Friday, 30 January 2009

Unto us a boy is born!

No, I know it is not Christmas but it does feel like it!!

Yesterday we celebrated the birth of our second grand child, a darling boy.  A healthy 6lb  4oz baby who came into this world at 2pm.  Mother and baby are doing fine!

The lyrics of the poem about the days were used to teach a child the order and names of the different days of the week.  The theme of this poem ensured that a child would take a lively interest in which day that they were born on!  The title, whether Thursdays Child or Mondays Child, is often forgotten.  We only seem to have vague recollection of a poem about the attributes to being born on different days of the week.

Baby O'Neill

Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day

Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

For this month's birthday the garnet stone is favoured.  image As a flower this day is honoured with the carnation.

Other notable happenings on 29 January were:

The birth of Tom Selleck (1945) who is in good company with Oprah Winfrey born on this day in 1954!  Just thought I would add that itsy bitsy bit of gossip!

Monday, 26 January 2009

Australia Day

On 26 January 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guided a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively this was to be the founding of Australia. After many years of hardship and strife this new colony began to celebrate the anniversary of this date with great enthusiasm.

Australia, once known as New South Wales, was originally planned as a penal colony. In October 1786, the British government appointed Arthur Phillip captain of the HMS Sirius, and commissioned him to establish an agricultural work camp there for British convicts. Knowing very little about this far flung new land Phillip had great difficulty assembling the fleet that was to make the journey. His requests for experienced farmers to help set up the penal colony were repeatedly denied. As a result he set out for Australia with little funds and few resources. The crew of the ship were accompanied by a small contingent of Marines and other officers, Phillip led his 1,000-strong party, of whom more than 700 were convicts, around Africa to the eastern side of Australia. In all, the voyage lasted eight months, claiming the deaths of some 30 men.

The first years of settlement were extremely hard. With poor soil, an unfamiliar hostile climate and workers who were ignorant of farming, Phillip had great difficulty keeping the men alive. The colony was on the verge of outright starvation for several years, and the marines sent to keep order were not up to the task. Phillip, who proved to be a tough but fair-minded leader, persevered by appointing convicts to positions of responsibility and oversight. Floggings and hangings were commonplace, but so was egalitarianism. As Phillip said before leaving England: "In a new country there will be no slavery and hence no slaves."

Though Phillip returned to England in 1792, the colony did well and became prosperous by the turn of the 19th century. Feeling a new sense of patriotism, the men began to rally around January 26 as their founding day.

Finally, in 1818, January 26 became an official holiday, marking the 30th anniversary of British settlement in Australia. And, as Australia became a sovereign nation, it became the national holiday known as Australia Day. Today, Australia Day serves both as a day of celebration for the founding of the white British settlement, and as a day of mourning for the Aborigines who were slowly dispossessed of their land as white colonization spread across the continent. This being a fact that still has difficult implications.

So, early this morning, Australia woke up to start THE party! So many different events take place throughout the land. However, there is a more serious side too. On this great day in 2009, more than 13,000 new Australian citizens will make a public pledge of their commitment to Australia at citizenship ceremonies around the nation.

The Australian Flag Raising and Australian Citizenship Ceremony has become a flagship event in the nation's capital. Held on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, new citizens and guests watch the Australian flag raisimageed on the Canadian flag pole, before reciting the Australian Citizenship Pledge: the last step in the process of becoming a citizen.

New citizens are then presented with their certificate of Australian citizenship by the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Kevin Rudd MP.

In honour of our Australian friends I have looked on to see what I could find! Here are just a couple of items.


Celebrating Australia Day ACEO Archival Print

An archival print of an original artwork done in watercolours on Rtistx panel by miniature artist Karen Hull from Sydney, Australia.


Tag Aussie Koala

Adorable koala tag by Angie Delarie from Perth, Australia.
Thats is acid free ..ready for that scrapbooking or card making page or card !!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

A very auspicious day!

You can't help but feel the electric excitement that is not only engulfing America but the world too! Today will be one of those days which we will all remember. Today, the 44th President of America is to be sworn in. That in itself is important. However, more importantly, this is the first time that a black American has had the opportunity to enter the White House. I remember, not too long ago, all the demonstrations we followed on the news about the troubles in America. To think that a few years down the road the picture has changed. There will be many who are still alive and remember the dark days. Today, there is enlightenment for all of us, not just America! A new hope and a new adventure.

There will be many problems inherited and many more to solve but with resolution, integrity and a new hope these will be overcome in one way or another.

I tried to see if any of a team I am passionate about had any items to commemorate this special event and found the follow:

Barack Obama Inaugural Window Cling Suncatcher With Stained Glass effects


'The audacity of hope!
I made this window cling in honor of our newly elected president,' says the creator,



No disrespect! However, you have to bring in the humour too, don't you?

Obama '08 - Lipstick on a Pig with Freebie

'Make a political statement or if you wish, remove the lipstick. Great fun and great for conversation,' says



Patriotic Earrings

'These fun fun fun Patriotic Earrings are perfect for those who love America!' quotes Katz Kreations

This selection is from a team on Etsy called Boomers and Beyond Etsy Street Team or the BBEST for short! Just place BBEST team in your search and you will find the most amazing items from very talented folk! Why not go to their blog where you will find postings on all sorts of subjects.

Enjoy the day for all the right reasons! There won't be another like it!!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Jack Frost and his grip!

As many of you know from my precious posts, my husband and I love to go for walks in National Trust properties.  Our favourite is Sheffield Park where we have spent many a delightful hour strolling around at different times of the year to view the plant life, birds and lakes in all their glory.  Each season is different and each visit within that season shows up another treasure.

This weekend Jack Frost was paying many of us a visit but as the freezing fog lifted we were able to see the branches of the trees outlined with white crystal ice.  The picture was beautiful!  Unlike when snow nestles in the crooks and crannies of branches the ice gave a very surreal and delicate look.  This was first seen as we drove through Ashdown Forest which was originally a deer hunting forest in Norman times!  It is a great place for walking and enjoying spectacular views over the Sussex countryside and is known the world over as the 'home' of Winnie the Pooh.

So, we stopped the car to park up so that yours truly could take a couple of photos such as these:  Although they were taken in colour they give the impression of black and white.... well nearly!  ashdown contrast winter branches covered with ice








This has to be one of my favourites to illustrate how the branches of the trees were caught up in the ice age.  Banks of trees laden with ice whilst the close up picture shows how delicately the branches appeared.

Iced tree ashdown







Now it was time to move on to Sheffield Park.  Normally awash with colour throughout the year there was still plenty of contrast.wintry look down to the lakes with icy  Here we look down the series of ponds to the main lake.  The main difference between here and Ashdown was that the ice on the trees had mostly melted.  However, the water in all the lakes in the park remained iced over with different amounts of ice.

The swans and ducks were restricted in their feeding areas to a small patchalternate view of swans and ducks feeding where visitors to the park could come to feed crusts of bread.





I mentioned the contrasts you could see.  palmtrees in icebound lakeWell, have a look at these palm trees standing frozen by the lake.  Normally seen in desert this certainly proved a different type of desert; one of ice!  


Meanwhile I couldn't resist taking this photograph of icicles formed at the edge of a weir that fed the lakes.

icicles by side of weir


Here is another view of a waterfall that has been stopped in its tracks! waterfall of icileles




And so, having taken loads of photographs and walked around taking in all the beautiful sights we decided we would welcome the car ride home and that all important hot cup of tea!

Monday, 5 January 2009

It was really cold!

In order to blow the cobwebs my husband and I decided to visit Wakehurst Place which is not too far a drive from our house.  It was just a couple of days into the new year and the weather, though dry, was really cold!

One of the views we had promised ourselves was that of a huge tree near the main house which had been decorated with loads of light bulbs which were to be lit every afternoon just prior to the closing of the park.  We got there around 3.30pm to walk around a little whilst waiting for the lights to be switched on.  Boy, was it cold! Last of sun at front of building It was OK at first as we were well wrapped up and the sun was still throwing its last rays on the house and surrounding areas.  Amazingly, there were still a number of visitors walking about looking like us, waiting for the lights to be switched on!  across iced pond to buildingHere you can see a view of the front of the house from across a lake with about three quarters of an inch of ice.

Even the birds were finding it hard work.  At one stage we saw some seagulls fighting over some bread that had been cast on the ice only to be slithering all over the place!

birds on lake picking bread off ice

Ducks and moorhens were trying to manoeuvre across the ice to reach the bread that visitors had thrown for them.  moorhen eating bread crust off ice If you look closely here this moorhen has found a large crust!

All this was all very well but when were the lights going to be lit?


tree catches last of sunlight at top Here the sun was shining on this tree and creating a lovely pink colour accentuating the branches towards the top of the tree.lit tree with moon in background better

Finally!! The lights were switched on!  It was hard to photograph since the sky still held the last of the daylight.  Still, you could see vestiges of the moon to the upper right and judging by the clear blue sky with not a cloud in sight we were due for a very cold night.

Best to return to the car to put the heater on and whilst driving home we looked forward to a hot cup of tea and the remainders of the Christmas cake to warm us up!

Sale Corner!

Occasionally I will show items that are for sale from me direct which can be paid for using Paypal. Always check to see shipping charges which will need to be added to the item amount!

For regular prices check out my Etsy shop, as well as my sister shop on Etsy which also sells encaustic art

Some paintings can be bought directly from my website

Some samples of my present & past work to give you inspiration for that special gift!
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