Wednesday, 1 July 2020

June Favourites

...are thin on the ground. I feel as if I might even have had more in a normal year when we would have been away on holidays for half the month. The first three were all made for the occasion.

The blog header is a thistle-type plant from the Botanic Gardens, in July 2018. I didn't have very many photos from last year and had to look further back. 

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Botanic Gardens

We did well! On the heels of our quick trip to Farmleigh, and with restrictions eased so that we can now travel within our own county, we took a trip to the Botanic Gardens the following Monday.  I've been so busy ever since that I still haven't had time to edit all the photos, but here are a handful. The heavy thundershower the previous Friday hadn't done much for the peonies, but some still looked good. It was lovely to see all the bees buzzing about. There was a one-way system (with a map posted by the pedestrian entrance but NOT at the carpark, so we didn't get to see it till we were starting our second time round to get to the lily ponds. We passed on going round a third time to get to the rose garden) and the glasshouses were all closed, but it was a wonderful morning out. We saw not one but two turtles (tortoises? I'm never sure. I know turtles swim so if they're in the water that's what I call them). No dragonflies, though - I was hoping for some of those.

Sunday, 7 June 2020


Friday was our anniversary, and I had hoped that the weather would be good enough for me to cycle to Farmleigh on the way home from work, and for C to meet me there. In fact, it was light rain for most of my cycle, and heavy thundershowers after we got home, but we were lucky to enjoy a mostly sunny spell while we were there. The walled gardens, sadly, were closed; probably because it would be hard to maintain social distancing along the narrow paths. And of course we were far too late for the magnolia and the cherry blossom. But I don't remember ever seeing the catalpa in bloom before, and we were intrigued by the tetracentron sinense

Despite the fact that C had assured me that the bicycle would fit in the back of the car, it didn't - or at least, not without taking the wheel off. I can't say I was surprised, but he was!

In fact, I put almost all the photos here but there are a handful more in a Google Photos album HERE

Monday, 1 June 2020

May Favourites

Not very many - between work, feeling tired, and plenty of sunny weather, card-making inspiration wasn't flowing.

This month's header is from Lac d'Estaing in the Pyrenees last summer. So many photos to choose from, it was hard. 

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Summer in the Park

Yesterday we went for our first walk in the park since lockdown - it's within the 5km radius, it was a beautiful day, it's a holiday weekend and C had been up to his eyes in work last week so he needed a total break (as much as possible in current circumstances) from the house.
It was beautiful. Very warm... The deer were all lying down in a huddle, which I would have thought would make them warmer, but maybe there was some cooling effect. It was cute seeing the budding antlers. Across the grassland we could see swallows and we are fairly certain we saw skylarks, too. 

Many of the ducks by the pond were also too lethargic to do anything other than sleep in the sun - mallards, and a Muscovy duck. 

But round the side of the pond as we walked back towards the car, there were a couple of adult coots and some very scrawny looking chicks rustling their way through the lily pads. The adults were constantly calling - I wondered if it was so that the chicks could locate them in the dense growth. A totally different bird soundscape here to the open grassland. 

And down by the lower lake in the woodland area, it was cool and shady and a third, different bird soundscape.

I hope it's possible to click on these photos - I was trying the new version of Blogger which will become the default in June. 

Friday, 1 May 2020

April Favourites

Despite feeling a major lack of mojo, April was a good month on the card front!

The header is some wild irises growing along the canal bank, one of the very few photos I took last May.

 There was a challenge to be inspired by the work of Mary Delaney. I have always loved her botanicals against a black background. When I received this lovely wrapping paper on a birthday gift (a design from the V& A collection, by William Kilburn  it wasn't hard to decide what to use for my card.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Using those pours...

Back in March I shared photos of the acrylic pours I made over the St. Patrick's Day extended holiday weekend. Ever since, I've been pondering how to turn them into something.

In a way, the small canvas was easy - it didn't need much. The other two were harder. Between Lorraine's comment that one reminded her of Monet, and the fact that C had to shop my stash for a birthday card for me and gave me one with a  mouse and waterlily image on, that helped inspire the first one. And I love it so much that maybe I'll keep it for another few years and it can be a birthday card down the road.

All along they had made me think of water, and I'd tried a couple of ideas like the dolphin edger die, but nothing was coming together. Then I was cutting up some wrapping paper that came with a gift from my sister, to make a different card altogether. And I thought that some of the softer, more frondy pieces would make good seaweed, so I cut some of them out too, and added an octopus into the scene and that gave me a second card.

It still leaves another mini canvas and 6" square for another day; probably another 5-week gestation at least, give the difficulties I had using these. The octopus is a bit deeper orange, but he has clear embossing powder to it was hard to photograph.