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...

09/10/2017

When in reality ... what I SHOULD be doing is .....

With lists whirling around in my head 
(To-do-list/Must-not-FORGET-list/Jobs-to-complete-list/ must-sort-out-the-garden-and-plant 
the-perennials-out-list, )
 and that uncertain feeling of 
'is there something very important that I have forgotten that I must 'to-do'?' 

We set off for a walk yesterday afternoon. 
I have to be honest in saying I really did not want to go - 
I wanted to work through at least some of those niggling lists 
even if it was only tinkering in the garden planting out a few large seedlings 
while the soil is still reasonably warm.
Which in itself is a form of procrastination.

However, it was worth it.
 I did feel a lot better afterwards and I think that we all benefited from a bit of fresh autumnal air. 
The lists had to wait, 
they wait still, 
but their turn will come.
 
 



#staywild #walk #autumn

03/10/2017

October already!

Morning!
Not sure how the weather is in the southern hemisphere but here in Lancashire it is a little on the wet autumnal side with peach grey clouds flying across a thin blue sky.  I thought I would quickly pop in and say hello and introduce you to the latest list of words. Have fun and remember that it could be a current photo or one from your archives, try to think out of the box and we'll post out pictures and share our stories from Friday the 27th October.

  1. Making ...
  2. Empty
  3. Starts with a .....F
  4. Paper
  5. Neat
  6. Street
  7. Kettle
  8. Unexpected
  9. Vase
  10. My own choice



I might be a little quiet on the blogging front as it is leading up to the TAM - Trawden Artist & Makers Open Studio event and it could get a little busy. But I promise to pop in and say hi and if I have anything interesting to waffle about and share - I will do xxxx
Image may contain: indoor

A quick snap of part of our taster expo being held in Colne Library (our nearest town) as part of our event - Not all the art work had arrived when I took this photo, more has been added since.

#art #openstudios #TAM

02/10/2017

Soup-erlicious delicious :)

Firstly thank you so much for joining in with September's Scavenger Hunt - what a lovely lot of photos and stories, once again you have done me proud :) Thank you too to those who take the time to read and comment on all our posts, it certainly makes for a happy blogger!

On Sunday a precious friend spent the day with us.  She brought a most delicious home made soda bread to share with a soup I'd made.

The soup is a recipe that we all love and have regularly and seeing how the weather is today, thought I would share the recipe with you. Like everything in my life there is a back story to it, which I will share at the end of the post.

Butternut and red Lentil Soup

Oil - 1 teaspoon
Onion - 1 medium, peeled and chopped
Carrots - 2 medium, peeled and chopped 
Butternut - 250gms, peeled, deseeded and chopped
Red pepper - deseeded and chopped
Water - boiling, enough to cover your cooking vegetables
Stock cube - 1
Red lentils - 100 gms, rinsed
Seasonings (more on that later)


Gently fry the onions until transparent (and your eyes have stopped watering)
Add the chopped carrots and...
the peeled and chopped butternut
to the onions.
Stir well to coat all the veg with the oil.
Add the chopped pepper, stir well
Crumble in the stock cube
Pour on the freshly boiled water
and stir. You will need to add more once the lentils have been added.
Stir in the rinsed lentils, and if necessary, add additional water to cover.
Season to taste.
I chucked in the usual salt and pepper,
but also added curry powder,
paprika and mustard seeds - as we like hint of heat in our soups. 
Simmer for about 30 minutes - or when all the veg is soft. 
Zimmzimmzimm with a liquidiser,
return to a gentle heat and check seasoning.
Serve! 
Enjoy with crusty bread, soda bread or in this case naan bread.

Nom nom!

...And the back story?

Well, said friend and ourselves have both been to (during different holidays) the Isle of Skye Baking Co, Portree and loved the wholesome filling foods. When I knew she was coming to lunch (with her photos of her recent Skye holiday) it seemed fitting to have a soup we'd first eaten there!

Right, I've got things to do, coffee to drink and paintings to finish! Speak soon xxxx







29/09/2017

September's Link up Party!

There has been an issue with the link up,
my apologies,
I now have a different one up - and so far seems to be working :)
So - (big breath)
Let the link up party
BEGIN!!


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 :)



September's Scavenger Hunt Photos !

End of September already! Wow, where is this year going? Any hoo - welcome to my offerings for September's Scavenger Photo Hunt, enjoy :)

Shut
My first choice for this was an image I'd taken several years ago.
Small boys and I went for a walk in a woodland near Pendle Hill dotted with art installations.
Including this one, a cattle feed rail, turned on its side, 
filled with logs and a tree root, 
closing a hole in the wall.
However, when looking for something else,
I came across this one....
Seemed silly not to include it :)


Copper
Not one of our cats,
but one we spotted on a walk.
It was taken in autumnal light and the combination 
of the red fur, golden millstone grit roof slates
and the afternoon light - everything glowed with beautifully coppery hue.

Wrist
I have a problem.
A serious problem.
I can never (and I mean NEVER
complete a pair of mitts or gloves or socks.
I do the first, then ...bleaugh.... the thought of the second just leaves me dry.
My sister in law has combatted this serious problem,
by knitting the second one first!
I have never mastered this art of self deception
 so I have stepped away from knitting things that require a pair.
Life is too short to become stressed over the second one :)

Quarter
.....Of a birthday Dundee cake.
Sometimes, I stump myself with the choice of words.
This was one such time,
...what on earth could I use for 'Quarter'...
Then, after Himself and the boys got stuck into
the remains of Dundee birthday cake,
I had to wade in and stop them eating the last quarter
so I could take my picture.
Bosh!

It starts with a C ...
Compass - beautifully made as a mosaic collage,
featuring local flora and fauna.

Foam
The froth and foam on Hosta beach North Uist. 
Our last night there after a most magical holiday.

Scarf

I had in mind, not this one, but another scarf, but when I saw Pan,
wearing her little blue scarf - I stopped looking for mine.
I would not be able to look as purrfect perfect,
and whiskery beautiful
as dear prickly, grumpy sweet Pan.

Line
Taken only last week,
when I met Youngest at our local nature reserve.
The council must have decided that this cut would be the last of the season,
and have scalped all the grassy areas to the ground!
Youngest and Moss decided to race along the 'tracks'
back to the car.

Nostalgic

Photo taken in 2011. My small people were 10 and 12 there.
Now 17 and 19.
They have grown some what.
But they are still my boys.

My Own Choice

On Sunday, whilst outside gardening, we were watching butterflies, hoverflies and bumblebees. 
Eldest discovered a rather exhausted bumble crawling along the path. 
He shot off to the kitchen and made a honey and water solution and returned to the ailing bee. 
It drank and drank and drank and drank
sipping the liquid with a pink tongue.
We took loads of photos. 
After about half an hour, the bumblebee got back it's sassy nature 
and waved a cross leg when Eldest lifted it up to a buddleia flower.
Job done :)


Well - there you are - thanks for meandering through my wafflings. Now I am off to read your stories! 


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 :)