Friday, 19 November 2010

Blogaversary, gosh… 4 today!

After considerable blog chat, comments and email exchanges perhaps it’s time I revealed a little about the person behind shirls gardenwatch. However, first, I have to say a HUGE THANK-YOU to everyone that has visited and commented for another year. I have really appreciated it especially when there are so many blogs to follow now. After wavering a little… Year 5 here I come :-)

My first reveal is that although my blog is titled shirls, it is not how I am known outside the blogging world. I picked this name for a little bit of anonymity and because it was short and slightly quirky for leaving comments etc. Let me introduce myself… Hello, my name is Shirley :-)

Despite all the chat about birds and wildlife in my blog behind this I am a very much a gardener. I began gardening at the age of 10 by moving a rockery at my parent’s house...


Clicking on photos in this post will enlarge them.
I hear you asking... yes there were colour cameras then,
and yes, I'm in the group... on the right :-)


My Dad’s work van is seen in the foreground. Note the kangaroo on the side. That’s one of my earlier artworks! Lol… the kangaroo symbolised the way that on occasions the van was a bit jumpy when it drove. I don’t know if this was my Dad’s idea or mine ;-)

This van is parked in front of a kitchen window and below it was an outside tap with a hose tied up. I think there was a climbing bush there too. My earliest memory of birds was at age 8½ on the day we moved into this house and found a bird’s nest with chicks in this area.

After having no garden with our previous house this garden was so exciting! I’ve no idea what bird it was now. Nor could I have imagined some years later, with my own house and garden, that I would be watching the whole story of nesting :-)


Image taken the day before these Chicks fledged in June 2010.
You can read the nestbox diary and see video and photos
here.


My parents grew fruit and veg in their garden and I helped out there. In the small front garden I also helped maintain the square lawn and the box hedge and clipped box balls tidy. I have some young box in my own garden just now but I don’t keep vegetables except in pots.

My second reveal is that although I know many perhaps see cutting grass a chore I do actually enjoy it. However, I hate cutting the edges afterwards so tend to cut them unconventionally first ;-)

My third reveal is that I loved drawing trees and pieces of driftwood as a teenager. I guess the plants in my parent's garden and the mature trees in the open fields opposite our house influenced that. I also enjoyed walking in local woodlands where I would see red squirrels... not knowing at the time that they were quite special.


Photo above taken at Cambo in February 2009.
That would make a great drawing/illustration wouldn't it?


Some years later I left this special garden and house, in a very small Perthshire village, to go to college (in a big city) to study art. That was quite a change in environment at the time. I wasn’t at an Art College. Instead, I was studying more the technical side of things. Of course, now that would be done at Art College/University.

My course included photography, where we went into the city and took then developed our own photos. I loved that. I could never have imagined then, that I could be adjusting a photo digitally in the future… and still loving photography. It was buildings and engineeering (especially old and neglected) I loved to photograph then.

Illustration, technical drawing, reprographics, design and printing techniques were also included in my course. I particularly enjoyed the illustration side of things and the designing of graphics.

My fourth reveal is that I am sad that I lost my drawing hand and I would love it back now. I know my artworks weren't perfect but I did enjoy doing them. Once I began working as a graphic designer the illustration side of things slowly slipped away.




Initially, I continued to draw favouring the pen and ink illustrations that I had enjoyed at college. Of course now, at a click of a mouse on a computer, a photograph can become a pen and ink drawing in seconds. I never imagined that.

The image above of an owl (with a very bad, head feather day) I would have copied from a book or magazine. It looked at us, framed, from the wall at the top of the stairs at my parent’s house who by then had moved to the City of Perth. When I left college I came to live here.

Suffice to say, this time in a good sized city garden, I continued to enjoy working in my parent’s garden. I was doing a lot more planting now. After having design shapes and colour instilled in my head at college, I began experimenting with planting schemes which I still do to this day.

A few years later, married and with a new build house with just topsoil and some paving to the front door, I began to experiment even more with plants and designs. Oh yes… and I had a collection of rocks to build my very own rockery ;-)

My fifth reveal is that I spent the second week of my honeymoon with a dustbin and a riddle! Lol... we were sifting the larger stones in the topsoil of our soon to be new front garden lawn! Yes, romantic it was.... as my new ‘non gardening’ husband helped me. Lol again... he is still my ‘non gardening’ husband :-D

A few years on leaving a well stocked garden, taking a number of plants and cuttings potted up, we moved to my present garden and the one that is shown in shirls gardenwatch. Little did I know then that I would be sharing it with people from around the world!


Scanned photo taken at Beth Chatto's Garden.


My sixth reveal is I’m shy of the camera, so I’m afraid (shown above) this first photo of me on my blog may be the only one you'll see. I don’t really wear hats as a rule but I bought a couple for this special coach trip with my Mum. We were going to the Chelsea Flower Show and come rain or shine, I was going to wear a hat. Sadly it did rain.

However on our visit to Beth Chatto’s Garden it didn’t rain. I had wanted to visit this garden almost more than Chelsea so I was going to wear a hat there too and get my Mum to take my photo. Daughters at 3 & 4yrs stayed home with Dad for this garden visit.


Scanned photo taken at The Dorothy Clive Garden.


My seventh reveal is that on family holidays I dragged my daughters (and husband) on garden visits. Well, not exactly dragged, you can see the are happy in the photo above. I generally tried to pick gardens that had somewhere to eat and some form of fun for children like garden trails and quizes :-D

When they got to their teens, I generally let them lose with my video camera and that did the trick nicely. Mm… perhaps their version is different ;-)

My eighth reveal is that I am a tad uncomfortable with dogs. As a baby and toddler I was more than fine with our very amenable, good natured Bulldog who guarded me in my pram and provided a step-up on to chairs when I was toddling about.

A few years on, after being frightened by a barking dog running down stairs towards me on a visit to a relative, I was bitten and that changed things a little. Suffice to say, walking into an unknown farmyard with a serious possibility of barking and running dogs as an adult was a bit of a big step... but the possible reward outweighed this fear.


Scanned photo, one of the many layouts my small front garden
has had over the last 19 years. I loved this particular day :-)


My ninth reveal is that I can’t help but admire piles of stone when I see them! I get almost as excited by them as I do new plants or bird visitors to my garden! Although I don’t use stones in a traditional rock garden style anymore I still love to arrange and rearrange them around my garden.

Driving past a pile of stones beside some local farm buildings, a few years back, had me in a bit of dilemma. They had been stored by a farmer after he dug them up whilst ploughing his fields. Oh… they looked so good to me!

The photo above tells all. I gingerly walked to the farm door, keeping eyes and ears alert for dogs, and after a phonecall we came to an agreement. A few days later, the Farmer, equally gingerly, tipped out stones on to my driveway from the bucket of his JCB digger!

Wonderfully, he had brought the digger to the pile of stones in his farmyard and we were able to fill it with the stones we wanted. I was smiling all day... and the next few!!

A couple of years later, we did this once more. The mossy rocks around my small pond were all dug up in this local farmer's field. Recycling at its best :-D




Finally, my tenth reveal is that my gardenwatching only began after my daughter was observing and counting birds for a school project the summer before I began my blog. Prior to that we had no bird feeders in the garden.

Now, I can’t imagine having a garden without a bird feeder - except on a temporary basis. I also cannot imagine not gardenwatching and blogging about it!

It has been absolutley fantastic that Waxwing sightings have ended Year 4. What great timing! They are still around too so fingers crossed they might visit my apple garlands made especially for them :-D

My garden of plants has grown and matured in a way I could never have predicted. Hedgehogs and a staggering 27 species of birds have been seen in my garden in the last four years. That includes a Pheasant walking up my lawn! Even more staggering is that I have seen 12 bird species bring in their young to my feeders.

If I were to take a guess as to why my garden has had so many visitors I would probably say that it has a lot of cover with my plants of varying sizes and shapes. I would also say that each time I saw a new species I looked up my book to see what it like to eat and provided it. Then… more birds came :-)

My Long-tailed Tit watercolour above symbolises a few things that will shape Year 5 of my blog. I am returning to my roots but in a new way. Hopefully I’ll be able to make time to pick up a pencil and paint brush too.

I will continue to blog about plants, gardens, birds and wildlife but I want to explore them all further through the many fascinating websites and blogs that can be found on the internet.

My plan is to search out and share what I find. I’ve already got something interesting for you! When time allows, I also plan to visit new bird and wildlife areas. Garden visits are a given ;-)

So, for Year 5, I am not revamping the look of my blog, as done in previous years, but its content instead. I hope my blog can act as a stepping stone for any visitor that stops by. It will be nice if new visitors browse around my posts too of course :-D

A HUGE THANKS for another year goes to my non gardening, but very technically focused, husband. In the last week he has finally finishing his programming of my blog menus which will allow me to gain access to the editing myself. My menu links are about to get a make-over now! I’m looking forward to it too :-D

Finally, for Year 5, I would really like to make a pledge that the majority of my posts will be a shorter read. I don’t know if I can keep that one though. Honestly, I’d really like to :-D

Seeing many of my postings have been published around midnight I’m aiming for that this time too - real time too. Soon the bells (PC clock) will bring in the new blogging year for shirls gardenwatch… thanks so much for bearing with me. It’s been great having you join me :-D

Wishing you a brilliant weekend!

57 comments:

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Happy Blogaversary! I enjoyed reading this post and hearing more about you!

Gardeningbren said...

Happy Blogaversary from me too!! What a great read,..so enjoyable and so nice to get to know you better. Thanks for sharing the photos also.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Shirl, I see we are both up late again :) I was half way through this fascinating post when I received the email alert to say someone had commented and it was you!! I am enjoying this post so much and want to do it justice so will be back tomorrow to comment properly :)

Randy Emmitt said...

Shirley,

I figured that was really your name anyway! Four years that is great I've been at it half as long, time does fly doesn't it. Looking forward to many more years of reading your blog and enjoying your photos.

Jim Groble said...

happy blogoversary. jim

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Happy Blogaversary Shirl(ey), You're one of the shining stars of the garden world to me!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Congratulations on your blogiversary, Shirley! Thank you for this post and for the very interesting pictures! I pictured you absolutely differently,he-he.

Magic Cochin said...

Wow 4 years a-blogging! Many Happy Returns Shirl :-)

I enjoyed reading your 'reveals'. I could tell you have an artist's eye for things, and designer's obsession for detail (takes one to know one).

And I'm looking forward to seeing you return to sketching - which is all about recording very intensive 'looking'.

Celia

PS I'm also going back to basics and embracing the latest technology in one project 'i sketch my day'

Midmarsh John said...

My congratulations on your four years of excellent, informative blogging Shirl. A very interesting read. Looking forward to seeing more of your art work on paper and in the garden layout.
I don't think you have to worry about the length of your posts, except maybe in the time it takes to compose them.
Wishing you all the very best for year five.

The Wessex Reiver said...

Hi Shirl, happy 4th Anniversary. I remember well stumbling across your blog when researching leucitic blackbirds and from there decided to blog myself. Wonderful to hear how you got there and wonderful drawings, more plese, more, of the best and most consistently inspiring blog I know of!!

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Happy, Happy Blogaversary Shirl - it is always an absolute treat to visit you here - and I leave feeling I have learn't something, thank you.

I look forward to the next few years, and - like Celia I am not surprised that you are an artist/designer and am delighted to hear you will be returning to sketching.
K
x

Layanee said...

Dear Shirley: What a pleasure to get to know you a bit better. Congratulations on your 4th year of blogging. I think my anniversary is in April '11 so we started almost together. If you love rocks, you must plan a US visit and come see me. I have rocks. I will visit Beth Chatto's garden next summer. Let's have lunch there.

shirl said...

Hello everyone, thanks so much for all your wonderful comments. Today is an exciting one all round!

Shortly, I will have to switch this PC off for the very last time. At this very moment my husband is performing a very delicate operation on our kitchen table. Complete with static strap, he is connecting the brain to my new PC case. It’s exciting stuff to see!!

He has described this whole ‘operation’ as if it was a human body telling me that all that will move over from this PC, that has supported my blog for the last 4 years, will be like an arm ;-)

Once up and running, I will move from Windows XP to Windows 7 and based on previews of that it may take a little to get used to. This new PC is getting a new video card which will help considerably for videos and games. New editing software will follow at some point too. I’ve been too busy with this posting to fully appreciate how exciting this actually is.

My husband built this present PC too but at this moment he is like a boy with a very special new toy. I’ll quickly answer all your comments next then I’ll bid adieu from here. Software uploads may take a bit of time but hopefully I’ll see you successfully on the other side :-D

shirl said...

Robin and Brenda, thank-you!

Originally I had planned videos and slideshows for this post but as my camera and software weren’t cooperating I went this route. I’m glad I did now. Thanks, for all your visits and comments :-D

shirl said...

Jan, we really shouldn’t keep meeting like this! Looking forward to your comments later :-D

shirl said...

Randy, I guess many might :-)

You’re completely right there, the time does fly by. Two years is good going too. I remember being amazed I got that far myself. Originally I saw my blog as just a short term thing for videos.

BTW you may have noticed that today I finally got round to following everyone. A bit late there I know, I hope it will help me keep up in Blogland :-D

shirl said...

Jim, Charlotte & Tatyana Thank-you!

Charlotte, what a compliment! I always think of you when I see snowdrop displays :-D

Tatyana, yes a different mix of pictures today. All have a special meaning for me too. Lol… you need to picture me differently… that photo was taken 14 years ago ;-)

shirl said...

Celia, Thank-you!

I’m glad the ‘reveals’ went down okay. I hoped they would. As I said above this wasn’t my planned format for today but I’m pleased now I did it.

Thanks, I’m not a great artist or designer in any way but I am cursed with that eye that needs to be happy ;-)

As I said above, this morning I have made a following list so I’ll look forward to keeping up with your posts more. Looking forward to your sketches :-D

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Happy Blogavesary Shirley. :) I so enjoyed your reveal. It told me what I already knew by reading your blog, we have a lot in common. When you said your loved to draw trees,roots etc I started thinking oh yes I do too. When you spoke of your artsy side, I knew I had that too only I don't have your natural talent. I work hard at the little scratches I do, yet we have that spirit in common. Of course our love for gardening and all things related to gardening is a common passion, including those rocks. What a find. I look forward to the next year(s) of your blogging activity whether you write 1000's of words or a short paragraph or two. I know you with camera in one hand and computer in another it will be a good read.

shirl said...

John, Thank-you! I’d also like to thank you for being a regular commenter on my blog for another year. I’ve enjoyed our exchanges, we have common ground in particular with nestboxes and videos.

I appreciate what you are saying re the length of my posts. I have to be honest, they can take me a considerable time and many are still (like my Dunnock one) in draft as something else came up :-)

Thanks, Year 5… I’m still finding it hard to believe I have been doing this for so long!

shirl said...

Sorry, I've run out of time to answer any more comments for the moment. This is this PC finally signing off... fingers crossed now!

Wishing you a great day ;-)

patientgardener said...

I do hope you do return to your painting and drawing. Why dont you sign up for a course and that will make you do it each week. I love my classes but never have the time to do any between classes so at least once a week I have 2 hours when I will be painting

ShySongbird said...

Hi again Shirley :) What a triumph! A wonderful post to celebrate your Blogaversary. Many, many congratulations on your '4th' and here's to the next 4.

It was such fun reading your reveals and seeing all the photos. What beautiful little girls your daughters were and I am sure they are just as beautiful now.

I loved the drawing of the owl and the more recent watercolour of the LTT, you really must do more, you are very talented!

Your second honeymoon week spent with 'dustbin and riddle' made me laugh :)

I was interested too to read your story concerning dogs. I have been besotted by dogs all my life much to my parent's amazement who thought I would be terrified of them for life after being scared by one while in my pram!

You should be very proud of your garden and all the hard work you have put into it, it is clearly a labour of love and I'm sure the wildlife you share it with have benefited greatly too. I am looking forward to perhaps reading about your new pond next year, quite a daunting task I imagine.

Well I think I have gone on for long enough but would like to give you a huge thank you for giving me so much pleasure in the last few years and of course for inspiring me to start my own blog nearly 2 years ago...thank you Shirl, whoops, Shirley :)

P.S. I hope all goes well with getting used to the new computer.

shirl said...

Hi Andrew, thank-you for your very generous comment! I remember very well our first exchanges and always associate you with my partial albino blackbirds too.

Glad you enjoyed the background story. I’d be interested in hearing this myself of others. Thanks, you are very kind re my drawings. Goodness knows what was going on with the feathers on that owl!

shirl said...

Hi Karen, thank-you! Once again you are very kind. Gosh… a few years… lol… I take one at a time :-)

Thanks, let’s just say I’m hoping to return to sketching. I find some attempts quite frustrating (when I have time to pick up a pencil) but if I start with simple exercises maybe that’s the way to get confidence back :-)

shirl said...

Hi Layanee, I’m delighted this slightly risky format has been okay for everyone :-)

Thank-you, I always thought you had been around longer than me! Lol… remembering back I was a bit wary of joining garden bloggers as I wasn’t sure I had enough to offer. I needn’t have worried as everyone I met was extremely generous with comments and helped me fit in :-D

I’d like to say one of the highlights of my blogging has been working with you on our ornamental grass postings. What fun that was :-D

Ah… I have admired your rocks already… from afar of course! I’d love to see them for real :-)

Now… I’d absolutely love to visit Beth Chatto’s garden once again although it’s not exactly a day visit from here. Lunch with you there would be very tempting indeed. I wonder…

shirl said...

Hi Lisa, I’m so glad. It seemed like a good idea when I started planning just a few things and so it went ;-)

Yes, I cannot agree more. I have noticed much in common over the years we have exchanged chat. I don’t know about my natural talent but I have certainly enjoyed seeing your art and craftworks. I particularly love your journals, that’s something I have tried to keep but never do. I’m a dreadful one for collecting nice notebooks though, I might guess you do too ;-)

Ah yes, we have many plants in common too including our hostas and ferns, and of course shade in our gardens. I love sharing my garden birds with you and seeing what lives in your garden too including your wonderful nesting Carolina Wrens.

I have the say a huge thanks to you for all your comments. There have been times when I’ve been unsure of something in a post and when I get a comment from you I feel it's been okay. Thanks so much for your support. I do hope we are able to meet up one day :-D

shirl said...

Hi Helen, thanks, I would like to :-D

Yes, making time for drawing is tricky and in my case I can’t force it. I have to be in the right frame of mind to give it a go. Perhaps you are right and by going to a class and the environment there I might be able to get a step up :-D

shirl said...

Hi again Jan, thank-you and thank-you!! Like Lisa above, I have particularly appreciated your comments over the years. I often think of you when I burn the midnight oil :-D

I’m delighted the reveals worked with everyone. I just had to include a photo of my girls. Being honest here, that one was for you :-D

Thanks, the owl was of a style I enjoyed at that time. However, it was because it was of a bird I have never seen in my garden (or likely to without large trees) that I included it and because it will be nice for my Mum and Dad to see to when I print them their monthly copy.

Yes, I thought of you, John, Lisa and a few others when I mentioned dogs. That story was to show how far I’d go for some rocks ;-) Interesting to hear your story too. BTW I think Louis is a great name for a dog :-D

Thanks, I do enjoy my garden and love working in it too. Unfortunately on occasions I’m too busy talking about it on my blog when I should be out there! My pond will eventually get done. I’m happy with my wall for now :-D

Thanks, I’m writing this on my daughter’s laptop :-) The hardware build of my new PC went okay but there have been issues with the software installation. Microsoft have been phoned!

Fortunately my OH has explored many options and it’s possible he’s getting somewhere now. Poor man, he’s not quite looking the same person with a new toy as he did this morning! He won’t be beat though… we have that in common :-D

Carol said...

Happiest of Blog Birthdays to You Shirley! Lovely post! It is great to learn more about you and to see you too. I love your hat! Many happy returns to the day and I hope you will have time to paint and draw.

debsgarden said...

Four years! I am impressed! i have been doing this just over one year, and I admire you tremendously. It's a big blog world out there, and I had not come across yours till now. I really enjoyed learning about you. I love rocks, too! Happy Blogaversary!

Town Mouse said...

Ah, well, a belated happy blogaversary, and what a fun post! (Tell you a secret, my real name isn't Town Mouse either...)

Bom said...

Happy (belated) blogaversary, Shirley! I get the benefit of knowing you before I really delve into your blog. It was very nice to meet the blogger.

Chatters said...

happy Blogaversary from me too. Nice to know you a little bit better.

I really enjoyed your post and enjoy your blog often. I love birds and animals so always find your blog really inspiring.

Lovely painting

leavesnbloom said...

Hi Shirl or should I say Shirley!

I loved reading a little more about you and your up bringing. Congratulations on reaching your 4th year of blogging. I think I am also celebrating being a follower of your blog now for a year aswell.

Looking forward to year 5 :)

Rosie

lifeshighway said...

Happy blog birthday, and beginning your 5th year of writing you are still gathering new readers. So I start my journey with Shirls gardenwatch knowing quite a bit more than my predecessors.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Almost late but heartfelt happy blogaversary, Shirl! How the time does fly. I enjoy your blog so much, even though I don't get here as often as I'd like to. I'm actually here on a mission, to find that excellent post you had recently about cleaning feeders to prevent the spread of disease: I want to remind people of this much needed little task.

Orchids and Nature said...

I really do enjoy following you. I'm looking forward to another year on your very imaginative and instructional blog.

shirl said...

Hi Carol, thank-you! It was a bit of a marathon one but fun to work on. I always found drawing fun, I’m going to try my best to find time for it :-)

I loved that hat too. It was bought specially for this trip :-D

shirl said...

Welcome Deborah, thank-you! It’s nice to meet you :-D

I’ve had a quick peek at your blog and I love the Autumnal woodland photos you have there at the moment. I’ll be back to browse properly when I get myself sorted and familiar with my PC’s new applications and programs. It will all become second nature eventually. See you soon :-D

shirl said...

Hello again Renate, thank-you, so glad you enjoyed it. I hope my memory is correct and I got your name right ;-) I also hope you are well and enjoying life :-D

shirl said...

Welcome Bon, thank-you! This posting was also written for my menus for new visitors to find :-)

I never expected some new visitors would find it before it has appeared there. This has been a very nice surprise! It has been especially nice to meet a blogger from the Philippines through it. I look forward to browsing your blog very soon :-D

shirl said...

Hello there Chatters, thank-you. Great to know you’ve been visiting my blog :-D

Thank-you for your very generous comment. I can see by your blog that you enjoy painting, I always found colour a tricky one preferring a more sketchy approach. I like the styles of your paintings and the first watercolours on your blogs :-D

shirl said...

Hi Rosie, that’s a good question ;-) When I post I do adopt shirl but usually when I exchange emails I am Shirley :-)

Glad you enjoyed this blog story, it was fun telling it. Thanks, I really cannot believe it has been 4 years. Gosh, now, if you’ve been following me for a year I’m guessing you’ve passed your 1st Blogaversary!

Browsing your archives I can’t see when it was but Congrats to you too!! In one year, you have certainly made your mark in the blogging world. I was slow to embrace it but you have taken brilliant steps in Blogland :-D

shirl said...

Welcome lifeshighway, thank-you! Blogland is a huge place to keep up in. It’s great to have new visitors and to see old ones return too.

You have a very interesting blog there. A fun concept on garden blogging, I see it has been very successful too. Congrats to you too :-D

shirl said...

Hi again Jodi, thank-you… indeed it does :-)

Ah… I do know that you have a pretty generous number of blogs you visit so I completely appreciate how much time it must take you. I don’t get by yours and many other garden blogs as often as I’d like to. I must do something about that in year 5 :-D

Sorry, I didn’t get back to you since you left this comment. We were tied up with the rebuild of my PC and the installation of software and programs which didn’t go as smoothly as it could have. I’m guessing by my stats you found what you were looking for :-D

shirl said...

Hello David, how kind of you to say so :-D

Thank-you, what a very generous comment. I do enjoy what I do and I hope it shows through. I’ve been meaning to contact you for a while… maybe this week :-D

Anna said...

A most happy fifth blogaversary to you :) I enjoyed your revealing post Shirl. I must admit that I am wondering what your real name is now. Hope that you do find that time to pick up pencil and paintbrush - your watercolour is delightful. No need to make your posts any shorter - they are always so thoughtful and informative - long may they continue!

VP said...

Hi Shirley :)

What a great post to celebrate your blogaversary and lovely to find out more about the person behind the blog.

Sorry I'm a bit late to the party, but hats off to you anyway!

Liz said...

Hi,

I must've missed this after a busy weekend!

Congrats on your 4th year anniversary. Hard to believe time flies so fast isn't it?

Also glad to see you're attempting to return to your roots. I recently re-discovered mine through a module we're doing where we're designing buildings and layouts. It's been really good playing with drawing pens again and I too considered picking up the pen and ink once more - It was my favourite medium at Uni.

shirl said...

Hello Anna, thank-you! Ah… I am very much a Shirley :-D

Thanks, I hope so too. That watercolour was fun to do. At the time I first posted it I had seen the LTT’s visit but never managed to get any photos. I picked up a pad and a book for reference then had a go whilst sitting on an armchair watching the TV. It was risky getting the watercolours out… I’ve not used them much. I was delighted I didn’t spoil my drawing :-)

You are kind, it is always good to hear that my posts aren’t too long for everyone. Thanks for your very generous comment :-D

shirl said...

Hi there VP, thank-you! As you already know, I don’t do too much personal stuff on my blog so this was a bit out there ;-)

Absolutely wonderful to get late party guests… thanks for popping by :-D

shirl said...

Hello Liz, no worries at all. Thank-you… yes I agree, time is just racing by :-)

Thank-you, ah… your course sounds very interesting! Ah… the Rotrings… Mm… perhaps they’re not around anymore. I loved using them for both ruler and freehand lines. Yes, my fav at College too. Perhaps we might see some of your work on your blog?

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Happy 4th Blogaversary! I remember finding your blog not long after I started mine almost 2 years ago and have been fascinated by it ever since. I love watching the nesting birds and hedgehogs! It was fun learning more about the woman behind the blog :)

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Shirl, You created such a nice post... and it took you awhile, didn't it? :-) I so appreciate all your reveals. I'm glad you will be doing sketches again. I understand how computers, cameras, etc. can be a lot of fun, but there's nothing more satisfying that having your hand "in it!"

Hopefully you'll be blogging for at least another 4 years. :-)

shirl said...

Hello again Catherine, thank-you:-D

I am absolutely delighted to hear you have enjoyed my blog for so long. It is an absolute privilege to be able to share our nesting birds and visiting hedgehogs. I’m glad you enjoyed hearing about my background too. Congrats on 2yrs of blogging to you too :-D

shirl said...

Hi there Shady, thank-you… yes I can’t deny it did take some time :-)

I’m delighted you enjoyed my reveals. This wasn’t the way I intended celebrating 4 years (tech prob with that) but I’m pleased to have gone this route now. Not picked up a pencil yet, I agree I do enjoy working by my own hand.

My blog format has a lot of hands on tweeks all over the place too. My template has been expanded and changed and I love the fact we can do this too. Gosh… another four years! Well… you never know :-)