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

Monday, 8 July 2013

Passport to Art - - Page 2

- another page in this altered book as part of Bernice's Passport to Art workshop for the month of July. As I mentioned in my last post - I am really out of my comfort zone here -  - I don't really do "painty" things but have found myself stealing my daughter's paints to add some colour to the base pages. The prompt for this page was to make a passport and Bernice highlighted a photo transfer technique - which I was unable to use sadly  - I did make a mini passport though. I will add a photo to it when I do my next lot of prints. I used some of Julie Kirk's "Plundered Pages" - it is vintage foreign language papers - along with a scrap of map of my island from a leaflet I found in the magazine rack and some inking and stamping.
The large tag with the Julie Nutting doll fits into the pocket created by folding the page, and I plan to add my journalling to it.

Thanks for stopping by

'til later

Bannaghtyn, J x

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Storytelling Sunday - - A Scrap of Paper

Welcome, welcome - so lovely to have you drop in. Today is another Sunday full of stories - - today it's Storytelling Sunday with Sian at High in the Sky - do you have stories to share? Just hop over and link up if you do, Sian will make you very welcome and explain everything - just click here for full details.

It had been a hard and busy day in the office , and the young woman was tired, the bus was crowded and she could so easily fall asleep surrounded by the warmth of humanity. She shook herself slightly - D------ was away so she had to get off to collect the children from R----. She hoped her youngest had been OK there today. Her small blonde tomboy didn't really like going to R---- as a shy, quiet little scrap she much preferred the gentleness of Granny's - where she could tuck herself behind the sofa and whisper to herself and play quietly.
School holidays were hardest as the children had to go to R---- for full days when granny wasn't available. The young woman sighed as she got to her feet to press the bell to alight to collect her family - it worried her that her little one hadn't settled at R----, but she supected it was a bit too over whelming for her youngest now they were in bigger premises - - -
As the bus stopped she got off and hurried up the lane to the Old Nursery - - the doors were open and the staff welcomed her as went in. " We've been painting today" said R--- " R------- really enjoyed herself, didn't you?" she said to the small girl appearing at her side, who had dashed out of the playrooms as soon as she saw mummy on the path.  "That's good to hear" was the younger woman's answer, "Come and see mummy, see what we did" - - her young daughter pulled her along the corridor to the big art room - - all around were huge posters full of foot prints, all shapes, all sizes, all colours! "Here is me mummy". The small girl spoke excitedly - - "R--- says we can take them home now they are dry"- -
- - which is how I came by todays' "precious"  - - a rather tatty scrap of paper in most people's opinion I guess - the white paint flaked away in parts, the background faded from its original bright blue but a reminder of not only how slender her small feet were, but of how she only ever tolerated going along to R---- and that day was one that stands out as a rare occasion when she truly could have said she had enjoyed her day there.
Another "Precious" - which usually lives in my box of treasures - really my jewelry box (though there isn't much in it beyond costume jewelry as I wear my only "good" jewelry all the time (my rings) - along with locks of hair and baby hospital bracelets. I think perhaps I should really add it to her baby album - that way it won't get lost.

Don't forget to pop over to Sian's for more stories - just click here

Thanks for stopping by
'til later

Banaghtyn, J x

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Photo Scavenger Hunt 4 - - The Tynwald Topics

Yesterday was rather a special day on the island's calendar as July 5th is Tynwald DayTynwald is our parliament - and they normally meet in Douglas, but today, the Manx National Day they meet in the centre of the island at St John's. There is much going on - a church service, parades, reading of the laws, and lots of ceremony - - Tynwald Fair, music and dance, and the wearing of the Bollan Bane. We usually go for at least an hour or two - - it is pleasant wandering round the stalls, especially on a sunny day and it is the nearest we have to an outdoor market -  - then stopping for lunch to enjoy freshly made sandwiches, tea and home made scones in the St John's Church Hall before going across to the village green to watch the Manx dance groups perform, listen to the traditional music as well as the brass and silver bands.
I hoped to be able to add to my Photo Scavenger Hunt list - - and I wasn't disappointed - so here are a few more pictures to tick off my list, for more details do visit Rinda at Gallo Organico, (you might want to play along too?) - - along with a few others just recording the day. I have put a couple of links in if anyone wants to know a little more about Tynwald - - and it's explained far better than I can do it

I got the above shot on route to Tynwald - - we had to go over the Sloc and then Slieuwhallian and past the ruins of the old lead mines. This is the ruins of the old Engine House Tower and its Chimney

 and above are shots of the Belltower in Purt ny Hinshey
This was my find for item 15 - they are always out in force on Tynwald Day - usually in their white helmets - just like this chap here.

 This photo shows the traditional Manx costume - now only worn by this particular folk dance group. The fabric for the gentleman's trousers is woven from LaoghtanWool - and this soft honey brown is its natural colour. It is a very soft yarn and the sheep are classed as a rare breed - and have four horns, though  there do seem to be plenty on the island still.

A Manxman in his kilt and a Manx Lady in her kilt and "weskit" - - the Manx tartan is meant to  represent our island - all the colours in it have meaning - the blue for the sea and the sky, the green of the fields, yellow for the gorse, a touch of purple for the heather and white for the cottages. It is made here at Laxey Woollen Mills and kilts are often worn at weddings by the Groom and the other gentlemen of the wedding party. I am adding these to number 22 on Rinda's list  - I may need to swap one of the items - - and also for me they do represent our island as they are all wearing the Bollan Bane as well. Although its not on the list I have added a photo and explanation that are always in the Manx Homecomers Tent on Tynwald Day.

It was a lovely day to be out and about and I was pleased with my Scavenger Hunt finds.

Thanks for dropping in.
'til later

Bannaghtyn, J x

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Passport to Art

- - as I mentioned in my Month in Numbers, I committed myself to a couple of on line workshops. Both I think I am going to find challenging, especially this one as I am really out of my comfort zone here with Bernice's Passport to Art making an "art journal" in an old book. As the theme and all the quotes Bernice has searched out are travel related I thought I might manage - even as an absolute beginner and she suggested an old Atlas would be a good basis for the journal. I haven't been able to find one - but did come across an old book called When the Riviera was Ours - and as it was stitched I snaffled it as fast as I could from the Charity shop. It wasn't easy for me tearing out the pages of a book - - but I thought of Julie at Notes on Paper - and remembered how much I had enjoyed making something with her Plundered Pages - so I shut my eyes - - and pulled out some of the pages!! Oh my did I feel GUILTY, still I gritted my teeth and carried on! I usually MAKE books - not dismantle them.

With Bernice's very helpful guidelines - I have actually managed my first page - - as my book wasn't an atlas I hunted out all the stamps I have, that seemed vaguely travel themed - - and even managed to find a map background - (from Indigo Blu). I have glued and painted and stamped - got a rather  messy and sticky-fingered - - very much out of my comfort zone - - as, though my work space is often messy and cluttered - - I usually manage to keep my hands dry and reasonably clean - - even when I am inking everything in sight!

Any way here is my very first attempt at and art journal page. I want to add a little more colour to my figure but as I am not sure yet how I will do this I left her alone and I will add journalling to the tag - I haven't quite got my thoughts in order for that yet. Lots of scribbled ideas from the other workshop I am taking part in (Find Your Voice with Rukristin Papercrafts - details here) and I am re reading the journalling tips from True Stories - a class I took with Shimelle a while ago. So I think they will help me focus my thoughts.

The journey/travel theme to this workshop took me down the holiday route when I was working on the page, so tickets and postcards came to mind - the stamped postcards are just glued on 3 sides to make it a pocket.

Thanks for dropping in,
'til later

Bannaghtyn, J x

Monday, 1 July 2013

My Month in Numbers - - June 2013

Oh my goodness - - where did June go then? I cannot believe just how quickly this month has flown: perhaps it is something to do with the fact that I have done my very best to keep busy and avoid having time to look back - - -
As a result it has proved to be quite full of a variety of activities - - and to the best of my ability I have tried to take pleasure in them. It hasn't alway proved to be easy - - - but I did the best I could, and so I am once again recording A Month in Numbers.
Julie at Notes on Paper invites us all to join her in recording a synopsis of our month by making a note of significant numbers to help remember the memories - - and though I am much more of a words girl myself, I am finding it an interesting hook to use, and I am finding Julie's monthly round up surprisingly helpful to get me to make a note of stuff, though I am not a natural "counter". This is all down to a Month in Numbers and Julie, of Notes on Paper will give you full details here.
So for June -
  • 1 very, very difficult anniversary - - I miss him so much - which led to my next numbers 
(and sometimes only creating something - - ANYTHING has got me through the days)
  • 2 workshops signed up for online -  Catching up on my Blog reading I found a link for Find Your Voice - details can be found here - and Passport to Art - info can be found here - on Gallo Organico. My thanks to Rinda for posting the links
  •  3. 5 days with our eldest daughter. I worry about her being alone - - and this first anniversary was even more of a worry. Anyway she came to stay for a long weekend and we got through together. We even managed a couple of lovely outings - to The Sound and to Milntown so I am hopeful that the weekend felt more like a short break than holding each other up - metophorically speaking. 
  • 4 - Cards made and sent - I am not much of a cardmaker these days but did have fun playing with scraps and was very happy with this card made for the Happy Couple
for whom I made --
  • 100 + - Rainbow Flutterings - - of paper butterflies - Die cut and assembled as table "confetti" for my friends daughter's wedding day next month. They are larger than traditional table confetti - as they are cut from Memory Box dies - - and I hope the happy couple are pleased with them and that they add the required "Rainbow" to the tables at the Wedding Breakfast. Making them got me through a very difficult anniversary - - and I will be for ever grateful to K & A for giving me a happier event to focus on. I can't give an exact number since I forgot to count them before I gave them to K & A.
 11 - The number of days consecutive sunshine I actually took note of - - June has been a beautiful month for us here on my island and I have had some 15 different "outings".
June is a popular month for activities on my island - not only do we have the Annual Tourist Trophy event - (perhaps more familiarly known as TT Week) when our island is invaded - in the nicest possible way - by Bikers and their sometimes very beautiful machines; but the Mannanan Music Festival, The Queenie Festival, The Laxey Victorian Extravaganza and The Hidden Gardens of Port Erin all going on but also have new or "one time only" events to be apart of; including An Evening with Anton & Erin (think Strictly Come dancing), A 1940's Tea Dance  (Fancy Dress anyone??) and A Cheese & Wine Evening. And of course - I still have my usual social activities of a weekly visit to our bar of choice, a lunch date at said bar/restaurant and my crafty get togethers with friends

- - so this month I/we have used
  • 16 tickets costing me some £240 - - written down it looks to be SUCH a huge expense! C'est la vie!
All in all - I seem to have collected rather a lot of memories together this month - - in spite of how very hard it was to get by on some days. I do also want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you  - from the bottom of my heart - to those of you who have left so very many kind and thoughtful words and comments in connection with my first "number" on this post. You will never ever know just how much they have meant to me and have often felt like a hug of encouragement. The "WWW" is a wonderful community  and am very grateful for this world of online friends from around the globe.

Thanks for stopping by
'til later

Bannghtyn, J x


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