01 June 2015


One great thing about technology is the speed photographs reach us. Remember the time when air mail was the only way to get fast communication from abroad? Remember how we wrote letters and then had to wait an eternity for a reply. I recall having to wait five or six weeks for a letter to reach me when my mother was in Australia – of course, that was by ordinary mail, by ship, a long time ago.

Desserts to die for!
I got to thinking about this when I received the above two photographs from Rosanne – sent from Hong Kong and received by me instantaneously ... or would have been had I been awake when they were sent. She was taking afternoon tea in Hong Kong and thought I’d like to see what she was having. She was right about my wanting to see them but a ticket to ride would have been the perfect way to tell her that... smiles. She did, however, give me permission to use them for this post.

Talking of pictures, I’m having a great time with the new phone camera. I’m snapping everything in sight, good or bad, in the hope of having something to post on the blog. I did a tour of the garden and marvelled at newly acquired seeded flowers as well as old favourites venturing forth to face the wind and rain – well, it is springtime, when anything can happen.
The best flowering the Azalea has ever had
Self-seeders sneaked in when I wasn't looking.
As did these!
They look like poppies but I can't find them in my wildflower book.
An unknown self-seeder, never seen before.

This is new, too. Honestly, those birds are doing me some real favours.
And this lovely Weigela that hid behind a huge Quince and only this year could properly be seen
Then, there’s the artwork! At least that’s what I’m calling the newfound hobby of colouring. I have a great collection of artist materials in the form of coloured pencils, felt tips and pens that were hitherto unheard of. There are sparkly ones and some containing gel, the latter to be used with extreme caution because it covers everything, takes longer to dry, and smears if I just breathe on it. I am still trying to find wax crayons in the shops... I think they must have gone out of fashion.

And what about the pictures themselves? Well, I have several books of pictures waiting to be worked on. One of the books on sale is in similar style to the Secret Garden (shown HERE) but consists of animals instead of flowers. I just had to have it, didn’t I? I also have a book of animals but of inferior quality. The pictures are okay but the paper they’re printed on is rubbish. Felt tip shows through to the other side and coloured pencils hardly make an impression; hence the need for wax crayons.

I love working with felt tips, the smooth flow of ink does something for me in the way of relaxation and I’m getting a dab hand at following lines without going over them. You can see how carried away I am, can’t you?
Amazed? No, a Maze!
The artist plants surprise items within her pictures, in this case the key to the door hangs from a leaf on the right. It is gold colour but looks pink in this photo

My favourite!

This fellow would have looked better if I'd left the face white to match the trousers. I shall know better next time.
I have told WI colleagues about this new craze and noted their interest with surprise. So, on a recent lunch engagement with a few mates I whipped out the (new) phone and showed them what I’ve been up to. I’m now wondering if I can claim commission for spreading the word. 


  1. I love that book. Such a great artwork inside to admire.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  2. " Remember the time when air mail was the only way to get fast communication from abroad?"

    HA! Yes, Valerie, I remember that well! Isn't it amazing how technology has enabled us to communicate much quicker? I also remember when making a telephone call out of a local area was considered long distance and cost extra to make the call.

    I am so impressed with the quality of photographs that your camera takes. Lovely photographs of the flowers! "The best flowering the Azalea has ever had" They're beautiful!

    And WOW...I SO enjoyed looking at your coloring artwork! Honestly, they are truly FAB-U-LOUS! I can't over the detail of the images and the colors! They look like colored illustrations from a children's book. Love the maze and also the fox. Well done! Have you considered having them framed and placing them on a wall? I think they would look wonderful!

    Have a great Monday and week, dear lady!

    X to you and Joe

  3. Pretty cool artwork, Valerie!!

  4. Oh, how wonderfully therapeutic! I love the colouring books.

    I too find surprises in my flower beds. I have self-seeded aquilegia, and campanula. I have no idea where they came from, but there they are! Your yellow poppies are Welsh Poppies. I tried to plant some once, but they didn't take. They're so pretty! You'll probably have a ton of them next year.

  5. Thanks, Mersad. Glad you approve.

  6. Good afternoon, Ron. I'm particularly pleased with the phone camera, if it hadn't been for a need to take pictures I might have missed the self seeders AND the Azalea.

    You should see the size of the leaves on the 'artist' pictures. Without a word of a lie some are no bigger than a biro pen point. I love colouring those ... smiles.

    A friend also mentioned framing the pictures ... I might give it some thought. They would make nice gifts for a birthday or Christmas. Hmmm... deffo thinking on now....

  7. I had a pen pal in New Zealand and it took forever to send regular mail. I haven't written a letter of any kind for ages. Your flower pictures are lovely. I wish I could remember to take pictures of things. Our yard bloomed beautifully this year.

  8. I'm totally sure Mrs. T will love this coloring when I shown this post...:)

  9. I do remember those times. I still remember when I had to wait months to get a letter from my then girlfriend now wife, UK to Cuba. Lovely post. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  10. Well the new phone is a big hit for sure. Joe did good. Love seeing all of the photos, Val. Keep up the good work.

  11. I loved all the pictures in the post too.

  12. Hmm… having a bit of trouble on my end with comments… if you get doubles on some of them, just delete. lol

    The desserts look delicious! Lovely flowers… I have such an old phone that I don't even bother trying to use it. My son's iPhone takes nice ones though.
    Your artwork is wonderful. I haven't colored in years, and never did anything so detailed. My daughter would love these. She does something called Zentangle, it's an abstract type of doodling and then she colors it all in.


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