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

Sunday 30 August 2015

My Sunday Photo... Sunset

I had no intention of posting yet another sunset photograph this week, but when tonight's sunset display started I couldn't resist. There's a huge full moon tonight too, but I know I'll never do it justice with my photographic skill. I need to practice more... but maybe one day (or night!) I just might capture it.
If you'd like to see lot's more Sunday Photo's then just click on the link to be transported.
Have a super Sunday everyone and thanks for visiting my place

Friday 28 August 2015

Let the Cock Crow - PPF

Let the cock crow! Morning everyone
Although I'd loved to keep some chooks (chickens) I don't think I could have a cockerel. 
For instance, I was visiting an agricultural show a few weeks ago and went into the poultry marquee. Unaware that I was standing right in front of a prize cockerel taking in a cute chook opposite, he let out a cry. 
Oh my goodness did I jump... he gave me such a fright that I nearly laid an egg!
I did try to take a video of him but he went all camera shy and wouldn't so much as cluck!
Ever since that day, I've had a mind to paint a cockerel using the loose style that I'm trying to adopt as my own. 
So here he is...

I'm not convinced that he's finished yet. 
I haven't used any white highlights or finalized his tail feathers, but I'm actually being prolific this week for me. I'm actually painting two pieces at once!
(You can tell that the weather hasn't been the best if that's the case)
I started My Week On A Page #3
There's still a long way to go with this, but I'm pleased that it's well underway. 
I think I should rename 'my week' to 'my fortnight' (two weeks) because I can't seem to complete them in just one week. 
Anyway, here it is so far.
When I post the finished piece I'll explain why the objects have been chosen, otherwise this post will take a week to get through and I know you'll be wanting to visit so many other artists work today as part of the Paint Party Friday link.
Here's a view of my desk that many of you might not have seen... with my Quality Control Manager keeping a close eye on the proceedings. 
Well, maybe one eye as she enjoyed getting all roasty toasty in the sun.
But don't get carried away thinking we are having glorious summer weather here... 
...because just look up at the sky.
We certainly have had a mixed bag of goodies, weather wise this summer... but not enough warmth in my book.
Average temperature over the summer months for this part of Scotland have been around 12 degree's (that would be approx 53 degree's Fahrenheit)
Yes... for summer! 
Another view to show my feathered friends are still visiting me daily. 
The seven white doves sit waiting patiently to be fed.
They arrive early in the morning and spend most of the day here.
It's a good game for Muffin to chase them when they land on the patio, but they seem unperturbed. 
I think they have sussed out that she's all fluff and flounce and not fierce or ferocious in any way.

And finally, I wanted to share this morning's view from my bedroom window.
This was about 6.00am.
Now unfortunately the picture would be a grey blanket of cloud once more. 
The sun's disappeared.
I think I may have to be an early riser (which thankfully I am) to make sure I get enough light before winter comes to call.
Is it me or does this picture look autumnal to you?
Eek... I hope not because I'm still waiting for summer! 
(I think that might have to be 2016 now)
Have a great Friday and don't forget to pop across to the Paint Party Friday gang... 
they'd love to see you
Paint Party Friday
Thanks for your visit... I love to see you and even more so if you leave a comment. 
Toodleloo for now

Wednesday 26 August 2015

What's on your work desk Wednesday (WOYWW 325)

Cuteness Alert!
As it's Wednesday I thought you might like to see what's on my desk this afternoon.
Just two things firstly.... make sure that you have the sound switched on and secondly... I can assure you that no animal was harmed in the making of this video.
So here she is... dah dah!!!

I am seriously working in the studio this week, but I thought I'd be super quick with today's post and let Miss Muffy do the talking.
She's fresh from the grooming salon and wanted to give you a wave and say 'Hi'.
Besides it's 'National Dog Day'
If you would like to see some artwork then take a trip across to Julia's WOYWW (What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday) and visit desks from all over the world.
I'll be sure to let you see my new project's soon.
Have fun https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511767.gif
and thanks for your visit

Sunday 23 August 2015

My Sunday Photo... Melrose Abbey

The magnificent ruin of Melrose Abbey in the Scottish Borders.

I don't usually write any words with my Sunday Photo post but this week I thought decided I would because this incredible abbey deserved them. 

Unfortunately, when we were passing through Melrose the abbey wasn't open to the public so therefore this is the nearest I could get to take photo's.

More facts about the abbey: 
Melrose Abbey is a magnificent ruin on a grand scale, with lavishly decorated masonry.
It dates back to 1136 when it was founded by King David 1 and was the first Cistercian monastery in Scotland.
The exterior of this magnificent ruin is decorated by unusual sculptures, including hobgoblins, cooks with ladles and a bagpipe playing pig.
The abbey grew rich on the wool trade suffered through the Wars of Independence and was substantially rebuilt in 1380's. It continued in use as an abbey until the Protestant Reformation of 1560. After that, the existing monks were allowed to stay on: the last one died in 1590.
Another interesting fact is the abbey is the supposedly, the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart, which is marked with a commemorative carved stone plaque.
When the abbey is open visitors can also visit a small museum housing a display of artefacts found within the abbey.
Maybe I will return when it is open to the public to take close-up photographs.
I'm linking as usual to One Dad 3 Girls link so if you'd like to see more photos then click on the link.

Enjoy your Sunday everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Friday 21 August 2015

My Week On A Page #2 - PPF

Yet another busy week this week.
I'm trying to catch on so many things, but I did manage to finish the painting from last week.
My Week On A Page #2
So here it is...
(If you missed or would like to read about why I've chosen the objects that I have... then click here)
Initially, I roughly sketched the objects with a pencil.
Then I under-painted them. 
This is a new technique for me but one that I now love to do and think it makes such a big difference to the finished painting. I'm trying to keep this loser style and it's certainly enabling me to paint more. I'm not getting too precious with details which can take up so much time.
I'm enjoying this new style and hope it will evolve.
I used Kuretake: Gansai Tambi Japanese watercolour paints to build up the layers.
Then outlined with a black pen.
I also wrote a brief description to remind myself of why I chose each object.
The highlights are painted with silver watercolour paint but unfortunately it doesn't show up very well in this photograph. I like it especially on the birdfeeder and bottle.

It's a brief post today because I want to start a new painting so please forgive me.
If you'd like to see more artwork then click on the links below
 to join Eva and Kirstin's  Paint Party Friday and Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Paint Party Friday
Thank you for your visit ... I'm still trying to visit everyone who has visited my place over the last few weeks, but it's taking me some time. 
If I haven't got to you yet please be patient... I'll hopefully visit you as soon as I can. 
In the meantime enjoy your weekend... have fun and lots of creativity.

Friday 14 August 2015

My Week On A Page #2 (unfinished) PPF

After having so much fun last week, creating a painting which illustrated my week on a page
I decided to give it another go this week.
I found that it has really helped with my decision making... what to include in the painting, colour combinations, and composition, so thank you Tracey Fletcher King who passed on her inspiration for this project. 
Unfortunately, my week might actually stretch over a few weeks at the rate I'm going, before I manage to finish it. But then it's not all my fault, as I had guests staying over last weekend and then I'm heading off myself tomorrow. 
I've had to cram a whole week into four days! (What a woman!!!)
So let me show you what I've done so far... here's my preliminary sketches.

There are tales to tell as to why I've picked what I have to be included in my week, so maybe it's best to start at the beginning of the week. Once my house guests had left... it was beds stripped and into the washer before they were half way down the lane... along with the toweling robes and bath towels.
To say I go through gallons for fabric conditioner is an understatement, but when my hubby came home with this latest bottle I just burst out laughing. 
It's called Doussy!
Now I'm not sure how the manufacturers or you might pronounce it, but my hubby actually calls doggy doodoo's or poop, a doozy (see how polite I'm being) 
So to think I'm going to be washing my clothes in dog doings just tickled me.
He wondered why I went into a fit of giggles when I saw the label.
(It doesn't take much to amuse me)
But then on Tuesday Muffy did have a 'doussy' day because something must have visited our garden overnight and left it's calling card.
To say that this beastie had a problem might be an understatement... and have you guessed yet? 
Yep Muffy rolled in it. 
Well not exactly rolled... more camouflaged herself in it.  
She had to be bathed twice outside in the open air (which didn't amuse her with a chilly breeze blowing at all) but there was no way that pong was coming into my house!
She even had to be squirted with her doggy perfume once dry just to make sure.
And that's why the doggy brush is included in this weeks page ^..^

Along with the fabric conditioner... hubby decided to buy kitchen utensils.
Now at one stage I could say he doesn't even cook... at all... but lately he's been having a dabble.
With success I might add (well he might read this and you have to give positive reinforcements wherever possible) but I've never EVER seen him whisk anything over the 37 years we've been married. I suppose it's a case of never say never eh?
Anyway, it's a beautiful colour so it was added to the page too.

There always has to be plants involved in my week and I'm thrilled that my Eryngium are doing so well. I love to include them in my flower arrangements around the house. 
Like a mini Scottish thistle
The honeysuckle is flowering too and it's perfume wafts on the breeze.
I thought it would be good to include it as a link to help bring the composition together.
Lastly, there's the bird feeder (one of 10 I might add, that I have dotted around the house...not all the same design but feeders all the same) 
I think this might be a little more difficult to paint than I initially thought. 
Why is there always something to catch you out?
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the photo I took of the desk and window yesterday, which included my enthusiastic peeping pigeon... well dove really. He/She was perched very precariously on the ledge leaning in watching me paint.
We now have seven white doves come to call daily.
(it sounds like a song doesn't it... seven doves a-calling)
I'm now called 'Momma Dove' by the way, because I nip out early most mornings to feed the birds in my dressing gown. It's a white, hooded, ankle length robe and I'm sure the doves think that I'm one of them!
So I must fly away and leave you now... my weekend starts today and I haven't even packed yet. 
But why don't to nip across to the Paint Party Friday with Eva and Kristin... they'd all love to see you.
Click here to be transported.

Paint Party Friday
Have a wonderful weekend everyone

Monday 10 August 2015

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

A few weeks ago I had a little trip to the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park in Cheshire.
I've been visiting quite a few of the big Garden Shows since I returned to the UK.
If you've been following my blog then you might remember my trip to Chelsea Flower Show 
(click here if you missed it or would like to revisit Chelsea)
Unfortunately,the weather didn't really treat us kindly but it wasn't so bad that it stopped us from wandering around and enjoying all of the exhibits. 
I've visited Tatton Park a few years ago, but I didn't remember it being so big or having so much to see and do back then. It might have expanded over the years with growing popularity, or maybe we just missed some that year, but this year I was really pleasantly surprised. 
In order to save you time looking over masses of my photographs
 (especially if you are taking a peek over a coffee/tea break) 
I've collated some of them into collages to just give you a flavour. 
There's no way that I can do justice to the horticulturist heaven of a garden show, with it's masses of incredible variety of plants, enthusiastic experts on hand to give helpful advice and guidance if needed, and products to be seen and obviously bought whilst visiting the show plus what's available to eat and drink. 
I mean how can you convey the sheer volume of perfume that wafts and gently envelopes you 
as you enter the Floral Marquee. 
It just can't be done.
It's a busy day culminating in using all of your senses to the maximum and you certainly know you've had a good workout by the time you stagger through the exit heavily laden with all of your beautiful new treasures.
 Thankfully they provide a free courtesy car service to carry you and your wares back to your car. 
It's a brilliant service for numerous reasons... one if your like me and finding your car a huge challenge especially when you've just left it in a field... or in a deer park in this case. They also help load your car boot for you (which at this stage of the day could be your undoing) plus saving you traipsing through the deer park with your wheelie trolley dodging lots of presents left by the deer along the way!

For anyone who would like a 'she shed' or thinks they need to give their shed a lick of paint then this next collage is for you.
How fantastic are these little beauties?
It's a pity that the sun wasn't shining at this point (it was drizzling slightly) because the photo's don't do justice to all the work and effort in their designs. 
They were amazing.

One of the things that we've been mulling over is whether to become bee keepers. 
We have a fantastic area that is far enough away from the house but near the floral part of the garden plus lots (I mean LOTS) of wild flowers and grasses around our property before the farmland begins.
I think it would be a great hobby for my hubby as he loves honey.
In fact, we all do and I have to buy so much weekly that to produce our own would not only be interesting and possibly be a great new challenge, but it would also save money. 
And finally because the sun's shining and I want to get outside... 
here's my favourite purchase from that day.
I've wanted a weather vane for years and couldn't resist this beauty.
It was difficult to choose what design initially, but I think the pheasant feels right, especially as I hear and see them daily wandering around the fields nearby.
Oh I know whether the wind is blowing in from the North or from the South but I find the weather vane fascinating. Okay small things eh?
I'm easily pleased... bless.
Thanks to my son for modelling the weather vein so well by the way.

So I think that's about enough for today.
I hope you enjoyed our whistle stop tour of the RHS Tatton Park Gardening Show... 
but if you can manage to visit one show in your local area, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. 
It really is good to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer and even better if you can add a little something as a reminder of the day to your own garden space at home. 
Have fun and Happy Monday to you all.

I'm linking up with the following...
Grateful thanks to all of the hosts.

Friday 7 August 2015

My Week On A Page #1 (PPF)

I know I left a snippet of what I've been creating in the studio earlier this week, but amazingly I'm now able to show you the whole thing today.  
Here's a snippet from my previous post, just in case you didn't manage to see it. 
If you'd like to see the post then click here
I took the idea from Tracey Fletcher King (with her permission of course) and it's just perfect for me. I often struggle to find a subject to draw/paint, but this idea of creating a page containing things that have been part of my week is just ideal. 
It's just a snippet of my week but quite fun to pick which things to include.
So for this first week I've included Gardening Gloves, Gardening Tool, Summer Slippers, Home Grown Peas, Telephone and Mobile phone, a Baking Spatula and a book with a idea bubble.

The gardening gloves have certainly earned their keep since I returned from being away for a few days, along with my magic wand... well it's almost magic, but unfortunately it needs a little input from me. I'm absolutely thrilled that along with some strawberry's and tomatoes I've managed to grow some beautiful sweet garden peas. They are so gorgeous I'm hardly managing to bring any into the house... popping the pods and enjoying they're gorgeousness before I reach the kitchen. 
You don't get fresher than that!
With the weather improving, although not quite where I'd like it to be, I've brought my summer slippers out into the light from the dark recesses of my wardrobe. 
Fool-hardy perhaps but it is August after all. 
The phone is always a big part of my day whether it's the landline or my mobile phone, so I felt I had to include them. The book is something I'm mulling over and have been for the last year.
Hey, I'm world class when it comes to procrastinating!

And finally the blue spatula... which is from a Donna Hay baking range. 
I got it along with an oven glove when I purchased one of her books when I lived in Melbourne. 
I wanted to include it because baking has taken off here in a BIG way this week.
The Great British Bake Off (GBBO) is back. 
I just heard that the viewing figures have been incredible for this new series, but rightly so. 
The programme airs at 8pm on a Wednesday evening and is an hour of pure entertainment for me.
I've even baked a cake this week in it's honour.
I could go on about it, but I fear I might lose some of my audience... especially if you've never seen, heard or even like baking... so I'll shut up!

I'm noticing quite a change in my painting style and it's certainly loosening up, which is thrilling for me and something I've wanted to do for some time.
Thanks Tracey xx

Because it's Friday I'm going to link up with Kristin and Eva and Paint Party Friday
I have guests coming to stay so must dash. 
Have a wonderful weekend whatever you have planned and thanks for visiting my place.
Paint Party Friday

Wednesday 5 August 2015

My week on a page #1 (WOYWW 322)

Just a quickie this morning, which will please Julia over at the What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday party, as she likes us to be brief when we open our doors to show what's happening in our creative world. It's understandable because there are so many desks to visit, so it works well if the text is brief... (so maybe I'll manage not to natter too much this week?)
(Click here if you'd like to see more work desks from around the globe)

After taking part in Tracey Fletcher King's art classes over the summer, I'm now playing at loosening up in my drawing. I think it's beginning to work because I did these paintings really quickly for me and I actually had fun!
It's difficult sometimes to find subjects that I would like to paint, so to have every day objects for my projects is a perfect way and now I have no excuses.
Tracey has recently started to draw her week on one page and I love it. So I asked would she mind if I tried and she said nae probs no problem in her gorgeous Aussie accent.

So here's some of mine...
No desk view sorry, but a work in progress... I'd rather not let you know entirely what I get up to... so I'm chief editor and executive decision maker!
Oh don't you just love power?
Above are a pair of my gardening gloves... I have about three pairs currently and these are the newest. I just brought them in from the garden and put them on the studio desk... I started drawing straight away... hence the mud and damp patches. Yep, I'm still battling in the garden whenever the weather is kind... which isn't as often as I'd like it. 
Next, because we have actually had the odd day with sunshine, I've put my cozy Ugg slippers away and found my summer slippers hidden in the back of my wardrobe.
Then here's my best gardening implement. 
I've no idea what it's called but it's such a little Trojan and makes weeding as easy as it possibly can be.
The pea's are what I've managed to grow without a greenhouse or a veggie plot.
I'm so pleased with them and myself... (she says puffing up with pride) and I have to tell you they are delicious. 
There are other things on the page, but they need to be finished off before I show you the whole page. 
Besides it's only Wednesday, so there's a few days to go before my week is up. 
What a tease eh?
I told you I like power! 

So that's it for now peeps.
Have a great creative week and I'll hopefully see you soon.
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