Hello friends!

Happy Tuesday!  Hope you are having a lovely day.   This is a combo post today for T Stands for and Second on the Second so I am linking in both places.

T Stands For . . .

Firstly I made a couple of videos yesterday to flip through all my 61 ICADs and my 31 Junk Journal July pages, so instead of bombarding you with a load of photos, here are two short videos.  🙂  *you can also see the complete collection by clicking on the links one the navigation bar at the top of the page.*

I was so pleased with my little videos and then I was a whole lot less pleased with the uploading process and trying to get them onto Instagram – what a slow process!  And then after all of that, because my videos were filmed in landscape and IG has a square format, it chopped the right side off of both of them!  And then, after all of that work, I start scrolling through my IG feed and it’s just wall to wall videos now and I just got so sick of looking at them, that I didn’t want to add mine to the mix!  Just when did everything have to be all singing, all dancing, all the bells and whistles, everything in motion, flashing lights, look at me, look at me, all the time?  Are our attention spans so short now that we can’t just enjoy looking at a photo without it having to move or just read some regular text? Or is it a ploy by facebook/meta/whatever-they-want-to-call-themselves to keep us on the platform for longer so they can show us more advertising and make more money off of us? (O they are so worried about Tik Tok that they want to change their whole format to try to be them?)

This was not meant to be a rant about social media but if I can’t say it on my own site then where can I say it?  I do think they are trying to push people in a direction that they maybe don’t want to go in but it’s inevitable just like when they changed facebook and everyone complained about the new format, and now we are all adapted to it and still giving them everything they need to make more money.  We are already providing them with free content that attracts users to their platform.  (Just think:  if we uploaded no content, they would have no business, just an empty feed and crickets.)  Now they want everything to be videos, so we have to take even more time away from creating art, so we can create video content that we don’t get paid for, so they can make money off of it.  It’s madness really!  But that seems to be their strategy and I don’t see them backing out of it, so if we want to get seen at all by our friends or anyone at all, it will have to be all singing, all dancing videos to even make it into your feed. So now I hardly ever visit my feed.  If I want to see something that’s not moving, or not being pushed at me, then I try to visit individual accounts directly.

I can see how it would work for businesses, who have departments and budgets for content creation but just regular users who are not selling anything, are they really going to give up all their free time to make video content for instagram?   Anyway, having said that, I created an Instagram challenge haha, just because I was enjoying the daily creating and needed to keep that going (but since it’s not a video, and I’m not selling anything and not paying to have it promoted, probably no one will see it lol).  So if you want to play along with me, here are the prompts, and if you want to do it on your blog instead, then I added Mr Linky links to this post on Sunday.

And my drink reference today is this Twinings decaffeinated Earl Grey.  I haven’t seen a decaffeinated version before but maybe it’s been around for a while and I just missed it.  It was super expensive though so I didn’t buy any (plus I have a cupboard full of tea!)  I just thought it was interesting to see it there with the “same great taste” printed on the box.  I wonder…

Second on the Second . . .

Today I thought I would show you some beautiful gardens that belong to a very special house that is not a million miles from where we are – it’s sadly not my house though lol.  I’m talking about Dumfries House which is hidden in the midst of the Ayrshire countryside and if you didn’t know of it’s existence (or followed the tourist signs) you would never know that it was there.  It is an extensive house, a stately home really, and the gardens are huge.  You could never see them all in one day.  They are also very varied, there is woodland, water gardens, and a beautiful Victorian walled garden.  Lots of places to sit and picnic, as well as cafes, a restaurant, play areas for the kids, and there is even a Drawing School where they have artists in residence.  This is open to the public during Open Studios week.  There is also a monthly farmer’s market held on the grounds.

The whole estate was rescued by Prince Charles and some investors and preserved and restored instead of being chopped up and sold off.  One of the things it is famous for it it’s collection of Chippendale furniture which has all be preserved in the house and can be seen if you take a guided tour.  The work they have done to restore both the house and the gardens is really amazing, and it call all be accessed for free all year round.  They had teams of people from all trades working on the restoration.  It also generated a lot of employment for the local people.  So I thought this would be a nice post to share for my Second on the Second, as I have been thinking about visiting again since the weather has been so nice and I love walking around the gardens.   Bleubeard and Elizabeth’s Second on the Second Challenge asks that you bring back a post that you’re proud of or an old one that was shared before anyone knew of your blog.    You can read the original post from 16th July 2018 here.  By the way, “Dumfries” is pronounced a bit like “dumb – freeze” (rhymes with fleece) not “fries” as in French fries.

original post is below

Today instead of sitting inside someone’s house on a nice day like today, we decided to go wander around the gardens at Dumfries House which is not far away.  About 30 mins from where we are but 5 mins from where we were visiting the relos.  There’s a lot of detail about Dumfries House on their website so I will save time and link you to it to read at your leisure, but basically it was going to be auctioned off and Prince Charles saved it and is now very involved in the running of it and visits quite often.  One of the interesting things about this house is it’s amazing collection of Chippendale furniture, so all of that was saved and preserved also.  We go there quite often as the gardens, coffee shops, restaurant and gift shop are open all year for free. If you want a guided tour of the house, you have to pay for that and we did once, but now we mostly enjoy the gardens.

Outside one of the huge greenhouses is this gorgeous display of Lady’s Mantle (yellow) and Cat Mint (purple).  I have both in my garden but it doesn’t look like this lol.  The cats tend to roll around in the cat mint and squish it so it gets crushed.  I wonder if the local cats are drawn to this garden when the tourists are not around.  Lady’s Mantle is one of those useful plants that is often used to make teas and tisanes especially for “women’s problems”.  It also is a self-seeding beast and turns up all over the garden in places where you didn’t ask it to grow!  They don’t seem to have this problem though, but then they do have a team of gardeners working full time!

This huge tree reminds me of the Whomping Willow from Harry Potter (it’s not a willow but it just looks like it is ready to whomp you.)  That pot next to it is giant sized!

These photos are not in any particular order but this is part of the walled garden.  We sat on this handy bench for a while enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful gardens.

I just really liked these pots and how they were arranged in the corner.


I also loved all these rows and rows and rows of raised beds, some of which were empty, but others were growing veggies and flowers like the one above.  They use their own produce in the cafe and restaurant.

Here’s a look at part of the walled garden from the top of the hill where the cafe is.  A lot of the old wall had to be restored or rebuilt.

It really is a beautiful place to visit.  The cafes and restaurant can get busy, but not so many people venture as far out into the gardens and grounds which are extensive.  There are also plenty of picnic tables dotted around the grounds and in shaded areas under the huge trees.

Hope you enjoyed seeing this beautiful place!

original post is above

Hope you enjoyed seeing some beautiful gardens, and my ICAD and #JunkJournalJuly flip throughs and if you want to follow the journalling prompts and join in, I’d love to see what you make.  Happy T day!  Oh before I forget, a couple of you asked about the free art supplies.  Sometimes I get sent things to review, it’s not always art supplies but I was really happy that it was this time.


Altered Book Lover – T Stands forGrab button for T stands for Tuesday

Second on the Second

Grab button for Second on the 2nd

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13 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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August 4, 2022 10:56 pm

I’ve been tempted to post videos on IG but there are so many (and judging from some I’ve seen they are real time wasters) I haven’t bothered! I look up followers and try to visit their feeds. I loved seeing the videos. Your Icats were briliant. Fabulous journal too ! What a wonderful place Dumfries House looks – I wish I’d known about a few years ago when we stayed in Girvan. Sorry I can’t help with the tea. Hubby is the tea drinker! Belated Happy T Day, Chrisx

Carola Bartz
August 3, 2022 9:03 pm

Your ICADs are fantastic and I enjoy the cat theme so much. I’m with you about Instagram and Facebook. I haven’t posted on Facebook for ages, but I still like IG for the photography. I don’t like all the videos either, so I just scroll over them. For the time being I stick with IG, but I have no idea how much longer.

Sharon Madson
Sharon Madson
August 3, 2022 1:38 am

I had to read your social media rant to my husband because he completely agrees. Don’t give them content! LOL I only have a Facebook account, none of the others, so we can keep up with our kids and grandkids! I rarely check it! I like your prompts. Earl Grey & Twinings are both my favorite! Happy T Day!

Kate Yetter
August 3, 2022 1:02 am

Wonderful index cards.
Those gardens are beautiful! I would love to have such a manicured yard.
Happy Tea Day,

Nancy W
August 2, 2022 11:59 pm

Elle, lovely art. I loved all of it. Especially the junk journal and the lovely lady you drew in it. Your pictures are all great too. Social media, uploading items and all that is outside of my current talents so I admire what you have done and your patience. Rant away and I will agree! LOL. Happy T-day and hugz!

August 2, 2022 8:31 pm

I know what you mean about the various social media platforms. I gave up Instagram and will probably do the same with FB sooner or later, it’s all ads and money making. Enjoy your Tea for TsfT, and thanks for sharing the 2nd on the 2nd post. Hugs, Valerie

Erika N
August 2, 2022 8:19 pm

And now I am commenting for myself. First of all, you really rocked those ICADS. I love how you managed to keep to the cat theme. And your junk journal is also wonderful. I don’t mind the rant, because it is true. I rarely post on facebook, and just sometimes go on to see what some friends I don’t normally see are up to. And wow, the garden at Dumfries’ HOuse is beautiful. I’m glad you shared that with us for second on the second. I hope you had a wonderful T day, and have a great week ahead too. hugs-Erika

Erika N
August 2, 2022 8:16 pm

Hi Elle. This is Erika, but I am commenting for Elizabeth because she can’t get her computer to leave comments. She wants you to know that she appreciates you linking up to T day and also to Second on the Second, and she feels bad she can’t comment since she hosts both of these blog link ups. She is supposed to get her computer looked at tomorrow, and hopefully she will then be back in the world of commenting. Thanks for linking up and sharing your ICADS and your Junk Journal, as well as sharing your drink for T and also the gardens for Second on the second.

Jo - Let's Art Journal
August 2, 2022 5:05 pm

I’m not enamoured with Instagram, I joined a year or so ago and chose not to bother this year and I have to say I’m really not missing it! Your ICADs are fabulous, and that looks a lovely place to visit too ?. The gardens look beautiful as it looks like you’ve been enjoying the sunny weather too! Happy T Day! Hugs Jo x

August 2, 2022 5:01 pm

Loved the cat ICADs. My favorite was magical, no, the black cat with blue eyes, no the cat snowflake…. Fabulous journal, too. Bigelow Tea, an American tea company, makes a decaffeinated Earl Grey. The Dumfries House gardens are amazing. They must have a huge gardening staff to take care of the grounds. Enjoyed your T Day and Second Time posts. Have a great day!

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