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

Sunday, 26 February 2017

My Sunday Photo... Window Feeder

Today, I am able to show you that the new window bird feeder has been a success.
I've spent far too long waiting to try and obtain a reasonable photo of the Blue Tit and Great Tit visiting, but finally today was the day... my patience paid off.
This type of feeder is perfect if you have cats or live in an apartment block, or above ground level.
The birds will come and be perfectly safe whilst feeding.
The birds fly in so quickly and with such amazing precision they fly off again... all within the blink of an eye and a beak full of peanut!
It's also amazing to see the birds so close.
They even visit when we are standing at the kitchen sink, which is right in front of the feeder.
I had planned to post a different photo for My Sunday Photo this week, but I was so thrilled to capture this image... I had to share it.
If you'd like to see more photo's then click here to be transported to Photalife link up and
image-in-ing.blogspot.co.uk
Thanks for your visit... I'm always thrilled to have you pop in, especially if you leave a comment.
Have a great weekend

Friday, 24 February 2017

My Flock of Birds...PPF

Another week done and another bird joins my flock.
This flock of birds must be the most unusual flock to gather together. 
This week I decided to paint a Jay.
They can be quite shy birds, but I did manage to capture two together with my camera, which is a major achievement in my book.
For those of you living outside of the UK... here is what they look like.
I know that the same named birds can vary quite substantially across the globe.
This week I remembered to take the odd shot of wip along the way. 

Firstly, a rough sketch to make sure I get the proportions right, before adding paints.
Enjoying the process especially with such great light.
Not sure I like to post such a close up of detail, but I know I enjoy seeing other artists work in progress, so here it is warts and all.
I hope this might help inspire others.

Here's the final painting, although I don't think having it stuck on the window has done it any favours. 
It has robbed it of colour... typical now we have sunlight it's too bright!
And finally my flock.
I think I'll add one more, but I can't decide what bird.
If you have any requests or ideas I'd love to hear them. 
Just pop a note in the comments below.
Do you have a favourite?
I keep changing my mind... but then that's just typical of me.
Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a fabulous Friday.
I'm linking as usual with Paint Party Friday.
Hope to see you there.
Toodleloo for now

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Catching up with long lost friends

It's wonderful to keep in touch with friends from across the sea, especially when you've traveled far and wide over the years. 
For instance, I'm regularly in touch with friends from the other side of the world, in Australia.
It's great to hear from them especially when we are suffering winter weather... seeing them basking in warm sunlight and sharing bright, sun-filled photo's and then of course we can reciprocate. 
Well we can try!
Catching up with blogs and photographs help to keep me in touch, but it can also bring memories flooding back.
I experienced one such fabulous reminder this week of the time that I volunteered to plant up trees for the local council on a warm Sunday morning.
The plants were tiny seedlings and we planted hundreds along the creek... bringing the native bush closer to the community.
If you'd like to see what the project was about then click on the link below.

Muffin and I would often walked past the area that we planted the native plants, and although I planted many trees on that Sunday morning, I took a special note of one particular eucalyptus tree... so that I could keep an eye on it's progress.
The photo below shows that little sapling, just before I left Melbourne... nearly four years ago now.
I was so proud of that little tree, but imagine my surprise when a friend sent a recent photo of it, towering up through the canopy! 
(I'm hoping that you can see it... it's right in the centre of the photograph).

My Melbourne baby... has grown up, quite literally!
My friend also included an update of both a lemon tree and a lime tree, that I'd bequeathed to her.
Once again, I'm thrilled that they are producing fantastic fruit, especially as the lime was only young and never actually produced fruit for me.
Something a little different today, but I hope you liked it.

Take care if Storm Doris is visiting you... it appears that we have escaped her here.
But I'm not complaining.
Thanks for your visit today and I hope to see you again soon

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Norway

I mentioned last Sunday that it was my daughter's birthday during the week, and that she was away on holiday. For this week's Sunday link up, I asked her permission to show a few of the photographs that she sent to me from Norway. Thankfully she agreed, because it's been rather grey here today and I didn't have a suitable photo of my own to use.
 I think that these photographs are far better than anything I could have posted. 

I've never been to Norway, but it looks a fabulous place.
So let's dive straight in... well down the ski jump to be precise!
(It makes me feel giddy just looking at this angle, never mind throwing my body down it!)







I'm linking up as usual with My Sunday Photo
I'm also linking up with  Mersad's Through My Lens 
Monday Morning Blog Club 
and Image-in-ing.blogspot.co.uk
Just click on the link above to be transported.
Thanks for your visit and I hope to see you again soon.
Have a great day.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Kingfisher PPF

It appears that I have the most bizarre flock of birds gathering around me just now.
I can't seem to stop seeing amazing birds that I want to paint, so I'm embracing it.
Unfortunately, I've only ever seen a fleeting glimpse of a kingfisher in flight... just a spectacular splash of vibrant colour catching my eye for a tantalising second.
They really are what you might call flighty!
During this current painting trance, I completely forgot all about taking work in progress photos, but I did basically the same process as in my previous bird paintings. 
(If you'd like to see a pheasant click here or perhaps a Bluetit click here
or maybe a Firecrest click here)
Layers and layers of under painting, building up the watercolours with each layer.
I have to admit I wasn't completely happy with the bright turquoise blue, but sometimes it's best to quit whilst your ahead. I think if I'd have carried on I would have taken it too far. 
My apologies for the slightly blurred photo.
Yesterday wasn't the best day to take it, so I might try again today, as the sun is shining.
I think spring may have arrived... it's a little early, but there's a definite springy feeling out there.
So that's my painting for this week. 
I've no idea what might be next, which is both terrifying and exciting all at once.
If I can keep this momentum going, of painting one painting a week, I'll be very happy. 
I'm linking up as usual with the Paint Party Friday group.
 If you'd like to pop across with me... click here. 

Right the sun is shining and there's warmth out there, so I'm heading out into the garden.
Have a fantastic Friday, no matter what you have planned. 
Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again soon. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Birth of the Veggie Plot

We have been back in Scotland for nearly four years now and we've always thought that at some stage, we would like a vegetable plot. 
Finally in the last few weeks, the work has started.

Our house is situated on land that was once a farm cottage. 
I've mentioned in the past that when digging in our garden, we've surprisingly found cobblestones under flower boarders. 
Both delightful, but at the same time terribly hard work.
There's also the ruined barn (the folly) and an old outbuilding that we use for a wood store.
So it was with extreme trepidation that my hubby started excavating the new proposed veggie site.
I thankfully was only recruited to keep a photographic record... which was fine by me. 
Don't worry the fields behind have had a farmer with his plough to work them and not my hubby.
They're not on our plot!
I thought it might be a good idea to perhaps ask the farmer, if he could swing his tractor with the digger attachment in through our gate. 
I would provide fresh baking and copious cuppa's, but apparently there might be a gas pipe running along this plot, so it's gently gently for now.











So far he hasn't found any cobblestones...
just huge granite boulders!
Like this one...











Hubby has had to devise and engineer a solution to be able to lift them....
























An old scaffolding tube came in handy as a lever... plus a lot of huffing and puffing












There's a saying that gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it.
I'm wondering how long hubby will enjoy spending his days digging, now that he's retired.
It's certainly different from what he used to do.
It's hard manual labour, but so far so good... he's enjoying it.
I've always thought he had a touch of OCD and seeing the way in which he's working the plot does nothing to alleviate this thought.
There's still such a long way to go, but as long as the weather isn't too bad we'll hopefully get there.
The tatties (potatoes) are apparently in the post, so the pressure is on.
I'll be sure to give you a progress report when there's something more exciting to report.
In the meantime... enjoy getting outdoors and having fun.
I'm linking up with Image-in-ing.blogspot.co.uk and Our World Tuesday
Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again soon.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

My Sunday Photo... Agapanthus Birthday Girl

This photograph was taken a few years ago when we lived in Melbourne, Australia. 
You may be wondering why I have chosen this particular old photo for the My Sunday Photo link.
Well yesterday was a special day... it was my daughter's birthday.
I could have had hundreds of photographs of her to choose from, in so many different locations and occasions, but I have a rule that I never post a photograph of anyone without their permission. 
I haven't been able to ask my daughter if she would object as she is currently away on holiday, so I thought this was a rather cute compromise. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY 

I haven't divulged her age... (she is a lady after all)... besides that would reveal that I'm not 19 years old after all! 

If you'd like to see more photo's from around the globe, then click here
Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again soon.
Have a wonderful weekend

Friday, 10 February 2017

Pheasant Painting... PPF

Surprise surprise... this post isn't about Valentine's.
It's okay, there's plenty of time to get to that isn't there?
I've been more focused on my new feathered friend... Mr P
I'm not being unfaithful to hubby or anything that would cause gossip or scandal.
(Sorry if you were expecting more)
Mr P is the pheasant that surprised me with an early morning visit last week.
He obviously approves of our menu because he has regularly revisited.
I couldn't resist painting the amazing colours and pattern of his plumage... so here's my watercolour painting.
I have really enjoyed painting what appears to be a little wild bird collection.
The Firecrest, Bluetit and now the Pheasant.
If you would like to see another bird, then pop your suggestion in the comment section below.
I am thinking I'll have four in the collection or maybe even six if the suggestions inspire me.
Just outside the window are wooden post for the farmers field and yesterday I looked up only to see a stunning Sparrowhawk. 
Unfortunately, whilst I reached for my camera I shouted out to my hubby and son who jumped up to see him. 
That spooked him and he flew off to the woods. 
I must remember to keep my mouth shut if he appears again and capture him on my camera, before letting anyone know he's arrived.
If you'd like to see the real Mr P that inspired this watercolour painting then click here

As it's Friday once again I'm linking up with Kristin and Eva's Paint Party Friday
Thanks ladies for hosting once again.
This link is truly a fantastic group of artists who share their creativity and are incredibly encouraging.
Happy Friday everyone and thanks for popping into my place.
I hope to see you again soon.
Have a wonderful weekend. 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

All Together Now - Tom's Story

Today, I wanted to share something a little special with you. 
It's a story about a family member... Tom's Story.
I hope you'll take time to watch and perhaps like and share.
We are all very proud of just how much Tom has achieved. 



The more people who know about this free newspaper the better.
Thank you

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Mr Pheasant comes for Breakfast

At last it has happened... 
Yesterday morning we had an unexpected visitor come to breakfast. 
(I was going to say we had an unexpected visit for breakfast, but that would just sound wrong).
Mr Pheasant finally braved it and entered our garden.
I suddenly noticed him pecking away under the sunflower heart feeder... overhead all the other little birds were busy devouring the seeds. 
Lots of the seeds were being spilt and landing on and around this pheasant, who didn't seem in the least bit bothered.
I wonder... if it rains sunflower hearts is that like a lottery win for a pheasant?
He certainly seemed happy to me... that is until he spotted me at the window.
When we last lived here, I remember one year we had a female pheasant visit along with her nine chicks. 
I hope this one likes what's on the menu and returns regularly.
It's a pity he didn't turn up in the hour of my RSPB Garden Bird Count last weekend. 
Ho hum... such is life.

I'm linking up with Darren over at Photalife where you can see masses of photography.
I'm also linking up with Monday Morning Blog Club and Image-in-ing.blogspot.co.uk
Just click on the link above to be transported.
Thanks once again for visiting and I hope you have a great weekend.
Enjoy
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