Sunday, 3 July 2011

Seeing Is Believing?

Wandering around my tiny garden with a camera in hand this morning, I took some random shots of a green plastic bag full of yesterday's cuttings and weeds...But the wonderful monster at the top of this image only came to my attention when I'd downloaded the images. Hope you can see (and enjoy) him too!
I thought he'd be ideal as my I Saw Sunday offering! Hehehe!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Here Be Dragons!

Thoughts glitter,
dance across the mind,
leaving trails
like comets
to mark the passage of flight
from obscurity to light.

And here's a late edition here for Thursday Think Tank, which had 'Freedom' as its subject. Blogger effectively stopped me from doing anything for most of yesterday, and writing became a problem. You will maybe see the connection with my first part of this two layer post...

Freedom: a mind set,
rather than a concrete fact.
Thoughts roam where they will.

Build no walls,
and create no barriers
within mind.
Let it go,
exploring where it chooses
in search of new horizons.

All doors will open
as the key of wisdom turns,
unlocking secrets.

If you click on the Two in Tandem logo in the side bar, eventually, with luck, you'll be able to see other people's ideas of what my glittery graphic suggested to them!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Missed It!

"What?" I hear you cry...
Answer: Posting a little snippet  from the last week, to share on I Saw Sunday...
So here's one on Monday instead, better late than never.

For several weeks now, I've been eyeing up a four foot six 'weed' in my garden, that had materialised alongside my whirlygig line, but as it added a splash of colour with its pretty array of yellow flowerheads, I left it in peace.

And for the past few days two goldfinches have been saying "Thank you", by coming to feast on its seeds. I had to resort to Google for this image from The Guardian, as there was no chance of my catching my own visitors unawares.

I shan't be digging up the 'weed', but will leave it to flourish and possibly produce progeny in the future, in the hope it will encourage these delightful little birds to draw an 'X marks the spot' on their Good Food Guide Map.

Saturday, 25 June 2011


Winchester Cathedral - Flooded crypt with statue.
As I wandered through some of my photo files I found this hauntingly beautiful picture that my No. 1 Son took a year or two back, after melting snow had caused an unusual problem. It speaks for itself.

See more photographic delights on Sepia Saturday, thanks to Alan and Kat.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

There's A First Time For Everthing

And here's my number one attempt at a recognisable painting, using the Bamboo Tablet and Pen I mentioned a while back. I'm beginning to understand some of its capabilities, but I can tell, there's still a long way to go!

Over on Alias Jinksy today is another example of how imaginary 'brushstrokes' can be made to look 'real' by computer wizardry. If you are one of those people who gets the urge to write when confronted by a collection of colours, please feel free to copy the graphic onto your blog, and join in. 

You'll find a Linky List so you can add your name and blogpost URL once you've put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. Linky will make it easy for nosey parkers to visit and see what you've done later in the week! Hehehe!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

I Am Duly Reprimanded!

By my Little Bro - who is in no way little, only younger. Hark at him chuckle about that... Ya, Boo, Sucks. He wants to know why I haven't posted here for a week?! Cheek! I keep telling him, he could always do one for me...

But now it's Saturday, and I have a moment to make up for my lack of napple notes, here's an update. I've just got back home after a rain soaked trip to my local Post Office. I suppose I should be thankful I have one...

However, that was the only boring part.  On the way home, I called into Wordsouth to drip dry for a bit, while I drank a cup of their green tea with orange and lotus flower. It's where I attend various writing classes and events, and as it serves as a tiny café, it was an ideal place to drop in. I spent a happy hour or so in the company of its owner, plus two literary gentlemen who were discussing Kipling's 'Rewards and Fairies'.

 One of them said there was a secret message in the book, if you could find the key to unlock it... I can't wait to get a copy and start looking. Who knows what I may find?

What better excuse could I have for linking this 
old illustration of the Cottingley Fairies to Sepia Saturday?
Thanks, Alan and Kat for thinking up the blog.... You are obviously both good fairies!.

P.S. Click on the link words above and WIKI  will tell you more about the Cottingley Fairies...

Friday, 10 June 2011

I've Had An Attack Of The Borrowers!

If you've never read the book by Mary Norton, you'll wonder what on Earth I'm talking about... But if you have, you'll understand how puzzled I am that my Borrowers have purloined the tiny, USB cable that allows me to load my camera's photo's onto my computer.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that Arrietty or Pod have  decided to become Bloggers, and set themselves up with a micro computer that needed my USB, which since Monday, has totally disappeared from the Aladdin's Cave I laughingly call My Desk.

Until a hastily purchased replacement arrives, Napple Notes are liable to remain unillustrated... Unless I pinch yet another picture from my long suffering Bro's collection? What a good idea! No sooner said than done. Thanks, Bro! This was taken during a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads in 1973... Happy Days!

And it's the perfect opportunity to link another non-sepia photo to Sepia Saturday as well. Thanks Alan and Kat!

Sunday, 5 June 2011


Aromas link arms: tanned leather with fish glue, wood shavings with sawdust: turpentine with oil paints. Immediately memory takes me back to my Uncle Fred’s shed, with its open sliding door emitting exciting smells that drew me in as though I had a rope tied to a ring in my nose like a prize bull being lead round a show ring.

His littered work benches, along with metal lasts and vices of varying sizes, held mysterious boxes, tins, jars, bottles and canisters, from which he would extract some item he needed for the next stage of whichever project he was working on.

He had at some time made a square-topped wooden stool, which he used to let me perch on, as a child, so keeping me at a safe distance from his lathe, or sharp knives, while still letting me part-share in his creative processes.

His large hands with their thick, square topped fingers, could work with the utmost delicacy as they shaped the new leather sole to the well-worn footwear of friends or family for whom he played cobbler. I would watch every stage avidly, and marvel at the final polishing of the edges on his noisy, whirring machine.

One push of the starter button, and the lathe grumbled into life. As he used the various discs of the sander, polisher or brush, the pitch of the motor sang its own switch-back song, loud enough to drown out any childish questions I might ask.

Nunc, as I called him, almost always had a cigarette between his lips, which waggled up and down as he talked and sent wreaths of smoke swirling around his head. It made him screw his eyes up, and the action folded the skin of his face into wrinkles.

Now I think about it, I don’t remember him inhaling, as most hardened smokers do. He seemed to use the cigarette more as an adult dummy, a comforting presence between his lips while his hands were busy. Perhaps at heart, he remained nothing but a big kid, playing in his own particular play house.  But I am eternally grateful that he used to let me in on some of his games, too…

I was reminded of Nunc today because of this photo on the right by Rob Hanson, to whom I say 'Thanks for the memory!""

And on the left, is my Uncle Fred, dressed for company! 
Now, I think I shall I shall put this in as a late entry for Sepia Saturday.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Milk Maid Monday?

I was intrigued to discover recently, that milk can be bought in bags, delivered by my milkman, same as bottles. So I decided this morning to take a photo of this strange phenomenon. The plastic jug is totally recyclable - though not too sure about the milk bag- can't take it out to read the small print, now I've put it in place.

Thing is, it was the wonderfully clean, drip-less-pouring-out ability of this cunning contraption that made me want to praise it to the skies today. Let's face it, milk cartons can be a disaster, and even glass milk bottles often let a wayward trickle ooze down their curvaceous sides.

But not this. It pours as clean a whistle, and there's a cap to close at once before placing the jug back in the fridge door. What a joy to find an article that exactly does the job it was intended to do!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

More Togetherness

It being Thursday, over on my Alias Jinksy blog, there is another combined poem-and-pic from Elizabeth and I, but deep in Blogland other things are stirring!

So I decided to have another, triple combination  for today on Napple Notes, for Juliet and Susannah have both written words which fit a picture I posted way back... Hope you enjoy the mélange. Juliet , alias Crafty Green Poet, wrote:- 

glow purple with dusk -
an owl hoots.

And  Susannah's poem that I asked to be allowed to copy from her blog 'Out Of My Ocean', has a similar evening overtone. Blogger won't let me link straight to it, but you can get there via the side bar link on her 'Panopticulated' blog.

A Page Turned...

The orange day slips back into the purple night
and all is as it was before,
but not me.

The passing of the hours, the changing hues
have altered something,
I have changed.

Though all appears to be the same
when viewed from the surface,
it is not.

Friday, 20 May 2011

My Niece Is No NIt

But she is a knitter, and a creative one at that, as you will see from this delightful photo of her latest handiwork. 

And here's what she had to say about them:-

"I finished me some funky socks. Why yes, I stood on a chair to give them a pink background too. But I didn't bother matching the stripes 'cos I like them wonky like this."

When I tell you she is the Mum of the budding young artist in my previous post, you will see the apple didn't fall far from the tree!

And once again, it gives me a perfect excuse for brightening the Sepia Saturday scene with a picture which deserves to go down in history for future generations. The fact that it's as far from sepia as it's possible to get, only goes to prove that the rebellious spirit is a family trait in which I am proud to admit I share.  I'd class  it as just another unorthodox Utopian urge.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

I simply had to share these words of wisdom, spoken by my five year old great niece. I plead for the understanding of her mother, whose photo and words  I have purloined, and I quote "At one point she thought about putting water over it, and told me  "Artists have good ideas, silly ideas and great ideas. I'm going to do it.".
Could anything be cuter?

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Black Friday?

Well, Thursday wasn't too good either, at least in  Blogland, was it  folks? Blogger throwing a wobbly messed with our heads as well as out blogposts!

Now here we are, back to another Sepia Saturday and I'm messing with your eyes, as this photo was in reality a white lily. But how regal does it look in these sombre purple shades?

Along with the WACOM Bamboo Pen & Touch Tablet I rashly bought this week, came various downloads. Included in the price were things like ArtRage Studio Pro and Adobe Photoshop Elements 8, not to mention the actual delights of the tablet and pen itself, which let me draw freehand images for the computer screen.

I will need to practice lots, before I start sharing those first efforts, but it's plain that the potential is enormous. So is the learning curve. Enormous, I mean.

Suddenly having to use full movement of my arm to position a cursor on the screen feels totally alien, after years of only moving wrist and fingers to click a mouse. But I begin to  see how my first faltering steps in Blogland, which began with a plethora of words but no pictures, and my sudden urge to include all kinds of illustrations, is akin to Radio evolving into Television. I hasten to add, I have no secret wish to  begin making movies, though. At least, not that I know of...yet...

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Picture Me?

No, don't strain your heads trying to imagine a jinksy look alike! Think more "Picture by ...???, words by...???" Collaboration is the name of the game, and today over here  you can see where this idea is leading, as Elizabeth Crawford has supplied a picture, and jinksy has written a poem.

The comments people left after my imaginary Sepia Scene on Sunday, show that imagination is alive an well amongst you all - especially people like Maggie, who saw a dog in the sky, or Little Nell (a porker), or Broken Biro ( a flock of starlings)  while other options took me on a tour of the world.

Then I sent a different picture to Crafty Green Poet, and Juliet emailed me like so:-

"Hi Pen
I just wrote this, forgive the rabbit, they tend to creep into everything...

Without my glasses, colours blur
like patterns in rain-washed windows:
hills of orange and skies of pink
and a lakeside view in violet.
Watching it all, a rabbit floats
high in the clouds with ears of yellow
that stretch across the sky.

best wishes and thanks for thinking of me with this!

And talking about the same picture, Elizabeth said:-

"From the soft pastels of babyhood, to the deep purple of personal power, all underlined by the dark red of banked creative fire. I think we agree!"

Suddenly I feel as though I am in at the start of something big...

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Trompe L'Oeil?

Thinking Sepia Saturday, although it's Sunday,  I've created this illusory landscape. I wonder how it appears to you?


If so, where in the world might it be? And how would you describe what you see in it? Let's hear what your imagination decides...

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Seeds Of Change

Something is germinating, today. After discovering the poems that Elizabeth Crawford had written for April's 'Poem a Day' at Writer's Island, I contacted her, and we've been trying to work out a way of collaborating. Her words and my pictures, or vice versa. So here is the first of her words written for my illustration. The basic idea could lead anywhere - this is merely the first step.

White barked tree trunk
waves aloft deep blue essence.
Lavender perfume spills
across spring landscape.

I decided to post this on Napple Notes, and Alias Jinksy, to see which, if either, blog caught people's ttention.  With the lavender colour spilling over in my mind this morning, I created this flight of fancy too.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Would You Like A Nibble?

With the word wedding being bandied about this weekend, I thought I'd keep it going by using this version of a wedding cake photo for Sepia Saturday. It  was from a black and white print, but didn't my computer do a grand job of 'aging' it for me?
I can no longer remember who I made it for, but I do know the roses on it were palest blush pink. And I'd love a slice to eat right now. For breakfast. Instead of which, I shall have my usual porridge with a dash of cream the milkman  will have left on my doorstep this morning.

And thereby hangs a tale. I stopped blogging at this point, and went to retrieved milk, cream and cheese from the mercy of the elements. It had been sitting there for a good two to two and a half hours, as the milk cart hums by at about 5am. As I picked up the carrier bag, bottle and a leaflet, the sound of a snail dropping onto my pathway made a crack not unlike a pistol cap.
But it was only when  I opened out the flyer that I realised where he'd been clinging, and why.
I bet his jaws ached by the time he'd worked his way through that tasty morsel!

Of all the strange pictures I've posted since Hilary of The Smitten Image fame tempted me into the world of illustration, this one must surely rank amongst the most peculiar.  Nobody could ever say my Napple Notes blog is too predictable for words...

Thursday, 28 April 2011


This is a picture of weed growing in a natural spring at Homewell, in the center of Havant. Not the most inspiring of photos.

But then, I began experimenting,and suddenly, there was a different world, with a flower and a small water bug of some kind.

Then I got further involved and tried something else, which I liked most of all...

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Breathe In?

It's all in the spelling... Suddenly, 'bated breath' can conjure a different picture for anybody who can't spell, or even read a dictionary!

I found my doodle cartoon in a folder this morning, and realised I could use it to write a caption in 160 characters, which is Monkey Man's Sunday challenge...

Thursday, 21 April 2011

OK, So I'm Cracked!

Bit like this pot, then, I hear you say. Only bigger. And I wouldn't disagree with you. The point is, the crack hasn't spoiled its usefulness one jot.

My best pal at art college gave it to me on either my 20th or 21st birthday, apologising for the crack, but knowing that, to me, it didn't detract from its charm one little bit.  At only 7cm tall, with a diameter of 6cm, it's not exactly huge, but
over the years, it has kept safe a variety objects, from daughter's first baby bangle, to son's first baby tooth (now gone the way of all things, I hasten to add!)

For a long time, we couldn't decide whether it  was laquered wood or papier mâché, but now the crack has widened, I can see it's wood. We used to think it looked as though it had been made with porcupine or hedgehog quills, but I think that might have been a trifle far fetched, don't you? The point of this meandering post is simply to say, if you own to being somewhat cracked, worry not - there are probably many years life left in you yet!

And thinking about it, I may as well link this (early) to Sepia Saturday, on the grounds that it's brown and quirky...

Monday, 18 April 2011

What Happens On Mondays?

In the days before washing machines, and certainly when my Granny Ada was a busy mother, Monday was wash day. The everlasting chore of feeding a large family, as well as having to keep them clean, meant that the left overs from the Sunday joint would provide a quick, cold meal while she attended to the mountain of washing at the start of each week.

When I did a little research into my family tree, I discovered that her mother had also been widowed at an early age, and both women had done other people's laundry to help provide for their young families.

You will understand why this song was part of my childhood! Perhaps your know it too? It goes like this:-

Twas on a Monday morning
When I beheld my darling,
She looked so neat and charming
In ev'ry high degree.
She looked so neat and nimble, O,
A-washing of her linen, O,
Dashing away with the smoothing iron, 
Dashing away with the smoothing iron, 
She stole my heart away.

 Each succeeding verse deals with another aspect of laundering, and ends with the Sunday girl 'A-wearing of her linen, O." So when I saw this week's prompt from Monday's Child, my mind was full of' 'washday blues', and I wrote this as a little light relief!  
Illustration by Elizabeth Webbe
Goosey Lucy was quite choosy,
liked her ribbons smoothe.
So she ironed out the creases
said "No wrinklies, if you pleases,
crinkly clothes won't suit my mood-
I'm a spic-and-span type dude!"

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Do You Have A Foot Shaped Mouth?

I heard this expression used yesterday, and it has set me to wondering. How many of us can honestly say they have never noticed this apparently inbuilt human deformity in themselves?

Of course, first we have to understand the old, English cliché "Putting your foot in it", which is used to indicate an unintentional blunder. From this, it is a small step to understanding fully the significance of "Opening one's mouth only to put one's foot in it."

Hence we arrive at the delightfully succinct description "He/She has a foot shaped mouth"... There must be some interesting equivalent phrases in other languages, which I'd love to hear, if any reader can supply them!

So with my mind cogitating on the pitfalls of "What you thought you heard I said, is not necessarily what I meant", I have written 160 characters to offer to Monkey Man for his Sunday challenge.

The sunshine of our love hides behind clouds of mis-communication. Once the raindrop tears have washed the skies, then perhaps there will be chance of rainbows.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Green Fingers

After telling you the tale of Perry Caunter and the carrot weeding lesson, I thought I'd show you this delightful snapshot of the boy who would one day be his pupil!

My husband obviously started practising early to be a gardener. Of course, by the time I knew him, the wheelbarrow had become a somewhat grander affair, and the headgear conspicuous by its absence, but the love of gardening remained!

I have no pictures of him as a child with any of his Devon born relations, but I do have a rather faded snapshot of his Grandfather, holding the hand of his brother Bertie, the one who died in childhood.

It's plain to see how the rural setting would have influenced the lives of any children who had the good fortune to grow up amongst its wide open spaces. It's also a great illustration of the special link that can often be found between the very young and the very old...

Now I'm going to link this up to Sepia Saturday, where you can see other examples of old, or not so old, photographs that might interest you.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Old Hat

Just for SmitoniusAndSonata, here is the picture I took in 2009 of small granddaughter with large hat and red eyes, because I failed to use the correct camera setting!

In a comment yesterday,  S&S asked what colour the original object was, though this has absolutely no bearing on the end result after I played with it using Arcsoft magic.

It just so happened, that when 'The Cockerel' appeared before my eyes,  I chose to save it, and it was mere chance that the orangey reds, greens and golds were not a million miles remove from the original colour range of the Easter bonnet.

 However, I now have on file a selection of other variations, ranging through blues, greens and pinks, one of which I shall now insert for all pink lovers amongst you. The permutations of colour and form when using the program are virtually limitless, and the end user has only to decide when 'enough is enough', in order to produce a stunning result.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Painting Without Paint

This feels like a cockerel. It started life as a photograph of my granddaughter's Easter bonnet- I am hooked on Arcsoft!

The world of computer graphics opens doors to possibilities my own brain would never have dreamed possible.
What is so incredible, the selfsame photograph also gave rise to this totally different blue creation.  
Can you understand the attraction of this modern day equivalent to painting by numbers?

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Cousins, Minus Kissing?

What serious exchanges were being made by these two tiny girls? I can't work out the exact time of year, for the trees don't give any clues, but as my daughter (on the right) walked at eleven months and was born in December 1967, there's a fair chance this photo was taken Spring or Summer of '69.
Her cousin, six months her senior, appears to be giving her a lot of good advice on how to grow up into a beautiful young lady!
It was undoubtedly a conversation in a language known only to themselves at the time, but even after all these years, it appears to hover in the air for us to hear too, if we concentrate for a moment.
From the length of the shadows, I'd say it was taken towards the end of day of  'Getting to know you', and it looks like they'd arrived at a satisfactory conclusion before nightfall...

This is my short but sweet offering for Sepia Saturday this week, folks...

Friday, 8 April 2011

Sleepy Time Gal

 Image by
I have morphed into one of these. Thanks to some anti- histamine pills, I've had more sleep in the past twenty four hours than I have for many a moon, but it's plain to see blogging is the last thing on my mind. Normal service will be resumed a soon as possible - or when I've finished taking the pills. Blog on, Blogpals...

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Thanks Be To Edward Lear

You may have guessed I'm partial to a little Lear Lunacy. Wandering around Blogland this week, I happen upon this lovely illustration of his, thanks to Grandma's Goulash. She had set folks the task of coming up with a caption of sorts, expressed in exactly 140 characters.  Now, I like such challenges, so yesterday I played with some ideas on this handy Character Counter, which takes all the stress out of the exercise. After one or two abortive attempts, I finally made my words tally.
 Confucius he say, "Squalling cat and shrieking woman equal madness for man caught between. Remember, silent tongue worth more than rubies!"

I often feel as old as Confucius, though less wise, and this morning was no exception. I started the day in a happy way, by going to say "What have I got, Doctor?" to my favourite medic - the one who sorted my BPPV - or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, to give it its full name. Today I had more oddness to show him. Blotches. Not spots. Hot, red blotches, mostly on the front of my shins.  And what was his diagnosis? Dry skin! And his remedy? Six printed A4 size sheets of information about Atopic Eczema, some anti-histamine pills, and a huge carton of Dermol cream. This can be used as a soap substitute in the shower, as well as a daytime moisturiser. I may be about to turn into a very slippery character - or at least, body! Snorts and giggles as I 'slip' away to apply the first lot...

Monday, 4 April 2011


Well, it was for me this morning. No moans about it being Monday, or dull and damp, or the start of another working week. No sirree. Thanks to the Poetry Bus Driver  JoAnne McKay, passengers were asked to write about various animals for their Ticket to Ride. I've been creating a couple of my own odd wildlife graphics. My limericks you can read HERE, but my doodles you can see right now!
Silly Billy
Sydney Snake

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Down In Devon

Here's a photo of South Pool after a dry summer, when the ducks had to search hard for somewhere to swim! The second cottage in from the right was where my husband's Grandparents lived, and next comes a picture of my daughter and my Mum when we visited the village in about 1973.

You can see it was still a quiet, rural place, far from the hustle and bustle of modern day life.

I already told you the story of the gentleman we met that day, called Perry Caunter, the person who taught my husband to be patient when weeding a field of carrots by hand, and here he is for you to say hello to, as well.

These are my little trio of time warp pictures for this week's Sepia Saturday. I think they each tell their own stories, without my help.