Thursday, 26 November 2015

Endings and Beginnings

Today was the special Christmas shopping day in Dawyck which meant reductions for members and a glass of mulled wine to boot!  I did a bit of shopping both before and after my walk and felt content that I could cross off gifts from my list as well as indulge in some goodies just for us. It was a good day for seeing wildlife too: 3 deer (during the dog walk), 2 squirrels, a buzzard and multiple pheasants (in and around Dawyck). Despite all that this time of year is one when melancholy descends.
 The glory of autumn has gone and the whiteness of winter hasn't yet arrived. Dawyck itself will close for the winter from the end of November till the 1st February 2016.
 Everything is looking a bit sad and bedraggled.
That is usually reflected in my mood but fortunately there is always the beauty of life, love, nature and art to uplift the soul.
 Pleasingly it was also possible to walk without a coat although with heavy walking boots.
There are reminders that the end of growth might be here but so too are new beginnings such as the promise of beautiful blooms to come from the buds of  rhododendrons.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Beauty is in the Details

A tiny detail of the flowering Christmas Cactus, photographed specially for the TinyTuesday challenge on the Blipfoto site.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Write Your Own Story

The Documented Life Project 2015 is continuing with the November theme of: Stencils, Stamps and Masks. We are using Masks as our art challenge and "Mask"arade as the journalling prompt. I took my inspiration partly from a UnMasked themed sketchbook I did for the Sketchbook Project some years ago as well as a more recent one called Passioneyes.

Very conveniently just the right stencils arrived the day before I started this spread, as part of Stencilgirl Club. When you are a member of the Club there is another advantage every month. The designer of that month's stencils has a full tutorial in the form of a PDF or Video (or both!) specially for the members. November's stencils were designed by Seth Apter and I used his video as the base for this spread in my Dylusions journal. That means starting with a black gessoed background which was a new departure for me. Then I went to work adding textures following his instructions.

For my masks I used two images cut from magazines, one a face and the other a figure. Both were put onto the page and I then feathered out from them with white paint to make the outlines. They were then coloured in with Silk Glazes which meant the background could still be seen vaguely but the colour was a contrast to the rest of the pages and the white.

I knew I had some cards featuring a mask and one of those was glued on to the left of the spread. Inks in various colours were dripped down the pages to add some cohesion and I stamped on the words: "Don't hide behind a mask". For the text on the facing page I used one of Seth's stencils this month from the Club, reading: "Write Your Own Story".

I outlined with Stabilo All black pencil, a black marker as well as a white one and added the postage stamps. Sometimes I spend more times selecting the stamps than on the entire spread. I usually have an idea of what I want from the stamps but it isn't always easy to find suitable ones, and usually I have to compromise, but these came close!


Saturday, 21 November 2015

And then there was snow


Not a lot of snow but it did make for a white world and an icy lane. Getting out first thing this morning was a bit of an adventure!


Friday, 20 November 2015

Lily to the Rescue

Fortunately there is a bouquet of flowers in the house that I could use for the FlowerFriday challenge on the Blipfoto site because the outdoors is not a place to linger in at the moment. It's already cold and wet and the forecast tells us snow is also on the cards. It's the first day I went equipped with winter coat ant scarf for the dog walk this morning and I've spend time sorting out my winter socks. The winter tyres are on the car. This is something we tend to postpone as long as possible but it sounds like I might well need them to get out tomorrow.
Winter is here and we are at his mercy!


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