Friday, 25 November 2016

Hawthorn's November Scavenger Photo Hunt

Once again Hawthorn Spellweaver (click here to visit her blog) has organised another Scavenger Photo Hunt.  She provides a list of 10 words and the objective is to select a photo for each word.  We are encouraged to think outside the box!  This month's list I found rather challenging.  So here is my offering for November and you can judge how I got on.

1   Menu

Now how's this for being spoilt for choice!
Such loveliness, such softness, such fun.
Hours of entertainment for little money.
I recently completed her Cosy blanket
and it was money well spent!
So pleased with it that I am thinking of
ordering another 2 kits.....

PS  A short while later and I did order 2 more kits!
See how irrististable this menu is...

2   Album

Many years ago (20 perhaps?) a good friend asked if I'd like to go on a 
book-making day with her.  YES PLEASE.  So off we went to the
Bankfield Museum in Halifax.  Click here to read about this
museum (which is worth a visit).  What a day we had.  It was 
solid work as there was such a lot to do but we each came 
home with an individual hand-made book.
I've never used mine as it is too precious but I will find
a use for it, just to cherish it and enjoy it!

3    Shoe

X marks the spot of the hot shoe on Beloved's little used film camera.
Give me a point and click digital camera any day and don't mention aperture,
film speed, etc etc to me!

4   In my hand

As we race towards Christmas, the phrase 'A partridge in a pear tree' popped into my head as I
went into the garden a few weeks ago and noticed a female pheasant flying out of our
pear tree.  In the above photo you can see the pear she was feasting on and in my hand
is another pear she has also sampled!

5   Macro

This was another tough one; so many photos to choose from!
In the end I selected this one showing an orange tip butterfly we found on 
a plant as we walked through our fields.  
Amazing detail in the photo, which I never seem to see with my naked eye.

6   Morning

One dismal and dark morning recently, the pheasants arrived for their breakfast.  On the menu
that day is wheat we scatter on the grass (can't call it a lawn, so wet and muddy) and in the
container is some unused semolina, which they love!  Also on the grass and some small
potatoes (too small to bother to peel) and the last of the pears (which did not keep).
At least the pheasants enjoy it all, well they must as they keep coming back and
tap on the doors if we are not quick enough to spot them and then feed them!

7   Rule of thirds

Well Hawthorn, this was difficult to find (weather against me, been slightly ill etc etc)!.  In the end I resorted to your advice, think outside the box!  So rather than find a traditional rule of thirds photo, I found a substitute one.

Here it is!

I've included the 1 kg bag of sugar so you can get an idea of how big this 3 layer sponge
cake is.  Each sponge layer is covered in home-made raspberry jam (sharp and not over sweet) 
and then a generous portion of whipped cream is added...

Rules for eating!
A third for Beloved.
A third for me.
The remaining third is fought over!

It is a lovely cake too and does not last beyond 2 days....

8   Starts with H

Let me introduce you to Houdini the h-evermore h-escaping hen.  She never wandered far
and knew when I appeared there would be food so she'd follow me into the shed
and pop back in with the others when I opened the inner door.  I'd then have to have a look at 
my fencing (rough and ready) to see where she'd broken out.
It was a good game!  
Sadly when we were preparing to 
move house, I gave my last few hens away as well as Eric the cockerel.

9   Tools
Can't imagine lift without tools!  I have so many and Beloved, being
an engineer, has many, many more, all sizes and shapes.
Anyway in my photo you can see some of my quilting, crochet and 
handy tools I use; the curved saw blade fits on a pole that
I can extend up to about 2 m long so I can cut off tree branches
without getting a ladder out.  One of my best garden tools ever.
It is from the Wolf range of tools.

10   Own choice

Whilst in the garden recently, clearing leaves from the watercourse, I became aware that I was
being watched.  She is one of the pheasants which visit each day for food.
The top of my head was about 1.5 metres away from where she chose to sit and
she seemed content to stay there as I walked up and down past her.
I had to go and get my camera, walk back to her, focus the camera
and take several photos.  She just sat there, bless her.

Well that's all for this month and it seems we get to have December off!  I hope we are all able to start again in January 2017.  Until then, keep well, have a good holiday and Happy New Year to you all.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Hawthorn's October Scavenger Photo Hunt

Hawthorn Spellweaver (click here to visit her blog) has recently organised a Scavenger Photo Hunt.  She provides a list of 10 words and the objective is to select a photo for each word.  We are encouraged to think outside the box!  I try hard (some would say I am very trying ...).  So here is my offering for October.

1  A is for .....

I see a lot of wildlife in my garden (all sorts of birds as well as ducks, pheasants and the occasion Moorhen).  I had hoped to see an Aardvark but there were none so I had to settle for A is for Apple.  The little apple tree has done much better this year (mostly by being ignored by me).  I have sampled some of the fruit too!

2  Lunch

Most days it is as shown here but this one is special.
An apple from my own tree with home-made crab apple
jelly flavoured with cinnamon.

3  11 o'clock

In the September Photo Scavenge hunt for New I showed a picture of a crochet blanket kit I bought 
at Yarndale this year from Lucy of Attic24.  I noticed the time approaching 11 o;clock so 
requested Beloved take a photo!  I have organised the next 4 colours so I can sit and 
crochet and not have to get up to find the next colour.  
I am loving the colours and the soft feel of the yarn as the blanket grows.

4  Black and white

Another of my main hobbies is quilting.  At the moment I am in a black and white phase (with 
red and black too!).  On the left is a very small sample of my black and white fabrics.
Top right is the central part of block I made for my new quilt; you can just about
see the red and black fabric surrounding the black and white part.
I used black and white fleece fabric to back the quilt.
So many ideas and not enough time!

5  Looking up

Yes I managed to get a picture of Boris into this month's words!

I am standing directly below him and had to make a noise to 
get him to look down!  Before I could get this photo
I had to clear a lot of vegetation below his perch
so that I would have a clear view of his favourite branch.
I did that when he was not there as I did not want
to disturb him too much.

6   T is for ......

T is for Turtle!!!!!!!!!!   Well it initially looked like a turtle to me but then I had to
re-think my thoughts as we were walking round Preston Marina and that is not at
all tropical!   In the end I decided it was an abandoned lampshade.
What do you think it might be?

7   Landscape

Pendle Hill, our local landmark.  There is a local saying which suggests the area around
this hill experiences frequent rainfall - "if you can see Pendle, it's about to rain, if
you can't, it's already started".  As you can see from this photo it was indeed
about to rain!  I've lived near it for 33½ years and have yet to climb to the
top - must make an effort to do this.  Click here to read about Pendle Hill.

8  Two

Two rainbows!  Can you see the outer, fainter one?
We were driving on the roads above Eastby, near Skipton in Yorkshire.
The other day I read in the news about a moonbow.
Not heard of this before.  Click here to read about it.  It too was taken 
near Skipton.

9   Swing

Well it could have been a swing!  I was visiting a quilt exhibition recently
in Haslingden.  This is one of the several chandeliers hanging from the roof.

10  Own Choice

We do not have a normal life!  Here we are moving two lathes from the old house
to the new house (about ½ mile away).

Top row, left photo - small lathe moved to the front door.
Top row, right photo - a long, iron pipe inserted on to the bale spike of our tractor.

Middle row, left photo - bale spike with iron pipe inserted through the front door.
Middle row, right photo - small green lathe strapped to iron pipe and ready to be 
lifted out of the house.

Bottom row, left photo - small green lathe now outside the house and ready to be 
put in the trailer and taken away to the new house.
Yes the iron pipe was bent!
Bottom row, right photo - using just the bale spike to lift the heavier, bigger grey lathe before
placing it in the trailer and taking it to the new house.

For us this is normal!  We often wonder what other people might do on a sunny day ....

Thanks for taking the time to look at my photos and I do hope you enjoyed some of them
See you next month!

Friday, 30 September 2016

Hawthorn's September Scavenger Photo Hunt

Hawthorn Spellweaver (click here to visit her blog) has recently organised a Scavenger Photo Hunt.  She provides a list of 10 words and the objective is to select a photo for each word.  We are encouraged to think outside the box!  I try hard (some would say I am very trying ...).  So here is my offering for September.

1  Web

Can't believe this photo was taken over 11 years ago!  It shows how busy the spiders have been weaving thousands of webs on the wall and grass in our fields.

2   Blade

In my new garden there are some areas covered in bits of flint; I find it a handy source of a suitable blade if I need to cut a piece of string etc, rather than having to trail back to the shed and find my scissors!  In the past I have been known to use a piece of slate.

3  Filigree

Earrings from my number 1 quilting friend; she no longer wears them so I was offered them!  Yes please, and thank you.

4  Travel

On our way up to visit my sister in Port Carlisle we pass some wonderful scenery.  This is one such view from the M6.

5  Bright

I like to be busy at all times....  on a dark evening I find I can crochet without thinking much and this is the latest blanket I have made for a homeless cat/kitten.  It is very bright but I am sure the new owner will not mind.

6  Asleep

Just had to find the opportunity to get Boris into this month's list!  Here he is having a sleep one afternoon.

7   Float

Staying with friends on Loch Feochan and this is the view that greeted us one morning.  No rain for a change!

8   Autumn

I was working at the last moment to get all the photos sorted for this month.  Earlier that day I took a photo for Autumn and was happy with it.  Then we called round at a friend's and I noticed all these wasps inside an apple on his apple tree.  He was not impressed as he had been planning to eat that apple soon; so I did not bother with my original photo!

9   Fur

Mickey the cat that 'adopted' us many years ago.  We found out later that he had several 'homes'. Here he is resting on top of my current quilt I was hand quilting.  Funny how they find the best places to call their own.  He was a very tactile cat and did not mind how much he was handled or stroked.  In fact when he came in wet (it does rain a fair amount of the time here!) he insisted on being rubbed down with a towel.... before finding somewhere to sit/sleep/rest!

10  New

These past few weeks I've had so many new things (books, plants (bought and gifted), yarn etc) but when I was at Yarndale the other weekend I treated myself to a crochet blanket kit (Cosy Stripe) from Lucy of Attic24 (click here to visit her website and click here to visit the Wool Warehouse from which you can order her kits.).  I nearly bought one last year but this year I decided I'd not let that opportunity slip away.  A friend (Blue and Yellow Morning) was with me and she also bought the same kit; she has made a start on her kit but I will keep mine in its bag for a little while as I must discipline myself to finish some projects before I start another one!

That is the end of this month's scavenger photo hunt; I wonder what challenging words will be in the next one?

Thanks for taking the time to look at my offering and reading my mutterings!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Hawthorn's August Photo Scavenger Hunt

Hawthorn's August Scavenger Photo Hunt

Hawthorn Spellweaver (click here to visit her blog) has organised another Scavenger Photo Hunt.  She provides a list of 10 words and the objective is to select a photo for each word.  We are encouraged to think outside the box!  For some reason I found this list hard and struggled with some of the photos!  I was running out of time so had to think hard and act fast!.  So here is my offering for August.

1   Blue

Ah, so many choices; felt I had to keep away from sky photos and in the end settled for this one.  

This mobile was given to me by a dear friend who opened my eyes to all sorts of crafts (quilting, paper making, felt making, card making, etc etc).

2   Eye

Now my original idea did not materialise as the photos I had were out of focus and then the subject I required to capture has proved to be elusive.  So instead I did some lateral thinking!

A small sample of  some of  my many sewing needles that I use; as I get older I am beginning to struggle the really small one but then  just have to use my needle threader, if I can find it!

3   Button

I've a huge collection of buttons but again I felt I had to find something different.  Beloved came to the rescue!

Just in case you do not recognise it, it is a START button from a lathe or similar machine.  It is in his spares department, just in case....

4   Favouite

Oh this was so easy!  I chose my favourite friend!

Yipee, Boris is back on his usual perch at the old house.  He is so tolerant as I move under the tree, well as close to it as I can get as it is growing out of the small river behind the house, taking photo after photo after photo.  For a hoot, the last photo I took that day he had turned his back on me!  He has been there for 3 consecutive days (I found excuses to go back to the old house), just to say Hi and watch him.  Such a treat and I realise how lucky I am.  I do hear owls at the new house (less than ½ mile away from the old house) but I've only glimpsed one, on the first night that I came to sleep here it hooted as I got out of the car; was it Boris?  No idea.

5   Feet

Another one that had me scratching my head.

Voila, some of the feet I use on my Janome sewing machine!  I'll not bore you with their names!

6   Glass

I had taken a photo of a special glass vase I have here and felt it was not WOW enough.  Then I remembered going to an exhibition in July 2014 and saw this!  Oh, how I wanted it.

It is a curved piece of glass with fish and bubbles in the design.  From memory it is about 60 cm wide and about 30 cm high.  The gentleman bringing it in carefully cradled it in his arms.  If I had had a spare lump of cash (about £600) he would make me one.  If it had been £60 I would have gone for it but I could not spend that much money on something so fragile.  Upon reflection I made the right decision as there is no suitable place to display it in the new house.  But perhaps it could sit on top of the big unit in the dining room??????

7   Green

My camera struggles to take decent photos of anything green or red.  A bit annoying but I've no idea why.  I've tired all sorts of settings.  Strangely Beloved's camera (which is a slightly newer model of my camera) does not have this problem.  He did suggest I swap cameras, and perhaps I might!

Some of my green yarns I use to crochet with.  Yes the brown ones are green!  Puzzling for me is the fact there is a £20 note tucked down next to these yarn balls.  I've no idea why it is there.  I just cannot remember but I've left it there!  Usually I know where every penny is so to find a note is a great surprise.

8   Floor

Another tough one from Hawthorn.  I did take a photo for this and was congratulating myself  that I'd got one.  Then I remembered a better floor!

Back in August 2008 Beloved decided to splash out and get half our shed (yes it is not your average sized shed!) made over with a concrete floor.  I was working that day and as soon as I could I left to come and see the progress.  I'd missed all the concrete being brought into the shed (someone forgot to take photos....) but here they were starting to polish the floor.  We had to set up some lights as they worked into the night.  Now we can wheel stuff (and we have a lot of big, heavy stuff) with ease over this smooth floor.  Ah, how I love this floor.

9   Knitted/crochet

At first this seemed easy as I've a lot of crochet blankets etc but in the end I decided to show you a cardigan I knitted.

It was a Kaffe Fassett pattern, knitted in Botany Wool.  I think I knitted it in the late 1980, prior to digital camera so I've no photo taken when I knitted it.  I spent time making a lining for it and have worn it a few times but it just hangs in my wardrobe.  If I did wear it, I'd not relax!  I could not face knitting another one, the yarn is too fine and all the yarn that I had to carry across.....

10  Own choice

My initial thoughts for this one was to be a photo of Boris and find something else for Favourite.  But then Fate dealt me a stunning card!  Beloved and I had been out for a walk and we'd got back at about 6.30 pm.  Still glorious sunshine!  Straight away I went into the kitchen to put the oven on when I stopped in my tracks!  I called for Beloved as I raced to the front door to get my camera.  Look what I could see on the decking just outside the patio doors in the kitchen!  It was amazing.

A heron, resting with his other leg tucked up.  I managed to take another photo and was about to snap another one when Beloved accidentally kicked a cardboard box and the heron decided it was time to fly off.  Since we moved here we have seen a heron fly over, seen on the wall of an adjoining field and as I cross our bridge to the main road I've seen one there on a few occasions but to have one on our decking...  How cool is that!  So now when I go into the kitchen I look to see if it is there or if something more exciting (elephant??) is standing there.  What a treat for us.

Well that's all for this month.  Hope I've not bored you too much!

Friday, 29 July 2016

Hawthorn's July Scavenger Photo Hunt

Hawthorn Spellweaver (click here to visit her blog) has recently organised a Scavenger Photo Hunt.  She provides a list of 10 words and the objective is to select a photo for each word.  We are encouraged to think outside the box!  I try hard (some would say I am very trying ...).  So here is my offering for July.

1  Reflections

Years ago we used to go to Loch Feochan, near Oban with our boat and stay with friends.  Sometimes it rained a lot but there were some clear, dry and hot days!   It took a lot of effort to get there (such a lot to pack into the car and boat trailer) and then more effort to get onto the water, but, once there, it was great.  Our boat was a RIB.  Anyway, one day we and our friends set off, sailing out of the Loch and turning left.  We'd follow the coast line, enjoying the sun and views (sometimes we'd see dolphins and Golden Eagles) until we get to the channel that leads to The Clachan Bridge.  I took many photos as we approached the bridge, watching it get bigger and the reflection develop but the one I have included here was taken just after we sailed under it.  Hard to believe it was taken in May 2002, 14 years ago!

The Clachan Bridge is a simple, single-arched, hump-backed, masonry bridge spanning the Clachan Sound, 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) southwest of Oban in Argyll, Scotland. It links the west coast of the Scottish mainland to the island of Seil.

The bridge was originally designed by John Stevenson of Oban (and not by Thomas Telford as sometimes quoted) and was built between 1792 and 1793 by engineer Robert Mylne. The original design had two arches, but it was finally built with a single high arch, of roughly 22 metres (72 ft) span and about 12 metres (39 ft) above the bed of the channel, to allow the passage of vessels of up to 40 tonnes (39 long tons) at high tide. The bridge is still in use today, forming part of the B844 road, and is in the care of Historic Scotland.

Because the Clachan Sound connects at both ends to the Atlantic Ocean, and might therefore be considered part of that ocean, the bridge came to be known as the Bridge over the Atlantic.

A path leads down the North side of the Inn across the hill to the famous yachting anchorage of Puilladobhrain (translation 'pool of the otters' and pronounced Pull-door-ran). This is a very worthwhile short excursion, with superb views across to the Isle of Mull.  We have visited Puilladobhrain in our RIB many times when we used to go to Oban.

2  Stripe

Even though I am retired, there is little free time!  I had hoped to find a better example but in the end I had to look through my photo collection.  This was taken on one of our many trips to the Yorkshire Dales; I just love the scenery.

3  Secret

We have Tree Bumble bees that live in our house wall; they seem to have two secret entrances into their home.  I have assumed there is only one nest behind the stone facing but I will resist the urge to pull the stones out to verify my thoughts!  Just before I took the photos a bee went into each hole.  I waited and waited and waited but had to forget the idea of a photo of it emerging!

4  Red

Back in May 2014 I was busy (for several months) building a stone wall to hold back the soil that was slowly creeping down onto the path.  I'd spend time finding the right stone in the pile of stones we had created over the years.  Then I had fun and games moving the chosen stone from the pile, across ground and down the path.  I ended up disturbing the ground and often a robin would be there, picking up delicacies I'd uncovered, which I could not see (or want) but it was happy to have them!

5  Contrast

I did struggle to find a suitable subject for this category but I stumbled across this photo in my collection (in desperation it is always a good idea to trawl through one's photo collection!).  We were walking one evening around the village when I noticed this strange cloud in the sky.  Initially I thought it was a weird reflection of the areofoil but later I discovered it was called a Moustache cloud.  Apparently it is a rare event that happens as a cloud passes over an updraft.  I also found out that they can be called Horseshoe vortex clouds but I prefer to call them mustache clouds.  They can form at the edges of horizontal cylinders of rapidly rotating air – essentially tornadoes tipped onto their sides. The vortices form from updrafts created by powerful super cell storms.  I can report that there was no tornado that day in our village.

6  Forgotten

May 2003 saw us back up at Loch Feochan and off out with our friends in our RIB.  I cannot remember where we landed but this tractor (once someone's pride and joy) had been left on the foreshore.  I wondered what happened to it and why it was forgotten.  Beloved wanted to salvage it and bring it home but (thankfully) this was not possible.

7  Soft

I love bees and both my old and new gardens (we moved last year) have been blessed with bees.  Mind you I've brought many plants with me to my new garden and it is a joy to see a bee on a newly planted plant.  The bee shown here is a Tree Bumble bee.  They look so soft but I'm trying to be sensible and not stroke it!  Mother used to stroke the bees in her garden....

8  Cold

For once we had snow in December!  On our way home (Boxing Day 2004) I noticed the moon, shining brightly on a very cold landscape.  I'm so glad I take a lot of photos as otherwise one would forget!

9  Seat

So many possibilities for this category.  In the end I decided to complement my Red photo picture, in which I mentioned a stone wall I had been building over several months.  Finally it was finished and I was able to make myself a seat on it; hopefully you can see it!  When I was working in the garden, I'd often sit there while I had my brew and contemplate my next job!  I've brought this seat to our new house and it sits on top of a stone wall.  Once the ants have moved on (they have build a nest under it), I can sit on it again.

10  Own choice

First an apology about the poor quality of this photo as it was taken through a double-glazed unit that had misted up.

You can imagine my delight to see a woodpecker on the feeder, quite a regular visitor at the old house.  Suddenly to my amazement it hopped down and fed another woodpecker!  I assumed it was a parent feeding its young.  I knew if I went outside they would fly off so I had to make do with the photos taken within the house.  Such a treat to see this.