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Layout Share – MLK

Oh my goodness like I said last time there are more……..

MLK

Here’s the story –

Gav and I were excited to see this memorial to Martin Luther King. It had been many years in the making. Those three came along of course. I loved that Hannah took photos even though she didn’t know who he was. I’m sure she will one day. It was good to see it and it was a lovey tribute to him. And funny story….. 3 US girls offered H $10 to take their photo and she took it! Bless her and bless MLK.

I have been making this page for a long time. I go through phases like that where I start lots of layouts but don’t finish them off. But I’m glad it’s done and in the album now.

I need to get a move on with these layouts other wise we will be back from another US adventure and I won’t have documented this one!

Bloom 2019 – Early Spring

I don’t know where the time has gone these last few months. I mentioned the other day that I have been working more so that’s probably the answer! Anyway I’ve found lots of photos that I should have been sharing and hopefully I’ll catch up with some in the next couple of weeks.

Here is the first flower arrangement  of the year. All self sown beauties. Cerinthie, lunaria, myosotis and cowslips (primula veris).

I popped them in this lovely flowery jug a friend bought me last year and they looked so pretty……way back in April!

Photo a Day – Week Five and Six

Sharing another couple of weeks today. I’m so behind in posting these but that’s just the way it goes I guess. I’ve been working more hours over the last few months and it had impacted on my dedication to the blog! But I’m still here and still want to share and pondering how I can keep up regular posting going forwards.

Anyway, here are some great Tulips about to burst into colour. I was drawn to the purple tinge that seemed to pick up on the Hellebores behind.

And apple blossom about to bloom too. And a blue sky!

Walking in the park.

Beautifully lit Daffodil Thalia. One of my fav’s.

Gav had been working on getting this part of the garden all neat and tidy and I potted up some plants to display on that old wrought iron table we have had for years. Adore this new area.

Wraps for lunch with our salad.

His favourite napping spot in the morning when the sun beats down. Plus real life with a bag of rubbish abandoned!

And week six…

Taking advantage of the fallen cherry blossom this week on our walks.

Amazing butterfly. That iridescent glitter like sprinkles on his wings was just wonderful to see.

Our salad wall going strong. We have had a great year with this system so far.

As I said……

And more salad ready to be planted up. Love the textures of different leaves and the light. Always the light.

It’s all flowers or foliage! Euphorbia griffithii with a covering of raindrops.

And we had breakfast out with friends before going to a local flower show. Hummus and halloumi? Oh yes please!

Not sure we will ever catch up but there we have another two weeks.

The 100 Day Project – 100 Experiments in Art – 50 Days Down

Back again with a few more of my pieces from this years challenge. We have passed the halfway point and I want to share some of days 25 – 50. I hope to have carried on challenging myself…… Let’s take a look and see.

In these four along I have used different techniques and genres. Abstract, line work, still life and watercolour wet into wet.

I don’t know that I am honing in on my arty style but I am doing lots of different things.

Below are my two favourites from this batch. Both began life as a pen doodle. The left one was then covered with acrylic paint and I did more doodling on top. It is a technique I got from a Creative Bug class and I absolutely adore it. It is certainly going on a wall here. So quirky and weird and I would never have made anything like this without inspiration for the class.

The right one is coloured in using Copic markers. Again I like this very much and am amazed they began life with a scribbled doodle.

Another fav below. Inspired by Irena Orlov’s art. I will be trying this again it is just great fun.

I think I have expanded my arty horizons and discovered a couple of techniques that I will be trying again and again.

As I type we are on day 68. I am finding it hard to believe it’s almost over. But also sort of pleased as these last couple of weeks have been a challenge (especially when I was away for a week and only had limited supplies…..). I’ll be back to share more soon. But now I better go and make todays little treasure!

A Camping Trip

My brother in law was running in Snowdonia National Park the other weekend so a few family members got together there for some camping. It’s been about three years since Gav and I pitched the tent! Time flies…..

We stayed near Bala and visited the freshwater lake, supposedly the oldest in the world! And saw a steam train.

And went for a slow walk down a country lane my the niece and her niece. (Aka my great niece. Blows my mind saying that every time!)

She’s a cheeky one.

Some rain and some sun. And some lovely light.

Found the most amazing ice cream parlour. It’s worth the 3 hour drive to have another one.

And after all that we were mighty tired….

What I’ve been Reading 2019 – Victory Disc and The Hard Way

If you’ve been reading here a while you’ll know that I take part in Ali Edwards One Little Word class. For the creative prompt in March she suggested we commit to practice something everyday for the month. I’ve done this prompt before with varied success. Although not directly linked to my word Heart I decided to ‘practice’ reading everyday. Generally I do read everyday but I have a very bad habit of surfing the internet before sleep rather than reading and I wanted to see if I could cultivate a habit of reading every evening before lights out.

I’m happy to report that I was successful only missing three evenings in the month and two of those were before I had decided to do the reading thing as the practice.

The reason I mention all this here is that I discovered (re-discovered?) something about my reading habits. I may have said this before but I’m going to state it again.

I like to read what I like to read!

I don’t like to read books I’m told I should read. Let me clarify. Many of the folk I follow on Instagram or  blogs I read talk about books. Mostly they recommend books that are out of my comfort zone. They could be literary fiction, which I have read in the past but sometimes is simply above my head. They could be the book of the hour, you know, the one everybody is reading. These books may be well written, interesting stories but often containing some hardship and trauma. I know, I know, you can’t have a story without tension and drama. But I choose to spend my leisure time being generally happy not pulled apart by a story.

So I have decided to stick to my comfort zone for a while and see if I manage to read more. I’m still going to try and read all on my pile it just may take a bit longer!

Since my last reading post I have joined the nameless Vinyl Detective again for his third outing. These are fun easy reads that I just like and I’m looking forward to his fourth.

And naturally I have gone back for more Jack!

Set mainly in NYC this was another good one, if you like murder and mayhem…….

Oh and for full disclosure I picked up another book recently from my pile called Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead but I couldn’t get on with it. I was a few chapters in when I decided there was nothing likeable about any of the characters so back to the charity shop it went. (Mary-Lou that was the one you were interested in! You may enjoy but it wasn’t for me).

Anyway we will see what this new (old?) idea brings…….

Layout Share – Cafe Perfection

You would think that after all this time I’d run out of stories about our 2017 USA trip……. But no there’s more! Ha, ha.

Cafe Perfection

Here’s the story –

Gav does a great job on the research front when we are about to go on a road trip. He found Panera Bread and we ‘pinned’ a few to our map. He struck lunchtime gold with this one. First it was so cool in there compared to outside and second the choices were wonderful, overwhelming wonderful. But that was okay. Those 4 went in on our first stop but I sneaked in the side door for the ‘air’. So delish. And we stopped again on the way to Disney. A fav for sure. 

Although I really like this page, especially that group of embelishments on the left the story is a bit meh! I think I was in a rush to write is out. Always a mistake. I’ve waited 18 months to make the page and then don’t get the story right….

Here is what I should have written.

We were on our way to New Orleans the day after the Eclipse. It was oh so hot. We’d only driven about an hour and came to the first area Gav had marked on the map. There was a Target and a place we’d never been before called Panera Bread. The car park was busy. I was grouchy. I sent the four of them inside and said just get me whatever.

After about five minutes I decided I couldn’t sit in the hot car any longer and got out to see what they were up to. I peered in through the window to find them all stood, transfixed, staring up at a big board full of food options. It was funny to see them all stunned by the array of choices. I noticed there was a side door and I sneaked in there and just mooched about waiting for them. It was so gloriously cool. The place was buzzing. People coming and going or sat chatting and eating. It seemed like an age but at last they appeared piled high with drinks, salads and sandwiches. We were on our way again at last. We ate as we drove and were all impressed by the food. Well done Gav for finding this one and lucky us there was one on the way to Disney too.

Maybe I’ll add a smaller page with this printed on. But I do feel better for getting the full story down.

Photo a Day – Week Three and Four

And some more……

Blueberries. Yum.

No words……

Garden greens.

More…… plus my shadow.

In a tight ball.

Construction going on…

Breakfast on a Sunday.

Work hard little Ladybird.

Couldn’t resist those paws….

Self sown Cerinthie. Mother nature has it all sorted.

A trip to the seaside with my sister and niece. And a stop at our favourite ice-cream parlour. I didn’t try to get her in the background. It made the shot so much better for that accidental capture.

Although it looks like it was a nice week weather wise it was still chilly, hence the hat!

That Cerinthie, along with some wallflowers made it into a vase.

He was helping with a bit of weeding………

And there we go.

Layout Share – Remember

Back with another 2017 USA trip story.

Remember

Here’s the story –

I want to remember this place. I want to remember the heat, that Gav and I headed straight for into the shade on the steps. I want to remember that pool didn’t have water in it last time we were here. I want to remember the crowds and the buzzing of it all. I want to remember the reason for this amazing memorial how Americans celebrate their history. I’ll always remember.

Something I have learned from Ali Edwards is using the prompt ‘I want to remember….’ as a jumping off point for story telling. I loved that my niece was taking photos of us on the steps while I was taking photos of them. That in itself is a story but I decided to focus more on the feelings of this place. We have been here three times now and I simply love this memorial. Glad it features in this album.

The 100 Day Project 2019 – 100 Experiments in Art – 25 Days Down

As always I am loving this project. So far I have enjoyed trying various media, styles and concepts. It’s making me think which is good because I can easily get stuck in a rut and churn out the same sort of thing over and over. I don’t want to fall into that trap. My whole ‘brief’ for this years project was to play and try things, to hone in on my arty style.

I thought it would be good to dissect some of my pieces so far to help focus my mind as I go onward to the next 75 days. Here are 15 of the first 25 with some notes and thoughts.

 

Above we have day 21 on the left and day 1 on the right.

Let’s talk about day 1 first. This is probably the most ‘free’ I have been. I had looked at my Pinterest board and seen something I liked and tried it out. My version wasn’t anything like the inspiration. To me it is a total mess. Splotches of colour with no real composition but I will always remember I just went for it and although I may not like it it isn’t completely bad. HA!

Day 21 was marker pens and inspired by more on Pinterest. I like the floral pattern but when I stepped back and looked at it I realised that my smaller filler shapes were all very similar in size. To create a pleasing composition a variation of sizes would have helped here.

For day 5 I used layers of acrylic paint. I was finding no success using a brush so resorted to a technique I have used many times before when playing with paint – the hotel key card! Dab on some paint and drag it ‘smooth’ with the edge of the card. If there are layers of paint underneath some of those will show through depending on the pressure you use while dragging the card. I had the layers of blue underneath this one and used white over the top. The black was an afterthought but totally transforms this piece. By complete chance I made them look like buildings and their reflections (well that’s what I’m telling myself!)

Day 10 is a wet on wet technique using watercolour. I made the daisy shapes by leaving some of the white paper dry, a negative shape if you will. Again more thought would have helped this one but wet on wet is a bit of a panicky technique. Having the colour washes mixed and ready to go helps and also a plan of where the paint is going…..

Day 13 is a combination of wet on wet and wet on dry with watercolour again. I love this one and that it looks like a waterfall. Definitely want to try and recreate this idea to intentionally make it more waterfall like.

Day 16 is a flower inspired by the work of Lisa Congdon. Black brush marker with white gel pen. I took a class from Lisa last year on the Creative Bug platform and loved her style and work.

Day 22 was an attempt to copy an image I saw on the NASA Instagram feed. It was a photo from way above Earth of a snowy mountain scene that had bright blue rivers snaking through the peaks. My first attempt was cast aside as I had tried and failed, to copy the scene. Far too technical for me so I went abstract instead. I love these colours and the overall piece.

A pretty village made from marker pens for day 8 . More Lisa Congdon here and inspired by a drawing she did in the same class from Creative Bug. Adore this one. Adore!

Day 19 I went subtle. More of the scraping away technique. I used a star mask to create that background with acrylic paint.

Micron pen and flower shapes for day 14. Again inspired by Pinterest. Not keen on this one. I think my poppy type shapes and not quite right.

 

A cute rainbow with collaged paper for Day 11. Inspired by Kelly Rae Roberts. A background of gouache with a layer of white acrylic over the top. I will try this technique again as it was fun and looks so adorable. I could see it living in my great nieces room!

Day 23 I used a black painted background and a white marker sized paint pen. Another inspired by pinterest. My intention had been a circle shape but that went wrong so I made it more into an oval design and just added shapes and lines till I was happy with it.

Day 3 is gouache again. This was done using a big flat brush with a less is more idea. Something I need to try more often! I liked the colour combination, yellow is not my go to choice but I really like it here. Good to remember to try different things.

For day 24 I layered more gouache as a background. I tried to add a different colour by using the purple and then went with random daisy shapes. As an afterthought I outlined the flowers with black micron and liked that better.

Day 25 was the quickest one yet! Micron line drawing. Simple and not at all bad.

I think my favourite so far has to be the village of brightly coloured buildings. I just love this.

As you can see I have tried lots of styles been inspired by the work of artists I like and played a lot. I am learning that making is art is hard! But I don’t want that to put me off. Even though I have dabbled in painting and mixed media for many years I am still discovering, the hard way, that practice and patience are some of an artists key personality requirements. I am also learning about composition, mixing paints and making shapes. And I need to be conscious of less copying and more being inspired then going my own way when I look at all my pinned ideas.

But overall so far so good. Plenty still to learn as we go forward into the next 75 days!