Monday, 28 August 2017


Hello everyone.

Over the past few weeks we've been festivalling in Edinburgh at the World's largest set of Art Festivals.

Douglas is absolutely exhausted.

As well as festivalling Douglas's other duties are to help to freeze and preserve the garden produce which all seems to come in the same few weeks. 
There are a thousand plums (we have three plum trees, one of which appeared all by itself),

and lots of apples (two trees).

The rock garden was replanted last year and has gone like a rocket all summer.  You can see the tomatoes in the background.  Funnily enough the outdoor tomatoes produce far better plants than the greenhouse ones.

Douglas asked his friend Mabel to help with the rhubarb.
Mabel is not her real name but her Internet name.  She is very security conscious.

And this year Mr. E's sweet peas are the best ever.

* * * * * * *

There are three challenges I absolutely had to make something for.

First, at "Art Journal Journey" where Jo is asking us to make art based on poems or a quote.  Although I have a thousand million fruits and vegetables to deal with I took to heart my sister's advice - "Just do it, and it's done".

Secondly, "Moo Mania" is asking us to make Bird art, and how could I miss doing that?

Thirdly, "Try it on Tuesday" has given us the theme "In my Garden", another must make.

I gave myself the additional challenge (mustn't get stuck in an art rut) of using these inks which I've had forever.

All set to go.

The instructions on the bottles were to wash brushes immediately after use so as soon as I had finished painting a colour I tossed the brush into water and because of this I eventually used 27 brushes.
You can see the brush on the left, which was white to start with, is still stained with purple even after being washed several times.

This is the result!  


Have you used these inks?  I found them quite difficult to use (I didn't use any water) and they don't spread like watercolour.  On the plus side they do stay where they are put. They also mix rather nicely.

I was completely in the Zone when painting this, didn't stop for anything from start to finish.

What activity puts you in the Zone?


janie said...

Hello Sheila I love your little blue bird and flowers and fence in your garden. It must be all the help you get from Douglas and Mabel that helps you such an abundance of luscious fruit. I love the little mats and how does Mr E grow such amazing sweet peas ? It is the best blog post ever

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I love your little bird and this inks look very good! I bet over oil-pastels you will get happy with them as well - if you haven't tried that before you should definitely do this!
Your garden looks AMAZING -- you are a really lucky girl to have this busy Douglas to help you so much!
I loved to see all this happy photos. What an upliftig post and it just makes me happy to see it linked to Art Journal Journey, Moo Mania & More and Try It On Tuesday - my three favourite Challenges - and this at one stroke! You rock!
I wish you a happy rest of the week in the garden and a good hand for all the hard work to preserve that wonderful goods of nature!
You made my Monday! ♥♥♥
Off to a birthday party right now - I enjoy my summer also as good as possible....
I am sure you have enjoyed the festival! I would love to visit this once!
Thank you also for all your lovely comments you left on my blog for me the last time - this is much appreciated !

oxo Susi

limmelon said...

Love the little blue bird, his super wavy fence and the dancing flowers. I wonder if his garden produces as much fruit and veg, although he will be counting seeds and worms. Super ink collection. Love it, Awesome !!

Annie said...

Little birdie is in his happy place, you can just tell. Those inks look pretty interesting. I was surprised to read that you didn't use any water as they looked a bit like watercolor. Your world of art has the best artistic trees ever! I love your displays of supplies. The brushes look so well loved. I can almost see the magic they hold. Your supply setup ready for art looks so inviting with the sun streaming in at an angle. Mr. E's sweet peas...oh my, what beauties! They deserve to sit upon your pretty mats. So good of Mabel to assist with the rhubarb. It too looks beautiful as does Miss Mabel. Oh, to have this glimpse into your beloved garden! I could wallow in its beauty for quite a long time. I see those two precious lambs hiding in there too. It's little wonder that you love spending lots of time in your garden. The abundance of fruit, vegies and flowers is fabulous. And it all looks fabulous as well. I want to reach in and pick and apple and choose a plum. Little Dougie will need a holiday to recoup from this past whirlwind but fun month you have all had.

bluegiraffe (Sherry) said...

Hi, Sheila. Remember me--Sherry P from digital collage challenges? Your post was a wonderful thing to wake up to this morning. So cheerful and colorful. Your style is so unique and whimsical. As for The Zone, my hands-on art puts me in the zone these days. Problem is, sometimes I get so deep into the zone that it's hard to get myself out! I guess I get a bit obsessed :). My sister and I call this "going down the rabbit-hole!"

SusuPetal said...

You've been busy, and of course Douglas, too! And I feel Mabel, the internet name, that is :D

Everything comes the same time, it seems: harvest time, art time, gardening, but I believe you and Douglas have enjoyed all the hustle and bustle!

Your bird taking a walk looks fun, it is truly at its favorite place. And that white paper with brushed and inks (which I've tried a couple of times) look so inviting! When I'm getting rid of this flu, I want to create something. Now I'm a bit too tired.

Let's Art Journal said...

It sounds like you've had fun at the Edinburgh Festival the past few weeks and poor Douglas looks so exhausted 😁. I loved seeing your beautiful garden, you have so much fruit and veg, we're hoping to get some plum and apple trees for our garden too. Mabel looks so sweet sitting on top of all that rhubarb and Mr.E's sweet peas look so pretty, by the way your patchwork mats are beautiful too 😁. Don't you just love the labels of these ink pots, they are mini works of art in themselves, I was tempted to buy some just for the labels 😉 ... but I didn't in the end so I have never used them. The colours are spectacular and your little bird is doing a great job inspecting the flowers and trees on his walk 😁. How amazing that you used 27 brushes to create your wonderful page, I don't think I even have 27 brushes! It's lovely to see you at Art Journal Journey again dear Sheila, thanks so much and wishing you a Happy Monday! J 😊

sirkkis said...

Your garden is a treasure, Sheila. I am glad you have Douglas who helps you there.
Love your blue bird, the art piece is enchanting.
Enjoy upcoming autumn 🍎

Dortesjs said...

great treasures Ink, apples Douglas so your little blue bird ;O)))

Krisha said...

Love your bird walking in his/her garden page.
I've never seen those inks, but sound interesting. They might move around on the page better with a gesso background. Would love to hear the results if you try it.
Have a great week, and don't wear out Douglas with all the canning and preserving....*grin*

peggy gatto said...

What a delightful post!!! Thank you and I love your bird painting!!!!!

Meggymay said...

It was great seeing Douglas again. The garden photos and your produce look lovely .
It is a really sweet bird and its good to have you joining our TioT's challenge.
I've never had any of those paints, but the page you created using them is fabulous.
Yvonne xx

Margik said...

Love this great post! You are very organized, Sheila! Your garden is fantastic, these apples and plums look so delicious! Thank you for joining us at Try It On Tuesday with this sweet page.
Mar x

Mrs.B said...

Love your take on our garden theme at TioT Sheila and for sharing those wonderful photos of your garden, everything looks so delicious.
Douglas has had a busy time.
Avril x

My name is Erika. said...

this is a wonderful post Sheila. First of all I love your little bird taking a walk. I wonder if he has walked to the arts festival or into the garden for a plum. And sounds like life has been good. I love seeing your plums and apples. Yum. :) Sounds like it has been a productive gardening year for sure.:) I need to see if I have any ripe tomatoes-my garden hasn't been bad but not the greatest since I was in surgery recovery mode when it was planting time. Next year I have some flower beds to redo also. Your rock garden looks gorgeous. :) Hugs-Erika

Linda Kunsman said...

oh what a sweet illustration Sheila!! And oh- what gorgeous photos of produce, the rock garden, and the sweet peas. Sounds like a fabulous festival too!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I am truly in LOVE with your little bird walking around in your garden. He is genuinely darling. I've heard of that ink, but I've never used it, since I always thought it was quite cost prohibitive. Your art turned out fabulous, though.

So glad to see Douglas recuperating from his trip. He is so adorable, especially in that bowl of fruit. Your apples are to die for. You have a truly wonderful garden that I could live happily in forever.

Mabel and I are alike. She and I are rather security conscious, and a bit paranoid. I'm glad Douglas had her help with the rhubarb, though. I used to have a sweet pea bush, then my neighbor cut it down when he put up his new fence. I was heartsick. He could have told me and I would have moved it. Mr. E's are truly gorgeous. I only had the pink/lavendar ones, not the bright red ones.

Rosie said...

I love the whole post. Fantastic painting and pictures.

Thank you for joining us at MOO MANIA & MORE

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a wonderful little bird in your garden! The photos of your produce look great! I love sweet peas but have never had much success growing them - my Mum's were always amazing! Quite jealous of your trip to the Edinburgh Festival, although it looks as though your trip quite took it out of Douglas! So pleased you joined us at Try It On Tuesday! Chrisx

Paper Creations by Shirley said...

Lots to see on your post, the little birdie made me smile, I love him and the rest of the whimsical painting. I don't have those inks but it's great they put you 'in the zone'. The apples and the rest of your garden looks fabulous, enjoy! Hugs, Shirley xx

Blogoratti said...

Wonderful post indeed, and lovely painting and garden. Greetings to you and best wishes.

johanna said...

you wouldn´t believe how often i think of edinburgh´s Festivals (esp the fringe) in August. now it is three years we were there... you are spoilt to have this every year!!
just love this blue bird, he Looks like he´s going to a joyful Meeting:) These inks have such awesome jars, labelled so beautifully. the Patchwork mat under the plum bowl is an eye catcher, too!
sadly many of the tree fruits like plums and apples were frozen in the blooming period, so: empty trees all over:( - enjoy yours! your garden Looks awesome (and like a lot of work;)) greetings to you helpers douglas and mabel:)
have a great time, sheila! here the summer will take a (final?) break on from tomorrow...
xo, johanna

Rike said...

Exhausted Douglas on this wonderful textile piece, Douglas color in color with the blooms above him, beautiful! Douglas on the plums - a real beauty - and again a wonderul textile background!
Your garden and the apple trees are a paradise! This year our outdoor tomatoes are the biggest and best we ever had!
So sweet - Mabel and the rhubarb, and the beautiful blooms!
Extremely beautiful is your walking bird! I do not know thoses inks, but it is looking complicated, because of the need of so many paintbrushes :)
What activity puts you in the Zone? Yes, also painting!
love, Rike

Tammie Lee said...

So fun that you were in the zone the entire piece, I love that feeling/experience.
It really is a dear piece and i really enjoy looking at the colors you used. I have watercolors that are in bottles like that, but not inks. I really have not used ink much to color things, more so for dipping and ink pen in for line work. I wish I could smell those sweet peas!

Lowcarb team member said...

What a lovely post, so much to see and read.
I love your little bird.

With September almost here ... Happy September Wishes!

All the best Jan

Christine said...

Lovely post with beautiful art and fruit! Cute little bird!

Evergreen Mo said...

My goodness what a clear table to begin work on. I always water my inks down as I find the colours a bit strong. I am also mean so get more out of the bottle by watering them down. The blue bird is a delight, he is striding out in the garden as if he owned it which he probably does

Jackie said...

Your little bird is so cute, and I hope he enjoyed his walk around that lovely garden. Your garden is fabulous too - I love rhubarb and sweet peas, not to mention plums.... All so much better when you have grown them yourself. I hope Mabel received some help! :-)

Jutta.K said...

Simply enchanting!
Wonderful art and colors

Annette P. said...

I do love your blue bird!
Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos!
Have a nice Sunday,

Pia Rom said...

Ahhh dear Sheila, what a pleasure to visit your blog and read your heartwarming stories...I had a big laugh seeing Douglas fully exhausted about all those Art festival visits, your clean setup! Oh my you did not want to look when I start messes all around me, but I can´t work when all the stuff is put into their boxes ;) Sweet bird is very proud of his garden, this is ovious! ♥ Conny

Giggles said...

I have been remiss at blog visits so I am catching up!! What a fabulous post so full of joy... Douglas cracks my up...his exhausted photo made me giggle!! Such a fruitful garden is so much work, so well worth it though!! Love your flowers too...great vases and that desk is so inviting. I have never used inks like that but your bird is adorable and I love all the vibrant colours they come in!! Wonderful work.... a great end of the summer painting!! Hope you're almost finished harvesting and able to return to your artwork on a more regular basis!

Peace Giggles

kat said...

This painting is delightful, the colours rich and warm. I haven't used inks but this certainly inspires! I love your garden, it is so brimming with life and cute Mabel is so sweet! I really have missed a lot round here!