Sunday, October 03, 2010

I've discovered Photo Montage and Textures and I'm having a lot of fun!

These are my my first three efforts at photo montage and textures, let me know what you think! I use Photoplus X2 to do the photo manipulation and texturing and then finish off using Picnik.
 Photo Montage of Scotland's Eilean Donan Castle in a new setting with textures and created with 3 photos I took in Scotland this year.

Eilean Donan Castle:

Rocky shore:


Texture by ground*floor:

Textured frame by rubyblossom:
 Photo Montage using these great Creative Commons images:-

Thanks to JordanHill School D&T Dept for their great Abbey pic:

Thanks to pixiepic for her lovely swan:

Thanks to flickrohit for his great clouds:

Thanks to pareerica for the lovely frame texture:
Original image supplied by skagitrenee at

North Beach Across The Water

The Textures I added using a combination of PhotoPlus X2 and Picnik

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: A River runs through it!

Betws-y-Coed, Conwy Valley, Wales


Ruby Tuesday: Flambeing under Canvas!

This is a picture of my hubby flambeing a peppered steak in the caravan awning while we were on holiday in Devon! Probably not a good idea - but it was delicious :-) For more participants in the Ruby Tuesday meme head over to Work of the Poet and get in on the fun!

Flambe in the caravan awning!

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Scrapbook Pages

I've been feeling a bit bored lately, so decided to reignite my interest in scrapbooking by browsing the great Scrapbook Freebie website DigiFree at CraftCrave, where I found links to a huge selection of freebie goodies including these great Quick Pages, which I've used to get my juices flowing again for the great hobby of Digital Scrapbooking!

This is a QP from Jenny743 Scrap Addict and Elegant Wordart by Bethany featuring some photos of my Grandson Kieran and daughter Samantha.
Children feeling cherished
Below is another QP from Jenny743 Scrap Addict and Elegant Wordart by Bethany with a lovely photo of my Mum and Dad sitting together, just about to celebrate their Golden Wedding, shortly after which sadly, my Dad died and my Mum only survived him by a year. So this is one of my most treasured photos.
Love is forever
I also found this lovely QP at Lynn's Scrap Attic which I've used to frame a photo of myself 'first time around' in 1976 :-) I just like this photo for the pretty bouquet I was carrying!
Once upon a Time
Yet another Free QP! This time from one of my favourite designers Pam Lefors, again with Wordart by Bethany, and featuring a couple of lovely old photos of my mum and dad in the early 50's.
Each Photograph tells a story
I'm just going to make it this four for now, as I have several more I'll use for a further post later this week. Hope you have enjoyed looking at them and I'm sure you'll love the sites I've linked to as they all have great stuff for Digital Scrapbookers

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th July!

Click to enlarge

Wishing all my American readers a very happy Independence Day this 4th July! I wanted something special to honor the day and found this great wallpaper HERE. I hope you all have a lovely day and that wherever you are the sun shines for you.

4th of July WEEKEND SALE on ZAZZLE.COM - 17.76% OFF ALL ORDERS!! Use Code: ZAZZLEUSAUSA Ends Monday (Offer valid on only.)

Sadly it's not shining here, despite us being in the middle of Summer! So I've been unable to do much in the garden, but that means I can spend the time at my keyboard (Yippee!), so I've been busy adding and updating my photos and art on various web based photo galleries and art sites which include Flickr, Photobucket, Webshots, Fotki, Fotolog, Poppyhill, Imagekind, FineArt America, DeviantArt, Artist Rising and of course Zazzle!

There is a selection of my latest photography art displayed as a great 'stack of cards' on my post 'My Photography on Fotki', two below this one.

So as you can see I've been very busy but enjoying it all hugely, and as I have a steady flow of sales, particurly on my Zazzle store from all over the world (now also available in Brazil & Japan would you believe!), other people like my efforts too, and I get such a buzz every time I get a notification that I've got a sale. I always rush to my Zazzle account to see where it's gone in the world!

So far I've sold loads in the USA, Canada and the UK, but also in Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, but still waiting for my first Brazilian or Japanese sale!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

New Kaleidoscope Kreations Sales on Zazzle!

Just got my first customer in Sweden! They bought a print of one of my kaleidoscope designs at Zazzle Kaleidoscope Kreations.Also sold a bumper sticker on Zazzle, to a customer in Denver, Colorado, who bought one of my military designs that says My Other Car is a Tank!

Troilus 3 print
Troilus 3 by CharmaineZoe
View all the other artwork at

Thursday, July 01, 2010

My Photography on Fotki!

A stack of all my latest and best photographs, now on Fotki. Just click on images to see each 'card'.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Creature From the Black Lagoon to Help BP Plug Oil Leak!

Speaking to reporters today, the Creature from the Black Lagoon confirmed rumors that he has been contacted by BP in its continuing efforts to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yeah, they contacted me. I’m glad to help. I live on this planet too” the Creature said. “I have experience in deep water that could come in very handy.

When asked if he was worried about being injured he responded, “I swim in my own faeces. Do you think I’m worried about a little oil?

Read the rest of this funny spoof at MANHATTAN INFIDEL.....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Latest sale at Kaleidoscope Kreations - a mousepad

Just sold another mousepad on my Zazzle store, Kaleidoscope Kreations. This time it's a design called PE201 (catchy, isn't it?) in browns and tans, with a repeating pattern diagonally across the pad and is going to a customer in New York
PE 201 Mousepad mousepad
PE 201 Mousepad by CharmaineZoe
See more mousepads with zazzle

Journey Home in the Snow Video (click to play)

I was browsing through my videos last night and came across this one of a journey from where I work in Northfield, just south of Birmingham, through the snowy streets to home. Recorded on 6th January 2010 after some heavy snow but on a beautiful sunny blue sky day when the snow covered houses and gardens look very pretty. it lasts just over 9 minutes. Just click on the centre arrow to play.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Astronauts fabulous photo of Aurora Australis taken from Space Station

Just had to show you this stunning picture of the Aurora Australis, the one that appears over the Southern hemisphere, as opposed to the Aurora Borealis, which is visible from the Northern hemisphere. It was taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), and shows the aurora australis against the backdrop of Earth's horizon.

The ISS was over the Southern Indian Ocean at an altitude of 350 km, with the astronauts looking towards Antarctica and the South Pole. Dense cloud cover is dimly visible below the aurora. The curvature of the Earth’s horizon can be clearly seen as well as the faint blue line of the upper atmosphere.

The stunning sight is formed as charged particles streaming from the Sun – known as the solar wind - interact with Earth’s magnetic field, resulting in collisions with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen in the upper atmosphere. This striking aurora image was taken during a geomagnetic storm that was probably caused by a coronal mass ejection from the Sun on May 24th. The atoms emit photons as a means of returning to their original energy state. The photons form the aurora that we see.

The most commonly observed colour of aurora is green, caused by photons (light) emitted by excited oxygen atoms at wavelengths centered at 0.558 micrometers, or millionths of a metre. Visible light is reflected from healthy (green) plant leaves at approximately the same wavelength. Red aurora are generated by light emitted at a longer wavelength (0.630 micrometers), and other colours such as blue and purple are also sometimes observed.

While aurora are generally only visible close to the poles, severe magnetic storms impacting the Earth’s magnetic field can sometimes shift them towards the equator.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fathers Day: a tribute to my Dad

Dr.Hugo Coghlan 1925 - 2002

My Dad died in 2002 and I still miss him dreadfully, especially on Fathers Day. He was one of the kindest, gentlest, funniest men I have ever known and I was very fortunate to have him as my father.

He was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1925, although his family came from Skibbereen in Cork and he was the youngest of three brothers, all of whom became Doctors. This is a picture of him (right of picture), with his brothers, Georges and Diarmuid together in 1976.

He met my mother, Dorothy, while studying at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin and they fell in love, but unfortunately my mother was a Protestant and my Dad a Catholic, and this was Ireland in the forties!

Fortunately for me, my two sisters and our own children, they overcame all the obstacles, as theirs truly was a love match, and married in 1952. Sadly he died a few months after they celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary after 50 years together and Mum died of a massive heart attack not long after. I think she died of a broken heart without him. I like to think they have been reunited and are together again.

Dad and Mum on their Wedding Day

Dad with all his girls around him in happy times!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday-Follow: Building Friendship One Blog at a Time – June 18th


Welcome to the 4th Friday Follow hosted by our awesome hostesses, Stephanie at Goober Grape Monkey Man, Meg at Just Another Manic Mommy, and Traci at Traci66. Thank you ladies for being willing to host! Please stop by and see these awesome ladies.

We invite you to join us every Friday to get more blog followers and to find many interesting blogs that you like. This is all about sharing and having fun.

We expect you to be on your honor and to have fun. These are only guidelines to make it more enjoyable for you. Here’s how YOU can join the Friday Follow celebration:

* Link up your blog below...One Link per blog
* Grab our Friday Follow button include on your side bar, or post.. grab the linky information if you want it
* Follow the Friday-Follow blog and the hostesses in slots 1, 2 & 3 that have volunteered today to host
* Follow the blogs you want, leave comment saying you are from Friday Follow – use common courtesy
* No spammers, or xxrated blogs - family friendly

If you need more guidelines about following see

This list is new each week and closes on Saturday at 11:59pm EST. The links do not carry over. Please link up each week for new participants to find your blogs. It will be visible all week to visit the blogs listed.

Congratulations to our first Three Friday Follow Winners!!!

Pull Up Your Potty Seat, This could take a while
Singing Three Little Birds
A Cuppy Cake Life

Each week we will randomly draw from three (3) blogs from the links for the next week’s Friday Follow, and each blog chosen will be placed in the highly coveted number #7, #8, and #9 position on the blog hop. The first blog chosen will also be given the option of doing an interview which will post on on Thursday the next week. We love your participation and want to give back to you! You could be next!

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If you are interested in being a sponsor for Friday-Follow, please fill out the sponsorship form HERE.

There are 2 giveaways, thanks to our wonderful sponsors.

The Shindig Card Package {$45 value} 25 Printed Cards, 25 Envelopes, and a Sheet of 30 Matching Return Labels.

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Thank you for joining us. Have fun! Happy Flying!!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

New! Flowers from my Garden Greeting Cards

I took a stroll around my garden the other day, which is looking lovely at this time of the year, with lilac, clematis, cherry tree, crab apple trees, aqueligia etc all in flower. There was even the first rose of the season, a pretty pink Queen Elizabeth starting to bloom. Naturally I had my camera with me and took some nice shots as I love to be able to look back at the photos when the flowers are all gone.

Some of them were good enough to use on cards for my ZAZZLE STORE, so I decided to create some personalised Birthday Cards. I hope you like them.

Rose Birthday Card card
Rose Birthday Card by CharmaineZoe
Create a photo note card online at zazzle

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

New Birthday Cards: The Natural Landscapes of Devon

I was in the beautiful county of Devon in England for a weeks holiday at Easter, staying at a great Caravan Park called Dornafield, near Newton Abbot. While there I took some great photos of some of the lovely landscapes there and in the near vicinity. I have now turned them into attractive birthday cards which are all personalisable and available from my ZAZZLE STORE.

English Oak Greeting Card card
English Oak Greeting Card by CharmaineZoe
Shop for a different greeting card on zazzle

Friday, May 28, 2010

New range of Vintage American Military designs

Specially for Memorial Day in the USA I have created this lovely range based on old postcard designs. They are available as greetings cards, postcards, fridge magnets, mugs and caps and many feature the American flag. All are available from my ZAZZLE STORE.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

New Designs at Kaleidoscope Kreations

I've been really busy creating lovely designs for my Zazzle Store, Kaleidscope Kreations and among a great new series of design collections is one I've called Glacier, a set of 12 very elegant designs in silvery grey and gold on a very dark blue background. (I've included 6 on this post)These are available as Fridge Magnets, Stickers and Keychains at the moment, all of which make lovely gifts and party or wedding favors, and will gradually be added to more and more products. And don't forget they can all be customised to add your own text and create bookplates, save the date, etc., All designs are always available on any product available from Zazzle by request. The contact page is available on the Zazzle sidebar.

I've also got several brand new ranges apart from Glacier. These are called Jewelled Rainbows and Gilded Azure and can be viewed at

Glacier 2 Sticker sticker
Glacier 2 Sticker by CharmaineZoe
View other custom sticker on

Glacier 6 Sticker sticker
Glacier 6 Sticker by CharmaineZoe
See more stickers available at zazzle

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Some Demolition Work!

When we moved in to our present house we inherited a big old wooden greenhouse at the bottom of the garden. We've only ever used it for storage and it was prone to having it's glass panels smashed by falling fruit from a large apple tree which overhangs it. We have now trimmed the tree back so it's not quite so destructive, but over the years it has become more and more decprepit and derelict.

So this year we made the decision to demolish it completely and replace it with a new structure, preferably one we can sit in on a blustery or rainy day and still enjoy the sunshine, which this end of the garden enjoys all day round.

The following video shows the operation to demolish it. Pepsi and Max are popping in and out of the frame all the time and it finishes rather abruptly as we realise that Pepsi has disappeared through a gap we had exposed in the fence (it used to have chicken wire attached to the greenhouse to stop him!), which is when we had to drop everything temporarily and chase him across the field down to the river which backs on to the garden! Didn't do poor Hubby's blood pressure a lot of good either!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My lovely Roses for Mothers's Day

These are the lovely roses I got from Pepsi and Max for Mother's Day, or Mothering Sunday as we call it here in the UK. Hubby had bought them on the boys behalf when he'd done the shopping yesterday, and hidden them in the garage overnight so I wouldn't see them. He had them all arranged in one of my Waterford crystal vases for when I came downstairs this morning. I love the peach colour and globular shape, but sadly they have no scent and probably wont last long, which I find with most supermarket flowers these days. So I've taken loads of photos of them to keep as mementos, including this great close up which really shows off the colour nicely.

I also got got a huge bar of Cadburys fruit and nut milk chocolate, my favourite, and Hubby cooked the most delicious roast pork Sunday lunch, so I've really been spoilt today.

Oh well, back to work and real life tomorrow!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Michael Jackson's This Is It - They Don't Care About Us - Dancing Inmates Video

Here's another great video from the inmates of CEBU Prison in the Phillipines, this time they dance to Michael Jackson's This Is It.

If you enjoyed this and would like to see their other performances check out the byronfgarcia YouTube Channel to see their complete impressive repertoire.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Curry & Specs!

My office manager Pam, was telling us this morning how she went out for a curry with her sister last night. They go to the same Indian restaurant fairly regularly and she always manages to forget to bring her reading glasses with her, so reading the menu is a problem. Now the head waiter has taken to bringing out a tray of spectacles for her to try on until she finds a pair she can read with! These are 'borrowed' from the other waiters, chefs, washers up etc in the kitchens and has become standard procedure when ever they see her coming, now that's what I call service!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Kaleidoscope Kreations the website, gets a spruce up!

I've felt for some time that my Kaleidoscope Kreations website at was in need of something of a spruce up. I keep this website to feature my kaleidoscope and mandala art, of which I now have a number of galleries in which I also include my animated kaleidoscope YouTube videos, as well as a section for featuring my designs on items for sale such as t-shirts, greeting cards, ties, gifts and even shoes.

I've improved the home page by changing the header graphic, tightening up the text and adding more graphics which give it a clean and tidy appearance without looking boring ( I hope!) and expanded to about 30 pages, so lots of content. Still got a few pages to complete next weekend (should have enough time, although I haven't decided whether to go in to Birmingham for the St Patrick's Day Parade & celebrations, guess it will depend on what the weathers like) and then it's finished - for the time being anyway :-)

I'm getting a lot more exposure these days as I get a lot of visitors via Google, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Zazzle, YouTube, Squidoo etc. and my kaleidoscope designs are selling well, I recently got an order for 400 photo cards and another for 100 invitations in the same week! I now have customers in the USA & Canada, Europe and Australia & New Zealand and I'm looking forward to getting my first Brazilian customer as my Zazzle Store just went on line there too.

In the meantime I am still adding new designs and just introduced a lovely line called Ice Crystals, in delicate blues on t-shirts, stickers, magnets etc. This is one of the 6 patterns available