Monday, 31 March 2014

Friday Finds (on a Monday)......'She wore flowers in her hair'

This is my contribution for Kim Klassen's 'Friday Finds' challenge (sorry I'm a bit late.....wasn't too well on Friday).
I have two 'finds'...a book and a planter.
I've been wanting a head planter for some time and finally spotted one in our local garden centre. I'm intrigued by how the look of it will change as the trailing plant grows and the pansies are replaced with other flowers.
We have a walled garden, which isn't always an advantage, but it is good for attaching things like this on to!

I altered my photo using Kim's textures 'Golden' and 'Magicedges'. I love the magic always amazes me how a black texture can affect an image in the way it does.

The quote is from 'The God of Small Things' by Arundhati Roy (winner of the Booker Prize 1997). 

I love the description of the character Ammu...

'On days like this there was something restless and untamed about her.... she wore flowers in her hair and carried magic secrets in her eyes. She spoke to no-one. She spent hours on the riverbank with her little plastic transistor.....she smoked cigarettes and had midnight swims. She had a delicate chiselled face, black eyebrows angled like seagull's wings, a small straight nose and luminous nutbrown skin. Her shoulders in her sleeveless sari blouse shone as though they had been polished with a high-wax polish.'

I have the book on my Kindle but am only 15% through it. I'll let you know how I get on.
Have any of you read it?

I adore this time of year when every day there are new finds in the garden. I had a quick trip round with my camera this morning whilst the sun was shining. Angel wondered what on earth I was doing crouching on the ground getting that low-angled shot.
I treated myself to a Nikon camera a few weeks ago; there's so much to learn!! I'm still trying to get to grips with the aperture setting...... love those soft, blurry backgrounds :-)

Thank goodness for the warmer days and the beauty of Springtime; they lift my spirits when I'm feeling down. When we do meditation (in my yoga class) we sometimes have to imagine a favourite, soothing place......I always think of my garden.
Still searching for a diagnosis for my health problem .....I'm paying for a series of ultrasound scans later this week. 

Back tomorrow with Texture Tuesday and a recipe..... 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Texture Tuesday......Quiet

I bought this lovely pot of white muscari at my local garden centre this week for only £1.40....bargain!
I have a garden full of the blue version which, although we moan about it, I do actually like very much.
But this white version is very special, it seems to have a special serene quality.....and it smells lovely too, which is a bonus.
So above is my offering for Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday....I have cheated slightly and used the word 'silence' instead of  'quiet'  ;-)
I used a few of Kim's textures, but the main one was 'Phoebe'.
Muscari Aucheri 'White Magic'

Still plodding on with my needle cases.
These two are almost finished....
 And my fabric weaving now feels like a single piece of cloth.......ready for embellishment.

Off now to look at my Bloglovin' list. 
Have you discovered it yet? Its a great way of keeping up to date with your favourite blogs......and for finding  new ones.
Back soon....

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Texture Tuesday.....Colour

Kim Klassen's theme this week is colour....not a problem for me ;-)
I like to take colour schemes from nature whenever I can and one of my favourite examples is pistachio nuts; I'm always amazed by the funky colours inside those shells.
Gorgeous, aren't they?
(My own photo above altered in PSE using Kim Klassen's texture 'Phoebe'.)

I love working with shades of purple and green......

My latest needlecase collage (still under construction)

I've been struggling with the usual health problems again for the past fortnight and have decided to see a nutritionist. He's incredibly knowledgeable about the workings of the digestive system, so I am feeling hopeful!
I have lost almost two stone over the past 18 months and am now down to 7st 10lbs, which I really don't want to be, and I'm starting to look scrawny :-(
When you get to my age you need a bit of flesh on your face!
I am excluding carbs from my diet, eating organic food,  keeping a food diary, cooking with coconut oil, using Ecover cleaning products.......if anyone has any other suggestions I would love to hear them!

Back soon with an update.....

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Texture Tuesday....Pure Beauty

Here's my contribution for Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday altered in PSE using Kim's textures: 'wonderful magic_stars', 'february magic edges' and 'yesteryear'.
I buy flowers for the house every week and usually go for blues, purples or pinks (never yellow...except for in March when I have jugs of daffodils everywhere). For a change this week I decided to go for white roses and gypsophila .....they look so peaceful; I love them. One of my most popular and re-pinned pins on Pinterest is this photo I took of a flower shop in Harrogate......where they only sell white flowers. The inside of the shop was even more beautiful.
Hah...I've just noticed our reflections in the glass :-D

I'm very fussy about flowers (my husband would groan and say 'I'll vouch for that' if he was reading this ;-) I don't like chrysanthemums or carnations. (And you can imagine what I think of yellow chrysanthemums and carnations....)

Before I go....just a quick peep at my latest project.
I'm making needle cases and books; mixed media collage on hand-made felt.
The felt is only rough cut here and I still have lots of stitching to favourite part :-)
And that's my job for tomorrow! (After I've taken Mum shopping.....)

Monday, 24 February 2014

A Soup(er) Day

Yesterday was not a good day. My digestive system went haywire, as it does from time to time (just wish I knew the trigger). I made a lovely fish pie with a sweet potato topping .....but just had to sit and watch my husband and my son eat it :-(
Ah well, at least I could enjoy the conversation.

But today I feel much better so decided to make my favourite green detox soup.....
Good ingredients for a poorly tum; broccoli, leek, celery, kale, cauliflower, courgette, garlic, veg bouillon..... 
and lots of parsley. 

Its a simple recipe......chop all the veg quite small, fry the leeks with the crushed garlic, add half a litre of stock along with the rest of the veg and simmer till everything is soft....but not too soft (you don't want mushy).
I then like to blend two thirds with a big handful of chopped parsley before putting it all back together in the pan and adding salt and pepper to taste.
Lovely with a small piece of spelt bread.....

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Texture Tuesday (a few days late)

I'm starting to feel really positive about the arrival of Spring...there are so many signs around, I can't help but feel it's just around the corner. Of course, we could have a rude awakening and winter could actually arrive in the next few weeks! Here in the Midlands we've escaped a lot of the really bad weather.....only time will tell if we've escaped it completely :-)
Kim Klassen's theme is Light this week....and I'm thinking 'Light at the end of the tunnel'.
Winter, for me, is a bit like a tunnel I have to get through....
I used Kim's 'wonderfulmagic_stars' texture...twice (both at soft light).
I have a number of these hyacinths around the house; not only do they look beautiful, they smell wonderful too...
(The pot holder is from Ikea BTW).

I'm hoping there's 'light at the end of the tunnel' regarding my health too.....
I mentioned a couple of posts back that I've suffered with digestive problems for almost two years and during that time I've read many books on the subject. I believe that carbs are very damaging to our health and I'm trying hard to avoid them. I eat no refined sugar and avoid cakes, biscuits, sweets etc.
I LOVE bread though and can't imagine giving that up completely. So, I've done a lot of research into spelt flour. Its an ancient grain that hasn't been refined or modified and so is much healthier. It is higher in protein and easier to digest than wheat. I find that I can eat one piece a day without suffering any consequences. And it's much tastier than ordinary bread.......I've even converted my mum :-)
This is the flour I the spelt and walnut loaf I made yesterday.  The addition of chopped dates is good too! There are other recipes on the back of the bag.

I have also become a bit obsessed with coconut has so many amazing health benefits. I use it in most of our meals nowadays;  its the best oil to use for frying as it doesn't deteriorate when heated. I also eat it by the spoonful; its good for the brain! I made these treats today.....
The base is made from ground oats, ground almonds, coconut oil, Manuka honey, almond butter, cinnamon and vanilla essence. I pressed it into petit four cases then poured the topping over...which is made from coconut oil, raw cacao powder and honey. They are only tiny but they satisfy my craving for something sweet. I found the recipe on the marvellous  'Oh she glows' website.....which I highly recommend. Go and look at her latest recipe.....'Blissful Blueberry Banana Spelt Muffins'.........(vegan and no refined sugar). Can't wait to try those.

Back tomorrow with some artwork.....

Friday, 14 February 2014

Friday Finds....Pussy Willow

I would love to be able to say I found the pussy willow whilst out walking today.......unless you count walking around Marks & Spencers ;-)
I spotted a lovely huge bunch there whilst shopping for our Valentines Day dinner.
I have to confess to stroking them a lot...I'm surprised there are any furry bits left on the branches actually.
Textures: Kim Klassen's 'All my loving', '99' and 'Natures Beauty' all soft light.

Quote: 'No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn'.  ~Hal Borland  
Thank goodness...........

Before....and after

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Texture Tuesday

This week the theme is  Love  on Texture Tuesday. I decided avoid the usual pink and red (lovely as it is) and see what else I could find.....
....a vintage glass bottle, some hydrangea skeletons, tiny poppy seedheads plus a metal tag.

I used Kim Klassen's black texture 'Wonderful magic_scripted' (screen. 55% opacity),  plus '99'...a cream texture (soft light).

Brian and I have always celebrated Valentine's, presents, a special meal. Don't suppose we'll ever stop...... I'll maybe make a card this year with this image.
I love this tiny heart from Kim's 'Vines and Lines' brush collection.

Before and after.....
Back on Friday with an update on my new collage plus 'Friday Finds'.
Hope you're having a   lovely   week........... :-)

Friday, 7 February 2014

Friday Finds

This is my contribution to Kim Klassen's 'Friday Finds', which I am going to try and join in with on a regular basis.  I used Kim's 'Magic Scripted' texture on my photo, plus one of her affirmation brushes.......a great quote and even more appropriate as the flower has a flaw on one of the petals.

I decided to make a start on my garden journal yesterday.....which meant photographing the garden at its 'winter worst', in order to appreciate the beauty later on ;-)
I had a lovely surprise though when I found the hellebore flowering amongst all the duller stuff.
I remember buying it last year; an unimpressive stem with four leaves which the nursery owner assured me would become a wonderful plant.  Well he was right.....

I printed out a few sizes of the digitally altered photo and spent a happy half hour sorting through my collage boxes to find matching materials for a collage (or two).

Angel was on hand to give advice....
So at last I am going to start sticking and stitching!! Its been a long time.......

Monday, 13 January 2014

Coming Back

I've made the decision to return to Blogger for a number of reasons; the main one being I feel more connected with everyone here. I also get more visitors on Blogger than my website...which seems bizarre considering I haven't been using it (but I think its due to Pinterest and Google)
My website will close in a few months but I won't be adding any more to it before then.
So, please would you add my Blogger address back to your bloglist?....Sorry to be a pain :-D
I have lots of things to tell you about, but I will try to write shorter and more frequent posts.

Last year was a difficult one for me; my health was not good and when I don't feel great I struggle to blog and blog-visit. I'm hoping 2014 will be a better year. I am gradually learning how to deal with my health issues and have read and learnt a lot about diet and lifestyle. More of that to come in the next few weeks.

Angel continues to be a constant source of fun and love in my life...I'm so lucky to have found her. The rescue group where she was fostered does an incredible job and I am full of admiration for all their hard work and dedication

I'm currently working on two classes....Alisa Burke's 'The Art of Blogging' and Kim Klassen's 'Beyond Layers'. I've already made an attempt to smarten up my I need to get back to photography and digital art.
'Let go' is my phrase for this year. A lot of the reasons for this are personal ones, but the current crucial issue is my hunched shoulders!! I'm learning to retrain myself to let go of the tension there....not easy when you've spent years with your shoulders up around your ears :-D

Photo: my own
Texture: Kim Klassen's 'Golden'
Script Brush: By Lady Victoire on Deviant art
Text: Jellyka BeesAntique Handwriting (Dafont)
Photo Mask: Anna Aspnes (Oscraps)

Back soon.....

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

...I'm now HERE. Please come and visit me.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

New Post

I've updated my website blog


Monday, 18 March 2013

Friday, 22 February 2013

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Purple and Green

Just updated my blog here......
Hope you'll come and see me!

Monday, 22 October 2012


Please would you put my new website link in your sidebar.....
I have just written a new blog post :-)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

If you have this link in your blog list, please would you change it to my new blog
Thank you :-)

Monday, 8 October 2012

Hello......and Goodbye

Just letting you know I won't be posting here any more. I have a website and a shop......and a new blog here
Hope you'll come to see me!