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The Live Better With Creative Club - share your art, poem, etc here!



  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Oh Nikki

    What a talent you have, and the way you have set the photographs up is lovely too. Not to mention the patience waiting for the birds to pose correctly.

    Looking forward to seeing some more going forward.

    Rob x

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Good evening Michele. Thank you for your kind comments.

    The new apartment is in a block for over 55s for which I qualify in spades of course. 🤣

    We have already been made really welcome by our new neighbours and we feel that we have made the right decision at the right time in our lives.

    Rob x

  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 166 ✭✭✭


    Beautiful photos! Absolutely super. Where are you Nikki? Some of he birds you are photographing are the same as in my daughter’s garden when she lived near Philadelphia. I would sit in her sunroom and just watch the birds coming to the feeders on the tree outside absolutely captivated! The colours of the flowers are so vibrant too and I particularly love the irises and poppies.

    Take care.

    Michele x

  • NixsterNixster Posts: 28 ✭✭



    Thank you for the compliment on my bird photos. I normally take photos of people, but due to Covid and the lockdown, I put up feeders and started taking photos of the birds.

    it’s been interesting watching them and their behaviors.

    I don’t even have to tell them how to pose. Ha ha ha.

    Have a great day!


  • NixsterNixster Posts: 28 ✭✭



    Thank you for the kind words about my photos. I am in Illinois (the Midwest)

    I have a large Perennial garden. Each spring I wait Patiently for the flowers to bloom. This year has been a spectacular year for flowers in my garden I love sharing my flowers and seeds with others so they too can have some beauty in their yards

    Do you have a flower garden?

    This year was my first year taking photos of the birds. It has been very serene and fun too! I can relate to your enjoyment.

    Have a great day


  • NixsterNixster Posts: 28 ✭✭


    Thank you for the compliments on my photos. Photography is a beautiful way to capture moments in time and Beauty. I have been doing photography for 11 years now. I started out with a Cannon Rebel and now have a Canon Mark IV. The flower photos are all taken with my iPhone 11 cell phone Birds with my Canon

    I have taken some online classes to improve my photography skills but for the most part, I have just practiced. I love taking photos of everything! I sometimes drive my family crazy with the camera. Ha ha!

    Ai started out taking photos of still objects and scenery and then people

    when I first started out I just shot in automatic mode and now I love to use manual mode because you can control every aspect (shutter speed, the freeze a moment that is fast, Aperture (for Amount of light and depth of field ) and ISO also for light

    what kind of camera do you use? What do you like to take photos of?

    challenge yourself to try different things! It’s fun!

    have a great day!

    hugs to you


  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 166 ✭✭✭


    Happy 4th Nikki!

    Michele x

  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 166 ✭✭✭

    Good morning everybody

    I hope you are all doing well and that you are home now Ali and feeling alright after your treatment.

    Rob, I hope that your unpacking is going well and that you are settling into your new home.

    Nikki, yes I do have a flower garden and have taken a couple of photos below, just with my Ipad though, my husband is the photographer of our family. I have also started a ‘Veg Trug’ this year during lockdown which is now quite productive - another photo. I really love your bird photos, particularly the cardinal, blue birds and woodpecker. I could never get my head round all the woodpeckers in my daughter’s garden before she came back to UK - I was intrigued and looked them up - at least 5 different types ranging from tiny ones which crept up the tree to big green ones. Amazing and beautiful! Geoff (my husband) has been trying to photograph our local woodpecker, who comes to the nut feeder, without much success as any movement frightens him away.

    I hope that you all enjoy a bit more freedom as lockdown eases. I haven’t had my hair this long in donkey’s years but being in the ‘shielded’ category of course, another month to wait before I can get to the hairdresser. We did have a sneaky ride into the Cotswolds during the week and had a walk around the grounds and garden of Snowshill Manor - a National Trust place very well managed for lockdown visitors with timed tickets for entry and very few people there so easy to keep to social distancing. They were giving away plants so I acquired two germs, a heuchera, and a tellima, which is one I knew nothing about but it is for shade and a bit like a silvery green heuchera. There were lots of sheep in the fields which we passed and the lambs getting quite big now. We also went past a lavender farm with field after field of mauve-blue rows of lavender but not quite in full bloom yet - just needing a bit more sun and will be spectacular.

    My rheumatoid arthritis is flaring at the moment so no new artwork to show yet as my right wrist is the worst joint!

    Lou, have you decided on your next painting yet and finished retouching your Sunflowers?

    Photos below, the last one is the Veg Trug with manges touts peas, bush tomato plants, carrots, sorrel, radishes and beetroot growing well, and lettuces coming. Underneath are pots of strawberries.

    All for now folks.


    Michele x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,446 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good evening everyone, I hope you have all had a good day. Writing this while cooking dinner, roast chicken tonight, yum,yum.

    Michele, your garden is looking lovely, the veg trug looks great, I am amazed you have all those vegetables in that space. I am looking forward to having a go at growing different veg.

    Sorry to hear the rheumatoid arthritis is causing you more pain at the moment. I hope it eases soon.

    It sounds as though you had a lovely time visiting Snowshill Manor. I have never seen lavender fields in bloom before, I can imagine it looks stunning.

    I have finished Sunflowers, pic below, and I have started on Monet's Poppy Fields. It has a lot of light colours.

    Nikki, I am currently using a Canon EOS 1000D, previously I had the Canon 1000SLR, before that an Olympus OM10, many moons ago!

    You have inspired me to get the camera out. At Christmas the girls bought me a new battery pack as the original one just wasn't charging properly anymore. I have been waiting for a long time as they are very expensive. But I have found to buy a non Canon make is money wasted.

    So yesterday I finally got the new one charged up. All ready to go. A couple if years ago I bought some extra lenses as well, so it will be great to get out with it again.

    Happy July 4th weekend to you, I hope you are able to enjoy any celebrations with your family.

    Have a good evening/ afternoon everyone.

    Chat soon,

    Lou xx

  • NixsterNixster Posts: 28 ✭✭


    Hello Love! Sorry for the late response. I do not check my email regularly. Maybe I can figure out how to make alerts pop up on my phone for this site? 🤔

    I hope your hand is feeling better?

    Arthritis is very painful; do know that! I have it in my back Have you tried Tart Cherry capsules for your arthritis?

    Your garden is wonderful!!!i love how you have the trug build up high! I would love to build a garden up high like that! We have many rabbits and squirrels here that like to help themselves to the garden and flowers. Right now I only have strawberries, zucchini and peppers planted. I just got my first berries a few days ago but they are not ripe.

    your flowers are beautiful I love the roses!

    I am glad you were able to get out for a ride and see sights and get some plants I can only imagine the lavender in full bloom smells lovely and so pretty to see

    I am not familiar with the plants  germs,heuchera, and tellima. I will have to wait for photos ❤️

    I am sure it was relaxing to see all the flowers and sheep

    when we are locked down we realize how excited we get by nature and it’s beauty

    All places have opened up with social distancing but I am Leary to be around people too much yet due to my immune system being low. We did take a ride through the country and stop outside a museum that had a covered wagon that was interesting. I took a photo with my cell phone

    thank you for your compliments on my bird photos the Cardinals are my favorites They say cardinals are visitors from heaven I have a male and female that visit my feeder several times a day it makes me happy

    the woodpecker I see here is called an American Downy Woodpecker I have a suet feeder that I have hanging that they love to visit. The suet is all season so it does not melt. Some of the other birds eat from it too.

    The trick, for me, and my bird photography...I take them through the window with a long lens 200mm I have tried taking photos outside with them but they fly away as soon as I start to take the photo


    I am glad I inspired you to get your camera out! It is such a serene thing for me I capture moments of time and Beauty that can last forever!

    I am not familiar with the Cannon 1000D I will have to look it up.

    I look forward to seeing your photos!

    Your paintings are amazing! I love the sun flowers and the dolphin painting! You are very talented and Patient!

    I did get to watch some fireworks from afar. I took photos of some of them I will post some as soon as I can.

    I hope you ladies have a lovely evening! Hugs to you both 🤗🤗


  • NixsterNixster Posts: 28 ✭✭

    The covered wagon

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @NanaBubbles @Sunshinedaff @Nixster

    Hi Michele. So sorry to hear that your rheumatoid arthritis is flaring up and I hope that it calms down soon.Your garden looks gorgeous - it must keep you very busy. A trip to Snowshill Manor sound like just the thing after being in ,lockdown for so long. I hadn't heard of it so I googled it and I have put it on my 'to do' list for the next time I am in England. We have our own 'Lavender Farm' here in Jersey.

    Wow Lou, you are on a roll with your painting. Monet is a favourite of mine and I am looking forward to seeing your version of the 'Poppy Fields'. I'm betting I won't know the difference.😂

    As always, your photographs look amazing Nikki. I should have realised that you used a long 200m lens to photograph the birds. Mary has one and it is really quite heavy. I guess you use a tripod. .

  • NixsterNixster Posts: 28 ✭✭


    Hello 👋

    Thank you for the compliments on my photos! Does Mary take photos of nature too?

    I have not been using my tripod for the bird photos. I just hand hold the camera.

    have a good day.


  • NixsterNixster Posts: 28 ✭✭

    One of the fireworks from the Forth of July this year.

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,446 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi Nikki,

    Great fireworks photo, reminds me of our Florida trip 3 yrs ago which keeps popping up on my photo memories at the moment.

    I hope you are having a good weekend, I am sat in the garden in the sunshine having a chilled glass of wine before I go and sort dinner out.


    Lou xx

  • NixsterNixster Posts: 28 ✭✭


    Hi Lou! Glad you are able to get out and enjoy your garden and the sunshine. Cheers!

    I just got back from my first social distancing meeting of a Group of BC survivors that do dragon boat paddling! Due to Covid there will not not being any paddling this year but some zoom interactions for lymphoma, cooking, and excercise.

    There were 26 of us that tossed pink carnations in the lake to honor lost BC members lt was very touching

    I have never paddled before But looks like I will be paddling next year Something to look forward to!

    Im glad you enjoyed the firework photo and it brought back good memories of Florida

    Have a great night



  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,446 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi Nikki,

    Ohhhh, dragon boat racing!! I have heard of that. We have a group of ladies here in Christchurch near me that do that. It is something that sounds great, I am just too scared of going upside down in a boat if it tips over! Like you, I doubt they can do it with covid.

    Great that you all met via zoom though to catch up and get to know them a little.

    I think there are events held worldwide for it too.

    It will be something for you to look forward to definitely.

    Enjoy the rest of your day!


    Lou xx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi Nikki

    Wow, you must have a really strong steady hands taking such clear photographs without using a tripod.

    Mary does not really have a speciality and she often goes for weeks without getting her Canon out of its case which I think is a pity as I think she is a natural. I used to make videos and we got together when a colleague/friend who was getting married was quoted a starting price of £2.000 for her wedding photos. She asked if we could help and somewhat uneasily, we agreed. We did everything including video editing and printing the photographs. We also created a photo album using a great Apple program. I used to own a classic 60s Jaguar and we dressed that up with ribbons and flowers and asked a friend to drive the bride to the Church in it. After that, we did 13 more weddings and a number of other special occasions mostly for friends and family. We never charged of course, though Mary’s photographs were as good as any done by professional photographers.

    Have a lovely weekend

    Rob x

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    @Sunshinedaff @Nixster

    We have an annual Dragon Boat Festival here in Jersey, sadly cancelled this year of course.

    I think it is really exciting. Here is a pic from a couple of years ago.

    Rob xx

  • NixsterNixster Posts: 28 ✭✭


    Thank you Rob on the compliments on my photos and steady hand. Yes, it maybe the only steady thing on me now. Ha ha ha

    It sounds like you and Mary have had some fun with photography and video together ❤️ That is great that you were able to do the collaboration together all the way down to prints and album!!!

    I hope that Mary will do more photos again! Maybe you can inspire her!

    Sadly, these days people do not do many prints they want everything digital. I personally offer packages with Prints and digitals along with a wedding album

    Weddings are so lovely to capture the special moments of someone’s special day! I have done some weddings but mostly for friends.

    I do senior photos, portraits, maternity, newborns, children, weddings, family portraits. I am not sure if this is allowed? But I will share my website for you to view www.captutedbynikki.photoreflect.com some of my work just to see my photos (NOT trying to sell anything)

    I do construction for a living but photography is my love!!!

    I am currently off work do to my back. I am waiting on a cage fusion. I was to have it done when I found out I had breast cancer. Now that my treatments are done I will move forward with the fusion August 5th.

    thank you for sharing the photo of the dragon boat festival. Is it one of your photos? It is Lovely!

    I hope to participate in the dragon boat practicing and possibly competitions next year I have never done such a thing but it gives me something to look forward to and I find it nice to be with other survivors We did a BC tribute last Sunday where we all threw pink carnations in the lake in memory of those that have passed It was very breath taking

    Have a great day!

    take good care of yourself and I hope your side effects from therapy lesson as time goes on.

    🤗 Nikki

  • NixsterNixster Posts: 28 ✭✭


    Hello dear!

    hope you had a nice weekend. Have you watched the dragon boat paddlers from your the church?

    How is your painting going?

    I was afraid of tipping over too! Ha ha. I was told that does not happen. I am not a great swimmer and I have a little fear of water. They say to look fear in the eyes and walk through it so it looks like I will!

    The paddlers are doing a tournament in New Zealand 2022 of things go well maybe I can attend? It would be a wonderful opportunity

    If it’s okay to ask? Where do you live? I live in Illinois, USA

    I hope you have a lovely week



  • NixsterNixster Posts: 28 ✭✭

    A double rainbow I captured after a storm this weekend. It was the brightest rainbow I have ever seen. The photo does not do it justice!

    we had 2 hail storms this evening and then this beautiful rainbow appeared

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 849 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi Nikki,

    Wow, that is a fantastic photo! I always get excited when I see a rainbow, a double one is even more special.

    I haven't seen the dragon boats in action. I found out about them when a lady visited the hospital coffee morning and shared about what they do. I wasn't in any fit state back then to think about something like that.

    I haven't done a lot of my latest painting yet, I have started some of the sky!

    I live in the UK, in the south of England, in Dorset. There is a lot of countryside here, which we love.

    I hope you are having a good week too,

    Chat soon,

    Lou xx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Nixster @LouiseJ

    Good evening

    I have looked at your website Nikki and enjoyed looking through your lovely photographs. I don’t think that Mary would be able to reach your levels of sophistication with her photography but her wedding photos are still pretty good. Whenever I take a photograph, I never see the refuse bin in the shot until it is too late. Luckily, I am pretty handy with Photoshop😉 Sadly, I did not take the Dragon Boats photograph. I hope that you do not get too involved in the racing until you have fully recovered from your cage fusion which seems to be quite a big deal. The BC Tribute sounds really lovely and I am sure that it must have been pretty emotional too.

    Hi Lou. If you get the chance to see Dragon Boat racing go for it. It is very exciting with lots of noise and fancy costumes. Mary and I saw some really competitive racing in Wellington, New Zealand when we were there and they were much more professional and skilful than our local competitors.

    Rob xx

  • jacksprat_x1jacksprat_x1 Posts: 323 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi Everyone!

    Just catching up on your posts. All look very entertaining!

    Ali I pinched your idea with the stones, more difficult than it looks! I painted a few For the grandkiddies! Seeing them today so hope they make them smile!

    Take care All, have a good day!

    Love Jackie x🙋‍♀️

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 135 ✭✭✭

    Good evening friends

    It’s a while since anyone posted on this forum so I thought I’d do it. I was really happy to find some flat stones at the river Tarn the other day. Usually I get them from the sea (Med) but I haven’t been able to go with Covid, my treatment etc. As I have a lot to do for Christmas I was getting worried I wouldn’t have enough.

    Ive just done a little series of Aboriginal art which I’ve really enjoyed doing as it’s not too strenuous. I’ve also started painting some shells ( Coquilles Saint Jacques) - not sure what to do with them but it’s fun doing them. I’ve discovered some acrylic pens which are much easier to use for detail than a fine paint brush.

    Has anyone else been doing anything creative lately ??

    Bonne soirée les amis, Ali xx

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 849 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi Ali,

    I hope you're having a good day, especially if you are still waiting for a slot at the hospital.

    The pebbles look brilliant, Aboriginal art is so effective and dramatic, I love it. I remember when the kids had art projects from school and Aboriginal art was always one of the best.

    Great idea to paint scallop shells, they look very pretty.

    I have done a bit more of the Monet painting, I will post a pic from my phone later.

    Are you still in the mountains? It must be very refreshing from the hot Toulouse heat! We have hot weather again which is always welcome, after the rain, water butts are full again, haha.

    Popping over to the garden chat now to see what's what over there.

    Chat soon,

    Lou xx😊

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Chilali1531 @LouiseJ

    Hi Ali. I love the stones. The Aboriginal series are really eye catching and I would not have known you found the stones at the River Tarn rather than the sea if you hadn’t told us. The shells are really pretty.

    Hi Lou. I am looking forward to seeing your Monet. He is one of my favourite artists. It is very hot here today. A bit more than I am comfortable with to be honest, but the beaches are still pretty quiet.

    I think we will wander out for a stroll and a bite to eat in a little pavement café this evening. Pretend we are in la belle France.

    Rob xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,446 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is the Monet so far.

    I am enjoying it more than I thought I would. I thought it would be 'painful stressy' considering the minute details. I was wrong. 😊

    I saw yday on FB a video of someone showing how to paint a tree with watercolours. It was fascinating, and it looked quite simple. I can't remember the name of the artist though. Sorry! 😊

    Ooh Rob that sounds delightful! I bought croissants and pain au chocolat to pretend we are in France, haha. I am also going to have a go at making them myself ☺️.

    Tonight we are driving into town to have a look at the cruise ships anchored in the bay. There are now 5 of them. Hoping to get some photos of that.

    Have a great afternoon,

    Chat soon,

    Lou xx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 135 ✭✭✭

    Good Morning from the Pyreneen bolt hole !

    It really is a bolt hole as we’re hopefully dashing up & down twice a week from Toulouse for the next 2-3 weeks before my next treatment & inbetween blood tests & possible transfusions. 2h away is doable tho & définitely worth it for the rejuvenating of energy & switching off from daily life. Also temperatures are much cooler than Toulouse & the dogs have space to run around.

    When I’m here I generally don’t do much art & craft. Perhaps more sewing ( mending Peters shirts & shorts which dogs or sticks have made holes in !), embroidery or knitting in the winter in front of the fire. In summer we seem to spend more time sitting in the garden reading or having apéros or barbecues with friends 🍷😋. Well, we are in France after all - that’s why we live here isn’t it ? Lol! Actually Lou, I’ve never tried making croissants myself. I can do reasonable crêpes, but with a lovely boulangerie only 5 mins walk from the house in Toulouse the incentive isn’t the same !

    Thé Monet is looking good Lou. I do love him- how can you not ?! Have you ever visited his house & gardens in Giverny? Well worth it especially in May-June with all the roses.

    Thank you for the kind comments about my pebbles everyone. I should say that some of that art is African too, not just Aboriginal. I find patterns on the Internet which I either copy or change abit to suit my paints or for ease purposes. Painting on stones is difficult sometimes as they’re not usually perfectly smooth, often slight imperfections & porous. You probably found this Jackie - but keep persisting, it gets easier. You can make them look better by using glossy paint or putting a bit of varnish on after. Finding nice smooth flat pebbles isn’t always easy either. But it’s fun to do as they’re small so can be quick if you don’t have too much detail.

    Concerning the scallop shells, I’m enjoying painting them, but not sure what to do with them ! I’m uncertain that people would want to buy them at a Christmas fair ( oops, said the C word 🙀). I’ll just keep doing it for fun anyway - I’ll have to as a friend has just given me a bag full of about 50 !!

    Rob, is Jersey more English than French would you say ? Or a real mixture of the two. That could be nice. M & S, Marmite, Fish n chip, with baguette, moules-frites & Jean Paul Gaultier!

    Speaking of which, a friend just sent me a fantastic mask which I can’t resist posting as I love it so much ! I took it to hospital last time & all the nurses want one! It’s in aid of charity Sidaction ( an AIDS charity) with JP Gaultier’s support. It’s definitely art !

    Time to try & go back to sleep now ... Ali XX

    I’m not sure if I’ve already posted this !!! If so, apologies- I’ll blame my chemo brain 🤪

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