Bloom 2017 – Poets and Bay

I am thrilled to be back again with a flower arrangement, the first since November last year. I’m also thrilled that I seem to have found a new vase.

Actually this was a candle holder but I liked that it had a stem, all be it a stubby one, so earmarked it for use as a vase. It needed a florist’s pin holder because the neck is quite open but I think it worked very well and I look forward to many more arrangements in it this year.

And you will notice that I drafted that wonderful old stool into duty too. It was back at my sisters over Christmas but I go it back with our Easter gathering! It’s just perfect for sitting arrangements on.

In this arrangement is Narcissus poeticus, Myosotis (Forget me not), Kerria pleniflora, Laurus (Bay) foliage and Choisya foliage.

And talking of Easter this vase full was actually the centrepiece on our Easter table.

Not the best photo bit it gives the idea of what I was going for. Oh yes and naughty Buddles ate some of those Cadbury’s Mini Eggs when we all went outside for the usual family photo. There he was wandering about on the table crunch, crunch, crunch! I was very worried because chocolate is poisonous for pooches. He was fine though but what a waste of mini eggs!

Posted in Bloom | 2 Comments

Week In The Life™ 2017 – Sunday Photos

I have been joining in with Ali and her Week In The Life™ project. This is the first chance I’ve had to share my photos and it was all about the garden yesterday.

But we started with a walk to get coffee and the paper.

Hanging out the washing with the big camera slung round my neck.

It was good this week to get the Canon out and take some photos with it again. The iphone makes it too easy to snap and I have been forgetting to take the bigger camera out and about.

I used the macro lens on these Ivy leaves.

I know its blurry but I love this photo. My foot, his paw.

The Poang is still in the hall after last weeks Easter Sunday lunch for sixteen. And someone loves a Poang.

Sowing seeds.

For the shot above I used the timer on the phone and balanced it on some plant pots. Below, phone photo again of the same area in the garden but this time pulled back and Gav at the potting up bench.

I like the two different photos of the same spot in the garden.

Bedding back on. Let it be known that of all the housework jobs I hate changing the bed the most but so adore clean bedding.

I was messing about trying to take selfies while Gav went out running and ended up feeling really sick! Probably something to with trying to lie on my stomach…..

So it was an early night for me. I felt a bit better later after a snooze so I watched snooker on the laptop in bed.

Love this project. Going to sort my photos out and send them off to be printed. I’ll share more on the completed album soon.


Posted in photography, scrapbooking, Week in the Life™ | 2 Comments

Photo a Day – Week Five and Six

Here goes with some more.

A great sight. Washing on the line means we’re warming up her in the UK.

Gav was very happy to buy more than needed and fill a bag of nuts and bolts…..

From the top deck of the bus.

This toy is his favourite right now. It squeaks….. and he always wants to take it outside. How could I resist?

Was about to weed out this patch of Dandelions when a great bug early Bumble landed.

It’s time!

Sunset and the moon.

Another signal that it is getting warmer. Coffee outside.

A trip into Leeds and the rather fancy Victoria shopping centre.

On the way to work. I think that red light is saying turn round and go home……

My niece is making progress on the Spanish flag.

A sleepover and early morning trip for coffee.

A little scene with a rescued Anemone flower stem. I dug up a plant that had self seeded in the soon to be onion patch and a couple of flowers got damaged. They make lovely cut flowers and lasted for a quite a while.

The Tulips are coming on!

And that was a couple more weeks.




Posted in Photo a Day | 4 Comments

Currently – Spring 2017

The Garden

I’ve been wandering around the garden for weeks now peering at things and making mental list upon list of jobs that have to be done. But the truth of it was that I wasn’t feeling it. I was lack lustre and had no oomph. I actually said to Gav that I though I was ‘over’ gardening!

But before I had chance to panic too much I got out there on a quiet sunny Monday last week and I found my mojo again. And I truly believe that it’s because the seasons are changing and I, like the garden are growing into this new phase once more. Seeds have been sown for the cutting patches and I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Bloom 2017 in the next few weeks.

Gifts and adventures and living life

This year has so much good stuff going on.

My birthday treats just keeps coming! I have already enjoyed a weekend away courtesy of my BFF and next weekend is a trip to a local flower show that my Mum and Dad-in-law got me, then in May I’m going on this day out that my Sister and her family bought me. So excited for these events.

We hope to do our usual trip to London with my younger niece too, the baseball is back and we have a trip here to fit in as well. I am so lucky. That one was bought by colleagues and ex-colleagues from work!

This week is Week In The Life™ and I am happy to be joining in again with this project. I also splashed out as part of some birthday money and bought the kit. Will be getting the big camera out as it has been neglected a little of late.

Photo above was a display in Anthropology. A shop I have never been in before but in the spirit of adventure I wandered in. I loved the display and the products but alas way out of my budget! Good image though.

And of course I have the 100 Day Project going on too. Post coming about how I’m finding it so far soon.

So all in all Spring has sprung, I’m embracing this moment and thinking about things to come.

Let’s do this thing 2017!




Posted in garden, mel, rumble ramble | 2 Comments

Photo a Day – Week Four

Here we have another week.

Just the stuff I see everyday…. Gav’s hobbies in progress.

The most wonderful flower. Picked from my Mums garden Daphne odora aureomarginata. It smells divine and every garden should have this shrub.

Those two and me.

Another Hellebore this one is at the front of our house and is a beauty. But I do say that about all Hellebores don’t I?

Weeding in progress. ‘Tis the season.

My BFF took me away for a late birthday treat. This is the view from the boat we took on Lake Windermere in the Lake District. So amazing there.

And we indulged in afternoon tea before we headed home. Four courses of delightfulness! These were the scones, homemade damson jam and clotted cream……. Delish.

And there we go.



Posted in Photo a Day | 2 Comments

52 Stories – Number Forty Six – Build Stuff

Here we go with another story. This is one of the fun one! Actually I hope all my stories and layouts are fun but you know what I mean. I also hope it conveys the message to try and to do as well. To challenge yourself because you never know what would have happened if you didn’t try. So let’s see if I pulled that off…..

Build Stuff

Here’s the story –

It was on her summer list. Build an aqueduct. Of course I was sceptical but we added it all the same. And of course Gav was more than up for the challenge. This is the stuff. The good stuff. The stuff that helps to define and influence and grow kids. Fail or succeed they tried and the best part? they had the best FUN ever. Love these two so.

Did I get the story down? Would I add anything more?

Well I was getting there wasn’t I? I feel I missed the sentiment I was aiming for slightly. I began by mentioning that I was the sceptic when we added it to her list, ever since we built the obstacle course the year before she almost believes Gav can make anything. So I start by saying I doubted we could do it and go on to sum up that is the end result isn’t the goal here. It’s doing something and loving the process that’s important. I liked that part.

I guess I don’t have to spell out the whole idea of this. By me writing this story down I have learnt something. It has driven home in my mind that it is the trying and the doing rather than getting it right every time. So actually yes, I have told a nice story but in the telling I have learnt something too. Now that really is win, win!


52 stories is a series (or adventure) in my story telling. Can I get the whole story onto a layout? Am I telling the stories I want to tell? Read the inspiration post here.

Posted in 52 stories | 2 Comments

The 100 Day Project – 2017

Last year I heard about the 100 Day Project on the podcast Elise Gets Crafty. I’ve been a fan of Elise for a few years now, loved reading her blog (she doesn’t write there now very often), listening to her podcast and following her on Instagram.

I was interested in the idea of painting aeriel landscapes when I listened to this episode of the podcast. I hopped over and looked at the paintings her guest had made (this photo on Instagram gives an idea of the paintings she made last year). I began pinning aeriel photos for inspiration and even made a few just to see.

Of course I wanted to jump on board with this idea right away but stopped myself knowing that it would be better to wait and join in next time the ‘official’ project was running. I thought having others doing it at the same time might keep me on track.

This years project is about to begin (4 April) and I am wavering from my original idea. The thinking behind my doubts? I probably can’t afford to buy supplies to paint 100 canvases and what would I do with them when they were finished? Of course I have dreamed of setting up an Etsy shop to try and sell them but not sure anyone would buy, plus Etsy is a whole other thing to add into the mix and I’ll have enough going on trying to do something for 100 days let alone wondering what to do after…….. As I write this it feels like a bit of a lame excuse…….

Anyway, I was still pondering what else I could do when I found this book.

I have been following the author/artist on Instagram for a few months and love her work so I bought the book which got me thinking could I complete some of the projects in the book as my 100? I was discussing my ideas with Gav and he added one into the mix too.

Here are the four ideas –

  • Write 100 quotes in brush script
  • Take 100 photographs with the big camera
  • Complete 100 projects from the book
  • Paint 100 aeriel landscapes

Looking at them set out like this makes me want to do them all. Maybe I will? One day.

The most doable one would be the photos because I take photos everyday anyway I’d just have to go back to the big camera.

But I have decided to go with the brush script. I think that will push me in terms of commitment and it will make me experiment and learn about my style with this medium. It feels just challenging enough which I think is sensible for my first attempt at this project.

So there we go. Starting on 4 April I will write a quote in brush script every day for 100 days! Of course I’ll share here as we go along and would love to see if you are doing the project?

Posted in mel | 2 Comments

Photo a Day – Week Two and Three

Here we go with another couple of weeks.

We were still Stateside at the start of this week. Here is a view of The Highline. It was an amazing walk up above the streets of Chelsea, above the traffic and with a great view of the city. Can’t recommend this unique park enough.

And after two bright sunny days Storm Stella blew into town. For a lover of snow this day in NYC nearly cured me of that love, nearly!

And although there was still piles of the stuff around the city was back to almost normal the day after and we headed to the Brooklyn Bridge.

We flew back overnight. The walkway from plane to terminal afforded me a great view of our transport home.

The following day we lazed in bed far too long but someone wasn’t bothered about that.

Good to see the garden in springing to life.

Gav is out there building new benches for the greenhouse and Bud went to keep him company.

Last week started with a change in the weather. Hail.


It was time to make s’mores again.

First harvest of the season.

The hail made way for wall to wall sunshine over the weekend.

And I spotted the first honey bee.

Breakfast at Betty’s for Mothers Day.

And there we have it.

Posted in Photo a Day | 2 Comments

Trip to the Movies – Beauty and the Beast

A random post for this Monday morning.

Over the weekend I went with family to see this film. Three generations of us. Grandmother to Granddaughters. And me, the Aunt.

We don’t get to the cinema as often I’d like and we certainly don’t get my Mum there very much but I’m so glad she came with us to see this classic Disney Fairytale. It was a bit of a shock to my older niece that I, in fact, had never seen the original cartoon version. If you have been reading here for very long you’ll know that I like happy endings and yes I know that Disney is usually a happy ending but boy do some of their characters go through the wringer to get there. I think it was the Aristocats in the 1970’s that put me off Disney films for the best part of 20 years!

Anyway, I was destined to fall for this new live action film as soon as I heard the music and saw a teaser trailer about a year ago. So off we went.

And I am very happy to report that a fun filled, happy ending was had by all.

Apparently, the reviews have not been all that favourable but who cares about the reviews? I loved it. Emma Watson was perfect as Belle and I loved the Beast. CGI yes but still, Dan Stevens did a great job and I was truly hooked. In fact I liked the Beast more that the Prince! An all star cast and all star production made this a hit in my book.

So if you like a Fairytale and a Disney one at that treat yourself to 2 hours of fun escapism and go see this re-imagined classic.


Posted in Films we watch, mel | 2 Comments

Photo a Day – Week One

Another year is here! Lets begin.

We have many messy corners in the garden (although Gav keeps saying this is the year we make is all perfect….) Anyway this little corner was so pretty in the spring sunshine.


Hellebore still going strong.

Me and a balloon friends bought me for my birthday. Couldn’t resist getting a shadow shot on that bright sunny morning.

Love me a boiled egg and soldiers.

And then we were off for our trip to New York. This was taken as we were coming into land. Perfect timing for a sunset in the sky.

One of our very favourite places in the big apple, Bryant Park. It was so very cold but the sun was kind to us for a couple of days.

And there we have the fisrt week.

Posted in Photo a Day | 2 Comments