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

Friday 30 January 2015

Paint Party Friday... Sunrise (PPF)

The photo above shows what a glorious sunrise greeted us on Thursday morning...
 no snow or not even a snowflake for that matter. I know the reports and news have said we are snowbound in the north of the country but yoohoo we're here and other than a slight flurry last week we've seen nothing... so far anyway.
Since taking this photo I've desperately wanted to paint it. 
So here I am using a borrowed laptop (unfortunately still no life in my own as yet) in order to share and take part in Kristin and Eva's Friday Paint Party
And so it starts....
 I'm not rushing this piece so yet again unfortunately you're going to see unfinished work but I promise to come back to show you the finished painting.
I think one of my faults is that I don't give my paintings enough time to develop.
I seize the moment and go like the clappers because I know that sooner rather than later my time will be gobbled up by other chores, tasks and requests (I was going to type the word demands but maybe that's a little harsh) 
I'm still working at the kitchen table and will be for the foreseeable future because my daughters taken over the studio. Her illustration career has really taken off which is wonderful so I don't mind moving over (for now)
If you want to check out what she's up to then here's a link... click here
I'm just about to start the exciting part... the trees
See you soon when I'll be back with the finished painting.

Paint Party Friday
Have a great fun weekend whatever you have planned. 

Sunday 25 January 2015

My Sunday Photo... Neesie Nattering in the hot tub

 I love this photo of my daughter and I having a good natter whilst sipping champers in the hot tub. We're amongst some of the best winter scenery I've ever seen. 
A winter wonderland
It's been quite a week...
 I've had to add yet another year onto my milometer, even though I'd like to fix it so that the numbers go in reverse.  Unfortately that's a skill that I've yet to master. 
I'm sure that if I do actually manage it one day, then I'll be very popular and my skills will be in demand. 
But for now, I'll have to be content with a new skill that I've perfected in recent weeks... and that is the art of getting dressed and undressed in multi-layers all at once in one swift movement! 
Since we've been experiencing winter temperatures of - 4 and 5 degrees Celcius 
(ha... I hear you laugh in Canada)
I need thermals and lots of layers... multi-layers in fact... so to save time and to keep my exposure to the chilly air to the minimum, I now can put all the layers on at once!
I know... I'm quite proud of myself.
It's like being able to take off your bra without taking your top off first.
You know what I mean ladies, but I know any guy reading this will be totally mystified... but then that's females for you.
(Don't try to understand us... trust me you'll never do it!)
I have to admit that this all sounds a little drastic but for someone who doesn't like to be in temperatures below 16 degress... it's a must! 
Which reminds me of someone else that isn't a great fan of the cold weather...

 I've been taking lots of photos of all the wintery scenes (nothing new there) and posting them on instagram.
You'll be able to see some of them on my sidebar on the right of this post.

By the way the news on my laptop isn't good.
Well I suppose it would help if I actually took it into the repair shop for starters! (Gasp)
See I told you it's been one hellova week.

I'm off to snoozeyland now because tomorrow I need my wits about me as I'm taking part in the British Garden Bird Count. If last years count is anything to go by then I'll be in for a stressed and hectic time trying to count all of my visitors to the bird feeders! 
I'll let you know how I get on and I've already started to take the most regular visitors photographs to complete a visual collage. 
Wish me luck

Have a great Sunday
If you'd like to see some more Sunday Photos then click here to be transported.
Bye for now...

Sunday 18 January 2015

Keep breathing!
Are you sitting down?  Then I'll tell you what happened...
 My laptop crashed and died!
I KNOW (sob, sigh, wail, tizzyfit and tantrum)
I'm booking it into intensive care in the hope that they can breath new life into it.
In the meantime, I'll keep everything crossed that they will be able to save everything that's stored on it and continue to use someone else's laptop for now.
The only thing is that my fingers are lost.
The keys on this laptop aren't playing as I'd like them to... they're being sneaky and are all in different places. Everything is taking much longer to type and enter. 
I'll wait to see how A&E get on before trying to write another post.
I hope you have a great weekend and hopefully I'll see you soon

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Tuesday's treasures

If I told you that today I did a little gardening you'd probably think I was a little crazy... 
(maybe just a little more than usual) but I did! 
Even with a snow flurry forecast I still went out into the garden.
I was dressed up like a Michelin man with so many layers on that I could hardly move... but I went out.
(For those of you that are of a certain young age, you'll probably not know about the Michelin man or what on earth I'm on about, but suffice to say I was well wrapped up).  
But it was all worthwhile... because look what I found...
A brave rose blooming in January!
There were a few more brave blooms which made me smile.
The photo below shows one of the two flower pots that are on my doorstep. 
It's also full of bulbs in layers that will appear from spring through to summer which I also can't wait to see. 
Talking of which...(bulbs I mean) I've finally put the last few into the ground... 
These particular one's are tulips as shown on the packet.
Thankfully the ground wasn't too frozen for me.
It's wonderful to see new growth with the promise that spring will be coming soon (she says hopefully)
even though we'll probably have a few more snow flurries and gales before we're done.
Here's some daffodils putting on a brave face... 
Buds and shoots sprouting everywhere...
Even plants that have only been in the garden from last summer seem to approve of their new home and are coming along nicely.
I've a dilemma though... I've been thinking it over for some time now...
Do I leave the ivy growing over the wall which has become so thick there's a possibility of it could pull some of the wall down? 
It definitely needs sorting in some way, but I think it's sanctuary for lots of birds. 
I'm thinking that I will cut it back now, but they need shelter from the winter weather... but before long they'll be nesting in it too...hmm what to do?
I also found something else which I didn't expect to find... this huge nail...
Looking at the photo below it doesn't really show how big it actually is. 
It's over six inches long! 
Thinking about it now I should have perhaps held the nail, so that it would give a better indication of it's size. 
I think it must have come from one of the old cow barns that are in and along side our garden.
And who do you think lives here?
And finally three of my favourite daily visitors.
They appear each morning and land on the roof waiting for me to feed them. 
I've actually had them feed out of my hand, but it's difficult taking a selfie (in focus) whilst feeding them.
If I manage it one day I'll be sure to post it.
So there we are... that's Tuesday done and dusted.
I hope you're having a great week and possibly find some treasures too.

Friday 9 January 2015

Empty Bird Feeder? (Paint Party Friday)

Well that was quite a night last night due to the incredibly strong winds that blew through this way. 
So much so that we could virtually feel the house shake. 
I was constantly woken up by the intruder light going off and on due to all the movement of trees, bushes and who knows what else. 
It gave me a tiny snippet of what it might be like to experience a tornado. Rather frightening.
Thankfully, there wasn't too much damage and debris when I checked around the garden this morning. 
The bird table (placed on the floor so that it didn't fall and break thankfully is still intact) but empty! 
And some of the feeders were no where to be found!
I feed the bird visitors in my garden every morning and I became aware of masses of eyes, tweets, and twitterbations going on as I wandered around the garden.
Where was breakfast???? 
This gave me a fun idea for a sketch...
I certainly had fun with this one... so decided that I'd carry on and add colour

I started off in my normal precise way but then reminded myself that I want to try to be a little more loose with my work... so took a deep breath and dived right in! 
I was thinking I should get out my bird books in order to get the correct plummage and colours but then that would be defeating the object and didn't seem fitting for this Friday fun sketch... so I ignored my urge. 

I even look at the wood work and nearly come out in a rash at how random the lines are. 
I'm pleased I've kept it so loose but I'm not promising that I might head back at some stage and tweak or maybe even take this theme and redo it. 
I'm linking up with Eva and Kristin's Paint Party Friday 
Paint Party Friday
Why not make a cuppa and nip over to see lots of amazing artwork.
That's me done for today... 
It's Friday night so let the weekend commence.
Have fun everyone!

Monday 5 January 2015

Welcome 2015

Welcome 2015
Happy New Year to you all
I had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you did too. 
I don't want to go back over Christmas because quite frankly, I wouldn't know where to start and that's been my problem. I've been thinking about my first post of the new year for a few days now, but the more I thought about it the more I got lost in details and then I suffered writers block. 

But one thing I must do first of all is to thank you for visiting me during this last year. 
It's been wonderful having you come to visit... and it certainly wouldn't be the same without you.
Without your visits this whole blog thing just wouldn't work!
For one thing I'd be talking to myself and that's something I don't want to start... 
I freak my kids out enough as it is! 
(one comment over the festive season was "you're like a six year old Mum" 
I can't quite make up my mind if that's a compliment or not) 

Over the last year there have been lots of changes, settling back into life here in 'good old Blighty' (that's the UK is you're not used to that term) into our old house plus renovations taking place here, there and everywhere (which by the way we're still working on) but I must admit I do feel settled now, which is quite a statement coming from me after so many years of being on the move. 
I also thought that I'd have a list of goals for next year by now 
(as is the norm at this time of year) 
but I've yet to produce one... but I'll get there... maybe by June but I'll get there! 
I've got lots of ideas, but I just need to get them prioritized and in order. 
So I thought I'd just come in for a brief natter and that would get the ball rolling.
We've had lots of chilly temperatures over the last few weeks... even down to minus 5 on occasions, but no snow as yet. 
I know that may sound strange coming from me, but I'd like to see some snow before winter passes. 
I'd much rather colder temperatures with bright, sun filled sky's than warmer, damp, wet days.
We actually had the perfect winter day here yesterday and it was lovely to wrap up and get outside to enjoy it.
But I'm not so sure Muffy was impressed with the crispy, frosticled grass.
As you can see the sun hangs incredibly low in the sky at this time of year.
I even managed to do a little gardening. 
As long as I kept in the sunlight and out of the wind, it was really quite pleasant.
It was also a treat to see little signs that spring will be calling soon.
Okay... well maybe not that soon but there's bulbs sprouting, new growth and leaves springing into life which is wonderful to see. It's obviously time to start planning once again and I feel a few trips to the nursery and garden centre might be in order.
I can also see that seedings in their plant pots might well invade every nook and cranny of the house  as unfortunatley, I don't have a green house (...as yet... hint hint!!! This is just in case hubby is reading this) 
Winter sunsets are special don't you think? 
But then I love most sunsets no matter what season, especially when the day has been used to the max. 

So there we are...
I've kept it brief but it's a start.
I hope you've had a great start to this new year with all of it's possibilities.
I feel this one's going to be a good one don't you?
Hopefully I'll see you again soon.
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