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

Thursday 28 April 2016

Camera... Action - PPF

Hello everyone... can you believe that it's Friday! 
Woohoo and a long Bank Holiday weekend for some too.
Normally you'd expect good weather for the May Bank Holiday, but once again we had snow and hail storms today. 
Seriously will it ever warm up?

Can I just say please don't judge me... once you see the video below you'll know what I mean.
I thought I'd distract myself from the weather and have a little play by trying to make a video whilst drawing.
To say I got a little worked up about it, possibly was an understatement.
I really don't like any part of me to be in front of the camera. 
I'd much rather be behind the lens. 
The drawing will be used as a draft because basically it just isn't good enough. 
I think I was too conscious of the camera instead of enjoying the journey of creating. 
Usually my mind wanders to I know not where and I feel thoroughly de-stressed after finishing a drawing... but not today. 
Anyway here it is....
Because this video doesn't really show the sketch here's a photo of it.
But as I mentioned it isn't finished yet... there's still more work to be done. 

I've had two weeks of appointments, but finally I'm free now, so hopefully I'll be able to spend some time doing some serious painting soon. 
Especially if this weather continues, because quite frankly there's no way that I'll be spending any time in the garden until the temperature starts to rise.
I'll be linking up with the Paint Party Friday group if you'd like to see some stunning artwork then click here.

I'm also linking into Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Thank you for visiting today.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you again soon.

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Whatever the Weather

Name any kind of weather and I bet you I can confirm that we've experienced it here today.
We've had rain, sleet, snow, sunshine, thunder and lightening... all accompanied with an Arctic blast of freezing wind!
The sort of wind that my Mother used to call 'a lazy wind'
The kind of wind that doesn't go around you... it just goes straight through!
I remember December was so much warmer than this.
If at any time today I looked out of the window, it definitely looked like we were in the grip of winter. 
But along with this changeable weather, we've seen some spectacular sights... from the sun kissed snow capped mountains, with dramatic stormy cumulus clouds behind them adding to the drama, to the beautiful snowflakes drifting slowly down to earth making a white magical landscape. 
But my favourite sight of the day, was to see the local roe deer sparing. 
Not quite rutting, but perhaps practicing for tougher bouts ahead. 
I think it's possibly a yearling (or young male) testing his strength against an older buck. 
The younger deer has been taunting and baiting the elder all afternoon. 
There is a doe (female) involved, but she got bored with the proceedings and after finishing eating, she wandered off to possibly take a snooze in the thick yellow flowering gorse.
Meanwhile, the boys were tearing around the field and didn't even notice her departure. 
I did think at one stage that I really should go to set up my video camera... but then I thought I'd rather watch and enjoy them, than miss it whilst searching for the camera.
Yesterday, I witnessed the female chasing off a fox, who had obviously come into her personal space.

Later this afternoon, I was rewarded by the deer coming right up to our boundary to nibble on some new shoots.
Stunning isn't he? 
I'm getting so used to them walking nearby now, so much so that I'm thinking of names for them!
They have the habit of visiting up near the house at night time too, whilst we are sleeping. 
Well we are until they set off the intruder light! 

I hope your week is going well and that you have been able to appreciate nature too in some form or another.
Today, I thought I'd link up with Our World Tuesday and Wordless (on Tuesday at image-in-ing)
I hope you enjoyed your visit here today and will come back soon.
Hopefully, I'll have some springiness to share with you.

Sunday 24 April 2016

My Sunday Photo... Balmoral Castle

Today, I have an old photograph which I hope you'll forgive me for posting.
I thought it would be appropriate due to this week's celebration of Queen Elizabeth II 90th Birthday.
Set amongst the magnificent scenery of Royal Deeside, in the shadows of Lochnagar, is the Balmoral Estate which I visited around this time last year. 
It was purchased by Queen Victoria in 1848 and the Estate has been the Scottish Home of the British Royal Family ever since.
If you'd like to read my blog post and see more photographs from my visit, then click here.
"Happy Birthday Your Majesty"
Oh yes and "Happy Birthday Son"... it was his birthday yesterday.

As usual I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo
and Wordless (on Tuesday at image-in-ing)
and also with Mersad over at Through my lens.
I hope you had a wonderful weekend everyone and thanks for visiting my place.

Friday 22 April 2016

Friday Frog... PPF

I'm so late posting today, but quite frankly I'm just thankful to be here at all.
 (sorry that sounds rather dramatic doesn't it? ... let me explain) 
Basically, yesterday I couldn't even get out of bed! 
I've heard and even used the term "I have a bad back... I couldn't get it off the bed", but this time it was true! I have no idea what happened, but after a sleepless troubled night, I found that I just couldn't move one way or another. Excruciating pain had me completely in it's grip.
The pain was untrue and if there had been a gas and air option, then I'd have grabbed it with both hands. One minute I would be laughing at the absurdity of the situation and the next shedding a few tears, because basically I was so scared that I just couldn't move. 
Hubby wanted to call an ambulance, but I managed to persuade him not to and finally, thankfully I managed to stand vertically. Which is just as well because by this time I needed to visit the bathroom (desperately) and I didn't like hearing my hubbies different options of dealing with this problem!
Enough said!
I normally try to be positive on my blog posts because I think everyone has their own issues, health worries, problems and generally don't need other people's troubles, but if you are suffering in any way with pain or worries, I hope you find a way of dealing with them, or that they disappear completely.
So finally let's get onto the business in hand... what have I managed to create this week.
I've had appointments which have eaten into my creative time, but if you remember the silk paintings from my post last week, I've taken the tropical tree frog design and drawn this cheerful chap...
I've still got to add a few details and to rub out the pencil marks, but he makes me smile.
If you'd like to see the coloured Silk Painting Frog version then click here.
I suppose it's quite appropriate posting this drawing as it is Earth Day too. 

I'm aware that I had lots of lovely visitors last week and that I haven't got around to visiting you all... yet... but I will.
In the meantime, thanks for visiting and I wish you a wonderful weekend ahead.
As usual I'm joining in with Paint Party Friday
Click above on the PPF link if you'd like to see more art. 
Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting once again. 
I'm also linking into Alexandra's Sunday Sketches

Thanks Alexandra for hosting the Sunday link and providing so much inspiration.

Sunday 17 April 2016

My Sunday Photo... Spring Snow

They say variety is the spice of life, well in that case I think we can safely say we've certainly had an abundance of spices today. 
We've had all the seasons rolled into one and here's the proof!
The sun is shining, but there's a flurry of snow every so often, with a little rain too.
If you look past the car you'll see some of the hundreds of daffodils that I planted last year.
This weather is certainly confusing to us, so I can only imagine what it is doing to the wildlife.
The poor birds are building nest in my nest boxes... I think they'll need lots of insulation at this rate.
Whatever the weather try to turn that frown upside down.

As usual I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo
Thanks for visiting my place today and I hope you're enjoying your weekend too.

Thursday 14 April 2016

Silks and seeds... PPF

We'd been looking through a box of old photographs during my daughters visit last weekend, when I came across the old photograph below. 
I thought you might like to see it.
It's from my Brunei days, where I was luck enough to be invited to exhibit my silk paintings. 
In fact, it's possibly the only photograph that I have from this particular exhibition.
It's a pity that the photograph is so bad, but it was taken a few years ago. 
In fact, I've just gone into shock because looking at the date on the paintings... it says '1995' which means that it was 21 years ago!
No wonder the photos are so bad!
Not only is it probably the camera that I was using at the time, but it's also probably due to the fact that I've just had this photo among many other's... all loose in a box.
You'd have thought that I'd have placed it lovingly in an album.
To savor the moment, but no. 
I can only think that I was probably preoccupied with my three year old at the time, who was rather challenging to say the least. 
My mind wasn't my own for a good few years back then.
In fact, these few paintings possibly saved my sanity.
But that's a whole other story.
If you can use your imagination here please, because they were actually extremely vibrant colours. 
That's one of the reasons why I loved to paint with silk paints.
This chap was one of my hubby's favourites.
Nee...deep... nee...deep!
Unfortunately, I haven't had much free time this week for being creative.
When I did have some free time, I chose to go out into the garden and plant seeds.
I'm hopeful of great things to come. 
I don't think we'll be self sufficient, not by a long way, but I love to pick our own produce.
What are you up to this week?
I hope it's creative in some way and that it's fun.
As usual I'm joining in with Paint Party Friday
Click above on the PPF link if you'd like to see more art. 
Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting once again.
I'm also linking into Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Thanks Alexandra for hosting the Sunday link and providing so much inspiration.
Thanks for visiting. 
Hope to see you again soon.

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Click, Click, Blooms

Well another week has started and I just can't believe that I actually missed Monday!
What's going on? 

I'm still getting to know my new camera and here's one shot that I managed, although I'm still a little disappointed that I had to take it through the window. 
As you can see... she knows I'm there but tolerating me.
It must be tasty pickings.
I'm hoping that over the summer months... she'll stay and allow me to take a photo from outside.

Here's a few more colourful shots to help brighten the day.
Even though we've had misty foggy days the signs are there that we have in fact entered Spring.
We just need the temperature to catch up too.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.
Today, I'm linking with Mersad over at Through my lens.
and Our World Tuesday
If you'd like to see more photographers work, then click on the link above.

Friday 8 April 2016

Is it really Friday? PPF

Well here we are again... another week done and dusted. 
I always thought that it was an age thing, to comment on how fast time flies by, but this week I actually heard my son comment and he's only in his twenties... so maybe it's a fact time is flying!
I thought it couldn't possibly be that I'm getting older. 
Do you remember as a child how the summers would last forever?
The school holidays would stretch ahead for what seemed like months, instead of just six weeks. 
Or Christmas took an age to finally arrive. 
I just wish that these cold, grey, rainy days would fly by... let's get on with spring...PLEASE!

So what have I been up to this week?
Well, I have to admit I haven't done much in the art department, but here's a little something for the Paint Party Friday link.
I wanted to practice some more lettering and found this doggy quote.
The doggy paw prints are something I've wanted to do for a while... well ever since I saw Mufftypup's wet paw prints all over my new clean floor.
There's something about a paw print that just gets to me. 
I'm not sure why, but it just does.
It's like new born babies feet... I just melt when I see them. 

Along with the lettering, I also wanted to practice blending colours.
I may carry on with the blending, as I'm not sure that this is actually finished.
I always seem to have trouble knowing when to call it a day. 
Once I'd finished the lettering, I remembered that I should have measured and drawn lines in order to keep the letters uniformed. 
Oh well...
I had a lovely afternoon catching up with another old friend today.
We don't see each other for months on end, but have no problem carrying on nattering from where we last left off.
We first met in Qatar years ago and clicked straight away.
She now lives in Spain, but regularly returns to Scotland to ensure she keeps her Scottish accent! 
(haha... she'll like that)
She brought these beautiful roses for me... see I told you we get on well. 
She certainly knows how to make me smile... I in return baked her a cake. 
Personally, I think I got the better end of the deal.
So what makes you smile? 
Cake or flowers... or perhaps something else?

As usual I'm joining in with Paint Party Friday
Click above on the PPF link if you'd like to see more art. 
Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting once again.

I'm also linking into Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Thanks Alexandra for hosting the Sunday link and providing so much inspiration.

I'd also like to thank you for popping into my place.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Monday 4 April 2016

Misty Monday Morning

This week has started with a very misty and atmospheric Monday morning.
In fact, it's remained wet and murky all day.
The sound echoes and carries amazingly far on a morning like this, so I was surprised to see our local deer chomping away having their breakfast out in the open.
I'd been busy drawing at my kitchen table when I became aware of their presence. 
If I say I now have about 63 photographs of them, I don't think I'd be overestimating. 
After standing and waiting for them to come closer to the house, whilst having my finger poised on the camera... ready to click... my legs and back aching... I couldn't help but think and admire all of the wildlife photographers out there. After all I was in the warm house.
I wonder if they find they sneeze just at the crucial moment too.
I apologise for the quality of my photographs, but I had to take them all through my window.
If I'd have tried to open the door, then they would definitely have ran off to hide in the gorse.
I know this because it's happened so many times before. 
They are roe deer which are small and elegant with a pale greyish brown coat that will turn to reddy brown for the summer months. The males antlers have a rough or ridged surface.
The one on the left of this photo is a stag, and the doe is on the right.
Note she has a very white patch on her rump with a short tush.
If you'd like to know more about the Roe Deer then click here which will take you to the British Deer Society. They also have fantastic photographs (unlike mine).
I couldn't believe it when this chap came so close and actually stood on the plinth, turning to look at me. You can see his wee antlers on this shot.

Today, I'm linking with Mersad over at Through my lens.
If you'd like to see more photographers work, then click on the link above.

So that's Monday nearly over and I hope your week has got off to a good start. 
Thanks for visiting.
Have a great week and I hope to see you again soon

Sunday 3 April 2016

My Sunday Photo... Log splitter

It's something for the boys this week... 
Well actually if you're anything like me, then it might also appeal to some girls too. 
This is one of my hubbies Christmas pressies and today was it's grand unveiling. 
To say my hubby has a wood fetish might be an understatement.
(I think I've mentioned this on my blog before). 
He can spend all day collecting, chopping and stacking wood.
His wood store is a masterpiece of 'Jenga' ingenuity.
No one can stack wood like he can.
Or it appears that way, because if anyone tries to add to the pile he has to have the last say by tweaking and fiddling until it's to his specific specification.  
Sad but true.
Anyway, I thought that this log splitter would not only save him time, it would also save his back. 
He was skeptical at first... insisting that he likes to spend hours using the axe whilst alleviating his stress levels.  (I'm not sure why he gave me a funny look as he said this)
But after splitting a whole wheel barrow full of beautifully chopped logs within fifteen minutes or so... he was convinced it was a winner.
It split the huge chunks of wood like butter.
It seems a little strange to be preparing wood for next winter, when we are only just saying goodbye to this last winter... but he's happy!

As usual I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo
Thanks for visiting my place today and I hope you're enjoying your weekend too.

Friday 1 April 2016

Friends and Familiar Faces... PPF

Over this last week I've been reacquainted with some familiar faces. 
The weather has been good and spring has definitely arrived, although it's throwing in the odd surprise... like a random hailstone shower. 
Those suckers can be really painful and make you run for cover. 
But, generally the sun has shone... so wrapped up warmly I've ventured out into the garden to see what's been happening and whoosh as if by magic old friends have popped up everywhere.
The familiar smiley faces of the pansies have appeared... bringing their cheery colour to add to the bright yellow of the daffodils.
I couldn't resist trying to paint the pansies, but as usual I underestimated just how tricky these little bad boys can be. 
I must just say that this painting session was definitely all about the journey and not the destination. The sun was shining, the garden door flung wide open to allow Muffy to lie in the warmth of the sunlight, and the birdsong to enter the house. 
I definitely drifted off to some distance space for a while whilst painting.
Don't you just love to do that?
Hence, I think I got carried away with the inking. 
I know I definitely did on the highlights, but as I said I was enjoying myself so much and wasn't really conscious of what I was doing. 
I was going with the flow.
The daffodils and pansies appearing are like old friends and caught me by surprise, which is exactly what happened to me whilst out last week.
I was trotting along minding my own business, when a toot from a car made me jump as I crossed a busy junction. I thought I was crossing at a reasonable pace, but the second toot made me glare at the driver (who's face was obscured by the sunlight hitting the windscreen) 
It wasn't until I reached the other side and yet more tooting sounded that I realised it was an old friend whom I haven't seen for over 16 years! 
She parked up and we had a quick chat... well quick for us because she was on double yellow lines and we arranged to meet another day.
We met in a cafe and chatted for over three and a half hours (this stat mystifies my hubby).
Well,we did have 16 years to catch up on after all.
Three pots of tea later another familiar face enters the cafe and she joins us.
Once again I hadn't seen this friend for 16 years either.
Phew... that was some catch up and I was totally wrecked when I finally got home.

Old familiar faces and friends seems the theme for this week.
As usual I'm joining in with the Paint Party Friday
Click above on the PPF link if you'd like to see more art. 
Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting once again.
I'm also linking into Alexandra's Sunday Sketches

Thanks for stopping by and even more so if you've taken the time to leave a comment.
I love to hear from you and hopefully I'll be able to add you to my list of familiar faces and friends for this week. 
Have fun!

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