Month: September 2015

Bloom 2015 – packing a punch

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The season is coming to an end here in our garden. Less daylight, cooler temperatures and plants that have just about given their all.

The only things still soldiering on are the Dahlias and the Sunflowers.

Here is an arrangement from the begininng of August that celebrates the bright light colourful punch that late summer brings.

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A mix of Calendula, Helianthus, Crocosmia and Euphorbia foliage. I just love that orange/ red almost magenta  colour of the Calendula bud before it opens up – in the top photo. All summer long I have been amazed by the little surprises some flowers hold, like the back of that sunflower bloom the other week. Good to see things in new and interesting ways and playing about with flowers is helping me do just that.

Photo a Day – week twenty seven

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What was going on last week?

Swinging.

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Eating.

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Walking.

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Colouring.

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Growing.

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Watching.

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Building.

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Good stuff.

Project Life® 2015 pages continue….

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A few more weeks finished.

Still using the same design A page protectors but adding in those lovely half size pages (design H) when I need a few more spaces for photos.

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This next page is when we started our three week holiday in the US. I limited myself to just 4 x 6 photos and in all the middle sections I added my journaling and a few filler cards, mainly from the aptly named Road trip kit.

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Over the years I have used a combination of techniques for including memorabilia from these trips in my memory keeping. A couple of times I used books that held all the writing, photos and memorabilia.  And this year I added almost all of them to the Project Life album.

I used two page protectors to do this, one with mostly 3 x 4 vertical pockets….

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This worked well for receipts and tickets and smaller items like those wonderful Computer Museum badges.

And the other was a 6 x 6 pocket page….

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You can’t really tell from the photo above but the booklets I collected all fit really well into the 6 x 6 size. Most of the pamphlet is held inside the pocket making it quite sturdy even though they stick proud a little bit. And all the ‘stuff’ is in one spot.

And the we were home….

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This year more than in past years I find that I’m okay not filling every card up. Above is a great example of this. Only two of the eight 3 x 4 cards have journaling on them. The others have little bits of this and that to make them pretty. And it makes the process easier which is a bonus this year.

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So keeping it simple and getting it done = happy!

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Project Life® is a memory keeping system developed by Becky Higgins. I am using the Honey and the Fifth and Frolic ‘Dear Lizzie’ Core Kits, the Seasons, DIY shop, Road Trip and Pooch Mini kits on my pages.

Go here to find out more from Becky.

Is it a Donut or a doughnut?

A few weeks ago I went to the other side of Leeds to visit my niece and on the drive home the tunnel I usually go through was closed for repair so I took the diversion into the city centre and out again.

As I drove I saw the most glorious sight…… Dunkin’ Donuts has opened in Leeds! Oh glorious day! Oh the waistline……

That Saturday Gav and I made a stop at the newly opened shop for a take out of six lovely doughnuts.

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They were delicious and it reminded me of a very similar photo taken not so long ago on another continent.

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Two of these beauties are the same flavour but they look different don’t they? I’m sure that the recipes is different here than it is in the US. Our tastes are not the same. And of course they were delish but just not the same it’s that old thing about stuff tastes better on holiday.

Little things make me happy. Doughnuts and capturing stories like this are two of them.

Bloom 2015 – dainty whites

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I have been gifted a new vessel for my flower arranging. So thought I better try it out.

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It looks like a really large wine glass and I was excited to try using a stemmed container.

In the bouquet are Antirrhinum ‘white giant’, Scabious, Nicotiana ‘fragrant cloud’, Helianthus ‘Italian white’ buds, and beech tree leaves.

I loved the challenge this gave me and will need to experiment a bit with the new shape but overall a great addition to my vase collection.

Photo a Day – week twenty six

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The glorious natural world.

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Magical Maple leaves.

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Spider web.

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I know it’s a bad photo but had to capture that naughty Squirrel with a feast of an apple in his paws…….

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The promise of a wonderful September day.

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Pretty Robin on the ground bird table.

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Amazing sky.

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That’s what the beauty was around me last week. How about you?

The breakfast love affair continues – green eggs and Quorn ham filled bagel

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Okay so not actually green eggs. Ha!

We are having a lovely sunny weekend here. Warm enough to eat one last breakfast outside. This was a combination of avocado, a slice of Quorn ham and scrambled eggs in a plain bagel. It was really good. I think an improvement would be adding a dollop of hollandaise too for an extra zing on the tastebuds.

After trying almost every veggie combination of breakfast ingredients I have come to the conclusion that you just can’t beat a bagel as the base for a breakfast sandwich. Although I do have my eye on a quesadilla recipe…..

Bloom 2015 – white & lime and orange velvet

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The flowers in the garden are slowing down and we have had lots of rain over the last few days so I haven’t been out there to survey the damage. Luckily I keep finding photos of arrangements I’d forgotten about. And so although these two vases have long since died and been composted (to help feed next years blooms) I can enjoy them once more right here.

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This white and lime jug has Nicotiana fragrant cloud and lime green, Antirrhinum giant white, Phlox and the last of the Alchemilla mollis flowers.

And a complete contrast with rich velvety colours once again.

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Here with have Dahlias ‘Karma Choc’ and ‘Thomas A. Edison’, Calendula and to go with the orange I used a few Crocosmia stems. Copper beech leaves and Euphorbia griffithii make up the foliage base.

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The contrast between the two arrangements is amazing and looking back on what I’ve created is one of the good bits of this flower growing thing I do. I’m forever learning and that’s a wonderful thing.

Photo a Day – week twenty five

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Autumn is coming but we had a couple of lovely September days to cheer us up a little.

The time for candles is here again.

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Perfect Sunday.

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A toungsey!

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A macro shot of a Sunflower complete with bug! They are just a pretty on the back as they are on the front.

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Had to stop and grab this photo on the drive to work.

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Like I say autumn is beckoning. The beginning of apple and blackberry crumble.

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Master of all he surveys…..

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The weeks just fly by.

Oh beautiful bees, which one are you?

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I don’t think it would come as much of a surprise to anyone that’s been here for a while that I love bees. They are a vital part of our garden and a vital part of our food production and I can’t sing the praises of encouraging them into your garden enough.

Last year I spent quite a lot of time trying to name species of bees that came into our garden. I didn’t make much progress.

This year armed with the macro lens I felt certain I would fare better. Hmm…

Not sure that I have. But on any sunny day you would find me out there with the camera trying to catch a bee or two. I even resorted to the tripod in the hopes of getting better shots. (You’ll be pleased to hear that the tripod didn’t make much difference – well that the story I’m going with anyway….)

I poured over the images and am finally ready to share what I think are six different bees. I say I think I have because it’s a complicated business. I used this website and a PDF found there to help with the process.

So although I am naming them as I go I am not 100% certain I’m correct! The delightful specimen at the start of this post is a Common Carder bee. This one below is also a common carder bee getting his fill of an Antirrhinum flower.

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Next we have a White-tailed bee on a Spiraea flower head. Look at all that pollen on his back legs!

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And another White-tailed.

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And an Red-tailed one. The Knautia plants in early summer are bee nectar bars.

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And a Honey bee.

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Here is a Tree bee on a Geranium flower.

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And finally an Early bee.

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Fairly sure about this one as I managed to capture his yellow hairy face. Below is the same bee where you can see his blunt buff coloured tail.

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I would recommend planting the Knautia and also for later in the season Helenium and Echinops.

It’s been a labour of love, this identifying business but a worth while and fun one and I’m sure I’ll carry on photographing and trying to identify more species next summer.