Decoration or devastation?

I can't believe that it's been over a week since I last blogged. 
So what have I been up to...??? 
Up and down ladders fighting with Christmas fairy lights... or decorating the house from top to toe for the Christmas holiday... or dashing around the shops participating in rugby style tackles for those last minute pressies and bargains... or planning menu's for the big day... or...
pulling out a fireplace to install a new wood burner which caused a snowdrift an inch thick of dust in every nook and cranny of the house. 
Yep that'd be the one (will I ever learn... apparently it appears not)
I'm not sure if this is the reno carried over from Phase 1 or the beginning of Phase 2
Well when the main man says can we come to start work on your fireplace this week, what can you say? 
Yes of course I'd like nothing better. 

Here's the evidence...
Impressive isn't it? 
But at least the sun was shining...
And finally the mess started to clear...
I just kept my fingers crossed that it'd be completed in time to get everything in order before Christmas Eve.
We just need a little plastering here a bit of painting there...
A maiden flight...
and voila!
Now the mad panic to get the furniture back in... plus adding a little Christmas magic.
No problem... there's plenty of time right!!! 
(hyperventilating hysterically here...)

I'll hopefully get there... 
and then I'll be able to come back to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.

WOYWW...What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday #273

Today thankfully I didn't wake up next to a monster
Don't laugh because yesterday I did!
I turned to thank my hubby for my early morning cuppa and nearly dropped the cup.
Looking back at me was a red angry puffy slitted eyed monster.
Having someone look at you first thing in the morning and physically recoil from the sight of you, possibly isn't the best start to your day... or the fact that you have back to back meetings all day and look like you've been in the boxing ring all night.
But after anti-histamine and two days later he looks like he's just sleep deprived.
We're not sure what caused it... whether it was three excitable visiting dogs running throughout the house or the dust from yet more renovations.
Yep... we've moved into Phase 2 and this week we're changing all the radiators.
There are 18 radiators waiting to move in which means a little Pollifilla here, sanding there and a swish of paint in between. 

Anyway, I'm sitting here in the study on a 3C degree morning with the sun streaming through the window dreaming of hot showers and how long it might be before I can have one! 
I've lit the fire and I'm becoming increasingly cosy and comfy... at this rate I might not move for the remainder of the day, but before I forget I did promise that I'd show you my finished Highland Cow 'Hettie'
Yes, surprisingly I finished her and what's more I really like her!

(Painted using Daler Rowney Acrylic Artists Ink)

Here's my last WOYWW post that show's her in various stages of here

And below is a photo of a real HIghland Cow that I promised I'd take if I saw one on my rounds. 
I have to tell you that I did virtually everything to make her lift her head, but she was on a mission to consume as much grass as she could possibly manage before nightfall.

I haven't shown you my desk this morning because
1. My daughter is using it once more and
2. I've got my next drawing in the planning stage and it's a surprise.
I'll hopefully be able to show you that next week. 
If you'd like to see other artists finished work and their desks then there'll be lots to visit over at
 Julia's Stamping Ground. 
Click here to transport you

Have a great week and Happy WOYWW to one and all.
See you again soon

I've also linked up today with Jenn over at the Artist Playroom 

Spring Watch at my place

Yoohoo...I'm here!
I've been missing and I'm hoping that you've been devastated missed me because I certainly missed you.
Quite a few things just took over last week and I couldn't fit blogging in (gasp) 
I know, it shocked me too because I normally can manage that no matter what, but I now realise that I'm not superhuman and can't do everything which has come as a blow. 
But I won't give in...I'm hoping I can catch up in the next few days. 
(I stopped by the roadside to take this blossom just made me smile) 
There was a little trip to Glasgow for a few days and last weekend McMuffy became ill. She's okay now thankfully but I was really quite worried about her at the time. 
She's normally so healthy it came as a surprise and not one I'd like to repeat. 
We haven't had any positive diagnosis other than a possible stomach upset, but it was really quite scary to see her so unwell. 
(Twisted/Corkscrew Hazel Tree in our garden...looking beautiful at any time of year)
So where are we? 
Well I'm pleased to report that we seem to be getting a little of the house back as each day passes. The amount of dust sheets covering everything has diminished, although I have to say some of them were as useful as a teabag...the dust just seemed to go right through. 

(I've kept this photo deliberately small...basically because it's such a mess) 

Who would have guessed that choosing a new external front door could take up so much time and cause so much anxiety. I wanted our new door to make a statement and for me to instantly fall in love with it, like I have done with the new windows, but unfortunately that hasn't happened.  
I'm pleased with the windows, in fact I couldn't be more pleased...but the front door is another story and has been a real I haven't won...yet. 
I'm so nervous of making a mistake in my choice...for the second time! 
Yes, I've already picked one, had it made, paid for it and had it installed but I hate don't like it. 
The poor builders face when he enthusiastically asked with a beaming smile..."well what do you think?" suddenly took a downward turn when I just crinkled my nose and shrugged my shoulders. I tried to like it, honestly I did, but it just wasn't meant to be. 
I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong initially other than the colour stain of the wood, but if you're like me you know what you like and what you don't - instantly. 
We've now worked it out that the dimensions weren't correct. 
Glass to wood ratio wasn't what I wanted. 
It's unfortunate that I didn't see the door before we made the final choice and I know that sounds crazy but we didn't. Don't ask me how this happened because even on reflection I really don't know. Maybe it was the sales rep and builders enthusiasm that swept me away. Statements like "it'll be stunning" etc may have persuaded me but I should have insisted on seeing the stain and a photo or at least a drawing of the door first...and so back to the drawing board to choose another. 
I think I'm getting there...fingers crossed.
I've certainly learnt from this experience though. 

(Hellebore...a sure sign spring is here)
Yesterday I escaped for a few hours into the garden.
 I'm a little worried that its going to burst into life and leave me behind. 
There is so much to do so if/when the sun shines...I'm out there! 
I planted some new plants into a border which was delightful until the sun dipped down and I felt that chilly wind blow. I then decided enough was enough and it was time to call it a day. I enjoyed a much needed cuppa whilst looking back and assessing my handy work. Don't you just love that? Enjoying a much needed cuppa and looking back over your work. The border is still not finished so I'll not show it to you just yet. 
I also put some potatoes into a sack to grow. I've done this before and been surprised how successful this method can be (see here). 
I'd have liked to put them into an allocated raised bed but unfortunately we are way off starting the veg plot. There's talk of a little digger coming (the mechanical kind) to help so we may get to it but there again...who knows? 

(Blue Anemone)
Have you seen this feather before? 
I can't remember if I've mentioned or shown it to you before. 
It's amazing because I noticed it when we first arrived back here in July. It was clinging to a branch of the rust tree. Can you believe that it's still clinging on seven months later? 
It's managed to stay there even with all the elements throwing everything at it. 
I'm wondering just how long it will stay?
Now that's staying power through all forms of adversity. 

Maybe there's a lesson there for us all. 

Just to let you know that I'm trying to visit everyone and I know I haven't replied to all the lovely emails and comments that I've received but I hopefully will.
Enjoy your week and like the feather if its tough for whatever reason...hang on in there...I'm sure it'll get better.
psst....still no lambs