Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

22/09/2017

Friday's ramblings

It is a bit fresh this morning. My toes are cold despite a bit of sock wearing activity going on, but that is normal for me. It is a beautiful day. The sky is so clear and blue -  a brittle autumnal blue.

Time recently has seemed to have been so full that suddenly it is a week and all those posts, those snippets, those photographs that I planned to chat about or share are now almost redundant. The story lost or faded, superseded by others.

I am loving my space in the studio (still practising saying that), the light and the freedom to spread out, leave paintings to dry, to experiment with colours, to listen to music or the silence, the ability to watch birds and the occasional squirrel pop down to the bird feeder - all such an amazing joy and pleasure.

The dog spends as much time there as I, she has her own 'space' where she sleeps. Sometimes she follows the patch of sun and she has already learnt where a secret stash of her dog biscuits are kept. The cats visit less often, however, they too seem to enjoy popping in and snacking on the essential bowl of cat munchies kept for such occasions.

Already today - I had visitors pop in before 9am, friends who come to see what is happening, then stay for a chat.
Now, best stop waffling, I want to get on with my day :) 
It's been lovely chatting with you. 
So - how've you been? 
Had a good week? Hope so.  
And plans for the weekend? Anything interesting happening?

We've got a birthday afternoon tea planned for Sunday afternoon -
here's to a sunny day!

19/09/2017

Tuesday's chatter

Thank you everyone who was so kind and didn't laugh at my 'oops-a-daisy' moment - it was also interesting how many of you have had a similar idiotic mishap or knew folk who'd also suffered a balance malfunction. It makes us all human! My bruises are changing colour now, they have evolved from the initial bright blue to shades of autumnal yellows and purple  :)

Talking of autumn, today there is definitely a nip of frost in the air, the top of the glasshouse twinkled in tiny frosty crystals.

I am in two minds about autumn.

I am not a cool/cold weather person although I have over the years learnt first to live through it, then accept it and now, strangely anticipate winter.

I did wonder if, in particular this year, because summer has not been particularly brilliant, the slide in to autumn was a gentle one of resignation rather than a crashing out of warm days into cooler ones. This morning's frosty start is a definite reminder that the seasons are turning.

I will be off to my studio shortly - I am loving having a space that is mine to create and 'be'. 
I have started meditating seriously recently too - it certainly helps with the mindset. Before I had the studio I would sit silently in the house....  until the cats found me, or the dog would wonder what I was doing or phone rang or the washing machine trundled to a halt, the distractions were just that ... distracting.

But now, in the studio in my garden,
I can quietly empty my chit-chattery head
breathe
relax
and then start the day!



Right, before even that can happen, I shall put on the kettle.

Have yourselves a lovely day xxxx

15/09/2017

knock knock on wood....

I am still here, still busy, still chasing my tail!

As I type this I ache - yesterday I was up in the walled garden and due to my own slapstickery - I ended up hurting myself.

If you promise not to laugh (shush - I can hear you sniggering already!) I shall tell you what happened.  Firstly, an empty compost  bay, a hammer and a stake were involved -Stop it! I can hear you chortling into your coffee - pack it in!
Well, let me begin from the beginning - I wanted to turn the bays before the end of the season so they could quietly compost over winter and by spring they would be all yummy and ready for the garden.

I had already started this puff-inducing-arm-stretching-and-wrist-wrapping-action the week before so there were the final two to do. I opened the front gates and started.

After the first ten minutes or so, off came the first fleece, then a bit later, well not much, the scarf was flung aside, quickly followed by a jersey ... all that was missing was a bit of stripper music.

Eventually the bay was empty, all compost moved and layered with nicely rotted (and rather smelly) straw.  I stepped back and took a breath - I certainly will need a shower by the end of the day - now to start the next bay.

Another rather puff-inducing bit of action occurred and finally finally finally I reached the bottom of the compost bay - I could hear my coffee and sandwich calling to me and I was ready to answer them. In my haste to close up the empty bay I pulled up the pallet gate and found that because it was empty, it fell into the bay. So I collected three stakes and a hammer. The first stake went in smoothly, as did the second.

I reached for the third as it fell into the bay. No problem. I lent forward, 
over the pallet....
to reach the stake....
which was going to support the pallet...
 the unsupported pallet. 
The one I lent on.

In slow motion, the hammer, the pallet and I (cue more music except Swan Lake this time) fell forward, as one joyful synchronised unit into the compost bay.

My head hit the far side, clunking against each slat of wood (think thud..thud..thud..thud in quick succession) and I landed, with my left arm UNDER the pallet and the rest of me on TOP of the same.

For a moment I was relieved I was on my own - no one would have witnessed this act of buffoonery but then I realised I could not move!

So, with my free-and-waving-around-in-the-air-right-arm, I hauled myself up against the pallet at the back so I could get my left arm out - it was then I realised I was still holding onto the hammer.

Now, I limp - both legs, my left hand has a strange bruise, left wrist achy, tender right shoulder, right wrist and bruised ribs. A tender spot on my head and stiff neck.

And a silly grin on my face - why? coz I was an idiot but I got away it....just about.. duh...


07/09/2017

Have you 'felt' the magic recently?

So,
what do you when you have 100 and 1 things to do?
Do you start on your list....?
Do you finish what you have left half done
 on the dining-room table/desk/summerhouse/kitchen?
Do you finish tidying up?

Nope - don't be silly!

You rediscover lost things - like a bag of fleece tops and a felting needle 
and you sit down with a large mug of tea and make....
First a toadstool 
then swiftly followed by
 a red haired fairy in your favourite colours - well, 
that is what I would do, 
if I were you!
Then find you have made a fairy with attitude
and she turns her back on you!
Nice one :)

Have you ever suddenly been taken by the magic
and created something out of the blue?


05/09/2017

A big sky - still staying wild

Growing up in Africa has had a definite stamp on me. I am sure I see and feel differently to those who grew up in the UK.  The thing that I miss the most (apart from the warmth, the space, the far distant horizons) is the feeling of being beneath a big sky.
Our lives here in the village means that when I look out of the window all I can see is a jumble of cottage rooves or trees with just a small precious glimpse of sky. Our garden is surrounded by neighbouring trees. Now don't get me wrong - trees are incredible beings and essential and I would wish them no harm (except may be harbouring dark thoughts about leylandii cypress .....) but they are such large creatures and all they have to do is spread their arms and they scoop up the sky.
So - when I volunteer up at the walled garden, I make sure get my fill of blue. I eat the sky with my eyes, staring at the most perfect shades of cerulean. Deep eye watering indigo on stormy days, cobalt in summer punctuated with screaming swallows or cawing ravens. The cool silver grey of an evening and the light translucent china blue of an early morning. I love the endlessness and beauty of it all.
I love the curtains of rain as they drift across the distant hills, hiding the view behind a shower.  Huge rolls of mist that tumble off the tarn and quietly flow across the fields in autumn are something to see. Most days do have some form of cloud, ranging from wispy dreamy bits of nothing to huge tempestuous and thunderous beasts.
I have been privileged enough to see a female  kestrel bomb down 'out of the blue' and take a wood pigeon at an explosive speed then toss the unfortunate feathered lunch across to her large youngster who then caught it and dashed to the ground to eat.
I have been surrounded by swallows and barn swifts, who swoop low into the walled garden and barely by a whisker skim past my head before returning at speed back up into the endless blue.
I mean - what a view from my 'office window' !!

#staywild

04/09/2017

Word up!

Hello everyone!

Well, if that was the weekend, I've eaten it whole and could easily munch on a few days more! Never mind :)

What a lovely lot of photos and stories you shared last week and I think we are generally a cat loving lot (with the occasional dog) and I found it difficult to choose any definite favourite and I suspect, by reading comments, you did too. I was so proud of you with 'Tangerine' which you all tackled with such variety and ingenuity - well done!

Susan from Granny Smith's Quilting produced an interesting lot, I particularly like her slinky bridge but my favourite was her 'Iron Lace'.  Doodles 'n' dreams shared some lovely images, my favourite was a black and white photo of her 'little Mother' - precious memories.

Sharon from sunshine and celandines had a lovely happy sunshiny set of photos, again Tangerine was a clever one! Her photo of 'letters' made me smile as did 'Whiskery', thanks Shazza for joining in.

Welcome to Sandra Ann of Multicoloured Madness, welcome, glad you joined us. You shared some lovely pictures, a happy cat photo (who looks just like my dear nutty Pepper) and a beautiful lace knitted shawl - makes me think I should get knitting again.  Julie - Julie's Scrapbook was very clever with 'Tangerine' - made me smile and I loved her solitaire board for 'M'.

Lovely Lady shared two photos of a mackerel cat, with 'Micky' taking a staring role for both 'Relaxed' and 'M'. However, Boris (you will have to go and check who he is) certainly topped the bill.  Fiona - Made in a Muddle - shared excellent stories and photos - how many of you nearly fell over when you read about her 'Time for ...LUNCH'? I certainly wouldn't return to that establishment either!

Jak from Jak's Tales produced ...more cat photos! As well as a moldy tale with a happy ending - my poor gran's handbag :)  J from Simple Natural Handmade created her trademark photo montage and she struck a cord with me - she and I don't do lace!

Louise, from Ramblings of a Roachling shared a goodly selection of photos and her 'whiskery' vapourer moth caterpillar was brilliant. Welcome to our photo hunt Louise! Rosie, another newby, from Corners of my Mind, joined us for the first time in August. Her sleeping stag was brilliant and she too has a mackerel cat - excellent!

Fil of Fil's Songs and Stories posted a lovely selection of stories and images, her mum on her 90th birthday, a 'borrowed' cat, a clever find for 'Tangerine' and a photo of the cutest little caravan :) just needs her personal touch and it will be perfect for her musical life on the road.

Finally Kezzie from KezzieAG gave us a lovely post with her pictures and stories, her little mouse photos was sweet and guess what? Another delightful mackerel tabby kitten taking a staring role!

Thank you EVERYONE, it has been great fun.  
SO... are you ready for the  next list, 
the next challenge, 
the next deadline? 
Good - here they are!


A photograph inspired by a word, 
words inspired by the photograph.  
Remember to think laterally and interpret at you fancy, 
be it a current photo or one from your archives - Enjoy!
  1. shut
  2. copper
  3. wrist
  4. quarter
  5. It starts with an ... C
  6. foam
  7. scarf
  8. line
  9. nostalgic
  10. My own choice
I will do a gentle reminder in a week or two and if you have any queries just leave a comment :)

We will reconvene, share and show our photos as from Friday 29th September. All you need to do is add your name to the link up party and then we can all pop in and comment :) 

31/08/2017

August Photo Challenge Link up Party!

If you have joined in with my

Scavenger hunt, please link

with me on your blog :)



Please add your name to the

link up tool below,

just follow the easy instructions,


don't worry - if I can do it so can you!



Please just add your Name or Blog Name in the 'Link Title',

Now, let the Link-up Party begin!

Don't forget to leave a comment when you visit :)





August's Scavenger Photo Challenge


Welcome to August's Scavenger Photo Challenge.

Can I let you into a little secret? I only completed my list of pictures yesterday! I have been silly busy and suddenly it was a couple of days to go and I'd still not got myself sorted, so this set have been a little rushed :)

Right, breathe! Enjoy!

Relaxed
Pepper asleep on the 'catwalk' on one of our few sunny days. She was so warm and relaxed.

It begins with an M...
Photo taken on Sunday when we walked in the Dales. 
We had stopped for lunch in a little wildflower meadow and enjoyed our sandwiches and coffee. 
We didn't stay too long as it was not a particularly warm afternoon.


Time for ...
Same walk, and as you can see, we are all a little wrapped up.
What do you mean you can't see me?
Oh, sorry, well you will have to believe me when I say, 
I was wearing a hat and scarf and wishing I'd brought a warmer coat!

Tangerine
Sorry about this one - had complaints that it was too hard! But, if the words were too easy then it would not be a photo challenge!

If it is any consolation, I only discovered that the nasturtiums in my garden were the right colour a day or two ago! .... Tangerine is also fruit, so named after the place it came from ...Tangiers in Morocco. The colour is defined as a fiery orange red, which is probably why these nasturtiums are called 'Whirlybird -Tangerine'

It begins with an O...
Sunday again. Beautiful big sky with glorious cloud formations.

Whiskery
Whilst snapping the nasturtiums, I saw these - whiskery word boshed!

Lace
The shadow thrown by the curtain in my room.
It has a crochet lace edging - perfect.

Bridge
Yup, Sunday again, this time doing 
the 'Abbey Road'  thing - my fab four :)

Letters
I have a small wooden box filled with little rubber stamps. 
I bought them a while ago hoping to stamp the back of my work.
They were not as successful as I'd planned, so now they sit quietly on my desk.
They will be useful someday, but not just at the moment.

My own choice

Did I make you smile?
Did I make you chortle?
Then my task is done and...


Now off to see what you lovely lot have got up to!

Don't forget to add your name to the link up
and visit the other blogs, we all love comments
see you soon :) xxxxxx

28/08/2017

A recipe - because you asked :)

Lunch Loaves.

A mainstay of a good weekend,
feed the hungry workmen
so they will keep working!
For everyone who asked about the recipe,
here it is....
It comes from my favourite bread book,

10g yeast
500gm strong bread flour
10gm salt
350gm(ml) water (I warm it very slightly)
Mix together in a bowl,
it makes a very 'wet' dough.
Once upon a time,
I would kneed the soft and sloppy stuff,
by hand,
in the strange, stretching way
as instructed by Bertinet.
But now, I just chuck the four ingredients
into the bread maker,
put it on the dough setting
and walk away for just over an hour.
Then when it has risen
and the kitchen is filled with
the heady scent of yeast
and rising dough...
Which,
after I have generously 
dusted flour on to a grease proof paper....
then tip out a gloopy,
stretchy,
scented
and warm dough.
Then with floury hands (very floury hands)
gently but firmly
spread the dough outwards
to make a roughly rectangular shape.
Open a jar of basil pesto,
inhale.
Deeply.
Grate cheese,
generous quantities.
Whistle while you grate.... **
Slather the dough with pesto,
Cover 2/3 thirds of the pesto
with the grated cheese. 
Re-flour your hands, regularly...
and flap the long ends of the dough
over into thirds.
I use the grease proofed paper to help.
Reach for your kitchen scissors,
or any clean scissors,
and cut your dough roll
into four.
Pinch one end of each quarter closed.
Tip each one on to the sealed end. 
The dough gently slumps
into a delicious fat roll.
Sprinkle on a little paprika...
Put into a hot oven (200 deg c)
and step away for 20 minutes and do a little washing up.
Alternatively go back out and carry on 
working on what ever project you are busy with. 
I was painting door edges.
Then, having checked,
tapped the dough 
and listened for that wonderful
hollow thud of confirmation
that your lunch loaves are cooked. 
Take to the aforementioned workers,
with a pot of coffee
and scoff
the lot
with lashings of finger licking
and lip smacking.

Yum.

I am, still, silly busy.
I've not been visiting blogs
as much as I would like to 
or commenting on those I have,
so I apologise - normal service will eventually return.
I hope.

** why whistling when grating cheese? Well, my sister in law, when a small girl, would have to whistle when she was grating - to prevent her nibbling the spoils!

21/08/2017

Well, what's been happening?

I know I have been a little quiet on the blogging front, I promise that I am still around - it just seems that we seemed to have been somewhat busier at the moment and certain things have sort of fallen to the wayside.

However, we all took a day off yesterday, 
to breathe and walk and it felt good. 
Seems a long time that all four of us and Moss had time out together.
We did about 10 miles (13.6km) in the afternoon - suffice to say, I am tired today!
Moss who probably did double and Youngest who seemed to lollop around as much as she did,
both morphed into semi-comatose lumps last night, moving only to eat and then go to bed.

Why are we so busy?
Well, we are still working on the summerhouse studio (still makes me smile when I say that)
Not fully completed, 
we need to finish insulating the roof,
board the walls,
board out the ceiling,
lay some sort of warm but tough flooring.
But - I have lights,
it is warm already.
The windows are in - my favourite being the one we call...
'The frog pond' window - a double sized pane of glass down to floor level.
Most of the exterior has been painted, just a few bits remain - the weather kept beating us to it.
I've got back into baking bread - the boys requested cheese and basil lunch loaves,
seemed silly to deny them seeing they are building my studio for me :)
Painting stock for October is still happening
but not nearly as much as I would like,
need to 'get to it'. 
And, in the midst of all this busy-ness
a friend of mine has recently started leading guided meditation classes,
they are just what I need.
An hour and half of kind and gentle 'nothing'
where my brain tries to switch off (however, not always successfully!) 
Plans, organising and interviews with artists
for our October Art Trail are on-going.
I still waiver from uber excited to positively terrified!
But we are getting there....
the only way is forward!
 
I even have an 'official' event advert for my part of the Open Trail.
So you see, I've been a bit busy...


And you can always find me here,
have a happy week xxx