Monday, 26 June 2017

The Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building is my very favourite out of all the beautiful New York skyscrapers and I took many pictures of it, while there. It even inspired me to make a small quilt as you can see at the bottom of this post. So when I discovered that Stencilgirl Products had produced a new stencil (L502 Art Deco Borders designed by Gwen Lafleur) my squeals of delight could probably be heard in Stencilgirl headquarters! I just had to use it.  What better place to do so than in one of my projects as monthly Guest Designer for them.
 I combined it with the Nathalie Kalbach designed stencil L469 Chicago as well as a stamp from her Urban Scribble set as well as two of my own photographs and some New York themed washi tape (I seem to have a lot of that!).
 You can find a full step by step tutorial for this spread, done in an A4 Dylusions art journal, on the StencilgirlTalk website. I was so pleased to find a quotation I liked by Walter Chrysler himself, no less. I too like to do things! Specially if they involve paint and stencils.
To read more about this small quilt you can go to a previous blog post

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Ravensneuk Castle

We decided to make it three in a row by once again climbing Cauldshoulders Ridge because I wanted to make it to Ravensneuk Castle, or rather the ruins thereof. It lays in the opposite direction to the Allan Ramsay Monument, following a path on the top of the ridge in the direction of Penicuik. The views were once again stunning.
The ruins itself were far less impressive and not much remains from what must once have been a mighty defensive structure (build around 1527) where it would be hard for enemies to sneak up to, standing as it does at the top of the landscape.
Most of the stones are so overgrown that they can hardly be seen but in some places you suddenly see enormous blocks of stone so it's clear that once a lot of effort went into constructing a safe haven in times of strife.
Flora was far more interested in the remains of a camp fire and was sniffing it out. She once again did a great job climbing up and down but she was glad of the break we took by the castle where conveniently a picnic table was placed although a very long time ago, judging by the state it was in.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Allan Ramsay Monument

 After climbing up to the opposite bank of the North Esk River in the Penicuik Estate yesterday there seemed no better way to keep those muscles lubricated than doing it all over again today. And this time we made it all the way to the Allan Ramsay monument. Hurray! I had hoped to do this during the Artful Adventures, Stroll through the Hood event but somehow that had not happened although I did feature it in some of the photographs. Although it looks a good day it was very windy but that meant it was also cooler and thus better for the exercise. It was great to finally make it up and I managed to make my way through the knee high weeds, fortunately with (hardly) any nettles, over a stile (Flora had to be lifted over as she wasn't keen on being left behind) to right underneath this impressive stone structure. It's on the long term 2015 2035 plan to be restored by the Penicuik Preservation Trust.
The views were stunning and very much worth the effort! I had brought the big camera today and so happy I did. Yes, I had to lug it around but the pictures paid off in dividends. There would have been no way for the phone to capture all this far away detail.
Inside the arch there are Latin inscriptions on both sides, describing that this monument was erected in honour of the Scottish poet Allan Ramsay by James Clerk of Penicuik House. Allan Ramsay was a frequent visitor to the house.
On the picture below you can see the Chinese Gates, the Lime Walk and the southern facade of the house, all of which are in a direct line from the Monument. You can see the tower of the stable block where the Clerk family still lives, as well as the Pentland Hills in the distance. It also gives you some idea of how high up we were on the Cauldshoulders Ridge
We had the entire ridge to ourselves apart from one horse rider. I envied her the magnificent ride but doing it on foot was also very rewarding.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Pentland Views

Today we went over the Roman Bridge in the Penicuik Estate and climbed up the hill. From there we enjoyed the glorious views over the estate and beyond to the Pentland Hills. Above you see the walled garden just touched by a rare ray of sunlight with the hills behind.
At the top there was another great barley field, now almost ready for harvesting. You can tell it was a very windy day!

It was a wonderful walk, quite a bit longer than usual and I was a bit worried about whether Flora would cope, but in fact she seemed to relish the climb as well as the return journal along the side of the river. We will return and try and venture in the other direction at the top to enjoy more estate views from on high.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Senseless Acts of Beauty

The prompt on Joggles Art Journal Adventures this week was to borrow things from a friend. There are very few people around nearby who are into art journaling and the like, but I suddenly remembered all the wonderful goodie bags I was send back in the days when I hosted many Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) swaps and received them as a hostess gift. A quick search in the studio brought forth many treasures and I grabbed a selection of papers which became the background collage on these pages, done in a 6 x 8" art journal.
 I also found a card (sorry, no idea who send it to me at the time) with an explanation of what a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) is. Again I have been lucky enough to receive many RAK ATCs and send out a lot too. The words themselves seemed to be perfect to use on this spread.
The background was done with collage using the papers I had been send as well as some lace, and then I used Distress Crayons and fluid acrylic paints together with a baby wipe and all the stencils from the June 2017 Stencilgirl Club. I also added rubber stamping with a text stamp (from an unknown source) as well as from a stamp set designed by Nathalie Kalbach
The focal image came from an advert in a magazine (Vogue). If you fancy the jewellery it's an advert for Bulgari!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Longest Day

We had a lovely dog walk on the longest day of the year. Summer Solstice tonight! It was warm and the sun peeped out occasionally. No sign of the forecast rain or thunder. Yesterday was Flora's 7th month anniversary which I am much more inclined to celebrate than either of the above events and so is she, as long as biscuits are involved. I am still not used to her size. Whenever I look behind me to check she is coming my eye reaches too high as all our previous dogs have been much taller. Then I remember to go lower and there she is. She also tones in rather too well with her surroundings!
The knapweed (centaurea nigra, I think) looks wonderful along the side of the river North Esk. Love the colour and the fluffiness of the flowers.


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