Wednesday, 28 January 2015


This is my 5th year of Project 365 and rather than have my photos sit on my computer I have decided to share them here weekly.
Welcome to week 4:
Day 22. There were quite a few pheasants in the field this morning but difficult to see from this distance. 
Day 23. Brrrr.....  blue skies and sharp nip in the air.
The post wore a coat of frost this morning. 
Day 24.  We love real ale and trying different ones. This Scottish brew with heather was part of a local shop display for Burns Night but who needs an excuse?!
Day 25.  Wholemeal cheese scones.  After years of unsuccessful attempts I have finally mastered baking!  Possibly learning to put the oven on the correct setting did help.....
Day 26.
A play day with friends...paper, paint and paraphernalia bliss.
Day 27. My finished piece on a 8 x 10 inch canvas.   
Day 28. Overcast and chilly, but beautiful seed heads brighten my walk.


Thank you for popping by and I hope your own week has been a good one.  I'll be back next week with more photos. 

Thursday, 22 January 2015


This is my 5th year of Project 365 and rather than have my photos sit on my computer I have decided to share them here weekly.
Welcome to week 3:
Day 15. Browsing books....
Day 16.  A book at bedtime... 
My current read is Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes. 
Day 17.  My first crop this year. 
And time to try and catch up with my Journal Your Christmas album.

Day 18.  The Nutcracker Ballet, late Christmas treat.  

Day 19.  A sharp frost for this mornings walk.

Day 20. Unexpected Happy Mail from USA!!   How lucky am I?!! 

Day 21.  I am embracing 'good enough' with this out of focus photo. It's a memory of a happy day and that's what matters.

Thank you for popping by and I hope your own week has been a good one.  I'll be back next week with more photos.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


This is my 5th year of Project 365 and rather than have my photos sit on my computer I have decided to share them here weekly.
So welcome to week 2:
Day 8. Remembering....

Day 9.  A wonderful soak and read in the bath.

Day 10.  Happy Mail from Canada!!  A handwritten envelope always makes me smile, and when I open it, I smile even more!

The envelope was heavily perfumed and bumpy... it turned out to be a special tea bag. It felt like a warm hug all the way from Canada and it tasted divine!

Day 11. Hubble bubble. 
I am simmering an orange for a orange and almond cake. 
On the back, homemade soup, and out of view a chicken casserole. 
I love cooking and trying new recipes!

Day 12.  The rest of the ingredients and an orange and almond cake in the making. A friend came round to help me with paperwork and for lunch.  Afterwards we booked the ferry for our trip to The Sheltland Islands in April. We are getting very excited! 

Day 13.  Time was spent researching my family history.  I have hit a wall and am still unable to make headway, even with a friends help. But I did uncover another exciting lead on a different family line. 

Day 14. A visit to the eye hospital with my Mum. I discovered a case in the corner with a collection of old equipment. How things have changed!

Thank you for popping by.  I'll be back next week with another collection of photos. 

I wonder what has your week looked like?

Monday, 12 January 2015

TREE FOLLOWING - January 2015

I have started to walk daily and chose a regular route as this will help me establish a routine. I love nature and photography so it is natural to stop and take photos of things I notice on the way, such as the bark, lichen, and buds on trees.  So when I heard about Loose and Leafy I decided to join in as it will help me to maintain motivation and interest and the idea of establishing a connection with a tree appeals. But my problem was in choosing a tree as several drew my attention, so I have chosen two for very different  reasons and here they are:

.... or not so mighty in this case. The weathered appearance of this tree gives the impression that it has probably stood for many years despite its size.  

It stands on the main road, next to a bus shelter.  It was once part of the field boundary before hedges were pulled out.  I wonder if it gave natural shelter before the wooden structure was built - and if trees could talk, what stories could it tell of those of who lived here or chatted while waiting for the bus.

Many of it's limbs have been ripped by mechanical cutters. 
 But it has held on to some of its leaves.

The trunk is covered in lichen and scars.

And yet it fights on. 
There are buds, and  while this tree might be no beauty I admire its strength and perseverance.


This tree lines the driveway to a large house that stands on a hill.
The tree is second from the left and I was unsure what kind of tree it is, but when I followed my first link I found that Karen had chosen a tree that looked remarkably similar (how uncanny!) So I'm pretty sure this is a beech. If you know better, please let me know.

 It has nuts hanging from the bare branches and if the shells on the ground underneath are from the same tree they are larger than a horse chestnut.

The branches overhead make a nice silhouette.

... while nestled at the base is a small violet braving the winter weather.

The trunk has different kinds of bark.... smooth..... gnarled

 and patterned and peeling in places. 

On the same level, round the other side, it is more rugged.  I will watch this ivy as it grows, and the patterns in the bark will act as a measure. 
But I wonder if I will see the ivy make its way up the tree because it has been removed from other parts of the trunk and the
dried thread of the ivy's stem remains as a clue. 
This is obviously a tree that is cared for. 

Thank you for popping by. I'll be back with more photos next month and it's not too late if you want to follow your own tree and join in. You can find out more here

POSTSCRIPT: Joy left a comment to suggest that the tree is a London Plane. This occurred to me initially but I was confused by the nuts and London Plane is not a tree I am familiar with locally. But after looking online I think I am safe to say that that yes, it is a London Plane.....  unless you know different!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

5 in 5 - MELANIE - January 2015

Melanie is my friend who lives in Australia and she loves photography. Every month Melanie has taken part in this monthly neme and we managed to find a way round her not having a blog by posting here. I love that we have found a way for her to take part so once again Melanie, over to you:

With January 5th coming so close to Christmas I almost forgot about it being the 5 in 5 day.  Fortunately though it was a day we planned to take a trip to the Clare Valley and I had my camera with me.  Not much variety in the spot I chose for the 5 in 5  I am afraid just vines and the inside of a cellar door. The day was extremely hot with temperatures over 40C in places.   Clare Valley is a couple of hours drive from where we live.  It is one of South Australia’s smaller wine regions with around 30 cellar doors.  It is known for its Riesling wines and has some of the best Rieslings in Australia.  The Crabtree cellar door where I took my 5 in 5 photos is in the town of Watervale.  It  uses the phrase ‘Hand pruned, Hand picked, Hand crafted’ as its vision statement.  Their wines do very well in shows often winning trophies and medals. Maybe my photos will inspire you to check out more about wineries in the Clare Valley.

As always, a big thank you to Melanie and if this has inspired you to pick up your camera take part in this challenge you have until 25th before this months link closes. It's great fun and this post should answer any questions or give other information that you need.

Links for this months posts are here and hopefully I'll be back with more photos from Melanie and myself next month. I hope you will join us!

Saturday, 10 January 2015


This year I decided to start walking every day as a meaning to moving more and getting out.  I love walking and during the summer months we do this often, but in winter or miserable weather it is too easy just to jump in and out of the car or spend the day indoors.

I am not someone who likes 'exercise' so I need a nudge to keep me motivated. I decided that I will take photos of my walk, including regular ones of the same viewpoint so that I can become aware of the seasonal change.  It will encourage me to pay attention to what is around me and then Eileen bought my attention to 'I am following a tree'.  I had started to notice one or two different trees along my walk and the idea of taking photos had already began to establish itself. So I will be joining in with Loose and Leafy and sharing photos each month of my chosen trees. I'm hoping this will add interest to my walks and help me develop a routine.

But meanwhile I wanted to share what a difference a day makes.  This is the view point I have chosen on two consecutive days:

And this is our local pub which I use as my  half way marker. 
Like so many other pubs it closed down but it is being redeveloped into an equestrian centre. It will be interesting to follow the progress and I was surprised to see the security fence removed overnight.

I am using these photos to link in with Helena.  Last year she ran a weekly neme called ZIZO and I enjoyed taking part. This year Helena has invited us to share PAIRS of photos and I see this being fun and offering more potential so I hope to join in even more.

Have a good week and if you are getting out for regular walks I'd be interested to know more about how you maintain your motivation!

This seems to be my year of blog celebration!
After saving I noticed that it is my 250th blog post. 

And yesterday I spotted that I had received over 51,000 page views.
Thank you.  Thank you!!
I had planned a giveaway when I reached 50,000 views so I took the opportunity to mark the occasion. 
So why not do the same for this?!

The first person to leave a comment here will receive a small giveway.  It's as simple as that!! 
Please make sure I know how to contact you for your address.


For the past 5 years I have done Project 365, taking a photo a day as a way of documenting my life and using it as a way of trying to improve my photography. But I never found a way of sharing these. The plan to print photos for each year and to make them into a book never happened and over the past couple of years I got out of the habit of organising the downloads into files.  It has now become a mammoth task and as I felt overwhelmed and did not want to add to this dilemma I decided not to continue Project 365 this year. 

But there was also reluctance to stop, as this collection of photos are something I value and enjoy.  What to do??!  Then I came across Joy's post. She has decided to share a weekly round up of her daily photos.

And I thought 'What a great idea!' 

I never stopped the routine of taking daily photos but more recently
the photos lacked sparkle, it became a mundane routine. I wanted a sense of purpose, to DO with them once I'd taken them! I still plan to print the photos and to make year books, and maybe this will motivate me enough to organise my computer downloads into albums and to do that.  At the very least it will encourage me to organise my photos on a regular basis and to stop these adding to my list of 'things to do'.  So I am looking forward rather than backwards and plan to share a weekly round up of my 2015 photos starting here:

Day 1.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  We usually celebrate with Jules Holland on TV and this year was no different.

Day 2.  I have started the year by walking each day.  The berries on the hedge attracted a large flock of redwings and I saw them two consecutive days, sadly they were gone after that.

Day 3.  Today it rained.  I didn't want to carry my camera so I took photos on my mobile phone, the poor light and rain made it difficult. I had barely noticed this stream other times as it is barely a trickle. Not this time, good thing I wore my wellies and good waterproofing.  

Day 4.  While recovering from a virus I have spent lots of time watching art journal video tutorials.  Today I decided to make a couple of journals using canvas for the cover and watercolour paper for the pages. One for me and one for a friend.

Day 5. I spent the day with friends, each with our silhouette cameos and lap tops set up so that we could share ideas and learn together.  At one time I would have taken a photo of us to record the day - the fact I didn't makes me realise that Project 365 has stopped playing such a focus in my life.  Time to change that!  I will start to look afresh at photo opportunities because I remember how much I used to enjoy looking at things from that perspective.
I did however take a photo of a book binding.  I liked how this is constructed and will be using this idea.

Day 6.  One of the things I did on my silhouette yesterday was to design the text for an anniversary card.  I love making my own designs rather than downloading ready made files, and I made this by writing the words into a frame. I angled each letter individually so there was slight overlap and then 'welded' them so they would be attached. After cutting the frame I put it onto a background and outlined each letter in pen. Card made! 

Day 7.  I love cooking and trying new recipes and this Moroccan style fish is from one of my favourite chefs, Nigel Slater.  The cod loin was marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and spices, then coated in flour and gently fried.  Mmmm... we'll be having that again as it was quick and simple but delicious!  

So that's my first week in photos.  Thanks to Joy for inspiring me and I look forward to sharing more next week.
Have you any routines or ideas you are trying or putting back into place? Do let me know!

Friday, 9 January 2015


Before Christmas my pageviews were approaching 50,000.  Wow!!  Time for celebration I thought!

But then I was unwell and  next time I looked 50,000 had come and gone. 

So when I saw this number I thought I would take the opportunity to celebrate. I want to say a huge thank you to those who have been part of this journey, good friendships have been made a long the way and I never imagined what a big part of life this would become, or what fun I would have.  

I have no way of knowing who will be the next person to view my pages, but if you are the first person to leave a comment I will send a handmade thank you.  Make sure I know how to contact you for address details please! 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015


I am very lucky in having a large garden nearby that is open to the public, and as I have a season ticket it makes a good place to visit all year round.  A few days after Christmas I met a friend there for a walk and in my last post I mentioned that I took lots of photos, the ones I shared are in complete contrast to others that
took, so here are a few more.  Despite the sharp frost the day was actually quiet warm, but even so, lunch and a drink of hot chocolate was very welcome at the end! 

I love how these droplets of water cling to the grass. 

At this time of year lots of the plants are brown with empty seed heads, but look close enough and you could see interesting shapes and textures.

Some of the shrubs and trees have bare branches that reveal interesting shapes. These ones have been tied to create sculptural forms, I look forward to seeing them as they grow foliage. 

Other branches had beautiful colour and natural shapes.

We were surprised to see so many flowers in bloom at this time of year, though it has been unseasonably warm.   

These are cardamom seed heads.  I love the different textures and there was still much to enjoy in the garden at this time of year.

These are not the most attractive plants that we saw, but they made me think of meercats and how they stand on lookout. 

My friend is a textile artist and she found the contract of colour and texture very inspiring.

I had to agree! I will be visiting when it is warmer with a journal and sketchbook, and the idea of including fabric is quite appealing. I hope you are discovering local places of your own to visit and enjoy, and to appreciate what ever the season has to offer. 
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