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

Sunday, 21 January 2018

My Sunday Photo... Visiting Birds

With the current cold snap that's covering the UK at the moment, we've personally had quite a dry bright time over the last few weeks. 
Definitely a Scandinavian feel to our weather. 
Blue skies, not a cloud in the sky and lots of bright sunlight... even though I wouldn't have minded a little flurry of snow, as long as it would disappear quickly. 
It seems to have missed our part of Scotland.
So it is a tough time for our little wild birds... in fact, it's been tough for all our wildlife over this winter.
My bird feeders are always very popular, but when a - 3 degrees Celsius arrives, even in daylight, then it can be a battle ground out there. Every little beak needs it's fill before nightfall.
This particular feeder is hanging right next to my kitchen window.
I stock it with suet logs and it's very popular...even when I'm working in the kitchen.
Obviously, hunger overtakes the nerves and they feed right before my eyes.

There's obviously been no time for a pedicure lately!

Sometimes it can be tricky getting the last bite.
How these little cuties manage on those tiny wee legs is beyond me.
Also to keep warm with no leg warmers! 

We also had another visitor yesterday, who hasn't actually be brave enough to step over into the garden before. 
Hunger has brought him to us.
 Mr Pheasant...isn't he majestic! 
He actually hung around for quite some time.
I think he approved of our menu.
And finally, as I've mentioned before that our Goldfinch population has had a birdie boom since we returned to this house and started feeding them.
I have counted over 40 in one flock all at once...honest!
And that was from just one feeder!
Here's a little proof of just some of the goldfinches visiting the bird feeder in the fir tree.
You can almost seed the seed decrease as you watch them.
So I think it's probably time for me to get outside and replenish the feeders by now.
It has to be done every day! 

I am a little late posting today, but I'm going to link up with My Sunday Photo
Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon.
Have a great Sunday everyone

Friday, 12 January 2018

Happy Monday... even in January! PPF

I know to be happy on a grey, Monday in January in the middle of winter is a rare thing, but I was happy... and still am :D
I've started my new online art course and it has certainly hit my mojo button.
As I've mentioned before I was a little lost over the last few months and had virtually stopped drawing/painting completely. (Maybe missing Muffin had hit harder than I thought)
But Lilla at Make Art That Sells has reignited my passion.
This weeks assignment was right up my alley.
Drawing the contents of your bag.
It's amazing once you take a look into it, just what it can reveal about you.
So I have a few sketches of various items, but I decided to take this bottle of perfume to another level...adding colour.
The bottle is now unfortunately empty... hint hint to hubby!
(Alien by Thierry Mugler)

I've also another reason to be happy today (well actually I've got many things to be happy and thankful for, but for this arty post lets keep it to art) and that is because I've been featured over at Paint Party Friday!
How brilliant is that?
I was so surprised as I went to catch up with the link and there was my Chef Chook! 
(There's also some cute roe deer photos included too...click here if you'd like to see)
Hardly a masterpiece, but it was the first fun piece of the year.
Something to get me back into creating art... and I'm thrilled to be highlighted.
Thank you both Eva and Kristin

I'm off to empty my bag (heaven knows what I'll find hidden in the depths) and to carry on sketching.
I think I'm getting to like this and it's a great start to the New Year.
Have fun everyone and thanks for visiting.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Chief Chook and a Sprout Loving Bambi... PPF

Happy New Year Everyone.
I hope all your wishes come true in 2018.
I didn't realise that I was going to have a blog break, but that appears to have happened.
So my apologies for not making any announcement before my disappearance.
I hope you'll forgive me.
As I type here this morning, I can't help but feel grateful that I can touch type. 
It is so dark, as the heavy clouds burst and send copious amounts of rain down upon us, but that doesn't stop my happy mood. 
Yes it's January and some say the most depressing time of year, but 
I thought I'd tell you about my enrolment into an online art course. 
It starts on Monday and is a Bootcamp with Lilla Rogers from Make Art That Sells
I thought as I'm nipping into the Paint Party Friday link today, fellow PPF's might be interested in hearing or reading all about it. Lilla is fantastic and such an inspiration... so friendly and encouraging too. There are live video links and discussions every week and assignments every Monday, plus access to a special Facebook meeting place for all fellow classmates.

I seriously lost my mojo last year and just couldn't find it... but Lilla has a way of making you think anything is possible.
So with that in mind here's my first piece of artwork for 2018.
I hope to improve and fly with my art as the year progresses.
Obviously, this first one had to include a chook (chicken).
Just a fun piece to hopefully give me a kick start!

Now that I'm back to blogging, I'd also like to share my sprout loving visitors.
I personally don't mind having them eat all the sprouts from our veg plot, as I've never eaten them nor do I intend to. But I do fear that our new seedlings and plants this coming spring might be on their menu!
But seriously how cute are these Roe Deer?
 The numbers have expanded this year from the odd one or two to five.
 Is that a guilty face or what???
So there's plenty for my first post of the year.
I hope to keep the momentum going.
Wish me luck!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you soon.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

My Sunday Photo... Sparrowhawk

Oh how time flies at this time of year...which brings me nicely to My Sunday Photo today.
I finally managed to capture an image of the sparrowhawk that visits our garden from time to time.
It's been a tough week weather wise for all of the wild birds, with snow flurries and icy conditions.
Our bird feeding stations have had to be replenished daily.
Hence the regular visits from the sparrowhawk... who has been keeping a close eye on proceedings.
 Thankfully I've not witnessed any blood shed so far.
I'm surprised that I was able to capture any image as I just can't help but get very excitable when such a visitor appears.
If you'd like to link up with Photalife.com where you can find lots more great photographs click here.
Happy Sunday everyone and thanks for popping by my place.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

My Sunday Photo... Flummoxed Flo and the Finale

It's offical...we've waved goodbye to autumn and winter has arrived.
Well, it certainly did this past week with the arrival of our first snow flurry of the year.
As many of your know I've been away and so haven't really caught up with everything yet... but I hope to soon. I've got lots I'd like to share.

Today 'My Sunday Photo' is a finale tribute to autumn.
I have to admit I'm not an expert when it comes to wild mushrooms.
I'm far too timid to venture into tasting them, but feel I'm probably missing out on amazing foraging and possible culinary delights.
Maybe one day?
 I took these photos whilst staying at my sister's house.
These little beauties appeared on her patio.
It seems appropriate really as she is mushroom mad!
She has many dotted about her house too... the beautiful wooden carved ornamental kind.
She even has some that her talented son handmade for her. 
His latest project that he's currently on is making pens out of wood!
I'll have to write a post about his work sometime because they are beautiful pens.
But for now if you missed the snow pictures from my Instagram this week, (there's a link in my sidebar) I'll add this one.
Flo looking completely flummoxed by all that white stuff.
The other three girls are tucked in behind her.
They did eventually emerge once their breakfast caught their attention, but it took a lot longer than normal. Thankfully the snow has disappeared and the temperature has risen. 
It was nice to see, but I don't like it to hang around for too long.
It can come back for Christmas Day of course... but then that's it thank you very much!

If you'd like to link up with Photalife.com where you can find lots more great My Sunday photographs.
Have fun and don't get too stressed working up to the Christmas holidays.
Happy Sunday everyone and thanks for popping by my place.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

My Sunday Photo... Edinburgh

I'm still away at the moment, but heading home via Edinburgh.
On the northward journey the weather and scenery were perfect.
Here's just a few photos that I snapped along the way.

It appears that Autumn slipped away without a word.
We are well into our winter now.
Temperatures have fallen, but that means bright, crisp days.
My favourite for over the winter.
There were blackbirds eating the succulent red jewel-like berries in this photo, as the sun dipped below the horizon.
And finally we arrived in Edinburgh.

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, 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.

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