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

Friday, 3 July 2015

I don't believe it... unfinished chocolate? (PPF)

I haven't had a chance to produce much art work over the last few weeks, but I hear that this weekend is supposed to be wet. Somehow I'm slightly excited by this, which is ludicrous really, after waiting so long for the summer heat to arrive. 
If it is wet... then I have a plan.
I'm going to nip into the studio to finish off lot's of projects from Tracey Fletcher King's classes over at Community Thrive
The classes are to help us to learn to be loose with our painting.
We have been painting everyday objects and goodies from our fridges. 
Fruit and vegetables along with familiar products and items that we use everyday.
I suppose you could say we're taking in our daily five... but in a slightly different way 
The next step is to make a little booklet and then decorate it with our paintings. 
I'm really looking forward to creating my booklet. 
They'll be a little origami involved with possibly lots of licking and sticking. 
It should be fun (hopefully) and if I end up with anything that looks reasonably like a booklet, I'll be sure to let you see it. 

Now I know Tracey is a chocolate fan, but she also likes sprouts!
In fact, she loves them,.. how I don't know, but she does.
But I went for the chocolate option. 
(I mean who seriously likes sprouts????) 
I do manage to cook them, but that's as near as I'll go. 
Surprisingly, everyone praises them... but just don't ask me to eat one.
I'm afraid I feel the same about cabbage.

Just a little detour here to tell you a tale from my childhood... 
My sister once cooked cabbage as part of our family Sunday Roast. 
But she conjured up a devious plan. 
She sliced open my Yorkshire pudding to fill it with cabbage, then covered it with gravy.
I took one bite and the whole meal was ruined for me.
I couldn't eat another thing off my plate. 
How she thought I wouldn't notice I'll never know, but I didn't eat another mouthful.
Don't worry I've forgiven her... but only just.

Anyway... no more greens.
Lets move on to the good stuff...
Mmm... chocolate.
It's a work in progress but I thought you might like to see it.
Okay, I'll admit the packet is empty now. 
Yes, I know it's a big bar but you need something to keep you going whilst working.
But actually, I have no idea where it all went (sheepish look) it just disappeared.
Perhaps mice? 

Let's move on swiftly
Here's another of my loves...
I know I need to practice my lettering... it's seriously off, but I had fun painting this box.
Tracey is all about painting loosely, but it's not something I find easy to do. 
I get stuck on detail and it's not that easy to change your style. 
It's great therapy to paint quickly, but I need to practice.
I always seem to be a little afraid when I'm faced with a clean white sheet of paper, but if I paint regularly then hopefully this fear will disappear. 
I mean what's the worse that could happen to me? 
I'll produce something I'm not happy with. 
See nobody died!
So I'll keep having fun and see where this journey takes me... 
I know with Tracey's help it's going to be fun. 
Finally, I thought I'd show you how my last painting looks when a frame is added.
Apologies for the reflections... unfortunately I couldn't eliminate them.
Once again I really enjoyed painting this one and think it looks great for a kitchen.
I may rethink this and paint a new one.
Using this as a draft.
I think I could have been more imaginative with the layout.
I'm linking up with Eva and Kristin over at the Paint Party Friday, so if you'd like to see more amazing art work then click here
I hope you have fun this weekend.
Thanks for visiting my place and I hope to see you again soon.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Thursday Thunderstorms and Icecream

When I started blogging I really had no idea that it would become such a big part of my life. I look at everything differently now. I plan and form blog posts in my head, take photos thinking what my followers might like to see or be interested in. I had no idea it would be such a big part of my life and routine. But having said that I never wanted to feel pressurized into having to post or obliged to post regularly. If I missed a few days it shouldn't have mattered... not really... but it did. Not posting over the last few weeks has been tougher than I thought. Maybe a little too tough which is worrying. Perhaps I'll analyse all of this another time. 
For now I'll just enjoy getting back to blogging. 
(Flowers picked from my own garden... 
at last some of the hard work is paying off) 

I don't really know where I'll start because so much has happened over the last few weeks. It can be a little daunting thinking back... 
to know where to start, so I'll just start and see where it leads.
It'll probably be better writing small regular posts then getting carried away as can so easily happen. 

I've had visitor's from Australia... two lot's to be precise, which was wonderful. 
A little of Melbourne coming to call. 
Thankfully, the atrocious 'summer' weather improved for both visits.
(Here's a scene from my window this morning)

You may have heard from the media that we've had soaring temperatures... and that we're all virtually melting!
Well, let me tell you we've been fine up here in Scotland. 
In fact it's been just about perfect. 
In the mid 20's (70+ Fahrenheit) unlike further down South. 
I can't imagine what it must be like playing tennis in 41 degrees as Andy Murry did on the centre court of Wimbledon.

We had a fantastic thunderstorm last night.
Nothing like the storms we used to witness when we lived in Brunei, but nevertheless pretty spectacular.
There's been lot's of reports and guidelines advising how to stay cool and prevent overheating or dehydration. 
Here's Muffy's advice... 
I hope you're staying chilled and enjoying life this Thursday. 
Thanks for visiting and I hope we can chat again soon. 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday WOYWW and so much more

I think I need to write a post daily at the moment because so much is happening. 
It's not a question of having to tell you all that's happening in my life, because you'd be shocked (ha) 
I thought I'd throw that one in just to wet your appetite and let your imaginations run wild!

For today, I'll just show you one of the things that's keeping me busy at the moment. 
I'm taking part in Tracey Fletcher King's online art classes where we are painting food! 
I mean what a fabulous way to get your allocated five a day, plus learning new techniques, meeting lots of friendly talented artists... all keen to have fun and as Tracey say's... "just have a go!"
She's a brilliant teacher, giving so much of her time, energy and amazing talent, whilst keeping everything so relaxed. If you read Tracey's blog (click here if you haven't) then you'll know she is quite a character and so funny. 
Totally unique in a very special way. 

So, let me show you what's on my desk this Wednesday. 
Because I'm linking up with Julia over at Stamping Ground and WOYWW  
(which stands for what's on your work desk Wednesday for anyone not familiar with this acronym) I'm going to keep this brief. (or at least I'll try) 
There's lots of see over there and desks to visit from all over the globe, so it's good to keep it brief. Click here if you'd like to be transported into a crafty/arty world.
So here's my desk...
I have Tracey's video's playing as I paint to keep me loose and not get too caught up in the detail, as is my want. I find listening to the video works as a great reminder that this is to be fun. 
All very relaxed!
Most of what I'm showing you is work in progress... there's little tweaks to be added here and there. Shadows and defining lines and hopefully I won't that one step too far. 
I like some of my subject and hate other's. 
I'm not going to go into detail which is which because everyone will see these differently. 
You might like one that I don't... anyway... let's carry on.
If you can imagine that I had all of the fruit and veg sitting on my desk, which was fine to begin with... but I tend to nip into the studio and dabble, then go onto other things leaving the paint to dry or to revisit at another time.
It wasn't until painting this avocado, that I became aware that virtually every time I looked at it the flesh was a different colour. Yuk! 
Everything was going off in the sun coming through the window. 
Note to self and is one of Tracey's tips... paint quickly!!!
I decided to paint the half of a tomato (which was already on it's way to foosty
(a scottish word for slightly off or certainly well on it's way) because it was so interesting but had to quickly abandon it when there was a serious health risk looming.  
 I think I actually ruined the capsicum with going over and taking that step too far that I unfortunately often do. 
Here's the before photo ... I like it at this stage. 
Oops I wasn't going to do that.
 I've got to master shadows next  (ha... I should be so lucky)
This might be another step too far.
 So that'll do for today...
Here's the links to the websites and I hope you'll have fun this Wednesday with whatever you have planned.
Thanks for your visit and hopefully I'm going to try to catch up with all of my comment replies from the last few posts, in the next few days. 
See you soon

Saturday, 13 June 2015

A little trip to East Lothian...Yellowcraig and Fidra Island

Apparently summer's here!
Okay, well maybe not right here as I'm sitting in my thermal vest, long-sleeved t-shirt, and fleece, so something's obviously gone wrong.
I'm aware that the rest of the UK is basking in sun and high temperatures, because my sister for one, is happy to give me a running commentary each day on what her current temperature is. 
Oh yes and how her hostas have burnt leaves now! 
You can go off people... (that's just in case she's reading this)... I say share nice pleeeeese.
We have had some nice days, but surely we should have more at this time of the year. 
We've only got until the 21st of this month and then we're on the back route to winter. 

Well let's no dwell on that for now... I always try to keep positive and I've lots to natter about. 
I posted a Sunday Photo last week from a quick weekend break and mentioned that I'd hopefully write a post soon. I can't believe how much has happened since we had that break. 
But more about that later or in forthcoming posts...
Here's some photo's to set the scene.
(Space and more space... beautiful walks for miles, or perhaps cycling is your thing?)

We headed down to East Lothian, because one of the things we wanted to tie into the weekend was to visit to the Gardening Scotland Show. 
More about that in a future post. Phew...
See I told you there's a lot to come.
East Lothian with over 40 miles of stunning coastline, golden beaches where you can play spot the person for hours if you were so inclined, It also has 22 golf courses, but thankfully my hubby hasn't embraced golf yet, although there's talk that once he retires it'll be on his wish list. 
There's fantastic walks, cycling or pony trekking... whatever... there's something for everyone.
Hey, but thinking about it maybe I shouldn't be telling you all this?
I should perhaps keep it a secret. 

We stayed in the quaint little sea-side town of North Berwick, which is less than an hour from Edinburgh. 
The coastal scenery is stunning in both directions, such as Yellowcraigs beach where after walking through stunning countryside suddenly greets you. 
We sat for a while to appreciate the space, weather and beauty of the beach, sea and amazing views. 
Not to mention rest a wee while having an ice-cream.
Here's a photo where, if you follow the path, you may be able to see the light-house in the centre of the photo. It's a fair way off into the distance so I'm not sure you'll be able to see it... but it's there.
Here's a closer shot...
The island in the distance is Fidra Island.

Like other islands near North Berwick, Fidra is the result of volcanic activity around 335 million years ago! 
It's also a RSPB reserve now.
Wildlife images from cameras on Fidra can be viewed at the local Seabird Centre.
The lighthouse, which was built in 1885 and automated in 1970, can be accessed via a primitive jetty on the east of the island.
Now here's a fact for you...
Robert Louis Stevenson often visited the beaches at the area known today as Yellowcraigs (shown above) and it is said that he based his map of Treasure Island on the shape of Fidra.

If you'd like to see more of the area and further afield, then click here to revisit a post I wrote back in March of this year. 
We didn't manage a boat trip around the islands this time, to check out the puffin's and other seabirds but I think it's always good to leave wanting... it's certainly a place we'll return to soon.
Well I'll nip off now and hopefully be back soon.
I've got one surprise I can't wait to tell you about.
Toodleloo for now 
Enjoy your weekend.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

My Sunday Photo

I have to admit it's been rather silly over the last few weeks and I feel I really must apologise to my regular followers. I've totally neglected you recently. Unfortunately, I've been involved with numerous projects that have eaten into my free time... the time that I would normally spend writing blog posts. 
Hopefully, I'll be able to get some sort of normality back into my schedule soon, because I've got lot's to share with you. 
For instance, like a recent weekend away, where we were able to sit and appreciate the space, peace, weather and fabulous views. 
Sometimes it's good to just sit still for a while. 
I'll be writing about this beach and it's lighthouse, along with lots more in a future post, plus my trip to the Gardening Scotland Show. 
As always they'll be lot's of photos too, so I hope to see you soon.
I'm linking up with Darren over at My Sunday Photo so if you'd like to see other Sunday Photos... click here.

Have a great weekend whatever to get up to... enjoy!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Happy Monday

Well helloooo June, 
Let's hope it warms up a fair bit because May was atrocious!
I always try embrace all the different weather we have here in the UK, because that's what I missed when we lived abroad. 
But I'm afraid May tested me and took me to the brink at times. 
I can't believe that Muffy and I had a great walk this morning.
As you can see she loved the freshly cut grass. 
The smell even caught my attention. 
The sky larks where hovering and singing their amazing song, but even with the sun shining there was no escape from that chilly brisk wind. 
In fact, it's been bothering us for weeks now and quite frankly I think it should move on...
Here's Muffypup having a good roll around with gay abandon...
We're not in any hurry... no of course not.
Slow and stop was the order of the day.
Unfortunately when you roll around in an open park there's a fair chance that you'll roll in some indescribable gunge... duck, crows, seagulls and other doggy doodoo's.
So needless to say she had to have a compulsive bath when we got home.
Let me tell you the windows were flung  open and thankfully I always have a towel in the boot for such occurrences.  
That'll be a gold star for me then...
And here she is... our Aga magnet. 
(Who needs fridge magnets? Not in this house anyway)
Thankfully because the Aga hasn't been switched off for summer
(even though there's only 22 days until mid summer)
She's able to stay cosy whilst she dries off.
I tried using the hairdryer but sometimes it gets her too excited and it's game on... chase me... chase me. There's no way she'd get the concept of the limited electrical lead restricting me in the chase.
Anyway... all the high jink are over for the time being and it's time to settle down. 
It's been quite a morning...
 I think I could just snuggle up with her, but unfortunately I've got a lot on my 'To Do' list today.
We were away over the weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to post a little about it. I'm also participating in Tracey Fletcher King's Delicious Paint class which should be fantastic.
I'm also getting ready for visitors and the garden hasn't been touched since last Thursday. 
I may need a rope attached around my middle before I head out there. 
It's been some time but because the blue towel has reminded me about Blue Monday... 
I'm linking up today. I hope to see you over there. 
Have fun with your week and if you've visited me and I haven't returned the compliment yet, then I'm on the case... it just might take me a little time to catch up. 
Here's one last photo
As you can see... she's not going anywhere until that weather warms up!
(p.s. if you like reading about Muffy's antics she's actually got her own Instagram account now. I know but what can you do? 
Here's her addy... the_world_according_to_Muffy

Happy Blue Monday to you all
Blue Monday Instructions

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