Thursday, 31 January 2013

The North wind doth blow...

Home, Sweet Home.

This is my first blog post from our new house in Scotland!  We got here at 7.00am on Thursday 17 January after an 8 & 1/2 hour drive up through Scotland. 

However, our furniture and all our worldly goods (other than those we'd crammed into the car along with the dogs) didn't arrive until 29 January so we spent 12 days not quite believing that this was our new home, instead feeling like we were staying at the most ill-equipped holiday cottage ever (we'd only brought 2 forks, 2 knives, 2 cups and 2 plates to tide us over) Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say, and we did discover that tinned lentil soup, being quite thick, lends itself remarkably well to being eaten with a fork!

The neighbours - view from the sun room 

Those 12 days were without internet access (apart from patchy mobile phone internet) and without TV (gasp!).  In fact we still don't have satellite TV - the Sky man comes to install our new dish on Friday!  Anyway we're slowly emptying all the packing boxes and little by little, as we make this house a home, it's also finally sinking in that we're not just here on holiday after all!

Since we got here we've had some snow, but nowhere near as much as the south of the UK and the one main road that links our village to the larger towns remained completely clear thanks to the industrious gritters and ploughs up this way.  

We've also had a taster of the winds for which the north of Scotland is famous.  We thought we'd had it bad on Tuesday night only for a local to smile, shake her head and say no, that was just a breeze, the real wind was due on Wednesday.  She wasn't kidding - 85 miles an hour gusts which, as we were sleeping in one of the attic bedrooms at the time, sounded like a herd of elephants was tap dancing on the roof! We were lucky that we only lost two roof tiles.  The whole village lost electricity in the early hours of the morning but it came back on mid-morning (we were later told it could sometimes be off for 4 or 5 days at a time but that hasn't happened for a few years thankfully!)


The dogs'  new favourite seat in the sun room!

We've met our neighbours, an elderly couple a few minutes walk down the road from us. They invited us round for lunch yesterday and filled us in on who's who in the village - it really is a case of everybody knows everybody else. 

Now, art.  I mentioned in my last post that I was going to do the 75 day sketch challenge just to try and do something arty every day until I got all my art supplies unpacked and could get back into the swing of things. Well,  I'm on day 11 of the challenge now and I've been sticking at it quite well.  (I did miss a day or two when we were unpacking our stuff but I did a couple of sketches instead the next day to catch up). All the sketches must be drawn in ink only - no cheating and doing it in pencil first! 

Day 1 of 75 - Bulldog


I had thought I would just sketch random household objects but as our house was sadly lacking many objects other than S, me and the dogs for the first 12 days I struck on another idea instead which won't come as any great surprise really.  I had a dog-a-day desk calendar last year and kept it because I thought the photos might come in handy if I ever needed to draw a particular breed.  So, I decided to work my way through it and see if I can get 75 different dogs to sketch.


Day 2 of 75 - Chihuahua
Also Day 1 of 29 Faces!!

Day 3 of 75 - Shar-Pei

Day 4 of 75 - Dalmation

I've become quite keen on a retro photo app on my Android Tab so I've been taking my photos using that, in case you wondered why they look a bit grainy!! 

I'm posting the first 4 sketches today just because it's been so long since I posted any sort of art at all and I'm linking up to Paint Party Friday for the first time in weeks and looking forward to visiting all my fellow art bloggers!

*Update - I just discovered that 29 Faces hosted by Ayala Art starts today and that the faces don't have to be human!! I'm going to link my Chihuahua face there today for face 1!!

32 comments:

  1. Love your sketches. Hope you soon will have settled down in your new house - enjoy! Valere

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  2. oh my gosh, what a beautiful home! The weather sounds a bit scary but it sounds like ours!! Your sketching is amazing! I wish you all the best in your new home, you and hubby and doggies, the very best!

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  3. That house looks amazing... can't wait for lots of more photos... and the boys look as though they have settled in very well... and the drawings of the dogs are simply and wonderfully glorious... love them... called in Phantom to have a look and she said they were way cool... so you should be very impressed with that sort of praise!!! Hope the rest of the unpacking goes quickly and the wind stays away!!!!
    T xx

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  4. I imagine that the solitariness is quite up your street! The idea of no TV and fierce winds outside sounds so romantic... Just a log fire needed!
    That said, I imagine it might sound more romantic that it actually is once the novelty wears off!
    Your sketches are AMAZING!!! And put mine to shame!!
    Four days a week I'm at work and that leaves me very little time at all - my last was just a single paint tube! And on my days off, I'm desperately trying to get other paintings set up or started (Not having any luck with that at mo either)- so often the sketch is a last minute after thought!
    That said - I probably wouldn't have sketched anything at all if I hadn't taken on the challenge. I'm on day 32 now and I must say that my sketches are looking more 'sketchy' and therefore more characterful now - and I'm please because my sketching used to be far to laboured! :0)

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  5. Wow, what a view! Looks like a great place to live! Love the picture of the 2 dogs sitting there, they look so contented. So happy to see you're joining the 29 faces challenge too! Great work on the sketches, unbelievable you did that without drawing it in pencil first!

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  6. Oh man, oh man, what new abode! May it, and the entire village, become home sweet home in no time. I am so very impressed with your pen sketches. I have always admired your animal art, but doing it so well and seemingly effortlessly in ink (no comfort of The Eraser) puts you on a pedestal in my estimation:-) I keep encountering the 75 day challenge on many blogs... and I sense an internal push to participate in cognito- if only to rid myself of The Eraser... Looking forward to more delightful dogs!

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  7. Your new place looks fabulous, like something out of a movie that would make me fantasize about moving there. I think it will be very inspirational for you.

    Your sketches are amazing, as always. The chihuahua look just like my mom's dog, who we call The Little Sister, but in a horrible fake Mexican accent so it is pronounced, Leeetle Seeester.

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  8. Lol, your soup! So interesting and fun to read about your move, thank you for sharing it with us! As for as your dog sketches, one word: fabulous!

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  9. Your new house looks fabulous - a wonderful place in the world to create your lovely art. I think your dog sketches are amazing! Settling in to a new place takes some time to get into a new rythm. Glad to see you back making your beautiful artwork.

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  10. Hi Nicola! It's good to have you back. You've been missed. Wow, what a beautiful home you have. Oh I wish you so much happiness in your new journey. It's awesome this journey you are on right now. Love your faces too. Thanks for the updates. Welcome back! Happy PPF!

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  11. You really did it! Wow! The photos look beautiful. What an adventure.
    I've meant to do the 75 day challenge many times but then chicken out. Sketching directly in pen is not going to be a problem for you, though. These dogs are gorgeous. I especially like the long neck pose of the dalmation.

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  12. I'm fascinated by your new home. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your life in Scotland. I love travel and learning about new places. Good luck with your life there. I really hope those winds don't come along too often! I grew up in a windy place and don't miss all that rattling and howling. Your sketches are great!!

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  13. Good luck in your new home it looks and sounds wonderful.

    Love your sketches especially the dalmation :)

    Karen x

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  14. oooh I wondered how you were getting on and so pleased to see you on here again. Loving your new home and thank you for sharing it with us all.
    Your sketches as always are fab. Happy PPF, Annette x

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  15. Congrats on your new home, what a gorgeous place! HPPF!

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  16. oooohhh beautiful drawn doggies! Love them!

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  17. Congratulations on your move!
    Your puppies look so happy in their new sun room! :)
    ♥♥♥
    Happy PPF!!
    Mary
    Mixed-Media Map Art

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  18. oh my, despite the weather your new home looks like a heavenly place!!I have an online artist/friend who lives in Peeblesshire Scotland and her landscape photos are breathtaking!Your doggie sketches are fantastic(and your pups on the chair are precious)!! All the best to you and yours in your new home.Happy PPF!

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  19. You have a knack for animals and I'd like to see the human faces you come up with as well. I've also started the 29 Faces challenge to keep me motivated and moving. Happy Weekend in your new home! I'm glad you have internet access again. :)

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  20. Oh Happy house warming.... wonderful sketches...very nice work ....necessity is the mother of invention!! Good job you got through those few days on bare bones!!

    Hugs Giggles

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  21. Your sketches are great. No bother to you. Hope you get your lovely log fire before long.

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  22. Nic, your sketches are wonderful. I am always in awe of what others can create and your sketches definitely inspire me to create more. How exciting that your dog sketches can be included in the challenge.

    Just a side note: Don't give up on the yoga! It doesn't have to be perfect to work its magic. I started at 60 and it took me a really long time to know what works for me, but I modify what I am doing and it has changed my life.

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  23. Oh my word..85 miles an hour winds? Yikes. I see there arent any tall trees around there.. good thing.. if that happened here we would be in deep doo doo. lol We were in our house without our stuff for close to three days and that was long enough. But in a way it was kind of fun. Happy home settling in. Your drawings are awesome!! HPPF

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  24. oh never say why we would be in deep doo doo.. its because we are surrounded by huge very tall trees that wouldn't be standing in wind like that for long.

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  25. LOVE your dog portraits! Also - your house looks absolutely amazing. Scotland is one of my most favorite places in the whole world. What a perfect environment for a nature loving artist! So glad to have found you via PPF. Have a great week! - janice

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  26. Oh my goodness! I love your dog sketches. I found you through 29 Faces! I can't wait to follow you throughout the month. I have a Shetland Sheepdog and a Cairn Terrier. I adore them.

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  27. What a beautiful home and also beautiful sketches! Hope you can settle in nicely!

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  28. What wonderful pet portraits! I especially love the bulldog! It looks like he has a big happy smile on his face!

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  29. what dedication to the challenge to keep sketching in your situation! Gorgeous doggy portraits, and hope the 'camping out' becomes 'home sweet home' very quickly. It looks a peaceful place to live. best of luck settling in...HPPF!

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  30. Oh - I do remember what it feels like to be in your new home ahead of your "stuff". When we moved 2 years ago to South Carolina - let's just say our meals were very simple. The best was that it took us a month to find our coffee pot. Since we didn't have internet connection for the 1st 2 weeks we just went to a coffee place to drink and go through email. Love the pics of the new place. Your dog sketches are just amazing! HPPF

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  31. congratulations on your new home. the house and area look beautiful. I was so excited to see that you picked dogs to draw for your 75 day challenge. I'm loving each and every furry face (or back, in the case of the sharpei!)

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  32. I so enjoyed reading your last few blog posts, including your "rant"! LOL. Your drawings done without pencil and eraser for corrections are amazing, what talent! Thank you for your comments on my blog post, too. Your new home is lovely and the scenery is gorgeous!

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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