Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Sunny Tuesday

Here we are on a lovely sunny day in Scotland, hopefully we will have more days like this before Autumn starts.  It is lovely to see the pots of Bizzy Lizzies in my garden still in full flower, I did wonder if they would be finished by the time we returned from holiday.  The very large white Buddlea in the garden has finished flowering this week but what a perfume it had, it was the scent of it that filled my head when I opened the conservatory window when we first entered the house after the hols.  Funny thing this year again we have a purple branch right in the middle of the white bush but it looks rather lovely...unfortunately I suppose I should cut it out to stop it from reverting back to the purple colour. Don't have a photograph of the Buddlea as it had bloomed fully while I was away.

A close up of my beautiful clematis which is Belle Etoil (I think) funny how labels seem to disappear, I used to blame our Golden Retriever dog for taking them but as she's been gone for about 5 years and this clematis has been moved about in the garden since then, well .... has to be down to the gremlin that lives in our house!!! 

Just so you don't forget what winter looks like here is one taken through my conservatory window at the beginning of this year.  Notice the area of snow I cleared to put down some wild bird seed and which is usually investigated by the grey squirrels living in the wood next to me (oh and next door's cat too).
Winter did become worse, one morning the snow had banked halfway up my conservatory door and as it opens outwards we were trapped inside, couldn't open that door for a couple of days.  Hubby had to climb over the wall to clear it away so I could vent my tumble dryer out to dry our clothes.  He was a happy bunny ...not!

I have been crafting away but so far haven't photographed any of it yet. 
This picture is of one of my softies made last year and I call him Daredevil Dan.  He has a little rhyme that goes "My name is Daredevil Dan, with my cape I can fly as fast as I can...just like Superman".  It's made from stars and stripes fabric and as Superman was american I thought the fabric appropriate.

As all you crafters out there know it is hard juggling life, home, family commitments and still try to steal some time for crafting without feeling guilty so sometimes other things have to be left undone (in my case it's tidying up and ironing to name only two) and if you are trying to build up stock for craft fairs then a lot is left undone.  Sometimes (well a lot of times) I wish I was like the actress in the old american series of Bewitched who wiggled her nose and everything was done...yeah I'd go for that!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Lazy Sunday

Well it isn't really a lazy Sunday as I was up and out for 11.30am putting out leaflelts advertising our forthcoming Art/Crafts Exhibition being held in our Shopping Centre(old Mackays Store) for 6 weeks to raise money for Redburn School for children with assisted learning needs.
After putting out several hundred leaflets (and I need more to finish my area) I poppd into my local Farmfoods store (Sunday opening is a godsend sometimes) for some frozen vegetables (so healthy for you) and found myself at the sweety section (gave myself a talking to and said 'No') but then found myself at Weightwatchers desert section where I choose a pack of Double Chocolate Brownies (which is not so healthy!) My reasoning - 1 of these is only 3 points against several chocolate bars (yes, I'd honestly eat several one after the other) which would be well over my points total of 21 for the day and as I'm not doing very well losing weight I think I did a good choice...except if I eat 2 one after another!!!!
No, folks I rationed myself and only ate 1 but it was so good especially as I was so tired after walking for over two hours and bending down to those silly letterboxes that are at the bottom of doors (these should be banned, and I congratulate postmen everywhere for managing to deliver our mail as well as they do).
So now I'm home and didling about on the computer, having a coffee before I start to prepare tonight's dinner.  Hubby on 12 hour nightshift tonight so I need to have dinner ready for 4.30pm approx.  Shortens the day somewhat but also means I am unable to use sewing machine while he is sleeping but I get round that by having plenty of hand sewing to do then.  There are always ways and means round life's little problems.

Just to let you see what a chocoholic I am, here is a photo of a choccy ice cream I ate while in tenerife.  We had just come off the 'Peter Pan' old sailing boat trip to see the dolphins and we all wanted ice cream.  This is the princess with her's while I waited on mine arriving.  See the chocolate at the bottom of the glass well I have to confess I had to use the handle of the spoon to scrape it out and at 66 I don't think it was very elegant of me, but what do I care.... it was so yummy (and nothing separates my from chocolate!!)

Cousin Pat's ice cream and I was finished mine before she was.

The 'Peter Pan' before we boarded her for our dolphin trip.
 Watching for the dolphins and pilot whales.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Hectic Friday

Happy Friday everyone.
Why hectic Friday - well a lot to achieve today, up early, shower etc. etc. and go out leaflet posting after breakfast, then do shopping for the cafe for our Car Boot/Craft Fair held in our local community centre.  This is the last car boot of this year's events.
The leaflets are to publicise the opening on 18th September of an Art/Crafts Exhibition (open for 6 weeks) in our shopping centre phase 1.  The use of an empty shop for the exhibition is courtesy of the management of Phase 1 and in return myself and friends paint very large murals which are on display around the walls of the 3rd floor of shopping centre (Library level). The exhibition is part of the events we organise to raise money for one of our local Special Needs schools who desperately need a Hydrotherapy pool.  This is our 5th year of painting murals for the centre.

This is our latest mural nearing completion, it spans 4 boards of approx. 6'x4' each. and shows views of our town.

We have come a long way from the first mural we were asked to paint (although we attend a leisure art class in College, and have a fantastic tutor, we had never painted murals before).  We gulped and said" Oh yes what would you like painted!" then we had a little panic until we got down to the nitty gritty and started planning out how we would paint them.  We must be doing something right as we have now been asked to paint a mural in Erskine Hospital, Dementia wing, starting next year.

 The group recently presented Erskine Hospital with 2 boards, painted at their request, of a fireplace and a Welsh dresser to go into their Reminiscent Room in the same wing.  The dresser has 9 Willow Pattern plates painted on it

The fireplace has an actual shelf attached to hold the 2 'wally dugs' and the empty picture frame is to hold photographs to enable the residents to discuss and reminisce about them.
Apologies about the quality of these two photos, they were taken from an email.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Back to the grind

Yes it's back to the weekly routine starting with Weightwatchers group this morning where I found I'd put on 3-1/2 lbs during my holidays, no one to blame but myself after all you cannot expect to stay the same while indulging in bottles of ice cold Dorada Beer (the local mild beer) and bags of Doritos crisps at night and Magnum chocolate ice creams.  So it's back to the grind of weighing and pointing my food for the day.  Hubby starts back to his 12hour shifts Friday night and I guarantee you he's not looking forward to that either.  But life has to go on after holidays!

I've shown you some of my paintings so now here are some of the monsters that I designed.  I call them the "Monstah Bunch, each have a name, come from a planet, and eat something for tea, but they're not really scary as they're only an old softie at heart".  These are made from fleece fabrics but I have also made different monsters in fur fabrics.  When I am making the monsters they kind of take on a life of their own and tell me what their names will be and what they eat for tea.
Now I know that sounds weird but believe me all you crafters out there will totally understand when I say "they talk to me" and I'm truly not ready for the 'funny farm' yet!

This is Ruby Rabbit with her own carrot to eat when she's hungry. I thought she was finished until my daughter said "you can't send her out into the world without knickers on!" so she now proudly displays her broderie anglais pink ribbon trimmed bloomers and is a happy little rabbit.

This little fellow is 'Captain Jack the Pirate Kat with pretty Polly on his shoulder'.  He is very loosely based on Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean and now lives very happily in France where he is learning some french phrases from his new owner Aurelie and her partner.
He's a dashing little fellow isn't he! but I don't think I'll be making any more Captain Jack's - he isn't cost effective but I had great fun adding all the extras to him like his dagger, buckles, eyepatch and best of all his pleated chin hair. 
Oh, and let's not forget Pretty Polly the parrot.

That's all for today folks, tune in on Friday for another slice of my life.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Beautiful Tenerife

Hubby and I have had two holidays in Tenerife but we have come to love the island very much.  An added bonus is we have family living on the island but feel sure we would return to Tenerife even if our family wasn't there.  The Canarian people are friendly, the shop workers are helpful too.  The islanders love you to try to converse in Spanish even if it's only a few words you can speak in their language.

Cousin Pat continues to instruct me in a few words of Spanish - we're waiting on the Gua Gua bus and she gives me the Bono ticket (this ticket allows you to use any bus until the value of your Bono ticket is used up, then you buy another one) and tells me what I've to say to the bus driver, "repeat after me, tres los cristianos por favor, run all the words together now".  So while waiting for the bus I'm standing repeating the mantra "tres los cristianos por favor "(felt a bit like a budgie, i have to say) till the bus came. Best of all the driver understood me, hurrah.  Now that's a very simple phrase but I'm not good at languages, sometimes mixing a smattering of French with Spanish just to confuse you (well it really confuses me).  Hubby on the other hand seems to remember words better, even dragging out the spanish he learned at school.  I learned Latin at school!!

Above is a photograph of another inhabitant you will find at the Monkey Park and yes you can touch him and feed him too as he wanders about the enclosure.

Monday, 23 August 2010

A lovely surprise

First of all I must apologise for a spelling error in yesterday's post-the town we visited was La Laguna not La Lagona (put it down to 'dyslexic computer fingers' a phenomenon that seems to happen to some women of a certain age-well that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

While I was on holiday my daughter text me to see if I wanted to enter pictures into the G66+ Art Exhibition in our local college.  I told her she would need to look behind the sofa and choose two paintings and price them herself, which she did.  Tonight was the opening night of the two week exhibition and the 'lovely surprise' for me was my painting 'Blue Door'  won 1st prize.  A total of seven paintings were chosen by Dr. Chris Brickley of Bonham's Auctioneers to win prizes. I was 'gobsmacked' to put it mildly, as I'd no idea that the paintings were being judged. My prize is a voucher from the Glasgow Art Store and I'm so looking forward to spending it.  What will I buy I wonder!

Another story about our holiday in sunny
Tenerife - the monkeys are so inquisitive, searching through the bag of food for their favourite sunflower seeds.

Cousin Pat, the princess and the wild child (her grandchildren) hubby and I visited Monkey Park - the biggest little Zoo in the World, just 5 minutes away from Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas.  It is an International Breeding Center for endangered species of Primates and is an experience not to be missed. When paying your entry fee remember to buy a bag of food to feed the Iguanas, Toucans, Lemurs, Squirrel Monkeys, Parrots oh and many more beautiful animals, some of which are allowed to wander around between their enclosures where you can feed them. 
Monkey Park is open every day from 9.30am to 5pm a lovely day's outing for adults as well as children. 

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Home again

We arrived home on Saturday 21st August (my birthday) after a brilliant holiday with Cousin Pat and her family.  Sitting here with goosebumps on my arms as it is a little chilly in Scotland after the lovely sunshine in Tenerife.

Will add some photos of the island once they are downloaded to computer.

If you have never been to Tenerife I thoroughly recommend the island as a great holiday destination, lots of sun and great food (do try the local Canarian food you won't be disappointed) there are lots of places to see if you are not a beach babe.  On last year's trip we travelled by coach tours around the island, these are great with plenty of information from your tour guide.  This year we used the Titsa buses (local name is the Gua Gua bus) and had fun hopping off and on different buses to reach the towns we visited. Cousin Pat had a ball too as she visited the towns with us each day going to Santa Cruz and then jumped on the Gua Gua down to Puerto de la Cruz, another day we went to La Lagona where one of the highlights was a visit to the local cake shop (oh my the cakes were so yummy I had a bit of bother choosing my favourite) while my husband had a 3 flavoured ice cream cone and we climbed the bell tower what wonderful views of La Lagona.  We've also had boat trips to see the pilot whales and dolphins.  Next post I'l tell you some more of our holiday.

Cousin Pat has lived in Tenerife for over 10 years so she knows the language (and what she doesn't know she still is learning) this was a great help to us.  We found that many locals had a smattering of English so between a mixture of a few words of Spanish, sign language and English my husband and I were able to communicate quite easily.  After all it's fun to learn something new each day.  It's what keep the old brain ticking over. 

Friday, 20 August 2010

Welcome to my first post

My husband and I have just spent a brilliant holiday in Tenerife with my Cousin Pat (link to her blog) and her family.  It is at her insistance (she's a wee bully!) and her daughter Julie's (link to her web) that I get dragged into the 21st century and start a blog.  So here goes -

I have always loved crafts since a child.  My husband's favourite word for the accumulation of materials related to my crafts is 'STUFF' (he really does support me in all my ventures into crafting).  I paint, sew, and stitch.

This painting is the watercolour version of a stained glass silk painting I designed in the style of Rennie MacIntosh (a wellknown Scottish Painter) as part of a banner for the Silk Painter's Guild Exhibition a few year's ago.