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

Monday 27 October 2014

Turning back the time

That's it... we've put the clocks back an hour which means we're now on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) 
I just wish someone would explain how I get my dog to understand this.
Yesterday, she started gruffing and driving me mad for her dinner... which I chose to ignore, but it wasn't until the gentle gruffing reached annoying levels, that I suddenly realised that she wasn't being a pain or greedy... it was in her mind (and stomach) one hour later than the clock stated! 
Doggy dinner-time! 

So the summers passed and we're heading towards winter. 
There's nothing that can be done about it...so we just have to suck it up and embrace it... whatever it brings. 
I'll try not to dwell on the fact that I'm sitting writing this post at 5.00pm and it's nearly pitch black outside!

Anyway, I don't have to keep a check on the time, because I have my very own personal time keeper. 
I'm not one of those people that remember dates for when things have happened previously... other than the obvious birthdays, anniversary's and major dates etc but my hubby remembers the finer details.
He can suddenly announce "do you know that it's blah blah X years to the day that we moved into blah blah (insert address)" or "It was on this day last year that we ate that amazing meal in the blah blah ***** hotel"! 
His powers of retention never cease to amaze me especially for date related details. 
(Oh and especially if there's food involved).
Maybe it's his number favouring left-sided brain that gives him this freaky skill (he's left handed too) whilst I on the other hand (no pun intended... honest) am a right-sided brain (right handed too) who cannot for the life of me remember numbers! 
For example, I've had my mobile phone since I moved back here and I still don't know the number.

Maybe that's why we work so well for all of these years... it's all about balance.

(Digitalis... or commonly know as Foxglove from my garden

And so we're on the run up to Halloween, but I have a confession to make... I don't really like this particular holiday. As a child it used to frighten me, but thankfully it wasn't of the same degree that it is now.
I remember I was scared on this night. 
(just a wee woos really) 

But I do remember that we had one particular great Halloween night when we lived in Qatar. 
We lived on a compound with security guards and gates containing roughly 30 houses, each had it's own big perimeter wall of about 7 or 8 ft high.
So as the excitement mounted, the compound manager notified every house by letter that the outer gates would be locked at 6.pm and the compound lights switched off for one hour of high jinks.
It was great to know that all the little kiddiewinks would be safe to take part in trick or treating. 
All of the houses wishing to participate had a picture of a pumpkin placed strategically on their gate, so the children would know whether to ring the bell or not.
My son went out around the compound and came back with a huge stash of goodies and joked how he and his friends were playing tricks on some of the other older kids... jumping out of bushes etc. 
We had Harry Potter music playing loudly in our garden with lanterns and candles which set the scene. It was very dark, so we sat back on our veranda to listen to the giggles, squeals, and shouts...enjoying the fact that my son could participate without our help.
But my hubby decided that it was time for a little fun and payback. 
He climbed up on to our wall and waited...
When my son came back once again through the gate throughly excited with his goody bag bulging once more... my husband reached over and ruffled his hair! 
OH MY... I kid you not... I think my son must have leap three feet into the air and may even have squealed (although he'll certainly deny this part I'm sure) 
Once he realised who had played the joke on him and his heart rate had returned to a normal rate, he couldn't stop laughing.
He remembers it to this day. 
So have fun and enjoy whilst I pop some garlic around the place... just in case! 
I'm away for a few days for a quick get-away... woohoo... and I'm not sure if I'll have internet connections ... ... so I may be missing for a wee while. 
But I'll no doubt have lots to show you when I return.
There maybe the odd instagram photo just so you don't forget me. 
Thanks for stopping by and I hope to natter with you again soon.
Toodleloo for now 

Wednesday 22 October 2014

I'll have the Gin please...WOYWW #281 & PPF

I'm having terrible trouble getting going this morning. 
I'm putting it down to the ridiculous temperature of only 5 degrees. 
I've said it before but I'll say it again...
I'm not a happy bunny once the temperature drops below 16 degrees, so I think I may have to rethink this whole thing.
I just couldn't drag myself out of my warm cosy bed, although yesterday could have something to do with it as well as the chilliness. 
Not only did I battle the hurricane (although I think we were very lucky here)
I had lots of running around to fit into the schedule.
Mum's taxi was very much in demand and I even took the car in for a service half way through the day, as well as attending my art group.
Mulit-tasking to the max. 
By the time our dinner was over last night, I was ready to mould myself to the sofa! 

Anyway... I'm here now. 
A few chores have been done and I'm contemplating nipping out a little later, but it is Wednesday after all, so how about taking a peek at my desk. The WOYWW (what's on your work desk Wednesday) group will be well and truly partying by now, so if you want to catch up with Julie and the gang then click here.

As I mentioned I met with my art group yesterday and I grabbed the gin bottle... (cough) 
Let me clarify that statement please. 
Although it had been a busy hectic morning I wasn't that bad, besides the gin bottle was empty. 
It was one of the subjects for us to study and paint. 
There were other options... tins of beans, mustard, oxo boxes but for some reason I gravitated towards the gin.
I think it was the colour.... HONEST!!!

Here it is in the early stages on the desk in my art group.
I think they must suspect we maybe a little messy with such mass amounts of plastic sheeting everywhere.

I didn't realise when I chose the gin bottle just how detailed it was. 
For a start, I didn't know that Queen Victoria makes an appearance.
I can imagine her saying 'One is not amused' if she saw my version.
Then there's all of that lettering! Eek!

Anyway, here's my interpretation so far... yes once again I'm showing you unfinished work, but it took me well over an hour to draw the bottle.
I now wish I'd have thought about it a little more and perhaps changed the angle, so that it isn't so flat.
I'm aware that my blog is heavily into art at the moment, but there's lots of other things happening around here, but just whilst I'm attending this art group it seems to be taking priority.
I'm happy about that so will join in with the Paint Party Friday gang.
Click here if you'd like to be transported to the party too.
(Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting once again)

Paint Party Friday

Another thing that I am taking part in during October is an instagram photo challenge. 
You may have noticed my instagram link in my sidebar has lots of changing photos.
Some I'd rather not have included here, but I'm following the list for each day's challenge so it's set and not my choice. So far I've managed each day... (quick pat on the back for me).

I'm also getting excited because Aggie (the Aga) is due to wake soon. 
Oh I've missed her and will no doubt be cooking up a storm once she's fully awake and with it! 

Well that'll do for today... I'll love and leave you for now
Enjoy your Wednesday and I hope to see and visit you soon
Toodleloo https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511763.gif

p.s. Oops I nearly forgot to thank you for your support in the pillow fight Ohh Deer competition.
I'm now on the first page! Woohoo
Here's the link in case you didn't see it last time
If you share or click on the like/share button on the right hand side of their page, you may help me win the competition

Friday 17 October 2014

Pastel Portrait and Pillow Fights

Hey... so it's Friday once again and it's time to party! 
I've had a great week and even managed to finish another piece of art... (woohoo)
I think I might be on a roll here. 
It's the oil pastel portrait that I started in class. 
(If you didn't get to see my previous post and would like to then click here)
This was my first practice portrait in my sketch book, but I actually liked it more than the second one drawn on good paper. I think I'd given it my all which is what I tend to do... I concentrate so much when I first start, that by the time we're ready to move on to good paper... I'm pooped!!!
I just wish I'd have moved her down the page a little, so that her hair would be able to fit on. 

Another plus this week is that I've entered a competition with the online store 'Ohh Deer'. 
Because I received so many lovely positive comments about my flutterby design I thought I'd enter the competition to have the design made into cushions.
Apparently I'm now entered into a pillow fight! 
If you'd like to help me win then by clicking on the link below and follow the link on the right hand side of the page by liking or sharing my cushion design you can help me improve my chances. 
Flutterby CushionFlutterby Cushion

Ohh Deer competition entry click here

Here's some details about the Ohh Deer cushions.

Our cushions are Vegan, yes we know that you have no plans to eat them, but we just wanted to assure you they contain nothing harmful to animals. They're made from super soft faux suede and come complete with a fibre insert. To make postage cheaper you can opt to receive the cushion without the insert.
They measure 43x43cm a smashing size (contains 50x50cm insert to keep it plump). They're machine washable at 30c and are hand made in the UK. The cushion has a stone coloured back cover - and zip fastening.

If you'd like to carry on partying then let's join in with the gang over at 

Paint Party Friday
I'm also linking to Dion Dior's Friday Sketches.. here's the link if you'd like to visit
So that's it from me for today... I'm off to let the weekend start! 
Many thanks if you're up for helping me win that pillow fight and for visiting my place.
Have a wonderful weekend and I hope to see you again soon.
Have fun everyone https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1508618.gif

Wednesday 15 October 2014

What's On Your Workdesk 280 Pastels and Watercolours

Well, here we are at Wednesday once again. 
At the moment, it's all beginning to become a little blurred as to what day it is.
So in order for me to make the most of the today I'll be quick. 
I've emptied my art folder this afternoon in the hope that I'll manage to finish off a few things. 
Although, you can see sun outside the window and the farmers are working away it is rather chilly. 
In fact, this morning it was only 5 degrees and apparently I've been told there was even a little flurry of snow for about 5 minutes. I didn't actually see it as I was out and about.
Brrr.... anyway let's move on to my desk (or kitchen table) 
So there's the portrait and horse sketch that are still waiting for me to work on
(although I did add a little more shading to the horse earlier in the week ~ whilst football was on the television). 
I've actually moved two lamps into this space, so that I can work at night. 
It's ideal with so much footy on TV at the moment. 
This way everyone is happy  
This week in my art group, we used watercolours to produce a monochrome painting.
The piece was to be called a misty moonlight mountain scene... yeah right. 
I haven't used watercolours to a great degree, so it was both interesting and slightly scary.
As many of you will know, I like to work as precisely as I can and this exercise was very loose!
I used wax, clingfilm and salt... and we didn't bake a thing!
Unfortunately, you can't really see the moon and it's reflections on the lake but they're there. 
Now what else is on my desk...
Oh yes, there's the photo of Mufftypup. 
We're going to paint a pet or animal next week... this sadly could end a beautiful relationship between Muffy and me when she sees the outcome. I've tried on numerous occasions to draw her and each time failed miserably. 
We'll see if these classes can help. 
My teacher seems to think I'll have no problem! (HA!)  

The fingerless gloves are where my daughter left them after a painting session in the garage.
She's painting a LARGE canvas so it has to be done out there... plus she can paint with gay abandon in the garage. I'm surprised she can even bend her arms with how many layers she's having to wear... thermals are a must. Which reminds me that it's about time I popped the kettle on to help in the thawing out process.

So that's it for today, but maybe if you have time you would like to nip across to see some more desks throughout the globe...click here to visit Julie over at Stamping Ground.
Have a great day peeps and thanks for stopping by my place.
I hope to see you again soon.

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Paint Party Friday... Pastels

Morning everyone.... it's that time of the week once again when we reveal all. 
Well, I should clarify that statement perhaps and say... to revealing what's on our work desks.

As you can see on mine, there's the ink drawing of my butterfly which I did post about last week.
I have to confess I went in once again and added a little more detail! 
I know, I just can't help myself.... but I did feel it needed a little more.
But that's it now... it's finished... and I mean it!
I'm now thinking about printing it on to tea towels or tote bags... what do you think?

As mentioned on one of my previous posts, I've also started a coloured butterfly design. 
I wanted to practice using my oil pastels, so this was an ideal project. 
Although having said that, it wasn't really because I didn't have a pastel blender other than my finger, which is now incredibly sore and has a little hole in the tip!
It also had a tendency to stick up and considering it's my middle finger it's causing some concern... whoops!
There's such a long way to go with this design and I'll need to spend quite some time on it to build up the colours.
Here's another photo from a few days later....

Here's a little peek at another desk that I've been working on...
Don't worry, I'm as shocked as you to be working on two desks this week! 
Obviously, the weather must be bad to keep me inside and creating art.
Maybe winter won't be so bad after all.

This desk was taken at my art group.
It's the last week that we will be using pastels and I was overjoyed to be doing a portrait (NOT)
Anyway, taking a deep breath I dived in.
I was thinking that if Penelope Cruiz ever saw my drawing then she'd probably sue me... but I persevered and was a (little) pleased with the outcome. 
Depending on the finished version, I may or may not show you at a later stage. 
But that's enough for this week because our host Julie over at Stamping Ground likes us to keep things brief so that we can hop and skip about to each others desks.
It's great fun so if you'd like to take a peek click here.

Just before I sign off today I'd like to say that I've been trying to visit everyone that's popped in to leave a comment with me over the last week... but I've struggled. 
I'm still working on it and will continue until I've managed it.

I'll end here today with my thanks for all your visits and comments. 
I love to see you and hear what you have to say.

I hope your week is going well.
Until next time... have fun everyone
I thought I'd also link up with Paint Party Friday...
Eva and Kristin would love you to visit... just click here

Paint Party Friday

Friday 3 October 2014

Serious thoughts... and Flutterby's

I have to confess that this morning I've been having thoughts... serious thoughts about thermals, awakening Aga's, cosy corners tucked up with a good book, and Duvet days. 
(Dunna days... for my Australian friends) 
This has highlighted that I've taken far too long to finish my tribute to my summer drawing...
last summer's tribute.
At this rate, my tribute will be relevant for next summer and not the one that has just left us. 

I managed to sneak a drawing session whilst football was on the TV mid week, but I had to use a desk lamp. I've not used one before as I prefer to use daylight, but needs must and all that... 
but I'm a convert now. 
It's not too good on my eyes, especially with my intricate ink drawings, but at least I can get an hour or two extra drawing time in before the blurriness begins.

So here's the latest update on the butterfly. 
I know I'm sorry... I thought I'd have the finished drawing to show you today but there you go...
I apologise for the bad photograph, but it's the best I could do in the light that's available this morning.
I even used a lamp too.
The winds blowing a hoolie outside, so with the fire roaring I think I'll head back to summer and finish off the butterfly this morning.
Because it's Friday, I'm linking up with Eva and Kristin's Paint Party Friday blog... thanks you guys for hosting this great party link.
Hey if you like to party too, why not head over there by clicking here.
Paint Party Friday
I'm also joining Dion Dior for Friday Sketches too. 
Click here
Friday Sketches Button
I know that I've still got lots of peeps to visit this week, but I'll try to pop by soon.
In the meantime... woohoo it's Friday so ENJOY! 
Hot off the press...
It's finished... well I think it's finished... but I could always tweak a little!

Wednesday 1 October 2014

WOYWW #278 ... Pomegranates

I know that we'll all be saying the same thing this morning... 
"Where on earth did September go"?
I don't even know where July and August went never mind September! 
Anyway, here we are... it's Autumn and it's Wednesday, so it's time to share what we have on our desk (or kitchen table in my case). 
Keeping it brief as is the wish of our leader and linky host Julia over at Stamping Ground
Here's my desk...
I've went to my art group yesterday and entered new territory. 
It was certainly scary stuff because I used oil pastels for the first time.

In keeping with the autumn theme we drew pomegranates. 
Little Ruby Jewels
This was my practice piece in my sketch book.
It gave me the opportunity to get to know the pastels and how they worked.
I can't really make up my mind if I liked the pastels or not. 
I suppose it's early days yet.
I think I'm going to have to play a little more to come to a definite decision. 
I liked the way layers can be built up but became frustrated that I couldn't be more precise and how messy I (and my pad) became when using them. 
(Note to self... never wear white jeans again when I use oil pastels)

One more thing before I start desk hopping... I must tell you about yesterday.
My daughter joined an art class but didn't even have to leave the house. 
Whilst sitting comfy on the sofa, she linked into a live stream via our TV (hooked up to the internet), to a class being filmed in San Francisco! 
How cool is that!!!! 

It blew me away!

So that's it for this WOYWW entry... 
Have fun desk hopping and I'll just get ready to hopefully see you soon.

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