Tag Archives: Photos

May days

May is my favourite month of the year.

Obviously, I am a little bit biased, seeing as it’s my birthday month, and I did have a very lovely birthday!

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No parties this year (phew), but I did have two massages in 2 days and along with some lovely presents, I bought myself a super cute pair of sparkly trainers!

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Anyway, May is my favourite month as Spring is in full swing and Summer is on it’s way, and to take full advantage of that, at the start of the month we finally got our garden sorted!

This was the garden on the day we got the keys, 30th September:

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The garden* hadn’t been touched since April, when the house went on the market (*at this point, I think calling it a garden is a bit generous).

Luckily, knowing our lack of garden skills, my mum and stepdad helped tackle all of the bushes and the lawn* (again, I think using the word lawn is a bit generous), and so this was our glorious garden in April, after 6months of doing nothing:

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(bonus points if you can spot both cats)

A few highlights to note:

1. The falling down fence on the righthand side, 2. The hideous pale brown mess that used to be a lawn, 3. The weird central flowerbed, 4. The ugly and slippery sleepers, 5. The tiny, weirdly shaped patio, with equally tiny, pointless wall, 6.The strange piles of rubble dotted around the garden

Me and the boyf had spent an entire weekend on just that silly, central flowerbed by this point and we realised that we would need a bit of help if we wanted to use the garden this year.

Cue a very green fingered and patient gardener and two quick and skilled carpenters and in just over two weeks, it became:

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A real garden!

Look! It’s green! It’s healthy! It’s stripy!

It’s now 3 weeks later, and it’s still green and healthy, no plant deaths yet and the sun has come out in force! We can’t wait to finally be able to have people round to enjoy the Summer in our cute (and importantly, easy to maintain!) garden.

Right, the sun is still shining, so if you need me, I’ll be in the garden.

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Plans for the future!

In the hope of convincing myself that I’m a real illustrator-in-training, recently I’ve been looking into printing some cards and possibly setting up my own little etsy shop.

There, now that I’ve told you, I’m going to have to do it!

I’ve spent the last week sketching, painting, inking, photographing and tweaking a few designs, so hopefully I’ll have 11 cards ready to go when I open up.

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I’d like to say it’s been seamless so far, but I won’t lie to you… the sketching and painting has been the easiest part!

Yesterday I tried to print some test cards, only for the blue and pink inks to run out 4 cards in – not ideal! It turns out that four leaf clovers look both ill and unlucky without the blue…

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Here is a little preview of said gradually-less-blue mock ups, I’d like to say the blurriness of the photo is to add intrigue, but actually I had to rush the photo before the cat could jump on them!

So today, I braved the outside world for the first time in 4 days, (does that make me sound terribly lazy?) on a voyage to speak with a local printers to see what my options are for getting a lovely professional finish.

I arrived to see that although they are indeed open Mon to Sat, just below these opening times it states ‘Closed Wednesday’. I wish I had spotted that a little sooner. What a waste of eyeliner and outside clothes!

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So it looks like another journey into the wild for me tomorrow – I will not give up!

If any of you are unfamiliar with etsy, its a website where you can buy lots of things from artwork and knitwear to jewellery and homeware. Each seller has it’s own page, a bit like it’s own shop window.

My lovely friend Flo has an etsy page selling her bright, colourful and quirky cards and prints and she also has a Facebook page with more of her wonderful artwork which you should definitely check out!

My first purchase from etsy was an amazing Audrey Hepburn print which is on my wall along with some of my favourite paintings. It’s by an artist called Ileana Hunter, who it turns out is based near Norwich, her beautiful portrait sketches are well worth a look.

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So that’s a little update on how I’m spending my days at the moment. Elsewhere in the house, I managed to catch Midna making this face while enjoying some dreamies yesterday, I hope you have something in your life that gives you this much joy!

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What a difference a day makes…

So we’ve made it to 2016! All the wonders and woes of 2015 are officially behind us and it’s a brand new year ahead of us.

What better way to start than by wishing you all a happy new year!

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You may have noticed I’ve also started the year with a new Facebook page header:

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We went to Banham Zoo back in October to visit the Boyf’s sponsored snow leopard, and I came away in love with the two cheetahs in the neighbouring enclosure. They are gorgeous and have such cheeky personalities, I think they’ll be next on the sponsor list!

For Christmas this year I scaled up two of my Gran’s photos as 50cm canvases for my Mum. My favourite is the photo of my grandparents shelling peas in the garden. They would have been in their late teens/early twenties and it’s one of the only ones where they’ve been caught unaware, rather than posing for the camera!

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As I’d been looking at this photo so much over the last few weeks, I couldn’t help but try my own version.

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Seeing these side by side, it’s easier to spot what I still need to improve on, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction!

This week I treated myself to a couple of late Christmas presents in the shape of a couple of art books. I had done a little illustration before nipping to the shops, and after reading the books that evening, I wanted to try again the next day.

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Hopefully, it’s obvious that the before is on the left and the after is on the right! The improvement was, in part, what inspired the title of the post, as I was humming the song to myself as I painted on the second day, pleased with the change in just 24 little hours!

So I hope this is a sign of the year to come, filled with improvement and of course, bubbles!

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Changing seasons

And so autumn has arrived, with more of a damp plop than a dramatic fanfare…

I love a bit of autumn, with it’s crunchy leaves and the perfect excuse to wrap up in a snuggly scarf, but I am not so keen on it rolling in with endless rain and drizzle in August. We should have had until September at least to enjoy the last of the sunshine!

Being back in the office has made me realise that time passes in a very strange way working from home, each day draws out for an eternity, but weeks pass by in a flash! It feels like so long ago that I was stretched out on a blanket on the lawn sketching, reading and taking endless photos of the cats, when in reality, it was maybe a few weeks ago at most.

Lounging at home with the cats I remembered the happiness illustrations I did last year and I decided on another one to add to the list:

lazy daysI cannot wait for the sunshine to come back and the day when I have a garden big enough for a tree and a hammock to enjoy it in – the luxury!

Weeks ago when it was still summer, I was making the most of the sunshine, raspberry picking with my Mum, where I was determined to hone my camera skills.

IMG_0267This lovely little bee seemed quite happy to pose for me in the flowers while I tried to find the right camera setting. I have a feeling it may have been a distraction technique while the surrounding wasps targeted all the raspberries we’d gathered and did their best to terrorise Mum.

We also stopped off at Happisburgh (that’s pronounces hays-bruh, for any non-Norfolk-folk) lighthouse on the way back

IMG_0270It was an amazing day with miles of blue skies and a gentle breeze coming off the sea and yet another opportunity to whip out the camera for a few more photos. I’m determined to improve my photo taking now that I have a fancy camera. I think the main obstacle is going to be lugging it around, it’s so cumbersome!

Of course no North-ish Norfolk jaunt is worth it’s weight in salt without stopping by my favourite riverside house.

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Not that you can actually see the river from this view! I am determined to keep painting this house until I can finally get across the warmth, happiness and homeliness that I associate with it. Painting this house is becoming my white whale!

On a slightly less frustrating note, whilst thinking about rivers I came across an image of a woodland river with a beautiful stone bridge running through that felt perfect the front page of my newest sketchbook.

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The scene felt like it was straight from a fairytale, a story of good versus evil and the discovery of magical creatures. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a sucker for a good fairytale!

So I guess that’s the last of summer for another year, it was short but sweet and I am so happy that I got to spend so much of it outside enjoying the sunshine. Now we’re on to autumn and I’ve got a new scarf to wrap up in and I’m on the hunt for some new boots to keep my feet dry. I hope you made the most of the sunshine while it lasted and you have a reliable brolly ready for the next season!

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8 weeks old tomorrow!

After starting to worry slightly that we were going to end up with 5 adorable puss cats on a permanent basis, today we finally confirmed the new homes for two of our little kittens…

Now I’m really sad that we aren’t going to end up with 5 adorable puss cats on a permanent basis.

I had it all planned out, this was the perfect excuse to buy a gorgeous farmhouse deep in the countryside, private woodland and stream optional but preferred. Then we could get a couple of dogs, possibly huskey-esque, some fat fluffy chickens and maybe even a little piglet. I would, of course, expect squirrels in my woodland and perhaps a couple of ducks in my stream, but that might take time.

So now it’s back to reality with a bump, much to our bank accounts’ relief, and we only have two more weeks of a crazy kitten filled home (with no private woodland or stream), then we’ll need to get used to just having 1 degu, 1 big kitten and 2 not-so-little kittens – I can’t imagine I need to worry about having a quiet house again for quite a while!

So here’s a look at them today, the day before they reach 8 weeks old:

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The top two are the two leaving us, aren’t they just the cutest! Lucky new owners! Top left is Tom, she’s a big purr-er and likes lots of strokes, top right is Ghost, she is a soppy snuggly kitten except for when she’s chasing jingly balls.

We are keeping the bottom two, who are also super cutie pies! Bottom left is Loki, he’s rather mischievous and loves his dreamies, bottom right is Bitey, we can’t quite seem to decide on a proper name for her (we are open to suggestions!) as one minute she’s a feisty hunter, the next she’s snuggled next to us on the sofa!

We’re so lucky to have had these gorgeous puss cats with us for the last 8ish weeks and we’re going to be so sad to see Tom and Ghost go to new homes. Maybe when I get my farmhouse we can get some more lovely kittens…

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365 days pain free

It’s now been a year since my Grandad passed away.

So to mark the day, I want to celebrate his 365 days pain free.

I’m not sure if there is a heaven, but if there is, he’s had 365 days up there enjoying what he loves best and rubbing shoulders with the best of them.

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He encouraged us to aim high and not settle for less than we deserve, so hopefully we’ve all taken that to heart.

He had over 78 years full of life and I can only hope that I can match him with as many good stories to tell in my lifetime.

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Indie and Meeko

With all of my excitement around the kittens, it could be easy to forget that the first little arrivals to our household were two adorable little degus, that we got exactly 2 years ago tomorrow.

I was at the Reading Festival with my bestie, it was so much fun, seeing the Cure, Foo Fighters, GreenDay, Paramore and dozens of other brilliant bands.

In the months leading up to this, me and the Boyf had been making regular trips to the pet shop on days off just to have a look at the fluffy little animals hopping and jumping around their cages, but always deciding it wouldn’t be a good idea to get pets while we were renting our little flat.

But on the way home, travelling through central London after 4 days without showering, I got a text from the Boyf: there was a surprise waiting for me at home! My imagination immediately went to the adorable little creatures we’d seen at the pet shop, but I knew he was far too sensible to have got some pets while we were still in the flat, so I didn’t get my hopes up.

The Boyf met me at the station and walked me home, with a good couple of metres between us because of my general unwashed state! As we came out of the lift, I was getting pretty excited, he hadn’t let anything slip.

As we came in the door I casually rushed into the living room, and straight in front of me was a huge metal cage and two of the cutest little things ever bouncing from shelf to shelf. It turned out cute totally won over sensible!

We named Indie first, it was an easy choice, he was an adventurer, always the first out of the cage and exploring his surroundings. Meeko was always a little more interested in the treats on offer, just like the Disney raccoon.

That was August Bank Holiday 2012, now 2 years later, my two adorable degus have become just 1 adorable degu.

Degus are amazing little animals, filled with personality and energy. They come to the cage door to greet you, they argue which way to run round the wheel, they rearrange the cage if things aren’t quite how they like it, they go crazy for nuts (they prefer monkey nuts to cashews), they love tackling the stairs and hiding amongst cables, they aren’t scared of cats, they get annoyed if you don’t let go of the nut, they like sitting in hoods and big pockets and they snuggle up together to go to sleep.

Now there’ll just be one in the cage, our little adventurer and resident escape artist isn’t with us anymore. So we’re going to have to give Meeko extra nuts and get him out for extra cuddles and stair runs, to make sure he doesn’t feel alone. I just hope he doesn’t get cold at night now he’s on his own.

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Photos to make you go awwww

The whole point of this post is just to make you go awww, and possibly, make you all a little jealous of my beautiful little kittens.

I know I did a series of posts focused on different ideas of happiness, but I think I’ve found the true root of happiness, and it comes in the form of adorable bundles of mini cats with wide blue eyes, pointy little tails and chubby tummies and legs.

I won’t hold you in suspense for too long, I’m just not that cruel. So without further ado, some awwwww-inducing photos, one from the day after they were born and a couple from this week – look how they’ve grown!

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Look at their little faces!

So for me, this week everything is just coming up kittens, even in my sketchbook!

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Right, well I’d better go save the kittens from launching themselves off the sofa 🙂

Hope you’ve all had a great, if wet, bank holiday!

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Visiting Memory Lane

This weekend I collected a cardboard box and picnic cooler’s worth of photos from my Mum’s house. Both filled with all of the photos my Gran has collected throughout the years.

It’s got everything from childhood photos of my Gran to childhood photos of me, and I have to say, my Gran has made much better fashion choices throughout her life than I have – although in my defence she wasn’t a child in the 90s…

So this week I’m going to make a start on sorting these into albums and scrapbooks, I am really looking forward to delving into the photos and ordering them to tell a story of our family life – it’s going to be quite a task!

I’ve riffled through some of these photos a few times, once when I was making a family tree book for Gran a few years ago and again last year when I was making a birthday scrapbook for my Mum, (I’ll have to share both of them on here, they have been my favourite craft projects to date!) so I know there are many beautiful memories are hidden in there.

My Gran has always been rather stylish, a photo of her playing tennis in her heels has always been one of my favs and here is another of her with her Mum, my Great-Nanna.

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It’s like having my own little time machine, I can’t wait to see where these photos take me! Wish me luck… I may be some time 🙂

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