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

Sunday, 19 November 2017

My Sunday Photo... Cosy Toes

With an arctic wind blowing a hoolie around the house, what better photo could I have for My Sunday Photo than one of our wood burner blasting out beautiful warmth with gorgeous flickering light. 
It never ceases to bring me pleasure.
For anyone who needs or misses an open fire...here's the video below...

If you'd like to see lots more photos, then click the link here to My Sunday Photo

Thanks for visiting my place and to Darren for hosting My Sunday Photo once again. 
I hope to see you again soon.
Have a great weekend everyone

Friday, 17 November 2017

Paint Party Friday... Elf

Hello everyone...here we are... Friday once again!
 With only a few weeks until the holidays begin, I thought I'd do a Christmassy sketch this week. 
Hopefully something to inspire me into all the preparations.
The only trouble is that this is kind of mixed up... a Santa look-a-like if you will. 
I did have an elf in mind but then Santa intruded.
 I wouldn't say that I'm a negative person, but as I come to write this post I begin to wonder?
I'm normally a half glass full kind of person, but yet again I'm posting something that I don't particularly like. I'm hoping that the Paint Party Friday gang will be able to help me. 
It seems the trouble is that I've lost my passion for painting. 
I think a lot of it is that I don't have a theme, or subject matter that I can progress with. 
My subjects just seem so random and individual. 
I think if I kept to a theme it might help.
I'm trying out new paints and with each painting I'm learning, but the end design isn't quite what I'd like. 
But it's a journey...right?
I'm going to be with family over the next week, so they'll be no time for painting.
But hopefully I'll find inspiration from somewhere.
I'm determined that in the New Year I'm going to devote more time and energy into my art.
(Where have I heard that before?)

I started sketching the design below a few months ago and I feel maybe it's time to revisit.
I apologise for the photographs.
Unfortunately it's difficult to get enough light at this time of year.
I hope you can see it.

Now don't laugh but we are making plans for the girls (hens/chooks) to stay in a 'Hen Hote'l whilst we are away. I know it sounds ridiculous and I would be laughing along with you... but I feel this is the best option.
It would be a lot to ask someone to come a few times a day to see to them and the Hotel sounds brilliant.
I'm hoping that I'll be able to do a blog post...if all goes well once I get back.
Yet again we've found a mass of feathers and a wiped clean breast bone on our garden this morning, so the fox has ventured here once again. 
Poor wood pigeon by the look of it!
The hotel option is far safer.

Thanks for visiting my place and if you'd like to see more artwork, then why not join in the party over at PPF by clicking HERE.
Have a great Friday everyone.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Spot The Wildlife

As I enjoyed my morning cuppa whilst gazing out of the window, I became aware of one of our neighbours. Someone else was enjoying the beautiful warm morning sunshine. 
I'm not sure you'll immediately see the subject of My Sunday Photo in this photograph below, as he was quite a distance... even for my zoom lens. 
Right in the centre of the shot is Mr Fox!
His winter coat is quite spectacular and he's a handsome, healthy looking chap. 
He's obviously a very good hunter by the look of his physique... he's certainly not managing on scraps by the look of him.
Now I'm not saying that this particular fox is the one that nearly took our Annie away, as I have seen two foxes playing in the field, but I certainly hope this one keeps his distance... even if it means My Sunday Photo has to suffer.
I'd much rather that than losing one of my chooks! 

My elderly neighbour had mentioned that she'd got some more chickens (about 12 in total) but 'someone' had been taking them? I didn't have the heart to tell her that it probably wasn't a 'someone'... more a 'something'!

I have cropped the photo so that it'll make it easier to see him.
He certainly knew I was taking his picture as he looked directly at me.
The click of the camera travelled right across the field, blowing my cover!
I managed to take a few shots where he had his eyes closed, enjoying the rays.
It was the perfect perch for him... on the raised grassy mound. 
It enabled him to enjoy the sun, but also to see all around.
Well it was perfect until a dog came mooching along...then Mr Fox slunk away into the ferns and that was the last I saw of him for the rest of the day. 

If you'd like to see lots more photos, then click the link here to My Sunday Photo
and Image-in-ing.blogspot.co.uk
Thanks for visiting my place and I hope to see you again soon.
Have a great weekend everyone

Friday, 10 November 2017

Up up and away... PPF

It's been quite some time since I joined in with the Paint Party Friday link and even though I'm not totally happy with this watercolour, I've decided it's better to just put it out there and enjoy seeing everyone. 
I've missed you.
My head wasn't particularly in the right space for painting, but I decided that I needed the therapy that painting can provide. 
The reason was that sadly we have had to say a final farewell to my husbands Mother, my fantastic MIL (who never interfered in all the 40 years that I knew her) and my children's fun loving (anything goes) Grandmother. 
She had been ill for quite some time, but it still so painful to say goodbye.
She would love the fact that she managed to reach her 87th birthday...even if it was only by a few hours.

I have just looked back to see when I last joined in with the PPF link and it was back in September! 
My goodness how does the time go so quickly.
If you'd like to see all the entries in Eva and Kristin's PPF link up then click here.
Thanks ladies for hosting and I hope you'll forgive my absence.
Take care everyone and have a great weekend.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

My Sunday Photo... Chatting Robins

Let me introduce you to Britian's most popular bird... The Robin.
As I carried out the laborious task of picking up the millions of fallen leaves in our garden yesterday, I suddenly became aware of some tiny cute bird chatter.
I noticed these two Robin's having a kind of conversation.
It sounded like nothing I've ever heard before.
Not the usual song or chirps... it sounded like a real conversation.
As they flew past me I dropped my rake and grabbed my camera only to witness something I've never seen before.
The one robin squeezed into the wall cavity and stayed there, whilst the other strutted his/her stuff on top of the wall. 
It was quite bizarre to watch and I'm not sure if they were having a territorial battle which the robins are renowned for...or whether one was not taken with the others advances! 
It didn't seem like aggression and really quite cute to watch.
They stayed talking to one another for a quite some time before the one inside the wall made a quick escape and flew off only to have the other quickly follow. 
As winter approaches the robin's song resonates around the garden and really is quite delightful.
Here's a video just in case you might not be familiar with our native favourite.
(Credit for video to Paul Dinning - Published on 17 Sept  2014
Robin Birds Chirping and Singing - Beautiful Video, Bird Song and Nature Sounds in HD
The National Bird of Great Britain)

If you'd like to see lots more photos, then click the link here to My Sunday Photo 
Thanks for visiting my place and I hope to see you again soon.
Have a great weekend everyone

Sunday, 29 October 2017

My Sunday Photo... The Gilded Season

For this weeks My Sunday Photo I wanted to concentrate on the fleeting of our gilded season, before the amazing colours and light fade as winter makes it's entrance. 
We really have had a spectacular week with amazing sunlight from sunrise until sunset.  
The sun hangs very low in the sky at this time of year.
The shadow in the field is actually our house.
Everything has long shadows.  
I managed to cut the lawn (hoping that this will be the last cut of the season) and sat back to look at my handy work, when the dappled light shone and danced through the trees.

Finally we were treated to a spectacular sunset! 
Wow... it lasted for quite some time and was a joy to watch.
I know I've included these images on my Instagram, but I wanted to share these pics with my blogger followers who might not have access to an Instagram account.

We're about to put back our clocks tonight so that's a sure indication that winter is definitely on its way. Bring it on I say... and let's get it done with, so that we can say "Hello Spring"!!!
If you'd like to see more photos then click the link here to My Sunday Photo 

Thanks for visiting my place and I hope to see you again soon.
Have a great weekend everyone

Saturday, 21 October 2017

My Sunday Photo... Pussy Galore

We very often have our neighbours cats come to call...checking out our bird tables and feeders, which are dotted around our property, but this little chap isn't one of them. 
I know the other cats so well, wearing their white booties or little white bib, but this cat is totally black. Jet black all over.
(A lucky cat some would say...or do you think unlucky especially with Halloween just around the corner?)
He's also very lean unlike our other visitors who show that they are loved and well taken care of, with possibly copious amounts of treats...if you get my meaning?
I've concluded that this visitor is feral. 
We don't see him very often, but as the afternoon sun shone on his pitch black coat, he really stood out. I loved the way the sunlight caught the hay bale too.
Maybe it's because we haven't seen the sun lately that it made such an impression on me. 
So I thought I'd enter him into the My Sunday Photo linkup.
Perhaps even finding him some friends as it's Cat Week.
If you'd like to see more photos then click here

Thanks for visiting my place and I hope to see you again soon.
Have a great weekend everyone

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Bath Time for Birds

I'm currently prisoner and house bound for a few hours in our renovated apartment, waiting for a locksmith to call. 
So I thought I'd try to use this enforced time in the most creative way that I can.
I'm going to post today (something that I haven't done for some time on a Thursday) and to try and create some artwork too. 
Wish me luck because I haven't had my head in the right creative space for a few weeks!
I think my mojo may have gone on a mini break without asking permission... well at least I hope it's a mini break and not a world tour! 

I thought I'd show you another little visitor to our place, who despite the chilly breeze blowing fancied taking a bath.
If only I'd have known I would have provided some warm water at least...but he didn't seem to mind.
 Very diligently getting into all his little nooks and crannies!
....and take a breath!
I love his little beak open in the above photo.
Just one more dive...
I think that should do it...
Hehe... cute eh?
I'm linking up with Image-in-ing.blogspot.co.uk
Check out some fantastic photography

Right now for some artwork.
Have a great day everyone and thanks for popping in to my place.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

My Sunday Photo.... Guests Pop In

Autumn has well and truly arrived.
And so did an unexpected guest.
I walked into our garage only to find this little wren. 
He had nipped in whilst the garage door was open and had accidentally been shut in.

Also other visitors arrived... these two deer were having a tasty treat munching away in the afternoon sun.
I still have to stand and stare when I see such sights.
I don't think I'll ever get used to seeing nature up so close.
I'd often wondered how the deer would react if they came in contact with the resident fox.
Well, I actually got the answer because I witnessed a confrontation.
The deer charged towards the fox, chasing him off and soon had the field all to himself.
It was like watching our own personal wildlife programme.
Such a privilege.

As usual I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo over at Photalife.com
If you'd like to see lots more photos then follow the link above.

Have a great day and thanks for adding to my visitors this weekend.
I hope to see you again soon.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

My Sunday Photo...The Bridge Of Dee

Rather ominous photos for this week's My Sunday Photo.
An atmospheric look at the River Dee as the clouds hang heavily laden and with high tide...there seems to be so much water around.
I feel for the local farmers who are struggling to harvest their fields. 
I wanted to capture this particular shot because all of these leaves will fall to the ground soon as the brisk chilly air envelopes us here in the North East of Scotland.
But before that we shall enjoy the changing colours of the season.
This shot shows the Bridge of Dee that is possibly one of the oldest bridges in Scotland. tRecords show that here has been a crossing at this particular point in the river since the 15th century.
I'll have to get a close up of the bridge itself next time I'm crossing.

I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo over at Photalife.com
Have a great weekend and thanks for popping over to my place.
I hope to see you again soon.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

My Sunday Photo...Autumn Sunlight

We've been living in a cloud over the last three days, so it was such a wonderful sight to see the sun cast it's amazing autumnal light on everything this morning.
All the changing colours of the leaves as they twist and twirl down to the ground on the crisp breeze.
The last of the summer blooms popped with vibrant colours once more...putting one last performance in before they disappear until next year. 
Brave bees and butterflies are busy making the most of the day... as did I. 
I transplanted many tender plants into pots to bring indoors before the chilly night air shocks their delicate leaves.
I worked until my back reminded me that it was time to call it a day.
There's rain forecast for tomorrow so I'm glad I seized the day and made the most of the beautiful warm sunshine.
I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo over at Photalife.com
Have a great weekend and thanks for popping over to my place.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Millionaire's Shortbread Illustration...PPF

Hello there... phewph it's been a busy day, but I'm super excited because I've actually managed to finish off my week 4 assignment for #risedesignandshine ahead of time! 
I know...I may have to go for a lie down now.
This weeks assignment was to illustrate a favourite recipe and I chose an old family favourite which is quite appropriate as I'm now residing in Bonnie Scotland.
It's shortbread (which is a huge favourite in Scotland) but not just ordinary shortbread...it's gorgeous Millionaire's Shortbread. 
Have you baked it before? 
It's incredibly easy and as it was featured on last weeks 'The Great British Bake Off' I thought it just had to be my choice for this assignment.
My hubby and son think I need to bake it following these instructions just to make sure I have it all illustrated correctly.
They're calling it research...I have another name for it!

If you'd like to see more... I posted a slightly different version of the recipe on my blog... way back in January 2012, when we lived in Melbourne. 
Oh boy looking back at some of these old blog posts, I baked an awful lot back then.

So as usual I'm linking up with the Paint Party Friday gang.
Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting once again.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone and thanks for your visit today.
It's always great to see you and I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Summer Slips Away and Autumn Arrives

Summer has slipped quietly away and I for one will miss it, even though it wasn't a particularly good one for us up here in the North East of Scotland.
I'm hopeful that our Autumn will be spectacular... and so far it's not doing too badly. 
I thought I'd highlight just a snippet of what's happening around our place.
The fields of gold have been harvested with this beast!
It doesn't look particularly large on this photo but this was captured on my zoom lens... the machine is approx 250 metres away!
Trust me it's huge.
It must be a terrifying thing to see and hear if you're a little wee beast.
With all of the various changes with autumns arrival, our little elegant resident roe deer is in the process of changing his summer coat of reddish brown to grey.
I've done a little research and I believe he might be between two and three years old.
He appears regularly near our house and settles down to rest, which is a huge honour. 
He must feel safe.
I think it's pretty special having such a majestic neighbour.
 I'm not sure if I've mentioned in previous posts, but I've been trying to photograph one of the few wren's that frequent our garden. 
Yesterday I had a chance but oh my word he's a flighty little critter!
The photo below was taken from my kitchen window across to the decking steps... as you can see it was also raining, so not the best conditions for a photographic shoot.
But I'm happy that it's not just a blur.
The blackbirds are enjoying this time of year too with lots of goodies available.
This particular blackbird is enjoying the berry bonanza.
If I'm showing you some of our visitors, then how could I not include our new robin.
He's looking mighty handsome in his new red waistcoat and is still friendly.
Everyone knows I love to take photos of the busy bees and I'm including this one because who knows it might be the last visit of the year!
Oh how I'll miss them.
But there'll be lots of other wonderful sights to capture with the coming seasons.
I'll hopefully have my camera at the ready and be snapping away, so feel free to pop back anytime.
I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo over at Photalife.com
Have a great weekend and thanks for popping over to my place.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Geometric Patterns and Shapes...PPF

Yay it's Friday!
Well it's been two weeks since I posted to the Paint Party Friday link, so here's a snippet of what I've been up to with my artwork.
Along with all of the other madness that's ongoing at the moment, I'm actually managing to keep up with the Rise Design and Shine art course.
It's been tough as I now realise that I'm not particularly good at being told what to do 
(art wise and otherwise) timescales, trends and specific briefs. 
(I've never liked the word 'briefs'...but for other reasons...and that's not changed in this course)
Just to clarify this particular kind of brief gives specific instructions to follow and has nothing to do with clothing attire or Bridget Jones!
There now that's cleared that up... let me show you what I've done so far for week 3.
Unfortunately, it's a WIP but I'll hopefully get it completed before Sunday evening.
Geometric Patterns...
I've found this assignment far more challenging than I thought...which surprisingly has been the case with each week so far. 
That's good I suppose...it's stretching me to think and work outside of my comfort zone.
Having said that...I do hope that one week hits the spot and I can get somewhere far from being the dunce of the class.
I'm linking up with the Paint Party Friday gang.
Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting once again.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone and thanks for your visit today.
It's always great to see you.

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