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

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Sunshine makes me smile

Finally the sun returned today... it was glorious and there was even some warmth to it too.
So I thought I'd bring you a little sunshine from my garden.
I know so many of you have been having hot weather for quite some time, but today was the first here... I'm afraid it's made me a little giddy!

There's so much progress in the garden at the moment and we seem to be moving from our blue period, (all the flowers seemed to have been blue after the daffs and tulips disappeared) to the bright vibrant, yellow phase.
In fact, everything seems to be bracing themselves for bursting into bloom if they haven't already done so. I know they're a little late... but really if you'd been out there in my garden suffering the gales, rain and grey skies for weeks, then I'm sure you'd be a little behind.
I have been trying to remain positive and not let it bother me, but it was touch and go over last weeks fog! Thankfully, I hope that's all behind us now and we can enjoy the rest of the summer as we should.
Oh no... listen to me... I sound so British nattering on about the weather all the time.
The above lily is a newcomer to my garden. 
My hubby bought me two a few weeks ago. 
I think they're called 'Tiny Bee'. 
I can't help but smile when I look at them and once the sun highlighted there beauty today, I had to take a photo. 
I hope it makes you smile too.
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A smile is contagious... so pass it on!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Counting chocolate calories (WOYWW)

Just a quickie this morning to show what's on my work desk (WOYWW) this morning. 
I'm loading this on my kindle, so I'm hoping it will work okay... 
keeping my fingers crossed... so far so good...

As you can see I finally finished my chocolate bar. 
In fact, I finished it off in more ways than one. 
I devoured it! 
Well in my defence, it was a little tricky so what's a girl to do... obviously eat chocolate.
Well in my book it is obvious (any excuse)
It's amazing just how much detail there are in everyday objects if you just look closely. 
For instance, I'd never have known that there were (note past tense) over 500 calories in this bar! 
THAT'S OVER FIVE HUNDRED!!!
And I ate them all (groan)
So now that I know this horrendous detail I'm going to link to Julia's Stamping Ground blog then go for a jog/gym session/ triathlon/marathon or whatever it takes to get rid of those 500 calories!
Have fun and hopefully I'll see you again soon.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Out and about for Weekend Walkies

 Well, that was a busy weekend. 
It was my hubby's birthday too... and no I couldn't possibly divulge his age because that would reflect badly on me, in more ways than one.
But I can reveal that this is one of three photograph's that I took on our morning woodland walk.
I didn't think my hubby would appreciate the other two photo's, because the light reflects off his head!
This would come as a complete shock to him... bless 
So I thought I'd leave him in denial... ignorance is bliss.
In fact, when I look back over the weekend we were out for most of the time in one form or another. 
Although the weather wasn't sunny, at least the temperature had risen (slightly) so it was quite pleasant to get out and about. 
It's been quite some time since I have been on a bike ride, so when my hubby suggested it, I can't say I was chomping at the bit.
He's a very keen cyclist, so I knew it would be a challenge because we live in rather a hilly place and my lungs just couldn't take it... never mind my legs. 
But he explained that there was a perfect cycle path not too far away... and it is on the flat too!
It's called 'The Deeside Way', or as it is sometimes called, 'The Royal Deeside Line'
This cycle path is the old railway line that linked Aberdeen to Banchory. 
The route is generally well surfaced with ash or tar now making it ideal for cyclists.

It's also used by pedestrians, dog walkers, horse riders and cyclists of all abilities.
Even old girls like this one...
(I'm not sure I'm happy about posting my rear view)
I have to confess that I nearly ended up in the ditch on quite a few occasions, much to my hubby's dismay. Not because of my lack of proficiency on my part... basically I was too busy being nosy peeking into the back gardens of some of the most affluent homes on the North Deeside Road.
It was a very tranquil ride which offers some great views over picturesque countryside and the River Dee... with the added bonus of hardly a gradient in sight. 
 My kind of bike ride!

But don't forget we're in the middle of summer (slight sarcastic tone here) and look at the sky below as we came to the end of our ride. 
We've had some incredible rain, so we took no chances and made a mad dash home. 
One day last week there were flash floods which accompanied the thunderstorms. 
Some photo's even made it on to the national news with cars virtually floating away. 
Thankfully, I'm glad that we live quite high up... it may not be the best for cycling, but it's certainly safer when the heavens open.
Aberdeen (the Granite City) has masses of chimney pots. 
I've counted 24 on one particular building alone. 
Imagine back in the day having the misfortune to be the maid of the grand residence that had to clean them out daily.
I have enough trouble with my two wood burners... thank you very much!

Here's Muffy taking a nosy peek into someone's garden. 
I wonder who she gets that from? 
To finish off the weekend... nature gave us a beautiful sunset.
Unfortunately, the incredible light doesn't show up on this photo as much as I'd have liked.
It looked like the sky had a live electrical wire of white, yellow, orange and red running across it. 
It's difficult to describe but it was so vibrant and intense. 
Truly a brilliant spectacle.
So what does the week have in store for you?
I'd love to hear all about it...
Personally, I'm hoping for more sun, warmth, painting, gardening, and fun to name but a few... 
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Hope to see you again soon 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Yoohoo... look who's on my desk today

Hey... look who's in my studio today - Tracey Fletcher King!
How lucky am I?
Many of you might know Tracey and her amazing artwork already, but I thought I'd share what's been happening over the last month or so, as part of What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday (WOYWW) 
I enrolled for Tracey's online classes called 'Delicious Paint' over at Community Thrive.
If you look at the photo below, you will see Tracey's smiling back at you plus the little watercolour booklet that she helped me create.
I have to say I'm thrilled with it.
As I hoped the classes have been almost sheer delight... I say almost because the idea is to loosen up  and that's always nerve wrecking for me. 
The classes were fun, informative and with Tracey's relaxed sense of humour and fantastic guidance
a great way to take in your 'daily five'.
There were no excuses for difficulty to access subject matter, because Tracey asked us to draw everyday objects and products. So, I like my fellow students I raided my fridge crisper drawer. 
I had to laugh to myself when I lined up the pear swatch onto the back page of the booklet. 
Do you see a huge behind?
A big Butt?
Bahookie? 
Whatever you want to call it... I thought it was appropriate for the end of the booklet.
 (yes I know small things and all that...)
I must admit, I no longer look at fresh produce in the same way...
so much so that I'm sure that I'm on my local Supermarket security radar.
 "Dodgy woman stalking the strawberries in aisle two!"
I must admit I spend far too much time ogling and handling the fruit and veg now.
As far as I can see there's only been one disappointment throughout the whole experience...
and that is that I've learnt Tracey loves sprouts! 
Seriously!

If you'd like to see more WOYWW desks... then click here
In the meantime, I'm going to carry on watching the tennis at Wimbledon.
I've been writing this post and watching... multi-tasking to the max.
Have fun this Wednesday and thanks for stopping by.
I hope to natter again soon.

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. 
NO CONTEST!
(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...
Tea!
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. 
ARGH...OH NO! 
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. 
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