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

Friday 30 December 2016

Aaand Breathe

Aaaand Breathe
Yes, we've managed Christmas and have now entered the 'winterval' before New Year.
I hope you had a lovely time with family and friends or perhaps you just had a peaceful relaxing holiday, whatever I hope you enjoyed it. 
(Muffin waking up and checking if Santa had been)

Our clan met up once again and had a few 'fantabulously' hectic days together ticking all of the boxes. 
Exchanging gifts, toasting absent friends, eating beautifully cooked food (okay, I'm not sure I should say that with being the sous chef but I have so there you go), post Christmas lunch woodland walks through the Welsh countryside, to name but a few of the activities, and finally the long homeward bound drive before the New Year kicks in.
It's great to go away, but so good to be home once again. 
I think I may have actually been glued into my chair yesterday, right next to the wood burner... snoozing the day away. 
I know I'm totally guilty, but I have no shame... I enjoyed it! 
(and Muffin did too) 

Now I'm in the precarious predicament of having so much to do, but not knowing where to start.
So I've decided that I'm not even going to try.
I'm giving myself time out until at least next Monday.
There's no end to my shameless inactivity.
I'm hoping that this current lacklustre will to recharge my batteries and I'll be raring to go once again.

Before I leave you today, I have a confession.
It's only a little one, but I will feel better starting the new year with a clean sheet.

I never thought I'd use a puppy pouch or a pooch pouch as we are now calling the doggy backpack... but I do now and I'm singing it's praises. 
Obviously with Muffy only being a mini shihtzu and weighing in at a reasonable 4.6 kilo's, it's no problem... but I can't imagine I'd like to carry a larger breed of dog. 
The pouch was my nephews dog Woody, but he willingly gave it to Muffy.
Hero of the day.
Woody is so full of energy now that he's grown, that to even try to put him in a pouch would be a major achievement... even if he could fit into it.
I was tired just watching him run full pelt around the woods on our walks.

So here's Muffy glad to have a rest after walking 5 miles, virtually uphill for the majority of the walk.
I know she doesn't look particularly happy here, but she really did like it.
Maybe it was the fact that where we had stopped for a little lunch at The Miner's Arms pub in Maeshafn, was full of dogs and she couldn't carry on socialising. 
I think she liked being so high up though... which is not a usual advantage point for her with her little legs. She seemed very settled once we started to walk the return journey.
It's opened up a whole new world whilst she's recuperating from her surgery.
We'll be able to manage any mountain now... I just need to sort myself a backpack now... and someone who'd be willing to carry me!

I'm not sure I'll manage to pop back for another post before the countdown to the New Year, so I'll take this opportunity to say I wish you all the best for 2017.
I hope you have the best year ever! 
Thank you for your friendship and support throughout this year. 
I really appreciate it.

Friday 23 December 2016

My Christmas Photo... Christmas Tree

I wanted to link up with Photalife tonight to pass on my sincere best wishes to everyone.
(Thanks Darren... I hope you have a wonderful time with your family)
I'd like to just take this moment to thank you all for your friendship during this last year. 
Your visits have meant so much to me and I hope we'll continue to natter in 2017
Merry Christmas Everyone 

HO HO HO....

Sunday 18 December 2016

My Sunday Photo... Morning Glory

When I opened my eye (yes only one as I wasn't sure what time it was) the colour of the landscape caught my attention and I immediately had to get up to find my camera.
This is the view from my bedroom and I was going to call it
'Morning Ewe' instead of  'Morning View'!
I know... that's a terrible joke and not even worthy of a bad Dad joke status.
In fact, my hubby said he'd have been proud of that joke, which tells me just how bad it is.
You can see the reflection of the curtains and the light isn't showing up very well... but in my own defence I was hardly awake.
I then took this second photo as the sun rose higher.
There are still quite a few leaves left on the trees so there's plenty of colour especially when the low sunlight hit them.

The next morning ritual is breakfast and even though I cook eggs I never actually eat them myself.
This was my hubby's breakfast.
Poached eggs on toasted sourdough bread, with avocado and masses of freshly cracked black pepper.
My son's breakfast is the same only easy on the pepper.
Now back to the Christmas posts and preparations.
I'm linking up once again with My Sunday Photo
Have a great Sunday

Friday 16 December 2016

Snow slate scene... and surgery PPF/Sunday Sketches

My hubby has been using the laptop for most of the day, so apologies for arriving so late.
This is a post of two halves... the first being some artwork and the second about Muffin and her recent emergency surgery.

So let's get started...
Part 1 - I finally finished painting the roof slate and thought you might like to see it.
Here's the finished article.
The inspiration came from a few places... 
... a chalk cat drawing on a blackboard, left over roof tiles and a very talented illustrator called Kirsten Sevig from Minnesota.
If you'd like to take a look at some of her work click here

I enjoyed painting the roof slate far more than I thought I would.
I wasn't even sure that the paint would work on the tile. 
But I was pleasantly surprised. 
For anyone wanting to know what paint I used. 
Daler Rowney Acrylic Ink worked so well.
I've really enjoyed the project, so who knows I might just paint some more of the left over roof tiles.
I'm linking up with the
Paint Party Friday 
Alexandra's Blue Chair Diary
Art Journal Journey

Have fun and a great weekend

Part 2 - Some of you may already know that I took Muffin to the vet's earlier in the week.
She had developed a lump on her abdomen and it needed to be checked. 
To keep this brief... the Vet recommended that she should have it taken out and we decided the sooner the better, which meant that she was whisked in for surgery the next morning. 

Everyone at the surgery was incredibly friendly, professional and so caring. 
(Thank you to all the staff at the Town and Country Veterinary Hospital)
Muffin obviously played her cute card and it worked really well. 
Off she trotted with the surgery nurse and she didn't even give her snivelling owner a glance! 
She had the operation with fluids administered throughout and she came trotting out of the surgery later that afternoon. 
I couldn't believe just how 'with it' she was, especially after having such a major operation.
She has to wear a surgical suit that looks like a spandex workout outfit. 
It just looks like she's come back from the gym! 
To give you some idea... it's like a baby grow and will keep her wound clean and safe until it heals.
It was the vet's idea to wear this suit instead of the usual collar.
I must admit I rather like this look.
It's just unfortunate that all the red suits weren't in her size. 
Now that would have been very seasonal.
Sorry about the quality of these photographs, but it was taken later that same evening. 
Here she is in the surgery suit eating her evening meal.
I was astounded by how much she eat that night. 
She completely cleaned this bowl out and had three extra portions of chicken. 
We are to revisit the vet for her to check on progress and also to find out if the lump is something nasty. 
We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who contacted us, either through emails, Instagram or Facebook to pass on their best wishes, positive thoughts, messages and prayers. 
It was lovely to know that so many friends out there were thinking about us. 

If you are squeamish or just about to eat, then you may not want to scroll down any further. 
She had 5 stitches... which is quite a size on such a wee toot, but she's a tough cookie and progressing nicely. 
It looks like she's been for a little nip'n'tuck!

I think after that photo I'd better sign off.
Thanks for your visit and I hope I will see you again soon.

Saturday 10 December 2016

My Sunday Photo... Snow Globes and Sherry

It's been a busy day which I suppose is only to be expected with the onset of the Christmas preparations. 
I've dressed the tree and put up some of the decorations around the house, so I feel a little calmer that I can now actually tick off a few items on my to-do list. 
We have quiet a few decorations... okay... we have boxes and boxes of decorations, so it's not a job that can be done in a day!
I'll carry on again tomorrow. 
Having the daylight disappear at 3.30pm doesn't help... but there's not much I can do about that. 

Every year I buy a new decoration, either for the tree or around the house. 
The year we left Australia, I bought a Santa for the tree. 
He is in his swimmers lounging on a float, drinking a cocktail... Christmas arrives in the heat of summer Down Under, so I felt that this Santa was very appropriate to remind us of the hot Christmases we had whilst living there.

This year I couldn't resist this snow globe.  
It's quite large and incredibly heavy.
I think the bird is a red cardinal, but I like to think of him as a robin... and we often have deer come up to our garden, so I felt it very appropriate.
Now all we need is a little snow.
Just so long that if it does arrive... it disappears on Boxing Day!  

This is my photo of how the day ended.
A glass of sherry and a mince pie to celebrate a busy day of festive decorating.
Do you have a favourite decoration or tradition? 

Thanks for your visit and I hope to see you soon.
I'm linking up with Photalife.com

Have a great day whatever you have planned.

Friday 9 December 2016

Inspiration... Slate Painting for PPF

Do you find inspiration in the strangest and most unexpected of places. 
It can sometimes just hit you when you least expect it.
Well, that's exactly what happened to me today.
I hadn't had time to create any artwork this week and was feeling a little disappointed, but I had managed to tick off quite a few jobs off my Christmas to-do list. 
As I was putting things away in the studio, I saw this blackboard pussy cat chalk image hanging on the back of the door. 
It's an old drawing that my daughter had done and left behind. 

It got me thinking about the black background and I thought I'd like to try painting on a roof slate.
We have had lots of roof tiles changed on the house, since we came home and the surplus are sitting around... just waiting to be painted!
I didn't have much time today to start painting, but I did start and I'm quite excited about the effect.
It's a follow on to the snow scene that I did a few weeks ago.
I hope to finish it over the weekend.
I'll be adding the progress here over the next few days. 
Have you found inspiration in an unexpected place?
As usual I'm linking up with Paint Party Friday
Thanks once again Eva and Kristin for hosting the link up your great inspirational blog.

Late addition... here's a little progress on the slate painting.
I am loving seeing the effect, but it's also a little scary because I have no idea where this will lead.
I'm going to link up with Alexandra over at her Blue Chair Diary blog.
Alexandra is creating illustrations for her very own Christmas Illo Advent and she has some fantastic cute illustrations if you'd like to nip across.
I hope you have had a great weekend.
Thanks for your visit and I hope to see you again soon.

Monday 5 December 2016

Through My Lens... Goldfinches feeding and fighting

As I've mentioned before I love to feed the wild birds and today I thought I'd show you a brief glimpse of the usual shenanigans that go on at just one of my feeders.
This feeder is a favourite of the Goldfinches.
There are so many visiting our place now... I've actually counted a flock of 32 at one stage. 
The birds obviously approve of the sunflower hearts.
I have to replenish the feeder daily because they are hungry little b*****'s!
The sunflower hearts are an excellent source of energy and because they have been striped of their    husks, they are cleaner and an excellent souce of energy.
It can all start off quite polite and genial, but then it can suddenly go pear-shaped. 
Someone might be taking too long on the perch or pushing in unannounced... then it all kicks off!
Feathers fly!
There really isn't any need for this nonsense, because I have three other feeding areas dotted around the house... all with numerous types of various food.
You may notice that the field behind is covered in frost.
That's because we woke up to -5C this morning. 
Yes, that's not a typo... its a minus!
It's barely risen above minus degrees all day and now it's actually dropping once again, so no wonder the little birds are panicking and eating for all their worth.
They actually have to eat 30% of their body weight in order to survive. 
Which reminds me I must put in another order for more seed soon. 
Here's another of my little visitors.
The robin.
We currently have four dotted around, but this one seems to be extremely camera shy. 
This happens to be the nearest that I've ever been able to photograph him.
Sometimes, I think he's just toying with me because he can come and sit right where I've been, as soon as I leave. I'm determined to get a good photo of him one day.
Wish me luck...
And finally some visitors who have decided to stay nearby for the time being.
I know realise that geese can be incredibly vociferous!
I'm thankful that they haven't found my seed yet.

I'm linking up with Mersad's Through My Lens.
There's lots of great photographers over there if you want to visit then click here
I hope your Monday has gone well and the week just gets better.
Have fun and I hope to see you again soon

Sunday 4 December 2016

Christmas Pud Painting

There has been an incredible amount of sport on in our place this weekend, which is just the motivation and incentive that I need.
No not to get physical, fit or anything along those lines... now that would be too much to ask. 
It just means that I have no excuse but to play with my paints to my hearts content!

 Don't ask me why I chose to paint Christmas puds because firstly, I've just finished eating a huge Sunday roast dinner and secondly, I don't even eat Christmas puds! 
Do you ever have that happen... that you get and idea and just have to go with it when there's really no logic to it? 
I'm going to link up with Alexandra over at her Blue Chair Diary blog today.
Alexandra is creating illustrations for her very own Christmas Illo Advent and she has some fantastic cute illustrations.
It's not the best time of day to take photographs, but then it's dark by 4pm at the moment, so there's not many hours of daylight in which to capture an image. 
I've tried to be loose with this painting... something I find very hard to do. 

I hope you've had a great weekend and are ready for a fun packed week ahead.
Thanks for your visit and I hope to see you again soon.

My Sunday Photo... Hygge Home

It's time for the boxes containing our Christmas decorations to emerge from the dark depths of the attic.
I'm not sure that I'm ready for this, but if I don't start to get my act together soon, then it'll be Easter before I know it!
We do have the odd decoration dotted about already, but that's more in keeping with embracing the 'hygge' way of life. 
It’s a lovely word which translates into English as 'cosiness'
We are certainly enjoying having a hygge home
'Hygge' is a Danish word pronounced 'hoo-ga'
Denmark is regularly voted one of the happiest countries in the world, so maybe there's something in this new trend. 
I apologise for the poor quality of this photograph, but I wanted to give you the full effect.
Candles, cosy fires, fairy lights, warm slippers, fur cushions and throws, a glass of red wine and of course the fluffy dog! 
So do you have a 'hugge' home or are you all decked out for the Christmas festivities?

As usual I'm linking up this Sunday with Photalife 
Maybe I'll see you over there?
Have a great Sunday and thanks for visiting my place.

Friday 2 December 2016

Robin Red Breast... PPF

There's nothing quite like the song of a robin... it's something quite beautiful and enchanting. 
I missed both the bird and it's song a great deal when I lived overseas. 
They are such a cute bird and sound amazing, with their little bobbing movement on such spindly legs, but there is a dark side to them. 
They are extremely territorial birds and will fight quite fiercely to protect their patch. 
We have four robins that visit our feeding stations, that are dotted around our property, but even though there is plenty of food available... sometimes the feathers fly.

Nothing shouts 'Christmas' more than seeing a robin on the bare frosty branch of a tree, but as you can see out of my window... we're in the middle of a grey, misty, foggy day.
I can't complain because we have had a fabulous, bright, sunny week up until now. 
Due to the weather being so good, I did manage to spend a few hours outside tidying the garden with a very attentive robin watching my every move. 
I tried desperately to capture a photograph of him...  but he's incredibly camera shy!
So I had to paint him instead. 
(I took inspiration from Anna Mason over at her blog... I can highly recommend that you take a peep at her beautiful website). 

I'm ashamed to say that this is the only Christmas card that I've produced so far... and that bow by the way, is only balanced on the top. It won't be appearing on the actual card... I know so tardy it's untrue. 
I'm trying to get into the swing of things and have requested the boxes of decorations to be brought out of the loft... so that's a start.
Are you all festive and ready to go?  

As usual I'll be linking up with Paint Party Friday
Have a wonderful week everyone.

Sunday 27 November 2016

My Sunday Photo... Woodland Walk

The light seems to play such a huge part in our lives at this time of the year. 
Whether it's the lack of it light with the shorter days or that when it does shine it hangs so low in the sky, casting it's long shadows. 
We have had incredible sunrises, which we can witness without having to set the alarm clocks to an unearthly hour... and the sunsets have been spectacular. 
It's an incredible time for photographers to get out and enjoy.

This photo was snapped whilst walking my dog in the local woods. 
The forest floor is completely covered with leaves, which seem to cushion each footstep... like walking on a sprung floor. 
The colours are spectacular especially in the beautiful sunlight.

I'm linking up with Photalife once again and Mersad's Photography - Through a lens
Thank you for your visit and I hope that maybe you'll join me over at my new website
I've still got lots to workout and it's really pushing my technical abilities to the limit, but hopefully I'll get there. It's a good mental workout for sure.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone

Friday 25 November 2016


Good morning everyone from a beautiful crisp Aberdeenshire in Bonnie Scotland! 
It may be cold outside (minus 6 when I first woke up to be precise) but it's bright, sunny and looking beautiful.
This week I was determined to have a completed piece of artwork to share 
I know I should have warned you and checked if you were sitting down first... but I've actually managed to finish something!
What more could be in fitting with all the festivities happening at this time of year, than to have a gorgeous poinsettia to add such a fantastic pop of colour.

I thought you might like to see it's progression and therefore show the first stages of under painting.
The wise owl is keeping an eye on my work and making sure I do a good job.

Here's the final piece with gold embellishments, although I'm not too sure that they show up very well in this photo.
Very festive huh?

Anyway that's it for today as that amazing sunlight is inspiring me to get busy.
Not sure with what just yet, but I'm sure I'll come up with something!
I'm also linking up with Sunday Sketches
But one more thing before I go...

Drum roll please...
... I have some exciting news!
I have launched a new website Denise Allan that I'd love you to visit, because quite frankly I'd hate to be over there all alone.
'Neesie Natters' has been brilliant for the last ten years
(which quite frankly I can't believe it's been that long since I started blogging)
but I felt it was time to come into the light with my own website.
I will miss certain aspects on this page and therefore I'll run the two in conjunction initially, because quite frankly I'm really nervous about this change.
Neesie Natters previous posts are all over there along with your comments, so you'll feel at home.
I just hope it all works and I can continue to be your friend and have our chats.

I'll pop the kettle on and hope to see you over there...
Click here to be transported

Saturday 19 November 2016

My Sunday Photo... Sunset (again)

I'm away yet again this weekend and therefore didn't think that I'd be posting. But how could I refuse to share this stunning sunset! I'm linking up to the My Sunday Photo over at Photalife
Have fun everyone and thanks for stopping by. 
I'll return the compliment as soon as I can. 

Friday 18 November 2016

Snowy scene (wip)... PPF

We've woken up to a white wonderland this morning. 
No snow, but Jack Frost came to visit during the night... so everything is covered with white dust and twinkling in the sunlight. 
A perfect morning.
The current temperature as I type is -3 degrees celcius! 
So it's appropriate perhaps that my wip is a wintery scene.
I'm sorry that it's still a wip, but I just can't seem to find enough time these days to complete a piece of work in one go! 
There has been a major leaf clearing exercise... I adore having so many mature trees around us, but the downside is the amazing amount of leaves that fall.
Anyway, that's my brief post for today because I'm off for a girlie weekend!
Have fun and enjoy your weekend.
Thanks for visiting and I hope to catch up with you soon.
In the meantime, I'm linking up with the Paint Party Friday and Sunday Sketches

Sunday 13 November 2016

My Sunday Photo... a last fling

Today was a beautiful day and one for getting outdoors and enjoying it even if it meant raking up fallen leaves. 
I do have a leaf blower, but I thought I'd have the satisfaction of a good workout. 
Two birds with one stone and all that.
But as usual I got distracted... the robin watching with keen interest at my handywork... ready to scoop anything of interest. 
The geese flying overhead... the few clouds drifting across the sky and of course all of the plants putting on the finale. There blooms still bright and catching the sunlight.
I thought I'd just randomly take a few shots to let you see what's still adding a splash of colour.

There were lots more but I was supposed to be doing a job after all.
Maybe I'll snap a few more tomorrow if the weather stays good. 
I hope you liked them...
I'm linking them to the My Sunday Photo over at Photalife
Mersad's through my lens
and Wednesday (On Tuesday at image-in-ing)
Have fun everyone and enjoy those beautiful autumn colours.
Thanks for your visit and I hope to see you again soon.
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