Sunday, April 29, 2012


 Nests are made of twigs among other things and it's spring!  At least I think it is.  The weather keeps everyone guessing, but then that's April.  It will be May tomorrow and we here on the coast will have our usual May Gray followed by June Gloom.  But at least we can jump in the car and go inland about 15 minutes and we'll be complaining about the heat. 

Please visit  Every Inchie Monday and see other's interpretations of TWIG done on Inchies or Twinchies  in a variety of media and if you can we'd love for you to join us with your interpretation.  You have all week :)

I guess I will not be having cataract surgery after all - at least for a while.  According to my health insurance the cataract is not large enough to be covered by my health insurance so I have to go back in a month.  Since it is growing very slowly I think it may be another year!  Felt sorry for the doctor who had  to tell me.  He doesn't like the insurance policy any more than I do.

Our beautiful Oriole and his wife are back for sure and are visiting our grape jelly dish regularly.  The male is just a gorgeous, bright yellow, but in the evening clouds he looks more orange.  I have photos from other years, but I want to get a photo of this one this year.  The male is very skittish, but the female is a little more brazen. So  a photo is coming, one day.

By now everyone who visits me knows my passion for Flamborough, UK.  hence the name 'Flamblogger' . I had a  wonderful surprise today.  This is one of the fun things about blogging.  I have been visiting Jane and Chris at the Maple Syrup Mob and today I had an email from her telling me to visit another blog because she has just visited Flamborough and taken a  BUNCH OF WONDERFUL PHOTOGRAPHS OF FLAMBOROUGH.  Do go and visit her, they have made me thoroughly homesick!  Thank you Jane for giving me a heads up on this.  They are great photos.  So thanks to Blogger (even as I am muttering about its reluctance to do what I want it to do) we went from Canada to Southern California to Flamborough UK and then to my sister in Toronto and now to all of you. 
Thank you Jane.
I'm going to quit now before I lose everything as Blogger is acting up .
Visit ABC WEDNESDAY this week for more about Flamborough.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


October is long past but perhaps as we turn to and fro with April weather it would be good to look back for a moment to when we were anticipating winter even as now we are anticipating summer.

I found two wonderful things on the internet, and tho' I wanted to be original and post my own efforts I could not pass these by.

I have been unable to reach the owners of these to clear the copyrights, but I am hoping that since this is just a blog for sharing and with no commercial worth, (ha! would that it were ) I will give credit  to the owners with praise for their good taste and their part in bringing beauty to this world and promise to remove them if they feel it violates their trust.
What more is there to say?

Poem in October

It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood   
      And the mussel pooled and the heron
                  Priested shore
            The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall   
            Myself to set foot
                  That second
      In the still sleeping town and set forth.

      My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name   
      Above the farms and the white horses
                  And I rose   
            In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
            Over the border
                  And the gates
      Of the town closed as the town awoke.

      A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling   
      Blackbirds and the sun of October
            On the hill’s shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly   
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened   
            To the rain wringing
                  Wind blow cold
      In the wood faraway under me.

      Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail   
      With its horns through mist and the castle   
                  Brown as owls
            But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales   
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.   
            There could I marvel
                  My birthday
      Away but the weather turned around.

      It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky   
      Streamed again a wonder of summer
                  With apples
            Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child’s
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother   
            Through the parables
                  Of sun light
      And the legends of the green chapels

      And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.   
      These were the woods the river and sea
                  Where a boy
            In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy   
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
            And the mystery
                  Sang alive
      Still in the water and singingbirds.

      And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true   
      Joy of the long dead child sang burning
                  In the sun.
            It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon   
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.   
            O may my heart’s truth
                  Still be sung
      On this high hill in a year’s turning.
Dylan Thomas, “Poem in October” from The Poems of Dylan Thomas. Used by permission of David Higham Associates, London as agents for the Trustees of the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas
Source: Poetry (February 1945).

have left these permission lines to give credit where credit is due though it is not true that permission was given to me, but to the owners of Poetry . QV

Commentary by Flamblogger

It is his birthday. The turning of thirty is a time for reflection.

He rises early and walks along the shore line, breathing in the long familiar sights and sounds of the harbor. A moment of nostalgia overwhelms him. The fishing nets are hung over the walls as usual, and the surge of the tide sucks at the mussels. Along the shoreline, the herons tall, thin and still, preside like priests who are hearing the prayers of the water. The call of the seagulls and rooks and the knocking of the wooden sail boats, side by side in the tide all remind him of how everything is as it has always been.

Yet he was turning thirty.

His thoughts take us through the day from the early morning when the town is sleeping, until the town begins to wake. Time is passing and he continues his walk past the borders of the town. Rain showers pass reminding him that he is "walking in the shower of all (his) days". The passing of his days stays foremost in his mind as the rainy day shifts from sun to showers, bringing shadows and sunlight in turn just as his thirty years had done.

His walk takes him from the sea shore through the lanes and woods with the weather as changeable as the views. The song birds urge him on up the hill to the patch of sunshine on its brow. In the distance he hears the rain and wind among the leaves of the trees now below him. He watches the misty rain drifting over the harbor. The town church with it spires is barely recognizable through the passing shower except to look like a looming snail.

Here beyond the edge of town he had thought to while away his birthday, dreaming of his days as a child with his mother. They were fruit-filled days of summer spent with a mother who is now no more. These thoughts of past happy times move him to tears just as he had wept at her loss then. Now those days are gone too.

His nostalgia returns. As a Welshman, he is reminded of the parables he once heard in chapel. On reflection his life seems to him to be a parable. The boy who once reveled in the woods, the river, and the sea, still remembers the 'summer of the dead'. Yet he remembers that even with this sorrow in his heart he had whispered then of the joy that he had found in all around him. So even today, that joy lifts his soul.

Now by noon-time he understands that that which surrounds him is still the same as when he was a child, but some things change as does the weather. The years will move on. The town below, wreathed in scarlet leaves readying for winter reminds him of his coming year. The seasons change, that is inevitable. The year ahead is already on its way. Everything else will still be here next year. Yet knowing how change comes, his deep desire is that he will not have changed and would still hold these truths in his heart.


This is my contribution to ABC Wednesday, the extra-Ordinary project headed by  Mrs. Nesbitt and her wonderful team as we head into the home stretch of our ninth round.  Please click HERE to see more Out Of the Ordinary posts for the letter 'O'

Sunday, April 22, 2012


No, the topic is not clowns but but not many people wear more make-up except perhaps monsters in sci-fi or horror movies and this blog is a horror free zone. Actually, I didn't even like clowns as a child.

So here is my Twinchie on the subject of MAKE-UP.

To see more Twinchies (which are a lot fun and take only as much time and effort as you want to put into it), visit Every Inchie Monday by clicking HERE

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

N IS FOR....

N  IS  FOR....
This is one of my favorite subjects.  In elementary school we used to call it Nature Study, go for nature walks and set up a nature table in the classroom.  The things I learned about NATURE nearly seventy years ago have stayed with me to the point that although I left England fifty years ago, I will still come across a picture of an English wild flower. a seedpod or a bird and instantly recall its name.

So when I was recently visiting Claude's blog I was fascinated by a photo of a page from an English Nature Study book that not only encompassed my love of the subject but incorporated my love of water colors.

British bloggers may be entirely familiar with this book, but I had never heard of it or seen it.  It was entirely handwritten and drawn in 1906 but was not discovered until the seventies, when it was finally published. It was apparently on the best seller list in Britain for 236 weeks.  Understandably, as far as I know it never made the realms of published books over here because its contents were purely of British interest.

I am greatly indebted to Claude's friend Brandelldick who took the time to contact me and give me the name of the author, title and publisher.  A quick search of eBay and I found a copy -- for $6!  It's original price was 15 pounds sterling.  My copy arrived in perfect condition and its contents were all I could have hoped for.

So let me introduce you to my new treasure, courtesy of Blogland.
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
written and illustrated entirely by hand, by Edith Holden

The Willow Warbler illustrated on the front cover has a whispery bubble of notes that fade softly away -- and is a sure indication that summer is here.  It can be heard gently calling through woods and copses most days of summer.

The frontispiece for the book quotes an appropriate poem by the romantic -- and rakish, Lord Byron.

Every page of the book  -- 176 of them -- is illustrated in water colors of birds, trees, flowers and insects. 

Each month of the year is explained and described in careful lettering, giving information of what can be found in the countryside at that time of the year  and includes appropriate and carefully selected quotations and poems.

Who knew why August has 31 days and not 30?
And I love those bumblebees on the thistles.

And this is my favorite picture of all.  Yes, I'm old enough to remember when horses pulled the plough -- good old lumbering, heavy-footed Belgians.  This could easily be a scene from the fields behind my house when we lived in Flamborough.

This blog is my entry for the letter N at Mrs. Nesbitt's wonderful and popular project, ABC WEDNESDAY.  Click on the link and see all the other inspiring entries.

Monday, April 16, 2012


This week's Twinchie theme is Fire.  

Here is my interpretation done with Prismacolors and pen and ink.

To see more Twinchies and Inchies click on this link:


Thought you might also like to see what I did accidentally to one of previous Twinchies which I did for the theme BLUE a week or two ago.  I was playing around with Picassa just trying out what all their options were and I was using this Twichie to experiment with:

I clicked on 'neon' and this is what I got:

I thought it was a fantastic effect compared to my original.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

M IS FOR....

M  IS  FOR....


I have spent many hours this past week learning the METHOD of how to make Celtic knots and in particular the one that is in a basket weave style. The interesting thing about Celtic Knots is that they appear to have no beginning and no end. The one I did yesterday for Twinchies on Monday was a simple knot, yet quite attractive I think. The one above is a basket weave style.

These designs were very popular in illuminated manuscripts and other decorative work in the middle ages as well as in earlier years  in other cultures.  The name Celtic became attached to the style because it was used so profusely in by the Celts. Yet there are many many examples of these all over the world in early art work. Amazingly, for many years learned authorities had no idea what METHOD the scribes used to draw them.  Some thought they were done with a compass and ruler others thought it was just a gift that these men could sit down and draw one.  There were other theories involving mathematics and geometry.

Then one day in the 1970's scholars were going through a number of old manuscripts 
and found one that had a series of dots on it and after much conjecture they discovered that this was the beginning of the METHOD used for drawing Celtic knots.

I learned all the above information from the web so I am not 100% certain it is accurate.  However what I did learn from all my searching the web was the METHOD I could use to draw my own Celtic knots.  I used several different  places for instructions and put together my own METHOD with their help.


If you are not interested in learning to draw Celtic knots like the one above, feel free to go visit another ABC Wednesday now.  But if you would like to learn more, also feel free to copy my instructions which follow.  You don't have to be an artist to do this, because it only uses straight lines with small hooks on the ends.  So take the plunge and try something new. You may be surprised to find a hidden artist in you!

I do hope someone is interested enough to follow my METHOD as I have put in hours and hours of work putting this together, refining and simplifying it.  So here goes:


You will need:
   Squared paper
   An ordinary black felt tip Sharpie pen
   Another black pen Sharpie or otherwise but a thickness of only 4 or 5 mm
   A pencil and eraser  and lots of concentration!

Step One
Take your squared piece of paper and pencil  and make 4 horizontal rows of six dots, two squares apart. Make the dots fairly large.

Step 2

If you look carefully at the dots you have made in step one, you will see that your dots make three rows of squares bounded by four dots like on a dice.  There are three rows across and five rows down.  
Now put a dot in the middle of each square making them like five dots on a dice.

Step Three
You now have a rectangle of dots.  Outline the rectangle with the thicker black felt pen.
Now draw another rectangle, one square in, inside the first one USING A PENCIL (this will be erased at the end).

Step Four
This step uses lines with hooks on each end which are drawn diagonally from square to square  using the fine tipped black pen -- and that is the most artistic you have to be! Note these examples:

Within the smaller rectangle note that there are four rows of the printed paper squares going from left to right.
Starting on the bottom row and with the fine tipped black pen, draw a hooked line diagonally across each square (from left to right) with the hooks going UNDER the dots.
On the next row up do the same only this time make the hooks go OVER the dots.
On the third row up do the same only the hooks go UNDER the dots and on the fourth line of squares the hooks go OVER the dots.

Your rectangles should now look like this:

Step Five
You are now going to draw your hooked lines in each row just as you did above only the lines will go diagonally in the opposite direction, that is from right to left. The first (bottom row) goes OVER the dots .  The second row up goes UNDER the dots  and so on.

That completes the inside rectangle.

Your rectangles should now look like this:

Step Six
We will now work in the empty border of the larger rectangle.

Starting at the bottom, skip the first printed square, then draw four hooked lines OVER the dots diagonally from left to right.
To do the top row, turn your rectangles upside down and do as you did above (skip the first printed square then draw four hooked lines OVER the dots).

Turn your paper back up to the right way again and fill in the two side rows.  For the left hand side, starting at the bottom, skip the first TWO printed squares then draw a hooked line OVER the dots diagonally from left to right. (You should only have two hooked lines to draw in each of the the side rows).  Turn the paper upside down and do the other side of the larger rectangle.  That is:  skip the first TWO printed squares and draw the hooked lines UNDER the dots.

In the drawing above I have drawn the hooked lines in the border in pencil rather than ink to help distinguish them from other lines we have already drawn.

Step Seven
Finishing touches!
Erase the pencil rectangle. 
Define the outside lines of the larger rectangle by making the line from dot to dot slightly curved.  Make the dots on the outside lines slightly triangular. Make all the dots inside both rectangles darker and form them into a more square shape so that they don't look like dots any more.

If you're really feeling ambitious try doing all this on plain un-squared paper and using a ruler to place your dots.

This is my very long and perhaps complicated, but hopefully worthwhile, entry for Mrs Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday project for the letter M. Click here to see what all we participants have been working on this week.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


The theme this week for our TWINCHIES ON MONDAY is BLUE. 

I have been spending a lot of time recently learning how to draw a Celtic knot. Some are fairly simple and some are very complicated and are more of a basket weave with no ends.  The Celtic knot has no beginning and no ending and so cannot be untied. 

The Celtic knot was originally a pagan symbol but was adapted to Christianity, especially because in its simple form it has no beginning and no ending and the three sections intricately tied together symbolize the trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

 Here is my Twinchie - BLUE, in the form of a simple Celtic knot with a little extra decoration.

My colors of blue are not quite as blue as I would have liked even though the colors I used were indigo blue and electric blue.  But sometimes my husband tells me that I am  little blue/green color blind and we had a car once which I insisted was blue but he was sure it was green!

I plan to do at least one more blog on Celtic knots. Since I have put in so much time and effort in learning how to do them I think I should put it to good use.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


To All my blogging Friends,
May you have a Blessed
“I am the Resurrection and the Life”

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

L IS FOR....

                                       IS FOR....

...a skit at church.  
Four men who LIP-synced "It's a Hard Day's Night".  
Would you be more impressed if I told you one is a college professor, one a medical doctor, one a retired manager of a large, major, national department store and one a retired pastor of a large church?


This is one of the best jokes my kids brought home from school years ago. Hope you haven't heard it before:

QUESTION:          What are LIPS for?

ANSWER:             To stop your mouth from fraying!


Please join us at ABC Wednesday, where you will find many more interesting entries to Mrs. Nesbitt's project.  Click Here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I thought I'd have a bit of fun and mix it up a little this week.

I don't know what kind of art you call this.  I call it 'stylized'  -- that is everything except the fisherman.  So you have two kinds of art in one picture.  It's hard to come up with something more than just a wavy line for a river, so that's why I started out with that funny looking river.  It was quite fun to do and is different.

I got the O.K. to have the other cataract off my right eye, for which I am very thankful.  I have done very little artwork in months other than Twinchies.  It just takes too much concentration.  However  it may not happen for a couple of months yet.  I still have two more Dr. appointments and I don't know if the second one is the actual day of the operation or just more preparation.  My right eye is my good eye (when there is no cataract), so I have high hopes for much better vision after it all takes place.

To see more Twinchies, click on the badge Every Inchie Monday in the side bar of this blog.