Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Christmas Gifts

A couple of outgoing Christmas gifts which were fun in the making.

In hindsight I would have made the little tree canvases in landscape format and made them to hang downwards - so apologies, Lorraine, that this is not as easy to display as it could be. I just jumped in without thinking things all the way through, and then it was too late to change.

Søstren Grene opened near us earlier this year, and they have quite a good range of student-quality art stuff. When I saw these little canvases, I knew I wanted to use them with the Tree for All Seasons - and they were surprisingly easy to stamp on, which was a bonus. I only made a mess of one, which got upcycled into the bird card shared in my November Favourites post.

The snowman sampler was also fun to make - and as always with the samplers, there were a couple of squares created which didn't make the final cut. Thanks, Di, for contributing at least three of the snowmen used on it.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas Wishes

And Christmas cheer; just as last year, the brew team came up with some fun names for our Christmas beer.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Christmas Treat

We treated ourselves to a trip to the Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo - and I was so glad that I got round to booking before it sold out. Since I came home with nearly 200 photos, and culled that down to 75 to upload to an album, I'll share the album link here for anybody who wants to see more, and just a few of my most favourites. I probably took almost as many of them as of everything else put together. Their tails lit up in alternating sequences, so there is a short video in the album too.
The lanterns are made out of some sort of fabric (described as silk), lit from within,  and I was very happy with my first attempt at night photography with my Nikon. Spent some time converting my tripod into a monopod - and as we walked up to the entrance, I heard something fall to the ground. When we got in, I discovered it was the little fitting which slots into the top of the monopod. Although I'd heard the fall, I didn't think it was anything of mine, so I hadn't looked. I've never lost one of those before - and luckily I still have a spare here. And even though I couldn't lock the camera into it,  the monopod was still useful as support to rest the camera on and hold it steadier than simply hand-held.
Look at the end, there were even some mandarin ducks on the lake.

Saturday, 9 December 2017


With the crisp cold weather moving in, we had a beautiful sunset the other morning. Since I had all my international Christmas cards and packages in my bag, I didn't (for once) have my camera, but snapped a couple of shots with my phone on the way to the bus stop.

Friday, 1 December 2017

November Favourites

...not too many. Life has been busy, and then we were away dog-sitting for a week. But there are a few.

I wasn't sure about that little bird at first. I thought the division between the purple and the head was too severe, and I should have softened it more. Especially as I added some soft "feathering" to his head with a white gel pen. But then I decided I quite liked it, as if he was peeking out of a cocoon of some sort. So I've left it as it as, though C thinks I need to stamp a sentiment on the base.

 This month's blog header is a photo from last December in Paris - Parc Monceau

Sunday, 26 November 2017

A Cold and Frosty Morning...

Yesterday was a crisp, cold clear morning. I had a long list of things to do, but we took time out for a walk in the park and thoroughly enjoyed it.

A couple of things got pushed on to today, such as the pears with ginger which we were out of stock of, and starting work on a Christmas gift never got started at all - but it was still worth taking the time to enjoy the scenery.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

January in November

I'm not a big fan of digital stamps because I enjoy the process of stamping. But I love Chinese Lanterns, and I've been looking for a long time for a rubber stamp with a spray of them...there are a couple out there but not any that grabbed me. So rather than order a full set of photopolymer stamps from Power Poppy and pay carriage when I really only wanted one, I bought a digital set and had fun making this card for my aunt. My current crop of Chinese Lanterns in the garden come from her, although in our previous house I very (too) successfully grew some from seed. Thankfully I haven't found them as invasive here, maybe the soil doesn't suit them so well. I grew honesty, both the purple and white flowers from seed back then too - maybe I need to acquire more of those from my aunt again because I love the silver pennies.

I'm also adding a photo of an oil painting by a friend of my grandmother's which hung in my bedroom when I was a teen, and which now is in our spare bedroom. I've always loved it. For a sense of scale, the canvas is about 18" x 15".

Editing the post to add a couple of photos I took with my phone - some lovely Halloween floral decor using Chinese Lanterns.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

For the birds...

We were dog-sitting for my aunt for a week, and took a short walk in the East Coast Nature Reserve.
Not many photos because, as a couple we met leaving one of the hides said, "There's not a feather stirring out there." Not quite true - we saw a bird of prey circle when we arrived, perhaps a kite or hen harrier, and C really enjoyed seeing (and hearing) a flight of swans go overhead. And there were plenty of geese grazing. But also a couple of my photos seem to have been corrupted, and then the card became unreadable, so while the preview thumbnails looks great, I can't open them. A shame, because there was one of the reeds looking beautifully golden yellow in the sunshine.

Oh - and here's the dog we were "sitting". Waiting hopefully (and in vain) for scraps at the table.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

October Favourites...

My favourite cards from this month. It feels harder to be creative with the shorter dark evenings, but that's what we have! Birds seem to feature heavily! I was delighted to see a redpoll on the feeders last week, and even more surprised to see a pied wagtail on the back wall, as I think of them as real "street" birds, and don't think I've ever seen one in the garden before. 

The first project fits inside the matchbox suitcase which I posted a while back.