Silver Crow Project

Rocking My World Friday - The Oops I Did It Again Edition

Artwork by Virginia Hoskings of Celtic House blog - Founder of Rocking Your World Friday
The practise of positive thinking - retraining my brain, one smile at a time.

(TL;DR: Food, food, trains, books, a new camera and oil pastels and the uni Summer Project)

Guess what day it is? Thursday. How much of this post have I written up to now? That's right - none. I've decided it's the kids fault - they need to go back to school already. Blame them. Lets see if I actually can get this written and posted by Friday shall we? Game face ON!

Lady What Lunched... Again!

Crikey this is becoming a bit of a habit! I only went and socialised again. Alright it was with the eldest but I don't see her that often so I reckon it counts. We decided to meet each other roughly half way between the two of us which was Faversham. We both haven't been for years and we decided to have a day hitting the boutiques. (Charity shops.) It was lovely, we walked, we talked, we shopped, we found some bargains. I was particularly chuffed to pick up this ceramic pen pot, originally from Tiger but found at the back of a shelf in the Shelter shop. £2.00! I love the squished up jar shape of it.
Whoopidooings: Charity shop bargain! Tiger Stores ceramic scrunched jar found in a Shelter shop.

We ended up in Wetherspoons, just in time for breakfast. Devvie convinced me to try the Eggs Benedict and we added a bowl of fruit to share between us. It was one of their "under 500cals" meals. We accompanied it with some refillable coffees and ate and chatted and ate and chatted some more. We polished our healthy halo's and then ordered  a squidgy cookie dough cake and ice-cream each! 
Whoopidooings: Wetherspoons Eggs Benedict - Cookie Dough cake & ice-cream

... I tell you what. I lost 2lbs this week! Judge me not! It obviously works ;)

So we ate and chatted and ate and chatted some more! The food was absolutely lush, that Eggs Benedict, so good... never tried it before. Would definitely have it again.  And I don't need to tell you how good the cake was. We were stuffed and groaned our way around the rest of the walking we did.

To top it off. As well as babysitting the kiddo's, when I got home Phe presented me with a cuppa and one of the rice crispy cakes they'd made while I was out.
Whoopidooings: Cuppa and rice crispy cake
Did I mention I lost 2lbs this week? I did!

Public Transport

I've been using the train a lot more over the past few weeks. I've decided that when it's just me travelling it's probably cheaper in the long run when you factor in parking costs... and stress levels. I used to adore driving, it used to be one of my favourite things in the world. Not any more. Drivers round here seem to have got really aggressive and angry lately, they take unnecessary risks, jump lights, cut you off on roundabouts... is it really worth that extra few seconds? I can remember doing Rocking Friday posts where I was champing at the bit to do the drive up to Scotland. Not just the getting to Scotland but I loved the pure act of driving up there, seeing the scenery change, hearing the accents change at the rest stops. The thought fills me with apprehension now. It makes me sad and a bit angry that other people have taken that away.

However, the positive in this is that I have rediscovered train journeys. OK - there is the waiting around and the delays occasionally - particularly on some lines there has been terrible disruption . It probably does take longer in some cases to get where I want. But on the two journeys this week I think there wouldn't have been much difference. Other than I got to sit there and read my books instead of having my eyes everywhere. In fact I nearly missed my stop on the way to see Devvie, I was so into my book. It was a particularly good bit!

Also, where I'm not sleeping well still, it feels a bit safer to take public transport where I can. I am honestly thinking that when the kids are older I will probably be happy to do away with the car - better for the environment too. I'm going to be driving all the time during the week in a month or so - it's nice to have that break. And no - it's not feasible to train to uni. Not if I have to be leaving at lunch time to be sure of getting back for the kids.  It wouldn't be worth my going. I wish I could.

The books? Of course. I'm glad you asked. I finished the Dreams & Shadows one and now am about half way through Heart Shaped Box. Both so good. Thoroughly recommend. Heart Shaped Box nearly made me miss my stop. If anyone wants to read Dreams & Shadows give me a shout, I'll send it on.
Whoopidooings: Books read and reading: Dreams & Shadows C.Robert Cargill - Heart Shaped Box Joe Hill

Naughty Purchases

I finally saved enough for my camera this week! So that was my second train journey and my second socialisation. A friend has been kind enough to do me a good deal. It takes lovely photos, he demonstrated it all and ran through all the functions of the many, many buttons... and I promptly forgot it all the minute I walked away. It no longer takes lovely photos. It mocks me even as I talk to it nicely. However, once again Youtube is coming to my rescue. Amazing what you find when you type in your subject and "for dummies" into Google. There is a whole world out there, uploaded just for me. Plus the former owner has said I can ask away anytime but - I pester you guys a lot don't I? I never know when I pester to much. I will try and exhaust Youtube first before I exhaust the humans. I do like the chchchchch sound it makes. I might have sung Lady Gaga; Paparazzi while trying to make it work... could be why it mocks me. The machines - they know.

Ain't she purty though?
I have been looking back over old work this week - getting ideas. I found an old index card face I did when I was dabbling in oil pastels. And it made my fingers itchy to try them again. My old original pack is nearly dead so I bought some more. These are my very favourite oil pastels. To be fair I've only tried two brands. These and the uber expensive Sennelier. I do like the Sennelier but, dare I say, I prefer these? These were just under £6.00 for 50 pastels on Amazon. No brainer really. Once you warm them up and work with them a bit they are lovely and smooth and creamy - they blend so well. I still felt naughty buying them after the camera but - in a good way.

This was the old image that made me want to have another go - remember her? 
Carmen Wing - Wide eyed girl portrait in mixed media - predominantly oil pastel & water colour

Summer Project

Today, literally the day after I got my camera, the uni emailed me it's welcome pack, first week timetable and... Summer Project.  We have to complete the Summer Project ready to hand in on induction week. Eight pieces - that's EIGHT pieces of artwork ready to be shown in a pop-up gallery. I may have had a mini meltdown. Alright it was a full blown freak out. A real "what the actual Hell do I think I'm doing?" moment.

But I've calmed down now. I've re-read the brief about 20 times. I think I can do this. I think I can. When it's done I'll upload it all on the arty page. So that'll be about September 11th. I've been advised by a couple of uni friends not to upload before because apparently, sadly, some people do just steal other peoples ideas off the internet. Don't really see the point of that but apparently it's rife. I might do snippets of works in progress on instagram though - that can't hurt.
Whoopidooings: So apparently I'm going to uni - at 40! Yikes. BA in Illustration & Animation here I come!
The screen - the reaction
Oh yeah - and as you can see, it has been so windy I have been cool enough to be back in my paint stained man jumpers. Yeah. Classy. Trend setter. Comfy - that's what I am ;)


I've been recommended a couple of apps this week. Well, one indirectly - I just ran with it. That one was the Peak brain training app (Android, Apple) which Virginia recommended on her Rocking Friday post last week. I am a big fan of brain training games as I think -  I hope -  it helps with my bad memory. Surely anything that keeps your mind active has got to be good right? I also already use another called Lumosity which I really recommend. (Android, Apple) Anyway - I have been enjoying Peak equally as much as Lumosity, so thanks Virginia.

The second is called Twilight (Android,  Don't think it's on Apple, unusually.) and this is one that Devvie recommended to me when we were chatting over lunch and I mentioned my not sleeping. It's an app that filters the blue light emitted on your phone. Description borrowed from the app store:  
Recent research suggests that exposure to blue light before sleep may distort your natural (circadian) rhythm and cause inability to fall asleep.

The cause is the photoreceptor in your eyes, called Melanopsin. This receptor is sensitive to a narrow band of blue light in the 460-480nm range which may suppress Melatonin production - a hormone responsible for your healthy sleep-wake cycles.

In experimental scientific studies it has been shown an average person reading on a tablet or smart phone for a couple of hours before bed time may find their sleep delayed by about an hour.

The Twilight app makes your device screen adapt to the time of the day. It filters the flux of blue light emitted by your phone or tablet after sunset and protects your eyes with a soft and pleasant red filter. The filter intensity is smoothly adjusted to the sun cycle based on your local sunset and sunrise times.

I only remembered to download it last night and it has been interesting to watch the screen start to change from about 8.30pm. It's not a BAM in your face change, it's gradual over the evening. It is more easy on my eyes tonight for sure. However, I did try and edit some photos to add to this post and it kind of makes judging colours when doing that a bit harder. So if my photos look weird - you know why. But so far - I'm hoping it will help. Something has to!

Here's a screenshot of what a Youtube page looks like on my phone with what I am guessing is the full filter on. (It's now 10.30pm) 
Whoopidooings: Example of YouTube page with the Twilight filter app on.

Quickie But Still Appreciated Smiles:

  • Friends that seem to genuinely like me for being me. I sometimes can't fathom why - I don't think I bring much to the table. I feel like such a boring person - I'm not fishing I swear I'm not. It's honest truth. But somehow, somewhere along the way - I seem to have gathered the most amazing little group of friends and I'm not quite sure how it happened. True what they say it's definitely quality over quantity. 
  • Art therapy. I was not in a very good place during the week. So I pulled this canvas down, squirted some paint on and just moved it around with my hands. Added some texture eh? Lost myself for a bit there too.
Carmen Wing - Canvas - textured work in progress
  • Conversations with far away friends that make you laugh out loud. Properly, belly laugh out loud.
  • The internet for enabling such conversations to happen.
  • Talking to the train guard on the station about her unintentional new pet. A butterfly that had moved in two days before and it kept flitting playfully in front of her as she tried to print my tickets.
  • My quilt and my comfy bed. I am so tired, it looks so inviting - I'm hoping that means some shut-eye tonight!
Well, it's pretty much 1am Friday morning now - we did it! I am going to leave you with Savage Garden and also the Song of the Sea soundtrack this week. Thanks for the comments about these videos - am glad you like them. It's just literally what's on the tabs in front of me so I share what I've been listening to or watching :)
Thank you as always, for stopping by :) How has your week been? 


  1. Another great read, what a week - love your painting by fingers (I hate that personally; but know that a lot of people swear by it) -you got great results though! Good luck with your summer project - you know you CAN do it!!

    1. Thanks Helen. I get better blending results when I use my fingers. Weird eh? As for the project... Ummmm... I can. I CAN. (I hope)

  2. Ah a fabulous read as always, I was doing well keeping my post up until the end of the weekend and then it all went to pot. I love your new pot from the 'boutiques' I love how good your breakfast was and then how naughty your pudding was. I loved how you got to spend time with your eldest and that you got home to treats the rest had made! How sweet. I'm loving that you are enjoying the train journeys. I'm loving how you were so chilled on the train that you nearly missed your stop - must have been a good book!

    Will have to check out luminosity - also loving the twilight filter - hope it helps on the sleep front!

    Loving the art work - the colours are epic and awesome!

    You'll be fabulous on your summer course, can't wait to see what you create!

    1. No help on sleep front. Am so tired today I actually feel nauseous with it :( But was still restful on my eyes so I'll keep it. Thank you Virginia X x


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