January 25, 2013

A taste O' Burns . . .

With Burns Night upon us I thought I would give a  "Wee taste o' Burns"
Born in Alloway 25th Jan 1759, he lived not so far away in the town of Dumfries
He wrote many well known songs such as ‘Auld Lang Syneand ‘To a Mouse
 In the town there lies still  "The Globe Inn" Robbie's howff (haunt)
His favourite seat survives & poetry he scratched on his bedroom window!
There is still a Burns "Howff" club held in the town

There is a great wee video summing up his life & works here.
and here "The beginners guide to Burns" a good introduction
here to Burns Birthplace site for a collection of all things Burns related.
(Globe Inn image courtesy of Visit Scotland, the etched window from BBC News)
All around the world tonight folk will be raising their glasses,
making toasts and tucking into haggis, neeps & tatties. 

The Selkirk Grace
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit

Here's my offering "A taste O'Burns" treasury
from folk all around the world

January 23, 2013

Wintery squirrels & cosy ponies . . .

Such a lovely treat this week the snow bought into our garden
 two new wee visitors to our Narnian wonderland.
Such antics they get up to, & keep burying nuts on the snowy lawn
for the wily blackbirds to then go and pinch !
Also just had to share these cuties.
Two of Shetlands most famous things
Shetland ponies & Fair Isle knitwear.
This to promote the "Year of Natural Scotland"
Shetland pony image by Rob McDougall.

January 21, 2013

A tale of a story teller, Jack Frost & snow . . .

A wee while ago I was delighted to meet the lovely Susi Woodmass
Scottish singer, songwriter, storyteller extraordinaire, who goes by the name of
Susi Sweetpea the Fairy, such a bubbly, enthusiastic & creative soul.
 She is a "lover of enchantment" and her work is enchanting indeed.
So when I was asked to take a peep at some of her work
of course I jumped at the chance for I so love enchantment & tales.
Now here I am illustrating her story, written in wonderful verse, all about
 "Nip Nebs" Mr Jack Frost and his antics as he covers the land with frost patterns.
Susi's stories & songs are filled with her passion for the old Scots language.
words that roll around the tongue and conjure such images for me, words such as
 "crumshie" snow ~crunchy snow and  lugs and nebs ~ ears and noses.
Here are snippets from my sketchbook and i do have to add
Nip Nebs was a little inspired by Victorian gents & certain Johnny Depp!
I have given you a peep at a few of the scribbles from my sketchbook
but shall be sure to share the finished ones as soon as we can.
Here in Galloway we are muffled in a wintery white land of magical Narnia.
Lots of snowy inspiration at last and I have been out a hunting
 with my camera for frosty happenings to include in the illustrations!

Hope you are all keeping warm!
Find more about Susi here & here at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

January 18, 2013

Jennie Ashmore ~ natural patchwork

There are so many wonderful artists & makers here in Scotland 
and more closer to home in Dumfries & Galloway
So I decided every now & again to share the work of some of my favourites!
*   *    *  
Early last year I had the pleasure of seeing the glowing works
of Dumfries & Galloway based artist Jennie Ashmore.
who's love for texture & pattern shines through her work.
Each piece is a delicate layer upon layer of collage
made entirely from carefully placed leaves, flowers & greenery.
 Jennie collects her treasures from the local woodlands, fields & gardens
in and around her home here in South West Scotland.
 I spend a happy age wandering from piece to piece 
taking in the depth and colour and detail
 each new work like a glorious ancient patchwork quilt.
Do have a peep at her website here

January 16, 2013

Keeping a Happiness Book . . .

Many folks have asked me in times gone by, about my happiness book
so today,  I thought I would share snippets of the things it holds.
The hows & whys & wherefores of what makes it tick for me.
Kept in a jotter form, with the cover & inside pages decorated in collage,
for which I use delicious images I have collected over the years, 
 my precious happiness book is filled with much loveliness.
 Divided into sections, spirit, mind & body, it is an exciting place to go
& fills me with joy ~ my book of dreams & hopes & wishes.
Being a Virgo of course there are plenty of lists to peruse throughout.
Lists of  . . .
 "Things I love to do" & "Things I hope to do one day"
 "Films I want to see" & "Books I long to read"
"Things I hope to make" & "Places i can't wait to explore"
I have different sections for various things
for healthy living, for calm & peacefulness
for inspiring ideas for my own personal style.
It is filled too with favourite images & things
quotes & sayings & inspirational words.
I love my book!
A "Happiness Book" can remind you of hopes & dreams & possibilities
it can keep you on track when life gets so busy, hectic & difficult.
It is a book you can add to, a place to keep your deepest desires
and if nothing else it is at the very least a delightful "LookBook"!
Maybe you keep a Happy book, or something similar I would love to hear what,
perhaps you are inspired to give one a try? Do let me know if you do.

Of course, that isn't the only book I keep, I also have my delicious Journal
but I shall share the hows & whys of that another day.
Here's to making today a beautiful, happy day x

January 10, 2013

A happy new year & some exciting news . . .

Happy New Year to you all!
At last i am out of hibernation and have eventually emerged!
I didn't want to break the magical spell of Christmas!
We had such a lovely family time, for all the children were home.
Before New Year we found ourselves at gorgeous Kippilaw house
(what a treasure of a place, rescued from ruin, & so homely)
  celebrating with my lass & her partner as they both were turning 30!
Then it was home to celebrate the beginning of a sparkly New Year.
I love saying goodbye to all that has been and welcoming in the new,
so I have been tucked into my wee studio plotting for 2013.
Making plans for the days ahead in my beautiful new diary
( a birthday present I have been longing to use)
and we have such a jewel of a piece of news  . . .
Mr O & I are to be Grandparents in June, soo very exciting !
* * * 
So goodbye 2012, the year my youngest left the nest, I turned 50 eek, 
my business amazingly went from strength to strength.
I  want to say to all my lovely blog visitors,
I couldn't do it without you,so heres a huge thank you 
 may 2013 bring you much loveliness into your lives x