Friday, 27 January 2012

Bird Watch Time Again

Only seems five minutes ago we were doing this!  Not sure how many we have done over the years but even our records at this property are starting add up and make a picture.

Go to Big Garden Bird Watch to sign up and enter your results this weekend.

If you are on my Facebook you may have seen that this week we have had two visitors in the house already!  This has always been a very avian property, probably because of the high and dense hedges we keep, and we do spend a small fortune feeding them all including the pheasants even though I'm rather partial to having one for dinner now and then! (Not one actually from our garden!)

I will leave you with a few pictures of the visitors, a Robin in the house today and a quite young and small male Sparrowhark visiting in the garage on Wednesday.  We wonder if he is the baby of the male and female we have had around her for a few years.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

First Sight of the Sea

It was such a beautiful afternoon today after all the rain this morning that we decided to take the dogs down to Studland Beach.  (Sorry, yes another doggy post).

Ellie has only been 'out' a week and has met mud, puddles, the pond (yes she swims!), hedges with deer and rat runs and hares and pheasants that leap out into the air in front of you.  The beach is something completely different!

Of course Ruger and Tully were straight in, Ellie managed to wet her paws and wisely decided it was cold.

But the joy of running with her two bestest buddies kept me busy too!

If you're wondering what Tully is wearing, it's the latest in doggy flotation jackets.  When you're shaped like a brick you tend to swim like one too.  Though she is convinced she could actually do the Channel I think she likes the little bit of support.  Not bad for a little dog who actually detests rain or anything slightly damp.

Of course there are some out there who swim like a fish with the webbed feet and bow wave too.

We had Elsa, Mike and Remi here at the weekend.  Last summer we very nearly retired our good old faithful, rather stressed Stressless chair and bought a new one.  I'm so glad we decided to wait until after any puppy antics had been settled.  Remi and Ellie may look cute but they had exhausted themselves playing on it for at least an hour beforehand!  We may look at another chair next summer instead!

Friday, 20 January 2012

I Knew it Would Take Time!

But boy oh boy, where has January gone?

Ellie has taken up quite a lot of it, as I'm sure you can imagine.  From tomorrow she is all safe to go out in the big wide world so that will be another huge step forward.  She is growing well and has a few basic things understood.  Mind you going out to the loo when it's pouring with rain isn't one of her favourites, and who can blame her!  Thankfully the dogs have their own area in the house and accidents are kept to a minimum.

We had the Openreach engineers here on Monday trying to fix everything.  Apparently last Friday one of the maintenance teams had been shoving cables down the wrong conduit in their eagerness to fix the storm damage and totally messed up the whole village.  There were crossed lines everywhere, quite a lot of door knocking with messages and diverted calls to mobiles by BT for those of us who had them.  Unfortunately the people we were crossed with didn't own mobiles so we were receiving their calls too, including one at 1am wondering if everything was all right!  By then tempers were a little short.  We seemed to have the most complicated problems because of having two lines, that new fangled internet thingy (not many in the village have internet, see comment about not having mobiles either, talk about back and beyond!) and other things attached like security and fire alarms.  The poor guy we had assigned was backwards and forwards between the exchange, the green box and us for most of the day and he had been given 15 jobs to do that morning!  Mind you sorting us had a sort of knock on effect for a couple of others but he still moaned that his targets would never be met that week.  Hardly his fault.  There were at least six other vans in the village too all trying to sort this mess made by one slip of a maintenance team.  Why do these this always happen on a Friday too?

I have managed to do some very quick bits in my sketchbooks.  Not many as it turns out but at least some. Just mainly sloshing a bit of paint around whilst waiting for a certain pup to settle at 6 in the morning really.

This was pure doodle.  And then a bit of paint.  And an alternative background added so a few mornings worth really.

I found a picture in a magazine and tried blending it into a background.

This one I picked up my pencil whilst sipping coffee and sketched a owl pincushion Elsa had made me but I put him on a branch
Ellie has been very good overall but one morning she did discover my box of willow charcoal.  With a piece that was left I sketched my mug and rug.  I may go back and fiddle with this one.

I can't tell you how hard I find it to do these things!  They are too naive for me!  I really am not used to just sketching quickly, I want detail and accuracy and I struggle with just accepting that all these pictures are OK in their own right.  The urge to rip them out of my sketchbook is huge but I am resisting.  I am not a great natural artist, I have to work at it so I focus on detail. I want to let go of that and just 'do'.

And I have done a little stitchwork.  :-)

 I have to do a few samples this morning for the C&G and this afternoon Elsa, Cat and I have a girly time in Salisbury booked.  Something to do with a wedding I believe, lol!

Thank you to those who commented whilst we were out of connection and those who emailed.  Hello to some new followers.  I have a lot of blogs to catch up on and I apologise if I don't manage to comment on any for a bit, there's a lot to plough through as well as life to live!! I've missed you all.

Have a great weekend.


Sunday, 8 January 2012


In one of the big storms on Thursday we lost power and the phone lines. It was only for an hour or so and there was a lot of chainsawing somewhere in the village. We still have lost one of the phone lines which just happens to be the one with everything on it including the Internet. John had a hell of a time with Sky to put out an engineer so we've now reverted to BT, who have GB based call centres, but we are still waiting, but it is the weekend. Thank goodness for the iPhones even though it's hard work using them sometimes! Stitch work is doing well. Ellie has found her routine with us and the other dogs so I have more little bursts of time. I have even managed to also pick up a pencil or brush most days too just for a quick 10 minute play with paper etc. to try and stretch myself a little. Hopefully all will be resumed shortly!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Woo Hoo We Made It!!

Happy New Year!

We puppy sat Remi while Elsa and Mike went to a wedding. Puppy tumbles everywhere.  Hard work but the new year arrived as it should.

No resolutions, they are only made to be broken.  I will be loosing weight though, the wedding is more than enough motivation!  I will also try and be a little more creative in all departments.

My painting has been non existent so a few weeks ago I signed up to a course by Flora Bowley .  I love her use of colour and she uses acrylics which is a medium have not really explored much.

I am trying to slot in the C&G when puppy permits but I am keeping her away from my room at the moment as she is still in super explore mode.  I do try to keep the room tidy and pet proof but it also helps that Ruger, Tully and Oscar are all laid back animals and not too bothered about putting their noses where they shouldn't.  All they usually want is somewhere peaceful to sleep.  My little room has been a haven for them over last month!

There is a lull in activity at the moment, all feeding, watering and exercise has been done so now they sleep!  I hope your New Year is creative, inspiring and productive!