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

Sunday, 11 February 2018

My Sunday Photo... Look out!

It's pretty nippy here just now with another forecast of snow to arrive overnight.
The birds are all feeling the urgency of a good meal to see them through.
Here's one of our resident buzzards perched up high on his lookout tower.
He doesn't get much peace as the local jackdaws and crows become very nervous if he's spotted in their territory. They dive bomb him constantly and give quite an aerial display.


I'll leave you with a more peaceful photo of our girls... keep your heads down ladies!

I'm linking up as usual with Photalife.com
Thanks for popping by my place and I hope you'll be back soon

Saturday, 3 February 2018

My Sunday Photo... Creeper

Today, I thought I'd show you a few more of my visitors.
This little bird is a treecreeper.
I have never seen a treecreeper on the ground like this before... but obviously the fallen seed from the bird table was too tempting.
Once you know what you're looking for, a treecreeper is quite noticeable with his white underside.
They use their tails in a similar way to woodpeckers' as a support when climbing and they really are quite acrobatic... but with those claws I suppose it's not surprising.
Their bills are curved and sharp, for extracting insect food and seeds from crevices in tree bark.
He definitely could do with a pedicure!


I did miss a fantastic photographic opportunity today, as I drove up my lane as dusk began to fall.
A buzzard was sitting on a telegraph pole with the sun behind him. 
If only I could have stopped in the lane to take the photo, but that would have been foolish.
It'll have to be one of those tales of  'the one that got away'!
But here he is a little later, flying low over the fields looking for a meal before bedtime.

Apologies for the blurred image, but the light was fading... I'm surprised I managed to get any image in the circumstances.
Whilst I was photographing this buzzard two crows came and started to attack him... he was obviously on their patch.
But then so was someone else!
Mr Fox
At this stage our girls (hens) were still out in the folly... safe but because we didn't want Mr Fox to get too familiar with their whereabouts... we had to go out and get them into their coop. 
It was getting near to their bedtime anyway and three of them had already settled down and were comfy for the night.
We made a few unwelcome noises which made Mr Fox go elsewhere for his supper!

I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo once again.
Have fun and enjoy your Sunday.
Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again soon.

Friday, 2 February 2018

MATS Bootcamp... PPF

Here we are once again... Friday!
I've had quite a busy but fun time since we last chattered and would you believe it, I'm another year older! 
Moving on swiftly I mentioned a few posts ago that I'd enrolled on to an online art course with the brilliant Lilla Rogers over at Make Art That Sells
Each week we are given a mini assignment that leads up to the main assignment at the end of each month. The course lasts until May, so I will have masses of fun times ahead. 
The first mini assignment at the beginning of January was to draw/paint the contents of my bag, which lead nicely into the following week's main assignment... a book cover of a famous woman and what she might have in her bag?
My nominated person was Tina Fey. 
Everyone was allocated a particular woman for their birthday month. 
There were some great inspirational, powerful woman amongst the twelve options.
I knew a little about Tina beforehand, but I had to do some research to ensure I captured her personality. I can't believe I had such a good time doing research. 
Tina Fey is a very talented comic along with all her other attributes.
Here's my mock up of my completed piece.
I learnt so much whilst completing this assignment.
For a start I've never really done a portrait! 
Anyway, after much huffing and puffing plus shouting for help with Photoshop, I finally managed to enter it into the MATS (Make Art That Sells) Gallery for the month of January!
Apologies if you've already seen this painting in my Instagram feed or on Facebook, but I know there are many who don't have access to those online links and ask that I post here too.

I also decided to paint a personal birthday card this week for a family member.
I had approximately 30 minutes from start to finish in order for it to get into the post... if I wanted it to arrive on time.
Yes, I know... always last minute with me, but this time it worked out perfectly.

I was really pleased with the outcome and the recipient initially didn't realise it was hand painted!
How's that for a compliment?
I obviously work better to a very strict timetable!

My daughter when visiting possibly noted that my art supply case was overflowing and couldn't close, so as part of my birthday present she bought me this super large bag!
It's 100% linen with this gorgeous design from Danica Studio
It's also lined and what do you know?... it still has some space even with all my brushes, pencils,
pens and bits! 
This can only mean one thing... I can buy more supplies... YAY!

I'm linking up to Paint Party Friday 
Click here if you'd like to join me. 
They would love you to visit and see all the amazing artwork.
Have fun everyone and thanks for visiting.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

My Sunday Photo... Beautiful Blooms

If you're feeling like me then you'll probably be missing flowers and desperate for Spring to arrive. 
In the meantime whilst we wait... here's a beautiful bouquet that I received last week.

It's a quick post today because I'm trying desperately to revive my mobile phone, after it decided to make a spectacular dive into the toilet! 
After a night in a bed of rice everything appears to be working okay, except the touch screen, so I'm unable to use the password to open it 😞

I'm liking up with My Sunday Photo once again.
Have fun and enjoy your Sunday.
Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again soon.

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.
Mushrooms
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
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