It looked and felt a bit more spring like today and we all enjoyed our walk in the Penicuik Estate a lot more than yesterday.
Flora in action
Blossom and fresh green on the trees by the Walled Garden
While strolling along by the Roman Bridge I spotted a flash of turquoise and there it was: a kingfisher. I had never before seen this beautiful bird in the flesh, and it moved way too quickly to take a picture, so we simply stood and looked! A very special moment.
By chance I am showing you another flower themed spread but I really need to warm myself up here in the frozen North! The wind today was perishing and felt colder than the weather in December or January. Fingers crossed it won't linger long. This spread (in a small 6 x 8" art journal) was made in response to last week's Joggles Art Journal Adventures that told us to: say NO to the blank page. I don't suffer much from blank page syndrome but to answer the brief I simply covered both pages with sheets of vintage imagery and text from a Technical Drawing book. That took care of that and I added collage with pink and gold Indian paper, rose themed wrapping paper as well as an image from last year's Flow calendar as well as a postage stamp.
The text was printed out using the computer and glued on.
I must just mention how proud I am of my sweet Flora dog who went to the vet for the first time today to receive her booster injection. She was as good as gold, seemed to enjoy the fuss the vet and receptionist made of her and then went on to have a lovely (but freezing) walk in the Penicuik Estate. She came away with a clean bill of health and I think she hardly realized the moment the needle went in as she was munching on a treat at the same time. Hopefully she will continue to find future visits to the vet enjoyable rather than stressful.
This is my latest contribution as a Stencilgirl Guest Designer. It's rather ironic that I made this some time ago thinking that by the time of posting (today!) the weather would be lovely and springlike. But you can never be complacent about the Scottish weather. An Arctic blast is crossing the country and some snow for higher ground (that's us!) is forecast. Poor daffodils and crown imperials! Hopefully they will recover from the shock. In the meantime just looking at the flowers in my art journal will remind me that spring is here, despite what it looks like outside.
As always you can find a step-by-step tutorial for this spread (done in the A4 Dylusions art journal) on Stencilgirl Talk. It was inspired by one of my favourite flowers quotations by Matisse: "There are always flowers for those who want to see them".
There is a lovely bit of sparkly gold on these pages. Hopefully you are getting a bit of a glimpse. Just wish it was easier to capture it with the camera.
We had a rather dramatic start to the dog walk in the Penicuik Estate, that involved one dog running off from the car park while we were left in charge of an English Bulldog. All ended well although I had to remove Flora from the scene while it was all going on as she was not too keen on making the acquaintance of the bulldog, so I decided to investigate the Lost Garden of Penicuik. I knew it was there but had somehow never investigated further. You can read more about the history of this place by following this link. It is the New Garden as opposed to the Old Garden that has featured on my blips before as it can be seen from the paths in the Estate. The New Garden (also walled, just like the Old one) was established in the 1870s as the location of the Old Gardens proved to be too cold.
It must have been an utterly magnificent place in it's heyday, but sadly had fallen into disrepair till the Penicuik Community Development Trust took it on in 2012 and started on what they call a 50 year plan. Originally it was part of the Penicuik Estate.
This fountain is now looking sad and overgrown but in my imagination I could just about envision it spraying water high into the air and it gently dropping back into this lovely basin.
As for the entrance gates, they are a work of art. A return visit will be on the cards very soon, once the growing season is a bit more advanced. There are many more treasures to be found there and I'll return with my Canon in tow. All very inspirational.