Friday, 28 November 2014

Four Years of Blipfoto

Today is my 4th Blip anniversary which means I have uploaded a daily photograph to the Blipfoto site 1460 times without interruption. All the result of a little notice in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper about Blipfoto back in November 2010. It sounded good and I decided to give it a go, starting on the 30th November. Little did I know it would be a way of saving my life (this is the site's motto) as well as my sanity at times. That daily photograph has become part of my daily life and a way of life. Needless to say some days the picture is better than on others and sometimes I go all out to find that photograph while on others it's simply a quick picture snatched in our garden or photographing my art. It's all good and I'm much more relaxed about the whole thing that I was in the beginning. 
I would like to think that my pictures are also better than at that time but that's not my call. As a visual artist my eyes were very well trained already even back in 2010 but my powers of observation have been further sharpened. I'm not a photographer much bothered about lenses, f-stops and the like even though I know how to use them. For me photography is all about seeing and seizing the moment before it vanishes forever.
I no longer worry about the weather but work around it. Good thing too as today loomed very foggy and damp. I had the idea of going for a forest drive on a road we had never been on before. One of those very narrow Borders lanes running from Walkerburn in an easterly direction on the opposite side of the Tweed where the main A72 road goes and it was a treat. As trees have figured frequently on my Blip journal (including the very first picture all those years ago) they seemed to be appropriate for this occasion.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Cotoneaster and Beech


They provide a lovely colour combination in the garden. Specially on a grey and damp day like we had today. Don't mind though! Only too happy to stay in the studio and stitch.


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A Day of Stitching

Remember the velvet I dyed last week? It has now been incorporated into a quilt top together with some of the other cottons I dyed at the same time and is in the process of being stitched. That's just about all I did today. Love such stitching sessions. This is only a minute detail as I'm keeping this one to myself for the time being.


Monday, 24 November 2014

Grateful to be Alive

The theme for The Documented Life Project week 48 challenge was very appropriate for today which is our wedding anniversary. It was: Depict Gratitude in a creative way. There is much I'm grateful for and at first I wanted to fill the page with words but in the end they can all be encapsulated into this: Grateful to be Alive.

This page started with a collage of magazine pictures that I really liked, mainly featuring plants and flowers. I painted over this with acrylic paint in matching colours and then added the stickers (made from my own Instagram pictures by Printagram). I stamped the text and added the word Eclectic as I might well make that my word for 2015 and it has also been used frequently to describe my art.

I added the stamped hearts (to refer to our anniversary) and coloured in some areas with markers and outline pens.My 2014 planner is getting very full now (I promise to share a picture of it at the end of the year) but I love how it's looking and am rather torn about what I want to do next year. I could add planner pages to my Dylusions journal but I think I will continue to use an actual planner and tip in the pages, just like I have done this year. But no need yet to make a final decision as I have both planner and art journal to hand. In the meantime I'm being taken for lunch!


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Penicuik House walk

It was a glorious sunny day (although cold!) and I wanted to go and walk in the grounds of Penicuik House as someone had told me the scaffolding is finally down after many years. The house is still a shell but it is now a restored and stabilized one and the house looks impressive and beautiful without all the cranes etc. around it as there were during our previous visits. You can see the pictures from those visits here and here.

The Penicuik House Project have done a marvellous job with the house and also the grounds as many of the paths leading to the North Esk River are now gravelled and far easier to navigate. The grounds are blessed with a variety of gorgeous gates which were quite inspirational with their patterns.

I loved the fact that you can now walk up to the house and peer through what were once the windows and see what is left inside. We spotted several fire places, some very high up the walls.

And the sunshine made for lovely shadow play on the old walls.

Two impressive statues frame the front entrance and this one was my favourite. Apparently they represent druids who were the heraldic supporters of the Clerk family and appear on the coat of arms of this family who owned the estate over the centuries. They were carved in 1776.

You can walk around the house and get in just as close to the back of it as seen below.

After a full investigation we moved on and walked further into the estate to the river and an old bridge which is in the process of being restored. Sadly the fencing didn't provide wide enough openings to poke my lens through so pictures of that will have to wait till next time!

In the distance (and this is taken with my lens fully extended) is the Ramsay Monument. There doesn't seem to be any way of getting to it although I will try and give it another go one of these days. It seems to involve going through multiple fields so it will have to wait till summer and sturdy footwear is a must. This Ramsay is Allan Ramsay, the poet, also commemorated in the name of the local pub in nearby Carlops, which is much easier to visit!

These are the intricate Chinese Gates erected in 1758 and as you can see beautifully restored.

Going through those gates on the way back you get this lovely side view of the house in the low autumn sunshine.


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Garden Delight


I had a very satisfying and productive day in the studio and could barely tear myself away for photography purposes. But I'm glad I did. There is still so much beauty to be found in the garden such as the cotoneaster.

The blue skies above.

The flowering ivy.

The pine cones

As well as the forsythia leaves.



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