Friday, May 30, 2014

They grow up so fast

I spotted a pair of new goslings by the river this week


and realised just how much the other goslings have grown in the two and a half weeks since I first saw them at that size –



They were really close because a woman and her toddler daughter were feeding bread to ‘the ducks’ (I feel a strong desire to say loudly to myself – ‘hello GEESE’ !)

They really do look like gangly youngsters rather than cute, fluffy babies now – although still cute when they huddle up together


The cygnets are still around too and there are still 7 of them


and I often see all the families together – I assume for safety


I haven’t suddenly grown tall, nor have I taken to carrying a ladder or long camera pole – there is a handy pedestrian bridge over the bank where they tend to hang out.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Zoom out on the kelpies

for my birthday outing we visited the fabulous new kelpie sculptures near Falkirk

2 wonderful horse heads (kelpies are water horses from traditional stories) that are an engineering marvel as well as a splendid, imposing public sculpture.  The park is not completed yet, with the visitor centre and cafe still to be built and some planting and path making still in progress.  But there were lots of people there eager to see the new kelpies (it was a public holiday) despite frequent showers

and couldn't resist the chance to feed the kelpies !
looking forward to discovering other wonders in your zoom in, zoom out pairings

Monday, May 26, 2014

teenage patchwork


I made this patchwork when I was a teenager, during the summer school holidays.  All of the fabrics were from the scrap pile – yellows and browns were prominent in my wardrobe then – funny remembering the different items these fabrics were used for.  I never backed it so you can still see my construction when you turn it over


each piece of fabric was folded over a piece of card and then tacked to shape and then I hand sewed the pieces together – lots of small over stitch while sitting in the garden enjoying the sun.

During the sorting of stuff Mum found a patchwork piece I made for my sister’s doll bed – I think at about the same time


again all the fabric is from the scrap pile.  One piece has rotted away (or eater my moths or mice – that one piece must have tasted particularly good).

Friday, May 23, 2014

busy crochet month

most of my crochet this month has been charity related.  A group of us from our weekly coffee group have started a craft for charity coffee group – the same coffee, cake and chat but with added crochet and knitting for various charities


most to the time we make 20 cm squares for either KAS who provide blankets for children in need in south Africa or LILY who are providing blankets for Syrian refugees.

recently we found out about a new campaign to raise awareness of being an organ donor – the idea is to leave yellow ducks in public places with a tag that encourages a visit to the website.  I’ve made some ducks but haven’t decided where to leave them yet

ducks 2

we have also been talking about raising money to help cover the postage of our squares and to raise awareness and hopefully recruit more members.  We thought we would go for lots of small items so I tried out some ami ideas and came up with this set of prototypes


I still need to work on some of the faces but am pleased overall and think they will work for pocket money buys – we are thinking £2 each ($3.30).  I will add elastic to the spiders so they can be hung up and some of the little hearts will have a broach fastener on the back.  The heart’ spider and monster patterns are from craftyiscool and I created the other animals using the same body shape as the alien and adding ears, tails etc inspired by a scroll through lots of ami images on Google.

The other thing I crocheted at the weekend was a mandala for the great mandala collection at Yarndale – the aim is to cover a wall with masses of colourful mandalas – they are collecting until June if you fancy contributing to this fun artwork.


Loving that I can amuse myself with a crochet hook, lovely colours and fun animals and have happy recipients so I don’t need to find a place for them all around my house. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Zoom in on the wings

around here nature seems to be in abundance - leaves and flowers in profusion, the chicks on the river, and lots of critters flitting amongst the leaves

I was aiming for the beautiful butterfly but when editing the photo I spotted the fly I captured too.

Lovely to see lots of butterflies around at the moment - they look lovely and they are a great excuse to keep some weeds as good butterfly habitat.

Wondering what everyone else has captured this week

Monday, May 19, 2014

lets see the shoes

Last month I shared a picture of my new lime shoes and was pleased to discover that many of you lovely blog visitors also enjoy wearing colourful shoes.  I was pleased but a little surprised.  So then I was wondering why this surprised me because I know that most of you are crafty and enjoy colour.  Then I realised that I was surprised because this was something I did not know about my blog friends when I have read so many other details of life through blog posts over the years. 

So I’m issuing an invite (or challenge) to share your footwear in a post.

You could record the range of shoes you are currently wearing as I did in this photo in 2007


or look down to record a ‘we were here’  shot like this one of my sister and nephew in 2008


I was taken with a shoe shot that Rinda posted recently where she captured her feet and the shoes she had just taken off when she got home after work as a candid shot of life right now.

So I decided to capture my pile of shoes in front of my wardrobe (the ones neatly inside the wardrobe are the ones I haven’t worn recently) as a candid shot of like as it is now.  And yes those are the same red crocs from the 2007 photo – they are indestructible


Hoping to see some interesting shoe shots popping up over the coming weeks.

Friday, May 16, 2014

come walk with me to see the chicks

Come and walk with me along the river. I’ve been keeping an eye on several nests on the river during my daily walk.  You might remember this goose nest from a zoom in zoom out pairing


Last week I noticed she was no longer on the nest and guessed that her eggs had hatched and earlier this week I saw her with 4 goslings


quite relaxed with them on the grass near people and other birds. I saw them again yesterday on the island in the river


I’ve also been watching two swan nests – the one of the same island as this goose and another


this nest is near where I first saw the goslings and when I glanced over at the nest the swan was standing up and I saw that her eggs had hatched recently and there were cygnets in the nest – you can even see some egg shell in the bottom photo


yesterday I realised just how lucky I was to see the cygnets as she was back sitting on the nest and all the cygnets are hidden beneath her


I love to see the chicks and will be keeping an eye out as more hatch (while still counting the swans – 58 on the river yesterday and a big group out on the firth – too far away to count.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Laughing his head off

Glasgow museum for my zoom in zoom out this week. I so appreciate how many museums and galleries are happy for photography now. I love this collection of heads that bob around in the grand arch of the traditional Victorian ceiling, like a released bunch of balloons.

wonder what other delights I'll find as I follow all the links for zoom in zoom out this week

Friday, May 9, 2014

5 in 5 in May in my flower garden

Taking Sandie’s suggestion to take plenty of photos in 5 minutes and then choose the 5 best.  I went into my front, flower garden and clicked away – often without looking at the screen on the back of the camera as I tried low and different angles to get near to the flowers.  It was fun to experiment like this – thanks Sandie.

So here are my picks and if I had smell-o-vision you would be smelling lavender as I brush against the lavender bush as I walk into the garden


lovely bluebells and marigolds giving colour now and plenty of promise of pinks and roses


lovely delicate lily of the valley blooming already – these are my birthday flowers so hope some are still flowering at the end of the month


I love this combination of plant components – leaves, thorns and flower


not forgetting the annoyingly ever present aphids (the spots on the leaves) which I squash regularly


and plenty of lovely ladybirds around – pretty and they also eat aphids

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Zoom in at the garden centre

After yummy scones and coffee out to the plant area and so much choice

Sweetpeas and tomatoe plants were on my list - summer treats to admire and pick.  Also tempted by rosemary - I always brush the plants in gardens I walk by so should really have my own too.

Week 19 already and the variety of ways you are all using this meme continues to make me smile

Monday, May 5, 2014

April’s Arithmetic

The month started with a celebration of my Mum’s 75th birthday - 3 generations enjoying a 3 layer chocolate brownie cake (made by Dad). Giving a total of 368 years or an average of 46.

Swans featured strongly.  The highest number I reached on my daily count while walking along the river was 71.  (No need to start booking me up for a counsellor – I promise this is the only thing I count daily!!)  Non mating swans congregate in spring and summer and my local river is one of their congregation points.


Also enjoyed seeing 15 men dance as swans in the Mathew Bourne version of Swan Lake – totally fabulous, fully of energy and recognisably swan like.

Went to 3 events in the Science Festival for a total of 9 hours.  At one event I made 4 items using 4 different techniques.

Crocheted 1 sausage dog (Fran) using 14 different colours – one advantage of making a multi coloured animal is that all the wool ends from the colour change are inside and so do not have to be individually sewn in.  Also crocheted a pink blanket segment for a charity blanket.


Enjoyed the doubling of temperature 7C on 1st (45 F)  and 18C (64 F) on 2nd last.  Not so keen on the seemingly endless days of fog (didn’t keep a count – too busy counting swans!).

Saw the blooming of the 4th wave of spring bulbs in my garden (grape hyacinths – in the picture) and the start of the 5th – bluebells. 


Picked, cooked and ate 1 cauliflower from my garden


Read 6 books on my kindle including an anthology of apocalypse short stories which I read in between the other books by Terry Pratchett, J K Rowling (being Robert Galbraith), Uyen Duong, David Crossland, and Chris Beckett.

Took 362 photos. 

Joining Julie and our fellow Counts in a Month in Numbers.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Reflective collage of pixel magic

Bonnie suggested collage as the theme for PhotoArt Friday.  I’d taken several photos of wonderful abstract patterns caused by light on the water so thought they would be a good starting point


The I played with using one as a texture on another and after some experimenting with blending modes I put them together as a collage and added an outline to each image – i like the movement in this collage


Then I decided to try the pairs of images again but this time only overlapping part of the image – and blended all into a rust background (because |I like orange with blue-grey) after much swapping around of image pairs and blending modes I came up with this


I like how the lines seem to join together as one image

and then I remembered some digital stamps I have in my collection which create a square collage look (I can’t find who created them, sorry) and tried these as a texture level. The bottom left is the stamp by itself.  I love how it looks as if there is a tiled layer underneath the water


I had a lot of creative fun trying these different ideas all prompted by the idea of collage.  Looking forward to seeing what others have created.