Tuesday, 31 December 2013

As we sail - - -

- - towards the turn of the year, here in our Northern hemisphere - I would like to wish all my friends - wherever you are in the world - All the very best for 2014

Thank you all - each and everyone of you, who has let me know in some small way that I have been in your thoughts and prayers as I make my way down this road I found myself treading in June 2012. Your support has helped me in so many ways, that I couldn't possibly list them all - you all need to know that it has meant a very, very great deal to me.

As we say here on my little island - as Blein Vie Noa (Happy New Year) and Shee erriu car ny bleeaney shoh çheet (Peace to you through the coming year)

'til later

Bannaghtyn, J x

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Simply a Moment - December

A moment in the Glen

Sunday - December 29th - 12.07pm

A shaft of bright sunlight through the window tempts me outside - a walk in the Glen calls methinks, - warmly clad I set off, with just my phone for company.

The leaves swish underfoot as I walk and I kick them around with the same pleasure a 6 year old might have and walk on, twigs snapping underfoot as I stride out - the high winds have wreaked havoc and everywhere I look there are lichen covered broken twigs, and signs of the forresters having been around with a chain saw to deal with fallen branches - a flash of wings and the blackbird is just where I was standing, beak busily searching out any grubs I might have brought to the surface - I smile to myself - he must have been watching me!
 I look over towards the beach - in the distance I see a couple of small groups on the shore line - tiny black figures silhouetted against the brightness.
This golden sunshine has turned the bay into a land of shining water - shafts of light make the sea shimmer and sparkle - diamond bright, flashing light back at the sky. I walk along briskly feeling my cheeks begin to tingle and my toes to get warm - it is much colder than I expected so I am aware that I need to keep moving. I turn the corner on the path and reach the headland - - the wind is rising, more storms are forecast for us later today, and it is quite chilly on the promontory here so I don't linger. In front on the path I catch sight of Robin Redbreast - and he too brings a smile to my face - I would like to stand and watch him but the chill in the wind keeps me moving, and although it it is still low tide, already the waves have white tops and are dashing against the rocks below the path. Time to head home, noticing for the first time a tree with many holes in its trunk - woodpeckers I wonder? - no matter how often I take this walk I always find something I haven't noticed before - - but then isn't that just Mother Nature all over?

This post is brought to you courtesy of Alexa's Simply a Moment meme - and she will have more "moments" linked up there - do pop over to read them.

Thanks for dropping in  -  as always you are most welcome.

'til later

Bannaghtyn, J x

Friday, 27 December 2013

I wish you all - -

- - the compliments of the season.

I am sorry not to have been around for a while - a combination of busy weeks because of visitors, some struggling to hold myself together, travel and this Season - -  so that the "online world" was the last thing on my mind, though I have been reading Shimelle's "Journal Your Christmas" prompts .

I am trying to "catch up" with all your news and so sad to have missed the last Storytelling Sunday - I so enjoyed the glimpses into your lives and the lovely stories - so a huge thank you to Sian.

I hope all is well with you all - and that those of you in the UK haven't been hit too hard by the appalling storms we have faced this last few weeks. My own Island home is very weather battered - extremely high winds have led to many ferry and flight cancellations - which of course impacts on our supplies, but we did mange to get our eldest girl safely over to spend this holiday with us.

I also have a new "addition" to my household - - in the form of one very small blue bird - - -
This is Joey - and we are very pleased to have him come to live with us - -

My very best wishes to all my readers - thank you all so very much for your friendship.

'til later

Bannaghtyn, J x

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Storytelling Sunday - -The Gift

Welcome, welcome  - - Did you realise it's the first Sunday in October!! (How did that come around so quickly?) which means of course that is Storytelling Sunday over at Sian's place - where a group of international "yarn spinners" gather to exchange tales. This year Sian asked us to seek out those things that are precious in our eyes - and full details can be found at High in the Sky - and share their story - and oh my what interesting stories that has lead us too! For myself, my items have triggered lots of memories I am glad to have noted down, but this month I couldn't think what to write about, but sitting in my "crafty place" I noticed something whose story does need to be recorded.

The seat on the kitchen settle, the one built into the alcove by the Rayburn, is warm and comfortable and my fingers are busy with the cards I am making for two of my friend's birthdays later this week. Outside the window is the trill of birdsong and the flurry of wings as the small birds flit between the feeders in the garden. As I finish my second card and turn to restore my photos to the folder I catch sight of the box that lives on the settle.
It is only a matter of 16 months since it became mine, a gift from R---. She brought it with her when she came to see me in late June 2012, yet it will forever trigger this memory - -

A March evening - 2001
The knock at the door was unexpected - - we hadn't lived here at Ballamaddrell very long, and didn't know anyone who might call on us at this time of an evening. I went to the door and opened it to find two (slightly apprehensive and a little giggly) schoolgirls - - strangers to me definitely - though I knew they must be pupils at the Secondary School where I worked - and were probably about 14 . They looked at each other, then chorused " Can Ben come out?"
My son poked his head through the lounge door into the hallway "Can I go out mum? Please?" What else could I say but  "yes"! I realised that the girls must have been in his class in what was to Ben then, a new school - - and it made me happy to think that he was finding friends - he seemed to have a gift for it - -
That was the first time I really met R--- and A----, they "called for" Ben every night after that. A---- was his first "girlfriend" and R--- became one of his best friends, certainly his best friend among the girls in his circle of friends, though he remained on good terms with A---- even when they ceased to be an "item". When I think of R--- knocking on our door, I have to smile as she was the shyest child imaginable - they must have given each other courage on that dark March evening.

So - though R--- gave me the box when I lost my boy, with it's memorabilia contents of tickets, programmes, festival IDs etc that he had attended with R---, A---- and the rest of his amazing group of friends - - and I can't open its secret lock without falling apart - so you will forgive me if I don't share the contents - - - seeing it reminds me of that March night - when two young girls knocked on the door because they liked my son. So it is a doubly precious gift -  for the memory it brings to mind and for what it contains..... And with that thought - I had better make a pot of tea - - - I can stick the bits back on more successfully then

Thanks for dropping in - there will be so many stories around today - do pop over to High in the Sky to read more.

'til later,

Bannaghtyn,  J x

Friday, 4 October 2013

Going Postal - -

- - with Julie at Notes on Paper. I know Julie has hosted this themed blog series a couple of times - and I wished I had known  - but I hadn't really discovered her blog so wasn't able to join in. However star that she is, she is hosting again!!
I have always loved post, real post I mean, not bills! - and anything connected to it, from my very first "Post Office" set - does anyone else remember those cardboard boxes left by Santa Claus containing a mini shop?  I had Post Offices with mini mail, rubber cancellation stamp, ink pad, tiny envelopes and teeny tiny stamp sheets - to real stamps(I collected them for a while!), airmail stickers, cancellation marks and so on, that I really did feel I wanted to a part of this - this time round. I still steam stamps off my mail - especially decorative ones, and am fortunate that my island home has some really attractive stamps - so I can save some unused ones too!
I belong to a craft group here - and a few of the members like to swap ATCs each month, we always have a theme and though I don't always join in, I did this month as for our last meeting the theme was "Recycled" - so I recycled stamps - here they are.  
Thanks for dropping in, don't forget to hop over to see Julie's postal posts - she is sharing some wonderful ideas. I hope to have a few more postal influenced items to share before long.

'til later,

Bannaghtyn, J x

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

My Month in Numbers - September 2013

Welcome, welcome - - so very nice to have you drop by. I haven't been around much this month, and for that I do apologise - the change in the seasons has upset my hard won equilibrium somewhat and the turn of the year here, as we head to the darker and shorter days has been unexpectedly hard for me.  Summer has played fast and loose with us I fear, fickle lover that she is , and abandoned us overnight. The golden days have given way to misty mornings, grey, cold, damp - heavy, gloomy skies and rain bringing with them thoughts I know are fruitless, the "why didn't I - - - " kind yet I can't make them go away - - - -

However enough  - this sudden change has me longing to hunker down in front of a cosy fire with a good book - Any recommendations anyone? I am trying to get back into reading at home,(I have only read whilst on holiday of late years) - but now - a quick round up of these September days

Julie - of Notes on Paper - invites us to record memories of our month - in numbers - so for a full explanation hop over to her blog here - she will not only have numbers of her own to share but also others around the globe who also record a month in numbers.

Straight into this month's Communal Count -
I was 4 when I started at All Saints Mission School - - which was a small Infant school, attached to the Mission church - I think I was there 3 or 4 years before moving on the the separate Junior School - -  when it was demolished I wept, and at that time I was a mum of 3! - the site it was on is now a small housing estate complex - so my number relating to this can't be completely accurate - but it is the best I can come up with for this aspect of the Communal Count - and depending on which port we have to dock - I now live 147 or 165 miles away from my primary school.

And 1 pint of milk costs me 60p - - but I forgot to keep track of our consumption!! Doh as Homer Simpson would say!

1 - online class - Shimelle's Learn Something New --- which I have participated in from the beginning - though this last couple of years my lessons have been very hard won and so are for my eyes only - - but I will post a photo of this years album in a separate post.

2 unexpected dinner guests - twice (does that count as a number too??). As you may know The Artisan loves his outdoor sporting activities - especially his climbing - and on the Monday of the week following our return from holiday went off for his usual hour of exercise before the daylight disappeared - - to meet up with 2 Austrian climbers - here, on our little island. I am sure you can imagine his pleasure in having someone to "show round" - - - - - so he invited them back for dinner! Actually they are two charming (and handsome - who doesn't like a bit of eye candy? )young men,  Dominic and Kimi - and it was lovely to have them visit with us.

1 book - with 3 novels within - read - whilst on holiday of course - and the said book was mentioned here. It was fun to read it whilst in Sicily - the setting for these books - as I am sure some of you may already know, which of course leads nicely into - -

7 days in Sicily - mainly in the beautiful Taormina - which remains charming in spite of it being a tourist "Honey Trap". From the bus station there we were able to visit other smaller villages high in the mountainous region around Mount Etna, all equally charming - though so very small that one to two hours was plenty long enough to enjoy the stunning views and quaint little streets. I truly have spent a week "Exploring with My Camera" - - I tried hard to remember (and learn) all I had read in the manual - and have been pleased with some of my shots. I also tried to practice using my phone to take photos - and again feel I have made a little progress with framing my shots better. I did invest in an App - as recommended by Kat Sloma and feel it was a good buy, and having been using the tips she offers and found them really helpful. Here a couple of holiday snaps which are likely to make it into my album

 And finally - we saw 6 geese in the middle of the road in Purt Ny Hinshey! I am not sure why they were sitting where they were - but I couldn't resist taking their photo as they looked so funny!

Thanks so much for stopping by - don't forget to hop over to Julie's blog for more number crunchers - she will make you most welcome and perhaps you might like to join in yourself?

"til later,

Bannaghtyn, J x

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Rinda's Photo Scavenger Hunt -

The Scavenger Hunt for 2013 has come to an end - and I haven't posted details of all the photos I did manage - - and I can't even say I am sneaking in "under the radar" with this post as I am too late now! But not to worry - I have put together a page with some collages of most of my photos - and here I have just posted a few that haven't seen the light of day - just so I can point you in the direction of the page.
Item 3 City Hall or similar civic building

This is our Tynwald Building in the capital of the island. Fondly referred to as "The Wedding Cake" it is our Government offices and has recently been re furbished.
Item 19 - A fisherman . We were fortunate enough to come across a Fishing Competition on our day at "The Queenie Festival" - a celebration of all things maritime!
Item 18 - our local hostelry - a restaurant/wine bar serving delicious teas and coffees as well as their regular menus. It's our Friday meeting place - when my former colleagues  and I get together for a couple of hours chat to catch up with each others news.We usually have our celebrations there too - as the staff really "look after us" as we say here!

As always you are most welcome - thank you so much for dropping in.
'til later

Bannaghtyn, J x

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Simply a Moment - September

 Stormy Weather

Tuesday - September 17th  - 9.30am

- - swirling eddy's of leaves circle my feet,  a  whirligig of madly dancing browns, yellows and greens before skittering across the road to lodge in the undergrowth of the hedgerow. The trees above my head sway wildly - their leaves rustling in an endless whisper - what secrets could they tell me if I could understand I wonder. Another gust of wind takes my breath away - it's sound wuthering and wailing and I feel as if I am fighting a battle to take my next step towards home.

 As I pass my bay I look across westwards - in the distance the promised storm is now clearly visible -- marching relentlessly across this morning's wild Irish sea where the wind whips the waves to a frenzied flurry of white horses galloping into shore and once more I am breathless as another gust catches me and attempts to trip me up as more leaves swirl round my feet.
A few small black shapes appears briefly in the churning waters - and I realise the incoming storm has driven some of the seals from the Sound to my slightly more sheltered bay. It will be wild out there I know. I smile thinking of them and am glad they are here near my home - our bay is a little less exposed to the elements and wild weather is the only time the seals come this close to shore.

The wind whips my hair round my face and I realise the shopping bags I have carried up Yn Shooylaghan are heavy and I hurry on the last hundred yards or so to the cottage. As I turn down the steps to my garden the first drops of rain land on my face - - - -

Another Simple Moment recorded - thanks to Alexa of Trimming the Sails - who once a month - invites us to stop, notice and make note a of a minute or two of our day. Many "memory keepers" from  in Blogland join her - so do drop in here to see her and catch a few more moments  from around the globe -  and perhaps share a moment of your own?

Thanks for dropping in - as always you are most welcome,
'til later,

Bannghtyn, J x

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Storytelling Sunday - The Brooch

She was surprised to find it light when mummy opened the curtains and realised with excitement that she had never been awake this early before on a summer morning, the air itself seemed to tingle with anticipation and the sense of controlled hustle and excitement was palpable.
It felt cold, which surprised her as it was the middle of June - but then she had never been awake so early before, mummy was waking and dressing her little sister -  who just looked bewildered and only half awake - - then she remembered - granny and grandad had stayed last night - so-o-o exciting!
Now dressed, she danced towards the kitchen - - Granny was there - adding bread, butter, tea, bacon, eggs, milk and all manner of other foodstuffs into a large bag whilst Grandad was checking the primus, the teapot/kettle, the matches - - adding cups, plates, spoons to another bag and that the bottle of violet coloured meths was full enough to last the whole time!

Suitcases lined the hallway, coats piled on top, along with a flower book , the map book, washbags - - the front door suddenly opened to reveal daddy - who picked up the largest suitcase, turned and went out again - - Grandad was suddenly passing her and he too picked up a suitcase and went out the door - - daddy was back again - this time collecting the bags from the kitchen - - -

A flurry of activity from the 4 adults around them - - it was time - "Come along" her daddy spoke slightly impatiently "we need to get going" as he checked all was locked and hurried them all into the car - - - 

- - for us to set off on our very first trip to Cornwall - which was where this tiny brooch came from made from some silver coloured base metal, a ring of green enamel, a small circle of what is supposed to be mother-of-pearl but is actually (I suspect anyway) plastic - topped by a tiny pisky figure - a small cheap tourist souvenir, which, whenever I come across it in my jewelry box, takes me right back to that very first Cornish holiday and the beginning of a love affair with that most magical of England's counties which remains with me to this day. I fell - - hook, line and sinker for its rugged beauty, awe inspiring seas, enchantingly quaint villages, legends, smugglers, fishermen, miners, harbours, light , art - everything about it was - to the girl I was - entirely too romantic for any words my 11 year old self could have found. I don't actually remember which of Cornwall's delightful villages this little brooch came from but was my introduction to Piskies - I am not sure which of those 4 adults I spent my childhood holidays with actually bought it for me but it is incredibly precious in my eyes, for whenever I see it - every one of the wonderful holidays - not only in Cornwall but in other parts of the UK too -  with my mum, dad, sister and grandparents come flooding back.

It also represents my love of Cornwall's rugged beauty and charm that captured my heart all those years ago. Cornwall holds it still - for me it will always be a magical county. I have spent very, very many happy holidays there since that first visit, have adored every book I ever read that was set there, from Mallory Towers on that first car journey, through Jamaica Inn, Frenchman's Creek,the Poldarks and The House on the Strand and -- I wore it in my coats for many years and we had many more of those very early starts! Coming across it again has triggered many more memories - which I really aught to record - - - - - -

Many thanks to Sian of High in the Sky - who hosts this meme, and this year suggested that we Pick our Precious - without whom THIS story may never have been written down -  - and although I have failed totally with this month's challenge to write down a "short" story! (Well you know me and words!)- -  there will be many more stories about on the web today. Just click here to follow the links - maybe you too have a story to share?

Thanks for dropping in,
'til later

Bannghtyn, J x

Saturday, 31 August 2013

My Month in Numbers - August 2013

Hello again welcome, welcome  - so nice to have you drop in - - I have been wondering you know - how has the end of another month come round so quickly??? It was only the beginning of August just yesterday - - - and it was still summer, whereas now the year is definitely on the turn.

It has been the most glorious of summers - and I am hoping to prolong it a little as we take our first holiday abroad since our world fell apart in June 2012 - we are off to Sicily very soon - another step forward anyway on this long road we travel. However - on to some numbers - alongside the lovely Julie of Notes on Paper, who invites us to join her in summing up our month with numbers as the starting point. She also has a shared Communal Count - so hop over to her blog for full details.

So - for this month I have noted that I needed - -
1 - new suitcase for the above mentioned holiday - and I have to admit to more than a little excitement about going since the BBC showed Montalbano on Saturday nights last year - it looked just so beautiful!
Have received - -
1 - unexpected gift - from the Artisan, which links in so well with the above. He knows that I only read on holidays really - (there is a story there I guess - but one that is hard for me still) and that I love a book set in the area/country we are visiting - - and he picked this up for me whilst on a climbing trip in Belfast last Bank Holiday weekend.

Have taken - -
1 - trip to our lovely Theatre - this time to catch a local production of Cats - - Our island is blessed with considerable talent musically - - and their productions are semi professional in my opinion, so my outing with my friends was a delightful evening.

Been a part of - -
2 - days slipping back in time as our village - and vintage transport system, celebrated the 1940's and our island's involvement with that period in our history.

I have already made - -
3 - blackberry crumbles! Unheard of to have our blackberries ripe so early! This of course led to 3 lovely half hours on the beach picking them, with the ensuing purple stained fingers and minor scratches. I just hope there are some left after my return from holiday.

And now to Julie's Communal Count - -
I had [a]
14 - visitors - including Mum & Dad, my sister, our eldest daughter, 5 friends, 1 Market Researcher   - - and 3 baby sparrows who ran around our garden for a whole day, recently fledged we thought therefore still gaining their "wings" and really needing to improve their flying skills - they spent much of the day hiding in the undergrowth of our tree and fluttering a few inches above the gravel - - (I was very glad that last month's cats didn't visit us on the same day!! though have been back again since).  Usually we are 3 - me, the Artisan and our youngest daughter. Only one of our visitors actually stayed with us.

Leading to
8 - days with my "fledglings" back under my roof as L---- spent a weeks holiday with us, and therefore requiring a very early start to get to the airport -

5.35am - - the earliest I got out of bed, which is very unusual - my days usually begin about 7.30am - I'm definitely a creature of habit!
Which I think rounds off my numbers quite nicely for this month.

Thanks so much for dropping in. Don't forget to hop over to Julie - she will have more "number crunchers" joining her, and she will give you a warm welcome.

'til later,

Bannaghtyn, J x

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Island at War - - -

"Come along, come along - we don't have all day" the Commandant hustled the disparate group of women and children, peering out of the carriage windows looking rather forlorn and more than a little bewildered, " have you got your cases? - well hurry then" bustling them out of the train's carriages - - "move up, make room for more!" she ordered briskly and the group of Internees - - "Enemy Aliens" in these troubled times - - rounded up - - moved by rail, packed off across the sea, moved once again by rail and ending in this beautiful bay - - to be billeted with landladies whose guesthouses and hotels held countless empty rooms - - -

It will only take a little imagination for you to all take a step back in time with me?
Please board the train standing at platform 2 - - it has a good head of steam now and is almost ready to depart - -

For this last weekend our island slipped back in time - - - to Make Do and Mend, Dig for Victory, Keep Calm and Carry On, and remember that Careless Talk Costs Lives! - - and so remember an Island at War.

 There was lots of period atmosphere with steam trains coming into the station being met by the Home Guard Re-Enactment guys complete with gun placements, A Field Hospital in the waiting rooms, Vintage Cars, Steam Engines, The D-Day Darlings singing on the platform as well as many locals dressed in appropriate costume - Land Girls, Soldiers on Leave, Housewives and even Ladies of the Night!! leading small groups round the village sharing some of the stories from when the South was the Women's Internment Camp.
 There was a wonderful exhibition of  paintings and photographs in the British Legion Hall and the Station Booking office - a Sale of Goods from the Grand House in the Church Hall, one of the local hairdressers had turned her salon back to the 1940s - and was offering a"Victory Roll" hairstyle along with and afternoon tea and cakes.

We had sandbags and taped windows and the vintage bus was taking visitors up to Cregneash village where the Land Girls were working hard, A touch of Glen Miller  - - then a few dance lessons in the Barn at Church Farm and for those in the know an evening Dance at a Secret Location with Supper served by the NAAFI,  - - -
All in all a busy weekend - - - perfect for when you have visitors!

- - - and now back to the 21st century - - where I have to share more wonderful happy mail from Julie's Etsy store. These were a custom order and I was so excited when the postie knocked this morning - - but had to contain myself . However when I got the opportunity to open the envelope  - well see for yourselves

I really couldn't be more delighted with my packs if I had chosen everything myself - but I am very much enjoying seeing what Julie has managed to find in my themes - and it is so much more fun  discovering what she has found - - I really recommend it - -it doubled my pleasure in my mail anyway!

I hope all is good with you all - -
Thanks for stopping by,
'til later

Bannaghtyn, J x

Friday, 16 August 2013

Simply a Moment - August


Thursday -  August 15th - 9.50am

There is a feel of Autumn in the air as I head down the path to the beach - and the earth holds "the scent of water" after last night's rain though now the sky is blue and the sun is warm on my face. Already the leaves are turning on the sycamores and everywhere underfoot my feet crunch on "helicopters" as my son used to call the seed heads from this tree. The path is steepens down the cliff here - even though it is made in steps I am very much aware that I need to watch my footing  - realising I am still "twitchy" going down steps (after a fall down stairs some 20 years ago resulted in a very nasty broken bone!) -  it is very wet after the rain and the fallen leaves are damp and slippery. The path turns sharply and seems to disappear  - though I know a sharp turn left will take me to ever steeper steps - now on a very peculiar angle - subsidence? or just the hands of time? I always wonder as I make my way carefully down them.

I am greeted by a fresh breeze as I step onto the pebbles of the beach at the bottom, blowing my hair away from my face with more strength than I expected -  I am fond of this pebble beach on my door step - my home is named for this small cove and often I am the only person on it - as I am at this moment today. I make my way carefully across the pebbles - - Mother Nature ensures there is life everywhere - even on a salty seashore  - bindweed,  nettles, wild mustard, dock (witches fingers I always called it), ox eye daisy, and tangled brambles all scramble through the pebbles.
I catch the aroma of freshly washed seaweed here on this shore as I seek my first blackberries of the season, and the hush, hush, hush of the waves rolling the pebbles on the tide line - its timeless rhythm brings its own tranquility, disturbed only by the soft scream of the whistle of the first steam train of the day from the village station. I smile at the thought of the small steam engine setting off on its' frst commute of the day. The sun is warm on my back - my fingers stained purple with the blackberry juice as I add them to my pyrex bowl - just enough for a crumble will do nicely I think  - - - - -

a yapping dog disturbs my peace - - - - a small family has joined me on the beach and are at the tide line with 2 dogs, a black labrador? gambolling in and out of the waves on the shore - the other a small yappy terrier - - - I look at my bowl's contents - - standing up straight - I realise I have been longer than I thought so pick my way carefully across the pebbles to climb the steep path home - - -

Just around the middle of the month - Alexa at Trimming the Sails pauses to take stock - just for a moment - to look, listen and be aware of the moment -  then record it -  and invites us all to join her and record our own moments - this is my August moment - and if you follow this link you will find many more magical moments - - and perhaps you too have one to share??

Thanks for dropping in
'til later

Bannaghtyn, J x

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Happy Mail

Weekend hasn't been easy for me - - some days are not , and this was one of them - however skimmming through my favourites I happened to click on Julie's EtsyStore (Notes on Paper), and she had some new Bird Packs - and I LOVE birds - - Needless to say I placed a little order - - and look what tumbled out of the package that landed through my letterbox at lunchtime today! All this wonderful papery goodness for me to play with!
There is so much variety in these packs - different images, text, textures, page size - just take a look if you like someting a little different for your creativity.

And getting one of her envelopes is like an unexpected birthday - This was my previous order!!

Thanks for stopping by,

'til later
Bannaghtyn, J x

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Month in Numbers - July

Welcome, welcome - - so glad you dropped in

 - - the days are slipping through my fingers like water and my blog has been sadly neglected this last couple of weeks, and for that I do apologise - but here I am again with yet another month that has disappeared on me!  However it is time for Julie's Month in Numbers meme  - hop over to Notes on Paper for full details - so I rounded up my thoughts for another month. I have answered the questions posed by Julie for a "communal count" as well!

I really don't know where the days making up the back end of the month went to - I did have several days when I struggled somewhat  - but have decided I am blaming the weather myself - it has been so very lovely here on my little island - a true summer - glorious blue skies, warm and sunny - which has pulled me outside on more than one occasion - just to be outside has been enough. I did keep my Scavenger Hunt Photos in mind though - so my list is coming along nicely. More of that later in the week hopefully.

But on to some numbers methinks -
  • 1 - new toy! I have often looked longingly at DSLR cameras thinking I would one like to take better photos. I look - feel the weight - and realise I would probably not use it - so put them back on the shelf. I did find this one though - it is Compact System Camera - not DSLR - but it is so much lighter, I can get lenses, fiddle and play with aperture, focus etc  - so I am much more likely to use it. Whether I can take better photos remains to be seen!

  • 1 Packet full of all this Happy Mail - I am really loving my Plundered Pages packs. It is fun and exciting just opening them - like an unexpected present! So if you too like intriguing collections then you need to pop over to Julie's Etsy shop to get your own - -  oh and the freebies that tumbled out as I opened it are an extra pack of goodies in themselves! Thank you Julie.

  •  2 - the number of retirement parties I have attended for friends - both former colleagues at the school I worked at myself until last year, with the necessary hand made cards.
  •  2  - surprising visitors - These beauties visited my garden on 8 days this month. I have no idea where they might live - but they do keep coming down my steps - and always together. They are also very vocal - in the way Siamese cats are! I LOVE tabbies - (I would have a cat if it were not for my daughter's asthma). These two have the most beautiful eyes - I hope they continue to visit me occasionally - they are a friendly pair - and still quite young I suspect.
  •  9  -  including this one - the number of posts on my blog this month - not so many as last month, but the blog does look less "abandoned"!
And now - the answers to the questions Julie set

  • 56 - the number  of items in this bag (why?? I ask myself!!) including purse, camera, 5 loose tissues, headache tablets, keys, folding shopping bag, make up 3 lipsticks, 1 mascara, 1 blusher, 2 pens, 1 mirror, 1 lipsalve and a badge)loose money - 3 notes and 22 pound coins!, phone, 2 gems (off said phone case) Moo cards in case,  a strip of raffle tickets (to win Katie Melua's handbag -  and I didn't! - a fundraiser for Manx Cancer Help), emery board, passport, 2 tubes lip balm , 2 bottles of perfume, 2 receipts, 1 hairbrush and 1 business card picked up at Tynwald day)
  • 351 photos - with 157 with my compact camera, 143 with my iPhone,  51 with my new camera. It remains to be seen if I do take better photos!! I am trying to learn to anyway - - and am spending a few minutes each day to get to know how to best use it - I am reading the manual!!! It is so much harder to remember stuff than it used to be - oh to be young once more! I have been playing with frames on my phone - this is one of my first attempts and is just flower shots from my garden.
Thanks so much for dropping in - and if you have Month in numbers of your own or have enjoyed my numbers - do swing over to Julie's Notes on Paper  - there will be lots more numbers as well as how to join in for yourself.

'til later,

Banaghtyn, J x

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Simply a Moment - July 2013

In the Garden
Tuesday - July 16th - 9.47pm

A movement across the room catches my attention and I look up from the computer screen and my letter writing, the Artisan has switched the TV on - must be getting time for the news  - - the clock ticks softly behind my head and I glance out the window. The light in the garden now is dimming gently as dusk creeps ever nearer to darkness and this light has all my white flowers seeming to be lit from within - a host of soft white moons against the green  - - they pull me outside - - the garden is cool and still - - the red rose which opened fully this morning is aglow in the fading light - richly coloured and tempting to the touch - if only I could reach it!
In the hedge I am aware of soft chirpings and rustlings and realise that our families of sparrows and great tits must be back to roost for the night so I cross the garden to the white rose -  the perfume drifts over me as I stroke the velvety petals gently, so many blooms - each one perfect, those still in bud have a pink tips to the petals -  - no dead heading needed yet - - I love the long summer evenings - they are the gift we have, in exchange for the very short winter days in our northern climes, and I realise I notice them so much more here - being just a little further north than our previous home makes an amazing difference .

a voice from inside the cottage disturbs this moment of tranquility - "Tea??" he asks from the door - I smile and head back indoors - -

Once a month Alexa asks us to take a moment - to observe - using all our senses and note it down -  so once again I'm linking up with her at Trimming the Sails where she runs this meme each month - if you pop over to visit her here- you will find lots more "moments". Off you go - you know you want to - and maybe you have a moment of your own to share too?

Thanks for popping to my garden -
'til later

Bannaghtynn,  Jen x

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Passport to Art - 5 & 6

- - -  - but first welcome  - so good to see you again. I have done some more playing with inks, paints, sprays and so forth as part of Bernice's Passport to Art Workshop- and incorporated more of Julie's Plundered Pages - maps this time, on both page 5 and 6.
Page 5

I made a folded page and added the quote to the two halves of the triangle and added some vintage maps strips from my Plundered Pages pack. The quote made me think of butterflies - as they flit and skitter though my garden and all around the headland, but never seem to KNOW where they are going - so I used a butterfly stamp on my painted background when you open the two flaps. Bernice asked about our favourite form of transport for travel as part of the prompts - and I just love to travel by train - so I cut up an advertising leaflet for our Vintage Transport System - -  Steam Trains,  Electric Railway, Horse DrawnTrams - - and not forgetting our small gauge mine railways - (Those Victorian Engineers knew what they were doing - our transport system operates daily timetables most of the year - though the little trains only run between Easter and October). I stamped a tag with the postcard stamp from Graphic 45 French Collection stamp sets and just glued the sides so I could tuck my tag into it.
Page 6

I used Distress Stains to colour the background and then sprayed it with Perfect Pearls Mist - I added more scraps of map paper from Julie's pack and the quote. Looking at the map paper scraps reminded me of travelling in our car as a child again (like page 4) and I found myself remembering how mum and we girls always wanted to know the names of the flowers we passed on the road side, so flowers were needed on this page - I will add a vintage car stamp to remind me of those travels- when I can find it! ( does your stash go walkabout too?). As Bernice had included one of my favourite poems as inspiration, From A Railway Carriage by R L Stevenson - I will print it out and add it to my tag - and the tag will tuck into the middle line of the quote. I am not sure where I will fit in the journalling - but I will!

Thanks for stopping by.

'til later

Bannaghtyn. J x

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Passport to Art - Day 3 & 4

Welcome, welcome - so nice to have you call. I have carried on with the challenge I am finding working on this art journal - though it's not easy for me. I love working with the quotes (well - you know me and words!!) - but altering books is not something I have done much of before and I have never kept and "art journal" - - anyway - - here are my next couple of pages.
Page 3
The prompt was about Visa's which made me think about permission to travel and thus tickets- - so I made a little envelope to keep the visa in - I glued 2 pages together, one folded to make the pocket, have painted the background again - stamped with my Indigo Blu map stamp and a Crafty Individuals Ticket stamp, added some more of Julie's Plundered Pages - Foreign Language text again - but linked in with visa - as I kind of think of them as being in more than one language like passports, a scrap of patterned paper and a Tim Holtz ticket.
Page 4
The prompt here was Packing - hence the stamped suitcases - - but this quote really made me smile and think of how technology is now an essential part of packing - (iPads, Kindles and Smart Phones!! - my girls don't go anywhere without them!!). However I really was taken back to my childhood travels with my mum and dad - and how an essential item was the leather bound Map Book-  so a map was called for - which I found on a sheet of scrapbook paper. We never went on any holiday without it - I learned to map read from mum with it - it was a point of reference for historical monuments, open spaces, stately homes and our national parks as well as taking us through the miriad towns of England en route to our destination - in the North, South, East or West of Britain - the West Country, or the Garden of England, or Scotland, or Northumbria or Yorkshire or Wales or the Midlands - or indeed any of Britain's beautiful counties - I was fortunate indeed, as I think we may have visited them all - even if only for a day. Though I haven't added journalling yet - this is what I will write about on this page.

I am finding it an very interesting experience to do this workshop - and  am certainly liking the prompts. Thanks for dropping in

"til later,
Bannaghtyn, J x


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