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

Saturday, 14 January 2017

My Sunday Photo... Muffin's snowy woodland walk

We had a fantastic crisp sunny woodland walk today.
As you can see little Muffin had a wonderful time, as long as I kept up with her.

If you would like to see some fantastic photo's then click here
As usual I'm linking up with Photalife.com 
and Image-in-ing.blogspot.co.uk
Thanks for your visit.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend... enjoy!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Paint Party Friday... Thistles and Tropical Lovebirds

Brrr.... 'tis a wee bit chillywoo here today.
We've had snow flurries and the biting arctic wind is still blowing a hoolie about the place. 
We expected the snow to arrive yesterday, but it didn't arrive until the early hours of the morning.
I'd nipped to the bathroom (as you do around 3am) and couldn't see out through the windows, even with the full moon. The snowflakes had been blown horizontally across the field and had stuck onto the window.
I wasn't really aware just how cold it was until I walked barefoot into the bathroom and my feet nearly froze to the floor tiles... to say nothing about the icy toilet seat! 

As it's Friday, I thought I'd share my artwork and link up to Paint Party Friday once again.
I had mentioned previously that I would paint another thistle and here it is...

I'm going to have a hygge day today.
I shall enjoy looking out at this wintery weather whilst the fire roars and I enjoy painting. 
I thought I might paint another winter scene on a roof slate 
But for those of you who are missing and craving some colour, 
then how about these cute lovebirds below. 
Such gorgeous tropical colours that make me crave spring even more.
They are my daughters newest design and if you'd like to check out her shop, then click on her name. 
This illustration is a print, but she also has cards available, which is perfect timing for 
Valentine's Day. 
Thanks for visiting my place today. 
I hope you have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

My Sunday Photo... In The Pink

During the last week we have had some spectacular weather.
One particular morning, I opened my eyes to a pink glow. 
Everything had turned pink.
Looking outside the clouds were like pink powder puffs. 
I purposely haven't edited these photo's so that you can see the colours in their true form.
I'm not in the habit of diving out of bed in a morning (I'm not that enthusiastic normally) but when Mother Nature is putting on a show there's nothing for it but to run and grab your camera. 
Later I couldn't resist trying out my new zoom lens.
Here's one of my usual morning visitors perched high up on the chimney tops waiting for breakfast.
Yes, I think this lens will do nicely.
I'm linking up as usual with Photalife 
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by my place. 
I hope to see you again soon.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Thistle and Robin... PPF

Welcome to 2017
I'm hoping that this year my art can go up a gear... or at least get out of first gear.
I have lots of ideas, half hatched plans and masses of enthusiasm. 
I just need to prioritise now.

I started off this week painting a thistle. 
I used Windsor & Newton Cotman 111 round brushes (no 3 and no 5)
Why these particular brushes you ask? Because basically my daughter left them behind when she left after the holidays. 
I couldn't resist trying them out, but don't worry I've sent her new replacements. 
Something tells me she came off rather well in this transaction.
Brand new brushes for old ones... but I'm pleased because they worked beautifully.
For those who like to know details...
I used my Kuretake: Gansai Tambi Japanese Watercolour paints on Daler Rowney Aquafine smooth A4 Hot pressed paper (300g/m2) 

I'm pleased with certain aspects of this painting, but it was also yet again a learning curve. 
I have so many learning curves that it feels like once again I'm in a complete spin. 
I've decided to go larger and have another go at painting it.
I think that I should keep to one theme instead of flitting like the proverbial blue * fly. 
That way I hope that I might actually develop a style.
I'm linking up for the first time this year with the Paint Party Friday link. Click here
Happy New Year Eva and Kristin and thanks for hosting your fantastic inspirational link up once again.
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I'd just like to add that I've had some success with my new camera zoom lens. 
As regular readers of my blog will know, I've been trying to capture the image of my camera shy robin for quite some time.
But at last I managed it...
How cute is he? 
I was doing a little tidying in the garden and he was very interested in what I was doing out there, especially as the ground was frozen solid.
As soon as I moved away, he hopped down into the dried leaves to check out what I'd unearthed.
I'm so happy with these photos, but as you can probably imagine I've got about 150 others of my new little feathered friend. 

Lovely to see you here once again and I hope to see you again soon.
Have a wonderful weekend

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all
I hope you had a fabulous festive holiday.
Now that all the festivities are over and the shortest day has past, I must say that I'm enjoying the prospect of waiting for signs that spring is on its way.
There are actual signs already... snowdrop shoots and daffodil tops are already peeking through the earth.
A few of my Christmas presents will help me capture everything... hopefully creating beautiful images.
My son has been having fun with setting up the night camera in various locations around our property and the first night showed masses of activity!
Woohoo!
It wasn't until we checked the next morning, that we realised that the low hanging branches of a tree and a tarpaulin (covering a pile of logs) flapping in the wind, was the only images captured. 
What a disappointment.  
But look who passed through on night two!
A fox
But then last night's footage has thrown up a mystery... 
we have no idea what the animal image below is? 
Some say it's another Fox, others say a Badger.
There's been talk of Wild Cats and even a Pine Marten
We've even sent the image to the experts, but they haven't replied yet.
So what do you think?
I'll post the answer if we get anything definite from either the experts or more definite footage.

I'm linking up with Mersad link Through My Lens
Have fun and thanks for stopping by my place. 

Friday, 30 December 2016

Aaand Breathe

Aaaand Breathe
Yes, we've managed Christmas and have now entered the 'winterval' before New Year.
I hope you had a lovely time with family and friends or perhaps you just had a peaceful relaxing holiday, whatever I hope you enjoyed it. 
(Muffin waking up and checking if Santa had been)

Our clan met up once again and had a few 'fantabulously' hectic days together ticking all of the boxes. 
Exchanging gifts, toasting absent friends, eating beautifully cooked food (okay, I'm not sure I should say that with being the sous chef but I have so there you go), post Christmas lunch woodland walks through the Welsh countryside, to name but a few of the activities, and finally the long homeward bound drive before the New Year kicks in.
It's great to go away, but so good to be home once again. 
I think I may have actually been glued into my chair yesterday, right next to the wood burner... snoozing the day away. 
I know I'm totally guilty, but I have no shame... I enjoyed it! 
(and Muffin did too) 

Now I'm in the precarious predicament of having so much to do, but not knowing where to start.
So I've decided that I'm not even going to try.
I'm giving myself time out until at least next Monday.
There's no end to my shameless inactivity.
I'm hoping that this current lacklustre will to recharge my batteries and I'll be raring to go once again.

Before I leave you today, I have a confession.
It's only a little one, but I will feel better starting the new year with a clean sheet.

I never thought I'd use a puppy pouch or a pooch pouch as we are now calling the doggy backpack... but I do now and I'm singing it's praises. 
Obviously with Muffy only being a mini shihtzu and weighing in at a reasonable 4.6 kilo's, it's no problem... but I can't imagine I'd like to carry a larger breed of dog. 
The pouch was my nephews dog Woody, but he willingly gave it to Muffy.
Hero of the day.
Woody is so full of energy now that he's grown, that to even try to put him in a pouch would be a major achievement... even if he could fit into it.
I was tired just watching him run full pelt around the woods on our walks.

So here's Muffy glad to have a rest after walking 5 miles, virtually uphill for the majority of the walk.
I know she doesn't look particularly happy here, but she really did like it.
Maybe it was the fact that where we had stopped for a little lunch at The Miner's Arms pub in Maeshafn, was full of dogs and she couldn't carry on socialising. 
I think she liked being so high up though... which is not a usual advantage point for her with her little legs. She seemed very settled once we started to walk the return journey.
It's opened up a whole new world whilst she's recuperating from her surgery.
We'll be able to manage any mountain now... I just need to sort myself a backpack now... and someone who'd be willing to carry me!

I'm not sure I'll manage to pop back for another post before the countdown to the New Year, so I'll take this opportunity to say I wish you all the best for 2017.
I hope you have the best year ever! 
Thank you for your friendship and support throughout this year. 
I really appreciate it.

Friday, 23 December 2016

My Christmas Photo... Christmas Tree

I wanted to link up with Photalife tonight to pass on my sincere best wishes to everyone.
(Thanks Darren... I hope you have a wonderful time with your family)
Enjoy!
I'd like to just take this moment to thank you all for your friendship during this last year. 
Your visits have meant so much to me and I hope we'll continue to natter in 2017
Merry Christmas Everyone 

https://www.quebles.com/content/129014/preview.gif
HO HO HO....

Sunday, 18 December 2016

My Sunday Photo... Morning Glory

When I opened my eye (yes only one as I wasn't sure what time it was) the colour of the landscape caught my attention and I immediately had to get up to find my camera.
This is the view from my bedroom and I was going to call it
'Morning Ewe' instead of  'Morning View'!
I know... that's a terrible joke and not even worthy of a bad Dad joke status.
In fact, my hubby said he'd have been proud of that joke, which tells me just how bad it is.
You can see the reflection of the curtains and the light isn't showing up very well... but in my own defence I was hardly awake.
I then took this second photo as the sun rose higher.
There are still quite a few leaves left on the trees so there's plenty of colour especially when the low sunlight hit them.

The next morning ritual is breakfast and even though I cook eggs I never actually eat them myself.
This was my hubby's breakfast.
Poached eggs on toasted sourdough bread, with avocado and masses of freshly cracked black pepper.
My son's breakfast is the same only easy on the pepper.
Now back to the Christmas posts and preparations.
I'm linking up once again with My Sunday Photo
Have a great Sunday

Friday, 16 December 2016

Snow slate scene... and surgery PPF/Sunday Sketches

My hubby has been using the laptop for most of the day, so apologies for arriving so late.
This is a post of two halves... the first being some artwork and the second about Muffin and her recent emergency surgery.

So let's get started...
Part 1 - I finally finished painting the roof slate and thought you might like to see it.
Here's the finished article.
The inspiration came from a few places... 
... a chalk cat drawing on a blackboard, left over roof tiles and a very talented illustrator called Kirsten Sevig from Minnesota.
If you'd like to take a look at some of her work click here

I enjoyed painting the roof slate far more than I thought I would.
I wasn't even sure that the paint would work on the tile. 
But I was pleasantly surprised. 
For anyone wanting to know what paint I used. 
Daler Rowney Acrylic Ink worked so well.
I've really enjoyed the project, so who knows I might just paint some more of the left over roof tiles.
I'm linking up with the
Paint Party Friday 
Alexandra's Blue Chair Diary
Art Journal Journey

Have fun and a great weekend
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Part 2 - Some of you may already know that I took Muffin to the vet's earlier in the week.
She had developed a lump on her abdomen and it needed to be checked. 
To keep this brief... the Vet recommended that she should have it taken out and we decided the sooner the better, which meant that she was whisked in for surgery the next morning. 

Everyone at the surgery was incredibly friendly, professional and so caring. 
(Thank you to all the staff at the Town and Country Veterinary Hospital)
Muffin obviously played her cute card and it worked really well. 
Off she trotted with the surgery nurse and she didn't even give her snivelling owner a glance! 
She had the operation with fluids administered throughout and she came trotting out of the surgery later that afternoon. 
I couldn't believe just how 'with it' she was, especially after having such a major operation.
She has to wear a surgical suit that looks like a spandex workout outfit. 
It just looks like she's come back from the gym! 
To give you some idea... it's like a baby grow and will keep her wound clean and safe until it heals.
It was the vet's idea to wear this suit instead of the usual collar.
I must admit I rather like this look.
It's just unfortunate that all the red suits weren't in her size. 
Now that would have been very seasonal.
Sorry about the quality of these photographs, but it was taken later that same evening. 
Here she is in the surgery suit eating her evening meal.
I was astounded by how much she eat that night. 
She completely cleaned this bowl out and had three extra portions of chicken. 
We are to revisit the vet for her to check on progress and also to find out if the lump is something nasty. 
We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who contacted us, either through emails, Instagram or Facebook to pass on their best wishes, positive thoughts, messages and prayers. 
It was lovely to know that so many friends out there were thinking about us. 

If you are squeamish or just about to eat, then you may not want to scroll down any further. 
She had 5 stitches... which is quite a size on such a wee toot, but she's a tough cookie and progressing nicely. 
It looks like she's been for a little nip'n'tuck!

I think after that photo I'd better sign off.
Thanks for your visit and I hope I will see you again soon.
xoxo

Saturday, 10 December 2016

My Sunday Photo... Snow Globes and Sherry

It's been a busy day which I suppose is only to be expected with the onset of the Christmas preparations. 
I've dressed the tree and put up some of the decorations around the house, so I feel a little calmer that I can now actually tick off a few items on my to-do list. 
We have quiet a few decorations... okay... we have boxes and boxes of decorations, so it's not a job that can be done in a day!
I'll carry on again tomorrow. 
Having the daylight disappear at 3.30pm doesn't help... but there's not much I can do about that. 

Every year I buy a new decoration, either for the tree or around the house. 
The year we left Australia, I bought a Santa for the tree. 
He is in his swimmers lounging on a float, drinking a cocktail... Christmas arrives in the heat of summer Down Under, so I felt that this Santa was very appropriate to remind us of the hot Christmases we had whilst living there.

This year I couldn't resist this snow globe.  
It's quite large and incredibly heavy.
I think the bird is a red cardinal, but I like to think of him as a robin... and we often have deer come up to our garden, so I felt it very appropriate.
Now all we need is a little snow.
Just so long that if it does arrive... it disappears on Boxing Day!  

This is my photo of how the day ended.
A glass of sherry and a mince pie to celebrate a busy day of festive decorating.
Do you have a favourite decoration or tradition? 

Thanks for your visit and I hope to see you soon.
I'm linking up with Photalife.com


Have a great day whatever you have planned.
Enjoy! 
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