Beowulf and The Pied Piper

Craft Day 1/365
Hubby’s just made me a prop for school where I will be teaching Beowulf along with other myths and legends. He drew out the shape on some ply after a bit of research on the shape, then cut it out. He left the decorating for me to do!
I have painted the Viking broadsword using metallic paint for the font to add a bit of shine to it in the light and outlined some of the lettering with ink. I particularly like celtic patterns or those which interlock. One day I hope to have a go at silver jewellery making. The first piece of jewellery I designed was when my first baby was born and I wanted her to have a keepsake for when she grew up. Although I designed it, I commissioned a jewellery maker from famous Glastonbury in the UK to make it.
Regarding my class, all about the age of 12/13, they were thrilled that we were going to create a wall display of our work on myths and legends. After the focus on Beowulf, we moved onto The Pied Piper and the children’s task was to then write their own epic poem. My youngest daughter is always inspired by the ideas I plan for my lessons and wanted to take part even though she’s younger and attends a different school. She drew me a picture for a slide on The Pied Piper, having already studied it at school!

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Sisters! Ten minute biro portrait of my daughter laughing at her sister


My eldest is about to launch her first official exhibition this Friday … she’s so excited that she even had her nails painted by her boyfriend’s sister. I couldn’t resist taking a photograph as bloggers may recall my effort at painting her nails with giraffes before in an earlier blog post. I hand painted each nail, however in this photograph they managed to find some giraffe transfers (I know I’m biased, but I prefer mine!)

Just to remind you of the ones I painted …

There have been times when I wished I had a sister, but I’ve met so many people who didn’t get on with their siblings even when the age difference is close. Therefore, it was lovely to capture in a quick sketch my youngest daughter laughing and giggling with her sister nine years older than she is.

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3D watercolour


This was a practise piece I did in preparation for a wedding gift. I drew outlines of butterflies and cut them out. These were going to be raised away from the surface. Then I painted several butterflies at different angles using watercolour.

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Calligraphic poetry

I’ve posted this on my other blog, the elevator press because I will be adding some printed images to illustrate the poem. This is just a section of it to share with you – I did not write the poem, I used it to practise calligraphy skills and it’s so far taken me five hours.


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Card cut intaglio print no.2


The results of a card cutting I showed in an early blog post :-)

Originally posted on The Elevator Press:

I cut a template printing plate using picture mounting board, gradually peeling off the top coloured layer to reveal the white beneath.


Then I used a roller and watercolour as a printing medium, applied a thin layer and allowed some of the paint to catch the white (can produce a textured effect).


A note to newcomers to printing … Remember that whatever picture you want to end up with will be the mirror image of the printing plate. Have fun :-)

View original

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Textured foil


On Friday while serving cups of coffee to the architect technologists, we had to start a new tin of coffee granules. The seal on the top is made of foil and had a lovely raised dotty pattern on the surface. I decided to try this out on my gelliplate and this is one of the prints taken from it. To achieve this effect, I rolled over the back of the foil, pushing the pattern into the inked gelli. I then added a button to the centre and dragged the end of a paintbrush out from the centre.

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ten minute doodle

I was sat in the car lunchtime wondering what to draw.  The view wasn’t that impressive – just cars, a brow of hill (which I couldn’t see over) and an unimpressive grey sky.  Even the leaves have yet to fall.

 I knew I had my Berol pens in my bag and a small A6 notebook.  I resorted to a book of stamps lying between me, the gear stick and the area reserved for espresso paper cups and drew this without using a pencil outline first…



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a paint palette biscuit and some cherry and almond scones

I’ve wanted to have a go at these biscuits for a long time and as The Great British Bake Off has been on TV, the office is buzzing with people bringing in their homemade bakes.  Tomorrow we will have caramelized onion and cheese bread; I will be bringing cherry and almond scones.  I took the advice from one episode of the TV programme to roll the cherries in flour so that they evenly distribute in the mixture rather than drop to the bottom.


then added them to the rubbed in flour, sugar and butter.  While my biscuit dough was chilling for ten minutes, my scones were baking nicely in the oven and I had time to clear up a bit.  


The kids enjoyed unwrapping the boiled sweets and sorting them into traffic light colours.


bit out of focus (oops) but you can see they are rectangles.  The recipe suggested lollypops – the rounded ones, but these sweets were all I could find this evening.

The biscuit dough is then shaped into rectangles and cook for ten minutes.  We then cut out three circles using a clean thimble before positioning the colours.  The sweets were the equivalent of trying to fit a square inside a circle, so of course this happened when they were put back in the oven for three minutes.  I’ve renamed them the Jackson Pollock Paint Palette Biscuits as they now look like paint spills.  The kids didn’t seem to mind :)



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Work in progress

DSC05300 DSC05302

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the chainsaw bear

As promised, here is a photograph of the chainsaw bear sculpture from the Treefest.  It sold at auction for more than £300 and it was fascinating seeing this sculpture take shape, even down to the detail of nose, eyes and ears using a heat tool to burn the wood.  I’ve also added a picture of the rabbit which inspired me to make a print of a rabbit swinging in the trees – which you can see on my printing blog:




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cat in a box

There is a cool photo contest over at Katzenworld :)  Of course, as people know, I have a kitten who gets up to so much mischief and likes shoes and pinches tights, socks, drinking straws …

So here is my entry for the August cat in a box contest – Nikon in her box:



Posted in animals, Contest, inspiration, Pets, photography | 9 Comments