Saturday, 31 March 2012

Papillon the Pig on Parade

Back in February Lorraine had a fun idea for celebrating her blogoversary and soon after that one pig flew in to Dublin.

I've never tried anything more complex than decorating simple shapes like boxes, so this was something of a learning curve for me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Wings were optional but as Lorraine celebrates National Pig Day each year with Flying Pigs, they were to be preferred.

I'd bought some Decopatch tissue paper thinking I could use that, but it didn't take long to realise that this would be easy with a box but NOT with a pig. So back to the drawing board - and the gesso.

After three coats of gesso I used some blue and green distress inks and sponged the body to be like grass and the sky. Still thinking about what to do with the face

Then I stamped foliage all over using Versafine green ink. I added Liquid Pearls in red and gold Stickles for flowers. By this stage I was thinking of using some sort of butterfly for my main wings, so I also added some little butterfly stickers.

I tried several different types of butterflies for the wings - punched, stamped - and in the end, this one, the only large one left from a pack I bought about 8 - or more - years ago. I decided to sponge the face with pink, and used punches to create eyes. I thought she needed something around her neck, so I used some Mizuhiki cord threaded through a little clasp. This had the advantage that I could knot the cord in the back of the clasp and not have the knot show.

Then C suggested that she should really have a ring in her nose: no old brack rings in my cake-decorating box, any curtain rings I could find were too big, but a little gold hoop earring was just about perfect. And I remembered to curl her eyelashes up a bit for her final photo shoot.

I want to post while it's still Saturday the 31st in GMT, because like me Papillon likes to be punctual; but later on all the pigs should be parading over at Paper Vernissage.
Thank you, Lorraine, for giving me the opportunity to participate in this.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

A Bunch of Birds

Various photos from the last week or so...
I'm not sure whether mallards use their feathers for nest lining, or whether this pair had just been fighting. If so, the one missing all the feathers certainly seemed to be the dominant of the two drakes, who were snoozing contentedly on the bank along with a female, until I walked along the path past them.

Mandarin drake




I had a large heavy lens on my camera when I took this (from moon shots the previous night) so it's not as sharp as I'd like. But since this particular female robin calls to be fed from all over the place - next door, up in the trees, on the shed roof - I was happy to get any photo at all.

Monday, 26 March 2012


I tried posting this last night,but the internet was acting up all over the place. Yesterday (and today) we've had glorious sunshine weather - it's so warm it's hard to believe that it's only March. This would be good weather for July, even. Yesterday I spent part of the afternoon taking most of the compost out of the compost bin, which was coming apart at one of the joints. After removing a fair amount I was able to get the front panel back properly, and spread a lot it along the borders. I think that the mild winter must have made a big difference, because almost all of it was good compost, and I've never in my life seen so many worms in one place before.
The fine weather has resulted in clear (and cold) nights, so last night I was trying to capture the crescent moon. It was a bit hard from the back garden, but there'd have been a lot more light pollution out in the front. I was trying to capture the two planets that are near the moon just now, but one of them was just too high to frame in the picture with any success.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Spring Sunshine

Today was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. I considered going to the Botanic Gardens, but C was heading out on a motorbike run and in the middle of putting the screen back on his bike, a job that sometimes takes two. And by the time he was gone, I know it would have been hard to get parking. So I just went for another walk along the canal, and picked up some chicken carcasses that the butcher had put aside for me on the way back home again. I passed a cat enjoying the warmth of the sun; as soon as I stopped to take a photo he came over, but he was soon happy to lie back down and continue his sunbathing.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Spring is Springing

I had some rather disheartening news in the post yesterday, so in the afternoon I went for a walk along the canal and had a wonderful time listening to all the birds singing their hearts out, and seeing the signs of Spring. And this morning I had time to go for a good walk in the park after doing the shopping.

I've been noticing the chestnuts greening up nicely as I walk to the local shops, but this is the finest I've seen yet.

Front of Farmleigh, with cherry trees.


Good grief - a tree peony on its way already!!

Love the acid green with the tulip

As soon as I stepped through the gate into the walled garden I could smell the viburnums. It's a shame there's not yet a way of sharing scent - at least video allows for sound.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

In a break from my usual photo of St. Patrick's Tower on Thomas Street I snapped a few photos the other day, but more computer problems meant I didn't get to schedule this post.

Saints, hermits, whatever...this morning I made Hermits for our morning coffee. I normally make the bar cookie version for convenience, but I didn't want that large an amount, so this time round I made the drop cookies.

Hermits - makes 30

1/2 cup  butter beaten till soft.
Beat in 1 cup soft brown sugar and beat till light.
Add 1 egg and 1/2 cup sour milk.
Sift and add 1 1/3 cups flour with 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp soda.
Stir in 1/2 cup chopped raisins, 1/4 cup chopped nuts and (optional) 1/4 cup desiccated coconut.
Drop onto prepared trays and cook for 12-15 minutes at 375F, 160C.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

What a Troll Might Wear...

I was walking in to work yesterday and was intrigued to see a washing-line hanging from the Rory O'More Bridge (or the "blue bridge" as one of the guys in work described it, when I was asking him had he spotted it). It must have been some art installation somebody put up - probably unofficially as it was gone by the time I went home at lunchtime. I have no idea whether the perpretrator knew that this is the bridge with the Troll Below sign stencilled on it, but I did, and it gave rise to some amusing possibilities in my mind.

And from a Saturday morning walk to the shopping centre. The birds all over are busy nesting. When I went to the opticians about ten days ago, I stopped to watch a starling in a tree. He was moving so awkwardly that I wondered if he had a broken wing, but he was just having difficulty manoeuvring in a very bushy tree with a large twig in his beak.(This magpie was in the neighbourhood, and while he wasn't having as much trouble as the starling, he still dropped his twig once while I was watching).

Still have to find a header photo for March. With my PC out of order, that means connecting my back-up so that I can choose a photo from last year; as the old retired computer that has come back into temporary service is so slow, I've been putting it off. I crashed the PC last night trying to edit these photos, and just had to slow down and open only one a time this evening.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Round town

Last Friday I had to meet C at work so we could head up North for a concert. I was working, so I walked into town, grabbed a bite to eat and then walked across to his office. Some lovely signs of Spring around - cherry blossom by the Huguenot Cemetery, daffodils in the park.


I don't recall paying attention to these two carvings in the wall of one of the buildings on College Green before. The first one is obviously the coat of arms for Dublin, but I'm less sure of the one with the sword in one quarter is.

The last two photos were taken along Baggot St.