WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Travels through Blogland.


1st  September 2014

Dear Blogging friends . My dear friend Judy of 
"Gold Country Cottage" - invited me to join in a journey through blogland.      I gladly accepted. 
 Its a way to get to know more about each other.    Judy and I became blogging friends a couple of years ago.  
I always enjoy going over to her blog, and Judy is always so generous with her comments on mine. 

She writes about her beautiful Victorian Cottage-  that her and her husband bought, and have restored  through the years. Keeping its original Victorian appeal .   It's simply beautiful.    She also writes about her family and her travels and visits to different towns and locations.  Her blogs are full of beautiful photography. And so well written and presented. 
Judy lives in California.
Here is a photo of " Gold Country Cottage 's front porch door.      Always decorated with different arrangements during the turning of the seasons.  
 I invite you all to Gold Country Cottage.- Knock  and  Judy with her big smile and kindness of heart.. will open the door.  You can then enter and she will show you her  beautiful home that she lovingly shares with us all.  You can follow her on her travels, and her stunning decorations within. 
Please take time to visit.  She will make you most welcome.  I have enjoyed my visits to " Gold Country Cottage."   I know you will too.
"Gold Country Cottage "- Front door porch
I  will be be answering- 4 questions, that have been presented , I hope that you will learn a little more about me, and my life , and living here in Portugal.

1) ---                                 WHAT    AM     I      WORKING      ON.

 At the moment, I am dedicating and spending more time to my art.    I started painting porcelain reproductions over  20 years ago.  A most fascinating hobby, and totally different than painting with oils. It did however ease my way into using oil as my preferred method.
   After moving full time to the country, I did not continue with  the porcelain painting.   Who knows, I might do that again at some later date.  I have painted some beautiful re productions.. and they hang on my wall.

One day, I bought a canvas, and painted in oils.   I painted my first painting. Ever so chuffed with myself.
    Never ever having had lessons.  I bought myself a starters  pack.. and took sheer delight in the process of painting with oils.     The enjoyment  of seeing what I had painted, and the smiles and well wishes from my family, encouraged me to paint more.
 I now have been painting for about 25 years.    I have canvases unfinished and others to start.
 Somehow, life gets in the way- and there is not always time to persue our desires.    So .. for the next few months I will be at my easel as much as I can .. hoping to produce a few new paintings for my cottages.  I enjoy art, the history of art.. and above all painting , and the thrill of hanging them on the wall.
                                   Hanging on my studio wall. One of my handpainted plates. I have a kiln. but not been used for so long now.   Porcelain painting on china is a very different process from just painting on with ordinary folk art paint.  It takes a lot of time and effort , using special oils from Brazil.... Its a delicate precise art.   Sometimes taking two or three firings  needed in the kiln.... This is a sweet little bouquet of flowers.  Some day maybe I might have a bash again.!
                  This painting of  abstract tulips  I painted over 10 years ago.  is hanging in my bedroom wall.        Now its time after many years, to hang a new one.  Work in progress.!
2. -                                     HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE.

I   like to think, that my blog has something different to offer my blogging friends.  That they get pleasure in reading my posts and take away from it something they like too.!
    Following other blogging friends.   I think that all blogs differ in some way.!  Thats the beauty of blogging. It would be dull, if we all wrote about the same things.
  Eventually we find more or less a  genre close to our own.    And the process begins.   I never thought i would blog.  
I just started to look at blogs and what people wrote about.   Thought of a name for my blog and with trepidation went into blogging not really knowing what it was all about.  And here i am with "Vals Alentejo."    Blogging can be a pain sometimes.. but with perseverance we get there.. with help from good friends.. we persist .

     Writing about what we like  and sharing, and knowing that we can  all take something away from each and every one of our posts is a sociable way of getting to know each other.

    I enjoy sharing my life and happenings with you all .   Maybe more so now, in the Autumn of my life.    Living once again in the country.  I write about life here  and around my 5 hectare Olive grove. Passionate about  family . My travels, my animals, horses, my 4 wonderful dogs,  my roses and sometimes something different.
    Blogging has added  a new vision and perspective to my world.
   Through reading other peoples blogs.. I have  learnt so much.    I hope that I can continue to post for a long time to come, and make them as interesting as possible.  

White wedding roses in my garden. The little boy statue behind the bush, my mother bought for me over 25 years ago.  

 3-                                 WHY     DO      I     CREATE      WHAT     I     DO

I  have always enjoyed creativity and creating something new. As a child, I used to love to get my friends together and make plays.. I always made up their characters, we used to dress up and make some sort of play..  It was fun.

When I am out in my garden, or around the local villages ,or taking a trip to Lisbon .. My camera goes with me .
The photos and what I have seen or the happenings of that day .  Usually gets me into a creative mood.
  Then choosing the photos I like, I start to create my post.   It is a creative process.  Getting the photos you like, setting them aside. checking out this and that.   Then putting it all together.  Click and its posted.

  If one is active and enjoy what we are doing, no matter what. If you do it with love and passion.. that is creation in itself.
My thought process has always been at its best, when I get into a motivating  mood .  I can be active for a few days .. Then I take a rest again, then I will be on the move again.   Even going shopping or visits to our local historic sights.  Its all inspiring.

There is always something that comes to mind., something nice to create and think about, and share.


 This question is pretty similar to my creative side.  Writing to me, is creative.     I have no particular method.   I like to write about what  I see around me.   Some of my experiences.
I have always written in my diary.   I write my post, check it over.. sit on it for a while, then post.. I write my posts to keep . One day, hopefully my grandchildren would enjoy reading them.

  Traveling through Blogland!.. We are asked to name three friends.   The three friends that I chose were on holiday or traveling ..
      I  then thought , I  have such lovely blogging friends that are all worthy to be named   .  I  ask you all to take a peep at my sidebar and take a little time to  read some of the  amazing blogs I follow.
  I  and hope that you enjoy reading their blogs as much as I do.           I consider myself lucky to have such super followers and to be able to follow them.   Thank you one and all.  So far, its been a good ride.. great experience, lots of getting to know each other.

Thank you once again to Judy for choosing me.

I now have a couple of newcomers to my blog, that came over from "Gold Country Cottage".     September, will be the month to catch up on you all and read about all your happenings.

   I am me ---------      I write from the heart.

Happy blogging.


  1. What a lovely post Val - I enjoyed learning a little more about you and your life there. It is good to read other blogs from all corners of the globe and see what kinds of lives they lead and how different they all are. It is hard sometimes to find time to do all that we want to do especially when life is so busy - but I can see that your painting brings you pleasure. Enjoy your week.

  2. Thank you so much Elaine, for your kind comment.
    It took me a while to get this together.
    I think you and me have some blogging friends in common.. but its always nice to get to know new ones..
    Happy 1st September Elaine

  3. Oh, Val, what a lovely post....Recently, I have been re-evaluating my blog...wondering if it is time to quite writing it. You have inspired me to continue. This last move, to the cottage, has taken a toll on me.

    1. Thanks Meggie,
      I am pleased to hear that my post has inspired you.. we all need a little encouragement now and again. Dont give up.
      You will settle soon.

  4. What a fascinating post, Val. It gives me more insight into your life and why you love painting and creating things so much. Such a nice idea to introduce other blogs like this too.

    1. Hello Perpetua,
      Thank you for your kind comments. Always appreciated.
      You have been part of my blogging process too.
      I love painting, creating..and life itself. Hope you will pop over to Judy and see her blog.

  5. Interesting post, Val. Love your paintings. I always enjoy reading your blog, I get to see your beautiful country.

    1. Thank you Sylvia.. pleased that you found my post interesting.
      Did my best..

  6. i, for one, hope you will be painting a lot more and sharing your work here! beautiful! you are so very creative and have a very interesting life. your place is gorgeous, your travels are fun, you have a sweet spirit that we enjoy from around the world. :)

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment Tex. So appreciated.
      I write from the heart.. I am who I am.
      I enjoy sharing. Thank you for your friendship..

  7. Good Morning, Val. You are such a good friend and I am so privileged to have found you. Thank you so much for your kind and lovely comments about me and my life at the Cottage. I appreciate it all so much and certainly enjoyed learning a little more about you. You stated everything so eloquently and you truly do speak from the heart..Happy Monday..Judy

    1. Dear Judy.
      The same goes for me too. I feel that I have known you for years.
      We will be continuing along the blogging road together for years to come..
      I am so pleased that you liked the post.
      Its Me. I am glad to share some of my life with dear friends.

  8. Lovely post Val. You share so much through your blog--I have loved getting glimpse of your fascinating life, learning more about Portugal and the other things you share. That plate you painted is gorgeous.

    1. Thank you Jen,
      I always enjoy going to your place.. seeing kitty hiding behind the flowers.
      I am pleased that you liked this post.
      a little more to share with everyone.
      Glad you like my plate. x

  9. I write from the heart.....that sums it up perfectly. I love seeing photos of where you live and learning more about you. I know I'll always see something new when I visit you and always come away uplifted. And wanting to travel more! Enjoy your week my friend! Hugs, Diane

    1. Thank you Diane.
      Its always a pleasure reading -lavender Dreamer's posts too.
      I am pleased you enjoyed learning a little more about me. After all, blogging is for socializing and getting to know others. xx

  10. Dear Val - this is such a thoughtful and caring post, and one that I enjoyed reading.
    I am very impressed with your china painting, I love your abstract tulips and definitely would not remove them from the walls.
    This post reveals why we love to visit you Val, and why we enjoy receiving visits from you.
    May your journey along the blogging road continue far into the future.

    1. Dear Rosemary,
      Your comment is so kind and generous.. I was painting porcelain for some years. I still have my bisquet pieces to be fired. Always work in progress. So pleased you like my tulips.
      I have made some wonderful dear friends through blogging and you are one of them. You always inspire me, with your super posts.
      happy blogging .

  11. Such a nice post Val. Enjoyed learning more about your work. I admire your zest for living and your interest in so many things. That will keep us young, so long as we retain interests and keep busy. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you Sanda.
      Yes, we must keep up our zest for living.. keep our intrests alive, It is indeed what keeps us young.
      pleased you enjoyed my post.

  12. Val,
    I enjoyed reading your answers. I did the same thing recently after a dear blog friend asked me to. Love your white roses, and the painting of the tulips is so pretty. Yes it's true, our blog friends are so special and we learn a lot of them, don't we? I never knew when I first visited your blog long ago that I'd meet such a charming, interesting, and wonderful lady.


    1. Thank you Sheri,
      Yes, I have met some interesting friends, very special.
      Some we have in common.
      You are always so kind with your comments Sheri.. Enjoy visiting with you Jess and Nel..


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