Category: rumble ramble

The Bees of 2017

After that floral update I thought it would be fun so share a few photos of the bees I’ve been snapping this summer.

Oh the bees! I love the bees. All kinds, all shapes, all sizes. They are vital little creatures and always have a space in my garden and my heart. I wrote about them a couple of years ago.

As you know we are lucky enough to have a neighbour who keeps honey bees although we are not inundated with then as you may imagine. There are some in the garden but I think most fly further afield to gather their nectar.

Not sure if this one is a bee?? But I liked the photo so here he/she is.

I strive to get better photos with the macro lens but accept I probably will never get that perfect shot. I’m okay with that. It seems I won’t give up trying though because come a sunny summer day the first thing I do is pick up that camera and head outside.

One of my most favourite things is to just stand and listen and watch to see what is buzzing about in the garden that day. A perfect way to spend time in my opinion.

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The 100 Day Project – 100 Brushscript Quotes

Phew…… I am just over a third of the way through this project! 100 days is a long time! I’ve been sharing my quote each day on Instagram and you can find me here over there.

I may have rambled before about my attraction to this art form before but thought I’d go over it again as I try to cement ideas in my head.

It all started with Kal. She doesn’t really post there anymore but that is where I found her many years ago. She is over here on Instagram.

I have tried her way of writing before.

I also found Amy through scrapbooking and a few years ago she started writing in watercolour brush script. Her style is completely different to Kal and they are both different to what I imagine that kind of writing to be. Mostly you find, if you look on You Tube, a perfect ‘copperplate’ style that is written to a formula. Neither of these artists write that way and I don’t want to either.

I want to try to develop a style. My style. And I think by writing for 100 days I may get there.

So far I am loving it. Up until day six I didn’t practice before I put brush to paper I just wrote the quote. Of those first few some were just a mess that looking back I don’t like very much.

Lesson number one then? I do need to ‘warm’ up before I write each one simply to get the movement flowing and to keep up the practicing. Lesson number two? Keep varying the size and style. I have tried to write differently but am drawn to the loopy writing more as you can see.

Lesson number three? Slowly does it. Now here in lies a problem. I have no patience. I want to take up the brush load it with colour and write. But I have found that if I slow down I can better judge the letters and where exactly I want the brush to go. I have also found that the way I hold the brush makes a difference. Straight up or like a pen and you end up with a different look.

 

I hope I’m getting better. Well I think I am. I have developed certain letters that were a problem to start with like ‘b’ and ‘y’ I like my ‘f’, ‘h’, ‘l’. Some are still tricky like ‘s’ and ‘m’ but I keep trying.

A few days ago I started with movie quotes and I’m loving that twist.

Generally I am writing them all in a book. I thought the idea of having all of them together would be kind of cool. I have done three ‘loose’ and may do more perhaps on different paper like the one in the first photo.

The paper in this pad I’m using is not watercolour paper but is slightly thicker and more textured than printer paper. I’m using a set of proper watercolour paints and a cheaper, chalkier set that I got from Hobbycraft in the UK. I use a fine water-brush for convenience and the bristles are very controllable.

I’m not sure I like the way my style is developing but I’ll keep going and see where this adventures leads me!

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Go here to find out more about the 100 Day Project.

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!

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The return of vinyl……

I think it all began by seeing this post and then of course reading this book. I admitted when I wrote about my thoughts on the novel that it made me want to find a turntable and listen to records again. I happened to mention this to my sister and for Christmas she bought me a record player! She is the gift queen.

So I had the device on which to play records now for the records.

On Christmas Day when I announced that I had a brand new record player my sister-in-law went straight home and brought back her record collection. I think she was as excited as I was to talk about old records. Then a few days later I raided my Mum’s garage for their collection of vinyl and found some of my old records too. It’s funny that when I moved out of my Mum and Dads these records weren’t important enough to take with me. Thirty years later? I have fallen in love with them all over again.

I hold my hand on my heart and openly admit that most of my desire to have a record player again is rooted in nostalgia. The desire to go back in time and relive a moment or two. And it did happen. There have been a couple of albums that when I put needle to shiny disc and the first notes played I was twelve again and dancing around and around. The words of the songs flooded back and I sang along at the top of my voice.

Moments like that are what I call happy/sad. Nostalgia is like that.

The other part of me that wasn’t looking back to a time gone by was looking in the opposite direction. I was hoping for a new experience. That I would put on a record and  listen to the album the whole way through. That I would let it play and let it fill the room with music. I’m not explaining it very well but I guess what I wanted was a slowing down. We have a couple of very music savvy friends and I was chatting with one of them about the joy of having a record player again and he said that listening to a record on a turntable changes the way you listen to music. That is the essence of what I was thinking and hoping for.

Already I have woven the playing of records into our weekends and it feels great. I’m hoping to search through charity shops to add to our collection and I even have a couple of record shops jotted down in New York for when we go next month! Very excited to see how this new/old thing develops and moulds itself into our lives right now in 2017.

Saying goodbye, saying hello

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At this time of year the internet is awash with goodbye old year hello new year. It is the way of things. I’m not ready yet to say farewell but I guess I have little choice so as a nod to the oncoming new year here are a few favourite photos from the last twelve months.

I made cinnamon rolls for the first time.

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Bud got a new Christmas jumper.

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It snowed in February.

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I made bun and butter pudding in March.

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And had a lovely birthday dinner where Buddy had a spot in the restaurant all to himself.

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I started to make a quilt with material I bought in 2015 from the US…..still to be finished!

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And we formed a monthly ritual of going out for dinner with Hannah.

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May saw the patio awash with spring flowers.

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And I made antipasto kebabs.

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June was the month of the iphone!

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And the garden sprang to life.

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July was the month of the selfie.

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And I found a rare post box right on our doorstep!

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In August we took Hannah to see the Lion King.

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And harvested peas and beans.

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In September I arranged flowers.

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And we went to Portugal.

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October was the month of the tomato.

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And I caught these three on camera.

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November was a walk in the park.

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And a walk on a beach.

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December was filled with fun.

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And a surprise gift (more on this soon!)

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That was my 2016 in 24 photos!

Happy New Year and wishing you all an amazing 2017.

Celebrating autumn leaves and loved ones

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Recently I suggested that we have a trip to Roundhay Park to throw some leaves about. They were not that enthusiastic but we seemed to have fun anyway!

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I think that I need to practice my photography skills some more……. But regardless of the blur I had fun too.

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And clearly we were rather pleased with our efforts. A great reminder for me. Get out there and enjoy whatever moments you can with those you love.

Around here and a sunset

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I thought I’d just pop in and say hello.

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I have been absent from this space for a week or so and I was thinking how to delve back into the blogging thing….

What better way than with a few words about what my brain is up to and a new favourite photo.

Pondering the Tulip order. I say this every year but next year will be the year for Tulips in our garden.

Waiting for the new season of Elementary. Actually I’m waiting for the new season of Elementary, Big Bang Theory, NCIS LA…. well several of my guilty pleasures in the t.v department.

Planning to do lots of sewing in an attempt to finish three quilting projects.

Catching up on scrapbooking. Or at least thinking about it.

Buying new jeans! This is big, huge. I hate that first few weeks getting to know a new pair. I like my old comfy worn in pair. However, I have bought some new and need to get wearing them.

Thinking about the changing of the seasons. That switch from light nights, garden photography, spending time outside to cosy evenings, winter crafting projects, no photography!

Hoping to be inspired and get back on the blog highway soon.

Holiday vibes and shadow photos

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Having a lovely time here in Portugal. We have found our own routine. Late breakfast, reading, pool, late lunch. A walk here and nap there just the perfect lazy holiday. I’ve also been taking lots of photos some on the ‘big camera’ but most with my iphone. I’ve been particularly enjoying the light and the shadows the light lets you create……

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Even roped Gav into the fun!

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Oh we laugh…….

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The post box quest continues….

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I am very excited to share these photos. Bring on the geek fest, oh yeah!

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If you recall from my previous ramblings about these gems of the UK postal service, most post boxes that you find on the streets today have a Royal cypher on the door of the box.

So far I have found five out of the six cyphers in existence. The one I had yet to spot was the rare ER VIII that was for Edward. They are rare because he abdicated before his coronation but around 160+ had been put in place up and down the country before the abdication. I’d done quite a bit of searching off and on over the last four years but had never found reference to any of these boxes nearby. Until I stumbled upon blog post over here and read with excitement (yes, geek indeed) that there was not one but two of these boxes right here in Leeds!

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And this one is actually on the route we take to visit Gav’s parents. Right under my nose.

Very happy to add this photo to my collection.

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Read 2016 – The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude

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A fired passed this book on to me. It is one in a growing series of re-published novels from the 1930’s. I love the idea that old books are getting a second life. Although you do sort of wonder why they disappeared. This one was quite slow but there was nothing wrong with. A couple of good characters as the main protagonists and I would happily read another book with them in it. All in all a nice murder mystery.