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

Friday, 26 August 2016

In Denial... PPF

I've been out and about quite a bit this week, so you are probably going to know what comes next... 
... unfortunately, I haven't a new piece of artwork to show you today.
Sorry. 
Because I'm in serious denial that autumn is waiting in the wings, I thought I'd show you my watercolour autumn leaf.
I've heard the robin twittering away (which is a very autumnal sound) and even witnessed the odd leaf drifting down from the trees, so this painting come to mind.
Surely it can't be autumn coming to call already?
I still don't feel we've had enough warmth to last us thorough until spring arrives.
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. 
Albert Camus
When I took this photograph for PPF today, I was shocked to see I painted it in 2014!
I really enjoyed painting the leaf and liked the results, so I decided to frame it in a simple white frame. 
I love these frames. 
This is where it usually sits... on top of a chest of drawers. 
The white teddy bear is called 'Bobby' and he's my daughter's. 
He lives with us... in her words..."to keep him safe" and 'Arthur' is a one off Bohemian Teddy by Amy Young.
The riding hat is mine, but it hasn't had an airing for quite some time. 
If you'd like to see more artwork then click here to visit the Paint Party Friday link.
Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting once again.

I've been steeped in history over the last week, visiting two castles and last night we went to 
His Majesty's Theatre in the centre of Aberdeen.
His Majesty's Theatre is a distinguished venue boasting one of the most beautiful and spectacular auditoriums in the UK.
The theatre was designed by eminent theatre arcitect Frank Matcham and opened in 1906.
The theatre is a prominent part of the Aberdeen skyline, with the Sir William Wallace monument opposite the main entrance. 
(William Wallace was a Scottish landowner who became one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence).
102962_2_12_IMG_23_0000_zpsb0791494
(above photograph courtesy of Venues - Aberdeen)

We've seen many performances in this beautiful theatre over the years.
From Pantomimes to Ballet's.
Last night we watched the musical 'Made in Dagenham'.
The musical was inspired by the film of the same name.
It's a stunning building.
Apologies for the poor quality of the photographs, but obviously it's difficult to take a good photo in the atmospheric dim lighting. 
I love going to the theatre don't you?
What was the last show you went to see?
I'd love to know.
So that's it for this week folks... I really will try to produce more artwork for next week. 
In the meantime, have fun. be creative and have a wonderful weekend.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

My Sunday Photo... Lovin' the Lavender

In my Friday post I featured the Agapanthusso to keep the balance I need to mention the lavender plants that share the same border. 
When we last lived here, there were lots of lavender plants in this particular border, but they had become woody, so I decided to plant new ones to replace them. 
I must have planted over 25 new plants, which as you can see has thrilled not only me, but also the visiting bees. 
My hubby (a potential future bee keeper) has been keeping a close eye and counting them after hearing the buzzing whilst gardening. 
(I know... but he's newly retired so there's time for such activities... at least he hasn't created a spreadsheet... well not yet as far as I know).
The highest number he has counted so far, at one particular count reached 16!
I'm happy that the bees are happy... plus the wonderful lavender aroma if you happen to touch them as you walk past, is enough to knock your socks off!




As usual I'm linking up with Photalife

I'd just like to take a moment to thank everyone who takes the time to visit my place, especially if you leave a comment. 
I really appreciate it. 
I hope you have a wonderful weekend... whether you are busy as a bee or lounging among the lavender.
Enjoy

Friday, 19 August 2016

Agapanthus... PPF and Sunday Sketches

I'm happy to report that we had summer come calling this week...well for three days!
It was beautiful to feel the sun's warmth at last.
Oh my, I've missed it so much... anyway here we are, Friday already.
It's been a mixed bag this week of lounging in the sun to make the most of it, visiting castles, balancing up ladders to clean windows and pulling various plants out of guttering which seems to have grown like a triffid. 
But I did manage to do some of my art project and a quick painting of the beautiful Agapanthus that we have growing in our garden.
I think I'm quite besotted with their colour and I'm also so surprised that I've actually got them growing here in Aberdeenshire! 
I used to have them in my Melbourne garden, but didn't for one minute imagine that they'd grow here.
As you can see it's unfinished work once again.
I've slightly lost the plot here peeps, because hubby has just walked in after shopping and produced art supplies for me! 
Brushes, canvases and 34 piece Acrylic paint set.
No, it's not Christmas because I checked... nor my birthday... so do you think he's possibly guilty of something?
 I'm not sure of the quality of the supplies until I have a closer look, but hey I was taught never look a gift horse in the mouth!
(I have no idea where or what that saying means, but you'll get the gist)
So I'm away to play.
Have a wonderful weekend.

It's time to join the Paint Party link up where Kristin and Eva host lots of talented artists to come together to share their work and inspiration.
I'm also linking up for week 4 (can you believe it) of Alexandra's Sunday Sketches from the UK.

Have fun and thanks for visiting my place.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

A day trip to Fyvie Castle

It's been quite some time since we had a trip out, so I'm hoping you are free and up for it!
How about a trip to another Castle?
A 800 year old castle in fact... Fyvie Castle.
Shall we go in?
(The castle lies off the A947 just 8 miles SE of Turriff and 25 miles north west of Aberdeen).
It's a stunning historical treasure that has been beautifully looked after and now is a Scottish National Trust property. 
It really is an amazing place.
So much so in fact, that it has just achieved a five star rating from VisitScotland. 
This year the castle is celebrating it's 30th year of a visitors attraction, so it's a great time to visit.
As you can see the weather was spectacular (at last).
There wasn't a cloud in the sky and there was actual warmth in the sunlight.
How stunning is that? 
Tradition claims that the castle’s five successive families – Preston, Meldrum, Seton, Gordon and Forbes-Leith – each added a tower to this magnificent Scottish Baronial fortress.
I love the saltire (Scottish flag) flying against the glorious clear blue sky.
Shall we go inside...?
Unfortunately, as is the norm for a National Trust property, I was unable to take photo's inside, but let me tell you there is so much to see, that if you ever have the chance to visit I highly recommend that you do. 
You can also follow on their Instagram account #fyviecastle 
They post lots of interesting photo's and facts for your delight. 
Also if you want to know more about the castle, history and it's contents then click here
I couldn't possibly do it justice from my little knowledge.
As is our wont on such occasions, we 'had' to sample their afternoon tea... accompanied with millionaire shortbread. 
All enjoyed alfresco of course!
The 18th-century walled garden has recently been redeveloped as a garden of Scottish fruits and vegetables. This veggie garden is something I aspire to for my own plot... well I can wish!
We came across this incredible tree that must be so old.
Imagine what changes it has seen over the centuries. 
To finish our visit we wandered around Fyvie Loch, which was created by the 18th- century owners. Previously there had been marshland protecting the castle.
. This picturesque landscape feature now covers a large part of the estate’s 49 hectares and supports large numbers of wildfowl.
These cuties came waddling up to us obviously thinking we might have a few crumbs for them. 
I have lots more photo's, but I feel that this is probably enough for today. 
There's 
Once again here's a link if you'd like to know more about Fyvie Castle.

I'm linking up with the following...

Have a great day and thanks for visiting my place.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

My Sunday Photo... Toasting Tootsies


Today, it felt like it was the first day of the summer.
For the first time I could actually feel heat in the sun, so we decided to make the most of it. 
Out came the sun loungers... a very rare thing this summer. 
We decided to relax and enjoy it. 
It's a good job we did because within an hour or two the rain had returned!
I think we can safely say that this summer has been a complete wash out... well so far it has, but you never know we might have an Indian Summer. 
(I'm forever hopeful)
I'm keeping today's post brief... just in case the sun comes back... I've got to be ready to catch it! 

As usual I'm linking up with Photalife
I hope the sun shines for you.
Enjoy your Sunday 

Friday, 12 August 2016

Lion Dog... PPF and Sunday Sketches

How on earth can it be Friday? 
I'm sure there are three Friday's in one week or at least that's what it seems.

Once again I am having a play and experimenting with my art.
I really think if only I could just settle into a certain style or meme.
(I am involved in a project that I hope to share at some stage with you all, but for now I can't post about it). 
So I decided to play yesterday and what better than to play with Muffin! 
She had been having such fun in the garden during the afternoon and had me in stitches especially when she decided to gruff and talk to me. 
Thankfully, she's never been one for barking, but on occasions she does.
The trouble was that when she started the sound echoed around our garden and she suddenly became aware of another dog barking! 
Or that's what she thought. 
But it was in fact her echo... it was hilarious!
This photo was taken a little while ago when the sun was actually shining.
We have had rain every day for over a week now. 
Heaven knows where our summer has gone.

Anyway... back to art. 
I thought I'd try once again to draw Muffin. 
I've tried before without success... so don't laugh... here yet another attempt.
I decided to use black paper and Derwent Inktense Pencils.
She is what I would normally describe as a blonde dog, but that's okay for me to say because I'm also blonde, but today she showed a rather cunning side to her character.
I've mentioned before that we have doves appear each day and on occasion she has been known to dash out of the door at full pelt and chase them. 
Never getting near, so I've never been worried about the doves welfare... but today was different.
Here's a YouTube video that my son took. 

Now I know why they are called 'Lion Dogs' 
Where did she learn to stalk! 

And lastly, I hope you don't mind if I indulge in a little parental pride and show you my daughter's latest venture. 
She has created posters and flyers for the 'Plague of Idiots' who are performing shows in this years Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 
The lettering has been hand drawn.
If you are in Edinburgh and want to see a great show then nip along and see the Plague of Idiots... you'll not be disappointed! 
Once again, I'll hopefully be linking up with Kristin and Eva over at Paint Party Friday if I'm not too late. Thanks ladies for hosting such an inspirational link.
I'm also linking up for week 3 of Alexandra's Sunday Sketches from the UK. 

Alexandra has moved over from the US to England for a temporary period and she wanted her link to Sunday Sketches to reflect that it is being hosted from England.
She had a competition to design a logo to reflect the move and I'm thrilled to say she picked my design. 

Please tap on the logo in my side bar to nip across to see lots of Alexandra's brilliant illustration work, but also lots of other artists work too.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone 
Hope to see you again soon

Sunday, 7 August 2016

My Photo... River Dee

Today was like a game of football... a game of two halves.
In the morning we had glorious warm temperatures, but by early evening it was back to grey rainy weather. 
It was the kind of day that reminded me of my time when I lived abroad.
Outside of the house would be warmer than the inside.
Thankfully I captured images of the better half of the day. 
I had just taken my newly retired hubby back to school... cookery school that is.
The cookery class was part of a birthday gift and thankfully he loved the idea. 
He even had ideas of grandeur.... commenting that he could be the next Paul Hollywood!
All he hoped was that by the end of the day he didn't have a soggy bottom!
(that's a Great British Bake Off reference by the way, just in case you are wondering what on earth I'm referring to)
After I finally got my laughing under control, I was ready to do the school run! 

 As I  passed the River Dee I just had to stop the car in order to take a few photos. 
It looked so beautiful.
In the photo below you can see the Bridge of Dee which is one of the oldest bridges in Scotland. 
The Bridge of Dee or Brig o'Dee is a road bridge over the River Dee and dates back to 1527.
If you look closely in the centre of the photo above, you can see a fly fisherman.
He is casting his fly for salmon. 
The River Dee is renowned as one of the great salmon rivers of the world.
I can't help thinking that even though it was a beautiful warm morning... it would be pretty cold standing waist deep in the river.
The pink flowers looked incredibly like orchids but I'm not sure.
I'll have to go back and take some detailed shots of them.
The cooking class was a huge success by the way.
He even managed to save a sample of one of the dishes out of the three he'd made and brought it home for us to sample.
He ate the other two, plus samples of the chef's work!

I dread it now that he'll probably be so fired up... he'll no doubt start to preach about not using jar's for sauces anymore! 
I may have created something I may later live to regret!

So that's it for today folks. 
I'm linking up with Photoalife once more.

Just before I go I'd like to link up with  Mersad over at Through my lens over in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has lots of great photographers link up, so if you'd like to see more then please just click on the link above.
Also Wordless (on Tuesday at image-in-ing) 

image-in-ing
... and
Our World Tuesday Graphic
Have a wonderful week and thanks for popping into my place.
I hope to see you again soon.
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