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

Saturday, 14 April 2018

My Sunday Photo.... Sunset

It's been quite some time since we have seen a sunset.
Today was a fantastic spring day, with a cacophony of birdsong and warm sunshine... just delightful.

To top it all off we were then privileged to see this beautiful sunset.
I have to admit that I never grow tired of looking at this view.
Pure magic!

Let's hope tomorrow is just as good... or is that asking too much?
Whatever... have a great Sunday.
I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo over at Photalife
Thanks for popping by and I hope to see you again soon.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

My Sunday Photo... Breakfast Alfresco

It appears that spring has finally come out of hiding.
Who would have guessed that we could have our Sunday breakfast alfresco.
It's been such a long time since we could do this and it's been greatly missed.
The trouble is that once breakfast is over there are so many jobs to catch up on... so it'll be a busy day.
I'll be linking up (rather later than usual) with My Sunday Photo.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon.
Enjoy your Sunday

Friday, 6 April 2018

Highland Coo... PPF

This week I tried drawing with charcoal, which is something that I haven't done since my school days. It was so much fun that I'll definitely have another play soon.
As my regular arty followers know... I'm always trying to loosen my work.
I like everything to be as is and strive for perfection... which can be limiting and always makes for an ultimate let down with finished work.
Sometimes, I'm so tight I'm near to snapping, but working with charcoal was like diving into a warm calm pool totally butt naked!
Sorry getting a little carried away there, but it really was a revelation. 
I kept laughing as I become increasingly blacker! 
Smudges appearing everywhere, but slowly his Highland Coo appeared.
He/She looks quite a character don't you think?

Do you think it's a He or a She.... and what about a name... any ideas?
Have fun everyone and I'll see you again soon

Thank you Eva and Kristin for continuing to host this great inspirational link.
Click here if you'd like join me over there

Sunday, 1 April 2018

My Sunday Photo... Easter Sunday

We are still gripped by a frosty, crisp white spring up here.
I think our little feathered friends are going to be a little confused. 
I've seen activity in and around our nest boxes, but it still feels very chilly for baby birds.
I'm hoping that this might be my last wintery Sunday Photo.
One of our regular visitors who is particularly partial to meal worms!
He never ceases to make me smile. 
I hope the Easter Bunny has been good to you.
I painted this Bunny illustration for last Easter.
I hope you like him.
There's snow on them there hills... so it calls for some skiing!
I'd like to take this opportunity before I go to wish everyone a Happy Easter.
I'm linking up with the 'My Sunday Photo' over at Photalife.
Enjoy your chocolates!

Sunday, 18 March 2018

My Sunday Photo... Sparrowhawk

We have had an amazing amount and variety of wildlife visiting us during this past week, as this wintery blast clings unrelentingly. 
Day four of an Arctic wind whips through like a freight train.
The bird feeders and bird bath need daily attention and are definitely saving little feathered lives.
But with all of this activity there's a witness who is also hungry!
The Sparrowhawk
 He usually is extremely swift, swooping in on his unexpected prey... with amazing aerobic flight stunts.
Sometimes, all you see is a quick flash of grey as he zooms past on his mission... gliding just a few feet off the ground. 
The silent killer.
He's always aware of any movement especially when I grab my camera. 
Those piercing eyes miss nothing!
I desperately wanted him to turn around to show his plumage, but he just wasn't wanting to play. 
He had other more pressing things on his mind.
Thankfully, I haven't actually witnessed a kill... only the debris of scattered feathers.
I know he will be a regular visitor with such an amount of prey located in one area.
Nope still not turning around. 
He's like an owl with his swivelling head turning at least 110 degrees.
It's so unusual to have him stay for more than a few minutes.... but then off he goes towards the woods, in pursuit of more prey. 
Hopefully he'll be successful there.
... and for anyone who isn't in to birds or needing a boost of colour...
Here's some very brave crocus.
I'm off to join in My Sunday Photo linkup with Photalife.
Have a great Sunday and stay cosy if the Mini beast from the east has returned to your place.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Sketchy Faces... in more ways than one - PPF

Hello everyone... I'm here today to give you a little laugh.
As part of the Paint Party Friday linkup, I thought I'd share some of my sketches from my makeartthatsells practice assignment - Faces!
I, like many other artists grow pale at the thought of having to sketch a portrait... be it fictional or real life, but I took a deep breath and decided to jump right in and have fun with it! 
I was going to give you three guesses as to who I drew, but I think that's a little tough. 
I should give you 33 guesses and then you might actually get there.
But it was fun and I really enjoyed it.
One of the many pearls of wisedom that Lilla Rogers suggests to overcome the fear of portraits is to draw people as you watch tv. 
With that in mind, last week was a really sporty weekend in this household, so as one after another of the rugby and football matches played out on tv I sketched away.
I couldn't believe what fun this could be. 
Here's some of the results...
... I was so surprised that with each face the fear seemed to disappear a little more.
So I'm holding on to that saying "Feel the fear, but do it anyway"
Lastly, I decided that I couldn't resist sketching our lovely amazingly talented Lilla.
I hope she won't be too offended!
Have fun everyone and I'll see you again soon
I'm off to the PPF birthday party as they are seven years old this week!
Thank you Eva and Kristin for continuing to host this great inspirational link.
Click here if you'd like join me over there

Saturday, 24 February 2018

My Sunday Photo... The Greater Spotted Woodpecker

With spring on it's way (hopefully) the sound of local woodpeckers reverberats all around our garden and nearby woods. 
It really is an incredible sound!
Here's on enjoying the peanuts from one of my feeders.
About blackbird-sized and striking black-and-white. 
It has a very distinctive bouncing flight and spends most of its time clinging to tree trunks and branches, often trying to hide on the side away from the observer. 
Its presence is often announced by its loud call or by its distinctive spring 'drumming' display. 
The male has a distinctive red patch on the back of the head and young birds have a red crown.
Great spotted woodpeckers can be seen in woodlands, especially with mature broad-leaved trees, although mature conifers will support them. 
They can also be found in parks and large gardens. 
They will come to peanut feeders and bird tables. 
Not found in the far North of Scotland, although we have four woodpeckers visiting us. 
Only a handful of pairs nest in Ireland, but numbers are increasing. 
Common in England and Wales.
(courtesy of James Taft Published on Jul 6, 2008)

I'm linking up as usual with My Sunday Photo over at Photalife.com
I hope you have a wonderful weekend
Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again soon.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Tasseography...Tea Leaf Reading. PPF

Hello Everyone and Happy Friday to you all.
I've been missing in action lately on the blog front, as I just haven't seemed to find the time for blogging, favouring a quick line or two with a photo into my Instagram account instead. 
I've often thought...ooh that would be good for a blog post, but then moved on quickly to other things.
One of the things that has been keeping me busy over the last few months, has been my Bootcamp assignments from the makeartthatsells online course.
February's assignment was 'Tea'
Anyone that knows me knows I'm a huge teapot!
I drink copious amounts of tea per day, so this assignment was just my cup of tea (Aghh...sorry)
Anyway, for the main assignment it was to paint 'Tea Leaf Reading'.
Fond memories of my favourite Aunt came flooding back to me. 
My Aunt was quite a fun loving character and always up for a laugh.
Now I'm not saying that tea leaf reading isn't serious for some, but the vision of my Aunt bent over a china teacup with her face so serious, relaying someones future tickled me, but her readings were very popular.
I personally believed every single word she said.
I was probably under 10 at the time.
Here's my design... although for some reason the colours don't seem to be true.
The original is much brighter and vibrant, but I'm not sure why this is happening or what I can do to correct it.
Did you know that the art of tea leaf reading is called 'Tasseography' because I certainly didn't.
I'm linking up with the lovely artists over at the Paint Party Friday link.
Thank you ladies for hosting once again.
(This is my mock up practice ... with the help of my son)

Right... I'm off to make a cuppa with loose tea leaves.
Who knows, I may have the gift of fortune telling?
I'll have to see if I can see anything in my future.
Have a great weekend and thanks for popping in.

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.
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