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

Saturday 24 February 2018

My Sunday Photo... The Greater Spotted Woodpecker

With spring on it's way (hopefully) the sound of local woodpeckers reverberats all around our garden and nearby woods. 
It really is an incredible sound!
Here's on enjoying the peanuts from one of my feeders.
About blackbird-sized and striking black-and-white. 
It has a very distinctive bouncing flight and spends most of its time clinging to tree trunks and branches, often trying to hide on the side away from the observer. 
Its presence is often announced by its loud call or by its distinctive spring 'drumming' display. 
The male has a distinctive red patch on the back of the head and young birds have a red crown.
Great spotted woodpeckers can be seen in woodlands, especially with mature broad-leaved trees, although mature conifers will support them. 
They can also be found in parks and large gardens. 
They will come to peanut feeders and bird tables. 
Not found in the far North of Scotland, although we have four woodpeckers visiting us. 
Only a handful of pairs nest in Ireland, but numbers are increasing. 
Common in England and Wales.
(courtesy of James Taft Published on Jul 6, 2008)

I'm linking up as usual with My Sunday Photo over at Photalife.com
I hope you have a wonderful weekend
Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again soon.

Friday 23 February 2018

Tasseography...Tea Leaf Reading. PPF

Hello Everyone and Happy Friday to you all.
I've been missing in action lately on the blog front, as I just haven't seemed to find the time for blogging, favouring a quick line or two with a photo into my Instagram account instead. 
I've often thought...ooh that would be good for a blog post, but then moved on quickly to other things.
One of the things that has been keeping me busy over the last few months, has been my Bootcamp assignments from the makeartthatsells online course.
February's assignment was 'Tea'
Anyone that knows me knows I'm a huge teapot!
I drink copious amounts of tea per day, so this assignment was just my cup of tea (Aghh...sorry)
Anyway, for the main assignment it was to paint 'Tea Leaf Reading'.
Fond memories of my favourite Aunt came flooding back to me. 
My Aunt was quite a fun loving character and always up for a laugh.
Now I'm not saying that tea leaf reading isn't serious for some, but the vision of my Aunt bent over a china teacup with her face so serious, relaying someones future tickled me, but her readings were very popular.
I personally believed every single word she said.
I was probably under 10 at the time.
Here's my design... although for some reason the colours don't seem to be true.
The original is much brighter and vibrant, but I'm not sure why this is happening or what I can do to correct it.
Did you know that the art of tea leaf reading is called 'Tasseography' because I certainly didn't.
I'm linking up with the lovely artists over at the Paint Party Friday link.
Thank you ladies for hosting once again.
(This is my mock up practice ... with the help of my son)

Right... I'm off to make a cuppa with loose tea leaves.
Who knows, I may have the gift of fortune telling?
I'll have to see if I can see anything in my future.
Have a great weekend and thanks for popping in.

Sunday 11 February 2018

My Sunday Photo... Look out!

It's pretty nippy here just now with another forecast of snow to arrive overnight.
The birds are all feeling the urgency of a good meal to see them through.
Here's one of our resident buzzards perched up high on his lookout tower.
He doesn't get much peace as the local jackdaws and crows become very nervous if he's spotted in their territory. They dive bomb him constantly and give quite an aerial display.

I'll leave you with a more peaceful photo of our girls... keep your heads down ladies!

I'm linking up as usual with Photalife.com
Thanks for popping by my place and I hope you'll be back soon

Saturday 3 February 2018

My Sunday Photo... Creeper

Today, I thought I'd show you a few more of my visitors.
This little bird is a treecreeper.
I have never seen a treecreeper on the ground like this before... but obviously the fallen seed from the bird table was too tempting.
Once you know what you're looking for, a treecreeper is quite noticeable with his white underside.
They use their tails in a similar way to woodpeckers' as a support when climbing and they really are quite acrobatic... but with those claws I suppose it's not surprising.
Their bills are curved and sharp, for extracting insect food and seeds from crevices in tree bark.
He definitely could do with a pedicure!

I did miss a fantastic photographic opportunity today, as I drove up my lane as dusk began to fall.
A buzzard was sitting on a telegraph pole with the sun behind him. 
If only I could have stopped in the lane to take the photo, but that would have been foolish.
It'll have to be one of those tales of  'the one that got away'!
But here he is a little later, flying low over the fields looking for a meal before bedtime.

Apologies for the blurred image, but the light was fading... I'm surprised I managed to get any image in the circumstances.
Whilst I was photographing this buzzard two crows came and started to attack him... he was obviously on their patch.
But then so was someone else!
Mr Fox
At this stage our girls (hens) were still out in the folly... safe but because we didn't want Mr Fox to get too familiar with their whereabouts... we had to go out and get them into their coop. 
It was getting near to their bedtime anyway and three of them had already settled down and were comfy for the night.
We made a few unwelcome noises which made Mr Fox go elsewhere for his supper!

I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo once again.
Have fun and enjoy your Sunday.
Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again soon.

Friday 2 February 2018

MATS Bootcamp... PPF

Here we are once again... Friday!
I've had quite a busy but fun time since we last chattered and would you believe it, I'm another year older! 
Moving on swiftly I mentioned a few posts ago that I'd enrolled on to an online art course with the brilliant Lilla Rogers over at Make Art That Sells
Each week we are given a mini assignment that leads up to the main assignment at the end of each month. The course lasts until May, so I will have masses of fun times ahead. 
The first mini assignment at the beginning of January was to draw/paint the contents of my bag, which lead nicely into the following week's main assignment... a book cover of a famous woman and what she might have in her bag?
My nominated person was Tina Fey. 
Everyone was allocated a particular woman for their birthday month. 
There were some great inspirational, powerful woman amongst the twelve options.
I knew a little about Tina beforehand, but I had to do some research to ensure I captured her personality. I can't believe I had such a good time doing research. 
Tina Fey is a very talented comic along with all her other attributes.
Here's my mock up of my completed piece.
I learnt so much whilst completing this assignment.
For a start I've never really done a portrait! 
Anyway, after much huffing and puffing plus shouting for help with Photoshop, I finally managed to enter it into the MATS (Make Art That Sells) Gallery for the month of January!
Apologies if you've already seen this painting in my Instagram feed or on Facebook, but I know there are many who don't have access to those online links and ask that I post here too.

I also decided to paint a personal birthday card this week for a family member.
I had approximately 30 minutes from start to finish in order for it to get into the post... if I wanted it to arrive on time.
Yes, I know... always last minute with me, but this time it worked out perfectly.

I was really pleased with the outcome and the recipient initially didn't realise it was hand painted!
How's that for a compliment?
I obviously work better to a very strict timetable!

My daughter when visiting possibly noted that my art supply case was overflowing and couldn't close, so as part of my birthday present she bought me this super large bag!
It's 100% linen with this gorgeous design from Danica Studio
It's also lined and what do you know?... it still has some space even with all my brushes, pencils,
pens and bits! 
This can only mean one thing... I can buy more supplies... YAY!

I'm linking up to Paint Party Friday 
Click here if you'd like to join me. 
They would love you to visit and see all the amazing artwork.
Have fun everyone and thanks for visiting.
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