I have just read your comments from the time I announced I was taking a short break. It is the first time I have read them. I apologise for not reading them and responding. I had not planned this very long break. I have been unwell but now feeling it is time to return to blogging. I always loved it. My husband told me once that I was always smiling when replying to your comments.

The next thing for me to do is learn HOW to blog again. The header picture was put there by WordPress, it is not mine. So I must find a picture and work out how to add it.

After that it will be time to get my camera out and start photographing the garden I have been making.

I hope to see some of my old friends again soon and, of course, your art.





Cumquat Marmalade Update

You might remember that the subject of Mandarin Orange Monday 95 was the wonderful family present from my grandson, daughter in law and son – yummy cumquat marmalade with its own family label.

I was just checking through my comments again and found one I had missed. The writer was recommending a particular  recipe  for cumquat marmalade.

This is what she wrote –

The recipe for the cumquat marmalade came from “The Cook’s Companion” by Stephanie Alexander (She is an Australian cook, restaurateur and food writer). I found the recipe reproduced on this sitehttp://herbandlace.com/cumquat-marmalade/

The only change we made was a half teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Not sure if this translates to orange marmalade but you could give it a try 🙂

I started to reply about the coincidence – I had given that very book to my son and his family….. until I back at the writer of the comment, “Matty’s Mummy”.

Some pics to prove how much Gramps loved it!


 Linking to Our World Tuesday



Linking to Nature Footstep Abstract


Linking to Paint Party Friday 

Stephanie Alexander  –  even has a “Cook Companion App”

Mandarin Orange Monday 97



As you might remember, we have been taking little trips to the country and the mountains over the last few months….just a day two here and there, but enough  to feel refreshed and remember that there is more to life than what the city offers. We haven’t done that for a long time, so it really is like a new adventure.

This week I am showing you a collection of images of windows – from the ornate and exuberant to the homey. Most of them are quite old – some are of buildings still used and lived in and others are abandoned.



Window Collage. The images here were sharpened and Curves and Levels adjusted using Photoshop.

The following collection of images has been edited using Photoshop Filter Gallery. They were orangified using Hue/ Saturation, Selective Colour and finally adjusted with Shadows/Highlights.


Abandoned House. Oberon. Photoshop Poster Edges filter.


Abandoned House 2/Selfie Reflection. Photoshop Filter Sumi-e.

Linking with Weekend Reflections


Man (reluctant mode!) at Window. Carrington Hotel, Katoomba. Photoshop Neon Glow filter.


Open Window. Carrington Hotel. Katoomba. Photoshop Poster Edges and Photo filters.


Front Veranda Window. Carrington Hotel. Photoshop Dark Strokes filter.


Window. The Carrington Hotel, Katoomba. Photoshop Accented Edges filter.


Window in Billiard Room. Carrington Hotel, Katoomba. Photoshop Cut Out filter.


Window. The Carrington Hotel, Katoomba. Photoshop Accented Edges.


Loungeroom Windows. House my Dad built and where I grew up. Photoshop Sumi-e filter.

Linking with Nature Footstep Catching the Light

And now Playtime – with Photoshop and  Nik Color Efex and Topaz filters.

NewWindowPlay7BwebLinking with Nature Footstep Abstract


As always, thank you for being part of Mandarin Orange Monday. I love seeing the work  of people from all over the world – I am sure you do too:)

For more information about how to participate go to the Mandarin Orange Monday Page.

Proud – Song – ography Challenge

I have discovered a new challenge..new for me that is. Kathy at You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out’s song-ography challenge. The theme this week is Proud. I am proud of lots of things….my family especially. But since they’re not crazy about having their pics on my blog ( I do occasionally manage to squeeze one or two in!) I chose something I made (and sold) some time ago. It was a one off – a painted cat pendant. I was almost hoping it didn’t sell. So here it is.

 catface_smWEBProudCATFAceWEBLinking to song-ography challenge Proud


Lace Window

A pretty cottage window in the NSW country town of Bathurst

The little old house is now a craft shop, where we bought hand knitted woollies for our grandson and a very colourful scarf for me:)



Linking to Weekly Top Shot

3_oldwindow5-WEB 4_Doldwindow5-WEB 5_oldwindow2WEB

Linking to Paint Party Friday


Linking to Creative Every Day 


And the scarf

ScarfwebLinking to Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge

Inspiration Avenue’s theme this challenge this is to express our favourite season – visually. I keep changing my mind about my favourite season…but I do love buying (and sometimes wearing) beautiful scarves.

Mandarin Orange Monday 96


Country Houses – Today and Yesterday

The countryside is scattered with abandoned, dilapidated  shacks..but  you will also find majestic mansions as well as quirky suburban houses (the last two were actually directly across the road from each other.

These houses are all in the Oberon-Bathurst area of NSW, where we recently spent a few rambling, relaxing days.


Collage of images – Photoshop sharpened and Curves and Levels adjustments


The Mansion, the Suburban House, the Country Cottage and the Dilapidated Former Farmhouse.

 Linking to Our World Tuesday 

Processed using Photoshop. Hue/Saturation and Selective Colour Changes.

PS Photo Filter – Warming


Linking to Weekly Top Shot


Linking to Nature Footstep Catching the Light


Linking to Sweet Shot 



Photoshop Filter Gallery – Poster Edges. PS Shadows/Highlights adjustments



 Further processing using Nik Color Efex and Topaz Filters

7D-OldREdHouseWEB 8D-Oberon_DilapHouseWEB


Sections cropped  and enlarged. More play with Nik and Topaz filters

9E-KelsoMansionWEB 10E-Kelso_suburbHouseWEB 11E-OldREdHouseWEBB 12E-OldREdHouseWEB 13E-Oberon_DilapHouseWEB


Images combined and transparencies of layers adjusted.  Nik and Topaz filters


Linking to Nature Footstep Abstract





Thank you for your sharing your work last week on MoM and for your comments. Matty was particularly pleased:)  And thank you for letting me share a happy family moment with you.

The time has come again for us to see you work. Perhaps you have been on a holiday too like me..or maybe a family celebration? The subject of course is up to  you…but don’t forget to make it orange -ish and do a little playing with an editing application if it is a photograph. Of course no need to change anything if you are photographing your painting, drawing, fibre art etc! This is where you can find more information about MoM and links to past collections.

Soon it will be 100! Any suggestions for a celebration?

Mandarin Orange Monday 95



The orange subject that I was talking about last week is now to be revealed… marmalade! As a surprise, my son, his wife and little Matty got together and made a special orange present for Gramp’s big birthday.

It was really a family effort too. Michael climbed the tree to pick the cumquats, while Matty and Cristina collected them into a bowl. Matty watched out for his daddy warning him  to be careful of the “flies and bees” up there. He was most concerned. Michael then photographed the bowl of cumquats to send off to Nanna Lori.

The family set to making Cumquat Marmalade – first find out how to do it, then  buy the necessary jar and other ingredients. Matty and his mum made the marmalade and put it int the jar. Then they all designed and made the label and, of course  the card. A true family effort and much appreciated by Gramps:) He says it is yummy too!

What is in this bag?


Ahhh! My favourite!!




Michael’s Iphoto capture of the goodies.




Gramp’s Card. Drawing by Matty.


Gramp’s Card. Drawing by Matty.




Orangified using Photoshop. Hue/Saturation and Selective Colour

and NIk Color Efex Filter – Color Glow.



 Linking to Sweet Shot Tuesday 

Processed using Topaz  and Nik Color Efex Filters


Topaz Clarity  (macro) and Detail filters.


Nik Color Efex filters.

Linking to Nature Footstep Catching the Light


Nik Color Efex Polaroid Transfer Filter.


Topaz Simplify – Color Sketch Filter.


Playtime using Photoshop Filter Gallery, Nik Color Efex and Topaz Filters


Linking to Creative Every Day


Linking to Paint Party Friday


 Linking to Nature Footstep Abstract



Thank you for taking part, not only in Mandarin Orange Monday, but my family’s celebration. I wonder if any of you have celebration pics this week to share?

If you are wondering how to join in and add your pic to the linky list, please visit  this Mandarin Orange Monday page. You can also find links to previous MoM’s here as well as my Mandarin Orange Monday badge.

Leaning in the Australian Bush

We spent a few days in the country this week, as part of my husband’s “big 0” birthday celebration. Lots of green, lots of cows, lots of beauty…and lots of old, abandoned sheds and old fences. My grandson found the leaning “out house” particularly amusing. So this is for Matty.


Linking to Our World Tuesday


Linking to Weekly Top Shot


Linking to Kath’s song-ography5Leaningweb6LeaningWEB

Linking to Good Fences 


Linking to Creative Every Day

We passed through Lithgow on our way to Bathurst and Oberon. I found this video of a very famous old Australian  bush song and thought it a most appropriate addition to this post.

Mandarin Orange Monday 94



I hope you have all had a good week and that those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are  enjoying the Spring you have been so looking forward to. Our Autumn is quite mild so far..but not for long I fear. Still, what we call cold here in Sydney, those in the north would call a warm summer day, probably.

My week has been busy, teaching gorgeous  little eight year olds, and of course enjoying the company of (and being taught by) little Matty. He asked me “Did you crochet that top yourself Nanna?”. I nearly fell over… I barely know what crochet is myself. Of course I had to disappoint him and admit to buying it.

And speaking of family, today is a very important day in my family. It is my husband’s birthday today… one of those BIG ones. So Happy Birthday Graham! During the week I will take some pics of his presents and see what I can do with them. I know already that there will be one very appropriate one for Mandarin Orange Monday. …but….shhh…it  is a secret until tonight when the family celebrates.

My topic today is boats. Lots of us love boats, Graham included.  I was going to give him a kayak for his birthday…but he wondered if it might be to heavy to lug around in his  now “old age”. We’ll see…..  😉 And maybe next year a ride on that sailing boat I photographed!

The boats are actually pics I took from the Manly Ferry, on Sydney Harbour, a little while ago. We were lucky enough to see both a sailing ship and a huge ocean liner being guided by a tug boat.

I have prepared 33 pics!!!  I always do too many…I know lots of you do the same. The really hard part is choosing just a few … decisions, decisions.

The pics were taken with my IPhone. The first group have just been sharpened and had Curve and Level adjustments in Photoshop.








Linking to Weekly Top Shot 

 Now for the “Orangification” process. With Photoshop, I adjusted  Hue/Saturation, Selective Colour and Shadows/Highlights.


Linking to Nature Footstep Catching the Light


The next group have been processed using Photoshop Filter Gallery. 




Playtime – Cropping and then using Nik Color Efex in some and Topaz Filters in others.



And more Play – using Photoshop Filters, Topaz and Nik Color Efex. I also experimented with layers and transparencies and “pasting into” areas I had selected using the Magic Wand.



Linking to Paint Party Friday


Linking with Nature Footstep Abstract


Linking to Creative Every Day


I wonder if anyone else has used boats or water as a theme this week? Perhaps we will inspire each other for next week.

If you are not sure about how to add your pic to the linky list please  visit the about Mandarin Orange Monday  page You will also find links there to previous MoM’s. We are almost up to 100!! Definitely there will have to be some sort of celebration on that week!

And don’t forget  – process your pics – even if it is just a little (e.g.. making it more or less saturated) or a lot (completely abstract artwork). Remember too…all sorts of art are welcome, as are comments on my blog as well as others’ 🙂