Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all…

I am happy that 2011 is firmly behind me/us. As a family, it was a real year of change, ups and downs, some very unpleasant times that I thought would never end and a real learning curve. It taught me that I will go to almost any lengths for my family and that I can and I will do what makes us happy as a unit. If they’re happy, I’m happy – simple!

I resolve to be more positive this year and to be happy with what I have, instead of unhappy wanting what I haven’t got – which can be illusory at best!! No, no more time wasted thinking I need things I don’t… I have more than enough to make me happy – I don’t need to chase rainbows to achieve my goals. I’m looking forward to moving home and moving on this year; taking more and better/more interesting photos; playing with textures and digital art; making photo art and getting back a reasonable level of fitness.

I have another busy and happy year ahead of me I think! 🙂

I want to wish you all that you wish for yourselves and your loved ones this coming year – most of all I wish you health, fun and laughter.  Be well, be safe and smile, a lot! ♥

Leftover leftovers…!

I made spicy potato cakes for brunch today and now I have leftovers from my leftovers… 😉

All I did was cook a sliced leek and add that to the leftover potatoes, along with seasoning, a knob of butter and some cold stuffing. I heated up the pan, coated the base with a little oil and fried them on both sides. Yummy!

Served with cold chicken, pickles and beets – and now we have some left over… 😉

Photo taken with my new camera – a Finepix T200

Edited with Kim Klassen’s “Lilly” texture!!

Sleeping with the enemy!

Does anyone else have pets who pretend to get along but beat other up when you’re out?! That’s the only explanation for Millie and Shadow… Shadow’s a complete swine and really ready with the “paws” – he’ll box anything his size, bigger or smaller. Millie’s an attack-dog in her head, but can be really cowardly too… Hmmm – so this is quite a rare capture!

I wonder what that cat’s thinking? 😉

Gratitude…

I am feeling content today – there’s the wonderful aroma of good food cooking, family gathered, DD’s napping and DH is playing on the Wii. Life is good and I am so grateful for the abundance we have.

Merry Christmas to you all and a very Happy New Year… ♥

 

Stormy weather…

I was thinking about what a week of pretty foul weather we’ve had here in the West Country this past week… Admittedly, we haven’t had snow per se, although there was a light snow shower on Tuesday night in Milton Damerel, just enough to coat the cars’ windscreens, but it has been epically windy – even for here – and a constant battering on the psyche wears you down eventually.

We have two old-ish dogs – a Yorkie and a German Shepherd – both of which have appeared on my blog in photos and layouts, and on Wednesday night at around 11pm, there was the most horrendous thunderclap, which literally shook the house. It felt like an explosion had happened nearby. I have no objection to a Yorkie landing in my lap, quivering with terror, but fighting off a 40- kg. (85lbs. approx.) male dog, in a similar condition, is no joke! (It’s a funny visual though…)

Luckily, there were only 4 more thunderclaps and then just the persistent howling of the wind down the chimney, plus rain and the occasional hail shower, for the rest of that night…

Ergo, my haiku this week is dedicated to the tenacity of weather fronts in general!

The mighty wind roars –

thunderclaps, Nature’s applause – 

power clearly shown…

I got the lovely image HERE.

For more haiku, go to Recuerda mi corazon, hosted by the lovely Rebecca.

 

TT- The Gratitude eDition returns…

For Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday:

Here are this week’s TT challenge details.

  • your image must contain at least one layer of any of my textures, and center around the theme of gratitude.
Another garden photo, taken close-up with my Samsung Monte.
Here’s the method, using  Kim’s ‘poetic’, my own meringue texture and Nancy’s architectural encaustic.
I love that I can ‘dodge’ and ‘burn’ so closely – it always makes me giggle!!
I am grateful for the layers in life, which I can peel back at will, to reveal what lies beneath…    😉

Poetry in motion it isn’t…

For Haiku my Heart Friday this week, I have to get the emotions off my chest. There is little beauty here at the moment, a terrible amount of unrest and a lot that will take time to work through and heal.

So much unrest here

Violence spilling onto

our streets, day and night

Disillusioned youth

Lacking jobs, lacking money

Lacking a future…

Using their rage and 

Impotence for destruction

Looting and burning

Erasing the lives 

Of ordinary people

Who don’t deserve that.

If you should want to know more, I have linked the photos, (which I googled), directly to their original sources, which are mainly news centres, etc. (Hopefully I won’t get sued!)

Whilst writing this, I found Rebecca (who hosts the haikus “party” every week), had written a really beautiful post about the longing of loons – no pun intended, no cheeky play on words from me for a change… just beautiful words and photos which are about as far from my post as you could get.

For those who didn’t realise that the UK was in big trouble, I think the events of this past week have opened your eyes. ‘Nuff said.

Things my mother should have told me…

The title is taken from a brilliant book I bought last year at a Flea Market – “Things my mother should have told me – The Best of Good Housekeeping 1922-1940”. As today’s SPA theme is “vintage glitz and glam”, I thought I’d take a look at it for inspiration, especially as I made a mistake when stamping and embossing a 1920s image!! So that melted into the background (quite literally), and I cut this advertisement from the right side of one of the pages…

Isn’t that a fab ad for Helena Rubinstein? And the text is so 1920s… my Mum used to buy HR cosmetics when she could afford them!

The biggest problem with that book is that it’s absolutely fascinating – a charmingly retrospective look at women and how their lives changed during those formative decades. There are “Housekeeper’s Diary” notes, recipes and problem pages, fashion plates… I could spend a lot of time lost in its pages! 🙂

When life hands you lemons…

I was thinking about that this morning, whilst baking in the kitchen. I love lemons. I love their zest, the lemon juice and I have even eaten them whole, like oranges, when we lived in Spain many years ago, picked straight off our very own trees, on the huerto! And of course, then , as my mind does, I thought about “life” in general and the idea of completing that saying… “make lemonade!”

To me, a year ago that would have been just fine. Yes, I’ll make do with that and go make lemonade! Not now, though, oh no! If “Life” has the audacity to offer me lemons, I shall refuse them politely and ask for raspberries, or strawberries, or passion fruit. I mean, if I am going to have a sugar overdose, I’d rather it be from Pavlova, or some fruity scones, or jam – NOT lemonade…

And then, of course, I got to thinking about “women” and our negative body image issues. Especially our relationship with food. I don’t know about you, but I have struggled with weight issues all my life and lost and gained many, many lbs. And it’s so ridiculous, because if I took control of my ‘food issues’ the way I have dealt with whatever else “Life” has seen fit to throw at me over the past few years, I would be in control…

So in the spirit of “handing back those lemons”, today I decided that among all the crap that is spouted to motivate one at slimmers’ clubs, etc. “Eat less, move more” is the most logical. Ergo – for each wonderful cheese scone or muffin that I bake and consume (eaten slowly with great contentment, whilst murmuring, “Mmmm, these are so good!”), I shall exercise 1 minute on the crosstrainer. Kill two birds with one stone – enjoy my food and then get my body burning some fuel!!

Here are some yummy (possibly motivational) photos, of what I’ve been up to today. These little works of art will be thoroughly enjoyed, contain eggs, and are my entry to the Three Muses challenge today. A bit naughty but then, I am calling it a creative way to use eggs in “edible” art!! 😉

** Those are for afternoon tea (and Amber’s breakfast!) And I have already done 3.5 minutes and over 1km on the crosstrainer, so maybe for once, I am taking my own advice… And DD ate 3 of those muffins, so they must be good!  😉

** The website I find all my recipes on lately, is All Recipes (UK & Ireland) and if you click through, you’ll see why I cooked extra potatoes for mashing today!!  I shall make those tomorrow and we’ll enjoy them with salad and ham I expect!

Nick’s page!

Today I did my first art journalling and watercolour sketching in public! Yes! Defiantly, I got out my “Everything” art journal that my friend Barbara sent me a couple of years ago to encourage me to be an art journalist and made a page about Nick. That’s my husband – who was sitting his driving test today after having driven for over 40 years. He had to retake the test because his European/Spanish driving licence dates back to the age before computerisation and there is no longer a record of it! The Examiner says that it is not uncommon for Spanish Nationals who lose their licences (as in mislay them), to come to the UK to retake and then go home and swap the UK licence for a Spanish one!

Whatever I dream, I can do...

Anyway, I digress… So, I sat in the waiting room, with a Driving Instructor who was waiting for his pupil, and journalled. I felt so brave… and defiant as I thought, “Well, I am an artist and this is what I do when I have time!”

Testing times!

I remember Julie Fei-Fan B. talking about her “everything” journal and I carry Barbara’s little journal in my bag all the time lately! I also took one of my own handbuilt art journals with me and fell in love with Fabriano watercolour paper all over again! How daunting it is to begin a brand new EMPTY, virgin art journal. And, intimidating too – these books that I bound and built and painted and stitched myself – are so precious to me. So here’s what I did:

Untitled... unfinished...wip

About 2/3rds of the way through the book I started this sketch. It’s been some days since I drew a face! I had a few watercolour pencils, a waterbrush (must get a newer and more efficient one though…) and one of my 3 Inktense pencils; some HB and B pencils and a rubber. I think she’s going to be so pretty when I’m done! Here’s a photo of the cover of this journal:

So, I stopped working reluctantly because Nick was due back soon – he’d been gone about 30 minutes – and got chatting to the chap waiting for his pupil. He was great fun (ex-Forces – like us, not from Cornwall – like us!, etc.) and the next 10 minutes passed quickly in the sunshine outside the centre till they returned.  Oh and Nick passed, so yay!! 🙂

The prompt “Empty” was from Tammy’s site and she has the most gorgeous coloured penwork up today, aswell as a list of experiments and stuff for fun,  for freeing “blocks” and to get your creativity flowing. Go pay a visit to Daisy Yellow, go now… just go!