Photo a Day – Week Nine

Here are another week of photos. I was joining in with Ali Edwards Week in the Life. Not sure if I’ll make an album but I did enjoy trying to capture different things in pictures this week. Usually more of me. Ha!

And I got the big camera out every day. Gotta love what that big camera can do!

But sometimes the phone is easier to hold over you head to get stuff like this one.

And this one, which was a new adventure for me. We have the amazing Roundhay Park near where I live and work. We also have two huge expanses of grass or playing fields just outside the park called Soldiers’ Field (because this is where soldiers gathered in the First World War.) Anyway I wandered up to sit among the trees and green on my lunch break and it was lovely. Got steps in getting there and some reading too.

Here is one with the big camera. Always the bees right!

And always this fella.

Our eating apple tree had the most amazing blossom this year. Hope we get half as many apples as flowers. As with many flowers at the moment they were gone just a few days later because of wind and a colder snap. So fingers crossed that some got the bee treatment.

It is usually only during WITL that I take selfies like this one. It took a few tries but I like how it turned out.

And that was that.

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The Tulips 2018

For as many years as I can remember, certainly the last ten, I’ve endeavoured to have a stunning display of tulips in our garden. I have always loved these flowers and they are my favourite….. in April and May at least! We have done quite a decent display this year, possibly inspired by my Tulip Day last year.

Every day for the past four weeks (the season has been short because of the weather, cold then hot) I have ventured outside and within moments had a smile on my face as I see the tulips for the first time that day. Some may not be very perennial but it’s always worth buying more for the amount of pure joy they bring me.

The main display came from four pots. I planted in the same bulbs twos so there would be symmetry on either side of that path.

The top two photos as well as the next two show the evolution of the display in one of the pots.

Early morning sunshine. And it captures another couple of clumps of tulips that Gav planted in the borders. These have come back well for a about two years now.

Practicing with my macro lens….

I adore the darker tulips and this one is Black Parrot.

And this one is Queen of Night.

Totally blown out shot with sun flare but I still like the photo and I’m beginning to quite like this blowsy Antraciet variety too.

More from the pots.

Another fav. Dolls Minuet planted in a pot this year.

And finally another macro photo of an emerging La Belle Epoch. Such amazing detail on those petals!

Truly, truly in love with these flowers.

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Layout Share – On the Road Again

Here goes with another story from our USA adventure last year.

On the Road Again

Here’s the story –

Was it day 2 or day 3…. It’s fair to say that we spent a long time in the car but it was a necessary part of the adventure and we did have some fun…..really!

A short little story to go with a sweet photo. She didn’t take those ears off for days! The car journey had to be documented, in fact I plan to tell a few more stories about that aspect of our holiday. We drove a long way and by the last leg of it I must say I was fed up. But we did it and I wouldn’t change it.

Just a note to say that from the chronological point of view there are stories missing from the album. I made quite a few pages a couple of months ago, I was inspired after writing about the planning of this album and I will keep sharing those as we go along. I have actually added all the photos into empty 12 x 12 page protectors in the album so I know what story will go where and I’ve just about finished writing stories down too. Very exciting to have this album filling up.

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Photo a Day – Week Eight

A week of the garden.

Pretty sky over the greenhouse.

Honey bees are not discerning!

Okay well maybe.

Not yet!

My fav spot with Tulips this time.

Another day another honey bee.

Gav did us proud with his bulb planting last autumn. This little area is a spring dream.

And there we have it.

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Click Tick List – Make Profiteroles

We were going to my sisters for dinner last Saturday. We have an agreement about the provision of the desert, whoever is the visitor brings the pudding. My wonderful sis always makes the puds from scratch and I usually buy them but last Saturday I decided to make them.

And since the Click Tick List had been on my mind I thought what better desert to make than profiteroles!

Making choux pastry is a strange affair but I got on with it.

I think my mixture was a little runny. The recipe I used did say you might not need to add all the egg but I threw it in anyway. If I were ever to have another go at choux pastry (doubtful….) I wouldn’t add all the egg. Lesson one.

I piped the mixture onto the baking tray but ended up having lots leftover and realised I’d made my buns a little small so I popped a bit more dough on top of each mound to use up the rest of the mixture.

If I’d have left them as they had been piped I think they would have looked much neater. Lesson two.

After the buns cooled I found that a few were not cooked all the way through. If I’d have left them in the oven another two minutes I think they would have been perfect. Lesson three.

I piped whipped cream into the centre of each bun and served them up. Oh yes and my chocolate sauce went wrong too. You can see the theme here right?

But my lovely family ate them all up and were almost complimentary! And of course I can cross it off the list.

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The Click Tick List – Additions to the List and some Thoughts

I mentioned the other day that I was going to update my list so here it is.

I wrote that list quite a few years ago now, I can still remember the inspiration for came from a blog I read at the time – Mighty Girl. I was very excited to get ideas down on paper. Some of the things on the list I didn’t have to think about and others I pondered before adding.

After going along to see a Snooker match at this years World Championships in Sheffield, and realising that event wasn’t an item on my list I knew I needed to review it, add some more and maybe take some off. Let’s see…..

Take for example ‘See the Pyramids.’ My desire to see these magnificent constructions has not diminished but the simple fact of the matter is that I’m not likely to visit Egypt therefore unlikely to see the triangular works of art. But should I take it off the list? Never say never right? So it stays.

‘Get a book published’ is another off the wall notion. Will I ever write a book? Probably not yet who knows? So it stays too!

‘See Curling at the Winter Olympics’. I’m just going to tweak this one to  ‘See Curling live’. It could be at the Olympics or it could be a World Championship match.

‘Walk Hadrians wall’. Another tweak to ‘walk part of Hadrians Wall’. And while I’m tweaking away I’ll also alter ‘see the Ryder Cup in the US’ to ‘see a golf tournament abroad.’

Here’s one of those things that I have come to realise was a bit silly to put on my list. ‘Be able to meditate for 30 minutes.’ It’s not the idea of meditation that was silly but the time limit I put on it. Yoga has helped to teach me that what you think will happen might not. You are more than likely to have a different experience from what you imagine. Setting a time limit on meditation wasn’t the thing to do. I know why I did it. I wanted to aim for something and a time limit seemed like a good idea. But I hadn’t even embarked on trying to meditate at that point so I didn’t realise that the concept of time is not what’s important. So I shall change this to ‘practice meditation.’

If you go and revisit my list you may notice that I have added some more things and got the number up to 100!

I love some of the new additions like ‘Go Disneybounding’ and ‘Photograph all the Monopoly Streets’ (we have a head start on that one from our London trips. Also love ‘Ceremony of the Keys’ and ‘Visit a Lavender field in France.’

I named it the click tick list as a bit of a joke really. Go, take photo, cross it off. But at the root of these lists, certainly my list, is the desire to broaden horizons, experience something new, see a little of the magnificent planet we live on, do something you always longed to do, marvel at the life we can live.

Oh! Deep but true.

And finally I’m putting this in writing –  I reserve the right to tweak this list along the journey as many times as I like!

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Photo a Day – Week Seven

Another week, another seven photos.

What is it about plastic? Little tinker he is!

I’m going to update the click tick list soon because it’s been a while since I wrote it and a few things need to come off and a couple be added. The place in the photo below is the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and every April it plays host to the World Snooker Championships. Last week Gav and I went to see a session of snooker there. I have wanted to do that for about thirty years so I think it should have been on my list! It was just a good as I’d hoped, the theatre is small and the atmosphere excellent (if you like snooker that is!)

Men at work…..

A glorious sunny day and I did my favourite thing and took a cup of coffee outside to wander the garden.

Lovely Tulipa ‘menton.’

Trying to keep up the practice of taking selfies.

Thanks, yes I’ll have my glasses back please. For goodness sake how cute is she!

And that was that.

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Layout Share – Let’s do it Again

Here’s the second overview layout from our Washington stay last year.

Let’s do it Again

Here’s the story –

The thunderstorm didn’t have any effect on the blistering temps for our third day. We hit the art gallery….. “I’ve stood on that bridge” The lovely Cascade Cafe. Moments of fun were had by Bev and I in the Air and Space place, saw the White House and lots of monuments an a very entertaining bud driver on the way home.

Another simple page that captures the essence of the day with a few photos and words. Really like this and the page from last time and will remember this technique going forward with all the other days and stories for this holiday.

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What I’ve been Reading – April 2018

Since around 2012 The British Library has re-published long-lost crime novels.There’s quite a collection and I’ve read two of these novels already. Murder in the Museum by John Rowland has been on my pile for a year or so now. My Mum borrowed this book a couple of months ago but couldn’t get into it. Her reason for not enjoying the book is exactly my reason for enjoying it.

She found the idea that they were ‘old’ difficult to get her head round. Perhaps it was the knowledge that they are long-lost books that put her off? I mean in all honesty if they were classics they wouldn’t be long-lost and out of print would they? But for all that I like them. This particular one transported me back in time and gave me a few hours of lovely reading. It could have been the setting of course, the British Museum, a place I adore and know well. Or it could simply have been the gentle-ish story. I liked the two police characters and would happily read another book with them in it.

This was the only book I managed this month so I failed in my two books a month quest. I must catch up and read three in May!

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The 100 Day Project 2018 – Thoughts on 25 Days Down

Where did those 25 days go? I have be messing about with fabric pens, dimensional paint, scraps of material and embroidery floss and created a quarter of the squares. I’ve been sharing a photo everyday over here on Instagram along with a few words. I am smiling all over my face as I write because I absolutely adore this project.

The first 16.

Since I’m plod, plodding along I wanted to get a few of my thoughts and feelings about the project so far down ‘on paper’ because I know I’ll hit a wall at some point so let’s celebrate these first 25 days with a little honesty.

Here’s quick list of things that have come into my head so far –

  1. I don’t love every square and have made some mistakes
  2. I’m not doing it over if I don’t like it (yet anyway!)
  3. I’m a little panicky about them all looking the same
  4. I’m getting too conscious about the designs/colours matching other days nearby in the layout
  5. I dislike dimensional paint!
  6. I love applique
  7. Play is good

Here’s a bit more of a ramble about point 4.

Seeing my ‘grid’ of squares grow over on Instagram makes me want them all to be cohesive. I will hold my hand up and admit that I’ve made a pile of squares all in order of how I want to use them for the next 15 days. Is that cheating?

First of all Mel, it’s your project so you can do what you like and second of all if it is then so what! Maybe I’ll loosen up on this as time goes on or maybe I won’t and I’ll keep planning the fabric choices based on the other growing rows of squares. It’s just one of those quirks in my personality that I’m very matchy matchy.

Play is good. Below is a great example of how I played with card and supplies and made a template so I could use it as a mask.

I went for the ‘negative’ look so used the cut out hearts as the mask.

I loved making that template. But unfortunately the stamp I picked to create the design over the masked hearts didn’t allow those ‘negative’ hearts show up enough. (Plus I seem to have some old blue paint on the stamp….)

So I grabbed a Mister Huey’s spray mist and covered the square in pink ink!

This is one of the ones I don’t like. The combination of slightly patterned background fabric with the swirls and then the pink is too much. But it’s staying in the mix of squares if only to make me remember that play is good but test things out first is also a necessary part of play.

The dimensional paint issue. So on day 2 and 10 I used Tulip dimensional fabric paint. I loved day 2 but when I came to use it on day 10 my test runs with the white matt paint just looked awful. I’d committed to using paint on that day so I just did it. You can see the result in the last photo below. It’s the grey square with three white hearts and that zig zag border. It turned out ok and I like the addition of a border, something I’d yet to try. My thought about the paint overall should have been a good thing as it was pushing me to different things. But really I just didn’t want to work with the paint again.

Then I looked at the three tubes of paint and knew there was no way I wasn’t going to use them on this project again so I googled dimensional paint and came up with the technique I used here.

I drew the hearts onto a sheet of card and smushed the fabric square onto the paint. It’s so messy and imperfect but I love it. I really like the ‘negative cream heart on the inside of the paint and think I’ll try this again but paint the hearts closer so I get hardly any space between smushed hearts on the finished square. We will see.

I found that I was panicking around day 15 when all I seem to have made were squares with a big heart in the middle or squares with random little hearts. I know that really that wasn’t the case because when you look at them all laid out they do vary but that’s how I felt. I tried to just ignore those feelings and make the next square.

Just pushing on is really all you can do in a project like this because if you don’t you end up not making anything and that day is suddenly gone.

Day 24 is perhaps my most fav square of all. You know how I love a spotty fabric…… And my new love of the applique technique.

Below are all 25 laid out as they will be when I put them together as a quilt. Day 1 is top left.

I think you can tell by the length of my ramblings that I’m loving this so much and that is the most important part. Bring on the next 75!

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Here is my intro post to the 2018 project. And here is the post I wrote at the beginning of the 2017 project with this one summing up my thoughts at the end of those 100 days last year.

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