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...



Dropping in

Despite today's unexpected and most welcome sunshine, it is definitely feeling more and more autumnal. These last few days feel have flown by either drenched by rain, battered by wind or covered in cloud. I have spent most of them either steadily working through my list of commissioned art or trying out new techniques.
I keep reading posts both on other blogs I read or on facebook, where this time of year is affectionately and  wistfully described as magical and mystical. Where cobwebs glisten and rose hips glow. I read lovingly written words describing this being a favourite time of year.
I see the reds, the russets, I see the decay and the cobwebs and I mourn the loss of the warmth of summer, I yearn for endless blue skies, I ache for summer. I feel bereft. Fortunately Himself is aware of my unease of this time of the year. My need to try and balance my mood with the seasons.
So we walk. 

Which is bitter sweet in a cruel way - I love being out, I love seeing the far horizon, I love being beneath the sky but I also constantly reminded of the winding down of the year, the ending of summer and the imminent arrival of winter.

Am I odd?
Do you feel the same?
Or do you revel in the turning of the seasons and the rise of decay?


and today ...

Today the sun did not get up however we did.

Still - now, as I type - all we have a rather sullen sky and a dreary outlook. Hey ho.

Never mind I shall re-think on yesterday's walk and revel in the memory of the afternoon sunshine.
There are signs of autumn - blatant signs, 
no slipping in quietly and pretending to have been there all along. 
The hedgerows are full of berries - rowan, hawthorn, honeysuckle, sloe as well as apple and damson.

Right, best get on,
a fair bit to do.

So, if you'll excuse me, I must go and if I don't blog for a while,
don't worry - I am still here, just busy elsewhere.



New words for September

A rather cross Pepper-cat as she realises we are off on a walk.

Thank you everyone for joining in with the photo hunt - once again they were a delightful mix of entertaining and sharing but I have to say that Louise using 'My Own Choice' to reveal a wonderful and carefully planned secret deserves the gold star this month - congratulations.

As I type this, the house feels very quiet and empty - every one is off out at work, the cats have slipped off for an all essential cat nap and Moss is at the vets having surgery. :(

We were out walking yesterday - a most wonderful one (bar the Moss and barbed-wire-fence-torn-leg-incident) which I will blog about properly later on in the week. 

What I will share with you today are this month's (September - what already?!?) words.

Brightly coloured
Upside down
My Own Choice

A photograph inspired by a word, 
words inspired by the photos. 
September's Scavenger photo-hunt list 

Remember to think laterally, interpret as YOU fancy, be it a current photo or a favourite one from your past. We'll reconvene and post our words and photos from Friday 28th September -  have fun!


Link Up Party for August!

Welcome to August's Scavenger Hunt Link up Party !  
Are you ready? 
Then let's get started - just add your name and let the party begin :)


August's Scavenger Hunt Photos

Sometimes I wonder at my own 'finely tuned procrastination' ... any hoo, a mere six three hours before I normally schedule my photo hunt post ... I am sorting it out....now still.

I am - and I may have hinted this before - a tea drinker. Didn't used to be until I decided to go cold turkey on coffee swapping roughly ten mugs of coffee consumed daily for equally copious mugs of tea instead.
And the image? I have an art journal that I start each working day with. I write a word, a sentence, a thought or a vitriolic tirade then spontaneously paint over it. I find it both cathartic and stimulating in one go. I had just made myself a mug of tea in the studio and as I squeezed out the tea bag I immediately started 'painting' with it across the page. Then using a goose feather quill I'd attempted to create a while ago - dragged my 'tea-ink' outwards in tendrils and twirls. I also deliberately landed my mug on the page, showing no respect for the paper as I created the tea stains. Later, once dried, I doodled the word tea and decorated that, whilst drinking another mug (of course!)

This time last year - I had the embryonic beginnings of my studio - wow - twelve months has just melted away by the magic of this one photo. An absurd mix of 'only a moment ago and yet a life time away'.

Of Gigha (pronounced - Gear) Beautiful little blue jewel in a blue sea.

Fairy (Glen)...
...in Skye is a magical place. There is definitely an 'air' to it - otherworldly and intriguing. We have been twice and each time I have felt a presence and I know others have done too. Watching over the glen is the enigmatically named 'Castle Ewan' that, with care and following a narrow path, can be climbed. I chose to watch from a safer ground level as Himself and Youngest scaled the tall flanks. I would like to return. Someday.

I could not find the image I had in mind however as I was trawling through my years of photos - I came across this one - nothing remarkable or amazing - except it is -  to me. They are Youngest's hands making ginger biscuits and I can remember that cold February day where we had been snowed in and we resorted to baking to keep young minds and young tums happy.

My own Choice
Most of this month's images are from my archives however, this next one was from last Wednesday and I just love it.  Whilst working up in the walled garden, where we were relocating the compost bays, we found a couple of HUGE frogs. Coincidentally the National Trust Rangers were hosting a forest school day in the garden so Eldest and I quietly rounded up the frogs as well as other unsuspecting insects and bugs, taking them up for the forest students to meet. Interestingly enough - it was the girls and the mothers who took more interest than the lads and dads ... any suggestions why? The girls held the caterpillars and beetles and stroked the frogs while the boys firmly put their hands behind their backs and just looked!

Phew - managed it! Now off to set up the link up page and then - bedtime! (and it is still before midnight - just!)


The colours of autumn

I am aggrieved resigned to the fact that autumn has now joined the party and summer's decided to quietly leave the room.
Woodland fungi however are rejoicing and have appeared as profuse as stars at night.
A detour through a coniferous woodland yield yet more yellow mushroom clusters.
Heathers are now flowering, turning the hills a shade of smokey blue.
Bracken fronds, in places still in summer finery, have  been ousted by crisper bronze hues.
Even a lizard appeared dressed in autumnal shades when found basking in gentle afternoon sunshine.
Lighting the fire today was the final step in accepting the season's changing,
outside is dank, wet and has been all day.
The cats have claimed their 'rightful' place in front of the hearth, toasting their furry tums.

So it seems that summer has been superseded by the season of soups and thick socks.



Love grows here

Thank you every one for your lovely comments and positive feedback for my little books and I am rather happy to say I have since been invited to take part of a small fayre, with them, at the end of next month - I better get making and introduce them to the world!

On a different note - thought I would share some photos from last week at the walled garden (a favourite holistic place of mine) - I am lucky to volunteer with some other wonderful ladies who feel the same way as I do.

Even in the rain, the garden glows in jewel colours and exudes a wonderful calmness. 
This final photo I can not take credit for - it is from the National Trust facebook page.
Image may contain: plant, flower, tree, outdoor and nature

..."Our walled garden is awash with colour and alive with pollinator activity.
See if you can spot any colourful, bee friendly areas when you’re out and about this weekend! "...

Just a short bit of waffle today - have a good week and hope you get to spend time somewhere you love.


Sun between the showers

Bathed in a welcome ray of sunlight after a few days of (necessary) rain and (dull) cloud - I have just finished another mini book.

I can not explain or believe the pleasure it gives me creating these little creatures. Each one I have completed has found a home rather quickly so they must be sharing that happiness too.


I blame the fudge

Autumn has been seeping in - I am not ready for her, I am still wanting to play with Summer.
I have already 'written' this post a number of times ... in my head, as you do when you have one of 'those' nights. They are (fortunately) infrequent reminders of my previous sleep pattern of 'not sleeping'.
Any hoo - not sure what triggered it but it went something like this ...

I was awoken by the rather loud discussion going on in my head. A one sided one on an unusual topic.

I was - no, my brain was debating in great depth how a Roman toga was worn.  I lay there incredulously as my head was trying to work out if the fabric came over the shoulder forward and wrapped around the arm and wrist or if it went backwards like a cape ... my brain then shouted down that was silly and said no ... forward and over the arm.

It was at this point I actually opened my eyes and I could feel myself frowning at the ridiculousness of such a debate - of COURSE it came forward and wrapped around the arm - jeez it was never worn as a cape.... I physically jolted my head at my own duplicity - I had just allowed myself to get involved in a debate with my brain about the dress sense of a Roman Senator at .... I raised my head and squinted at the clock ... at 1.30am in the morning.


So I shifted until I was comfortable, attempted a couple of well worn mindfulness relaxation techniques to quieten my brain and send me back to sleep.  However, in the background I could hear a new conversation ... I stopped my calm breathe practice to listen in on what my brain was chattering on about now.

Qin Shi Huang.

Yup. Him.

Who? oh - let me introduce him to you, my brain knows him well and recalling the raging debate the ol' grey cells were having last night about him - not a fan, nope not a fan.

Qin Shi Huang was a Chinese emperor, he of the terracotta warrior fame, was not keen on intellectuals and chose to persecute them in all ways nasty.

Once again I was almost tricked into joining in this discussion but managed to stop myself becoming fully awake and getting all shouty with myself over the rather mean ways of this particular emperor. I squinted at the clock again.  2.40am.

Hmm. I thought I would help change my brain's over enthusiastic need to have what was now turning into a university challenge/Radio 4/the History Channel type full on rant, by nipping to the loo.

As quietly as possible, I bumbled around in the dark, kicked a shoe of mine, almost stumbled into the bathroom, did what I had to do, bumbled back and equally quietly slipped back into bed. Only to have Himself growl ... ?can't sleep then?

Apologetic squeak back, I tried again.

Quietly, almost insidiously, my brain began to write a list of jobs.  Labels, varnish, turps, tablecloth ...turps (said that one), paintings, wrapping paper, labels, varnish, turps (hang on said that), tablecloth - stop ALREADY HAVE THAT ON MY LIST... turps, labels, varnish AAAARGH. I opened my eyes and seriously considered getting up and physically writing down the six words that were spinning around in my brain which seemed to be delighting in creating a helix style list of them repeating and repeating and changing their colours and rolling them around and.and.and.and .......

... then as I was slipping into blissful unconsciousness ... a light flashed on outside. I sat up and saw through the curtains that an outside sensor light belonging to a neighbour had come on.  Without even hesitating my brain had me leap out of bed stride over to the window and peer out. Yes, the light was on ... who had triggered it??

I stared - watching for banditos or burglars only to see a...cat...trot...by. 

Hmmm - I recall this has happened before. Best get back into bed before Himself grumbles again.  This time he just sighed. I tried to avoid looking at the clock but my eyes were being as wayward as my brain and snuck a look - 3.20am ...

Quiet meditative breathing and shushing of an argumentative brain continued for a while until I finally dropped off.

Until ... Himself leapt out of bed and gave me a rather firm shove as he did - the alarm should have gone off about 20 minutes earlier - oh.

Suffice to say, my brain is now very quiet - probably having a siesta and I am dragging myself around purely fueled by coffee and bloody mindedness.

Any you?
Are you a candidate for the 'can't sleep club'?

Oh - and the title? well, I scoffed a couple of pieces of Eldest's home made fudge and as delectably delish as it was - it felt too rich and probably too late for my own good.  I suspect my brain was on a sugar bender..... sigh.


casual blather Friday

With one or two exceptions, I have been bare foot most of this week. 
(I love it.)
We have had rain. 
(happy garden.)

I have been bitten by some uninvited flying insect with enormous fangs over night. 
(Not keen on enormous fanged winged beasties.)

I'm waiting in for a parcel, 
from a company I don't recognise for something I can't remember specifically ordering... 
although this has happened before - there are four in the family and only one of us orders nice things,
 the other three order car parts and engine-y type items 
and I suspect that is what I am waiting in for. 
(An MG car fender arrived yesterday ... from California) so - it could be AnYtHiNG!!  
(I shall report back.)

I've been talked into attending a show in a couple of weekends ago. 
Had said I would go initially, then thought about it - realised don't really have sufficient stock - 
well, I have plenty of paintings however, 
they are not suitable for this kind of outing - 
so changed my mind. 
Now, against my better judgement I have stepped into a space created by another dropping out. 
Now this week and next will be filled with lots of creativity 
as I make smaller affordable pieces of art. 
Never mind - good excuse to 'play'. 
(Goes off to get glue and paper and scissors.)
I am discovering or rather being gently reminded 
that I am lucky to be part of a tribe of arty folk 
who are fierce and protective and sharing and kind. 
They are above all, teaching me that there are decent people out there 
and that they are worth searching for. 

(Have you found your 'tribe'?)


Monday Monday - so good to me

Heeey hey! Well, if that was the weekend - it went rather quickly!

Just got back from a stint at the walled garden where I volunteer. It is not just good for the garden, it is good for my soul - I always come away with my happy levels well and truly topped up.

Here in Lancashire we have had the most delicious rain and my garden has just gulped it up thirstily and probably could have more. The water barrels around the glasshouse are full and the pond beautifully topped up - now that can't be bad. I can even see the frogs smiling as their heads get splashed by the huge raindrops.

Thank you every one for joining in with July's words - once again you did yourselves proud and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them all :) - I do love how we interpret a single word to mean many things to many folk and even though sometimes we all have the same result - the stories are different.

Any hoo - no time off for the wicked and all that - here are August's words - giving you plenty of time to get your scavenger hunting juices working :)

This month's have a slight twist - I have supplied a list of the usual five plus my own choice, except this time the words are homophone.

Huh? I hear you say - well if a word is homophone it is because the word sounds the same yet has more than one meaning :) Please chose one or the other or if you are feeling rather superhuman (and a little smug :D) try them both!

This is not as hard as it initially appears and remember you can use a current image or one from your archives.

My own choice

We will reconvene on Friday the 31st August - til then fellow photo-hunters - have fun xx

Horse Chestnut and conkers - this warm weather has certainly sped things up x