Saturday, February 27, 2010

Christmas Presents! Photos. 26th February 2010

Look at my beautiful Mug

Christmas a little late

Jim had a bit of a disaster on Wednesday. He went to a meeting in the UK and hired a car to get from Stansted to the meeting. He left for the airport in plenty of time to come home, but an accident left him sitting on the M25 for an hour. Consequently he missed the flight back!

Jason and Sam don't live too far from the airport, so bless her, Sam went and picked Jim up so that he could have a bed for the night! Then at the crack of dawn, Jason ran him back to Stansted to get the first flight home. Thank you both for looking after Jim in his hour of need.


Our Christmas parcel from Sam travelled all the way to Ireland then eventually, all the way back to Sam!! So Sam popped all the wrapped presents into Jim's rucksack to bring to us! What a wonderful surprise. Sam spoilt me as usual - here is my haul:

What a brilliant mouse mat - perfect for me. I am using it now, and my cup of tea sits on the coaster.

The cats also had a stash of presents - although Buster stole a string covered mouse and quickly demolished it!

Thank you Sam and Jason.

ATC for Sunday. H is for Hearts

It's what you'd call 'busy' I think! I stuck various hearts on the blank card, then covered them with white tissue paper. I then outlined them with gel pens. The blue fabric heart in the centre, I cut round to remove the tissue paper and show its pretty silver dots round the edge. Finally, I attached a heart charm which says 'LOVE', although that's a bit hard to see here. This H is going to Teri, the founder of our little group. She deserves lots of love. She is a very talented artist and her blog is a delight.

Hidden under the charm on the ATC above are 3 little daisies. Teri is a mad daisy fan so I had to put some on somewhere.

Buster and I Get Wet

Jim headed off to Galway yesterday so I took Buster to Dillon's Wood and Lough Graney as he was a bit fed up! The sky looked a bit gloomy but the sun kept popping through. As usual, I enjoyed taking a few photos:

As we walked down the lane towards the lake, they sky looked threatening and the lake was slate grey.

The Greylag geese were still in the field and they took off as we passed - I was ready for them!
This little chap with his fetching earrings came to see us as we passed his field.
The sun shone occasionally but the black clouds loomed over the rocks.
Buster explored the rocks..
While I took reflective photos
The sun shone on these old grasses, it's worth clicking on this photo.
The sun brought out the colours on these developing Alder catkins.
There was even a little rainbow - the first I've seen for a long time.
I could hear the rain coming across the lake. This one's for you Steven!
Look at that lot - luckily I had a good coat on and a hat to keep me warm and relatively dry.

It didn't last for long thankfully. Everything looked wonderfully fresh and clean.
We walked up the path to the road that cuts through the wood. These rocks glistened in the sun.
The moss looked fresh and green.
The rain started again and I was a bit cold, but another rainbow appeared to cheer me along.

I made a joiner of the lane going towards the wood and all the way round to the direction of our cottage!

Do click on it if you have time. It's a pity the house was in the way

I also made a small joiner , taken from the rocks:
They must have been the clouds that emptied on me shortly afterwards!

So it was back home and time for a cup of tea in my new mug.


On a sad note, Renee, a blogger whom many of you know and love, is in hospital and is unlikely to recover from the cancer that has now spread throughout her body. Her daughter has been keeping us up to date on Renee's blog. Renee is a shining light in this bloggy world of ours and I shall miss her.
Renee and her dear husband Wahid.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Catch Up Post - Poppy/Sonny Jim gets Certified.

Jim visited the UK

Husband Jim went to the UK for 3 days and of course saw Poppy and Sonny, his Grandchildren in West Sussex. He took a few photos so here is just a selection:

She is getting so grown up now.

Poppy with her doll. She's rather petite so the trousers have to be rolled up!

Sonny on Mum Jenny's lap, Auntie Ali (Poppy's Mum) making him laugh.

Happy Sonny

Now these next two are funny - Poppy thought she'd quite like Sonny's dummy!

Look at Sonny's face!!

Hopefully I will be able to catch up with both of them soon.

Jim gets Certified!

You probably know that Jim volunteers to teach 'Silver Surfers' basic computing. He was invited to a 'do', which I thought was just a meeting, but it turned out to be a bit of a celebration. There had been a painting competition at the library in Ennis and the winners of that had to go up to the table and collect their prizes.

After that, the volunteers had to do the same and they each received a certificate. Jim said it was like prize day at school!

And, even worse, I made him pose with it at home!

The organisation running the courses, called 'Getting Started', is Age Action Ireland (For all Older People).

Jim's certificate reads 'Certificate of Appreciation to Jim Deen in recognition of the valuable contribution to the Getting Started Training Programme, 19th February 2010.

Well, how exciting! I think it's excellent that they take the trouble to officially thank the volunteers and show they are appreciated. Jim has been to Scarriff this morning for the start of the new course. The first course was in Ennis, but Scarriff is one of our favourite little towns, so he enjoyed going there too. Afterwards, the helpers went for a coffee and a scone. I think I'm missing out here somewhere.

A New Visitor to Our Garden

When Jim returned, it was snowing, as it still is, and we were watching all the birds fighting over the feeders outside my room. Jim thought one of the birds looked a bit different from our usual collection as it had a little russet red 'cap' on the top of its head. We have discovered it is a 'Common Redpoll'. Well, it's hardly common to us, as we've neither of us seen one before. We love our birds and it's exciting when a new one appears. Today there are:

Siskin, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, blue tit, great tit and coal tit. Robin, Blackbird and Magpie. And......... Redpoll!

Such a cute little thing. The male has a red chest too so ours must have been a female or an immature male.


We have reached 'G' in our alphabet of Artist Trading Cards and here is my effort:

G is for Gold (and a little bit of green). The colours aren't very true - it's full of 'bling', definitely a gaudy gold. I enjoyed making this collage ATC.

Postcard From Bea

Oh Wow. Bea from Dog In the Hole Studio makes fantastic fabric postcards. She sent me this one for Valentine's Day - I just love it. The heart is stuffed and squishy. Do visit Bea's Blog, it's full of wonderful things. She has an amazing studio and talent flows around in there as though it's built into the fabric of the building.

This is the other side:

It's amazing how well this fabric postcard has survived from the USA to Ireland. It wasn't in an envelope either. According to the back, it was delivered 'by ship's cat'.


I've been a bit hooked on the Winter Olympics. This is all very well but it goes on until 5am here! Last night it was the free programme in the Ice Dance. I love the skating and some of the performances took your breath away. I also watched several Curling matches, but every time I watch either of our teams (well, Team UK), they lose.

Enough for today I think. I hope it's been a Top Tuesday for everyone.

Friday, February 19, 2010

New ATCs, Sandy in a Basket. 19.02.10

Artist Trading Cards

I received another 2 Artist Trading Cards yesterday, letters E and G.

This E is for Envy and is from Mim. It opens up too:

Isn't that super? It was enclosed in another of Mim's own cards:

I rather like the rocks round it too! This now has pride of place on one of my notice boards.

The other ATC is from soulbrush and is G for Gossip:

I love soulbrush's bold painting style and how clever to have the 2nd gossip with just her mouth at the top! I love it. Soul also included some blank ATCs for me to use and some pretty paper. she is a star! Well, all of our group are.


Jim popped into Ennis today for a meeting of his volunteer group. I'll tell you about that tomorrow. I went out and carried on tidying and clearing the bed just outside the back yard. It certainly looks much better and I found some snowdrops in flower, hidden under a broom bush. I will try and photograph them tomorrow if it's fine.

While I was working away, the sky blackened and we had a hail storm! I carried on, putting a hat on for protection and after about five minutes it all stopped. Having finished the clearing, I managed to get the motorised wheelbarrow started and fetched 2 barrow loads of compost to put on the bed. I usually leave this too late, when the plants are all growing, but this time I was able to put quite a thick layer on the top. The plants will love that. My feet had frozen and it was getting dark so I went inside and watched some of the olympics (on replay).

Jim came back with some pink and white roses for me. They are beautiful and are now in a vase.

Oh, did I mention I took a sky photo?

Dark clouds were gathering....

Then the hail appeared in the valley, on its way to me!

Sandy Finds a Special Place

I walked into the snug and was going to do a bit of my rugging. I have cut lots of the material into strips and keep it in a basket (a present from my son and dil Sam the Christmas before last). It's perfect for the job. I was surprised to see this:

A squatter in my basket. I spoke to Sandy and he popped his head lazily out of the basket:

Isn't that just a super shot? Sandy clearly thought my basket a purr-fect place to sleep!

Then he just snuggled back down again!

I had to feel around in the bottom to find my material balls! He just ignored me.

Now I'm off to watch some of the Olympics. Happy Weekend Everyone.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

17.2.10 Another Mixed Bag.

The Deenery taken yesterday, 17th February.


A bit more on the kitchen progress. I chipped off all the tiles - what a mess they made. I think only one came off whole! Behind them the cement they had used to affix them to the wall was stuck like glue. I tried various ways of trying to chip it off! Jim took a couple of photos of me removing the tiles:

Look at the movement in that hammer!!

Ping, ping they went!! All over the floor.

Jim has put the cupboards from there on the other side:

When we get the work top, he will re-make the ones below and make them the same width as the cupboards above. It's all progressing nicely. Jim's been in the UK for 3 days so it's just been me. I picked him up from the airport this evening and now he's watching the Winter Olympics. I shall join him when this is finished.

It's been lovely today, cold but sunny. Some of the crocuses have started to come up, so I took a couple of photos of them:

These are in the arboretum bed and the ones below are up by the gate into The Deenery:

Spring is coming!

I didn't finish this blog yesterday - I watched the Olympics until 5am so then went to bed! I'm sitting here in the full sunshine in my studio and it's glorious.

Primula and primroses are all starting to flower, in spite of the frost this morning.


At about 5pm yesterday I went to the barn to get some bags of wood chips for Billy Boiler and the clouds were wonderful. All big and fluffy. I got a bit carried away with the camera!

This is a joiner of the clouds above Lough Graney. Do click on it to enlarge it.

I just took the tops of the clouds here! they still look wonderful if you click on it to enlarge.

Taken through The Deenery gate.

I think that's enough for now! I love clouds. You might have guessed.

BlackJack and Sandy followed me everywhere as it was about their teatime!

Sandy in the window of the barn!


Ben 26 Today

It's my youngest son's 26th birthday today. He's in Spain and I'll ring him later but I miss his hugs.

This was taken last October when I spent a few days with Ben in Puerto Banus, Spain, where he runs his bar, 'Zoo Lounge'.

Happy Birthday Ben.

Right, things to do. Happy Thursday Everyone.

Ben and a good friend Hannah dressing up. They're both 26 now!!
Ben is the baby here, held by big brother Jason.

Me and Ben. He was about 11 here. I love this photo.