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

Saturday, 22 July 2017

My Sunday Photo...Memories

My Sunday photo is once again showing me in front of the camera!
Only this time I'm smiling into the camera...definitely a rare occurrence these days. 
The first photo is of my Mum and I on a beach and the second is with my Dad in a caravan.
I came across the photo's when I least expected to see them and couldn't resist bringing them out to put into a frame. It seems fitting as their birthdays are approaching.
They will be place alongside other treasured black and white photos of my grandmother, great grandmother and great grandfather.
I've always been interested in our family history and I've actually traced my Mother's side of the family tree back into the 1800's.
I keep promising that one day I shall have all the names and dates drawn up and framed.
It's fascinating to delve into family ancestry and piece together people, places and otherwise forgotten historical details. 
One of my favourite television programmes at the moment is called 'Who do you think you are'. 
The programme features a well known celebratory and traces their ancestors back through time.
The new series has been fascinating.
Whilst watching the programme, I thought this might be a great winter project for my hubby to trace his family history.

(The children in the background are my older brother and sister...obviously my day had an eye for photography)

Have you an interest or traced your ancestry?

I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo as usual. 
Please feel free to pop across to see lots more photographs by clicking here
Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for visiting.
I hope to see you again soon

Friday, 21 July 2017

Happy Friday...PPF

I'm on day two of trying to talk to our internet service provider... so my nerves are a little raw at the moment. We are still at the preliminary stages on day two of negotiations and as yet have no solutions on the horizon.
Oh my...if only I could talk to a person to sort out the problem!
Anyway, this is the main reason why I haven't anything to post for the PPF link this week. 
I think I need to do some drawing at least, to keep my sanity so I've just started to draft a few cacti leaves from my previous post at the Botanical Gardens. 
(Press here if you'd like to see that particular post)
I've just have a funny thought.
It seems quite appropriate that I should draw something spiky and prickly today... as it's my current mood. (hehe)
The weather hasn't helped either over the last two days. 
We've had thunderstorms and hours and hours of rain with temperatures that are a stark reminder of November/February.
Apologies... I try to always be positive in my posts, but as many of you know...technology is brilliant when it's working...but oh my what a trial when it's not.
So let's lighten up and think nice thoughts.
Here's a summery oil pastel drawing that I did sometime ago, but it's full of colour and makes me feel a little better just looking at it. 
Apparently, butterflies as well as bee's need our help.
I'm planting as many flowers in my garden as I can...hopefully that will help.
I'm linking into the Paint Party Friday as usual.
Please pop along if you'd like to see lots more art from all over the globe.
I apologise if I haven't visited you yet, but I will try to during the next week.
Happy Friday Everyone 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

The Hot House

After this morning's early wake up call, in the form of a thunderstorm, (my Instagram story) I thought I'd share a little warmth and transport us back to the Hot House in the Botantical Gardens.
I visited the gardens last weekend with my daughter.
The David Welch Winter Gardens at Duthie Park, here in Aberdeen, is one of Europe's largest indoor gardens and Scotland's third most visited, which seemed perfect as Saturday dawned with yet again rain forecast!
My daughter thought that the Winter Gardens would provide inspiration for an assignment that she's currently working on. She captured my image for My Sunday Photo from these gardens and as the photo shows... I was definitely in the zone! 

If I had to choose a plant my least favourite would perhaps be a cactus.
I can't say why exactly, but after our visit to these gardens I think I'll have to rethink my choice, because there were some amazing specimens. 
Huge leafy brilliant plants... which I now want to paint. 
The hot house has one of the largest collections of Cacti and Succulents in Britain 
Beautiful shapes and so many variations of the colour green.
As you can probably guess, I have quite a few photos from our trip... far too many blooms and plants to include here in one blog post, so I'll perhaps post more another day.
Keeping on the cacti theme...here's just a few more photos of the cacti.

Well it's still raining outside and the light is beginning to fade, so I think it's time to call it a day.
Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again soon.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

My Sunday Photo... Neesie On Assignment

Today the photographer got shot!
This is me on My Sunday Photo assignment and my daughter took a photo of me, taking a photo!
I was totally focused (sorry for the intentional pun, but I couldn't resist)
I had no idea she was taking my photo.
The weather today was incredibly wet, so we decided to visit the Botanical Winter Gardens for some warmth. 
I will be posting some of the photo's from our visit in the next few days.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.
I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo as usual. 
Please feel free to pop across to see lots more photographs by clicking here

Friday, 14 July 2017

The Chicken or Egg...PPF

So which came first...the chicken or the egg?
I've been having a little more fun with my art this week.
Although I haven't had much time, I did manage to try out something new.
I started with a water blob on my paper...then blended a few colours and finally I tried blowing the paint outwards with a straw. It was more difficult than I thought and I was quite out of puff when I'd finished.
When I looked at the results I saw a little chicklet!
(Maybe with the worst bad hair day or been caught in an electrical storm)
I know we're getting 'cluckling mad' around here.
I promise I'll try to bring you nothing referring to chickens/hens next week!

Talking of being mad... we had a rainy few days and worryingly hubby was online.
I'm always nervous when he spends time browsing the internet because I never know what's coming next. Quite literally... and here's what arrived in a huge truck yesterday! 
To give you some idea of their size I am 5'.4" and they are shoulder height to me! 
My son thought that the driver had possibly had a wee tipple which concerned him, being a driver, but he didn't know that the barrels had previously contained whisky! 
Our garage now smells like a distillery!
I'll be revealing more details as this next crazy antic gets underway.
Retirement has a lot to answer for!

And finally because this has to be a quick post today, as my daughter arrives for the weekend in a few hours. I thought that I'd show just how cute my little wee Muffin figurine is that +Nic McLean created for me. Some have asked what size it is...so here's an indication.
If you'd like to see more of this figurine then click here or visit Nic here
❤ I adore it
Have a great weekend peeps...whatever you have planned. 
Have fun!
I'm linking into the Paint Party Friday as usual.
Please pop along if you'd like to see lots more art from all over the globe.
Happy Friday Everyone 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday...A little Cutie

It's been quite some time since I shared my art desk with the WOYWW (What's on your workdesk Wednesday) link, but today seems totally appropriate, because I have something very special on my desk today. 

I'm a huge believer that you should always try to pass on a smile, or do one good deed a day. 
It doesn't have to be much just something to make someone's day a little brighter.
I met my Postie on the driveway this morning to give her some super happy, organic free range eggs.
She had no idea that we now have chickens and was totally surprised and happy to receive the eggs.
I included some huge ones in the hope that they may contain some double yokes
(as they very often do) which I thought might be fun for her children to see.
Anyway, as I handed the box over to her...she handed me a box.
I wasn't expecting anything in the post, so I was intrigued as to what it might be.
Upon opening... which was quite a feat in itself as it was so well packed, I found the cutest figurine of Mufftypup! 
As you can imagine...I shed a wee tear, but then the smiles appeared.
Art by Nicola McLean had sent me one of her latest amazing creations. 
Nic knew that Muffy used to sit on my desk whilst I painted and she thought it would be nice if I had one of her little figurines. She went into Muffy's instagram account which has over 600+ photographs to use as reference and here's the result.
Just look at that cute tail... I expect it to wiggle at any moment.
How clever is this and so unique!
I have to say I'm completely smitten with it and that smile this morning has lasted all day.
Thank you Nic so much for your talent, kind and thoughtfulness... I love it! 

If you'd like to see more desks dotted around the globe, then click here to join Julia and the "What's on your desk Wednesday" (WOYWW)
Have a fantastic day and spread the kindness and smiles.
Thanks for stopping by my place.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

My Sunday Photo...Hen Night

Our girls have everything they could possibly need...(and more) and they are certainly happy chooks, but I still wouldn't want to be one. 
This week we've had Mr Fox come snooping around the garden...in daylight!!! 
So hubby has had to add a few armaments to their accommodation.
The old ruined barn that houses their coup now has barbed wire above the high walls. 
It also has a cobbled floor so no fox could possibly dig under to get in.
The barn is not quite the 'Folly' as we used to call it... it's now more 'Fort Knox'!
(Annie does not look happy at someone switching the light on does she?)

The girls move out of the folly into the garden during the day. 
They have a large secure pen that we move around under the trees, so no worries there about Mr Fox paying a visit.
We also set up the night vision camera last night, to see if the fox returned under the cover of darkness...but all was clear. Phew!
I've just been out now to check that the girls are okay...and here's the photograph. 
They'd all put themselves to bed and I just couldn't resist snapping them all sitting on one perch. 
They actually have three to choose from, but obviously they like to snuggle up at night. 
How they sleep balanced up there is beyond me. 
I have trouble in a 6ft x 6.6ft bed! 
Thanks for stopping by my place.
I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo as usual. 
Thanks Darren for hosting once again.
Please feel free to pop across to see lots more photographs by clicking here

Friday, 7 July 2017

Friday Playtime...PPF

Well would you believe it...it's Friday once more!
Time to party with the Paint Party Friday gang or PPF for short.
I've been reading a few tutorials over the past week and have realised that I tend not to use as much water as I possibly should, with my watercolour artwork.
So thanks to a Skillshare tutorial by Yasmina Creates, I decided to have a little playtime.
I added a few circles of water first, then the watercolour paints and watched them flow and mix together.
I am quite attached to the first one little bird (top left) but for some reason each time I tried another wee tweetlet, I wasn't so impressed. 
I obviously need to perfect this.
After reading lots more creative articles and supply lists (which are as everyone knows crucial and a must), I now feel slightly daunted that I have so much to learn and buy.

We have had no sun once again today, so it's difficult to take photographs.
For those who saw the beginning of the Highland cow painting...here he is finished (I think?)
I've added a few gold highlights to his flowing locks since I took this photo and I think that 'he' might now be a 'her'! 
Only a quick post today, but if you'd like to see more artwork, then why not pop across to the PPF link by clicking here.
Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting PPF once more.
Have a brilliant weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by my place. 
I'm always thrilled to see you.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

My Sunday Photo...National Trust Critters

We have been members of the National Trust of Scotland since we arrived back from our overseas travels, and I must say that every time we have visited a historical property, garden or castle, we have always had a fantastic day.
One of our latest visits was to Haddo House gardens and grounds, which enabled us to get a close look at this cute red squirrel and his antics at the feeding station. 
There have hides set up in order for visitors to watch them feed. 
Another day was spent at Fyvie Castle and as we were leaving after a brilliant day, we saw these swans with their eight cygnets on the lake. 
A perfect sighting to finish off the day.
(If you'd like to see some photographs from a previous trip to Fyvie, then click here)
Whilst admiring the swans, I suddenly became aware of this mallard duck preening himself just at the waters edge...right next to me. 
He was oblivious to me taking photos... possibly getting ready to meet Mrs Mallard?
I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo as usual. 
Thanks Darren for hosting once again.
Please feel free to pop across to see lots more photographs by clicking here

Thanks for popping by and I hope to see you again soon.
Enjoy your Sunday

Friday, 30 June 2017

My Menagerie... PPF

No surprises today in guessing what I might have drawn for this weeks Paint Party Friday link up.
Of course it had to be chook related at some stage.
We have two breeds of chicken living here with us... Maran and Bluebell.
My painting is a little mix of both of them.
Definitely free range with my painting...haha! 
(Sorry I couldn't resist that)
This painting could be 'Flo' the soft sister of 'Big Bertha' (Maran) and 'Canny Annie' (Bluebell) 
(nee Anxious Annie... I've changed her name, because I think she's actually really switched on. 
She works the system and gets just what she wants/needs!)
The bowl of eggs show our morning collection of fresh eggs. 
All four girls are firing on all cylinders and we have four beautiful eggs daily.
Happy Chooks indeed.
I couldn't resist popping them into this bowl with the rooster on it.
It's a really old cereal bowl, that we got when my children were very small and we lived in Brunei.
As you can probably guess...it came with a famous cereal.
So this portrait is called AnnieFlo' 

Now who remembers 'Hetty'?
NO! Before you mention it...we haven't got a Highland Cow now!
I draw the line there...although with my hubby and his hobbies...ie hot tub he may well decide to try and persuade me to have one!
I met up with an old friend last week and she mentioned how much she liked my Highland Cow painting, so I thought I'd revisit it and have a go at painting another. 
I find it fascinating how my painting is progressing and it's not until I look back that I see and realise that I'm evolving as an artist. 
Do you find the same with your art?
Hopefully, I'm moving in the right direction! 

I have also had the pleasure of receiving photographs of my Giraffe painting in their new homes.
I have two in Australia, two in USA and a few in the UK.
That seriously makes me smile :D
So on that happy note I shall love and leave you this week.
Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting PPF once more.
Have a brilliant weekend everyone 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

My Sunday Photo...Hot Tub

Since my hubby retired, I've had to be prepared for his new projects.
We've had the creating of the veg plot and the chickens are well established as part of the family now, but I can honestly say I never ever envisioned this latest project. 
For any of my regular readers you'll already know that my hubby adores wood and our wood burner So imagine his delight when he saw a Scandinavian wood burning stove, that heats a hot tub! 
One was ordered and delivered before I could say 'HYGGE'

I have to admit I wasn't convinced until actually used it....oh boy I have to admit it is amazing.
This photo doesn't actually show how big it is...plenty of room for two.
The only trouble is that my feet don't touch to the other side and I keep finding myself floating!

As you can see my son loves it!
I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo as usual. 
Thanks Darren for hosting once again.
Please feel free to pop across to see lots more photographs by clicking here
I'm also linking up with Image-in-ing.blogspot.co.uk
Thanks Sue for hosting.
And finally thanks to you for popping by and I hope to see you again soon.
Enjoy your day :D

Friday, 23 June 2017

Muffin's Portrait...PPF

A very quick post today because apparently it's my Wedding Anniversary! 
In my defence I didn't actually forget the anniversary...just that today was Friday.
The beautiful perfumed rose appearing on my bedside cabinet gave me the sharp reminder,
It's actually my hubby's fault that I didn't realise it was today, because since he left work I have lost track of which day it is. They all seem to merge together.
Anyway...apparently we are going out for the day...so I must be quick linking up with Paint Party Friday. 
I've started to paint a chicken.
It seems that they are ruling our roost these days, so it's inevitable that I would attempt to paint one sooner or later.
As you can see it's a WIP as I'm only just beginning to add the many layers.

I also wanted to share something very special to my heart today.
A very thoughtful friend (#Jeff_and_Kathleen) organised a fantastic surprise for me.
She arranged for a very talented artist in America to draw Muffin's portrait.
They decided which photographs to use and I can't believe that #Vinnie_van_go_gee managed to capture not only Muffy's likeness so well, but also her personality.
This one is taken from my favourite photograph.
Now I have these amazing pencil portraits to treasure forever.
I mean...just look at those eyes! 
Incredible talent.
Thank you my friends 
Have a great weekend and thanks for your visits.
Thanks also to Eva and Kristin for Paint Party Friday and all participants to continue to inspire.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Veggie Plot Update

With summer well underway here in the UK and temperatures soaring, I thought it was time to give you a little update on our new veggie plot.
(It's not quite tropical for us up here, in the North East of Scotland...but still it's very nice, thank you) 
The plot is coming along nicely, especially when I look back at the first photo's that I took in back in February.
We're not quite self-sufficient in fresh produce yet, but we're getting there.
The raised beds are doing well...housing onions, garlic, fennel, carrots, and brassicas (cabbage, sprouts, broccoli) .
The only failure so far has been our cauliflower...or lack of.
The seedlings didn't stand a chance with the early temperatures. 
We've made a note that we shouldn't sew them so early next year.
The tatties (or potatoes) are doing really well with six different varieties. 
They are flowering now so we won't have long to wait to lift them and see just what we have.
The fennel has also been a huge success. 
We have far too many and will have to be inventive in how to use them all.
I'm happy to report that our cabbage, sprouts and broccoli are another success.
Here's the parsnips still in their toilet roll holders... hopefully they aren't being restricted and we have prime specimens underneath the soil.
The peas and runner beans are also starting to flower. 
I can't wait for the snap of the pea pod being opened and the juicy sweet jewels held within.
Once these flowers die off we can start to lift our potatoes...well hopefully we'll have a reasonable crop. We have staggered the planting, so that we have a steady supply to harvest.
I sound so confident that there's something lying there, don't I?

We have quite a few beetroots so if you have any tips on how to use them I'd appreciate it.
I'm not sure other than to slice into a salad or to pickle them.
I was rather delighted to find that the broccoli are sprouting too and there's a couple of sprouts appeared within the cabbages!
Obviously, someone's organisational skills at the seedling stage went slightly awry.
We also have herbs, lettuce, artichoke, blueberries and strawberries.
Growing blueberries is completely new to us and we're hoping that they actually can survive up here with these temperatures. We have three small bushes that are located in the Tardis (small plastic greenhouse) and one has flowered, so I'm hoping the berries will follow.
Here's our first strawberries.
I feel we should have a strawberry ceremony...perhaps including ice-cream, meringue or maybe I'll just pop one straight in my mouth!
We should be well set ready for the start of Wimbledon if these beauties are anything to go by.
How do you prefer to eat your strawberries?
Have a great week...if you're in the middle of these record temperatures then stay cool and know that it will pass... plus there are some that would love a few more degrees up on the thermometer.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon.
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