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

Friday, 27 March 2015

Paint Party Friday...Peony and Perfume

I'm feeling quite pleased with myself today because as regular visitors will know, I normally only have unfinished work to bring to Eva and Kristin's PPF 'show and tell' but not so today. 
Oh no my friends, I have finished work... in fact, I have two pieces of art work to show you. 
Yes two!!!
Here's the first which I started at the beginning of the week.
My pink peony.
It shows that I'm now back in my art studio and not working on the kitchen table.
Here's a link that shows the peony painting at it's conception...(click here if you missed it earlier)
I was obviously going through a pink stage, which for anyone who knows me knows that it isn't the norm for me. But I do love my pink peony in my garden but it's been so long since I last saw it...
Thankfully I can happily report that there's signs of life in the garden border at last.
New shoots have appeared... woohoo... spring has sprung.
I may have taken a step too far by adding some glitter to the tips of the petals on the main plant.
Call me reckless but I just couldn't stop myself.
I'm not sure it shows up very well in this photo, but it's there... well in fact it's EVERYWHERE!
And to think I was careful with my application, using it very sparingly.
I'm like a fairy sprinkling fairy dust as I go... it's now scattered throughout the house.
Just how far or easily can glitter travel?
Obviously far and wide! 
(I need to just whisper here that I'm not sure if it's actually finished or not... I know I said it was, but I'm still not sure? What do you think? All comments and advice gratefully accepted)

And so on to my second entry...
Now let me explain before we start... (why is there always an issue with me?)
I wanted to try to paint a perfume bottle like the extremely talented Tracey Fletcher King
Tracey's art and blog posts are legendary and she's going from strenght to strenght. 
No one deserves success more than her, so grab a cuppa (she'll approve trust me) and head over to her place. NO WAIT.... Maybe you should carry on here first and then look at her work. 
A sort of before talent and after! 

The next thing I need to explain is the actual perfume bottle itself.
This bottle of Jean Paul Gaultier's 'Classique' is nothing like what you'd be able to purchase today.
Mine has been fermenting like a great fine wine or a single malt whiskey.
Not intentially, but it has been lost and forgotten over time in the dark depths of an old overnight bag that I found when trying to find a boot to make up a matching pair.
(Another long story which I'll spare you of today)

Anyway... I did find the missing boot plus this bottle of perfume (but not in the same place) but the perfume colour has changed quite considerably
(possibly giving away just how long I've had it to an expert eye)
It actually still smells pretty good and I have to confess that I've been wearing it around the house... I'm not sure that I'm brave enough to wear it outside, although thankfully no-one's commented on a strange pong smell when I'm in their vicinity.
So I'm taking that as a positive.
(but can I just say here and now... I wouldn't say no to some new perfume if a certain someone wants to buy me some... ...if by some miracle he actually reads this blog)  
I was quite pleased at one stage with this, but as usual with me I went on and passed that stage when I should have known better and stopped.
There's so many faults here that I'll not bother explaining them... besides you'll know or see them for yourself.

I remember when my hubby actually bought me this perfume and I also remember being both delighted and quite shocked by the bottle. I'd never seen any other bottle quite like it.
So that should indicate just how many years ago it was when he bought it. 
But I'm sure my hubby was drawn to the perfume and smell and nothing else (hmm...)
I did have fun challenging myself with this one, because I didn't use any pencil lines at all.
Well almost until very near the end, then I used my Derwent Inktense watercolour pencils for the lettering and just a little touch here and there. 
Normally, I use a pencil, ruler and a lot of anxiety when drawing.
I have no idea why I get so hyped up, but I'm trying very hard to just loosen up. 
I think I've been saying that for years now...
Here's a sample of my gin bottle if you missed it from an earlier post which  shows how I would usually draw.

Time's marching on so let the party commence and don't forget to nip over to Tracey Fletcher King and Paint Party Friday for some amazing art work.
Paint Party Friday
I'm also linking up with Sunday Sketches too.
Here's the link...
Sunday Sketches

Have a wonderful weekend whatever you have planned... and until we meet again don't forget to have fun and keep smiling 
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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Friday, 20 March 2015

PPF Peony and the Eclipse

I can't believe that I missed the Paint Party Friday celebrations last week with Eva and Kristin.
So I'm making sure I don't miss it today... here's the link if you'd like to visit the party too.

But there's always a silver lining if you look hard enough because as part of the PPF 4th Birthday/Anniversary/Blogoversary celebrations there was a optional challenge and not one that I'd find easy. 
The challenge was to paint a self-portrait. 
(Gulp... thank goodness I missed that)
Now that would be have been a challenge for me...

So what have I been up to instead... let's take a look
It appears that I'm all in the pink this week. 
I'm even wearing a pink pashmina today!

My pink Mother's Day bouquet and card set me thinking about the summer blooms that hopefully will be appearing in my garden soon. 
The peony is one of my favourites...
As you can see I'm working on the kitchen table once more.
I decided to start this particular painting whilst the football was on the television.
I plugged in my earphones and had a brilliant time listening to classical music. 
Thankfully it blocked out the footy commentators, guru's, chants and my hubby's tactitional expertise!
But I don't have to use the kitchen table anymore because my daughter has relocated.
I now have my studio back... although there's some thinking and planning needed it's great to get back in here. She had lots of success whilst using the studio, so I'm hoping that the good positive vibes will inspire me too.  
That is if studio pooch will move over to let me have some space. 
It's amazing how popular this particular room is. 

If you'd like to see my daughter's new studio space here it is below... 
Cool isn't it? 
Here's a link if you'd like to see more of her work... click here and here

Before I head off to work on my peony, I thought you might like to see the eclipse that everyone is talking about here in the UK this morning. 
I didn't think we'd get to see anything here in Aberdeenshire, but we had a lucky break in the clouds and caught glimpses of it.
I think it worked out better having some cloud cover... it wasn't too bright or too much glare.
I probably will have poo-monia later as I stood outside for quite a time with soaking wet hair from my shower. I've hardly been about to warm up since, but I suppose these amazing specticals don't happen often and you have to sieze the moment. 
There was talk that the dogs would howl and the birds would stop singing, but that didn't happen. Muffty was still in her bed all snuggled up for the drop in temperature and the birds kept singing... maybe distracted by the fact that I'd just replenished the feeders and it was game on!
However there was a dog howling in the nearby woods but I suspect that he was just over excited with the rabbits running hither and thither.
These are not the best shots but considering I thought I wouldn't even see it, I suppose I should be grateful. 
Well that's it for today peeps... spring equinox, solar eclipse and a super moon tonight...
Phew...it's been quite a day but now it's time to paint.
Paint Party Friday

Have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend
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Hope to see you soon

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Muffy's morning mishap!

Who knew when we headed off for our morning walk that we would have heart-stopping drama!

Back in January 2012 (Friday 13th to be precise) Muffin took her first swimming lesson, but who would have thought it would be three whole years before she entered the water once again.
Don't get me wrong she is bathed reguarly, groomed at the salon but not the fully immersing kind of bathtime. 
Well today we participated in swimming lesson number two, but there's certainly no need for a third! 
Let me tell you what happened...

She was having her usual fun... sniffing, splashing and generally surveying the whole park for fellow pups and play pals. On our way back to the car she still wanted to play and meet potential pals and spotted a sheep dog playing with it's ball. 
Between you and me he wasn't interested in Muffy at all 
(don't tell her but he was a little ball obsessive if you ask me) 
but that didn't seem to register or deter Muffy. 
As I called for her to follow me to the car... her off leish walk was over... she had other ideas.
She ran full pelt down the embankment with eyes latched onto the other pup. 
Over the pathway and totally deaf to my calls. 
The trouble was that the other dog was on the other side of the boating lake!
To my horror she then launched herself over the concrete low wall that edged the boating lake... 
are you still with me...? 
...yep you guessed it. 
In she went... BADOOSH!!!
Not quite a swallow dive but it certainly was impressive. 
She obviously thought it was solid ground and I'm still chuckling to myself when I think about what must have gone through her mind...
"WHAT THE ......????"
 As I ran to her I thought to myself she'll never come back up...
(not if our first swimming lesson was anything to go by) 
So I'm thinking I'm going in... willing to sacrificing my boots for sure. 
(The lake isn't very deep but quite deep enough for a mini shuh tzu)
But amazingly as I came nearer... up she popped and she began to swim like an olympian! 
Her coat plus her harness wasn't going to stop her.
I watched in wonder as she about turned and headed back towards me. 
Paws paddling profusely
Who would have guessed? 
After grabbing her and lifting her out looking like a soggy chamois leather, I couldn't help thinking (once I knew she was okay) that I'd have loved to have taken a little video of it all. 
As you can see by her face above, she wouldn't have been impressed. 
"Just get me dry and warm" ^..^
Once back home and dried off with a warm hairdryer (as you do) we couldn't let this momentus occasion go without a little pomp and ceremony, so she's been presented with her own swimming certificate! 
If I'm honest she did qualify for all of the criteria... well all except the 15 metre swim, but if we consider the way out, turn around and then back towards the bank, it might well have been 15 metres.
Here's the certificate and Muffy having a much needed snoozlet, next to the fire after all that excitment.
If you haven't seen her first swimming attempt then here it is...
Note the back legs don't move!

Now you can see why I was so worried when she dived in... 
I definitely thought... glug glug...glug! 
I hope that's given you a giggle and that your day is going swimmingly (sorry I couldn't resist)

I'm linking up with
 Our World Tuesday
Wednesday Around the World

Have a great week and hopefully I'll see you again soon

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Weekend wandering around East Lothian

Last weekend was busy but so enjoyable that I thought you might like to see a few of the sights. 
We headed down the east coast of Scotland to East Lothian.

Here's a map to help you locate the area if you're not familiar with the location. 
Image result for east lothianMap of east lothian
(Courtesy of Google)
We were helping our daughter relocate, so the car was fit to pop with boxes and belongings.
But once offloaded we were free to explore the area. 
The weather was really kind to us and we were able to appreciate the area and warmth of the sun.
It's much drier on the East coast than the West. Maybe that's one of the reasons why I'm on this side of Scotland. 
Here's the River Tyne (not to be confused with the one in the North East of England) crashing through rocks at East Linton.
The bridge at East Linton, which once carried The Great North Road, forms the backdrop to a spectacular scene at the Linn Rocks. 
I couln't help myself traversing the rocks to get better photos of the waterfall, river and bridge. 
My daughter has seen kingfishers feeding at this particular spot but I wasn't so lucky. 
There's also otters been spotted. 
I'd have probably fallen in with my excitment if I had seen them, so maybe it's just as well I didn't. 
I just wish I'd taken more photo's... not only of the river bank with it's elegant willows dipping over the water, but also the incredible buildings and attractive architecture. 
All of these things have combined over the years to make East Linton a natural haven for artists.
The roar from the water was incredibly loud and I was aware that I wasn't wearing appropriate footwear but it was all worth the risk.
I'm hoping that I manage to name all of the photo's correctly because our tour guide (our daughter) was incredibly efficient in showing us as much of the area as possible.
But there was time to stop and take in a view and have a walk.
The photo below was Seacliff beach and I have to say was stunning.
Seacliff comprises a beach, an estate and a habour. 
We had to pay to enter the beach... but I thought £2 was a reasonable amount.
(There are lots of beaches with no charge for admission but this one is part of a private estate) 
Can you spot the lifeboat on manoeuvres? 
The island just off centre of the photo is Bass Rock which is a volcanic rock which homes a large colony of gannets. 
At certain times of the year the rock looks white just by the amount of birds perched on the island. 
There are boat trips to the island which hopefully we'll manage to fit in on another day. 
There's also masses of history revolving around the island. 
It has a lighthouse too.
I couldn't resist taking this photo even though some were nervous about me perching so near to the edge. 
I just don't get it.
 The guy fishing just stood there... heaven knows how long he'd been there and he didn't even have a seat. Just a couple of fishing rods balanced on stands. 
Maybe he was contemplating the meaning of life or something. 
The glorious blue sky was incredible.
I was quite envious of the riders below enjoying riding along the beach. 
The last time I did that was over 12,000 miles away and the temperature was certainly a little warmer. 
It's a good job we had had a huge Full Scottish Breakfast to sustain us over the day... especially with all our exploring and walking. 
Even Muffy was like a racehorse over the sand. 
I've honestly never seen her run so much. 
I thought she'd sieze up the next day and not be able to walk with so much exercise. 
She's not bad for an old girl 
Two surprises await at this end of the beach. 
The first is the view of Tantallon Castle that emerged from behind the headland. The second is an incredible harbour that has been carved out of the rocks of a feature known as the Gegan. This was constructed in 1890 by Andrew Laidley, the then laird, who used a steam engine and compressed air to cut the stone. Even with the technology of the day, this must have been a daunting project.
It has been claimed that the harbour is Scotland's smallest. It's certainly Scotland's most unexpected and one of it's most intriguing harbours.

(If you'd like to read more about this area with all of it's history then click here)
A pit stop was certainly needed after so much exploring, so we headed into North Berwick for a coffee (or cuppa in my case) and a cakee.
We decided to visit the Steampunk Coffee  cafe which is a fantastic coffee shop set in a warehouse that roasts it's own coffee, plus has delicious cakes and snacks.
Both my hubby and daughter raved about the coffee. 
Apparently, it was best coffee that they'd had since leaving Melbourne! 
I loved the fact that they had a live DJ who played brilliant vinyl records that just had the right jazzy sound for a Sunday afternoon. 
The atmosphere was great and would certainly be a favourite pit stop for me if I lived in North Berwick. 
My hubby became besotted as soon as we sat down, but who would have guessed it would be an old wood stove! 
He couldn't take his eyes off her!
Here she is...
If you'd like to visit Steampunk coffee or learn more about their ethos then click here

I must add that Mufftypup was allowed in too and although she's very well behaved I still find this amazing that places ie cafe's and pubs will allow dogs into their premises.
I was worried about taking her away for the weekend but thanks to this symbol displayed in so many places all my worries were unnecessary.
She was very happy too curled up under the tables all cosy and resting before the next adventure.
Image result for logo for dog friendly pubs

With all the talk about cuppa's and refreshments I need to grab a little something before we head out tonight. I know going out on a school night... there's no stopping us!!!
Have a great week everyone until we meet again.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Knock knock... who's there?

I'm carrying on with the bird theme this morning because we are quite literally in a flap.
The reason being that we have had new visitors come to call.
I had mentioned to my daughter that I was pretty sure that I'd seen a Jay near the garden for a few days now, but because they are so flighty I couldn't be sure.
I'd not managed to see more than a flash of white on it's rump, as I spooked the visitor every time I went near a window.
I know I can look a little scary first thing in the morning, but I felt this was a little harsh. Anyway, yesterday after walking around and replenishing the bird feeders (one of my early morning chores) I became aware of a larger different bird coming near.
From an upstairs window using all the stealth we could muster... crawling along the floor to peek over the window ledge, we managed (or should I say my daughter managed) to get a few photos of him/her.
Now isn't that something...
Although the Jay is the most colourful members of the crow family, they can actually be quite difficult to see.
The are very timid and shy woodland birds. 
That's one of the reasons why I feel so privileged that they have broken their cover from the nearby woods to visit our plot.
If you'd like to know a little more about the Jay then here's a link to the RSPB website...click here
But look... we didn't only get one visiting... we in fact got two.
The bird seed must be top-notch because a few minutes later two more came to join the party!
Four Jay's feasting!
What a sight and considering they are not supposed to be in the North of Scotland, I'm taking full credit for my daily dedication of keeping the feeding stations fully topped up. I mainly use black sunflower seeds that have had the husks removed... (all the more easy to gobble and no mess) apparently only the best five star birdie restaurants have them on their menu.
(Brinvale Bird Food)
News of a different sort is that my fingers are happy tapping away this morning.
I finally have my laptop back.
Although my fingers know the keys it's now down to my brain and IT ability to work out where everything is.
It's been completely reworked so there's new files and messages popping up like popcorn popping in the pan!
It'll take some time to reorganise but I'll get there.
Things may not look or be quite the same but then change is good for you isn't it?.
 It keeps it all fresh.
In the meantime, I hope your week is going well and you have some lovely visitors come to call.
Until next time... have fun
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Sunday, 1 March 2015

My Sunday Photograph... Robin learning new skills


 I'm aware that my blog name is Neesie Natters but I have hardly said a word all week 
(which is a phenomenon in itself)
andcan you believe it that here we are in March already?
I thought I'd share a few photos of my garden friends today. 

I watched this particular robin perfect a new skill... hovering whilst trying to feed.
He's obviously seen the other birds and thought why not?
He worked so hard it made me think that it was a lesson for us all.
Don't worry he received a bigger reward later... I placed new flat sticks into the holder and he was able it stand on one whilst indulging.
It's obviously his favourite treat.
 



TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky
OneDad3Girls
If you'd like to see the photos in more detail then carry on skrolling down...










Have you got a favourite wildbird and do you have bird feeders?
Have a great day everyone.
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