Monday, 28 June 2010

Mosaic Monday - tubs and troughs

The warm weather has really been great for the plants in my tubs and troughs.  The Petunias have such gorgeous colours and the dark ones look like velvet.  The little pink diascia is really flourshing too.
This mixed tub, is only relaly beginning to flower, but I think it looks good already.  The troughs of petunias and busy lizzies (impatiens) are also filling out nicely.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Blair Castle Part Two - The Ducks!

Yes, we are still at Blair Castle, this is the stately pile itself, home to the 11th Duke of Atholl, who actually lives in South Africa. The 10th Duke had no children so the estate passed to his cousin.

One of the highlights of our visit to Blair Castle was the Hercules Garden, I showed you the swans in the previous post and there are more birds to see this this post, but first a little of the garden itself.

 This is Hercules looking down on his garden

 and here is what he can see!

The bridge and lily pond

Brian on the bridge

Mama Duck was in the grass with her little ducklings

"Look at me, I'm so cute!"

Mr Drake & his reflection

Mrs Duck & her wake

Scruffy Duck heads for a bath

Meanwhile over in the bull rushes....

the water was bubbling like a cauldron - eek!  A closer look and we realised that the bubbling water was actually TADPOLES!!!  It's a long time since I've seen tadpoles and never in such quantities.

Mmmmm tadpoles for lunch...

Don't worry there were plenty left when she had finished.

We sat down on a bench for me to change the lenses on my camera and were spotted by this little lady.

Well hello...sorry no food for you.

Hrrumph, I don't know what things are coming to, can't get quality tourists nowadays.

These two weren't very impressed either!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

A loaf of bread...

We've all heard the old saying
'A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou.
But did you know that phrase came from
a love poem.

"A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread-and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness-
O, Wilderness were Paradise enow!" 
This is the challenge that was set over at the Soartful Blog and this picture was provided for inspiration, here is my take on quote and picture:

 The photograph is one of my own from Montelcino in Tuscany, Italy.  There are a couple of overlays from the Scrappin' Cop, the vintage couple are a freebie from Art Freebies Blog, various digital elements from designers at Scrapbookgraphics.

Ice & Snow

Not very seasonal for those of us in the northern hemisphere where it is probably the hottest day of the year!
However the Daring Cardmakers Dare is set this week by Keryn who is in the southern hemisphere and right in the middle of winter.
I thought I'd dress up my card a little just to create the chilly mood.

This is my card for the dare on a digital windowsill, looking out at a real scene that I took in December last year.

Here is a closer view of the card.  I made the background with Blue Denim Distress Ink and Glacier Glimmer Mist.  The Snowflake is Stewart Gill Galactica Paint in Chrome, stencilled through a template that came with Papercraft Inspirations, simply mounted on silver mirror card.  Digital paper and window element by Irene V. Alexeeva from the Amazing Snow Kit.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Blair Castle Part 1

On Wednesday last week we visited Blair Castle.  We started with a walk on the Estate which took us past the farm and through the forest.  The views were nothing spectacular, so I'll not share them with you.

Three times each day, a piper plays outside Blair Castle, always good for  a photo opporunity!

There was also a peacock wandering around also posing for photographs. However, no photographs could be taken inside the castle.

This huge tree is in 'Diana's Grove' 

"Diana’s Grove, a tranquil wooded area adjacent to the castle affords a unique opportunity to enjoy some of the county’s finest and tallest trees in a space of just two acres. It is also the home of a Grand Fir, the UK’s second tallest tree at 62.70 metres."

We passed the ruins of St Bride’s Kirk " which has its ancient origins in Celtic times. After the nearby Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689, the Kirk became the resting place for the remains of Viscount Dundee, (John Graham of Claverhouse, known as Bonnie Dundee)."

"Hercules Garden is a stunning 9 acre walled garden recently restored to its original Georgian design. Named after the life-sized statue of Hercules which overlooks the garden, it incorporates landscaped ponds, a folly, a Chinese bridge and an impressive orchard of more than 100 fruit trees. The glory of this garden in summer are the herbaceous borders which run along the 275m south-facing wall."

The Hercules Garden was full of ducks and a pair of swans with a signet.  They were all very tame so it was possible to get up close for photographs.

More photos coming soon.

Flora & Fauna

Flora is the theme for two challenges.  At Bubbly Funk Forum, TraceyR chose Flora for the theme for the Christmas Card Challenge, the 25th Club.

Here is my card with featuring a poinsettia another Craft Stamper magazine stamp.

The other Flora challenge is from Something Completely Different but this time it's Flora and Fauna so I made a Distress Inks background and used my Tim Holtz, Fairy Garden stamp along with some Elusive Images stamps and some butterfly stamps whose origin is lost in the mists of time!

I used a little bit of white gel pen to highlight the stamps and a bit of Sakura pen too.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Pitlochry: Tuesday - Aberfeldy

On Tuesday we went to Aberfeldy, marked on the map above, our main purpose was to visit a furniture showroom called Spirit of Wood.  We had been there when we were in the area a couple of years ago and wanted to go back to see what kind of dining room tables they had.  We are also looking at some other places but got prices and had a chance to see what they had.

After the showroom we went for lunch at the House of Menzies which was recommended by the Beauty Therapist.  If you want to see what we ate click HERE to go over to Farmersgirl Kitchen.

We then returned to Aberfeldy to go on a very famous walk known as 'The Birks of Aberfeldy', it is really called the Falls of Moness, but Robert Burns wrote a song called the The Birks of Aberfeldy extolling it's virtues and so it has become known.

 For those who are wondering just what 'Birks' might be, let me put you out of your misery, Birk is the Scottish word for Birch and there are plenty of Birch trees on the steep path up to the Falls of Moness.

Looking down on the falls from the bridge

 Brian at the bridge

Here are the falls, we crossed the bridge above them to come round to this viewpoint.
The viewpoint with a quote from the song.


I loved these little mossy falls of water that ran down into the river below.

There is a little plaque to show where Burns is supposed to have been inspired.

And here is Rabbie himself, stuck to his bench perpetually working on his song, he has a new friend to help him!

What is he writing?

another friend for Rabbie!

The Birks Of Aberfeldy

Type: Song
Tune: The Birks of Abergeldie.

Chorus.-Bonie lassie, will ye go,
Will ye go, will ye go,
Bonie lassie, will ye go
To the birks of Aberfeldy!

Now Simmer blinks on flowery braes,
And o'er the crystal streamlets plays;
Come let us spend the lightsome days,
In the birks of Aberfeldy.
Bonie lassie, &c.

While o'er their heads the hazels hing,
The little birdies blythely sing,
Or lightly flit on wanton wing,
In the birks of Aberfeldy.
Bonie lassie, &c.

The braes ascend like lofty wa's,
The foaming stream deep-roaring fa's,
O'erhung wi' fragrant spreading shaws-
The birks of Aberfeldy.
Bonie lassie, &c.

The hoary cliffs are crown'd wi' flowers,
White o'er the linns the burnie pours,
And rising, weets wi' misty showers
The birks of Aberfeldy.
Bonie lassie, &c.

Let Fortune's gifts at randoe flee,
They ne'er shall draw a wish frae me;
Supremely blest wi' love and thee,
In the birks of Aberfeldy.
Bonie lassie, &c.
Source: Robert Burns Country