Month: June 2016

Sketch and draw, paint and colour it in


Earlier in the year I was inspired by an artist and her Instagram account. Lisa Congdon. She has a sketchbook on the go constantly and shares lots of great art both on insta and her blog. Remember last year I tried to do something arty every week and failed miserably? Well I put that behind me and was so driven on by the creativity of this woman I bought myself a new little watercolour book and a couple of fine tipped black pens.


I was very conscientious throughout April and picked the book up at least twice a week. I’ve tried to be neat and careful which is a challenge. The doodle above is of my own design but the one below is from this pin.


I love the idea of hand lettering.


And was really pleased with my first alphabet, taken from this pin. The watercolour paper is quite bobbly so often I ended up with a wavy line.

Couldn’t resist doing a total copy of one of Lisa’s drawings.


This is such a departure from what I’d usually doodle and I think I’d like to keep going so that I can develop my own style but with a greater degree of thought and care. And practice. If there is one thing that sings out from her work it is the daily routine of practice, of doing it and keeping doing it over and over. This is also something that does not come naturally but I can try.

What I need to do is to put down the laptop and pick up the sketchbook.


Photo a Day – week fifteen


Here goes another week.

The Elderflower season is upon us and the scent is just amazing. I walked past a row of trees during my lunch hour and could have sat down and breathed it in for the whole time. Beautiful.


Walking with Bud early on Tuesday I spotted these baby conkers. The potential is there.


The colour in this photo is a little brighter that the actual scene in real life but it was a pretty wonderful sunset.


Another glorious sky the following day.


Self sown Teasel.


First handful of salad leaves from the garden.


We three went for a walk through the pretty Canal Gardens. I love a big brick wall as a backdrop for flowers.


And there we have it.

Bloom 2016 – hot pink


Another from a few weeks ago.

The Tulips all in their second year are Dolls Minuet, Black Parrot and Queen of Night.


I also picked wallflower foliage and some self sown Aquilegia that had a dark plummy stem but still a greeny/pink flower which picked up on the pink Tulip.

Loved this combination and love those pink Tulips, must remember to order more this autumn.

52 stories – week thirty one – the selfie quest continues


Hello and welcome to another week of story telling here.

Selfie Quest – part two


Embellishments are minimal but the design of this page follows the same grid pattern that I used for the first self timer quest.

Here is the story from this page –

We have turned this self timer thing into an obsessive quest. In a good and fun way I hasten to add! At every sight we went to see I checked the surroundings for a place to put the camera so I could add a shot to our collection. Love these photos so.

The takeaways from this story, would I add anything more?

Um… the date might be a good idea! But apart from that little blunder the short paragraph captures the essence of this fun thing that we do and that’s all it needed. I will put these layouts together in the album so they tell an overall story of this self time thing. (I have another set of these photos yet to scrap from our 2015 hols!)


52 stories is a year long 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.



Read 2016 – Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers


Yes, more Dorothy. But this one, oh this one I struggled with so much. I found it quite surprising that after reading ten of her books and yes I have struggled with a few, this one almost got the better of me. It is way too long and there isn’t much action and Lord Peter is absent from over half the book. I think that author was indulging herself in a female lead here, testing out and pushing poor old Harriet to craft a different type of story and for me she failed. I was glad I kept reading but so thankful when I got to the end.

I have only one novel left to read in the Lord Peter series and although Gaudy was not fun I’m sure I will read Busman’s Honeymoon. (Another author came along and wrote some modern ones about the same characters and maybe I’ll read those?)

Anyway onward to a complete change of pace…..the final instalment of the Raven Cycle!

Photo a Day – week fourteen


The weeks are flying…..

That new iphone takes a good snap! Oh and cute right?


My matching mug and bowl from when I painted pottery those two times at Emma Bridgewater. Adore them. I’m doing a tea plate next time.


We had mocktails.


The whole reason I grew these plants.


Looks like Gav got those poached eggs just right, just as the British asparagus season comes to an end.


We had breakfast out with friends on Saturday at a local veggie place. The coffee was good.


One more of this darling boy. He loves the sun and the long grass.


And that was another week.

52 Stories – week thirty – Moai guys and me


Hello and welcome to another week in my story telling adventure.

Moai guys and me


Here’s the story from the page –

This is one of those stories… not sure how it all began. I do remember being excited to find an Easter Island statue or Moai in Washington and later remembering that there was one in the British Museum. And finally of course we trekked all over the NYC museum to find Dum Dum….. oops that’s what I call him (But it was Gum Gum? from night at the museum) Going to Easter Island is on my list. But until a few weeks ago I’d have said it was only a dream. But then one Saturday morning I stated to surf the net doing research and planning it out. After all that surfing somehow it seems possible so yes one day.

The takeaways from this page would I add anything more?

This was one of those pages that didn’t want to go right. I re-wrote that journalling several times and was running out of the lovely turquoise cardstock so that last attempt had to be good enough! I suppose I get the sort of point over within my story. Yet somehow.. I love the concept of bringing a theme together on a page to show an overall story. Something I am practicing. And I love that I show a side to my personality – how through surfing the internet and really considering this trip I came to believe that it was possible.

I love the colours I pulled from the photos to bring the three different shots more together on the layout and I like that I included the ‘click tick list’ because it links up that list in my scrapbook pages.

So overall not too bad!

Oh yes! I nearly forgot to add this important bit of info. While I was checking my facts for my journalling I actually discovered that the Moai in the Museum of Natural History, NYC is not the original. It’s a plaster cast made during an expedition the museum took to the island in 1934-1935. So now I’ll have to make another layout explaining that…..


52 stories is a year long 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.


Oh yes I did…..


A new iphone……


As in, my first iphone…..


After all I have said about iphones….. 00ps.

Still you gotta laugh right. Happy Monday!


Photo a Day – week thirteen


Here we are, a little later than usual (that seems to be a theme around here!) with another bunch of photos from our week.

Set up a timer shot for this one and Buddy disappeared. The minute he hears the beep beep of the camera on timer setting he vanishes. (Pavlov training eh?) Lucky for me he came back before the last one snapped!


When I travel about the UK I love to see the different sorts of architecture common to the place we visit. I know from past visits that the buildings in the Sussex countryside differ so much from what you’d find in Yorkshire. There are Oast houses for a start!  We found these lovely brick and wooden out buildings on a walk.


Cream tea anyone?


Macro shot of the rain on a leaf in one of the gardens we visited. Quite pleased with myself for getting that drop more or less in focus. Focus is a huge issue with macro photography…..


Home again. Picked some flowers and lit a few candles for our evening movie, Frozen – my niece was here for a sleepover.


And then when we were both awake early next day I suggested a trip for coffee as we walked Bud. She thought that was an excellent idea!


And on Sunday we had a real treat here in Leeds. We were the fifth stop for the ITU World Triathlon Series. Bud and I saw the first cyclists taking part in the amateur races when we went for our morning walk. Then I joined family in the afternoon and we wandered to Roundhay Park to see the swim part of the women’s elite race. That’s the picture below. Finally, I watched the mens elite swim on t.v then quickly walked round the corner with Gav and Bud to see them pass on their cycles (the course was just a couple of streets from the house!) It was good fun to be so in the middle of a sporting event like that and although lots of our roads were closed, everyone around the neighbourhood seemed thrilled to be witnessing such a great event. Phew that was a big story for one little photo…..


All in all a fun packed week.

52 Stories – week twenty nine – How many bathrooms?


Hi and welcome to another week of storytelling over here.

I’m not sure how many times I have prattled on about how good our holiday in the US was last year but I can’t help myself. We had SO MUCH FUN! This weeks story hones in on what I thought was a funny thing. Photographing some of the bathrooms in the many hotels we stayed at during the three weeks.

How many bathrooms?


Here is the story of this page –

This makes me smile so very much. One of the funny series of photographs that I took on this fab trip. It’s just a shame that I missed a few. Our first stop at the airport and I didn’t get that one. But I found my stride for hotel number two – Pasadena. And I remembered to get the shot in hotel no. three – Flagstaff. Monument Valley was number four but I was too tired to remember….. But Las Vegas, oh you strange place I loved your bathroom, the most appealing light, made me feel like a million bucks $$$$$$. Six was just an overnight stop at Fresno then over the hills to Palo Alto for hotel and bathroom number seven! Then to our fav place San Fran and number eight. We were getting used to the very odd low baths by that point, not that we got baths! And finally the last hotel and last bathroom and I missed getting a photo of it. Cambria and the quaint sea-side place. So how many was it then? Nine, nine in total. That’s sort of crazy right?…..

The takeaways from this page/would I add anything more?

Pretty happy with this funny story. And because I added a 6 x 6 page protector into the layout I had plenty of room to write all I wanted to.

I first heard about the additional page technique on the Paperclipping Roundtable. I had too many photos on the layout to include the story there so I thought that this idea would work and I like the little deviation from the normal look of the album.

Overall a success in my book.