Thursday, 25 May 2017


The universe was definitely on my side today when the hottest day of the year so far coincided with the theme Reflection on Artful Adventures, Stroll through the Hood.
It was hard to choose which pictures to use from the many I took during our stroll which also included a few stops along the way to dangle our feet in the water as well as give Flora a chance to have a drink.

Here she is in action at the Low Pond on the Penicuik Estate. Before this she had been busy chasing crows and blackbirds on the nearby lawn as the sheep had been moved elsewhere so she could be off the lead. I saw her running with her tail up and a big grin all over her face and I must admit I couldn't help welling up.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

There is a Crack in Everything

The prompt for Artful Adventures, Stroll through the Hood today is: cracks. Whenever I hear the word crack I immediately think of Leonard Cohen's Anthem, a song that has accompanied me over the years in good times and bad. There are many cracks to be found in the Penicuik Estate but I wanted scenic cracks and found them in this set of steps where the persistent wildflowers (or weeds, depending on your point of view) have made their way through the cracks between the stones. reaching for the light.
 The river avens wildflowers are coming out along the Silverburn
 And the lime walk leading up to the side of Penicuik House has been lighted up with fresh green, almost like a crack where the light comes in.
The wood anemones are at their best just now! 

The dog walk was such a total pleasure  today, in warm weather and with Flora running loose. She is dealing with dogs, large and small, and has started to grasp the fact that there are lots of people about with dog biscuits in their pockets. And even those that haven't, are good for a cuddle.  I am one very proud doggy mummy.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Pattern Play

It's hard to believe this spring here in the Scottish Borders. The weather has been so dry and there has been much more sunshine than normal. The forecast for this week is for more of the same. I was shocked by the contrast between what is happening in the world and the enduring beauty of nature. Today is a very sad day and yet, at the same time, we can let this earth itself heal us.

The prompt today on Artful Adventures Stroll through the Hood is: pattern. I already knew what I wanted to feature and it was such a help that it was a clear and bright day. The Chinese Gate is a special feature of the Penicuik Estate and it has been restored very much in the spirit of the original gates.

The gate is in line with Penicuik House as you can see below, but if you are on the other side of the gate and you look off into the distance like on the picture at the top of this post you can just discern the monument to the Scottish poet Allen Ramsay, framed by the pattern of the gate. It is my most favourite architectural feature of the Estate. Needless to say that gate says quilt block to me too.

 There are also other patterns that nature herself provides such as the ferns.
 The patterns of the leaves in the shadows on the path.
And the patterns made by the many varieties of wildflowers along the Silverburn stream. It won't be long now before they will all begin to flower.

Monday, 22 May 2017


The latest prompt on Artful Adventures Stroll through the Hood is: Night. I didn't want to wait till tonight to try and find an appropriate picture so I started looking around for inspiration in "my hood" last night. I was going to go for the sunset but it wasn't too spectacular but while wandering around in the garden my eye fell on the Black as the Night tulips in the last of the day light! Job done.

Dance to the Music of Time

By pure chance today is another music related post. It is my latest project as Guest Designer for Stencilgirl Products and it was made some time ago. Some of you may recognize the dancing figures. They are favourites of mine and I have used them before in both my journalling and fabric art.

As always it's a joy to be working with the Stencilgirl stencils and you can find a full tutorial for this spread on the Stencilgirl Talk website together with a list of the stencils I used.
 There is lots of sparkle on these figures and for once I managed to capture it on the camera. 

Sunday, 21 May 2017


Our prompt this week on Joggles Art Journal Adventures was: music. I'm working in the 6 x 8" notebook that I'm using as an art journal for the Joggles prompts by glueing down the pages in pairs as well as adding a good dollop of gesso to the pages before I make a start.
I began by collaging vintage sheet music, vintage flower images and scrapbook paper (found in the Somerset Studio magazine centre) to the pages and adding paint as well as Distress Crayons with a baby wipe and stencil S172 Runes by Stencilgirl Products. Then I glued on some more pieces of vintage music sheet as some of it had been obscured with the paint. To add a sense of movement to the pages I again used paint and Distress Crayons, this time with the large stencil from June 2015 Stencilgirl Club set called Crop Circles. It added a nice sense of rhythm  to the pages in keeping with the music theme.
I glued on the musical instrument (a harpsichord). It came from an old calendar issued by the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
 The words seen above came from a vintage book. It's the large verse of a poem called Ode to a Violinist.
The final touch as usual were the postage stamps chosen for their colours, and I also did some outlining with a water soluble turquoise oil pastel.

Saturday, 20 May 2017



Be scared, be very, very scared! Flora will be on the job. 


The prompt for today on Artful Adventures Stroll through the Hood is: sign. Sadly it is a miserable and very wet day and our ferocious dog doesn't like getting wet. So for the prompt we stayed in the garden and not much strolling was done. Amazingly I realized we had two signs right there. 

Here is the link to the project:


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