25 January 2015

Grow Your Blog

Hello to my regular followers
If this is the first time you have visited my blog

Open the gate and step inside.

It's that time of the year again when Vicki who hosts  Grow Your Blog
does such a wonderful job doing exactly what it says.
If you are here to grow your blog  I hope you'll enjoy what you see.
and have fun checking out many of the other blogs taking part..
This is my second time of joining.Grow your blog.
If you would like to find out more about me take a look here
from when I joined the 2014 Grow your Blog Party.

I live in rural France so I show a lot of photos I take of interesting buildings
and also the beautiful countryside near where I live.

We often walk along this pathway, it used to be the old railway line.
There are lots of walking groups I could join, but I prefer to walk with my husband,
who I affectionately refer to as Mr France, he appears from time to time in my posts.
I spend lots of time watching the birds that come to feed
from the many bird feeders in our garden.

My favourite walk, winter or summer is only 15 mins..from my home.
Maybe you are like me and dabble in watercolour painting.
I try to remember ( I must admit I often forget ) to take my pocket camera
with me on my walks. Then later I can paint  the wild flowers I see.

I'm not an artist but I do enjoy watercolour sketching.

One of my early sketches in a journal with brown paper,
 it's easier for sketching than to paint on,

I share lots of pictures of my garden throughout the different seasons.
I love my garden, but don't make myself a slave to it.
It's certainly not a sculptured garden all neat and tidy
.I leave a lot of the wild flowers to grow, like these wild Foxgloves 
which adds colour and fills in a bare space.

During the summer months I like to have plenty of hanging baskets around our home
 and the holiday cottage. Mainly I use the simple Pelargonium which grow well here in France.
They don't need to be watered everyday and withstands the heat. 

As I live in France it wouldn't seem right if I didn't show the vines,
which are not too far from my home.
We plan to take more short trips away this year. now that I am back in good health.
We are planning be visit Denmark again
and if we can fit it in, a trip back to England to catch up with family and old friends.
so there will be lots of photos taken for you to see.

I took this photo last October on one of our short trips away.

During the summer months we have fields and fields of sunflowers around where we live,
so I couldn't resist showing this lonely sunflower growing on the edge of the road.

There will be a Give Away gift as a thank you
The give away will be open to everyone who leaves a comment on this post. 
The winner will be announced on the 15th February.
So look out for your name it might be you.

I'm looking forward to seeing lots of new blogs.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my Grow your blog post.
Thank you Vicki and all those who volunteered  to help.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian

17 January 2015

Some indoor Colour.

Still not much sun around in rural France
so I'm bringing some sunshine indoors with some Daffodils.
Not from the garden, from the Super-market bucket selection.

In the garden they are just peeping up, We haven't had any snow yet, but it's been forecast.

This quote was given to me by a dear friend in England, who I don't see as often as I used to,
but if I were to see her tomorrow it would be just like I'd seen her yesterday.

I added a few sprigs of Pieris from the garden, which helps to make 
a few flowers look like a bouquet.

After I'd put away the few decorations we had for the festive season 
I've done what my family would say is titivating. In other words re-arranging things.
It always makes me feel happy when I titivate, as things look so different 
when they've been moved to somewhere else.

I found these school text books at a brocant many years ago. The oldest is dated 1919.
 I'm always on the look out for these books, they are usually bound in red hessian.

Today I'm joining Karen for Sunlit Sunday

I hope you have sunshine for your Sunday.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

11 January 2015

Sunlit-Sunday from rural France.

This is my 1st time on Sunlit Sunday.

I couldn't have chosen a more un-sunny day.

I don't think we'll be sitting here for coffee this morning.

A few mins. before I took this photo, the sun was shining through the window
onto this orange plant. That's photography for you, 
patience is needed and that's something I admit I don't have !

Sunday in our house is when the ornamental Orange tree gets it's weekly feed. 
Mr France looks after this and has taken it outside for a little sun.
 Yes I did say sun, as since I started this post the sun has come out again.

Just thought I'd check on the Romarin / Rosemary.
Since my trip to Denmark, I haven't looked at the garden very much as we've had so much rain.
The sun was shining on it ,so that's good as it needs some warmth.

The sun has now crept around to the front of the house.

and it's now beginning to show a lot more blue.

I then went to the front of the house to take a photo of my new view. During the past few months someone has been cutting down a lot a trees. We are surrounded by trees and this should have been done many years ago. I'll be watching to see what starts to grow now the ground is open to the sun . 

Notice the sun has gone again
That's how my Sunlit Sunday has been this morning

If I understand there are some rules I must follow. I'm sure they can be broken a bit,
So I hope if I do show a few photos from another day it will be allowed.
This being my first time to join this link ALL my photos have been taken this morning.
Maybe it's made me have a little more patience than usual .
That's a good lesson for me.
Also it's the first time I've ever joined in anything which requires links.
If you read my blog you will know I'm not very technical when it involves
computer know how. I did panic a bit after I'd gone to all this effort
and I couldn't find my instructions on how to link.
Yes, I need to follow step by step instructions each time I want to show a link.
My blogging friend Daphne from Ivy Phyllis and Me. kindly sent them to me.
Daphne you are always in my thoughts and especially now when I'm linking..

In the sunlit window, is my new Orchid house plant. 
It was given to me by the Commune Floral Committee

 My last photo showing my new view taken through the kitchen window .

I've enjoyed participating in this and I hope you have too
 hope I'll have the time to join in every Sunday

Today I'm linking with Sunlit Sunday.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

04 January 2015

The end of another year.

Happy New Year to everyone.

My 2014 year had not been my best, but all that is now behind me.
I haven't made any resolutions as I usually break them, 
all I want is good health for Mr France and myself.

I've been away from my blog for awhile, spending some time in Denmark with our son, 
his lovely Danish wife and our two grandsons, along with our daughter her French husband
and their two sons, who are now young men. It was lovely to see the boys all together as the age difference is vast, it ranges from 7 to 17. It was a wonderful Christmas in our sons home.
The rest of the family had travelled by car and had to return to France, before me.
I stayed on a few more days and thought I'd share what I did and where I went.

I woke up to this lovely view at the families summer house near the coast. 
I took loads of photos so will be painting from those during the coming weeks.
I almost missed this sunrise at 8:0 am. It had snowed during the night, so it was a lovely sight.

One morning we went to see the fishing boats.This is the last harbour in Denmark 
where the boats are still pulled out of the sea onto the beach.by a huge tractor with cables .
I haven't painted boats before, so this will be a challenge.

We then wandered along to the shop where the fishermen are now allowed to sell their fish.
Thankfully the European fishing regulations have changed and the fishermen can share their quota
and also now have their own warehouse where the fish are prepared and packed ready for sale.
While we were there I only saw a few smaller fishing boats leave to collect fish from nets.
 The large boats had come in early in the morning.

The fish was mainly Cod.
Which in Denmark is a traditional meal to have on New Years Eve.

On my last day we all went to 'The Shed ' which is what the family call the small caravan they have in the woods. It can sleep two, and is a favourite place to spend weekends relaxing.
It's only small but lovely and cosy inside.

We went  there to have lunch , BBQ hot/dogs,  sausages cooked over the open fire.

I never thought I'd be sitting outside having lunch in the snow.
I had been loaned thermal leggings and some warm ski trousers, so as they say if you are
properly dressed you wont feel cold, and it's true I wasn't. 

Coffee , beer and wine.

We all sat around the open fire, on the log benches covered in fur rugs.

A lovely day so simple, but most enjoyable.

Lots of different species of pine trees all around.

My last photo of the view behind 'The Shed '
This will certainly be the 1st on my list to paint.

A wonderful memorable visit to Denmark, thank you everyone.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

01 December 2014

1st. December - time for a little decorating.

Nothing fancy, one or two  candles slipped in here & there
amongst  some of your favourite things and add a few pine cones

Candles are always my favourite ways to decorate.

Candles and a little touch of the forest.

Now for some country style ways to decorate, 
taken from this French magazine I sometimes treat myself to.

I'm sure it will give you a few ideas with a different twist .

A window and steps leading to the entrance, decorated with
just a few branches of pine, with pine cones and a splash of colour from some apples.

For those who find it daunting to make their own wreath, 
this is an easy way to make the front door welcoming
Use some of the  branches from the bottom of the tree, some twigs covered in lichen,
 tie it with some thick red cord and attach a  few pine cones.
 If you live in the country these are all easy to find.

Bring a little of the outside into your home
 to spruce up a shelf or window ledge.

This is my country style decoration for my window ledge during the week-end .

A wreath using a straw base and then  covered with pieces of pine
 from your Christmas tree, small stems wired to the inside 
and the the larger stems on the outer edge.

I love this angel made from red stems of wood 
and bits of spruce pine.

A basket of cones and presents  wrapped in brown paper 
tied with simple cord with a sprig of dried berries.

This candle is wrapped in bark from a silver birch  tree.
On my next walk, I'll be looking for fallen branches to peel off some bark.

Some pretty ways to wrap those special homemade gifts for friends.

I hope I've given you a few ideas from France for you to try.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian