below the surface. The water  runs untouched direct from the source to the pools, which range between 37°C and 43°C. 
Peninsula Hot Springs thermal mineral water contains a range of naturally occurring minerals including sulphur, calcium, magnesium, potassium and many others and is classified as a “Sodium Chloride Bicarbonate Spring” (Na-Cl.HCO3). If you're into the science of it all....personally I just love the heat ;D
The Bath House has over 20 bathing experiences on offer with areas suitable for visitors of all ages including a Hill Top pool (right) with 360 deg views, reflexology walk, Turkish steam room, sauna, cave pool, family bathing area, 16 years+ bathing area and many more.  Lunches and light morning and afternoon snacks are provided too, just in case you get a little peckish. Plus they are open from 7:30 am till 10 pm daily. AGAIN...perfect!
Because the Seven Sea's accommodation is located so handy to the Springs, it was brilliant to nip later in the evening with the added bonus of their cheaper rate! How convenient and luxurious to have a hot spring on your doorstep. No personal photo here due to the fact I didn't want to try and carry a camera around the springs, but mainly because you're NOT seeing me in my cossie! No matter what! Trust me I know what's best....

Now what would be next on an indulgence break....to visit a winery of course. So where was the nearest vineyard to the house....The Cups Estate located on the Browns Road, Fingal. When we first arrived a huge shower lashed down, but suprisingly as the wine tasting got under way the sun came out!

The Cups Estate story is one which began in 1955 whilst a young Joe Fisicaro was working on his grandfather’s farm in Balranald- Southern NSW. Whilst toiling in the fields he dreamt of one day owning a farm and producing the same quality produce his grandfather had achieved. Years passed but the seed to plant a vineyard was sewn in those early years. To read more about the interesting family business click on the link here.

The cellar door takes advantage of breathtaking views with its floor to ceiling windows and round bar. It overlooks the vineyard, neighbouring Moonah Links Golf Course and the magnificent dune region known as ‘the cups’.

We did arrive a little late in the afternoon, but that didn't deter the staff from making us feel welcome.  
Patrick the wine taster appeared magically (like a genie from the bottle literally) as if from nowhere within minutes of our arrival. His expertise was second to none but with such a friendly approach. Although my OH might not agree I think we still have so much to learn and Patrick was very patient with us. If you visit The Cups Estate' say 'Hi' from us.

 In fact all the staff were very friendly and the kitchen produced beautiful chocolate and mascaponi desserts, plus tea and coffee even though the kitchen had shut 10 minutes earlier. Now that really impressed me :D

Another end to a perfect day....sitting and eating whilst gazing over the landscape, offered a great atmosphere of relaxed fun..

 And yes you guessed it....after sampling numerous wines we had to bring a few box away. Well who could resist? The Merlot in particular.
Certainly not us...so we will enjoy a glass and reminise over the coming months.

 Oh and we did manage to visit Rosebud and Sorrento too...both being so close.

 Sorrento has a rich history believed to be the first European settlement in Victoria discovered in 1803 and later developed as a tourist destination for the rich and famous by George Coppin from the 1870’s. It is in this era that some of the magnificent limestone buildings were built in the township.There's lots of interesting sights and buildings to check out ~ not to mention the shops of course.

My SiL and I wandered through the many beautiful galleries and shops. (Ooops I said not to mention the shops) But isn't it complulsory for females to shop wherever they go?

After an intensive search she successfully purchased a beautiful painting from the above gallery, which hopefully is winging it's way from sunny Sorrento to unfortunately chilly Cheshire in the UK, as I type! The painting is a beach scene which hopefully will radiate light and warmth for years to come.
Meanwhile as long as my son received regular calorific intake of gigantic proportions, he managed the traumas of accompanying us. No wonder he's 6'....

Unfortunately my OH could only sneak a peek at the nearby golf courses available due to time restraints, but then I'd have liked to have taken one of the many horse-riding opportunities too...so there's nothing for it...we just HAVE to go back and soon!
 The perfect weekend getaway all within just over an hours drive away from Melbourne's CBD...rather special I think ;D

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