Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year

May good health and happiness be yours 
❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ 
On my return home today it was lovely to read all of your kind and generous comments. I wish that there had been time to reply to them all but every one was read and much appreciated - thank you, and I do hope that you all enjoyed a very happy Christmas

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Happy Christmas

The cases are packed
The gifts are wrapped
The cards have all been posted and
a holly wreath decks the front door.
My sincere hope to you all is that you enjoy
a wonderful Christmas,
wherever you may be.
Thank you for your warm friendship,
 and the thoughtful exchanges we have shared over the past year
linocut Robin courtesy youngest son

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Creating Images

Several 'bloggers' have expressed an interest in my images - this tutorial may help you experiment and make your own
A couple of years ago I removed all borders/frames & edges from around my photos on this blog. You may not have realised but most of the blogspot templates automatically have photo edges so unless you remove them you will not get the seamless look that I have. If you have a white background and perfectly plain white frames to your photos (no thin black lines or shadowy edges) then yours should look seamless too. I cannot remember how I got rid of the borders but you can google how to do it - there are plenty of people on the internet who will give you a step by step guide - it must be simple as I managed to do it. I do recall that I eliminated the frame but was left with a shadowy edge which I then had to google again to find out how to remove. If you prefer to have borders and edges to your photos then leave them as they are, and if you are not confident about removing them then please don't do it
Go into PicMonkey here 
Select Design and choose whichever canvass you want to use
You have a choice of leaving it white, giving it a colour or making it transparent - when you have made your choice press apply. I normally choose to use the transparent mode. If you leave the canvass white and have a blog with a white background, and plain white frames as mentioned above then once again yours should look transparent.
On the lefthand side you will see Basic Edits - go into the butterfly image and scroll down until you find an image you want to use - I have used one leaf only for this demonstration
My chosen leaf
Now you can alter it in various ways, change the basic colour, make the veins invisible or colour them or if you don't want veins make them the same colour as the leaf. Turn the leaf around, make it bigger or smaller. Add more leaves and create a design - I like to overlap them and use the fade gadget in order to give the image depth and create a more interesting effect

When you are happy with the results go into Basic Edits and resize your image by making it 800 pixels or less
Once you become familiar with how to change the colours etc the choices and permutations are endless

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Laodicea, Turkey

Laodicea, in Asia Minor, was the seventh and final church to receive a letter from the Apostle John. At that time the Christian community in Laodicea was considered to be 'rather luke warm' and this was reflected in the message received 'Behold I stand at the door and knock'. I am reminded that when my granddaughter was at Oxford University, her college, Keble, owns a painting done by Pre-raphaelite artist, William Holman Hunt - The Light of the World. This painting is based on that message sent to Laodicea in Revelations 3:20 
William Holman Hunt - The Light of the World
Excavation work at Laodicea began about 10 years ago, and it is anticipated that when completed its importance and interest could equal that of  Ephesus. 
Being a significant Christian center there was great excitement when archaeologists discovered a church structure built during the reign of Constantine (306-337) using ground penetrating radar. The church is in the process of being unearthed and the cross shaped marble baptistery appears to be one of the oldest and best preserved ever discovered.

Stained glass window painted by C15th glazier and painter - John Thornton
The Seven Churches mentioned in the Book of  Revelations are shown in this medieval East Window at York Minster - St. John in the lefthand corner is being instructed by an angel to write to the seven about his vision. The seven churches were in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, the seventh and final one being Laodicea
We arrived in Laodicea during 'golden hour' just before sunset and had it almost to ourselves
The city was laid out on a grid system, and rather topically this is 'Syria Street'

Eventually the great temple that stood here - a Prostyle Temple of Corinthian order surrounded with porticoes, will be rebuilt 
The excavated remains lie scattered across the site, all are numbered and logged - I imagine that it will take years to both reassemble and reinstate the missing parts
These pillars are in the process of being reassembled with inserts of new marble. The new marble is a different colour which has been done purposefully in order to show an honest reconstruction
 So far over 3,000 ancient artifacts have been excavated in the city, amongst them the sculptured heads of Augustus, Dionysus, Aphrodite, and Zeus
As we left the site in fading light one of the cranes was still busily lifting pieces of stone ready for reassembly. In years to come a Museum will be built here, and filled with the many valuable sculptures and artifacts discovered todate. This raises the prospect of an exciting and fascinating archaelogical experience for visitors in the future .

Friday, 4 December 2015


"Come said the wind to
the leaves one day,
Come over the meadows 
and we will play.
Put on your dresses
scarlet and gold,
For summer is gone
and the days grow cold."
A Children's Song 1880 

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home."
Edith Sitwell 
"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
Under a blue winter sky today I found lots of green shoots making their way through the ground in our garden
"What day is it?"
"It's today," squeaked Piglet.
"My favourite day," said Pooh.
A.A. Milne